Nadine and I
This was taken on our last day together. We did the hour and a half walk from Coogee Beach to Bondi Beach that day.
So I did it, I actually left Sydney! It was sad saying good-bye to the city and to my best mate Nadine, but we vowed to see each other again. I’ll definitely cherish the friendship and hope to see her again some time soon.
I did the Harbor Bridgeclimb….sort of. We started going across the bridge and then up loads of ladders which was a little scary. With my knees knocking together, I was able to muster step after step up to the first arch where the climb got easier (wider area and solid flooring). My group got up about ½ way on the first arch and we got called back down due to a lightning storm to the west of us that was headed our way. We waited for a while but unfortunately the climb was cancelled. I did get my money refunded and I was able to see the sunset from the bridge and a lightning show, plus half a climb so I can’t really complain. An American couple that was on the climb and myself decided to go to the Ice Bar called Minus 5. The Ice Bar was like a little taste of home for me.
Nadine kisses my Red Ass good-bye
The whole bar is made out of ice and it was -11 when we were in there. The bar is completely made of ice - the glasses, chairs, tables, sculptures everything. It was really cool…or rather chilly! They say we could only stay in for a half hour, but I think we were in there for 45 minutes. I was quite enjoying the crisp air, a nice break from the heat. Most people from home wish they had the heat that we have been having in Australia, but let me tell it doesn’t take long before you want to stick your head in a bucket of liquid nitrogen. I sure miss the cold some days or rather a seasonal change.
The next day I packed my things and headed off to get my wheels from a suburb of Sydney called Granville. A girl from my room Ylena (Italian) and Fae (American) joined me on my journey to Melbourne. First stop was the Blue Mountains west of Sydney about an hour and a half.
The Blue Mountains were a little disappointing at first as late in 2006 they had fires sweep through part of the region. We saw a
lot of red and burnt trees. Once we got further into the mountains (more like bumps to Canadian standards) we saw the beautifulness of the area, green and lush. The Blue Mountains actually have a blue haze over them because of the sun’s rays hitting droplets of moisture and dust in the air. This effect is then magnified by the droplets of oil produced by the extensive eucalypt forest here. I was hoping that upon arrival it would have smelt like I dove into a lake of Vicks Vapour Rub, but at times you could only catch a faint smell of the eucalyptus. The next couple of days we ventured into Jenolan Caves (massive limestone caves), did some short hikes and enjoyed the scenery.
Next stop was Royal National Park, just south of Sydney. We stayed one night there in a campground. Seems like it was the only campground in the park and it was expensive, at least I thought. $35 a night for a tent, car and three people. You didn’t have a pit for a fire or a picnic table to eat and I ended up sleeping in the car because Fae’s tent only was a 2
And we are off!
Fae (American), myself and Ylena (Italian)
And of course my wheels - Geile Naddel - named after my best mate Nadine
person tent. That is the last time and only time I plan on sleeping in the car, not comfy at all. The next day I did a small hike along the coast line by myself. At first I wasn’t sure if I should go as I wouldn’t go hiking in the Mountains back home by myself, but I figure if a snake was going to bite me I would be dead no matter if someone was with me or not. The views were so beautiful and I only saw one small lizard along the way.
The next destination was to Fae’s friends house in Stanwell Park and then onto a place along the coast called Huskisson where we camped for the night. This time I got to sleep in a tent, but with 4 other girls, a little squishy but way better then sleeping in the car. The campsite was $50 a night, you had no shelter from the sun, no picnic table, no fire pit and you were in the middle of a trailer court. (I will never complain about camping costs in Canada again!) Camping sure is different here in Australia, I guess I am spoiled with
Taken at the Blue Mountains.
the Mountains and forests back home.
Ylena and I left Fae there so she could hang with her friends longer and the two of us headed onto Canberra. We sure could tell we were heading inland, we went from almost tropical conditions to almost desert like. Canberra is really quiet for the Nation’s Capital. The roads were empty even when it was rush hour, everything was closed by 5:30 at night and there was no one around. It was almost like a ghost town. There isn’t much to see in Canberra, except learn about the Parliament system and visit the Parliament buildings. You can spend one day there and cover everything and move on.
That night I had decided to go to the Snowy Mountains. Any skiing to be done in Australia is in the Snowy Mountains. There was also a Wwoofing host that had a horse ranch and riding centre there that I wanted to get on with. Unfortunately, the day I was going to go they were evacuating the area due to the bush fires so no one was allowed in. Do you remember the movie The Man from Snowy River? The story came out of
Because of th drought this isn't much of a waterfall at the moment. (Blue Mountains)
the area and was filmed there. Back to my original plan of going to Melbourne and Tasmania, signs are pointing me in that direction.
I was staying with my Grandma’s Cousin, Bill and his wife Gizzy in Melbourne or rather Ringwood (suburb). I wasn’t thinking that it would be hard to find accommodation when I got here. The Tennis Open is being held in Melbourne at the moment so all the backpackers are full and will remain this way till the Tennis is over. Thankfully Bill and Gizzy allowed me to stay with them. It was so nice to sleep in a big comfy bed and have some delicious home cooked meals. I feel very refreshed and ready to giver again!
Today I am on my way to Tasmania via ferry. The ferry is an over night voyage about 11 hours from Melbourne to Devonport (Tasmania). I won’t be able to see much for long so hopefully on my journey back I can catch a day ferry, but I guess all you would really see is sea. I will be taking my car over so that I can get around Tassie easier. The ferry is not cheap either,
if I didn’t have the car I would have definitely looked into getting a flight over.
I have lined up a couple of families to do Wwoofing with there. I am staying with a family in Preston for the first week and then I move to another host family in Western Creek, not sure how long I will stay with them, all depends how well we fit together. I am looking forward to settling in somewhere for a while and getting into a bit of a routine. I potentially already have a place to stay when I come back from Tassie too.
I really enjoy having my own set of wheels. Driving on the left side of the road is not that big of deal either. It took a little bit to get used to it, but now I feel very comfortable and can giver everywhere. It’s great driving a little car compared to my Jimmy, I feel like I am in a zippy sports car.
I am not sure how accessible internet will be for me so I may not post in my blog for a while but will try to update it when I can.
Bill and Gizzy
So grateful to them for letting me crash at their place. Mom you will have to make them a sweet pie when they come to visit in March!
Take care everyone!
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