Sydney Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
December 30th, 2007 – by: jeffludvik
My dad, my brother and his fiancee, and I cruised down from Sydney in a rented Ford Fairmont which I drove. Coming from the USA made it a little bit of a challenge to remember to stay on the left side of the road instead of the right! But after a few days it was totally normal. Simple rule, just don't hit the other cars.
Once we were down there, we drove 20 minutes East out to the beaches and hung out there for a bit. Wow was the water clear! Clear enough I could open my eyes underwater and see pretty far. The water was very clear and blue and then about 200 feet out it became dark blue. This reminded me of a time when I was in Hualien in Taiwan, and there beaches on the East coast just drop off. It's shallow for a bit and then just drops.
There are planes that fly up and down the coast which are on "shark patrol". We saw one fly overhead. Then we saw it fly over again. Then we saw it one more time! They must have seen something. And sure enough, a the next beach down we heard the siren go off on the plane. Phew! Good thing we weren't anywhere near, but I'm sure sharks travel fast so we just stayed out of the water after that.
Heading back to Tomerong we had dinner at one of their houses. We enjoyed steak, chicken, and sausages with potatoe salad and a few Toohey's New beers. I also enjoyed Victoria Bitter, Crown, Boag's, and many other fine Australian beers during my entire trip.
After dinner, we went on a "Roo Hunt". The kangaroos (Roo, if you weren't sure) come out at dusk and dawn. The coolest times of the day with the most sunlight available, at which time they feed on grass. After 8 or 9am there are nowhere to be seen, cause wow it heats up quick. I'm sure they are out and about at night, but hard to see them. We walked through our friend's garden of many different types of plants. I don't remember all the names, but a lot hadn't bloomed yet, or so it appeared. Soon we stumbled upon a large pack of kangaroos. They are much bigger in the wild then in the zoo! I think we saw up to about 8 or so. One even had a Joey in her pouch! That's a nickname for a baby roo. We tried to see how close we got, but they were aware of us the entire time. Just standing there, staring right back, wondering what we wanted with them and what we were going to do. Eventually we broke their comfort barrier and they hopped off, you know, how kangaroos do.
We stayed the night at the other friend's house, just down the road. His house was relatively new, with many things to be added. But quite comfortable as is. The neatest feature was the water collection system. All the gutters channeled water to pipes that lead down the side of the house and went underground into his 100K+ liter water tank he had in the backyard. It contained enough water to last 10 years or something. Constantly refilled during a rain storm, and of course filtered before going in. All he needs are solar panels and he could have been completely self-sufficient off the grid. Except for food, but he had a lot of land so he could have grown vegetables if needed! And maybe Roo steaks!?
I'm really interested and fascinated by the "Green" movement that's becoming mainstream these days. The idea of being completely self-sufficient from solar energy, rain water, even hydroelectric energy, and possibly wind power...it's just not practical enough for the masses. Australia is becoming a driving force in the Green movement. Coal being the biggest raw material exported, most going to China, they are quite aware of it's impacts. But that's a whole other story. Not really related to travel, but in a way it is, because all over the world the need for energy just keeps going up and up at a faster and faster rate! A lot of people don't even have power, or a steady supply of water. Coal is just the most simple, highest yielding process. Just dig it up and burn it. Ok, time to wrap this up.
After sleeping in the completely dark house (no big cities for miles and miles, kilometers would be more appropriate since that's what they use there) we headed back up to Sydney on New Years Eve to celebrate. It was an excellent trip that gave me another look at Australia from a different angle. I have gone on an outback tour before and this very much reminded me of that experience.
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