[note: this is from two days ago, but I didn't have any Internet until today. more recent update in a bit.]
So, hey, it’s been a while. I’m in Robe, South Australia at a camper park of some sort. Kate and Tim and I are spending the night in some tricked out cabin type thing which has three bedrooms. I got the bunk bed room [no one else wanted it, I could not believe it!] and so decided to spend some time in the top bunk catching up a little here. We are across the road from the Southern Ocean and are on our drive from Adelaide in South Australia to Melbourne in Victoria. We’ll spend the day in Melbourne and then fly up to Sydney, spend a day and a half there and then head home.
It’s hard to believe that the trip is half over, or that we’ve already been to two State Libraries in two Australian states. It’s harder still for me to believe that I’ve given three talks to a total of almost 300 people. And, lastly, it’s almost impossible for me to believe how hard it’s been to find Internet access that didn’t either a) cost an arm and a leg (i.e. $30/day hotel prices) or b) have absurd downloading restrictions (Intermod’s 100kB at a time policy). Thank jehu for the public library, really the only reliable source I’ve found on this trip so far.
So, what have we been up to? Well, in short, there was the long (36-38 hour) trip which was actually mostly fine. There was the hanging out with the librarians in Perth, the fancy accomodations at the Parmelia Hilton, the LocLib conference, and going out for drinks with Mom and Pat’s friend Ian. Kate got a sunburn. I slept remarkably well. We found some great coffee shops and rode the bus around a lot, ate kabobs. My talks went well and I met a ton of interesting people who I was sad to not get to spend more time with. We went to King’s Park and took a bunch of pictures only a few of which have made it online at this point.
Then we flew to Adelaide. My friend Tim met us there and we went to the fun animal park that I’d gone to in December 2004. Kate got to hug a koala. I gave a talk which was really more fun than it should have been and great that Kate got to sit in. We ate schnitzel and I got to drink some great beer. We looked around for non-library Internet access (wireless anyone?) and came up short. I took some night photos. Kate and I got to share a bed for the first time since…. since I can remember, maybe since we went to Cape Cod when I was eleven?
Today we got in the car and drove South to the coast and we’re heading east towards Melbourne. At some point tomorrow or the next day we’ll hit the Great Ocean Road which is the highway one of Australia. Nice and scenic and full of strange pull-offs and quirky little towns. Today we already got to see a wild emu, a kangaroo carcass on the beach, a weird lizard and a whole lot of beach/ocean/shells/surf. Even though I loved giving talks and meeting librarians, today I really feel like I’m on vacation, wearing my flip-flops and not worrying about what my email says.