Australia - Part 1

Trip Start Jan 08, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Brett's place

Flag of Australia  ,
Monday, March 1, 2004

Finally rang up and booked the only seat available to Australia in the next week (I had asked a travel agent to do this about 4 months ago). It leaves in a few hours. Quickly rush to get home, pack and get to the airport. YAY for Kanjana's car.
Bye bye Kanjana :-(

On the Singapore airlines flight to Sydney I got upgraded to business class. Very nice. I often have thought that just once I would like to fly business or first class but I thought it would never happen. Watched some movies, ate, slept and landed in Sydney. All seems reasonably easy - I can't see why the travel agent couldn't arrange that.(Incidently, Singapore airlines is a very good quality airline and often cheaper than others (big tip to travellers))

Fiona came and picked me up at the airport and took me to Brett's and her new home in Sydney. Caught up on the news and played with Hunter, their dog / substitute child. Also quickly caught up and went for a run with Emma, her mum and friends. Everyone seems good. Initial impressions of Australia are of a spacious, well treed (it has a reasonable number of trees in the suburban areas), clean and quite wealthy country. Weather was also very good (I like it hot).
However, I caught the inner city trains 3 times whilst in Sydney and each time the train broke down or was cancelled. Apparently not all is well. The 3rd time the train problems caused me to be 1 minute late for my bus to Canberra. After a bit of negotiating (they had given away my seat) I got the last seat available and headed South to Canberra to be picked up by Simone. Went to stay with Shannon and Simone and Shannon's parents. Everyone seems good there to.

I had budgeted for Aus$10 per day whilst in Australia and so far had been able to manage it - thanks largely to people being very generous to me - but when I arrived at Canberra Grammar School for work, I had just $2.10 left. Hmmm, well planned? Definately time to make some money.

Caught up quickly with John at the school and then off to Childowlah on a 4 day white water kayak camp with 17 kids, 1 English exchange student and Nick and Tallis (the other camp staff members). Good to catch up with Nick and Tallis and enjoy the afternoon happy hours with them - watching the hills turn red as the afternoon sun sets, whilst eating too much snack food. A good way to wind down after a full day kayaking and looking after a group of kids. The weater was good, paddling was good - the river was up (at least often enough to have some fun) - and I was happy that not only had my kayaking skills not diminished in the last year, they seem to have magically improved. Not a bad way to make some money.

Weekend in Canberra with Shannon and Simone followed by another 4 days kayaking. Very good. Weather had been in 30 and occasionally low 40 degrees celsius. The hot weather plus the cold river water makes for a perfect way to spend 4 more days in the office.

After kayaking for 4 days, time for a week off - yes, my work life is sometimes pretty good. On a bus down to Melbourne to see my family and some friends from school (so far most friends mentioned have been of the ex Army variety (although not Emma)).
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