Sydney sky line and Opera House

Opera House

January 11, 2001 (34-days)

How ya goin'? (hip Aussie greeting)

In leaving the Third World, I was blessed with a luxury stop over due to a flight delay mechanical problems.  Royal Brunei put me up in a plush hotel.  I especially enjoyed a blasting hot shower followed by a bath, catching up in my journal by the pool, and grazing on a buffet lunch and dinner, including crab claws and ice cream.  Little did I know this was the start of an addiction, I craved ice cream and salad while traveling in India and Nepal not safe food.  I've had more ice cream in Australia than I've had in year... ah, practically every day!

I started my trip in the north of Australia at Darwin, flew east to Cairns, south to  Sydney and drove through the Blue Mountains and Mt. Buller to Melbourne, then on to the Grampians and Arapiles.

I pumped my drinking water for the first week.  After my days in Nepal, I was paranoid of getting sick.  It took me a while to loosen up. 

Up north at Cape Tribulation, the rainforest meets the reef.  I went for a walk in the rainforest one-day and diving off the Great Barrier Reef the next.  I saw a white tipped reef shark; golden brown turtle with dark blue eyes; lion fish and long-finned bat fish.  Learning to dive is one of the best decisions I've made.  You feel like you are on a different planet when you are under the water.  At the cape, I also went horseback riding and swimming with my horse in the Coral Sea.

The northern part of Australia reminds me of Florida or Hawaii. 

Next, I flew to Sydney, which is a beautiful city, similar to San Francisco.  The people were really decked out, probably due to the x-mas parties and the theater.  The suits made me nervous (i.e., suits = work :~)  I hadn't seen skin in a long time.  The girls wear a lot of summer clothes in the warm weather.  Cell phones are everywhere.  Even people staying at the hostel had them for job hunting.  FYI, in Australia, the person who calls a cell phone pays for the call.  The prefix of the number lets you know you're calling a cell phone.

The Sydney Harbour with the Opera House and Botanical Garden is spectacular.

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