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Shopping carts are called trundlers in New Zealand…

I’m finally writing about New Zealand…yes, I know…it took me a really long time.  But I honestly have not had time to just sit down and write something non-school related in a while. Ok, so my trip to New Zealand was from April 12th to April 21st…and yes, New Zealand is as beautiful as everyone says it is. As you can tell from my pictures, the secenery sometimes looks like a painting, completely unreal. I arrived rather late the first day and went directly to my hotel in Auckland…all I did was go to bed because I had a really early day the next morning.
I woke up really early the next day because I was being picked up really early by a cab that would drive me to the bus station, where I had to get on a bus to Rotorua. I got on the bus and my New Zealand adventure began! The first stop on our way was a really small town for about 20 minutes.  In this town was one of the most historic sites in New Zealand, the place where the battle of Rangiriri took place.  After our small stop, we pressed on and finally got to the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves.  I had supposedly seen Glow Worms before in Australia, but nothing could have prepared me for these caves.  The first part of the cave is like any other, full of beautiful rock formations, stalactites and stalacmites…and then you get into this one area that they call the Cathedral, which is a HUGE open space in the cave that apparently has such great acoustics that many important singers have given concerts there.  Also, a lot of people like to get married there because it does very closely resemble a cathedral.  There were some women in my tour group that had asked permission that day to sing in that part of the cave, they sang a prayer in their native language, it was outstanding. After that, you go down some more steps and then are instructed to get into a little boat that the tour guide manually guides through another part of the cave.  It is pitch dark, but if you look up, there are millions of small specks of light in the roof of the cave. I had seen the post cards before we went in the cave, and I thought they were exaggerating, but they were not.  I think the post cards did not even remotely embody the beauty of this cave…all those millions of little lights were glow worms.  It was amazing, I have seen very few things as beautiful in my life. I could not take my eyes off the cealing of the cave. After this amazing experience, we got on the bus again and stopped for lunch at "The Big Apple Cafe" and then kept going until we got to Rotorua. Now, the first thing that hits you when you get to Rotorua is a very special smell….sulphur. Sulphur everywhere. I walked around the town that night….took some pictures of the buildings, but since it was after five I couldn’t go into the museum. Oh, and the sulphur? Rotorua is well-known for the geothermal activity in the area. There are a number of geysers and hot mud pools located in the city.
The next morning, after having an annoying fire alarm at the hotel at about 3 or 4 in the morning (yes, everyone in the hotel evacuated and the firemen came) I decided to go on a guided tour of Rotorua, because I really didn’t know how to get around on my own! It ended up being a great idea because I got to see a lot of things that I would not have gotten to see otherwise.  The tour took us to the Te Puia Cultural Center where they showcase Maori culture, traditional villages, etc. The Te Whakarewarewa Therman Reserve is also located in this cultural center. It was also amazing…the thermal waters radiated so much heat…I saw active geysers and mud pools, which had mud bubbling like it does in cartoons. I thought it was amazing, I had never seen anything like it. The next stop in our tour was in Paradise Valley Springs, a park dedicated mainly to raising trout but they also had many other native NZ animals.  I got to see a trout farm! Oh, and I also got to try water directly from one of the springs…it tasted like heaven.  Now, I know water is supposed to be tasteless but after years of drinking New Orleans tap water, you learn to appreciate a good glass of water. I had two. The last stop of my day trip was the Agrodome, here, they basically show you every single kind of sheep there is and then they do this thing were a guy on a stage shears a sheep in front of you.  It was pretty cool.  Although I enjoyed the sheepdogs more than I did the sheep.  The sheep were really pretty though, I had no idea so many different kinds existed!  That night I was scheduled to go to the Tamaki Maori Village for a traditional Maori Hangi and Concert. When we got there, the men performed the traditional Wero Ceremony to welcome us into the village. Then there was a faux village set up, and at each "house" there were some people showcasing traditional Maori activities. We then moved into the meeting house were the family members that own the Tamaki Maori Village sang and performed. It was really beautiful. Then we moved to the Hangi, in a Hangi, the food is cooked in an outdoor pit oven. After eating, I went to some stores and exhibitions that they had set up outside.  One of them was about traditional Maori tattoos, and I was fortunate enough to speak to a Maori man who still tattoed in the traditional way.  He explained to me what the tattoos mean, and how one side of the face is reserved for the maternal side of the family and another for the paternal side, he explained that women also tattooed their whole faces at one point, and that it was common for people to tattoo their whole legs as well.  It was incredibly interesting to speak to him. I got back to my hotel, happy, full and exhausted. 
 The next morning I had a flight to Christchurch, the view from the plane was wonderful! When I got there I decided to go downtown and walk around a bit.  I saw the cathedral, which was very beautiful and the Cathedral Square.  I went to the Canterbury Museum, which was wonderful.  They had an area of the museum that was set up like old Christchurch, I loved it.  I also went to the Southern Encounter Aquarium and Kiwi House…where I got to see, yes, you guessed it! KIWIS!! Now, one of my favorite books as a kid was "Kiwi" by Carmen de Posadas from the Barco de Vapor series…so needless to say, I was happy that I finally got to see one. It made me happy. After all my kiwi excitement, I got on the tram and just checked out the city.  In the Christchurch Arts Center, I got my palm read. She told me that I would be very succesful, I chose to believe that part. hahaha..it was interesting. I also walked around the Botanical Gardens for a little bit. I could see myself living in Christchurch, it really was a beautiful city. Impeccable.  Too bad it is so far away from my loved ones.
I had an early morning…AGAIN…this time it was to get on the TranzAlpine rail journey from Christchurch to Greymouth.  I sat with an Irish guy who was reading "The Alchemist" by Paulo Cohelo and swore to me that it had changed his life. He said he would give it to me when he finished it, but he never did…haha…we talked a lot about our lives and what not.  Then I slept….it was a looooong train ride! I did take a lot of pictures though, the scenery was wonderful! When we got to Greymouth, I got on a bus that would take me to Franz Josef Glacier. I met some girls, fellow travelers like me, on the bus and we had a good time in one of our stops at Hokitika where we went to see the Greenstone and Glass blowing factory.  We finally got to Franz Josef, but sadly, it was too late for me to go see the glacier up close…so I had to conform with talking around town, which took…and I’m not kidding…10 minutes and I was done…so I went to bed.
Sadly, I didn’t get to spend much time in Franz Josef, I had a bus pick up early the next morning that would take me to Queenstown. I took tons of photos on our way to Queenstown.  I also took pictures of one of the stops because I had never seen autum colors like the ones I saw there…I had also never seen an apple orchard, so I was very excited. Then I finally got to Queenstown…and the first thing I did was pick up skydiving flyers from the front desk of the hotel.  I was determined. You can’t go to Queenstown, New Zealand and not do some kind of extreme sport. Also, I had said that skydiving was something I needed to do before I died…and what better place to do it? So I called and made a reservation. Yes, I was scared. To give myself time to absorb what I had just done, I did what I always do to calm myself down, I called my mom :). Ofcourse, I didn’t tell her what I had just done…but it was still good to talk to her.  I walked around Queenstown, went to some souvenier shops and got most of my gifts for people and then went to bed knowing that in two days I would be jumping out of a plane 9000 ft in the air.
The next day I woke up early again because I had a tour to Milford Sound. It took hours to get there…and on the bus there was an entire family…2 kids and dad, who had motion sickness…they puked the whole way there, and the whole way back…enough said. On our way there, the funniest thing happened…something that would only happen in New Zealand….our bus had to stop because there was a herd of sheep crossing the road. Yes, sheep…and LOTS of them…We stopped at a town called Te Anau where I decided to buy some motion sickness medication in case I got sick on the boat…I did not want to end up like the family on the bus! We also stopped at these lakes appropriately named "The Mirror Lakes".  The water is always so clam that the lakes act as a perfect mirror…in some of my pictures you can’t tell what is real and what is a reflection. We also stopped at The Chasm, which are some amazing rock formations that have been formed naturally. It was a thousand times more amazing than what the pictures reflect. FINALLY, we got to Milford Sound, which is actually a fjord. The difference between a sound and a fjord is that a sound, according to wikipedia is "a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight, wider than a fjord, or it may identify a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land" a fjord however is "is a narrow inlet of the sea between cliffs or steep slopes, which results from marine inundation of a glaciated valley ". So yeah, I went to Milford Fjord. On the boat we basically went around, it was really pretty but the day was really overcast, so I think I didn’t get the best experience I could have had. However, I did get to see the Tasman Sea and some fur seals chilling on a rock, which was pretty amazing. I got back to Queenstown and decided it was better for me just to go to bed…my nerves were starting up. I had what I like to call "buak" hahaha…Diego will understand what I’m talking about.
 I woke up…what the hell am I doing? I thought to myself….but I went downtown and into the NZone office. "What jump will you be doing?" said the nice girl who checked me in…and I though to myself, rather out loud actually, I can’t do 9000ft that is just being waaaay to chicken…but then again 15000ft is just a little too extreme…so I decided to go ahead and do 12000ft…which is roughly 3.7 Km or 2.28 miles…yep then the girl asked if I wanted pictures…and I said "are you kidding me?? I want pictures, and video and anything else you can give me! I am documenting this experience!!!"…then I signed my life away, literally. And before I even got to watch the informational video I was called and put on a bus. When we got to the place where the planes took off, me and the British couple that I would be sharing the airplane with got a mini session on what to do when we were out of the plane, etc etc. Then we each met the people that we would be attached to, my guy was really funny and nice. Then we got in the plane…a tiny plane I must add…gosh, just writing about this gives me butterflies!…there were seriously about 10 people crammed into that plane…I was sitting in front of the guy I was jumping out with….and then I felt him start to hook me up to him…and I looked out the tiny window and could see everything getting smaller…and us getting higher and higher up in the air…and then, those fateful words…"ok, time to go" the british guy went first…then…I felt my guy start to slide towards the door….then I was out the door…looking at the sky…then…he said "ready?" and before I could say "NO!! I AM NOT READY!! PUT ME BACK IN THE PLANE RIGHT NOW!!!" which was exactly what I was thinking, I was out the door and looking down at the world 12000ft below me….PANIC…absolut PANIC for a few seconds…and then it hit me…I was skydiving…I was free falling 12000ft up in the air at 200kms/h…I tried to scream but absolutely no sound would come out of my mouth…the free falling lasted only 45 seconds and then a small parachute went up…to tell you the truth I didn’t feel a difference…and then he said "Ok…hang on!" and he pulled the rope…all of a sudden we were liften up and then it hit me…motion sickness…we started parachuting down, which is actually a really nice feeling…you are just gliding in the air…slowly making your way down…really nice…only the guy kept making these circling motions and I felt like I was going to throw up…I kept thinking "where will my puke go if I throw up now?" funny I know…but I asked him to stop the circling and he did…and then we just…glided down…ever so nicely….and then I saw it…land approaching…FAST….fortunately I was able to land perfectly and not fall flat on my butt…and when the guy with the camera asked me how it was all that came out of my mouth was "…good…it was….good" my heart was racing a mile a minute and my adrenaline rush lasted all day…it was amazing….it was…wow…thinking about it makes me smile…it makes me smile and it also makes me feel proud of myself. I did it. I jumped out of a plane! (granted, I was attached to someone else, but it’s a start!).  The first thing I did was tell my dad on msn, skype my mom and Diego and tell them all about it…my parents were glad I didn’t tell them beforehand, but they were proud…and so was Diego…he was also a little jealous, but I told him we will do it together sometime. That night, I sent Megan and my sister (who never thought I would do it) postcards with me on the front, skydiving!!!!
After such an exciting morning, I needed a much more chill afternoon. So I decided to go to Arrowtown which is a historic gold mining town.  On the way there we stopped for some amazing shots, the pictures look like paintings…I fell in love.  The town was really quaint, it was very small and pretty. I went to the museum and got some candy at the Remarkable Sweet Shop…and then just walked around, enjoying the beauty of the place. I got back and remembered I had a pass to the Skyline Gondola…now, as you may recall from my gondola experience with my sister in Cairns, I am not that fond of them…they freak me out…but the pass was free and I had gone skydiving that morning…so I decided to put my fear aside and go.  I did and it wasn’t that bad…i took some great pictures from the top.  Then I went back down and finished my souveier shopping and walked around some more…by the end of the day I was literally exhausted so I went to bed…nearing the end of my wonderful trip.
The next morning I was picked up to go back to Christchurch from where I would leave to go back to Australia the next day.  The bus made a quick stop at Mt. Cook, which is another glacier, and had lunch at a hotel there. We also made a quick stop at a small town called Geraldine…and after having some bus troubles, we almost got stranded because the bus refused to start, I was safely at my hotel in Christchurch.  That marked the end of my trip. I went to bed and caught a shuttle to the airport at 4 am. It was honestly one of the best things I have ever done in my whole life.  I never thought I would be able to travel by myself, but I did…and I also faced my fears…New Zealand will always hold a special place in my heart. I will never forget my (hopefully) first trip there.
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all is well

I am back home in Guatemala…and I know…I still need to write about my time in New Zealand and my last days in Oz…I will write when I have more time I promise…as for now, just wanted to let everyone know that I’m at home, doing well, working and watching the world cup…I have put some new pictures up of my last days in Oz and I will put some up of my time at home…keep checking back…I will write about New Zealand soon…
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I reckon some people like paw paw for brekkie…

I want to make this entry psychodelic…but, I don’t know how that is going to work with the limited colors I can use…ok…so last sunday (the day my sister left) I went to a day trip that Student Flights (the travel agency on campus) organized…there were about 8 of us on the trip…all girls with a crazy tour guide (all of my Australian tour guides have been very interesting, fun people)…we got picked up from campus at around 8 am and began our wonderful trip…the day trip was to Nimbin, a very small…alternative town in Australia….but we made some stops along the way.
The first stop we made on our way to Nimbin (Nimbin is in New South Wales…about an hour and a half drive from Bond) was at Springbrook National Park, where, as I am sure you all remember, I went last semester…we took a very short walk to the Natural Arch and took some pics with what Stefie called "the water features"…hahaha…I didn’t take that many pics because I already have tons of pictures from the last time I was there…we went back and boarded the bus again…
Our next stop, after crossing the Queensland/New South Wales border, was Mt. Warning National Park where we did a very short walk up to a little lookout inside the rainforest…it was really pretty…I loved it…we had lunch on a little picnic table under the trees…it was nice.  Then before we left we all went to use the dunny before we left…and there were two big…no…HUGE spiders on the wall…thankfully they were far away from where the actual toilet was but they were seriously huge…I reckon they were about the size of my hand with legs and all…ugh…disgusting…outside I got to take a picture of a kangaroo crossing sign…finally! Oh…and the whole reversing down the hill in the van was fun too…hahaha…
Next stop: Nimbin…wow…what an interesting little town…It is seriously a tiny village, it basically has one main street with a handful of stores and museums…but it is full of personality…it is essentially an ‘alternative lifestyle’ town…full of tons of cool stores with nice trinkets and TONS of organic foods (you would have loved it Mehan), there was this one store that seriously almost only sold stuff from Guatemala…I loved it…I felt like I was in Pana or Antigua…but anyways…although marihuana is not legal in Australia, it goes unnoticed here…people smoke it on the streets, and in bars, and they sell it in every imaginable form possible…we got offered cookies, chocolates and even doughnuts…no thanks…I’m not into that…but to each their own…it is also a very artistic town…the museum is incredibly interesting…it is just a stream of consciousness museum that is just packed from top to bottom with stuff and bits of history in between…it was pretty cool…we also went to the Hemp Embassy, which had a sign that said "Merry XMas: Jesus Wore Hemp" that I just thought was really cool…here is a wikipedia link if you want to read more about the town: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimbin
After walking up and down the same street for about an hour you have pretty much seen all of Nimbin…so our guide asked us what we wanted to do for the rest of the afternoon…and we decided to go to Byron Bay because it is only about an hour away from Nimbin…so we headed out…once there we chose to drive up to the lighthouse, which, by the way…would have been a LONG walk if my sister and I had decided to do it when we went…and we looked at the lighthouse, the view was AMAZING…and then took a little trail down to one of the beaches…on the trail we stopped by the most eastern point in the Australian mainland, and naturally stopped to take pictures…we continued on our way down…and it the whole way was seriosuly infested with dragonflies…I am not kidding…there were tons! and they are HUGE…they look almost prehistoric…hahaha…we got down to the beach and spend some time dipping our feet in the water (none of us had brought bathers) and collecting shells…then it was back to Bond…
It was a very productive day! We got to see Springbrook, Mt. Warning, Nimbin, and Byron Bay and got back before 5 pm! GOOD EFFORT!!
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I love the Lipton adverts on the telly!!

Wow! I really haven’t written in a long time! Nothing interesting had been going on, which is why I didn’t write anything…anyways…my sister came to visit me two weeks ago…she left today  and we did a lot of fun things.  She came on March 20th…and I have to say, she has worse luck than me with traveling! She takes it a lot better than I do though, she laughed it all off whereas I would have been crying the whole way through!  She flew from Madrid to Paris and then to Singapore, and all was well until she hit Singapore and they told her the plane to Brisbane had been delayed and it would be better if she flew to Sydney and then to Brisbane…so she flew to Sydney…and when she got there, her luggage was not there…so she missed her flight to Brisbane…she was then scheduled to arrive in Brisbane but changed her flight to fly into the Coolangata (Gold Coast) airport so that she would get here quicker…all was well until she got on the airport transfer…which BROKE DOWN!! I mean…of all the things that could happen…she ended up taking a cab to her hotel…so her extremely long journey became an even longer, more tyring journey…but she took it well.  I met her at her hotel…which was…umm…not as nice as it looked in the pictures on the website…we walked around Surfers, talked and had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe…we walked on the beach and I showed her the squeaky sand…the sand here kinda squeaks when you walk on it…it is very cool…we went to the Ripley Museum and then just walked around some more and I came back to uni.
The next day she did her own thing in the morning because I had class all day and then she came to Bond…I showed her the campus, told her about the bull sharks in the fountain…and we ate at the Brasserie playing the "guess who’s Australian" game…it was lots of fun…she left early because she had to wake up early for a day trip the next day.
She went on a day trip the next day and I only saw her for dinner…we went to a Seafood restaurant on Cavill…it was really good…we had huge amounts of food and we talked some more…about really, really good things that are going on…it was all good…
We didn’t meet up again until that friday because she went to Fraser Island on a day trip on thursday…we met up in the Coolangata airport to leave for Cairns…we were a little scared because Cyclone Larry had just recently hit the region…but everyone at the hotel and tours asured us Cairns was fine…the flight was great…we got there and ate lunch at the "Red Ochre Grill" we had an Aussie sampler…which included Crocodile meat wontons, Emu patee and kangaroo meat…it was YUMMY….we walked around Cairns a lot…exploring…we also went to the rainforest dome and saw a HUGE saltwater crocodile named Goliath..and then we went to bed early because we were knackered…
We did a day trip to the town of Kuranda the next day…we took the Scenic Rail train up to the town and the ride was really nice, with tons of pretty views…in Kuranda we walked around the markets and went to a koala park and GOT TO HOLD KOALAS!! we were both excited because it was our first time…they are the cutest, softest, fuzziest little things…with some mean claws though…it was cool…we took the Skyrail down from Kuranda…and that is one experience I’d rather not repeat…I haven’t been on a skyrail since I can remember so it was stupid of me to think that I was going to be ok on THE LONGES SKYRAIL IN THE WORLD it takes 45 minutes to get down with 2 stops on the way…yeah…anyways…we boarded and all was fine until I saw how far up we were going and the cart started swinging with the air…yeah…we were VERY high up…over the canopy of the rainforest…I went completely pale…but it was the only way to get down! We stopped at the first place and had a nice little walk with great views and then boarded again…we were on a really long section of it and all of a sudden…the cart started to slow down…I FREAKED…not even going to lie…I thought to myself…"We are going to be stuck here, swinging with the breeze for God knows how long!" and I did, I must admit, almost have a panic attack…but the cart sped up again and all was good…when we got to the next station we asked the guy what had happened and he said everything was fine, they had just slowed it down because someone in a wheelchair had to get on…we finished the journey in peace…hahaha…we had lunch at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Park where we saw some dance, bush tucker, history, etc. presentations, before heading back to Gilligan’s for our beauty sleep…
We did the reef on Sunday…we went out on the same boat and to the same plantoon as I did when I went by myself.  My sister was a little scared to snorkle…but she did fine and LOVED it!! I did a longer snorkel tour this time…it was an hour and a half long out far away from the plontoon in choppy water! But I loved it…it was great and I got to see a lot of things and swim in the open sea…we also sunbaked a little…and yeah, we really baked…as in burnt ourselves silly…we went back and had dinner at "Rattle n Hum" restaurant…we ate A LOT…it was G o O d…and then we went to bed early because we had really early flights…I came back to the Gold Coast and my sister went to Sydney for about three days…she came back on wednesday night so I didn’t see her again until thursday…oh, and she switched hotels…
We went to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in the morning and saw koalas, kangaroos, cassowaries, crocodiles, echidnas and many, many more Aussie animals…at night my sister, Stef and I went out in surfers…we went to Melba’s and The Bedroom and after some Pizza by the Slice, we went back into Melba’s for a little while…it was unusually dead for a thursday night, but we had lot’s of fun anyway…I stayed over at my sister’s hotel because we had an early day on friday and I didn’t want to have to take the bus at 7 am…ugh…
My sister and I went to Byron Bay for the day…we took a shuttle there and back…the weather sucked…no other way to describe it…and we were dressed for hot weather! It was rainy and cold and sucky all over…thankfully we had brought hoodies…we made the best of it…we walked around, had yummy food, and walked to the beach…my sister felt a little sick for a little bit and being the hipochondriac that she is…she thought there was something wrong with her blood pressure…which turned out to be fine…and she felt tons better after a hot cup of tea!…our shuttle picked us up, we got dropped off at her hotel and I came back to uni…
My sister’s last day here we went shopping at Pac Fair…she bought her koala stuffed animal and named it…Koaletita…you have NO IDEA how many times I heard that word throught this trip…hahaha…we also walked to the bottle shop 10 mins away from Pac Fair so she could buy some wines…none of the ones on her list were there…but she did buy 3 bottles…still waiting to hear how transporting them back went…we took a cab back to her hotel because we were really tired and sick of waiting for the bus…we then rested for a bit and went out to do some more shopping at Centro and just walk around for a little while…we got back and got dressed to go eat dinner at the Palazzo Versace (I’m waiting for her to get home to send me the pics to put them up)…we took a cab there and ate tons, it was a buffet…yummy…and then we walked around the hotel, checking it out…discussing how absolutely gaudy some things were…it was fun…and the food was great…we got back to her hotel and chilled for a while…she walked me to the bus stop…but since the bus never, ever came, we said our goodbyes and I took a cab home…
It was great having her here…I don’t get to see her that much because we live so far away…but it was great…we had tons of fun times and great conversations and even though tons of people tell us we don’t look like sisters, I think we do…we act like sisters too…and we love eachother in the way that only sisters do: although sometimes we may want to kill eachother, or we annoy eachother, or wonder how two people so different could have the same parents, I will always love her…she can do no wrong in my eyes because she is my big sister and will always be……it’s true that you don’t get to choose your family, but heck, I got stuck with a great one!!
and now…a special message for my sister:
Gracias por venir Furby, la verdad es que me la pase de lo mejor…a pesar de que por ratos me daban ganas de matarte (no se como te aguanta Juan aveces…jajaja…son mentiras)…jajaja…te quiero muchisimo furby!!! tu hermanita (que actua como si fuera mas grande que vos) la mas guagoli de todas, Margarita
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If you cut your finger, put a plaster on it

A couple of weeks ago…Stef and I went to Melba’s on a saturday and they took a pic of us…check out the pic! They said we are backpackers…hahaha, Stefie had a fit!
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I got my new glasses today…wow, it’s so nice to see things that are far away!! Here are some pics of the new glasses…I think they look pretty good…what do you think?
Posted in Salud y bienestar | 1 Comment

She’ll be apples…

I went to the eye doctor today because I’ve been having trouble reading the blackboard for a while…I just kinda ignored it…but I finally decided I should do something about it. Oh, and by the way…I wear glasses already…been wearing them since I was six.  So I made my appointment and I showed up like, an hour early because I wasn’t sure of where the office was…anyways, it wasn’t busy so the Dr. saw me right away.  So we went through all the motions…asked about health, headaches, asked if I saw double…asked if my parents wore glasses…all that stuff…and then he did the eye exam.  It was really funny because he made me cover my right (and good) eye and read the chart and I couldn’t even read the largest letters…and all he said was "Oh, Wow" and I was like…"yeah, I know"…he told me I have a ‘Lazy Eye’ (Amblyopia) which I kinda already knew…and then he was like "What would you do if you didn’t have your right eye?" and I just laughed…because quite frankly…I would have a really hard time reading and orienting things.  so *Note to self: NEVER under ANY circumstances loose my right eye* …hahaha…anyways, it’s not that I can’t see out of my left eye because I can…it’s just that it is lazy and would rather not do anything…hahaha…the glasses I already have don’t really work, so I’m getting new ones done…oh, and I also need reading glasses…hahaha…such an old lady…but, I’ll be apples (I’ll be alright)…oh, and I also have an eye infection in my right eye…but I have constant eye infections…atleast now I don’t have braces to complete the geek image…hahaha…four eyes unite!!!
Ps…I also read somewhere that people with a lazy eye have trouble seeing three-dimensional images in autostereograms such as Magic Eye…and I was like…WOW…so that’s why I never, EVER could see the hidden images in Magic Eye!!! Now you know what not to get me for my birthday…hahaha
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Today I also managed to burn myself with the iron while ironing on a patch onto my backpack…it’s a small burn…but wow…it hurts! hahaha…just thought I’d share that with everyone
OH…and the snorkeling pictures are up in the Cairns album
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I was knackered when I came back from Tassie (and yet I managed to go to the movies)!!

I went to Tasmania this las weekend…and let me tell you, it was a wonderful trip!! I loved it…I only went to the East Coast but I still had a great time and I really do think Tasmania is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.  So my trip started on Thursday which meant missing French (bummer) in order to catch my flight…this time it all went smoothly…I had to fly from the Gold Coast to Melbourne and then to Launceston…my Gold Coast plane was delayed…but thankfully it was the same plane from Melbourne to Launceston so I didn’t have to worry about making my connection.  When I got to Launceston I was surprised to see how small the airport there is…there wasn’t even a conveyor belt for the bags! They just arranged all of them on trolleys and you had to find yours and take it…it reminded me of home a little…hahaha…anyways, I took my airport transfer to my hotel and I was surprised at how hilly Launceston is…I guess I’m just used to the Gold Coast…but even in the dark, Launceston looked like a really nice city.  Unfortunatedly I didn’t have time to explore because my plane got in at around 9 pm and I just went to the hotel and to bed to be ready the next day.
I was picked up the next morning by Lannie, our guide, and the rest of the group which was made up of 9 people from Japan, 2 girls from Holland, 1 woman from Hungary and myself.  And wow…so much can get lost in translation…hahaha…it was really weird sitting around and not being able to understand  anything going on around you.  Plus, some of the Japanese people on our tour spoke very little English so I once more learned to appreciate nonverbal communication.  We were a great group…everyone was really, really nice and had very interesting stories to tell and was really interested in hearing everyones stories…the group can make or break the tour I tell you…and so can the guide…but Lannie, next to Sauce, has seriously been one of the nicest guides I’ve had here in Oz…she was just really nice, patient and knowledgeable…anyways..on to the first day’s activities.  As soon as I was picked up we went for a walk on Cataract Gorge, which was seriosuly beautiful, really rocky and pretty.  After some confusion and having lost two people, we were finally on our way towards the historic township of Ross.  Ross is a really pretty little town, really small and oldfashioned…really pretty.  Here we walked around, saw the famous Bakery (famous because it was the inspiration for an anime movie…can’t remember the name of the movie), went to the museum which explained a lot about wool…I had no idea there were so many types of wool! hahaha…it was really cool.  We also saw the really famous Ross Bridge…which apparently took a really long time to build because the convicts building it had no one really looking after them at first so they would do other jobs for extra cash instead.  The carvings were done by an Irish convict, who, after carving the bridge, was given his freedom.  There are faces on the bridge which are important people from when the bridge was built…and he was free to ‘decorate’ the rest of the bridge with anything he wanted.  I say ‘decorate’ because tons of years later, an Irish woman came to Ross as a tourist…and when she took a closer look at the bridge she realized it wasn’t just random pretty decorations but rather ancient Celtic writing…and let’s just say if they had known what it said, he would have never been given his freedom.  After Ross, we went on to the tiny seaside fishing town of Bicheno where we spent the night stopping at the South Sister Peak. It was a long way up, but the view was worth it. When we got to Bicheno Florence (the woman from Hungary) and I walked to the beach, but as you can see in the pictures it was really cold so we just looked around, then we hiked up Whaler’s Lookout and got a better view of the town.  We went back to the house where we were staying (apparently because the weather changes so much in Tasmania the tour company buys houses there) before going on our Little Blue Penguins tour later that night…now, I know what you’re thinking Little=Cute, Blue=Cute and Penguin=really cute…and yes…all these words put together equal the cutest things I have ever seen.  We saw tons of them, the pictures aren’t so good beacause flash photography is not allowed…it was an awesome experience!
The next day we went to Freycinet National Park and I decided to take the hike to Wineglass beach via the lookout.  It was a very, very steep hike 5 Kms climbing 220M…it took me a while, but I got there! Not without stopping at the lookout first for some great pics! Wineglass Bay is really spectacular…the view from the lookout was breathtaking (and not just because I was dying)…really amazing.  Lannie told us how the Bay got its name…and I have to say, it’s not as romantic as one may think…it actually got its name from whalers who used to bring the whales on to the beach and dismember them and what not…so the water would be dyed red with their blood…the color of red wine…hence, Wineglass Bay.  I spent some time on the beach and then walked back. We ate lunch at Richardson’s Beach…here some people went swimming, I however, didn’t because as you all know, I despise cold water…and this was freezing water!! There were some really big oyster shells all around…I don’t think I had ever seen oyster shells that big on the beach.  You can’t take them though because it’s a National Park and they have significance to the Aboriginal groups of the area. On out way to Port Arthur we stopped at the Weilangta (Big Trees) forest for a quick walk…we then went to Kate’s Berry Farm where I had the best ice cream ever, blueberry and boysenberry…mmm…when we got to Port Arthur we saw that our house was right next to a cementary…really fitting as Port Arthur Historic Site is the second most haunted place in Australia.  That night, ofcourse, I went on a Ghost Tour of the site.  It was really creepy because it was really dark…and all we had were lanterns…I loved it…it was one of the highlights of my trip!
The last day we went to the Maingon Bay lookout from where we could see Cape Raoul, the southerneasternmost point of Tasmania…pretty cool.  Here we took a great group pic and then we walked down to the Remarkable Cave…Remarkable for many reasons, indluding the fact that if you look at it the right way, the entrance of the cave looks like an outline of Tasmania!  How cool is that??  It was really amazing to see. After all this, we went to the Port Arthur Historic Site…when you get there they give you a playing card and when you go into the museum you have to match it to a convict that went through there…my convict was William Saxton ,35, who was an upholsterer from Shrewsbury, England.  He was sentenced to transportation for life in March 1826 for stealing from a dwelling house.  So yeah, I found out a lot about him…and I also tried some shackles on…they are really heavy and unconfortable…but I guess prison isn’t really meant to be a confortable place.  I walked around a lot, went to every building and into every building I could go it to…I love house museums…hahaha…I’m such a geek.  I also have to admit, I was kinda scared to go into some of the buildings by myself because of the stories I had heard the night before…but nothing happened…so it was all ok…hahaha.   After Port Arthur, we went to the Tasmanian Devil Park where I got to see Devils fighting over food…and I have to admit, they kinda looked like my dog Zelda, doing anything for food! They are really cute in a "they are so ugly and vicious looking that they are actually cute" way…At the park I also saw some wedge-tailed eagles…kangaroos (a couple of them ‘doing the naughty’)…wallabies…geese with really fluorecent colored beaks…and a lot of birds.  After this we left for Hobart stopping at the Eaglehawk Neck dog line which, at the time of the prison colony, was a line of 18 ferocious dogs placed there because this was the only piece of land the convicts could escape from…fascinating concept really…and I guess it worked.  When we got to Hobart, I was the first one dropped off, and even though I was completely knackered I walked around a bit and went down to Salamanca Place to do some souvenier shopping (note: it was a sunday, so nothing was really open)…and then I went to my room and ordered room service and watched a really good brasilian movie on tv and went to bed completely exhausted but also completely happy. 
The next morning after checking out I walked to the Elizabeth St. Mall, looked around for a bit and then went back to the hotel to catch my transfer to the airport…I got to Brisbane at around 3 pm…but I didnt get back to Bond ’till 6pm…ugh…I made the mistake of taking the airport transfer instead of the train…so I had to wait ’till four for it to get there…and then the one hour drive to the Gold Coast…and then we went to Surfer’s and dropped all the other people off…so I was the last one to get dropped off…long ride…but I made it back, safe and sound…and I went to Pac Fair with Stef to watch "Just Friends" so I guess I wasn’t so tired after all! hahaha…it was a wonderful trip, I loved it…now it’s back to class and it’s going to be a hectic couple of days because I have papers due, midterms, trip planning and I have to go to the optometrist because I’m afraid my vision is getting worse and get a haircut…I know…very interesting. Anyways…hope you like the pictures! I promise the Reef ones will be up sometime this week, add that to the list of things I need to do…
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