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Tammy's Australian Escapade

I figured it was about time to take a break. To go explore somewhere new and exciting. Meet new people and try new things To do some learning besides that found in a text book or a lecture theatre. To check off a few things on my list titled "things to do this lifetime." And to maybe even have some fun along the way......

Diary Entries

Monday, 22 May 2006

Location: Sydney, Australia

Hey everyone, this may be my last journal entry from Australia.
I cannot believe it! I will try to do another entry before I go, depending on how tomorrow goes.
The footy game that we watched two days ago was absolutely amazing. The Aussies love their footy. The stadium was absolutely massive and it was almost completely packed, it was just a regular weekend game that we went to. We didn't know what team to cheer for, so we picked the team that had the most supporters sitting around us. And yeah, our team won! They pretty much quadrupled the other team in score. They were called the Collingwood Magpies. That night we got about three hours sleep before we had to get up at three in the morning to catch our flight. Once we arrived in Sydney it was off on the shuttle bus to Coogie beach. I love it here. Once checked into the hostel, I took off to the beach and decided to do the walk that takes you along the coastline from coogie beach all the way to bondi beach. The walk takes a few hours, because of all the stops that you have to make to look at the ocean and watch all the surfers. Once I got to Bondi there was another market and I was able to get most of my final shopping done for gifts for back home. By the time I decided to head home, the sun was starting to set so it was great to watch the sun reflecting off the water. I have officially decided that I am going to live near water. I love the ocean and think that I will definately miss it when I got home. I have spent most of the last three months within walking distance of it. That evening when I got back to the hostel, I pretty much passed out from exhaustion, having gotten three hours of sleep the last two days.
Got up early and went for a run along the same road this morning and decided that I will be really sad to leave it here. I will definately have to return some day. There are just too many other places that I have to see first. So I guess that today I will be spending my time seeing as much as possible and getting ready for home.
Till next time..........

Saturday, 20 May 2006

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Still only four days to go before I am home. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.
So still working on catching up with things. After the west coast tour was finished we only had one day in Perth before we flew out that night. We spent it touring around the town of Fremantle, did some window shopping and such. That night we caught our flight to Melbourne. Got in at midnight, slept in and did laundry the next day, we realized that we hadn't done any in three weeks...... We are distgusting, I thought that it had been a while, but I just actually looked in Katy's daytimer and sure enough, three weeks. Wow, if you didn't know me well before, you do now. So yeah, we were about due. Our roommates were laughing at us because we literally tipped over our backpacks and dumped everything out.
We were staying in a cute suburb called St Kilda, it is pretty trendy yet kind of bohemian as well, it is a mix of everything. We had fun just walking around. The next day (as in yesterday) we went downtown to do some shopping. We are coming to the close of the trip and are in major gift buying mode. Then we caught the train with our big bags and all, to a little town just outside of Melbourne caller Baxter, where an old friend of the family Grant picked us up and we spent the evening catching up with him. The last time we saw him was in Switzerland six years ago. We stayed at his place last night, and unfortunatley he had to work today so his roommate dropped us off at the tram, that we caught back into town. Dropped our bags off at the hostel, and off we were to the Queen Victoria Markets. We had so much fun, has Katy mentioned how much she likes markets yet. Well she does, so by default I do too. Don't worry, shopping is a tough life, but if it wasn't me, someone else would be doing it. So we are now caught up.
Tonight we will be going to a Footie game, AFL or Aussie rules that is. In other words rugby, but don't let them catch you calling it that though. At three thirty tomorrow morning we will be catching a shuttle bus to take us to the airport for out six in the morning flight to Sydney. For our last three days in Australia.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, okay that was the last time I promise.
Till next time........
Even though there aren' many more of those to go......

Saturday, 20 May 2006

Location: West Coast: Perth to Exmouth, Australia

Wow, sorry guys I know that it has been a while. We have been so busy, trying to fit in as much as we can before we head home. The countdown says four days and counting..... Ahhhhhhhhh. I cannot believe it. I really cannot believe how fast the past three months have gone by. Time flies when you are having fun I guess.
So what have I been up to the past while? It really has been quite some time since I wrote last.
So let me see. The last thing that I wrote about was that I was leaving for a tour of the West coast of Australia. It was seven days long. There were ten of us in the tour, with our bus driver/ tour guide Simon. He was a really fun guy, we had a lot of fun. So on the first day we did a great deal of driving, but along the way we stopped off at this place called the pinnacles. They were really cool looking, what they were were these large sandstone portrusions coming out of the ground. They were up to about six feet tall, and they were hundreds pf them. It was like a giant field of them, they spanned as far as the eye could see. After that we went to a place where we went sandboarding. That is right, you could either sit on or stand on a mini snowboard thing and then go down this huge sand hill that is of black diamond steepness for ski hills back home. To say that we had fun was an understatement. I was able to go down snowboarding style, pretty cool. After that we went for our first dip in the ocean. The water on the West coast is alot colder than the water that we had become used to on the east coast. But we still had to get all the sand off us, a minor side effect. Now after that we spent some more time driving, you may notice a pattern emerging here. The next day we got up early to watch the sun rise, really cool. Did a walk to a really cool canyon and then, you guessed it, did some more driving to a place where there was a lookout where you can often see sharks swimming down below. And lucky for us, we saw a few. We even saw some dolphins swimming around as well. Our stop for the day was at a plac called Monkey Mia. It is famous for the fact that there are wild dolphins that come right to the beach to get fed. When we got there we were there just in time to see the sun set and take some really cool pictures. That night we had a feast like you would not believe. To say the food was amazing on the tour would be an understatement. From there we were off to the pier to look at the stars and have a digeridoo demonstration. I even gave on a try..... I sucked, I could barely make a single noise come out. And to our surprise, when this was all going on, a dolphin decided to swim up and see what all the noise was coming from. We had a large flashlight, so we spent the next half hour following it around as it swam around feeding on fish around the pier. The next morning a few of us decided to get up for five o'clock to see the sun rise over the water. We were in a neat location that allowed us to see both the sun rise and the sun set over the water, had to take advantage of it. Later that morning we went to the dolphin feeding, They have a couple of people that are from the resort out and they talk about the dolphins, walking about in knee deep water. We all wade out so that the water is about that and they walk back and forth amongst the crowd and the dolphins pretty much follow them wherever they go. They are associated with food. So we had about eight wild dolphins swimming around us. After about three quarters of an hour. More people come out with buckets of fish. The dolphin immediately go to their bucket and most of the people in the crowd get a turn at feeding the dolphins. There are about five fish per dolphin. I didn't get to feed a dolphin the first feeding. But an hour later they had a second feeding, and we stayed around for that one as well. I got to feed on that time though. It was really really cool. I loved the fact that the dolphins were wild and coming to the beach of thier own accord. The resort used to give out pails of fish to the people staying their to feed the dolphins, but they were having problems with the dolphins getting agressive, they used to let the people pet them too, but don't do either anymore. The dolphins have definately become less agressive since those changes have been made they say. That was definately a highlight of the trip! That day we did some more driving and went to some amazing beaches. The thing that I haven't mentioned yet was how beautiful it is here. It is so pristine is one wold that comes to mind. We would stop off at beaches to have lunch that were so amazing you can hardly describe them. The sand was as white as snow, and so pure, the water so blue. I loved it. Yet the funny part was that the beaches were the most beautiful that I have ever seen in my life, yet we stopped at so many and they all looked the same.... Spectacular, that I almost caught myself thinking, yeah... another beautiful beach, now what. Sensory overload I think. There were never any people on them , mostly it was just us. We also managed to have amazing weather the whole trip as well, so a little suntanning was done. The next day we did some snorkelling, there is a reef up along the West coast that is accessible right from the beach, the Nigaloo reef. So I wasn't going to pass up another moment that I could be spending in the water with my fishy friends. Fortunately that day we only saw about six turtles (so lucky), I spent about ten minutes swimming with a turle, they are so fun to see swim about. They swim as slow as they walk. We even saw some sharks, they were about four feet long. I took my underwater camera with me, and got some great pictures. That night we were in Exmouth the most northernly point we would reach on the tour. That night we went to the local bar and there was this huge football (sorry soccer) game on. The entire bar was filled with guys sitting and watching the game. It was really funny to see so many people completely and totally focused on something. We spent the next two days driving back to Perth, didn't do that much. You might have thought that all the driving that we did might have not been fun, but the west coast is so beautiful that you could just spend hours looking out the window watching everything pass by. We all took turns playing the DJ with our Ipods. It was really cool that we had such a small group, we all got along really well. There were only two guys and eight girls, alot of fun.
And that is about all that I can remember to say about the west coast, it has been a few days since.
Till next time...........

Tuesday, 09 May 2006

Location: Perth, Australia

Hey everyone
You would never guess it, but this is the third time that I have written this journal entry. I hate these stupid computers!
But enough about that. The last few hours in Sydney were nice, considering the mad dash to catch the airport shuttle and arriving at the last possible moment, then having to sweet talk the driver into waiting for us to get our bags out of storage. But all that did was get us into a nice mood for sleep when we got onto the plane. The size of Australia gets put to perspective when you realize that it takes five hours to fly across it. Luckily Katy and I got to share a three seat section on the plane so we did our darndest to snuggle into some form of a semblance of comfort, yeah didn't find one. Our second day in Perth was great, we did some sight seeing and walked around. We went to this place called the Swan Bell Tower. And true to the name, it kind of did look like a swam. The funny part was when we got there we commented on the odd music coming from it. We thought that it sounded kind of off key and that it didn't sound like any song was playing. It was really irregular. Sure enough when we got inside the building we realized that there are something like twenty bells and they are all wrung by hand by these official bell ringer people. So you try to coordinate twenty people to ring the bells in unison and to follow the same rhythm. We had a little more respect when we left. From there we ventured to the botanical gardens. It was really beautiful, since it is autumn here. The best part is seeing all the leaves turning red, yellow, and orange, and to be able to do it while walking around in your shorts and tank top. It was something like twenty five degrees out that day. Really warm. Back home you get a matter of hours to enjoy the spendor of fall before the first snowfall comes and covers it all up. Funny how things can differ on the other side of the world.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you all about the first day that I spent in Perth. The night we got there for lack of getting into too much detail, I was sick. I took the whole next day sleeping to get over it. Katy finally dragged my butt out of bed at eight that night and told me that I had to eat something. She informed me of the time that I made her eat when she wasn't feeling too great at the beginning of the trip, so this was payback time.
The third day in Perth, also known as today, we decided to catch the train to a suburb of Perth called Fremantle. Riding the train we realized how big the city really is. We really enjoyed our day there, we stopped off at a second hand bookstore, we had nearly used up our stock of hand-me-downs that we had acquired in Byron Bay (also know as books that get left in hostel rooms). So we are now set for a little longer. I also admit that I have gotten into Soduku (I don't know how to spell it). And I do admit that I like. But enough of that. From there we decided to take a tour of the prison that is in Fremantle. It was built over 150 years ago and was only closed down in 1991. And the reason why you ask? There weren't toilets in any of the cells and it simply would cost too much to install all of them, so they shut her down. And that is all that I am going to say about that. It was really cool to see all the cells and many of them were left in the same condition as when they closed the prison. And yes the prison looks alot like the one on Prison Break (the TV show I mean).
So yeah, that pretty much catches you up to the present. And dare I say in the not to distant future, I will have a bit more interesting stuff to write about then I have been lately. We are embarking on another adventure. Tomorrow morning bright and early we are leaving for a seven day tour up the west coast from Perth to a place called Exmouth and back again. And not to leave you hanging or anything, but we are going to be doing some pretty cool things, and seeing some pretty cool places. So unfortunaley I do not know the internet situation, it will be slightly remote. So we will have to see when I get the chance to write again.
Till next time........

Saturday, 06 May 2006

Location: Sydney, Australia

Greetings everyone
Been enjoying the time in Sydney. It is pretty weird to be in a big city again. Kind of hard to get used to, after spending the last two and a half months travelling from small town to small town. But the wierdest part is that Sydney almost feels like home. It was where I landed, where I started my Australian Adventure so many months ago. Everything was still familiar and memories keep coming back from when I started the trip. I spent yesterday walking around the harbor again, saw the opera house again and said and suntanned in the botanical gardens again. It was really nice. Today we caught the ferry to Manley where we walked around on this trail that took you along the coastline, it was really pretty. It also took you amongst all the beautiful houses that overlook the waterfront. If only I were rich, is all that I have to say. The beach in Manly is pretty nice, the weather wasn't really condusive for a day of suntanning, but I was determined to walk as much as possible as we will be catching a flight tonight to the other side of the world, or just Australia I guess. It feels that way though. We will be flying to Perth, where we will be spending the next eleven days touring the west coast of Australia.
Until next time.....

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Recent Messages

From Vanessa
Tammy, i am so sorry i haven't really been keeping up with you on your vacation, i've been super busy, i just read thorugh about a month of entries and it sounds fabulous and i am exceptionally jelous, enjoy the rest of your 4 days in austraila and i can't wait to see you when you get back!!!
Response: Hey Vanessa
Good to hear that things have been busy with you, can't wait to get home and catch up with things on your side of the world.
From Zoe
Wow, I havn't checked in for awhile, and a lot has happened!! Great pictures!! And I feel your pain about the sandals. That is something that will definately require some mourning time to get over. My condolencses!!! Hope you are enjoying the last part of your journey!! Safe flight home!!
Response: Finally some pity, still to this day whenever I bring them up to Katy, she tells me to shut up and get over it. But do not worry, I took a picture, so they will forever be in my memory.
From Mom
Love the pictures! Can't wait to see the rest of them. Can't wait to see you. Perth and area sounds very unique. Glad to hear you are feeling better.Love Mom
Response: We finally found a hostel that we could have free internet with these coupons that we had, so we had some time to put up a few and wet your appetites for when we get home.
From Mom
Your last month sounds very exciting. It will be great to have you home again though. Looking forward to hearing what you think of Perth and area. I never got to see that part of the world. All our love.
Response: We are so excited, although I do admit we have high expectations. Everyone says that it is so beautiful. We will have to wait and see.
From dad
Just great to hear about 'the plan', for the remainder of your and Katy's Australian adventure. Rick and Barb are coming over for supper tonight, so the parents will...send a toast your way!!

Response: Hey daddy man
Katy had a little bit of a freak out, me making her do something without letting it get to the last minute, we mesh well though, she has anxiety if we plan too far ahead, I get anxiety if we don't plan ahead enough. The whole east coast has been her way, take it as it comes, it is my turn to fit as much as possible into the last month. I think we succeeded.
From Mom
I am so glad that you have written again. I have been getting all these calls from friends and relatives asking if you were OK. I guess you spoiled us in the beginning and everyone got use to reading about your adventures. Byron Bay sounds fabulous.Take care. Love Mom
Response: It is really nice here, we have been putting off trying to plan the rest of the trip, what to do after Sydney.
From dad
So great to hear from you...and not a moment to soon, your mother was checking out flights to Australia -
Byron Bay will do that to her, something about going to find her daughter!!
Remeber that tan only lasts 3 days after you return home, so best we have a comning home party!

Response: I am honestly the darkest that I have ever been in my life right now. I an sure that it will have faded by the time that I get home, after Byron we will be spending the rest of the trip south, where it is winter and not optimal suntanning weather.
From Jill
Hi Tammy,
I don't know if you remember me, but I worked with your dad a few years back, mostly doing the computer stuff. He forwarded me your website and I'm loving your adventures and the awesome way you write about them! I lived in Australia for seven years (six in Byron Bay and one in Melbourne) and reading about your trip is bittersweet for me as I miss Oz a lot! I'm sure you'll continue to have a great time. Stay away from the Australian men ... that's all I have to say!
Response: Good to hear from you....
What luck, we are in Byron right now, and loving it. It is absolutely beautiful...... Aussie men, what Aussie men,? we hadn't noticed any.....
Hi Tammy,
What great fun, I can picture you with your feet dangling off the front of the boat, being bucked off a bull, racing around with team Stanley and partying with Katy. You two are really packing the agenda and building an AMAZING set of memories. Keep up the great adventure

Response: We are trying our darndest, but it has all been so easy, with a little fun along the way, lots of memories, and a few stories for when we return. That is right, not everything makes it to planetranger, we have to leave some time in the day to have the adventures!
From dad
I feel like.....I let you down, sending you off to Australia having not taught you how to drive a standard first! It would have been so easy, taking you down backroads, driving on the wrong side of the road, sitting in the passenger seat as you worked the stickshift, brakes and steering wheel from the right side of the car. So much I could have done to prepare you better!
Love dad
Response: The best part was saying that I hadn't really driven standard before, getting in the driver seat with seven other people in expectation. And hoping like crazy that I could pull it off. Since it honestry has been three years since I tried last.
From Mom
Wow! Wow! Wow! What adventures and fun. Just wanted to let you know that the Easter bunny was looking around for you this morning, and we had a sour cabbage roll in your honor. Miss you!
Response: I heard that you still managed to fight over the sour cabbage rolls even though I wasn't there. It was really weird to be here for easter, we were too busy to celebrate it. I guess since the Fraser Island group of us went out for dinner, I consideded that my Easter.
From Karen (SCUBA buddy)
Sounds like you are having an amazing trip! Airlie was one of my fav places! My boyfirend and I did some research out of there on the Proserpine River ecotours with the Corocdiles!! Super cool. Hope you are doing well!
p.s. so jealous of you dives, wish I learnt how to before I went to Oz.
Response: So glad to hear that you are keeping up with the journal, hope my journey is bringing back some good memories of your trip.
From Mom
Sailing and more scuba diving!! Sounds great. I hope the sailing is smooth and the diving water pristine. Wonderful to hear your voice again. Seems like you have been gone a very long time. We have only had to order in 2 loads of water since you have been gone though so we now know who has the long showers at home. Take care and lots of love.
Response: We are off to go sailing this evening. Yesterday it rained all day, so we are really lucky that we are leaving today. The sun is out and the sky is clear..... hopefully some good weather ahead.
From Linda
Hi Tammy,
It was so great of you to call on Kendra's birthday. She was very happy to hear from you! We figured out that this is the first of Kendra's last 18 birthdays that you haven't been able to 'celebrate' with her in person. Man, are you guys ever getting old... unlike your mom and I who just keep getting younger. The flowers are amazing! Kendra is going to try to attach a pic when she next sends you an e-mail. It sounds as if you continue to have some spectacular adventures. We really enjoy reading about everything. Take care.
Response: I cannot believe that it has been that many years without missing a birthday. I really felt sad that I had to miss it. I feel like such a guy, sending flowers to hopefully make Kendra less mad with me. I am glad that she liked them though, and am looking forward to the picture of them.
From Heather
Hi Tammy,
I'm just catching up on your travels, they sound spectacular! I'm thrilled that you're having such a great time diving and earning your certification. The night dives sound a little spooky to me, but you seem to be loving it, so cheers to you.

I'm relaxing at Shannon's after a few days skiing (Ahhh Spring Break). Yes, there's still snow, but it's melting fast. Katy is walking all over the place now. Her first word (except for mama) is Uh -Oh (unfortunately it get used a lot - she's quite the little monkey).

We love hearing about your adventures and all of the fantastic sites you're seeing. Stay safe. Love Heather, Katy and Chris.
Response: So good to hear from you!
I am glad that you are having fun and relaxing on your spring break. I feel like I have been on one for the last twelve weeks, and I am not complaining. I know that Katy will be huge by the time I get home, and will probably be able to talk alot more.
All my love to you guys back home.
From dad
Wow, I have to take gravol before I read your blogs these days. They I go in the bathtub and have your mother make waves while I go underwater breathing through a tube and play with my plastic fishes!! Just gets me in the mood! Helps get in touch with what you're experiencing. I must admit, after 3 hours, your mother does start to complain a bit.

You gals are amazing with the mental toughness,


Response: Unfortunately they do not have gravol here, we are out, so we had to use the kind they give you on the boat. Not as good as gravol though, a little drowsyness follows. We will have to see if they carry it at the Chemist (Pharmacy). It will definately be a must for the upcoming sailing in the Whitsunday Islands.
From George McMaster
Hi Tammy

What a great chance to use success principles. I love the way you found the good in the adversity. You are a marvelous writer. I felt as though I was there.


Response: This holiday has been really incredible so far. So many memories to last a lifetime.... A few learnings along the way as well.
Great to hear from all the different people keeping up with me.
From Mom
Ahh! Heaven! A house to stay in. I hope you are still keeping an eye on the cyclone so you can decide what you should be doing. The next one seems to just be hanging out there. All is well here. One more day of school and then it is Spring Break. I am ready. Take care Tammy. All our love.
Response: The house thing is incredible, free laundry, access to a fridge you can call your own, unfortunately the internet isn't working, but Raelle's friends does, so the last few days have been great.
From Kendra
so yesterday morning i woke up to my radio alarm... and the news guy says "huge cyclone hits the Northeastern coast of Australia"... so i quickly did the Never-Eat-Soggy-Weiners directional thing to figure out where you were... and realized YOU were in Northeastern Australia!!! i had a total freak out and i leapt from my bed and went up to the computer to check your site to see if you had written anything!!! and thankfully, for my sanity, you had and i was assured of you being ok...
ok... so i just had to let you know how much stress i went through after being in my school-work bubble and not even knowing a cyclone was developing near Australia!!! sooooo glad you are ok!!!
i'll write to you again soon!
LOVE kendra
Response: Hey man, I had no idea how much coverage this thing was getting over there. We have all been wondering if you guys care about us all the way up there.
From dad
Hi Tammy,
Such an ordeal. You've had some dynamic moments in the past, so if this was the worst day of your life, it must have been ugly. I see another cyclone is coming your way, so I hope this one also just glances by you. Amazing the bad weather you've encountered.
Note: do knock before you kick the bus drivers door down...just in case he opens it!
I have a feeling the waters will be a mess for awhile to come.
Our prayers are with you,
Response: We are now waiting to see what develops with the second cyclone. If it hits the coast, it isn't due for a few days, so we are just waiting to see how it develops. Deciding whether to flee or not.
From Lois Prostebby
Hi Tammy,
Your Dad and Basil stayed with us last week and told us about your adventures, so I have read about your journey. Wished I was 21 again!! I image the cyclone was very scary, but glad to hear you are okay. May the adventure continue! Will look forward to hearing all about it when you return. Lois
Response: Yeah, and luckily we have another one headed right for us.... A couple days off though, so many things could still change.
From Rick
Did you guys have to pay extra for the cyclone or was that just part of the itinerary? What a deal!!!
Glad you were only on the edge of this "experience".
Response: And luckily the second one that developed is headed right for us, hopefully it turns north like they say it might.
From Mom
Great hearing your voice last night. You are certainly getting to experience all of Australia's weather with the cyclone coming. Hope it doesn't change its course and come towards Townsville. We are watching its progress on an Austrailian weather web site. Take care and I hope the weather clears for you soon. Hugs and kisses Mom
Response: After one of the most worry filled days of my life, the cyclone appears to be just a really bad rainstorm here. Yeah!
From Mom
Hi Tammy! Hello from the great white north.It is a real blizzard here today with 15 more cm expected. I think it is a good day to hybernate at home and hope to be able to get out of the driveway when it stops. Wow! I love that you are having such an adventure and doing so many different things. We really miss you. Have fun and take care. Love Mom
Response: You get snow, we get cyclones. Pretty even trade-off!
Hi Tammy,
What great "adventures" you two are having. The Glacier Bay "expedition" was a good primer for you and Katy - who else would voluntarily stay at the "resort" when everyone else turned back and then tramp through a rain forest in the pouring rain and laugh about it. The important question is how is your supply of conditioner? Take care and use "the look" when ever required, it sounds like its quite effective. Barb
Response: I even had to use the look a couple times to make sure that we were being taken care of with the impending cyclone. And yes I have already restocked the conditioner, we did that on our day off in Cairnes before heading up.