Bye bye South Africa, hello Australia!
We had a wonderful time in South Africa. Actually, we did not really want to leave anymore. However, Australia also attracts us. And since we already booked the tickets we decided to go anyways 😉. Saying farewell to the beautiful home in South Africa wasn’t easy. Livia remains unfazed as long as we are around, but Anna was inconsolable. South Africa is in her heart and leaving such a beautiful country was another break she has a hard time with to handle.
More goodbyes and a new beginning.
That is the tricky side of this trip... and at the same time delivers a nice side. We collect memories in all the places and countries we visit. We discover so many new, special and beautiful things. Our hearts and heads are generously filled.
A domestic flight took us from George to Johannesburg and with a short layover a direct international flight from to Sydney. Two times we waved goodbye to the beautiful South Africa from the sky.
The long flight to Australia was smooth
We had arranged a bassinet for Livia. A nice lady in the plane was kind enough to swap places with Ewout so we could all sit next to each other. For Anna again there where a lot of movies and little sleep. Once we arrived in Sydney we were warmly welcomed by customs.
After collecting all our stuff including one piece of ‘excessive size and weight’ we where directed by a customer offers around the long ‘to declare’ row. Not because we had nothing to declare: One of our bags had baby milk, nibbles and some left over (dry) food from South Africa. We declared this verbally to the customers officer and after explanation of the why we brought this along we got ‘OK-ed’ and we could walk straight through. That saved at least half to and hour of waiting. A proper blessing after a 12 hours flight with two kids!
Sleep is a luxury
We took a taxi to our AirBnB place we tented for the first 3 nights. A three bedroom housw near a train station into Sydney city center (or CBD as the Aussies tend to call that). The first night went ok with Livia awake for a few hours but she was as always good-spirited even in the middle of the (Australian time-zone) night. Anna awoke too, but both went to sleep again shortly and we were happy with that and got some shut eye too. Enough energy was gained for the next day to go on an adventure in and around Sydney.
The night following the two ladies woke up again around 1am and it was a little less easy to get them back to sleep. However enough sleep for a new day exploring Syndey. We took the train to the ‘Quai’ and from their one to meet Ewout’s fromer boss for a BBQ in the park. A nice reunion, lovely food, great weather and a beautiful view over the city.
After a full nights sleep (what a luxury !!) we packed all our gear again and where took an Uber (transaction blocked one of the credit cards, grr) to the motorhome. Anna somehow was expecting the trip to take us the Netherlands and was disappointed and especially worried that we were going to miss ‘Sinterklaas’, when we reminder her we were going to pick up a motorhome and the journey would continue. We repeated that we were going to be back in the Netherlands for Sinterklaas and therefor we could enjoy Australia first.
Our Australian road trip started in good spirits
After all the paperwork at the dealership we took of end of morning with our motorhome, a.k.a. Tuppy. The first stop was grocery shopping. The second stop was national park in the Blue Mountains. A beautiful national park 2 hours west of Sydney. We found a simple, small campsite. Few amenities, but fine for us. And a powered site! A luxury, but convenient (Note: we are rocking our 2nd Nespresso machine since departing on this trip. Traveling with small kids is powered by caffeine and alcohol). In the afternoon we discovered our surroundings and gazed at the well-known ‘Three Sisters’ formation. Three large rocks that stand side by side and have an aboriginal myth to them.
The story goes that it where three sisters who had turned into stone. For Anna a fascinating story that she could not stop asking question about (Note II: parents are deemed to know everything). Particularly how the head of a kid at that age works. It appeals to their imagination in strong fashion.
Next day we had planned to do a longer hike, but after a night with howling winds the day started with rain and was predicted to stay on for a few hours. We decided to move our camp elsewhere. We pointed the motorhome south towards Canberra, the capital city of Australia in between Sydney and Melbourne. We found a nice spot on a river near a National park, Cotter Campground. A place with a toilet and shower but without electricity, other facilities, not any reception (as in cellular coverage…).
Off grid, enjoying back to nature… or not?
The next morning it turned out that the auxiliary batteries of the motorhome where both depleted. Therefor no electricity in the morning. In itself not a problem as the fridge and cooker run on gas but our phones (and nowadays main camera) and tablet also where near dead. And that is quite a big challenge for some in our family.
We went hiking to Cotter dam. Along the way we encountered Kangaroos, Emu, Snakes, Lizards (small and very large) and all kinds of birds. In the afternoon stones were painted in in all colors and Ewout and Anna had a swim in the chilly but clear water of the river stream direct below our camp spot… and all under the watchful eye of (not so interested) Kangaroos. Ewout started reading a book in the evening (you have to do something without a phone or internet).
Tomorrow we will continue our journey…
This entry was posted in Australia