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Down UnderLast Down Under Posting

On 16 November 2004 from Reuver, NL | comments closed

Since I completed my 11,5-month journey through South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand, this website no longer serves the purpose of online travel diary. Thus I have decided that oz.claessen.ca: Guido’s Down Under Experiences will no longer be updated. However, I plan to keep this website available for as long as possible. In the not-so-near future it should be merged with claessen.ca: Guido’s Website. This is also the place for contact information and my latest news and photos.

I would like to thank you for visiting my site, and hope you enjoyed your time here.

Down UnderSite of the Week!

On 9 November 2004 from Reuver, NL | comments closed

site v/d weekMy site has been selected as Australian Backpackers site of the week! Feeling very honoured, I took up the opportunity to write down some tips for future backpackers in Australia. I hope someone can use them to his/hers advantage.

Down UnderLast Photos Online

On 6 November 2004 from Reuver, NL | comments closed

Today I put the best photos of my last month in Australia (Sydney, Canberra & Blue Mountains), as well as those of Hong Kong online.

In total I have made more than 2500 photos during the last year, almost all digital (only 2 films of underwater photos are not). In harddisk space it amounts to almost 3 GB, so I can put the photographic memories of my entire trip on just one DVD. Although that is the most convenient way to view them, I did decide to start the project of making a physical album with a selection of the photos, my diary entries and some souvenirs, just to have something tangible. However, completion might take a while, considering the fact that I still have not completed any album of a trip in the last 10 years…

And just to assure you, yesterday as well as today I have been driving without the urge to move to the left side of the road. I did operate the windscreen wipers instead of the directional indicators a few times though. The narrow roads in Europe will also take some time to get used to, unlike not hearing the engine anymore (unlike my 4WD in Australia, my parents’ car is really quiet).

Down UnderSafely Back Home

On 4 November 2004 from Reuver, The Netherlands | comments closed

Tuesday evening I made my way to the new airport in Hong Kong, built on an island that was literally flattened and extended through land reclamation. For the last time on this trip Cathay Pacific made sure I had an excellent flight back home. In between watching ‘Collateral’ and ‘The Bourne Supremacy’ I had some short light sleeps, but I was still pretty tired when I arrived at Schiphol early Wednesday morning. After customs (luckily I did not get checked, as I was slightly over the spirits limit) my parents were already waiting, and it was really good to see them again. Trying to avoid the traffic jams we had some coffee at the airport, but still ended up in one and only arrived home at 11.30 (the plane landed at 6.30).

I spent the rest of the day unpacking and having some of the Dutch foods I missed most: “rijstevlaai” (rice pastry of a local bakery) and “verwenjoghurt” (delicious thick fat yoghurt, unlikely the tasteless 99%-fat-free yoghurt dominating the Australian supermarket’s shelves). In the evening we watched the video my dad has made in New Zealand, but I fell asleep halfway through it, still tired from the flight and slightly jet-lagged. At least I did have a really good sleep in my own bed last night.