Manly Beach, Australia

Carrying on with my daily site-seeing, a couple of days ago I visited Manly beach. It is winter right now, so there weren’t many people enjoying the sand, but there were about 15 surfers enjoying the water. Before visiting Manly, I took the Sydney CityRail to Canterbury to pick up a Canon Ixus 80 from Digital Camera Warehouse because my backup camera is having some issues. The Sydney rail system is comfortable and for $16 you can purchase a DayTripper ticket that allows you to travel as much as you want for an entire day, including ferries. Below are two pictures of one of the waiting platforms for the Sydney CityRail.

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After picking up the Ixus 80, I returned to central Sydney and began my trek to the ferries located at Circular Quay. I got there about 5 minutes after the last ferry for Manly left, so I got some McDonald’s while waiting for the next ferry to Manly. It was overcast and cold, but the ride was still enjoyable. Below are some pics of Sydney Harbour from the ferry.

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The ride is about thirty minutes and after a short walk I arrived at the beach.

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I found a quiet spot and took a short nap before exploring some more of the city. After about 30 minutes of exploring, I took the ferry back and headed back to the hostel.  On the way there I took the Domain Carpark Expressway, which is an underground moving sidewalk that connects the parking lot to Hyde Park. At first I was amazed that someone would create an underground moving sidewalk to provide access to a parking lot, but after using it I have begun to appreciate the convenience. Here is a video of the expressway in use by me.

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Harbour Bridge – Sydney, Australia

After taking it easy for a couple weeks and focusing on the job hunt, I have decided to see at least one new thing while I am here in Sydney. Today, I hiked through Sydney’s Hyde Park and yesterday I hiked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and back. Tomorrow, I am planning on taking the ferry’s to Manly Beach or taking a long walk to Bondi Beach. Walking across the Harbour Bridge provides some good pictures of Sydney Harbour, the opera house, and Sydney Central Business District. A few pics are below:

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What it looks like walking on the pedestrian part of the bridge

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video commentary from bridge

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another harbour pic

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Something got inside the camera and there is a mark in the upper left hand corner of every picture. I am goign to see if I can get it blown out by camera shop. If not, I will probably pick up the Australian equivalent of the Canon SD1100(IXUS 80IS) to replace the original sd1000 that got hosed in the dunes of Namibia.

A New Strategy – Sydney, Australia

I have modified my strategy for locating a job. Instead of solely focusing on Sydney as a place of employment, I have now expanded my job search to cities like Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Because I am still in temporary accommodation it is possible to fly to another city for a job and setup shop there. I have also applied to be a pedipod pilot here in Sydney. I believe there is still an opportunity available for me at Crisis Couriers, but I have not called them yet to iron out what the details.

Today, I moved hostels to a more affordable hostel, Harbour City Backpackers. Harbour City Backpackers is the type of hostel I expect hostels to be like. It is a little grungy, sort of like a frat house after a party, things are bare bones, and a diverse and talkative crowd exists to converse with. There is really not that much difference in the rooms of the hostels I have stayed in. Eva’s had the nicest rooms even though Wake Up was most expensive. The rooms in Eva’s had a private bathroom, private reading lamps and shelves for beds, and big storage lockers. Harbour City so far has the most barebones rooms, but Wake Up is very close even though it is almost twice as expensive. However, at first glance, the shower and bathroom facilities at Wake Up are nicer. Wake Up also has an enormous TV room with massive flat screen and a huge first floor lounge with another massive flat screen. On the other hand, while Harbour City might lack flat screens and private bathrooms, it is very centrally located. It has the shortest walk to the Sydney Opera, Hyde Park, and the Circular Quay. I have embedded pictures of the rooms in Eva’s, Wake Up, and Harbour City Backpackers below.

Eva’s:

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Wake Up:

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Harbour City Backpackers:

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I have re-added the music section with a new format and begun updating the travel log. My friend Uly, pictured goofily below, is flying to Cairns tomorrow and going to buy a van or big car and travel around Australia. He will be camping and sleeping out of his van and picking up any work he finds along the way. If I don’t lock down on a job soon, I am thinking about joining him for what is most likely going to be an incredible experience.

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I had to go back to Kings Cross yesterday to pick up an ATM Card and took a couple pictures. The first two are of Darlinghurst Street. This is the Red Light District of Sydney. It looks like a normal street, but almost every other storefront is a strip club. The third picture is of a Coca-Cola sign that is an icon of Kings Cross.

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Africa Pic Tour with “American Dave’s” pics – State Library NSW, Sydney, Australia

On the 19th:

Continued looking at job options, apartments, and possibly enrolling in an Oz business school. Got a little rowdy. After killing 2 cases of brew with some friends we had a water chugging contest before hitting up McDonald’s at 3 in the morning.

Water Chugging:

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View from Top of Eva’s:

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On the 20th:

Got a bank account at Westpac. Australian banking is interesting because all of the bank accounts that I looked at had monthly charges. This differs from all of the bank accounts I’ve had in the US. However, Australian interest rates are substantially higher than US interest rates. The simple savings account yields a 7% interest rate. I also got scooped a new webcam from an Australian electronics store called Dick Smiths. Got confused and thought it was the pro. This means I might be making another trip to Dick Smiths tomorrow.

On the 21st:

Switched to Wake Up Hostel. Wake Up is like a college dorm and a hotel combined. The hostel is huge and there are a lot more scheduled outings and events. For example, many days have free group tours of Sydney. Will probably do one of these tomorrow.

The real deal:

I just finished uploading the pics that tour mate Dave gave me before he left. Because I just put the pics up I thought I would post a couple of the good ones.

A friendly bird:

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Wild Zebra – National Animal of Botswana:

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Dune 45 again:

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A beetle on the move:

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Breakfast at Dune 45:

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A bird with a fur coat:

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Always time to build a rock pile:

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We’re in the middle of nowhere:

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Don’t stick things in holes:

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Everybody’s got a story to tell:

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Lizard:

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Are those 20’s on the ride?:

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Elephants at the watering hole:

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Lots of ele’s at night:

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Giraffes on the move:

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Springbok – National Animal of South Africa:

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Lions in the distance:

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Wildebeest:

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More Zebra:

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Oryx playing around:

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We were in this ele’s territory:

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Land of goo:

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Sand Bushmen:

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Sunset in the Okavango Delta:

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American Dave on Termite mound:

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Lukey B fell and got a stick in his hand:

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Ele getting palm nuts:

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Hippo’s in the Delta:

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Baobab tree:

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Big Lizard:

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Water Buffalo:

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Baboon:

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Lions on the move:

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The boys at Victoria Falls:

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Lions on the Night Drive in Etosha:MVI_0347

where is darran? v2 – Eva’s Backpackers, Sydney, Australia

Eva’s got their internet sorted out and I’m chilling in the tv lounge on the couch watching Friends with a scot, an italian, and two german chicks. Everyone is super cool at Eva’s, but more chill than what is typical of most travelling crowds. Today I spent most of the day at the library researching jobs, cell phones, and applying for an Australian tax file number. Tomorrow I am getting a bank account and continuing to look for longer term lodging.

The GiSTEQ PhotoTrackr got destroyed on the booze cruise. While looking for a replacement I came across something that I can use to geotag my photos, but can also provide real-time tracking of where I am. Right now I’m looking at the Globalsat TR-102. This bad boy has a GPS receiver and built in cellular network capabilities that allow it to send via SMS the location of the device on a set interval. You can have it sent to either a private service or a service like GpsGate.com to provide a visual overlay of your movements on Google Maps.

Down Under – Sydney, Australia

Sydney is the ish. Eva’s is super sweet. King’s Cross is full of backpackers and it is a good thing I got a lot of partying done in Africa because there is a deadly amount of partying at and around Eva’s. It is nice to be wearing clean clothes on a daily basis and I’m at the library right now because the internet at the hostel is weaksauce. Today is the day to find a cell phone, contact Bondifit and get connected with them, look for a bike, and continue the job and apartment search. Also, I am going to finish uploading the Africa pics/vids. Check em out. I’m also going to upload my boy Dave’s pics from Africa too.