Monday, March 15, 2010

Where's My...

If ever there was a bad time to forget my camera at home... Well, ok. I can always return here, so maybe not that bad. I made it out to Kekahaka Kai state park. The road in was unimproved, so I parked my car at the entrance and walked in. This was a good decision, as the view of the cooled lava flows was well worth it. Also, the transiitioon from lava field to beach was rather dramatic. The water on the Northwest part of the big island is crystal clear, so the view of the marine wildlife was perfect. I walked out to the second beach, and it was much nicer.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I drove out to South Point today to try to get to Puu Mahana green sand beach. I couldn't find the way there and kept running into "keep out" signs. I'm going to have to do a little more research...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hello Hawaii!

I actually made it back out to the art gallery and finished out the rest of the exhibits, which worked out well. I discovered that I like aboriginal art on bark.

I made it to the Big Island yesterday after 15+ hours of travel. There was this young boy screaming bloody murder on the flight from Sydney to Honolulu, so I didn't get much sleep. I was really loopy when I got here.

Today, I just got in my rental and drove. I was a bit nervous driving it yesterday, as I was really tired and hadn't been behind the wheel in four and a half months. I'm really comfortable with it now, but there are a ton of tourists on the road who:
1. Don't know where they are going
2. Use their high beams all the time
Did I mention that it is a convertible mustang. Nice!

Anyhoo, I didn't plan on it, but I ended up on Punalu'u Black Sand Beach . I drove on to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. I didn't plan on going to either, but they day was perfect!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stick a Fork in Me

I'm done. Yesterday, I took a tour of the opera house and then moved on to the art gallery. Midway through one of the earlier exhibits, I just couldn't process anymore sightseeing, so I hopped a ferry to Paramatta and just wandered aimlessly for a bit before having dinner and going to bed. Today, I planned on staying in and uploading pictures all day, but they needed to replace my door. I went out to the botanical gardens again and sat for a while then walked out to Circular Quay again.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Toranga Zoo

The weather service was off again, so I made it out to the zoo. It is about the same size as the Houston Zoo. It was a pretty good time. I took tons of photos, but I think many are out of focus, as the animals seemed very active.

A funny thing... Taronga Zoo keeps leopard seals, and there were a ton of small children scurrying about. The leopard seal was bobbing up and down in the water keeping track of many of them. The kids laughed and asked what it was doing. I didn't want to mention that they were about the same size and coloring as an emperor penguin, seal, or full-grown adelie... That is the leopard seals main staple. Ok, it will eat krill if it has to.

Friday, March 5, 2010

All Things Work Out

Today was a beautiful and sunny day, so I went to both Manly and Bondi beaches. I like Manly Beach better.


Yuck. The rain is here. I spent my morning riding around the harbor hoping that the cloudcover would clear. I stopped off at the Olympic Center that was constucted for the 2000 games. It is massive, and it seems to be mostly maintained.

If the rain continues into Monday as predicted, then I will be visiting the opera house and thee art gallery. After that, I'm not sure what to do. Hopefully the weather will clear sooner than expected.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Different Skillset

Today was my first full day in Sydney. I actually arrived around 5:30pm local time yesterday. To be honest, my last few months have been spent in wilderness mode, so a return to city-life was a rude awakening. The survival skills required here are a far cry from what I've been relying on. Sydney only has a population of four million (about the same as Houston), but the population density is much higher. It feels somewhere between Austin and New York City. Anyways, I spent my first night walking around so that I could adjust to the much higher traffic patterns.

Today, I bought a green travel pass, but I haven't actually used it yet. The weather is supposed to be stormy until Monday, which is a bummer. I want to try and make it out to Bondi Beach, but I'm not sure what the weather holds.

I should have tried to make it out today, as the weather turned out to be beautiful after a light rain this morning. Nevertheless, I had a good day. I started out to look form some info at the Vistor's Center at The Rocks. I had a light breakfast while waiting for it to open. I had a coffee and muffin, which cost me $7.50 AUD, which is about $8 US. Yes, eveything is ridiculously expensive here. Anywayss, the Visitor's Center was nowhere near as impressive as the iSite in Christchurch. The staff was very helpful, but you can tell that Sydney is a working city and does not rely on tourism as much. Oh, all the people walking around in office clothes also gives that impression as well.

Oh, back to my day... After the Visitor's Center, I wanted to head to the S.H. Ervin art gallery. It is very similar to the Menil in Houston. Before I found it, I ran into the Sydney Observatory. The view of Sydney from Observatory Hill is very edifying as well as beautiful. The observatory itself was very well-executed as a historical and educational exhibit. As a History of Science major, I was rather enthralled. As a quick aside, the next Transit of Venus occurs June 6, 2012. That is the event that sent Captain James Cook down to these parts. The information on navigation and cchroonometry is also very interesting. I may try to make a night tour if the weather clears.

From the observatory, I continued on to the Ervin. The current exhibit was of a local artist, Nicholas Harding. The exhibit was entitled "Drawn to paint". Like the Menil, the Ervin grants a very intimate experience with the artist's work. Unlike the Menil, the actual architecture of the building interfered with my interaction of some of the pieces. At times, I would be distracted by light slipping through a window opposite a piece and reflecting off the piece's glass frame. At other times, thee position of a column would prevent me from achieving an alternate viewing angle. Nevertheless, I really liked the exhibit and the venue. My favorite piece was "Robert Drewe (in the swell)" 2006.

From the Ervin, I dropped in to take a quick look at the Botanical Gardens and ended up staying much longer than expected.

This is a really long post, so I'll stop here. With continued poor weather, I plan on visiting the opera house and the Art Gallery. La Traviata shows tomorrow at the opera house. I would really like to attend, but I don't have anything to wear.