So it’s May (of 2013!)….and way back in January I posted a few snapshots of the two-week trip we took to Australia in December (of 2012!), and promised to have some ‘real’ pictures and perspective of fourteen days traipsing around in the Southern Hemisphere up on le blog in short order. Naturally, I lost track of time (read: procrastinated combing through the over 1200 pictures taking up real estate on my memory card), and the looming task of digging through the monstrous digital photo roll that encompassed our totally rad days “Down Under” got the best of me. I don’t know how it is that it took me five whole months, but it was actually hugely entertaining to spend a cloudy and overcast day here scrolling through shots of cerulean blue seas and remembering *exactly why* I wore stretchy leggings for the plane ride home after recalling the obscene amount of delicious food I managed to consume in fourteen days.
But I’ll make myself feel better by living out that old adage – better late than never. Australia. In short: Australia is, to date, the most enigmatic place I’ve ever visited – and I barely, barely scratched the surface while there. Imagine if someone told you they were coming to visit the United States for fourteen days; obviously, they would barely even get a taste of what this country is all about. They’d see a couple of big cities (probably New York, or LA), spend lots of time flying/driving/training/schlepping, and in the end leave with an idea of what went on in the big old U.S.of A….but there’s just no way they would have fully seen it all. And attempting to ‘do’ Australia in just two short weeks is nearly impossible; it is a massive country. As perspective: Australia encompasses nearly 3 million square miles of land, which is just slightly smaller than the US’s 3.7 million square mile share. By comparison, however, Australia only has 22 million people living there – just 7% of the 314 million we have living on US soil. A good bit of Australia – the world’s smallest continent, but her 6th largest country – is uninhabitable. Harsh desert land covers 18% of that square milage, located mostly in the center of the country; so much so that 80% of Aussies live within 100km (62 miles!) of the coastline. The only country that is also a continent, it is a host to incredibly varied terrain: along with those blisteringly hot deserts come craggy and beautiful beaches, stunning ancient rock formations, bustling metropolitan centers, and snow capped mountains. But enough of the geeky stats. Clearly, I was not going travel a land mass nearly the size of America in two weeks, and having learned from some past experiences that trying to cram ALLTHETHINGS into what really isn’t that much time is utterly exhausting, we decided to focus our efforts on seeing four destinations: Manly Beach, Sydney, the Mornington Peninsula, and, finally, Melbourne.