2013-04-19

The Australian way

Since I won't write a post about Western Australia for a while, I wanted to share something that I love about Australians.
All you've ever heard about Australians is true. They are laid-back, warm-hearted (they actually say "hello" to people on the street!), and don't like splitting hairs. One of the finest example of this particular trait is the way they name things around them. Apart from "Kangaroo" which means "I don't understand" in Aboriginal, the whole country is named very... obviously. Just let me give you examples:
- A city in Tasmania called "Nowhere else"
- Another city in Western Australia called "Manypeaks", surrounded by... peaks
- A river in Western Australia called "Deep River"
- The beaches near Esperance called "West Beach", west from the city, and "Fourth beach" a bit further west after 2 other beaches.
- The mountains in "the Great Divide" that are called "Snowy mountains" for obvious reasons

Talking about the word "Great", some more geographical examples:
- The Great Ocean Road, of course
- The Great Ocean Drive, in the continuity of Highway 1 in Western Australia
- And up north, my personal favorite: The Great Sandy Desert. Could it be less specific?

I love it, it really is a reflection of the Australian way of thinking.

More about Western Australia in a while. Brace yourselves, it's going to be a long article, there is so much to see and do there, I am surprised so many people neglect it. The majority of the backpackers I've met so far were getting their second WHV, as if Western Australia was left to be seen when everything in the East was done. But then again, there is also so much to see and do in the East, it's enough for one vacation or for one year!

2013-04-12

South Australia

I will not write a long article about South Australia, because I only saw a spec of what there is to see, but I really enjoyed it. I found the South Australian warm and welcoming despite the hard work of a farm, and even though what I saw of it was desert, they really make the most out of it.
I stayed 10 days at a HelpX farmstay, where I learned the easy way how it is to work in a farm (except when those stupid sheeps didn't see the gate that was right in front of them and I had to chase after them... but even that was fun!).
We had 2 days off work. The first one, a friendly neighbour (30km away) took us to Ngarkat Conservation Park, and then I realized how lucky I was to do what I was doing. I mean, he took us on dirt roads not a lot of people go to, among a vegetation that you see nowhere else, the experience was unforgettable.

The second day off, we went on a mini road trip from Keith (where the farmstay was) to Naracoorte, where the Victoria Fossil Cave is, then to Mount Gambier to see the not-so-blue Blue Lake, and then up the coast from Beach Port to Kingston. That was not breathtaking, but it was really nice indeed.

And then, after I left the farmstay, I went to Adelaide. What can I say? I think I had with Adelaide the feeling I should have had with Melbourne. An arty city center, a buzzing and local Central Market - and by local, I mean with Crocodile meat or Emu steaks, which are delicious by the way - and micro caf├ęs sprouting at every corner. The day at Gleneg, the local beach resort, did help me enjoy it and relax
how is that supposed to be Fall?!
Of course, I didn't go to Port Douglas, and I didn't have the budget to go on a tour to Kangaroo Island (which I really should have, according to the pictures I have seen...), so I can't yet write SA off my to-see list, but what I've seen just gave me enough to actually want to come back.