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21.11.2011, 14:30   ---   G’day mate!

Yeeeehaaaa… after more than 5 years I finally made it back to Australia and I start right where I ended my trip last time: Darwin , the Capital of the Northern Territory !
Arrival at the airport was just as easy-going as usual, everything’s very modern and well organised, no persistently annoying taxi drivers… oh well, and only the bus ride into the city costs as much as an entire days food and accommodation in Asia! ;-)
It took me quite a few days to finally realise that I’m back and I just fully enjoyed wandering around town, recognising familiar things, checking out some new places and eating meat pies. Heaps of brilliant memories came up, even some little things of no particular importance, really funny. God though, that I didn’t fly straight to Sydney or Perth , that would’ve been just too overwhelming for the beginning I reckon! :-)
Not too much has changed within the last years… Woolworths got a new icon, there are lots more varieties of meat pies and the Green Bags are now also available in pink… otherwise everything’s pretty much as it used to be and I’m just super happy! :-)
And I especially enjoy walking around without being instantly recognised as a foreigner, checking out shops without being hassled and having a hot shower! :-) Clean toilets are abundant everywhere, tap water is safe to drink, people speak English, road traffic is well organised… great!
Oh and Barack Obama was here a few days ago!! He visited the memorial of a bombed US ship from WWII, the entire city was totally excited and policemen from all over Australia had been flown in to ensure his safety along the way from the airport to the memorial. And yes, I saw him!! Okay, just very briefly when that massive parade of vehicles drove past, but better than nothing! ;-)
For the last week I stayed at the places of two Couchsurfers and had a great time. It’s just so much nicer than staying in hostels, they took me to some nice places around Darwin , we had a Barbecue in a little nature reserve… and tomorrow I’m gonna move on! I’ll meet my family in Melbourne in 3 weeks, so I gotta see to it that I make a move to make sure to get there on time. So tomorrow I’ll leave for Kakadu National Park (Crocodile Dundee country :-) ) and into the Outback to Alice Springs along with two other German girls. Bye bye civilisation!! :-)


28.11.2011, 11:00   ---   Sun, Crocs and cold beer

After skipping that entire area on my last trip I was now finally heading off for the classical Australian Outback-Journey straight through the centre. But first of all, I did the little detour to Kakadu National Park along with Sabine, Susan and their cars. Ever since I loved the movie “Crocodile Dundee” when I was little I wanted to go there, but last time when I got to Darwin the entire park was still flooded from the last wet season and hardly accessible. Well, now I’m back right in the wet season (it seems I don’t have the best timing in that matter) and many areas are already closed again… but we wanted to see at least the rest of it! Kakadu is a vast landscape of bushland, billabongs, floodplains, waterfalls and rocks with paintings of Aborigines that are 20.000 years old. There are loads of birds everywhere and huge crocodiles inhabit most rivers, billabongs and plunge pools of waterfalls, which limits swimming opportunities dramatically, not too nice in this insane heat and humidity. Anyway, I’m glad that I finally made it there and one day I might give it a third try and come back in the dry season! ;-)

But then it was eventually time to hit the Outback and to get away from the tropical wet season! The sky cleared up, the air became drier, towns became rarer and smaller, bushland along the road thinner and the red sand is glowing through the dry grass. We shared the seemingly endless road with only a handful of other cars, massive Road Trains and occasional kangaroos (the alive and also the dead kind) and camped at small rest areas along the highway. The sunsets out here are breathtaking (the sunrises as well I reckon, but everybody who knows me will also know that I hardly ever get up at that time), in the evenings we enjoyed the stunning starlight sky with a cold beer and when I lay in the tent at night and a Road Train passed only a few meters away the whole ground seemed to be shaking – welcome to the Outback!
There’s not all that much to visit along the way considering the insane distances, but at least every now and then there was some sort of sight not to be missed. We took a bath in the not so hot Hot Springs in Mataranka, refreshed ourselves with a beer at the legendary Outback Pub of Daly Waters (the oldest pub in the Northern Territory ) and stopped at the Devil’s Marbles, a bunch of huge, round, stacked boulders in the middle of nowhere.
By now we’re only 200km before Alice Springs and the change of climate is enormous. The nights are much cooler (almost cold actually) than in the north and the air is so extremely dry that our skin is completely dried out already, we can’t even put on that much body lotion!


05.12.2011, 10:20   ---   The Green Centre a.k.a. Red Centre

Flat landscape, red ground, blue sky, burning sun… that’s pretty much what one expects from a journey to Australia ’s red centre. Bullshit, only rumours – green, cloudy and cold is the reality! :-P
The scenery around Alice Springs was surprisingly hilly and first of all we enjoyed a brief road trip break in that little town. Finally enough time to enjoy a good coffee, check out the nightlife and catch up with my Cambodia-buddy Stuart. At that time it was also burning hot, no single cloud in the sky, which made the pool at our caravan park a paradise on earth!
Afterwards we headed for the beautiful MacDonnel Ranges just outside of town. The mountains have stunning, steep gorges, several refreshing water holes and the red rocks make a fascinating contrast to the white trunks of the Ghost Gum Trees, amazing!

And then it was finally time for the last 500km to Uluru (Ayers Rock), the Australian icon! By that time the first clouds came up in the sky, but first one wouldn’t think of the worst. And everything was green, everywhere, bloody “red desert”! Even wild flowers were in bloom! Anyway, I was actually pretty sure to be disappointed by that rock as expectations for a place like that are always so high… no way, it was absolutely impressive at first sight on the horizon already from a distance of 50km and simply breathtaking to stand right in front of the world’s biggest monolith!! 348m high and a circumference of more than 9km!! Incredible, even with clouds! ;-) Right on time for the sunset we made it to the viewpoint, but the clouds were already so thick, that no sunray made it through and therefore Uluru unfortunately didn’t appear in that famous bright red colour.
Then, in the middle of the night we got up again with the naïve hope for a beautiful sunrise instead. This time we went to the nearby rock formations of Kata Tjuta (in English “many heads”), but again no sight of that amazing change of colour. We spent the rest of the day in the National Park and were so perfectly prepared for that extreme climate: Sunblock, a decent hat and even a mozzi-net for the head… no one could’ve known that an umbrella might come in handier! Yes, it rained! In the desert! However, after driving 2000km to get there we couldn’t be bothered and did some walks anyway. First through the rocky domes of Kata Tjuta (formerly known as the Olgas) for a bit and then at Uluru, of course. The rock is a holy place for the local Aborigines of the Anangu tribe and therefore they plead visitors not to climb it. But the park management still doesn’t dare to close the climb altogether as they’re afraid of dropping visitor numbers. So for now it’s still a question of respect every visitor has to answer for himself. For me it’s definitely a no-go and instead I rather did the base walk around the rock (however, at this time of the year the climb is generally closed due to serious health risks caused by the extreme heat, haha), also really cool! From short distance one can actually see how many caves, gorges and crevices there actually are, also a few rock paintings and at several sacred places one can read the actual dreamtime stories (how the earth became what it is today according to the culture and beliefs of the Aborigines).
Oh and I saw wild camels, so cool, and even better: A thorny devil. That’s a little lizard with thorns all over the body. This one and the frilled-neck lizard, which I saw at Kakadu NP, are the coolest lizards in Australia I think, another thing to tick off the list. :-) Only the big red kangaroos are surprisingly rare.

And then the last stop before heading back to the Stuart Highway : Kings Canyon ! The layer of clouds seemed to grow thicker and thicker, it was cold, the strong wind made it even colder (it might’ve still been around 20 degrees, but we were just used to almost 40) and the rain increased (which actually helped a little bit with the Christmas mood as it was just the 2nd advent though)… but it was still fantastic!! For 3 hours we hiked around the canyon’s rim, through picturesque rock formations, down into the Garden of Eden (a little green oasis deep inside a gorge) and back up to the rim of the canyon, beautiful!
Now we’re back on the Stuart Highway , crossed the border to South Australia already, put our clocks an hour forward and are heading straight south again – 1200km left until Adelaide !


15.12.2011, 22:00   ---   Return to Civilisation

Those places worth a stop during the last leg of our trip were rather rare and therefore we drove quite long distances every day. But that doesn’t mean it was boring. I reckon I’d never get enough of those wide open spaces and also the majestic Road Trains manage to impress over and over again. And on top of that it feels like you know just everybody on the highway at the time as everybody stops at the same places – there’s not all too much to choose from! ;-) The must-see on this stretch is the little opal mining town of Coober Pedy . All of a sudden huge piles of differently coloured sands are spread across the desert, opal mines everywhere, warning signs… and in the middle of it all is the little sleepy town. The heat in Coober Pedy is enormous and therefore most of the 4000 residents live under the ground inside the old mine shafts, where the temperature is constantly cool.
Just before reaching the South Australian coast we passed a huge salt lake, really cool. There’s nothing we could do about the heat though, but at least it looked a little bit like snow, which – combined with the German Christmas cookies that we’d found in a supermarket earlier – helped at least somewhat with our non-existing Christmas spirit. ;-)
Only shortly after that we arrived in Port Augusta and were finally back by the sea, the successful completion of our continent crossing! Finding a decent camp spot in the civilisation is much harder though. Eventually we set up our camp in a small town, where we ended up being a big attraction next morning as probably ever single local came by to say hello and to proudly offer the local newspaper.
After a short detour through the pretty vineyards of Clare Valley and a few wine tastings we made it to Adelaide after 2,5 weeks on the road. I found a fantastic hostel, treated myself with some yammi Indian food and even the city itself wasn’t as boring as I remembered it from last time.

But it was already time to make my way to Melbourne . I spent 2 days in the pretty suburb St. Kilda and had a great time catching up with my friends Mark, Gary (I met them during my first Australia-Trip) and Rikki (we met in Cape Town about a year ago), before welcoming my family to Down Under.
On Monday morning I got up really early, dropped off my luggage in our hotel in the city centre and reached the airport right on time for the landing. I spend a long time watching confused, routined, wannabe-cool and excited people arriving in the waiting area (great entertainment!) until finally mum, dad and my brother Sebastian arrived too – so exciting after such a long time!!! :-)
For the first couple of days they were quite busy fighting their jetlag, but meanwhile I still managed to show them around Melbourne . One of the highlights was probably the observation deck of the Eureka tower. When I was in here last time it was still under construction, now it’s Melbourne ’s tallest skyscraper and offers a breathtaking view of the city!! Right on my first day Rikki took me up there, but also for the second time it was no less impressive. Oh and we also visited my dad’s cousin, who lives here in Melbourne, and her family. I met them for the first time 6 years ago and it was great to see everybody again, a really nice evening!
At the moment we’re travelling on the Great Ocean Road and slowly slowly getting sorted in our Campervan. Not all too easy with a bunch of camping beginners… ;-)


26.12.2011, 22:15   ---   Campervaning

For 10 days we’ve been on the road in our campervan and while I was stoked about that luxurious and comfortable way of travelling (by my standards), my family seemed to struggle with the limited space in the beginning. ;-) But it got better day after day and now it actually goes quite well.

From Melbourne we took the Great Ocean Road , the probably most beautiful coastal road in the world. Stunning beaches and beautiful rock formations (12 Apostles, London Bridge and the like) – I didn’t mind at all to enjoy them for the second time. And right at our first camp site we had a cuddly koala in the tree right next to us and the parrots were incredibly tame, a brilliant introduction to Australian wildlife!
Because of the current blue whale season we followed the coast a bit further to Portland , but we had no luck in that matter. No whales in sight, only cold and ugly weather. But instead we got rewarded with lots of emus, kangaroos and even two echidnas (an Australian kind of hedgehog, quite big with a very long nose) along the way, so nothing to complain about! Around Portland we also checked out the only Australian mainland colony of Gannets (pretty sea birds) and a petrified forest and then it was finally time to leave the coast for a while.
Our next destination was the Grampians National Park . 6 years ago I got there right after an awful bush fire. It looked terrible those days, so it was even nicer now to see this beautiful landscape in a healthy green colour! We hiked quite a lot, climbed some mountains, enjoyed incredible lookouts, the picturesque McKenzie Falls … and we saw heaps of kangaroos!! Big ones, small ones, very small ones, sleeping, eating, looking out of the mum’s pouch, shy ones, curious ones… sooo cute and never ever boring!! :-) Also our camp was a haven for wildlife fanatics again: Kangaroos and emus shared the vast green lawns and the trees were full of kookaburras and several kinds of parrots. And in the evening at sunset all of a sudden the entire sky was full of cockatoos flying above us, an unbelievable number of birds, thousands of them really! It’s impossible to describe that noise!

With that experience the western part of our road trip was finished and via Melbourne we headed back towards the coast. And we instantly agreed: Melbourne by car is no fun!!! But we managed even that nicely and a bit later arrived at Philipp Island . That little island is known for its huge colony of the world’s smallest penguins (33cm tall). Penguins in general are extremely cute anyways, but these ones have the habit to only leave the sea right at sunset to return to their nests in the dunes. And as it always happens at such an exact time every day it’s a magnet for tourists of course and right at the beach there are two large platforms, which are crowded by people day by day. So generally it’s not exactly the sort of place I’d like all too much, but I’ve been surprised how much I did indeed enjoy it! I reckon the Penguin Parade was by far the cutest thing I’ve seen in a very long time, totally amazing!! Pretty much right at sunset time the first penguin group reached the shore and for quite a while we watched those little fellas fighting the big waves to get to the beach, then they patiently waited until everyone finally made it and all of a sudden they all ran hectically back into the sea several times, like something scared the hell out of them, sooo hilarious!! But eventually they were brave enough to overcome their fears and waddle across the beach past the curious visitor on the platforms and into their nests in the dunes. Just incredibly cute!!
From Philipp Island we drove relatively straight along the coast towards Sydney with only a few stops along the way. Only Wilsons Promontory National Park was not to be missed!! Fantastic landscape and stunning beaches are a perfect combination and the sand is so fine that it squeaks beneath ones feet! Only mum managed to cut her foot at the edge of probably the only rock within the entire beach! ;-) Once again I made my family climb a mountain with me. The hike to the top was quite a bit further than I’d thought though, but it was totally worth it – the view along the coastline was breathtaking!! And probably the best thing about the entire national park: I encountered my first wild wombat, two even to be precise!! :-D Wombats are Australia ’s coolest animals I’d say, some sort of mix between a pig and a bear and it seems extremely lazy and clumsy, just some really relaxed fellas! ;-)
We spent Christmas in Jervis Bay and from our Campervan we can see the ocean! It’s really beautiful here, white sandy beach, blue water, powerful waves and yesterday it has been perfectly sunny, too! That doesn’t feel like Christmas at all of course, but we couldn’t expect anything else (at least not as Europeans, who are used to cold weather for Christmas and even snow in the best case) and typically Australian we enjoyed a delicious barbecue and a cold beer instead! ;-)

And now that we’d finally all gotten used to our campervan the time is over already. Tomorrow we’re gonna do the last 200km to Sydney and I’m all excited already! During my first year in Australia I’d been living in that beautiful city for 3 months and I can hardly wait to finally get back!! And on top there’s gonna be another visitor from home awaiting me -  my cousin Mareike just decided to come along as well and is already on her plane to Down Under in this moment! :-)


05.01.2012, 21:00   ---   Back „home“  

On the last leg to Sydney I got more and more excited with every kilometre and nearly bursted of happiness when I saw the first familiar places flying past the car window – I was finally back at my old home! During my first year in Australia I’d been living in this beautiful city for several months and it’s so full of phenomenal memories!! But it has changed in many ways, too! Our favourite restaurant Roys isn’t there anymore, for example, and my old Internet café is now a bottle shop, but the best pub O’Malleys and the house where I used to live with 2 friends are still there. :-)

For one week I took my family to the best places of my all time favoutite city and I think I managed to convince them a little bit! ;-) And how could it be any different… we stayed just around the corner of the Botanic Garden and the first sight of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge is always a jaw-dropping moment!! Within no time my orientation was back and I took them EVERYWHERE! We visited the Aquarium, enjoyed warm sunshine at Darling Harbour, walked across the Harbour Bridge, fed cockatoos at the Botanic Garden, were totally stoked of the stunning 360°-view from the observation deck at Sydney Tower, wandered through the cosy old suburb of The Rocks, watched many street performers, visited the majestic Queen Victoria Building, went shopping at Paddy’s Market, ate delicious food in Chinatown… a never ending list! And of course the Opera House from all different angles was on the itinerary, too. We also took a tour to get a glimpse behind the white shells of this fascinating building. Very interesting, but surprisingly straight and plain, not the least as extravagant as on the outside.
And Sydney ’s amazing beaches were not to be missed either! We took a bus to Coogee Beach , from where we walked along the coast and past several beaches to my favourite Bronte Beach . We had a rest for a while, hit the powerful waves and relaxed in the sun, before heading off to the famous Bondi Beach .

New Year’s Eve though was simply crazy! The New Year fireworks in Sydney are undoubtedly one of the most spectaculars in the world and we weren’t about to miss out of course! 6 years ago my friends and I spent a relaxed day at the Botanic Garden and had a brilliant view for the firework. This year it was far from relaxed… When we got to the gate we couldn’t believe what we saw: People as far as our eyes reached and no end of the queue in sight! I don’t know for how many kilometres the queue went on… just insane! About 3,5 hours later we finally reached the entrance gate, my mum with her innocent appearance easily managed to smuggle our alcohol inside and then we looked around for a nice spot on the lawns with a clear view – no chance! About 95% of all areas with a clear view of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge were not publicly accessible any more, but fenced off and ridiculously expensive tickets had been sold in advance. So the 20.000 people in the public area now squeeze around those few spots with a view. During the day it was still quite alright as people spread out over the lawns, but during the fireworks it was really hectic… the entire setup was by far not as relaxed and fun as it used to be, but the spectacular firework still made up for it!!!
Lol and in this chaos among 20.000 people we must have dropped a phone Sim-card, which we only discovered back at the hotel unfortunately. So right the next morning we went back to look for it (one more one less optimistic…) and as unreal as it sounds: We found it! Unbelievable… ;-)

Two days ago it was time for goodbyes again, the family holidays were over and mum, dad and Sebastian flew back home. Mareike still had a bit over a week left and we luckily managed to get a last-minute rental van. Off to Byron Bay !


15.01.2012, 9:30   ---   And yet another road trip…

Quite some time has passed again and meanwhile all my visitors have left. But first Mareike and I checked out the New South Wales coast for a bit and had heaps of fun! We rented a small campervan, camped along the road and saw a lot. We headed out of Sydney crossing the Harbour Bridge towards Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the picturesque old city of Newcastle . From there we continued to Port Stephens, where we unavailingly tried to spot koalas and drove on through an amazing lakes landscape to Forster and Port Macquarie. I had already visited those two towns a few years ago, but they have changed sooo much… especially the once quiet, sleepy (boring) Forster seems to have turned into a popular holiday destination for Australians. But the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie is still there and just as amazing as I remembered it from last time. They collect and look after injured koalas (road traffic, dog attacks, bush fires…), treat them to recover and if possible release them back into the bush. A fantastic institution!
Via Coffs Harbour , Ballina and uncountable breathtaking beaches we eventually arrived in Byron Bay . Our absolute favourite among the beaches was Black Head Beach , a stunning white stretch of sand, heavy surf and on both sides framed by rough black rocks – simply gorgeous!! Somewhat special (even though not particularly beautiful) was Hat Head Beach . There’s the mouth of a small river, which apparently took on a yellowish to rust-red colour due to several minerals in the soil and didn’t really look all too healthy… but quite cool nevertheless and at least something different for once. ;-)
And then our best campspot, just too amazing to be true – Coomba Park ! It’s a tiny town right next to one of many huge lakes, wonderfully quiet, no shops, hardly any road traffic, extremely nice people… we parked our campervan right next to the lake, kangaroos were hopping across the roads, pelicans swam along the lakeshore… and suddenly I spotted two dolphin fins emerging from the water! Yes, dolphins! In a lake! I instantly told Mareike with a mix of excitement and doubt, she obviously considered me having turned nuts and I hardly even dared to ask the only local around about it. But as it turned out the lakes are no real lakes though as they are not fully enclosed. They are all connected to one another and in Forster there’s a gap into the ocean, therefore it’s salt and no fresh water and that also explains the dolphins. And luckily Mareike also spotted them later and doesn’t consider me crazy any more. ;-)
Then we reached Byron Bay and I gotta say even driving in the city centre of Sydney was nicer than in Byron. Constantly one has those overly chilled out surfers and weirdly confused hippies in front of the car and one can hardly drive without hitting one after the other… But our campervan-time was over then anyways, we returned the vehicle and on foot Byron is quite a cool, relaxed, little town.

We took the nightbus back to Sydney , thoroughly shopped through Paddy’s Market once again and next morning Mareike’s flight was about to take off already. I just spent another few relaxed days in Sydney and today I’m gonna move to a cattle farm. I’m gonna work there for a bit in exchange for food and accommodation while waiting for a reply from the Immigration Office (my last try for a work visa – fingers crossed!) and finally getting on horseback again I hope after an insanely long time – yippeeeee!!! :-) I don’t quite exactly know what’s awaiting me though, but it feels like it’s gonna be good! :-)


16.02.2012, 18:30   ---   I am a Cowgirl!

Well… after more than 4 weeks I’m back online and I gotta say I had an amazing time! An entire month at a single place, a truly wonderful place as well, fantastic people around me, heaps of animals and on top of that I’m finally also back on horseback – a much needed travel break!!

My current home is called Nowendoc, a tiny village in the New South Wales tablelands. It consists of roughly 5 homes, a sporadically staffed police station, a tennis court and the tiny Nowendoc Store, which sometimes sells petrol. Indeed Nowendoc is so small, that it doesn’t even have a pub (Australian towns in general seem to rather have a pub than a petrol station) and the next supermarket is 71km away in the small town of Walcha .
I basically live right in the centre of Nowendoc with George and his English girlfriend Louise, as well as Lou’s friend Katie and the Italian backpacker Franky.

George runs two cattle farms in the surrounding countryside, but most of the time we’re at the larger one of the two. The so-called “Top Station” stretches over 5000ha of bushland and paddocks on picturesque green hills, a river and several creeks wind their way through it… incredibly beautiful! The farm is home to countless wildlife. Loads of kangaroos and wallabies are hopping around everywhere, eagles are circling in the sky, kookaburras laugh in the trees, wombats, echidnas, possums, dingoes, several species of snakes… there are meant to be koalas and platypuses too, but so far they’ve been hiding well. One day George and Franky found a few snake eggs, which I happily adopted straight away. While I was excitedly hoping for them to hatch, Franky and Katie were rather less stoked and in the end the three little fellas didn’t make it unfortunately. But instead we’re raising three bottle-fed calves (Gobbler, Katie and Monster) at the moment, so cute!! And since a few days ago there’s also number 4 (Mokka) now. :-)
Also there are 6 horses (Kayak, Lace, Storm, Suva, Zia and Tiny) and a whole bunch of dogs: The spoilt princess Curly, her amazing little sister Mo, the cool dude Scar, his Team-Mate Sheila, the lovely and always hungry Rottweiler Jazz, the somewhat dumb but happy Boss and the always excited puppy Dot. A little hut down by the river is home to an opossum named Malcolm, we’ve got a lizard by the name Sebastian in the house and last but not least a group of green tree frogs enjoy their life in the toilet’s flush tank at the farm. ;-) Oh and loads of cows, calves and steers plus a few bulls.

The work here is very multilateral! We spend lots of time in the saddle mustering the herds into the yards or to other paddocks. In general the trend seems to go more and more towards motorised vehicles, but in this landscape there’s hardly any possible alternative to horses (except for a motorbike as support sometimes) and in addition the dogs of course. Horse riding in this terrain is a whole different thing than what I’ve been used to from home, it’s constantly going up- and downhill, partly so steep that I’d have trouble walking, that combined with dense bushland, forests, heaps of rocks and fallen tree trunks everywhere and river crossings… definitely challenging, but a lot of fun. And it’s always really impressive to see how efficient the dogs work to keep the herd together and especially how much they love it! Once a herd made it into the yards they are pushed and drafted through the different pens, get inoculated, counted, weighed, medically treated… simply whatever is needed.
Otherwise we’re checking, repairing and upgrading fences, at the moment we’re extending the cattle yards, dog kennels are being renovated, roads need to be repaired (heavy rainfalls recently did quite a damage)… there’s always something to do and quite often it’s hard work, too, but I really enjoy it and even lost a few kilos already! ;-)

But we’re not just working all the time! For example we went to the Country Music Festival in Tamworth, watched the National Junior Rodeo Finals, visited the Apsley Falls near Walcha, went to Armidale for the cinema and a visit to George’s parents and just enjoy long lunch breaks at the dam on the farm, an amazing place to relax, refresh and swim!

Oh well, and there’s also Malcolm (no, not the opossum in the hut ;-) ), Australia ’s most wanted criminal! For over 6 years he’s now successfully been hiding from the police (as far as I know he’s accused for two murders) and is believed to live in the bush around Nowendoc. Therefore the little village is now busy with up to 160 policemen every now and then, who then set up a huge camp and unsuccessfully try to catch him, an entertaining circus. It’s especially amusing to see them tape their trousers to the boots with loads of duct-tape to be safe from the legions of leeches out here, but those little suckers will still find a gap! ;-) And since Malcolm seems to know the bush a hundred times better than the city-cops, he’s still on the run and he doesn’t have much longer to go to even break the Australian record of the longest escape from the police.

This week we had lots of cattle work to do, spent quite some time in the saddle, in between I tried to ride some dressage with Lace (not easy at all with an ex-racehorse, which has been mustering cattle for the last couple of years!), our skinny calves at home finally put on some fat and since the muddy ground is now drying out again I quite start enjoying riding the motorbike. And as a highlight of this week we let one of the steers get butchered two days ago for own use. Due to his short legs and fat belly the poor bloke had been named “Sausage” quite a while ago already and now it finally was time. A butcher came out to the farm, the animal got shot right in the paddock and straight-away skinned and gutted. I was pretty surprised of myself that I could watch all that without getting sick and it was indeed really interesting! :-)

So at the moment I’m a happy cowgirl and finally got the chance to have a rest in an amazing place after all those months on the road!


06.03.2012, 10:30   ---   Farmlife update

And another 3 weeks have almost passed again without a word from me… but there’s just not all that much happening at the moment. I am simply enjoying a normal life! :-)
I’m busy right now getting a work visa arranged and therefore I had to undergo a health examination and tuberculosis x-ray. Of course that can’t be done by just any doctor, but only by especially assigned clinics, the nearest one being in Sydney . Even though it was generally rather annoying, I did indeed enjoy it a lot to get away from here for a few days, live the city life again and having loads of people around me!
Back in Nowendoc work started off less enjoyable with 3 dead cows. A neighbour spotted them, cause of death unknown and we had the not so brilliant job to pull the blown up and smelly bodies off the paddock – no nice thing to do at all! But then it was all made up for again by some work on horseback! :-)

Lou also works as a photographer sometimes and took me along to the Walcha Campdraft. A Campdraft is a horse riding competition in which a competitor first separates a steer from its herd (cutting) and then chases it through a parcours – all that on horseback obviously. That was really interesting and good fun to watch!

Lou’s birthday was on as well, she had a friend with her mother visiting her and we took advantage of the nice weather by camping at the river all together. We shot two kangaroos for the bbq, tried to catch some eels, grilled marshmallows on the bonfire, watched the stars is the sky… amazing!!

Quite a challenge was the work with a totally crazy herd of cows and calves. Seriously, these animals are insane! George just bought them not long ago and they were already crazy when they arrived, but after a relaxed month in a huge green paddock I expected them to have calmed down… Nope! In the yards Franky and I had the fantastic job to draft out the calved from the cows and ended up spending almost more time on the gates than on the ground, as those beasts have got a habit of charging people. Too funny, when Franky jumped a fence in the last second George thought it was really funny and said “Come on, I’ll show you how to do that!” And not a second after sneaking through the gate the beast charged him straight away, he just managed to jump out of her way, the cow ran past and mingled with those that had already been treated – so that’s how it works! ;-)

Yesterday we had another day of cattle work. Since George preferred to take the quad-bike he allowed me to ride his horse Kayak, I had a lot of fun and also experienced his famous bucks for the first time. But what doesn’t throw me out of the saddle just makes me better and when all steers were done we had our first ever go in cutting after watching it so often at the campdraft, good fun! :-)

Apart from that we got another backpacker to live with us about a week ago (Fleur from Holland), I totally got over my disgust for leeches, Louise rode her young mare Tiny for the first time, we got a new horse a few days ago (the still quite insecure and anxious Jess), I spotted a koala (the first one ever even George saw on Top Station premises) and Malcolm is still on the run.


15.03.2012, 11:30   ---   A little bit alternation

Last week Louise, Katie, Franky and I went down to the coast to spend a few relaxed days. George’s parents own an amazing holiday house near Coffs Harbour , we had the beach almost to ourselves and the weather was great!
We got back to Nowendoc before the weekend and right on time for the yearly Walcha Show – a typical Australian country fair with rodeo, horse riding competitions, working dog competitions, dog jumping, small carousels and heaps of little competitions such as the biggest pumpkin, the best cookies or the finest sheep wool.

But then it was about time for some work again and for a change we had to do cattle work at the smaller farm. The cattle yards there are very old and rotten though and even a small calf could probably take them apart, so we rather use the yards of a neighbour. The day starts with trucking down the horses from Top Station, mustering the cows and calves to the gate and then the approximately 150-head strong herd has to be taken along the road for about 3km to the neighbour’s yards – definitely a good change to simply mustering through the paddocks! And it’s not just any unused country road, but the main road between Walcha and Gloucester with quite some traffic. But with 4 horse riders, 4 dogs and 2 cars it’s pretty safe normally, most people are very patient and it went very smoothly!
Next was the work in the yards, all animals got vitamins, the calves got inoculated, the little bulls got their balls cut and even I cut one by myself for the first time! ;-) But due to my compassion with the little cuties I’d rather let George do that job as he’s a hundred times quicker! Instead I wrestled the little buggers to get them into the narrow run head first (somehow they always manage to turn around though…) and at least managed to avoid most of their nasty kicks, unbelievable how strong those little beasts actually are! ;-)
And last but not least we took them all the way back to the farm of course.

The next day we actually had another herd to do, but heavy fog made it impossible. Instead we used the time to draft out some weak cows on horseback right in the paddock (a bit like the cutting in a campdraft, just with a much bigger herd and without the free choice of the animal), as these ones might not be able to walk all the way to the yards and would end up resting on the road. So we treated these cows right there in the old yards, indeed they nearly took them apart and one weak calf is now our number 5 at home by the name Fleur.

On Sunday it was time for Katie to go back home, pretty sad. A little compensation is a new dog, which arrived yesterday, the cute little puppy Wing (a sister of Curly and Mo). Malcolm is still in the run, but apparently he stole another rifle somewhere, we planted some trees for a change (normally we only smash them down with the tractor and burn them) and I badly burned my arm with boiling water! A highly painful experience, but at least I didn’t get it into my face. Think positive! ;-)


26.03.2012, 20:30   ---   More farmlife

10 more days have already passed again and I still got no reply on my work visa… That’s so annoying! But it also gave me just another 10 days to enjoy the farmlife in Nowendoc. :-)
My burns have already nicely dried out by now and are nearly healed, Malcolm ( Australia ’s most wanted) got caught about 50km from here after 7 years on the run and I beat everybody in a little shooting competition at Top Station.
The lively puppy Wing already feels perfectly at home and seems to develop a passion for stealing shoes. And at feeding time she eagerly musters the calves to the fence for us, obviously a true natural talent! ;-)

The calves were a rather sad issue last week though… We discovered a lonely, small, skinny calf in one of the paddocks without a mum (possibly the calf of a cow which had died recently). We quickly caught it, named it Dani and took it home. She was so incredibly small und fragile and thin and just absolutely cute and also quite trusting straight-away. It didn’t even take me 5 minutes to make her suck from the bottle and next morning she was already waiting for more milk in the same spot. But apparently she was just too small and undernourished and sadly died two days later. :-(
Also calf Fleur had been a non-stop up-and-down since we took her home and in the end she also didn’t make it.
For me a dead cow in a paddock is already pretty sad, but the calves are a whole different thing. When you’re hand-feeding them and being dribbled on all over your legs you just gotta love them! ;-)

A story of success in contrast is Jess, the new mare! On our first ride taking her home from the Nowendoc showground she was incredibly insecure and tingly and side-stepped away from pretty much every car. For one week I’ve been riding her at the Farm now, she relaxed more and more every time and at last we had to pass quite a challenge: Another muster on the road! At least I had already taken a few opportunities to get her a little bit used to Bruce, the farm car, but proper road traffic is still an entirely different story. But to my surprise she did it incredibly good! She still seemed to not trust the cars, but at least she only slightly stepped away two times. Catching her in the paddock is already getting much easier as well, grooming her is still a bit of a hassle, but getting better, too, and today when I was standing at the gate she even came up to me all by herself. Oh well, I love this horse! :-)


02.04.2012, 20:00   ---   Yet another update…

The last week was quite ordinary and I have hardly anything to tell… We were busy checking, fixing and improving some fences to make a long unused paddock cattle-proof and sprayed heaps of useless bushes.
Oh yes, and one of the cow herds had to be mustered into another paddock, which turned out to be more difficult than we’d thought. One part of the herd had already crossed the river and spread over the paddock laying behind and when Louise and Fleur were finished with both pastures we were still over 40 animals short. The following days we went through both paddocks again and managed to find the majority of cows and all the calves, but 13 cows are still missing. In this landscape it’s just not easy at all to find them!!
Over the weekend George and Louise went to Melbourne , Franky was busy with spraying and Fleur and I helped Georges friend Rob with his cattle work and a new fence. Rob always hires two professional stockmen for his mustering, who come from Tamworth with their own horses and dogs and it was really interesting to watch them work. And so quick!
Yesterday we took Franky to the train station, he’s got a week off, and Fleur and I used the beautiful sunny day to drive down to Top Station. We went for a ride to a neighbour’s paddock to check that one for the still missing cows. They were nowhere to be found unfortunately, but instead the ride took us to the top of a hill with an incredible panoramic view of the surrounding green hills – amazing!
Afterwards we quickly took some steers back into their paddock after they had obviously escaped through an open gate, took the dogs for a run and then home, a very relaxed Monday!


10.04.2012, 20:40   ---   A visa, a thumb and a joey  

The last week was amazingly sunny and started off with some long-awaited fantastic news: My work visa had been approved!!! It had been a seemingly endless time of waiting and it nearly drove me mad, accordingly I was just super happy! So now I am allowed to stay and work in Australia for one year and for the moment I’m having a well earned rest of all sorts of visa issues!

Next day I worked in the yards with Louise and Fleur and one of the steers kicked towards me. Luckily he only hit a solid steel gate which separated us, but it jumped back a bit by the force of that kick and hit my thumb – ouch!!
After 5 days it was still sore and since we had to pick up Franky from the Gloucester train station anyway, I took the chance to get it checked at the hospital. I came across a German doctor (great but strange to have a face to face chat in German for the first time after 3 months), my thumb turned out to be fractured and I got it splinted for the next 3 weeks. That’s quite annoying, especially at work, but at least it eases the pain!

And the cutest, but at the same time saddest chapter of this week was a helpless little joey (a kangaroo baby)! George and some friends went to shoot some food for the dogs and returned with that cute midget, which they found in the pouch of one of the shot kangaroos. It seemed to be only consisting of legs, the skin was naked and pink, big black eyes and black floppy ears… that sounds ugly, but it’s just incredibly cute!!! From that moment on it lived in an alternative pouch made of a pillow case, every 3-4 hours I was busy with feeding, cleaning and oiling the skin and around the clock I made sure that the little boy is nice and warm. He eagerly drank, peed and pood and seemed pretty lively… and last night he died all of a sudden! :-(
Very very sad, as I was pretty attached to him already, but he was indeed very young, possibly just too young to be successfully raised by hand…


20.04.2012, 12:30   ---   Winter escape  

Yes, even Australia gets cold, at least in the South! Nowendoc is situated on 1000m altitude, which chills it down yet a bit more and once clouds, rain and wind add to that it becomes freezing! Well, not quite freezing, but definitely too cold for me!! Apart from that it was badly time for a change of location after 3 months (by far the longest time I’ve ever spent in one place during this trip)!
But for the last few days we had quite some cattle work to do again. All the steer herds had to be mustered into the yards to be weighed and all those that were heavy enough were about to be trucked for sale on Wednesday. After several days of rain the road to Top Station was muddy and slippery though and absolutely not truck-safe. And when the truck can’t come to the steers, the steers gotta come to the truck… so George, Louise and I spent nearly all Wednesday riding a herd of 150 steers nearly 10km to Nowendoc, crossing a steep hill and several cattle paddocks of other farms, while Franky supplied drinks and snacks every now and then along the way.
And then it was time to say goodbye after 3 amazing months in an amazing place, with amazing people and lots of amazing experiences… very strange and a bit sad, but looking forward to whatever will come next!

I took an overnight train to Brisbane , where I spent a great day with Jacinta and Dan. Dan had been my dive buddy at the Thistlegorm ship wreck in Egypt and they just got home a few months ago after travelling the world for 2 years. Jacinta picked me up from the train station in the morning, we spent the sunny day in the city, had a yummy barbecue for dinner and it was just fantastic to catch up again and exchange heaps of travel experiences.

And now I am on the plane to Darwin . The dry season is just about to start up there and hopefully that’s a good opportunity for me to find a job and earn some money. :-)


24.04.2012, 15:30   ---   Heading bush

I just spent a few great days in Darwin, enjoy the heat and stay at my friend Greg’s place again. I had a relaxed birthday with cake and cold beer, spent the sunny afternoon at the waterfront and at night we went out for a bit. Next day I went on a fishing trip with Greg and his friend John. John has got a boat which we took out to the river, the eski was full of beer, the hooks were dangling in the water and we cruised slowly through the mangrove forests. Very nice, very relaxed and the only big crab I had on my fishing-rod managed to escape last second. ;-)

And once I finally started my job hunt yesterday everything went super quick all of a sudden. I’m leaving tomorrow already, heading out into the outback to a cattle station where I’ll be cooking for a bunch of cowboys in a stockcamp for the next 6-8 weeks! ;-)
Not quite what I originally hoped for, as I’d rather love to get work as a jillaroo (an Australian cowgirl), but it’s not always a matter of choice and these jobs don’t seem to be available anywhere at the moment. And who knows, something might come up once I get to know some people.
So then bye bye civilisation! :-)


06.05.2012, 20:00   ---   Thrown right into the deep end

My current home is called Auvergne Station and I’m pretty happy here! A station is basically a farm, just muuuuuuch bigger!! Auvergne is very very remote! The next town to the East is Timber Creek in about 50km, but it only consists pretty much of a roadhouse and a pub and the next civilisation beyond is Katherine (330km). To the West it’s about 180km to Kununurra in Western Australia and heading straight South one wouldn’t come across a sealed road for easily 3000km. Fortnightly fresh food gets delivered, mail arrives every Friday on the post plane… in comparison Nowendoc seems highly civilized! Auvergne covers an area of 4.142 km² and runs up to 35.000 head of cattle for the live export to Indonesia . That makes Georges farm look incredibly small…also the countryside is very different, instead of green hills it’s all totally flat, a distant mountain range runs across in the North and the vegetation is very dry. There are a few rivers, creeks and billabongs (water holes) spread all over the place, which are undoubtedly inviting for a swim in this heat, if there were just no crocodiles… I haven’t seen any yet, but it’s clearly their territory up here and I won’t jinx it. ;-) As everything is so incredibly flat up here dogs are not needed for mustering, unlike in hilly Nowendoc, but instead helicopters due to the vastness. So the choppers do the major part of the mustering work by herding up the cattle, a motorbike is helping on the ground and then the horse riders take over the herd to walk them to the cattle yards. Just that much about the theoretical cattle work up here. I haven’t seen any of it for myself yet and sadly that’s not even part of my job.

My job is to cook for the stockcamp. Because everything is so huge here there are several different cattle yards all over the place (cattle yards are massive steel constructions with several different sections to work the cattle relatively safe, obviously they are also much bigger than at George’s place) and some of them are so far away from the homestead that it wouldn’t make any sense to drive there and back every day. Hence everybody’s camping right at the yards for the duration of the work. When I agreed to this job I had hardly any idea what to expect. Once I arrived at the station I got a very quick work introduction by the amazing station cook Robyn, I learnt that they have 4 decent meals a day and right the next day I was gonna head out for the first camp already – I would be lying to say that it didn’t scare me! For over 1,5 years I have hardly been in any kitchen and also before I hadn’t exactly been a cooking fanatic… but life would be so boring without a proper challenge every now and again! ;-)

So the next day I headed out bush, along with 7 Jackaroos and Jillaroos (the Australian term for Cowboys and Cowgirls – Hannah, Emily, Holly, Joe, Sam, Obi, Cassius and Scott) and head stockman Mark. It all started a bit unlucky by getting bogged in the mud with the truck and having to wait for help from the station, but in return we spotted a few dingoes on our way. Though I was probably the only one enjoying the sight, Mark instead aimed his gun for them without any hesitation, cause those wild dogs kill calves and are therefore quite unpopular of course. On camp a generator is supplying electricity 24/7, we’ve got a kitchen inside an old caravan and are sleeping in swags (a mattress inside a robust canvas cover) under the crystal clear milkyway.
When my first dinner was over and obviously everybody had liked it I instantly relaxed a lot more and from then on I successfully improvised my way from one meal to the next. Meanwhile I’ve been busy baking biscuits and cakes, keeping the camp tidy, cleaned my kitchen (it hadn’t been in use since the end of the last season and was respectively dirty and filthy!), enjoyed the daily incredible sunrises and sunsets and was quite surprised how much I ended up liking the whole thing!

After 5 days we already went back to the station and I finally had the chance to get to know the place for a bit and also work wise I got out of the kitchen for a change. One morning I assisted the horse dentist. He seemed to enjoy explaining everything, really interesting and he even let me have a feel inside the horse’s mouth to feel the difference before and after his job. And it looks so funny when a horse gets sedated and its legs get all wobbly, just as if it was drunk! :-P
And when all that was finished station manager Squirrel took me to the cattle yards to help there and for the first time I saw a calf being born, so amazing! The work pace here is quite different to Nowendoc, too, but it’s fun! Just the cattle are really scary!! They hardly ever see people in their lives and quite a few of them are pretty aggressive in the yards. Scotty just didn’t watch out for one moment and got instantly kicked into the air, they are crazy!!

Tomorrow we’re already heading off to the next camp, this time probably for about 4 weeks at a time and I’m already facing it much more relaxed than last time! :-)


27.05.2012, 15:00   ---   Camp routine

3 weeks of stockcamp have passed already and by now I’m all sorted, got my routine and actually have quite a relaxed job.
I normally get up at around 5:30 to get breaky ready for 6am (every now and again a bit earlier though) and that’s probably the hardest part of the day for me, I am simply not a morning person and I will never be. Also the nights here are freezing cold (I am sleeping in long pants and longsleeve shirt, jumper, scarve and wrapped in a linen and my sleeping bag!!!), which doesn’t make it any easier to get up early. But after a couple of coffees to wake up and warm up it’s getting better and in no time everybody’s out to work already and the camp is empty. For me it’s time then to clean up breaky, burn the daily garbage (a brilliant job to warm myself up by the fire) and to wait for the sun to finally get up. Sometimes I go for a run right after sunrise (I am still a bit terrified to put on my lost weight again ;-) ) or maybe just back to my swag for another snooze. Around half past nine the camp is already back for Smoko and I gotta have toasties and cookies ready. In the morning I am often baking and also cooking lunch for 1:30pm and so far time is passing quite easily, but then the long afternoon follows! The sun is burning during the day, so no way to move my run to the afternoon and baking in the heat is not all too enjoyable either, it just makes it feel even hotter. So instead I kill my time with reading, relaxing, working on my tan… and sometimes I walk over to the yards to maybe give a hand somewhere.

The days are especially long when everybody’s mustering. That means for me making packed lunches in the morning, so they can eat wherever they are and I’ll be all alone for the whole day until they finally get back for dinner. That can be extremely boring and long!! But luckily there’s at least Decker. :-) Decker is Hugh’s (one of the chopper pilots) 4 months old Beagle-Kelpie puppy and developed to our camp dog. Hugh brought him along to our first camp, as he often camps out with us himself, and then left him there. Ever since he keeps me company, follows me around wherever I go and enjoys chasing horses and cattle and stealing socks and shoes.
In the meantime Decker also had a four-legged friend – the orphaned poddy Blink. The cute little thing had only been a few days old when it got here, we bottle-fed it, at night it’s been wearing one of Mark’s shirts against the cold and Decker always licked it from head to tail. My biggest fear were the dingoes (we often hear them howling at night and according to the noise they must be scarily close sometimes!), but in the end Blink got sick and died. :-(

But despite all the routine I do get quite some exciting alternation sometimes. Once when I had another boring afternoon at camp Hugh came along and took me for a flight in his helicopter, so cool!!! We flew to the yards and helped the others to yard up the cattle. That was so much fun and the view from up there is absolutely stunning!!
Another day Squirrel and Clyde came along on their way to shoot a cow for the freezer. Squirrel just asked me whether I had ever skinned a cow before and in the same moment I was already holding a knife in my hand – yes, now I have! Just a year ago I would have not believed that I’d ever be able to do that, but it really doesn’t bother me anymore.

And yesterday I got the chance to cruise around in a Road Train all morning, That’s not just a truck, it’s a giant!! Heaps of cattle had to be trucked and when trucker Sam popped in at the camp for a coffee I asked whether I may have a look into his truck some time. So he said I should just let my camp be hungry the next day and come for a ride… I didn’t take that any serious, but the next morning he came back to camp with a full truck, said it’s all fine with Mark and we’ll probably be back around lunchtime!! So I quickly prepared Smoko and off we went in one of the biggest trucks in the world! The whole vehicle measures 52m in length (One better doesn’t miss a turnoff as u-turns are rather problematic!) and it takes quite a while until Sam worked his way up through the 18 gears and 140t of total weight get rolling. And then we cruised down the seemingly endless highway and everything seems so small!! At the yards of another station near the WA border we unloaded the nearly 300 head of cattle and returned to camp. :-)

Today was meant to be our last day on camp, but plans changed again and we’ll have to stay for roughly another week… As beautiful as it is out here, at some point one only wishes for simple things such as a toilette, a bed and a cold beer!! But at least we’re having one day off tomorrow. So tonight we’re returning to the station and coming back out on Tuesday morning until the weekend.


10.06.2012, 14:00   ---   Out of the kitchen

After nearly 4 weeks at camp everbody was more than happy to return to the station and we were right on time for the Kimberley Moon, a country music concert in Kununurra. That’s not quite my sort of music and hence I’d never heard of the headliners Paul Kelly and Kasey Chambers before. However it was a great night out with nearly the whole station!! Afterwards we spent about a week at the station and since I’m not needed in the kitchen there I was Jillaroo for a week. Right on the first day they let me ride on a muster, it probably couldn’t start off any better!! :-) The following days were spent in the yards, I didn’t need to worry about my daily exercise, I caught a massive close-distance kick of a cow right below my knee and for the first time I injected vaccinations and branded weaners.

My last three days were devoted to calf protection by dingo reduction. We spent nearly a full day to shoot 4 bulls and chop them up into beer can-sized pieces (I can still hardly believe that I am actually able to do such things now!!), those nearly 2000 chunks got injected with a certain poison and for the next two days I had the pleasure to join Squirrel in his plane and spread them all over the property. Everybody else seemed fairly panicked that they would have to do it, but I was actually pretty happy about it and had a great day!!! The baits had only been a day old and weren’t all too smelly yet. And so I sat there next to the non-existing door (we had to take it off for the baiting), enjoyed the stunning views, heaps of crocs sunned themselves on the river banks and meanwhile I threw the baits out of the plane – I could think of worse jobs! Not even Squirrel trying to get me sick with zig-zagging and sharp turns could spoil the fun! ;-)
In between flights we loaded a couple of Road Trains (it always reminds me a bit of my work at home, just with the tiny difference that the trucks here are heaps bigger and the freight walks by itself) and the next morning we took off again right at sunrise, incredibly beautiful! But there’s also a downside of the poisoned baits… Squirrels dog Red must have obviously pinched a bite somehow or maybe licked the tiny bits off the plane and died of it. So sad! :-(

At the moment I’m back in the kitchen to give Robyn a few days off and then we’re already off to our next camp – back to the bush!


28.06.2012, 12:00   ---   Cooking’s over now!  

Back to camp we went – the last one for me – and at least at a new place for once! I’ve been cooking and baking heaps again, explored the truly beautiful landscape and at night we regularly awoke by cattle running through our camp. Clever as I am I had set up my bed right in between two of their tracks and therefore jumped right up in horror several times! ;-)
A took a few last chances to help in the yards and ride on a muster, we successfully fought a bush fire without any water and in seemingly no time it was all over.

Unbelievable how quickly these 2 months at Auvergne Station had passed!! I’ve had a fantastic time with incredible experiences, surrounded by great people and probably watched more sunrises than I’ve ever done in my whole life before. ;-) It truly wasn’t all that easy to leave!!
I took the bus back to Darwin for a day and now I’m on my way to a familiar, but also totally new travel destination: Home!! :-D A very good and life-long friend is getting married in a week and I spontaneously took this for a great occasion to finally catch up with family and friends after a long time – surprise!!! :-)
It already seems like an eternity that I’ve been on the plane and finally I’m on the last leg to Düsseldorf. I’m just gonna watch one last movie and then I’ll be nearly there, I can hardly wait!!!
:-D

   

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