My mother always warned me, "Be careful what you wish for!". For the last 6 weeks, I've been travelling through Asia and complaining about haggling and wished for prices to be marked on goods. Didn't like it, wasn't good at it and ended up overpaying for things and feeling ripped off. However, now that we have reached Australia, I am completely shocked at the prices and want to haggle! $6 for bread, $6 for half a dozen hot cross buns, $10 for a wedge of Parmesan cheese, etc etc
Some Australian friends back in London warned me about the high cost of living, but I guess that it's all relative (having come from Asia where we lived in relative luxury). The catchphrase for this part of the trip is, "You want how much for that?".
We were semi-interrogated at Adelaide Airport about our travel plans and had to line up whilst a sniffer dog went through all our luggage! We picked up our rental car and headed down south towards Kangaroo Island.
I can see why so many South Africans come to Australia - the landscape and housing reminds me of the Western Cape farming belt. 1970's-styled face brick houses, rolling hills where sheep an cattle graze on dry grass, small towns with all-purpose grocery stores and pick-up trucks.
We finally arrived at Cape Jervis at 10am but had just missed the ferry to Kangaroo Island. Upon enquiry, we were told that the 4 o'clock 45min ferry ride would cost $300 for a return trip. Our faces dropped, "You want how much?". In the end, we were offered a 2-day accommodation and ferry combination "package" at the Kingscote Backpackers for the same amount. Still way over our budget but we really wanted to visit the island so we paid for the "deal".
As we were really exhausted from the flight, we decided to find cheap accommodation in the area rather than wait for 6 hours for the next ferry. Hmmm, perhaps budget accommodation has a different meaning down under! At $69 for a cabin (read: tin roof shack) with no toilet or shower and a cockroach for company, our first night in Australia was not only expensive but also very very basic...