Monday, November 20, 2006


Wow, I have been terrible about blogging haven't I? A month since my last post. I was going to tell you all about my 4-day trip to Australia but I have been too busy. I'm in the Singapore airport right now waiting for my flight to Mumbai so I have a little time to kill. This airport is something else. I definitely haven't made the transition from West to East yet. There's a Burger King and a Seven-Eleven here! But there is also a beautiful orchid garden and koi pond. And even though it's 3am, some of the stores are open!

I went to Australia for 4 days a couple of weeks ago. I flew into Brisbane and met up with my friend Ross who had done the Noosa Triathon the weekend before. We went down to Surfer's Paradise for a night then went to Warwick (popn 12,000) for the rest of the time and stayed with a friend of Ross. There was 6.9 cm rain the first day - so much for drought-ridden Australia! But it was nice in Warwick. We did a 75k bike ride to Queen Mary Falls and saw a kangaroo on the side of the rode on the way up. I'll post a photo once I get back home. Then we had lunch at this beautiful restaurant at the top that had glorious views of the mountains. The only negative was that I used Ross' friend's bike and it definitely was not a fit! I could hardly move by the time we got back.

The most awesome thing I did was go for a hike in a park at Tambourine Mtn near the coast. There were gum trees, palm trees and old trees that looked like the rata-wrapped totara in NZ. The bird sounds were something else - like something from another world. One of them did a long sound followed by this big pop sound. I had no idea what it was. Someone told me it might have been a stormbird. I even saw a kookaburra on a gum tree!

On my bike ride I saw green grass parrots, birds with pinkish-orange bellies (a galah maybe?), and just like in NZ, got attacked by Australian magpies! There were also birds with tufts on their heads that reminded me a bit of California Quail. I think they were called topnotch pigeons.

It was quite a fun weekend and it was so warm compared with Chrischurch. And I didn't see any poisonous snakes or spiders either!

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