We are getting ready for Australia and I am a little daunted at the trip I am about to take. You see I am Canadian and Australia is literally half a world away. Not only is the time zone thing confusing, but apparently I will lose a complete day of my life. It will be taken from me by the intrepid date line…and I don’t understand where it goes?!! I leave thursday and arrive saturday…so…where did friday go?? Is it replaced later? NO because I leave on a Monday and return here on a Monday. HOW does that work??
Let me explain the little I understand…
I live in Montreal.
I leave Thursday at 5:30pm (mtl) and arrive Vancouver 11:00pm (mtl time) 8:00pm (Vancouver time)
I leave at 11:30pm Vancouver time and fly for 14.5 hours to Sidney where we arrive on Saturday – at 2:30 a.m Australia time. Hunh?
Because of leaving a) late thursday so it’s already friday in AUstralia and b) crossing this “date line”, friday is taken. Gone. poof. Just getting there is the first incredible thing to get over.
I am packed two days before leaving. If you knew me then you would know how totally and completely out of character this is for me. But I’m excited. Something about this is feeling eerily like my beloved Africa.
I researched the animals and wildlife which brought memories of Africa closer. Except I think Australia is more challenging even.
We forget how lucky we are in Canada. When I look up “Canadian Wildlife” on google images i get something like this :
Here, we may have to contend with “a little” cold, but in the summer you can walk barefoot and you can drink water pretty safely, you don’t have to be afraid to put your slippers on in the morning and you don’t check every bite of bread for weevils. There are some real challenges that we simply don’t face here in North america. Our most dangerous snake being the Rattler or something equally benign compared to the insanely big and venomous Black Skinned Tiger Snake. Our waters are incredibly safe for swimming in terms of the creatures they house.
When I look up “Australian Wildlife” on google images I get something more like…this:
What the fuck is that?
In Australia there seem to be many things waiting to kill you everywhere. Spiders and snakes on land, Box Jelly fish with 4 meter long tendrils causing you to die within an hour of asphyxiation if you just touch them a teenie tiny bit. Oh and they’re basically invisible…yeah. how do you fight that?
Australian water life is a hole other topic. People actually dive there…just watching the documentary on ocean life made me want to sell my scuba gear and declare heartily “never again!”. I am a dummy.
It’s funny because here in Canada I am extremely comfortable with nature. I feel connected to animals and have a very good level of communication with the things that live around me. But uproot me and put me somewhere like Costa Rica and it’s a whole new world to learn. So many different sounds and smells. Even just the “feeling” of a day passing is so different I often would find myself not having any clue what time it is because I think at home we have a natural connection to the placement of the sun, but in a different place, we need to realign ourselves and this takes time.
Vacationers don’t have time to waste. I am making plans to not make plans. My favourite part of this trip to take so far will be when john and I go “walkabout”. We are renting a car and heading “thatta way” down the Great ocean road off the coast near Melbourne. I think neither of us wanted to mention that we were a little more nervous about doing this since we watched the documentary together last night, with the teenie-weenie spiders that inject a small glob of venom into your toenail and you die. You just stop breathing and die and never even see it coming. Maybe we weren’t so comfy with those.
Maybe it was the big fuzzy ugly gigantic icky spider with shiny horrible black spikes in its mouth that attacks forward so it can pierce your boot. Kind makes you love a good blizzard eh?
Or maybe it was the snakes that just lie waiting for you in every single shadowy part of every city or rural area in Australia. Yeah…I have to say that made me think:
John and I are celebrating 15 years together with this trip. Our relationship began basically with a trip like this one, but to friendly little Boston in 2000. Now this trip is our most adventurous and over the years I have learned about my beautiful husband that our likelihood of getting a guide is about as much as him stopping for directions at a garage….
I wonder if you can buy portable anti-venom for long trips?