made it to SF! excited to be back!!! i'll have a cell phone # in a few days.


i am at the airport. got here to find that my 2pm flight is delayed until 11:30pm. oi oi oi. i am told that i will get to LA around 2:30pm. i then triend to cal SW airlines to re-arrange my connection to oakland. they have a convienent 1-800 # but you can't call 1-800 #s from outside the us. duh... tried a milloin ways of reaching them and ended up calling the baggage people who have a non-1-800 # and they transferred me and it was done in 2 minutes. took me an hour and a half on this half. even the #s for the operator were hard to find and only then did i find out for sure that calling the 1-800 # is impossible. oi oi. but its set now.
i get in at 6:15pm


i mentioned weird weather...

in local news, a 5kg chunk of ice crashed through Jan and Bruce Robertson's roof..."The projectile plummeted from the sky at an estimated 400km/h just before 5pm on Wednesday, coming to rest on the kitchen bench only metres from the couple. Mrs Robertson, 80, was cleaning a bedroom and her 83-year-old husband was outside weeding." I heard poor Jan on the radio, saying "crazy weather we are having... what will be next, I wonder? someone could have been killed" the most popular theory is that the ice was man-made and fell from a plane... however, no planes were in the area.


i leave tomorrow!


it turns out that the "best day tramp" was to mt doom (from lord of the rings)! it was the hardest climb i've ever done, definately putting the vietnam mountains to shame. but, since i was shuttled to the start and away from the finish, i had to keep on for the 7 hours. the top was amazing, with unreal scenery on all sides, complete with green-blue crater lakes and hot springs and strange pillared lava flows. luckily the air was cool (and there were 100 other people scrambling up the same path) which made it easier to keep going. but, after 4 hours of going straight up, i made it for a lunch by the lake. i took about 20 pictures so hopefully they can do it some justice.
the next day the legs were sore so i was glad that i had planned a driving day. decided to head east to the largest national park with a famous 3-day "great walk". soon, i encountered some strange weather, things turned cool and rainy- even strange for winter in this area. the visiotr center predicted the same for the next 4 days so i decided to camp in a hut just 2 hours in and come out the next day. the walk was beautiful (and wet!) along a path next to a huge crystal-clear lake. by the time i started to feel seriously cold i made it to the hut to find a family of 4 already heating it up. they had done the whole circuit and were 1 hour away from the boat pick-up spot. they fed me hot rice and invited me to come learn how to milk goats on their farm. they live near hobbitton which i want to see, but apparently you have to tke a tour and pay $50 so i might skip it...
today is a lot of driving NE along the coast. rains have cleared, at least for the moment, so hopefully i will get a warm ocean swim.


ahhh! finally back online! the camping was great! we were very unprepared and got a little lost and locked out of the campground the first night, but had fun anyway. next day, the trip was redeamed when we found an empty park with good walks. i went out for one at sunset and caught a glimpse of a small kanga! was later told by the ranger that "he is a very cheeky" swamp wallaby".
came back to camp to find that a scout leader had showed up to camp nearby. he was scouting for some other camping areas since his local one burned down. stephan played guitar by the fire, we sang for hours, and tony showed us the southern cross.
next day found stephan and i hiking amid towering sandstone, dry bushland and panoramic views of the canyon. the sky began rumbling its warning of rain, a good omen after a hot hike. stopping to inspect a gigantic termite mound, we were suddenly caught in a wall of rain. we tried to hide next to a tree, but there was no hiding from this rain... so we ran around and back to camp. hungry little walkers, trying to start a lunch fire to cook, was like starting a fire in the shower. napped, ate late, went to bed early and was awoken in the night by a very noisy visitor. stephan said "sarah! wake up, its a wombat!". i named him "gus". he rummaged around on stubby legs pulling grass by the roots and making little grunting noises. i jumped out of the van, grabbing my flashlight to get closer. was immediatly given the wombat stare equivalent of "what do you think you are looking at". he was like a grumpy-old-man-bear-pig. a moment later he ran off with little rumbling and thudding and i kept stephan awake, reading everything i could find about wombats.
drove back to sydney, tried to go bowling, but ended up at a movie with stephan and friends. later played guitar and sang until 1:30am. got up at four to get the train to the airport. rtains, planes and automobiles later, i am in auckland, NZ with two hours of sleep, driving south. decided to rent a car so i would have time to actually see most of the north island. planning to sleep out of the back and have a big 10-day road trip. tommorrow i should reach tongarriro national park for "the best day tramp in new zealand".....


surfed all day, swam in a tea tree oil lake. my chakras are just jolly. stepped on a jellyfish but it was dead already. its jellyfish-land out there! luckily got no stings. now i am going to eat some organic vegetarian pizza. i have a rosy glow and am covered in sand. heading back to sydney then camping, so might not get online for 3-4 days.
met a homeless traveller on the beach and we ate organic dates, organic pumpkin bread with organic cashew butter then went to see a fire show, ate free leftovers at the krishna restaurant, met his friend (from SF), discussed politics, logging in tasmania, and digeridoos.


finally surfed today. took a little lesson and it was really good. learned a few things so i signed up for a whole day tomorrow. the plan is: 6 hours of surfing then hop on a bus for 13 hours back to sydney. i am finding that i like australia well enough, but get really excited about the wildlife. so, i arranged a little camping trip with a friend from the farm for my last few days before heading off to NZ.

the new age movement in australia is out of hand. how is it that so many people lost themselves, that billboards and newspapers are brimming with advertisements for self-discovery and "getting rid of pain, grief, jealousy, hate, guilt in minutes" through tantric meditation and drumming? the sound of chakras alligning is deafening. but the sound of digeridoos is nice.


ok, changed my ticket slightly to get a free layover in new zealand... the super-real-final details are:
Saturday, January 24 - LOS ANGELES INTL(LAX) to OAKLAND CA(OAK)
Flight 1809 V
Depart LOS ANGELES INTL(LAX) at 01:30PM and
Arrive in OAKLAND CA(OAK) at 02:45PM

i have a pick-up in oakland alreay but i really want to see everyone! let me know what you all are doing on saturday or sunday nights!?

in byron bay=veggie pizza, surf and spirituality for sale. 13 hours on a bus is a goofy thing. going to the beach but its too windy to surf, so i rented a pink bicycle.

i am very excited to come back to SF! and of course if you know of any cool jobs or apartments available let me know, but really i am not thinking about that yet.


off to byron bay tomorrow to surf it up.
missed with the sunscreen and got a burn like two little red wings on my back. bought a ticket sydney to SF on January 28th. i arrive in SF 6:05pm (hint hint). i want to get hugs, go for a fat burrito, then to the wild side west, and have a big beach burn (maybe not in that order)

today i:
went on my first bushwalk and found a local swimming hole
did a kangaroo photo shoot with "possum", the local kangaroo, who drank my glass of wine...
picked 3,423 weeds

yesterday i:
made a friend and went to an uncrowded! beach
picked 3,245 weeds


had the day off yesterday and went to a sydney beach, with the goal of surfing. but, everyone else had the same idea and it was the most crowded beach i have ever seen. i took a photo just to show you all the MADNESS! to top it off there were bad rip currents so swimming was permitted in a tiny area (about 20 meters wide) which was even more madness. of course, the surfers can't be bothered by warnings or rules so they went all over, but even the good ones were having a hard time, so i just took a nap.
its hot and i have pulled 7,490 weeds. i live in a pink camper. did i mention that this place is a school for disabled people? after work today, went swimming with some of the clients in the pool here, which was lovely.
planning to go to a drag show at the place which inspired "priscilla, queen of the desert".
its official, i am running a little low on money and missing CA, so i am thinking of coming home by valentine's day!