Arrival in Blue Mountains
11/08/2011, Leura, Australia
Sydney Harbor Bridge photo by SydneyRocks.org. Sorry our camera was packed away when we saw it for the first time.
We arrived within minutes of ETA following nearly 24 straight hours of travel from train-to-bus-to-train. We were quite pleased with the quality of the travel. The Tilt-Train from Bundaberg to Brisbane was the slowest segment of the trip and we were expecting so much from a "Tilt Train". It was more like a 35 mph lean-over train. we aren't really sure why it Tilts.
When we arrived in Leura, I walked two blocks from the train station and pick-up our 4x4. No fuss and no worries. The vehicle seems to be in good overall condition and the funny thing was the seller's name was Ben. The Van we bought in NZ was from a Ben as well...so hopefully that is good karma.
We did have some serious excitement on our way down when we discovered that none of our credit cards were working...no Visa, no MC and no Amex. All purchases and efforts to get cash were declined. We were freaked as we sat on the train trying to figure out what the hell was up. You would be amazed what your imagination can come up with during 17 hours on a bus.
We have been using our cards for over 3 weeks in Australia and suddenly they stopped working at the same time??? Well, it seems that my purchase of the 4x4 using Paypal and my purchase of tickets via internet caused a cascade of security holds. Each card service said that they have tremendous issues with Australian Internet fraud.
Well, we fixed everything by the time we were driving across the Sydney Bridge pass the Sydney Opera house...what a cool first time experience. It was a surprise too since you come out of a tunnel and suddenly there's the bridge, harbor and opera house in just a matter of minutes as you drive into downtown. And, Sydney is absolutely beautiful!! Sorry, no photos yet as the camera was in with the backpacks.
We haven't really had any sleep in over 30 hours, so we will sleep in tomorrow in our Cabin.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot the highlight of the day...I had Kangaroo for lunch. The verdict...pretty good stuff. It is extremely lean and tastes more like Buffalo than beef.
4x4 Australia...here we come!
We bought a 4x4 Mitsubishi again...this time it is a Pajero instead of the van. We will be taking 2 trains and bus (total of 26 hours) to get to our new vehicle which is located at the edge of the Blue Mountains National Park.
We will be taking a train from Bundaberg to Brisbane, bus to Sydney, train to Leura. As you can see Leura is right at the center of where we wanted to travel.
We should have some great photos coming soon!
Googlebots scare me. Our blog is infested on a hourly basis which makes me wonder why.
Shooting the Fraser Island Strait
10/25/2011, Bundaberg, Australia
Our next sailing challenge lies 50 miles to the south of Bundaberg between Fraser Island and the mainland. There is a shortcut to Brisbane that requires a gutsy run across tidal plains and river beds. The trek is said to be well marked and as long as we follow the tides Trim is said to be able to make the crossing through 12 foot waters...YIKES!
Our friends on Skylight are making the passage now and are reporting water depths back to us as they go.
Here is what it looks like...
Are we in Kansas?
10/21/2011, Bundaberg, Australia
We have been in OZ for nearly a week now and the only thing we can equate the location to is Kansas. It feels as though we have sailed across the planet and arrived in Kansas where there are rolling fields of grain and various cash crops growing in tidy rows that reach the horizon. The clouds roll in from the east with dark rain filled thunderous outbreaks.
Where are those damn red crystal slippers when you need them?
Poled-out genoa down wind sailing in 25+ knots.