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Monday 1 Dec 2003
Sydney, Australia

Circumnavigation COMPLETE!!!!

Ladies and Germs, I stand before thee a man who hath followed in the footsteps of the great Australian explorers, Flinders and James Cook, and hereby proclaim my succesful completion of the predetermined goal I had set out before me: to successfully navigate the ENTIRE coastline of the Australian mainland!

*BOWS*

Thank you thank you.. no applause needed.. well ok, just a little one. According to the van odometer Ive travelled just over 32,000 km!!!

Wow what an unforgettable experience it was, and the many friends I have made along the way only increase the reward. Next step: to print and bind the diary so that I dont lose it all in a freak computer burnout!!!!

Yes indeed Jonny and I have arrived back in Sydney where I took it upon myself to introduce him to the local institutions of: The Opera House, the Rocks, and of course: Harrys Cafe-de-Wheels... their beef pies topped with mash and mushy peas for only 4 dollars are TO DIE FOR!

Before leaving Canberra yesterday we made a quick visit to Parliament House, the centrepoint of the entire city. Our original intention was to visit here for an hour and then drive up to the Telstra tower to look out over the city, but discovering the myriad of information and things to see in Parliament House, we spent about 4 hours here and had to forego everything else!

The building itself is a beautiful design, many aspects representing Australias flora, fauna and indigenous cultures. In fact there is a LOT of aboriginal influence throughout which is a good thing to see. Numerous large paintings, manuscripts and tapestrys adorn the walls making it look more like a gallery than a government office. Of course, the highlight was to see the Senate and Parliamentary Rooms where the great and not-so-great (i.e. George Bush Jr) have been guests of honour and of course where the big decisions are made. Unfortunately I didnt get to see John Howard (the prime minister) in action because it was Sunday, but normally it is entirely possible to sit in on proceedings.

The drive up from Canberra was fast and furious, passing by some lovely green gorges too. Upon arriving I found that my room at the hostel in Kings Cross was occupied so I had to sleep out in my van.. at least its a residential area too so I didnt see any ticket police around... phew! Jonny stayed in a dorm which was packed FULL of other peoples junk all over the place (this is exactly why I dont sleep in dorms).

My plan this week is: find some stable accommodation, clean and service the van, start trying to sell van, mail LOADS of stuff home (Ive got an OVERSIZED suitcase full of junk) and then possibly look for work this week or next.

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