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Baroude in Australia 7 part - direction Brisbane

Sunday 25 January 2004, by Marieve

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> January 2004 - Baroude in Australia : Author : Marieve

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Day 2: Blue Mountains

- Mountain range in NewSouth Wales, the Blue Mountains got their name because of the eucalyptus vapors coming out of the trees and the bluish mists on the mornings, above all when the sun gets into the dew. Our guide was just too good! He knew everything concerning the nature, the trees, he told us many little anecdotes.
The three sisters (3 big rocks which the aboriginal legend wants to be 3 sisters who had received a bad spell) are surrounded by reddish and golden ravines, it’s streams, it’s smells good… Parrots are everywhere flying around us, black cockatoos, kangaroos and again, koalas!

At the end of this glorious day we all had a beer at the “World Bar” where we hang out with the tourists we had met on the journey. (I think Australians don’t really have it for dancing!) it’s funny how Danny and I often talk about Melbourne and its Victorian province like if it was our home! We were making territorial jokes between Australians and we were defending this region like if we came from there!

Day 3 : A walk in Sydney
- Because Joe isn’t here since a long time neither and is almost as “tourist” as we are, we decide to discover Sydney city together by walking all day long. We visit bazaars, downtown, the business area, Hyde’s Park, the Royal Botanic Gardens (where sleep thousands of giant fruit bats in the gum trees among the huge spiders and their nets in the branches. We walk around the Opera House and even got into it! Of course, we couldn’t visit anything without paying except for the restrooms, which we visited!! Believe it or not, it’s even worth it! Even the toilets are design! Incredibly modern, top design! Wow!
We then walked to the Sydney Harbour, under the bridge and then to Darling Harbour, created for the Olympic Games of 2000. by the way, here, it’s a common thing to see cockroaches.. ahhh, joys of cosmopolitan life in Australia!

Day 4 : Hunter Valley
- We drank wine the all damn day! Coming into the little touristic van taking us through the HunterValley on the morning we thought “oh my god, what a day we’ll spend with the old generation (everybody aboard except us was at least 50years old) “ Man we had so much fun! We visited 4 wineries. To remember: McGuigan.

1er Avril : Byron Bay

For the last day in Sydney we had a walk at The Rocks, Paddington, and did some shopping. We have an overnight bus leaving at 20h45, heading the Gold and the Sunshine Coast!

April 1: Byron Bay
- Today we took one’s courage in both hand and decided me and Danny to try the sea kayaking. Bad idea!!! For us! We both are scared of the waves and the depths! All that convinced me to go there was that we were supposed to see some dolphins beside us. But they never showed. We got scared, we got water in the mouth, in the nose, everybody in the group already knew how to do kayak but us!!! And the instructor gave us a fright by telling us he wasn’t responsible for accidents in “shark infested waters”!

Byron bay is a real “backpackers” city. If we wanted we could have worked here and stayed in Youth Hostels. From the beginning of our trip we never saw that much Canadians, Quebecers and other tourists from all over the world. It’s very artistic and young. They’re all “dudes”, surfers, and cute chicks going to the beach every day!
We didn’t think we fit but we liked it a lot.

Before heading up north again, we had a ride by bike up to the highest point of Byron Bay, which is the point of Australia the most at the east. From our point of view we could see the dolphins and their babies play in the waves. Someone even told us there are sometimes whales coming this close!

Bus at 3pm direction: Brisbane : April 2-3-4
- We stop by Brisbane for a few days. A couple of my father and his wife’s friend live here. Ed is working for an engineering Company, and Nathalie and him came here since and for few years.
We are received like a prince and a princess at their home located on the Brisbane River.

Brisbane being the Queensland Capital, everything there is very developed. Tourism, Business, Residential. Again the architecture surprises me. I think Australians are really innovators in design. Nathalie brings us to a tour with the Ferry “city cat” and we visit the city with her. As in every big city of the world, there is a China Town! At night, we have a wonderful dinner with Ed (doing scuba Diving during his days off). We then have a drive in the suburbs of Brisbane up to the Mount Kukta Lookout from where we can see the all Brisbane, its mountains and its winding river, cutting the city in two parts.

Our personal cook Danny prepares a Queensland fish “Barramundi” for our last dinner with Ed and Nath. Of course, Nathalie and I spent the two evenings talking until the nights came… ladies!

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