|New South Wales (Sydney) (January 16 - February 3, 2002)|
We also visited various 'locals'.
We managed to get some administration done. Sony fixed the flash on our digital camera, and Air New Zealand gave us tickets on Qantas for all the Ansett flights we missed. This was a shock as we had been told by Air New Zealand in New Zealand that we had lost the flights. The tickets were both good and bad news - good that we're on track and have all our flights back, but bad because we'd made other arrangements assuming that we had lost the flights. We now have a car that we have to drop off in Brisbane, but we do not have any Ansett (now Qantas) flight tickets from Brisbane. You would think we'd be able to trade in our Sydney > Cairns ticket for a Brisbane > Cairns ticket, but we have had no luck yet. We'll keep trying.
For a report on the guide camp, here is Heather.
#1) We woke up to squawks of noisy cockatoos and laughing kookaburras.
It was the beginning to a very hot day. We did our duties in patrols (they are
almost the same duties). My patrol was the Siamese and our patrol leader
was my new friend Alison who was also our patrol leader yesterday. We
switch patrol leaders every three days. After breakfast we went ice
blocking. Ice blocking is sort of like tobogganing but
We ice blocked a while then had a little 'rest'. Lunch was hot dogs. That's all for the first day.
#2) Woke up this time to noisy girls and leaders and I did my jobs with my patrol. After breakfast we did the Adventure course which is where you can walk on ropes and rock climb etc... Then we did this little fun gymnastic thing with a person who worked at a gymnasium. This lasted all day long.
#3) Today was our outing to The Maritime Museum, which I had not been to, and the Sydney Aquarium, which I had been to. We had fun at both places but it took us a long time to get out of Sydney and back to camp.
#4) This day, in my opinion was probably the best day in Sydney.
We first went to a conservation place to have a bush walk and learn a bit
about the bush from the park rangers. Then we went canoeing and
kayaking. If you
Mark and I battled through a bit of the Ontario Grade 9 math course over the internet. We are signed up as "beta testers" for a new internet based Ontario Government math course - and I think we've given up. It would work better if we were in Ontario on permanent internet connection, but it is proving to be cumbersome to do over a telephone connection. This was not a requirement from UCC (Mark's School). UCC will issue a math credit if he passes the exam on our return - but I thought the internet course was convenient and would save Mark a bit of stress by not having to do the exam. We did make some good progress on his project for UCC - one of his requirements during the year off was to do a project that encompassed three subjects. While in Queenstown, Mark came up with the idea of doing a business plan for a bungy jump in Canada. He has been busy this week taking measurements of his jump from our video, and doing graphs to show the physics of the jump (distance, speed and acceleration).
We left Sydney on January 28 for the two day drive to Byron Bay at the northern end of New South Wales. En route, we stayed at the very nice Pembroke Holiday Park in Armidale, where the kids had fun playing tennis, ping pong, swimming, and watching James Bond (Moonraker) on TV.
We stayed in Byron Bay for 5 nights in a two bedroom apartment. Byron Bay is a surfing holiday town with an eclectic mix of people and stores - everything from gems and the latest surf gear to tie dyed clothes and other throw-back items from the sixties. When grocery shopping, one nice older fellow in a pink lei with matching pink thongs and a pink sarong wrapped around his waist complimented me on my family. Thanks!
I'm getting old - and seeing the proof in the strangest places! There were people handing out flyers on the street corner at night in downtown Byron Bay. I handed flyers out in Toronto for a few hours last year as part of a promotion for MPL's new web site - and ever since then, I have grabbed flyers from anyone trying to give them out, just out of sympathy. As I walked up, I heard the flyer guys tell the people in front of me that it was about a band at a local bar. When I passed (all set to grab a flyer), they did not give me one - they sort of eyed me from a distance and then turned away as I got closer. So far, I have passed them 4 times on two separate nights (with different people each night) with the same results! Can you imagine not meeting the pre-qualifications to get a flyer? Perhaps my hair really is gray - not blond from the sun. Maybe I just look too much like an old fogey who wouldn't go to a smoky bar to listen to loud music. Sarah bought 'boardies' for the two of us - these are surf shorts that are all the rage in Oz and New Zealand. Maybe I should walk by the flyer guys again in my cool boardies before we leave to see if I pass their test!
On February 3, we left for Surfer's Paradise in Queensland.