Sunday, September 27, 2009

Opera House

It looks like a foe of Gojira, if you ask me. A couple of whistling fairies peek out of a clamshell and summon the Opera House to defend the harbor.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Video Replay

Chloe beckoned me further back into the wildlife park to show me the Singing Gate. "Do you hear it," she said. "West Side Story."

Part of our first day's walk. Nearly all the sites are epic.

We were told that the koala's were exceptionally active during our visit. This is only a small portion of their wackiness. In fact, we were asked to step back in fear of the little cuties would leap onto us and start scratching.

Listen for my trademark laugh. Driving in OZ was no problem. The real weirdness came from sitting in the passenger seat.

During Chloe's leg of the trip. We both got some good behind-the-wheel time.

Someone who wil remain unnamed, accidentally raped this bird.

This is my new best friend again, the Tawny Frogmouth owl. We were fairly buddy buddy throughout the day, except here where i seem to be damaging his calm.

Friday, September 25, 2009

More from Down Under

It's rather chill down here.
The right-side drive debacle wasn't even an issue. I drove through St. Leonards (just north of Sydney) and for about 40 minutes into the bush.

There i found my totem animal - the Tawny Frogmouth Owl. It doesn't look like much here,, but i will be posting more pics of it in a bit. Imagine Fizzgig from The Dark Crystal, with wings. When it opened its mouth the entire top half of its head flipped agape exposing the inside of its head, which was neon green.

These birds show up on the balcony every morning. Beautiful as they are, the Frogmouth is still my best beastie.
Chloe driving through the city.
The buildings are rather tall in the city.

We stop for one of these nearly at every corner.

Audra (red hair) helping some locals find out where the hell they were, and where the hell they needed to go.
Bats! These guys live in the middle of metropolitan Sydney, not any more than 300 yards behind the Opera House.

More bats!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 2 - The Storm

OK, so I've already posted about the dust storm, "The Red Menace."

This was the view from my room. It's like looking at a spotlight through a milkshake.

Everything in the city was covered with a layer of dust. The desert shed a layer of skin.

A light dusting.

A pit stop before the movie. Mmmm beer!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No Rest for the Wicked

I didn't sleep on the plane. Chloe got in 9 hours, but she had some help from Tylenol PM. I tried to get some help from the same, but my body refuses to sleep while sitting up.

The family waiting for the train. We left Sunday night, and arrived in OZ Tuesday morning. You can see by the look on my face my body was in utter confusion about why it was still up. But the day is just beginning here.

This is in the wrong chronological order as far as when it was taken, but it's a picture of the train. There you go.

We stopped at Audra's 18th floor apartment just long enough to drop off our bags before we began with the day's mayhem.

On the way to the beach. Somewhere south. My intake was a bit hazy at this point. i did have enough sense to snap a few pictures.


Um... somewhere. The greater metropolitan area is quite clean and inviting. Much like my butt, actually.

This beach looked man-mad, and was at the end of a concrete inlet. It was full of moms and their screaming children.

Las ladies scoping out a good diving point.

A beautiful view from further south.

This is where most of my attention was focused.

This is part of the beautiful cliffwalk, which bordered a historic cemetary to the left, and the Pacific to the right.

Linda found a location where she could discreetly change out of her swimsuit.

It really is beautiful out here.

These are ibises. (Ibii?) They are the rats of down under. "The Garbage Bird" i've heard many times. Audra says she wants to pick one up by it's neck and shake it.

An incredible walk.

Some more of the local wildlife. (I'm catering to the lady readers here).

This is NOT a cell tower. This is what the pine trees look like down here. Geometry. Gee I'm a Tree.

Walk this way...
More to come from day 1, but now it's time to depart for day 3!

The Flight Out

OK, after the post Apocalyptic wake-up call, we're now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

The flight to Sydney out of SF is a late one. 9:45 was the boarding time. Chloe and I had already a full day at this point, and were ready to crash. I found a couple things interesting in the airport.

Chloe loves the honesty printed on Japanese cigarettes.

Gate A4 is down the escalator. I got my first hint of the Oz vibe on the way down from the screaming Chinese kids with an Australian accent.

This piece of "art" is was greeted us. It reminds me of this exercise we did in my first grade class. Everyone gets a smaller square of the greater whole of the picture and recreates them in crayon. They are then all put back together into a huge mish-mash checkerboard version of the original. Ours was better.

International flights know how to treat their patrons. All of this was not only edible, but actually quite yummy. Creamy cilantro lime chicken with greean beans and edamame filled me up, and not so much that i would be forced to take a shit on the plane. Nom nom nom.

All gone.

The view from our seat. This door allowed for some extra legroom.

Very back of the plane. We hung out with the flight attendants.

Huge farking plane.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Thing's First

We woke up to this.

This is a dust storm. They are not the usual weather system to run through Sydney.

I haven't adjusted these photos.

The news just said that this is the worst dust storm in a major city in the history of recorded weather.

I have more exploits to share thus far, with the flight and our first day adventures... but this Beyond Thunderdome theme for today is remarkable. Audra said, "We couldn't take you guys to the outback, so we had the outback brought to you." Magic.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stocking Up

...on all the necessities.
  • 4 bags of Fritos, anti-crush secured in a plastic shoebox
  • 8 cans of whole Ortega Chiles
  • 4 bottles of newsprint wrapped Cholula hot sauce
OK, all I need now is a few pair of undies, my Chicano accent and a churro, then I'll be all set.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Here Are the Travel Plans...

14,196 mi – about 55 days 0 hours
San Francisco International
San Francisco Airport
1.Head east
0.7 mi
2.Merge onto US-101 N via the ramp to San Francisco
11.3 mi
3.Continue on I-80 E
Partial toll road
55.1 mi
4.Take exit 56 to merge onto I-505 N toward Redding
34.2 mi
5.Slight right at I-5 N
Passing through Oregon
Entering Washington
716 mi
6.Take the exit onto I-5 N
3.6 mi
7.Take exit 168B to merge onto WA-520 E toward Kirkland/Bellevue
0.8 mi
8.Take the Montlake Blvd exit
0.2 mi
9.Turn left at E Montlake Pl E/WA-513
0.4 mi
10.Turn left at NE Pacific St
0.7 mi
11.Continue on NE Northlake Way
0.2 mi
12.Turn left to stay on NE Northlake Way
1.0 mi
13.Kayak across the Pacific Ocean
Entering Hawaii
2,756 mi
14.Slight right at Turtle Bay Hilton
0.1 mi
15.Turn left at Kuilima Dr
0.5 mi
16.Turn right at HI-83/Kamehameha Hwy
10.5 mi
17.Continue on Joseph P Leong Hwy
1.9 mi
18.Slight right at HI-99/Kamehameha Hwy
Continue to follow Kamehameha Hwy
8.6 mi
19.Merge onto I-H2 S via the ramp to Honolulu
8.2 mi
20.Merge onto I-H1 E
4.5 mi
21.Take exit 13B to merge onto HI-78 E/I-H201 E
4.7 mi
22.Merge onto I-H1 E
3.8 mi
23.Take exit 23 for Punahou St
0.2 mi
24.Turn right at Punahou St
0.1 mi
25.Take the 1st right onto S Beretania St
0.1 mi
26.Take the 1st left onto Kalakaua Ave
1.9 mi
27.Kayak across the Pacific Ocean
Entering Japan
3,879 mi
28.Turn right toward 県道263号線
0.3 mi
29.Turn left toward 県道263号線
0.2 mi
30.Turn right at 県道263号線
0.3 mi
31.Slight left to stay on 県道263号線
200 ft
32.Turn left to stay on 県道263号線
0.3 mi
33.Turn right at 国道125号線
0.4 mi
34.Turn left at 亀城公園北(交差点) onto 国道354号線
0.4 mi
35.Slight left at 千束町(交差点) to stay on 国道354号線
2.0 mi
36.Turn right at 中村陸橋下(交差点) to stay on 国道354号線
1.0 mi
37.Take the ramp to 常磐自動車道
Toll road
0.3 mi
38.Keep left at the fork, follow signs for 東京 and merge onto 常磐自動車道
Toll road
23.8 mi
39.Take exit 三郷JCT toward 首都高・銀座・湾岸線
Toll road
0.7 mi
40.Merge onto 首都高速6号三郷線
Toll road
5.7 mi
41.Take exit 小菅JCT toward 湾岸線・銀座
Toll road
0.4 mi
42.Merge onto 首都高速中央環状線
Toll road
0.4 mi
43.Take exit 堀切JCT on the right toward 銀座・箱崎
Toll road
0.3 mi
44.Merge onto 首都高速6号向島線
Toll road
5.4 mi
45.Take exit 江戸橋JCT toward 新宿・北池袋
Toll road
0.4 mi
46.Merge onto 首都高速都心環状線
Toll road
3.8 mi
47.Take exit 谷町JCT on the right toward 東名・渋谷
Toll road
0.3 mi
48.Merge onto 首都高速3号渋谷線
Toll road
6.9 mi
49.Continue on 東名高速道路
Toll road
189 mi
50.Take exit 豊田JCT toward 東海環状・伊勢湾岸道・豊田東出口・土岐JCT・四日市・新名神
Toll road
0.3 mi
51.Keep right at the fork, follow signs for 伊勢湾岸道・四日市・新名神 and merge onto 伊勢湾岸自動車道
Toll road
19.8 mi
52.Take the ramp onto 伊勢湾岸自動車道
Toll road
12.1 mi
53.Take exit 四日市JCT toward 東名阪道・大阪・伊勢道
Toll road
0.6 mi
54.Merge onto 東名阪自動車道
Toll road
13.8 mi
55.Take exit 亀山JCT toward 新名神・京都・大阪
Toll road
0.6 mi
56.Merge onto 新名神高速道路
Toll road
30.9 mi
57.Take exit 草津JCT toward 草津PA・名神・京滋・京都・大阪
Toll road
0.2 mi
58.Take exit 草津PA on the right toward 名神
Toll road
0.5 mi
59.Merge onto 名神高速道路
Toll road
30.1 mi
60.Take exit 吹田JCT toward 中国道・山陽道・宝塚・岡山
Toll road
1.1 mi
61.Merge onto 中国自動車道
Toll road
18.8 mi
62.Take exit 神戸JCT toward 山陽道・岡山・徳島
Toll road
0.9 mi
63.Merge onto 山陽自動車道
Toll road
192 mi
64.Take exit 廿日市JCT toward 山陽道・岩国・北九州
Toll road
0.9 mi
65.Merge onto 広島岩国道路
Toll road
7.3 mi
66.Take the ramp onto 山陽自動車道
Toll road
59.2 mi
67.Take exit 山口JCT toward 中国道・下関・北九州
Toll road
0.8 mi
68.Merge onto 中国自動車道
Toll road
39.9 mi
69.Continue on 関門橋
Toll road
5.9 mi
70.Continue on 九州自動車道 (signs for 九州道・福岡・熊本)
Toll road
59.1 mi
71.Take exit 鳥栖JCT toward 大分道・大分・長崎道・長崎・佐賀
Toll road
0.3 mi
72.Keep right at the fork, follow signs for 長崎道・長崎・佐賀 and merge onto 長崎自動車道
Toll road
75.0 mi
73.Take exit 高速長崎IC toward ながさき出島道路・(長崎市街)
Toll road
0.6 mi
74.Merge onto ながさき出島道路/国道324号バイパス
Toll road
1.8 mi
75.Take the ramp onto 出島海岸通り/国道499号線
Partial toll road
0.4 mi
76.Turn left at 玉江橋(交差点)
0.2 mi
77.Turn left
482 ft
78.Turn left
404 ft
79.Take the 長崎~奈良尾~奈留島~福江 ferry
Toll road
60.8 mi
80.Continue straight
0.2 mi
81.Turn right toward 国道384号線
243 ft
82.Turn right toward 国道384号線
0.2 mi
83.Turn left at 東浜町(交差点) onto 国道384号線
1.3 mi
84.Slight left at 馬責馬場(交差点) onto 県道27号線
3.3 mi
85.Turn left to stay on 県道27号線
3.7 mi
86.Turn left at 県道31号線
0.4 mi
87.Continue on 県道164号線
4.8 mi
88.Turn left to stay on 県道164号線
0.2 mi
89.Slight left at 国道384号線
2.9 mi
90.Turn left
0.6 mi
91.Kayak across the Pacific Ocean
Entering Australia (Northern Territory)
3,358 mi
92.Turn right at Myilly Tce
0.2 mi
93.At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto Kahlin Ave
0.2 mi
94.At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Gilruth Ave
1.1 mi
95.Turn right at Goyder Rd
0.2 mi
96.Turn left at Stuart Hwy
598 mi
97.Turn left at Barkly Hwy
Entering Queensland
395 mi
98.Turn left to stay on Barkly Hwy
74.8 mi
99.Continue on Flinders Hwy
9.1 mi
100.Turn right at Landsborough Hwy
207 mi
101.Turn left to stay on Landsborough Hwy
0.7 mi
102.Turn right to stay on Landsborough Hwy
Go through 2 traffic circles
177 mi
103.Turn right to stay on Landsborough Hwy
257 mi
104.Slight left at Warrego Hwy
57.2 mi
105.Turn right to stay on Warrego Hwy
0.1 mi
106.Turn left to stay on Warrego Hwy
0.3 mi
107.Take the 3rd right onto Alice St
0.8 mi
108.Continue on Mitchell St George Rd
126 mi
109.Turn left at Balonne Hwy
3.3 mi
110.Turn right at Carnarvon Hwy
Entering New South Wales
73.6 mi
111.Continue on George St
0.8 mi
112.Turn right at Yarouah St
0.8 mi
113.Continue on Carnarvon Hwy
42.0 mi
114.Continue on Railway Pde
3.7 mi
115.Continue on Mungindi Rd
9.1 mi
116.Turn right to stay on Mungindi Rd
7.1 mi
117.Continue on Boolooroo St
1.1 mi
118.Continue on Carnarvon Hwy
9.9 mi
119.Turn right at Newell Hwy
Go through 2 traffic circles
62.8 mi
120.At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit and stay on Newell Hwy
0.5 mi
121.Turn right to stay on Newell Hwy
Go through 1 traffic circle
2.1 mi
122.At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit onto Kamilaroi Hwy
33.7 mi
123.Turn left to stay on Kamilaroi Hwy
Go through 2 traffic circles
74.2 mi
124.Turn right to stay on Kamilaroi Hwy
8.9 mi
125.Turn right at New England Hwy
Go through 1 traffic circle
52.8 mi
126.Turn left to stay on New England Hwy
29.4 mi
127.Turn right at Campbell St
0.2 mi
128.Take the 2nd left onto John St
0.7 mi
129.Continue on Putty Rd
5.2 mi
130.Turn left at Broke Mount Thorley Rd
9.4 mi
131.Continue on Paynes Crossing Rd
10.6 mi
132.Turn right to stay on Paynes Crossing Rd
7.7 mi
133.Continue on Great North Rd
2.3 mi
134.Turn right to stay on Great North Rd
1.8 mi
135.Turn left to stay on Great North Rd
10.5 mi
136.Continue on George Downes Dr
17.2 mi
137.Turn left at Mangrove Mountain Rd
1.7 mi
138.Slight left to stay on Mangrove Mountain Rd
2.7 mi
139.Continue on Peats Ridge Rd
3.0 mi
140.Take the ramp onto Sydney Newcastle Fwy
31.8 mi
141.Take the exit toward Pacific Hwy
0.2 mi
142.Turn left at Pacific Hwy
8.4 mi
143.Turn left to stay on Pacific Hwy
112 ft
144.Take the ramp onto Gore Hill Fwy
0.9 mi
145.Continue on Warringah Fwy
2.9 mi
146.Continue on Bradfield Hwy
Partial toll road
1.2 mi
147.Slight left to stay on Bradfield Hwy
400 ft
148.Slight left to stay on Bradfield Hwy
0.2 mi
149.Take the 1st left onto Grosvenor St
0.1 mi
150.Turn right at George St
0.3 mi
Sydney NSW