Along the Away

a traveler's tales

Archive for November, 2011

Farewell Old Friend

November 3, 2011 Life, Travel Comments

It is with great sadness I farewell an old friend today; my trusty backpack which has carried many a load in its time, been to a hell of a lot of amazing places, been pivotal in some truly hilarious tales.

It was a humble beginning in 2003, purchased in the January Kathmandu sale for a shoe string RTW jaunt. Cheap as you were we saw Canada, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Greece on that trip; good times.

Briefly stored away at the back of a cupboard when I came back to Australia to get a ‘real job’, it wasn’t long before we hit the road again, traveling through Thailand and Malaysia to Singapore in 2005, then checking out Bali and Lombok in 2006. Study kept us grounded in Aus in 2007 but we fled to the tropical paradises of Fiji and Samoa in 2008, followed by chilly Canada again in 2009 via the USA east coast.

It was in the South Pacific that the first little cracks began to appear, your straps being tied together with rope at some point, but it didn’t seem like anything to worry about.

But then 2012 came with the opportunity for an epic 4 month adventure in India. I questioned whether you would make it, especially when a client sent me a spunky new generation backpack, the kind with straps AND wheels. But I didn’t want spunky as much as I wanted reliable and I knew you had it in you. We traveled both north and south, east and west, as well as a side trip to Sri Lanka, and you held it together to the end, though no doubt the fraying and disintegration had taken its toll.

I got you back home onto Australian soil but as I unpacked you that last time my belongings all came out covered by the flaking lining of your insides… I knew we had reached the end.

Farewell old friend, RIP.

My trusty backpack, discarded on a street collection pile ready to embark on his final (…sob…) adventure.

Although I’ve only been back home from India for four months, I did really, really deserve a holiday. A proper one, where you take a suitcase, with wheels, coz it ain’t ever going to be hefted up on your back – no way!

Rest and relaxation all the way!

India is: travel, a girls week in the Whitsundays is: holiday. So off I went to Airlie Beach with my sister and a good friend from my uni days. We stayed at Pentacles in a penthouse apartment, complete with jacuzzi on the water view balcony, an infinity pool and a day spa a couple of doors down.

Our apartment was lovely – particularly the balcony. We had some friendly visitors each morning and afternoon. It started with one…

And then some friends came along…

So we swam, we jacuzzi-ed, we lounged and talked and read on the balcony. We had a spa day with the works, wandered around the main street, and ate ice-cream every day (sometimes twice a day).

We got dressed up and out for dinner every night, cocktails mandatory!

We wandered around town, swam in the lagoon and walked along the beach.

This was all very good and well, but the highlight was definitely the day trip we took out to the FantaSea pontoon. First we rode out by boat to the pontoon where there is a glass viewing room underneath.

The best bit was when we went on a helicopter ride over the reef!

Such an amazing experience – in particular seeing beautiful Heart Reef:

We also snorkeled a part of the Great Barrier Reef. We had to put on these ridiculous brightly coloured body suit things, but it was worth it to get in the water, I love snorkeling! Not that it was the greatest snorkeling I’ve done, I’m guessing the volume of people that visit this area has something to do with the scarcity of underwater life and the average state of the reef which is sad. I would love to visit the Great Barrier Reef again one day and see the wide variety of its beauty by traveling to some of the islands.

It was a wonderful week away :-)