Terra australis lost it's magic of the unknown to me as soon as I arrived there. I flew into Perth from Singapore and was picked up by my friends who decided one year ago that Australia should be their new home. On the way to their town we passed industrial zones, malls, fast-food restaurants and spreading suburbs. I immediately drew connections to the cities i've seen in the U.S. and our dinner at “Hungry Jack's” pretty much american. But don't zite me now saying Australia is like America, in fact the devil lays in the details and although both states had some similar developments regarding “civilizing”, farming, mining etc., there are differences. But I don't want to write a book here. Let's just assume that in some parts there are negative sentiments against all kinds of others.
Back to my friends. I had the opportunity to stay at a nice suburban house with them and their houseowner, which gave me some time to relax after being on the rush the couple of weeks before. Though to be honest I pretty much enjoyed being on the road constantly.
After an average new years firework display, we chatted an snacked into the New Year (the street party had already ended when we returned around 1am).
In the beginning of the year we went for dune riding in Lancelin, which was great and I had to slowly figure out how to go on.
It's not easy to travel 4 weeks with people of different backgrounds in a car exploring the south of Australia. But even traveling 4 weeks with people you know pretty good isn't easy – the last family roadtrip showed me that once more.
So there I was sitting next to Mal., a German with a winered Toyota 4runner, in which we waited for our third passenger Mar., an Italian. All of us had met via gumtree, an australian website dedicated to search and to offer stuff.
The first thing we did to support our new union, was a stopover at K-Mart where everyone stilled his equipment needs: For me it was one of the cheap soft surface mattresses, while the others got themselves air mattreses (which Mar. had to replace a few days later with a bigger uebersize version – by accident I guess).
We had some pretty nice time around the south of Western Australia, topped by a night of staying around the beach in a National Park, which was definitely one of the Highlights. Not only sleeping on the rocks (the others in the car), hiking up a hill for the sunrise and taking an early morning dip in the sea, but also some trouble w got with a persistent ranger later on.
Driving over the Nullarbour was another interesting but tiring experience. Long straights an the heat are the death of concentration.
After everything we had already seen, the Great Ocean Road was a bit underwhelming.
Arriving in Melbourne we finally were able to ease some of the accumulated tension by parting fromeach other.
For me this meant some days in Melbourne (Chinese New Year), two days in Sydney and a week in Brisbane.
In the train to Brisbane I met an Australian who told me his life story from braintumor to drug addiction to being married to a furious wife, getting divorced, trying to make a living again and then being hit by a car. And he was still laughing then,as he proclaimed »Laugh, and the whole world …« (look for “Ella Wheeler Wilcox”).
It's difficult not to stay positive in your life after hearing this.
In Brisbane I stayed with MarT and his housemates, we went to an AYCC action camp and enjoyed the time including camping in the rain.
On my final day MarT gave me a lift to the Gold Coast Airport from where the plane was bound for Singapore.