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.