Eastbound

Originally, we were planning to drive to Brisbane all the way from Perth – up the West Coast, through the Kimberly, up to Darwin, over to Cairns and down to Brisbane. But since we did not want to average 500 km a day we decided on alternate travel plans.

Instead of driving our car and spending roughly $2500 on gas we booked a flight to Sydney instead. We are flying out of Perth a day before my birthday and will be in the big city to celebrate. *Any recommendations for a low-key dinner, anyone?*

We will stay in Sydney for two nights and then we are heading out in a rented camper-van to travel all the way up the East Coast, past Cairns to Cape Tribulation – a most beautiful spot on this earth where the rain forest and the Great Barrier Reef meet – and back to Cairns where we will fly out of at the end of April. For those of you not on familiar territory in Australia here is a small map.

We are sad to have to sell our car which we had build out ourselves with a sleeping platform for traveling but we got lucky and found a perfect home for it: Friends of a friend just moved to Perth and since they need a car for the next few years and we were looking for a good home for the Pajero it was a great fit. They are great people and we are actually going to drive to their house for dinner in a few minutes. The only sad thing is that we have just met them, I wish they had been here earlier since we get along great. But I guess that is what happens when you are traveling.

Back to the travel plans: We are going to be on the road for a little over three weeks and I am very excited to venture out, get back into a camper-van and just live the vagabond life for a little while. We remember our recent three week New Zealand trip fondly and this will be a very similar way of traveling – and hopefully just as beautiful and fun. We are hoping for heaps of good surf, beautiful nature, amazing scuba, fun sailing (no sharks, floods nor box jellyfish), and just lots of good adventure.

So far, based on past experiences and what we heard from locals, we are definitely planning stops in Sydney, Byron Bay, Noosa, Fraser Island, Whitsundays, Cairns and Cape Tribulation. If anyone has any suggestions, we would be happy to hear it all! 🙂

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More Spanish

It has already been over three weeks that Jonathan and I started to take Spanish lessons. As we tried to say the other day in slaughterhouse Spanish: Nos cabezas estan en fuego. Lol.

I have been taking three lessons per week and Jonathan joined me whenever his work schedule allowed. Ivan really is a great teacher. We have covered so much already, I can hardly summarize. Jonathan remarked the other day that Ivan knows English grammar better than the two of us together and I have to say he is right. 🙂  Somehow Ivan also finds time to throw in an hour of pure conversational Spanish here and there. At this point, Jon and I both know that the only remedy to the increasing confusion is practice. PRACTICE, that is. And lots of it! But heading to Costa Rica that should not be a big problem. 🙂

So, here we are at our regular meeting spot, a restaurant in Perth CBD.


Smiling despite smoking heads…
… and always a strong coffee at hand!

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Bali Pictures

This gallery contains 42 photos.

And here they finally are, our favorite pictures from Bali. Enjoy! Hotel Kusnadi, our hotel for the first 3 nights in Kuta.  A friend recommended it and it turned out to be a very nice and quiet hotel without any … Continue reading

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Breeze

This morning we woke up to the most wonderful thing: A strong and cool breeze coming through our bedroom windows.

After weeks of heat and stand still air with short periods of what Jon started calling “blow-dry” winds, a particularly hot and not refreshing at all kind of air movement, I can hardly describe how good the breeze felt. We have been sleeping with two fans on every night. Jon figured out how to make the best out of the fans by sticking one pretty much out of the one window and facing the other one out and across the room to create a flow. It works pretty well and we were able to sleep better lately.

Today is pure bliss!

On another note: Our internet connection has slowed down to modem speed. You probably do not remember how slow that really is (I had definitely forgotten) but it basically means that I cannot display most internet pages at all, they simply stop loading or time out and it is a pain in the you-know-where to do anything online. Therefore, sadly, still no picture uploading. Hopefully, our bandwidth will reset this month as it is supposed to and I can finally post Bali and other adventures. Cross your fingers and ‘drueckt die Daumen’!

Here are a few “older” picture I had already uploaded but had not posted yet to string you over… 🙂


Beautiful water on Cottesloe Beach


Beachfront Office for the day. This was way back when we were still looking for a place to live and a car, we just could not stand our cheapo (gross) motel room and decided to set up online research and phone camp in Cottesloe.


*Alien Alarm!* Another ‘Roo we saw at dawn on one of our Margaret River trips but the first one that was glow in the dark.

Posted in Daily Living, Perth, Pictures | 2 Comments

Learning Spanish

Time to learn Spanish. In Perth. Yes, I know it would have been more logical to do this in California and to start about one year ago but better now and here than never.

It is not really news anymore that Jon and I are planning to travel to Costa Rica after our stay here in Australia. Even before and then during my seven weeks in Puerto Viejo, Talamanca in 2010 I realized fast that knowing the Spanish language is essential for spending time – and possibly moving – here. I lived with a wonderful local family for about 5 weeks and since they did not speak any English it was a fast track to learning Spanish from scratch. It was not always easy but we managed thanks to creative sign language, similarities between Spanish, English and German, and a good portion of humor and patience of my gracious hosts Rosa and Eduardo. All in all, I was able to pick up basic words and verbs, and even though I sounded like the worst grammatical nightmare we were able to communicate. And Jon and I got a lot of work done on the construction site, not to mention a hilarious trip to the local hardware store with the wonderful Bribri tribal elder Timoteo and his wife. But I digress.

My grammar is still shocking and I decided to check out ‘gumtree’, the Australian equivalent to craigslist to look for a Spanish tutor. I responded to a few posts and found Ivan and was not really ready to meet him the next day but did so anyway. I asked him if he would be open to Spanish & Coffee, my preferred way of learning: Meeting in a local cafe, having a latte and conversing (more or less) in Spanish with him correcting me as much as needed and teaching me some new grammar every time. But mostly conversation.

Ivan is great, from Colombia and just got to Perth as well. He owns a language consulting business in his hometown, his English is perfect and he is a very friendly and supportive teacher. Phew. BUT my Spanish sucks! It was barely okay in Costa Rica since I had the “I do not know any Spanish at all” excuse and Rosa did not mind speaking in turtle speed but now I realize how bad it is. It is not that I am depressed about it, I just realized the level of badness. Oh well, I guess it is not going to be like this forever (I hope) and I committed to three lessons a week to speed up the process: Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8am. I convinced Jon to tag along as many times as possible when he does not have meetings in the morning. We will see what we can make happen in four weeks! Pura Vida!

Posted in Daily Living, Learning, Spanish, Travel | 4 Comments

Back in the blogging game

Sorry for the long delay but it was quite an adventure in Bali and afterward. We took about a million pictures and I have finally downloaded them and will start editing and picking the best ones out very soon. Stay tuned for lots of pictures!

 

Sitting on the terrace in our amazing hotel in Ubud, slightly delirious from the beautiful view over the rice fields.

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Bali

We are flying out to Bali.

Tomorrow!

What else can I say??

Yayy!!!! 🙂

More later when we got pictures, adventure stories and more… If you have any recommendations please comment, we appreciate any tips!

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