We would like to share with you our first two months in Australia (as last month’s newsletter was dedicated to our mid-journey review).
Our adventures in the Australian desert
We spent a few very intense days in the desert. We flew to the city of Alice Springs and then went on a tour to visit the outback, the desert of central Australia. We had initially planned to drive there but, after seeing the conditions, we are very happy to have taken part in a tour. Heat, dust, flies, drought, and miles of loneliness are not for us!
We had the chance to visit the giant rock of Uluru (which is even visible from space), the formations of Ayers Rocks and King’s Canyon. These are sacred sites for the aboriginal people. We were able to meet them and learn a lot about the cultures of the different groups still present in the region.
We found the context of colonisation in Australia still very tense and dramatic. We were shocked by the horror of historical facts, still so recent, which we did not knew well. There are many documents, readings and movies on the subject which we would like to invite you to discover.
The tour was a superb experience. In the evenings, we ate kangaroo spaghetti and grilled marshmallows around the fire. We slept in “swags”, a mattress covered by a tent canvas, on the ground under the stars. Clémentine did not sleep very well, too obsessed with hypothetical spiders and snakes that could crawl into her bed. However, Nicolas saw a shooting star the first night and made a wish for Clémentine not to find any spiders in her bed and everything went well!
On the side of the road, the animals we came across most were… the camels! They were imported from India in the 19th century as a means of transport to explore Australia. After the arrival of the trains and cars, they were released in nature and reproduced phenomenally! We also encountered native animals like emus, giant birds similar to ostriches, and dingos. Finally, we of course saw kangaroos (and we will see more). Australia’s other iconic animal, the koala, is unfortunately an endangered species and is now very rare to encounter in the wild.
Melbourne and Sydney
We also visited Australia’s two most emblematic cities: Melbourne and Sydney. Melbourne was our first stop after New Zealand. After our disappointment with New Zealand’s cuisine we loved the restaurants, cafes and pastry shops of Melbourne: delicious! We also saw penguins (our first encounter with wild penguins) on a beach right in the city. They were adorable! This was certainly our favourite activity in Melbourne, and you can find our top 10 things to do in Melbourne.
We loved the city of Sydney, the harbour and the beaches are beautiful. So many beautiful walks! The atmosphere is also special, nothing like the capitals where we have lived in the past. Here it is all about relaxing and surfing! In this part of Australia, everything is bigger. Indeed, the bats in the city centre at dusk are the size of a dog. Cockroaches and rats are also surprisingly large…
Work and care of houses and pets
After so many months on the road we decided to take advantage of the house sitting system, which is very developed in Australia. House sitting is a concept of exchange between people wishing to go on vacation without leaving their home empty and travellers looking for accommodation at a lower cost.
We did three house sittings, in three different regions of Australia, over a period of a few weeks. We had at our charge: 15 chickens, 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 rabbit, 1 guinea pig and 1 vegetable garden. It was so nice to unpack our bags, be able to bake, live more “normally” almost like “at home”. Almost because at home we do not have to constantly check a deadly spider has not hidden behind the toilet! Finally, we met amazing people and exchanged lovely moments with the home owners and their adorable pets.
This also gave us the time to finally write our terribly late blog posts! In addition, Nicolas carried out a freelance mission on a website for a French company. Most importantly, we worked on the itinerary for the rest of the world tour and spent hours trying to fit our ambitious projects in our budget.
Although it feels good, we are already tired of staying at the same address and we are incredibly impatient to hit the road again. Great program in perspective: we are driving up the coast from Sydney to the north of Cairns aboard a motor-home for the month of May. We will end this trip with a 3 day cruise on the Great Barrier Reef. During this cruise, we intend to complete a more advanced diving certification.
Rendez-vous in a month’s time to discover our road trip or maybe earlier on our social media networks.
Finally, next month we will reveal our itinerary for the return trip!