And here we go for an eight week road trip to Australia!
To make it easier for you to read, I’ll put the news up and down, so you do not have to go down and down the page as you go eight weeks 🙂
End of the trip in Australia
- Day 385 – Wednesday 15th of January 2020 to Day 387 – Friday 17th of January 2020 : From Byron Bay to Newcastle
- Day 388 – Saturday 18th of January 2020 to Day 391 – Tuesday 21st of January 2020 : Newcastle
- Day 392 – Wednesday 22nd of January 2020 to Day 394 – Friday 24th of January 2020 : Sydney
Sorry for the delay but I was really too lazy to write. The days are similar, we are bored a lot on the East Coast. One has the impression of doing the same thing every day because everything looks the same, and in addition it is not very beautiful (looks very ugly!).
From Byron Bay you only see beaches; certainly they are very beautiful but hey, it’s still beaches. As we do not surf and we do not swim because of jellyfish and sharks, the activities are quite limited in rainy weather!
I’m really fed up to be honest and can’t wait to go to New Zealand. I feel like we are throwing our money out the window. In addition the campsites are more and more expensive. We had the misfortune to take a second ticket for an absurd reason: parked less than 10m from an intersection of the coup small ticket which made me cry too, $ 344 or about 215 euros! All that to go see the seedy lighthouse of Byron Bay! Anyway, I hate the East Coast.
We eat fish & chips regularly as we have that to do. The fish is super good, we have a lot of fun there!
We are having a short stay with my friend Marine, she lives in Newcastle. It’s great to see her, we introduced her and her future husband to escape games! We also played our board games, it’s nice to have play buddies! We went to visit their wedding place; we’re going to return to Australia in March to attend suddenly, we didn’t want to miss an Australian wedding!
In three days we have to return the van and we just saw that we have to clean it … big hassle coming, I think we will never recover our deposit of 2000 euros …
Otherwise, to continue in the crazy stories, I had the misfortune to be bitten by a beast that I have not even seen! This thing smashed my shoulder. I have a huge, super painful pimple. I had the misfortune to bump on it and I cried for ten good minutes, I have never had so much pain in my life. So how awful it is and it doesn’t get better, tomorrow we’re going to the doctor! Yippee!
That’s the news! I rewrite as soon as possible!
I’ve been too lazy to write lately so I’ll summarize.
We finally managed to reach Newcastle. Along the way we saw some pretty things but nothing extraordinary, plus my booze still hurts.
We arrive in Newcastle in the early afternoon, after eating a good Fish & Chips in Port Macquarie.
We arrive in front of the pretty little house of Marine, my friend whom I met in Scotland during my studies, and her fiancé Lennon. We throw ourselves into our arms when we meet again, it hasn’t changed! We’re really happy to be back together and to have arrived. Their house is very cute, it looks like a house in the north of France in its architecture.
We discuss then in the evening it’s aperitif-food in a bar nearby!
In fact, we will have the impression of only eating at home! I would take advantage of the fact that they have an oven to make a chocolate pie and a super good lemon pie (yes I was too proud of myself!). We will go see the place of their wedding which is in the vineyards not far from Newcastle. We will meet Lennon’s family at the same time.
The weather will be a bit ugly on weekends then on Monday it will get better; the problem is that on Monday we will not benefit from the sun at all … I did not manage to sleep all night; my bite hurts and I stress because of the van, I am afraid of not recovering the deposit, not to mention the cleaning to do in it … So I decide to make an appointment with the doctor, Quentin also prefers because he is a little helpless and we don’t know what stung me. At the start of the morning, we go to the doctor and he tells me that I have an infection and an abscess. As he has pity he takes a niche to operate on me and empty my abscess (yes it is disgusting). So I end up with a hole in my shoulder that Quentin will be happy to treat every day. The day on Monday will continue to be boring, finally especially for Quentin who will clean the van while I prepare the evening meal.
Marine took her Tuesday so we decided to go see the dunes and ride a camel! It’s not crazy but we had a good laugh. The area was super nice and we ate in a really good restaurant (meat! Yum!). In the evening we had a last big meal before wishing them good night and meeting in March for their wedding!
Around 8:30 am, after having taken our time to prepare ourselves I look at my emails and I see a message from the van rental … we are one day late! Oh the idiots! But what did we do to deserve this ?! Panic on board, we hurry a little then we drive. It’s super hot, we’re sick of it and Quentin is starting to lose power around Sydney because of the traffic.
When we arrive, the guy is super nice; he is happy to say, he won one more day! I was too scared for cleaning but he didn’t even look! In addition, he reimbursed us for the brake repair costs that we had done in Alice Springs that I couldn’t recover! He hallucinates when he reads the meter: 15012km! He says it again, wanting to make sure his car isn’t messing around. We do the paperwork and he tells us that we should get the deposit back; what a relief !!! So we take an uber and we go to Emma, our host in Sydney.
Emma’s neighborhood looks nice, there are several restaurants and cafes. His apartment is too well decorated! She is really nice and has prepared a list of restaurants, cafes, bars, bakeries etc and tells us not to miss the ice creams just downstairs; it didn’t go down in deaf ears! She also announces that in her building there is a swimming pool and a gym! Luxury ! So we decided to go eat Indian quickly and go around the neighborhood. We want to eat Indian because our driver made us laugh: he was an Indian, he was asked to put on his Bollywood music and he couldn’t help but dance! So as we were in the mood we wanted a good curry! We take a tour of the neighborhood, we will eat a super good ice cream at the bottom of the apartment, then no choice: swimming pool and chill! We will do nothing more.
The other two days we will visit Sydney as much as possible. We will start our days with a little trip to the gym. Then we’ll eat in a nice place before we just walk (and eat anything good). Sydney is downright worse than Melbourne. There are nice neighborhoods but it’s too residential. Shopping level will be even more depressed, Australians have no sense of fashion … We will go to see the opera house which is nice then we will go do lots of happy hours. Roll on New Zealand!
- Jour 382 – Monday 13th of January 2020 : Keep driving down
- Day 384 – Tuesday 14th of January 2020 : Byron Bay
This morning I get up a little later than yesterday. Quentin has been up since 5.30 am! It’s really ugly today, it’s going to be a bad day. We had wilderness camping at the same place as yesterday, and had no problems.
I’m getting ready and I’m going for a run. There is a lot of wind so the return will be quite difficult!
I find Quentin again, we have breakfast then we decide to go shower in the main beach of Noosa. No one is there so it’s perfect. We take our time and then we try to find a job. We galley then finally we find and buy stamps for the 50 postcards that we bought throughout the trip … the addition will be salty, it will almost make us pass out: 166 $ stamps !!! Well, we pay because we bought the cards but suddenly New Zealand cards will be rarer!
We take the road towards Byron Bay. As it is ugly we will not be able to do the two walks that we wanted to do, the ones that the lady of the store where Quentin bought her clothes had advised us. So we decide to go see Brisbane. Serious error. We take the tunnel inadvertently and we have to pay and it is done on the internet or by such! Balls ! We don’t understand anything about the road, it’s going in all directions! Quentin begins to get angry in silence (I speak). We arrive in Brisbane, and impossible to park with a van. Quentin starts to moan and decides to cut the ride short; at the same time driving in town with a van in Australia is horrible. So we take the road towards Byron Bay.
I had put a lot of hopes in this city. I saw a report a long time ago and it made me want to go too much. So I planned three big days there. We finally arrive, there is a crazy world! And Quentin gives me a “you’re going to be disappointed” … um … chances are. In my mind it was a city of hippies and hipsters … in fact it is a giant open air shopping center for the wealthy! There are a few cafes and restaurants that look cute but expensive… We wanted to go and wash our clothes but it’s almost double that at campsites…. Quentin tells me that parking is $ 4 … an hour !!!! I’m laughing because I’m hallucinating! And all the streets without exception are paying! Suddenly we wedge in a corner and we think about what is most judicious. What is certain is that we will shorten the stay to one day instead of three because we will be bored. We decide to sleep at the campsite and go to town on foot, there is a 40min-1h walk to go but it is more profitable than paying for parking. So there is a campsite for the next two nights and we will do our laundry!
The campsite is not bad, we have a place at the very bottom and next to the path that leads to the beach. We’re going to take a look. It’s very beautiful, there is a kind of nature reserve that one has to cross before going there. The sun is setting and it gives beautiful colors to the sky. We arrive at. La. Plage in ten minutes; the sand is fine and clear, it is very beautiful. The foam blurs the view a little on each side but it’s really pretty. I take this opportunity to make calls and take photos then we will return to the van before dark. We will not do anything special, only Quentin will eat because I will still be digested with McDonald’s (yes we cracked by dint of seeing it everywhere on the road).
Late wake up this morning. It’s very ugly it’s depressing! Yesterday I made pancakes for breakfast so we are taking our time. We have a one hour time difference when we leave it is already super late. We go to town on foot and we will walk 45min in the rain. Not very nice. Well, as Quentin predicted, I’m disappointed but we’re here so let’s have a look! We decide to do all the streets of the small town and to enter each not too naughty shop. That’s what we’ll do for a good two hours. I’ll even get Quentin to buy (well, I give him) shorts and a t-shirt at his waist. He must have lost three or four sizes suddenly, he looks skinny in his clothes! Quentin puts on his new clothes illico and when we go out we are lucky, the weather is good! It is a pleasure! We’re going to see the local beach and the surfers. The beaches on the coast are really pretty. We hang around and then we decide to go and eat in a restaurant that is very “bobo” which will cost us an arm but it was good! I will have an ice cream for dessert… you always need a dessert! They were making muffins that looked really good but eating a vegan muffin no thanks! I do not know what they have with their vegan food but it does not have a taste and a vegan cake is not a cake should not mess around!
We keep walking and then we go to the tourist office. The guy makes us understand that there is not much to do in the area … we suspected! As I am ultra tired we decide to go back through the beach. The path is nice and the beach very beautiful. We see the lighthouse at the top of the hill. The sand is so fine. We walk quietly then when I arrive at the campsite I motivate myself and I go running or I will not get there! Quentin will spend two hours (really two hours) writing his postcards.
The rest of the day will be calm, we won’t do much more.
Going down to Noosa
- Day 379 - Friday 10th of January 2020 : Rainbow beach & Dune Carlo
- Day 380 - Saturday 11th of January 2020 : Noosa
- Day 381 - Sunday 12th of January 2020 : Bored!!!
We set off again at 7am after having breakfast. The road will be super long. We’ll stop to buy fruit from producers twice (it’s funnier to do that than to buy at the store).
7h later we arrived!
The beach is huge! I think it’s the biggest beach I have ever seen in my life! It’s very beautiful too!
We decide to go see the dune and then come back to spend the day at the beach.
The dune is only ten minutes away by car. We walk ten minutes from the parking lot and again we are in awe, it’s so pretty! The dune has a golden color and the sand is white in places. The sand is very fine, it’s nice! We will take a short stroll watching people hang gliding take off and land on the dune. We will enjoy the landscape before returning to the beach.
There is a supervised area (we do not see rescuers on the other hand) but no tubes in the water. The sign indicates that it is good for swimming but that there are jellyfish. For me, in any case, no sausages, no swimming. Too much dirt in the water between jellyfish, sharks and crocodiles! Quentin wants to go there but for once he will not be tempted, probably because of the absence of security tubes; it is useless to give the stick to be beaten! So it will be nap and rest on the beach for Quentin and nap and sport for me! When the sun starts to go down we will take a shower (we are lucky there are free showers! But cold …) then eat while watching the sunset. The moon is full and shines, it’s super beautiful!
I see a lot of people who seem to be wild camping (when it is well written that we are not allowed). So I ask our neighbors in the parking lot if they sleep there. They tell me that they’ve been camping like this for two weeks without paying anything !!! The balls when I see the final note of the campsites that we paid when I had not planned this at all in the budget … me it tempts me well but Quentin prefers to go on the free highway area that we had seen at the start, it is an hour away and halfway for tomorrow. So we put everything away and go! It is very dark so we hope not to cross crazy animals on the road! Lack of luck the place I spotted is closed, so we’re trying to find another one. It will be a highway area and we will not be the only ones sleeping there.
We get up quite late finally, we really needed to sleep! We pack our things and leave in the direction of Noosa. Quentin offers to try to make free nights for the next few days. It’s okay with me! Not against we have to fill the van with water. We find a cute little village with water and then we hit the road. We’re pretty close to Noosa.
When you arrive it’s surprising, there’s a lot of people, it’s “the place to be” it seems!
We give up parking near the sea because there are really too many people. We will park at the supermarket and take the opportunity to do some shopping.
We go to the beach on foot; it’s only about twenty minutes.
The beach is crowded! There are parasols everywhere! We see people in the water but as a precaution I will ask the rescuers what their message means “blue bottles” … basically they tell me that there are jellyfish that burn the skin so it is up to us to see if we want to swim. Well, we’re going to try to find an area to land in the crowd then Quentin decides to go and splash. I’m just going to soak myself for thirty seconds to cool off because we burn! It’s too hot! Around noon everyone leaves, we start to see better what the beach looks like. We spotted a Ben & Jerry store (super fatty and sweet but super good ice cream). We decide to go eat it as a meal … we have a lot of fun (I even have a stomach ache) then we go back to the van. It is already 5 p.m. At the end of the day we decide to go visit the city; Quentin will find cool clothes for Marine’s wedding. The city is full of shops, but they all sell the same kind of stuff. It still feels good to stroll!
We will see if we find a place to put the van for the night; we’re scouting near a beautiful beach and then we’re going to cook. We will spend several hours cooking and we will take the opportunity to shower. When it starts to rain we put everything away and we go to sleep in our little hiding place.
Finally, we were not woken up by the cops during our wilderness camping. But we got up super early (before 6 a.m.). I go for a walk on the beach and an hour later have breakfast by the sea. It’s nice. We decide to go for a walk in the room, the departure is near the main beach. When you arrive at the parking lot you can see hundreds of people in sportswear doing brisk walking or jogging. It’s Sunday and everyone is going to clean up on it. The hike will really not be complicated because the path is clean and flat. In addition it is almost all paved so no challenge. On will follow the coast which is pretty and on will pass in a forest without much interest. We will walk a little over an hour. We decide to return to our wild camping site for lunch. There’s a kind of town (a few shops) next to it, but there’s absolutely nothing interesting. On one of the trouble with Australian fashion… We have lunch then since we have absolutely nothing to do and we are exhausted, we decide to take a nap. The nap lasts three hours for Quentin but I would have trouble sleeping. It rains downpour by the time the blow is a bit blocked. I’ll go for a walk on the beach to change my mind. It’s beautiful because the wind sweeps across the brown sand. The sand with several brown hues and the sky is graying, it is soothing in a way but it is a bit cool! I go back to the van and offer Quentin to play a game. We’re really bored, I’m getting tired of Australia. Both Tasmania and the red center were great, but the east coast is boring! On wasting our time and money, if we didn’t go to see Marine we would have left already! When we have finished playing we return to the park five minutes from our location for dinner. We are so bored that we are going on a tour but it does not last long because it starts to rain! We go back to the van then we will get back in our place for the night. What a crazy day !!
Airlie Beach & Whitsundays
- Day 373 – Saturday 4th of January 2020 : Airlie Beach
- Day 374 – Sunday 5th of January 2020 : Disappointed
- Day 375 – Monday 6th oof January 2020 : Dingo Beach
- Day 376 – Tuesday 7th of January 2020 : I hate Apple!
- Day 377 – Wednesday 8th of January 2020 : Whitsundays
- Day 378 - Thursday 9th of January 2020 : the mac is back!
The weather is bad this morning but I still manage to motivate myself to go jogging. Like yesterday, it’s high tide and it’s raining too. I will still run an hour before Quentin meets me for breakfast in front of the beach.
We go back to the campsite to shower and fill the van with water and then we leave for the ferry. It’s raining on the way, it’s not very encouraging!
When the ferry arrives on the mainland we have a three hour drive. I can’t take the road anymore, it’s starting to get me drunk. We will have a lunch break on the way, in front of a beach; Quentin will take a nap then an hour later we will arrive at Airlie Beach … Well, I will have to stop believing that Australian cities are going to be nice every time. Again that’s all we hate: tourists, tourists, tourists and a tiny, ugly city built for tourists with bars full of tourists! A horror.
We go around and then we go find a campsite with a swimming pool. We’re going to have four long days to spend here … I’m getting seriously bored. Australia is really not nearly as good as I expected.
We spend the end of the day in the swimming pool then in the evening we will eat while watching the news: the fires… and fires on Kangaroo Island, where we were three weeks ago! In short, we eat and then after calling Sonia, we go to sleep.
We get up early enough this morning to go for a hike. I have my ragnagnas suddenly I am completely mad! But as there is nothing special to do I motivate myself so that Quentin does not get bored all day because of me. The hike is really far from difficult, contrary to what they wrote on the guide. When we get to the point of view, big disappointment, we saw on the port, the campsite and the shopping center … wow … In short we look at three seconds no more and we turn back. Hiking more than useless! On the way we tell ourselves that we risk really pissing off for three more weeks. In addition there are lights everywhere and of course where we could have done great hikes! If we really are ahead we will try to change the tickets but hey it may cost this story even more.
So, we come in, we shower and we’ll spend the rest of the day at the pool. Nothing more, nothing less !
After a tasty breakfast we left for a visit to a waterfall just under an hour away. The weather is not too bad; it’s nice because it rained a lot last night!
When we arrive we find it pretty but there are a lot of people. We take a small photo and then we go, not want to swim with so many people and even less knowing that in the river next door there are crocodiles …
Quentin offers to go see two beaches that we had planned to see tomorrow, as the weather is nice. Okay, let’s go! We have an hour’s drive; the road is nice. When we arrive we finally say “wow! “. We see offshore the Whitsundays, islands for which we are around. The water is super beautiful! We will make two berries; we will stay on Dingo beach for a while. I’ll take the opportunity to go jogging on the sand. I don’t know why I will be attacked by seagulls! Quentin will listen to his podcast from France inter, while I’m finished my sport. We will eat in front of the sea, it’s super beautiful!
After this nice stop we will go to Airlie beach. I need a new jersey, mine is too big … The Australians really have a mess. Dress style so I won’t find anything at all. So instead I’ll go eat an ice cream!
We come in, we go to the swimming pool and we will hang out all evening.
The day looked promising but in fact it will rain heavily most of the time. So we will take the opportunity to try to plan a little better New Zealand.
When the sun hits the tip of your nose we decide to go shopping and then returning my computer crashes! No more internet! We’ll spend over an hour trying to figure out what’s going on, cooking but nothing to do. I decide to call Apple; the girl will be as useless as us. Finally after putting a message of desperation on facebook Nat calls me and we will spend almost two hours trying to solve the problem but again without success. It’s annoyed that I’ll go to bed; all that exhausted me, spending the day in front of the screen is really not what I prefer especially to try to solve stupid problems because of a rotten Apple system!
Wake up at dawn this morning to go for our long-awaited day in the Whitsundays.
The Whitsundays is a group of islands discovered by James Cook. The main island has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, its sand is made of 100% pure silica which makes it the finest sand in the world! Let’s go see this!
I slept badly suddenly I struggle a little; I have too many balls because of my computer so I hope I can fix it!
We have breakfast and then we park the van in town. We meet at the agency to take a plane ride over the islands and the Great Barrier Reef.
We will be many and there will be a lot of French so a group of “cagoles” … we don’t give a damn about one in particular, and Chinese ready to take their Instagram photos for hours on the beach; they too will be quite funny (we won’t be the only ones laughing at it).
We take a small bus for a good half hour. Our guide on the bus is funny and super enthusiastic.
We arrive at the aerodrome, we board a small plane of about ten seats and we’re off for an hour of flight !!
We are lucky with the weather, we were afraid when we saw the clouds and rain this morning but ultimately it will be clear and bright.
The flight is top! Quentin de regale! He even takes lots of pictures (he never does that usually). We fly over the pretty islands. Some make us laugh with their big hotels that look like “HLM” and their golf courses. We pass over the famous beach: Whiteheaven beach. Superb! Then we pass over the famous “heart reef”: a piece of coral in the shape of a heart. Again, this is great!
When we return to Quentin airport, we cannot hide his joy, the flight delighted him! The day started off well!
Now we take the little bus with our instagramers to go take the boat. The rest of the day will be spent at sea with a first stop to see views of Whiteheaven beach, then lunch on the boat followed by a stop on the beach and a snorkeling session.
The views are great, the sea has an incredible color. It’s nice to see that after several days when we were still pretty bored. Again Quentin will be happy! We take our time to admire the landscape and we have fun seeing the people of our groups … there is a girl … she won the medal of the day! Skirt pulled up so high that you can see your buttocks (yes, that’s the new fashion, it’s horrible to see the ass of all the girls, especially since the vast majority have a falling ass!), Shirt open so that ‘we see her breasts in her swimsuit, glasses and hairstyle, without forgetting the gloss to make her mouth shine in the ass of the photos. In short, a treat! Then there are our Asian friends who take nice breaks, like on the boat where the girls had their photos taken in heels and swimsuits … in short, dream sellers!
We go back on the boat we have lunch. The buffet is not bad.
The boat continues its course towards the beach which is superb. One of the most beautiful beaches we have seen. Too bad there are hundreds of tourists on it !! We were loaned suits to go get bathed but as the hands, feet and face are exposed it is out of the question that I go into the water even if it is transparent and warm turquoise! There are too many super dangerous jellyfish and sharks here, I don’t bathe! Quentin suddenly goes there alone. I will fall asleep on the sand. The sand is ultra fine! Never seen that in my life! Quentin comes back from time to time (it’s sure it’s not fun to be in the water alone …).
A little less than two hours later we return to the boat and guess what, I got stung by a jellyfish !!!!!!!! I put my feet in the water for three minutes and the bite was for me!
So no snorkeling for me. Quentin will go with the other people in the group. I will sleep on deck. He will come back very disappointed because there was nothing special. Like what it is useless to spend your money here for diving and snorkeling, you can never match the Galapagos, Polynesia and Micronesia!
The day ends and it will take a good hour to return. I suggest Quentin to return one more night to the campsite to try to update on the mac because we have wifi. We will find free camping for the next two days.
We arrive quite late but we are going to bathe a little before trying again the updates which will not work! After losing our evening we go to bed. Quentin had to move the van because of the cons we choose, on the 200 square meters of land to stick to us !!!! No, but it’s amazing to be so stupid! We must have had a hard time understanding people, we really meet too many morons in the campsites, it’s crazy! So go to sleep!
Well I get up in anger because of the Mac but I try again. We will lose all morning with this! After four hours we will finally get there and he will walk again! We will be busy like playing.
Suddenly after having lost a day because of its c … we will make a splash in the swimming pool, we will have lunch and we will head towards Rainbow beach! We have a dozen hours to get there so we give ourselves two days (Quentin wants in any case it is he who decides).
The road will be very boring. We will drive 6 hours then we will go to sleep on a free area.
- Day 369 - Tuesday 31st of December 2019 : Magnetic Island
- Day 370 – Wednesday 1st of January 2020 : Happy new year
- Day 371 – Thursday 2nd of January 2020 : Beach
- Day 372 – Friday 3rd of January 2020 : Beach & Relax
The night was quite agitated because of the noise of the cars, but especially of mosquitoes !!! We were devoured!
It’s not even 6am but we get up. Quentin is going to try to shower in the sink and I am going to do my little gym for everyone to see but hey, we have nothing for nothing, if I hate concrete buttocks I have to work !!
After our little moment each on their side I notice that people left pineapples to buy for only 1 AUD !! Never seen! So we take three before leaving for Townsville.
The road will be quite fast; we take gas and we’ll see if we can get on earlier as we’re three hours early. Luckily it is possible!
It’s super beautiful but instead of looking at the landscape I fell asleep during the twenty minutes of crossing.
View of the boat the island looks nice! We go to the campsite where we thought we would sleep four nights but when we arrive the girl tells us that on the 31st no camping possible !! What are these stories ?! She tells us that everything will be reserved and that they have beds in a dormitory for only 35 € per person … but of course! I laugh at him and tell him that this is the most expensive dormitory in the history of hostels. She agrees with me but on the 31st they raise all the prices! We look on booking and airbnb … nothing. Well, since it is out of the question to pay such a price, we reserve our nights for the next three days and we decide to improvise in front of the beach.
We are super disgusted. We park and we see that the beach is beautiful but that there are jellyfishes !!! Fate is fierce! There is still a supervised but good swimming area …
I prepare lunch and we eat in front of the sea on our camping table. I’m going to prepare the pancakes for tonight and there I see another motorhome; I decide to go ask him where he sleeps tonight! Lack of luck, the guy is a local but he tells me not to worry and stay there tonight. He tells us that there are only rental accommodations so who will call the cops ?! Not stupid. It gives me lots of other places to hang out. Suddenly with Quentin we say that we will stay there tonight and that we will try to cancel the campsite!
I thank him then I return to my pancakes. After that we are going to walk on the beach and then as Quentin really wants to go in the water we go. I ask the lifeguard, which we will call Mitch, if there are jellyfish because the other guy told us that she could pass despite the nets! Mitch tells me that today was good. So we go in the water, it is super hot, it must be at more than 30 degrees! We stay for a while and then we go back to sunbathing. We’ll spend a while doing this, half asleep then at the end of the afternoon we decide it’s time to go for an aperitif!
It’s not even 6 p.m. but hey, we’re making toast and we’re opening our super collector bottle of proseco, not bad! We are drunk after two glasses so we have lost the habit of drinking alcohol! We continue our momentum with beers and ciders when the bottle is finished. Today we really feel like we’re having a holiday meal because we found smoked salmon and bressaola that we toasted on pieces of pancakes that I cut in a circle. There is live music 100m from us but we are so tired that at 10pm we go to sleep falling asleep in front of two episodes of south park! What an evening of madness !!
I slept too badly last night, it was super hot in the van.
As I am awake I decide to go in for sports! Small jogging on the beach then a little muscular while Quentin wakes up and has breakfast.
When we’re done we go to the campsite. The girl explains to us how it works. We park the car and then prepare for a day of walking. It’s really hot already. We’re having a picnic and taking lots of water.
The goal of the day will be to make a kind of loop to see beaches and vestiges of the second world war. I’m not going to detail the whole walk but basically we saw very beautiful beach where we would have liked to swim but the sea was full of jellyfish and sharks, cool! We walked under the sun for 5 hours and we sweated like pigs, cool! I hurt myself and at the sight of my blood I passed out which allowed us to have a lift up the hill, cool! We supposedly saw a lot of koalas, according to Nigel the guy from the Cairns tourist office, but we didn’t see any, cool thank you Nigel the big guy! It’s been at least four rotten things he told us! Balance of the day in positive, even if you can not swim without having a full suit, the island is very pretty!
In the evening we go back to swimming at yesterday’s beach and then have a little meal with expired prawns and udons, yum!
After my jogging on the beach I find Quentin in the van. He has already folded the tent and eaten his breakfast. I eat mine while he prepares chicken.
Hostel we are lucky, we will see a koala right in front of us climbing on a tree! We approach but not too close because he seems to be afraid. When I see it I tell myself that the people people take in their arms to make stupid pictures are really shot! Poor beasts.
We prepare everything for the day. It’s super hot. We do not find the hiking trail suddenly we decide to change the program for the day and go around the beaches. We will see pretty wallabies in the rocks.
Around 11am we go to our favorite beach to find Mitch the lifeguard who must be too bored!
We’ll do some splashes in the water before we go to the campsite to get some interest.
A few hours later we will return to the beach where we will spend the rest of the day. There are not fifty things to do unfortunately on this island!
Finally we will be too lazy to hike. We had to put the tent away quickly in the middle of the night because of the rain so we are tired.
We will take our time for breakfast. Lack of luck, we do not drive enough since we are on the island so we have no electricity in the van. Suddenly, the night we wanted to make free will cost us 40AUD … This is how to start the day well …
I’m going to pay and we plug in the van. We decide to spend the day at the beach. Quentin thinks he will be able to motivate himself to go walking, but no, it will not happen!
In the evening I decide to go jogging but I’m not lucky, it’s high tide suddenly I have to run on dry sand and it’s ten times more difficult!
Quentin finds me a little less than an hour later, I’m sweating! We dine in front of the beach then we go back to the campsite to sleep. What a crazy day!
Cairns & Daintree Forest
- Day 359 to Day 363 – Saturday 21st of december to Wednesday 25th of December 2019 : Road Road Road
- Day 364 – Thursday 26th of December 2019 : Cairns
- Day 365 – Friday 27th of December 2019 : One year already !
- Day 366 – Saturday 28th of December 2019 : Daintree Forest
- Day 367 – Sunday 29th of December 2019 : Bloody forest!
- Day 368 – Monday 30th oof December 2019 : Crocodiles
After 24 hours of driving spread over three days we are finally on Cairns, on the east coast of Australia. We do not know what to do yet but one thing is certain, we are camping with a pool and tomorrow, Christmas Day, we will not move from there!
It’s been doggy today in Cairns! We decide to go swimming anyway but the lightning will be too close to us and a torrential rain will start to fall on our heads so we will have to get dressed for a good half hour before we can return to the van.
We shower, have breakfast and decide to go explore Cairns.
We first go to the botanical garden. It is pretty and there are hikes to do but we will just have a stroll in the garden.
We’re going to the city. The city is very ugly and uninteresting. We’re going to an armored shopping center full of people! It’s horrible! People are noisy and in a hurry! We are not used to that anymore! There are sales after Christmas and suddenly people are excited! We go around quickly and then we go in search of the tourist information center.
The gentleman is super nice and gives us lots of good advice. We have to redo our program a bit because of the forest fires and suddenly we ask him lots of information on what to do here and on a small island nearby. He is very happy and gives us lots of good ideas.
After that we will go for a walk to see the local beaches … well they are not great! In addition we can not swim because of crocodiles and jellyfish! We will take a quick tour and have a quick picnic on the beach before returning to the campsite.
As the pool is full of kids we decide to reorganize our entire program in the van for an hour. We make a schedule that seems coherent and that allows us to put Sydney in case there is no more smoke.
At the end of the day we can finally go to the picine, we will be alone! We take advantage of it until it rains again and then we dine in the common space before going to watch a movie and go to bed.
After hanging out for breakfast and spending some time at the swimming pool, we decide to take advantage of the good weather to visit the PS plateau far from Cairns. There are lots of waterfalls to see and with a little change we should see platypuses (we will try again …) and “tree kangaroos”, a kind of kangaroo that lives in trees.
Since the weather is fine, we decide to reverse the order of visits that we had originally planned because the weather changes all the time here.
We start by going to see a place that seemed beautiful to us when the guy from the tourist office told us about it and showed us photos. We have a good hour’s drive. The landscape is very beautiful in the region, the mountains are very green and you can see tropical vegetation on both sides. We arrive at the famous site; there are lots of people !! it’s ultra touristy and super landscaped … we feel that it will not please us! We’re going to see the river and there are a lot of people in it. There is nothing exceptional about it, we are super disappointed! There are two points of view, so we decide to go take a look. Fortunately it will go back up the level but it looks a lot like Italian Switzerland so nothing new for us … well, we are super disappointed but we continue the visits!
Next stop, the Pronella Park castle; it’s a Spanish colonial-style Castle built for José Paronella in 1930. In itself it doesn’t sell a dream but the castle seemed covered in moss in the photos so we thought it could be very beautiful. Half an hour later we arrive in a place full of people! There is even a campsite! We go to the cashier to pay and the lady asks us for 47AUD when it was written 30 on the brochure! We say no at once but as she sees that we are super disappointed she offer us a reduction that we accept, hoping that this evening will be great !! There is a guided tour with a girl who forces herself to make jokes … the Australians seem to like it but we get drunk. The visit is more or less interesting; Quentin picks up after five minutes because he is still shocked at the price and he doesn’t find it great … he’s disgusted that we got so ripped off. Good to say that it is a big scam for Europeans. I try to enjoy it anyway. The castle is blah because almost entiendo destroyed but there are some photogenic things. At the end of the visit, we take a tour of the park and then we leave.
After this second disappointment we go to see waterfalls. There are three on the way that should be worth a look. They are pretty but in tongues we struggled a little because of the mud and the rocks … real tourists! Unfortunately for the last one there is not enough to be so it is not very impressive.
After this waterfall stop we will try to see platypuses. Lack of luck we arrive too late! The cafe where we could see them closed 5 min ago !!! We leave disgusted, it’s only 4pm !!!
Now we will try to see the kangaroos of the trees but hey, the place will surely be closed too! The girl tells us to look in the trees. We look and then a guy arrives with a family; it’s a kind of private tour. Suddenly I observe it and luckily he spots one! My name is Quentin and we will benefit from this discovery! We will see two in all! It’s cool, it saved the aprem! We leave super happy with the spot.
There is another place to see platypuses. We decide to go. The gentleman from the tourist office had sold it to us as a secret place but in fact it is written in bulk and there is a structure for observation! We will only be staying for five minutes because a kid is making too much noise! You shouldn’t make any noise so as not to scare them but their parents don’t say anything … sometimes I really don’t understand people … in short …
There is one last thing to see in the area, a huge tree with thousands of lianas. It is superb! It’s right in the middle of the forest so it’s even more beautiful.
Quentin offers to go to a restaurant to celebrate our one year instead of having burgers. It’s okay with me! We will go to the pizzeria next door, run by a Swiss! The service is poor but the food will be super good. I’ll be drunk with a poor bottle of cider!
After this good meal we hit the road and a good hour later we arrive at the campsite where we will have a big sleep!
After a splash in the pool and a good breakfast we hit the road for the Daintree forest. It’s a big rainforest above Cairns.
The road is super beautiful. We will miss beautiful beaches which will change our minds on the beaches of the region!
The road to the forest is splendid; we pass under a lot of tropical trees.
We will have to take a ferry to cross the river. We are starting to see lots of signs to watch out for crocodiles!
There is a crazy world and we will spend more than half an hour waiting for our turn! We will arrive right on time for our crocodile excursion with the guide recommended by the guy from the Cairns tourist office …
He’s an old grandpa who’s been doing this for 35 years. We will be ten on the boat. The old man will explain a lot about the 69 types of mangroves in the river. We will pick up after five minutes because in addition to hearing nothing when he speaks he has too difficult an accent. The ride will last 1 hour but we won’t even see a crocodile eye! Thanks the guy from the tourist office again!
We decide to go get an ice cream at a local ice cream parlor but it’s full of people and the scents look yucky … suddenly we will take advantage of their large parking lot to cook pasta with pesto before take the road to the north of the park.
We will go to a small tourist office run by two nice ladies. They will give us some advice.
We will go to viewpoints then we will go to the campsite to spend the night. The campsite is on the beach; she is super beautiful; too bad the weather is overcast. We’ll walk a bit before we go to dinner and sleep.
We had to get up at 5.30am this morning to admire the sunrise and start a long hike in the rainforest. Unfortunately it’s raining! So we take our time a bit and as we see that the sky is uncovered we decide to go hiking anyway.
The beginning of the trail is not easy to find but once the sign is located we put on our hiking boots and leave. I put my gaiters on in case it rains so that it doesn’t fit into my shoes (I don’t want to relive the blow of putting my feet in wet shoes!). We start hiking, it climbs dry. We sweat in less than five minutes. We must be careful not to slip on the roots of trees. We hear lots of birds, we drink lots of beautiful trees and then at some point we will be really lucky because Quentin will see a dragon lizard! It is too beautiful! We continue the walk for less than two hours and we arrive at the point of view which is, pardon the expression, shit! All these efforts not to see much! And there, the worst happens, leeches !!! Quentin has them all over his socks and I have them on my gaiters !! A horror! I try to remove them but they remain stuck !!! There is panic I tell Quentin that it is time to leave! It disgusts me too !! We will return almost running! Leeches trying to eat me! Arghhhhh it’s awful !!! When we get to the car Quentin takes off his shirt and a huge leech falls !! She was on his shoulder !! She got fat by sucking his blood !! No choice, we go back to the campsite and do a laundry and a general inspection!
We take this opportunity to shower because we were completely drenched in sweat!
There is a small restaurant next door where we wanted to have lunch; they make crocodile and emu burgers! So while the laundry is running we will eat. It’s so good! We enjoy!
After this good meal we go to get the laundry then we start the road back. We will make a few stops to walk in the forest and see viewpoints then we will take the ferry.
We decide to sleep near the Mossman Gorge, which we did not have time to do before yesterday. As we missed the last bus we decided to sleep at the city campsite. We will settle anywhere, the reception being closed, they told me on the phone that we do what we want and that if we leave before they arrive and that we enjoy our free night! Cool! So we make our kangaroo burgers then after watching Netflix we go to bed.
We wake up super early this morning, we had to sleep well! We say to ourselves that as we are awake we only have from then on like that we will have the night for free!
So ln prepares everything and then we go to my Mossman Gorge. We have breakfast in the parking lot and we go to the information center which tells us that we can walk to the forest without having to pay! It’s silly because if we had known we would have left sooner! There are already a good fifty tourists who come to visit with a tour, there are a lot of young people, we do not understand the people who do that with a tour! It’s expensive and so easy to do alone!
We are walking to the starting point of the hike, we are lucky nobody did it! The forest is super beautiful, it won’t rain any more! There are huge trees and we will have the chance to see another dragon lizard! It is super hot and humid so we sweat a lot … We go for a leisurely walk then we go back to the car towards the zoo … yes it sucks but we haven’t seen the crocodiles and the cassowaries, animals emblematic of the region! However, we tried everything! In short, here we go! The road is super beautiful, the mountains are clear! We’re still lucky with the weather!
We arrive at Disney land of the crocodile. There are a lot of people. The lady at the counter gives us a coupon for a boat trip and a site map which is super large! We will spend 4 hours inside! There are attractions where guides feed cocodiles, take a boat tour, see all kinds of snakes, lizards and many other animals. We will really have a great time! We will even regret having gone around by boat the day before yesterday! When we finish the park we hurry to go shopping and find a campsite for the night, not too far from Townsville, which is 4 hours away!
Well, finally, since it took too long to do the shopping and the full of alcohol for Christmas Eve, we will find a highway area less than two hours away.
Red Center : From Kangaroo island to Alice Springs
- Day 351 – Friday 13th of December 2019 : On the road again
- Day 352 – Saturday 14th of December 2019 : Opal Mine
- Day 353 – Sunday 15th of December 2019 : Red Center
- Day 354 – Monday 16th of December 2019 : Uluru
- Day 355 – Tuesday 17th of December 2019 : Mont Olga
- Day 356 – Wednesday 18th of December 2019 : Kings Canyon
- Day 357 – Thursday 19th of December 2019 : Amazing!
- Day 358 – Friday 20th of December 2019 : East side
I had to get up to play sports on the beach but finally I decided to go and call my friends. Quentin finds me a little later. We have breakfast but since I feel guilty about everything I ate yesterday I get motivated and I decide to go and do gluteal abs in front of Vanina; it’s beautiful lawn so perfect for playing sports while listening to the birds!
An hour later Quentin tells me that we may have to leave! Indeed it is super late! We take our showers and repack everything and then we go!
We go shopping in a store in Adelaide for fear of not finding this store again (we love their cereal and their Tasmanian yogurt). There is a large one in a crazy shopping center but impossible to park with the van! We spend twenty minutes finding a place, plus there are a lot of people and there are sort of highways all around! We find one in front of it by chance but we’re washed out! We forgot what it felt like to be in traffic!
We are going to eat in a Chinese restaurant in the mall before spending two hours shopping. After that we try to find a jerry can but it’s too hassle! We will finally find one after having struggled well then we will still have trouble finding our way with all their highways that mingle with each other, everyone who travels! A horror! We thought we were going beyond Port Augusta today but we are going to arrive there very late so we decide to find a campsite in Port Augusta and leave early tomorrow.
The road is long, we are tired but Quentin is good at the campsite. When we arrive we will cook directly. There is a group of young people … beaufs who drink and play cards and make a lot of noise. We eat and then we go to bed.
After having slept really well, we try to prepare quickly enough to leave early. We have quite a long way to go these two days.
The road will be long and monotonous for several hours. The only nice thing will be a few salt lakes that we will see on the way and three huge eagles on the coast eating kangaroos corpses. We will take gasoline regular enough not to have any worries …
After 5 hours of driving we finally arrive at Coober Pedy. It is the most important mining town in the country because of its opals. We would like to visit a mine suddenly. We’re going to the first one we spotted on the internet. It works by guided tour only suddenly while waiting we will read all the panels of the museum. It’s weird as a place, it’s all underground and they put a scented sprays on my nose. There is a shop in the gallery; we don’t find it super pretty, it’s a bit of a market jewel … yet there are stones that are worth € 2,000 … in short, we do not have the same values. There is a young girl who explains to me how to recognize stones and the different qualities m; it turns out that it will also be our guide for the visit. When it is time we must first watch a film about the one who initiated the search for opals in the region, the one without whom the city would not exist! We learn how opals are made in nature; it’s interesting but the movie dates from the 90s so it makes us laugh. The visit begins twenty minutes later. It’s super interesting! We learn that 70% of the people of the city live underground !! In fact it is so hot (today it is 43 degrees …) in summer (between 50-80 degrees!) That people cannot live in houses; they can’t make houses anyway because there are no trees in the area. So during the visit we discover how people lived until the 70s and how they live now. It’s too crazy! The girl explains to us how it is at home and that it is possible to create as many galleries and rooms as we want. The temperature in their burrows is 20-25 degrees all year round! We’re really happy to have learned all that. We continue the visit and she explains to us how the tunnels are formed and with what tools since the creation of the mine until today. After the visit we are really happy with our stop here!
On the internet I saw by chance that there was a canyon nearby which is called the Breakeways. The problem is that we have to pay an entrance fee but the visitor center is closed. I ask the girl who tells me that nobody checks and that suddenly we only have to go anyway! Okay, so here we go! After thirty minutes of driving there is only one word in your mouth: “wow! “. It’s very beautiful!!! The mountains have special shapes and ocher, brown, red, yellow and even white colors! We take full eyes! We will spend a moment there enjoying the scenery, crossing our fingers so as not to get caught without having to pay!
After this superb stop we decide to go a little further and find a free campsite for the night, hoping it will be cooler because the heat is really unbearable! The rest of the evening will be quiet: blog, food, film and sleep!
After hours and hours and hours of driving we are finally in the center of the country. It’s hot to die, it doesn’t look like it’s stuffy.
We finally see the famous Ayer’s Rock, the one that makes so many people cross the country and go into the desert.
We decided to stay at the campsite next to the site because all the trekking departures will be closer and we would like to do the sunrises.
We arrive in the early afternoon at Yulara. Well, that’s expected, it’s an amusement park for tourists. There are boutique lodges and a campsite. We are lucky there is a gas station nearby. We will take information at the tourist center and we see the temperature … 43 degrees …
After buying our tickets for the park, we will reserve our super expensive location … luckily there is water and a swimming pool! So we will spend no time there!
Around 7 p.m. we are going to make the sunset. The sky is overcast but it will remain very pretty. We will stay until late. A gentleman will come and speak for a while, he travels alone so he needs to speak!
In the evening we will not be able to park in our place because we were bitten; suddenly we will find a much better place and we will try to sleep the few hours we have left but it will be a bit difficult because it is always super hot.
After a very short night we hurry to get dressed to go to the park at the opening. They open at 5am and the sunrise is at 5.30am; it’s very stupid because it takes another ten minutes to get to the parking lot and another 5 minutes to get to the viewpoint! So we miss all the most beautiful colors!
This sunrise will be very pretty, at least what we could see! We then go to the start of the hike. We would like to go around the rock and it takes 4 hours. It must already be 30 degrees so the slower we will be the more difficult it will be!
We will see pretty formations and paintings. We will meet the gentleman from yesterday, very happy to see us again. Finally we will be able to hike in three hours but we will have been very hot!
Back at the campsite we will spend a lot of time cooking on the big bbq; I’ll even make pancakes for tomorrow morning! As it is horribly hot we will spend a little time in the common area which is shaded even if we die of hot; it’s no worse than in the van anyway!
After a game of board games we will hang out by the pool before going to watch the sunset. This time we got there before with cold drinks and a good picnic. Lack of luck the sky is very overcast and it’s not super interesting but hey, it makes time pass!
We come back then we say that finally we will stay a third night because it is free and it will allow Quentin to rest so as not to follow hikes in full dodger and 4h drive! Tomorrow we get up again at 4.30am to avoid the heat! I hope we can sleep better!
Here we go! After another super short night we get ready and we head towards the park. The day slowly begins to break. Today we are going to Mont Olga, it’s an hour’s drive from the campsite. With a little luck we may be able to see the sunrise there!
We hit the road by seeing the beautiful lights light up the sky. We are lucky, we will be able to see great colors on the mountains where we go! We will stop making a video but there will be so many flies that we will not stay long.
We arrive at the start of the hike and there are already a few cars! We thought we were quiet. We have our pancake breakfast then we go; we normally have 4 hours of walking. It’s super pretty! We manage to overtake people who left long before us and it will take less than two hours to go for the ride! Yet we weren’t going super fast! We were lucky, the sky was brooding and suddenly we were less hot. The valley was super beautiful. As we still have time and it is not too hot, we take the opportunity to take the second little walk around the corner; it will be less fun but it will work a little!
We come back then as it is only 10am we decide to go swimming. We will spend a good hour at the pool before spending two to cook! We’ll play and then we’ll go back to the pool.
In the evening we retry the sunset. We’re going there earlier, it’s still mega hot but at least we have our favorite spot to do the timelapse, hoping that it will be better than yesterday!
We arrive and we are the first, so we settle down, put our camping chairs and have our cold tea boiled in front of Uluru. We glean for an hour then people arrive, the same as yesterday. We greet each other. The sky, which was however very bright when we arrived, is covered and there we know in advance that the sunset will be rotten! No problem, we stay, we have an aperitif and we eat in front. When night falls we return to the campsite to sleep.
We wanted to sleep well but it is so hot in the van that at 7am we are already up!
We put it away then we’ll put Vanina in the shade. We’re going to have breakfast in the common area and then we decide to spend the rest of the morning at the pool. I hear a tourist saying that yesterday it was 48 degrees !!
We set off for Kings Canyon after lunch. It’s still over 43 degrees, it’s horrible !! The road is a bit long because of the heat but Quentin will not be too embarrassed which will allow us to arrive as planned! We could see the canyon on the road it looks beautiful! We arrive at the reception, we pay and then we settle down. There are not many people and we find the German couple that we have been following for three days.
We go to the swimming pool and we will stay there for hours!
At the end of the day we decide to go cook and then have dinner on a table outside because it is too hot in the van, it is difficult to breathe in so the air is not fresh. We will play after dinner and then we will try to go to sleep a little; the last nights have been very difficult!
Wake up at 4.30am again this morning, we go to the Kings Canyon. We slept really badly because of the heat. It’s always hot. We don’t have much travel; we will be the first in the parking lot. We have leisurely breakfast when we see tourist buses arriving !! The horror! It’s not even 5am but everyone wants to see the sunrise.
The start of the hike consists of climbing 500 steps to reach the top of the canyon. We leave after a lot of people but we will double everyone in the end! We see the sun which begins to illuminate the canyon with a magnificent red, it is splendid! We enjoy! We take full eyes! It has been a long time since we have been so happy hiking! The canyon is super beautiful, there are very beautiful geological formations everywhere! We make our time to walk, we take lots of photos and videos (we surprise Nat since we arrived in the red center). We finish the loop well before the scheduled time, it’s not even 8am !! Suddenly as it starts to get hot, we return to the campsite and we decide to take advantage of the swimming pool. We are lucky we will be alone all morning! We will spend almost 6 hours in the swimming pool before setting off again. It’s 44 degrees outside and we have a 4 and a half hour drive. It’s hard for me. Quentin will only have one break which will allow us to arrive before night at the campsite in Alice Springs. We choose one that has a swimming pool! It’s cool because there is wifi and a large kitchen. We will have dinner then after having looked a little at the things to do in the corner we will go to bed.
I can’t take this heat anymore !!!! We sweated all night! I even had to open the door of the van because I couldn’t breathe anymore!
We’re going to rinse off in the shower before we go to the east side of the MacDonnell Mountains.
When we are ready we leave; we are about an hour away. The sun is starting to rise it’s really beautiful because the road offers beautiful reliefs on each side. We will come across calves and kangaroos who luckily will not cross the road!
When we arrive we find a sign with the different hikes. We choose two short ones. We will not regret our choice, it is too too good! We are amazed by the beauty of the landscape! We take our time well in addition the sun finishes rising and it gives very beautiful colors to the red stones. You have access to superb panoramas! It’s too good!
After that we decide to go see an old preserved city; there is a long way to go before you get there, and the road is unfortunately not paved. The landscape is also very beautiful. At a given moment there are more and more stones so I think about Quentin that we don’t have to go there so as not to take the risk of puncturing a tire … ten minutes later, Quentin told me says he thinks we’ve lost a rim and I heard a strange noise. He stops to get the rim and I’m going to see the tire … which is punctured !!! Nooooo !!!! We are in the middle of an uncrowded road, it is 40 degrees and we are 1 hour from Alice Springs !! The horror! Well, we are still driving a bit and luckily we reach a section of paved road where we will have to stop because the tire tears more and more, that’s the end …
Good bin, you have to learn to change a wheel! I can stop a vehicle coming in the other direction but they won’t help us any more. I don’t know if it’s by chance, but we managed to stop in front of some kind of weird campsite. I cry but nobody, I will see but nobody. Well we are trying to change the tire but everything is super tight Quentin is really struggling; it’s hot and i have little sunstroke! I decide to go see the weird campsite if I find tools. I look then in the distance I see a 4 * 4 parked !! I’m going to see and there is someone !! An old bearded man who wants to help us! Phew !! I go back to Quentin then the gentleman, Peter, arrives. After lots of attempts with our tools, tools, manual and courage, Quentin finally manages to change the tire !!! Peter tells us to go to a garage as soon as possible because they all risk closing for a week for Christmas! We hadn’t thought of that at all! Staying stuck for another week here what a horror! We had gained days but not to stay in the desert with such temperatures !!! We thank him warmly and then we resume the cursed road.
We drive with a little apprehension but we will arrive in Alice Springs without problem. The mission now is to find a garage to buy a new tire and I would also like to have the brakes checked. We make three then we take the third which will make a good bill after learning that we were going to ask for reimbursement … must be reimbursed now! We are going to eat while waiting, Quentin wants to try a local fast-food: Hungry Jack. We will be disappointed unfortunately, nothing can match McDonald’s! We’re going to the tourist office to get information for tomorrow and then we go back to pick up Vanina at the garage.
When we’re done we go shopping. This is where we see all the misery of the red center; dozens of people are begging, and they are not “whites” but only Aborigines! It hurts because we are facing a big problem here, discrimination and social exclusion of a category of people. We go shopping and we take the opportunity to buy alcohol to celebrate Christmas in the van!
We go back to the campsite, settle down and prepare a few things before spending a good hour in the pool.
For dinner tonight we bought kangaroo! Very cool! We prepare this then we will eat while looking at the photos.
Tonight we sleep in the tent, I’m sure we will sleep better than my other days, we will surely be a little cooler … to follow!
From Melbourne to Kangaroo island
- Day 343 – Thursday 5th of December 2019 : Great Ocean Road
- Day 344 – Friday 6th of December 2019 : Enough
- Day 345 – Saturday 7th of December 2019 : Aborigenes
- Day 346 – Sunday 8th of December 2019 : Hiking & Driving
- Day 347 – Monday 9th of December 2019 : Kangaroo Island
- Day 348 – Tuesday 10th of December 2019 : Finally it is not too bad
- Day 349 – Wednesday 11th of December 2019 : Another day in the park
- Day 350 – Thursday 12th of December 2019 : Back to the continent
Arrive at 6am in Melbourne. We prepare our stuff and the time to get the van back and it will be 7.30am.
Today we start our adventure on the famous “Great Ocean Road”. But before that, Quentin would like to have breakfast in a French bakery on the road. It takes 45min to get there. We will be tempted by some good things even if the pastry cream was not to my taste … miss my sister’s cakes! Mine too!
We start again and we stop in places that I spotted on blogs. Small towns without charm and catch tourists with their trendy surf shops, beaches that have nothing to envy to Tasmania or even ours! We stop at a tourist office but the granny does not sell us a dream. We continue the road really disappointed by what we see. The road seems stale after two weeks in Tasmania. The coast is not steep and fairly flat, the sea is pretty but it is nothing extraordinary. It’s hard to understand why people are excited about this route! We have many more beautiful roads and coasts in Europe, in Brittany we do wow! but here we do not say anything. We had planned 4 days to make the coast but we will shorten the ride; we will do everything in one day! We try to find hiking but nothing seems interesting. There are waterfalls but nothing crazy after what we have seen except one that is 30 meters high where we go for a ride. I had spotted a place to see dozens of koalas … we will see only one and not on the right side if you know what I mean … We are getting fed up, besides we do not have the expected weather … it rains, it sells and it’s cold! We stop at another tourist office hoping that the lady offers us extraordinary things but no, nothing more. We take information about a national park that we had been told about (Marion from Melbourne’s Airbnb). We decide to go, even if it is far! So tonight we will try to make the end of the “Great Ocean Road” and tomorrow morning and then we will slowly go to the national park. I spotted a hike a bit difficult. We’ll see where it’s for maybe tomorrow. Lack of luck the road is horrible and when you arrive it’s high tide. So no hiking and out of the question to return tomorrow! The weather is clear. Not far from the most mythical site of the road, the 12 apostles, we decide to go there for the sunset. When we arrive it’s shielded from the world! Many of us have had this idea; but what a good idea! Even if the sky was overcast, the light was very beautiful and there, arriving in front of the 12 Apostles, I really had an emotion! I almost had tears in my eyes because it was so beautiful! Quentin too was dazzled by the landscape! We will stay a moment to admire the scenery and then we decide to go see two other points of view by far before going to find a campsite. It will not be as good as the official point of view. We start for camping and seeing a caravan a little hidden in the ferns, we say that we will do the same. We spotted a place next to a point of view. We decided to give it a try so as not to pay for a night that will be really short, because it is already 9 pm and tomorrow morning we plan to do the sunrise 5am. We put ourselves in our little corner and in the end it will be perfect because we will be sheltered from the wind. We do not see anything written that we cannot camp here so we decide to stay. I leave a note on the windshield in case a bastard would like to fine us. We have a great meal (steak, salad, beer and cider) then we go to bed directly after !
It is 5am and we hurry to get dressed to go to the parking of the 12 apostles. We are alone. We put away a little and when the first lights arrive we go to the point of view. It’s nice to be alone! The landscape is always beautiful but we preferred the colors of the sunset! We will stay there for an hour. People will arrive little by little. Quentin being tired we decide to go to the car park from another point of view to have breakfast. He will take a big nap with his mouth open while I write my blog. Having an urgent desire to go to the bathroom I woke up to return to the 12 apostles; he had to sleep well because he took ten minutes to get behind the wheel of the car. We decide to go back to see the view one last time as it is clearer and it does not rain; it’s prettier than this morning.
There are a lot of points of view to see; for some we can combine them and go for a walk. We decide to do that and for two hours we will walk along the coast, weaving our way between the tourists who arrive en masse! We are lucky it does not rain! The landscape is really beautiful. We see all kinds of different geological formations are arches and caves. It is very beautiful; this is the only interest of the famous Great Ocean Road! The end of the road! We will do all the points of view then we will go eat a super fish & chips in a bled on the road.
Having seen all the most interesting stuff in less than two days, we decided to spend the next two days in a park that we thought too far, the Grampians.
When we get there, after a little less than two hours, we go to the visitor center. The old gentleman who takes care of it gives us things to do and tells us that we can have a shower next door! Very good! So we take advantage! We shower and fill the van with water. We will go to sleep in a free camping not very far. The corner is super nice and there will not be many people. We will enjoy the calm and then go to bed after dinner.
After a good breakfast we set off towards Mont Abrupt for one of the prettiest hikes in the south of the park.
The start is only a ten minutes drive. On the way, a kangaroo will make us laugh; he will not know where to go and suddenly will slow us down a bit, hopping in fear before us on the road! When we arrive we get ready then we go! It’s a 3 hour hike but we will surely go faster. We’re going really fast! We meet a group of old people who call us goats because we quickly climb on the rocks. Less than an hour later we are upstairs. How beautiful! Too bad the sky is a little cloudy over the mountains. We stay a little and then we go down as fast as we went up. We meet again the fifteen old people happy to see us again.
Back in the van, we leave towards Halls Gap. It’s the big tourist town north of the park. We will ask there what is interesting to do but Quentin has already identified Aboriginal sites.
When we arrive we see lots of tourists. Here is the place to be for Australians in weekends or holidays. There are homes everywhere, tourist shops etc …
We go to the tourist office and are told about a big hike next door and an Aboriginal cultural center. So we decided to do the Aboriginal sites and the cultural center today and hike tomorrow morning.
The cultural center is really interesting. We learn a lot about two peoples who live here.
For the record, this place also interested us a lot because there is a lot of information on the aborigines. Today we say “Grampians” but the aborigines call this place “Gariwerd”. Here, two peoples with very similar languages have lived for almost 22,000 years, the Djab Wurrung and the Jardwadjali. In the 1830s only, Europeans arrived. They exterminated a part of the populations, controlled their spirits with Christianity, separated the families, created missions … Nowadays, the descendants still suffer from racism and discrimination. They still live in the area and do their best to preserve their culture.
The Aboriginal flag was not adopted until July 4, 1995 when it was created by Harold Thomas, an Aboriginal artist, in 1971. The flag was created as a symbol to showcase their identity. Black means people, aborigines; red corresponds to the earth and their spiritual relationship with it; yellow represents the sun, the one who gives life.
After this super interesting stop, we go to see three Aboriginal sites with very old cave paintings (22,000 years old). The area is deserted and dry. The landscape has changed! At the second site there is a hike to do; we decide to go there after seeing the paintings which are indeed very well preserved. The hike is quite sporty because you have to use your hands a lot, we do a little climbing but the game will be worth the candle because we will have a great view once at the top! It is super hot and dry here, it changes us in recent weeks! After this hike we will go to the last site with paintings. The road will be in bad shape, at least in 4 * 4 it would not have been embarrassing. We tremble with the van for a good stretch of the road then we reach the campsites where we can see the paintings. It’s a beautiful place, we take our time then we find another less damaged road that will bring us to our campsite in the evening. It’s cool, it’s free! There are a lot of people suddenly as we are the weekend and it is free; but we will find a place away from the eyes to park. We’ll spend two hours cooking our vegetables because this time we don’t want them to throw them away before we get on the ferry to Kangaroo Island. We still forgot to check before shopping …
After eating we will watch our series then we will have a big sleep!
Wake up early because we have a hike and road to do today.
We take our breakfast then we go towards Halls Gap. The journey will be short; we will come across a few suicidal kangaroos this morning and an emu.
We park Vanina (our van now has a first name) and leave Bouboule inside (this is our Christmas ball in the shape of a wombat head) then we start the hike. According to the tourist office we should have it for 4 hours in total but we think we are faster than that. We decide to start on the side with the most steps to do some sport. At times we have very nice views of the valley but we do not stop, the view will be more beautiful from above! After an hour of walking we arrive at the summit of Pinnacle. The view is breathtaking! We had to walk on big rocks with strange shapes. We see the mountains around us, the park and lakes. We take a moment then we go down another way a little longer. We will see gigantic rocks with ocher, gray, brown colors. We will go through a canyon and then follow a path for a long time. We return to Vanina very happy, we took 2h30 taking our time!
As it is possible to shower at the tourist office we decide to do that. I clean Vanina a little while Quentin is filling her with water. After that we will take a good shower! It’s nice because since we arrived in this park we finally have the time we hoped for when we returned from Tasmania: it’s hot and beautiful! So, we’re in summer clothes and we put away our jackets and sweaters!
Once we are clean we take the road again. We will make a stop at a rather cool point of view on another side of the valley; we will have lunch there. After this stop we will see a big waterfall. We thought there would be no water like the ones we were to see this morning were dry!
Quentin wanted to visit two other Aboriginal sites with cave paintings. Lack of luck, after an hour’s drive, the last part of the road is closed! They could have warned us at the tourist office! We turn back and we start the long road which will lead us to Cape Jervis, where we will have to take the ferry the day after tomorrow to go to Kangaroo Island. We are going to try to move forward more than expected today since we have shortened the program a bit.
On the road we will stop in Portland because Quentin spotted a forest of petrified trees. When we arrive not far from the site we start to see the sea! It’s so nice to see the sea with a blue sky and not to wear four layers of clothes! We pause on the coast so that Quentin regains some strength. There are great vintage cars next to us so we will take a closer look at them and then leave. We really don’t know what to expect because when we get to the parking lot we don’t see trees … we take the little path, we walk along the coast, it’s very beautiful. We see kinds of things that look like trunks covered with sand so we think that’s it. There is a small explanatory panel (finally!) And it tells that in fact it is not trees but very interesting geological formations due to the erosion of calcareous tubes that were created by erosion and rains for millions of years. The infiltration of water into the sand at the bottom of these limestone tubes then dissolved the limestone creating a mineral saturated with water which then sedimented the sand on which they rested, thus forming tubes with the appearance of trunk. It’s more or less understandable, that’s what was written on the panel …
After this beautiful walk on the coast we head to our last tourist stop of the day: Mount Gambier. There is a turquoise lake in the city, let’s see that! When we get there we learn that it is a volcanic lake, but hey, it is not extraordinary either so we continue the road towards the campsite.
The road is long to the campsite! We plunge into pine forests, we pass small villages of a few tens of inhabitants then nothing, just pines, pines, pines and at the end of an unpaved road that will have soiled all the interior from Vanina we will finally arrive at the lake! We thought we were alone but no !!! There are lots of people! Yet it’s so boring to go! There are people who have only come for the day. We park next to an old red Cadillac retro and super beautiful; the owners play the game thoroughly and even put music from the 50s! We admire the sunset that is splendid, it was worth the trip! In addition it is super well appointed and the owners do not ask for a fixed price, we give what we want! We make a few calls and then Quentin is going to take a dip in the lake.
Après avoir fait 8h de route on arrive enfin à Cape Jervis. Je propose à Quentin d’essayer d’aller sur l’île ce soir au lieu de partir aux aurores demain matin. Par chance, c’est possible ! On devra juste attendre la dernière minute pour savoir si oui où non il y a de la place pour Vanina sur le bateau. On aura de la chance et on arrivera sur l’île une heure plus tard.
Il fait gris. On cherche un camping. Le premier ne nous convient pas car les douches sont payantes et froides ! On décide de rouler une heure de plus. Quentin commence sérieusement à fatiguer. Celui-là fera l’affaire. On passera une soirée tranquille et on s’endormira sans aucun problème, les bières ayant fait leur effet !
After taking our time, go for a jog on the beautiful beach of the bay (and even Quentin did some sport!), We start the tours on the island.
First stop, seal bay; we should see sea lions on the beach. We hit the road, we see opening hours, strange … it’s a beach … We arrive on the site and there we hallucinate when seeing the prices! They want us to pay to go to the beach and go for a walk! As we have seen sea lions everywhere and even swum with them for FREE, there is no question that we pay to see them! We are disgusted, we leave and we will see the second interest of the corner: little sahara.
It’s a five-minute drive and you get there. Here too we see an entrance barrier. Luckily, you don’t pay if you don’t rent a surfboard. We will walk on beautiful dunes of golden sand. We will be out of breath arriving at the top of the highest. We will take a nap before deciding to leave. At that moment, Quentin gives me his glasses, but I’m not paying attention. Three seconds later I can’t see him anymore and I notice that he is going down the dune while rolling sideways! He did it ! It was said laughing but he did! He arrives downstairs full of sand and very happy with him! After a good laugh we decided to go for two races and to take gas at the mini supermarket in the corner … serious mistake … the worst of all around the world. We take gas (which is 40 cents more than on the mainland …) and then buy vegetables. The girl tells us an exorbitant price but no reaction from us. Once in the car we see that we spent 30 euros on broccoli, two avocados and a packet of pasta… We hate ourselves but to continue in our stupidity, we don’t even go to the convenience store Food ! Anyway, we had to make a lobster restaurant here, well we won’t worry! So we have a second time the balls this morning.
We continue the road, which is, at times, horrible! We arrive at the national park of the island. We have to pay the entry for the day but we learn that by staying in the campsites we won a day and 10 AUD on the entrance to the park! Nikel, we’ll spend two nights there! We take a look at everything we can do in the area and organize ourselves for the next two days. The ranger tells us that there are five koalas in the parking lot and that we should see several on the path of the small hike around the visitor center. So, let’s go! We start hunting for koala and we will be luckier than on the Great Ocean Road, today we will see 18! We’re super happy because we see them very well and they’re not very high.
After this ride we. Go see the different centers of interest on the road. There are three important ones that allow us to admire the magnificent southwest coast of the island. We will see beautiful geological formations and, to cheer us up, sea lions! We will make small walks to see viewpoints then Quentin will want to go see a bay just after the campsite. Lack of luck the road is awful! We find it endless! We will eat in front of the bay of the coup, before making this road again to arrive at the campsite. The tidy gave us a great site to park our van. We settle down and then sleep!
Quentin tells me that if I want to do sport it is now because afterwards he will not be motivated … well we do sport then! Very good ! We do our little session next to the van and then we go for a nice walk that will take us on beautiful rocks. We will see great caves and a magnificent bay. It will be short but it was worth it. Quentin spotted another walk not far off, so here we go. The road will be rotten all along but we will have a nice walk on the dunes leading to a bay.
After lunch we return to the visitor center for a long walk. On the map it is marked that we should see platypuses … mouais … we will have waited in front of the small lakes, without making a sound, but we will not have seen anything! At one point we thought we had seen one but when zoomed in on the photo, it was a turtle with a huge neck! We continue the walk, we will see a big lizard, echinids, beautiful birds and, two pigs! They scared us these two! The hike is monotonous, we are bored. Around 4 p.m. we almost start running because we absolutely have to get gas but the hotel with the gas pump closes at 5 p.m! We are walking super fast and we will be lucky we will see a koala towards the end.
We take the gas and then we will see a lighthouse northwest of the island, a bay at the bottom of the campsite and as it is still a little early we will be a part of “dueling” while eating. The rest of the evening we will listen to a podcast on alcohol addiction because we think of all the alcohol we have planned to drink to celebrate our one-year trip, Christmas and New Year’s Day!
After having a good morning this morning we set off for a first hike not far from the campsite. Well it will not be the most beautiful hike of our life, but we will have seen a pretty cove with some caves and on the return a big local lizard.
We then leave in the direction of Kingscote in order to find local beer and honey. Lack of luck where we’re going it’s closed! So we decide to eat something in the port parking lot and then go have a dessert in a cafe that sells chocolate. We will have fun with a wafle and a cheesecake before hitting the road. We will find a honey seller and we will take the opportunity to taste all their products … yum …
There is a beach nearby where you could potentially go swimming so you decide to go. She is really super beautiful but lack of luck it’s low tide! So we will walk on the white sand and try to sunbathe. As there is no one there I put myself in panties … what an exhibitionist! But the sun is burning our skin and we decide to leave after thirty minutes. I would have put on my swimsuit I would have gone without the water, it was a little warmer than in Brittany.
We decide to go to sleep near the ferry and leave a day earlier, I managed to change the ticket to leave at 5 am tomorrow, but Quentin offers to go and see if we can leave today. When we arrive we see the ferry that takes the last passengers on board but we don’t see room for us. I get out of the car to ask if we can go to the next one but the guy calls me and wonders if we want to leave now! Very good! So he finds us room and then we leave!
An hour later we arrive at Cape Jervis. We need to do some laundry so we’re going to pay for a campsite near a beach halfway to Adelaide. It’s not bad, you can cook and there is wifi! We arrive, we come to the station and there I see the hoses … Vanina is super dirty … good bin, I’m going to the pellet, I clean Vanina with automatic watering! All the brown dust falls on the ground and we find a little its original color! I’m trying to be quick because it’s a bit of shame! It will make two old men who pass in front of me laugh anyway! They told me it was well thought out! I take this opportunity to clean the interior which is super mega dirty also before putting everything in the washing machine. We will then spend hours in the large cooking room and use the wifi while waiting for our laundry to be ready. Around 11 p.m. we are finally going to bed but I have too much trouble sleeping because there was a toaster and suddenly I ate lots of cheese toast … and combined with waffle and ice cream vanilla of this aprem I have a little stomach ache …
- Day 325 – Friday 22nd of November 2019 : Tasmania
- Day 326 – Saturday 23rd of November 2019 : East coast
- Day 327 – Sunday 24th of November 2019 : Hazard Beach & Wineglass Bay
- Day 328 – Monday 25th of November 2019 : Maria Island
- Day 329 – Tuesday 26th of November 2019 : Cape Hauy
- Day 330 – Wednesday 27th of November 2019 : Cape Raoul
- Day 331 – Thursday 28th of November 2019 : Wildlife
- Day 332 – Friday 29th of November 2019 : Mount Field National Park
- Day 333 – Saturday 30th of November 2019 : Mont Rufus
- Day 334 – Sunday 1st of December 2019 : Waterfalls
- Day 335 – Monday 2nd of December 2019 : Snow & Cold
- Day 336 – Tuesday 3rd of December 2019 : Cradle Mountain
- Day 337 – Wednesday 4th of December 2019 : Platypus
Although the ferry was more luxurious and more comfortable than the last one we took (Tonga, horrible experience …), I had trouble falling asleep. Quentin snored him well. The trip is still fast. We arrived at 6am in Denvonport but the time to get out of the ferry, we set foot in Tasmania only from 7am. There was a whole group of bikers on the ferry with nice bikes that they gently purred out of the boat, it was nice.
We leave the ferry with the banana, it is super nice and we are very happy to be here. We start the road to go to a small town which I read some good stuff, Launceston. We arrive early enough, too early even, the tourist office is not yet open. We park side by taking care not to have a fine this time … We take our breakfast and when the office is open we will ask for information and buy our pass for the national parks. The guide tells us that there are some great free campsites in some places with views and direct access to the sea; perfect, we have a goal for the night! He gives us some tips to visit. We thank him then we will try to visit a park, the “Cataract Gorge Reserve”. This is a kind of canyon. Well, it’s cute but not foufou. We went for a walk and then we will just go shopping (well yes we had to throw everything before getting on the ferry …) before heading back to the road.
Now we go to the Low Head Conservation area. Quentin noticed that we could see penguins there. The road is pretty. When we arrive we are super happy because the view is very beautiful. There is a beautiful red and white lighthouse overlooking the granitic coast and luckily we saw a baby penguin and a wallaby (after the lighthouse keeper). After this short walk and a small picnic we will discover the beautiful beaches of Bridport, a beautiful blue lake, another lighthouse in another park and we will end our journey on the Bay of fire. There is a campsite perfectly located along the beach. The sand is just beautiful! White ! and the water and turquoise … the dream. In the distance we see plenty of big pink granite rocks; it looks a lot like the pink granite coast in Brittany.
We settle a little better in the van and I will cook our first real meal in it. We are super happy and we will enjoy until Quentin collapses from fatigue (he drove well at the same time!).
This morning I get up before Quentin and I will do my first jogging around the world, woop woop! I even bought super shoes to motivate me. I’m going to run along the beach. I start going on the sand but after five meters I go back … the sand is too soft I’m out of breath! I will continue on the road but as it runs along the beach is pretty. I will see that we are not the only ones to camp! I run well forty minutes before finding Quentin, I can motivate to do buttocks abs on the beach.
When we are done, we set up our picnic table in front of the sea and we have a great breakfast.
After that, we put everything away and we go walking along the beach. It’s nice but it’s cool. We go to the granite rocks and we discover other beautiful beaches. We still enjoy an hour before returning to the road. We will make stops in other places of the bay history to see all the points of interest.
For lunch we will stop in a city, St Helens. This city has only interest (for us) to find water to fill our tank. We see rescue workers at sea who sell sandwiches so we buy them one. I see that it pleased Quentin so I take one too but I do not feast too much.
We take water, we put 25L in the tank! They did not have to rent the van! We take the road and we discover beautiful countryside. We stop in a small town they talked about in blogs but, again, without much interest. There will be just a pretty place with granite. We continue the road and we go to the Freycinet National Park. There are several things to see. Our first stop will be the “Friendly beaches”. Beautiful white sand beaches. We will take a break from an hour to look at the sea and we will have the chance to see a kangaroo. After this short break, and as it gets late, we decide to go and see where tomorrow’s hike will start and then find a free campsite. The one where we stop will not be as good but hey, it’s free! We cook, we eat, we take care of and we do a big sleep.
We wake up super early this morning to go for a big hike along two bays: Hazard Beach & Wineglass Bay. We take our breakfast and when we leave we galley a little because yesterday we had the good idea to park … in sand! So we try to remove a little sand. Quentin puts the boards of the bed (a cramera half by the way …) and after several attempts we manage to leave! It’s really cold this morning, it’s like Patagonia!
On the road we cross lots of kangaroos! They are not very shy. They eat quietly at the edge of the road.
We park, we look at the route, 5h walk round trip. Okay, we’re leaving. The trail is very well marked. We sink into a kind of vegetation that reminds us of the scrubland. At times we walk on big stones of pink granite and we see the sea. We advance really quickly, I have the shape! We arrive at the first beach in an hour and a half less than expected … we wonder how they have do their own time! The beach is beautiful. Fine sand, pink granite and turquoise sea. With more sun we would have really done “wow! ” I think. We walk quietly then we join another path that makes us walk in another type of small forest. There is more vegetation. It’s pretty too. The trail is very easy to the other beach which is just as beautiful. We admire the landscape then the path becomes too boring, steps! during one hour ! So no squats tonight is certain! We go up, it seems endless. When we get to the point of view it’s very beautiful. We will look at the landscape before going down to the van. Finally we will have walked only 3h30min. It’s perfect. We decide to eat mussels in a restaurant producer on the road! It is not far from the campsite where we were. This is very cute. We make fart! I ask the server if there are fries but it is in addition … mussels without fries?! Not for two French missing! So we fart fries, local beer and cider with our mussels and we fart the bide! It is delicious ! We take our time. We stop on some beautiful bays. At each turn we discover another beautiful beach. Tasmania is really wonderful! The landscapes are tops! We drive then at one point Quentin tells me we could go on Maria Island. I had not mentioned it again because he told me it was going to be expensive and that we had plenty to do on the Big Island. So, I do not say no because it looked too good! We go to the “city” where the ferry leaves. We take information and we decide to spend the night here in Triabunna, and make a round trip to the day, as there is no accommodation on the island and we do not especially want to to go camping (it’s too cold at night …). The lady at the office tells us that we can stay in the garden next door and that it will cost the price we want to give. She tells us 5 AUD for example so we will give 5 AUD! I ask where we can take a shower … she told me behind! but it pays … crazy, I pay (2 euros …) and I go to shower! It had been three days since I had not showered … and well the hot shower did a good job! When I’m clean we go take a little water in a tap and then we’ll park at the bar. I ask the waitress how it works. I’m having a lot of fun because there are at least eight very fat old gentlemen chaining the beers and teasing the waitress who is not ugly. I put some money in the box then we’ll have a little tea on our garden table with Quentin playing scrabble. We will fight not to fall asleep but we will not fizzle!
We wake up very slowly this morning. There was a lot of wind in the night and it made the van shake. Quentin really slept well because he did not feel anything! We get ready, we put everything away, we have breakfast, then we go to the ferry; today we go hiking on Maria Island.
There are a lot of people! We go up, the journey will last thirty minutes.
When you arrive on the island, the first thing you see is the ruins and a beautiful white sand beach. It’s promising! The island was once inhabited but now there are only rangers, tourists in the only hotel and in the campsite. It is 9.30am, and we have to resume the ferry at 5pm. The hike that Quentin would like to take potentially takes 5 hours and there are two other nice things to see that take in the two hours each … in other words, we must not hang out! So we leave the ferry and we start the trek thoroughly the checkout. There is a couple of sexagenarians in front of us that goes super fast! Quentin tells me he heard they speak French. We try to catch up with them but they are too fast. On the way there are plenty of kangaroos (or wallabies) and at one point we see a big ball of hair, a wombat! We are so happy! The other two also. We all stop in front. He is huge and full of hair, he is too adorable! Once we have cooed in front of this animal too pretty, Quentin and I cut to the right (super steep climb but we are ahead of the other two, mouahahah) and arrive at the top of a platform. The view is superb! We see, far away, very far, our goal of the morning. We continue the road, super fast. We cross a forest of eucalyptus too beautiful, the trail starts to climb. We hold on, we advance without stopping. The path becomes more and more difficult, it rises really steeply and at a time we will have to walk on big stones on a very steep slope. In other words, it’s hard! Finally we have been super fast, we will arrive in less than two hours! It’s nice, the view is top! We go for a walk. The couple arrives, there is also another couple and a French girl with us at the top. We go down again and we try to go as fast as possible with Quentin to return to the port.
Now we want to reach a beach where the mountain that is attached to it has beautiful colors. We go fast, it’s hot, we feel that the sun burns our skin. We cross the city of Darlington with its old houses and ruins, we see the campsite (we are happy not to be there because it is filled with kids), we see the coast then we reach the beautiful white sand beach and sea turquoise where a Chinese spends hours taking pictures … we arrive on time because the sea begins to rise slowly. We arrive at a beautiful coast, with brown and white colors. It’s extraordinary. We rarely saw anything like this.
We enjoy the landscape, we eat and then we go for the third ride; this time we go to the other side of the harbor to reach a coast with crustacean fossils that are millions of years old. We have sore legs and we are super tired (we walk for at least 5h non stop). Finally we will arrive much faster than expected but it will be less exciting than it seemed. We will see lots of fossils of eights or other molluscs … cool. By cons the view is super beautiful. We do a quick tour then we draw on our last resources to try to arrive before the next ferry to return sooner. We still have two good hours of roads to do before arriving at our next Tasmanian stage. We see the ferry in the distance, we go faster and we finally arrive right on time! We settle down and we collapse with fatigue. The journey will be fast. Quentin will have a big coffee before taking the road.
He cannot find his sunglasses … weird. We search a little but they are not there. We continue for an hour and at a time Quentin tells me he thinks they have forgotten at the tourist office! It is almost 17:30 and the tourist office will close! I call, leave a message, call back, and finally call back. They have good glasses! Cool ! Good bin, we turn back … we will make the road tomorrow morning. Unfortunately for us, the showers will be closed when we arrive and there will not be on the road … it will stink in the van!
We arrive at Triabunna, we park in the same place and we will rest before we eat loads of pasta with pesto and snore until tomorrow!
It rained a lot this night, and it’s always ugly when you wake up. We prepare everything and we eat our breakfast then we go get the glasses of Quentin. Once retrieved we leave towards Cape Hauy on another bay. Luckily the sky emerges on the way, so that when we get there it will be a great time!
We take information from the ranger and we will be stalled for lunch before starting the hike. As the days are long we take our time. We are lucky, we have visitors next to the van: a wallaby mother and her baby who sucks. We eat and then we start. We decide to put ourselves in “sport mode”. The hike is supposed to be 4h round trip but we will do everything to reduce walking time! We go to the bottom of the box, at first we say that it’s easy then there are steps, hundreds of steps! It goes down and it goes back for a long time! It’s good for the glutes! The road is beautiful, we walk in a eucalyptus forest and we arrive on the cape. We find ourselves facing a splendid rocky coast! We are super excited. We continue our journey but there is an icy wind that whips us the whole body! When we finally arrive at the top, no other word than “wow! “. That’s wonderful ! We benefit as much as our body allows us and then we turn back as fast as we can. We will finally be able to have decreased the hike of an hour and a half!
The beach at the parking is too beautiful: white sand, turquoise sea (we will get tired you think?). I tell Quentin that I’d like to bathe … I change. We go to the beach and I will put my feet in the water. Uh … I will not go swimming in fact. I feel like I’m walking in a piece of ice cream! It is colder than in Brittany! I return to Quentin before losing a toe and after doing some stretching we take the road to sleep near our next hike, Cape Raoul.
There is not much choice for accommodation on the road, there is only one in fact. It is a big campsite with everything a camper can dream about: large fully equipped kitchen, pizza oven, bbq, washing machines, wifi, fireplace, and most importantly, the hot shower! Foot ; well we pay him so it’s normal that he is good. We get ready, we go to shower, then we decide to cook in the common room. There are a lot of people. We hear German, Dutch and French. We enjoy the wifi dinner and soon after the French father comes to type the discussion. He is super nice and as crazy as I am! We talk for hours, his wife joins us, she too very friendly. Around 22:30 we go to bed. We see lots of wallabys everywhere and the sky is beautiful, we see the milky way.
We leave the campsite quite late today. We have a half-hour drive before arriving at the beginning of the trail. The road is fast. There are some cars parked already. We see the Canadian couple we met on Maria Island! It’s funny. They are greeted by starting the hike and then they go to the bottom.
We start fairly quickly too. The trail starts in some kind of eucalyptus forest but there are other types of plants and trees. Many different species that smell divinely good! We advance, it goes up slowly but surely. We feel our muscles that ask us to finish as soon as possible! We see a first point of view, it’s super beautiful! It has a clear view of a bay and a beautiful coast.
We continue the road then it starts to go down quickly. We arrive at another point of view where we see where we are heading. It’s far and flat! Hmm … that means we’re going to do a mega downhill that will hurt us back! We go down and the landscape changes, we cross a real forest then a sort of scrubland and then we arrive on the flat area. It is very beautiful as a type of landscape. It’s a little desert with vegetation in the south of France. We walk for a moment then we arrive at another majestic point of view. We find ourselves facing a coast of basalt tubes of endless length. It’s impressive and it would almost make you dizzy! We admire the landscape, we walk to the end of the trail. We meet a girl we had seen the day before, so we greet her. Once at the end the path separates in two: a point of view to see sea lions and another to go to the end of the cape. We start with the sea lions. We arrive at the point of view in five minutes, it’s beautiful! We see all the blocks of basalts and tooooooooouuuuuut down, a small group of sea lions that gild the pill in their all-white poop. We admire and we go to the other side. The view is completely different. We see two bays on each side, it’s just as beautiful. The Canadians we had doubled en route arrive with a big smile. We talk for a moment then we turn back with Quentin because according to the indications, the return should last three hours! We will advance super fast finally, we will double the girl who will tell us that we go super fast! It will take half less time than on the indications and we will take the opportunity to lengthen the ride a little to go see another point of view. We will eat something on the run and then we will go to see the ruins of an old mine where people were forced to work (a lot of prisoners). Well, they are ruins but so ruins mode that in some places there are only three bricks on the ground. This is not particularly exciting so we try to leave quickly but we are engaged in an endless path!
An hour later we arrive at the van. We head back to a campsite in the middle of nowhere on the road to Hobart. On the way we will stop in a chocolate factory … I do not know if it’s luck or fate but we’ll arrive 6 minutes before closing time! We will buy good chocolate (I will finish almost all mine in less than five minutes).
The road to the campsite is different, we see a beautiful bay with lots of farms. It’s pretty dry in places. We enter an area that seems empty! We walk along a river and then we go into the countryside to finally arrive at Mick’s campsite, a nice gentleman with an indescribable accent! I think his accent would make the Scots shudder! The campsite is simple but pleasant, especially the common room which has a great fireplace and old armchairs. I’m going to shower. The showers are paying, it’s 1 AUD every 2 minutes! I do everything to use only 1 AUD but it was limited! Quentin decides not to shower because he saw the sports area next to where we are parked (muscular machines) … he and I have a doubt that he gets up for to play sports but to follow!
We decided to go to the common room and cook. There’s a guy coming in with the same accent as Mick, so I’m asking him where he’s from; he comes from here! it is therefore a local accent. Looks like an accent from Oklahoma or Texas. We talk a little with him then we have dinner and we gland before going to bed.
After a little jog in the park, I’ll find Quentin who gets up just barely. We will take a hot shower trying not to spend too much money and then we go to the common room to have breakfast. There are the same two couples of the day before. We have lunch quietly then we start to go to Hobart, the capital of Tasmania. Yesterday to the information we saw that it was the city of Australia where rents were the most expensive!
We drive for an hour and then we find ourselves on a big highway full of people. We decide to go to the botanical garden, because Quentin saw that there might be a visitor center. The garden is really beautiful and well maintained. There are all kinds of plants and a kind of vegetable garden where volunteers come to put their hands on their paws. We walk for a while then we decide to go downtown; there was no visitor center in the end.
To enter the main street is unbearable! There are a lot of people and lots of lights everywhere! In addition to park is too boring because there are not many places. We found one after a while, not far from a restaurant I had spotted on the lonely planet guide. On the ticket machine it says that we can only park an hour so we will be quick because we see a man who rode to put plums! The city is not very beautiful and not interesting. We will still see a beautiful stone cathedral, with a wooden roof. We’ll see places Quentin has spotted near the harbor. There is a sort of place that has been refurbished and seems to bring together a lot of local artists and gallery owners. We will do a quick tour before returning to the car park. On the road I meet a policeman and I ask him how parking places work because on the signs it is not clear. In fact there are many different types of panels that tell you if you can park 15min, 1h or more and so up to how many times you can renew your ticket to the ticket machine … a real mess and not at all practical if you want to go shopping because almost all places have a duration of 15min to 1h! So, we must change parking space! It will take twenty minutes to find one that lasts only one hour! Lack of luck the restaurant recommended by the lonely planet is nil suddenly we had to find another soon enough!
After a good meal, as we are drunk from this city we decide to leave illico towards our next destination for the night with a stop in a kind of zoo to see the devil of Tasmania.
A little less than an hour later we arrive at the Borongo Wildlife Center. We pay the entrance which is super expensive … and we learn that in five minutes there is a guided tour to see wombats, Tasmanian devils and koalas. So when the guide arrives we learn that this center is a refuge for animals that have been injured or have health problems, that the money we gave them is ultimately used to treat them and release them. Well, we are happy to have paid. The guide makes us see a wombat and we can even pet! Well do not do this when they are over two years because apparently they can fuck you with their claws because they are super aggressive … one thing we remember is that they make squares cacas and that it remains one of the great mysteries of life. We continue the visit and we see the devils of Tasmania! It’s super cute actually! They are endangered because of a cancer of the face that exterminates them. The cause is still unknown. Then we go see koalas! Very cool ! It’s less cute than I thought and I learn that it is useless and that it is one of the stupidest animals that exist … good … We continue the rest of the visit alone. We can feed kangaroos with seeds that we were given at the entrance. There we see the difference in a wallaby and a kangaroo … the kangaroo is mega big! We will see plenty of beautiful birds in recovery and other mammals that we will surely never see in nature because living at night or hiding well during the day! Lack of luck we will not have time to see one or two sections before closing (we get thrown out because we put too much time and they want to close …). We leave super happy anyway!
We take the road again and we will do some shopping for the week. The guy at the cash desk asks us to confirm if we are French. He tells us that only the French have shopping cart filled with healthy things and fruits and vegetables!
We will arrive at Mount Field National Park at the end of the day. We park at the park’s campsite. It is full of people but there is a nice place a little sheltered from view and in front of the river. We will have a good meal before going to collapse with fatigue! The last days have been good sports!
After a heavy night’s sleep, we wake up slowly. We slept so well we were tired! We decide to go for a shower this morning because there are not many people and we will not go for big hikes. The shower is hot and free, it’s nice!
Once we are ready we go to the start of the car ride. We take information at the visitor center then we start! Today it will be small simple hikes.
We make it a first for a little less than two hours in the forest. That’s wonderful ! We see lots of beautiful waterfalls and huge trees! They are the tallest and oldest in Australia. The forest is really nice. We take our time, we see lots of cockatoos in the trees! It’s too good! There are also parakeets of all colors. We take this opportunity and then we return to our van.
We take the road to go to another hiking trail. We have lunch in the van before starting again. We start from a lake, it’s pretty pretty. We move slowly and at the end of five minutes we hear a group of teenagers who speak super loud … we let them go hoping not to cross them again but they are always where we want to stop …
The scenery is nice for a while then you have to go up the road. We see signs for ski slopes! It makes us laugh, why not after all! At the end of an hour after our departure we arrive finally at the top with a pretty point of view on the valley and the river. We take advantage of it a bit and then go down again by another way to see lakes. We will not see platypus unfortunately. We will have searched but none of them will be released!
Finally, we who wanted to not walk too much today will still have five good hours!
We take the road and now we go to Lake St Clair, starting point of our big hike tomorrow. The road is winding and seems endless. Two hours later we arrive in the corner. On the app there was not a lot of camping. We could park in the parking of a hotel-restaurant provided we consume and suddenly we lose a sense of campervan. I spotted other places but we do not see them. We turn a little and then we start in small trails where is indicated a national park. Bongo! It’s here ! Except that the road is half flooded. No problem, we will find a place to stay for the night. There are three other vehicles parked in their corner, no place for more! The place is very beautiful. It is a river that has overflowed and suddenly there are huge trees in the middle that I think are dead. It’s freezing cold tonight. I cook and once we have dined, we immediately warm up in our sleeping bags and we will not leave before tomorrow!
Wake up at 6:30 this morning, it’s cold, it’s really cold! We wonder when we could have been cold! We breakfast and prepare our stuff trying not to lose our toes and fingers. We go back to see the lake, because even if it’s very cold, there is sun and it’s even prettier than yesterday. After that we start for the park. We take information from the ranger who carries his vacuum on the back (seeing it I immediately have the music of Ghost Busters that came into my head … I should have made him the joke!). She tells us to be wary because we should have rain and snow! Okay, well, we take the information, we know that we can change direction at any time so we do not worry more than that, especially since we are well equipped (I had five layers of clothes on me starting the hike).
We go, we left for about seven hours of walking. The sign indicates 3h to go to the top of Mount Rufus, our goal of the day. We give two! We cross a beautiful green forest. The path climbs quietly but nothing frightening. When we come out there, we see the mountain with snow, the vegetation is still different and brown, it’s super pretty. We continue our climb, we meet a group of young people lying on the ground, we exceed them and we finally arrive at the moment when we really work our muscles. When you arrive at the top you think you are at the highest point but no, there is still a good fifteen minutes of walking and in the distance, it looks like it’s raining! Stack above Mount Rufus! So we think we’re going super fast, we’ll quickly admire the view before going down. It’s selling and it’s fresh! We advance as fast as we can on the pebbles, it’s really not nice. We see the valley on each side is beautiful! You can see all the peaks of all the surrounding mountains, as well as lots of lakes. When we do not get very far, we notice that it is not rain that falls but snow! Oh, balls! We accelerate and we go around the promontory. The view is partially cleared. It’s pretty ! We put on a layer of clothes then we start the descent but through another path. The snow stops falling but the icy wind will linger a little while. The path is very well done, we walk on wooden boards to avoid damaging the vegetation. There is moss, small green and pink shrubs, original plants and all kinds of flowers. It is really nice. We will walk a long time in this landscape before entering the forest Merlin the enchanter. It is really nice ; the trees are full of moss. Here again the path is well traced; we slalom between the trees and we pass small streams. When we come out of the forest, this is another type of landscape that awaits us. It is impressive this richness in terms of vegetation! We really enjoy the ride even if it is not so difficult compared to the others we have done the previous days. By cons, after four-five hours we really start to tire. We will finally arrive six hours later at the visitor center. We will have slowed the pace a bit after climbing to Mount Rufus, to appreciate the landscape.
We are lucky, we can shower at the visitor center and the water is hot! So we go there. Quentin is tired, and as we are ahead of our schedule, he proposes to go back to sleep at the same place tonight and tomorrow to start the road to Mount Craddle (8h of hiking planned) but in mode of relaxation and not not do too much. It suits me, it’s him driving and driving left van I think it’s very tiring!
When we are ready, we go to the flooded campsite. There is another place where there is no one yet. Many people will be had thinking that the road is passable but some will run into the water! It’s getting colder tonight. I’ll try to take a nap and Quentin will read. We will break down a box of cookies that was to last a week, in two days … so much so that I have a stomach ache … well, I suspected that I would have a stomach ache but they are rather good ones! Good spend the evening quietly, we digest, we remake and then sleep!
After having breakfast and repacked all our stuff we start the road to go to Cradle (objective hike) without really knowing where we are going to sleep tonight.
It is not very nice and we are cold. We drive in the gray and in the rain.
We will make a first stop to see Nelson Falls. It is a beautiful waterfall in the middle of the forest. The ride is really not complicated and will take half as long as indicated on the signs (as usual I want to say!). We will take the road again and it will be more and more ugly, not super nice for Quentin driving.
We see that there is another waterfall on the road of the coup we are tempted despite the rain. We will go very quickly to the point of view before leaving.
We arrive in the first village, after a long time on the road. We need to refuel gas and gas. The village is pretty creepy. He is famous for his steam train (which is pretty). Looks like a ghost town. We take gas and gas at a campsite nearby. Then we decide to go to an alcohol shop to buy wine, beer and cider. The lady tells us that in the pub next door we can have wifi. We decide to go there to eat but bad luck we arrive ten minutes too late! End of service! We see the dishes of other people who look delicious … a couple gives us his fries are excellent! We will drink something and then eat sweets in the van before leaving.
We decide to go to a cottage called Strahan to sleep. We stop at the tourist office and the girl tells us two places. Here too it is a small town without charm and a little sad; but there is the sea! We will see the first campsite that asks us 44 AUD to park! No thanks, we pay enough for the van not want to add a price just to park it! The people are crazy ! There is another campsite next door. The little lady is nice and offers us 25 AUD by making a discount! I did not even have to ask! It’s perfect. There is everything we need and we even have a great wifi! We will do a little trick, we will be tempted by an Australian ice cream, which must compete with Magnum because they are bigger and better! We will spend the evening on the internet and cooking. The weather is not improving so we do not really want to go out anymore.
We motivate ourselves the best we can. We are not in a hurry. We have a good breakfast and we will see the Hogarth Fall. It is not far from the campsite. We will take a walk in a beautiful forest and we will even be lucky, it will not rain during the walk! The waterfall is not super pretty but it will have made us walk a little.
We take the road again and we stop to see sand dunes! Amazing landscape because we do not expect to see such things in the area. We stop and we walk a good half hour in the sand. It’s nice, it changes us and in addition we have blue sky at times.
After this stop we go towards the national park. We hope to be able to hike to the top of the summit tomorrow morning, there is 8 hours of walking. When we get there … it snows and sells! It’s horrible ! We go to the tourist office and the lady tells us that it will not be possible today and tomorrow even less … well … it still gives us other hikes to do. The weather is really depressing. We go in the van and discuss what we will do lunch. It’s snowing very hard at times. We play a board game and then we decide to go for a walk. You have to take the bus in this park to get to certain areas. We decide to go for some walks that last between 20min and 1h each. We get off the bus. There is wind but not too much rain. We start and there we will see many beautiful places and beautiful waterfalls. The vegetation is still different from what we have seen elsewhere and the trees are covered with moss. At times it snows and it makes the landscape even more beautiful. We enjoy the ride despite the cold, rain, snow and wind. At the end of the day we take the bus and we decide to go to the campsite next to the park. I go down and ask for the price that makes me almost have a heart attack. We decide to find a free place but it will not be so simple … We will be sinking in a broken road and the only place available (the others being flooded) will be taken. We decide to continue the road and we discover a great place in the middle of nowhere. We decide to put ourselves there. It is terribly cold. We have frozen bones! We settle down, we take out our game, we start the game and there, snowstorm! We look at each other and we think we should not stay here … if we are stuck because of the snow or mud it will be very annoying, especially since we have to take the ferry the day after tomorrow ! We turn back then, the snow whipping our windshield. We will cross lots of wallabies covered with snow trying to avoid us. Twenty minutes later we will reach the end of the road and we will go far … no choice, there is no other place and we can not camp anywhere (a ticket was enough!). We will continue a few kilometers and we will go on a free parking. There will be another vehicle only. I’ll do the cooking by freezing my hands. After the meal we will dress really warm and I will sleep with two sleeping bags so it will be cold in the van!
It’s hard to wake up this morning, it’s so cold. Quentin has put his alarm clock at 6:30 but it is still a dirty time suddenly we take too much time, so much so that we will arrive after 9am at the visitor center. It snows not bad, and big flakes and more! Personally I want to leave because I tell myself that we will not see anything. But Quentin wants to stay, just in case, and hike with the mountain view, even if we can not climb it. Suddenly, we redid tea and coffee, and we embarked on a board game. When we see that the sky stops spitting snow on us, after the game of course, we decide to go for a hike; not the one that goes to the top unfortunately, but the one that goes at least to the top of the crater.
We get dressed and then we take the bus. The weather changes every two minutes and when we arrive at the lake where the hike begins, it snows quite a lot and it scours us. Quentin still wants to try because we see a little mountains; suddenly, we try. The sky will be released little by little. The landscape will be unveiled and will be different and beautiful. We will see lakes with golden, brown and green vegetation. The trail will not be obvious because of pebbles and puddles due to melting snow. We will have to pay attention to each of our steps. After half an hour the wind will blow even stronger, destabilizing us in places. We will have to climb more and more, trying to keep the balance so as not to fall. The ground will be covered with snow in places and the landscape will be discovered more and more! We are so happy to be out of the van! When you get to the top of the crater it’s beautiful. We see the valley on one side and the lake on the other with the snowy mountains around. We continue on the most difficult part. It climbs severely, the wind is violent, we must hang on chains in places but once at the top, we are dazzled by the beauty of the landscape! We discover the summits of Mount Cradle! We have an extraordinary chance because the whole mountain and the whole valley are discovered! We just repeat that we are really lucky and we enjoy the place as much as possible. When we come down we cross quite a lot of people, from the thirties to the sixties, who start the big treck of the region, the Oberland, which lasts 5 to 6 days; these people will have no choice, they will have to pass the top of the Cradle to continue! We encourage them downhill because we must all pay attention to big gusts of wind. We continue the descent by crossing the crater but we will go around to take another route just as beautiful. The landscape is still changing and we are still amazed by what we have just seen. We move slowly, we take advantage of the time that is discovered for us but is covered up now! On the way we meet Asian people who have gone into fashion and we warn them about what to expect … After three hours of hiking we return to our van super happy to have persevered! It’s thanks to Quentin if we stayed elsewhere! Quentin makes himself a coffee then we take the road to the north of the island. We decided to go to sleep at a campsite near a beach. The road seems endless. The landscape is completely different, we only see farms and forest, everywhere! We can not anymore. At the end of the day we arrive exhausted at the campsite. Looks like there are people living here all year round. The owners are two old. The grandpa is more pleasant than the granny. We rest, we do a laundry (with the conditioner in the machine, because we were too stingy to buy laundry and we crashed between the shampoo and the conditioner …). We listen to intellectual broadcasts on Quentin’s phone and then after dinner we go for a big sleep.
This morning I get up before Quentin to go for a jog at the edge of the sea. It’s nice but cold. I enjoy the fresh air, it’s super nice to run on the beach!
An hour later (well a little less, I admit) I find Quentin. We have a big breakfast; especially him, yesterday I made him pancakes because I bought myself M & Ms selfishly in the service station and I did not even have the kindness to take him something he likes … so I went Feel a little guilty …
After this good breakfast we leave, we must take the same road. There is as much wind as yesterday so Quentin has to concentrate a lot.
Our first stop of the day will be the “Platypus house”. As we did not have the chance to see platypuses in all the rivers we saw, we decided to go to a kind of zoo special for these beasts, because they are still animals that we do not found only in Australia.
We arrive at the zoo and it’s quite special as a visit. We do not understand everything that says the guide because it has a sacred accent but we will be happy to see the animals, even if honestly the place where they live is pretty creepy. The visit will be really fast, it’s a shame but we will be happy anyway.
And it’s gone for a bit of road. Quentin would like to go walking in a national park, the Narawntapu National Park; it is the first Tasmanian park to bear an aboriginal name. When we arrive it’s nice, and it’s time to eat. As there is an electric bbq I decide to cook vegetables on it to avoid using our gas. Quentin will stay in the van. There is a Switzerland that goes around the world by bike, so it comes to me and we discuss while it cooks. She’s nice, she does not know where she’s going. Never would it have occurred to us to do that! Cycling one hour it already bores us … When the meal is ready we eat then we go quickly ask for hikes at the tourist office. The ranger is super cheerful and speaks to us a bit as if we were children … because wants stamps on our passports … so what? they are cool our passports now! When we have what we want we go. We will walk in a kind of forest with lots of kangaroos and walabys. We have a goal whose name we do not know. It will prove to be the top of a mountain … and Quentin was gone in tongues. It was not insurmountable so it’s okay. The view from above is beautiful. We have a complete panorama of the bay and the park. For the return we will pass by the beach. There is a lot of wind but as the sand is wet we do not take full face. We will be the only ones to walk on the sand, the eyes in the water … our dream is too beautiful … When we finish the hike we have to start for the ferry, this is our last day in Tasmania unfortunately . I would have stayed an extra week here! We put ten lead to ship but luckily we have the same places. So we can play our game on the floor in front of our chairs and dinner quiet. The night will be agitated for me because as soon as the boat moves because of the wind it makes me flipper! Quentin will sleep pretty well.
- Day 321 – Monday 18th of November 2019 : Melbourne
- Day 322 – Tuesday 19th of November 2019 : Street Art
- Day 232 – Wednesday 20th of November 2019 : Foot pain
- Day 324 – Thursday 21st of November 2019 : First day in a campervan
We arrive very late in Melbourne, half asleep. We pass the customs very disappointed because we have no buffer! We will take a taxi; We have a good half-hour before arriving at our host, Marion, in the neighborhood of Richmond.
Our driver is very kind; he is Somali and speaks to us about many things. As it is super late, there is no traffic. At times we have great views of the buildings of the city. Big change after four months on islands!
We arrive in Richmond. At night we see buildings quite low, brick. It’s like being in England. This is very cute.
The driver drops us, we ring and Marion goes down. She helps us to pack up. We arrive in his apartment. He is pretty and cozy. At first it seems that Marion is a little hippie on the edges! She shows us everything and we collapse in our big cozy bed.
The next day we do not wake up so late, to the surprise of Marion. She is not alone, there are two boys in the apartment, son or friend we are not sure. We prepare and then go out exploring the city.
We discover Richmond by day. It’s an Asian neighborhood. There are Vietnamese and Thai restaurants everywhere! It’s perfect, we know where we go to eat at night. We decide to do everything on foot. On the way we buy two little things to nibble not terrible then we see a coffee that looks nice. We decide to have breakfast (well I should actually say that I will have breakfast). They sell croissants with almonds and the must, yoghurt with fruit! No choice, I take both with hot chocolate. Of course I will not be able to finish. So we embark the rest of the croissant and we leave. We walk along a big avenue. We discover small streets with pretty houses. We will explore the Fitz Roy district, north of the city center. A hipster neighborhood with lots of cool shops, cafes and restaurants. The architecture of the sector we like a lot. Bricks, small houses with small gardens and moldings on the facades. There is also a lot of street art. We hang out in the streets for hours. We also take the opportunity to buy new hiking shoes and other things we need for the rest of the trip (well the Osmo Poket was not essential, I admit …). At noon we are not very hungry so we think we will take a big snack later. Finally I will take a big ice cream that I will put all day to digest and Quentin will eat a sandwich full of pig! We walk again and again and again. At the end of the day we decide to return. As the appetite comes back we will eat in a Vietnamese restaurant that will serve us too much to eat. We will return after the apartment completely HS, after walking 8h. Marion will be told a little story before going to bed.
This morning I motivate myself to do my gym. After that I wake up Quentin, we have breakfast and we go to explore another neighborhood: the center. We walk to the center then we will cross parks, passages, arcades, and alleys full of street art. We found a great street art circuit that we revisit by adding other cool places we found on the internet. Melbourne is really great. We are having fun. Around noon I see a hairdresser all alone in his shop, I ask him if I can cut my hair. No problem ! Let’s go. Quentin is going for a ride in the meantime. After that, we will eat a pizza but as we are not used to eating too much it is difficult to finish (we will finish anyway) after two slices of pizza.
We continue the walk until late at night. We will see really nice things, like the bookstore with its beautiful dome, super cool streets, original cafes, beautiful parks etc. We will thoroughly enjoy our day before finishing it in a Thai restaurant that Quentin had spotted. We eat without hunger but it’s super good! In the evening, same story, we go back and we sleep directly!
This morning we get up a little later; two days of 8h walk is pretty huge. We take a great breakfast and then take the tram to go to the beach. It’s a bit of a struggle to understand where and how to get a tram map and then it’s good to get in! On the way we will see beautiful buildings and beautiful works of art on the walls.
We go down a little less than an hour later; we arrive at St Kilda. We walk a little in the neighborhood before arriving on the main street. Well, it’s not super nice but it goes. We walk quietly. We will see things to see in the area (park, buildings …). We pass in front of Luna Park amusement park. It is the oldest in the city (or country). He is very weird; the front door is nice. We train and go to the beach. Well, nothing to envy to the other beaches of the Pacific that we saw, but it’s still nice to go to the beach. It is very hot today and suddenly there are many people who gild the pill. After that we will eat in a vegetarian restaurant not bad.
We take the road to go in there, it’s the drama. Quentin and I do not go in the same street and we get lost! Yes said like that it’s strange but there was a moment of five minutes that made us lost for 1 hour! So as we were aiming at the park, I went to the park telling me he was taking that path … I looked everywhere but I did not see it. The tension was starting to rise … I continue my beating heart, I get excited by myself and of course, as I realize that I have no identity document, no money and no water, and that it is 35 degrees outside, I start to feel like crying. But, I’m not crying yet! Tears rise slowly, I try to keep calm. I walk quickly looking everywhere if he is not there. I arrive at the park, where I thought it would happen but, of course, it is not there! So, I lose my temper and I cry !! I’m crying but as soon as someone arrives I try to do that kind of thing. Ten minutes after my arrival at the park they call me on what’s app, it’s Quentin! I burst into tears (even more), he panicked on the phone … We meet at the entrance to the park. I wait on a bench and thirty minutes later it finally arrives. He was as scared as me! He tells me that fortunately he has found phone booths to call me! he thought that I had been kidnapped … in short … we ended up and suddenly we continue our way. We cross the damn park which is ugly and endless! We see birds quite funny; there is a large lake from which you can see all the buildings of the city. We walk well an hour before reaching the end of this damn park! It is almost 15:30 and we would like to go to a market that closes at 16h. Quentin has great foot pain but he will hold on until we get there. We go for it, trying to look at the architecture of the buildings in the area.
When we arrive we are a little disappointed. It’s a little hipster market but not extra. We take a walk and then we’ll have a drink in a bar not far away. The southern suburb of Melbourne is pretty upscale. The shops have prices a little higher and the buildings are a little bigger.
We drag in the corner and we go towards the Victoria Market. We pass in the south of the central district. There are lots of buildings. We cross the river and then we go back through large avenues and streets where we had passed yesterday. When we arrive at the market it is shielded of people! There is a festival. It’s a big hangar with lots of little merchants of everything and anything on one side and the other full of food stalls from all over the world. We take a walk but we are really not hungry; the smells and seeing people eat their fatty dishes give us a stomach ache. We decide to leave. In addition, Quentin has pain in his feet and we are tired. We will rest a little in a park and then we will take the road back. We will not pass new streets in the neighborhood we like. In the evening we will be so exhausted that we go to sleep without eating.
This morning we take our time, and I do not do gym! We take a good breakfast, we loop our bags and we order an Uber to bring us to the van rental shop which is super far!
We thank Marion and we get into the car of our very nice Turkish driver who talks to us. The road will be a bit long. We arrive around 10:30 and we are greeted by a very nice lady. She gives us the papers and tells us we are lucky, our campervan Toyota Hiace is brand new! Nikel! We organize everything with her and we put everything in place in the van which is already well equipped. After tidying everything up we’ll go shopping for Tasmania. We buy lots of fruits and vegetables to cook and we take the road to the beach! A good hour later we finally see it! There is a lot of wind today and the sky is darkening. The beach is very beautiful. There are some colorful houses that are on the sand. We finally picnic and then we walk along the coast. We stop from time to time until we reach the beach of Brighton with all its colorful houses (where all the instagramers gave themselves rdv it looks!). The visit to the beach only lasted ten minutes and a police constable will still be kind enough to fine us 83 AUD! The con! We take the road disgusted to the ferry. As we arrive too early we will be stalled in a nice cafe with internet. Two hours later we head for the ferry and there we are told that we can not bring fruits and vegetables on board! Balls ! We must throw all our shopping! We were really stupid not to have read the instructions before going shopping! The worst is that it will be thrown, that no one will eat the food … well we throw and roll well for ten minutes before arriving in the boat. Again, nice dumpling. We follow the car in front of us without saying that we have a van that is 2m high! The top scrapes the ceiling and we are screamed by the types of parking. I hear a shit … shit … We park our stuff we go out but we do not see anything. We change, we prepare our things for the night and then going to the door we look at the van … it has a nice red trace on the top! The guy is tired. We tell him we will repaint in white!
The Australian ferry is much more trendy than the Tongan ferry! I do not see cockroaches here! The cabins look nice … pity we only have a reclining seat! We go there. We are lucky, we have two places in a corner without anyone. We organize our stay in Tasmania and then we take care before eating and trying to sleep!