Friday, August 27, 2010

This is the end friends! The end of this blog.

Thank you all very very much for following my stories and pictures, and for your many comments and e-mails throughout my journey of the past 2 years. Your attention and encouragement means a lot to me. I was never alone, wherever I was, because you were always with me.

The "Aussie Blog" is finished here. But I will continue posting on a new blog --> Martin's Tuckerbag. It will be somewhat different -- I can't tell you exactly how. You and I will see. A new section of my life will unfold.

See you there!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Welcome home party

I had a wonderful "Back-From-Down-Under Party" on Saturday.

Nearly 40 friends came to celebrate my return home. And we were really lucky with the weather: On Friday and Sunday we had quite a bit of rain here, but on Saturday afternoon it all cleared up and we could sit outdoors in my sister's garden all night.

The decoration was German-Australian, as you can see in the pictures. Everybody brought some food: we had what is known in English as a potluck party. We also lit a bonfire, let it burn for a couple of hours and then barbecued the marinated meat and sausages on a tripod grill right above the embers -- the good German traditional style of BBQ, not the fried-on-steel-plates-over-gas-flames way the Aussies prefer. All the food was really yummy. Thanks everybody for your fantastic contributions!

After dark, we had party lights, candles and sat around the fire, singing songs until 3 a.m. And the big surprise of the night was a magnificent fireworks!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back to Germany

I have safely arrived back in Germany.

Everyone's happy and excited about my return and I can also say, it's good to be back. I'll be living again in my parent's house until I've found a new job and a new place for myself. It's summer here with long days, and everything is lush and green.

We celebrated my sister's and my birthday today, and the breaking news is that I'm going to become uncle of a new baby in January 2011! Her first one. That is so wonderful and I'm so happy for my sis. The news got me completely by surprise too! They had all kept quiet about it for the last month so they could tell me in person when I arrived here.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

All packed up...

...and ready to go!

I had a nice last evening together with my friend (and colleague) Gaetano, my housemates Anna, her boyfriend Mathias, Jade, her friend Elena, Gavin, and his girlfriend Carol.

We had dinner together at our place -- the first time we cooked for 8 people in this house! -- and afterwards went for a drink to the Orbit Bar in Sydney, which is a revolving bar in the 47th floor. It has an awesome view, as you can see! And that's the happy ending of part 2 of my Australian Adventure™!

Tonight's my flight back home to Germany.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


One of the happy coincidences that just happen magically was that I got to meet in person an interesting man from New Zealand who has the same last name as me, Hans Maurer. He is a German emigrant, a relative of Heidrun who I mentioned earlier in this blog. We actually came to know each other through this blog here. And perhaps Hans and I are also related; we just have to find the 'missing link' between our genealogical trees...

We had a good conversation over an excellent dinner in a French restaurant he recommended in Port Vila, a house with historical significance: it was in this very place that the constitution of Vanuatu was negotiated 30 years ago, as a brass plaque on the wall tells.

The steering wheel above is from the vessel in the picture to the right, the Coongoola, on which I went on a day cruise to a remote beach on one of the smaller islands. A nice boat. 61 years old. Arr!


Only been back to Sydney for 2 days and off in an airplane again! This time I went to...

"Vanuatu? Wo ist das denn?" was the question more than one of my German friends asked. The small country is seldom heard of. I first learned about it a few years back when I administered our Plan website for which we had a (free) domain; the "vu" stands for Vanuatu.

The Melanesian island group is located roughly between Australia, New Guinea and Fiji. It was formerly co-governed by the French and British, known under the old name 'New Hebrides', and has been independent since 1980. This week they celebrate their 30-year existence as a nation. The emphasis of the word Vanuatu, by the way, is on the second 'a'.

I came here in order to relax for a few days in warmer temperatures before heading home, but it's not as warm as I had hoped. Overcast with clouds, very windy, rough sea and too cold for swimming. That was a bit disappointing. But it is still a good getaway here, and it is a little warmer than Sydney. I'm staying in a small resort near the capital Port Vila on the island of Efate and have a big self-contained bungalow all for myself.

The island is tropic and volcanic and there are beautiful creeks with waterfalls coming from the inland mountains. This image shows me at the picturesque Mele Cascades. You can walk up alongside, and in, these rapids of crystal clear water and get as wet as you like! Very pretty place.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kata Tjuta

Kata Tjuta is Uluru's 'sister'. It's also a red sandstone formation and only 30 km to the west, which is why they made a national park that encompasses them both. Kata Tjuta is also called "The Olgas", but that's a silly name.

People say that the two, Uluru and Kata Tjuta, are connected underground. My German friend Heidrun, who had visited them in March, told me that the Earth's solar plexus chakra is located just in the middle between the two. In any case these two 'islands floating in a sea of sand' are, like any good pair, both similar and opposite in a number of ways.

Kata Tjuta is bigger than Uluru in terms of size and height. But while Uluru is one block, Kata Tjuta is many, it's divided in 36 dome-shaped objects. This means you can walk into those gorges between these walls. It feels as if you were going into a body, the womb of a fertile earth mother.

I did the short Walpa Gorge walk and also the long Valley of Winds walk. It was really very windy there, and quite cold! But an amazing surreal place to be in.