The Best Laid Plans …..

virus-sketch

Self-isolating in style

That time has come round again – It’s 5 years to the day since we retired, left The Netherlands and got on a one-way flight to Bali to start our lives as “Permanent Tourists”. And here we are – More “Permanent” than “Tourists” 🙂

Our last post saw us arriving in Darwin and buying a car. Our first destination was south, through the Northern Territory to Alice Springs and on to Uluru. It was a long, hot, dusty and at times, boring journey – But we eventually made it and so glad we did!


Next, we headed back north again and then into Western Australia – Australia’s largest state. From Kununurra, through the Kimberley and via Broome along the coastal road to Perth. A great journey: Amazing scenery, iconic towns and beaches to die for.


We were surprised to find that the alcohol laws are even stricter in Northern WA than they are in the NT. Not only do the bottle-shops have strange opening times, but besides having to show ID, they also limit you to what you can purchase each day😱

We arrived in Perth and had a few days to explore before it was time to comply with our 90-day visa condition and leave the country. We parked up the car for 4 weeks and flew to Bali and, needless to say, had a wonderful time in one of our favourite places.


We returned to Perth at the end of October. Our aim was to spend the next 3 months heading to Melbourne. This gave us the chance to travel much slower and stay longer in places. We carried on following the coast all the way to Esperance, where we had to head inland to the start of the Nullarbor Plain – the only way to get from Western Australia to South Australia. It runs from Norseman to Ceduna, a total of 1200 very desolate kms. There are limited places to stay along the way and fuel stations are few and far between. Expections weren’t high so we were pleasantly surprised at the level of accommodation and food.

It was around this time that the bush fires were getting out of control, especially in the southeast of the country. In Adelaide we saw for ourselves, how dire the situation was:

Bush fire smog Adelaide

Smoke-filled skies over Adelaide

By the time we got to Melbourne, the first reports of COVID-19 were starting to filter through. We thought nothing of it , spent a great week there and then returned to Bali for a month.


When we got back around mid February, we intended to head north towards Queensland as quickly as possible, in order to avoid the onset of winter. We drove 350kms (didn’t even make it out of Victoria), found a wonderful house and decided to stay for a while.

Beechworth House

Our house in Beechworth on the edge of the gorge

Big mistake! The states closed their borders and we realised we wouldn’t be going anywhere for a while.

We needed somewhere to hole up for a while and though the house we were in was lovely, we couldn’t see ourselves spending months there, especially not during winter.

We’d previously rented a wonderful property in Maldon, a few hours south. We contacted the host and he told us that all his bookings had been cancelled and we could have the house for a greatly reduced rate. We immediately booked it for an initial two months with the option to extend – And here we are – Now into our second month:

trip 2019-2020

A lot of kilometres covered

Life here is pretty sweet. With under 100 deaths, Australia seems a good place to sit out this pandemic. We don’t have lockdowns, shops are well stocked, people are friendly. We can go for long walks and in general, social distancing seems to be working very well. Now there is even talk that restrictions will be soon be eased.

Nice as it is here though, we can’t wait to be on the move again. It’s going to be quite a while until International travel will be possible, but as soon as the state borders re-open (hopefully before winter really sets in), we’ll be off, and then with any luck, it won’t be too long before we can head back to Asia.

Time for a drink

Looking forward to this again!


Our Australia visa is due to expire in a few days time. Currently we’ve got an e-visa (subclass 651) which has to be renewed outside of the country. Our only alternative has been to apply for a year’s visa (subclass 600) which takes much longer (if it’s granted at all) and unlike the free e-visa, comes at a price. Hours after submitting our application on line, we received a “bridging visa” meaning we’ll be her legally between our current visa running out and (hopefully) obtaining the new one. Now it’s just a matter of “wait and see”.

arrested2

Illegal immigrants?

One positive thing to come out of this – We’ll never to take the freedom to travel for granted again. Of all the things which we thought would eventually stop us moving on: Health, boredom, travel fatigue, hankering to settle down – This virus has really brought home how quickly and unexpectedly situations change. After 5 years, we’ve probably become a bit jaded and it’s good to be forced into a situation that reminds us of how lucky we are and rekindles our excitement and appreciation for this amazing lifestyle we’ve chosen.


Dave & Addy

Cheers!

Oh yes! It just happens to be my birthday too – The big 60😱. We were supposed to be on an exotic South Pacific island, sipping wine on a beach, in the sun …… Maybe next year. Mind you, champagne tastes pretty good here too😀!

Stay safe everyone!

23 thoughts on “The Best Laid Plans …..

  1. Michael Garbe

    Great update and good to see you both well and safe from this thing. Looking forward to seeing you again in Asia. I need to start looking for a place to settle in Thailand !

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Adrienne & Dave Post author

      Good for you! All the sooner you’ll be able to get back to Thailand and buy us a beer😀

      Like

  2. Dianne

    What a brilliant update on your travels and so lovely to see all the pictures and understand where you have been and what you are up to. You were born under a wandering star my friend and will have memories and images of your travels to keep you going under this lockdown which has made most of us re evaluate the important stuff and well just Carpe Diem! You are 60 years young! The only time ever I have valued having a birthday in January!! Look forward to hearing how visa and next leg goes xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Otto

    Dear Adrienne, enjoy your life and the way you live it, enjoy your trip around the world and nowadays around Australia (unfortunately „my“ Austria is so different from „your“ Australia – although a lot of people mix these two names up 😊😉) and especially enjoy your birthday. My warmest congratulations. Best regards Otto

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Adrienne & Dave Post author

      Thanks so much Otto. Lovely to hear from you. Love reading about all your great mountain hikes on facebook. Stay safe! xx

      Like

  4. Christophe Debuysscher

    Hi, Keep going on! That is the best (and only) path to take, lucky permanent tourists. Great and lovely update that makes my day 😉 And all the best for turning twice 30. See you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Adrienne & Dave Post author

      “turning 30 twice” sounds so much better than 60! How much longer till you can start on your travels? Stay safe xx

      Like

  5. hofsinbrighton

    Hi there. Im Lorraine….we have communicated through the British expat website (I’m “Mrandmrsh”. We have a shared passion for Sanur! A very odd coincidence today as, being holed up In The Netherlands we decided on a lockdown exercise walk in Delft. Whilst there I mentioned to MrH that the permanent tourists used to rent a place here above a coffee shop and by chance, we wandered past it at lunchtime. It is now a kind of fitness studio. Got home, checked emails and saw you’d updated the blog.
    Another great read. My only complaint is that your updates aren’t more frequent but given the choice I know living the dream is more exciting than writing about it! Looking forward to the next chapter. Lorraine and Marco.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Adrienne & Dave Post author

      Wow! Lovely to hear from you and what a coincidence! Delft is such a beautiful place – do miss it occasionally. Are you living in The Netherlands or just visiting? Maybe one day we can meet up in Sanur – How great would that be? Stay safe xx

      Like

    2. hofsinbrighton

      We are living in Rotterdam at the mo. Been here 6 months. Main reason is Mr H (Schoonvader) is v Ill so we are here practically to say goodbye when the time comes. But while here am taking advantage in learning Dutch. Hoping that by the end of the year I can 🤞 become a dual citizen so that Brexit becomes less of an issue for us.
      Delft indeed v beautiful, as are so many Dutch towns and villages. If only the weather was always sunny!
      Yes Sanur…..we miss it so much. Will def keep in touch and hope to see you there one day. Stay safe in Melbourne and look forward to your next update. X

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Glenn Lamb

    Hi Dave and Adrienne, just came across your blog. I enjoyed reading your post

    We are also permanently retired (Australians) and are usually in Europe at this time of year for the Northern Spring/Summer. We have been travelling for the past 4 years and utilise house sitting as a large part of our travels. We are also ‘stuck’ in Australia (currently in QLD).

    The only comment I’d like to make is that I think once you leave Australia it may be much more difficult to return given the current situation. I think that mandatory quarantine will be a reality here for international arrivals for at least a year.

    Enjoy your ‘downtime’ in Australia. Winter will be somewhat chilly in Maldon but not as cold as Dutch winters!!!

    Glenn (www.lambiestravels.com)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Adrienne & Dave Post author

      Hi Glenn – We were hoping to make it to Queensland for the warmer weather – Never made it out of Victoria though. We’re pretty sure that the next time we leave Australia, it will be for good. We’re planning to make it back to Darwin and sell the car there. Probably unlikely to happen for a while though. Stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. rick baldwin

    I was about to book for OZ just before the Wuhan Flu struck.
    I too,would’ve been stuck there,not as happily as you.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    HoiHoi!!! great to catch up again on your adventures, still going strong I see:-) though not going far at this moment, but no one is, that is a solace. Here in Reeuwijk all goes well, Jan and myself enjoying the free life of the pensionada. stuck at home too 😦 but healthy, enough to do and in the middle of nature, could be worse. all the best from us! greetings from Jan hugs and doeidoei Yvette

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Good to hear you have found a safe haven to sit out this saga, hopefully you will be able to move again soon. Great to hear how it is going and that there is still plenty to see

    Dave

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. ricbldwn

    My last trip was to Mexico in January,I’m going stir crazy.
    I live 100 miles from Boston and 100 miles from NYC but
    can’t go there or even to the beach in RI,Corrupticut is a prison.
    And winter is on the way….

    Like

    Reply
    1. Adrienne & Dave Post author

      It does feel like this situation is never going to end. Hopefully you’ll be able to move on soon!

      Like

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