making the rounds

so we’ve been making the rounds of friends, dropping in to catch up with people as we explore the central and gold coasts.

it started out with meeting up with damian, j’s old work colleague in sydney. bar-hopping as his “guests” we severely overindulged until the wee hours, only to suffer the consequences the next day. reasons the partying and backpacker lifestyle don’t mix: a) there’s nothing like waking up and realising you’ve blown two day’s food budget in an evening b) it’s so not fun waking up 20 minutes after you were supposed to have checked out, crashing around the room packing in a blind panic while still drunk c) travelling while hungover is the worst kind of naseous misery known to man. we spent gruelling hours of distance driving in the pouring rain, stopping overnight in port macquarie (and watching the poor south african springboks team get slaughtered at the hands of the aussie wallabys).

the next day we continued up to brisbane, where we spent a lovely chilled evening of dining and drinks chatting with adam (unfortunately simone had left for perth the day before), and enjoying the hotel comforts of his corporate apartment – a beautifully hot and powerful shower, and an incredibly delicious bed. sometimes all you need is a good wash and sleep to feel completely restored.

leaving brisbane, we stopped off at a koala center (where i gave myself whiplash futilely scanning the treetops) and had lunch at surfer’s paradise before arriving at nicola and ben’s house. nick and i are old travel buddies from london so we spent some time comparing stories and catching up on her new baby/wedding/house plans while ben rustled up a fab spag bol, for the four of us, plus his bro and nephew. the next morning nick took us on the grand tour of the coolangatta area, with its resident surfers and unbelievable beaches, and completely sold me on the idea of moving to australia for a year.

we continued back south, and pulled over at byron’s bay – the most easterly point of oz. we sat and soaked up the spectacular views and watched the whales off the coast before continuing on to newcastle, where we were welcomed with open arms by london ex-pat leann (blair being in nz for work). she shared her adorable and comfortable cottage with us, and the next day, in spite of the rain, we took a mini tour, warmed up with some coffees, and spent the evening cooking and chatting and draining a few bottles of vino over great conversation and even more delicious food.

then, sadly, it was time to head off to the airport. all in all, we got to see more than we’d hoped, but not as much as we would have liked. we saw a nice chunk of australia over the course of a week-long roadtrip, and shared the warmth of reunions and friendship.

and hopefully we’ll see them all again very soon. ;)

2 Responses to “making the rounds”

  1. Your Sister
    July 23rd, 2006 20:17

    What do you mean you are moving to Australia for a
    year?! WTF!?!? We still have to visit you in UK!

  2. k
    July 26th, 2006 07:22

    Sounds like you and Australia were quite the fit but the stop in Fiji…bliss! Enjoy!

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