Our Time in Australia is coming to an end, and like many of the countries we have been to, we have barely scratched the surface. Our 3,000 Kilometre road trip from Port Douglas/Cairns to Sydney was amazing. We feel like we have a great picture of what the East Coast, and the states of Queensland and New South Whales are like, watching the landscape shift from tropical and humid towards green fields and eucalyptus tree forests. We explored a handful of beaches along the Eastern coast, despite the warnings of saltwater Crocadiles, Irukandji jellyfish, and sharks in the water. We were thrilled to feel the warmth of the ocean hit our skins after the heat of the Aussie summer. It’s a strange experience to Skype home where everyone is experiencing winter and tons of rain, but I have to say that it is really nice to have been here at this time. Sydney, in particular, is so cosmopolitan and we love the blend of cultures: English, Irish, Indian, American, New Zealand and so on, there is definitely a level of familiarity here that makes it very comfortable. There is still so much to see in Australia and we look forward to returning to visit south of Sydney and the Western side and hopefully the interior. This country and what it contains fascinates us; there is so much to see in so little time. It would be easy to spend a year exploring this country that is roughly the same size as the U.S., and has only about 20 million people, as compared to the USA’s 308 million people. Lots of open space (and coastline).
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Our time in Bali has been marked with a combination of incredible experiences and amazing company. The crew and guests at The Chillhouse made the experience all that much more special. The culture here is a unique fusion of Hindu, Muslim, surf, arts and tropics. We spent the mornings surfing, Matt going off with local guides to “secret spots” or local favorites, and the kids going to friendlier breaks. The afternoons were usually spent exploring the island, skin diving, or relaxing with a massage; truly an island paradise. The predominantly Hindu and Buddhist culture/religion has produced some very unique and breathtaking architecture. The people of Bali have incredible shrines in virtually every front yard of every house. These intricate spirit houses are the predominant form of worship seen all over. We met and made many new friends here on Bali, families and couples traveling for the holidays. This was our first time away from home for the holidays and we enjoyed not having the pressures of decorating and shopping until we drop, instead we enjoyed time together and a peaceful Christmas and New Year, realizing how fortunate we all are in our lives and with our families.