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Off to see the Wizard? or - travelling to Oz.

 
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Nov, 2002 01:34 pm
I haven't noted any big influx of North Americans here - so my guess is tht they've all passed out from turkey surfeit! Laughing
Or are frozen somewhere! Confused
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Nov, 2002 02:47 pm
the turkey thing gets you for days. Leftovers!
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Dec, 2002 05:51 pm
This is a strange country - while Sydney is roasting and ringed with fires burning out of control, in Victoria - the state next door - it is snowing!!!!!!!!!
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Dec, 2002 06:07 pm
3 days ago it was too hot to breathe. Now I'm wearing a jumper!
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Fri 6 Dec, 2002 08:23 pm
Snowing! In the snow fields on that mountain - or all over?
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margo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 01:57 pm
There's light snow scattered around the snowfields areas in both NSW and Victoria, not in the cities. The temperature has dropped considerably, (quite pleasant really) but the bushfires are still going full tilt. It's been so long since we've had rain, that all that fuel is just sitting there. The smoke is pretty bad in town, although the fires are on the extremeties.

Yesterday we drove through the national park to the south of Sydney (on our trip down Wilso's way) . The park was devastated in the Christmas fires last year, and prior to that in 1994, and is just not recovering at all. While the bush can cope with fire - it needs the following rain to kick things off again.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 02:35 pm
My friend is leaving next Wednesday for LA and then a flight to OZ. She's on a 16 day cruise around Tazmania, I think she said. She showed me all the maps but everything seems upside down. Three months she'll be down-under. I've made her an email address, [email protected] for Janet Washington-Western Australia. Cute, huh?

I'm worried about her, a little. She's going to be in Sydney at the 4 Seasons for two or three nights after the cruise. Please have all fires out by then. Thanks!

She's asked me what I'd like for her to bring me back, then said I couldn't have a kangaroo. Is there anything small that I should be coveting???
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margo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 02:45 pm
Piffka

The Four Seasons, I think, is the new name for the old Regent Hotel, located right near Circular Quay. Good location. When the fires come raging down George Street, she can just jump in the Harbour, and try to avoid the ferries! Razz

Sydney is a hugely spread out city, and the fires are on the outskirts. This means that the fires are 20 - 40 miles from the centre of town, depending on which fire exactly. If the fires are threatening her, we're all in deep doo-doo! The city is smoky, however, and there are some out-of-town trips that she won't be able to do.

When is she here? Does she want a contact in case of urgent need of a cuppa, or something.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 04:03 pm
That sounds about right, Margo, the hotel is part of the cruise package, so I'd think it would be near the harbo(u)r. Janet is the one who got me to volunteer on the Endeavour. Quite an active person, so she probably could jump in the water or at least commandeer a boat.

(I had no idea that Sydney was so huge. I mean, I knew it was big, but not that spread about.)

She'll first be in Sydney Jan. 3rd-5th or 6th. I imagine she'll be stopping through more than once. Her trip plans look a bit like a spider web, crossing and criss-crossing Oz. She writes wonderful travelogues and is taking two cameras and a recorder. Lord only knows what she's got planned for sure!

I know she'd love a contact, if nothing else, for the sheer joy of meeting people. She is a character and collects people from all over.
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margo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 04:19 pm
Piffka

We're approaching 5 million people, and it's only in relatively recent times that apartment living, or medium density housing, has become acceptable. Previously we all lived on our own, private, little quarter acre estates, stretching waaaay out.........

I've moved back to the inner suburbs, after living a long way out, on my little piece of bush.
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jjorge
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 06:14 pm
The fires in New South Wales are getting a lot of coverage in the media here in the last few days. Sounds like the fires are menacing some densely populated areas. I hope all of you oz-folks are ok. Sad
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 06:22 pm
And Guam has a typhoon...... so frustrating!
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 06:57 pm
Frustrating is an interesting description for a typhoon!
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 06:59 pm
too much rain up north, not enough down south. Seems there's been a lot of that type of thing going on.


Nooo, typhoons are scary I imagine.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Dec, 2002 07:30 pm
Margo! You lived in the bush??? Did you have amazingly scary bugs and spiders and snakes and ... critters???

Tell all, please!!
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margo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Dec, 2002 01:45 pm
Piffka

I lived on my own little quarter acre about 20-odd miles from the centre of the city, but still in the suburbs of Sydney. There was a reserve behind me.

Yes - when I first moved there, this area was just being developed, and there were some undesirable critters. The worst were the snakes. Brown snakes are poisonous, and will attack. I lived there for 14 years and lost 2 cats to brown snakes, the most recent the week before I moved away, 10 years ago. One chased me as I was weeding my garden! Bit scary. I hate snakes, but snakes are protected, whereas humans aren't!

There were some funnel-web spiders, also deadly, in the front yard, but we killed these with copious insecticides.

There were rabbits and goannas in the back yard, as I had no fence dividing me from the reserve. We also had some great colourful parrots. As the place became more settled and built up, the animals disappeared. (except the snakes). We also had the occasional grass fire in the reserve - which necessitated calling the fire brigade. These were mostly started by kids, but were bloody scary - the fire just races!!!

When I first moved there, it was just lovely - like living in the country - but I'd guess now it's just suburbia, with fences and lawns and the like.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 05:22 am
Gosh Margo - when I was a weelowan we lived in a new suburb in the foothills and there were many brown snakes and such - but I never recall being menaced.

The local boys and I offered a trapdoor spider removal service, though - most unwarranted I now see, and mean - but we all fervently believed that, one day, one would mistake us for an insect and pop out and bite us. I only heard of one kid being bitten and she was, of course, investigating the hole to see if the spider was home. Now - everyone KNEW that when the trap was SHUT the spider was IN, so what she was a-thinking of a-poking in of her finger I cannot fathom.......nor what she expected....a plum perchance?

A huge brown snake came once, and shed her enormous skin and laid her eggs - which we knew because, suddenly, there were seeming myriads of tiny, but deadly, brown snake babies in the garden. The cats, a mother and her son, killed numbers of them, always in the same way. Candy would wait in ambush behind the snake, while Christopher Columbus (who had been a most intrepid explorer as a kitten) would dance about in front of it, until Candy pounced and broke its spine, just behind the head, in one fell swoop.

Most exciting to watch from the breakfast table, as one struggled to force down a weetbix, or when playing in the garden.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 08:48 am
My god, your cat and kitten in a deadly battle out in the garden while you're having breakfast??? Awkk.

Brown snakes? I've never heard of them, but I've put them on the "most undesirable" list. And even the babies are deadly? Yikes.

Margo, that must have been awful to lose your cat just before you were to move. I am sorry to make you dredge up sad memories. What's this about the snakes are protected? Were Deb's cats acting against the law?!?

Having watched a lot of Steve Irwin a few years ago, I know, I think what a goanna is. Long, slithery type of lizard, right? Fast!

But I'm disappointed. No Kangaroos??? Wherever are they?
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 10:21 am
Just to keep you protected out there -- baby poisonous snakes are always particularly poisonous, so's they can protect themselves, I guess. (Know this because I grew up in rattlesnake country in California.) Rattler babies are even more dangerous because they don't have rattles 'n' you don't know they're there.

Nothing like the poisonous critters in Oz. 'Tween spiders and snakes and jellyfish and lord knows what all (got any malaria mozzies down there?), it sounds like a place to make you more-than-itch.
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margo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Dec, 2002 01:27 pm
Piffka
Australia, despite it's looks, is a very urban country. We mostly all live in the cities, and cities are not kind to critters. Kangaroos and the like need plenty of space, and as such, are pushed further away from the cities, into the bush. And, in the bush, they're often in plague numbers!

A couple of years ago, I think during a drought, there were kangaroos seen often in the suburbs of Canberra, the Oz capital, which is surrounded by bush. They came in for the feed. Canberrans are very good at gardening - so good feed for hungry roos. A friend in outer Sydney found a small wallaby in her backyard - which backed on to bush - but it had escaped from a small wildlife park, some miles away, and had got to her place through the bush.

To see kangaroos in the wild now, you have to travel, and have quick eyes. There is a national park, about an hour's drive from me, where you can see a couple - I took my Swedish backpacker there a few weeks ago - and saw about 4 - 5- posing for tourists, kinda. The best place I know to see a lot is about 5 hours drive south of Sydney, where once they actually attacked me to get to my chocolate caramel slices. Again, these are not really wild - they live in a national park, and are used to tourists, but roam free. Bit scary, though - being jostled by kangaroos taller than you are! There are plenty of wildlife parks and zoos, if you want to see your animals without the travelling.

There were a number of instances of aggressive snakes when I lived west of Sydney. Once, after the grass fires went through the back of my land - the bushfire brigade chief made a point of telling us to be aware of angry, slightly bbq-d snakes. Yikes.

There are any number of dangerous critters here, but we scarcely think of them, unless there's been another drama. A few weeks ago, a female German tourist , with a group, in the Northern Territory, decided to go swimming in a river, despite the huge notices warning about crocodiles. Their idiot tour guide told them it'd be safe - well - it was for the rest of them - the croc only wanted one feed! Confused What the hell do they think those signs are there for? Question
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