Perhaps it was all the fresh air, or the lack of ozone protection (seriously there is a hole in the ozone over NZ), or heaps of Vitamin D that our bodies were seriously lacking, but New Zealand left a serious impression on both Lynn and I. It was also a great place for us to start our journey, the visually stunning landscape and laid back atmosphere helped us start to ease into travel.
Today we are a week and a half into our 5 week Australian (Oz) journey. After much debate (or 3 second discussion) we gave ourselves an extra week to explore the wildlife extravaganza Oz has to offer. And so far it has not disappointed. It’s not everyday that you are driving on the wrong side of the road when a 6’ kangaroo jumps out of the bushes. Or you realize that steroidal looking ants are crawling on your shoe (these ants could literally lift a rat). But the one thing that has probably shocked me the most are the birds. Yes, they are absolutely amazing and beautiful (and I’m no bird watcher) but the sounds that come out of them leave you absolutely terrified.
I woke-up the first morning and turned to Lynn and said, “Are you using AOL dial-up to access your email?” No, that was a bird. You will be walking through a lush serene rainforest with incredible waterfalls and exotic plants when a bird will scream out at the top of their lungs and you are wondering who is being molested in the woods. Then you look up at this creature flying above you and think, “oh, it’s only a freak of nature bird.”
Let’s be clear, I have found a lot of new noises that did not exist. Lynn found a shipwreck that we checked out on the Western most point. We decided to give it a go, even though the path was not well cleared. On the 30 minute climb uphill in the blazing sun I saw a black snake. I am going to be honest, I learned a lot that moment. First, I have full lung capacity even while huffing and puffing up a mountain. Secondly, Lynn does not quite have the same reaction as she turned to me and said, “Congrats, you saw your first poisonous snake and you’re alive.”
Yes, we are alive! We are now over a month into our world journey and still having fun. For those that ask, we are still trying to track down the great mammal Hugh Jackman … we even found the pub he hangs out at, but he was a no show! Thank you to all our new friends, especially those that wait out rainstorms to explore and show us great sites. Who knows what we will uncover next; however, as New Zealanders often say, “It’s good as gold.”
P.S. I post pictures daily to our Facebook Awayward site. If you “Like” the Awayward Facebook site, we do not see information about you but our posts will appear in your river. It’s usually something like this … “Look we found another amazing beach/mountain/wildlife/or art gallery.” Every once in awhile we provide educated commentary!37