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Merry Christmas – enjoy the holidays!

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Hi all,

 

We’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year… and what a year it’s been!

 

We started 2015 in Cairns, where we stayed until May, working and biding our time until we had to fly home for two weddings.

 

Australia Day 2015 Cairns

 

Once we were on the road again, our task was fairly simple – explore the east coast of Australia.  After a magical visit at Paronella Park, we passed through Townsville and Mackay before heading inland to the beautiful Lake Elphinstone.

 

Lake Elphinstone 2015-05-05 038w

 

We cruised through the Central Highlands before returning to the coast. We ate beef in Rockhampton, drank rum in Bundaberg, then caught a ferry to Fraser Island. We gave the Troopy a 4WD workout at Landcruiser Mountain Park and watched the rain clouds come in on the Sunshine Coast.

 

Landcruiser Mountain Park 2015-05-16 054w

 

We spent about three weeks in Brisbane because Dave needed some medical attention, but it was great to spend time with friends in that beautiful city.  As we approached the Gold Coast, the dark clouds returned and by the time we got to the Best Of All Lookouts, we couldn’t see a thing!

 

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We crossed the border into New South Wales and bee-lined straight to Byron Bay for a few days in the easternmost town of Australia. We were lucky to get a few days of sun but the drizzle returned as we made our way to Coffs Harbour.  Finally, with some sun, we got to enjoy the beautiful coastline from Port Macquarie to Newcastle.

 

 

We enjoyed a tipple in the Hunter Valley before spending a week on the Central Coast, helping out a family with their household duties while Juz scored some work with a school holiday program in Gosford.

 

Hunter Valley 2015-06-23 038w

 

Arriving in Sydney was a little surreal. It’s the biggest city in Australia and we spent a lot of time walking around the city getting exhausted. We also have a few friends in Sydney so it was great to catch up and spend time with them.

 

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We headed inland to the Blue Mountains and Central West just in time for a freakish cold front to sweep through the area. We had the pleasure of experiencing subzero temperatures and snow, as well as seeing the Dish in Parkes and exotic animals at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo.

 

 

With a few more friendly visits in Kiama and Milton, and a stop at the Big Merino in Goulburn, we finally visited our country’s capital. We called in at the War Memorial and National Mint and even saw our old travel buddies Tom and Bella.

 

 

Once we returned to the coast, the wet weather reappeared and we reached the Victorian border within a day or two. From then on, there was no point stuffing around – we were 4 hours from home.  On Sunday the 2nd of August, we rolled in unannounced and enjoyed a hot shower and warm bed.

 

Since our return to Melbourne, we’ve been busy.  We got jobs, reconnected with friends, and started making plans for the future.

 

We’re going to take a few weeks off to enjoy the silly season and spend time with our family and friends. We’ll see you all in the new year with more posts about the last leg of our lap around Australia, as well as our run down of Tassie later in the year.

 

Thanks for all your support,

 

Dave & Juz

 

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas : 2014 In Review

Merry Christmas

 

As we wrap up another year of travelling, making new friends and being away from home, we wanted to wish all of our fans, followers, friends and family a super happy Christmas and a fun and safe New Year.

 

This year has been quite a busy one for us.  We started the year in Darwin, working full times jobs and having fun with new friends.  After the confusing disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines MH370 and a quick visit back to Melbourne in April for a wedding, we packed up our life in Darwin and headed south.  We visited Kakadu, Mataranka, Lorella Springs and the Devils Marbles, and rolled in to Alice Springs just in time for winter.

 

 

We stayed in Alice Springs for around three months, mostly because of mechanical issues that took a massive bite out of the savings that we put together in Darwin. Dave got to watch the Football World Cup on a big screen TV (remember the Suarez biting incident?) and Juz participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Life briefly got in the way of our journey but the show must go on and once the Troopy was all fixed up with a brand new set of wheels, we continued on into the guts of central Australia.

 

 

Crossing the border into Queensland was a hoot – we had been in the Northern Territory for over a year and arriving in a new state was exciting.  We were in Birdsville just in time for the races, and got a serious culture shock at this Aussie outback event.  Juz celebrated her 31st birthday in Winton, while Dave’s birthday was spent in Weipa as we made our way up Cape York to the northern tip of Australia.

 

Cape York

 

Just as the Ebola Epidemic reared it’s ugly head, we were wrapping up two weeks of work on a biodynamic farm in Cooktown.  By mid October, we were in Cairns and have spent the last two months here. We plan to stay and work in Cairns for another few months as our Darwin savings didn’t get us as far as we expected.

 

With all the chaotic and tragic events that have occurred in Australia lately – the death of cricketer Phil Hughes, the Sydney Siege, and the sad loss of eight children in Cairns – we hope more than ever that we all remember the importance of love, family and friendship at this time.  Christmas is not about Santa and presents – it’s about getting together with the people that you love and who love you.  We don’t get to spend Christmas with our family and friends this year, but we will be thinking of them and making the most of our time away.

 

HAPPIER! - Crocosaurus Cove

 

We are going to take a break during the holiday period to chill out and take it easy.  Posts will resume on the 6th of January.

 

Our Christmas pressie - a Bad Cat calendar from Juz's sister

Christmas in Strathalbyn

It was Christmas Eve 2012 and for the first time in our lives, we were going to be without our families.  Being without our loved ones was hard enough, but any plans that we had made to make this Christmas adequate went pear-shaped.  The Troopy had a nasty cough, Juz couldn’t find turkey mince at the shops and there was a chilling wind blowing through Strathalbyn.

 

Regardless, we made do.  After quick Skype calls with the parents, we opened our present that Juz’s sister gave us before we left. Then we tucked into some beer and wine and Christmas dinner – lamb mince burgers with creamy coleslaw.

 

 

That night, we stayed at Frank Potts Reserve with the intention of spending Christmas Day working on the Troopy to get the allegedly shitty water pump changed.

 

We hope that all of our mates and followers, and everyone around the world, had a great Christmas that was full of festive cheer, family love and fabulous food.

 

Merry Christmas!

                                   from Dave & Juz

                                                                   xoxo