Reading My Way Around the World

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Back again from a different world.

Old Australia
We arrived back home a week ago from nearly seven weeks of travelling in the Southern Hemisphere - what a wonderful experience.   I can't wait to go back but I could do without the jet lag - wow!!!!  It's like my body arrived home without my brain.

Heading off, I had great intentions of keeping up with regular blogs, but the practicality of staying with people most of the time, moving on every day or so and not having great access to internet made it next to nigh impossible.   so in the end I just gave up on it.   As a result I've missed nearly all of the A2Z posts and with the best will in the world, the chances of getting caught up before we head off again in the next few weeks are slim - so my apologies for not being around commenting.

So what was Australia like?

There was much that was familiar.  For starters, the fact that we drive on the same side of the road made it feel much less foreign than we'd been expecting.  Secondly, everywhere was so green for the early part of the trip anyway, and thirdly so many places are named after towns in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales that at times it was very disorienting - where exactly are we right now?  It never felt like we were on the other side of the world, which I had expected - the only thing was the moon was back to front.

But there was so much that was different and wonderful.  
Top of the wonderful list has to go to the fruit.   Oh my!  I haven't tasted fruit so ripe and fresh since I was a child.   Mostly by the time fruit gets to our supermarkets it has been in cold storage for a long time or has had a long journey ripening off the plant.  But down under everything is grown locally.   I have a very sensitive mouth and find acidic foods too hard to eat so for years I haven't been able to enjoy fruit here at home.   So it was like opening a world of Christmas presents to taste peaches and apples and mangos that were just ready to be eaten.  I'd move for that alone lol

And of course then there was the sun.   I can't tell you how seven weeks of consistent sunlight can improve your sense of well being and energy.  In spite of the fact that I picked up a really bad flu bug and was laid up for nearly 10 days, even with that, I still was bouncing with energy.

And the food and cafes were fabulous - everywhere served gluten free options, or dairy free if you needed it, even paleo diets were catered for - except in the huge shopping centres (awful places )and the airports which was really annoying.  

And the wildlife - so colourful and dramatic.
Black Swans
Some exotic colour taking a bath in the rainwater

A termite hill - this was over 6 foot high!!

I love the paper bark on the gum trees
By the river in Braidwood, NSW

A scribbly tree - an insect leaves these marks
which go right through to the tree itself leaving wonderful markings

Out West in Farming Country

I loved all the Victorian style architecture -
all the buildings were low - only 2 storeys mostly
with wrought iron decorations on many of them.

I suppose getting sick was the only real downer - and during the holiday part of our trip too.   The gigs were mostly great and I'm delighted that we have secured the services of an agent if we decide to go back again which I think we'll try to do again in 2018 if all goes well in the meantime.  

I was disappointed not to have seen more Aboriginal culture and even found it difficult to find books on mythology or fairy tales - but we've had such a good look around and have travelled over a good bit of the South East of the Continent that we have a better idea of where to find that side of the culture next time we go back.

But it is good to be back home again.   For a few weeks at least.   To get singing again with my choir groups and do a few concerts here (tonight we're in Belfast); catch up with friends and family, and get my students moving on towards their exams (I'm grateful that they're happy to do more work on their own this year), and to catch up with some of you in blogger land.

Take care and have a good week.


  1. Im so glad you had a super time Fil although rotten luck.getting ill!!! I loved seeing those bright birds having a dip! Did you see a kookaburra at all???
    Mmmmm, I remember the delicious fresh fruit in Indonesia so yes I'm with you on that!!x

  2. I am amazed by the scribbly tree, first of all! And oh no, 10 days with a cold, that is not good when travelling, definitely not! I had to smile because you put it so well, jet lag : the body arrived and the brain didn't. For me, I feel the opposite - my brain arrived (or not, if I am honest, I miss places and it takes me around 2 months to realize I "arrived"), but my body is demolished for one week when I arrive. Hope you had a lot of sleep now, it is needed! Don't worry about the blogosphere. It's much better to enjoy a trip and leave things on hold, because we can't fulfill everything. I am so glad that you had a nice time (most of the time, not the cold!) and yes, would be great to see more about local ancient culture, but like you said, you can see it in 2018 again! Now, to Germany, I know! Hugs and kisses!

  3. so glad you enjoyed Australia. Maybe we need to appreciate our fruit more!

  4. Hi Fil - so glad you had such a lovely time .. it's good to rest and forget the blogs and net - and give yourself time to recover. I've never been down under - one day I'll get there ... and jet lag- awful ...

    Cheers and enjoy getting your normal life back together and then more concerts etc ... happy times with the lighter days .. Hilary

  5. You must have had such a wonderful time. I loved that scribbly tree, how interesting.

  6. Really pleased to have you back, Fil and so pleased you have had such a wonderful time - your photos look amazing and it will be great to see and learn more about your travels. I am now craving mango after your description :)

  7. Sounds like a good time was had by all. And it sounds like you've gotten your batteries recharged and your inner balance restored as well.

  8. Oh what a delight to see some peeks of what you saw and fancied! Those swans and the scribbly tree have me swooning. Perhaps someday I'll journey there myself. Hope you've been able to rest and reintegrate and get your feet back under you before preparing for your next adventure.

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