Australia pictorial recap!

On our first morning in Sydney, we took a ferry to the Taronga Zoo. There, among many things, we saw this Koala eating some eucalyptus, and just as I was taking a picture, a little Australian girl very excitedly said: “Look, mum, it’s having its brekkie!”. It was quite endearing, and what started our collection of overheard Aussie expressions that we’d tirelessly repeat for the next two weeks.Koala having brekkie

Cute, right? Don’t eat your heart out yet, and save room for dessert! Just a few steps from the Koala, we saw a kangaroo that seemed to be a little bit on the fat side. Just kidding, we have no idea what magazine-cover kangaroos look like! But this one sure did have a pouch, and a whole lot in it: A joey!
It's a Joey!

One of my favorite pictures I took at the Zoo involves animals that don’t actually live in Australia, but I still quite like it, so here it is:
Gireaffes at Sydney Taronga Zoo

I like the contrast of city vs “nature” (because it is, after all, a zoo), and how the giraffes are like nature’s skyscrapers. For a better idea of what the giraffes are looking at, check this one out:
Sydney landscape

Now, I also mentioned that we did other things in Sydney. Of course, the most outstanding one (and a must-do if you ever visit!) was to see the Opera House from as many angles as possible. We visited and took pictures at morning, at midday and at night. We also went inside it, on a fabulous tour. It was definitely interesting, and I’m going to probably read up more about all that went on with the construction of such a landmark.
The Opera House and usInside the Sydney Opera HouseSydney landmarks: Harbor Bridge and the Opera House

We also enjoyed some of the other sights of Sydney. One day, we went on an adventure to find Cuban cigars, since they don’t have an embargo against a totally chill country. The trip was all on foot, and we just walked around like tourists with a tiny map and BIG eyes. Kelly and I like being in big cities, there’s so much to look at!
Downtown SydneyWe tried to go shopping one day, and at the end of the day we were empty handed. Things were either too expensive or not of our taste, but the window shopping in itself was top-notch. We walked into the biggest department store cosmetics department that Kelly had ever seen, and walked out of it smelling like all sorts of samplers and testers. Good times!

Since we stayed at the Marriot at Circular Quay (pronounced just like “key”…), the district of The Rocks was really close to us. It was yet another place to discover by walking, getting lost, and checking things out. We walked so much that Kelly had a pain on her knees!

In Port Douglas, things considerably slowed down. Our lodging wasn’t a fancy hotel, no. Instead, it was a fancy “boutique apartment” with the soothing name of Shantara. This worked quite well for us, because we got to go to the Aussie supermarket for things to eat, and to the “bottle shop” for things to drink.
Port Douglas is a cute little town that has an incredible 4-mile long beach, locally owned shops (not a single chain restaurant, even!) and is much warmer beingĀ  just 1500 miles north of Sydney (Australia is pretty damn huge, just in case you didn’t know). Just what we needed to slip away from the see-it-all tourist mode and into the chill-out vacation mode.

Taking advantage of my still slightly whacked out internal clock, I was able to wake up very early to take some pictures at sunrise. It was a great time, seeing the sun come up! The pictures I took don’t make it much justice, but they’re still something to look at, so here:

SunriseSunrise on the rocks

IMG_1666

One of the selling points of Port Douglas is its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. We had a day planned to go check it out, so in the morning we got aboard a nice sailboat and headed out to the Low Isles.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great and it was pretty much overcast most of the day. It even rained a little bit on us. Boooo!

That didn’t stop us, we went in anyway. Kelly lasted a good couple of minutes, and the sheer size of the Pacific Ocean stopped her from going any further. Cute.
I snorkeled my ass off, and probably spent a couple of hours coming and going, literally soaking in all the sights. I’d never snorkeled before, let alone in one of Earth’s snorkeling paradises.

We had a little bag so we could take Kelly’s small camera underwater, and I took hundreds of pictures, hoping that at least a few would turn out. Not a lot of them were keepers, but this one definitely was one:

Finding Nemo
Nemo!

Something else we both got to do once back on the mainland was eat something new. I ate kangaroo twice, and Kelly tried it for one dinner opportunity. The meat wasn’t bad, but nothing to write home about – specially for a spoiled meat eater from Argentina as myself. But hey, we get to say we’ve eaten it, so that in itself is pretty cool.

All in all, Australia is a country that I would love to go back to. There are so many things to see, and just not enough time! Kelly and I talked about going back in 5~10 years, renting “hiring” a car and driving cross-country… but then we realized that we’d have to drive on the other side of the road, and we quickly turned our attention to the beers in front of us.

Australia

The first part of our honeymoon is coming to an end. It feels like it’s been a long week; our arrival to Australia seeming so long ago yet only less than a week ago. I like that, it tells me that a lot of memories happened in a short ammount of time. We first spent 3 days in Sydney, the cultural capital of Australia (because the actual political capital is Cranberra, just in case you didn’t know). Sydney is a beautiful metropolis, with countless things to see and do. Among the things we were able to do in our short time there, one of my favorites was going to the Zoo and seeing some of the autoctonous fauna. A Koala having “brekkie” (Aussie slang for breakfast) and a Joey, also known as a baby Kangaroo were the definte highlights. I also enjoyed checking out the world famous Opera house, being able to check it out both out and inside. Of course I took pictures, but it’s going to take me a while to go through the hundreds of shots I’ve taken so far. After Sydney, we traveled up north to Port Douglas, where I write from at the moment. It’s a little tourist-centered town, quaint and very friendly. The main reason why we came up here is because this is a launching area for tours to go check out the Great Barrier Reef… and that we did. I got to snorkel around with fishes and coral, enjoying every second of it. I even saw a few clown fish, what Nemo is! They are very tiny, a couple of inches at the most, but super cute. Tomorrow, we leave Port Douglas -and Australia- to head to our next destination, Fiji. Even though Australia has been wonderful, and it’s now marked in my mind as a must visit again, I’m ready to not have a schedule anymore and enjoy a week with my wife on a true tropical paradise. The forecast tells us that it’s going to be nice and warm, and that’s just wicked awesome, mate!