Location: Melbourne, Australia
My last day in Melbourne I went around to a ton of breweries with my dad. It was a great way to get out around the city and enjoy one of my favorite things about Australia... the beer. It was hard to say good bye to everyone but it was with the hope that I would see them again. (and I already have seen a few of them in NYC and Chicago)
I couldn't have asked for a better experience... I feel so lucky. I am also so happy that I was able to share it with my mom and dad. I would love to tell you all more stories and show you more pictures so just ask :)
Location: Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef was everything I thought it would be and more!! I went snorkling and saw more fish then I though possible... we spent the whole day out on the boat curisin around. Cairns is a fun little beach city where the rainforest goes right now into the ocean. My dad and I took a gondola over the rainforest and saw beautiful waterfalls. The rainforest was surprisingly quite... there were no real bird nosies which we thought was strange. At the top of the gondola is a tourist town where we did some shopping (as only Fogertys can) and ate at a bungolow with an amazing view. A trip to Australia would not be complete with out the reef and I am so glad that I got to see it and share it with my dad.
Location: the outback, Australia
We went camping (organized by a tour) in the national park around Darwin. Our guide was Trevor, his father was from the Philippines and had been adopted into the Aboriginal culture. Trevor was raised Aboriginal and knew about all the plants and animals in the outback and what they meant to the culture. The rest of our tour consisted of 2 pairs of honeymooners from Italy, a couple from Denmark, a family from Melbourne, a family from Sydney and a mom and daughter from the states. We all got along great and I had a great time hanging out with the youngins of the group. The thing that I learned the most about was being in touch with nature and realizing how comparable the Aboriginal and Native American cultures approach to nature is. We went to a Billabong (the Aboriginal word for a lagoon type thing) to see crocs. It was amazing to hear the stories of our croc guide, he had clearly spent his life on the water and had a deep respect of the crocs and their ability to kill. The largest croc we saw 5 meters, the fresh water crocs are not as big or as deadly as the salt-water crocs.
Seeing the Aboriginal art work was amazing because they were only painted when something needed to be taught. So there werent very many of them.
The most moving part of the trip for me was when we went swimming in a secluded waterfall. As I was swimming away from the waterfall I saw a goanna on the rock. A goanna is a lizard about a foot long that can swim. Part of the reason it was so special to see is because it was our guides spirit animal.
Another great part of the trip was kayaking in the Katherine gorge. We got to a part in the river were we had to walk the kayaks and I was up to my armpits because water level was so high. It was such an adventure and I felt so independent.
Overall, it was a great contrast to Bali and I really learned a lot about the aboriginal culture. Sorry this is so short but I am trying to get everything written down before I forget and you all loose interest.
Location: Bali, Indonesia
We flew in the Denpasar on the coast and took and hour taxi ride about 1 and a half to Ubud which is in center of Bali. I was surprised as our taxi whipped by big furniture outlets, McDonalds, and malls. Around the coast is very modern and not what I was expecting of Bali but as we drove further from the coast the McDonalds turned to houses. Once in Ubud we drove around in circles ( at 1am) because the cabbie could not find the place we were staying. When he did find it he dropped us off and spead away. We were faced with a long walk way where we couldnt see the door but we could hear a dog viciously barking. When we got to the door Ria was waiting for us and was as sweet as could be. We crashed in our cabañas and slept very well listening to the songs of a 5 different birds. We woke to roosters crowing and hot tea brewing out on the porch. One of my favorite parts of the whole trip was the fresh fruit we are for breakfast every morning. Bananas, pineapple and papaya freshly picked and cut that morning
nothing tastes better. To help us relax and work out the kinks from all the airplane travel we went to get messages. It was nice, we could hear the rain falling outside and we got exfoliated, yoghurt bath and a hot bath with fresh flowers. After our messages we were set to explore the city in the rain. Ubud is said to be the cultural centre of Bali so there are heaps of little shops and cafes, not like the bigger cities with Polo stores and Starbucks. We went to the outdoor market which is quite a different experience from the Queen Vic Market. As soon as they spot a white tourist they very aggressively try to get you to buy from them, using what little English they know like $1 and come look please. In fact everywhere you walk you are harassed for transport? sarong? but you just say no thank you and the normally leave you alone.
NIRVANA- the place we stayed was called Nirvana and it is what they call a home stay, close to our bed and breakfasts. It was run by Yoman and his wife Ria. It only had 7 little cabanas and is kinda a side project from Yomans main job as an artist. His gallery was very impressive, ranging from arilice, watercolor and batik. He has taught all over the world including at Naraopa, he is a personal friend of Desman Tutu. Basically he was like the god father Budda style. He had four apprentices that worked under him doing everything from clean out rooms, to helping out with art classes to buying Yoman ciggerettes. They were all good artists in their own respect but they choose to work with Yoman to learn from his knowledge. Dad and I took his batik class on one of our days there and Yoman was full of life lessons as he taught us how to create this unqcie style of art that involved painting wax on frabic and then painting dye on it to create a picture. He kept saying it is about the process of the art not the finished product just like life it is like the journey baby. The whole space had a good feel about it and we couldnt have picked a better place to stay. We were well looked after and enjoyed getting into the Bali life style.
DRIVING TOUR- We wanted to see some of the amazing temples and wildlife in the area so Yoman called up one of his friends that is a wood craver but drives tourist around whenever Yoman asks him too. Benot was most likely in his late 20s and spoke very good English. He took us on the back roads past the rice fields, protected us from aggressive hawkers, showed us amazing temples, places to eat, views, and beer. We saw three different type of temples. The first we saw was carved out of rock walls and it very old, the second was carved out of wood and painted with elaborate colorful designs the last was carved out of stone and mixed with wood. We went to a spice field and got a tour from the granddaughter of the owner. Their main product is coco and coffee. After showing us all what the beans look like in the growing process we walked to the back little hut where the grandpa was hand roasting the coffee beans and the sister was grinding the coco beans. They invited us to have a cuppa and it was the best mocha coffee I have ever had
and all produced by hand! We had lunch over looking a beautiful lake, the landscape is very rugged
high mt and steep valleys. Benot took us to watch how the wood status that are so famous there are craved. He also took us to see how the silver jewelry there is made, and of course we had to buy some :) Overall he was a great driver with so much knowledge.
MESS UP GONE RIGHT-
Our major mess up of the trip was getting to the airport 24 hours before our flight was to leave. For some reason we got confused and our flight was at midnight the following night. It was late and we were both a little crabby and tried. But we did, by complete luck, manage to find a nice resort right on the beach at 11 at night. They had a cheap rate and let us stay till 9pm the following night so we wouldnt have to hang out in the airport as long. We spent the day relaxing on the beach and walking around. It was much more apparent in Kuta how low tourism was, it is so sad for such friendly people. Kuta is doing everything they can to ease peoples minds about the bombings, there was even a security check were you had to empty your bag outside the McDonalds. Of course we also found the Hard Rock in Kuta and traded pins as well as watched the world cup. We saw lots of Aussies there cheering on their socceroos! Overall the mess up worked out for us because we did get to see the beach and spend time in a totally different part of Kuta. We flew to Darwin and got in at 4:30 am and then waited/slept in the airport until our outback tour picked us up at 7am. Oh the crazy life of a traveler.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
I feel so lucky that I get along with both my parents so well that we can travel the world together. My dad came to, as he says, to make sure I came home from Australia. And in the mean time we managed to have an amazing time and see some amazing, once in a life time things.
First I got to show off the city that has become home to me, Melbourne. Of course because it was me and my dad went spent a lot of time shopping :) We went to the Queen Victoria Market a few times, it is so nice because it is winter and not crowded. We also did a bit of shopping for all the foods I have come to love here, Cadbury chocolate, Cheezels, brown bag liquorish and Vegemite. Needless to say by the end of all of our travels we have a 30 kg bag full of stuff. After our first day of exploring the city we booked a tour to Philip Island for dads second day.
Philip Island is about 40 min outside of Melbourne and is famous for the fairy penguin parade. Every night about a half hour after sun set these little penguins about a foot tall scamper from the water to there burrows on the beach shore. It is just about the cutest things in the world, they gather just at the edge of the water until there is about 10 or so and then one brave one will slowly move forward for a few steps and then into an all out scamper to the borrows. So now that I have given you the finale of the day I will work backwards. We started with lunch at a beautiful vineyard in the Yarra Valley. The vineyard overlooked the ocean and they served some great wines. Our driver was really animated and funny, he had music planned out for all of the important stops along the way such as playing red red wine on our way to the vineyard and then other random Aussie songs for the rest of the trip. Our second stop was at a Koala and Kangaroo sanctuary. We did he traditional photo with a live Koala, we couldnt hold him but he was very animated, right next to us. We also petted a Wombat and a Dingo and passed on the wild asses. We went into the back yard and were literally surrounded by wallabys and kangaroos, sort of like goats begging to be fed, big and small gray and red and all very friendly. They would eat right out of your hand and their lips felt so ticklish on my palm. We watched the sun set on a famous surf beach before making our way to the penguins.
On the ride back we had our driver drop us a the Hard Rock Café so dad could do a little trading and of coure make a new best friend in a fellow pin collector.
On our third day the fog in Melbourne was so thick that we couldnt see the top of the buildings. We decided it was a great day to see one of Australias favor pass times, Australian rules football or Footy. At the place dad was staying they offered a video explaining the rules of the game so we watched that and walked to the game. The game was a the famous Melbourne Cricket Grounds or the G. We had tickets right down in the thick of the action and loved it. I think it gave dad a good idea of just how sport crazy Australia is and now physical the game of Footy can become. The energy of the crowd is amazing and though each person is wholeheartedly devoted to their team the is never violence or name calling amongst the fans, they see each other as rivals not enemies. It was so cold at the game so dad and I were happy to be getting on a plane the next day to head to the warmer north.
On our way to Bali we had a lay over in Alice Springs and Darwin. Alice Springs is a pretty washed up one street town. The Aboriginal poverty is blaring from every direction. We didnt need more then an hour to see the city and be relieved that we were not staying there. Our layover in Darwin was much more successful and a contrast to the desert outback of Alice Springs. Darwin is right on the ocean and does pretty well mostly from tourist. The Aboriginal poverty still exists there but it seems to have more going for it. We got dropped of in the centre of town and began walking around, we ran into a Greek festival with live music and heaps of food. It was a nice way to kick back and enjoy the shade. For dinner we went to the night markets held on the beach. Similar to the creek festival there are booths with everything from jewelry to food on sale and the whole community is out of the beach enjoying the sunset. From there we took the taxi back to the airport and had a very helpful taxi driver that had been to Bali 6 times and had lots of advice for us about what to look out for.
Location: the wonderful land of OZ, Australia
I am done with classes!!! offically a senior... ekkkk
My daddy come tomorrow!!! I get to show off the amazing city of Melbourne for a few days and then we are heading N to the warmth B) It is like a Seattle winter right now in Melbourne... around the 40's 50's. We are going to Darwin, then BALI, then back to Darwin and the the Great Barrier Reef (I will try to find Nemo) then back for a day in Melbourne to say good bye to everyone *tear* then it is back to the good ol' US of A.
I am so excited for my dad to be here, we have alot planned and I think it is a good way to rap up my time in Oz. It is going to be pretty emotional I can already tell. One on my friends leaves on Sat and I have started packing and I get these random waves of sadness... why do goodbyes always have to be so hard?!
I will try to update you all and any random internet cafes I find inbetween adventures. LOVE!!
PS there have offically been over 1000 visitors to my page (thanks for all the love)
Location: Blue Mt., Australia
Back from a fantastic weekend in the Blue Mountains
I go home one month from today
tomorrow is my last day of classes...
Blue Mountains- I laughed a lot
hiked heaps of stairs
saw breath taking view
met new people
overall another successful trip.
I have been spending quite a bit of my time writing papers and my brain is not really working in the creative way so I am going to let the pictures help me tell the story of my trip
it seems I have other things on my mind.
As more people venture home from their experiences aboard I start thinking about my own trip home and I have this indescribable feeling of excitement and extreme sadness and apprehension in the same moment. I guess the biggest question I am asking myself is how much have I changed and how will that affect my relationships? Basically I have a lot of questions going around in my head about change
So that will be my closing thought for now
leave me some love.
Location: the good life, Australia
Today was an amazing day
the sun was out and shining. I went to the gym, took an extra long shower blasted music and danced around my apartment naked :) Then I talked to my mommy on the phone, walked to the post office and got a package from my bro! My sweet sweet brother hasnt forgotten his big sis on the other side of the world and he sent me a very thoughtful gift (that was the main reason it was an amazing day!!) After receiving my package of love I went to my tute (the last one ever), rocking out to my ipod the whole way there. Rach and I had lunch like usual and she said she will be around to party with me my last night in Aus!!!! I spent the rest of the day in the lib working on a paper but I was productive and that felt good. Adria and I cooked our famous tacos for dinner and now I am about to head out to the pub. It will be an early night because I am leaving at 4:45 AM for the airport to the Blue Mt. Yippy for the outdoors and getting to see Whit O again
ahhh life is better in Melbourne!
Little Latin Loopy Loop
Location: paper writing land, Australia
I am starting to feel the drawbacks of having no work to do at the beginning of the semester. It is starting to be crunch time, in most of my classes I only have 10% of my grade completed. Can I just say thank God I chose UPS because big schools are definitely not my thing. I am trying do get as much work done as possible while still fitting in all the things I wanted to do while in Aus. I have started a list of things I dont want to forget about Melbourne/ will miss but I know it wont be until I get home that I really see the little things I have come accustom to here.
This week I have a presentation and in class test
then it is off to the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney for some outdoor fun. I am going with two of the most amazing travel partners Becca and Ann. They are always up for something new and want to take advantage of every moment like I do. This guarantees a crazy time
we are already hoping to do a little bike riding, rock climbing and pub hoping. Classes are done on the 26th then it is mad paper writing till my dad gets here! I sometimes study in Boarders here and as a reward for studying for an hour or so I look at the Lonely Planet guide to Bali.
Congratulations to all of you who have finished another successful year of school and I look forward to seeing you all this summer! Happy Mothers Day!