Good bye Melbourne

Our last day in Melbourne, we said goodbye to Dave’s brothers and sister. Had coffee with Dave’s mum and dad and then checked out of the Apartment. Dave had organised to meet up with Tony Barker at 11am, we didn’t get there till 1:30pm, sorry Tony (there was a mix-up of times).

After a great lunch with Tony and a relaxing chat in the new “conservatory” at Tony’s’ place we headed to the airport. Thanks again to Tony who drove us out, you have gone way beyond the call of “uncle” duty ;-). The flight was late again, can you believe this, not sure why, we were not told, it was only about 20 minutes or so, which was made up on the flight, but we could have been 20 minutes early rather than on time…hope this is not a sign of things to come, although we would much rather be late than not arrive at all…the flight was pretty good, had an amazing sunset which we tried to catch with the camera.

Landed in Perth safely, now only two days to go….

Dave + Narelle

Boxing Day Test and Lords

On Boxing Day we saw a film about New Zealand, a war, a ring and some hobbits 🙂 It was the 9:30am session which was a little hard especially after all the eating and drinking from the day before. After the film, which we would recommend, we had a day with Dave’s Mums side of the family, where we caught up with people from Darwin, aunts, uncles, long lost cousins with there little ones (which would make them second cousins) and Dave’s Nanna.

It was a great night, with lots of rocky-road being eaten, a fantastic meal put on by Margaret and all in all good company. Thanks to all that came and we hope you are enjoying this site.

Dave & Narelle



Christmas Day, and all is good, every body was up at 7am to start what ended up being a very busy day. We all sat down to breakfast, thanks to Narelle’s organisation. This was followed by Present opening (Dave was Santa) where we gave out the presents we bought in Melbourne. We ended up with 5Kg of extra stuff that we had to cart home! Not sure where all weight came from, but it sure adds up quickly. Mental note: 21Kg in a backpack is too much.

After present opening (8:30am) we decided that we could not make 9am Mass as this will be pushing too fine and we would be running around too much. At 9:55am it was decided that we would go anyway (feeling guilty I suspect 😉 So we pile into Alison’s (Dave’s Sisters) car (which she bought off us for an absolute bargain, if we do say so ;-). We get to Mass at 9:15am (it started at 9) and the priest is already into his homily! oops. Before we knew it, mass was over and our next step of the Christmas day starts.

Off to Flinders Pub, first however we have to get to Min’s new place. For those of you who have not met Min, she is Dave’s Grandmother (on his Dads side). There is a great story about Min, which we will post on this web site sometime soon. Anyway, picked her up with Tony Barker (thanks Tony for the lift down). The drive from Melbourne is about 1h or so.

We arrived at Flinders Pub at 11:55, 5 minutes to spare, we had to be there at 12 sharp, but in actual fact it was not until after 1pm that we were served any food. We were joined by Tony, Judy, Harrison, Bill, Min, Marg, Geoff, Chris, Alison, Paul, Dave (friend of Min’s) and we enjoyed great food and the company. We had a group photo (which is in the Melbourne photos).

After Flinders it was back to Melbourne for drinks and nibbles at Jenny and Andrews place (Dave’s Aunt and Uncle). This was a low key affair with high key wine and food. The wines that were served were absolutely amazing and I would like to thank Andrew and Jenny for hosting the Christmas afternoon, it was great to catch-up with the others that could not make it to Flinders.

Thanks to all the people that we caught up with and thanks for your patience, we know that we were late in some cases. Thanks for all the gifts that we received, we did not expect anything, so thanks, although you all added an additional 5Kg to our backpack ;-).

Another Christmas gone, and I am sure the next one will be just around the corner.

Dave & Narelle

The Apartment

We have left Brighton and thanks again to Anna and John for putting up with us, or is that putting us up? We had a great time in Brighton, but now it is time to move on to the “Apartment”. Narelle booked this place and all we know is that it is on the 20th storey, is new and in the docklands area. Now the docklands area is very new and very few people know how to get there (Des you know what I mean 🙂 Actually thanks for the lift Des it was very much appreciated, and you are not the only one that does not know how to get there, most of the Melbourne cabbies have no idea, actually they have no idea about most of Melbourne, but don’t get me started on that one.

Ok, got to our apartment and we were blown away, huge place with a massive balcony, could not have asked for anything better. The view was amazing, had all the mod-cons (including Foxtel). The only complaint that we would have is the beds are only doubles, which means Dave’s feet hang off the end! Narelle was fine however.

Mum & Dad got in about 6pm and we had dinner down at one of the restaurants on the ground floor. There are about half a dozen restaurants there and they all seem to be pretty good, we ate that the Italian place, where Narelle practiced her Italian with the waiters. And the Malaysian place, both had great food at very good prices.

That night we did decided to buy only one present, we put our names into a hat and drew each other out, and then hit the shops the next day.

Ok I think we have bored you enough with this update.
Dave & Narelle.

Arrive in Melbourne

We arrived in Melbourne 1 hour late! Good old Qantas had staffing problems again and could not clean the plane. And to top it off they cancelled the movie “Mambo Italiano” no more than one hour into the movie due to “complaints by passengers”, we were really enjoying the movie. We arrived in Melbourne at 1:40am and headed to Narelle’s Aunts and Uncles place in Brighton, Melbourne Victoria. The home of many famous people, including Shane Warne, Malcom Blight, Rod Butters (Saints President) and good ol’ Crazy John. We are here for another two days and then heading to our three bedroom, 2oth floor apartment to spend Christmas with the Barker family. Further Updates coming soon. Dave + Narelle


It has finally arrived, we are now officially unemployed! David has resigned today and said farewell to three and a half years of work with ISS. The trip has almost started, two more days before we leave and we still have a bit to do, organise health insurance, pack our bags for Melbourne, and buy thermals for the Europe leg of the world tour.

We would like to thank all of the people that we have worked with over the last few years at ISS and Mercy Hospital. We would also like to thank all of our friends for the support and well wishes that we have received over the last few weeks.

Not too long to go now…

Dave + Narelle

Farewell Party

The official Barker Bon-voyage went off with a blast. We had about 40 people at the back of our place and fun was had by all. Thanks to all those that came and for those that could not make it, well you just missed out :-).

We had ordered 20 pizzas for the guests, and we were told numerous times that we will be eating pizza for the next week, but by nights end there was not one piece left.

Photos will be posted once I get them off the camera.

Dave + Narelle

Sensational Singapore!

[3-jan-2004 till 7-jan-2004]

We arrived in Singapore on Saturday the 3rd of Jan and checked into our hotel around 1430hrs. We mentioned we were on our honeymoon and received a free upgrade to a “junior suite”. So totally worth it – our room was huge, immaculately clean and on the 32nd floor of the 70 storey hotel. We were at the Swissotel Stamford and this is the tallest hotel in the world. We were very impressed. There was also a day spa which I made use of – very indulgent- but pure heaven!

The lobby of the hotel backed into the Raffles Plaza Shopping Mall – really a bit too convenient. The rule was – I could buy it but I had to carry it. We bought Panadol, bottles of water and a box of tissues! The sales were on though – so I am impressed with my restraint! Definitely will be back! Fantastic food, great hotel, great shopping and good value for money! Its all just, sensational really! Dave had some suits made – cashmere silk, two jackets, four pants, two business shirts and two ties for around $1200AUD. The tailor is sending them to Bristol for us – thanks Sam and Jon! So, he should look pretty smart at those job interviews!!

We went to the Singapore zoo – that was our tourist “bit” (apart from walking and walking and walking around of course!)The zoo is highly recommended – in fact – a must see really. It puts our zoo to shame. Wonderful setting – over 44 hectares of parkland, big natural lakes and barely any fences. Big moats stop the animals eating us! I admit to falling in love with the elephants and baby orang-utans! (see pics) The zoo puts on a working elephant show and they are so well trained, gentle and amazing creatures. I bought a bag of feed and was able to pat and feed them. The highlight of my day! They are just lovely!

We ventured up to the 70th floor of the hotel. This is named the Equinox bar and is a cigar lounge. It is very smoky, upper class and highly expensive. But one of those things you just had to do! It cost us 21 Sing dollars for two cocktails (during happy hour!) Very alcoholic – but the view had to be seen! (see pics). Well, leaving Singapore on Wednesday the 7th of Jan – transfer to airport picking us up at 0430am. Yuck! See you in Rome!

Dave & Narelle

First Camping Trip

We had our first camping trip in our folding camper this weekend and managed without too many dramas. We had planned to leave Saturday morning but after losing the keys to the hitch lock, trying to find all of our necessary camping bits we managed to set off at 3pm without any lunch.

The camper was very easy to setup, and leveling was a lot easier than we had imagined. We had bought a new travel cot on FridaMore feeding shots y so it was the ultimate test to see if it actually fitted or not and how the sleeping arrangements were going to work. In the end we decided that Charlotte would sleep on the other side without the matress below the cot. However at 1AM when Charlotte decided to wake it was very difficult to get her out without making her more upset. So we have decided that she will have to sleep on the floor between the two beds.

The other thing that we had underestimated was the cold! It was probably about 6 degrees or so and when you are outside without much cover this is quite cold. Narelle and I had our feather king size quilt so we were swimming in feathers and quite warm, but Charlotte only had a small sleeping bag that fits over her arms and three blankets which was not enough in hind sight and took her about an hour to settle down and go back to sleep after her feed. In the end we had to turn on the gas cooker to heat up the camper a bit. Once we had done this she was soon off to sleep.

The camp site that we chose was very good, not really the budget camping that we will be doing on our big trip but we have to ease our selves into this. It was quite funny putting up our small folding camper between the 22 foot caravans with satellite TV, air conditioning and heating with full kitchen and bathroom facilities. And the comments people make as they pass by like, thats cute, oh look at that isn’t that handy! I guess we will have to get used to the additional attention for now. I think when summer kicks in more folding campers will be out and about.