Goodbye from the Other Side

Our time in Australia is over, and it has been wonderful.  Here is brief synopsis.

Big mistakes

  • Campervan: We reserved a campervan instead of a bigger motorhome.  Campervans don’t have AC!  Luckily, we were able to upgrade to a proper motorhome.  Note to self:  When reserving the thing you will be spending 16 hours/day driving and sleeping in for 15 days and nights…get the best/newest.  (Mistake avoided)
  • Studying: You can’t count on Wi-Fi (see below).  We are buying workbooks next chance we get.

Pleasant surprises

  • Kangaroos: They are like deer.  All along the side of the road as you are driving.
  • Whitehaven Beach, 98% silica sand: The finest, most amazing sand we have ever seen, and it is illegal to remove any from the beach.
  • Wombats: They are cuter and bigger than you think.
  • Flying foxes (bats): We first saw them in Cairns and subsequently in most other towns along the coast.  Huge bats!
  • Bathrooms: They are really clean–in campgrounds, gas stations, restaurants, everywhere.  We could learn something from the Aussies here.
  • Leeches: What a surprise to discover them on your legs while hiking in the Blue Mountains!

Slight disappointments

  • Great Barrier Reef:  Either we are spoiled by the Caribbean, or the good stuff is more than a day trip away, but we wish we had seen more.
  • Stinger suits: While fashionable, they are a bit of a drag in the water.
  • Wild animals: Where are they?  Aside from kangaroos, it seems all the wild Australian animals are in zoos (dingoes, koalas, cassowaries).  We didn’t see any dingoes – maybe the babies ate them.
  • Store hours: Aside from grocery stores, everything closes by 7.  WTH?
  • Leeches: Locals thought we were crazy for asking for first aid help.  It’s pretty routine for them.

Other reasons to love Australia

  • Road signs: They have cheeky fun images and even roadside trivia along the highway.
  • People: Everyone is so friendly.  No worries, no dramas–just “Cheers, mate!”

Things we have learned

  • Wi-Fi: Don’t count on it!  It’s never what you expect–good at some campsites, bad in some hotels.  Maximize when you get the good stuff.
  • Power management: It’s as SIMPLE as ABC – Always Be Charging:  The multiple USB splitter has been our most valuable possession.  Not like the old days where you just buy batteries as you go along.  We have two cameras, 3 iPads, one MacBook and 3 phones.  While you sleep, drive, eat: ABC.
  • Talk to strangers:  Everyone has a story, some advice, or a connection. It’s part of the game.
  • Get a credit card with a chip and PIN: We haven’t had any problems using cards (except Amex), but the whole signature thing created confusion more than once.

New additions on our site

12 comments

  1. Love the ABC comment. Btw – what is the music situation? Downloaded tunes , local radio ( old school!) or Spotify etc? Maybe a mixed tape in the rv….

    Like

    • Mostly downloaded music. Victoria was the perfect road trip DJ. A bit of local radio thrown in. Honestly for much of the driving I needed silence to concentrate on roundabouts, right hand turns and why every plate and drawer was crashing around in the back. Final tally was over 2,000 miles on mostly secondary roads.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the videos!
    And hey, those Stinger suits are pretty snazzy!

    Did you sing Kookaburra from your Music Together collection while in Australia?
    That’s where that song originated! (o:

    Can’t wait to see where you land next!

    Missy

    Like

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