Saturday, 23 February 2013

Dirty Thirty – Surf Camp

Depending on the odds you give me, you can say that I am going through a third or half life crisis by selling most of my possessions and travelling the world. My 29th birthday was wild with Jess getting me a tattoo so we wanted to go all out for my 30th  - which provided mixed results.

We finished work last week and decided to start the travel part of our vacation with a bang and go to a five day Surf Camp. Monday morning we jumped on a bus and travelled about 2hrs South West to 7 Mile Beach. The camp was a quick walk away from a pristine beach that was made for beginner surfers like us.
We split into groups and hit the water in our standard issue, make-you-look-like-a-fat-white-chubbo, wetsuits and started our lessons. The first couple days were spent finding new muscles to ache and ways to bail off a surf board in the least graceful way. Jess, of course, made it look easy and was getting private lessons from an instructor that thought he could replace me. I was making steady progress and consistently getting up.

We were greeted to Dolphins swimming offshore for a couple of the days and one of Jess’s other boyfriends, (who she named Sawyer – Lost reference), was fit enough to paddle out and get some great video of them on a GoPro. The night life consisted of stuffing our faces and falling asleep early feeling like the waves were still floating you on the bed.

At the very end of the third day I caught a wave, crashed and rolled up on shore like the whale that I am and realized that it felt like a donkey had kicked me in the ribs and I was having trouble breathing. I figured I got hit by the board and the sting would lessen as the night wore on. Boy was I wrong! I woke up on my 30th Birthday with a mystery bulge in my rib cage and was having trouble with simple tasks like sitting, standing or lying. I figured the water would help me stretch things out and make me feel better. Wrong again. It was official… I am old. I missed out on one and a half lessons but took the opportunity to take an extra couple of thousand photos of Jess not being old.

All in all it was an amazing trip and another good birthday story. We will continue to surf when we can, and think that the camp was and awesome place to meet some great people and have fun even when you are reminded of your own mortality.

The Surf Camp crew.
Each day the instructors took video of us using GoPro cameras. Here is the final week summary video. If you look close you can see us a few times.


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Around Australia in 73 Days

We have finished working and are now ready to take on Australia! We will be gone for 73 days and enter 5 states – the 6th state is Tasmania and we will not be going here unless we have some leftover money. Our plans are outlined below and we are more than thrilled to get started.

Phase One:

February 18 to 22
Seven Mile Beach National Park
Surf Camp
February 28 to March 3
First visit to see Neal & Laura on their new home turf.
March 3 to 6
Snorkel on Rottnest Island
March 6 to 13
Darwin & the Red Centre
Tour from Darwin to Alice Springs. Some highlights should be sleeping under the stars in the outback, seeing Ayers Rock & riding a camel.
March 13 to 22
Adelaide & back to Melbourne
After a couple of days in Adelaide, we will rent a car and drive the Great Ocean Road back to Melbourne.
Visit #2 with Neal & Laura.

Phase Two:

March 22 to 25
Visit the Australian Zoo
(AKA: Steve Irwin’s zoo)
March 25 to 29
Relax and soak up some rays. We were here for a weekend in November and are looking forward to going back.
March 29 to April 5
Rainbow Beach
Fraser Island Drive Safari – camping and 4 wheel driving on a beach
April 5 to 12
Hervey Bay
Airlie Beach
Whitsunday Catamaran Tour – snorkel
April 13 to 17
Magnetic Island Escape – scooter or Barbie Car rental
April 18 to 26
Great Barrier Reef snorkel and helicopter tour (super excited for this one).
Cape Tribulation Safari.
Kayak Tour.
April 27 to May 2
Final visit with Neal & Laura
May 2
Return to Canada!


As you can see there has been a lot of planning going on...
In other news, Jeff is very proud of his beard at this point. I am sure you all look forward to seeing it progress on this trip.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Australia Day

Me in my "Totes Amaze" vest... It's totally amazing.

Some other Aussie slang for you:
Ranga - short for Orangutan (what they call gingers - and my personal favorite)
Relo - short for Relative
Fluoro - short for fluorescent
Credo - short for credentials
Unco - short for Uncoordinated
Abo - short for Aboriginal (derogatory)

It has been pretty rainy here in Sydney the last few weekends. It was the Australia Day long weekend last week and we got lucky with 1 day of sun so we took advantage of the day and went for a walk followed by a BBQ.

 We saw these baby octopuses at the grocery store and decided it would be something different to grill. I didn’t like the final texture but Jeff loved them, and says he would make them again.
While we waited for them to grill we had some Crabbies Ginger Beer, a new favorite of ours. Jeff also made some flat bread pizza that we’ve been eating multiple times a week. Very yummy.

 Only 10 days of work left and then we continue on our way to see Australia – North, South, East and West.