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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.

I fell in love with the sandstone.

This particular sandstone may be the sexiest rock I have ever seen.


[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).]


[Newt.]

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."


And I played tourist with the tourists in Sydney.


Now, back in Boulder. And it's been great. More on that to come.

Posted by beth at March 20, 2004 11:01 AM

Comments

after looking at all those awesome pictures of those gorgeous views you were experiencing, i'm confused as to why you didn't have a permanent smile on your face! were you still thinking of the spiders when you took your picture?

Posted by: wilma - mother of beth at March 20, 2004 11:35 AM

Hi Beth,

Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures from Australia. I hope I get to visit there someday. I especially loved the pictures of the sandstone. I have just begun to study rocks and minerals. I never knew that sandstone could come in such varied hues. Awesome!

Posted by: Dorothy at March 20, 2004 2:04 PM

Your gift of photography is a gift to me since I cannot go to the places you have shown me. Australia ought to be proud of your addition to their tourism ads. Boulder must seem balmy after your most southerly journey.

Posted by: treva at March 20, 2004 3:34 PM

Hello Beth,
have been trying to get in touch with you re some of your antarctic pix. when you went through NZ like a couple of Whirlwinds you passed by near my gate. Was flying up around Mt Aspiring the other day and thought I wonder if I can see the track up to Casacde Saddle that Beth shows (never used to be one) so spiralled down and there it was.
Please reply,
(Dr) bernie Gunn

Posted by: Dr bernie gunn at March 20, 2004 4:59 PM

Hi Beth,
I just showed the latest pictures to Katie and Alex and we all thought they were fantastic! Alex wants to to Australia now becouse "they have way better stuff than us". Hope we see you soon. Maybe for the cicadas in May?
Susan

Posted by: susan berens at March 22, 2004 8:47 AM

Oh!! What beautiful pictures! I was just in Brisbane in October, and it made me miss AUS all the more. Your pictures really moved me!

Posted by: Sunflair at March 22, 2004 2:31 PM

Hi Beth!
Loved the photos. Sounds like a grand time. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: mz. em at March 23, 2004 3:54 AM

Beth,
All your photos and comments are SO GOOD. Great, in fact!! One day I hope you put all of this together into book form. You certainly have the photos, notes and stories to tell. Let me know when you do.....i want a copy. Best of luck with all your future endeavors!! Thanks SO much for sharing and allowing us to be along as observors on the Iceblog journey,
Sincerely,
Muriel Haupt

Posted by: Muriel Haupt at April 3, 2004 9:04 AM

Great photos, Beth! Love to get there someday and see the actuals.
I stumbled on this site while looking for info on the cafeteria at McMurdo in Antarctica, 'cause I'm part of a group of volunteers putting together a web site where people grade restaurants they've been to all over the world, and I hoped to add that cafeteria to the list for a bit of whimsy.
And from your photos, I wonder if you'd also like to grade "Cafe Dangar" for another bit of whimsy.
But if you'd like to share your opinions of any restaurants you visited in Australia or Boulder or anywhere, we'd love to see them.
There's a secret link on the web site to get to the working version (emphasis on "working"): Just click on the "1" in "January 1, 2005" and you can bypass the sample version.
Thanks much.

Bob "BeachBob" Hezzelwood
Bonita Springs, FL

Posted by: BeachBob at April 28, 2004 3:15 AM