Arrived Adelaide

Trip Start Sep 24, 2006
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73
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Trip End Sep 01, 2007


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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Thursday, July 5, 2007

Hello from Adelaide. To summarize from Tasmania (where I neglected to mention I went to a NatureWorld animal park and fed a kangaroo out of my hand, petted a koala and watched Tasmanian devils play) -  I had to travel from Launceston where the tour http://www.underdownunder.com.au/ ended for me,  to the Spirit of Tasmania ship to Melbourne leaving from Devonport, an hour and 1/2 away. I was to be picked up by Tassielink greyhound type bus at the Launceston Hostel at 5 p.m. on Sat. but by 5:15 it had not arrived.  I had been waiting on the street with Ruth from Ireland who I met in Hobart and had been on the Tasmanian tour with me, was waiting for a shuttle to the airport for her 1 and 1/2 hour  flight to Melbourne (I was taking the 11 hour ship instead of flying but we were both booked into the Greenhouse Backpackersat http://www.friendlygroup.com.au/greenhouse_home.asp.) I ran into the reception at the Launceston Hostel and said the bus hadn't arrived yet so I was concerned; they called the bus company which reported they had no record of a pick up for me there. The bus company said they would make a call and call the Hostel back. Meanwhile I ran outside to the street to collect my backpack with my passport etc in which Ruth was holding but whom i thought may leave on her shuttle  when all of a sudden I saw the bus turning the corner coming  towards the Hostel so I ran inside to get my ticket back from the Hostel manager, while my bag was being loaded on and the bus driver told me she got the call from the bus station as she was just approaching the street to the hostel so it couldn't have been more perfect timing!  We just went a few blocks to the bus depot and then waited for 20 minutes - as it was, two people got off, one got on, so we had a grand total of 4 people including myself for the trip to Devonport.  I went to the bus driver and asked if she could drop me off at the ship and she said she was just going to ask me that, and the bus ( like a Greyound, may I repeat) drove me right to the big ship, at the dock!  I got off the bus, got my backpack and proceeded onto the ship through all the security stuff. When I got off the bus I said to her that it was amazing service, picked up at my hostel and driven to the shipand she said they only stop at the Launceston Hostel, other than the bus depot.  I think I had another amazing travelling angel experience!
OK so I think I need to wrap this up from Adelaide. I took the tram 109 from Port Melbourne with the ship docks, to downtown Melbourne in the early hours (ie docked at 7 a.m., by the time i disembarked and at the 1 block away from Port at Tram stop and after talkeing to the Security guide who was from US but Aust grandfather so was immigrating,   it was 7:50 am , called my mom and dad, missed the tram and watched all the  Sunday a.m. cyclists stop by the coffee shop and got to Greenhouse hostel on Flinders Lane at 9 am. Ruth from Dublin had arrived on her flight from Launceston the night before and we ran into each other, had a few chats and i went to see a couple of Art Galleries and booked my trip to the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians through www.wildlifetours.com.au
at the free city tourist center. I had tried to book the tour online; but the third party booking company charged  $3.95AU but I determined no way was I going to pay for the privilege of giving them money; I'll wait until I get to Melbourne and get it done free there and lo' and behold not only was it free but there was a winter special of $40 AU discount. Anyway to make a long story even longer, it was an enjoyable 2 day,  1 night at a hostel trip - with only 3 other people in the van; a woman from Japan and one from China studying at the University of Brisbane and a 7th year pharmacy student from Paris (male). They were a great bunch, along with Peter our guide. We travelled the Great Ocean Road,  Bell's Beach where Rip Curl the surfing business got its start, the Otway rainforest, Loch Ard Gorge, then onto Hall's Gap and "Tim's Place hostel" http://www.timsplace.net/ in the Grampians National Park, Boroka Lookout and Reid's Lookout, McKenzie Falls, the largest waterfall in Grampains - Gariwerd , the Balconies, "JAWS OF DEAth".  Again no heating in the showers which were in kind of an outhouse, as were the communal bathrooms
I have to get off the computer now, but I am travelling to Alice Springs tomorrow ( it is same distance from Edmonton to Yellowknife) so will take 2 days and one night in Coober and then one night in Alice Springs and then i will take a 2 day - one night trip to Ularu, aka Ayers Rock which has now aboriginal title. I have spent time in Adelaide at the National Aboriginal Cultural Institute called Tandanya http://www.tandanya.com.au/index3.html yesterday and took part in a  free guided tour, watched 2 films, one on 'bush mechanics' (ie aboriginies in the Outback trying to keep their vehicles running, and one on traditional hunting) and then John, the guide demonstrated how to play the didgereedoo, aka an "Unike". 
I went to the Leonard Cohen docu-movie called "I'm Your Man/" it was very moving - Bono and U2 played back up for the  last and only song sung by Cohen himself in the movie; Bono spoke tributes to Cohen throughout  the film (who knew he was a big fan; Mel Gibson is too, and was one of the producers); Rufus Wainwright and his sister Martha, his mother and aunt Kate and Anne McGarrigle (resp) also sang his songs in the movie; his song "Hallelujah'.  The performances took place at a benefit in Sydney, according to the credits, but all singers were Canadian except for Nicholas Cove, I think his name was. There were only 7 people in the Nova Movie theatre yesterday and one was a woman who told me she had seen the movie already and was so enthralled she had to see it again and was introduced to Leonard Cohen by her father's younger sister, who used to play his music during dinner parties which where always very wonderful and mysterious.... .

I digress - my friend Beverley Manning who I met in Sydney and then again in Melbourne is here also and we have been hanging out Wed and today, Friday . Today we rode the free bus, went to the free South Australian Museum - so much aboriginal history  and a 2 P.M guided tour of the Art Gallery and then went back to the Museum and on to Woolworth's dept. store which had a cheese and wine tasting event.  Backpackers know how to save money! I am staying at the Adelaide YHA Hostel http://www.yha.com.au/hostels/details.cfm?hostelid=156  but I am  a bed in a  6 bed dorm for $ 23 per night.  Last night was 'Bingo Night' and I won a free noodle soup and was the only one who knew what 'window pane' and 'black out' meant. including  the volunteer bingo caller who was a backpacker and players from all over the world. Always an experience at a hostel....
After i return from Ayers Rock, Alice Springs and back to Adelaide i  am flying on Virgin Blue airlines for to Perth, on July 13 (Friday!). I hear Perth is wonderful, and I am going to meet up with Sheila whom I met in Saigon.
will report more later... Groovy Grape is picking me up at 6;30 a.m. Sat for the marathon ie similar to Edmonton- Yellowknife road trip....
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