It has been a while since we last posted and a lot has happened since. Our trip eventually has come to an end and we have moved back to Vienna, Austria. Every minute of the 36 hour journey from Sydney to Shanghai and Zurich brought us closer back to reality. We had not lived in Austria for well over 7 years, so the surprise was even bigger when just after landing we were dragged into a bar with some 50 people, friends and family, giving us a big ‘hello’ – the best fresh start one could imagine! Now we are more or less settled, moved into a new flat in Vienna and everything is oh so different in the real world ;). However, there are still some stories to tell about our last days in Oz, so here we go:
From Melbourne we made our way up to Sydney where we had to sell our beloved Giovanna. After more than 2 months living in the van we grew very fond of her and actually were a bit melancholic when we had to let her go. We were slightly uneasy about the whole sales process, as there is such a big offer of campervans and cars in Sydney and our Northern Territory number plates did not play in our favor. Or at least that was what people kept telling us and what we feared most. So we budgeted about 2 weeks in Sydney to find a buyer. In the end everything should turn out … well … a lot easier than expected. After 3 hours of cleaning from inside out, Giovanna was her shiniest self when we showed her to the first potential buyers – 3 Swedish “dudes” as they introduced themselves. Let me just quickly give you an idea: 3 boys, around 20 years old, arrived on skateboards, were pretty excited to be far away from mommy for the first time and best of all: they had no whatsoever clue what they were looking for. PERFECT! I put on my best slimy used-car seller behavior and presented Giovanna as if she were Marty McFly’s DeLorean. The boys were more than happy to acquire their own personal time machine and after 15 minutes we closed the deal. They were so impressed by Giovanna’s features (and my sales skills) that they almost forgot to negotiate the price and in the end we even gained 400 bucks! However, we really deserved it because the dudes let us work for our money: they would have never managed to register a car on their own – in fact we even bought the car insurance for them and did all the paperwork at the registration office.
Dudes, we seem to have a deal!
With two weeks left on our hands, we had plenty of time to explore Sydney. And what a great city it is! Sure, everyone knows Sydney harbor with its bridge and the opera house. But not only the bay area but literally the whole city is surrounded by water and that is what makes Sydney so special. There is a beach around every corner and some of them, such as Bondi, Coogee or Manly are truly magnificent. Sydney is very wide spread (well, actually it’s humongous!) so transport is definitely an issue, but there are great areas all around and I can imagine it could be a great city to live! We were super lucky to stay at Babs & Joe’s, two Austrians who emigrated to Australia some 40 years ago. They even let us stay in their beach house up the coast for some days – it was just amazing! We can’t thank them enough and hope to return the favor soon!
Since we had arrived in Australia we had been talking about learning how to surf. So for our last week down under we decided on doing a 5 day surf camp just 2 hours south of Sydney. When leaving for Gerroa (‘The G-Spot’ as the cool kids call it) in the morning it was us and some 50 more people lining up for the bus and it looked as if we almost doubled the age of some of the kids there. When distributing the rooms we and 4 other oldies were left in the end – it felt like being the ugly duckling when it comes to picking a sports team at highschool. Just not cool enough for the kiddos. We were a bit horrified and already pictured a week of crazy parties and teenage hooliganism. Thanks to the surfing it should turn out differently and only thanks to our years of routine we could still make it up to the pub for a pint in the evening while many youngsters seemed too tired to be bothered 😉
Fact is that we had an awesome week based on the winning formula “eat, sleep and surf”. Two daily sessions of two hours each managed to knock us out and guaranteed quiet nights. It was by far the most demanding sport we have ever tried and after every lesson we crawled back into the camp craving for food and a little nap. Day 3 was the hardest, by then our muscles were so sore every paddle was pure torture. However, the infinite motivation and happy vibes of the instructors always managed to get us back out again and try a little bit harder. And most importantly: we learned to surf (well, at least to stand up and catch some waves). The crowd was really nice and we had – to put it in proper Aussie wording – “heaps of fun” in and outside the water. Big shaka sign for Surfcamp Australia!
Chilling in the sun after surfing
So, that was it – 6 months on the road and every single day flew by like paper in the wind. We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed reading some of our stories – we sure have had great fun writing them and were really happy about all the comments and feedback. We keep in touch – so long, always remember: whenbutnow!