Saturday, May 10, 2008

Working my way down my "Sydney" list... an overnight outing to the Blue Mountains...

With a mere three weeks left in Sydney, I am trying to make the most of my days by getting in as many touristy outings as I can manage (which with taking into account my $$$ budget, work schedule & pure lack of ambition= isn`t very many outings at all!)

a). I`m still a few hundred dollars shy of the savings goal I set out for myself upon first arriving in Sydney. Taking into account four more pay cheques from Surfside, I should JUST reach my goal, and so I`m determined not to overindulge in unneccesary extra- curricular activities around Sydney... I`ve got two more Psych courses to take, a trip to Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, some time spent looking for work in Perth, another volunteer stint in another foreign country in which I won`t be working for a few months, combined with $$$ needed to take some time off to go home for Christmas---- + another plane ticket to the other side of the world for December... every single penny counts! & I`m determined to reach all of my 2008 goals!

b). I work every single day other than Fridays. I know it still leaves me ample day time to get out and do stuff, but by the time I wake up, go out for a walk, accomplish all of the little errands on that day`s list, and ready myself, those few evening hours that I do work are looming like a dark shadow...

c). I am just SUPER lazy these days! I guess it`s probably because the countdown is on and I`m just waiting to leave, but I literally just want to lie low and do some reading or watch some rented movies from the movie shop next door. Also, all of my roomates work during the daytime, so daytime is my quiet time---- that itty bitty amount of time that I can actually veg out and enjoy the quietness of the dorm room without the usual hustle and bustle of the other girls...
This weekend, I actually managed to take a bit of time away from the office to make it out to the Blue Mountains with Shaina and some friends of hers from Banff. One of her friends, Ben, is born and raised in a small town just shy of Katoomba (the entrance to the Blue Mountains), and his parents welcomed us into their home overnight. Again---- it was complete culture shock to walk around a house, see dogs perched on a couch, see a Dad at the barbecue, a bookshelf full of books, a proper washroom, an entertainment centre, a kitchen table...etc etc etc...

And I was also reminded of how much I MISS MOMS!!! From the moment we walked in the door, it was a constant "would you like a drink?", "do you find it too cold?", "are you hungry?", "would you like a hot drink?"... It felt soooooo nice to have someone want to pamper us!

We arrived later in the evening Friday night, had a nice barbecued meal at the dinner table (a proper dinner with baskets of food being passed around the table--- on real plates with real condiments! wahoo!). Afterwards, we all settled in the livingroom area where we spent the rest of the evening watching some rugby and underbelly reruns (Aussie show).

This morning, after having slept in a bit, we piled into Ben`s car (another luxury) and took a drive over to Katoomba, the entrance to the Blue Mountains. Now, having experienced the likes of the Canadian Rockies and the Grand Canyon, I didn`t feel that the Blue Mountains were worthy of all the psych that surrounds them. I mean--- sure they were a pretty site, but after a mere 20 minutes at the look-offs, we had seen enough... Enough said. You see, looking out at the "million dollar" view in Banff--- I find myself thinking to myself, "I could spend the rest of my days standing here taking in this view"--- not so much the thoughts that filled my head while peering off toward the Blue Mountains...
Now for a little bit of information on the Blue Mountains:
- They are approx. 48 km west of Sydney (a little of an hour`s drive?)
- They are a range of sanstone geological structures that reach to at least 1,190 metres.
- They are not a range of mountains, but rather a plateau with rugged eroded gorges of up to 760 metres depth.
- They appear blue from a distance which is caused by the release of volatile oils from eucalyptus forests.
- Home to the Three Sisters, a famous rock formation formed by erosion.
- More than 3 million people visit the Blue Mountains each year!

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