mardi 23 septembre 2008


The first thing I've done once I had my student status is to subscribe at the outdoor sports club of the University. You know that I like mountains and all outdoor activites ! So I went to the blue mountains with two nice people of this club,Steve and Su Li. That was definitly a good introduction to this area. The plan was to go a bit off-track along some ridges to a river, follow this river, camp there and return to the start place along another ridge.

We knew that we should cross the river few times, but at the end there was more water than expected. It means that we had to cross the river several times, to walk on dense vegetation areas during few hours. It was impossible to cross everywhere so we had to guess which side of the river would be better... The dense vegetation made our progression quite slow and I had the feeling that I'll become a part of the forest... we saw some nice black snakes near the river. It was more like an adventure than a standard hike !

The blue mountains are mainly covered of gum trees (eucalyptus), bushes, pines, and the area is really huge and isolated. In comparison to Switzerland, we saw nobody during two days and it is rare to have mobile phone network. By walking on the bushes, the gum tress, and the vegetation near the river I had different feeling and memory of Canada, Pyrénées, Indiana jones, and Into the wild ! Why are the blue mountains called so ? Just have a look on the next picture:

I don't wan't to get into details but with some distance a scattering of UV light effect give this grey/blue colour.

I saw there my first Wallaby, which is a kind of small Kangaroo:

There is many different specis of Kangaroos (eastern, western, red-Kangaroo) & Wallabies (agile, red-necked, rock-wallaby...). the rock-wallaby is kind of equivalent to our mountain goat I guess !

During the drive we also saw some wombats. It's quite a stupid animal, smaller than a pig. You can see some dead wombat near the road because they are walking quite slowly and seems not to be afraid of cars ! I don't know if they even run but when I saw one on the forest he was just walking out of my direction...

Finally we saw a possum crossing the road, a kind of small cat/rat, which tends to eat quickly your food when you don't keep an eye on it.

If you are still reading you may want to check this photo album.

lundi 22 septembre 2008

Hey Mate !

Hey mate ! How are you doing ? Welcome to my blog.

I finally decided to use a blog to give news about my stay in Sydney... It will be mostly in English and I will try to feed it with the relevant facts, photos of my trips & activities.

Let's start with the beginning: the plane. About 26 hours reading Bill Bryson, try to find a good movie and waiting for the next dinner, breakfast or whatever... I left Geneva on September 2 and arrived in sydney early on september 4.

Although the weather was not was I expected, I was really happy to be in Sydney, new town, new people to meet, new things to discover... new Outdoor activities ! My hostel was directly on Coogee beach, on the east of sydney :

I guess the hostel was not the best, but what a pleasure to see the beach from the balcony on a early morning... Just what you need when you spend days looking at internet ads to find an accomodation. That was certainly not a really good time... I visited some flats with two bunk beds on the living room and some rooms with a double bed to be shared with someone else. Accomodation are really expensive in Sydney, a bit like in London: you have to pay your rent weekly.

However during this time I also bought a mountain bike to explore the city and to look for rooms in a more efficient manner. Doing Bike in Sydney CDB is a bit dangerous for bike newbies, but then it is really funny I think. Not much people are riding bike and the danger is to get catch by someone opening the door without looking.

There is a lot of beach on the city coast. The university is on the south part, were you can find the well known Bondi Beach, Bronte beach (where I took the picture below), Coogee beach and finally Maroubra beach, where I live more or less, but that's another story.