A time for everything

5 05 2013
With only ten days left in this land of sunshine and beauty, I figured it was time I wrote an update for those of you who may have been wondering what I’ve been up to these last few weeks. Sorry it’s been so long.
 
Apple season in Tasmania came to a sudden halt mid-April when we showed up for work one day and they told us that the next day would be our last day since there were no apples left to pick. So I then had to scramble to put together a plan for what would be next. I booked a flight back to the mainland, to Melbourne, where I had been living previously, and decided to say hello and reconnect with a few friends there. But before I left Devonport, some friends and I made a day trip to Cradle Mountain where we did a 13 km, 6 hour hike to the summit. The view was breath-taking. An awesome way to say goodbye to Tasmania, now one of my favourite places on earth. I spent one last weekend in Devonport cherishing each moment with the dear friends I made there, going to church one last time, having a few dinners with the families that loved and gave so much to me in my 4 1/2 weeks in Devonport, and praising God for all His incredible blessings. 
 
Goodbyes are never easy but they are made easier when you get to say hello to lovely people on the other end of your journey.  So, Melbourne. It was great to be back! It felt like coming home thanks to the generous hospitality of my host family there. In my few days there I made some plans. I toyed with the idea of finding work for my last few weeks since money was running low but realized that wouldn’t work in such a short time. After a small series of unfortunate events involving a 40 minute delayed train, my plans to travel the Great Ocean Road –one of the highlights of Victoria–got turned upside down and I had to stay an extra night in Melbourne before catching a direct train on to Adelaide in South Australia. So I missed the Great Ocean Road altogether which was a bit sad. However, on the eleven hour train ride I sat next to a lovely Dutch lady and we quickly became friends despite our twenty year age difference.
 
When I arrived in Adelaide on a Thursday evening, I stayed for one night with a nice Christian couple that I had met previously in Hobart, and they introduced me to Adelaide. I spent the weekend in a hostel and got to explore the city, meet up with some nice friends, and went on a thirty kilometre bike ride to the beach. It was also in Adelaide that I made the rest of my plans for my last three weeks in Australia. Actually, I had the help of a popular backpackers travel company called PeterPans travel where a friendly guy named Alex made all kinds of suggestions for a speedy two week trip down the east coast of Australia. He made me realize that it is possible to travel 3000 kilometres in two weeks, and on a tight budget, too! So with bus, accommodation, and tours booked, I hopped on a flight to Cairns in northern Queensland, the sunshine state. Sunshine state indeed! 
 
Cairns was hot, hot, hot! There I made a day trip to the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation and spent a day on the beach with some people from the hostel. By the way, I forgot to mention that for the first week of my trip I travelled with a girl I met in Adelaide who also wanted to see the east coast. After Cairns we visited Mission Beach where we stayed at this awesome hostel in the rainforest. We did a bit of beach bumming and some hiking as well. Then we hopped on the bus to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the famous Whitsundays Islands. I had the most amazing plate of fish and chips that I’ve ever had in Airlie Beach. The next morning we began our Whitsundays adventure on a two day, two night catamaran trip where we snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, explored Whitehaven Beach, and socialized with the other travellers on board. The coral and fish were incredible to see. Seeing “Rainbow fish” (from one of my favourite kids books) in real life was an experience I’m not soon to forget.
 
I said goodbye to my travel companion in Airlie Beach (but I still had one other companion that we picked up along the way for a few more days) and continued on to spend two days in Rainbow Beach which is famous for its coloured sandy cliffs and Carlo Sandblow which is just a massive amount of sand..it’s so hard to describe, but trust me, your jaw will drop. After Rainbow, back on my own again, I spent two days in Noosa, a popular holiday town with lots of opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and hiking through Noosa National Park. I took the free option and did some hiking along the coast to Sunshine Beach and took in two very beautiful sunsets in the evening.
 
And now I’m back on a bus, on my way to Brisbane. After so many days of nature, beaches, and national parks, I’m looking forward to exploring a bigger city! Two days in Brisbane will be followed by two days in Byron Bay for some more hiking and beach bumming before catching an overnight, 14 hour bus trip back to Sydney where I started four months ago!
 
I will leave it at that for now for the sake of those of you with short attention spans:)  Perhaps I will write a more reflective post in a few days, because I have definitely been doing lots of reflecting these last few days with the end in sight. There is a time for everything, isn’t there?
 
Be blessed, friends. Sending you my love from sunny Australia.

 

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3 responses

6 05 2013
John Vedder

A friendly guy named Alex that works in a travel agency, sounds familiar (Haha)
Wow! That’s a lot kms, sounds like an awesome country. You take beautiful pictures by the way. Looking forward to having you home to do some “beach bumming” on the shores of the Mighty Castor 🙂
love you,
dad

6 05 2013
nvedder

Haha, I never even thought of that before! Are you going to build me a beach on the shores of this Mighty Castor?? 🙂 Love you too, Dad.

10 05 2013
Brenda Curry

Your trip sounds so absolutely wonderful, especially getting to stay overnight in a rain forest and seeing a penguin up close. So many friends you’ve made too! Hope your last few days will be as good as the previous few months!
Brenda

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