Monday, 3 June 2013

Highlight reel...Brisbane to Sydney

Nothing like writing a blog while hungover/full/tired/cranky or needing a cup of tea. Anyway, here are some photos from my travelling part of my trip to Australia before I settled down in Brisbane. Had a crazy few months but was totally worth all the effort. 2012 was a pretty bad year but it ended on a huge high.

(left) My approach to BNE, 22 hours is a hell of a flight to stay awake for. Fish porridge for breakfast on EVA air is not recommended for sure!!

The views were fantastic, this was around 9am on a clear day and a further on in the approach Brisbane city was clearly visible. The start of the adventure was here.

Hope Island (below), staying at my cousins was an experience. Well looked after, great way to be welcomed to Australia. Below is my view from my room balcony of the house.

My first full day in Australia was spent on my cousin's boat, not a bad way to start. The trip to (I believe) Windbreak Island was great. We even met a family who had built a nuclear blast proof house and were living in it along with the 1001 conspiracy theories the owner had! Beautiful weather though, and the picture below is of Harry,Cleo and myself. My cousin Sean has two amazing kids and we had a great time relaxing on the boat and letting them beat the living daylights out of me!                                                        

Australia V South Africa at the Gabba in Brisbane. (below) If Australia won they went back to the number 1 spot in test cricket. They didn't, Jacques Kallis scored a brilliant century as the game petered to a rain affected draw. This was my first job, selling headsets to the crowd at the ground. I was able to watch the game at the same time and with it some amazing South Africa! The crowd was pretty quiet, practising for the Ashes this summer I suspect!!

 I also did the same job at the MCG in Melbourne for an ODI between Australia and West Indies. The ground is incredible, huge. Its a shame i couldn't get down for the boxing day test but just to be at the ground was great.
Bright yellow t-shirts and a massive sign above your head are not likely to make you a hit with the ladies but the pay was good and I managed to watch some free cricket.
 Left is a picture from Lone Pine Koala sanctuary. They specialised in koalas but also in the park they had a array of kangaroos that you could feed. (much like Australia zoo) I managed to take this picture of the roos and duck sharing the water, very cute.

Being able to handle the koalas was a nice experience, Apparently they are not koala bears, very disappointed in this discovery!! They don't seem the same now!!

Spaghetti House, Brisbane. Prior to Christmas I was fortunate enough to land a job in an Italian restaurant. 60 hours a week wasn't what I was expecting to work over in Australia but luckily one of the girls lived behind the restaurant. So many nights were spent in the garden drinking until the small hours with just a few of the many friends I have made here.
The photo on the right is the 3am group shot. At the front of the photo is the then manager. Claimed he was part of the 'Brisbane Mafia'. He wasn't, he was just fat and greasy!

Sydney Opera House (below) on the 30th December. After a 3 day 1500km drive from Brisbane I ended up in Sydney for New Years. Weather was perfect, and Sydney was a buzz of activity ready for one of the best firework celebrations in the world. This photo was taken off the Harbour Bridge. 

 Below is the view from our position for New Years eve. We managed to find a spot in a public park overlooking the bridge. Arriving at midday we picked up some beers and relaxed in the sun awaiting the start of 2013. It was very amusing to watch the girl who by 1pm had fell over and passed out drunk in the middle of the park.
Sitting on an embankment over looking the bridge for New Years is one of the best things I have done and made coming to Australia worth the effort.

And finally......(Bottom Photo)

Sam and Dave, the two guys who I travelled with from Brisbane to Melbourne. I got to know Sam very well from our time in the backpackers in Brisbane. We had the most amazing road trip, 12 days in a car is taxing but sleeping in one is even worse. Great fun and totally worth the backache!!
Sam, Myself and Dave on New Years Eve

Next week...Sydney to Melbourne photos.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Australia Zoo

Why am I starting to write a blog 6 months into my travels?

Good point, however its only in the last 3 months have I realized that I can reach a target audience by writing one blog. Speaking to friends and family via text and email i get asked a lot..

Me and a Camel
'What have I been up to?'
'Not a lot'

Bollocks to be honest, I've been doing some amazing things while I have been travelling but you only hear the small snippets, so I thought well I can write everything down with some pictures to share with everyone and do a few updates and it means I don't have to communicate with anyone...ever!

So, this is my first live-ish blog of what I've been up to recently. It probably reads like crap but i don't really care!!

Anyway, the Zoo...

Steve Irwin (legend) Zoo is located around 45mins North of Brisbane so B and myself set off up here for our little touristy day trip. I have been a little giddy about coming here for a while now..

Steve and Myself driving home from a big night on the town!
Its great to actually come to a decent zoo,  Twycross is my closest one in England and to be fair it is clonk..unless you like monkeys..

Its a beautiful winters day here. 24 degrees, clear skies. I'm loving the winters here as its cold at night but beautiful in the day!! Porridge for breaky then pop your shorts on...weird but wonderful!

So we arrived and its quiet, great, not many little brats running around. So I'm almost guaranteed to be in a decent mood all day.

The thing that strikes me at this place is how much more the animals interact with the public, instead of looking freezing cold, curled up and hiding away behind rocks as in England, they venture around the enclosures and you can get right up close to the creatures.

After having a good look round some of the Australian animals you tend to get here, we made our way to the big stadium for the 'wildlife warrior' show. This stadium is pretty big, 3000 capacity with a giant screen. Its probably better ran than most of the football league grounds in England!

The show was great, well orchestrated, good displays of animal behavior too. Was very fortunate to see the big croc being fed and to hear his Jaw slam shut was incredible. I haven't seen a jaw with so much power since my Dad powered through a whole chicken!

Once that had finished we wandered through the Africa section and saw the Elephants, and they are some big beasts! Very smart, very well balanced too. I look forward to trekking with them during our trip to Cambodia.  Another great moment was being able to feed the Elephants, we watched the keepers put on a good show then we were allowed to give them bananas and lettuce. Personally, I'd be a bit pissed if I knew it was feeding time and all I was given is bananas and lettuce!

B giving a disappointed Elephant lettuce..
Then came my moment of the day, the Zoo should make a highlights package for this because it was just so amazing! We went to see the tigers, amazing beasts and as i was standing alone against the glass one game prowling towards me.  As he came to glass he followed me as I walked down to the end and when i pressed my face to the glass he started to try and lick my face! I've always wanted one as a pet and this made me want to even more. B bless her was trying to take a picture and a little kid was trying to get in on the act. All I heard was her screaming at the kid to move!! Amazing, so maternal!! It scared everyone out the way though!! The kids dad paid $40 for the ticket and now $20000 in therapy!

Eye of the Tiger...
It was shame the Zoo didn't have any Lions but we did meet a Cheetah being taken for a walk. When I say meet I mean we didn't shake hands or anything but he was placed on show on the side of a path. The zoo are also breeding some Rhinos at the minute and are re-constructing a bigger Rhino pen, which unfortunately meant they had removed the giraffe section. A shame but didn't distract from the Africa section at all. On our way back through we stopped for the tiger show where the keepers showed us some of their behaviors which was scary! But awesome! The sheer power and agility is immense. Id love to have one as a pet, but my brother says regulations mean otherwise...which means he probably tried to enquire!

Yeah, like your going to share my sandwich..
We also managed to wander into the kangaroo pen as well and they are beautiful creatures, they know if you have got food but they are very well behaved and were great to be around, despite B managing to kneel in a lovely amount of 'roo poo!'

That pretty much was our trip to the Zoo, there maybe bigger and better ones throughout the world but this would be right up there. You cant fault the Zoo's ethics towards the animals and I would definitely go back....if it was free of course

Finally I've decided when I grow up I want to be Zoo keeper!

Long way to go there then!