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Goodbye to Oz

Friday, August 26th, 2005

My last day in Australia is almost over. The end of my trip has been fantastic.

Yesterday I went mountain biking in another rainforest. Not only are cars on the wrong side of the road here, but the brakes on bikes are backwards as well! Before we really got going they made me practice stopping so I wouldn’t accidently hit the front brake and go soaring over the handlebars. I managed to stay on my bike, but was assured by the presence of two med students who were biking with me. On our way to the rainforest we stopped at this crystal healing place for tea. Byron Bay, where I’ve been spending my last few days, is a hippie haven. So there are lots of aura picture places, crystal healers, and tarot readings. It’s actually a very cute town because it is not commercialized (think the exact opposite of Seaside on the Jersey Shore and that’s Byron Bay), but there are some real spacey people here. I think I have signed about 20 petitions in two days. The lady in charge on the crystal tea place was wearing a wizards cloak. She looked like Madame Trawley from Harry Potter. She made me walk through a labrinyth for my spirit. Riiight. After just walking around and eating for the past few weeks, biking up the hills was quite hard. But the views from the summits were worth all the effort and speeding down hill over little logs was a total thrill. I rode the brake the first time, but then we just went flying. It was grand.

Today I went sea kayaking, where we saw a bunch of dolphins surfing the waves. It was wild because we got to surf our kayaks in the waves with the dolphins. The rest of the day was spent lounging on the beach, watching all the surfers. The currents are really strong, so I decided to stay out of the water and avoid my Costa Rica buggie boarding experience that ended up with me being towed back to shore.

I’ve also visited a lot of Paul Hogan landmarks (Crocodile Dundee). I saw his house yesterday and ate at his restaurant today. No sign of him, unfortunately. I was hoping he would have a big machete-style knife on him. But alas, no such luck.

Now I just need to pack my bags and make my way up to Brisbane for my flight. I don’t get there until early morning, so I’m just going to hang at the airport until my 7:00 am flight. Fun fun. See you all soon!

Gold Coast

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

After a day in the rainforest, I am now south of Brisbane in Byron Bay, a little beach town on the Gold Coast.

The Daintree Rainforest, aka the World Heritage Rainforest, was incredible. Everything is green, but in at least 20 different shades. It reminds me of 9th grade art class when you have to paint something using only one color and black and white. While crossing the river to get to the rainforest we spotted 5 crocodiles! One was a little hatchling, who looked so cute. But seeing as some dude was killed a few days ago by a croc, it was a bit scary. The nice person next to me kindly reminded me to not dangle my hands over the side. This rainforest is the oldest in the world and is extra special because it meets up with the reef. The entire drive is along the ocean with its turquoise blue waters. I spent some time swimming at Cape Tribulation before taking a little hike through the forest. The water is so fresh that you can drink right from the stream. So I did. It’s about 24 hours later and I don’t have dysentary or anything, so that’s cool. The water was definitely better than the Brita.

I waited the requisite 24 hours after diving to fly down to Brisbane. From there I took a bus to Byron Bay. It’s an old hippie town with tons of surfing and kayaking. I’m going kayaking tomorrow and hopefully will see dolphins along the way. Other than that, I’m planning on hanging at the beach and maybe doing a mountain biking trip in the rainforest.

Tonight there is a didgeridoo concert across the way, so I figure I’ll check that out.

Finding Nemo

Monday, August 22nd, 2005
After 3 days sailing on the Atlantic Clipper on the Great Barrier Reef, I'm hooked on scuba diving. The past few days have been all about seeing incredible animals in the water and concqering fears. On the way ... [Continue reading this entry]

Deep Breaths

Thursday, August 18th, 2005
After a few all nighters, I'm in Cairns and resting up for my diving adventures. Before leaving Sydney, I snagged some standing room opera tickets for Don Giovanni. It was fabulous, especially when Don Giovianni ... [Continue reading this entry]

Wallabies, kiwis, kangaroos–oh my!

Monday, August 15th, 2005
The rugby game was awesome! It was down at Olympic Park and the entire arena and outside areas were teeming with people all geared up to see the match. I met up with a group of kiwis before ... [Continue reading this entry]


Saturday, August 13th, 2005
I think I've figured out the picture thing, so here goes. This one is of Jo and I--as you can all see, she is doing very well and sends her love to everyone. Jo and I[Continue reading this entry]


Thursday, August 11th, 2005
For those of you with sketchy geography, it's winter in southern Australia. But winter here is like winter in California--a long-sleeve shirt and light jacket is normally fine. But not this week. In something like the first ... [Continue reading this entry]

I made it

Sunday, August 7th, 2005
Mom, Dad, everyone -- I made it. Jo greeted me bright-eyed and bushy tailed at the airport at 5:20 in the morning. The flight wasn't bad at all. I slept for about 9 hours (I actually wore ... [Continue reading this entry]

Getting Ready

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005
Welcome to my Bar trip blog! Since my student life has officially ended for the time being, I decided to head down to Australia to make my last summer vacation really worth it. Besides getting to see a ... [Continue reading this entry]