I was fortunate enough to be able to spend three weeks there in January and enjoyed not only the very warm hospitality from everyone I met, but also the warmth of the sun and even the sea. I can't tell you how much I loved escaping the winter in northern Europe! This was brought home to me by the icy blast that hit me as I emerged from the plane in Schipol airport when I returned to NL after three weeks of glorious heat. And was further underlined by the snow that fell the next day. By the end of the same week, a week I spent in the UK, it was falling with a vengeance and I was lucky to get home.
One of the things that struck me about Oz is how like any other big and hot country it is. I've been to many in Latin America and have seen loads in the USA via films and TV. The all have common characteristics: towns tend to sprawl; electricity cables hang like Death's washing line everywhere; the streets are parched and bleached and everything that can't escape the sun is really no more than an apparition; no one can be seen when midday arrives and the sun blasts everything into oblivion. The only things that move are the tourists who drag their reluctant suitcases behind them as they look for lodgings or somewhere to eat. Them and the occasional foolish photographer out hunting down the graffiti.
Oz is no exception. But despite that, I love those sorts of places: places where the sweat rolls down your face because you had the audacity to move, places where the rain soaks you but five minutes later you're dry again, where cicadas scratch away night and day providing a snare drum roll to the creaking off-beat of the wobbly fan in your dirt-cheap hotel room.
Oz is also very MASSIVE - something that's hard for us western Europeans to understand. It is a country of huge cities with very little in between, except a countryside that rolls off into the distance. A countryside that will eat you for breakfast if you put one foot out of place. It is a place I cannot help but love.
If you are friends with me on Facebook, you can see many of the day to day photos I took in my albums there (see public links below). I've also put a load of pics of the graffiti I saw there on my other other website.
Links to Public Folders on Facebook