Sunday, November 1, 2009

Back from Australia, or I heart Solo

We returned from Australia (New South Wales and Queensland) on Friday, and I'm not sure if I'm over the jet lag yet. We took a nap on Friday afternoon, and at about 7:30 that night, my husband woke up and microwaved some burritos for us; after eating, we went back to sleep and slept for 13 hours straight.

Because of my collapsed lung, I didn't know if I would be able to go, but one week before we left, I got the go-ahead from my doctor. Flying with a collapsed lung is a very dangerous thing to do, but mine had "fully resolved." After an incident-free 15-hour flight there, I felt like I really was in the clear.

Highlights include about 300 species of birds (most of them new), including Birds of Paradise, Bower Birds (and their bowers!!!),
Cassowaries, Emus, rainbow-colored everybodies, and pied everybodies; platypuses, koalas, wallabies, kangaroos, bandicoots, dragons (forest and water), battling monitor lizards (goanas), green sea turtles, and the rainforest. I might have seen a flying fish. I also fell in love with lemon squash, specifically Solo, the thirst crusher. I must find something like it here.

My husband and I caught a cold a few days into the trip, but the wildlife and landscapes were great distractions from the pounding sinus headache and coughing (I was constantly afraid that I would cough at the wrong moment and scare away some much-desired bird). Our tour group included 12 participants and 2 leaders, and 6 people came down with the cold.

I took an enormous quantity of crappy photos (the rainforest is dark).

My biggest disappointment is that the pelagic trip was canceled because of bad weather, and we could have seen heaps of albatrosses (one of my favorite groups of birds). We'll just have to go back :-) And, I really want to see flocks of wild budgies, and they are found west of where we were on this trip.

OK, enough of the stream of consciousness.

Good night,


Margaret said...

The lung business mist have been scary and unpleasant. Glad you're feeling better. BTW, my son says he thinks he's had noodles in the same Wagamamas as you in Australia, which he visited on his round the world trip a few years ago.

Sylvie said...

Thanks. The doctor said that it can happen to tall thin (I don't think of myself as thin) people for no reason whatsoever. He said that it happened to his wife in college. I was at my desk calmly reading an email, and the chest pains started and got really bad. Weird.

The Wagamamas was within walking distance of the Royal Botanic Gardens -- I think it was the one on Bridge Street. The gardens were awesome -- tame native birds, flying foxes/fruit bats, and cool plants -- and admission is free!