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Archive for March, 2013

Roadtrip no 2 – Brunt Island + Freycinet NP 25 Feb-3 Mar

I met up with my friend Doc on Monday who came from Sydney for our last roadtrip in Oz.
We met the first and only time in Cairns…for a few hours…sometime in August? Loooong time ago and it was great to meet up again. I spontaneously asked one day if he wanted to come along with me as I knew what I wanted to do over there.

Before take off for the final roadtrip me and two friends went to see Tasmanian Devils and if they spin?
This is not a zoo, these guys help animals that have been injured. If they can release them later on they do, if not they continue taking care of them.
So the tassie devil…well when you first see it, you can’t stop laughing. No, sorry, they don’t spin. They do run nonstop though! And they run funny. Their size is like a mini pig, but their face looks like a giant rat… And the name they got from the sound they make. Wow…
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Bruny Island is located south of Hobart and south east of Tasmania. A ferry took us over to the little island with one main road πŸ™‚
If you followed the road all the way to the very south and chose to go west you eventually arrived at a free camping called Jetty Beach. It is at the bottom left where the island has a u-shape, right in the middle of the bay.

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The weather decided to go gray and wet for a few days. Autumn is coming so it will be heading that way sooner or later.
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We now have a tarp to cover the tent and our little campsite πŸ™‚ our new residence the following two nights! Not many people there and could barely see our neighbors. Love it!
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Next morning we went to explore the island. There are white kangaroos here but we didn’t see any. I found and saw my very first star fish! And it was blue! Wohoo! Size doesn’t matter peeps πŸ˜‰ beautiful!
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Then we found a jetty were we wanted to go fishing and spent some time there. This is the second time only for me. First time was in Yandaran. We only had hand lines but that worked perfectly fine for Theo to catch her very first fish! And then I caught a second one as well!
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A couple next to us had a spare rod that we borrowed. So then we caught a squid together and so we had fish and calamari for dinner this night!
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The water was so clear you could see many sting rays in the water.
Just before we left a seal came by and had his dinner around the jetty.
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Next morning I felt like jumping in the water, as the sun was out again. I have to say I have never ever been in freezing cold water as this! Do consider that it is only about 4000km to Antarctica.. :p
The ocean was full of spider crabs…ugly things.
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Today we had amazing ice cream over on the south east side of Bruny and then we hit the roads again.
Rocky Hills/Mayfield Bay was another free camping, this one was almost overcrowded! It was right on the beach.
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Next days brekky was not porridge! Poached eggs for the first time! Since our fancy stove has a BBQ we had toast as well!
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2 days after we left Bruny Island we finally reached Freycinet NP. Wineglass Bay is the trekk of the day and I’m back in my trekking shoes!
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After a 45min walk over the mountains we arrived at a cloudy bay
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But after a short while we had sunshine again
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As the weather cleared up we ended up staying there most of the day.
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This is a picture of Wineglass Bay from the top, we didn’t go to the lookout to take a picture myself.

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Craddle Mt – 1st Roadtrip in Tas 23-25 Feb

The car is now rented for 9 days! Yay!
First stop Lanceston. It is a small little town with cute old buildings. Not much going on as we arrived on Saturday after 3pm.

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Sun was starting to set just before we arrived atvour campground.

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My tent is back and kicking! We slept 3 in a two man tent :p

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And the awesome Suzuki Swift!

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Next morning the fun begins.

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Off we go to Craddle Mt and our trek!

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Bought the mandatory national park pass. You either buy one 24h pass, basically for one park, or one for 2 months.
The weather was not sunny hot hot which wasn’t a bad thing in the end. As we didn’t have to sweat while climbing up and down the mountains.

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Natural Love

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Our little group

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At the very bottom

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Somewhere in the middle, about 700m above sea level

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Almost at the top

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When we finally reached the highest points at our track, not the top of the mountain, we were in all the clouds. Every now and then we could see the top just next to us as the clouds moved.

As we were leaving the national park with the bus we saw a young wombat, in the wild! Awesome and sooo cute! My first wombat! (zoos and animals captured hwreband there don’t count).

Tonight we slept in the camp kitchen as we didn’t have a second layer for the tent and the risk of rain was simply there.

The next day I was lucky again! Echidna! Theo second one on the same day! Woop woop! This is Australia’s hedgehog
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This is a photo from Cradle Mt and Dove Lake on a sunny day. See the top? Beautiful!

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And from the highest point looking down to the two lakes, the lake to the left is the one higher up

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Ciao for now!

Tasmania – Hobart 17-23 Feb

Tassie, Tas, Tasmania!
Yay I’m finally here!

Plan is to work one week and travel the second. But we all know that plans change!

Flew over to Hobart with Tiger Airways early in the morning

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I arrived at my hostel which I for once had prebooked! Wow, I know I actually booked something in advance, 2 nights.

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Arriving on a Sunday was cool. The town is very small and cute. Old school. This Sunday morning when I was walking the streets, all you could here was the street lights when the pedestrian crossings turned green. And then it all went silent again. It was a nice feeling. Felt a little like I flew back in time.

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I went to the farmers market. Partly to buy some food and partly to talk to farmers about work

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It was a tiny place where the market was held but when tour started walking around you felt it was bigger as you easy could spend an hour or two quickly. I talked to a few farmers, apples, cherries, potatoes, veggies, grapes well you name it. Tassie is known for apples and cherries. Unfortunately I got there just between season. Cherries just finished and apples will start in the coming 2-3 weeks. I got a few numbers and also a complimentary bag of cherries and the man’s own number to go out for a drink. Well that went quick. I was in Tassie for about 2 hours and I’ve already got a phone number…and cherries..ha!

Every electric box you saw along the streets was always covered with some art. Nicer than the grey ‘naked’ ones you normally see.

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This man has balls!

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Battery Point is a historical village. The houses are kept the same way ad back in the days. For me it reminded me a little bit of where my grandparents lived in Sweden.

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This doctor must have found the perfect combination of work and fun

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As work wasn’t to be found for me I decided I spend my time with the new friends I had found just after the market. I wanted to go to Craddle Mt, highest mountain in Tas. Laura, who I met at my first hostel was interested. So we tried to find a car and leave the following day for 2 nights. We realized that if you rent a car for more than one week you get a better rate. As I was expecting a friend the following week as was going on a roadtrip anyway later. Sooo we postponed the trip so it could be attached with the dates my mate was coming. Meanwhile we stayed in Hobart. Met awesome people as always and part of it because we moved in to the Pickled Frog. One of the best hostels ever!

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As e were leaving the first hostel I saw this girl who was looking at a Craddle Mt broschure. I told her our plans, we exchanged numbers and she was in! Now there was 3 of us for the first roadtrip.
Now we checked out of Transit Backpackers and a few meters up the road we through in our bags (as did everyone else it looked like) in the luggage room until we could check in.

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Went down to Salamanca which is the part close to the water and where the pubs, the art stores and the worlds famous Salamanca market is every Saturday. Too bad we arrived on Sunday…

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There was a fairy shop for kids. Of course I went in there and it was adorable. Too bad my niece couldn’t be there!

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L and me cooked dinner and we invited Wendy to join us.

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So we wanted to keep our costs down (as my plan was to woooork a week…bus oh well). These are our pretty adds we made and put up at hostels.

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Having written these we meet two great girls, Natalie and Lina. Lina had some things to do the following day but Natalie tagged along with us
airport is on the other side of the bridge

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to the Royal Botanical Gardens!

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The Japanese garden was like a fairy tale

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Purse awesome hostel organized free trips to Mt Wellington which is just 20-30min from Hobart. So i went!
They drive you up to the top, 1271m, and then you can walk down.

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We found our fourth road tripper! Markus

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This is a bus stop, yes a real one!

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On our way back to town we meet Lina and we go for a coffee after that nice shower

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This alarm was just above our table. I was confused. Does the alarm go off when you eat too much?

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It was actually the alarm companies name…saw a car like that later on. But the staff in the cupcake caffee had a laugh πŸ™‚
Thaught of my niece again

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And then of myself…

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Back at the hostel with Lina and Natalie

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Inside the hostel in the reception

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Hobart Hobart Hobart

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The Greeks seemed to have settled everywhere

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Let’s go to the beach, beach, let’s go get a wave
Seven Mile Beach

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This is a picture from the first hostel and the 16-bedroom dorm πŸ™‚

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2 roadtrips coming up!

Melbourne Melbourne Melbourne – 3rd time 11-17 Feb

You cant go wrong with this city
I only have a few days before the next trip πŸ™‚

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Went to the artist market and Victoria Market.

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The best people in the world! Maurice and Mad! M&M! Mwah!

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Perth-Melbourne part 4 – Great Ocean Road

I’m dividing it up and it makes this road trip look like it was longer than the one I did with the van. But that’s not the case.

Went up to see the sunrise and to leave for Aligator Gorge, the trek of the day. Sometimes we are good guys and actually pay for things such as park entrance fees.
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Love it when we make funny poses to take pictures!
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So we thought we where doing the 2 hour walk…but we ended up doing the track that takes 6 hours… but we did that in 2.5 hours anyway so we were good πŸ™‚ As always, the signs say waaaay too long time for every walk.
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My favorite of the day! Love the colors!
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I don’t know what this is…but I don’t think I should be taking a close up of it…
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Since the walk was longer than we expected, we got on a wide road all of a sudden…for too long. But you always notice this and that and I was noticing different colors in cracked rocks!
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Adelaide is our next stop. We camped in a caravan park in the city this time. I stayed at home writing my diary while the others went out for a drink. I was not alone though. This little possum mommy was out and about looking through our food. When I first noticed her she was eating our bread. When I tried to scare her she did not care. I saw she had a baby in her pouch as it was about to fall out.
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Above she wanted to reach our garbage bag. I thought it was just cans but have a look
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She was not the only possum of course. They were having a circus show above my head in the trees. Many of them did come down and said hi
Another one
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What have I done in every big city I’ve been to? The Botanical Garden!
First we went to the botanical gardens and then a stroll around Adelaide center.
Yes I’m a little bit strange. So this is a tiiiiny little one…and I share it with you! πŸ˜‰
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In town we got stuck in the first little (looked small from the outside) store for some time. Just cute and beautiful stuff.
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Yes, I took a random picture of this kid. Only because he looked like my cousins kid in Greece! When he was a bit younger though.
Does anyone agree?
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Buy buy Adelaide.
Passing a river in Wellmington.
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Arrived in Kingston where they have the Big Lobster
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Camped near a lighthouse but it sure was a boring lighthouse…
Next morning
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We are now coming close to the start of Great Ocean Road in Warnambool.
Now this is a pretty one
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I wont show you the thousand pictures from every place. You get to see thousands of other things. Some nice some less interesting maybe :p but hey, I just don’t want to show what eeeeeveryone else has, can you blame me?
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Ναί ΞΌΞ±ΞΌΞ¬, ξέρω! Προσέχω! ΞœΞΏΟ…Ξ¬Ο„Ο‚!
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The world famous ones…but I actually think Bay of Islands, just outside of Warnambool, was more remarkable.
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Cape Otway
I’ve seen signs that warn you about koalas on the road but I sure didn’t think they walk along the road man! Cute as! And not really afraid..some random woman further down.
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All he wanted was a new tree
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See ya!
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Let’s go to the cape now
Oldest lighthouse in Australia
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Aboriginal and Aussie flags
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It’s windy on the top
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Went to Mariners Lookout after Apollo Bay
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On the way we found my favorite berries and ate a few (read many) and brought some with me
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Final sleeping destination for this trip is Lorne. I’ve been here before as you might recognize. This means I’ve sort of done the loop now.
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If you go to Lorne, a visit to Erskine Falls is a must. There’s always water all year round. Yes winter time it was prettier but still pretty in summer as well. We met this crazy old lady here.
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Fashion? What?
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The bird lady in Lorne
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Mug shots
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Prodigy?
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In line to be fed
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Torquay
Two of us can’t feel the cold water and went it…
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Time to go. The is getting hyperactive…again – quack!
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Next stop – Melbourne!
And now time to say goodbye to Rocky!
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Perth-Melbourne part 3

Here we go again!

Before taking off we went shopping in Coles.

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Next to Kalgoorlie is Coolgardie, just to confuse things a little…so we passed there too.

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Don’t ask…we just don’t know what it is…and why it is on top of a building…

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Today we will start a long drive and eventually drive over the Nullarbor. Our first stop was Norseman where we jumped in the pool they had there, had lunch, switched drivers and took off to reach Balladonia Roadhouse. This is also the first time we met the two Estonian guys travelling parallel to us for the rest of the the time on the same kind of car as us.

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We picked a little spot where we hung up our pretty fairy lights and had a nice night. Though anywhere we wanted to put our tent the ground looked like this…ants…

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Next morning the signs tell us we will se camels…mhm…

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Let’s just go on that longest stretch of road shall we?

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Trust me when i say it is pretty booooring when a road is thaaat straight and there are barely any other cars…and no camels either…
Eucla is the border town…town? Well station point where you need to quarantine fruits you have from WA…

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Or just take a picture of the signs as usual πŸ™‚

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Now the 4 travelling backpackers were a tiny bit clueless coming to what time it is in the future….in South Australia. So we just didn’t care. I mean we are in the middle of nowhere, who cares what time it is?
We are still told we will se some camels…

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I was the only one out of the car to take the picture with the sign, yes I know, such a tourist! But the guys decided to leave me behind…

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A car came from the other direction, but they weren’t interested in stopping either…they just pushed their horn..hey to you too! Backpackers! Gotta live thema!

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In the red centre were camel signs…but no camels. So i started thinking these signs must be old..
Below you can see wild grapes. They grow on small bushes.

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Tada! Camels! Saw them in two different spots! First time 4 of them and then another 8! Wooohoo! Wild camels! Yeah baby! It sure confused me a bit though. Didn’t feel like I was in this continent…

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It was getting dark so the pictures aren’t the sharpest. Also saw a fox and something white that was hopping around, but too far for any of us to know what it was…
We finally find a place to sleep. Scenic Lookout it’s called. I have never ever felt the finest sand as I did on this place. Everywhere. As it is sooo fine it can go everywhere and it’s not easy to get off. It did not help that the wind was like crazy! Look how we attached the tent! Shovel, jerry can, car!

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The wind was strong since we were right here. Next stop Antarctica!

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Fuel stop for us and the car in Yalata

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Don’t know why the light was on…

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Reached Ceduna where we did some shopping and had dinner.
For the Greek readers:

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In Ceduna we met the Estonians again. We knew where we were sleeping this night and told them to go there too.
Perlubie Beach

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Toooo shallow…we never reached a deep spot. It all went up above our knees…not even to the thighs…

Found a perfect spot to set camp! We also met an English couple here and we’ve seen these guys earlier along the road too. So we all camped here.
From ‘behind’

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From the ‘front’

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Next morning. Tide is low!

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There were other people there, but they lived fancy

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Today I want ice cream!

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Port Augusta is our stop, camping next to the river. The Estonian guys told the reception we were coming and saved us a spot next to them πŸ™‚

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Port Augusta is a small town. We went by a national park to go to a look out and then continued to some historical sights.

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Kyanaka Ruins

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Up there in the cave where Aboriginal art. Some descriptions were given to you before so you know what it is you see. I remembered one…
Another one for the Greek readers πŸ™‚

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Hancock Lookout was a beautiful spot!

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So where do we sleep tonight?

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Kitchen with disco lights!

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Good night for now!

Perth-Melbourne part 2

So next day we wanted to see some more of Esperance. Went by the tourist info and got to know there is a scenic drive called the Great Ocean Drive…
So off we went. First stop I met Sammy the Seal!

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Cute little (BIG!) thing!

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Many stops where just different beaches. 7 mile beach, 11 mile beach etc etc. But some differed with different rock formations.

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One person ran off with my clothes of course..but there is always a solution

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Last stop was a(nother for me) dry lake. Pink lake (no not really pink anymore)

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Not the best pic…but just before we left Esperance we had lunch. We chose the worst spot because it smelled bad…

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And then we took off to the big mining town – Kalgoorlie-Boulder!
Halfway there!

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I was co-driver halway and then we swopped

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And here is our camping ground the following two nights

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Next day we went to:

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The Superpit gold mine lookout. It is the biggest pit (digging whole) in Australia. They are all gold diggers here!

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Facts: ca 3.5 kilometres long, 1.5 kilometres wide and 570 metres deep!
Close up from the bottom so you can estimate yourselves:

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Machinery used on site

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Then a visit to their museum

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Laugh as hard as you want, my hair is still prettier than yours πŸ˜‰

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Had lunch just right there..in the middle of town

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Went to another little Aussie museum

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Inside the vault there was goooold, in many shapes and sizes

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This hotel was once upon a time the narrowest hotel in the world…but not anymore! Ha!

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A visit to the oldest profession on earth, the Brothel tour in the pink house

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The madam held the tour. She talked to us for about 1h or so and showed us almost every room. She was very comfortable telling us and showing us how this massive dildo was used on the customers. She made very clear to us that it has never been used on any of the girls…the customers requested it…

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Another room..can you guess the theme?

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Well enough now, though I must say it was very interesting. Now time for a little pub crawl. Of course this is a mining town so there are lots of men…in there working clothes

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And these are “the neons” that everyone aaaall over this country wears! Just look behind R.

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And since there are loooots of men…there are skimpys here too. She was walking around with her jug to be filled if people wanted her to take more clothes off..

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We thought we would go back, eat something and then go back to town for more drinks….

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I must’ve been tired or something because man I was such a cheap date this night! After 1,5 beers….I was tipsy! Since one of the very male guys in our crew was breaking stuff constantly, we only had 3 chairs that worked to sit on, the 4th was risky. And since I have got an awesome mattress I just used that πŸ™‚

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Goodnight for now!
Let’s see where we’re off to next!