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Australia Road Trip!

Note: Sorry for the quality of pics in this post, my camera stopped working in Bali and I didn’t get a new one till NZ. My instagram pictures will have to work :)

As I sat behind the wheel in Melbourne, Australia it hit me that not only have I a. not driven in 7 months but b. i have NEVER driven on the left side of the road. So starting in the 2nd biggest city in Australia may not have been the best idea… but alas here I was in our car on a monday morning during rush hour trying to teach myself to drive again. Sure it was scary but after  many years of commuting in Washington DC traffic I couldn’t have been more prepared. The drivers in Australia (though they may not agree) were so friendly! I mean if you needed to switch lanes, people actually let you switch lanes! You don’t get yelled at ever few feet, or hear the constant honking that comes with driving on the beltway. No, it was not like any driving I had experienced in DC. So once I figured out the left hand thing we were good to go and start our epic road trip, 3500 KM or 2200 miles in one week.  But first we had a stop in Melbourne to see a couple of friends we met in Laos. Catherine and Aaron, the coolest kids in Melbourne.177057_10100658132099869_1906981079_o

The first day we were there we explore Melbourne during the day and planned to meet up with Catherine and Aaron that night for dinner. The town of Melbourne is like super hip. Like H street (my love), Williamsburg, or Meatpacking district. The cafes where all adorably themed and the bars all have chalkboards and bikes chained out front. I loved it there and it’s definitely a place where I would want to live.

We meet up with Catherine and Aaron and went to eat at the first real (first-world) restaurants we had eaten at in 7 months. Sean had steak and I had mussels, we both had expensive craft beers. It was like a semblance of our lives in DC just on the other side of the world. It was nice to forget we were backpackers for a while and drink some beer that cost the same amount as our daily budget in SE Asia.

The next morning we were off to Harvestfest, the main reason we came to Melbourne. Harvestfest is a summer festival with tons of cool bands in a nice outdoor venue. We saw Cake, Sigur Ros, Grizzly Bear and Beck to name a few. We had perfect weather and could not have asked for a nicer day. OH and Catherine made us pancakes with fresh fruit and ICE CREAM the morning before we went. It was indeed an perfect day.

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The gang

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Sigur Ros

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Chillin on the lawn during Ben Folds Five

The next day we said good bye and were on our way. The next 7 days were a blur, we drove 12+ hours the first day, slept for 4 hours in a gas station parking lot, drove another 10hours, slept in a trailer park…. repeat for 7 days. We saw some weird road side attractions along with crazy animals, drank some home made margaritas in a trailer park (all class) and became king and queen of baked bean meal preparations. It was a hell of a road trip.

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Giant Mango

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Our home for the week

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Quick stop on the sunshine coast

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Trailer park margaritas

Trailer park margaritas

But in reality we didn’t see alot of Austraila this way becuase we had to drive so many hours a day. I guess I should mention that the reason we were driving this distance was becuase we had to meet up with my family in Cairns on a specific date and driving was cheaper then flying. So…. we drove. Also we had missed having a car and were excited about the road trip. It was nice to be on our own and not have to abid by a bus/train/plane schedue. We had the open road and nothing else, it was quite freeing.

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