Australia Countdown

16 days til I leave for Australia.   This week, I found rooms for our remaining jaunts–to Cairns (how is this pronounced, my Aussie friends? ) and Sydney.  Which I then changed because I met a man who played the didgereedo and he said to go to the Rocks neighborhood.

One of the great pleasures of undertaking a trip is the anticipation. A few of the things on my mind this hot summer night…

The conference. I am really looking forward to meeting so many of the Australians I’ve had conversations with over the years, online and in classes and in (sometimes long!) discussion via email.   I hope it doesn’t sound presumptuous to say I feel an strong sense of affinity with the Australians I’ve met, and it makes me think I’ll love the land and the people very much.   I’m deeply looking forward to drinking up the culture, learning new things and new words and, knowing me, finding some candy I simply cannot live without, that I will then have to give to Christopher Robin to parcel out to me in small bits, as he now does with the Rowantree fruit pastilles his mother sends me.

The packing issue. Aside from the funny angle of leaving the hottest part of summer for the end of winter, there are the usual challenges.  Three weeks.  Three climates (south, north, east).  Three kinds of activities–business, for the conference and meeting with my Australian editor; general touring, and vigorous hiking/touring, for which I will need my hiking boots, which are very big.  I’ll wear the boots, even if it means I’m going to get some odd looks in the LA airport.

The restrictions on weight and bags has become more and more challenging, so I’m paring it all down to the minimum.  A couple of skirts, one pair of dress shoes, one pair of walking shoes, the boots.   Lots of tops to layer or strip off as necessary.   That should do it.    We’re moving around quite a bit the final week of the journey, so I’m limiting myself very strictly to one medium size bag and a carry on.  Buying things when I get there, like hair supplies and curling iron, since the power transfer always kills them anyway.

What is your best packing tip?

Thing I’ve wanted to do for ages that will be a blast: Going to Tasmania.   So far, far, far away.  Such an exotic name.  The photos enchant me.   We’re spending four days there.  Relaxing time.  I want to climb Mount Wellington, of course.

Things that are exciting that I never knew I wanted to seeUluru, or Ayers Rock.  Also, when I booked the room for Cairns, I had a little rush of happiness that said, “this is gonna be good. Wait and see.”

One thing I’m not lugging with me: a laptop.  Too heavy. Too much trouble.  I’ll find internet cafes or use the computers in hotel lobbies.  Try not to lose my notebook this time.

Finally, what kind of trip reports do you find most interesting? I’ll try to keep that in mind as I report back in.  Do you like food & restaurants? Hikes and photos?

photo credit Australia Rocks natmeister

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10 thoughts on “Australia Countdown

  1. Tony

    Trip reports: if you can penetrate the mystery of Vegamite … Have fun!

  2. Since 1932, Rocky Boots has provided the finest in hiking, hunting and rugged footwear and is well known as one of the leaders of the pack. Hiking Boots

  3. Mel

    There is no mystery to vegemite, it’s just delicious (when spread thinly). But then I’m a biased Aussie : )

    Barbara, Cairns is pronounced like it’s spelled…the ‘air’ is air like what we breathe (sorry, I’m not good at explaining phonetics) so it’s c-air-ns.

    Lots of layers will be the key to packing. Cairns will be hot, Tassie cool and Melbourne could be anything at this time of year. Can’t believe it’s so close. We’re missing you in SF!

  4. Robyn

    I hope that Cairns trip includes some snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef and maybe a trip up to Cape Tribulation? It is SO beautiful up there, like Australia’s jewel. And warm. Unlike Tasi where you’ll probably find snow on Mt Wellington.
    Here is a list of yummy sweet things that we will tempt you with: pollywaffles, jaffas, mint slices, iced vovos, lamingtons, fruit tingles, violet crumbles….this list could go on forever!!!

  5. Violet crumbles? Mmm. I think I know Jaffas–a cookie, right?

    And good tea, of course. I’m sure there will be good tea. Proper tea. With milk. Say it will be so?

  6. Denise

    >Finally, what kind of trip reports do you find most interesting?

    I’d like to hear it all. Food, hikes, photos. And I’d like an explanation of what all those foods are that Robyn mentioned. If you see any of them, take a pic.

    I can’t imagine hiking boots at LAX drawing any attention. After all, it’s CA and an int’l airport, where you can see any and everything. Love people watching at airports.

  7. My favorite reports include your photos and also the ways your new environment is affecting your internal landscape. Have a great time!

  8. Denise, what a great idea, to take pictures of those exotic foodstuffs!

    Cindy, those are my favorites, too. Will do. I’ve been practicing more with my camera and hope to get some great shots to share.

    What an artist’s date!

  9. Deb Allen

    Violet crumbles? Mmm. I think I know Jaffas–a cookie, right?
    No they are chocolate covered orange balls. Yum. Violet crumbles are chocolate covered fake honeycomb. also yummy.

    And good tea, of course. I’m sure there will be good tea. Proper tea. With milk. Say it will be so?
    Absolutely. The Langham where the conference is being held is sure to have High Tea. And you can go to the T Too shop in Brunswick St Melbourne or King St Newtown in Sydney and buy some wonderful tea.

    Looking forward to meeting you in person!

  10. Re tea – I haven’t stayed in the Langham, but pretty much every hotel and motel in Australia provides an electric kettle for water-boiling, proper cups and saucers and teaspoons, and a refrigerator. So, you should be able to buy milk and tea at a shop, and brew your own at any hour of the day or night, without having to pay room service costs :-)

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