More than ever, I’m not qualified to give an opinion. Of the almost 3 weeks I was in Australia, I’ve spend 1 with friends and their newborn child. Quite a reality check, as it served as a reminder for the family and friends I’ve left thousands of kilometers behind. Moreover, it showed me how different my life has been from ‘normal people’, who have a household to run and don’t wake up with an idea and a couple of hours later find themselves at the foot of a mountain / in a cave / in another country because they no longer liked the weather in the former. It also showed that great friendships can stand the test of time and distance, something you always hope, but aren’t sure of until you look each other in the eyes again.The friends are blessed to live in Sydney, an amazingly beautiful city, where surfers walk around center of town with their surfboards on their arms. I was fortunate to be a recipient twice of their hospitality, the second time was in the boom-town Brisbane where I assisted in a family dinner presided and prepared by an enigmatic 87 year old grandmother. The old ‘hippie town’ Byron Bay was made extra eventful by sleeping in a tipi and going to the cinema for the first time since I left The Netherlands (movie ‘Biutiful’: highly recommended!). I didn’t do any excursions whilst in Port Douglas, therefore probably missing the point behind the excellent reputation of this tiny town. Darwin was very special, even though I spend less than 12 hrs in the city. Let me summarize my experience by stating that parts of the center of town missed several essential steps towards civilization. Now I’m back in south east Asia, looking forward towards exploring Indonesia.
(above average wedding location with a view of the ocean in Port Douglas)