E-mail Update 2005-05-16

Subject: The Outback Adventure

Hey Everyone,

Just wanted to do a group update. There have not been many places to get online with my laptop so I was really behind on pictures & e-mails. I have been in the Outback & West Coast for the past 6 weeks. On April 1, Adrian (from Germany), whom I traveled with in Tasmania, & I bought a 1986 4WD Holden Jackaroo (picture on the web site). We left Melbourne on April 3 & got to Perth (in Western Australia) on Monday May 9. Some of the highlights from that trip were:

- Great Ocean Road (Not as impressive as I thought it might be)
- Otway National Park
- Grampians National Park
- Flinders Ranges (Adrian's favorite)
- Our night of extreme camping in the outback (Complete with camp fire, sunset, star gazing & roasting marshmallows)
- Coober Pedy
- Ayers Rock, & The Olgas
- Kings Canyon
- West & East McDonnell National Park (My favorite walk was here - Ormiston Pound)
- Elsey National Park - Mataranka Thermal Pool & Bitter Springs
- Nitmiluk National Park - Edith Falls (Under the falls, water massage, rock climbing & jumping off rock cliffs)
- Rocks of Mirima National Park & Geikie Gorge National Park
- Kalibarri National Park

We had everything we needed in our truck & lived out of that. We always camped outside or slept in the truck (with the exception of one night when the truck got locked in a car park in Adelaide). We also cooked the majority of our own meals with our little propane cooker. We have been staying for free as much as possible which usually means just camping wherever we can for the night, although we have stayed in our fair share of campgrounds as well. It was a rather rugged manly outdoor trip which was cool.

After staying around Perth for a week & checking out the local sites I am leaving here on Tuesday morning (May 17). Sayoko (friend from Japan who I met in Brisbane) & I are leaving to explore the southwest with the 4WD & maybe more. Other things I would like to see in Australia include Darwin, Kakadu National Park, Bungles Bungles National Park & Kangaroo Island. To be honest I have seen almost all the musts on my list at this point, so everything past here is bonus. I have been in every state in Australia & did the major highlights. I will be in Australia until June 23, when I am flying to Bali. On July 8 I will then fly to Thailand where I am meeting another friend (Nina from Germany who I met in New Zealand). I will then travel Asia until December 13, when I will be back in the United States.
All of the details of my flight are on the web site as well.

I also wanted to include a little business advertising in this one :) My
company (www.genextsoftware.com) hosts & designs web sites. We are reducing our rates for web sites to only $7 per month! The rates before were $15, so that is more than a 50% drop. The great thing other than the cost is that our service is going to be the same. We have now have a great suite of tools for hosting your web site (which has also allowed us to lower our costs & hence cut prices). Josh who sets up all the web sites is still in the US & my mother handles all business calls so you have a direct person to talk to while I am gone.

Lastly, I wanted to clarify something from my last message. Some of the people who called my cell phone said I should tell everyone the number with the international code so it is easier to use. The international number would be 01161416807770. It is 0416807770 for people within Australia only. This number is only valid until I leave Australia on June 23.

I hope everyone is doing well. I wanted to let everyone know that I REALLY appreciate all the e-mails & phone calls I have gotten. It is always great to hear from home :) E-mailing from now forward will be tough, so please be patient with my slow response time.

Take Care & Safe Travels!