Our new friends at the local hotel (we discovered that hotels are actually taverns and motels are places to sleep) eagerly welcomed us like long lost cousins to the family. Pretty soon, Shona, behind the bar, and her daughter, Kalani, were trying to get us to sing karaoke and everyone was telling us off-color jokes. It was all good-natured fun and felt like we had stepped onto the set of a Crocodile Dundee movie. Some people went by a nickname and they’ve had the nickname so long, people don’t even remember their real name. There was Shakespeare, Winky (Peter), and Grub (Grub). Sheri became besties with Ona (Fiona), who owned the store and petrol station next door. Soon she was joking with Sheri and urging us to go see a sheep shearing, because that’s where Grub was working tomorrow. Everyone was fairly drunk, so we took it all as pleasant banter brought about by alcohol. Continue reading
When we left the coast of Queensland, I had no idea that we would be going on the most memorable part of our road trip in Australia. You might want to read about the driving challenges we faced, as that would be a good preface to this story. Our road trip was fairly uneventful until we left Townsville after returning from Magnetic Island. Google maps had been taking us on scenic routes, often taking us on circuitous secondary or residential streets when a more direct route existed. More often than not, this resulted in more traffic congestion and longer travel times. Sometimes, it would be costly when Google would direct me onto a tollway. Continue reading
We have been so extremely busy with preparations that I haven’t even had time to post that we’ve started. But we’ve more than just started, we’re already in New Zealand, our third country on our itinerary and we are lovin’ the scenery and weather. What hasn’t been easy is the rigorous schedule I’ve managed to put us on with only nine days to take in all the splendor of New Zealand.
But let’s go back a week to when it all began. With all our belongings safely in storage, we stayed with Sheri’s closest friend, Carol, on our final night in the U.S. We arrived late because of all the last minute packing we were finishing, but were treated to a wonderful home-cooked dinner. The next morning, we took the Amtrak train from the station in our hometown up to Vancouver, BC. We added an extra day before our flight to Sydney because, in the wintertime, you can never be sure that the train will actually make it. Track closures due to mudslides are quite common, so we didn’t want to be scrabbling on our first day. Continue reading