It was nice meeting you, and enjoy Sydney!
12.07.2010 - 15.07.2010
In the morning I made Chiu late again for work saying our goodbyes (and see you in a few days). Then I headed out a few suburbs further out from the CBD, only about 10 minutes by train. Since her next couchsurfer was Joe, Chiu let me leave most of my stuff in her couchsurfer room, so I only had my backpack with a few things I would need for the next few days to carry (so nice!)
“Since I might not see you again, it was nice meeting you, and enjoy Sydney!”
This was what my new couchsurfing host told me when he let me in his place and showed me my bedroom (swanky). He showed me around his flat (he lives by himself) and he warned me on his profile that he works a lot, so he is hardly ever home, so he can’t show me around, but I could crash at his place. I was a little weary of surfing at a man’s place all by myself, but after reading all the reviews from previous couchsurfers, he just sounded so nice! There were single guys and single girls who stayed with him, and they all had wonderfully positive things to say about him, so, against my better judgment, I sucked up my negativity about how men can be sleezy, and I put myself out there. He had to run pretty quick, but before he left he got his water jug boiling (I’ll explain in a moment) and put out 2 boxes of tea for me to pick from. Then he was gone.
In Australia they have these teapots that are electric. You fill the jug with water, then the coils inside heat up, and boil your water! Its genius, and it only takes a minute! Most stoves are gas here, so having an electric kettle is fast and efficient. I love these electric teakettles, and I am so getting one when I go back to the states. When Aussies ask me how I heat up my water for my tea, I told them I stick a cup of water in the microwave, and they laugh and say I’m so American! Isn’t that what you would do? Stick you teacup in a microwave? They really hardly ever use the microwaves here. They suck up too much electricity and make your food all mushy (its true, they do). In Australia they have good food, good drink, and just all around good times. I like it here, but its going to take a bit of getting used to.
After breakfast I took a little sun nap in his backyard before heading out for my day of travel.
Here is my new place:
You know, I didn’t take any picutres of Chius! I don’t know why not.
Today Chiu has me heading out to Kiama, the furthest suburb south of Sydney that the trains go to. Apparently there is a blowhole on the beach that looks like a geyser, and a rainforest not a far bus ride away either. So after my nap I packed my Tokyo purse with my bottle of water (I’ll explain that in a moment) and lunch. Here in Australia, traveling by myself, I’ve been a little security conscious. Japan was totally safe, but here in Sydney, you can see how you might get mugged. When shopping at Chiu’s grocery just down the road, I bought a bottle of juice, and immediately recognized its potential as a weapon. Its called Phoenix juice, and its made in New Zealand from organic ingredients (hence its original appeal). However, it’s oddly shaped, with a long and thin bottleneck, perfect for you to wrap your hand around... My first instinct was to hold the bottle upside down. This way, it immediately looked like a club, and it was. There is a reason why bar fights are so dangerous. Hitting someone over the head with a glass bottle is fucking dangerous as! Scientifically speaking, if the bottle doesn’t break, all of the net force is delivered from the bottle’s momentum to the smashing object (someone’s head). If the bottle breaks, then most of the force is dissipated in the actual cracking of the glass, and the momentum is carried out in flying glass shards. This will not hurt so much, but now, you have a sharp cutting weapon, and they have a minor head injury. You couldn’t carry around a sharp weapon, but people carry blunt weapons all the time. So, since I always need water, this juice bottle that fits perfectly into my bag, has become just that, and it also functions as my weapon, because as Joe as taught me, it doesn’t matter how much training I have in martial arts. The guy who jumps me on the street is going to be bigger than me, and stronger than me, as they wouldn’t pick someone who looked bigger and stronger than themselves to attack. Therefore, being the smaller weaker woman, I need a handicap.
All set. Time to travel.
The train stopped about halfway to our destination and said that there was construction on the tracks, so to Kiama we had busses to take us the rest of the way. The next bus didn’t leave for another half hour, so since they dropped us off just outside the Royal National Forest, I went for an explore. 2 of the guys who told me about how to get to the trail just off the new bus park warned me that foreigners are known to get lost the “The Bush” and the ones that do come back have been known to have all sorts of animal and plant attack wounds. I told them that I was pretty tough, and I’d take my chances, hoping that they were just “winding me up” as they do here. If they were honestly telling the truth... well, I guess there’s only one way to find out right?
These trees remind me of the tree in Corey’s parent’s front yard. The paper tree.
Signs of global warming:
(Beached boogie board)
On the road again:
It was so nice on these buses, they were like Greyhounds, the seats were 10 x better than the train seats, and the views from the road were so much better!
We didn’t end up making it to Kiama until mid afternoon (even though I left around 10 in the morning) so it was going to be a short stay, and the journey was the big part of the tour. I asked some locals about getting to the rain forest, and they said that the buses were just not equipped to get out there, so they kept breaking down and what not. Eventually they just canceled the buses all together because it was a few hour ride out of Kiama, and the interest just wasn’t there for the amount of money needed to fund the buses staying up. So now the only way to get out there is by rental or taxi, which would cost me a hundred at least. No thanks, I had traveled and spent enough already. The rainforest would have to wait until I travel to South America. I guess I just have to keep that one on the list of places to go. Can’t not go now that I wouldn’t get to see a rain forest in Australia right?
And now that I have to rush to see Kiama to see it all before sunset (it is winter after all, even though it feels like spring), and I am lost. Apparently the person I asked for directions got their left and right confused, so what would have been an easy walk to the ocean, ended up taking me all the way through town to the middle of nowhere when I asked a car stopping at a stop sign where the hell the ocean was. He pointed to my left and said walk until I saw water.
This isn’t the beach by the blowhole by the way, this is the beach just south of that area. Once I found water, I asked how to get to the blowhole (one step at a time people, one step at a time) They said follow the water on my left, and I would see a large lighthouse, and it was right by it.
Yay for lava caves!
The waves basically crash in under the lava rock, get stuck, and then squeeze up through a lava tube and blow out of the surface. Really neat to watch, because you could time the explosions with the flow of the waves. I tried this with the video camera rolling, but I couldn't get the shot! So, miraculously, I got the still images, but not the video. I do have a nice long video watching the waves through this hole though:
But, not worth uploading in my opinion, I'll show you a better video of the waves in a sec.
Walking out further onto the lava you can get to the waves, and they are extremely violent for a “sea” in my opinion. You see, Australia doesn’t actually touch the Pacific Ocean. To the north, west, and south is the Indian Ocean, and to the east (where I am) is the Tasman Sea, otherwise known as the “Ditch” between Australia and New Zealand. So these waves are from the Tasman Sea:
I love how you can see the rocks becoming hexagonal pillars like the basalt rocks in Japan that Adam showed us, or the rocks in Ireland called Giant’s Causeway.
Here’s a guy fishing, very brave.
Best swimming pool ever!
The cute town of Kiama:
Now it was getting to sunset, so time to head back to Sydney.
The buss ride was wonderful because they left the lights off, so you could actually see the sunset outside as we drove up through the windy roads. By the time we made it to the train station it was dark, and they had the bright florescent lights on the train, so you really couldn’t see outside v_v;
Death Note kid:
I wanted to get his backpack, but he was moving to the train too quickly, but it was a Death Note Anime passenger bag, and he had a scarf will sculls on it and a My Chemical Romance jumper. I so wanted to talk to this kid, but he was getting on a train into Sydney, and I was exiting the station. Too bad I didn’t see him on the ride up, we could have been ride buddies. Getting home the house was empty, so I took a shower, glorious alone time (even though I've been alone all day, this is different, this is solitude), and went to sleep, in my own room, by myself, and it was only getting easier (sleeping alone that is).