Published: December 28th 2011December 28th 2011
Well, it is official. Our Aussie Odyssey is now over, and there is no turning back, as our car has been sold, and our faithful Cazza is also gone. Since we arrived back in Perth (two weeks ago can you believe!), so much has happened. We spent a day unloading the caravan, trying to find space for everything in my parents’ home - quite a challenge, especially as we also had to fit in! We advertised both the caravan and car over that first weekend, and the car was sold straight away, but there was not much interest in the caravan (apparently just before Easter is the best time to sell). As we were struggling to fine a place to park the caravan, we ended up giving it to a company to sell Cazza on consignment, so it is pretty much as good as sold, we have been told. Not to get too sentimental about a material object, but I do hope she finds a lovely new family to take her around Australia all over again.
While I miss our days in the caravan, there are some things in life that I now really, really appreciate. For example,
Paul and I having our own bedroom, and sleeping in a bed where our feet don’t hang over the edge. Having a toilet right next door to us. A large kitchen, a dishwasher, a lovely, ready-made, outdoor sitting area, and not having to pack up every other morning. It’s interesting how much I relish these creature comforts now, but when we were travelling, while I was aware what I was missing, the lack of them had become our way of life and therefore did not detract from our enjoyment of living.
Being back in Perth has allowed me to spend some quality with my parents, sister, and her family, and it was incredibly special that I was here for the birth of my sister’s fourth child - a beautiful baby girl called Mia, born in the early hours of December 21. Otherwise, we have spent as much time on the beach as possible. I had forgotten how beautiful Perth’s beaches are, and appreciate them even more after our travels, as I also am enjoying the Swan River more and more. Perth would have to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
We are constantly being asked to rate our top 10 destinations in Australia. This is no easy task, as we have had so many incredible experiences, and seen some amazing places, but I have given it a go, and what follows is my top 10 (though not necessarily rated in order and by no means definitive):
The Coral Coast (encompassing Exmouth, Coral Bay, Monkey Mia and Francois Peron National Park)Bremer Bay in WABruny Island (off Tasmania)Kakadu National ParkAtherton Tablelands (Queensland)The forests of northwest TasmaniaByron Bay (including Mount Warning)Lightning RidgeEungella and Finch Hatton Gorge (Queensland)The Grampians (Victoria)
2012 is nearly upon us, and soon we will be heading back to Johannesburg. Paul received The Lonely Planet’s
Guide to South Africa, and we intend to explore his home country as we have done mine (though we unfortunately can’t dedicate a year to this expedition, but will be taking full advantage of long weekends and holidays). As many of you who read this blog live in Australia, I hope to continue writing this blog next year with our adventures in South Africa (and also, how we settle back into routine life). Blog entries will not be as regular, but they will happen.
Until then, I would like to wish everybody a wonderful start to 2012, and a healthy and upbeat year! And thank you for following my blog - it has been really nice to know that we have not been alone in our adventures, and it is also a constant reminder of how many good friends I do have.
PS If you start experiencing any blog-deprivation symptoms, check out www.casandjonesy.com
. Paul met Cas in Sydney, the nicest guy - currently 70km from the south pole, halfway to becoming the first people to walk unaided to the pole and back. (They were also first to kayak across the Tasman Sea - 62
days!, wonderfully described in Crossing the Ditch, which I am now reading).
There are more photos below