This Oz is not the one Dorothy and Toto visited. No, this Oz is- you guessed it!- Australia. We visited about eight distinct places (Sydney, Darwin, Ambalindum Station, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Gnaraloo, Amble Inn, and Perth), and it is fair to say we liked them all. My personal favorite would have to be Darwin of the beaches and warmth, followed closely by Ambalindum Station with Mel, Dave, and Fatso, and Amble Inn, home to Sandy, Millie, Peter, and Mr. Fluff.
Sydney: When we first arrived at the airport in Sydney, we were in for quite a climate shock. It was a frigid 55 degrees (or so) that night as Andre Wu picked us up in his van. After a week in Jaisalmer, India, we were about to freeze. Andre and Sabrina Wu, along with their son Anthony, were our hosts for the week. Sarah, from Germany, was a fellow guest. We lived far away from the city center but the transportation system made it relatively easy to get around. The city didn’t officially end even on our way up to the Blue Mountains.
Darwin: Our limbs warmed up as we landed in Darwin. We had a pretty good apartment that had a pool, and we often watched the sunset from the beach. The entertainment was good, especially watching Brave at Deckchair Cinemas.
Ambalindum Station: I am the Reeder star in Ambalindum Station’s TV commercial. I am in the background as Mel lifts the damper out of the camp stove. We befriended Dave, the gem-collector and cow horn polisher, Fatso, Skinny 1, and Skinny 2, the magpies, and Rex, the director and film crew of the station’s TV ad. We tagged along behind a cattle muster, too, which took forever but provided some interesting experiences.
Alice Springs: Ethan and I braved the chilly depths of the pool at Kathy’s B&B. Once. That was more than enough. Ethan also took a didgeridoo lesson there and was disappointed at the price of an instrument.
Ayers Rock: Now called officially called Uluru, Ayers Rock is a popular tourist destination, even though Ethan doesn’t get why. It was cold there, too, but the bush fire along the highway warmed the car up to 31 degrees Celsius.
Carnarvon: We were only here two nights, but while we were, we murdered pancakes, walked along the beach, and sorted pictures.
Gnaraloo: Snake tracks were everywhere, and, in what Ethan and I dubbed Valley of the Shadow, there were plenty of sheep skeletons. Valley of the Shadow was between the big dunes and the ocean. At Gnaraloo Bay and 3 Mile Camp, Ethan and I made awesome sand creations that got destroyed by the rising tide.
Amble Inn: Ethan and I fell in love with Sandy, Peter, and Mr. Fluff. Millie was harder to like. I never really did. Peter and Mr. Fluff, the adorabubble bunnies, were vicious. At least, Peter was, scratching my arms when I was holding him securely and therefore ruining my tan. I still love him, though. We visited the Pinnacles, Mt. Leseur, and nearby Jurien Bay, where we met two siblings who were named Erin and Ethan.
Perth: In Perth we did nothing that stands out to me except playground-hunt and eat pizza at Hero’s, where there were free slushies and Pac-Man games.