March 20, 2004
Back in Boulder
Well, welcome back to Colorado. I got in Thursday night, hung out with old friends and my new housemates, and mozied into work on Tuesday. I think more has happened this week than in the two weeks I was in Australia, but I'll give the highlights of Australia just the same.
Sun. Beach. Forest. Fun animals. Spiders (okay, not a highlight. I'm actually developing a phobia for the suckers). Friends and friends of friends. Solo time.
I first landed at the house of Steve, friend of Chuck K.'s. We went with 5 of his friends to a beach house for the weekend, and relaxed. On the first morning, I went for a walk along the beach and sat on a natural rock jetty to watch surfers playing in huge waves--the surf was up; Steve and his surfing friend Matt were figuring these guys were surfing double overhead, meaning the waves were twice (three times?) as tall as they were--and a pod of dolphins playing in slightly smaller waves. What a treat. Playing, playing, playing, and me there relaxing watching them play.
Also, there were a bunch of rainbow parakeets that would eat out of our hands.
Next, I headed off for a solo backpack in the Royal National Park, just south of Sydney. I'm reluctant to talk about how great this place is, because I don't want it to become overrun. Less than an hour south of Sydney by train, and I hardly saw anyone else on the trail. But then, I was there during the week. I wanted variety, and I got it: what felt like desert (really some salt-water affected plain with a name I can't remember--heath?), beach, forest, jungle. Very, very cool. Lots of birds, some wallabies, cool plants. Beautiful beaches.
[Almost paradise: I thought it was paradise, but apparently the folks making "Mask 2: Son of Mask" thought it needed some palm trees. Quite odd to stumble upon Aussie men in speedos erecting fake palm trees on a beach while backpacking (this beach was accessible by road).]
After backpacking, it was back to Sydney to hang out with my friends Florian and Tanja, who have converted the backyard of their apartment complex into the relaxing "Cafe Dangar."
Now, back in Boulder. And it's been great. More on that to come.