Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day 57 - Bula Bula


We have a 1pm flight to Fiji. Its about 8hrs and with some time change puts in warm weather, amazing beaches and the friendliest people ever by 10pm. I'm excited.

We may be out of contact until we get to the US on the 6th.....we will see when we get to Fiji.

If so..it has been real and we will be updating everything right after we get back.

So we are back. Its good to know some things don't change. Good luck being the important one. Flying so far is one thing that we have had good luck with. We had another empty flight, with plentiful drinks and endless selection of movies. What would we do with these items at are hand. Well we invited the two English girls next to us to a friendly USA vs England drinking contest. By the way nothing is friendly. It wasn't a real tea party. Smith was the anchor man and nailed down 7 glasses of wine and we shouted " The British are puking, The British are puking" as we exited the plane and headed to the duty free shop.

Being in Fiji before it was like coming home to a loud "BULA" by a woman that looks like fat Albert. The night continued with drinks by the pool at Smugglers Hostel at travelers beach. A toxic night that had many high points with once again the English going down.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Day 56 - Kangaroos and Koalas and Wallabies Oh My




So this is a late revision, and it won't be that funny. We say everything under the sun. You take a ferry across the water from downtown Sydney and they have a really great zoo set up on the other side....THIS WAS ARE FIRST TIME SEEING A KOALA OR A KANGAROO. We had to....I know it is weak...caged or not....IT COUNTS!!!




Irrelevent, I just thought this made a nice pic


Same deal


Ahhh...a koala...



Sometimes you just get so lonely traveling...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Day 55- Being Tourists


Since we did come to Sydney see the culture and unique higlights of Australia we grabbed our camera's and tour maps and hit the streets. Smith and I have got the city sights tour down pretty good by now and it showed as we saw every bourough, every piece of architecture, every garden, every other tourist and checked off everything in just under 5hours. Leaving us time to grab an early dinner before seeing the Simpsons movie capping off our Sunday.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Day 54 -

Today was a mostly a wash. We didn't wake up till 4pm. Yep that's right 4pm, damn those glow sticks and crazy munchkins. I have no idea what that means either but when in Rome. Continue.

Just because today was a wash doesn't mean tonight wont be magical and memorable. Its great there are 24hrs in the day. Smith and I are getting a little tired of parting, living the dream and all that other stuff we do all day, however it is coming to an end soon. So buck up there bronco billy.

We love the comments on the blog. I know you are reading the blog living vicariously through us so let us know whats up. We live for this.

Day 53 - Bondi Beach and Sydney



We had a mostly relaxing flight outside of Josh's near Meet the Fockers Ben Stiller moment on the plan. The attendant just wanted to put his camera in the overhead bin. "All I want is to hold my bag, just leave me alone....what do you mean you cant say bomb on an airplane..."

We spent the night in Bondi Beach and had some drinks with are awesome Canadian friend Kat who we meet in Fiji.



In the morning we took the train into Sydney and checked into the Sydney Central Backpackers where we will be for the next 4 nights. We are really excited to be in one place for the next few days. Traveling is taking a toll.



We grabbed our big boy pants and painted Sydney and showed them how we do it back in the States. The stories from the night are almost unbelievable and seem Hollywood scripted but that's how we roll. Vince,"E" and the rest of the Entourage gang would be proud.


Hey Keith, Are you serious? Honestly, do we need this many disco balls?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Day 52 - Picking up the pieces

I will keep this short as this is reflective of how we feel at the current time. Eary check out, Pro dive picures taken, Cheesburgers at 10am, Koalas internet, bumming a room at the Holiday Inn, flying to Sydney at 6pm. Should be a good one.

Day 51 (cont'd) - I love turtles, I mean I freakin love them

Giant greenback, stuffed, lisa.....I freakin love turtles. This morning we saw (and spent time with) 5 turtles on the dive. I really feel like I have some zen-like soulful connection with turtles, so much so I started nibbling on coral right next to one. We really hit it off.


The scuba diving has been mostly unreal...despite a horrible time equalizing my ears, I have decided my fall back career ( in addition to philosophy and king of the world) may be scuba instructor. Apparently they are always in demand and it is a pretty sweet job. For all those people who thought I would end up being a role model when I grow up, I ask where are you and why didn't I hear anything about this?


We also did some underwater pics the day before, including an impressive accurate video of Justin doing an underwater sumersault (my second favorite pasttime behind reconnected with my evolutionary brethrin - Mr. Turtle Man).


Apologizes about uploading photos, but the connection has been slower than

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day 51 - White Squal

Wake up was 5:45am and we jumped straight into the water. Its a good thing we sleep with our wet suits on. Always prepared. Smith and I kept our streak alive as the first in the water. We don't want to miss anything. The dives were unreal. Whit tip sharks sleeping, more turtles, huge Napoleon Rass fish and getting lost underwater again. We never follow the dive plan. Never, but who really needs a plan. Guys don't ask for directions.

After completing three dives before noon we headed for shore. The winds picked up, the engine blew and people were puking in seasick bags everywhere. Kevin Costner(skipper) came out of the wheel house and yelled all hands on deck and the young crew was off and running. Was it really a white squall, how can you be sure if one has never been recorded? Either way we stood up for our skipp. ( Movie reference) It wasn't that bad however the swells were about 12ft and the boat was at 3o deg tilt back and forth. We made it back to shore safe and with another story to tell.

The night was crazy parties with everyone from the boat and ended with Smith breaking into the hostel, walking in the rain, a really tall Swiss girl, an Australian, a wild kangaroo and a ice cube tray. Magiver would have a hay day with that arsenal.

Day 51 (cont'd) - I love turtles, I mean I freakin love them

Giant greenback, stuffed, lisa.....I freakin love turtles. This morning we saw (and spent time with) 5 turtles on the dive. I really feel like I have some zen-like soulful connection with turtles, so much so I started nibbling on coral right next to one. We really hit it off. The scuba diving has been mostly unreal...despite a horrible time equalizing my ears, I have decided my fall back career ( in addition to philosophy and king of the world) may be scuba instructor. Apparently they are always in demand and it is a pretty sweet job. We also did some underwater pics the day before, including an impressive accurate video of Justin doing an underwater sumersault (my second favorite pasttime behind reconnecting with my evolutionary brethrin - Mr. Turtle Man). Apologizes about uploading photos, but the connection has been slower than expected...but when we return the to the greatest country on earth we will be editing and updating the blog to be more comprehensive to further illustrate how the dream has been lived.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Day 50 - Advanced Diver


So, So you see what had happened was... Josh and I got really into the diving thing and decided to take our advanced course on the boat. We passed with flying colors seeing smith is one with coral ( he broke the great barrier reef) and I have gills. I never knew it. All this means is that we are one step closer to being the coolest people you know. We are advanced divers and with a few more logged we are going for our rescue course and then dive master.



Many dives to talk about with a little more Internet dive. The boat is amazing and the dives are breathtaking. It is as though you are swimming in fish tank.

Highlights- Smith knocking off a piece of Coral the size of a Yugo and almost killing me.
A massive turtle(6ft) on crack during a night dive.
Team North America swimming in circles b/c we cant use a compass

Monday, July 23, 2007

Day 49 - 20,000 leagues under the sea


We departed from Cairns on Pro-Dive to explore the great barrier reef. We have 11 dives along the beautiful bottom of the ocean hanging out with sharks, turtles,whales and all kinds of cool things.






The discoloration of the water is the Great Barrier Reef...only the world's greatest dive spot.






Saturday, July 21, 2007

Day 47 - Still Yachting, diving, chilling, etc

After a being rocked to sleep in the calm harbours of Manta Ray bay we awoke early(6:30am) to one last dive in the Whitsunday islands. We hopped into our wetsuits and I went for the scuba gear and Smith for the snorkeling today. We jumped into the tender and James Bond back rolled off into the deep.


Whitehaven Beach - the finest silica sand in the world..




Charlene (my former co-worker) and our new BFF after spending three days yachting



Justin minutes before his Miami Vice audtion with Owen Wilson...


You prefer sunsets?? Me too....

Friday, July 20, 2007

Day 46 - Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Welcome to another edition of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, or as we now call it Lifestyles of Hump and Smith. Today we aboard the 42ft catamaran titled Powerplay. A beautiful vessel that sails the Whitsunday Islands of the sunshine coast of Australia.















Yes, I went Heisman on a sea cucumber...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Day 45 - Airlie Beach, oh so we leave on Thursday?

Depart on the Powerplay. Yeah, this is what happens when you don't wear a watch for the entire summer. You drift away into a peaceful unaware state and misbook logistics. Well worth the tradeoff....it was like we got a vacation day on vacation.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day 44 - Overnight Express, Justin gets the suite





Wednesday in Airlie beach, Koalas, meet Charlene....drunk night.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Day 45- Wait, today is Wednesday - Hervey bay

Day 43- The dingoe ate your baby





Wait, today is Tuesday- Hervey bay. I screwed up the days and booked our next adventure a day later than needed....so you are just going to see some photos from Frasier Island here......Enjoy!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Day 41 and 42 - Frasier Island Safari

Sunday, July 15th departure, overnight stay on Frasier Island and return on Monday night, not Tuesday night.

What is Frasier Island. Only the largest sand island in the world. Yeah the World. The remote and scarcely inhabited island is 120km long and some length wide. The Lonely Planets guide to Australia says we should visit it and we do whatever the book says. We booked a 2 day 1 night guided 4wd camping tour/safari of the island. The trip was in a bus that looked like a reject monster truck that stands no chance against the might grave digger but can handle the soft sands of Frasier island.





Once on our big rig our trusty and half way knowledgeable guide "Ranger John" told us about all the flora and creatures on the island. Who knew there were so many different trees and who really cares.



The highlight was at the lookout where we say close to 12 humpback whales within yards of the shore that were breaching the water and playing as they migrated to colder waters. An amazing part of nature that was priceless to capture. We also saw dolphins, sharks and many Japanese tourists taking pictures. Always with there big cameras and fanny packs. " Oh looky looky, free willy"


You can see whales if you look close enough..



The trip is complete as we finally camped. Well close to camping. They have preset up tents with twin size cots and they prepared steaks and kangaroo meat over a grill. But hey we camped. Its official b/c it was 30deg and I finally fell asleep after shivering to exhaustion. I love camping. Smith was sound asleep as he took enough drowsy medication to cure the sick children in Africa.


All is well. Day 42 upcoming.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Day 40 - Greyhound Australia!

We took the bus north to Hervey Bay YHA. That's right Bill and Teds excellent adventure meets driving miss daisy. Yep, life has a recovery and travel day. If we had the magic phone booth and Abe Lincoln it would have been much more exciting. From what I remember and its not much, mainly b/c I was club hoping in Brisbane till 4am. We stumbled down to the train station and boarded on our 7hr greyhound trip to Hervey Bay.

The best place I can think of while being hungover is on a crowded bus with a bus driver who is trying out for Days of Thunder 2. The calming part of the ride was the movies. We somehow watched two movies both on mermaids. I didn't know the Aussies had a fascination with them. They were bad enough to put us to sleep and Hervey Bay came in no time.



The YHA hostel arrival was inviting with an angry Austrian chick, but she gave us a free drink. She is cool now in our book. Bed time.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Day 39 - Good Day Mate

These Aussies are just to damn nice! We spent a good portion of the day acting like we are 25 years deep into a faulty marriage and not making a decision on our upcoming stay in Oz. The vibe lifted and we decided that we would catch a greyhound ticket up to frasier island for a safari tour.

Justin worked on his financials and I picked up a few essentials before we finally enjoyed Brisbane. We headed out to the "valley", the brisbane home of nightlife and stayed at a sweet hostel - Bunk. Of course, like everything, check in came with free drinks, so we immediately did a full survey on the bar. Three hours later we were still playing a massive game of Jengi that we turned into a team sport with the entire bar.

With our superior dexeterity we wooeed(is that a word) the bar company which essentially was a United Nations microcosim. We had a little bit of everything out there. Time for some serious and informative commentary.

The world hates America. More percisely, the world hates the US government. More specifically the world hates George Bush. We have consistently and constantly been met with anti america sentiments while we travel. People are quick to lay down there perceptions once you engage them in a conversation, but we are semi-ambassadors out here. You will be proud to know you picked the team to safe the US. While we have fun, we are not the loud obnoxious American that represent the states in most places. Unfortunately the sad fact of backpacking is that most countries, the US no exception, is represented by the bottom 10% of the population. So we encounter some really terrible US "diplomats" out here. At the same time, backpackers can also be some of the most informed and likable people you are going to meet. It is a little hit of miss, with most American travels being extremely loud and offending.

Folks if i can encourage one thing, let it be this. When you finally grow up and accidentally have your third child, make him or her travel. Every other country has a culture encouraging travel. In fact many countries consider travel experience as one of the most important parts of the resume when their denizens return. Americans are probably the least traveled people in the world (at least the people that you would think could travel if desired). I think this has a direct reflection on our warped perception of the world and our flat out lack of knowledge of any other country. Did you know that 7 out of 10 people from other countries know when US independence day is? Almost everyone know any single state and most know more about America politics than you do.

We do have one chance are salvation. Bush is definitely a scapegoat. The whole world seems to think that he got into office as a fluke and that 50% of the US population didn't vote for him. That said, many people are willing to pin everything on him and we can try to fix the damage done to our image. This is purely perception and has nothing to do with whether or not Justin or I support or disagree with what the government does or has done, but it appears the only way we can win people back on our side of things. We had one guy tell us he wished Sept 11th happened on the 12th, and 13th , and 14th. Granted it was hard not to become very angry, but we remained composed. I told him we should either start talking about sports, or perhaps we should stop talking. Granted the same guy was massively ill-informed, but the point is that sort of notion (of hate America) is being ingrained all over the place. All of this really difficult to encounter, because Justin and i are incredible patriotic and always willing to voice the other side of the story, but overall it is disheartening because people do not want to travel the states or meet americans because of what they heard second hand.

Thought you might find this interesting...hope it resonates of what actually needs to be done. Get informed, travel, and rep the US well. Sorry to bring down the laugh count, but that Hump's department with his whismical recollections of our days on the road.

Oh, and Aussie women find the American accent really hot.

God bless America.

Day 39+ - Cheers Mate, Aussie Bound

We did it, we really did it. A lot of people said it wasn't possible, but they were wrong. We arrived in Oz. Riding the coattails of the theatrical splendor that we found in Christchurch, we expected the lollypop kids and a horse of a different color eagerly awaiting our arrival. Close....instead we found customs, duty free alcohol, and border patrol.



We found the Airtrain into Roma station. Somehow we spent the majority of the day taking care of logistics...we planned out or trip to Hervey Bay / Frasier Island and onward up the coast to our present location in Airlie beach after returning from our three day Whitsundays sailing / scuba adventure.

Just finally finalized his finances and decided next time we as going to pay Amex the extra $3 and upgrade from the carrier pigeon to ground transportation. Smart move. He isn't a logistic professional but he did stay in a holiday inn express....clearly providing the wherewithall (sp?) to knock this one out of the park.

Next...Bunk and a little bit of a party!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pictures

Follow the link below to look at some updated pictures. There are much more to come but it takes a while to upload.

http://picasaweb.google.com/joshsmith17

Day 37, Monday Morning



So we think of Mondays as a dreaded day. The weekend is over and the fun must stop, unless you are living the dream. Lets compare charts:




We will be back in reality shortly.