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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Oz: Closing the Loop

Bundaberg Returned Service League (RSL).  We sailed into Australia via Bundaberg, and had our first drink in Australia there.  Thus we made a point of stopping back there when we completed our loop of this substantial continental island country.
November 13, 2016 upon arriving in Bundaberg, Australia, we sailed halfway around the world, from our starting point of St. Lucia, the Eastern Caribbean.  

By February 2nd, 2017 we'd sailed down to the Sydney area, completed our sales prep boat work, sold our boat and began traveling Australia by road.  Our goal?  Complete clockwise circuit around Australia.

And so we did - driving 10,000+ miles (nearly 17,000 kilometers) between February 2nd and May 6th.  We visited all Australia's mainland territories except Canberra.

Originally we'd planned to spend 9 months in Australia, finishing our travels there in August.  But after 5 years on the road, ultimately we decided that rather than shelling out a substantial chunk of change to convert our casual visitor VISAs to year-long VISAs, we'd leave before our casual VISAs expired in mid-May.

There's much we missed - the Snowy Mountains, Mt. Agustus (rumored to be more impressive than Ulruru, which we also skipped), Darwin, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, our friends in Townsville, and Tasmania.  We also missed the Bunglebungles as the road to it were still flooded when we arrived.  And that's ok - we like having a good excuse to return to revisit friends, favorites and the road untraveled.

We're not yet sure where we'll settle in the US - where that magic balance between what we earn and what it costs us to live simply pencils out.  Rather than spending the last of our discretionary travel budget in Australia, we've chosen to spend it getting re-established in the US.

We're often asked by Ozzies what was our favorite part of Australia.  They assume our answer will be a place.  For Australia what we'll remember most is the Australians -- their kindness, their humor and and their generosity.   Most of our best travel tips were from locals, pointing us to local spots over tourist meccas.

We look forward to an opportunity to pay forward all that kindness.

Location Location
This blog post was written in LAX airport, USA.  We've returned to the US, and are still en route to Portland OR.  

Up Next
Still lots of catch-up and summary blog posts, of both Australia and other cruising stops, as well as some "re-entry" posts.  Still curious about what places were our favorites in Australia?   Watch up an upcoming "best of" post on Australia.