Dear friends and family and people who accidentally get to my blog after searching the internet for porn (#stillappreciateyou),
Where has Yasmine been for the past 6 weeks? Writing this “I’m back” message feels like déjà vu. I feel like this has happened before.
I left Melbourne (but I’m not talking about it! More stories and advice to come) and headed up the east coast of Australia to Brisbane in a whirlwind of near starving car rides (former travel mates didn’t seem to ever eat), uncomfortable tent situations (try four over-sized adults in a tent not up to par with our space requirements) and mixed feelings about the institution of 20-something Westerners who travel and make the world their playground.
Expect some outpouring of emotions any day now.
On the second leg of the trip, my friend Erin and I drove solo from Brisbane to Cairns, which involved much less beach and a lot more living out of McDonald’s, some scary nights sleeping in the car (fatigue and uncomfortable positions lead to paranoia) and days filled with hypothesizing when we were going to see a crocodile.
Finally, we met up with two delightful Germans in Cairns and made the Cairns to Alice Springs and Alice Springs to Darwin outback journeys.
I didn’t see any camels…
This wasn’t Morocco. Although if you don’t already know, Australia has a large feral camel population. Just watch Tracks, an amazing recount of Robyn Davidson’s 2,700 journey across the outback in 1977. In 2008 the feral camel population was estimated to be over a million. Now, that number is much smaller, around 300,000, according to Wikipedia. Was I upset not to have seen my furry mascara-clad friends? Let’s not talk about it.
The lack of camels broke my heart, but the campfires (literally) warmed it. In the outback, we had the stereotypical experiences (Wolf Creek-style encounters excluded): having a dingo sniff around our campsite, almost killing several kangaroos and cows, waking up to a massive spider in the tent and seeing some utterly unexplainable roadhouse decorations.
There were also moments that I didn’t expect to have, like learning about the recent syphilis outbreak of Northwestern Queensland. Or the way my friend Erin can sleep while looking like she’s breaking her neck. Or how little information I would actually be offered about aboriginal culture. That issue is something that I will be researching for weeks to come.
I can’t wait to talk about all of it, and I hope you’ll stay tuned to hear it.
As I write this, I’m sitting in on my bunk in my dorm room as a drunk woman slurs and curses and screams on the street below me. Sweet dreams, Darwin CBD. I’m sure that’s what she’s saying.
Have a meaningful, and most importantly, entertaining day,