Life isn't a business to be managed, it's a mystery to be lived!

Archive for September, 2012

Pimping Tony 17-19 Sep

Tony has got a girlfriend. She is hot hot hot.

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And the following is pretty suitable as well
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Leaving Mt Isa these are stops comming and that will be reached. Camonweal was the last stop in Queensland.ย 

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And here I enter my fourth state in Oz. Together with Tony!ย 

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Rewinding to Cape York – Wenlock River

Floodings in Australia are very common unfortunately. This is Wenlock River below. This area was flooded 2003 really badly. The sign says it all. Have a close look and you can see me standing in one of the pictures.

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And for those of you that couldn’t read the sign the water level reached 14 meters!ย 

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Back on the road – Mt Isa – 16th Sep

The test-drive was successful today and 120km west you reach Mt Isa, another mining town. Leaving late you don’t go far. Just when you leave Cloncurry you are warned about the little hopping fellas.

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Nighty night from Sunset Caravan Park in Mt Isa

Meet Kaysha

She is hanging around in the workshop but now she is always around us and sleeps outside the van during night.

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Yes this is all she does ๐Ÿ™‚

Mini update 14 Sep – Cloncurry

It is all part of the adventure. Me and Fra left Cairns and Tolga with Fra’s new van, Tony. After 3 whole days of travelling we are stranded in Cloncurry, 120km from Mt Isa. We are still in Queensland and have been in this town now 5 days. Just some car problems… Other than that we are good. No rush, no stress.
I can tell you that John Flynn is the founder of the Australian Flying Doctors. From this town went the first flight. Apart from that museum I did 5pax laps in the swimming pool and I’m reading a good book. Fra is working on the van to keep our costs down.

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This is also our home the last days. As we have everything in the van John, the boss in the workshop, aloud us to stay in the workshop. So yes jag bor i en bilverkstad. For those non Swedish: I’m staying in a cat mechanics workshop. And the best part? I love it! How many have done that? And another thing. I can smell petrol all day and grease and see men getting their hands dirty. Just a little nostalgic from some of the men in my family.

We might be hitting the road tomorrow as it looks like now. Since I can’t give a hand under the hood (which in our van actually is under the seat..) I’ve become a house…a van-wife and now I’m off to cook some dinner.

Cape York 22-31 Aug – picture time!

Cape York is the northern most point in Oz. Try googleling for driving directions from anywhere to the cape…you won’t get none! Because there are no sealed roads and the road to the top is all dirt roads which you only can access with a 4WD, which everyone in this country owns. So let’s hire one! Hold your horses though. It would not be as easy as I thought to rent a car to the top. Out of the car 10 car rentals I spoke to 2 said yes. One was way too expensive and the other one had a 14 day minimum to go the Cape York and back from Cairns. The plan was to do it between 7-10 days. Luckily though we found a rental in another town. Finally the roadtrip could begin.

Now it will be hard to give a picture of how this trip really was like. It is difficult to describe a trip like this because it is a lot about the actuall trip, being on the road.

Before rolling on the dirt roads you need to deflate the tires of the car as you get more grip with less air than normal. This is my new travelpartner Fra.

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We also put some fuel in the car as there would only be two more places to fuel up.

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The actual roads are dirt roads from one point an on. This trip only we did 2700km back and forth and about 2000km was all dirt, or gravel as we say here.
The roads changed color often and sometimes you were wondering where you were as it looked like the savannah from time to time.

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Below one can see 4 different colors on the same spot. I know this might not be that interesting for some of you but this is what makes it hard to describing this trip. The little things as the road changing color every now and then is not very common that this happens back home with asfalt.

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You did not meet another vehicle very often but every time you did you put up your window otherwise all that dust will be eaten by you..

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What you can see around you while driving. Termites nests is the first picture.

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We’ve been camping everywhere and one of the towns was Coen, this is where we stayed, still camping on the back of the hotel.

To reach the top, you need to cross the Jardine River by ferry. Please note the total distance of car 20m which costs $88 return! #%!@

Along the way we met a few people and one of them told us to go to Alau and camp there, because we did not really know where to camp on the very top we set our way to Alau. Arriving in Alau, exactly as the man had described we were in one part of paradise.

Day 1
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Day 2
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I don’t know how many stories I’ll gather but once again I met incredibly interesting people. This Aussie family, in the caravan behind in the above picture, has left everything and decided to travel for one year around in their own country. They have three kids, 14, 10, 8.
The first one who started speaking with me was the oldest, but the youngest was just around the corner. He was not shy for a second! I wish I could’ve been like that as a kid. Traveling they meet plenty of people and I guess there aren’t always many children around, so why not talk to anyone, they’ll definitely have something interesting to talk about. And yes we did. Just to mention one thing, these kids new more about European countries than plenty of other people I’ve met travelling.

Next day was the final 30km to the top.
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Pajinka is the aboriginal name of the top, Cape York.
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Looking to the west
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Looking south ๐Ÿ˜‰
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The color of the water up here was incredibly beautiful! Though you aren’t aloud to swim ’cause of the simple fact of crocodiles and add crazy currents.
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To reach the camping area you have to drive through an aboriginal town Umagico. Due to sever floodings that have happened before they build their houses on a level so they dont risk loosing their home.
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Here is just a picture of how it could look like when we camped. This time there were no trees around…
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Time to head south. Now there were 3 waterfalls which were worth a visit. But first we needed to cross the river though at 12.20 when we arrived it was lunchtime! Haha, so we chatted with the other ones waiting as well.
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Fruit Bat Falls. The water here was warmer than the air temperature.
Perfect for me! Badkruka som jag รคr! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Great great great, don’t want to leave but there are two more falls to see. Lets hit the road again. Now this time we need to go on the Old Telegraph Road (OTP). This is basically just the old road, with heaps of creeks…
As you can see the road is pretty corrugated, rocks are popping up everywhere and this is not the worst…
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..you need to pass this too.
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Now the water is not the problem…it’s coming out of the creek on the other end. To reach the top of the little hill on the opposite.
Having a rental car we took a lovely picture of the creek and turned.

We had heard about a variety bash which would start now when we were driving south. This was a fundraising bash with old cars, no 4WD, and they do this every year, different routes and for different causes. Now me and my short term memory… Last year they raised 1.8 million dollars but I don’t remember for what cause. This year they did it for babies who were born with an illness or had some troubles anyway.
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And they also dressed accordingly to what car they had. There was for instance an M&M car.
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Or why not the little mermaid..
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Vrooom vroom. Now heading to Weipa on the west coast. A town were nobody can be borned in nor be buried in!
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This is one of the 4 guys we met who we travelled parallel with. All were in their fifties.
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Arriving at the camping in Weipa one of the first things you notice is all the signs about crocs. Just a week before we were there a croc had killed a dog on the beach. The picture of the croc was on the reception desk.
Weipa is a mining town, as many other cities in Oz. Not much else there that is. So we had booked the mining tour…together with the Grey Nomads (aussies who retired and hit the roads travelling).
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These are biiiiiig machines! Now our guide wasn’t the most interesting to listen to…
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These are the guys we met and had some great laughs with
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We thought we wouldn’t meet the guys again but there they were. I think we met abort 4-5 times along the way. We are talking though about 1000km traveling
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Now we were heading East, Cooktown next. Named after captain Cook who once upon a time discovered Australia. No there are a few towns were Aussies say it was Cooks first stop…but I won’t go into that…
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Look how beautiful it is around noon when the sun is just on top of you. This tree has a shadow aaaaall around it! Love it!
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The oldest pub in Queensland, the Lions Den. You can find aaanything inside here, also people’s signed underwear…
This little boy greated me to the pub ๐Ÿ™‚
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I’ve soon been here 5 months and the number of crazy letter boxes I’ve seen are many. Unfortunately I haven’t been photographing them but here is one…
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Cape Tribulation – where the reef meets the rainforest.
The reef here is very close to land and the rainforest reaches out to the sea. Beautiful place where we camped as well.
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Next up…or down…cuz’ we are heading south…was Port Douglas. Not that special but very pretty…maybe in a high class way. Which was Sooo pretty I didn’t even take any pictures.
Here is a lookout named Alexandra’s lookout.
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This following picture is for a certain friend of mine who had the brilliant idea to meet “halfway” in Cape Town because Oz is too far away. Have a look at the distance of here to Cape Town and here to Helsinki……
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If you had any difficulties seeing the distances it is 20km difference from here…

Cairns 12-21 Aug

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When I first arrived in Cairns (pronounced as the picture above) I felt I didn’t want to be there. Why? Because for starters I spent one month in Yanni which is really the opposite of a touristy city…and then I just left Airlie where I met great people.
My first impression of Cairns was that it was overloaded of tourists. I didn’t. Really feel any negative about it rather than my own feelings. I just wanted to be in the bush, reaally wanted to visit the outback. See something new and not another touristy town.
Here I was though and of course the feeling passed pretty quickly. I started checking around what to do but didn’t do any if the touristy stuff. Instead the Cairns festival started and I was hanging around with the new great people I met.

Let’s start with beaches, there are none here because when it’s low tide it’s just muddy everywhere and when it’s high tide…well it just looks like the water at home, it’s brown… One can drive 10km north/south and get the great beaches again if the wish. Otherwise the well nown centered lagoon attracts everyone.

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One day walking on the dwarf I saw this class fishing. Wouldn’t that be something to do back home? Love it!

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So one of the guys I met was leaving the country and was giving away this and that. I now have Uno, the game, sheets and pillows and a Hookah as they call it Oz! So why on earth would I accept these things? I will let you know in a bit.

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The last night, before the German guy left, we had a lovely meal containing fresh seafood. Yumyum!

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So, about the stuff. What happened was that the girl I came to Cairns with from Airlie, she stayed one night in Cairns and moved on to work in another town. She introduced me to Fra who wanted to go to Cape York like me. Cape York is the most northern point in Oz. Thus I collected I few things for the little roadtrip. Because we went! More about the trip to the tip in next post.