Joe and Anne Cooper|
After 45 days in Nepal, we arrived in Australia in search of all the creature comforts of home and were not at all disappointed. We fete'ed Christmas with Anne's brother, Neil and his wife Robin and our godson Callum. Seeing Callum's eyes light up on Christmas morning when we unveiled his new train set was quite a sight to see!
Once the new year struck, we headed to Queensland, rented a van and headed down the coast with many stops to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef. We also experienced our very own National Geographic moment at Mon Repos when we watched a massive loggerhead turtle bury her eggs in the sand (and a little further down the beach we watched hundreds of hatchlings come out of the sand and head to the sea).
In good Australian style, I discovered a new favorite beer, the Blue Tongue Lager. Anne also made a discovery of her own, the sparkling Shiraz - an awesome bevvie for anyone who enjoys champers and Shiraz. In keeping with the zest of our Nepali adventures we were drawn to Australia's highest peak, Mt. Kosciusko (2228m, 7310ft.). Then, it was on to the wine - wine in Hunter Valley, wine in McLaren Valley and wine in the Barossa Valley. Yum. The cherry on top of our amazing Australian adventures was a trip to the outback. We flew to Alice Springs and drove down to Ayers Rock - man, that's one big rock! We stared at it for a while, then decided we really must run around it - and that we did, we ran the full 9.5km around it's base while being swarmed by hundreds of flies, one of which Anne swallowed.
Although we spent over 8 weeks in the Sunburnt Country, we really only scratched the surface so while in the departure lounge heading to Vietnam, we started to plan our return trip where we hope to get to Perth, Tasmania and Darwin - so much to see and so little time.
The Chapters of Australia...