Home again

After a long day of travelling I’m home again, to arrive in a cold and wet Holland. Only 10C when I arrived!!

I was incredibly tired after the trip and the four weeks in general. Until you actually sit still and don’t do anything anymore, the tiredness strikes you big time. But it was worth the tiredness I have now without a shadow of a doubt, I’ve had such an amazing time over the last four weeks.


I know for certain that I’ll be going back there! Of course to see my friends again but also to see more of the country. I was quickly glimpsing through my pictures this afternoon, some of them I didn’t really had a chance to look at properly due to circumstances, and it started to dawn on me even more how great a time I’ve had over there!!



The nanny/au-pair is about to go home again!! :(

Damn, it’s almost time to go home again.. In two days time I’ll be on the long plane trip back home and I sooo don’t want to go home!
I’ve fallen in love with this country, it’s just a very unique place in the world. Because of the people, the sights, the isolation, the size of the country.. they all make it a very special (or maybe different is a better word, good different mind you!) place. I’ve talked to several people who’ve felt the same way I feel. On the Sydney Harbour Bridge I talked to a couple who’d been out here for a holiday and they were back (for good!) about two years later and I must say, I can totally see why!


And of course, having good friends here makes it even harder to leave! We’ll go back to our old routine of emailing, sms-ing and chatting but it’ll be different from now on. Since we now know each other for real (and still get along!! ;)), the bond has grown stronger. Knowing someone through the net is one thing, knowing for real just adds a whole nother dimension, and I’m not just talking about the 3rd dimension!!


Today, was the 1st birthday party for my friend’s second son and a whole lot of preparations went into that.. The shopping and baking yesterday, the preparations last night and this morning but it was loads of fun being at the party.


Even though I’ve still got little under two days to go I want to say a huge thank you to my friends here, they’ve helped make this a great (if somewhat  unconventional!) holiday.


ps. All the rest of the pics will follow once I get home probably..

pps. About the title.. My friends call me that jokingly since I get along with their kids so well, even advising me think about a career change!!

Quick update

Just a quick update for everyone who reads this..

The Bridge climb was awesome, that gave so many great views and was a lot of fun to do!! And more then 1400 steps can’t hurt you now can it?!? 😉 After that I went into one of the pilons (only there for show basically) which had a great exhibition on how the bridge was built and some more great views (now with photo opportunities!

Then it was on to the Opera House for the tour there, but to be honest that was slightly disappointing.. Several of the halls were shut and no mention was made of that before getting your ticket.. I was a bit bummed about that. I did stick around the quay though and got some great nightshots of the city, the bridge and the Opera house!!

Yesterday morning, I went to the National Maritime museum and onto the destroyer and the sub! (I could never work on that sub, I’d be knocked out in seconds!! Way too low for me!! The destroyer was pretty cool though. Later in the afternoon Iwent up the Sydney Tower, or whatever it’s called nowadays and enjoyed some great, great views of the city


This morning it was the Sydney Wildlife, followed by a tour through the harbour.. Now I’ve just checked in for my flight back to pErth, and am mailing with my friend a bit and I’ll be off to the Aquarium next!

All in all, having a great time here, though also very happy I’ll see my friends in Perth again tomorrow!



Well, I’m in Sydney now.. Not 70kms north of it but smack in the middle of the city..
It didn’t quite click with the people I was to stay with, so I’ve gone away from them.. And even though I was pretty stressed about that at first, I’ve now come to my senses again and will be starting to enjoy it.


Today, I’ve been walking through the city, following a route in my National Geographic guidebook for Sydney just to get an idea of what’s where, how far away etc.. Seen some pretty cool stuff already. Tomorrow it’s Bridgeclimb time!! And after that I’ll probably do the tour of the Opera House. My friend in Perth has advised me to do the ferry through the harbour to go and see other parts (cheaply) and I’ll probably do that as well (but not tomorrow I think ;))


I’m also planning to go up on the tower here and get a great view of the place from way up high! I’ll possibly through in either the aquarium or a zoo with Aussie wildlife (so far, I’ve only seen a kangeroo, a dingo and an emu.. None of the more exotic animals like the platypus e.g.


Oh, and those waiting for pics.. That’ll have to wait till I am back in Perth (from friday again)

The Red Centre (or dust, flies, rocks and flies)

On day one we started out at 5:45 in the morning picking people all around Alice and even a few near Uluru. We started to drive there round there 6:45 and we wouldn't arrive near Uluru till 13:30, it's quite a big distance to cover.

The bus we had was pretty comfy and the 3-dayers were lucky ones this trip because it was a combi-bus for 2, 3 and 5 day trippers and we were going to do something on day 3 from the day 5 program. Normally, they drive back
to Alice over sealed roads (via Stuart highway) on the 3-day trip. But the 5-day trippers go to another camp and to get there they go across a huge stretch of gravel roads, which we now also got to experience! (more on that later)

Once we got to camp on day 1 we dropped our stuff, had lunch and went to Kata Tjuta the Olgas)where we did a walk of about 2 hours through the Valley of the Winds.. That was a great start to everything, if a bit steep at times. (worse was yet to come! ;))

After we were done there we went to Uluru to see the sunset.. And that was pretty good!! Seen a lot of colour changes in the rock with the changing different lighting conditions.. chocolate-brown, light red, bright red, dull brown and just rock once the sun set.

After that we went back to camp where the guide/host started to make dinner. There was a huge hotplate (I guess that's what it's called) at the camp site on which he
warmend loads of sausages, steaks and some veggie
foods for the vegetarian (and the rest of us) in the group. Dinner was outstanding and there was plenty to go around for everyone!! He said it when the tour started that the amount of food wasn't going to be a problem and he was right!!

After dinner and cleaning up we sat around the camp fire just talking and soon people started to turn into their tents for sleep.. I of course was one of the last ones, partially because of me and partially cuz I just had
to watch the evening sky.. Unfortunately the guide didn't know many constellations so all I got to see was the Scorpio one (easy one and my own star sign!) and
apparently the southern cross as well.. :\

The beds in the tents were fairly comfy but the slip-sheet for the sleeping bags was way too short, so that made sleeping a bit tricky. I kept waking up every hour or so, nd seeing as I turned in round 11-ish and we had to get by 5 again, not much sleep was had by me.. (2nd night in a
After a good brekky @ camp we went to Uluru to see the sunrise and do a walk. The sunrise (as the sun set) was cool, but not as much of a colour change as usually happens apparently (pretty hazy). After that we were dropped for a walk round the rock, you couldn't do the
whole circle and the sunrise so I had to make a choice, I picked the sunset and the half length walk. I 'had to make
do' with half of the walk.. It's a pretty impressive feeling walking next to that giant piece of rock I can tell ya.. Seen some great views and took loads and loads of pics. Having come back at the beginning, the guide was
doing an hour's guided walk along part of the rock, which was very cool because he told loads of stuff about it!

After the walk had ended we headed to the cultural centre which had all sorts of very cool (and bloody expensive!!) aboriginal art pieces, as well as an intro into Aboriginal culture which was pretty cool. Next to this was an art
shop, and in that were a few aboriginal women doing their
painting, sitting on the floor of the shop. That left me, and several other from the tour, with a funny taste in our
mouths.. The whole purpose of the centre to us seemed to bring the aboriginals more into the western society in Australia.. And the only place you see them with one the holiest places for Aboriginals was almost as animals in a
zoo or circus doing their tricks. All the people behind the register etc were all whites..
And yes, the shop also had cheap(ish) stuff but that was
pretty tacky for the most part.. It was either genuine art at hugely inflated prices or the cheap tacky touristy stuff and nothing in between.

After Uluru, back to camp, have lunch, clean up the tents and the kitchen, pack the bags and head of to the
next camp, at a cattle station.. When we got there the guide was going to cook dinner on the coals of the fire, chicken, veggies, damper and a pasta.. It all tasted pretty good!! After that, sitting round the campfire
again in a very stuffy and clouded evening.. So not seen many stars that night unfortunately :( I am in one of the darkest, least light poluted places on Mother Earth and it's cloudy... :s

Another early start on day 3 (0500 again) we had lunch, packed up and went to King's Canyon for a 3.5-hour walk along the rim of the canyon.. The first part was
incredibly steep and we did that in two stages, to give everyone time to catch their breath! And even though it was round 7 in the morning, we all got pretty hot. I went to my first water bottle in that climb alone almost! :)
Once we got to the top we were treated to some stunning
views and the walk around the rim was pretty steep at times, climbing over rocks, walking close to the edge of a cliff.. About 1.5 hours into the walk we got to the 'Garden of Eden' which was simply stunningly beautiful.. It's a place covered on almost all sides, which has loads of trees, other plants and a small river and lake in it. After talking loads of pics there we went back up to the top and made it to the other side of the canyon and had some of the best views of the entire trip there.. (Parts of Priscilla, Queen of the dessert were shot there!!!)

So, afer about 3.5 hours we got back to the car-park, all soaked in sweat and thirsty as heck (I had emptied 3 bottles). That was followed by a picnic lunch very
close by.. Then we made our way to the next camp-site (for the 5 dayers) where a bus was going to pick us up and take us to Alice..

As said before, this was a huge stretch of unpaved gravel road (about 200kms or about 125 miles for the metricly challenged), and boy was that fun!!!! As I said, we drove in a pretty big truck and the guide didn't exactly took it calmly.. When we approached the gravel road we were
doing about 110km/h and he slowed down just a tad, to around 90km/h or so!!! The bus was shaking all over the place and we hit quite a few big ramps in the road, where you'd be launched from your seat without the seatbelt!! :D

That whole piece was about 3.5 hours of rally driving in a truck (almost) and loads of fun!! Almost better then the entire camping trip.
It's funny, most people go to the Red Centre to see the Rock (Uluru) and many don't feel that that was the best part of the trip. For me the King's canyon was by far the best part, followed by Kata Tjunga and Uluru the last. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy Uluru, far from it.. It was very impressive and aweinspriring at times, but the walks were just that bit better then Uluru
The heat wasn't all that bad in this time of the year in the desert (it's very early spring mind you) but the flies were bad, at some points you really had to keep waving your arms around to make sure they weren't all over you. At one of the stops we made along the way, they were selling caps which said.. Wot flies? I found that to be pretty funny!
Anyway, it was a great, great trip and I have no regrets at all that I went there.. In retrospect, I should really have done the 5-day tour instead of the 3-day tour but who knows what the future will bring?!

I’m pretty sure I’ll be back in Australia.. I just love this place!

Alice Springs

What a day..

I’ve arrived in Alice Springs, but it was cutting it pretty close. Checkin for my luggage closed 30mins before departure time and we got there 5 minutes too lte baically. If I’d not been able to take my bag with me, I’d have been in a lot of trouble. After making a call,  could still get my ag on fortunately..

I was taken to the airport by my friend’s parents and she was pretty sorry things had to go like this… I didn’t realy enjoy my flight over adam not feelig all that happy about it all. Hopefully it’ll all be over tomorrow morning round 5:45 when  am gong to leave for th rock!

I’ll be back online on Thursday, so I’ll see yu all later!


King’s Park and Aqwa

Yesterday, we went to King’s Park in the morning and enjoyed some great views from up there. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t quite cooperating with us and we went back pretty quickly due to the rain which was coming down hard and long (unusually apparently! ;))

During the afternoon, my friend hosted a kid’s book ordering party so I got to meet some more of her friends/relatives wchich was nice.


Today, we went North a bit to the aquarium and everyone had a blast. We got to see some gorgegeous fish whilst we were there. The oldest of my friend’s kids had a blast and didn’t quite know where to look basically. He saw loads of animals he knows from Nemo! 🙂 Even the youngest one didn’t quite know where to look. (Oh yeah, us adults also enjoyed it!!)


Then to the harder part.. Tomorrow, I leave for Alice Springs/Uluru and then onto to Sydney for a week after that. Whilst I am looking forward to that a lot, I also know I’ gonna miss my friends here in Perth a lot. These last two weeks have been such a blast, it was soo good to finally meet (and click) with someone I’ve know virtually for 4.5 years by now.

Both of them were ‘afraid’ that I would be sick of the kids by now, but that’s totally not the case. They’re a bunch of great kids and I get along great with them.. I’ll see all of them again before I go home again, but it doesn’t make it easier to leave. I know I’ll be doing loads of other great stuff but I wouldn’t have missed these two weeks for the world!



Fremantle (with only one e at the beginning this time ;))

Today, I spent the day in Freo as they call it over here..

I spent most of my time in the prison, doing two tours. At first I did the doing time tour, showing you what the prison was like when it was first used for the convicts and later on the ‘normal’ prisoners. Some of the places there were really gripping, especially the gallows room (where they hung 44 people) had a bit of a strange atmosphere for me.. I wasn’t freaked out or anything, it just felt a bit different. Now whether it was me doing it to myself or the room, I don’t know.


After that first tour I went for a bite to eat and then on to the shipwreck museum with the remains of a few Dutch VOC ships, among them the Batavia, of which I have seen the replica they built over in the Netherlands. It was cool seeing the real thing (or what was left of it anyway). After the Round House I went back to the prison and did the tunnels tour, which was really awesome. The prisoners dug nearly a kilometre of tunnels undernetah the hill the prison’s on and you can go down them via a 20 metre ladder, walk (or rather crouch) through the tunnels then get on a boat and go through some of the tunnels


It was really, really worth it and I had a great day.. (only the bloody bus going back sure took it’s time getting there!!)

Maritime museum

After a quiet day yesterday, just hanging round the house and my friendsgoing to their parents and stuff.. Today we went to the Maritine Museum in Freemantle. That was a cool little place to go and look at.

That’s the one thing that struck me so far about the place.. The museums here (at least the ones I’ve been to) aren’t all that big. Maybe I’m spoiled with the Dutch and English ones I’ve been to (esp. the Science museum in London, I love that place)

Tomorrow I’ll be traipsing around Freemantle some more on my own, going to the jail, the old dutch shipwrecks and just wander about town

Pictures from today will go up together with those of tomorrow probably

The South (even further then I already was)

Over the last three days my friends took me down South to a gorgeous area of Western Australia which has some very nice rolling landscapes, vineyards, absolutely gorgeous coast lines and some tasty treats as well!

It was the first holiday for my friends’ kids away from home and they had a blast as well, they were pretty tired by the time we got home but a good time was had by all!

Pictures are up in the gallery