20.04.2011 - 24.04.2011 22 °C
Our travels in Australia have been filled with many challenging moments and tests of patience than NZ. It started out arriving in this Country prior to Easter Weekend and Anzac Day, a national holiday. So most places, including banks, were closed from Friday to Tuesday, reopening on Wednesday. Talk about a long weekend! Unfortunately for us, we needed Australian money to buy a van so we could start our travels. We ended up having to use our MC to withdraw money, taking a hit of expensive fees. In the end this was cheaper than staying in Sydney and paying for a hostel for 4 nights!
Over a few days we walked up and down Victoria St., in Sydney checking out the vans for sale. Other travellers who have finished there journey through Australia park there with for sale signs in their windows trying to sell before they catch their plane to their next destination. Each day there were more vans, and we seemed to be the only ones looking to buy! This was a huge benefit for us. Some of these poor travellers had been trying to sell for weeks. We test drove, sort-of, quite a few vans. I say sort-of because 99% of these vans are standard, something I've never learnt. Nate can drive a standard but was uncomfortable driving in the heart of Sydney and hadn't driven a standard in a few years, so basically we just went for a rides and the owners drove. This was somewhat beneficial, as we could play with all the knobs and make sure things were working properly.
Buying a car in Australia was a challenge in itself because of the various procedures that had to be taken in order to transfer ownership. These procedures depend on which state the car was registered and it was important to be familiar with them before buying. This was a task in itself. It would have been simple enough had we had easy access to high-speed internet. The net was down at the hostel we were staying at, so we had to walk to the library. The internet here was slow and frequently disconnected, so we tried McD's (I know – I bet you never thought I'd step foot in this fast food joint). It was dodgy too and even slower. In an hour it seemed we'd get nowhere. Eventually we decided our best bet was to get a vehicle with licence plates from Western Australia. This ownership transfer process was the easiest to buy and sell when that time came.