December 02, 2009

it' s about time...

to install the festive lights again. Dashboard needed some revamping for Christmas. Nice.

November 08, 2009

it's melbourne

In case you wonder where I am at the moment. Melbourne it is.

October 08, 2009

the road

A friend of mine forwarded me that video.... very nice and very suitable.... and I also have this feeling my time is running out as well... 3 more months to go. Where does the time go? It seems like I just arrived in Australia. Seriously.

October 02, 2009

every story has a different ending

People in Sydney surely have been quite surprised driving to work beginning of the week. On one of the motorways going into town various street lamps were carrying posters with a different message. First, you go "Oh how cute is that" but a few meters further it's a totally different story. The posters where put down during the day, but people are still wondering, was that for real? Was there a Jennifer crying her eyes out or just somebody laughing out loud? Nobody knows....

September 29, 2009

vegemite - the next generation

After over half a year in beloved down under I finally have to state my opinion about vegemite. Well, you either love it or hate it. The Aussies apparently love it for brekky and well, I guess on everything... I on the other hand, as much as I love tha Australian way of life... I don' t really like vegemite at all. It' s not tasty at all. Or who would put "Maggi" on your toast for brekky?! Exactly. I mostly use it for seasoning in asian style food or spread a tiny tiny bit on toast with cheddar cheese on top... rare occasion. Anyways, what brought that to my mind was, that a few months ago, the new vegemite was launched nationwide. This one was supposed to be better tasting and the lot, but it still hadn't had a name, so it was a call to all Aussies to name their all time fave bread spread. I totally forgot about it until I was reading last sundays' paper and there it was... a full page ad dedicated to the new name of vegemite.... I was stuned then chuckeled and well, still am not sure how this could have happened. What' s wrong mates? You are not serious with this, are you? Have a look and see for yourself, but keep in mind, it' s a bread spread after all. I am still a bit shocked how that could be pulled off. mmmhh... Sorry mates, one doesn' t put an i infront of vegemite ... never ever.

September 26, 2009

this is a story about boy meets girl - but not a love story

After a lot of travellers stories, here something different for a change... let let me tell you something about a movie I saw beginning of last week that was absolutely marvellous. I´m talking about 500 days of summer starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and a brilliant Zooey Deschanel. This is a story about boy meets girl, but this is not a love story. Seriously it was absolutely one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It was made a bit the unusual way, awesome graphics and brilliant story line. And above all, the soundtrack is smashing. I luved it. I say a must see.

Here´s the trailer: 

September 24, 2009

September 23, 2009

red glow over Sydney

Waking up today and looking out the window to check the current weather was quite different than the other days. The sky was bright red, not from the sun but rather from a big dust cloud hanging over Sydney. Overnight a pall of red dust blown in from the Outback clogged the skies over Sydney. It was carried by powerful winds that snatched up tons of topsoil from country's drought-ravaged inland and threw it high into the sky. As dawn broke, sunlight struggled to penetrate the dust cloud, casting an eerie red glow over the city.

Such thick dust is a rarity over Australia's largest city, and came along with whiplashing winds and other uncommon weather conditions across the country in recent days.

"It did feel like Armageddon because when I was in the kitchen looking out the skylight, there was this red glow coming through," Sydney resident Karen told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

The storms — visible as a huge brown smudge in satellite photographs of Australia on Wednesday — are the most severe since the 1940s, experts said.

"These dust storms are some of the largest in the last 70 years," said Nigel Tapper, an environmental scientist at Monash University, noting that one dust storm this week blew as far away as New Zealand some 1,400 miles (2,220 kilometers) away.

Drivers in the southeast of Queensland state, including the capital of Brisbane, switched on their headlights Wednesday and police warned them to slow down as dust darkened skies there. The winds also fanned at least one major wildfire in the area.

quotes taken from Yahoo News!

September 15, 2009

Sydney @ its best

On the road to Sydney for the long weekend.

More to come.

September 04, 2009

Surfing Noosa

After an awesome week in Airlie Beach with a beautiful sailing trip and too much party we were heading further down the east coast to Noosa Heads. On the map it didn´t look that far, but underestimating that huge country, we surley had to spend 17 hours on the Greyhound bus. What a journey! And why doesn´t anyone tell the bus company that trashy comedys of the 90ies or cartoons are not the best way to entertain the passengers. Seriously.

Arriving in Noosa - a rather posh Australian holiday destination, we soon found out that there is quite lot to do during the day, but not really much going on during the night. It´s also still off season, so there aren´t a lot of people hanging around either.

We spent our days crusing around Noosa in our scooter. Checked out all the beaches and maybe there was a nice bar we missed during the day, but not really. Everything peaceful and quiet. So we spent the nights at the neat bar at our hostel, the beautiful and laid back Halse Lodge. The hostel is in an old Queenslander building on a hill overlooking the town. It has a surrounding verandah with sofas and comfy chairs, and a bar/bistro downstairs.

We did the beautiful coastal walk in the Noosa National Park, with amazing views out to sea. The walk takes you right along the coastal line and back through lush woods. Really pretty.

Last night we hung out at the bar and met some crazy locals, who took us out around town - hey, there are some nice bars here, not crowded but at least. So after a few drinks we all ended up in Noosa´s niteclube "rolling rock"... a tiny little place... but it has to be said, that it´s only good there, when you are drunk. Seriously. We had some fun and also got to know our security man at the hostel, doing his rounds during the night, while we sat at the verandah eating our "after midnight snack".... :-)

Today I braved the waves and took 2hrs of surfing lessons. Hey, after 5 months in Australia, it was about time, to get to know their national sport first hand. And I surely did. High surf, strong current, chilly water and big beginners board mad my day. Having fallen off a gazillion times, swallowed litres of salt water, being thrown up side down and who knows where... I finally got it and stood on the board... like for 5 seconds... what a thrill. It was wicked. Now I am ready for more surfing...

Images are here

August 28, 2009

another day in paradise

After 7 weeks of squash picking in Ayr it was finally time to move on and open another chapter in my journey down under. HAving talked about spending our days after the hard work on Magnetic Island, just off Townsville, we headed over there to relax, rewind and recharge.

The first few days we spent at the beautiful, but very tranquilo YHA Bungalow Bay at Horseshoe Bay in the northern part of the island. We had a three bed hut to ourselves. First things first, so we walked the five minute path to the beach for some sunset barbie and recharged with some aussie beer! :-) The next days we spent sightseeing, speeding around the island in those little Mokes, they have for rent there, did The Forts Walk to spot some koalas snoozing in the trees. Cute little creatures they are. We sunbaked at Alma Bay, played frisbee and volleyball and visited the Koala Sanctuary on site. There I actually overcame my fear and disgust of snakes and brave me held one for like 1 min.! It was not too bad, but just thinking about it gives me still the chills. Cuddling the koala was much more fun, I have to admit.

At the end of the week we relocated to Base backpackers in Nelly Bay. known for its full moon partys and its location right next to the beach. That place was amazing, that was a glimpse in paradise. Stepping out of our little dorm, you had full view of the sea and palm trees. Brilliant. The days at Base we spent lying on the beach, snorkeling, reading and having some drinks at the open air bar at night. What a life!

After Magnetic Island we hopped on the bus to continue our journey south to Airlie Beach. There we went on a 3 day sailing trip to the Whitsundays. That was amazing. This is what picture postcardsare made of. Seriously. We spent the first night outside on deck, and let me tell you, that night was rather shaky and rough. But what don´t you do for the astonishing sunrise in the morning?! Exactly. During the day we cruised around the island and snorkeled on the reef. Saw some turtles, Maori sth. fish, Nemo´s cousins, parrot fish and many more. We even spotted two whales off shore. What amazing creatures! The snorkeling off Black Island was my personal favorite... the corals could be seen from above the boat since they were so close to the water edge. You just walked into the water and floated with the most colorful fish only inches below you. Some real cheeky fishes swam right to my goggles.... Awesome trip it was.

Images of the last two weeks are here and here

another day in paradise

August 09, 2009

song of the moment

LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!! This is my personal "Australia" theme! Perfect song!
First heard it 2005 in Cairns and from then all the way up the coast in the car!

NB: not official video, but surf images make my day as well!

July 12, 2009

let the harvest trail begin...

After traveling 2 months across Australia it was about time to get to work. Serious work that is.

Having met two girls on the boat out on the Reef at Cape Trip and coincidentaly being put in the same dorm in Cairns, we decided after a few days of hanging out in Cairns to do some fruit picking. Finding the right place was not so easy, there was no work available at most places due to a very bad year for the farmers. Too much backpackers looking for work, too less grown fruit. So, after tons of phone calls to the harvest line, working hostels and farms, we were on the bus to Ayr. Ayr that is a small town south of Townsville, Queensland and there is not much to do except farm and harvest work. That was 3 weeks ago.

Arriving at the Delta Backpackers">hostel and hearing all the horror stories about work for the farm mafia here, was a bit devastating. The waiting list was endless and people were already waiting for 2 months to get work. The place itself isn´t that flashy either, well it´s a working hostel after all, dirty clothes and shoes everywhere. Lucky me, I was put in a 3 bed dorm with 2 really nice Asian girls, while the other two were spending their nights in the 12 bed dorms downstairs. We were waiting for a few days and got to know all the 145 other people living here. Mostly Pommy´s, Irish and a few Germans. How many card games can you play before going crazy? Let me tell you a lot. :-) Having spent a week at the hostel waiting for a job we were the lucky ones to be called in to start working at the squash farm.

So, that is what a fruit picker is doing day in and day out.

Squash that is some sort of zucchini, grows like zucchini, which is on the ground, and tastes like it. The plants are mostly waisthigh and a bit stingy and therefore you have to wear long trousers, longleeve shirts and over them cut up socks, gloves and against the sun a hat. lots of insect repellent otherwise the mossies will eat you alive. We that is 12 girls picking the squash and 1 bucket boy.

We get up at 5am everyday, like most of the people working her. We either can drive one of the old, rusty, almost-falling-apart cars here or we are taken by the bus to the nearby farm to start working at 6:45am. It´s the most beautiful sunrises everyday and the scenery is quite stunning. That´s one of the advantages. Another is, that we are not contract but get paid by the hour, so there is no rush.

We are able to work 7 days a week, since the fruit grows over night. It has to be a certain size to be right. Small squash sell at the local grocery store for 10 AUS $ a kg. We pick for Coles and Woolworth´s. We carry small buckets with us to collect the squash, which then get collect by the bucket boy. One row takes like 30 minutes. Since I was a pretty fast picker in the beginning, I am a "floater/ flyer" right now, which gives me two buckets. We are four floaters basically floating between the rows to help out the slower pickers to catch up. That gives the back pain a little bit of a relax while walking inbetween. The down side is, you have to be fast and cannot get a break.

At 10 am we have a twenty minute smoker´s break and lunch is at 12:30pm. The time between smoker´s and lunch is the hardest, since it gets hotter by the minute. But after a while you sort of get used to the heat and the sun. In my sparetime I prefer the shade now though. Work tends to end at 4pm with a cool drink out of the farmer´s fridge in the shed. Then we are exhausted but still in a good mood heading for the hostel for a hot shower and a chat with the other people living here.

We are not completey alone on the fields, the overseer is follwing us with his truck, when he´s in a good mood he turns up the radio really loud and we dance to it - everything for a bit of diversity. He´s alright, a grumpy farmer that is, always making bad taste jokes and cursing all the time. But he lets us pick in our own speed and doesn´t hurry us along the rows. And the after work beer is for free! :-)

That´s what a fruit pickers life is all about. Not a lot of diversity and definetaly not a lot of thinking required. You get used to switch off your brains while you are at work after a few days.

The last few nights have been very cold, like 10°, that´s why we had some short days, since the fruit isn´t growing so much to be picked. But the new fields are already ready to be picked in a few days and the short days are over. The same procedure as every day starts all over again.

More images here.

June 09, 2009

monday morning blues

Don´t you all hate those Monday mornings?
I just cannot decided whether to read my fantastic book or watch the ocean ... hhmmm, tough decision on a Monday morning down under. Have a great working week, everyone! :-)

June 08, 2009

hello sunshine

It´s time again to change the scenery! Autumn in South Australia was just a bit too chily for me, honestly, I could have stayed in Hamburg for that weather. So, let´s head up back north for some sun, beaches and some party! :-)

Cairns, Queensland it is.

June 07, 2009

cheers to the rain

This week in Adeldaid has been ... well, rainy and quite chilly, so what´s better to excape this misery than to go wine tasting. At least the bad weather won´t bother you then any more. And afterall isn´t that what South Australia is all about.. the fabulous wine. Indeed it is.... great wine. But honestly after having been to 5 wineries in one day, I lost count which wine was the best or where we went in the end. But no worries, it was fun times.

After spending the afteroon drinking I met up with one of my old work mates from home, who migrated to Australia last year. To celebrate the reunion down under, we all drank to it... oh, how I missed the Pimm´s! :-) Cheers to that and a fun night at the pub.

Visualize Adelaide here

Last but not least, I will be back in spring, but for now, goodbye rainy, chilly days and hello sunshine and summertime....

June 03, 2009

Fantastic Four to Adelaide

And then there were just four of us plus the driver heading further down to Adelaide. That was like a private tour. We all had two or even more seats on the bus, a private guide, enterainer and cook. What more do you want? That was like a family roadtrip.

That´s what we did in a nutshell: the first day we got on the bus at 4 am and spent itdriving, driving and driving... oh and not to miss out on the highlight of the day... the crossing of the state border to South Australia. whoo hoo, what an exciting day. In the early evening we arrived in Cobber Peedy - the underground opal mining town. After a mine tour, some noodeling for opals and some beers at the underground bar there, we hit the beds in our underground bunkhouse. A neat little place all to ourselves.

The next day we drove on to Lake Hart - a salt lake, which had water in it. That was pretty rare. We should have had our tequila with the slat out of the lake, but the bottle was ... oh surprise... empty... who dared?!

The next two days we spent at the Flinder´s Ranges - a mountain range in South Australia. We did some hikes during the day and watched the slasher backpacker horror movie "Wolf Creek" (Blair Witch Project meets Backpacker touring Oz) at night. Scary! The next day we actually came across a bloody disasterous movie set on the side of the road. They were shooting the horror movie "Road train"... what a coincidence... do every horror movie take place in SA?!

We also creeped upon the very rare Yellow Footed Rock Wallabi and actually spotted 8 of them right next to us. We really can be quiet when we have to!

Unluckily by the end of the tour, our big bro´ handed us down a cold and we all kept coughing and sneezing all the way to Adelaide. But hey, we all did the big mountain climb on our last day. Successfully.

What I also learned on that trip is that you can play silly games with the driver to kill some of the long hours on the bus. The wave game should not be played in South Australia but rather in the Northern Territory, never underestimate JD with coke, Strepsils true help you get rid of your cold and Coldplay for more than 3 hours in the early morning hours bad idea, it is truly autumn down under and no worries mates, it´ll be alright! :-)

we are family

more impressions from the trip are here

meet the rock star

That was truly longest most boring train ride in my life ... 27 hours from Darwin to Alice Springs. Stuck in one seat next to one dodgy Aussie in one of the most slowliest rides ever my ipod also gave out on me. Sleep was the only option. Alright the scenery was pretty neat .. in the beginning at least ... but after a while you just get bored. At least now I can say, I have been on the legendary Ghan train crossing Australia. Whoo hoo.

After a night in Alice I hopped on another bus down to Adelaide. We went all the way through more nothingness aka the Outback to Kings Canyon for a hike. That would be then 5 hours on the bus. Nevertheless we saw one of the most beautiful sunrises over the Outback. The colors were just amazing.
Kings Canyon reminded me slightly of the Grand Canyon (which actually is a gorge if you want to be precise) but a bit smaller. The red rocks really look stunning, even more when there are blue skies. After our little 2 hour hike through the canyon we hit the road again to Yulara.

Yulara is the closest "town" to Uluru. Don´t be mistaken, Uluru is definitely NOT close to Alice Springs, it´s like 350km´s away. I am really getting into enjoying those looong bus rides, and they can even get longer. ;-) Because we were spending the night outside and well, it´s autumn down under, so it gets pretty chilly during the night, we made a little "fire wood collecting stop" on the side of the road. We just went in the bush and collected any dead wood lying around, that was bigger than our wrists, oh and if it shall move ... leave it there! So, we really had an awesome fire going and after a delicious BBQ dinner - our guide was the next masterchef Australia seriously - some booze and chatting, we hit our swags! I never have slept better in my life than outdoors - seriously. 1000 star hotel really rocks!

At 5 am we were all up and on the road to meet the famous rock star for sun rise: Uluru. It looked truly remarkable, like on those picture postcards of Australia, which you all have seen and will be seeing shortly, when you´ll get mine! Pretty impressing and somehow magically this big piece of rock.

The morning we spent doing the base walk around it. Gees, it was freezing cold and windy. The infamous rock climb was closed that day due to the strong wind. The Aboriginals don´t want anyone climbing it, since the path is there most sacred site of all, it still can be climbed. The thing was that when Australia tried to close down the climb, it got really nasty with Japan. The Asian are the ones who are mostly coming to see the rock to climb it and Japan was threatening Australia to step back on any alliances, if they close it down. So go figure.... In my opinion, out of respect to their culture one shouldn´t climb it, that would be the same as someone climbing on Buddha wouldn´t it?! Point taken.

May 22, 2009

The Red Center

Tomorrow I am off on a redeye 24 hrs. train ride on The Ghan to Alice Springs. What a ride! ipod is charged and my book is pretty good as well, so it should be fun... or at least not that boring for some time. After one night in Alice Springs I will start a trip to the famous Uluru... finally... theDevil' s Marbles, Cooper Peeddy (an underground mining town, famous for the opal mining there) and then Flinder's Range Nationalpark and then finally arriving in Adelaide, South Australia. I am really excited about it. It' s gonna be a fun journey.

We are sleeping under the stars to catch the sunrise over Uluru and although it is still pretty hot during the day, the nights get freezing there. But hey, we already froze our butts off in Karijini, so we are trained.

I will be in the Outback for the next 10 days so no internet and no mobile reception until Adelaide, but nothing than the great wide open of the Australian bushland.

May 20, 2009

Stay away from the water...

After a rather relaxing weekend in Darwin I took a 2 day trip to Kakadu Nationalpark. We were a pretty small - but rather strange - group of 16 people plus our guide. First stop was a boatride on the Billabong to view the wildlife and the crocs of course. Northern Territory is full of crocs, so you are not allowed to swim in any rivers, natural pools and the sea - that and thanks to the famous jellyfish that is. During our cruise we spotted a 3.5m crocodile sun baking on a tree. It was huge. And some other crocs chilling in the 30°C waters of the Billabong. On our way to Kakadu Nationalpark we came across large bushfires, and since we were in a 4WD, we just had a closer look. I had the best of them all, since I was sitting right in the passenger seat - despite the fact, that it gets rather hot up there and the noise of the engine makes conversation rather difficult - it´s a good spot and you get to choose the playlists for the bus! Yay! During our 3 hrs. drive to the park we spotted more kangaroos than on the whole way up to Broome - where there were supposed to be heaps. In Kakadu we drove all the way up to Ubirr to view the fascinating Aboriginal Rock Arts. Quite amazing along with their stories. Before settling in our camping site we headed to Yellow waters to see a fantastic sun set over the wetlands. I have seen so many beautiful sunsets in the past few weeks, I cannot tell you which one is the best of them all. Cable Beach is way up front up to this point.

Overnight was camping time, this time it was soo humid that a sleeping bag wasn´t really neccessary. Fortunately they had a refreshing pool there, were some of us, had a short jump in. That night I slept for like 4 hours tops because some animal was crawling around our tent, sniffing, digging and walkabout. I hope it was a wallaby. At dusk we were awakened by monsoon rain. That was pretty uncommon since it is dry season right now. After an hour it stopped so we had a dry hike to the Jim Jim Falls ahead of us. The road back to the remote area of the falls is only accessable by 4WD and that was fun. At the falls we met the other happy campers not so happy, because they spent the night in their swags and got a bit surprised by the rain. So all their swags and sleepingbags were drying in the sun. The hike to the falls were more rock climbing than hiking, and it was soo humid we all were drenched in the end. And in the end our effort was rewarded with a refreshing swim in the natural pool there. That´ s what life´s about.

Since it was only a two day trip we just had some time to chill at the waterfalls and then head back to Darwin. One of the Asian girls on the trip claimed to have seen a croc sliding into the pool just before the waterfalls. Since she was the only one there at that point of time, there is no proof. Of course, the signs warn you to swim anywhere because of the crocs and there are some staying there. Maybe she was just pulling our leg. Or maybe not!

After we arrived in Darwin we all met again for some serious partying at The Vic. Meanwhile my other travelbuddies arrived back from their trip to the Kimberly´s and we all had a warming up booze in the hostel. Since it´s a licened premise we weren´t allowed any booze in our dorms or anywhere, so we smuggled it in. Dinner that night was a half pack of crisps and 2 Bundaberg Coke.... needless to say, that party rocked that night. After the music got really bad at the Vic some of us headed with some locals to the pub, where they were playing live music. That was even better. Good times Darwin.

Hung over and tired we all hung out at the leisure deck at the MOM evenly divided between, sunbaking and a dip in the pool. Can it get any better.

Visual Impressions are found here!

May 17, 2009

top end australia

Since Broome is in the middle of nowhere and there isn´t much to do there. After a few days, you basically have seen it all. I was very keen to get out of there. My plan was to join the others of our group to the Kimberly´s. But since the Gibb River Road through the Kimberly´s is just open in dry season and that just started in April, all tours were booked up. Option 1 taking the Greyhound for a 27hrs. Ride up to Darwin or Option 2 take the plane up to Darwin. TG that there was a cheaper flight than the Greyhound that night, so I booked it. After a two hours flight my travelbuddie and me arrived in Darwin, the top end of Australia.

Since the girl knew someone from Darwin we got picked up from the airport and basically a personal sightseeing tour through the city. How neat is that. The first night we hung out with some locals at the wharf and had the most delicious dinner in a long time. We had mussels, prawns and the lot for 13 AUS $ each. And that on the waterfront of Darwin. Life cannot get any better. The last few days we hung out by the beach, which you cannot swim in because of the sharks, jelly fish and the crocs, but since this is Australia, they have a pool by the ocean to jump in.

Sleep tight and don´t let the bedbugs bite!

After our arrival in Broome, everyone envied some of us - incl. me - because our hostel was really great. It looked more like a resort than a backpacker, to be honest. We loved it. The others staying next door were complaining about the dirtiness of their place and planned to move in our place the next day. They should have trusted their gut feeling and already spent the first night with us, since the next morning at brekky, we found out that one of the girls was bitten by bed bugs over night. That´s the horror of every backpacker - bed bugs! They itch like crazy and all your clothes, backpack etc has to be sprayed and washed in order to not spread them any further. 

And the worst thing is, that the hostel next door, knows about it and doesn t do anything about it. So, anyone staying in Broome, WA, never ever stay at Cable Beach Backpackers! Spread the word!

May 16, 2009

Finding Nemo and the 1000 star hotel

Here comes the short wrap up of the 10 day trip I went on from Perth to Broome in the beginning of May. It´s been a blast. We covered sooo much it´s unbelievable. Most of the time we spent on the road for hours and hours driving through nothing except bushland and the occasional roadhouse to get petrol, a cup of coffee and stretch. It was really hard to imagine how big Australia really is, now it came a bit more real, and we just covered a bit of Western Australia. The scenery is stunning and makes you breathless at times.

We started out in the Nambung National Park with the Pinnacles and a bit of sandboarding on our first day. Then after a crayfish feast at our overnight stay in Horrocks we made our way up to Monkey Mia to see the dolphins. They really came up close and personal. Amazing.

The next day we arrived at Coral Bay and went snorkeling at the Nigaloo Reef all day. I went on the boat to swim with the manta rays. What an experience. After a amazing snorkel practice, we had a a briefing of the code of condcut with those huge animals. Then shortly the plane spotted a manta ray close to the shore, so we were divided up into groups of 6 and off we went. After one of the crew members made sure that it wasn´t a shark or anything, thumbs up and off we snorkeled. Alright, keep in mind that a manta ray has a size of up to 5m and can swim up to 60 km/h... And this one was in a hurry, so we all swam like crazy. Unfortunatley the water was not so crystal clear, but that was why the manta was feeding there, so I had trouble spotting it. But suddendly the manta turned and came right up to me. Talking about up close and personal, this thing was swimming right into me, well, right beneath me. That was the closest you can get, let me tell you. I am still thrilled. Afterwards we were all really enthusiastic and thrilled, couldn´t shut up about it. But that´s not enough since we spotted a manatee after a while and some huge turtles, reallz close to the boat. Later in the afternoon we swam through a little hole in the reef to the outter side to see some sharks. And we truly did see some sharks, docking at the „cleaning station“ on the reef. Nice sharks though. What a day!

The next day we chilled at Turquoise Bay. We collected our snorkel gears early in the morning because there you can just walk into the water to snorkel since the reef is soo close. And that was truly amazing, we just swam for a few meters into the ocean and head under water and ... Wow... right into the aquarium tank .... we saw so many fishes, big and small, in all colors, also a few huge turtels and even a reef shark. That was soo AWESOME!

After our adventures out in the Nigaloo Reef, we heading North and to the East into the Outback of Australia, to Karijini National Park. There we were to camp three days in the middle of nowhere. After settling in we went for a short hike down our first gorge - a few more shall follow. Down at the gorge we all just had to jump into this refreshing looking natural pool... And refreshing it was, it was freezing cold water. I bet I never swam so fast in my life to reach the rocks to climb up again. But it was great. After a Barbie - what else - and some booze we all settled into our swags outside under the stars. We were told that it got really cold at night, but we never thought it would get that freezing during the night. In the mornings we all were shivering next to teh BBQ to warm up, we all did warm up during our hikes during the heat of the day, let me tell you. During the days we discovered gorge after gorge - one more beautiful and breathtaking than the other. We also outgrew our own expectations, when we climbed down those tricky steep gorges without any abseiling, help, ladders or anything. Spider walk was one of the challenges, where you had to move like a spider a long steep gorge to make it to the pools for a swim. And we did them all!

After amazing days at Karijini we had to move on to Broome, our final destination. During our stay in the desert we all had turned into red dustfigures as well, since it was everywhere, your whites turned red, your backpack was red, your skin shimmered red... It was everywhere. Uuaahhh!

In Broome we had the rare chance to watch the staircase of the moon on our first night. Amazing - it truly does look like a staircase out of the ocean leading to the moon. Stunning. The famous sunsets over Cable Beach were as specatular as everyone told us before. The few days we spent in Broome at the Beach or at the pool in our flashpacker hostel. What a life! What a trip!

more pics are on:

May 02, 2009

hands on adventure

The next 10 days I am off on my way up north from Perth to Broome via Ningaloo Reef & Karijini full of activities like sandboarding, snorkeling, bush walking, swimming in gorges, outdoor camping, dolphin feeding and even an optional whale shark swimming .... I am sooo excited. That´ll be 10 days on the road covering approx. 4000 km´s up to Broome while not even leaving WA.

picture by western australia exposure

Day 1 Perth – Kalbarri

Day 2 Kalbarri – Shark Bay

Day 3 Shark Bay - Coral Bay

Day 4 Coral Bay & Exmouth

Day 5 Exmouth

Day 6 Exmouth to Karijini National Park

Day 7 and Day 8 Karijini National Park

Day 9 Karijini National Park to Pardoo Station

Day 10 Pardoo Station to Broome

April 28, 2009


The great escape

Finally I have made up my mind where to head next and the destination is Broome and then further on the Darwin. I am starting my trip on Saturday, so I am hanging around in Perth a bit longer than I anticipated. Nevertheless I really like it here. The hostel is a real good place to stay.

Yesterday two English and me went to Fremantle to visit the Prison there. It was quite interesting given the fact that the whole prison was built by the convicts and prisoners doing there time there and that is closed in 1992. Our tourguide was quite entertaining and since we weren´t allowed to ask him any prviate questions, we assume that either he was a ward there or that he was doing time there. I assume it was the first. Anyways, lucky me, I got chosen as a demonstration dummy - that always happens to me somehow - for the body searches. Well, he didn´t do one - TG - I just had to stand at the line and he explained stuff and made some fun. The gallows were the creepiest part of the whole tour. Imagine people actually dying in there. They also offer tours called The Great Escape - on which you can follow some of the most specatcular escapes out of the prison - and the other one is the Torchlight Tour - done by night with only torchlight.... that would be creepy.

Afterwards we had some lunch in a local pub and went to the Fremantle Roundhouse, which was the actual prison before they built the other one. There they also had a gallow and I am not sure what it is, but I was asked by the volunteer there, if I´d like to try it. Yeah, right, so they can lock me in there and I would have to stay here in the end?! Sound not so bad... ;-)

April 25, 2009

Rottnest Island

Today we decided to go to Rottnest Island, which is a tiny island (11 km long and 4,5 km wide) about 35 minutes by ferry away from Perth. It´s like the holiday getway from the city. So, we caught the ferry from Perth jetty up a long the Swan River along villas and yacht clubs. In the years past these mansion were one of the top priced houses in WA, nowadays obviously not, but to me they didn´t look it. After a short stop in Fremantle and a quick flat white, we went on with another bigger ferry out into the Indian Ocean and on towards the island. What a bumpy ferry ride that was. Poor little girl next to us suddenly turned white and then green. We did alright though. The day started out partly clouding but as soon as we hopped on the rented bikes - it´s a car free environment - it started to drizzle. No worries, it´ll stop soon. Well, actually after we almost got drenched, it stopped and the sun came out, so it dried up really quick. We did a 2 hour bike tour along the island with a lunch break at a tiny café for some traditional fish´n chips - brilliant.
The island is not only known for it´s crystal clear turqouise waters, where you can snorkel in from the beach, but also for it´s quoakkas... These little creatures look like a kangaroo-meets-a-rat in small! Sersiously. The jump around on their back feet and have the face of a kangaroo, but the tail of a rat. They are pretty tame and clever, because even despite the fact that you aren´t allowed to feed them, people do and therefore they see people eating and ...puuufff they´re there begging for food. One was really cheeky and as soon as I left the table to get me some tomato sauce, it jumped up on the table to get to my chips. It was shooed away though. It kept sneaking around our table, but then lost interest as it wasn´t getting anything from us. Fortunately they aren´t like the seagulls which just attack you and never leave you alone.

After our bike trip on the island we got back to Perth just in time for the BBQ at our hostel. That was a really nice get together. We chatted until midnight out in the back yard. Today´s ANZAC day and since it´s a holiday nothing is open, so we went for another day on the beach.

This place here is pretty relaxed and you meet a lot of people, like in the morning when everyone crawls out of their dorms, we sit out back and decided what to do today. Tennis has been big the last few days with a group of people, mostly from the UK. So, today we were like five going to the beach and just hanging out there.

Right now, I am trying to get on a tour up north to Darwin. I try to do the hop on hop off thingy so I could spend some days at Coral Bay and finally get my PADI diving license and then stay a few nights in Broome and then on to Darwin via the Kimbererly (most known as the scenery of the movie Australia by Buz Luhrmann). So there´s a lot to come like camping under the stars in the Outback, sandboarding in the dunes, bush walking, swimming with the doplihns and if I am lucky with the famous whale sharks, which are out at the reef this time of year. Keep your fingers crossed.

pcitures by _B, views of Rottnest Island and its crystal clear turquoise waters

April 23, 2009

a backpacker´s life..

this is what I did today.... nothing and chillin´ on the beach with some people I met. Afterwards we went to get some fresh fish and had an excellent dinner with a seafood platter, salad and red wine.... today the weather has actually been pretty nice so we are still hanging out in the back yard talking and drinking and talking.

April 22, 2009

April 21, 2009

somebody switch on the light...

and then ... blinded by the light! Having landed this morning at 5:50am in Perth, Western Australia it still was pitchblack outside. But after being in customs, immigration and baggage claim for about two hours... no worries, mates... it was blinding outside. Sersiously, the light down here is way different than at home. It´s brighter! So, having arrived at my new home for the next few days I was so exhausted. This is a cute little place called the Witch´s Hat... and no wonder, it looks and feels like it. Pretty old building, but very neat. Since I couldn´t get into my dorm, I went to the CBD of Perth to run some errands already. So, now I am ready to go. New mobile number and postal address, to which mail will be shipped accross Oz. Then in the supermarket to buy the essentials for the next few days.... finally oats again! :-)
And right now I am in the TV room on my own laptop, with which I can log on to the local wireless here. Hurray! The others - mostly French again - are watching some stupid movie.

Now I have to decided what will I do next... or WHERE will I go next and when and .... decisions decisions.... let´s wait and see.

Oh, and some selected pics are already up loaded to facebook - some others will get the link via mail asap.

April 20, 2009

Good day Australia

Sayonara Japan, nice to have met you, but I need to move on down under! I´m sooo excited now. Another 10hrs flight and I will arrive in Perth, WA at dawn. Let´s wait and see what awaits me there.

April 19, 2009

are you manga?

Sitting at a huge internet-book-comic-manga-cafe in Shibuya, I find some time to post again. And after 10 minutes the girl even understood what I was trying to tell her, that I just only like trying to tell her, that I just only like to use the internet. Thanks for sign language. However they are really friendly here, even if they don`t are really friendly here, even if they don`t have a clue what here, even if they don`t have a clue what you are saying...and vice versa. On my first day, when I didn` t have the hang of the tube system here. The machine kept refusing my day pass and like two seconds later there came up this guy, who actually could speak good english and he went to the station officer with me, to find out the reason for this whole thing. Well, I should have known that I just drew a day pass for the Tokyo Metro Line and not for the other train company. Ahhh. Now I figured it out. And once you got the hang of it, and know which exit to take since there are twenty at least to choose from, it` s quite easy.

The last few days have been packed with activities in and around Tokyo. What I have done so far.... running around like crazy, I think I might hit the 1,000 miles asap. :-)

Yesterday I went to Kamakura, a small city 50 minutes south of Tokyo to see some chinese buddhas, shrines and temples there - supposedly five of the most important temples are located there. I have seen them all. The journey of getting there was quite an adventure as well, I knew that I would need to take the train to get there, but which one, I had no clue. So I looked it up online very quick but by the next day I already forgot the name of the JR Line. So I just went up to the ticket counter and told the guy where I want to go. He looked at me and left his desk. OK. So after ten minutes he came back and he had neatly written down in latin letters -that` s why it took him so long I believe- where I want to go and which station I would have to take the train from, which line etc.! Wasn` t the train from, which line etc.! Wasn` t that nice! After that it was no big deal. The city is really neat, but overloaded with tourists - mostly Asian. This is also what I found out, the only foreigners that I come accross are French and a few Americans, but that was it. Not a lot actually. I thought there` d be more.

The day before I wandered around Shibuya and Harajuku. This is what I always thought Tokyo might look like. Crazy stores selling the most ridiculus shirts, the tiniest miniskirts and the highest high heel you` tiniest miniskirts and the highest high heel you` d imagine. Loud and mega busy all day long. Well, just like out of the blockbuster "lost in translation", I'd say. You all probably picture this huge crossing, when thinking about that city... and the truth is, it`s that crazy for real. Every few minutes a thousand people are crossing this six-street intersecion while above huge billboards are blarring out the newest advertisings.

After Shibuya I went to Harajuku, which I perfered more. Hidden in an alley behind the Omote-sando Street are tiny streets with lots of individual, independent stores and small cafes. Really neat. It feels like a small cafes. A little further up is the famous Yogogi park where the more famous cosplay-zoku meet up. These are the girls dressed up as their favorite manga character or like those Gothic-loitas as they are know. There weren` t a lot of them out there. But they look really sth.!

Right on the border of the Yoyogi park is the magnificient Meiji-Jingu with its gardens. This Shinto shrine is supposedly Japan` s most splendid. No need to say, that it was crowded this afternoon. I had the chance to catch the striking yet subdued wedding proceedings of a couple in full-on, kimono-clad regalia. couple in full-on, kimono-clad regalia. That looked like sth out of a movie set. Most of the wedding guests wore kimonos as well.

That was a wrap up of the last few days of my short stop over in Japan. It has been a great trip so far, but I need to say that I personally favor Hong Kong to Tokyo. I am not really sure why, but I thought that HK is a bit more authentic Asia that I have on my mind. It`s a bit more buzzling and huzzling going on there. Tokyo is an awesome place as well, but if I had to choose one place over the other, I` d say HKis the place to go.

Tomorrow night I will be bound to down under on an overnight flight to Perth, Western Australia. I seriously am really looking forward to talk and being understood again. It` s kinda frustrating sometimes when all you can say is hello, thanks and goodbye. That`s one of the downsides traveling alone in a country you are not speaking the language at all - as well as actually reading it.

April 17, 2009

April 16, 2009

konichiwa tokyo

ths is my second day in tokio. this is an awesome city. I love it. This is gonna be really short since I am currently in the local apple store since my own macbook is low on battery and i don't have an adapter for japan. also very unfortunate is that here they also use a different mobile network than anywhere else in the world, so i am with no internet and no mobile - completely lost in the real world!

what I ve done so far. I had to kill a lot of time after arriving here in the morning, because check in wasn t until 4pm- dead tired and exhausted from the long flight - but hey, lucky me on my flights east - i got two seats for myself again. yeah! at least it was a bit comfy. my hostel sits in asakusa right next to the temple senji, which i visited yesterday afternoon. it really is amazing. unfortunately they are renovating part of it, so it s a lot of scaffolding going on. i took the chance and draw myself my jap. fortune out of one of the zillion little drawers. no need to explain that it took me like forever to match the japnese writing on the stick to the one on the drawers - and i chose the one spot with the least amount of drawers anyways! :-) hhmmm, my personal fortune.... it wasn t that superb, but as it says in the end everything will turn out to the good. wonder how long that will be, but let s be positive and believe, that my tying the fortunate thingy on the rack at the temple. I might choose another one before I leave, i guess.

so today after having slept about 12 hours last night, i took the water taxi to Odeiba to see the statue of liberty there, crazy ... why they built it like the orignial one, i cannot say since the signpost was in japanese only - as is most of the signs and stuff here. but I keep guessing and asking. so right now I am in ginza walking around here and later I might go to one of the parks to see the cherry blossoms which are still in full bloom. very nice.

that was it for today there is soo much more to talk about but i have to go now.

April 14, 2009

goodbye germany - hello world

I´m finally outta here. Farewell everyone and Sayonara Japan!

Follow me on my way down under via Tokyo.

Talk to y´all later.... I will keep you posted...

April 13, 2009

let´s get the party started

Traditionally our group of friends meets three times a year to party. Christmas, Easter and the Gäubodenvolksfest. Yesterday it was time again for the Easter meet up but this time no easter hunt but a farewell BBQ at my place. That meat delicious food, lots of drinks and tons of laughter with plenty of old and still silly stories of our wild youths! :-)

Guys, it´s been a blast as always.

April 12, 2009

happy frequent traveler

Some might think it´s just me traveling the world. But no, there is another little fella who travled approx. 5,000 km in her 6 years already. Meet Happy! From the zoo store to Deggendorf to Straubing to Hamburg to Munich and many trips inbetween those destinations. By car, by train on a bike whatever you like... except on thing she didn´t do yet... the plane. And since we want to spare from that expericience she won´t go down under with me. Nevertheless they alrady have a rabbit invasion down there anyways, thanks to the intelligent emperor who thought it was a great idea to take a male and a femal rabbit down under. Mmmhh.

Anyways a little sidestep today.

April 09, 2009

make a wish

This little super cute necklace was given to me by my colleagues on last weeks dinner. This is sooo awesome. I always wanted one. Thanks a million again, ladies!

I already made a wish and am wearing it.

April 08, 2009

perfect in-flight outfit

I think I found the perfect inflight outfit for my long trip to the other side of the world. Real compfy and not that out of style either. Hhmm, I might exchange the striped shirt and the vest though, that´s a bit too dressed up for sleeping on a 14 hrs. flight. ;-)

vest, shirt, trousers: H&M Trend
necklace: Topshop

March 29, 2009

moving out

Yesterday my flatmate moved in her stuff. My stuff is already packed up in a few boxes.
My drawers, shelves, closests and empty my backpack is eagerliy waiting to be stuffed and on we go. I feels a bit strange living in your place still, but it feels more and more like a hotel apartement. And I am sleeping now surounded by boxes... they make funny little creeping noises... like there is someone little living in there.

I gave most of my clothes, accesorizes, shoes and purses - and I have a LOT - away to charity since most of them are almost new. Since I cannot take all my stuff with me down under... I amm left with the tough decision what to take and what to leave behind.

Three more days in Hamburg.... and there´s Happy hiding for days in the curtains, getting really stressed out with all this moving out, moving in, boxes and weird stuff going on around her little space... Happy is not really feeling its name, hiding beneath the curtains and watching everything very closely. And basically being pissed. Three more days and she´ll be in a box as well, going with me to Munich.

twistori... I like it

This is a nice little website, I just found logging in my twitter account. Twitteristories on love, hate, think, believe, wish and feel. I think this feels really great. :-)

See for yourself.

March 20, 2009


It's finally springtime. Even google is in the mood. B-) so put on your sunglasses and pull up your sleeves...