Travel Stories #18 – Red Hat, Red Rock

Oops. Didn’t realise it has been such a long time since I wrote. Just read my last post myself and realised I have been doing sooooo much since then. Had an amazing time the rest of my trip on Bali, already made an entire roadtrip from Cairns to Darwin and only now I thought of writing again! Sorry dudes. I’ll try to keep it short. I’ll try 🙂

My trip on Bali continued on the Gillis. I just partied, partied and partied. Drinks are so cheap and it is basically the only activity on the island besides diving and snorkelling. I danced barefoot the entire week, because my flip flops got stolen the first night. Oh well, it is dirt or sand anyways. I got introduced to joss shots, the weirdest thing ever. You poor some powder into a shot of vodka. The thing turns neon yellow and starts bubbling.

During my last day on the Gillis, I went for a very nice snorkelling tour for less than 8euros. I swam with turtles, saw some underwater statues and of course coral and fish. I thought this was nicer than my snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. All in all I had a great time on this small paradise island. The rest of my time on Bali I went to Uluwatu and Ubud. Finally got to see some rice terraces I have been fantasising about since forever. And of course I took a real Indonesian full body massage for 6 dollars, just before I got on the plane. Returned from Bali very relaxed and lose.


 I was happy to sleep in my van again. Kind off missed it the last three weeks. It is my home now after all, and I never expected it, but it honestly really feels like home. The time I spent in Cairns after I returned from Bali, I was looking for travel mates and a convoy and after that waiting until everybody was ready to go. Time to finish my big loop around Oz, starting to check out Uluru!

In the car with me this time: Riina from Finland and Viola from Italy. The best combination ever. It felt like we have known each other for ages and get along well. We are having a lot of fun with the three of us. For the trip to Uluru we found a convoy consisting of 3 other cars.

We turned out to be the worst convoy buddies of all time. Or them. That could be it as well. Somehow we managed to lose our convoy day after day. They just drove off without us while we were having lunch and didn’t really discuss anything. It started to get a known thing that we would be without our convoy and we would see them again on the campsite. Oh well, at least we had some people to contact if we would be in trouble, so it gave a safe feeling anyway.

Luckily we had no trouble at all. Except for the fact that we drove about 300km in the wrong direction. No wait, not the wrong direction, just the wrong road in the right direction. Anyhow, we ended up 600ks away from our beloved convoy. Again. But eventually we made it to Alice Springs, Kings Canyon and Uluru.

Uluru was amazing. I like it much more than I ever thought I would. I just really wanted to go there to experience driving in the middle of nowhere and since Uluru is such a great iconic Australian landmark, I felt like I could not leave Oz without seeing it. But still, in the back of your mind you think it is just a rock. Well, after being there, I can tell you, it is not. Not at all. It is stunning. The sunrises (and sunsets) are amazing. The starry nights are clear and magical and the cultural and spiritual aspects of the region are very interesting as well. Did you know there still are Aborigine living in that region and that they are hunting and everything? All in all we had an amazing time here. Watching all the sunrises and sunsets we could possibly see, walked the 10,6km loop around it in 40degrees and shot about 64GB of photos, Christmas card material and other amazing memories.

At Alice Springs we said our goodbyes to the convoy. Not that emotional must say. Didn’t spend that much time together in the end. We moved on by ourselves. Starting with the National Park the convoy didn’t want to visit before; The West McConnell Ranges. So great to swim in all the waterholes in amazing gorges, between cliffs and walking in canyons. So happy we decided to go here!

We started driving up towards Darwin and passed more amazing National parks. Litchfield was my favourite. We went to Kakadu as well, but this was very disappointing. I had high expectations, but we were just there in the wrong time a year. Could have known, but still disappointing. We are travelling the Northern territory in the start of the wet season, so waterfalls are too dangerous to be open. Also because crocodiles can easily swim their way into every water puddle around. So it is really hard to manage keeping it safe. The season brings some spectacular thunder storms with it as well. Almost every day is sunny, but ends with a lot of rain and amazing lightning striking everywhere.


We spend Christmas in Darwin and are now back here for New Years. We just want to have some city around for a little count down and fireworks. Christmas was not much exiting. We were all just missing our family so much and it will never be the same to celebrate Christmas without family in 38 degree weather. Nevertheless we made a nice dinner on the 25th to celebrate.

Darwin brought nothing more than partying for us so far. Which I can perfectly live with. We have been driving in the dessert for weeks. All so remote, that it was really nice to go crazy again with some drinks and people.

I can’t wait to see the blue waters of the West Coast again! So excited for the next part of our trip! We are still with the three of us, probably staying together in the car until we get to Perth. Maybe we have another car with us from when we start driving from Darwin down, but that is not completely sure yet.

Well, we see about that the next time I write to you’s. That probably will be when I am back in Perth again. Back where my Oz adventures started last year. Can’t believe that I am celebrating NYE tonight and that I haven’t been home the entire year of 2017. I still remember writing my New Year’s post last time from Melbourne. Even after being abroad for such a long time it is a bit unreal. I am so happy here. I have been doing the most amazing things the past year and made so many dreams come true. How clichĂ©, but so true. 2017 has been the best year of my life so far. I hope from now on that it will only get better and better! Who knows where I will be next year. No one knows, I don’t know.

All I know now is the fact that I am scared as hell to go back to The Netherlands. Back to freaking 8 degrees after a year of summer. No, no kidding I have been travelling along with summer seasons for the entire year. Also the fact that I am not sure if I can go back to my normal life makes me feel a bit shit about going home. I feel like I should go back with a plan in mind, which I don’t have. Something I am going back for, because I don’t think I will be happy being home otherwise, my life is way to good down here. Love to hug my family again though, that is definitely the only thing that makes the idea of going home exciting.

I think I will just let everything come to me. See how we go when I am home and make decisions from there. I’ll be back in Holland around February/March.

But for now, best wishes for the New Year! Celebrate it well!


One thought on “Travel Stories #18 – Red Hat, Red Rock

  1. Lieve Sanne,
    Heel fijn dat je ons zo deelgenoot maakt van al die mooie, bijzondere dingen die je meemaakt. Wij denken dat het inderdaad niet mee zal vallen om weer te acclimatiseren in dat koude, natte en drukke kikkerlandje. Maar ook Nederland is mooi en er zijn ook leuke en lieve mensen. Ja, en hoe de toekomst er voor jou uit zal gaan zien? Maar dat komt allemaal wel goed als je praat met je ouders en vrienden die je daarover ongetwijfeld zinvolle dingen over kunnen adviseren. And after all: it’s all up to yourself. It is your life, isn’t it?
    Lieve Sanne, geniet verder. And a very happy New Year to you from both of us. Oma zit naast mij als ik dit zit te tikken. Kussss

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