The trip over / Day 1 in Oz

Trip Start Jul 16, 2009
Trip End Oct 08, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Australian Capital Territory,
Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hi everyone! Wow, finally here.. it's still somewhat unbelievable! Ok so let’s start from the beginning: the trip here was seriously flawless! The first part of the trip consisted of a flight from Ottawa to Vancouver followed by a 3hr layover in Vancouver. As I got on the plane, I was introduced to Ryan, the guy who had the seat next to me on the plane (who, conveniently for me, also happened to be one of the most good looking guys on the plane!). Turns out he was a pretty nice guy and we chatted from Ottawa to Vancouver, and then went to grab some food and drinks at the Vancouver airport until our next flight to Vancouver so needless to say, time flew by! By the time I boarded the plane in Vancouver to Sydney, it was about 3am (Ottawa time) so I was pretty exhausted. I then realized why First class is so expensive… wow! The seats/bed were amazingly comfortable and spacious, the staff was very friendly and food/drinks just kept on coming by every 10 minutes. I have to admit I probably consumed more calories on that flight that I had in the past week!!! Overall, I slept about 5.5 hours on the 16hour flight and watched 4 movies. I never even once took out my Ipod or my book! I guess I was mentally prepared for a very long flight that it really didn’t seem that long! Once I landed in Sydney, I had to go through Customs (which, once again, was greatly facilitated by the express lane I had access to because of my first class ticket!) and then picked up my luggage to make it to the Qantas terminal to catch my next flight to Canberra. The Sydney airport, from what I could see, is huge! I walked about 15 minutes to get to the transfer area, after which point I had to catch a bus to make it to the Qantas terminal! I waited about an hour to board the flight, and then finally made the last stretch of the flight into Canberra around 11am Australian time on Saturday (so 9pm on Friday night).

I tip toed around the airport for a little while, and was then greeted by Sonia and Chris, the 2 Australian girls that had come to Ottawa a few weeks ago! They were seriously a godsend! They drove me to the hotel, the Bentley Suites, where I dropped off my luggage and quickly changed before leaving again to head to downtown Canberra for some lunch. The town itself is very comparable to Ottawa.. except it has a smaller town feel to it! We had lunch and champagne at this café called Crème, and then headed to the supermarket to grab some food for me. Turns out the ANAO (Australian National Audit Office where I’ll be working for the next 8 weeks) gave the girls $50 to give me to get me started with groceries which was quite nice!! Supermarkets are very similar to here in terms of the types of products you can find. Some things are a lot pricier however (a case of 24 cans of Pepsi is around $18) while some things are a lot more affordable (a large bag of frozen veggies goes for around $2). The labels are somewhat different however as most items don’t show the calorie content… even though I picked mostly "light" products per the labels, I realized once I got home and converted the labels that some of these weren,t so light after all!! Ah well, I’ll know for next time!

After the supermarket I went back to the hotel for about an hour to get my stuff unpacked, before heading out to Sonia’s place for dinner. She had invited me over for dinner and, to celebrate my arrival, decided to cook some kangaroo steaks… AMAZING! It’s a red meat, but has very barely any fat and is quite tasty! I’ll definitely be buying some more while I’m here! On my way to her house, I saw my first (live) kangaroo.. I was sooo excited!! It was about 5-6 foot tall and was about 5 feet away from the car. I got back home around 11pm and proceeded to pass out for the next 10 hours!
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caro_paquette on

Re: Hola from Canada

Yeah all is great! People are so friendly, and keeping really busy! The only thing i'm struggling with is not having access to the internet (only once a day or so from the office after work) and not having access to the gym!! I'm eating like crap and not working out at all so starting to feel a bit gross! i managed to find one gym yesterday but they were charging me $45 per WEEK! I found another one around, gonna go check it out tonight to see how much it is, hopefully it'll be beter! i can't really rely on running outside cause it's really cold in the morning (about zero).

How was your trip to the east coast???

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