Saturday, 27 February 2010

Centennial Park

So it's the weekend, which means I don't have to get up early to go to "work", YAY! So instead, I had a lie in, monged about a bit, and then went back to Centennial Park (this time without the walk from Coogee t0 Bondi like before!). The weather was great; clear skies and nice temperatures (27C). As would be expected, I got a bit carried away with taking pictures, again mostly of the wildlife I saw. It's crazy how there is such biodiversity in a place so close to Sydney CBD, but I love it there, and I love it even more that it's only half an hour walk away.

So here are some pics:

Some kind of water bird

Black Swan

A big spider

A turtle - I actually saw many more of these later on

Two pidgeons that loved me

Another bird that loved me


Who knows what I will do tomorrow...I did plan on going to the Blue Mountains National Park but thunderstorms are forecasted so think I will give that one a miss for now.


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Not much to say

Well as the title of this post suggests, I don't have much to say.

I haven't been up to much for the past few days other than starting my PhD. I am now three days in and haven't really done much. I have basically just been reading, and then reading some more but this is what it will be like for next few weeks, if not months. I am supposed to be gaining some background knowledge about my chosen topic, learning why it is important, check that it hasn't been done before etc. Yesterday, the new PhD students (there are 5 of us) had an informal chat with the guy responsible for postgraduates. After this, we got to meet all of the other PhD students over biscuits - apparently this is a regular fortnightly thing, giving us an opportunity to share our newly acquired discoveries with the rest of the team. Then, we went to the pub! I think there are about 15+ PhD students in total maybe, could be more. Apparently things have been quite quiet, but hopefully now there are 5 new arrivals, things will liven up and there will be more social activities. Everyone seems really nice there and I think I will get on well with them all - especially as I will undoubtedly need their help when it comes to modelling.

Other than read I have done nothing...except itch! These bloody bugs are driving me crazy! Last count I had 40 bites - not impressed! I just hope to God they will soon die off for winter; I think there is a fat chance of that happening.

Love to you all x

Sunday, 21 February 2010


Hi guys,

Just spent my second weekend in Australia and unlike last weekend, the weather has been great. Temps were about 28C yesterday, 30C today - pretty much clear skies and some light wind...lovely!

Yesterday I went back to Coogee, spent a few hours on the beach sunbathing. I am suffering for it today though; despite putting on lots of suncream I managed to get a little bit sun burnt - definitely need to invest in some factor 30 I think. I also witnessed a theft, well kind of; basically two girls were sunbathing next to me but kept on coming back and forth - they had been gone for about half an hour (having left their bag) when three more girls came along saying that the bag the other girls had left behind, was hers and that the purse and all other valuables were stolen - UH OH! This has taught me to take my belongings close at hand whilst on the beach! After walking home in my flip-flops (thongs) I also got a blister, not good.

Today I went to Manly with the Canadian guy, Adam. You have take a ferry from Circular Quay (the opera house) and the ride takes about 30 minutes. You get some lovely views of the city though so it was worth the £1.50 it costs. Below are some pictures from the ferry journey.

So we arrived at Manly, had some lunch, and basically wandered around for a while. There is supposed to be an amazing walk from Manly to the Spit, but this takes about 4 hours apparently and we weren't feeling it. So we checked out Manly and Shelly beach, did a little bit of shopping, and that was about it. As it was Sunday, the beach was absolutely rammed - I think a trip during the week would be much better so I shall return someday soon I am sure.

The very busy Manly Beach

Shelly Beach

Also had another housemate move in the other day - she is from India. Just one left now!

Start my PhD properly tomorrow - shall keep you all updated as to how it goes. Wish me luck...


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Exploring Downtown

So after my massive walk yesterday, I decided to do some more walking today (although not half as much!)! I didn't ache too much, the weather was pretty good, so I was raring to go. Instead of heading to the beach, I headed downtown, towards Circular Quay - the home of the Sydney Opera House, and Harbour Bridge. I know I saw these briefly before but I wanted to wander around more.

After this, I went and explored the Botanical Gardens, just east of the harbour bridge, to get some nice views of the opera house and bridge together - the classic Sydney photo. The Gardens were really nice - I have to say, it's nice to have so much "green" around. So here are some of the shots

By this point, it started to get cloudier and my legs and feet started to ache. I originally planned walking west towards Darling Harbour, the home of Sydney's Aquarium. However, due to the aforementioned reasons, I changed my plan. After finishing up at the Botanical Gardens, I walked down towards Hyde Park (the have such original names here - along with Oxford Street etc etc), another parkland, pretty much slap bang in the middle of the city. Whilst there, I saw this crazy bird man (See picture) - he had, what seemed like, hundreds of birds on him, literally climbing all over his face. It wouldn't be so bad if it were just the pigeons, but it was also the pretty big Ida's! CRASY! There was a good crowd of people around him, amazed at why he would do such a thing - probably just some hobo!

From here I walked down to George Street, the main street running through the city centre. I wandered around a little bit, had a look at what shops there were etc. By this point my fee really started to ache so I decided to call it quits - I walked back to Circular Quay, hopped on a bus and came home. Since then, I have discovered blisters on my feet and a nice patch of red on my neck. A good trip I feel. Tomorrow I think I will take it easy.

Over and out x

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Coogee to Bondi to Centennial Park to home

Hey guys,

Well today I went for a long walk; google maps tells me it was over 20km! As the weather was pretty good (sunny with some cloud)and temperatures were only 26C, I thought it would be the perfect day to go and explore the beaches.

My expedition started out with a 30 minute walk to the local beach, Coogee - it's pretty small but is really nice and being so close, I can't complain. From here, I walked north on the coastal walk, all the way to Bondi Beach (which I am sure you have all heard of), zig-zagging in between other coves and beaches. The walk was lovely, and not too laborious - just gentle hills, but quite a few steps up and down. Got some fantastic views though and got to experience Bondi, which everybody says is a must-do when in Sydney. Bondi was pretty nice, very very busy though, especially in comparison to Coogee. I hate to think about what it's like on public holidays. There were lots of people surfing day I will give that a go! The following are some pictures from the walk from Coogee to Bondi.

This is a lizard - it scared the shit out of me!! It was sitting in the middle of the path as I walked around the corner - I'm not going to lie, I may have screamed a little bit.

Some rocky outcrop bit near Coogee

Coogee Beach - my local beach - 30 minutes away

On the coastal walk, right near Bondi!

Me in the ocean at Bondi beach!

The waves at Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

From Bondi, I walked west towards Centennial Park - As the name implies, this is a park. It is absolutely massive though, and has lakes and ponds and lots of birds around. There were lots of people doing exercise (jogging, cycling, horse riding, skating) so I guess this is a local exercise hot spot. The park was really really nice though, and I'm sure I will go back to explore more here (at the time I was very tired and hot so didn't explore too much). The following pictures are just a few from the Park - I got a bit carried away with the birds...

Greater Sulphur Cockatoo

Another Greater Sulphur Cockatoo

Some other Cockatoo

A lake at Centennial Park

Another lack at Centennial Park - complete with Swans (?) and Sacred Ibis

The trip took me over 5 hours in total but it was definitely worth it - I ache a little bit now but hopefully that will subside during the night. Saying that, I bet I won't be able to move tomorrow! Hopefully being outside for so long also helped my tan...

Love to you all xx

Monday, 15 February 2010

Around Campus

Here are a few pics from around campus, just to give you an idea of what it looks like...