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December 12th, 2011 | Australasia

Australia: The High Cost of Leaving…!!

“Crikey…!!”

Mark insisted I try the Bundaberg Rum and Coke mix, to wash down my Nie Goreng with... Aussie meets Indonesia...!!

Getting out of here is going to cost me a bomb…!! A huge dent to the ever dwindling contents of my “War Chest”….!!

Demonstrating the green fingers I inherited from my mother...!!

Flying from Brisbane to Santiago is proving to be a difficult proposition, and with time running out, I have regretfully canned my plan to ride in New Zealand…!!

Just getting the bike there will cost almost $3 000….!! I will however stop over in the “Land of the Long White Cloud”, and spend a few days on the North Island, before flying on to Chile…. (It’s that “100 countries” thing, you know…!!)

And flying the Big Fella direct from Brisbane to Chile…?? Around A$5000, all in…!!  Sheer madness…!!

And the cheapest flight to get myself there… So far, about $3600…!! (Sounds of gnashing teeth, tearing of cloth and loud wailing can be heard from Brisbane HQ…!!)

If anybody out there has an uncle in the Airways business, you will give me a call, won’t you…??

Thoughts of stowing away on a smelly fishing boat have crossed my mind, but with my luck, I’d probably end up in Vladivostok…!!

"Patricia, I've found a franchise that will work for both of us...!!"

It would seem that the title of my post “All Over Down Under” (which I still have to write…!!) was a little premature…!! As far as my miles in Australia go, there are now a few thousand more I will be adding…!! And believe it or not, the total distance I will have traveled in Australia will exceed the total distance it took to travel through 37 countries in Europe…!! It’s a BIG country…!!

The cost of flying from Melbourne is far cheaper than from Brisbane, and I am now preparing to ride down through the “Back Country” to get there… My good friend Ken “Wadi-Halfa”, is also preparing to fly his and Dariusz’s bikes to Santiago in a few weeks, so we’ll be sharing ideas and a few beers in the near future too, while I plan and execute “Operation: Tom Jones”…  (“Please Release Me, Let Me Go…”)

So, it’s back to “Melbourne HQ” and the Goodwin family, with whom I look forward to spending a few days… (Thanks, Richard and Kym, great chatting to you this morning…!!)

Mark, Jenna, Julianne and Taryn, on my last night in Brisbane... I'm gonna miss these guys...!!

My last few days here in Brisbane with Mark Taryn, Jenna and Julianne have been fun…!! I have also been put to work in the garden, planting flowers while being supervised by Taryn…!!

On our last night together, we went for dinner at a Turkish restaurant on the South Bank, and area that has been developed all along the banks of the Brisbane River, which slices through the heart of the city…

Brisbane skyline at night from the banks of the river...

An “inland sea” has been created to bring the beach to Brisbane, and families picnic on the grassy banks close to the “beach” while kids splash around in the shallow waters that run adjacent to the river itself…

Brisbane's inland sea... Bringing the beach into the city...!!

What seems like hundred of restaurants and boutique shops line the promenade and attract locals and tourists alike…

The bald guy knows a thing or two about chocolate...!!

After dinner, we visited the very popular Max Brenner Chocolate Bar, where we enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee while watching the “weird and wonderful” pass us by…

The place was pumping, and Jenna stood in a queue for half an hour before she was able to place our order…!!

I have enjoyed my stay with Mark and Taryn immensely, and seeing them together brought back so many memories of our high school days back in Johannesburg… Many of our conversations started with “do you remember when….?”…

The one about the time Mark and I crashed on his motorbike received plenty of air play…!! The mischief we used to get up to was another topic we reminisced about…

Things we did back then would see us confined to a reform school today… Like tying a teacher to a chair and tossing both into the school swimming pool, for instance…!! The fact that I painted my face to look like Adam Ant and all the band members of KISS while I wrote my final exams, also came up for discussion…!!

My gratitude to the Behr family, for making me feel at home while I used their house as a base to tackle my “Northern Run” in Queensland… They made the 30 years that had passed since last we saw each other seem like it was only yesterday… My very best wishes to Jenna, who is getting married in February, and to Julianne, whose passion for dancing seems to know no bounds…!!

My memories of Brisbane will always be of you and the kindnesses and hospitality you afforded me…

The Behr family enjoy a cup of Max Brenner's finest...

A special thanks to Mark for putting aside so much of his time to drive me around the city to take care of anything I needed… Most appreciated, Buddy… I hope I can repay the favour when you visit the “Old Country” again…

©GBWT 2011

1 comment to Australia: The High Cost of Leaving…!!

  • Mark Behr

    It was so much fun catching up and spending time together again. Hope that it will not be another 30 years before it happens again!

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