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Published: March 5th 2011
Everything went smoothly while leaving bali, heck the flight was even 2hours shorter than we thought. We set up a couchsurfing date with a girl who said she likes zombie movies and beer on her host profile. We had instructions on where to meet and a phone number to call but I messed up with the payphone because dialing is different in every country and i can be useless sometimes. Luckily even though my call didn't work our gracious host swung by the airport at a time she thought we would be through customs and fully in the country. Thankfully all worked out and soon we were surfing our first couch... well floor actually but we still ahd a matress.
It happens our host Amanda lived in Canada 2 years and has toured around the states as well so we had loads to chat about and got along well from the beginning. There were other surfers at her place from Catalon(spain), Belgium and Melbourne which was nice as everyone who lived at the house worked all day. All in all Jenna and I didn't avail ourselves of too much that Darwin has to offer but it is the rainy season there still and many of the back country roads are closed that get you to the parks. As well we plan to return to the north later in the year when the weather is more appreciable and there is more to do in general. Tasmania gets coldest first and as winter is approaching we want to get there soon. Even though it is not as cold as Canada at all we haven't had a night colder than minus 5 in the last year and that was only in the Himalayas.
When we glanced at the newspaper our first morning in Darwin, the header actually said boy gets bit by dingo! It doesn't get more cliché than that except when you turn the page and there is an article about a recent saltwater crocodile attack. From what our hosts said the media plays this stuff up to be a greater problem than it actually is but to me that is what media does across the world. Our last night in Darwin we went out for fish and chips which we ate at the beach during sunset and later that night we hiked over to a stream to go frog and toad hunting. Not the typical tourist activity but for us it was a delight. Jenna has a keen knack for spotting small animals in general and kept finding lizards and baby frogs so much more than the rest of us that Amanda gave her the headlamp and made her walk in front of the group so we could catch more friends. All in all we caught 3 baby green tree frogs, 2 bearded dragons, and 1 frog that we thoguht was a cane toad but turned out to be a frog Amanda hadn't seen before and was excited to find. We returned home with our new little friends and let them go in the garden in the hopes they stick around.
Our idea was to get to Alice Springs in the central outback, 1500 Km away but instead we found a driver going to Adelaide (3000Km from Darwin) and we opted to just go for it and get south quicker. We are flying blind in a way but it doesn't set us back. We only chose Alice arbitrarily because we didn't expect to find anyone going that far in one shot so really it is great as we are much closer to Tassie much sooner and along the way we met great folks. Our driver was delivering parts to Darwin and wanted to get home to his family ASAP. It is safer for long rides to have people with you as anyone who has driver across the vast canadian plains would know and we all got along well, enjoying a 32 hour conversation that brooched all manner of topics. The scenery was boring for Trevor (the driver) but Jenna and I were loving the Outback Beauty. We never saw a living Kangaroo, saw many many dead ones that had been killed by vehicles and caught a quick glimpse of a baby walalby. The conditions ranged from perfect to treacherous with small floods dotting the trip followed by clear skies. When it rains it really rains and our first intro to country roads in Oz ran the full gamut and quickly taught us to respect the ability of the land to be completely hostile as well as breathtakingly beautiful. Apparently such contrast is a bit of a cliche in Oz.
At the kind insistence of Trevor we stayed at his family's house our first night in Adelaide. We arrived after midnight and nowhere we could have stayed, even campsights, was open plus a comfy bed after that long awake was pleasant. His wife and kids were very nice and happy to chat even though we all had just met and Jenna recieved a cute braclet from Trevors wife as a momento so we could remember the sweet folks we met in Adelaide. We got on well and chatted over breakfast with our new friends but needed to part ways with our wonderful hosts and get things rolling here. It is funny that aussies we met in Asia all warned us about the dangers with hitchhiking (which i know DO exist and we are concerned with) but to have such a perfect first expereince really goes to show you that you just have to put yourself out there and not buy into the hype. On the whole Aussies have all been nice to us except for one coffee shop guy in but-f**k middle of nowhere outback town that was covered in locusts (seriously)... maybe the pests were affecting his mood.
There are a few glitches we are still working out to make our plans more possible but all should be worked out soon enough. We bought a cell phone on the cheap in Bali and got it setup here so if anyone wants to call the number is 04 8740 7997 (from Canada you dial 01161 4874 07997) and we are 14.5 hours ahead of you folks in Ontario. Not much else to report right now i suppose. There is a big parade for the Fringe festival here and loads of free street theatre happening all weekend so we picked a great time to land in Adelaide. We hope all is well for you great people!
Cheers from the land down under,
Brian and Jenna
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