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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 23 Oct 2007

Location: Launceston, Australia

MapOh, just one more thing ... the last entry for this trip, I promise ...

We’ve made it home to Launceston, to find trees in blossom - spring is well and truly here. After a 6 hour flight from Toronto to Los Angeles (where we saw the terrible bushfires that have destroyed dozens of homes in the LA hills), and then 15 hours to Melbourne, we had 6 hours to kill before catching the final connecting flight to Tassie, so we caught the bus into Melbourne city for a few hours.

Walking through yet another huge multicultural metropolis (we’ve walked through quite a few the past two months), it struck us that Australia really is a beautiful place, and after all we’ve recently seen in so many pockets of the world, our home country has just as much to offer as anywhere else. We may not have buildings built in the 12th century, but Melbourne is as unique and beautiful as Paris, London, Dublin or Toronto. So is Tasmania - with Cradle Mountain, Coles Bay, Mt Wellington and the Tamar Valley matching southern France, the Ring of Kerry or British Columbia. Aussies are as warm and friendly as the Irish, French and Canadians. Soccer and ice hockey is replaced by Aussie Rules footy. But, you know, we are all essentially the same.

And the Australian accent was oh so sweet to our ears after two months away. When we returned to Melbourne Airport from the city to catch the seemingly tiny plane across Bass Strait, we had to collect our bags that we’d put in storage, and we rang for someone to come and open the storeroom. The disembodied voice on the phone said “Yeah, no worries, mate. I’ll be there in two shakes.”
We knew we were home