Saturday, November 28, 2009


We blew through nearly 3 weeks of our tourist visa trying to get rid of much of the stuff that we had previously stored for free. We said goodbye to the whitewater kayaks, paddles, snowboards, skis, sleeping bags, a tent, a fancy camping chair, thermarests, windsurf equipment, kiteboard, etc. It was something that we put off doing because it was "free" for us to ship everything to OZ and then to store it. We also had delusions of somehow shipping all of that stuff to NZ. It is amazing what can accumulate when you have the space for it.

Over the course of a couple of days, we went from thinking that we would travel down the east coast of NSW, hugging the coast until we hit Western Australia (Dub-yay), to making a bee-line across the country to WA. One day south of Sydney, some local windsurfers warned us that the west coast can get unbearably hot in Jan/Feb, and if we wanted to get some windsurfing in, we needed to go "now". It took a good 48 hours of talking about it, and letting it sink in, before finally embracing the idea of driving for 10-days straight without any real adventuring. It would be like a windsurfer at Cape Hatteras NC telling us that we should really be in Baja, upon which we say, "okay, let's drive". Dub-yay is like another country, and most east-side Australians will never visit it in their lives. We're excited for some good ol' west coast exploration, complete with sunsets over the Indian Ocean.

The route we took is famously called the "Nullarbor" because it passes the Nullarbor Plain (Null + Arbor = No Trees = No Shade). The drive is hot, without much to do for days. On the bright side, the big sky gives way to amazing sunsets and fantastic, secluded, and sometimes cold, desert camping. The gas prices went from $1.09/L ($4.25/gal) to $1.67/L ($6.60/gal) as we drove from the east to the middle of nowhere. Now we know why people have gas containers hanging off their vehicles. We saw big kangaroos and emus crossing the road, just like the signs warned (alas, no camels or hairy-nosed wombats). Both of us have mastered the index-finger-off-your-steering-wheel wave that is customary with all passing vehicles. We're still trying to figure out what time it is. We just passed a sign saying, "Turn your clocks back 45 minutes"!!! What?! Dub-yay, it really is another country.

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