Thursday 30 October 2008
finally getting time to sit down and write my blog. we've been in australia for nearly 3 weeks now and it's been absolutely brilliant. the surprise was soooo amazing. they were in absolute shock when they opened the door. they couldn't believe it... for hours that night they still couldn't believe we were here. their building was a bit of a pain to get into, so much so that they were surprised we managed to get into the thing lol. we had to wait for someone to let us in but then the lift wouldn't take us to the floor as you need a key fob for it. so whoever let us in, we had to go to their floor and then use the fire escape stairs. the fire escape bit was where we hid. 3 attempts it took before they were eventually in. paul had to text his sister to find out where they were... trying not to make it too obvious of course. we then heard them coming out of the lift and then as soon as they were in their flat we chapped the door. it was brilliant. their reaction was just what he hoped for.
we celebrated with some champagne that night and then headed out to a pub. we didn't get to our beds till about 5am. it was such a fun night. the following morning we were feeling pretty rough. we took a walk to the water front and had our hangover breaky/lunch.
the following day me and paul headed to pick up our campervan. we booked it for 10 days having no plan at all where to go. this also gave jenny and gary some time to sort things out and try and get time off work for us coming back.
our campervan was called a hippie campervan and it was pretty coooel. it was basically a transit van decorated with flowers, with a table that converts to a bed along with a fridge, portable stove and some storage space.
we drove for 2 minutes, not exaggerating, and i reversed into a truck denting the back of our van. of course no damage to the truck as it was the trailer bit i reversed into. i lost all confidence driving the van and was in a state. we headed back to the flat to chill for a while, gather some things and then we were on the road. we were so lucky though. at the last minute we decide to fork out an extra $20 per day to reduce our excess from $2500 to $100. if he hadn't had done that we would have lost so much money. $100 was still a bit of a blow but it could have been a lot worse. the van eventually got hit with a stone from a passing truck and chipped the windscreen as well. it was pretty bad because the girl at the office told us the chip was too big to get repaired and the whole window would need replaced.
we had 9 nights in our wee campervan and we absolutely loved it. we couldn't sit up in bed without banging our heads but it was amazing. in our opinion it's defintely the best and easiest way to see the country. it's having the freedom to do what you want, when you want. no bus or train timetable, no tours... just me, paul and our mobile home
i wont bore you with the details but we drove south making it to sydney on our 5th day. we then spent 2 nights in the blue mountains national park and then headed back to brisbane. we stopped off at a few places on route and stayed at some pretty cool campsites. australia really does have some brilliant campsites. practically every night we were having barbeques, frying steaks, shrimps, veggies... and kangaroo for the first time and it was damn tasty.
we stopped off at places such as kingscliff, byron bay, nimbin, lismore, kempsey, katoomba, black heath and port macquarie.
nimbin was a bizarre town. it appealed to me because it had this hippy theme going on... everything was so colourful and laid back... but within 5 minutes of walking about we got stopped twice asking if we were wanting to buy some marijuana. it's known as the drug capital of australia. there's museums, shops and cafes devoted to the stuff. it was an eye opener. practically everyone we saw were in tie-dyed tee shirt and dreadlocks... and stoned lol. we only spent a couple of hours here before heading to lismore for camp.
i've been to sydney before so we parked the van at botanic gardens and took a walk to kingscross to re-visit the area i stayed at before. we then saw the typical sights such as the sydney tower, bridge and opera house. the sun was scorching that day, it was soooo hot. before dark we were then in the blue mountains where we spent 2 nights. i've also been to the blue mountains before and had no regrets going back. it was definetly our highlight of the trip. after our first night, we only had about an hours driving to the next campsite which gave us plenty of time to see the sights and just chill out at camp.
the blue mountains
what we also loved about the campervan was the food. after 4 months of constant eating out we were soooo looking forward to cooking our own meals. paul was brilliant, i'd come back from my shower in the morning and there waiting for me was a cuppa and omellette or toast or boiled eggs. he cooked us some yummy meals at night and made 2 batches of soup for our lunch. it was hard work using one stove at times but it was all part of the fun. sometimes we'd use the kitchen facilities at camp... and everytime we'd be frying some meat on the barbie.
whilst on our campervan trip, we heard from jenny and gary and they managed to get time off their work... woohoooo ! so we extended our rental from 10 days to 15. we were back in brisbane on the 8th night giving us a whole day to get organised and plan our second campervan trip together.
our second campervan trip was even better. we headed north, the highest point being the town of 1770 then we headed back south. we had 5 days of campervan life and we all had an absolute ball. we didn't do as much driving which probably made it better... and also the company made it better too. we had some good laughs.
our first day was spent at australia zoo... stever irwins zoo. it was good, the crocodile show was really good where we watched all types of birds flying about, snakes and of course saw a croc getting fed. there was also a short video of the family and clips of steve irwin which was pretty sad.
the highlight of that trip was our time spent in agnes waters and the town of 1770. we camped at the best campsite we have ever been too. it was right at the beach so we had great views from just sitting at our campervans. it was the first camp site that allowed camp fires so we were really excited about getting a fire going once the sun had set. me and jenny went snorkelling for a while as paul and gary were getting the fire pit sorted.
view from our camp
we then sat and watched the sun set, cooked our prawn kebabs on the barbie and then paul got the fire going which was a scare! he put waaaaay to much lighter fluid in the pit... went to start the fire and i honestly thought a fire work had went off. other parties around us shat themselves lol. he singed half the hair on his arm. we couldn't stop laughing... if only we had caught it on camera. the fire was putting everyone elses to shame. we sat, yapped, drank and toasted some marshmallows. it was all sooo perfect. and to end the night we were all gazing at the stars and this huge shooting star appeared. it went on for a few good seconds and we could see it burn out and change colour at the end. totally awesome... dudes !
the next day was also really good. we decided to hire a wee boat for half the day and go fishing. just the 4 of us again, meaning we all got a shot driving the boat. it was loadsa fun. we only got 2 fishing rods so we took turns about fishing. paul caught the first fish and then not long before heading back i managed to catch a fish too. a pretty big one as well. the thing had teeth and a spiky gul thing going on. we were too scared to touch it so it was pretty hard trying to get the hook out of his mouth. we felt sorry for them though so we put them back in the water.
i thought fishing would be kind of boring as well but we all really enjoyed it. so peaceful, sun was scorching and we all got so excited when the rods started pulling. we're hoping to do some more fishing over the next couple of months.
whilst we've been in brisbane we've enjoyed staying with jenny and gary. it's been brilliant living in a home again and not a hotel room. their apartment has a swimming pool and gym so we've been making use of that in the morning. we went out for dinner a couple of nights, walked about the city, got the city cat around brisbane, went bowling and shopped. they've been brilliant company and we've had so many fun times. as much as i'm looking forward to new zealand, it's the first place where we're both kind of sad to leave.
we leave tomorrow for new zealand. jenny and gary are both seeing us to the airport to say our bu bi's. we arrive in new zealand for campervan trip number 3. this time it's a beast of a campervan. it sleeps 4 people, full kitchen with 4 burner stove, microwave, shower and toilet. we have 27 days so we plan on taking it easy as new zealand aint that big. can't wait. uploaded more snaps so check out my flickr page x