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Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Sydney

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Throughout my time in Australia I made a total of three short stops in Sydney where I stayed with Tristan and Adrienne. Tristo and Adro (as I colloquially call them) are great friends, and I consider myself very lucky to have met them. I became friends with Adrienne from my study abroad in Newcastle, and once she started dating Tristan, I somehow convinced him to befriend me as well. After a couple of beers in Newcastle and two years later I had the privilege of being one of Tristan’s groomsmen in his and Adrienne’s wedding. (This is the wedding where I met Don from Perth.) They got married in Adrienne’s homestate of North Carolina and before you could say “baby wombat,” they were on a plane back to Australia to start a life together down under. After my visits, I’m happy to report that they’re doing great.

In addition to visiting Tristan and Adrienne in Sydney, I visited Joe and Annette, who Jimmy and I met scuba diving in Fiji off Taveuni about three months earlier. It was nice to catch-up and reminisce about the Great White Wall.

Unfortunately I missed Adrienne’s birthday during our time studying abroad four years ago (I was in the Outback), so it was a top priority of mine to be in Sydney to help celebrate this time around. It was quite the pub golf pub crawl!

Alas, the day after Adrienne’s birthday celebration it was time for me to leave Australia and continue my South Pacific adventure. Next stop, Apia, Samoa. And with that, consider this South Pacific trip a success (and blogged)!

Sydney and the Opera House."Quality teachers here we are!"  It's Adrienne!The Harbour Bridge from the ferry on the way to Balmain.Tristan, Thai, and Redback.Visiting Annette and Joe at their home near Bondi Beach.Adrienne and Tristan.  "Good on ya, mates!"

Australian Road Trip

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

After Perth I flew back to Sydney to meet my dad and brother for an Australian road trip. (This was their first time in Australia, so what better way to see it than by driving?) We rented one of the garishly decorated Wicked campervans and started our trip in Sydney before we continued onto Canberra (Australia’s capital), Melbourne, and the Great Ocean Road. Hanging out with Clare in Melbourne, a new friend from Fiji about three months earlier, was the highlight of this part of the trip!

We then turned north to visit the Grampians National Park before we entered the Outback on the way to Broken Hill. My dad and brother saw their first wild kangaroo in the Grampians, and little did we know at the time that we would be seeing/dodging many, many more of them in the Outback.

From the “remote” town of Broken Hill, we turned back east to Newcastle via Dubbo and the wineries of the Hunter Valley. Here I introduced my dad and brother to my Newcastle friends, and at this point especially it was quite surreal to be with family so far from home!

Finally, after about 3000 km of driving, we returned to Sydney where I said goodbye to my dad and brother until my return home in August. The road trip complete, it was time to help a good friend celebrate her birthday…

Our Wicked campervan: Bless This Mess.The International Flag Display near Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.The Great Ocean Road.The London Bridge rock formation off the Great Ocean Road after the collapse of the "London Bridge."  Next stop over the horizon: Antarctica.The Outback.And yes, there were kangaroos everywhere.The wine fields of the Hunter Valley near Newcastle.

Perth

Friday, September 19th, 2008

I met Don at a wedding in North Carolina a couple of years ago, and now he’s living in Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Visiting Don was a given since I was primarily in Australia to visit friends, plus I’ve always wanted to see the mystery behind one of the world’s most isolated cities.

I spent a week in and around Perth hanging out with Don and his friends. We were lucky to have unseasonably warm and sunny weather while I was there in early June, and when you put everything together, it felt like 1985 in suburban Los Angeles. Don showed me the sights, and when Saturday night rolled around, we joined the thousands of Perthites in the bars and clubs. My drink of choice? Redback.

Perth's skyline.Bar hopping in Northbridge.Don and the Indian Ocean.The Harbour next to the Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle.

Newcastle

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Now that I’ve finished blogging about the Cooks, it’s time to wrap-up the story of my South Pacific trip with a few posts on Australia. The story left off with Scone, after which Tristan, Chris, Brent, and I headed back to Newcastle. Here I spent a week reminiscing with old friends and revisiting the old haunts, which was one of the main reasons for my trip to the South Pacific. After spending almost two months on the road at this point of my trip, it was great to be “home,” or at least back in a place I called home for half a year.

Tristan dressed for success at his house in Hamilton.A park near Queens Wharf.Avinash and Chris at Customs House Hotel.The Bogey Hole - the oldest ocean bath in New South Wales (built circa 1820).Central Campus: The University of Newcastle.

Scone

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

Following a quick transition from Cairns to Sydney to Newcastle, Tristan, Chris, Brent, and I drove to Scone for the 61st annual Scone Cup. Fair dinkum, the Scone Cup is a true blue Australian horse racing experience… I first attended the Scone Cup four years ago during my study abroad in Newcastle, and ever since I’ve always envisioned returning. Four years later, I was back, and another literally perfect day ensued.

A crystal clear sky, no wind, and perfect temperatures set the stage for the Scone Cup.

Chris and Brent.

Chris and Tristan.

Go Liberty Rose!!!

Sunset over the race club.