OK, so here we are wondering just how we are going to be able to stretch our $ further when one of those ubiquitous email lists I belong to has finally delivered some information of real value. Turns out that as well as the well-known opportunity to do house swaps, there is also a home hosting community on the web.
While house swaps will not work for us on this trip given that we want to be mobile rather than based in any one location for any length of time, the home hosting is a whole different affair.
Started by (and seemingly mostly perpetuated by) university students trying to find cheap accommodation when they travel - often using students at other universities, this concept appears to have really taken off into mainstream travellers.
As many will know, I am a great believer in home hosting as it allows you to have a truly genuine local experience. Not only have we home hosted on many occasions, we have also brought many exchange students into our home over the last 16 years here in Maryborough. So maybe, there is such a thing a good karma. To be able to have the opportunity to really meet locals, to share company and food and wine and song (ha ha - everyone tells me I can't sing!) is truly exciting.
For those interested, you have an opportunity to see what we wax lyrical about by joining and offering to host people travelling through the local area. Check out the website www.couchsurfing.com - I spent all last night trawling through it, checking out possible couches to surf in Italy.
So, we are back on track!