Pepito whisked Paquito and Juana Loquita away from the Sydney airport. Together again, in a new land, it was time to shed their identities for new roles. With her ruby red slippers, Juana L was quite pleased with her new role. Paquito’s every expanding mane made him perfect for his part. Pepito’s freshly shaved and shiny noggin helped him embrace his character and he did actually need a little grease for his joints after his 1,000 stair climb in the Blue Mountains the day before.
This Oz was different and yet similar is so many ways. Instead of tornados there were cyclones (Hamish and ???). Instead of the yellow brick road it was Highway 1. Instead of the Scarecrow accompanying us on the whole journey, he flew in for a two week vacation from the U.S. and tried to relax and lose his brain instead of finding it. Our Lion already had courage as he dove into his crocodile pie and kangaroo steak. This Tin Man was all heart as he bought rounds of Guinness for us on St. Paddy’s Day. No one was singing “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” but the Lily Allen’s song “I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore” played over and over on the car radio prompting conversations about the Wicked Witches in society and the lack of reality in the Emerald City. There was no Toto, but we would like to offer up Mr. Cassowary as the strangest looking bird ever who would fit right into the dreamy world.
The Tin Man and Scarecrow actually found the Wizard and were transported back to Denver, not Kansas. Dorothy and Lion eluded the wizard and escaped into the outback (Undara Lava Tubes, Uluru and Kata Tjuta). Good thing the Tin Man had already been to the outback!
What started out as a few days of traveling with Joe turned into a few weeks . And, what fun we had! Joe picked us up from the Sydney airport and we drove north together all the way to Cairns. Joe’s friend Kevin joined us in Byron Bay and brought Cyclone Hamish with him (for those wondering….a cyclone is the same as a hurricane, but located in the southern hemisphere). While we weren’t close to the land effects from Hamish, he made the seas too rough for surfing lessons and poor visibility for diving (the snorkeling wasn‘t too bad, though). Joe and Kevin left us in Cairns (they flew home via Sydney) and we drove further north to Cape Tribulation and into the edge of the outback to see the Undara Lava Tubes. Hiking at Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), Kata Tjuta and the Blue Mountains followed by sightseeing in Sydney finished up our trip in Oz.
We’ll leave you with a little Ozzie speak: “That story was crazy as!“ This statement will never be completed, you will never know crazy as what, just that it is. You might even get a “good on ya” or good job!