I thought I would hate this city... but it kind of grows on you
Haven't wrote much lately...
Have just been enjoying life. Enjoying spending time with people here in Sydney.
Since Ballina... came back to Sydney, been staying in various backpackers. Staying out really late with Chrysi some nights... she works lots but we still find time to spend together. and me, being a freerange backpacker and noctournal by nature - yeah...
been hanging out lots with my new mate, Brandon. He came to Sydney at the same time I did, from New Zealand. We met our second night here... lots of good fun. His birthday is a day before mine, same age... we had a great weekend this weekend. Was also Mardi Gras - Sydney's over-the-top huge gay and lesbian festival. Never seen anything like it.. the whole CBD was trashed... like a warzone... where the only dead soldiers are the empties of the drunken mob. Thing that amazed me is the amount of liqor consumed on the streets... and the really low number of police and complete absence of violence... if that were to happen in Alberta, the headlines would read "17 people killed in booze-fueled fag fest" ok - maybe not quite that... but it was really cool to see everyone being so open and happy on the streets and that they didn't have to get out the mace and riot patrols. This was something entirely new to me. very cool experiance.
bah. I can't write this morning.. I haven't eaten hardly a thing yet today. my brain juice is low...
ok. where that story was going... Brandon, Chrysi and I partied it up good at Mardi Gras... had a great time. Chrysi had to work in the morn to Brandon and I continued on and did the guy thing until 4:30 in the morning. good times.
Spent the next day, my birthday on this side of the world, lounging, telling stories and laughing... all around great day in the park.. Met up with Chrysi after work... She's such a sweetheart... spoils me... (can't say that I don't love it) We got a hotel room and had a romantic midnight picnic. (in all reality... we picnic'ed on a patch of grass behind a KFC, buit it sounds more glamourous if I leave that descriptor out) Yeah. best birthday weekend ever. Had a great time. Thanks out to Brandon and Chrysi for good times.
Oh yeah... spent 5 days in the Blue Mountains this past week. Blue mountains National Park is inland, west of Sydney... There is a rail line hooked into the city transit that travels all the way out there... I went out to Blackheath the first couple nights, 2.5 hours out of Sydney. I went with the intentions of sitting/working at the Vipassana meditation center near Blackheath, but when I got there it was too beautiful to stay indoors. I set up camp at a local campground and based myself from there. the locals were very friendly and helpful, everyhting was insanely over priced and the weather was completely different than anticipated. I thought it wouod be hot and dry, with patches of lush forests.... what I didn't bring into account was the increace in altitude. The weather while I was there was chilly to cold if there was no sun, but the sun was hot when it came out - which was rarely. It was very humid, quite often foggy, misty and drizzly.... The forests were lush and filled with all kinds of new trees and smells. The first couple of days didn't rain very much and were excellent hiking weather. I hiked the grand canyon trail... about 15km or so. Probably the most beautiful trail I have hiked in Austalia/anywhere so far. The trail leading to the grand canyon was several km of clif views, ascending and decending stairs, beautiful forests and a group of school childeren who really love dreadlocks (funny story) The grand canyon trail starts by decending don inot this narrow canyon... down probaly 100-200 feet into it... varying width... from a couple hundered feet, to caves with intact rock above your head. The whole crevice/canyon was very densely forested... with water falls pouring in every so often to feet the creek in the bottom of the canyon. this place was magic. I had to stop very often to just be and be inspired by this micro eco system... and to stop and listen to the accoustics of the water dripping echoing off all of the surfaces... to walk slowly and silently to percive the dynamic of the sound forms. unbelivable. didn't see a soul down there either. Just me. and you know what? My camera didn't work at all down there. My batteries died. So that one is just for me. I want to take poeple there someday. It's a magical spot. truely is.
Blackheath was beautiful... spent two nights there then off to Katoomba which is the majot tourist attraction of the blue mountains. Camped in the rain for two nights there.... bloody poured at night... proably at least a couple of inches the first night. pools of water all over in the morning. I made out alright though. good ol' tent. Did some really great hikes in that area too. One of the coolest things is that they light up the three sisters (THE blue mountains tourist attraction), Katoomba falls and Katoomba Cascades at night, as wells at the paths too them... So I went out in the fog and rain. bloody amazing... the views from the lookouts on a clear day are some of the most amazing I've ever seen, huuuuuuuge space. drop of about 500metres and a view of many, many km... a huge valley down below.. unbelivable... and to go there when it's foggy and misty.. with the lights on at night... to see them shining out into the abyss, illuminating the swirls of this misty ocean - to imagine that this vast, vast space you saw in the daylight is a swirling sea of raindrops with a misty fog swarming between... honestly... I've seen mist and rain... but I have NEVER seen it behave in the way it does there. The drops falling freestyle, eventually going the way gravity goes... but taking a very scenic route... the thick mist moving independently of the drops, as a separate system all of it's own, filling the space between the drops. The weather clearing as quickly as it sets in... an ocean in the sky. On some of the hikes it was raining up. you'd be at a lookout with a cloud down below and an updraft. clear skys above but the gusts of wind would carry percipitation from the clouds below up the cliff face and they would wet the underside of your chin and arms as you per out over the valley... waterfalls that are dry at the bottom, watering the trees on the valley walls through a sky creek of sorts...
I could ramble on about the beauty of this place for ages... never ceased to amaze. all operating within the same framwork, the same laws of nature... but a new way to play. a manifestation which bends the laws about as far as they can be bent and still be laws..
ok. I'm in the clouds. had a great time. goes on the must see list.
On my last day I hiked from Faulcon-ridge to Springwood, carrying my 45lb pack, which I normally leave at basecamp for these hikes... insane hike. gorgeous forst. had been burned out about 25 years ago or so, I'd estimate... very interesting ecosystem... found a wild peacock (a pleasure to watch as it skitted down the track just ahead of me for some time.. stopping to fan its tail and scratch at the earth here and there) neon red mushrooms and a large lizzard bathing in a creek, (which I took some really close photos of) yeah. sweated more than I've sweated in my whole life. was hot in this area, which was much lower altitude than Blackheath/Katoomba... down and up a couple of gullies... beautiful hike... I was high as a kite by the time I was finished that one.... detox through my sweatglands, I tell you what.
ok. tyime is nearly up here...
I'm plannign on hanging out in the Sydney area... been having a great time with people here. and I think I can manage the city life for a while, knowing that I'm off to New Zealand afterward... to go live out in a whole new ecosystem.... so I'm going to hire a flat (rent an apartment) for couple of weeks. (all rentals are by the week here) really hard to find places right now.. but I'm going to check out a place this evening. $125/week, which is about as low as it goes... 2 bedroom town house. It's a ways out of the CBD... but Its got perks. See how that works out this evening. do that for 2-3 weeks then I'm off.
This journey has been amazing. soooo much has change... and contnues to change. the only constant is change.
on that note. my time is up. I'll write again when I'm able to express somehting meaningful.