super generic girl

the awesomely average life of a girl like all others


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I went whale watching and all I got was a full sick bag

a little bit of a whale, a cloudy day and a boat that rocked a lot


I’ve met so many people who have whale-watching as an item on their bucket list so I feel like I’m doing a bit of public service here by announcing that it’s really not all that it’s cracked up to be. This, I believe, is my first travel-related post where I write about an experience I wouldn’t repeat.

But maybe you’ll do it/ you’ve done it and you’ll love it/ you’ve loved it. If you have a strong stomach, which I don’t. And if you enjoy being out at sea, which I don’t. Come to think of it, why did I go whale-watching anyway? Why was it something I wanted to do? I’m not sure. A whole afternoon I will never get back.

My memories of that afternoon are now a bit blurry (thankfully!) but then so was my vision on the day. Seasickness is a real bitch and one that accompanies me every time I step onto a boat. That afternoon was no exception. And the longer we stayed afloat, with the boat rocking like crazy, the more I thought that I was not going to make it back to dry land.

All that could even have been worth it if I’d seen some whales but, in those four or five or 345 hours I spent on that godforsaken boat (it’s hard to judge time when you’re having the worst time of your life, really), all I could do was keep my head between my knees or inside the barf bag, taking the occasional quick peek every time someone on the boat went ‘oooooh’ or ‘aaaaah’ or ‘look!!!’ – and still, the best I saw was what you see in the photo above.

Am I the only one who hated a bucket list experience? Have you ever done something you were really looking forward to do only to be massively disappointed by it?


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australian roadtrip encounters – teddy bears on trees

One of the great things about taking a roadtrip in a campervan is the ability to stop wherever pleases you for however long you feel like it because there is no set time to check into a hotel or any other kind of schedules. As a result, you might find yourself stopping for a quick snack bread or just to admire the scenery and find stuff like, oh I don’t know, teddy bears hanging from trees in the middle of nowhere in Australia.

Cute? Creepy? I’m not entirely sure. But photo-worthy either way, I reckoned. These photos weren’t even all taken on the same piece of road – we actually drove between each of them. The whole idea behind these bears on trees remains a mystery to me. Upon returning to this side of the Tasman, I spent more time than I’d like to admit searching for the reasoning behind this. Strangely, the internet hasn’t been able to solve the mystery for me.

This forum thread was the closest I could get to an answer. This Wikipedia entry about Kings Highway mentions the bears in the “notable features and landmarks” section but offers no explanation (except maybe an implicit relationship between the bears and the nearby “Pooh Bear’s Corner”, a small rock cave near the top of the Clyde Mountain pass. The bears are also mentioned here. Other than that, I found zero. nada.

Teddy bear spotting along deserted roads has all the ingredients to be a fun activity but I’d really like to know why there are dozens of these along this particular Australian road. Do you know?


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ettamogah pub

Imagine driving along a lonely piece of road for a while, without much to look out the window for. Hardly a car goes past because, lets face it, it’s Australia, you’re out of the city and so there aren’t that many people around anyway. All of a sudden, you spot this colourful shape in the horizon and, as you get closer, you might even be tempted to think you’ve somehow just jumped into a cartoon.

You’re probably on the Hume Highway in Australia and you’ve just come across the Ettamogah Pub, which many consider the most photographed pub in the world (and here are some more photos of it, just to help ensure the statement is accurate). It is a quirky place that adds a little more fun to your Australian roadtrip. It’s definitely worth parking the campervan and going for a wander around and having a drink, or even a meal. We didn’t try the meals so I can’t comment on the food. It was the middle of the afternoon of a really hot day so we settled for an ice cream, knowing we still had a lot of kilometers to cover on the road that day.

  

This particular Ettamogah Pub, in Albury (New South Wales), is the first one to have been built. Since then, a few others have opened in Australia, including in Sydney and the Sunshine Coast, but this one remains the original one. Come to think of it, the “most photographed pub in the world” accolade, if true, is probably valid for the Sunshine Coast or Sydney replicas. This particular location might just be a bit too out of the way to ever have the “most photographed” anything. But I could be wrong (no, really).

Last May, the owner announced a $3 million revamp for the pub. I’m not sure if any work has been done on it since then or not. These photos are from our trip over Easter 2009. We got a spaceship campervan for seven days and I had my first campervan-holidaying experience ever, which I really should blog about in a separate blog post. Spoiler alert: it ends with the campervan parked in a motel carpark on the last night and us requesting “any room that has a functioning hot shower, please!” to the motel receptionist.