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Archive for the 'Preparations' Category

What’s next?

2007 Aug 13 13:48 by Jakub

This experimental project has come to an end with Ewa and me still being together - Woohoo. As much as we wanted to, we have not managed to stay in Australia for a year due to our decision to do graduate school in Holland this September. We still have seen and experienced enough to call it a success. Ewa will be starting her masters in Urban Environmental Management in Wageningen, and I will jump in to do my Industrial Design / Design for Interaction degree in Delft. I will try to keep this web site up as a souvenir for ourselves and as a guide or inspiration for others. Before I log off however, I also wanted to thank all the Australian and not so Australian people we met along the way for making this trip more pleasurable, for giving us a helping hand in times of need (and there was plenty of this), and for being way too friendly – you know who you are.

All the best and Thank You!

Cheers :)


More prep work & bye bye beautiful Melbourne

2007 Jul 01 11:28 by Jakub

Another weekend without Ewa. I continued the trip preparations by calling a couple of dealers in Brisbane and getting a feel for the car sale. It looks like it might be doable. So far I put up a quick car add on our website. Maybe during the week I’ll link to it from some more popular car sales sites such as tradingpost and carsguide. I also bought a small 10L fuel container today over at Bunnings in case we run out of fuel somewhere in the open. :) Also this week I bought more groceries and more water for the trip. :) Getting there.

Knowing that I would not have much more time left for the city with the remaining working days, I went for a walk near south of St Kilda. I found a nice little beach and park where I enjoyed the panoramas of the city which was a temporary home to us.

melbourne beach walksomeone was flying a planecyclists & runners & people just taking photosmmm... sail boats racing in the distancethis plane attacked mebye bye beautiful melbourne

Ewa leaves for Western Australia

2007 Jun 15 04:27 by Jakub

Ewa packed her bags this week, grabbed the tent, a backpack and flew out to Perth on Friday. She’ll be touring a bit of Western Australia on her own for three weeks. I’m happy for her. She said she wants to see some dolphins in Monkey Mia. Woohoo :) Nice. In three weeks time we’ll rejoin in Adelaide and continue the trip northwards to Darwin, and Brisbane. As she enjoys the warmer weather and sunny beaches, I’ll be wrapping up my contract at Sensis.

Thursday night Ewa also made a delicious dinner (correction: she always makes delicious dinners). Some gnocchi with veggies, beans and wine and cheese. Mmmm. I’ll miss her French onion soup. :)

Now my mind is on preparations. Another meeting with the mechanic on Monday. Selling unwanted stuff like the bed, mattress, and books. And buying wanted stuff like … mmm…. water containers, and ….mmm… insect head nets (just heard the bugs can get annoying in the desert). :)

Mmm....The last supper :)


2007 Apr 10 11:32 by Jakub

We arrived in Melbourne in the late afternoon and drove right through to the Kensington suburb where we would spend the next 2 days looking for more stable housing and getting used to the city. Courtesy of some very hospitable people over at GlobalFreeLoaders.com, we did not have to pay a cent for the temporary accommodation, internet access, and use of their house or their utilities. It was very useful to have connectivity to be able to search for further accommodation and having the knowhow of the locals. Thanks Cass!!! On Friday April 13th, we moved into a new place in the Kew suburb. The place is in a very nice neighborhood not too far away from the downtown core, with good transport options, lots of small cafes and restaurants, internet connectivity, our own bathroom, and above all a clean area. We’re sharing the place with one more person - so far so good.

Our first impressions of Melbourne? It feels that it has more greenery than Sydney, and is also a bit more spacious. Apparently both cities argue they have the better coffee. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Tip: for free accommodation all over the world check out globalfreeloaders.com

Kensington suburbSome old post officeA drive through liquor store?!!!McDonalds near a hospital. Kind of ironic.Free old trams going through the city circleOur accomodation in KensingtonOur accomodation in KensingtonBeach near St. KildaBeach near St. Kilda

Driving and Camping though Australia

2007 Apr 04 11:32 by Jakub

It took us a while to leave Sydney. Phone calls, packing, car cleaning (greasy steering wheel), filling up the tank. Nevertheless we left Sydney at around 2pm, and drove south. The sun set and we found a free camping spot at a rest area 200km down the road.

Tip: Take a camping road atlas with you to save time and money (camping at rest areas in Australia is mostly legal and for free). Ex: Camps Australia Wide

Free Camping: View Map

camp spot at night

Finding a Job in Australia

2007 Apr 03 00:10 by Jakub

I found a short term contract in Melbourne and we decided to chase it down. We’re packing our bags tonight and possibly hitting the road tomorrow. The interview process started 2 weeks or so ago, and is apparently 99% there (enough certainty to make a move out of Sydney). The phone interview, portfolio review, and reference check up all went good. If everything closes off well, I’ll be on a 2-3 month contract for Sensis Interactive - leading information provider in Australia (owners of Australian yellow pages, search engines, white pages, online classifieds sites, etc). In the mean time, Ewa will continue looking for something in Melbourne. If the contract flops, we’ll just drive through Melbourne and see the Outback, Kangaroos, and Red Back Spiders sooner than later. Hi hi. :)

Tip: some great web sites for job searching in Australia include:

Buying a Car in Australia

2007 Apr 02 22:17 by Jakub

Before leaving Sydney we bought a Toyota Camry 1992 station wagon: 240,000km, 4 cylinders, 2L engine, pink slip (roadworthy certificate), New South Wales state registration until 1st of October 2007, 1850$. We had three options: bus passes/flights, car rental, or car purchase. The bus and flight option seemed like a nice deal (greyhound offers 10000km passes for just over 1000$), but we’d have a very very very limited baggage and the Australian parks we’re after would be very difficult to get to. The car rental for 2-4 months would deplete our wallets pretty quickly. So … last option, car purchase. While there is a bit of a risk buying an older car, we could try to sell this sucker back once we’re done. The car also gives us a bit of independence from departure and arrival schedules, and also should allow us to see a bit more of the natural beauty behind Australia - and that tipped the scales for us. Keeping our fingers crossed it won’t die one us. :) Maybe when we get to Melbourne we’ll check it up again.

Tip: To find cars in Sydney, Australia, we used the following successful websites:

Bruum bruuum Woohooo :)

Return to Auckland – Preparing Accommodation for Sydney

2007 Mar 08 13:19 by Jakub

Yesterday, in the early morning driving through rain and traffic we got to Auckland. We returned the rental car and strolled through the city, also successfully exchanging the unused white gas for some money we then spent in Macdonald’s Mc Café. Woohoo. Oh yeah - ice coffee, double chocolate cakes, espressos, all from the golden arches. After killing some time in the park we headed home to begin internet searching for a place to stay in Sydney.

Tip: Two great websites made it very easy for us to find some shared accommodation: sydney.craigslist.org and www.domain.com.au - the next day we had a positive response. We also found a cheap hostel for three nights over at www.hostelsydney.com. Woohoo.

Traffic + Rain into AucklandPeople crossing the street up, down, left, right, diagnal. Cool.Chilling in a parkBye bye ripped / comfortable shoesMcCafe :)Auckland tower

Hello Travels!

2007 Jan 23 11:55 by Ewa

It’s about a week till our departure date. I am VERY excited. I have wanted to go to Australia for years and here I go! Jakub and I are getting our gear ready, slowly packing, reading and checking various websites about what to do DownUnder. Over the weekend, we watched a Globe Trekker DVD: Australia (also can be found at the library). It was neat to see the scenery and the crazy adventures the guides have, I had a real good laugh watching Ian Wright. See you DownUnder.

Getting a car for New Zealand

2007 Jan 15 22:40 by Jakub

Last week or two ago I looked through a listing of various car rental companies in New Zealand and was very close to booking some wheels. Fortunately, I happened to run into a ferry company web site (NZ is primarily two large islands), which mentions that only certain car rental companies allow their cars to cross with the ferry. Nice. So today we ended up booking a car with EZY Rentals. Ewa and me discussed the vices and virtues of manual vs. automatic transmission cars and as much as we’d love to jump into a gear shift car (and save a couple hundred bucks on the way), we decided to go with an automatic as it would be safer. Even though we both picked up some manual driving skills on our recent trip in Spain, I think it will be enough of an effort to have to focus driving on the wrong side of the road. :)