2007 - February - Back to index
Ok, let's face the facts. No matter how unnatural it is writing it, having one's blog in reverse order is much more convenient for the occasional reader. So I give up. If reverse order is what you want, reverse order is what you shall get.
Anyway, I was planning to tell you about the dream I had last night. Now, I hope everyone agrees with me in that whenever you are in the bathroom, it is a good idea to close the lid of the toilet seat (unless you are currently using it, that is). If you aren't in the habit of closing it, sooner or later you'll end up fishing out your comb or watch or hair dryer or what not from the toilet bowl and it isn't exactly one of the most pleasant tasks you could imagine.
So. In this dream I had last night, I made the error of not closing the lid. The shit hit the fan, so to speak, and I accidentally spilled the contents of my handbag in the bowl. So I actually spent most of last night putting my hand into the toilet and getting stuff out of there. And boy oh boy, was there plenty of that stuff! Keys. Lip balm. A packet of chewing gum. Water-resistant Australian banknotes. Stamps (hmmmm, I better not lick these...I wonder if there is any adhesive tape anywhere?) Half a dozen eggs. The Lost Ark. You name it. To be quite frank, it seemed like everything I ever had was going down the toilet.
Yes, I do know that my subconscious stole this scene from the movie Trainspotting. Nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls - take this as a warning, and always remember to close the lid.
The vaccine against HPV, human papilloma virus, developed by University of Queensland scientists including Professor Ian Frazer, was recently accepted in Australia. For those not so much into biosciences: papilloma is the leading cause of cervical cancer, which kills 300,000 women every year. I don't belong to the primary target group, but the term "cancer vaccine" has that certain something, so I scrape up the money (AUD 150 per shot, ouch) and go under the needle.
Soundtrack of my life|
The City of New Orleans
Creme de la creme of the Finnish-speaking music scene in Brisbane get together for the annual Puistojamit event, and are interviewed by a radio reporter.
The most lovable madman of all times, pianist David Helfgott, plays at the conservatorium.
Science catches up with fiction: how many years until we will see the movie Minority Report become reality?
I was not kidding, you know - in Brisbane, you never wear shoes. You wear Havaianas!
I am planning to never, ever again in my life wear shoes. Watching the view from the window of my room is quite enough for today's activities.
Alke and I start for the highest point of the continent, Mt. Kosciuszko, as early in the morning as we can. It must be admitted, though, that the track to the mountain top is not one of the best ones in the park. The mountain is so flat and so popular among visitors that there is actually a boardwalk all the way to the summit. You could drive a regular citybike to the top of the mountain (if you really, really wanted to) which is a bit of an anticlimax.
One of the few highlights of the stony 13-kilometer Mt. Kosciuszko track is the view over Lake Cootapatamba.
On the top of the continent.
In the afternoon Alke and I hike through Dead Horse Gap. This track is far more interesting and recommendable than the summit walk. The snow gum tree forest is right out of a storybook.
The day is made perfect by our encounter with brumbies, Australian wild horses. A stallion, his two or three mares and their two foals are peacefully grazing in the forest as we notice them and hide from them...
...but once they spot us...
...their backsides are the only thing we can see.
Our total for the day is about 24 km, but the day ain't over yet. As the night falls, Kingsley and Lisa from the YHA are throwing a party for their guests, motor mouths Neil and Jeremy from a Victorian radio station, and invite us to join in.
The bus from Canberra to Thredbo takes me past Lake Jindabyne, a reservoir born out of the massive Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme.
I'm lucky enough to meet a fellow trekker called Alke on the bus. Together we head for the Meadows Nature Track and Merritts Traverse right after entering Thredbo.
Much, if not most, of the national park was heavily burned by the bushfire of January 2003, hence the silvery colour.
Wildflowers are abundant along the walking tracks. Mountain gentian (on the right in the photo) is found only in Kosciuszko National Park.
The average summer temperature in Brisbane would typically be above +30 C, but this summer has been exceptionally cool so far. However, the situation is quickly getting back to normal, and I'm planning to escape the unbearable heat to the Snowy Mountains, entering the region via Canberra.
This satellite picture was taken last week. For quite a while everybody thought that the mountains would get completely burned out, as the Victoria bushfires were approaching the township of Thredbo and the whole village had to be evacuated. The inhabitants and tourists have been allowed back to the village now, though (for how long, nobody knows...)
Much to my disappointment, none of the noble words engraved in the pedestal of the ACT Memorial have spelling mistakes.