We left Asia with an au revoir rather than a goodbye and vowed to return again soon. After all, what is not to love about it...amazing beaches, beautiful hospitality and it's cheap. Get yourself there.
In between Mikey's last post and our arrival down under, we spent a week pool and beachside on Gili T enjoying the incredible welcome we received on our return to the 'party island'. The Trawangan Oasis were once again plagued by banana demands from the cutesters but some things had changed they now had a bar and a wine stocked fridge!
Our journey out of Asia began with a horse and cart and involved two planes, one boat, one taxi and one slightly tense moment at check in where we realised we had no visa to enter Australia and we had no days left on our current visa to stay in Indonesia (yikes!) and ended some hours, or was it days, later with Adam collecting us at Sydney airport. Phew what a welcome sight!
Sydney was unseasonably warm when we arrived, we even got to take a dip in the pool at Adam and Lizzie's as the sun was setting. Or the kids did (Mikey included) whilst the grown ups (Adam, Lizzie and I) were sensible enough to enjoy a pale ale whilst dry instead.
A pilgrimage to Home and Away's Palm Beach (ya flamin galah) and a non-stop running visit to the ever creative Taronga Zoo were squeezed in before we were heading out to the sticks of Treachery Camp,
apparently about 4 hours drive north of Sydney, but not if you follow Sat Nav and get stuck in Mungo Brush at a dead end with a tiny ferry to nowhere as your only option out.
Cue 7 hours in the car with a two year old toddler who has become more accustomed to riding barely holding on to the front of a moped rather than sitting strapped into a regulation child car seat in a car. A bit fraught would be a tame way to describe the atmosphere within the car, at least the ferry gave us a few minutes run around watching the pelicans and the sunset. Our poor navigation meant we arrived, in the dark - set up the tent, in the dark - scavenged someone else's camping gas to cook dinner, in the dark - before enjoying the good old camp fire tradition of toasting marshmallows. There were maybe 4 other tents in the site and a possum for company.
The next morning we awoke to find huge sand dunes 20 metres from our tent leading to the most beautiful, wild, rugged, treacherous beach we've ever camped on. We were the only people there - our human company left before breakfast - but our animal friends came to the party with a dingo visit over breakfast and a million bush turkeys trying to steal our toast. The surf board was safe strapped to the top of the board as the waves were enormously relentless so no danger of getting in the water and the battery on the car was flat from the lights helping us erect the tent the night before!
More stunning sea life was spotted the next day as we walked to Treachery Head; we spotted two whales and a pod of dolphins (over 20) surfing the waves from Treachery round the headland to Sugar Reef and back. The dingo count was up to two - now howling and running through the empty campsite and the possums living in our tree were now two. If you've not seen a possum before they're kind of like a squirrel on steroids - just as cheeky and curious - Raze you'd love them! And dingoes - they're the baby stealers (apparently) - they're basically wild dogs. Which do you think Mikey was more afraid of?
After three nights of toasting marshmallows and with the constant ear worm of 'Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree' the rain stopped play and we headed back to the city.
Adam and Lizzie were (as always) amazing hosts - not only providing two play mates for Jess and Otto (they are both still asking when they will see their friends Oliver and Charlie again), but also lending us their car and their camping gear and cooking us amazing meals and making us feel so at home that we didn't want to leave. Thank you Riley's for everything. When we finally have a home we'll try and repay the hospitality. Thanks also to Alex and Michelle for lending us their tent - it definitely came in handy on the last rainy night!
Sydney is a great city and luckily, as we generally are, we managed to get back to the city in time to enjoy Manly Wine Festival, where everyone in the North Shore descends on Manly beach to drink copious amounts of local beer and wine, and Vivid Sydney, where the city puts on an amazing show turning all the iconic sights into 3-D light installations. We also managed to get a much needed date night thanks to Jen (Adam and Lizzie's sitter) so Mikes and I got to celebrate his birthday with cocktails and ribs sans kids. Must be the fourth time in 8 months we've been out the two of us without the kids.
So a wonderful stop over ended with another lift to the airport (Thanks Lizzie) and we were off to the USA - Hawaii no less.
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Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!