Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A lazy day

Yesterday we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art but unfortunately we did not think the exhibits were very good. (we did not go to the Annie leibovitz photography exhibit and maybe that was better) Perhaps we have been spoiled by other museums!

Today we walked 6kms round trip to see a an antique mall. Some nice items to check out. We also went by a Lotus Elise dealer, amazing cars. We are heading to Peace Harmony again tonight for dinner. Tomorrow we plan on going to paddy's market to search for a beach blanket and then hang out in the park reading one of the many books I brought. The evening will be spent in the harbor watching the fireworks.

The blog photo is a lovely tree in one of the parks.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cheaper than I am lazy

Or "how I walked the entire route of the monorail to save $5" Sydney is quite expensive for food, transport, and hotel. The monorail was 5 per person one way! We have walked about 10 kms a day!

Yesterday went to the botanical gardens where there were thousands of flying fox bats! As I stood looking up wide eyed with a gaping mouth and local wisely warned me to watch out for falling bat poop. thankfully there are no incidents to report. Plus an amazing assortment of birds; cockatoos, little parrot like birds, Australian magpies etc etc as you can see from the photo. And lovely ponds and plants. We also saw the opera house which is an amazing feat of architecture! And we had a great veg dim sum at Bodhi Restaurant. We went to the Australian Museum as well but I was not that impressed with it. It was mostly filled with taxidermy animals which I hope were collected from road kill or confiscated from poachers! There was an interesting (and rather sad) section on the Aborigines and the invasion and colonization by Europeans.

We took a cab last night to get to this great vegetarian bar/restaurant, Yulli's, that was rather far away but then we walked back. On the way home we cut through Hyde park and saw all these curious possums in the trees along with more of the flying foxes bats. We also walked by a local HIV and social service agency and I was impressed to see they had an after hours needle vending machine!

Today we plan on slowing down a bit as our legs hurt from walking on the cement. We are going to see the museum of contemporary art and check again to see if the Peace Harmony veg restaurant is open yet. A lot of things close for part or all of this week.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Last Continent!

I am now in the planning stages for our December 25, 2010 departure to Australia, which will mean we have been to all seven continents. As usual I will blog about our adventures and where possible include clickable links to websites that offer more information.

I have selected the itinerary; landing in Sydney and staying for a little over a week, then 5 days in Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), then nearly 2 weeks in Brisbane and area and finally back to Sydney for 2 days and our flight home. Sydney will have amazing fireworks for New Year's eve, Uluru will be a great place to relax and explore the desert, and Brisbane offers opportunity for for animal reserves and snorkelling!

I have purchased the required SPF30 sunscreen from Kinesys, which performs well and rates high on "health, environment and society" from the GoodGuide ranking and is not tested on animals. By this point in our travels we have most of the required gear. However, I picked up a new Lug Travel Purse for this trip so I can leave the bigger one at home. I have filled my carry on with vegan snacks; Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, Nature Path Organic Granola Bars, and Camino Dark Chocolate.

I have the books selected: Be the Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World, That Bird Has My Wings, Justice: What's the Right Thing To Do?, & Pass it On: Five Stories That Can Change the World (being that this last one is a super short book it might be read before we even leave!). If I finish the other books I might also pick up the book; Deep Down Things: The Earth in Celebration and Dismay.

I have purchased carbon offsets for the flights from the Canadian company Less which received a high ranking in the David Suzuki "Purchasing Carbon Offsets Guide" What is a carbon offset you ask? A carbon offset is essentially a way to support reducing carbon emissions in one area (like investing in solar cookers in a developing nation) to compensate for a carbon emission such as a flight. This handy film tells you how they work; Carbon Offsets Video.

And of course the airline tickets are purchased and the accommodations booked!