Typing this from the plane home from my second trip to Australia, a trip that pretty much solidified my love of all things down under, and a little piece of me wishes the pilot would “chuck a U-ie” and take us back! My first trip to Oz was far too short, just 2 quick weeks for team camp this November, riding the beautiful roads around Bright, Victoria, wine/chocolate tasting at Mitchleton (Mitchleton winery is a team sponsor so it was mandatory to test the product ;) and having real Aussie BBQ’s/family dinners with my new teammates. It was incredible, however I knew this trip would be even more special, #1 because I got to bring Olivia with me and #2 because we would get to explore a few different areas of the country during our 3 weeks down under!
First stop was Sydney for a few days where Olivia and I got to catch up with some of her old friends (Orla and Peter) from college who live in Paddington (an incredibly cool part of Sydney) and hang out with Australia native and all around kick ass person Kristy Scrymo & the wonderful Andre Morton. We had VIP treatment upon arrival, getting picked up by Kristy/Dre and taken straight to Bronte beach for brunch with stunning ocean views, we were pretty much hooked on Sydney then and there. That night we did all the fantastic touristy things with the two of them, heading down to “The Rocks” and gawking at the beautiful Sydney Opera house and ….bridge, both of which pictures could never do justice to.
We loved Sydney, and I could rattle on about it for days, but here's a condensed version of the things I loved most and just some funny observations! :)
- It is beautiful! First and foremost this is an incredibly gorgeous city from the massive beaches right in the city, beautiful bays, interesting architecture, and the different vibes each area has…not to mention all the cafes! I’m a sucker for good cafes (and GOOD coffee) and they are EVERYWHERE there (and everywhere else in Oz I later found out…it was heaven for a foodie/coffee snob like me).
- Everyone is ridiculously fit! Seriously I have never seen so many ripped, tan, beautiful people in one place. I felt like I was constantly walking around a Golds Gym conveniently located next to a tanning salon. If you are looking for a partner or just a hot date, go to Sydney and you can’t lose!
- People just kind of pretend there are no sharks, or they just tell you that there are none, OR they say that most beaches have shark nets…but upon further investigation, holy crap, yikes, eeeekkkk Jaws is for real people!
- Bondi Beach is insane, thats all there is to say about that.
- Albion Bike shop in Sydney has the coolest service ever, wash & lube your bike for $18 and while they do it they send you across the street to this great little cafe with a voucher for a free coffee! SO awesome and the people who worked there were fantastic, super friendly and so helpful…and they have a really cute shop puppy!
- There are very large cockroaches, VERY large.
- Wearing shoes is optional…and shirts, and clothes in general…refer back to my beautiful people bullet...
Adelaide (Aka: Radelaide!)
Next up on the trip we headed to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under and then a week of incredible training in the Adelaide hills! The race was incredible and my team killed it with two stage wins, the overall GC win, and overall team classification. It was the earliest I’ve ever started my racing season so that was a shock to the system but I loved it! As much as we loved Sydney I think we really fell in love with Adelaide.
- This is HEAVEN for cyclists. If you are a cycling enthusiast and have never been here, book a trip now! It is a fantastic little city surrounded by world class riding! We stayed in the Adelaide hills in a town called Oakbank and it was fantastic for training! Rolling hills and twisty roads for days, getting bored with training routes would be nearly impossible there with all the options.
- Again SO many incredible cafes and restaurants, I wanted to stop at them all and my heart would break each time we’d pass by another one, but my little heart can only drink so much caffeine…I mean I can drink a lot but there is still a limit and a stop at all the great cafe’s in Adelaide would stop anyones heart! A few of my favorites were Society Espresso, Cafe Branch, & Redberry Espresso.
- The community there is awesome and they completely embrace the cyclist that come in droves! Drivers were super friendly, no close calls, middle fingers, or honking while there.
- The Tour Down Under is the Tour de France of Australia and the people who come out to watch are amazing! The crowds were great!
- Its not only heaven for cyclist but for anyone who enjoys good wine…WOW! Its surrounded by wine country. If you ever plan a trip there make sure you enjoy all the incredible wine regions. And if you are wine tasting in the Barrossa valley and need dinner, there is a GREAT little brewery (Barrossa Valley brewery) and they have YUMMY vegetarian pizza! :) See photo ;)
Great Ocean Road Trip/Geelong
After Adelaide Olivia and I had a little road trip to Geelong along the great ocean road. We stopped for two nights in Port Fairy and if you are ever in the area we highly recommend it. It reminded us so much of Mendocino, a town in Northern California that we LOVE! If you are ever there check out the great little AirBnb on ocean road (90 ocean road, port fairy I believe was the address). Its a single room and bathroom with its own entrance and is right on the ocean! There is an amazing cafe called The Farmers Wife, we had delicious breakfast and coffee there both days! For dinner I recommend Coffin Sally, its a cool and kooky little pizza place with delicious wood fired pizzas with outdoor and indoor seating.
The great ocean road was beautiful, the 12 apostles were stunning, and all the vista points we had time to stop at were breathtaking.
Hot tip: DO NOT SPEED in Australia….long story short I’ve been banned from driving in Australia. They take their speed limits very seriously…even in the “bush” haha ;)
Now to the good stuff!
Now that I've gotten through the boring where we went and what we did stuff, its time to share the things I found both hilarious, strange, and downright terrifying about Australia!
Things about Oz that give me the willies ;)
- The giant, and I mean GIANT spiders! To all aussies natives these terrifying creatures are quite common place, pets to be named even! Ok story time….On my second night staying in this beautiful house out in Oakbank (in the Adelaide hills) on a farm, Olivia and I woke up in the middle of the night because we were both being eaten by mozzies (aussie term for mosquitos ;) so we got up and turned the light on to try to get rid of them. Olivia flipped on the light, turned around and immediately let out a tiny shreek of terror. I jumped out of bed because she was starring at the wall behind me. I turned to see the source of her terror, a spider as big as my face on the wall behind our bed. Ok maybe it wasn’t really as big as my face but this was definitely the biggest spider I had ever seen outside of an African Shamba (that was another nightmarish experience that still haunts my dreams). Neither of us could get within 20 feet of it so we decided to sleep downstairs on the couches, but I didn’t get much sleep as visions of giant spiders danced in my head. The next day we told the girl we were staying with about it, she said “Oh you met Legs!!” My first thought was “holy hell you named that beast!!!!” She came upstairs to check it out and said “oh that isn’t Legs, this is a female huntsman, Legs is a male!” My second thought “Dear god there is another one in this house!!” She's an aussie native, musician, and all around badass individual. She went straight up to the spider and basically picked it up, it proceeded to jump on her, she didn’t flinch just bent down and coaxed the giant spider to crawl out the window. I was about 50 feet away and still crapping my pants in fear. Apparently these huge spiders called Huntsmans are good because they eat the small spiders that will actually kill you or infect you with some horrible flesh eating bacteria….Australian insects are dangerous people!!
- Sharks…surfers are very brave people! I did swim at the incredible beaches but I was definitely on the lookout for jaws! This is likely a very irrational fear because millions of people swim in Aussie waters everyday and are fine, but there are shark attacks here and there so I will still list this as a thing that gives me the willies!
- The birds. Ever since I was little and attacked by birds at the local zoo I’ve had a fear of birds and the birds in Australia are twice the size, twice and loud, and there are about ten times as many!! They are harmless I’m sure (except the magpies in swooping season, that is a time of year I will not be visiting Oz ;) but I still keep my distance.
- The very very short shorts that a lot of the men who are called “tradies” (men who work trades, plumers, landscapers, road workers, etc) wear. They wear what us yanks would call daisy dukes, plus long wooly socks in their work boots. An odd look to say the least, you just don’t look too close incase the family jewels make an appearance!
Favorite Aussie Slang:
- Mens speedos = Budgie smugglers
- Ranga = nickname for red heads. Their explanation for this Orangutangs are orange, then Aussies abbreviate pretty much every single word in the english language longer than 4 letters so Orangutang becomes ranga ;) Don’t worry everyone this is PI in Oz and my teammate Chloe (a beautiful red head) answers primarily to “Ranga”
- Like I mentioned in the previous bullet, Australians abbreviate EVERYTHING, its hilarious. A few examples:
- Reservation: Rezy
- Presentation: Prezy
- Afternoon: Arvo
- Breakfast: Brekkie (and most menus actually say brekky, they rarely say breakfast)
- Avocado: Avo
- Ambulance: Ambo
Now onto more funny slang!
- Eskie: Cooler
- Mozzies: mosquitos
- Bogan: redneck
- Bush: pretty much everywhere that isn’t a city…and the people that live there are bogans…even if they really aren’t. ;)
- Chook: chicken
- Chuck a sickie: take a sick day
- Chuck a U’ie: make a U turn
- Chuck a tanktie: throw a tantrum
- Esky: Cooler
- Grog Bog…you might not want to know ;)
- Heaps: a lot…which is fitting because they use this word A LOT!!
- Joey: baby kangaroo
- Mate: friend, to be thrown on the end of just about every sentence ;)
- No drama: no worries.
- Pash: a big kiss. Pash rash can occur when you kiss a man with a beard haha
- Postie: post man
- Reckon: they use this word almost as much as heaps!
- Relo or rellie: family member
- Root: a more polite way to say the F word haha
- Sanger: sandwich, this confused me on menus for about two weeks
- Sheila: a women….not sure how I feel about this one!
- Strewth: I love this word for some reason cuz it sounds like something terrible but its actually an exclamation of sorts.
- Togs: swimsuit
- Vejjo: vegetarian
- Whinge: complain, love this one and my team uses it frequently ;)
- Roo bar: most of the trucks there have these big bars on the front because hitting Kangaroos is a common occurrence :( Poor little guys! Or big guys I should say, Kangaroos are huge!
- She’ll be apples: It’ll be alright
- They say “Beaty” all the time which for them is like saying “great!” always made me smile
This is only a very SMALL sample...I think you could write a book on aussie slang! These are just my favs!
Some more miscellaneous pics of Aussie amazingness!!