Okay, I've been slacking on the blog.
Last weekend I went camping on the coast just north of Sydney in place called Jervis Bay. My Saskatchewan friend Heather and I went with ANU's Mountaineering club. Carpooling, we left Canberra Friday night with Prystine from Queensland, Will from New Zealand and Nathan (Aussie but I forget where he's from).
Even though we drove though places like Kangaroo Valley, I did not see any kangaroos. The idea of seeing them made me fill up with so much excitement that I exclaimed "Kangaroos!" prematurely to find that what I was pointing at were really sheep! In a fleeting moment I did see a herd of wallabees (spelling?).
Fumbling in the dark, Heather and I were setting up our tent until a couple of helpful men butted in and did it for us (yeah!) We headed down to the beach and I saw stars more clearly than I ever had in the countryside back home. I could even see the strip of the milky way. I stood on the beach gazing at the stars wishing Neal was with me while socialites were trying to make conversation. I was being something of a cranky snob.
That night Heather punched my shoulder in her sleep. It didn't make her stir at all.
Laughing birds and screeching cock-a-toos woke Heather and I up the next morning so we explored the beach before heading out on our adventures for the day. Taken by the colourful seashells on the shore, it took Heather and I a good fifteen minutes to accomplish a five minute walk as we collected more and more shells.
Heather signed up for rock climbing and I for bushwalking. As it turned out, I ended up hanging out with the rock climbers at the top of a cliff building up my courage to jump over the edge and give it a shot. When I finally did this sometime in the afternoon, I ended up falling over the edge about a foot or two (anchored by rope) screaming for someone to pull me up since my muscles and bones turned into the consistency of canned spagetti. It took up to an hour afterwards for my body to stop shaking.
Once we made it back to camp, Heather, Steve (from Wisconsen) and Yanya (Aussie) headed for the surf beach where Yanya tried to surf and prairie girl Heather had her first taste of salt water. The waves dumped me a couple of times but it was still paradise. The water (though Aussies argued against this) was very warm. It had that fresh mediterranean blue colour. The waves knocked Heather off her feet at first, but after that she started to really love the ocean. I met a German couple and a fellow from Finland that day who also came swimming.
Tired and sunburned, I headed to bed at about 9 pm. Heather says I tried to cuddle her during the night which makes sense because I woke up the next morning with Neal on my mind. All I remembered was continuously waking up to the sound of my own farts that didn't stir Heather at all! (re: camping food)
The next morning I went on a great bushwalk involving scrambling, winds and rocks along the shore. As soon as it got too hot, we went swimming. The guys made fun of my back burn.
The scenery on the way home was gorgeous with vibrant green valleys and beautiful trees. I wished I had my camera which was tucked away somewhere in the luggage. We passed through small towns as cute as the ones back home but these ones felt different. After a couple of hours we stopped at a diner - As truckerstop-quality as the ones back home but again with its own uniqueness.
Upon arriving back at the residence Sunday night, I felt pretty pumped so I grabbed Andrew and we went looking for on-campus trees to climb. We climbed a few, but none were large enough and climb-able enough for the two of us to sit in. Since that night Andrew has found a good tree that we will climb as soon as I feel better.
So speaking of which, I'm suffering from a nasty cold I think I caught from Heather. All I've been able to do is sleep, watch TV/movie and eat. I tried to show up to as many classes as possible - they have us learning 9-5 five days a week. I like it, but it doesn't come in handy when you're sick. Fortunately Jessica (Sweet Aussie from a town called Parks) gave me a big bottle of orange juice.
Tonight Andrew and I are going to catch 'School of Rock' at the ANU movie club. Worse comes to worse I might fall asleep during the show.
In other news, I'm learning weaving, silkscreening and Asain Pacific Arts (last one is taught by a cynical satirical guy!). The drawing teacher likes my stuff and he wants me to become addicted to drawing. With my caffeine addiction I argued that there was no room.
In two weeks I get a free bus trip to Melbourne! It's a textiles field trip and I only have to pay for food and accommodation ($23 per night). There's going to be a textiles conference there as well as many exhibitions because it will be 'fashion week'.
By the way, the following people have to send me their mailing address because I found postcards that made me think of them:
Natasha Volkow, Susan Inkpen, Neal Rockwell (sorry, can't find it), Catherine Inkpen, Andrea Juby
Everyone else, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your mail address anyway so that I can send you stuff too. (I'm keeping my eye out for something for Barbara Housten and Sarah Caufield!)
I love you guys - Sharon