A Travellerspoint blog

The last Aussie photos..

and other stores.

Picture time! I thought to put up a few of them, at least.

As a foreword, I noticed my polarizer was evidently dirty on a few photos, so I apologize for the random dots that shouldn't be there. But! Here's the last bit of Australia..or at least tidbits of it, anyway :) That I enjoyed and found pretty. :) Also, out of order again!


This is not Australia. But here is Vancouver a day ago. In March. What is this, the North pole? Anyway. Our backyard. With tree.


This was in Airlie Beach, as far up as I went before running back south thanks to flooding and getting stuck there. This is a sign of all the things that can kill you at their beautiful beaches that you couldn't swim in.


Lovely Sydney at nighttime. Pretty awesome, since I had no tripod. It looks so grand at night, when you're coming in with a ferry...you have to see it. But here's a vague idea.


Also Sydney - we saw this car (and rock) when we were walking back to Town Hall for the night bus. Pretty random, it was in a little circle resembling a roundabout, near the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


A beautiful view from the Noosa National Park - you can see the surfers in the water paddling, trying to catch some waves. Always amazed me that they were doing it so close to the stones. The waves can be pretty strong..


Another Noosa National Park lookout point. I loved this one, it was amazing to stand there. Wind was strong here. But so beautiful!


Tried to catch a sunset in Newcastle. Naturally, caught half of it, but it was still really nice. Very quiet, nothing but the waves hitting the stones below (to the left). As I was walking back to the hostel, when dark fell, there was a paraglider still gliding quiet over me (there's a bunch of them there during the day), flapping like some magical bird. It was pretty cool.


Giant pears in between exhibits at the Brisbane Art Gallery. Looked pretty fancy, great lighting and set up!


Sydney and sky seen from the ferry returning from Manly - the sun was setting, it was very pretty.


What I saw through the trees at Noosa National Park - pretty cool. There were many surfers that ran up and down this trail, going from one surf point to another or back to the parking. Most barefoot, hence the running. The gravelish ground sort of hurt I think.


A small beach at Manly - the trees on the right are where we essentially went to climb up onto boulders where there was a brilliant view of the surroundings. There was one woman on this beach at the time.


A urinal! It's right next to these public bathrooms. And it's under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. On the sidewalk. Sort of a random spot for it, I thought, but useful all the same. And it's so fancy! Jealous I couldn't use it.


Emus look like dinosaurs. Look at its' eyes! And its' feet look like dinosaur feet that you see in Jurassic Park. Seriously. But anyway. This dinosaur bird was very photogenic. This was at the BlackButt Reserve near Newcastle.


A few of us went to watch some cricket in Adelaide. This is what people did on the grass there. They picnicked! And watched cricket! And had beer! It was pretty neat. It got very cold later, though, so we ran to the stands where we froze some more.


This is the calmest beach ever! Or water, anyway. The waves weren't strong at all because of the way the land sheltered this specific beach. It was cloudy, but surprisingly perfect. At Coff's Harbour. The YHA there was weird. But the people were great.


A koala at the BlackButt Reserve (near Newcastle). Paid 3$ to pet her! She was being stared at by everyone. And I went there with these two girls that changed their hairstyle (in a freaking forest!) four times between the two of them, once they saw these three random (and vaguely iffy guys). Oi. But the koala was cute. Look, it's one of their hands! Also ended up getting a ride back to town by a really nice shop owner from here, cause I couldn't find the right bus stop and neither could the people that worked in the area - and he was going in the same direction. Still. So nice!!


Another koala, looking very sad...at the BlackButt Reserve.


Futuristic kangaroo! Artwork around Brisbane city centre..I added my own touch of blue duck.


Mikey observing the stones below. We were at Manly and went up a teeny bit of a climb onto these boulders with just amazing views - behind that little beach with the boat above there - but this is what we saw when we looked down. The water hit the rocks and splashed, while ahead it stretched out. It doesn't look so bad in this photo, but it definitely looked a touch steeper in real life...Still. Loved it there! Beautiful day :)

OK, there's more, but it takes forever to do and I must pretend to shower now. Will put up some more on facebook or something similar. Go to Australia! I love it!!

Posted by Buttfish 16:51 Archived in Australia Tagged round_the_world Comments (3)

I is here!!

SO I'm in Vancouver now. I spent my last two weeks in Australia in Sydney. Well. And three days in Newcastle, for the third time. It was very rainy weather...pouring like there's no tomorrow. But that hostel (the best YHA I have ever stayed in - and I hate YHAs - so that's saying quite a lot) is like a giant house. So everyone was inside, watching lots of TV and drinking a lot. Lucky me, I got a cold, so I was miserable and sleeping enough. My biggest achievement was starting a puzzle of the 12 Apostles and filling in a good deal of it. I got company at some point, an Irish guy whose name I forgot (:S) and who had a cold like me. So the two sick people puzzled their way through the night - while, I kid you not, everyone else partied. More or less, anyway.
I was happy to come back to Sydney, though. Last time, I was there for four days and saw the usual stuff. This time around, I experienced a bit more. For starters, I stayed in two hostels - one that I didn't like - there were (very friendly, but also very) drunk Brits that would keep the light on a lot at 3am - but they were really nice people, still. I did meet a guy called Obi (like Obi Wan Kenobi!) from Scotland who was quite lively - and an older married couple that was going to Tasmania, I think it was. Had a good breakfast conversation. Most people I met here have just arrived in Sydney from wherever they lived. I felt like a veteran. The other place I stayed in was called the Pink House. The location of the Pink House is better..quiet street. The street that the DLux hostel (the first one) was on is Darlinghurst - which is the main street of the chaotic zoo that is King's Cross. King's Cross is the red light district of Sydney. It's lovely. Actually, it's not that bad at all. It's definitely lively - but you can find loads of cheap meals and drinks and deals and good pubs and clubs - and bad ones, too. So! It's ok. It's crammed full of backpackers, too, of course. The Pink House has cockroaches and rats (I heard about, didn't see them). It's not the cleanest place - but the people are wonderful. I liked it there, it was like a big family. But coming there through King's Cross at night - its relaxing..so quiet. Cause there are all sorts of drunk, drugged, and prostituting characters ...everywhere.
I met up with Michael (who was one of the people I spent the holidays with in lovely Adelaide - and with whom I have meanwhile gotten together with :) ) and later his friend Max. We had a few drinks and got lost a bit in Sydney. Ended up hanging out together for the next many days, visited the Botanic Gardens, the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, all over downtown...Went to a rich people residential area near the harbour, where we sat to have some beers (from a pub that sold take aways with people with Scottish accents), and sat on the bench under these trees to drink them (not allowed to drink in public). There were bats rustling in the tree above us (with possibly what sounded like bat poo plopping here and there) - and then a black rabbit hopped his way to us and started sniffing near my foot. OK...a bit random...but they do have a rabbit issue in Australia, I guess.. (eons ago, someone brought rabbits over and let them go, who multiplied at the speed of light, and started killing life on the island, until eons later, they created a virus that kills rabbits, which killed 99.9% of them, and that 0.1% survived and became mutant rabbit that cannot be killed by said virus, so now the they're in rabbit poo.) ...but yes. Random. And then, to top randomness, there was a (dark) alley behind us and bench - and this guy walks down it (toward us) in a black trenchcoat and hat, carrying an old fashioned doctor's bag (kind of like a scene from The Exorcist) - He put his bag down near us, which is when we got up to go away, cause he looked like he was gonna murder us. And then all these people came around the corner in costumes (but they were dressed weird so we left, since it was dark and didn't notice the costumes right away). As we walked away, I saw a guy holding a bloody axe (a fake one). So that was pretty cool! And then we made out way down past these dock areas (near people fishing), where there were these tables and chairs in a row - close to what looked like a closed pub. It was quiet enough, so we sat at one of the tables to drink out beers..some people came out for some smokes out of these doors on our left and right sides, but whatever. It was only a while later, that we realized that behind every set of tables there was a door...where someone lives...it was a hotel! We luckily picked a set of tables the belonged to a room that no one stayed in. But it was awesome, we had his speaker and good music, there was this inky black water infront of the hotel thing, lights in the water, quiet, pretty relaxing. Loved it. Came back there a few more times. The problem was that at first we didn't know if there were bathrooms nearby, so the first night I ran up these giant stairs (seriously, loads of stairs), near a rich people residential area and a construction site (right under the Sydney Harbour Bridge) towards the (as I found out after) public bathroom, and was watched in my business by a white rabbit - again..lots of rabbits in downtown Sydney.
They also have a camel infestation in north Australia. Many years ago, they were building a railway that went basically right across the middle of Australia, through Alice Springs (which is apparently a "hole" according
to other people I met that went there) - which is near Uluru, or Ayers
rock. Anyway. They had people from the middle east, along with camels, come to help build this railway. Well, they left some camels - which multiplied like the random rabbits - and so much, that it's crazy. In the meanwhile, that species of camel started to dissapear from its' original home in the middle east (which is bad, since we make everything extinct one way or another) - so now Australia is the only place where this type of camel resides (or in such large numbers, anyway). If something changed in the meanwhile, tell me, but that's what I heard while I was there.
But Sydney has a million brilliant memories now. We spent all the time we could together, which would leave us both going back to our seperate homes (manors and hostels!) at...3am. The transit system in Sydney, by the way, is awesome. There are trains, which stop at night - but there are also busses - and night busses - which go to more places than the ones in Vancouver, that's for sure. Unluckily for me, however, there were no nightbusses leaving from the Town Hall Station area (downtown) that went to King's Cross. So every night at 3am I would walk down/up Park Street, past/through Hyde Park, up the hill and on for 25ish minutes to get to King's Cross and the zoo it is. The Pink House had codes at night, so the house was locked. At one point, they changed them..I forgot to ask for the new ones. So I got in luckily (someone was up). The next night...not so much. Everyone was asleep, I couldn't get in, considered climbing over a wall (which would have murdered me), but decided not last minute. I got lucky, since I hammered like there's no tomorrow, until one girl timidly opened the door to the potential axe murderer and saw me standing there. Excitement!
We also went to Manly, which is an area of Sydney that you can reach easier by ferry. So we ferreid across and spent a nice day there, walked along the seawall (not unlike the one near stanley park, sort of), past this little cute beach, and climbed up a bit onto these boulders, which had the most amazing view EVER of the water and of the Manly city centre in the
distance. There were waves crashing into the boulders below with gusto, stretching out into the bluest water ever. And it was a clear day that day, so the light was magnificent! Went to a few pubs with some friends, as well. Most of the places we went to were in The Rocks, which is an area near the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There's a fair few pubs and restaurants there, on smaler streets, or cobbled pedestrian areas, here and there.
The last several days of my stay in Sydney, I moved to kip with Michi and Max. They stayed at a manor in a suburb called Ashfield, about 20ish minutes by train to the centre. For the first night, my gentle man snoring kept everyone awake, I think. :S Awesome. But at the same time, Angel (who I Deluxed with!!) came to Australia - so we went out and about a bit, too. It was great to catch up. The night before my train, we had a bit of a going away party for me and drank and played drinking games. A bit of beer and a bunch of goon (which is this wine-like substance that is supposed to be wine that tastes like gasoline if drunk quickly or a lot at once - but is wonderfully cheap) were the main ingredients. The next day I was off for my flight, and after some goodbyeing (which was too sad), and a dinosaur-sized plane flight, I arrived home to surprise everyone. Only a few people knew I was coming...so when I caught my mom thinking someone broke into the house I found I surprised her very much, indeed.
All in all, I loved my time in Sydney. I spent the whole summer in Australia, and at the end of it left to come back to Vancouver for a while. It's amazing how different it is here, now. I see the city in a completely different point of view, and everything that is so familiar and dear to me is sort of strange and different. But it's great to be back for a while..one always does miss their home in the end. Although I'm very excited to be off again, too...it's not over yet :)
..And I know for a fact I'm missing a million things in this post..but there you have it for now.

Posted by Buttfish 00:25 Comments (0)

Where am I now?

I think I've updated about two months ago, which...well, crap. That was ages. I think I stopped when I arrived in Adelaide, which was (specifically!) 23 December!
Anyway. Adelaide was awesome! I ended up spending the holidays there, and reluctantly left after a couple of weeks. I stayed at a hostel called My Place Backpackers (257 Waymouth Street - I only know this cause there's a giant sign that I saw practically every day there that has been ingraved into my mind, I'm not completely crazy). Loved it there, the owner made you feel very welcome and there was a great group of people there...I saw a bit of Adelaide, most of it was spent relaxing on the hostel balcony, drinking, listening to music, reading. Adelaide is otherwise a small city (not town!), and very laid back..I visited its' Botanical Gardens, and several museums (on a tour led by Michael - a friend I met there - who made it quite entertaining!), the beach - which is at a small town called Glenelg, about a half hour train ride away (and niiice! You could see dolphins, I think, though I didn't see any). The layout of Adelaide is..well, at least the city centre of it, it's a square of blocks inside it and it's surrounded by greenery. It's sort of like the Canberra layout, I think (but I haven't been to Canberra, I've only heard about it). Also visited Liquorland, since it was holidaytime. In the meanwhile, I've learnt a new language (balcony language) and have possibly extended my geekiness to another notch, we'll see in a little while. People are very friendly, laid back naturally..I met two men on the street that were looking at a pidgeon on a roof and noting how fat it was. Apparently one of the men fed it twice a day, and now it can just wobble. We had a bit of a conversation, it was pleasant.
I decided to go up the east coast, since there was so little time (and money, technically), so I pretty much went to loads of beaches! The good thing is that I have a tan! The bad thing is that I've been beaten up by the waves many, many times...Very ungraceful on my part. And also that my camera has had almost no action, since it's been locked up away from the sun. It's difficult to describe everything, since going from beach to beach is sort of alike..but here goes.
I went to Melbourne for a few days, where I met a few German guys that put loads of things on my iPod (so it's been reconstructed) and had a few good days there. Melbourne is a very quirky city, and very loveable, but since I just left Adelaide and still kinda wanted to stay, I wasn't as excited as I usually would be.. But revisited Newcastle (north of Sydney), and stayed for a week, baking in the sun. They have the Blackbutt Reserve there, so I went to see it - saw emus, kangaroos, wallabes (sp), wallaroos, loads of birds - and koalas! I got to pet a koala! Its' fur feels like an old person's hair - but fluffier! They live until they're about 12 years or so - I petted the one that was about 9 years - the younger one was about 6 or 9 months and clung to its' keeper (did I mention there were two?) like mad. I was walking around with two German girls, who changed their hairstyles four times between the two of them once they saw these three (not too appealing) guys in the vicinity. We were in a freaking forest!! Petting koalas! Come on! Anyway. We split off to get back, since I wanted to eat my lunch (there were people picnicing there as well, so loads of kids and barbeques and cricket playing, it was so awesome) - so they went back up the hill of forest to find the busstop (and I proceeded down the hill, which was less strain and also had a busstop). However...I couldn't find the bus stop with my bus, and when I asked people in this restaurant, no one knew - and there's like two streets there! How can you not know?! It was weird, sort of. But the shop owner was really nice and gave me a ride into town, after he picked his kids up (since he was going in the same direction). So I got there before the German girls, ha. Newcastle also had the Newcastle Permanent, which is this outdoor movie watching thing with a giant screen - so everyone picnics, brings blankets, food, children and things and watch a movie - whatever's playing. I saw Mamma Mia! and Wall-E :):) But before the movie begins, there's a 2-3min long movie thing of Newcastle - and it's all these happy 60s, 70s people doing things (like swimming, running, cooking, fishing) to funny music. I love it!! Newcastle is the love of my life. (which is why I visited it a third time, and everyone thought I was nuts - that was a bit embarassing, but I would come back again..so no dignity whatsoever.)
As you go up the east coast, it gets more and more humid..which can get a bit painful. But it's ok. But the surf is good (which I didn't do this time around, since I could barely keep my clothes on and didn't want to buy extra things to keep my clothes on anyway, since I was here for so short), the waves kill you like usual, and the beaches are freaking beautiful! At Coff's Harbour, I found a beach that was protected by a sort of bay, so the waves were small..I peed myself with happiness. And on that topic, an ant peed on me and it hurt a lot. Never had that happen before.
I skipped a Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise, because of natural bad timing, which sucked.. but I'll be back in a while, so I'm not too fussed. But about not going to Surfer's I'm completely fine with, since it's a freak of nature. The place is not what its' name seems to be...it's full of freaking skyscrapers! It was weird..concrete and skyscrapers. Byron Bay, on the other hand, is a more or less a complete hippie joint with loads of
parties. But I'd like to visit it. Thanks, nature. Anyway, enjoyed Noosa - a small town up north with amazing beaches - just breathtaking! And has a national park, which has a rainforest area and hiking spots...I found an area where you can sit on these giant boulders and watch the waves hit the said boulders and spray up 2-3 meters high (or more?), making this deep rumbling sound that only waves can make. It was like a little Scotland in Australia! And while you're watching this awesome sight, you're getting overcome by ants, which don't seem to want to quit torturing you (that's when I got peed on). I managed to miss my bus north in Noosa, so I ended up having to stay an extra night (in secret!), which was exciting.
I spent Australia Day (Jan 26) in Brisbane, in a hostel where no one talks to each other, so it was a bit annoying, but it was ok. Saw the fireworks from the bridge (on the Southbank, along the river) with a bunch of other people, it was pretty neat. A couple of people would walk by and yell "Aussie Aussie Aussie!" and you would hear "Oi Oi Oi!" yelled back from a bunch of other directions...I went out to Southbank to see their fair, and there were all these stands and music and such, and then a special stand with people giving out free sunscreen! And everyone was slopping it on!
You definitely know you're in Australia when you see that...in Canada, I think they would be giving out dinner coupons or something, sausages, I don't know. But nothing for the sun....the sun is crazy strong here. And they have a little "beach" there, too, which looks like a mix between a beach (with sand), a pool (with water in it?) and a pond (with rocks surrounding the perimeter at some points). It's very odd..
The worst was when I got to Airlie Beach, up north, since I wanted to get to Cairns (flight out, long story). Well, one thing the guidebooks don't tell you is that right about the winter time (like now) is when the cyclone season is on in Queensland...so the roads north of Airlie Beach were flooded and blocked. Couldn't get up. And then they would block sometimes to the south, too. So you couldn't go south. And you couldn't go west, since inland it was worse (near the flooded rivers), and you couldn't go east, since that was the ocean and you would get eaten by jellyfish. First thing I heard was from these guys in my room, they've been there two weeks
and were trying to get the hell outta there. And another girl checked into the hostel 5 times in a week...she kept getting sent back with the bus. So that was a pleasant welcome...I didn't know I'd get trapped there for five days. I met a guy on my bus who was trapped as well (also with a flight from Cairns), and bumped into another friend from Brisbane (also stuck, also flight from Cairns), and there was another girl that had her stuff sorted out in the end, so she got lucky. But either way, we spend less than a week discussing escape tactics from the lovely Airlie Beach, which, by the way, was pissing with rain worse and worse every day. The best solution in the end, was to drive down to Brisbane via camper van (the cheaper version, I should say, since our airlines were being poo and wouldn't let us change the destinations of our flights cause of the flooding) - the guy I met in Brisbane had a Wicked camper van, so we had to wait for him to come back from his sailing trip (which was wet, apparently) to see if he was up for it - and in the end we ended up leaving on a roadtrip to Brisbane...
However! Since the roads were blocked south on and off, we kind of hoped we would actually be able to get through...so we drove like mad at first and did it! We had to pass Mackay (south of Airlie Beach), since down to Mackay was the flooded area. The van itself was a piece of crap, since it kept randomly turning itself off on the highway, when you had five lorries right behind you (and these guys are scary and huge and make you think of trucker serial killer stories). First night we slept at a rest stop, since it was dark, and it was horribly hot in the van, I got kicked a lot (cause van guy kicked out a lot in his sleep, my ribs were not happy), and smelled like van the next morning. But we went on to Noosa (mentioned above!) and spend a few nights there, going to the beach and relaxing, and washing ourselves (which was very welcome, after driving in the camper van since it got so horribly sweaty, I've never felt grosser before - but quite an
experience!). Also spent a great deal of time trying to figure out flights and things, since time was running out until our flights, and the flight prices kept changing...in the end, I decided to give up my 80 CAD worth of flight and try to see if my travel insurance will be so kind to reimburse me, and booked a flight to Sydney from Brisbane - when we arrived in Brisbane, I mean. Which was full of people - so we found the only hostel with room for the night...20 minutes away from the centre, there was some weird late fee (we called them at 3pm, so they're just weird), and we had to wash the sheets before we left the next day (we stayed for one night). Ridiculous. But the next day I was off and away to Sydney...and away from crazy expensive Brisbane.
Because of the floods in the north, loads of people did what we did, and came down south..to Brisbane! So it was crowded. But the weird thing is, while north Queensland was full of cylcones, rain and everything, the south was still in draught. You would go into a hostel and they would have signs saying "showers under 4 minutes, pls"...though I can vouch that the girls at least didn't do that...I waited for ages once! And then the southeast part of Australia has been going through dreadful bushfires, as bad as the floods up north (except much, much worse)..many people died there, which I was astonished to read about once I got to a newspaper. I didn't hear anything about fires until I got past the flooded area... But Sydney, where I am now, is safe from flood or fire..it's cloudy enough, however. I've met up with a couple of friends a few times, and it's good to meet up again...one thing I don't enjoy about travelling is when you meet good friends you have to split off after a short while to go in your own directions..and who knows when you'll meet up again? A few days, or weeks, or years? Everything is very short..so in a way, the whole experience is very bittersweet. But I still wouldn't change it for the world. All time counts.. I"m reading a book called "One crowded hour" - a biography of Neil Davis, a cine cameraman from Tasmania who covered wars..the Vietnam war. He got killed in his work in the end, but he was the best there was, I think. And his motto was a line from a poem, that I quite agree with...

  • "Sound, sound the clarion, fill the pipe,

Throughout the sensual world proclaim:
One crowded hour of glorious life,
Is worth an age without a name!"

  • - Thomas Osbert Mordaunt (1730-1809)

Posted by Buttfish 22:05 Comments (0)

Picture time!

Sorry, out of order.

View 'UK-Balkans-India-Thailand-Australia-I-hope-I-have-enough-money-to-keep-going-trip on Buttfish's travel map.

Pictures! Here are a few that took me way too long to put up. They're out of order (sorry!), but to make vague sense, I went to : Italy - Croatia - India - Australia. So! Enjoy :)


This is in Adelaide, Australia - a giant wall of matchbox cars attached to it..in a very normal, small parking lot.


Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo - Elephant!


Botanic Gardens in Adelaide.


Street on Mumbai, India!


Fishing in Bar, Montenegro! Brilliant Day.


Went to see a Cricket game with a few people in Adelaide. At first, you could sit on the grass comfortably, but it got cold so we moved into the stadium seats (still cold though, haha). !


A bridge near my hostel in Warrnambool - very pretty.


The beach, two minutes walk from hostel in Newcastle, Australia. (The waves beat me up.)


A parrot that flew onto the car next to ours at random, near the caves an hour or so drive from Katoomba.


The Blue Mountains, Katoomba - a storm came on, so it became very misty and you couldn't see very far.


An interesting rock on the walk around the ridge in Katoomba.


Harbour, sunset! Sydney.


The Three Sisters, Katoomba. Apparently their dad died before he could turn them back into people. Must suck. :)


The one on top wouldn't stop bullying the one on the bottom...it lasted at least an hour. (sydney, Botanic Gardens)


Hiking in Cinque Terre! Italy.


Colosseum, Rome.


Mt. Vesuvius, above Pompeii. Italy.


Playing with shutter speeds at sunset at Bar, Montenegro. A beach!


An alley in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It was very cool though, the stairs go up for quite a while!

Posted by Buttfish 18:53 Comments (0)

I was in jail!

I slept in a jail last night!! When we arrived, I wasn't sure where I was at first - but after passing a bunch of bars and cells and things it clicked, haha! But OK, it's actually a hostel. Still. Used to be a jail!
I am currently in Adelaide, just arrived today. The man that handles the jail hostel in Mount Gambier (where I stayed for a night) offered me a ride to Adelaide, as he was going that way, so I got one! Unfortunately, I already paid for a bus ticket there earlier, however a car is more comfortable, there's good company, and it doesn't make your backside feel like a car accident when you get out (like busses do). So! All in all, good!
I visited Sydney, naturally, as I landed there first. Went to the Opera House, which is, by the way, awesome. Just like everyone says! But what they don't tell you is that the thing is yellow! It still looks white in my photographs, though. And no, it's not the sun. Tried climbing the bridge, but it cost "only 199$ today", as the lady said, so I gave them a merry goodbye and walked away. ?! I stayed in an area called King's Cross, which is supposed to be the Red Light Disctrict, apparently. I didn't know, guess my hostel was at the corner of it.
Went to Katoomba! It's a small town west of Sydney. It's in an area of the Blue Mountains National Park, which is beautiful. The palce I was at, I went to see The Three Sisters, which are these three rocks that stick out one next to the other (really big ones). The story is that there was a father that turned his daughters into stone for safety and died before he could turn them back. I can't be more explicit, I forgot the rest! But that's the gist of it :S (Sorry!) You look at them from this ridge, and it goes around for miles - and in the valley below there is rain forest. You could walk all over, of course. I walked outlining the ridge at first, and every once in a while you can stop at a look out and - well, look out. What I saw was like something from Jurassic Park, except without the dinosaurs, death, and 80s overalls, or whatever it was they wore. Ridges and cliffs outlining around to your left and right, ahead of you little hills and things (mountains!), and thick, thick rainforest. You can see a parrot here or there flying, and you can hear a screech that sounds incredibly like a Pterodactyl - you've just gone back in time. At one point, I was at a lookout point and a thunder storm came on - thick clouds came with thunder and lightning and I saw them settle over the valley (and mountains) ahead of me - putting everything into a bluish mist. Hence, I think, the name - Blue Mountains. I got wet. Also went on a, what, 8 hour hike to the "Ruined Castle" - which really was just a pile of really effing big rocks. I went there with a friend (who unfortunately had to suffer me stopping every ten seconds on the way back, since I'm so in shape). It was good, too, since on the way there we ran into these people and these girls that got lost on the way there and were going back, and then the lady made a joke of asking our names in case we never returned - with an "haha - no, really" seriousness. We gave them, but it wasn't the most encouraging aspect.. Still. Walked down through rainforest, birds and bugs and trees of all sorts! Beautiful! The sounds were so neat...it's like something you don't hear. Ever. Literally. This may be because no one really lives in a rainforest,
though. The view from the Ruined Castle was breathtaking. I was worried of climbing up on it ("how do I get down?"), but ended up doing it anyway and was doubly happy for it. Think of two people standing on a giant rock on a little hill (really huge hill, it hurt to climb!), amongst miles of rainforest in every direction, surrounded by cliffs and pterodactyls! It was exhillirating!! The way back was very much less so, since we were beating the sun (getting stuck in the dark would very much suck), and the closure of the liquor store (spoken for itself). We ended up going there backwards than was suggest in this brochure, really, cause we were supposed to walk back the way we came - and get down there by the Golden Steps. Instead, we had to go up these Golden Steps. At first, I'd like to say that there's nothing Golden about them whatsoever. We climbed up a bit and I was in pain (being me - my legs felt like jello, you could eat them) - and my companion was nice and waited, and was proving positivity by saying you could see the end of it, so it wasn't so bad. So I looked up to see the end - and I saw something very similar to what that little mouse in Disney's Cinderella saw when he just barely climbed one step and had to climb a million more. I could see the end. At the end of a very very large cliff...somewhere up there. Did it all though! - I mean, how could I not, what was I going to do, sleep in a tree? But I should prohibit people hiking places with me, as they suffer more than I do by stopping lots. :S
But Katoomba..is awesome pretty. From there I went to Dubbo, which exists. Went to the Western Plains Open Range Zoo. It's a small town where there's apparently nothing to do, from what people tell me (though there is plenty in reality). The zoo allows passes for two days, so I went there both
days. The second day I went on the Early Morning Walk, which was at 6
30am. I rented a bike to ride there (it's an hours' walk from the hostel), but it took me 45 minutes, instead. Also, the bike seat hurt a lot so I arrived with torn insides. But you learn so much! And they do things like feed Giraffes! I had a million questions, but the tour was sort of hurried (she talked a lot maybe), and I couldn't squeeze anything in! Still. Ee! It was also early enough that the sun didn't hit it so you could see the animals well enough, before they hid. And in my opinion, before you hid, since it's pretty damn hot. I got burnt nastily enough from those days. I stayed at a hostel where everyone lived together and worked together at a meat processing plant. Really nice people! It was like a little home, so I felt bad at having to leave, in a way.
The funny thing is, once you get into Dubbo, which exists, you can't get out. Meaning to go towards the south, I was forced to go north. Otherwise, I stay there forever. So I went to Newcastle (a bit north of Sydney), cause I didn't want to go back to Sydney and such. Newcastle is an industrial town, I think. But it's along the beach - and awesome! My hostel was two minutes walk from the beach. So I lengthened my time and barbequed! Also rested, since I was tired of hot insides (as in country insides) for a bit. The waves and beach and sky and everything were perfect! Except that I learned that as pretty as the waves look, they're really mean mothertruckers. I went in the water and came out thoroughly beat up. If you jump at the right time, you catch the wave and slide down in glee - but whether you catch it or not, you fall back in the water in an ungraceful heap of blubbering human, trying to breathe, with hair all over your face - and if really unfortunate, looking for the bottom piece of your bathing suit (I caught it every time, so I was lucky, I think). Also got burnt again. But it was nice!! The beach, I mean. There's a sort of sweetness to the central part of the town, so you can't help but feel like you're on a grand vacation, where the whole point of life is to go to the beach and act the beachy tourist. I met a few people here and went out to a free barbeque and trivia night, where I knew a question about Heathrow airport.
One thing about Australia is that it's so far away that you don't think about its' size. And then you try to go from Newcastle to something like Warrnambool (near Melbourne), and it takes you a mere 25 hours. I have no more tailbone, but I arrived. Two busses and a train, along with a city train, since I got off at the wrong stop (I can't translate accents for my life). Australia is about the size of Canada, or of the States (minus Alaska), or of all of Europe (minus Scandinavia, I think?) ,or...you get the idea. But their transportation is considerably better than ours in Canada, I think, since they actually also have trains that don't cost thousands of dollars and don't exist to please the old and rich (like that one that leaves Waterfront in Vancouver). So I like their trains! Warrnambool is a small town, also on the coast (the south, this time), where there is a place called Cheeseworld! I misunderstood it to be a tour, but it wasn't. However, there was a big shipwreck there many years ago (settler time), so it has a bit of history. I walked and visited a market they had that day, and walked around the Merri Marine Reserve, I think it was, where they help conserve marine creatures of all sorts. I was standing on some funnily shaped rocks and boulders, and the water crashing so, it was like an Australian Scotland. Best I could describe. Got burnt here, also.
Next, Adelaide. But this is where I skept in an old jail in Mt. Gambier.
So now I arrived in Adelaide, I intend to make the most of it, since I'm here for Christmas. My internet time is also running out, so I should go before I'm reproached. Or have to pay more than I intend to. One thing I can't get used to is the internet time charge - and the price of cheese! I read in an article that cheeseries may have to lower their prices do to market instability or something - it's a bad thing, but selfishly I secretly rejoice.
Happy Christmas!
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