High "Five"


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Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Mandurah
November 26th 2013
Published: November 26th 2013
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Five years In Summary

The Idea was to present our 5 years in Australia, with a Kick Ass sort of montage of our original trip and our recent trip, giving you all some of the best pictures that we have taken of this awesome country, from the amazing wildlife, to the remote outback locations that we love.

Well there is sort of a problem here, I have uploaded some images (32) to be exact and it has taken me a couple of hours and it has only really covered the first 8 moths and as we have been in Australia over 60 months, I guess you can see the problems we are faced with

So wanting you to see the best of this amazing country its going to have to be work in progress.

Caroline wrote this summary of our recent trip a month or so ago and we just didn't get round to publishing it, we really appreciate your emails and phone calls, from those of you who were worried because we had not published a blog in a while, but it was purely because were staying with friends at the time and had started to
Hooked UpHooked UpHooked Up

On Fraser Island
look for work so we have not had anything particularly worthy of writing about.

When we are travelling, it just seems easy to “knock a blog out, whilst I am driving Caroline is there sitting looking at the scenery, whilst typing the events of the last couple of days, and when we find a camp spot, providing we have Telstra access we just upload some photo’s and publish, it’s that easy

We have reached a milestone recently as on November 7 2013 it was our fifth anniversary of our departure from England. A lot has happened since then, we have had quite an adventure in those last five years and let's hope the next five years provides more exciting adventures.

When we originally came to Australia in 2008, the country was in drought and had been for a number of years, we barely saw any greenery in the countryside, let alone wildflowers and the only colour we would see would be brown, red or white of dirt and sand.

This second big trip has had some amazing aspects for both of us and we were trying to pick out some of the highlights, which is always
Andy & NalaAndy & NalaAndy & Nala

Billy's Beach
a difficult thing to do, at the beginning of this trip we had nothing but rain, fortunately while we were at Lake Pammammeroo it remained dry, but no sooner than we left it started raining again. The weather has varied from the freezing cold of Hahndorf to the 36 degrees of Alice Springs and now the odd 38 degree’s in Mandurah as it was the other day, we have gone from taking a hot water bottle to bed to pushing the bed linen off at night as we were so hot.

Andy and I were very excited to be in Alice Springs and think it was everything we had wanted it to be, despite our mechanical set backs, we did manage to see some of the sights Alice had to offer, lets just say we were lucky that we did not end up having to be "rescued” from “somewhere in the outback”.

The weather has proved its worth across some of the most magnificent countryside we have seen, lush green paddocks, to the many different greens of scrub and interspersed with the different colours of the wild flowers, yellows, reds, pinks, mauves and whites, we were blown away
Andy & NalaAndy & NalaAndy & Nala

Port Stephens
with the moon-plains so called because of its usual barren state and was a carpet of green with the bright yellow flowers right across them.

From the Breakaways to the Painted Desert, the colours were astounding and how lucky were we to witness not just one rainbow but two after a shower of rain sprinkled its way across the desert.

The highlight of the trip for both of us was definitely crossing the Simpson Desert, 500 kilometres of sand, something that we had planned to do at the beginning of the trip, when friends of ours from the ACT 4 wheel drive club had planned a trip to cross the Simpson Desert, back on the 18th June, but due to timescales we were not going to be there in time to meet up with them, so abandoned the idea until we reached Dalhousie Hot Springs where the opportunity reignited itself and how lucky were we to meet up with a great group of people from the Adelaide area who asked us to cross the desert with them. They welcomed us into their group, made us a part of the team and with whom we shared one of the
Thirsty RooThirsty RooThirsty Roo

At the Warrembungle National Park
most amazing experiences of our lives.

We slept in the swag and despite Caroline’s first night of discomfort, due to the claustrophobic feelings she grew to enjoy it, going to bed under a billion stars, and waking up to the sun coming up over the dunes from the East and to the moon going down in the west, it was truly amazing and could not have been any more perfect.

Despite the journey wrecking some of our equipment and losing some of our food, we have learnt and cannot wait for another opportunity to do the same again.

Some of the tracks that we have crossed were far more adventurous than our original first trip, back then Caroline would gaze longingly at the map and study the layout of the Oodnadatta, Birdsville, Binns and Bloomfield tracks longing to get out there for another adventure and now we have been lucky enough to have ticked them all off the list, well maybe not off the list, I do believe they are there for another adventure, it’s hard to explain just how remote some of the tracks we have travelled are, and how we have come to love the solitude of outback Australia.

Crossing the Great Central Road, nicknamed “Australia's longest shortcut”, and used for one of our blog titles was quite an adventure, really remote in its landscape and geographical location yet fairly busy, (when I say fairly busy) we saw about 20 vehicles in 5 days and as for watching a weather balloon get launched at Giles Weather station this is surely a highlight for the both of us. We had a couple of nights of truly camping on our own, we managed to tuck ourselves away off the beaten track and probably nobody around us for miles, something that would have made me very nervous on our first trip, this time it feels far more comfortable

Once again, you find that even if you stop on the roadside for a quick comfort, tea break, lunch etc. if someone is around they always stops to check if everything is ok, something that we always do to others, because you just don’t know if someone needs help.

This is one point that I want to make, sometimes you have to do this with caution and we never wrote about it when it happened, because I did not want to reveal the location publicly, we were a fair way out of town heading to a remote location, the road was fairly busy with tourists, we pulled over on the edge of a creek to try and pick up a bit of firewood, whilst wandering around Andy spied a couple of people with dogs, at first they appeared to be walking away from us, but then they split up and the woman continued to walk toward us, I jumped back in the truck and Andy walked toward the woman to find out what she wanted. Her partner had crossed the road and was waiting in the distance.

The woman explained that they were stuck in sand, they had a combi van that had bogged right up to the running boards, we could not see their vehicle, we asked where it was and she vaguely waved her hand toward a location that would have been well out of sight, by now I had the truck keys in my hand and joined in the conversation, the woman explained that they had been stuck there for 2 days, they had plenty of food and water, but they wanted us
Stary Stary NightStary Stary NightStary Stary Night

The N42 Nebula taken through a large Meade Telescope
to come and unbog them.

We were both curious as to why they had not gone for help before, she told us that they were "blow ins" yet told us that they had the rights for this piece of land as caretakers.

Our gut instinct was telling us that this was not what it seemed. The man was still standing a fair way from us watching, we both knew that we could not afford to go traipsing off the track where we would also risk getting bogged in the soft sand and there was no way we would drop the trailer and leave it on the side of the road. Something was telling us that either we would get back and find the trailer gone or as soon as we had one away from the main road, we may have been knocked on the head. We explained that we would not be able to drop the trailer, but by now her partner was shouting across at her that they should stop someone who was not towing. We also noted that a number of police cars had been patrolling that section of road that day because there was some kind of road race going on.

Australia has many more colours than we first saw, this is a country of real beauty in so many different ways, I ask myself if I took enough photographs that show the true beauty of what we have seen! But maybe there are never enough photos, thank goodness we are in a digital age.

So what now? Well as we have said, we are looking for work and for a new home, we are in Western Australia and have done a couple of house sits we have one on the 12th of December for 8 days, it was looking after a Pilbarra Red Kangaroo called Evie who was 14 years old but she has sadly now passed away and is hopping around in kangaroo heaven.

We also have an 80 day house sit close by which starts on the 2nd January 2014 which we will be doing and are looking forwards to.

Finally at present we are looking into joining a new 4 wheel drive club, and have just attended a superb weekend with them at Point Peron, which will be covered in another blog.

So in summary we
Top DogsTop DogsTop Dogs

Of Course we could never miss our favourite Woodstock dogs
both agree that the most amazing thing we have done is crossing the Simpson Desert, without doubt, it ticked all our boxes and was absolutely spectacular, but in our hearts being made an Australian Citizen, is without doubt the greatest thing we have ever done.

Just one more thing to add, as I have been tweaking (not twerking!) Caroline’s original notes for this blog summary, so now that’s finished I am sort of free styling and this last bit is about Caroline.

It has been an absolute pleasure seeing how Caroline has developed, from an out and out city girl, to someone who has come to enjoy the rustic adventures we have had.

One day, we may tell you the complete unedited story of Kangaroojack, just how remote we have been and the situations where we have had to “dig deep” to get ourselves out of a situation and never once has Caroline ever missed a beat, sometimes our lives have depended on the decision we have made, and Caroline, has always contributed with the calmness and sensible approach, good onya babe, there is no one else I could have done this adventure with.

We have always been honest in our approach, never taking on more than we should, and always trying to tell just how it has happened, so we hope you have felt that our blogs portrayed this beautiful country.

And finally, just to thank everyone and we do mean everyone, who have contributed to us over the last 5 years, letting us stay in your home, doing us a dinner, making us a brew, sending us a message or whatever, if you have had any interaction with us then these thanks are for you.

We have put up some photo’s that we feel represent our lives over the last 5 years.



Here’s to the new blogs.


Additional photos below
Photos: 32, Displayed: 30


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KoalaKoala
Koala

Port Stephens
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Woodstocks Dogs

Trixie and Wally
SydneySydney
Sydney

The Diamond Princess and the Sydney Harbour Bridge
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Woodstock

During 10 years of drought


26th November 2013

High Five - back at ya
Fantastic to hear of the continuing adventure and reaching such a milestone. We think about you every day ... and that joined up trip is still on the radar. Keep exploring, keep blogging, keep inspiring :-) Much love Darryl and Sarah Howells (occasionally known as Wallaby Wanderers)
26th November 2013

One day...
"One day, we may tell you the complete unedited story of Kangaroojack" > Start writing the book now!
23rd June 2014

Book
I have started Jo, I just need to knuckle down and get on with it!
26th November 2013

One day...
"One day, we may tell you the complete unedited story of Kangaroojack" > Start writing the book now!
27th November 2013

The Book-No way
Hi Jo, Great to here from you, five years I can not believe it, we have done so much I feel I have lived 10 lives in this short space, wow is called that I can say. The thought of a book wouldn't do it for me, but a film would be great. Speak soon. Andy
27th November 2013

Kangaroojacks Film
Hi Jo, Caroline did our first KJ film in 2011 it was 320 photo's to two pieces of music and we put it on U tube, Is there any way we can put it directly on Mytb. Andy
26th November 2013
Kuranda Railway

Great photos, great adventures, great attitudes!
Very nice recap of your years of adventure! I so admire how you were able to broaden your possibilities, after being city slickers, to enter the wilds and appreciate the beauty of solitude and nature. I look forward to the next installments. Cheers!
27th November 2013
Kuranda Railway

Your Comments
Hi Tara, Thanks for your comments on Kangaroojack's blog, we are proud of what we have done, but with a back drop of Australia to play with it has been quite easy. We have a film, that Caroline did, 320 digital images to music which is outstanding and I will find the address for you tube and send it over to you if you would like. It is the solitude we love, there is something just about the piece and quite we love. Stay well and travel safe Kangaroojack
26th November 2013

Fabulous
Great to hear from you guys and hope you keep us up to date in the furture with your adventures. What a great way to spend you lives, well jealous! Well done for having the guts to get off the hampster wheel of life and do what you want to do. Gill xx
27th November 2013

Hi Honey I'm home
Not really, Hi Gill, Great to hear from you, I hope you guys are all doing well, I just loved the Photo's of Matt in his Navy uniform, I bet it made you all very proud. How is Dan, hopefully following his dream, what ever that may be. Wow that Hamster wheel, its frightening when we think about it just what we took on, if I knew then what I know now, may be we would have chickened out. We have been amazingly lucky to travel so much and live like Gypsy's, We want you and him to come over, Australia would really suit you two, you would love it. Its officially the fist day of summer on the 1st December, its been about 38 degree's recently which is pretty warm. Writing this tugs on my heart strings, or was it the elastic snapping in my jocks, we have so many fond memories of you guys. Love to you all. Andy
27th November 2013
Stary Stary Night

Wow
Fantastic! You've got some great photos of your wonderful experiences.
27th November 2013
Stary Stary Night

Thanks for your comment
Hi Dave and Merry-jo, Hope you are both well, that picture was of the M42 Nebula, taken with Carolines Canon 400D on the setting "Bulb" I believe interfaced with a huge Meade Telescope in Coonabarrabran NSW. One thing I leaned that night was the human eye can not see colour at night, but a camera can, hence the very colourful gas cloud. We have probably taken around 70,000 digital frames and I wanted to put up some of what I consider represents Australia for us, I didn't appreciate what a big job it was going to be. Stay well and travel safe. Kangaroojack
28th November 2013

Having read every one of your blogs, it is nevertheless great to peruse the summary and photos of your 5 years. Mind boggling what you have achieved in that time. Inspirational to others to 'go out and explore your country'. We still look forward to hearing more of your life experiences. You could live off the royalties of a book though!!! All the best. Love Keith & Jan
29th November 2013

Wow!
Time flies. You are so lucky to be on such an adventure. When playing Words with Friends Caroline, I tend to forget you might be sitting in the bush, with all of nature tweeting & grunting, bouncing around you. There I am tucked up in my cosey bed not looking forward to work the next day! Wishing you a safe and happy Christmas and New Year down under. xx

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