Wollongong day of Adventure

Trip Start Feb 05, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Today was the day of adventure around Wollongong. Since I've been here, I've wanted to do a couple of things around town, that I hadn't gotten to until today. The first on this list was to go to the top of Mount Kiera (the mountain that towers over Uni, the Uni being at the very base of the Mountain). I had already been up there, but only on the way to Sydney, and without my camera. So this time I brought my camera, and took some awesome shots. You can see every part of Wollongong from that point. I could even see suburbs I didn't know that were along the train line. I could see about three train stops in either direction of North Wollongong (North theres Fairy Meadow, Torwagi (sp), Corimal... to the South theres Wollongong station, Unaderra, and Dapto). I was even able to pinpoint where I live, which wasn't too hard, because I just followed the Prince's Highway (we're close to that). I could also easily see Uni, the Botanic Gardens, the Lighthouse, and Wollongong proper.

So, step two of the plan, was to take my newly repaired bike, and bike down the mountain! I did so successfully, with minimal injury. I found out very early on, it's a bad idea to try to pedal in a low gear, when the bike is already going about 40km/hr (25 mphish). The rest of the trip went pretty smooth though... I took several pictures along the way, there was a lot of scenic places to look, though none were formal "scenic outlooks". At one point I was probably traveling at about 60+ km/hr, or 40mph? Perhaps faster. I was easily able to keep up with traffic though.

So after about an hour traveling down the mountain, when I got the base, I stopped in to see my friend Jenna (we made arrangements the night before at dinner, so I could stop by and meet her parents, and see her place). Jenna is the first person from WUSA I met, and was really the main person to get me involved with WUSA. She and I have had several long conversations about politics, mainly comparing US politics with Australian politics. It's pretty interesting, because we agree on almost every political stance, yet we've been influenced by completely different cultures. I also got to meet both of her parents, who already knew all about me, because apparently Jenna has been really talking me up :-). We had a long conversation about differences in currency, and we compared coins (I brought along the US change I had been intending to give away since I got here). I also got to explain the geography of Michigan in comparison to Australia. The main thing that stood out was the fact that we have so much water and freshwater lakes. In Australia, we couldn't come up with one inland lake that was fresh water. There are very few inland lakes, and the ones that exist, are mainly salt water. We then decided to get going, and Jenna was kind enough to give me a lift home (instead of having to ride my bike over hilly roads, which requires actual effort). It was good though, it saved me time, which I later used...

The next step, after dropping off my bike at my place, was to walk to the beach. My goal: To go TO the lighthouse that is the centre point of Wollongong from an overhead view. It was quite a hike, I'm guessing it took about an hour to walk from the apartment to the lighthouse, though I took the long way. There wasn't really anything defining about the lighthouse itself, but the area around it was awesome. I took many good pictures, right at sunset, and they turned out awesome! The lighthouse area was really busy too, there were many people hanging out there, complete with an ice cream truck, several police cars, and surfer people.

Then on the way home, I decided to stop by the Fish & Chips shop that my friend Tina works at, to see if she was in, and to get something to eat. It turns out she was in, she had been called in last minute. She was really happy to get the work too, for two reasons... 1) Weekend pay here is time and a half, and 2) The shop will be closing for good in a week, so she'll be out of work. She was kind enough to hook me up with free food too! I ended up getting heaps and heaps of fish, calmari, and prawns. So then I hung around for a few minutes, since she said that her shift was going to end in a few minutes, and her family was stopping buy to have dinner. So I stayed and had dinner with Tina's family (though by that point I was already stuffed with seafood, I managed to have a few more pieces of crab). We had a really good conversation about Stanley Cubrick (sp?) movies, computers, and Uni degree programs. Then they were kind enough to offer me a lift home (saving about a 45 minute walk home). It made for a busy day, but one of the best days since I've been here!
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