This is the fifth time I cross the Equator line in this trip, and this time I stay in the south hemisphere...where the summer is warming up hearts and barbecues.
My arrival to Australia was to Cainrs, in the north of Queensland state. This is the tropical area of this country, plenty of rainforest, wildlife and diving paradise. The Great Barrier is a 3000-kilometer of coral reef, diving into its colors and organic shapes is like peering some Beatles psychedelic dream.
Just by chance I met Paula -Brazil- and Marcel -Holland- who are also travelling around the world and we shared a couple of nights and beers two months ago in Jakarta, Indonesia. With no room for hesitation we rented a campervan that would become our home for the next 3 weeks in our way to Byron Bay - Sunshine Coast, surfers territory.
Australia...so expensive, no need to say that we picked the cheapest -and most rusted- vehicle available, just check the pictures. It was not possible to go beyond 80 km/h but still we had lot of fun on this van.
The key to make the trip enjoyable was to be driving half of the day and then stopping wherever we felt like a break. This is the best way to get to know this huge and desolate country. We visited islands, little villages, forests, waterfalls, beaches, caves and dunes.
As we were rolling down we realized that many other tourist are the same way: traveling cheap on a van, and when sunset comes everybody looking for a place to park, start a barbecue and spend a lovely night.
There is an spontaneous camaraderie to share a meal around a table and get to know a lot of cool people.
I´ve met more people on these 3 weeks than in my whole trip. Amazing.
Most of the beaches in Queensland state are just perfect...but only for taking pictures. Threats like sharks, crocodiles and poisonous jellyfish are all around and make it impossible to even touch the water. Each town that we arrived had a special "guest" (read threat), and at the end we just joked "what is coming next...velociraptors? " hehe. The solution: stinger net. It is like a massive playpen into water where you can swim in a relatively "tranquility" while feeling like a dumb being there.
Landscape is like being in a road movie: road motels, gas stations with typical restaurants in the middle of nowhere, long long roads with no one around and few trucks coming and going.
People is very rural and with a simple lifestyle in this part of Australia. Very very friendly and smiley.
Finally after three cool weeks we arrived to Byron Bay. This is a town where you can breath welfare, money and clear air. We had the nice surprise that beaches are free of hazardous creatures, just a line in the horizon of a very cool specie: surfers.
View CHUECO RTW in a larger map
if you write, sand becomes white
our beloved campervan
marcel and paula
sand-strip in the middle of the ocean - great coral reefs in cairns
doing some follow up to work
this is southern hemisphere, so gravity is inverted ;)
everybody surfs, that woman was 60 and she was f***ing skilled