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Mad Updates!

Recap of the last few months

March - June 2011
Time sure passes by real quickly. Before we know it, we've traveled more than 3000km and explored 3 states without making a single update! So ladies and gents, here's one massive update with lots of visuals ('cuz, of course, pictures are worth a thousand words :P)

After the short yet amazing few days in Melbourne, we hit the Great Ocean Road- about 250 km of scenic coastal drive along the south-eastern coast of Victoria.

Great Ocean Road start

Great Ocean Road start

The 12 Apostles
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12_apostles.jpg
The views
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London Bridge

London Bridge

James got a new board!

grip tape

grip tape


new board

new board

Cape Nelson, a near ocean-side village with a beautiful estuary, the last stop on the Great Ocean Road.

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Quiet dawn fishing

Quiet dawn fishing

Hello South Australia!

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We arrived in South Australia on March 7th, and the weather was noticeably warmer. We encountered a couple of hurdles trying to find a job. We rocked up in the Penola/ Coonawara region known as the largest Cabernet Souvignon region in South Australia. Wineries were left, right, and center! There were over 35 wineries on one road! It was insane! We thought for sure we'd get a job, but after dropping by the wineries and talking to the locals, we've found out ALL the wineries contracted to ONE contractor. This dude has monopoly over ALL the wineries. He turned out to be a real redneck and sketch bag- telling us that he can't tell us how much we'd get paid because it depends on how fast we work. He even told us, if we work too fast, we get paid less! Essentially, he bell curved the wages so that even the best workers just scraped by, and the rest made bugger all, while he cashed in.

We got out of that region pronto! We then drove another couple hours to the Renmark area. We dropped by an employment agency, and immediately, he gave us a number of a orange picking job in Waikerie. We were stoked! We set up camp by the over flooded Murray River.

Camp Waikerie

Camp Waikerie


Waikerie sunrise

Waikerie sunrise


Waikerie sunset

Waikerie sunset

We started the next day, only to find out orange picking sucks big time! $25 a bin. It us at least 1 and a half hours of hard work- climbing ladders, getting scratched, running to and from the bin trying to fill it up. We hardly make more than $100 a day together!! We gave it a couple days, and once again- job fail.

But Korean food success! On a really really hot day, James and I made cold buckwheat noodle soap!
mul nam yong

mul nam yong

By now, we've made some friends, and they gave us some numbers for grape picking in the Clare Valley, known for its Riesling. Off we went to Clare! Our home for the next month. We had an awesome paid-by-the-hour job with some real good people.

Red wine grapes

Red wine grapes


All different types of wine grapes

All different types of wine grapes


picking friends, lots of those around!

picking friends, lots of those around!

After a month of working, we hit the road again!

We first did the Alligator gorge bush walk in the Southern Flinder's range. It was good to be out in the nature again!
1.5 billion years old

1.5 billion years old


Mt. Remarkable- Alligator Gorge walk
the ripples in these rock are hardened sand ripples caused by an ancient sea

the ripples in these rock are hardened sand ripples caused by an ancient sea


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more of our picking friends on our walk!

more of our picking friends on our walk!

Trail friendl

Trail friendl

The two and a half week trip to Western Australia is now forever known as the Greatest Fishing trip ever! We just cruised from one jetty to another- Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay, Streaky Bay, Haslam, Smokey Bay, Point St. Claire, Esperance, Albany- we caught salmon, trevallys tommys, tunas, leather jackets, squids, crabs, flatheads, garfish, and razor fish. We had at least 68 fish (based on a tally I kept in the beginning of our trip). We were living off the hook and eating like kings and queens! We'd be eating salt and pepper calamari, seafood marinara, fresh crabs, fish fry...It was pretty epic!

Coffin Bay

Coffin Bay


Beautiful sunny day in Streaky Bay

Beautiful sunny day in Streaky Bay


Smokey Bay

Smokey Bay


Fishing off the rocks at Mad fish Bay

Fishing off the rocks at Mad fish Bay


Our camp spot past Denmark at Parry Beach

Our camp spot past Denmark at Parry Beach

Me and my almost 42cm flathead!
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Fish feast!
blue swimmer crabs

blue swimmer crabs


fish platter

fish platter


Cooking up a feast by the jetty

Cooking up a feast by the jetty


YUM-BO!

YUM-BO!

Another epic event is the loooooong drive of nothingness into Western Australia- the drive known as the Nullabor Plains.

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It's about 1200 km of nothingness with a road house (aka. gas stations) every 200 km. The cheapest petrol that we saw on the drive was $1.79/ litre! Good thing James and I filled up on fuel before the plains and we were also driving at 80kph because we realized that we get more mileage out of Lucky, our good ol' reliable wagon(nearly 300km more than driving at the standard 110kph!). We drove for about 12 hours a day for two whole days, hardly seeing a soul on the straight straight road.

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It was night time when we hit the straightest road in Australia, though there wasn't much difference comparing to the 10 hours of "not-so-straight" road. We saw a car coming, and automatically turned our high beams down, but then we realized it was a straight road, the other driver could be really far away. Fair enough, we turned our high beam and our timer on, it was almost 6 minutes before the other vehicle was close enough for us to turn our beams down!

It was night time when we hit the straightest road in Australia, though there wasn't much difference comparing to the 10 hours of "not-so-straight" road. We saw a car coming, and automatically turned our high beams down, but then we realized it was a straight road, the other driver could be really far away. Fair enough, we turned our high beam and our timer on, it was almost 6 minutes before the other vehicle was close enough for us to turn our beams down!

Entering the Wild Wild West
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Everything is bigger in the west, including their trees! We went to the Valley of the giants, a preserved forest area near Denmark, WA. These tingle and jarrah trees can be up to 1000 years old, and some are as tall as 130 feet with a 16m base circumference!
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So that's the update. Time moves pretty fast. Soon new decisions will need making, we'll let you know when we know ;)

Searching for gold, we don't have to look very far.

Searching for gold, we don't have to look very far.

Posted by etthuang 17:20 Archived in Australia Tagged great_ocean_road fishing western_australia nullabor south_australia orange_picking grape_picking clare_valley waikerie alligator_gorge mt_remarkable

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