So we're back from one vacation and we're starting to get deep into the planning of the next one. I know, the burdens of being us. Except Ottawa was a pretty simple trip when looking at logistics. Australia is a touch more complicated.
We've had the tickets booked for ages, but with about 11 weeks until we leave we have to start getting into the other details. We need a place to stay in Sydney. We need to figure out how long we're going to stay there before heading off. We need to book a ticket to fly to Cairns, figure out how long we're going to stay there and where we're going to stay. And we need to get a train pass from Cairns back down to Sydney.
This is kind of the grunt work, the not really that much fun part of the planning. It took a lot longer than you would have thought to find out that, yes, you can get a train pass for the east coast of Australia similar to a Eurorail pass - where you can hop on and off the train. And there's a dizzying array of places to stay in both Sydney and Cairns along with a lot of websites that will help you find places to stay. It just gets a bit overwhelming at times.
We've finally given up on Lonely Planet and Wikitravel, which served us well for Italy. They just weren't finding us any reasonably priced places to stay. We've since switched over to tripadvisor and we've been having much better luck with that.
Plus, a couple of our friends and their daughter want to meet us in Australia. They currently live in Shanghai and want to hang out for a week or so, which is awesome, but again, one more thing to coordinate.
I'm looking forward to plotting out the fun stuff. Not entirely sure what we're going to do in Sydney, although Cathy wants to go and see a koala rescue area. As for Cairns, the sheer volume of things you can do there is overwhelming. Going out to the Great Barrier Reef to go snorkeling, sky-diving (something I've always wanted to try), going up in a balloon, white water rafting, hikes though the rain forest, beaches....
And then afterwards a nice slow train trip down the coast, stopping at different communities to just hang out and do whatever. We haven't even begun to research that yet. It's a big coast with lots of places to visit.
God love the internet....trying to plan a vacation like this even 20 years ago would have been a pain in the ass, trying to figure out where to go, where to stay, what to do. Now you have all these options. Which can be too much to handle sometimes. Still, there are worse ways to spend a weekend....spending about eight hours online doing research about Australia.
Now we just have to wait another 11 weeks.
1. Out of habit (live) - Ani DiFranco
2. The Heinrich Maneuver - Interpol
3. My out of style is coming back - Matthew Good Band*
4. October - U2
5. Standing next to me - The Last Shadow Puppets