Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Fire Alarms!

This is going to be a bit of rant blog! I am so fed up with the stupid fire alarms where I am living. It seems a day doesn't go by without it going off. This is no normal fire alarm with a few bells ringing either, it's a mans voice booming out "danger, danger, evacuate, evacuate!!!"...or something very similar anyway and it is so so loud!!! I wouldn't mind if these were at normal hours of the day, but they are not. Last night it was 1.30am, a few weeks ago it was at 4am! I mean for God's sake! It doesn't help that I was already knackered after my housemate rudely had "some people round" (complete with decks) on Sunday night which prevented me from sleeping until 1am! I swear Australia just doesn't want me to sleep!

Well that is my rant over...for now.

I didn't really get up to much this weekend. Went into the city with my housemate who wanted to get a tattoo for her birthday. This required a 10 minute walk (max) and she was whinging all the way about how far it was and how hard a walk (it was basically flat!). Unsurprisingly she also chickened out in the shop (I was expecting this). After spending time listening to her whinge though, I understand how annoying it is when I do it so from now on, I will do my best to stop (the above paragraph was a rant, not a whinge!). After this, I went and did a little bit of shopping.

On Sunday the weather was beautiful so it was beach time! Just monged, listened to my music. Twas lovely to relax in the sun and top up the tan.

Today I booked my flights from Brisbane to Sydney for when I go travelling up the east coast. Four weeks today my friends arrive in Sydney, and four weeks four days until we depart! I CANNOT WAIT!

Unfortunately no pictures for you lovely people this time. Maybe next weekend as I plan to go to Royal National Park for a day trip.
Peace out.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

The Blue Mountains!

Hi guys,
I tried to post this yesterday but my internet was being shite. So sorry for the small delay!

As I am little less tired now, I thought I would update you on my weekend travels. Well as the name implies I went to the Blue Mountains, a national park located ~2 hours west of Sydney. I got up early on Saturday morning (6.30am! How ridic is that!) to make our (I went with Alejandro, an MSc student from Chile) way to Katoomba, the main tourist town in Katoomba (like the Windermere of the Blue Mountains). So we eventually got to Katoomba after what seemed like forever; I swear getting up early is never a good thing. We dropped our stuff off at the hostel (yes, I stayed in a hostel!) and went exploring.

My goodness, I don't think I have ever been as knackered as I was that first day. We went hiking, then hiking some more, and then even more hiking! Our walking totalled about 7 hours and this isn't flat terrain either. One of the most tiring aspects was something called the Giant Stairway which goes up the side of the Three Sisters (the main attraction). The Giant Stairway consists of 900 near vertical steps!! Seriously, it was crazy, my legs were like jelly after about 2 minutes.

I awoke on Sunday morning, bright and early obviously! Surprisingly I didn't ache as much as I expected. This didn't last long though. We were soon up and about, doing yet more hiking. Luckily the morning was slightly more relaxing than the previous day; we took a cable car across the valley, the steepest funicular railway down, and then another cable car up. This relaxing start to the day didn't last long. The main part of the walk started with a walk down the Giant Stairway - although much better than going up, it is still incredibly tiring. We then proceeded to walk for about 5 hours more, ending up at Leura, the town located next to Katoomba. Instead of boring you anymore with the details of the walk, I will just show you some pictures. As my previous post said, there were over 300 of them!

All in all, I had an amazing, yet very tiring, trip to the Blue Mountains. I would definitely recommend to anyone who visits Australia, it is simply a beautiful place!

Oh just before the pictures...I was so tired yesterday due to three things:
1. All the walking from the weekend
2. My housemate coming home at 5.30 am and playing music until 7am - during which time I couldn't sleep
3. The fire alarm going off at 9am!

Aboriginal art!

A Waterfall

Big Rocks

An Aboriginal playing the didgeridoo


The view - the 3 sisters are on the top left

Going down the Fenicular Railway - very scary!

The biggest spider I have ever seen in my life! It was about as big as my hand...

The Three Sisters

Up close and personal with the 3rd sister (I think...!)

The start of the Giant Stairway that takes you to the picture above

Monday, 22 March 2010

so so tired...

Hey guys,

So I'm back from my trip to the Blue Mountains. I survived...just about! I'm too tired to write a full-on blog so I will do this tomorrow instead. This also gives me time to sort through my 300 pictures (WHOOPS!) and select the best ones to show you.

Check back very shortly!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Taronga Zoo

First of all I would like to wish my mum a very happy birthday! I'm sorry I can't be there to celebrate with you and I am gutted that I am missing out on a lovely meal, but we shall celebrate when I am back in June! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

OK, well after my long walk on Saturday and after eventually drying out, I awoke early on Sunday to talk to my dear friends about our plans for their trip. Then, I got into my head that I wanted to go to the zoo, so off to the zoo I went (after rounding up my Chinese housemate and his girlfriend, Cherry). So off we went; we caught a bus, and then took a ferry to the zoo (it's in northern Sydney). After about an hour travelling, we arrived at TARONGA ZOO (this is one of the few things I can say in an Aussie accent!).

We saw lots and lots and lots of animals, including: lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!), kangaroos, koalas, wallaby's, seals (not sea lions), platypus, ekidna, elephants, lots of lizards and snakes....etc etc. I have to say, and although it pains me to say it, I actually prefer Woburn. As the name suggests, Taronga is a zoo and I think I just feel better about the animals having more freedom in a Safari Park. That being said, it was still ace, and the food service was much more efficient, haha (although more expensive!). Highlight of the trip: I saw two otters having sex! It seems every time I go to a zoo/safari park, I am witness to some sort of animal sex: first the giraffes at Woburn, and now this! All in all, an enjoyable day and it was nice to get out of apartment and do something. Next week me and Lin (the Chinese guy), might go to the blue mountains. Here's hoping; I need to geek out with my geography.

Here are some pictures from the zoo. Enjoy!

Obviously I took a lot more photos but I don't think you really want to see every animal I saw! Snakkes

Saturday, 13 March 2010

It's been a while...

Hey guys,

I know it's been a long time since my last blog but my life hasn't been particularly exciting so I didn't see the point in boring you all. I have been busy at uni, learning software, doing lots of reading...it's all very exciting. This week I did get my hair cut though (Kerry you will no doubt be doing it when you come over) and I booked my flights to Norway to attend the International Polar Year Oslo Science conference...I was accepted to do an oral presentation for this so will be presenting my work in front of hundreds of polar scientists, GREAT! As I have to fly through heathrow to get back to Sydney I will be coming home for a week or so as well...a free trip so I can't complain at all.

Well as the weather today wasn't too bad (when I left anyway), I decided to go for a walk, this time doing the beach walk from Coogee to Maroubra (the other way to my previous walk to Bondi). About half way through the walk I got a bit lost and ended up walking along the bottom of the 'cliff face' for about 30 minutes. This would have been fine but because it was pretty windy and I think high tide, I had to be careful not to get knocked over by the waves, and also avoid getting drenched. This worked pretty well until I stepped in a big puddle and my left show got drenched...it sooned dried out though. I did get to see some crabs and it was quite exciting so it was totally worth it. Overall the walk was pretty good (I think I preferred walking to Bondi), the beach at Maroubra was really nice though (I think perhaps nicer than Bondi) but this may have just been because it had gotten cloudier at this point and the beach was pretty empty.

After the two hour-ish walk to Maroubra, I decided to walk to Eastgardens shopping centre to pick up an ariel cable for my new (second hand) tv. This was about another 30 minutes from the beach so not too far. After leaving eastgardens, I decided to go home. My feet were starting to ache and I could feel some blisters coming on but I thought I would be heathly and do the 40 minute walk home. The weather had also started to turn; dark grey clouds were looming in the distance so I thought I should get a move on. However, me being stupid, I went the wrong way (I just followed the route the bus usually takes) and ended up going the long way home, over an hour instead of the 40 minutes. The heavens also decided to open at this point so I ended up walking home in the pissing rain, YAY! So in total, over 15km of walking and typically, as soon as I got home, the sun came out again!!! But that was the end of my adventures for the day.

Oh, Grandad, I did see an Aldi on my travels and it made me think of you.

Well I think that is everything you need to get caught up on my life. I will try and be more exciting so I have something to blog about more regularly. Here are some pictures from my walk today. Much love x

Maroubra Beach

The Pacific