The Great Aussie Road Trip

I resigned. My last day of work was on 14 March, 2012. Since then I’ve moved onto the air bed in the common room aka “the pit” and packed away all my belongings. In a 1970s second-hand suitcase which cost me a whole 8 aussie dollars I’ve deftly packed away about 21.5kg worth of footwear and clothes. The most important thing to remember when packing clothing is to roll everything up tightly to conserve space, not even my suit jacket was spared. In another bag are some odds and ends which I’ll sort out before I leave Australia. Everything else is in a 25 litre daypack and a 74 litre backpack. Considering that I’ve been living here for a little over a year, that’s not a lot of stuff.

Tomorrow Fintan and I will be driving up the east coast of Australia. We picked up a 1994 Toyota Camry off some French backpackers who very recently completed their travels. The car is in good shape but it looks like we’ll need to replace the front tyres pretty soon as well as clean it out. One guy has been living in it for a couple of weeks now and even though he said he was showering daily the odour in the car doesn’t reflect that… The Camry is a manual transmission so driving it today was pretty nerve racking since I haven’t driven a manual since last Jan/Feb when I learned how. Considering the rain, darkness, and big city traffic I was surprised that I got back in one piece and only stalled two times. It’s been a few hours but my heart rate is still above normal.

The plan is to drive from Sydney to Perth via the top end (appx 11000km) in about 8.5 weeks. I’m hoping to surf in Byron Bay, sail the Whitsundays, go off road on Fraser Island, dive or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, see an outback sunset, bushwalk in Kakadu, swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, not get punched by a wild kangaroo, and not get bitten by a shark or croc. I’m sure there’s plenty more to see and do but because of time and money we won’t be able get to everything. We may not even get to Perth. Anyone ever seen the film Wolf Creek?

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