Birthdays, Hobbits and a DeLorean

We’ve tried our first Cambodian food, trying out Yeay’s House in Tawa, one of Wellington’s suburbs. Very tasty. There is a bigger variety of chicken options available on a regular supermarket shelf for us here. We have found some amazingly colourful yams and buddha’s hand citron’s in a shop called Moore Wilsons here. Local lingo update: sweets here are all called ‘lollies’. There are many different names to get your head around and pronounce correctly. The letters ‘wh’ at the beginning of a place name (e.g. whangerei and whakatane) this usually denotes an f sound. Mastering quite a few train lines with all this suburb moving, I look forward to a pub quiz in a few years time that asks the names of train stations in Wellington :-). My fun Wellington fact – apparently 90% of Wellington’s residents live within 400m of a bus stop or train station… I feel for the 10%! There are some very steep, winding roads!

So what have we been up to? Well amongst the madness of job seeking and understanding visas, we’ve been doing our best to try out a few new places. With certain Belgian’s celebrating 28th birthdays we tried out Goldings Free Dive, on a list of Wellington craft beer haunts to be visited. Trying their pilsner, and old faithful maker’s mark, their food offerings are from Pizza Pomodoro next door. Highly recommended pizza! Very tasty, cool vibe, it is one of the only non smoking beer gardens in Wellington.

Trundling our way to another recommended craft beer bar – Little Beer Quarter – it seemed to have a better range of beer, especially that of the Belgian variety with Ben choosing a Birthday blue Chimay. A little bit off the Main Street, not quite as much atmosphere as Goldings, it was perhaps just the time of day we were there. Happy to revisit :-). There’s quite a big craft beer scene in Wellington. You can read more about it here. We’ll see how many we get through!

Heading north out of Wellington, chosen by Ben, the Southward Car Museum was a Saturday exploring choice. Many cars and bikes, my favourites were the Ed Roth creations, Diane Keaton and Woody Allen’s car and the Dodge brothers’ copper car. Very cool. Learning the troubled history of the DeLorean, a short video told me that they were going to use a fridge as the time travel device in the Back to the Future Movies – an item that was apparently very easy for kids to crawl into and lock themselves inside, so it was decided that a car would be a more appropriate and safer choice. Enter the DeLorean. Wasn’t enough to save it though. Finding the ‘Black Beast’, the largest motorcycle licensed for use on New Zealand roads, I also learnt the story of Thomas Edward Lawrence. Known as Lawrence of Arabia, and immortalised in the 1962 movie of the same name, he had a motorbike accident in 1935 and died. His neurosurgeon, Hugh Cairns, began research which ultimately led to the use of crash helmets and saved the lives of many motorcyclists as a result of treating him. Ben particularly taken with a 1913 24 litre Mercedes Benz, it was built by Count Zborowski whose cars became known due to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and claims to possibly be the only car ever built with water cooled brakes. Quite pricey at $18 admission but definitely worth a look. It was cool to learn of these stories :-).

To the South, we’ve made it to the Southernmost point of North Island – Cape Palliser. A lighthouse overlooking this southernmost point, there are 251 steps leading to it. The best part of Cape Palliser? The seals that were having a rest near the side of the road! Amazing! Very cute and snappable up close, I managed to capture quite a few pictures :-).

Doing a step challenge at work, it has inspired some lovely walks – getting a different perspective of the city from Mt Kaukau (a steep walk up, the steps don’t do your effort justice!).

Round the pebbles of Makara beach, finding a very bright reassuring rainbow, to Pukerua Bay where the road winds out of Wellington along the coast and also to Castlepoint on the east coast with crashing waves and another lighthouse. Very nice locations to achieve steps :-).

Managing even further afield, top of the bucket list, on Easter weekend we took a trip north to Matamata, not far from Rotorua, where Hobbiton is. I had had a woman warn me the traffic out of Wellington would be bad but nothing prepared me for what eventuated! One slow, narrow route out along the beautiful coast, it took us 2 hours just to get out the city…! Took us 7 in total to reach Matamata, stopping off in Taupo for some food. The furthest we’ve been in New Zealand so far, it was great to road trip and see New Zealand’s roads and surrounding countryside. And play 500 miles, in the middle of nowhere, loudly of course :-).

Also doing my best to appreciate the culture and environment we’re living in, I went with work colleagues to see ‘Meat‘ at the movies, a glimpse into NZ farming and a very interesting view of haggis! If you’re interested the trailer is here. Also got a glimpse into chicken showing with the movie Pecking Order, following the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club in the lead up to the National Show. Trailer here. Both worth a look, it’s good to broaden our film horizons.

Until next time… x

Venturing onto Outback Queensland

We drive west. Past mountains, round valleys, we find windmills and cows and funny looking fruit trees. From green to brown to dust to outback Queensland, it’s a really weird feeling to describe how the outback makes you feel… I like it. A lot. Free and expansive, away from the hustle and bustle, the noise of the city empties out of your head… The thought of ‘possibilities’ fills the air… The memories of previous outback experiences become forefront in your mind… Making us both smile, the drive definitely inspired some thinking of our time in Australia and of the variety of previous jobs we’ve held.. For me, thoughts of Renner and of the camels, Ben of his his time spent on cattle stations, fixing swimming pools and working in a roadhouse in NT. Sparking a discussion of our favourites :-).

We reach our destination. A town called Georgetown on the Savannah Way. The biggest town between Cairns and Kurumba (a town in the Gulf of Carpentaria on the other side of the Queensland Coast). Georgetown bigger than Ben expected, but just the size I thought it would be, I did have help google mapping it before leaving Cairns ;-). Back to a familiar view similar to that of Renner, there is a bit more around this time.. A public swimming pool for one! Enjoyed quite a few times, twice it was at 9am to cool down from the heat! Quite warm here (28 degrees at midnight yesterday), it is a thank god for air con situation!! Though it is not so good for my persistent morning cough…

Working a variety of shifts, work split between shop and kitchen, I have tried to be open minded and as willing to learn as possible. It is good to be busy and I am learning new things. A pretty cool way to cook eggs for one! A fried/poached combination…. The process of speed making toasties and how to make the delicious iced coffees on offer here :-). Asked for a ‘shifter’ (wrench to you and me), chat about silkaflex (branded sealant), serving interesting customers as always, selling both a sledgehammer and children’s candy to the same customer made me smile and kids as always melting my heart, I’ve had a nice chat with three kids who had been road tripping for ten months and wanted to know where they were on a map of Australia…

In non working hours, the roadhouse shutting at seven, this is a whole new world to me. The joy of free evenings… Trying to make a dent in the optimistic four book pile I brought with me (now standing at six with some additional book swap titles), finally finishing Mary Poppins (Saving Mr Banks inspired) I am now onto Charlotte Rogan’s ‘The Lifeboat’ (so far yet to like it 122 pages down). Lots of movies and a telly available in the staff accommodation, I’m also slowly working through some items on my watch list… I’ve really enjoyed ‘Hitchcock‘ (note to self: must read Psycho), liked ‘The Family‘, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty‘ has made me really want to go to Iceland, I’ve finally managed to catch ‘Frozen‘ and I was left a little perplexed by ‘The Butler.’ I would have loved to have known more about the separate administrations…

Banter as always, buying the ingredients before looking first, I had to make pasta bake in a cake tin, I’ve tried my first corn dog (surprisingly quite liked it!), tried pasito (passion fruit soda), found the amazingness of sweet chilli philly cream cheese, learnt how tasty jam donught shots are (chambord, baileys and sugar mmmmmm), ventured out to meet the locals at their annual ball and in the the same night, one of us burnt popcorn, I burnt pizza and Dama set the oven on fire! Oh dear… All safely put out!!

Bonding daily with animal life, kangaroos and crickets are around the most. They frequently take me by surprise jumping around everywhere! Crickets more so than the kangaroos! The geckos as always very friendly, they are a handy insect repellent to have around! I am now used to sharing the external shower with a plethora of insect life. Of course giving my towel a quick check to ensure none of them are attached first! My bug bear though is not with insect life but the many sharp ‘burs’ around… Sharp seeds that lie on the ground. You have to be very careful where you are stepping without any shoes or thongs on!! Not cool!!

Working away and enjoying chilling out together, with so far no work in town for Ben, for sure it is a difficult head/heart pull going on in my head if he’ll have to find it more than 300km away… Hopefully something will swing his way soon… ๐Ÿ™‚

The Lure of a Place Not Yet Visited…

I'm moving to Western Australia… Conscious that last year I spent time in Melbourne job hunting and just spending money, with not an overly large sum of Australian dollars left I decided it would be wise to find a job to go to rather than just arriving having left a perfectly good job… My job search so far focusing on Broome, on Saturday I widened my search area to all of north west Australia. Applying for a couple, I got a phonecall Saturday night offering me work in Carnarvon. Here to explore, feeling like I need to move on, it feeling right, I have said yes. Even if it is terrible, I will at least be earning money whilst I look for something else in a location that is significantly nearer to Broome than Sydney…! Having reached Shark Bay last year when I did my tour north, Carnarvon puts me in a pretty good spot for onward exploring round the north west Coast :-). I am very much looking forward to a change… and some sunshine!!

My last week of work very busy, going far too quickly, enjoying being busy, it nearly made me feel guilty about leaving… Moving on always offering some time for reflection, Sydney has provided yet another interesting experience for me. A change from roadhouse and farmwork, it has been nice to be be back in the 'office banter' environment, feel useful, learn new things and then feel like you know about the things you are talking about… :-). Getting to know the North Shore train line well, I'm sure there are not too many backpackers that can say they know the geography of tennis courts and council buildings within one of Sydney's council areas! Working with a good team, my colleagues very friendly; their banter has been most fun. Of course sharing some Scottishness, some new memories have been added to my Australia scrapbook :-). The banter of Granny Joyce, line dancing, guinea pigs, time capsules, ‘b’ for ‘bottle’ and being asked if we play sport in the rain back home (us hardy Scots often play in the snow!) have all put a smile on my face :-). The best memory though is undoubtedly commuting over harbour bridge. Whether in sunshine or lit up by night, I love that I can say that I did that :-). Amazing!

Banter held also in non working hours, my Irish roommate, Sinead, has made this last week so memorable for me. With only an Italian roommate for two days and a very nice Hawaiian man for one night, we have had our three share dorm to ourselves. I am really really going to miss our chats. We have laughed. A lot. Her window stuck open, much banter about a raccoon will be remembered with fondness :-). We are going to continue our friendship via viber voice message :-). I can't wait to get her updates :-). With some awesome skyping, receiving gifts from Belgium, a tour of and visit to the opera house to see Pinnochio, chocolate drinking and eating at the Lindt chocolate cafe, a last movie night of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘ and the addition of some new 'Sydney' music to the Australia playlist, it has been an awesome last week. I will certainly be leaving Sydney with a smile on my face looking forward to my new adventure :-).

Some of the new songs added to my Australia playlist: ๐Ÿ™‚

Cockles and Mussels and in Need of an Umbrella…

I wake in the morning… I look out the window with some trepidation… The ever familiar sound of raindrops can be heard… My newly bought umbrella has become a staple item in my bag in Sydney!! Whilst still probably a little warmer than home, the relentless rain is certainly reminding of the UK… Making me want to go north pretty soon… I'll wait until I have a little more money to get me there though…

Spending my weeks working and my weekends exploring, I have settled into somewhat of a routine. Tuesday has become movie day. Cheaper tickets on offer at the cinema, it is my night of escape from the hostel, where I just relax and don't worry about cooking. Helping to also reduce my cost per use of my weekly train ticket, I get treated to the lights on the harbour and harbour bridge on my way home. It still makes me smile when I cross the bridge :-). Saturday has become lie in day… As has Sunday… :-). Then I try to explore and see different things… Last week I managed Glebe market and had an amazing chai white chocolate in Max Brenner. With plans to go west down the river last Sunday, admitting defeat to the rain, I chilled out and finished my book instead. Making Sydney the most readable city so far.

The Museum of Sydney and Sydney's fish market my exploring choices this weekend, the museum taught of the construction of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge and told how the bridge was catapulted to worldwide fame by a paramilitary horseman beating the labour premiere to cutting the tape…! Hereafter, the bridge became synonymous with visions of 'Australia'. Learning of the aboriginal history of Sydney's land I also spent time wandering through an exhibition called 'Celestial city: Sydney's Chinese story.' Detailing the Chinese Restriction and Regulation Act 1888 and the subsequent 1901 Immigration Restriction Act (wanting to keep Australia 'white'), this Act excluded non Europeans by requiring them to pass a language test given in a European language before they could be admitted to Australia. Funnily enough most non Europeans failed. The Chinese living here were denied citizenship, the vote and the freedom to travel between Australia and China. Many were exiled in Sydney. Eventually phased out after WWII then abolished in 1973, I got back to my hostel feeling even more sympathy for aboriginal and cultural heritage and somewhat surprisingly walked into a conversation with a boy who has been here just a couple of weeks who asked what I thought of the 'British making Australia…?' Wow. I used some of the things I had just learnt in the museum with my reply…

Wandering my way to Sydney's fish market in Pyrmont, joining the throngs of people with the same idea, I explored one of the world's largest fish markets. Many colours and varieties, having been meaning to try since I got to Sydney, I dived in and tried oysters for the first time and bought a fillet of salmon for $6. Not too bad at all.

A nice interjection to routine, on Friday I had a reunion with my Western Australia road tripping buddy Sarah :-). With a lot of rain covering Sydney I suggested Govindas, an Indian restaurant with a cinema upstairs; a recommendation on a 'what to do in Sydney if it rains list.' Offering an all you can eat buffet for $19 there was only one problem… We genuinely talked so much catching up on the last six months we each had only one plate… Madness. Therefore not seeming the best value for money, it was entirely my own fault. I should have booked an hour earlier and eaten more!! Never mind I said… Better to have talked and managed only one plate than sat in silence and eaten four plates… ๐Ÿ™‚ It was most nice to catch up :-). The movie theatre was awesome. Comfy Chaislongue seats covered in comfy cushions, we relaxed back and enjoyed ‘The Monuments Men‘ :-). The movie cutting out near to the end the whole room started talking about what George Clooney might have had on his bagel and what was going to happen next ;-). Rather than being annoying it just added to the character of the movie theatre. It is a really cool cinema there. I recommend if you're looking for something different :-). Not overly impressed with the restaurant maybe I'll try again with someone I don't have so much to talk about with ;-).

In other news, a cyclone brewing on the north east Coast as well as a feeling that Cairns will be a money sinkhole has now set in motion a northwest Australia stop next with a view to work back east before flying home in August. For there are weddings and birthdays to be attended to… Informing one of my best friends that it is only approximately 118 days away, this thought is more than a little bit scary!!

A view of Harbour Bridge by Daily Commute

The view of Harbour Bridge from the train on a usual Sydney overcast day

My feet walk. They wait at the traffic lights to cross. Down stairs, through central station's tunnels, joining the herds of feet pounding the ground, the musician of the day's choice of music fills the walls as I walk. I pass through the barriers awaiting my train. The same platform everyday, speeding away from central station, we cross harbour bridge, looking back on its gaze. Sydney harbour the view to my left; the opera house is to my right. Sometimes I forget to look, other times too busy, on others the return journey reminds. Every day I think wow, how cool that I get to cross harbour bridge with my daily commute!

Central Station's tunnels...

Yes the word commute. Back in Sydney, it surprised me with several potential job offers… Offered one by a recruitment agency first, starting the next day, not having worked for six months and in need of money I said yes. Providing administrative support to a local council, learning new things and with familiar systems to back home, joining a friendly team, it is very much reminding of my job before I left Scotland. Not wanting to spend too much money or gain too much weight (my trousers are a little tighter than when I bought them in Sydney in January!) I have fallen easily back into the healthyness I had at work before leaving Scotland and with salads, fruits and nuts making up my day, my body is appreciating being healthy again. Office banter of course, learning that toasties are referred to as 'jaffles' here and hence jaffle makers instead of toastie machines, I have been also asked about my Australian travels, about Scotland, Scottish 'soccer' and all about Scottish independence. I gave a very diplomatic, balanced response ;-).

Back in a hostel (thought it might be nice to be in the company of lots of people), choosing a smaller, quieter place I ended up in the first twin dorm that I've slept in on my travels. Certainly different from a 10 bed mixed dorm, it reminds that they all have their pros and their cons :-). Seemingly not making too bad a choice with this hostel, I am quite enjoying the cosyness and being able to sit on a sofa and watch telly. Meeting an interesting, friendly bunch of people, including an Italian I helped make pizza (!), with a cool atmosphere I ended up extending my initial two day stay to two weeks… Still there as we speak, toying between finding a room in a flat or something else, for sure this hostel is one of the favourites on my travels.

The pressure of job hunting removed, able to chill out by myself, exploring, venturing to paddington market – most quirky; I found some nice little trinkets. I recommend if you're looking for jewellery and 'something different'. Enjoying Maria Vantsos's pictures, I absolutely loved Vetro e Metallo's copper necklaces :-). So much that I bought a customised one :-). Also spending time people watching in Hyde park and Centennial park, I found a pretty good view of the city.

Venturing to see Noah on cheap cinema day, hmmm, I’m not too sure about it at all. A missed opportunity with the animals entering the ark for sure, not finding it the happiest of films, it certainly made me look at the parable of Noah in a different light… In books, Dracula finally put to rest, concluding that it would be interesting for him to meet the cast of twilight, true blood or vampire diaries, I found the dice man in the hostel book swap which has been on my list for a while. An interesting book… Not what I expected at all. Finding the first 200 pages whilst filled with some crazy dice options very readable, the next 200, not so much… What a trudge to the end… Why so long? Definitely good to roll the dice for some decisions for sure, for everything just seems a bit stupid… Not one of my favourite reads on my travels…

Staying here for a couple of weeks to get a feel for working in the city, with somewhat itchy feet as always, conscious it will get cooler here, I'm in the process of making plans for Cairns to be the next stop on the journey. Until then…

The Last Leg of the Road Trip

It has been a most interesting couple of weeks since leaving Canberra… Busy, seeing a lot, much banter has of course occurred. To share some of the madness, here is a snapshot of what we’ve been up to…

  • I’ve broken one of Ben’s records… The number of days he has spent in a city whilst he’s been in Australia… What did I break it with?! Four days! A country boy at heart telling him that I was just starting to like Canberra he said that he was feeling like he needed to leave… I am most proud of this record break :-).
  • We spent two nights in Deua National Park. Arriving by sunset then darkness, moon and stars, the familiar shape of a wombat walking along the side of the road got me out of the car to admire its cuteness! A campground all to ourselves and with another wombat to keep us company, resourcefully cooling our alcohol in the river, we had some lovely chilled out days here :-).
  • On the morning of day three we tried to start the car…. Found ourselves a flat battery… I walked to the top of the road and anticipating a long wait took Dracula with me (I know, I still haven’t managed to finish it…!) No cars were to be seen or heard… Knowing the ranger was the last person we saw four hours ago who may not have been a ranger at all for all we knew, the beginnings of a plot of a horror movie rang panic in my head… The wait began at 12.32… At 13.24 the rumblings of a car were heard in the east. They rumbled closer. A man in a very nice jeep appeared. He gave us a jump. Quicker than anticipated, I was only just starting to get back into my book… Much gratitude :-).
  • A group message from Scotland pertaining to wombats and thongs in the outback has kept me in a good mood and made me laugh a lot ๐Ÿ™‚
  • We spent a couple of nights in a nice little town called Moruya. Met by a woman called Jane (a good start in most cases ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), she is one of the friendliest receptionists we have encountered :-). Settling our little tent down for the night, we were most definitely usurped by a king of the road pulled by a truck! Thought we’d seen it all, a couple of hours later I found another one just reversing beside our tent! Em, keep to the caravan sites if you please ;-). Swanky swanky. A sure case of TV Burp's 'fight' if ever I saw it…! Finding the driver’s wallet the next morning beside our tent filled with approximately $500 I played the good citizen card and returned to him. Me and Ben both agreed that the man in our neighbouring tent who watched the reversing RV shouting ‘are you serious’ and who kept uttering 'kill it' referring to a barking dog from one of the other sites perhaps might not have been quite as helpful…
  • We went veggie oil hunting in Moruya. Obtaining two drums from the cafe we had lunch in, the third place we tried – cafe on Vulcan told us he uses animal fat… Perhaps not to consider if you are a vegetarian or vegan and they tell you the chips are vegetarian/vegan friendly…!
  • We enjoyed a very nice beach and some very friendly animals in Mimosa Rocks National Park. I also enjoyed my first hammock experience :-).
  • Can all mammals swim? This is a debate that has been had as well as money nearly being placed on the right answer… Madness.
  • We spent a rainy afternoon watching the TV series ‘Black Books‘. Gifting it to my sister but never watching it myself I really enjoyed it! :-). Though Ben did try to get me to watch it by telling me there was a Scottish person in it… Telling him I was pretty sure Dylan Moran was Irish it took until it started playing for him to believe me…! That old scotland vs Ireland debate again…! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • We spent a terrible night in Wonboyne caravan park… Offered a piece of concrete (how do you pitch a tent on concrete?!), at the end of a road, no privacy at all, asking to move to a different spot the response we encountered was just ‘no’… That’s customer service for you… It is one of the worst night’s sleeps I’ve had on the road trip…
  • Making spaghetti bolognese in a caravan park that has apparently gained some overly friendly animals we can only assume through many people feeding them I came face to face with a big kangaroo buck. Finding most kangaroos encountered in the wild pretty friendly when a big buck is face to face with you this is a pretty scary moment. I looked at it. In confused exasperation I reminded it it was a herbivore, said it wouldn’t like turkey mince and with Ben’s third attempt of a tap on its nose it finally bounded to the other side of the road… Little bit scary!!!
  • Reaching the New South Wales/Victoria border we decided to return to Sydney through the snowy mountains. Comprised of the Snowy river, Koscuiszko and the Alpine national parks it is pretty spectacular scenery. Reminding of Scotland (could easily have been sitting in the Cairngorms or Boat of Garten), finding the highest point of Australia (Mt Koscuiszko) we also found frying pan road (I wonder how many tourists have a frying pan to hand ;-)) and a big trout. Admittedly not a lot of snow to be seen, both Ben and I would like to go back in the winter.
  • Whilst in the snowy mountains we pitched up at yachtsman’s point. Lots of space, a beautiful lake with kangaroos bounding about, we sat and enjoyed the scenery. I may or may not have finished the bottle of Tia Maria I bought in Moruya… It was the latest we have ever assembled the tent… Waking in the morning, watching two emu’s walk past the lake our view went from beautifully scenic to caught in the middle of a storm… This picture does not capture the ferocity of the weather. Very very heavy rain and a pretty intense wind, we were both sure the tent was going to crumble under the pressure… Ben bracing from outside and me from inside it withstood the worst of it and emerged unscathed. C’mon the aldi tents!
  • We stopped in at Yarrangobilly caves and made use of their thermal pool. A steep half a kilometre track down and back up and not quite as warm as either of us was expecting, it was still a very scenic spot for a pool ๐Ÿ™‚
  • I attempted to make scrambled eggs in a pan that was definitely not non stick. Stuck to the pan and the plastic tool of choice starting to melt, it smelt so much like what we gave the chickens on the chicken farm that I couldn’t eat it… Ben ate all 7 eggs then I fried another two which was much better :-). How to get rid of 9 eggs in half a hour…!! Madness!!
  • Being sure to cover all mainland states and territories no matter how anomalous they are, we enjoyed some time in Jervis Bay on the east Coast. The bearer of the whitest sand in the world apparently! I managed to read 200 pages of my book (a small miracle) and got scared out of my skin when a man walked behind me on the beach and said good evening…!!! Why walk behind?! Wide berth in front please. Too engrossed in my book, in my surprise the only reply I could manage was ‘fucking hell’. Apologies…
  • Owing to Dracula, I’ve learnt of ‘don’t buy a pig in a poke’ and thanks to Wikipedia also of its European equivalents… Attributed to the Scottish in the book, aware of the metaphor, I had never heard that turn of phrase before. Have you?
  • Swinging back through Gosford to gratefully return the car I learnt that wild turkey, wine and cider does not go so well together… Telling Ben that I needed irn bru to fix my head the next morning it wasn’t until a day and half later in Sydney that I was able to source some. It was actually amazing! Better than I remember it ;-). Loving the import aisle in Coles :-).
  • Spending a couple of days in Sydney before Ben unfortunately has to go home we made it to Bondi Beach (a little underwhelmed. Much smaller than I imagined and have seen much prettier beaches), enjoyed Tracks at the cinema and tried some new Mexican food of gorditas and chickpea patatas – they were most tasty :-).

Not done a lot eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Eight weeks after it began, 7114km later, spending only $100 on diesel the road trip has unfortunately come to an end… Throwing a message in a bottle into the water just cos we can and after a sad goodbye at the airport, I have sent Ben on a new adventure asking him to say hello to the UK for me when he travels through Heathrow. I’m going to really miss his company. It has been most fun. I hope we can have mark 2 in Europe one day…