Australia Planning

My tour company (Intrepid Travel) notified me that there was an error in the booking and they had to cancel their portion of the tour. The remaining meat of the tour (thank god) is still being honored by the actual tour guides they outsource to. This resulted in my losing a camel-ride tour and one visit to an aboriginal tribe, but there’s still another visit on the itinerary.

Intrepid knocked $800 off the price which tells you how much they mark it up for international customers. They also are paying for three nights in Adelaide to compensate for the missing days.

As I got my plane ticket for free thanks to my father’s frequent flyer miles, this puts the trip at about $1300ish. But then I have to pay for two nights at a hotel in Melbourne before I go to Adelaide. I also probably need to pay for a night in Alice Springs after the tour is complete. Then I also need plane tickets to get from Melbourne to Adelaide for the start, and tickets from Alice Springs to Melbourne afterwards. Then there’s about four nights in Melbourne and four in Nadi, Fiji.

REI Cruise UL

I went to REI the other day to buy some gear for the 10-day trip. I also just wanted to buy some hardy gear to keep for the future since hopefully I’ll get to do some traveling in the bush under my international development education track.

I found the awesome REI Cruise UL pack which is super-light at 3lbs or so. It also has an outer dump pocket in the front to carry my day-pack Camelbak. The helpful REI guy helped me size the pack to my body.

I also got the REI Mojave sleeping bag.

REI Mojave

I ended up buying some other shit like a waterproof compression sack, a waterproof bag, a mosquito net, some Quicksilver board shorts and two REI shirts, and some misc. small things. I’m trying to travel very light but it looks like my hiking boots (5.11s) will take up the most space.

I also decided to pull my Sony PSP out of storage and update it so that I could use it as a wifi web browser. Naturally I figured I’d buy Lumines 2 and Me and My Katamari for it since I haven’t played any PSP games in a while.

I’m bringing five books and hope to finish them before I return in May. I need to do summer reading for school you know!

To be honest I will be lonely without Julie on my trip. Hopefully I will be with some cool people on the tour but most of my trip will be done alone. I will try to document it well with photos and scribblings.

  • Hey Ben,

    You win some, you lose some. Financially you are probably better off, but it’s still a pain when these things happen. Try to get the Ade/Melb tickets and alice/springs/melb tickets asap. I heard they aren’t too bad right now-sometimes the websites do really good deals. It’s mainly virgin (i think! and jetstar). I think you’ll really enjoy it, I saw a list of all the stuff you can do in melbourne on the flickr Melbourne site (on the forum) if you want a list of stuff (it was pretty spot on too)…i guess melbourne isn’t so touristy, but there are lots of neat cafes and bars…the food scene is also great.

    Are you stopping off to Nadi on the way back? It might be worth trying to get out to one of the smaller islands on the ferry because they are really good…you can also get a taxi all the way to suva (i think suva is the biggest town) it’s all the way on the other side but a) it’s not that expensive to bargain and get a taxi there and back and you can see a lot that way…you’ll see how absolutely chilled out fijians are!

    Good luck on the book reading…somehow i’m not so sure you’ll finish ALL 5 but good luck all the same!

  • Ben

    Thanks Michelle!

    I took Qantas flights which weren’t too expensive. They were good quality. I like how the Qantas stewardesses are nice and have Aboriginal patterns on their stylish outfits. It’s a nice touch.

    I stayed solely in Nadi although I visited Lautoka to the north also. Everyone said Suva was much better but I’d need more time to go there.

    I finished 3.5 books while I was there! I was also writing a journal for Julie so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

    Australia was beautiful and I loved it so much that I want to go back soon!