Published: April 21st 2009April 21st 2009
I know it has been some time since my last entry but life has become rather static since school has begun and life so busy on occasion that is has been impossible to write my thoughts down for some time.I have just arrived back from my equivalent of reading week and have numerous stories and photos to share. I will even try to relate some of the exciting happenings since I last wrote in my blog.
Since arriving here at Wollongong university (pronounced wool-ung-gong), I have been meeting heaps of people and having numerous wild adventures. My residence puts on a great deal of activities such as soccer, dances, formals and events such as secret admirer where we are randomly given a person to 'appreciate' for 2 weeks before revealing ourselves at a masquerade ball. I have been to the beach innumerable times since the purchase of my surfboard (measurements 6'6, 19 1/4 width, 2 3/4 thick). I have been going down to the beach for a quick surf between classes and spending anywhere between 2-6 hours almost everyday surfing until recently when it became colder and the waves much bigger. I have seen waves easily twice my height which
can be rather daunting and scary, those are the days I stray away from the ocean. A resident from another residence at my uni went missing one day when he was swept away by the waves so it makes it a strong reminder to be careful as the ocean is quite a force to reckon with. I daresay I am becoming alright at surfing as I have managed to ride waves up to four or five feet tall and can get up on the board almost everytime I try. I still have a long way to go but I will try to get some pictures over the next little while so you can see I am not trying to trick you.
Weerona College (my residence) seems to be a haven for international students and sadly as I am not making as many friends from Australia as I'd like, I am still meeting a great deal of Aussies and making plenty of connections with mostly Americans, a few Canadians, some Norwegians and even some Brits and Bulgarians.
I have joined a soccer team and the gym here to keep active, joined a running club, have gone on a few hikes
one of which went of the local 'mountain' or as most of us would call it, a hill to watch the sunrise. I also went up to Mardi Gras in Sydney with a bunch of friends, which turned out to be the worlds largest Gay and Lesbian etc etc party so I saw a great deal of interesting sites that evening.
For Easter we decided to have a nice lazy week of camping to help save money, see the coast and hang out with some Australian friends. We had a ride down to a place called Narooma, then hopped on a bus down to Eden where our Aussie buddy whom we met in Canada picked us up and whisked us away to our home for the next few nights. It was a hidden beach that the had been camping at for a few years and was absolutely gorgeous. We contented ourselves with campfires, fishing, spearfishing (I will elaborate), snorkelling, chasing lizards, running away from Red Bellied Black snakes, reading, having a few beers, singing and doing what you do on camping trips. Spear fishing was quite an experience. You would swim around in snorkel gear hunting for a fish
large enough and of the right species to spear. You would do this by diving down up to a few meters to look in rock cracks and around holes in rocks that sometimes had heaps of urchins all over the places. Once you saw a fish you would stealthily try to outwit it before you went in for the kill. The spear is about 6 feet long with numerous barbed prongs on the end. It operated by wrapping an elastic between your thumb and index finger then pulling the elastic up the pole about half way then releasing the spear in the direction you wish to shoot. I ended up catching a Parrot fish ( I forgot to take a photo =( ) which was about 20cm long with fluorescent blue marking on its face (I have a fishing license do not worry). We have great meals of fish every night and crabs one day, as you can see from the pictures below one managed to stab me extremely well with its rear legs as I had it from behind to avoid the pincers which hurt a fair bi as well.
There is a photo of a Guana as
well. It is a large lizard apparently in the same family as a monitor lizard and can get quite large. This guy hung around our camp site and snagged leftover fish and lazed in the sun with us. We had kangaroos come into our campsite and even saw a deadly Red Bellied Blacksnake on our beach! There were amazing fish around such as Leatherheads, Boarfish, eels, Abalone (we had some of these too, very expensive in the restaurants so we were spoilt), Parrotfish, and many more. The best thing I saw in the ocean was a giant stingray. There were plenty of the rays around, including a weird albino one, but the ones I am alluding to was about a meter in diameter. On first siting this I was quite scared, but they are relatively gentle beasts. The size was the only daunting feature especially since it was within arms reach when it suddenly swan across my view. The waves weren't good enough to surfing here either but our Aussie mate had stolen some McDonald's trays which work amazingly well for body boards believe it or not.
I left the group a day before they departed to meet up
with my other camping crew for a surf/camping trip which turned out to be a camping trip due to the lack of reasonable waves and my apprehension to go surfing on the reef with water 2 feet deep...
This camping trip was a little more higher class as we had bathrooms and showers as opposed to having a hatchet to dig a whole on the previous site. This trip there was a mix of Bulgarian, Norwegian, Canadian and Australian campers an we spent the days lounging on the beach while I attempted to teach them how to surf and try a few waves myself. It was a very relaxing week off. Our last night we slept on the beach in order to watch the sun rise before our early departure back home.
Now I am back in residence with a test in an hour and an essay worth 40% of my grade due on Thursday before I have a few week break before a few more papers. This will give me some time to show around my sister Rebecca around when she gets here in over a week and when my friend Clark comes to visit me during
that week as well. Further trip plans are to head to the Jenolan caves, get my PADI scuba certificate and maybe go diving a few times before school is out. Then my plans go crazy as I do not have a single one...
A highlight of my trip was observing all of the geology along the coast as there are lots of sandstones, siltstones, but more excitingly, volcanics. However, at numerous times I was told to stop nerding it up so I had to enjoy these spectacles on my own.
I hope all of you back home are enjoying the same weather I am now. I hear that your spring is currently as warm as our fall/winter weather so when you think you're having a nice day just remember I missed out on all of the cold and the snow and despite winters presence, am likely basking in the sun =)
There are more photos below