Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sweet Home Cunnamulla

I'm back now in cunnamulla after a month long holidays around Australia with Carlotta. We went all around and spent time in every state in Australia. Our time in Perth was really good. I loved Western Australia. It is very chill there, Fremantle was my favorite spot to go hang out. The vibe there was very chill and reminded me a bit of Minneapolis. While in Perth we decided to rent a car for 3 days and drive around and explore more of WA. The benefits of being old finally paid off when I was able to get a good deal on a rental car. We ended up driving around a white Toyota Yaris which we called Mickey Jr after our campervan. It was a manual car as well and took me a little while to get used to because he was much more sensitive than our campervan. I made it out of Perth and we headed south straight away to a town called Carlotta that happened to be a sign on the side of the road with "Carlotta farm" on it... What a disappointment. Not knowing what to do next we just kept driving till we found a spot that looked good in a town called Yallingup on the coast just north of Margaret River. Our other two nights we spent up north of Perth near Cervantes. We spent Valentines Day morning at the pinnacle dessert at Nambung National Forrest. It was very cool and there were also white sand dunes along the drive to the pinnacles that looked like icebergs from far away. After our time with Mickey Jr. we had just a day in Perth to relax before our next stop in Alice Springs. We hung out and slept/read in the park all day.

Alice Springs was our last stop on our holidays. We went on a camping trip once we arrived for 3 days. It was so fun, we went to kings canyon on our first day and did a hike there. That night we camped in the middle of nowhere bush just off the side of the road. We had a bonfire from some firewood we collected from old burnt trees off the side of the road. We slept in swags under all the stars around the fire that night, it was so cool and the temperature at night was perfect. It cooled off quite a bit. The next two days we spent touring Kata Tjuta and Uluru. On our way home to Alice Springs we stopped at a racing camel farm and got to ride on old racing camels... It was so fun!
The rest of our days in Alice we spent walking around town, seeing what the go is and buying some souvenirs with the rest of our money we had left.

It took us two days to get home to cunnamulla from Alice Springs. We had to fly back to Brisbane on Saturday and spend the night at a hostel there then take the Sunday bus first thing in the morning to cunamulla that takes all day - 12 hours. Bob and Deli showed up at the bus for us in cunnamulla to pick us up at 8pm. We were both sooo happy to see them! They gave had waited to eat tea with us because they knew we'd be hungry. It feels so good to be home in cunnamulla. Carlotta and I took Madison (Deli's one year old granddaughter) for a walk around town the other day and saw a lot of locals around town that stopped to say hi to us and see how we were going. It was good to see all the locals around in the pub as well. We only have a week here which is too short. We're going to be leaving here on Saturday morning to head back to Brisbane which is where we fly out of on Sunday. Both our flights are within a couple hours of each other... It'll be difficult to leave this town, Bob and Deli have been so good to us here. Hopefully we can come back someday to see them again!

"If you girls don't come back to Australia to visit me before I'm dead then my ghost will come down and haunt you bitches!" -Deli

Sunday, February 10, 2013

On the road...

I've been trying to post this from my phone with some pictures for the last few days but my app is not working so I apologize dad for the delay in posting and will try to put some pictures up from the road trip as soon as I can! 

Well it has been a very eventful and fun two weeks so far of my holiday here in Australia. Carlotta and I just got to Adelaide a couple days ago now and dropped off Mickey (our manual camper-van and house for the past two weeks). We have had a blast in him wondering around and getting into trouble. I even had a go at driving  Mickey and towards the end I took over the wheel quite a bit. Carlotta had to teach me and we had a few lessons at relearning how to drive stick throughout the trip which was quite entertaining... for her! I have so much to write but I will try to make it as short as I can...

Our road trip started off with Carlotta and I getting into Robyn's car (our bp boss) with her mother, Irene. She gave us a ride to toowoomba which is close to Brisbane. We spent a night in toowoomba at Jeffery's motel. Carlotta and I went to play pokies with robin and Irene. We watched Robyn loose 30 dollars straight away and got so bored that we left to check out the bar where she ended up finding us two beers deep, Woops! 
The next morning Robyn dropped us off at the bus station so we could go to Brisbane where we spent the following couple of nights before picking up our camper van Mickey. While in Brisbane we didn't do too much, hung out and saw a bit of the city. We met up with Cory, a guy that lived in cunnamulla and moved to Brisbane, he took us to Chinatown and to buy some used CDs for our trip. I also got to see my friend Clayton who found me in Chinatown. I hadn't seen him since Korea so it was good to see him, we went and had a few beers and caught up. 

The morning of getting Mickey was very entertaining to say the least. I won't go into details now, it's a post in itself but it was quite an adventure. Once we got on the road our first stop was dreamworld (an amusement park in the Gold Coast). We got in free because of Deli and Bob, they have a relative that's high up in the company. It was fun, we found ourselves spending the most time at the sheep sheering shed. It was fun to talk to the guys there, they couldn't believe we lived in cunnamulla. That night we stayed at a caravan park at the top of surfers paradise in a town called southport. It was very pretty and relaxing. 

We spent our next days driving, well Carlotta drove basically the whole time from Brisbane to Melbourne, poor little bugger. On our way down to Melbourne we spent a night in a national park which was so cool but a bit scary at night because we were so isolated, the park was called bundjalung national park. Some other cool stops along the way include Tweeds Head, Grafton, Hungry Head, Old Bar, Bulahdelah (where we bought Spikey, our cute little cactus that's traveling with us. 

We spent our Australia Day in Newcastle with Pete, Sam, Kyle, and all their friends. (They are family with the Vella's in cunnamulla and are so nice) There was a BBQ going by the pool along with some beer drinking games in the shed all while Australia's top 100 was playing on the radio. It was a fun day. Carlotta and I also got to sleep in a bed for two nights in Newcastle because we stayed the following day just to hang out in Newcastle for a day with them! 

Next stop was onto a rainy day in Sydney, Mickey tried to give us some problems that day but not to worry we sorted him out. It was then onto Wollongong one night and Kiama the next, we loved it there - so pretty right on the beach. Canberra was our next destination. On our way there we stopped at a cute little town called Moss Vale and had a look. Canberra was huge and there aren't many people living there but it was a cool city. 

From Canberra we headed to Wagga Wagga to have a look and then stopped in Wangaratta to spend the night. The next morning we drove straight past Melbourne to Phillip Island where we spent a night, it was very pretty. It was onto the great ocean road for the next couple of nights after Phillip Island before making our way up to Adelaide to drop Mickey off. We stopped at some cool places after the great ocean road including: Portland, Port MacDonnell, Mount Gambier, Kingston, Wellington,  Milang, and Hahndorf. It was a sad day when we reached Adelaide because our time in Mickey was coming to an end. He was so good to us towards the end and we became attached. I miss sleeping in him and just driving to random places to see what the go is.

We are now in Perth after riding the Indian pacific train that's a day and a half journey. It was so fun and both Carlotta and I were sad to get off the train not only because we it was fun but also because we are now officially homeless! Out holiday has been quite a journey so far and we're loving every minute of it. Perth should be good, they just announced that it was going to be sooo hot, then they said 38 degrees and Carlotta and I both looked at each other and laughed - we're from the bush and are used to 48 degrees... Haha. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Australia Road Trip!

I'm heading out tomorrow early morning for the start of my month long journey around Australia with Carlotta. We are both so excited and ready to explore. First off, we're heading towards Brisbane with our boss from the bp Robin who's giving us a ride. She was telling Carlotta that she needs to take a lot of breaks so this could be quite a long start to our trip tomorrow. It's free though so we can't really complain. We rented a camper van for two weeks, it's a super ugly one - don't worry I'll take some pictures of it to show you all. We start from Brisbane with the van and drop it off in Adelaide. We're going down the east coast stopping along the way at places like Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra, then down to Melbourne. Going to drive the great ocean road from there up to Adelaide. We're staying in Adelaide for a couple of nights then taking the Indian pacific train all the way across the country to Perth. I'm so excited for that train ride!

We're spending a week in Perth before we split up for a week. Carlotta is going to Alice Springs (middle of the country) from there and I'm going to Cairns (north eastern tip). I want to see the Daintree rainforest while I'm there and go to the Great Barrier Reef!

Carlotta and I will then both meet up in Brisbane after that on February 22nd where we'll also meet up with Bob and Deli! We'll party with them for a night before they take us back home to cunnamulla for a week so we can hang out with them and do a bit of painting. The regulars are all excited for when we come back home to c'mulla so that we can be on their side of the bar and drink with them. Haha. Both Carlotta and I fly out of Australia on March 3rd.

That is my next month plan as of now. It should be full of adventures and crazy stories. I'm looking forward to it, getting out and wondering through Australia with my new buddy Carlotta. I'll try to post when I can but I'm not sure when I'll have Internet.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Koroit Opal Mine

Last week Bob and Deli took Carlotta and I to an opal mine in Koroit. We went to a mine owned by a lady that lives in town named Lyn who I got drunk before Christmas. She was talking about it and I naturally invited myself out for a visit and she agreed to let us have a look. Her husband and her do open mining there meaning they don't go underground at all in caves. There are some around town that do have underground mines though. It was so cool to go see that. They showed us the whole process of what they do. We dug some gravel up, went through it searching for stones that sounded like they could have opals in them. Then when after you've picked out the rocks, you break them up with a hammer and see if they're good or not. If they're good then they move onto the next stage which is washing and polishing them.

Lyn and Richard live there in the winters and do all their mining while its cooler outside. They made a house there and half of it is a trailer. It's pretty cool and creative. They were so nice to us. They were both so proud of everything they had done on their property and were happy to show us everything! It was a really cool trip. We got to look through a pile of potch, rocks with bits of opal in them, and were able to take home some of them.

Other than the opal mine field trip I've been keeping busy, working at the pub and the Bp quite a bit last week. It's been pretty quite here since the holidays, people spent all their money for Christmas and on New Years and the grape pickers have finally left!

The weather has been so hot here that you can't go outside for too long. It's well over the 100s everyday. There have been a lot of problems with bush fires all over, NSW and Tasmania especially. It's all over the news everyday. There was a big fire here last week at the council that burned down the whole new big building costing around 6million they reckon. It was huge, they had to evacuate a few streets here for a while.

I'm getting ready for my big road trip with Carlotta, my fellow backpacker German friend. We're heading out on the 20th and have pretty much everything sorted out for it. It's going to be so fun. I'll try to do another post before I leave explaining our route and such!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas in the outback

Well I have to say it was a very weird christmas in 100 degree heat and not snow but it was a good one. The hotel has been very busy leading up to christmas but now it's been pretty slow at night at the pub. I spent my Christmas Day with bob and Deli's family and Carlotta. We had lunch in the dining room downstairs and opened presents. I gave the boys Kobe and Ashton (bobs grand kids) a soccer shirt, some American coins, a medal and a koosh each. They were excited. It was a really good meal and after we ate it started storming and raining. I went outside and played in the rain with the boys. It was lots of fun. Later that afternoon bob came around the hotel and picked Carlotta and I up to go to his house and have a few beers with him!

On Boxing Day (day after christmas) it was Kathleen's birthday. She's a German backpacker that got stuck here in cunnamulla because she got pregnant... Haha. She's awesome and loves it here so it was a good thing. Anyways, she came and picked Carlotta and I up to go over to her house and hang out with her on her bday. We sat around, drank some beers, went "swimming" in her baby pool, watched a movie while she made us dinner... Etc. She seemed to enjoy the day, I don't know if I would like having my friends over drinking all my beer then having to make dinner for them but it was good. She works with us at the hotel but is slowing down a bit because she's due in 7 weeks!

Today is Carlotta's birthday and we plan on just hanging out, being big bums and watching movies. We both have today off so it'll be nice to sit back and relax.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bonjour Julie

These past couple of weeks have been very busy for me. I've been working a lot and I'm also house sitting right now for a friend. I'm watching my friend geoffs house and having to let his dogs out, make sure the cats alive and water the lawn when I can. My friend Carlotta, the German backpacker who works with me has been staying over at his house with me. We've been having fun there!

There was a group of French bikers who came through two weeks ago and fully booked the place. They were only here for one night but some of them didn't speak English well at all so they spoke some French to me and to my surprise I was able to communicate with them pretty well. In the morning they were all saying "bonjour Julie", haha it was funny. I guess all those French classes were useful after all.

I feel like I've been living here forever now, I'm getting to know the locals pretty well. It's a nice little town but very different from a small town at home. Over half the population here are aboriginal and they can get stir up a lot of trouble. Whenever anyone starts to seem crazy at the bar I always go get Bob and tell him to keep an eye on them or kick them out. Nothing too bad has happened though, just a few small fights.

There are now a group of grape pickers staying at our hotel and they're so annoying. I was so happy to go stay at Geoff's house so that I could get away from them. Lets just say they give Carlotta and I a lot to clean in the morning and are very noisy. They'll be here for another 2 weeks or so. Depends on the grapes! Anyways, that's all the updates I have for now!