Joanne Gruttner's Blog

Jo & Mike's Boomer Adventure through Australia

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G’day from Down Under!

Hi World!

Finally….I get a quick chance to blog. The WiFi ISP provider in Australia went belly up – the ones used widely at campsites. So, we found a cafe in Byron Bay to access the Internet.

Well into week 2, tons of sites and weather patterns. Landed in Sydney and went to our family friends Hans and Rikki for a awesome hospitality. Hans toured us around his town, then took us to Sydney by train (new for us!), and to the Harbour front where we took a boat tour of the beautiful sites. The coastline has a strong Mediteranean look – houses built up on hillsides dotting the coastline. An average condo on the harbour will run you over $16 Million!!!!! Saw some Aborignee buskers playing their digi.

We rented a camper van – like a Dodge caravan converted into a camper with a fridge, butane stove/camp cooker and sink. The seats convert into a bed. After a week of juggling the bedding every day – enough of that novelty, we bought a tent for a more comfortable travel experience.

So…sites…up to the north coast is the Pacific Highway. The more north you go, the warmer it gets – apparently. We’ve had some pretty cold weather. Mike the packing monitor (he calls it the packing economist to travel light) didn’t let me pack warm clothing, so I’ve been cold most of the time.

We camped in Raymond Terrace, Port McQuarrie, Bellingen, Ballina, and now in Byron Bay.

Port McQuarrie was a lovely port city. We visited the Koala hospital that was set up in a natural habitat / forest for the bears to recover from various injuries, abandonment.

We camped the water front. Bellingen was very enchanting. It was a Shire, and looked just like a scene out of Lord of the Rings…Bruce…yep…I KNOW there are faeries there!!!! Very lush rich meadows on the way up to the Rainforest Conservation and lookout in Dorigo. Unfortunately, it was fogged in, so back down the mountain to camp in the valley.

Bellinger is an upscale hippy town – without the dippy! Breakfast for 2 was over $40!

We are now in Byron Bay – a surfer town where pretty much anything goes. Everyone walks around bare foot – even in the grocery stores. It’s also a place stuck back in time with tons of old VW mini buses with surf boards on top, and people biking around with a surf boad somehow attached to the side of the bike.

We took a drive into the Hinterlands yesterday to visit a sacred area called Nimbin. It’s really a small hippy place that reminded me of Woodstock in New York. It’s where they had the Aquarius convention in the ’70s when the new age movement began. Some hippy asked Mike if he wanted to buy some weed. He said, not now, I’m good!

We went sea kayaking today to see whales and dolphins. We can barely walk – we should have taken a seniors excursion!!! The old back ain’t what she used to be. We did see a whale and her cow in front of us. It was amazing!

Well, we’re off tomorrow up north to find the sun and heat. Not sure where the road will take us. We like to get off the main highway and explore at least every couple of days to see the diverse culture. Just off the main coastal highway inland is the rainforest and jungle, which we like to trek and find delightful little sites….

Haven’t camped in 15 years, but it’s like riding a bike. Good thing we’re getting along splendidly – tight quarters and no where to hide!!!! And, we have another 21 days of camping, then probably fly down to Melbourne to see the penquins!

I’ll post when I can get access to Internet. And, post pictures once we download them.

In the meantime,

Journey Well!!!

Jo and Mike



Getting Ready to Fly!

Finally! Just moved into our new home. Absolutely love it – well worth looking at 30 houses to find…..the best of country living close to city.

Hardly believe after being catapulted into a new reality – home and community, we’ll be catapulted into a new country within one week! Life is full of adventure, isn’t it? Then again, we create our own realities, don’t we?

This weekend is getting our packing sorted out. Off to Mountain Equipment Co-op to find the last minute things to pack up. And, since we’re going to miss Thanksgiving, I’m making a turkey dinner for my family. The Last Supper? We joke that we might totally love Australia and decide to find work and stay! 

 Might take some time to find access to internet, but will get some pics up once we get there.

Well, stay tuned.

Chat soon!


Getting the ball rolling

Today I got the ball rolling on my goal to blog on our trip to Australia. I finally figured out how to set up my blog -sort of.

I haven’t had time to get too excited about our trip yet. There’s just been so many things taking our attention away – mostly house shopping so we can get something we like before we leave for Australia and move into the new home in time to at least get things settled a bit for when we come back. Chances are, when we come back after being away on a crazy vacation for 5 weeks, we’ll be really disoriented – let alone step into a new and strange home and community.

I’ll write every now and then as we build up to our departure date. Not being very social media savvy, I’ll have to take time to learn how to blog well and make the right linkages to get my blog out there.

If anyone is reading, suggestions are welcome!

In the meantime,

Journey Well!