Believe it or not, long-term travel can be quite tiring. By the time we reached Australia, we fancied a bit of a time out from the sightseeing (or “Urlaub vom Urlaub” as the Germans say so nicely). You start to lose your appreciation of things when you see so many glaciers or heritage buildings on a permanent basis - which is a real shame. We were also missing having an apartment, most of all a kitchen. And constantly repacking our rucksacks was becoming tedious. An Air BnB apartment and a bit of routine in Cairns seemed like just the medicine.
From an Autumnal Sydney, we flew three hours north to the tropical climate of Cairns where it was time to dig out the flip-flops again (or thongs – yep, Ozzie's call them thongs. Will never forget being told to keep our thongs on on the grass. Don't mind if we do!). And this is how our 14 days panned out:
A glut of hostels in South America and back-to-basics camper stoves in New Zealand just weren't satisfying our love of cooking, so having a kitchen again was absolute bliss to whip up a few of our old faves!
Masterchefs in Cairns
It could be said that we developed a mild addiction to Australian Masterchef, and, while far from being master chefs ourselves, we became acquainted with the ins and outs of modern cooking terminology. Next time that dessert goes wrong, I'm going to call it a “deconstructed” tart. And "scoops" of ice-cream? I don't think so. There'll only be "quinelles" at chez Hagemann in future!
Oh, the joy of having wifi again! You don't realize how much you depend on it. Roll on some Google Hangouts and Skype sessions with family and friends and some online research to prepare the next stage of our travels.
Time to Work Out
Apart from the hiking, our sports regime has been a bit on the minimal side. In Cairns, it was get-fit time, and there were no excuses with every man and his dog (literally) jogging along the Esplanade. Once the cool of evening came, we pulled on those trainers and hit the boardwalk, past people enjoying the sunset, the outside BBQs making us hungry with the smell of grilling meat, and the Indian sitar player enveloped in a cloud of incense. In the evening, the Esplanade came alive, and after nightly sessions of 4 to 6km, we were feeling more alive ourselves.
Bruno and Faustine
It seems Cairns is the place to go when you have a case of around-the-world travel fatigue. We met a lovely French couple, Bruno and Faustine, who were staying in another Air BnB apartment in our building. Having done a similar trip to us, they also needed some time to recharge their batteries. A few nights of exchanging travel tips and sharing stories from the road made us realize it was probably quite normal to have a bout of travel blues. How fitting that we should bump into them when we did.
It's funny how such simple things can bring so much happiness. Such as the joy of having a wardrobe! We normally wouldn't give it a second thought, but after carrying our “wardrobes” around on our backs for over half a year, the concept of unpacking everything and putting it on coathangers was a novelty!
A Matter of Priority
R couldn't resist another chance to check out the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Meanwhile, I did away with more underwater frolics, and opted instead to splash out on some of these (ahem).
There's only so long a gal can go with bad hair and seven months was long enough (I do miss my hairdresser!). It's all a matter of priority, I guess.
It's official - we are coffee snobs. We tracked down a good cup of joe, but there was something nagging in our minds. Why didn't we go to the coffee capital of Melbourne??
First income since October
Before we clocked up any more kilometres, we were keen to lighten the load. So, we donated our faithful sleeping bags to the church, sent our tent home (we couldn't part from it), and made a bit of cash by selling our air mats – our first income since October ;-)
By the time it came to leave, we had regained our travel mojo and could finally face seeing those backpacks again. This time, we were headed for Indonesia.