Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blue Mountains

Well, now that I'm exactly a week behind on posting, I guess I'll try to catch up! Last Sunday morning, we woke up bright and early to catch the train to the Blue Mountains, a national park to the east of Sydney. Tyler, Eric and I made it on time, but John and Steve missed it by a few minutes, but it didn't end up mattering. We slept on the 2 hour train ride, and Lew, a teacher from ACU who owns Silvermere Guesthouse, picked us up at the train station. The guesthouse was SO nice, and when we arrived, Lew's wife, Cath, had pastries ready for us, which were fantastic. After we got organized, we headed to the trail.

Before we even started the hike, we saw one of the best views we would see the entire time.

On the 5 HOUR hike (yes, I, Amy Wheeler, hiked for 5 HOURS) we saw a few waterfalls, put eucalyptus leaves up our noses (apparently they help clear up colds), climbed down 7 steep ladders, some with cages around them, and the boys went swimming in the freezing cold water.

Cath packed us bagged lunches to take with us, which boosted my energy back up. And then, about 3 1/2 or 4 hours in, I was about ready to die. I was slightly dizzy, my legs were dragging, and I was exhausted.

But, needless to say, I made it, and took a nice long bath once I got back to the B&B (which, by the way, made me remember how fantastic baths are -- I don't think I've taken one since we found out the upstairs bath leaked when I was in 4th grade).
After my bath, we all had dinner together, with Lew and Cath. She made kangaroo stew, which was great. For dessert, we had some type of pastry with ice cream, which was also great.

We just hung out for the rest of the night, and went to bed fairly early in order to wake up for adventures the next day... which ended up essentially being rained out. For breakfast, we had stewed rhubarb, which was really good, an assortment of fruit, and tea. Then we headed to an Aborginal site, which was particularly eerie in the fog and mist.

We went back for lunch, which was avocado salad, sausage, and a tomato and onion dish, and then headed back to Sydney on the train. I was incredibly sore for the next 3 days.
Tuesday I was back to work at the internship, transcribing an interview the editor did with Hugh Jackman! Wednesday I worked all day, and then went to a book launch for one of the writers at the magazine until 8:15... such a long day, but the book launch was pretty fun, and my bosses loved me because I kept the wine table full and people happy the entire night. Thursday I went into work late because I had stayed late the night before, but ended up getting on a bus with a new driver, making me even later, and when I got to the train station, and announcement came on saying the train to Bondi Junction would be delayed. Just wasn't my day... or so I thought... turns out, Friday the 13th REALLY wasn't my day.
I keep my computer right near my bed, and usually wake up at random times and check my email or IMs. I did this at like 8 am, and everything was fine. When I woke up at 9, my computer was frozen, and CTRL ALT DEL would not work, so I just shut it down. When I went to go turn it back on, it came up with an error message. To make a very long story short, my hard drive was faulty. I just got this computer in DECEMBER! I was so frustrated. And when I talked to the computer guy, he said they most likely would not be able to save what was on the hard drive... aka all of my pictures and homework assignments from this trip, including a power point presentation that was due at 5:30 that day. Cue: minor breakdown from Amy. It was one of those days that would have really sucked if I had been home, and sucked even more because I was in a foreign country, and having to dial 6,000 numbers before I could reach someone at Dell. The Dell guy ended up being super nice, telling me he could totally relate to my feelings, and then telling me that unfortunately they would not be able to have a hard drive shipped, nor was I covered under warranty because I was in a foreign country. Yea... so... good day.
But then, this morning, the computer store people called me back, said my computer was fixed, and that they had been able to recover EVERYTHING from my hard drive. I was SO excited... totally made my day. So I went to go pick it up, kissed the ground he walked on (not really... but pretty close), and went to Manly beach. I grabbed some fish and chips (as suggested by my guide book), and lounged on the beach all day, reading and napping. Tomorrow, I am headed to Coogee beach with Isabel, my Spanish friend, and some of her friends, if the weather is nice. And now -- job/internship searching for the summer and fall. :-/...

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