In fact, we decided against taking Bobby, the rund-down car no. 2, across Australia.
This mature and responsible decision didn't evolve out of our own common senses. (Surprise!) A mechanic, who had a brief look at Bobby laughed out loud and told us that if we actually want to end up at the eastcoast alive, we should get the car crushed...
We tried to sell it on www.gumtree.com.au to get at least some money out of it, but this act proved difficult, because we knew absolutely nothing about the car, except its brand and we didn't have any papers either. (Remember, some friendly bushman gave it to us in the middle of the desert, when our van broke down. Of course we had other problems at that time than caring about papers...)
Anyway, we took a flight to Melbourne and caught up with our favorite rockstar Chris, whom we met in Indonesia. He showed us around the city and took us to some...interesting music gigs. There was for example this heroin addicted (or so) band performing songs about a chair. Or this other song about knives raping a womans body...
Besides we also went to the Great Ocean Road, where we enjoyed spectacular scenic views and beautiful beaches. We also played that game called koala spotting. A whole day and a few koalas later, we concluded that they were ugly, fat and boring and headed back to Melbourne.
We spent another few days in beautiful, artsy Melbourne, got a tattoo and a piercing and then hitchhiked to Sydney. (I really, really love this sentence.)
We were lucky again, because we met this relaxed trucker called Alex who gave us a lift up to a place called Dubbo, which is roughly 750ks away from Melbourne and only 4 hours before sydney. It took us ages for these 750ks. But then we finally made it to Dubbo in the middle of the night (at that point, we of course had no idea where exactly in Australia Dubbo was placed) and the next day, we had to stand beside the sidewalk again, waving and smiling and hoping for someone to pick us up.
And we were lucky again. Another trucker called Ian was going to Sydney to deliver some packages and we could get a lift. He was such a nice guy, offering us some beer leftovers from last night straight away and talking a lot about... Trucker stuff. And his family. He has seven kids and showed us a picture of his oldest daughter, who is planning on going to the states to work in a strip club. He was very proud.
We really like truckies and made new awesome friends along the trip.
People are always so sceptical when we tell them that trucks driven by strangers are our means of transport around Australia.
But our theory is that this species of men is not very likely to kill young female backpackers. They just enjoy some company along the long and boring drives across Australia.
Arriving in Sydney in one piece, we kind of started to like this no-budget lifestyle and did some couchsurfing. The first guy we stayed with, was really weird, a lost Hawaiian musician who was a bit too stoned for a monday night and a bit...dodgy in general.
When we woke up in the middle of the night discovering that our door was locked, we kind of panicked. We used the knive (our best friend these days) to open the lock and found out that it was just broken and not locked on purpose. HA!
Next day, we nicked off as quickly as possible and looked for some new hosts on www.couchsurfing.com ( Yeah, I know the experiences from last night didn't really let us grow) and found some other, this time really nice and caring guys.
THANK you! (15 funny people living in a huge hippie house directly next to the beach!)
First days in Sydney, we had absolutely no idea what to do next (déja vu: Perth and Melbourne) and since we don't own a travel guide or something alike, we were kind of lost (again) but happy. (?)
As you may have noticed, we enjoy our spontaneous lifestyle a lot and love to make new plans all the time. But this time we overdid it slightly. We changed our plans for the following weeks almost twice a day.
This is why:
We absolutely love Australia and its people. Traveling around here is ridiciuosly expensive but easy-going and realxing... A bit too easy for our liking though. Everyone speaks your language and there is a whole industry specialised on making your backpacking experience as comfortable and easy as possible.
We tried our best to make it a challenge and to get some adventure out of it, but after a while we kind of longed to return to the nerve-racking challenge in Southeast Asia. It is way more interesting up there (and beer is SO MUCH cheaper) and also the fellow traveler you meet up there are...just next level backpacking.
Down here they are... Kind of average. A bit boring even. (With some precious exceptions).
So our first plan was to go back to Asia. For ever. I mean, one week's expenses in Australia (lowest budget) could cover a month of awesome traveling in Asia!
Then we planned to go back just for a couple of months and leave OZ as soon as possible.
Then we realized that we needed some money for the flight tickets (hitchhiking doesn't work for airplanes unfortunately) and so we decided to look for work (again). And then we didn't want to miss Cairns or Byron Bay, saying we needed at least another month in OZ.
Slowly going crazy, we changed plans twice a day, just because we could. In the end, neither one of us knew what she actually wanted to do and see. Too many options! Too little money!
And then faith took the decision out of our hands: my mother told me that Uni took me in and i had to be back in Germany around mid of march if i wanted to attend the place. I completely forgot that i even applied for a place at uni and i had no clue which subject but after thinking about it, i realized that i wanted to go home soon, that i wanted see my friends and family so badly (i've been a bit homesick since christmas).
Plus I didn't want to desperately try and find a job again (and probably worst of all to finally WORK again) and also i didn't want to lose my mind with all those new plans. SO all the plans about going back to Bangkok or staying longer abroad changed one final time.
Now my flight back home is sorted (after i rescheduled it three times) and jess and me have another few weeks in Australia, where we can spend all the money we earned without worries and have a good time.
What i learned from all this coming-back hassle is NOT -contrary to expectations- stuff like: be more organised, stick to your plans or even to think properly before making them. Its more... How can I say: DONT EVER FUCKING BUY A RETURN TICKET in advance. You will suffer and cry. Better have some money left for a ticket and come back whenever you feel like it.
Aaaanyways. So then we decided to stay another month in OZ before going home, to travel up the eastcoast. There we checked out Byron Bay, met nice people and had a loose night out, but thunderstorms ruined our stay and we had to think about a plan B. (actually it would have been Plan Z by now, but never mind)
Having fun carrying this shit through the rain.
And coincidentally (or let it be faith) we heard about this peaceful hippie village called Nimbin, just an hour away from Byron Bay. We decided to realx and come down for a few days.
We caught a ride to nimbin and instantly fell in love with this cute little rainbow village so far away from real life. Its like Amsterdam but more of a secret and people trying to make you happy as soon as you get there with everything imaginable.
Nimbin has a high tolerance for cannabis, with the open buying, selling and consumption of locally grown cannabis on the streets and laneways. Everyone is relaxed, laid-back and happy. Some people were pretty fucked up though. Hardcore-hippies you could smell ten metres away.
Jess, the desperate housewive, preparing my dinner <3
After a few days we decided it's time to go back to reality and continue our way to Brisbane. But before we left, we went to a pub. (Because this is what you do in Australia, you know.)
Entering the pub, we stood out with our huge backpacks and people started staring at us. This is when we met Greg, an elderly ozzy guy who asked us where we're planning on traveling next. I said we dont really know, because it always depends on where random people can take us with their cars. Then he offered to give us a lift to the Goldcoast (2 hours away from Nimbin). And once again Jess and me got into the car of a complete stranger, all happy and looking forward to the next destination. (It wasn't where we actually intended to go, but Hey Surfers Paradise sounds good, why not check it out?)
Greg turned out to be such a nice guy, who vistis Nimbin frequently and has seen every part of this country and lived in Tahiti for the last ten years. There he met his wife, who, unfortunately just recently left him.
When he offered us to stay at his appartment in Surfers Paradise, we have long decided that he is very unlikely to kill us. Hoping for our insight into human nature to be right once again, we moved into his house directly next to the river.
We enjoyed our stay there, looking at Tahitian photo albums, talking about god, the world and Nimbin. And when we decided to leave a few days later, he was really sad... :-(
But we had to move on, time is running and the weather at the Goldcoast was terrifying, rain and storms 24/7... What's WRONG with this country? Either on fire, flooded or blowing away! High five 21st century.
Now we're on our way to Brisbane to visit some friends and then the journey continues further north! I wont explain any detailed plans, since they've already been changing since i started writing this text.
But one thing is certain: i'm coming home in three weeks! I'm SO looking forward to it. I didn't realized how much I actually missed my old life until now. I miss you all. Lots of Love!