Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The opshop party last Saturday night was really good, it was at this guys house….he’d set up a stage in the lounge and they had a few live bands playing…it was quite unreal! Not that many people bothered to dress up tho...typical, I'm quite glad my nice pink top wasn't so actually just looked quite retro (I still did throw it away after tho!!) The music was great, the first band we heard were called Panda, they played really original music and really funky, everyone was quite happy dancing away! Needless to say, I didn’t get much done on Sunday, mind you I’ve had a stinking cold all weekend, so I needed time to recover!
We’re having the decorators in this week to paint the whole apartment, so last night we were running around tidying everything away and moving the furniture to the middle of the rooms. They arrived early this morning…. hopefully they’ll be finished on Saturday! Mind you will be in New Zealand then, so I won’t care….yaay, only 3 days to go!!
Talking of New Zealand, yesterday I booked mine and Mum's South Island bus passes for January, we've got 2 weeks of travelling around the island which I'm really looking forward to, then I've got a few days in Christchurch after Mum goes home where I'll stay with Mum's aunty. I'm also booking our flights to Melbourne where we'll go for a few days before Christmas, and then I've been frantically looking around for accommodation in Sydney for us for over Christmas, all the prices have obviously been put up for the holidays....nightmare!! So I'm all travelled up at the much to organise!
I finally managed to speak to my brother at the weekend, him and Martina have finally moved into their new place in Slovakia, sounds like it was all really stressful, but hopefully they'll settle in soon. I can't wait to see the pics of their new flat, it sounds lovely. Actually Mum is flying out there tonight....she's a bit of a jetsetter too!
I’m meeting up with Mike and Aaron tomorrow night, Mike works with my Mum, he’s here on holiday at the moment. He’d brought some clothes over for me which he dropped round last night, bless him…. unfortunately I missed him as I wasn’t back from work, but we’ll still catch up tomorrow, I think we’re going to Bondi.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I've been out quite a bit this week, on Wednesday night I met Sue after work for a few drinks...we hadn't seen each other for a while so we had a lot to catch up on. After that we went to meet up with some friends at a graduation dinner in the Spanish Quarter of the city, we were absolutely starving when we got there, but they'd already ordered and it was really late, so we didn't bother getting anything.
Yesterday I went out for lunch with 2 of my work colleagues, the boss had gone out for a run and the manager had a day off, we went to a club and had fish and chips...lovely. It's so funny, the guy I work with is probably mid 40s, he's been working there for 28 years, but he's not a big worker, you can get away with loads when he's there! He was telling me, he's actually accumulated 299 days holiday, I don't know how he does it. They get 28 days holiday a year, but then on top of that they get an extra day off a fortnight....I tell you, I wouldn't mind getting a permanent job there, it's well cushy!
Last night I'd tried to organise a trip to Oktoberfest at the Loewenbraeu bier keller at the Rocks, I say tried...on the website it's advertised that it was on for the next 2 weeks, I was really looking forward to going, but it turned out that it was only on last weekend. It was only Sue and I in the end, but we decided to stay, it was great in there, I'd never been before, it took me back to being in Munich, all the wait staff were wearing lederhosen and dirndls....the place was just the same as the bier kellers in Munich. We had a few beers in there, then a friend of Sue's came to meet us, I didn't stay much longer after this, it was about midnight and I was shattered, so I paid a trip to Mcdonalds (which is unheard of for me, but I was starving) then got the bus back home.
Today we've just been shopping, we're going to an Op Shop party tonight, so we've been out opshopping (charity shops) we've got to wear bad taste clothes unfortunately...I've just bought a pink t-shirt with a big sparkly flower on it...nice!!
Getting excited about next weekend...I'm off to New Zealand on Saturday until Wednesday, I had the opportunity to go to the north island which I jumped at as I won't get the chance to visit there when I go in January (just going to the south island) so it should be great!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

So, what have I been up to?....I'm getting a bit lazy about updating my blog lately, I guess things don't seem as interesting now after all I've done over the past couple of months!
Most importantly, I don't have to look for a place to stay anymore, I've been invited to continue living where I am in Coogee, so I'm really relieved about that and I'm feeling a lot more settled.
The weekend was pretty quiet again, we went down to the Coogee Bay hotel on Saturday night, well, that was actually quite a late night, then Sunday, we went back down there again (it seems to be my new local) and met some friends for a couple of drinks, then went to see Wallace and Grommit at the cinema.
Feeling a bit sick again this week, I can't believe how many sore throats I've had since I've been must be the air-con spreading all those germs around!
Work is going ok, I'm struggling a bit to get my work-head on, it is hard after 2 months off....but I'm getting there!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I can't believe it's Wednesday already...when you're working, the time flies by! Talking of work, I'm getting on ok, it does get a little frustrating at times as I keep having to ask one of my colleagues questions about things, I can't just get on and do my jobs which is annoying, but hopefully that will come in time. The people are really nice, there are only 3 others and 2 of them are real gossips, they just keep coming around and chatting to me....I'm suprised they get any work done. It's a real laid back atmosphere there, and I'm loving the hours, I start early and finish at 4pm, it's really great, it gives me time to get other stuff done. Talking of which I've just come back from the's the first time I've been in about 3 months and I really enjoyed it, it feels good to be doing something a bit strenuous, mind you, I'm shaking a bit now!!
I'm feeling a bit tired today too, Jason and I went down to the Coogee Bay hotel last night for the comedy club evening, it was really good, and a bargain at $8, well worth the money, we were laughing the whole night..... it beats staying in and watching rubbish TV!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

So, finally here's my Ayers Rock blog......

Wednesday 31st Aug
Was up early on Wednesday morning to meet Sue at the airport, I was really tired as I hadn’t had much sleep, but we were both really excited about our trip ahead.
The view from the plane was really amazing, the flight was 3.5 hrs and all we could see for just over 3 hours of that was desert. I knew that Australia was a big country and that the outback was vast, but seeing if for yourself it's quite unbelievable. The desert changed colour constantly, sometimes it’s red, then orange, then white, yellows and browns, but there is nothing else to see apart from desert. When we started the descent to Ayers rock I started getting really impatient to see the rock from the air….as soon as I saw what I thought was Ayers rock I shouted to Sue ‘there it is’ (a bit enthusiastically) then we weren’t sure if it was Ayers rock as it didn’t look like it…anyway I then realised it was Kata Tjuta (the Olgas, another large rock formation) it was a bit embarrassing, cos I think everyone heard me say it! Anyway, shortly after, just before we landed we did get to see Ayers rock from the sky.
We picked up our bags and got the shuttle to our hostel, there is only a population of 1000 at Uluru, so the resort was really small. On first impressions the hostel looked nice, unfortunately the dorms were 20 beds, I didn’t realise how bad this would be until later on in our trip! So we dumped our stuff and headed to the supermarket to pick up some food, then we went to the travel office to book our tours for the next few days. The rest of the afternoon we laid by the pool, it was so nice to just chill out in the warm sunshine….it stayed nice until about 6pm when the sun started disappearing. After that we walked to the Ayers rock lookout point at the hostel to watch the sunset, it was quite far away from the rock, but we got the idea of the rock changing colour, even from there. After dinner we went on a tour to the Ayers rock Observatory, I’ve been meaning to go to the one in Sydney, so I was really looking forward to this. When we arrived, we were all taken to a clearing out the back, the sky was perfectly clear so we were able to see millions of stars, the view of the Milky Way was fantastic too. After explaining to us a bit about the skies and the differences between what stars and planets you can see in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the astrologer pointed out different stars and planets including the Southern Cross with his laser pointer, which was fascinating. Then he pointed out some of the signs of the zodiac (mine wasn’t visible) I have never seen these pointed out before, so this was very interesting. He then showed us a binary star, which are 2 stars that orbit each other, and some clusters through the telescope. I really must go to the observatory in Sydney at some point.

Thursday 1st Sept
Today we were up at 5am for the sunrise tour to Ayers rock (Uluru). We went to make our breakfast and found somebody had taken most of our bread from the kitchen, which we weren’t best pleased about as we’d only just bought it! Anyway, after the tour driver faffed around picking everyone up, we finally got to the viewing point, there were already loads of people there. This was the closest we’d been to the rock so we were quite excited. After a lot of hanging around, the sun eventually came up. It was really great to watch the rock change colour, it was brown when we’d first arrived, then gradually turned bright orange, then to a terracotta colour.

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After seeing this, we’d decided to do the base walk (9.4km around the whole rock). The driver dropped us off on the deserted road and pointed us in the right direction. We weren’t really sure how long it would take us to walk around it, the Lonely Planet said 5 hours, but we were going with the driver who’d said 2.5 hours. Just before we got out of the bus, the driver muttered something to us about being on this side of the rock, but neither of us could make out what he was saying.... until we got out and we realised what he'd said, the wind was really strong and pretty cold which we weren’t expecting. It was really hard work to walk against it and it didn’t really die down until after the first hour or so. It was good to do the walk, I’m glad I did it, but I must admit, I did get a little bored at some points as a lot of it is the same to look at, and there was never an end in sight!
So after about 2 hours (we walked pretty quickly) we got to the main car park which is where the area of rock is that you are allowed to climb. The climb was actually closed at this point because of the strong wind, but we didn’t mind as we weren’t going to do it anyway as we were told the rock is sacred to the Aborigines and they don’t like people climbing it. Looking at how high and steep it was, I don’t think I would want to anyway and there is only a small handrail to help you up. So we waited until 10am, then the ranger came to take us on the Mala guided tour (this was a small part which we hadn’t walked yet) The Mala are a tribe of Aboriginals, we learnt their story on the tour, which was really interesting.
After the tour, we got dropped off at the supermarket, we needed to replace our stolen bread….only to find when we got back to the hostel that someone had taken most of our milk from the annoying!
After another couple of hours sunning ourselves (it was really baking) we went back to the rock for the sunset tour. On the way, we stopped off at the Cultural Centre for a while to learn a bit more about the Aboriginal heritage. The sunset wasn’t really the best that night as it was really cloudy, but we did see the changes to the colour of the rock…it was still good to watch, very gradual though, it was very similar to the sunrise colours, except it turned a really bright yellow at one point….considering it started off brown, it was quite something. When we got back to the hostel we were shattered, we had dinner (surprisingly there was some food left!), then to bed about 9pm.

Friday 2nd Sept

Another early start today....remind me never to stay in a dorm room with 20 beds…..I got woken up countless times, the girl next door to me was snoring so loudly it was unbelievable, then everyone got up to do their tours at about 5am, so that woke us up. After we got up, I went to the kitchen to make breakfast, wondering if we’d have any food left, this time they’d taken our pasta….I couldn’t believe it, this was the last straw, I know it’s only food, but it’s the principal….I’ve stayed in about 17 hostels over those 5 weeks I was away, and I never had anything taken…..we were both really annoyed….that was our dinner gone! Sorry, went off on a tangent then!
We were supposed to be picked up at 6.30am for our tour to the Olgas and we waited and waited but noone turned up, so 20 mins later, we went to the receptionist (after complaining to her about our stolen food!) and asked her to phone the company up for us, after us arguing that we were there on time and them saying we weren’t, they said they would come back and pick us up at 8.30, so we went back to bed again! The bus driver was very apologetic when he picked us up, they must have realised that they had left too early before, he gave us a load of postcards as an apology. On the bus drive there I spotted a camel in the wild, at first I thought I was seeing things, I didn’t expect to see a camel in Australia, then I thought maybe it had escaped from one of the camel tours….but apparently there are loads of wild camels in Australia, even more than in the Middle East!

After stopping briefly at the lookout...(below)
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....we arrived at the Olgas at 9am for our first walk, the Olga Gorge walk. This one was only an hours walk and was very enjoyable, when you get to the end of the gorge and you look back, you see the amazing view of the desert. After this we were taken to the next walk, the Valley of the Winds, this was the hard walk I was dreading a bit. I must say it was far more spectacular than the Ayers rock base walk, it was really hard work, (the sign we read before listed the walk as difficult) and it was about 30 degrees, so the heat didn’t help. But we both really enjoyed it. We went off the track at one point, we were busy yakking away and not concentrating, we started getting ripped to shreds walking through dried up bushes and trees before we realised we weren't on the track anymore, luckily we hadn’t gone too far out of the way!! The views we saw were amazing, the Olgas consists of 36 large domes of rocks, it’s 546km high and has a circumference of 36km, the walk we did was 8km long, most of it uphill! We saw quite a bit of wildlife on the way too, it really was amazing to do this walk.

The Olgas
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On the way back to the car park we were both shattered, our hands and our fingers had really swollen up too, I think that was the heat, very strange! We went back to the supermarket… replace our stolen dinner, then we got showered, then it was pickup time for another sunset at the rock. The sunset was a lot better than the previous day, there were less clouds, I’m glad we went back and did it again.
Sunset at the rock
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Sue and I
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When we got back from that we had dinner, then a couple of drinks at the bar listening to some dodgy Australian singer singing Rolf Harris songs, then it was another early night….we were knackered!

Saturday 3rd Sept

After another really bad sleep ....there were a group of Asian girls who kept coming in and out of the dorm all through the night, they must have woken me up about 10 times…at one point I looked up and they were wrapping up a present…it must have been about 2am…nightmare!! So I was a bit grumpy after that through lack of sleep! We got up pretty early anyway to check out of the hostel, we had a couple of hours to spare so we had a bit of a sunbathe, it was really hot again, then it was time to go the airport for our flight back.
I had a really good time at Ayers rock, we saw lots, walked loads, and learnt heaps about the Aboriginals, I was a bit disappointed with the hostel, but the rest of the trip was a great experience.

Ariel view of Ayers rock
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Monday, September 12, 2005

Had a pretty quiet weekend, well apart from Friday night.... I finally caught up with Dave!! We met up straight from work and had a couple of drinks, then we thought it would be sensible to get something to eat before we drank anymore, so Dave bought us some dinner. We went to a Chinese restaurant, I ordered some noodles, Dave tried to teach me how to use chopsticks properly, he even tied an elastic band around the top to help (that's how he taught his kids!) but I was so hungry I didn't have enough patience, so I just ate with a fork in the end!
After that we ended up going in a few different bars, we had a really good laugh, it was great to catch up with him again, and we met lots of people on the way too, it was very amusing. I didn't end up getting home until about 4am, I know, that's a whole lot of drinking, so Saturday I wasn't feeling too sparky! It was quite funny in the morning....Lily knocked on my door and brought me in pancakes for breakfast which was really sweet....she then commented on how the room smelt of alcohol and opened all the was just like being being back at home with Mum ;o)

We both cleaned the lounge and the kitchen which took my mind off how bad I felt, then I watched a dvd, then took a walk to the shops to buy a paper to see what flats were available. Only trouble was, I left it so late that when I phoned, most of the places had already gone, well there was one still available which I'm going to see tonight so fingers crossed!
Saturday night I just stayed in and watched some TV, then Sunday I cleaned and tidied the bedroom, did loads of washing and then sat on the beach for an hour to get some fresh was really can tell that summer is coming!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

It's been a while since I last logged on, things have been so busy, I don't know whether I'm coming or going!! Ayers rock was fab, I'm working on the blog entry at the moment (it's a bit long) so hopefully I'll post that in the next day or 2. Apart from that, I've been busy searching for somewhere to live, I haven't had much luck really, I've seen quite a few places, but most of them seem to be unfurnished...the others are just not good. I'm trying to get in touch with my last landlord to see if he has any room there, but he's away at the moment, so I'll have to see what happens. I found myself a job, only after getting a bit stressed cos I had no work and no home (hear those violins playing!) so I started today. I'm working for Sydney Water, yes another government job, which means that again there is nobody my age working there :-( it's in the city, so the location is great, and the hours and money are ok, so I shouldn't complain. Today was really boring though, it consisted of counting licences for computers (I'm working in the IT Dept) and then filing hardware order forms (I think I'm dyslexic when it comes to numbers with more than 6 starts getting a bit confusing!) That was about it for today, hopefully it will get a bit more interesting...I'm supposed to be there until the end of October. Keep your fingers crossed for me house hunting!