quick hop to the southisland

coming down to Wellington from New Plymouth, I stayed outside Wellington for one night (there was a rugby game NZ / OZ so everything was full). Driving towards Wellington the next morning, I decided I wasn’t in the mood for city, so I took Marvin to the Ferry Terminal and got me a ride to the south island of NZ. Taking over was really fun, getting some saltwater over the deck and a strong mindclearing wind.
Over in Picton I checked in at Atlantis backpacker and spent the next day preparing for a four-day-hike along the Queen Charlotte Track. Going for a walk to the Ferry Terminal with Jesse (an american girl) she spontaniously decided to change her ticket and join me. So we just got some more food, packed our backpacks and relaxed with a nice movie (Before Sunrise, with the sequel Before Sunset runnig at the NZ Filmfestival).
The days in the sounds where really nice! Other that the forecast we had good luck with the weather and with some modifications of our (not really existing) plans we had a dmn good time! One morning I even had to chase a sheep around wich tried to get into my backpack ;-). As we traded our return trip to Picton on the way, we hitchhiked back to Atlantis the last day.

check http://gallery.oh7eleven.de/tim/ for pics

riding to Ship Cove (video)

The next day she went off with the ferry to the northern island and I hit the road towards Nelson, giving an english girl from the hostel a ride. In Nelson we were just sipping on a nice long black, talking about where we’d been so far, when we realised that we had been neighbours for two months in Sydney!!! We even had talked across the fence once without seeing each other! The world is soooo small, especially down under ;-).

The Prom, Brisbane & Frasier Island

The Wilsons Promontory was just amazing beautiful nature! Aside the class from melbourne wich was hiking the same way, I was completely on my own with the wildlife. The first day was quite rainy, but all my equipment prooved to be well suited for all conditions. The next two days was mostly sunshine so things got really enjoyable. Each day itr seemed like hiking through a different landscape, the first day it was cold rainforest, the second day was mostly eucalyptus forests and following the coastline over heaps of big rocks, the last day was a mix of beaches, dunes, swamps and mountainforest.
Having the class on the same route, I didn’t get too lonely and had some nice talks in the evenings. As it’s winter over here, the evenings were quite short though, as it got dark around 1730. With the darkness all the nocturnal animals showed up, wombats and lots of different opossums. During daytime there were lots of birds around, Ravens and something like a smaller parrot in red trying to get food out of everything they found, not fearing humans. One of those parrot-thing birds even landed on my head! I even saw a coala, which looked quite dissapointed, as he just found out he climbed a tree without leaves to eat on the top ;-).
After all this nature I got a stay at Daniels (living near foster) place, from where Nadine (german girl on the way home) gave me a ride to Sydney via Canberra where we stayed at Bea&Ros’ place. Arriving in Sydney, Nadine dropped me at the BBQ Party at Holly’s house, where I met up with lots of my sydney friends. Staying at Toni’s place for that night. After a few more nights, staying at Eva’s Backpacker in Kings Cross I got me a cheap VirginBlue flight up to Brisbane, hoping for some warmer weather and sun before leaving for NZ. As my flight to Bris was quite late, I couldn’t get in the backpacker I planned to go to, so I ended up in one of the few places open 24/7 still having free beds (there was a big rugby game that day, so everything was full), the Bunk Backpacker, which turned out to be really nice as well. Still quite young (running for 6 mon), really spacious 4 beds with their own shower and bathroom. A pool and SPA downstairs, next to the bar with a pooltable.
Brisbane itself is quite nice and easily walked in one day. Nighlife is one of it’s big features, thus called Brisvegas from time to time.
Looking forward for some nature after partying there, I booked me on a selfdriving 4wd tour on Frasier Island, staying the night before and after at the Backpacker which organises the tour. After a general briefing in the afternoon, the groups (~9-11ppl) swarmed out to buy food and drinks for the three days. Packing a threedaypack in the evening. After a short sleep we got up early to load the trucks and get to the ferry by 9. Driving around on the biggest sandisland of the world was really fun! The narrow trails through the woods and along the “highways” on the beaches, staying in small basic camps behind the dunes for the night. Beeing experienced in outdoors and camping the camp was set up and running in a short while. Water for the BBQ-pasta boiling on the fire, a cold beer in my hand and heaps of people to chat with around the fire. Way different from the hiking in the Prom, where I had to carry everything myself and cut it all down to the bare basics. the days we spent getting amazing views from spots as the Indian Head, spotting sharks and whales below us, swimming in the inland freshwater lakes or even snorkeling in the Champaign Pools, seeing heaps of different fish. Coming home from the island, I stayed two more nights in the beautiful Koala Resort which organised the tour. Relaxing under some palmtrees at the pool. (for just about 10 euros!!!) Right here in the internet cafe I just booked me on a cheap backpacker bus going down to surfers paradise for the last few days up here in the warm north.

Leaving Sydney

Afer over half a year living and (very succesfully) working in Sydney I left the city I fell in love with. With a short hop to Melbourne I start the backpacking-season.
Sitting at the gate, I’m sipping a “Tall Long Black” (a small one would have been a “Short Long Black” 😉 that happens when americans don’t care about local specialities (Starbucks)).
Guess this is a fine time to recapitulate. The things I liked most about Sydney were it’s multicultural lifestyle and it’s live-music scene (Cheers to all the Ska-people and “Waiting For Guinnes”).
The major small things I’ll be missing are the nice walks through the park to the uni, the beatiful glimpses at Sydney Skyline in the sunset from Glebe and the probably friendliest pizzeria around the corner (Boost Cafe Glebe).
In this rather short time I met so many nice people, had heaps of interesting conversations and made lots of new friends (hope I’ll be able to stay in contact with them).
Working at the Uni Sydney was a pleasure and interesting. I enjoyed helping the firstsemesters with their catapult and like to hear what hapened to the hovering platform.
The talks with profs, former students and the staff were really inspiring and I hope I can set up my own small workshop to work on my ideas.

Well, enought of the past, I’ll be boarding any moment.
On the road again, taking the long way home.

Thanks everybody for this nice time,

arts & culture

More culture …
just before leaving for Germany, Tom, Miro and I went to some event in an old factory, wich was inhabited by artists. Arriving there, seeing how colorful and interesting the setting was, I realized that I didn’t take my camera with me … stupid me … after some confused minutes I luckily ran into Marlon, who gave me a ride home to fetch it! (Man you’re just great!!! IOU!)
The evening was just amazing! The first band (Waiting for Guinness) just rocked the crowd with a mix of eastern european music madness! Afterwards I had some time to have a look at all the small exhibitions and installations. They even had an old Jet-Cockpit standing around, glowing from the inside!
After taking LOTs of pictures, the second band staged around 100 … some more decent chilld music. Everybody just looked for some nice spot on the ground or the steps and relaxed. On the bar they sold typical aussi homebrew. So the evening went on and on, having really nice talks with some friends of Tom and Miro. We all finally got us a cab home at 5 in the morning!

Living in Sydney …

Visitor from Germany!
Last week Eric & Melli visited me, after 8 weeks of driving through Australia. I tried to show them what Sydney culture is about, so the first night we went to a jazzy, funky jam session at the Townhall in Newton.
After walking the city the whoe day, they where pretty tired the next evening, so I just went to the usual wednesday-evening-trivi-night at the pub around the corner.
Thursday night Tom (from Czech moved to Aussi in ’91) invited us to a Czech restaurant of a friend. The meal was just awsome! Like at home, as the Czech and suthern German cuisine are pretty similar. Nice roasted Pork in lots of yummi fat with Sauerkraut and knedlíky (dumplings) aside! Lots of good Czech beer and Vodka afterwards. A really nice international evening with people from Czech, Italy and Germany at our table.
Saturday we had a bbq with cangaroo and lots of aussi wine (out of these 4l cardboard boxes! ;-)). Leaving on tuesday, Eric & Melli left on sunday for another short trip south of Sydney, returning monday evening after getting rid of their buy-back-car. Another nice evening hanging out in our backyard with some more friends of the house.
Leaving for Thailand, they catched their plane that tuesday afternoon. It’s been really nice to see some known faces again, after leaving Germany in october.
subculture in Sydney
Friday I went to a concert of my favorite local band Rastawookie. 9 people on stage, lots of different instruments (brass, big drums, flutes, …) playing an very interesting mix between reggae, ska, latin, and some eastern-european sounds.
The last weekend they had a nice concert in the pub “Empire of Anandale” with a nice afterparty in their hotelroom, where I took two films of slides the night.
This time things were somehow different. The location more central, bigger advertisement all around Sydney and probably as a result of this long queues in front of the pub. (The earlier gigs were smaller in a rather familiar athmosphere)
But even with lots of people not really connected to that scene (lots of overdressed girls!) the party lasted till two or three in the morning.
A view days ago, Seani, a friend of Madelaine, invited me for some weird funny movie at an really interesting venue. It looked like an old storage building, with a huge archive of movies and some chairs arranged like in a cinema. The movie was pretty weird, about some conspiracy in the american upperclass. Seemed more like a good laugh to me. But the people were really nice, and asked us if we wanted coffe or tea while watching the movie.
There are so many small nice things to discover in Sydney!

… and working in Sydney

Aside all this cultural living, I still manage to do my work for the internship at the aeromech department of the University of Sydney.
Mostly programming at the moment, this is easy, as I usually work at home, whenever I want. KC (my prof) is in some deep trouble at the moment, as both his computers crashed and refuse to work.
While beeing back in germany for two weeks starting next tuesday, I’ll try to keep improving the actual program. With the internet it really doesnt matter where I work, as long as I don’t have to be somewhere physically.

Oh bright future!

I made it to 2004!

Had some nice parties in the meantime,
new years eve I spent in Pubs in Newtown, together with Ishtar, Helen and Amina. Got home around 6 in the morning.
Just yesterday there was a really nice housewarming party at the house of some ska/reggae ppl I met on an internet ska/reggae forum. (Big thanks to Glen, Andy and Jo!!)
Today i spent reading the newspapers of the last few days.