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Next Wrap Up

sunny
View Backpacking 2006 on jefranklin's travel map.

Time to wrap up the last few days methinks.
In my last post, we had arrived at Halls Gap and I was raving about it. We ended up staying there for 2 days, as it was really charming.
What sold it for me was as we were walking down the street on our first day there, a mother and baby kangaroo stopped on the oppposite side of the street, paused a few seconds to make sure that no cars were coming and then hopped across the road. I have spent many a happy day winding up family members saying that kangaroos roamed the streets of Sydney, but to see it actually happen (albeit in a small town) was a real Aussie experience. Definitely something to remember.
The rest of our time in Halls Gap was spent doing walks in those parts of the national park that were still open. It was on the way back from one of these walks that we came across a flock of a dozen or so wild emus. Fortunately we were in the car, so if they had given chase (as they are prone to do) we could have out run them.
After Halls Gap, we drove non-stop to South Australia and specifically to a town on the border called appropriately Bordertown.
The drive had taken 3 hours or so, so I was looking forward to a nice half day of wandering around the local attractions. We went to the information centre, and posed the question to the bloke there: what are the local attractions? The response was not exactly what I was looking for :ie "a couple of hours drive from here, there is the Murray River where you can rent a cabin."
So it was back to the car for another trek, fortunately cruise control took away some of the effort. In fairness to Bordertown, they did have one attraction: white kangaroos, so we went and checked them out. In 35 degree heat and being kept in a paddock, the poor things were not really in the most lively of spirits. I'm not convinced about the need to visit Bordertown again...
We rented a Swiss-style A-frame cabin down by the river and spent the night there. Other than swim in it (after Heather had convonced me that there would be no saltwater crocodiles in a freshwater river), we didn't do much other than play backgammon (still learning, and playing badly) and drink a decent amount of alcohol.
The following day (Friday 17th), we drove the remainder of the distance to Adelaide, stopping off at a town called Hahndorff (as you can guess, German settlers started it) and the local beach. I was hoping for a backpacker mecca like Bondi but it was much more family oriented (unfortunately). Last activities of the day were to check in to the YHA and return our very dirty hire car. Tomorrow we have a wine tasting tour of the Barossa Valley. As I won't be driving, I expect Sunday to be spent hungover. As long as we don't miss our train ride at 5pm...

Posted by jefranklin 16:00 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking round_the_world Comments (0)

Melbourne -Great Ocean Road - Grampians

sunny
View Backpacking 2006 on jefranklin's travel map.

Just a quick update today as I have not been doing any daily entries on my Pocket PC and I only have 7 minutes left!
The last week was spent flying from Hobart to Melbourne, and overnighting in a hostel there. We did catch up with Kristina, whom is a Sydney friend who moved to Melbourne about a year ago. It was good to see her after such a long time.
We then drove over the space of three days along the Great Ocean Road, stopping off for 2 days of it in the Apollo Bay. It was from here that we did a spot of sea fishing, and contrary to normal experiences, actually caught some fish. Between us, we caught 5 Flat heads, a couple of baby sharks and a Barracuda. It was actually me the Barracuda, and it put a decent struggle. Almost felt obliged to let him go... (almost).
After Apollo Bay we overnighted in Port Cambell, having stopped off enroute to view the 12 Apostles. Awesome to look at, and a photo or my words does not do them justice.
Finally, we drove to the Grampians and are currently staying in the YHA here. (I like YHA internet kiosks :). Unfortunately, they have just experienced a horrendous bush fire, but fortunately where we are staying (Halls Gap) got away pretty unscathed.
Got to go!!!

Posted by jefranklin 16:00 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking round_the_world Comments (0)

Week 1 wrap up


View Backpacking 2006 on jefranklin's travel map.

Ok, we have now been travelling for one week (sniff, sniff only 25 left) so it's probably time for first thoughts...
Tasmania is a gem of an island, although it is pretty easy to feel isolated if you are a techno-nerd (like yours truly). Internet access is limited, and there for expensive and we spent most of the first week outside a mobile phone zone.
Highlights were the Cadbury's chocolate factory :) and the east coast around the Bay of Fires. Fortunately, there were no real lowlights (other than the aforesaid lack of internet & mobile phone access). My trusty Pocket PC and a book of Su Doku kept me sane though.
Currently, we are in a youth hostel in Melbourne where I am posting this from. The contrast is pretty stark between YHAs in Tasmania though. It's all been a good experience so far though. Tomorrow we head off along the Great Ocean Road, so it'll probably be some time before I post anymore, so enjoy what you've got...

Posted by jefranklin 16:00 Archived in Australia Tagged backpacking round_the_world Comments (0)

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