Adelaide: Day 3 – Hahndorf

September 28, 2015

After breakfast at home with the Laura and Isabelle, we headed off to Hahndorf – Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia.

Hahndorf was definitely worth a visit! Very quaint with many shops to visit – from bakeries, candy shops, finding beautiful handmade candles, puppets and more! And of course, can’t forget the selection of different German restaurants to dine at!

My favourite photo taken in Hahndorf, I hope this will be Michael and I one day! At the very least, our height discrepancies will be accurate! ๐Ÿ™‚

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We almost immediately stopped in Copenhagen for some freshly made cinnamon sugar donuts… mmm!

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With an extensive menu, it was difficult not to order more on the menu, like waffles, pancakes, crepes, and ice cream!

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Mmm, piping hot… could have so many of these!

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My handsome partner!

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Lots of opportunity for nice photos!

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Stopped in for a visit at Heritage Museum Art Gallery. Beautiful handmade pieces of jewellery and art, although no money to buy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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An empty gallery upstairs with remnants of Autumn Festival lanterns.

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Couldn’t resist a stop into Humbugs to stock up on some sweets! So many to choose from!

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Really delicious selection of fudge!

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Isabelle was definitely excited!

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Quick visit to 3 Wishes Candle Barn to check out their beautiful candles and pick up a gift for our wonderful friend, Amanda!

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Some beautiful wooden works including clocks and puppets at the German Village Shop

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Alpaca fleece products from The Alpaca Shop! Gorgeously soft pieces but also quite expensive!

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All the above mentioned shops are definitely worth a visit! Can surely find a little something for yourself or a loved one without much effort!

Next up – our delicious lunch at The Haus cafe+bar+kitchen!

CAPRICORN CAVES

September 05, 2015

Finally visited Capricorn Caves! I’m currently on my surgical term, and one of the visiting consultants, Neil, gave me the afternoon to organise a group out to visit the Cap Caves with him. I think I did pretty well, with a total of 7 including Clarence, Konstantin, Chris, his partner Lynda, Shant, Neil, and myself!

Only a half hour drive from Rocky, not too bad! We bought tickets for The Cathedral Cave Tour ($30/adult) which was led by an informative guide who put a lot of effort into keeping us all entertained.

Before I continue, I must say, if you have ever seen caves in your life… this visit might be a bit underwhelming and you may find it a waste of time and money. The caves are pretty small and we didn’t chance upon any wild life.

Personally ,this tour reminded me of our time in Malaysia visiting Batu Caves and more specifically, going on a tour of the Dark Caves ($11) which were much larger and pitch black. A more thrilling adventure in hard hats (to protect yourself from bat droppings) and head lamps, and actually seeing lots of wildlife, including huge pools of guano (bat poo). I’ve also had the chance to visit Dong Thien Cung (Heavenly Cave) in Ha Long Bay Vietnam – the caves are enormous with beautifully light towering stalactites and stalagmites. As a result, the much smaller structures at Cap Caves are nowhere near impressive ๐Ÿ˜‰ However, it still has its own charm and worth a visit if you are living in the area!

The tour starts at the cave entrance with fig tree roots clinging to the limestone walls.

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Close to the entrance…

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This is the Tectaria Devexa var devexa fern. Although it is found across Sri Lanka, SE Asia and Vanuatu – Capricorn Caves is the only known site in Australia! In 2006, the fern population declined to almost near extinction with only 21 plants. Fortunately, organisations worked together and funding was secured to save the fern.

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There are interesting cave decorations (speleotherms) to note, including some cave coral…

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A very tiny stalactite!

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More cave views…

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Looks like a camel’s backside ๐Ÿ˜›

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I see a hanging skull… do you?

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Through the caves, we eventually reach the Cathedral Cave. The natural acoustics make it a popular venue for weddings. Also, twice a year (May & November), there are sell out performances from Underground Opera Company. Some of Australias finest performers singing a selection of Opera’s greatest arias and duets. This I would love to see!

Once you enter the cathedral, you are asked to take a seat in the pews and hear the natural acoustics of the cave via the song Amazing Grace. During this time, the lights are dimmed play along with the song. It’s a beautiful and enchanting few minutes.

Candles burning add an extra element of ambiance to the caves. On the day we were visiting, the crew was setting up for a wedding to take place later in the Cathedral Cave.

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Hauntingly beautiful!

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This is a view in Belfry Cave, where the Summer Solstice Light Spectacle occurs. “A natural phenomenon unique in the southern hemisphere, occurs throughout December and early January. Due to the alignment of the sun over the Tropic of Capricorn brilliant direct sun light penetrates the darkness of the Belfry Cave through a 14 metre vertical shaft in the cave roof at midday. The effect is electrifying. The colour of peoples clothing is reflected all round the cave walls and a disco mirror ball creates light patterns on the roof.”

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Check out some of the photos of that event HERE. Looks pretty neat!

At the end of the cave tour, we have the option of exiting through a narrow zig zag passage (duh, of course we did it!) and leaving the caves via 2 suspension bridges – wee!

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The visit ended with a stop at the souvenir gift shop… of course ๐Ÿ˜› Where I wanted to buy a very cute quokka hand puppet but had absolutely no reason to do so.

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Have you ever visited Capricorn Caves? What did you think? Overall, it was a great time with the company I had! ๐Ÿ™‚

New hobby – Golf

This year has provided us with many opportunities for Michael’s new hobby – golf. We also have a number of friends who enjoy it as well, which is great, because the more the merrier!

Golf is surprisingly quite affordable around Rockhampton with at least 6 different courses. And tagging along gives me lots of time for photography! Of course, I could definitely use more practice on my swings, but plenty of time for that right?

Below are some of my favourite photographs taken while golfing so far this year, enjoy!

Moon at dusk

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Mike and Jin sharing a few laughs

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Garrett’s really good! Always nice to have him around to give tips ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Jess keeping an eye on the guys

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Candid moments

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Beautifully quiet

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Perfect advertisement moment ๐Ÿ˜›

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Rainbow!

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Always meeting new friends!

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Golf = happiness?

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Beautiful sunsets

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FULL ALBUM HERE if you’re interested! I’m sure this album will keep growing throughout the years!

Camping at Blackdown Tableland National Park

May 30-31, 2015

Our first camping trip this year ๐Ÿ™‚

180km west of Rockhampton, it is an approximate 3 hour drive to Blackdown Tableland National Park. The mountainous terrain of the tablelands provides a unique landscape featuring gorges, waterfalls and diverse vegetation. It is also the traditional homeland of the Ghungalu people and they ask visitors to respect their land and take a moment to acknowledge their spiritual ancestors when visiting.

Beautiful drive up!

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Camping is only permitted at Munall campground, with nearby walking tracks that are incredibly peaceful and lead to amazingย lookouts. Entrance to the park is a 11km turn off from Capricorn Coast and a further 8km to Munall campground.

 

We managed our drive in a little Honda Jazz but a 4WD would certainly make the trip much MUCH easier. Have fun though!

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A map of the campground and surrounding trails

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Here is a short video of our time in Blackdown Tableland National Park!

And of course, some photos!

Our campsite at Munall. A very reasonable fee of $5.75/person/night.

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There are 3 main walking tracks.

We started with the 2.8km circuit Goon Goon Dhina track. It was incredibly quiet and peaceful, not another soul in sight. “An easy walk past old cattle yard ruins, then follows Mimosa Creek upstream to a Ghungalu art site. Signs along this track offer insights into the park’s history.ย Learn how Ghungalu people used plants for food and shelter.”

Constantly reminded how small you are in nature

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Saw sundews in nature for the first time!

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Lovely trails and plenty of still water. I’m sure it is quite pretty when water is flowing!

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We stopped to admire the Ghungalu art site

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We came across lots of prescribed burning in all areas of the park.

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A short drive away is the 4km (return) Gudda Gumoo trail that takes you a lookout and further to the gorge. Head down a flight of 240 steps to the base of the waterfalls and take in the rainbows cast over the falling waters.

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The water was frigid but I imagine this would be an amazingly refreshing place to swim and cool down in the summer!

Rainbow! But no pot of gold in sight… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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We saved the Mook Mook trail (2.4km return) for last and so glad we did – best scenery!

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A zombie?

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So gorgeous and quiet

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Look at this incredible view! No words!

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On our drive down and back to Rockhampton, we stopped to enjoy the scenery from a different angle ๐Ÿ™‚

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Winning at the selfie game!

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See you next time!

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I should also mention… plenty of cows on the road! But they always look so grumpy and always covered in flies!

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Exploring Yeppoon

January 9, 2015

With a rental car and a weekend before starting work, we decided to explore the area… and drove out to Yeppoon.

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Adventure time!

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A peaceful and scenicย 25 minute drive from Rockhampton, Yeppoon is a lovely, quaint coastal town.ย Not to mention home to our new favourite cafe for breakfast – Flour Cafe – but I’ll tell you all that in a different post!

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After a delicious breakfast, we stopped by the beach. Unfortunately, it was quit stirred up by recent high winds and rains.

We then drove over to Keppel Bay Marina

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It was lovely and I imagine the water is quite beautiful when not stirred up

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We then drove over to Emu Park, a small town just 21km from Yeppoon.

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Completely deserted, definitely a place you can sit and think ๐Ÿ˜›

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The Emu Park land area was first discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770 and is home to the Singing Ship Monument. Slightly creepy to hear the monument sing, no really, it does!

The Singing Ship commemorates Captain Cook`s Bicentenary in 1970 and marks his discovery of the bay in May, 1770. The memorial represents the billowing sail, mast and rigging of his ship Endeavour. Concealed organ pipes use the sea breezes to create eerie music.

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View from the monument, it’s too bad the water wasn’t very pretty!

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Just a short day trip driving around and taking in the nearby sites, definitely worth it! What’s even better? The cheap tropical fruits you can get in smaller towns compared to what I’m used to in Brisbane! Love it when my favourite fruits are in season… too bad it’s over!

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Not a bad first weekend in Rocky, wish there was more time to relax before starting work though!

Family trip to Stradbroke Island!

December 16, 2014

Stradbroke Island holds a special place in our hearts. Not only is it one of our favourite places in Australia, itย was also where Michael proposed to me on March 12, 2014!

We were very excited to be able to show our parents the beautiful island and the place we became engaged ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s not much to say because the photos speak for themselves!

Ferry ride over

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Ran into so many beached jellyfish

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Look at the gorgeous water!

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My mom is not a fan of midday beach fun because it’s so hot and the sun is so strong, very happy she still came along!

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Selfies!

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The rock where we got engaged! Where Deadmanโ€™s Beach transitions to Frenchmanโ€™s beach… โค

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Continuing with the Gorge Walk

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We finished the day off with Korean BBQ dinner at Midam – delicious!

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Fam in Brisbane: Beach getaway at The Sanctuary

December 06-13, 2014

The day my mom, Mike and I got back from our Singapore/Malaysia trip coincided with the arrival of Mike’s family to Brisbane.

For a week of relaxation and to spend time together, we booked a holiday home at Noosa (Sunshine Coast). The house was large, beautiful, and comfortable. Tucked away giving privacy and tranquility.

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Spacious kitchen, even a deck and BBQ.

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The only downfall? The Sanctuary is located on Upper Hastings Drive (not mentioned in the listing) which required a hike up 200 steep stairs. Good exercise for Michael and I, but a little difficult to enjoy for the rest of our group.

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The view was nice though!

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We spent every day at the beach, often with a 6am morning swim before breakfast.

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My mom was amazing. She marinated numerous types of Vietnamese meats and we had delicious BBQs almost every night. We also did go out for a fewย meals, including this cozy and yummy breakfast at Gaston!

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My mom showing us one of the activities she enjoyed as a kid – making butterflies from flowers

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Sunshine, the ocean, good food, board games, catching up on books, talks and laughs… vacation always seems to pass too quickly!

Hiking @ Noosa National Park (Part 1)

Finally went hiking at Noosa National Park yesterday!

After a long drive, we were greeted with such gorgeous weather that it was definitely going to an awesome day for hiking.

Noosa map

We started with the Noosa Hill track (#3 in yellow), a 2.4 km that climbed steadily up through open eucalypt woodlands and shrublands to the top of Noosa Hill.

Pictures of course! ๐Ÿ™‚

Heading in!

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Once in a while you can glimpse the blue waters just through the thick vegetation

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Pretty remnants of once green leaves

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Colourful lichen

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Last bit of elevation before reaching the top of Noosa Hill

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Do you see a horse too?

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I think we added a good foot to the “official” height of Noosa Hill

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Then made our way back down…

Lots of interesting textures to see

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Xuan found his special place in a tree

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Markings made by the larvae of the Scribbly Gum moth! You see these tracks all over the Scribby Gums (Eucalyptus haemastoma) and according to Wiki: Eggs are laid between layers of old and new bark. The larvae burrow into the new bark and, as the old bark falls away, the trails are revealed. The diameters of the tunnels increase as the larvae grow, and the ends of the tracks are where the larvae stopped to pupate.

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Gorgeous red crystalized sap on the Scribbly Gums

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We eventually reached the end of the Noosa Hill track and continued on another 2.8km via the Tanglewood track (#2 in orange), a meandering trail through cool rainforest.

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Found a turkey! We unfortunately didn’t see much wildlife except for turkeys and birds!

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Found the Eye of Sauron

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The trail eventually gave way to woodlands…

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… as we reached our much anticipated destination: Alexandria Bay.

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One word: Stunning.

Stay tuned to see more of this gorgeous place!

FML: Huntsman spider in our house

We were enjoying a movie on the couch last night when all of the sudden Michael says, “Oh no…” and turns on the light.

Friggin huge huntsman spider decided to come in through the garage and call our place its home.

SO BIG. SO HAIRY. SO FAST.

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We tried to chase it back out into the garage but when it refused to return to where it came from and decided to run/crawl all over our house, we knew we had to destroy it. I know, it’s cruel, but there is NO WAY I would sleep at night knowing a giant spider was lurking around. Good thing we didn’t have to burn the house down!

By we, I mean solely Mike, while I sat there screaming and crying.

I was so sweaty when the ordeal was finally over. Oh my god, was my fight or flight response ever hyper activated!

Thanks for the reminders Amin, this WAS exactly what I was thinking:

GP: Australia is full of NOPE!

I can’t remember how, but my GP preceptor and I started talking about… spiders.

Hurray… not. Spiders scare me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But, as a doctor, it is important to be aware of them as you can have a patient walk in at any time with a spider bite.

According to my preceptor, there are 3 poisonous spiders in Australia to especially look out for:

The Redback spider. At least unlike the Black Widow, the markings are on its back and not on the belly so you can identify it easier!

The Australian Funnel web spider

The White-tailed spiderย 

Please don’t ever let me come across these personally…

More Australian NOPEs. These are all potentially fatal.

The Box Jellyfish – the most venomous marine animal known to mankind

The Blue-ringed octopus. Despite being the size of golf balls, their venom is powerful enough to kill humans – no antivenom is available.

The Cone snail – shoots poisonous harpoons at its victims… in any direction.

And we haven’t even touched on poisonous snakes and lizards yet… O_O

The good thing about these venomous creatures? So much research has been done and is being done to isolate compounds in the venom that can be used to produce medications that save lives. For example, ACE inhibitors (first line treatment for hypertension/high blood pressure) was first derived from the venom of the Brazilian pit viper.

I can breathe underwater!

This past weekend, I tried something for the first time – scuba diving!

And I’m still here blogging, so that means I survived, which is always a good thing! I’m glad I tried it as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Now that I know I can breathe underwater without freaking out, I’m much more inclined to spend money in the future to get my Open Water Certification. ๐Ÿ˜€

We bought special $99 vouchers for Dive World. With the vouchers, you can either do 2 social dives if you are already certified (like Mike and Yoni) or 1 discovery dive, which is what Kee Ping and I did.

Things I enjoyed:

  • Trying out scuba diving for the first time and realizing I can do it!
  • Friendly staff
  • I got to see dolphins from the boat!

Things I did not enjoy:

  • As someone who has never even donned scuba gear going on a discovery dive, I expected to go into the ocean one-on-one with an instructor – which I have always seen with other companies, even in other countries. We were 4-to-1. An extremely uncomfortable situation to be in, especially when you have to buddy up with someone equally inexperienced. Worrying about yourself in that situation in hard enough, let alone worrying about the safety and comfort of your buddy AND being attached with 2 other inexperienced divers. What if someone had trouble? What if 2 people had trouble at once? How would the sole instructor take care of 4 people who have never gone scuba diving before? And there is precedence in Australia, someone has died before on a dive like this: Charges laid after investigation into dive death of Chinese student
  • In addition, our boat (the Cwilamanzi) had a capacity of 20 people but there were at least 22 people on board.
  • Toilet on board but no toilet paper – haven’t seen that since public toilets in Vietnam.
  • Refreshments included tea/coffee, some grapes, 1 package of Black & Gold brand assortment cookies and 1 package of Black & Gold brand gummy snakes. To share between 20+ people. For those who are not familiar, Black & Gold is a value brand, cheaper in price and similar to the Canadian “No Name” brand.
  • All the above makes me question their commitment to safety and quality. Yes, some of us on board paid a “discounted” price for this day trip. However, we felt like corners were cut elsewhere to make up for the cost.
  • Lastly, it was unfortunate that the weather conditions were not good. Heavy rain and huge swells on the way out to Tangalooma. It was calmer once we were there (the sun actually came out for a bit too!) but the current was unbelievably strong and visibility was quite poor, at best 4m.

Some pictures from the trip – when the sun finally came out for a bit!

Yoni getting ready to step in

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Tangalooma Wrecks

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Moreton Island

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Hi Kee Ping!

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Mike and Yoni returning from their second dive

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Back on the boat

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Nov 14: Visiting Byron Bay for the 1st time

I have to dedicate this post to Fiona – for being so lovely and planning this little road trip for us to Byron Bay. Not only was it a great time hanging out with her, Christine, James and Andrew (too bad Kristen couldn’t make it) – Mike and I also got to visit a part of Australia we’ve never been and always wanted to see. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you dear!

Couldn’t have asked for better weather or better company! ๐Ÿ˜€

On the road bright and early! It was also during the solar eclipse, which we could sort of see with our naked eyes ๐Ÿ˜›

We arrived shortly after 10am (NSW time) and first stop? Enjoying the sun and a dip in the ocean (at Main Beach or Clarkes Beach I believe), what else!

We also drove up to see the Cape Byron Lighthouse – Australia’s not only most powerful but also most easterly light! During the walk up to the lighthouse, you can see Tallow Beach – absolutely gorgeous!

A beautiful day with hot weather demands an ice cream break

Will never understand why James prefers to go barefeet

Most easterly point of the Australian mainland

Chilling for lunch

There were dolphins!

A stop at Wategos Beach on the way down

And finally, a drink at Beach Hotel to end a great day before heading back to Brisbane! Love you guys!

Full album HERE!

Photo #236: The First People I Met in Australia

October 21, 2012

We surprised Deebah at her 25th birthday tonight at Char Char Yiros in West End. Her reaction and happiness made it a complete success – thanks to Mabel for organizing and letting us be a part of it! This was one of the pictures taken at the end of the night – the St Leo’s College crew! Deebah, Mabel, Joe, Rachit, Mario, Mike and Yoni were the very first people I met upon arriving in Australia because we all stayed at the same temporary accommodation. Memories! So nice to have a picture with all of you ๐Ÿ™‚

(I will replace with a better quality photo when I receive an original copy from Deebah!)

R U OK?

Yesterday, (second Thursday of September) was Australia’s national R U OK?Day.

I actually had no idea until my brother, who’s in Canada, posted the question on my FB wall and informed me. Like him, I too think it’s a great idea.

(Info below is taken from RUOKday.com, please visit their website for more!)

R U OK?Day was inspired by the death of Barry Larkin (1940 โ€“ 1995).

Barry was a fascinating and successful business management consultant who took his own life. His son Gavin Larkin (1968-2011) partnered with television producer Janina Nearn in 2008 to develop a campaign that would inspire Australians to stay connected and support people.

This day of action is dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly ask their friends, family, and colleagues, โ€˜Are you ok?’

By regularly reaching out to one another and having open and honest conversations, we can all help build a more connected community and reduce our countryโ€™s high suicide rate.

More than 2,200 Australians suicide each year and men are around 3 times more likely to die by suicide than females. For each person that takes their life, another 30 people attempt to end their own life.

Most people don’t openly share their feelings, particularly if they’re struggling. The best thing we can all do is regularly talk to the people we care about – regardless of whether they are at risk – because connection is good for us all.

Now that I am aware of this cause, I have to say that it is close to my heart.

I have gone through a few really hard times (not suicidal ideation, not necessarily depression) during which I felt like I couldn’t or shouldn’t try reaching out to someone for help and support. Some people think that it’s because a person doesn’t have a good social support network and therefore no one to talk to, but that’s not always the case. I have an amazing group of friends and family I know would be there for me in a heartbeat, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier to reach out to them.

My friends have important exams, I want them concentrating 100% on their studies. My family is already having a hard time dealing with the same situation, I don’t want to burden them even further. My friends have never gone through this experience, they cannot fully understand how I feel. The reasons can go on and on.

It can be a struggle to open up to others and I will be forever grateful to the times when my friends took the initiative to ask me if I was alright. And I will continue to pay that forward.

It doesn’t have to lead to, or be as serious as depression, to warrant the question, “Are you okay?” And it certainly doesn’t have to be only one day a year!

So… who will you ask today?

FADU: Rugby Union and Park Playing

Gosh, I’m nearly a month behind… how embarrassing. I now have to base my memories on pictures we’ve taken, thank goodness I have those!

July 14, 2012

Checked out our first Rubgy Union game – St George Queensland Reds v New South Wales Waratahs! And we won! Dinner? Chicken tacos and drinks – yum.

July 15, 2012

Hit the Windsor Park close to home with Tan and Christine for lunch and some fun in the sun! Too windy for badminton but soccer certainly had us panting for air! Such a gorgeous day! In other news, my brothers toe nails are blue courtesy of my mom and sister.

Dinner at home: Gnocchi with garlic bread and eggplant tempura – mmm!

FADU: South Bank and Yumminess!

July 8, 2012

Woke up to the wonderful smell of pan fried dumplings – thank you mommy for your jet lag and waking up at 4am to make us food!

Family breakfast complete with pyjamas and bed hair

We headed down to the CBD (downtown) for a stroll and to visit souvenir shops. A bed of furries – woo hoo!

My mom really liked the trees on Adelaide St

Trying not to laugh wearing a hat from the souvenir shop. Then getting a work out pushing big metallic spheres around.

We then walked over the bridge to visit South Bank

Exact tool my brother needs to work on his bike at home is available at the Community Bike Repair Station. He wishes there was one in our neighbourhood back home! And mom holding up the Wheel of Brisbane

Mom and sister being silly and posing

The man made beach in South Bank

Can’t visit South Bank with a stop at Max Brenner! Yum yum yum

Could not pass up the photo opportunity with Pedobear! Haha

Sun going down… time to go home and eat leftovers for dinner!

Quick update from Singapore!

I’m still alive!

Singapore has been great and soooo humid! I’ve held off blogging about my trip to Singapore because my iPad won’t let me upload pictures properly onto my posts so I’ll do it a soon as I get back!

In the meantime, I also have not forgotten about my daily photo project. That will definitely be the first thing I do when I’m back in Australia ๐Ÿ™‚ I have decided to ‘cheat’ and take new pictures for the days my photos were corrupted… I have tried to take neat pictures so I hope it pays off well!

World Cup Qualifier Australia v Japan

Mike took me to see the game the evening of June 12 (night after our 1st exam) – boy was I glad! And for a few reasons:

  • I was getting really tired of studying
  • The game was great ๐Ÿ˜€
  • Studying for a few more hours wouldn’t have made a difference for me on the exam the following morning

It was a much better game than the World Cup Qualifier Australia v Thailand we saw last year. Over 40 000 in attendance! An action packed game that ended in a tie 1-1, 2 red cards, 2 yellow cards, Australia (while short a man) scoring their goal on a penalty kick, and a ‘womp womp’ moment for Japan when the game ended just as they had set up for a free kick within scoring range.

A group of insane Japanese people behind us who would’ve made any other fan proud with continuous (loud) chanting, singing, telling the Australian players they need to eat more fish, yelling out ‘Let’s have a BBQ together!’ when there were disagreements in the game, and screaming ‘Horseshit’ when the audience was crying ‘Bullshit’ to referee calls – oh awesome fans!

Didn’t take many pictures!

About to start the National Anthems

Halftime!

First semester – done!

Phew!

Thank goodness my exams are finally over! I was seriously getting burnt out after studying for over a week straight and then having 4 exams in 4 days!

June 12 – Clinical Science Imaging (1 hr) exam – went well. Luckily I was in a small room and could see the screen fine but many I know were in larger rooms and had a hard time making out some of the pathology in the images.

June 13 – Clinical Science written (2 hrs) exam – Any more studying would not have prepared me better for this exam. Multiple questions testing random tidbits of knowledge. The level of difficulty of past exams compared to ours was like night and day. Did not like this exam as much and was really happy I didn’t have to regret taking the evening before off to go see a soccer game instead!

June 14 – Ethics and Professional Practice (1hr) exam – much better than anticipated! Although I wished for a few more minutes to have another read through of my answers.

June 15 – Global and Community Medicine (1 hr) exam – went well! But there were only 40 MCQs each worth 1.5% of our final grade – eep!

Our last exam finished around 12:30pm and with a huge weight lifted off our chests we spent the rest of the day hanging out with friends and relaaaaxing ๐Ÿ˜› Good times!

And today?

Lots of cleaning… and packing for Singapore! We fly out of the Gold Coast on Monday morning so going to spend Sunday there. Yay – excitement building! We still have to decide what to do though! Thank goodness for friends helping us out and giving us good advice! ๐Ÿ˜€

Snorkeling at Flinders Reef

We left the house shortly after 5am with misty rain in our face and worry in our hearts that the sky would not clear up. Luckily, by the time we got to New Port Marina and on our catamaran, the sun was brightly shining with rainbows in the sky, woo hoo!

Sadly, I got pretty sea sick on the way out to the reef, which has never happened before – must always take Gravol! Learned my lesson the hard way ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Anyway, the water temperature was great around 25-26C and visibility was at least 25m, awesome! We got to see many fish – colourful and of all sizes. I remember seeing an angel fish bigger than my head, I didn’t even know they grow that big. And of course, we saw sea turtles, my favourite! I was really hoping to see sharks, but maybe next time ๐Ÿ™‚

Most of our pictures came out too blurry, but here are a few. Enjoy!

Puffer fish!

Getting his back cleaned ๐Ÿ™‚

Hello, long time no see!

I’ve been hiding this past week focused on studying, believe it or not! Wrote my midterm Friday afternoon (1-3pm) which went quite well except for a few questions that I answered stupidly. Grr! Don’t you just hate it when you answer a question wrong not because you didn’t know it, but you had the knowledge to and didn’t answer it correctly? Anyway, time to move on and focus on the final exams coming up in October!

In celebration, I finally used a Scoopon for fish and chips at Cosmos Cafe in South Bank. Huge piece of battered fish, chips, salad and a pop can for $6! Not bad, I have one more coupon to use so I will probably be back soon in the future.

In Brisbane, we have ibises… pretty much the seagull equivalent. Massive and everywhere, at least they’re not as loud and as annoying ๐Ÿ™‚

Always love seeing the walkway down in South Bank

Washed that down with an amazingly delicious dessert at Max Brenner’s nearby. Delicious waffles drizzled with toffee, sprinkled with sugared pecans and served with melted chocolate and vanilla ice cream. It’s not on the menu (so ask for it) and really does taste like a piece of heaven. Best dessert ever!


I have a huge forehead! And in great need of a haircut! ๐Ÿ˜›

Ended the night watching my first ever live sports event – Australia vs Thailand – first World Cup 2014 qualifier match! Game was held at Suncorp Stadium with over 24 000 people in attendance. So much fun!

I was really excited to finally have an opportunity to use my telephoto lens after letting it collect dust on my shelf for months. Unfortunately, I was stopped at the gate after a bag check and was told that my lens wasn’t allowed. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Apparently, the max zoom allowed was 200mm and my lens was 250mm. “Aww no! I didn’t know, or I wouldn’t have brought it!” Luckily, after speaking to a manager, he approved my camera and called in my seat number so security wouldn’t hassle me when they saw me taking pictures. Because of that, I was able to get a few decent shots!

Thailand (red and blue) and Australia’s Socceroos (yellow and green) warming up

Thailand fans congregated in one section

Some action going on

Thailand faked quite a bit, eliciting boos from the entire stadium each time

Pretty decent crowd!

Australia won (of course) 2-1!

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