G'day from Australia!
We began the Australian leg of our adventure in the fabulous city of Sydney - the Opera House, Harbor Bridge and Toranga Zoo among our favorites. We were blessed by a family (Simone, Stuart, Alice & the twins) who welcomed us into their home after only meeting us once in a cafe in Kyoto, Japan! They helped us plan our 5 weeks in Australia - stops that included Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef, Darwin and Kakadu National Park, Alice Springs and Ayers Rock, then on to Perth on the West Coast. Each place is startlingly different from the last.
In Port Douglas we enjoyed having our own condo (out of the backpackers lodges - yippee!) with a pool and a short walk from the beach, town and harbor. We made 2 snorkel trips to the Reef, wearing stinger suits to keep safe from the jellyfish (it's a good look, really). It is truly an amazing coral reef filled with more fish than we could count.
In Darwin we learned more about the Aboriginals and animal life in the monsoon rain forest. We were awaken by Cockatoos from our "bush bungalow" and during our days watched dingos, wallabies, wild horses and a vast array of bird and insect life. After visiting so many of them, the boys are now creating their own "cultural centers" wherever we go.
Leaving the humidity (and welcoming the black flies) we flew to Alice Springs - the great Outback desert. Wearing fly nets over our heads to keep the buggers at bay, we hiked around the base of Ayers Rock (9.5 kms!) and through the spectacular Kings Canyon. On our drive out of the park we spotted a wild camel (there are 1/2 million of them roaming the desert here - who knew?)
Tomorrow we are off to Perth, our last stop before departing for South Africa. In Perth, we are once again blessed by the generosity of others with a place to stay and a car (thanks to Amy Jocker's niece Amy). We look forward to enjoying one more week in this bold and beautiful country.
Until our next entry, as the Aboriginals say - "boh boh" from the Outback...