Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Have Landed...

I can honestly say these past three weeks since coming back to Sydney, Australia has been a roller coaster ride for me personally. Having been away on holidays for so long, I found it difficult to settle back into things, namely finding the right sort of work for me. About 3 weeks ago I worked for a day with RGC Advertising as a freelance Graphic Designer but found out it wasn't for me and then just yesterday I finished up working as a graphic designer for Strategic Campaign Associates after only three weeks. I felt terrible giving notice after only 3 days of work particularly since I had accepted the commitment as a full time employee. However, the company were really nice considering the circumstances as I continued to work for another two weeks. My colleagues were really nice to work with, but due to another job offer coming round, much closer to home with a good grounding for career development, I decided to take the move to Xavier Communications as a Finished Artist.
I genuinely enjoyed working with Strategic and even though I was only there for a period of 3 weeks I met some great people and helped to get some important client deadlines out of the way. I wish them all the best for the future and thank them for giving me the opportunity to work with them.
So today I have landed firmly on the ground and started my position as a Finished Artist at Xavier Communications which I enjoyed very much. I did some clipping path work to photos first up and then finished the day off by updating a flash-based newsletter for one of their clients which I will continue tomorrow. I'm really focused on moving into multi-media and animation a lot more so it's great that I can utilise these skills a lot more here.
I'm happy to say that I've landed and don't intend on leaving anytime soon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Back into the swing of things

I've been back in Australia for a little over a week now and I'm finally reaquinted with my home surroundings and well over the jet lag as well. :)

Last Sunday I caught up with some of the family over a small get together that was held to wish my brother Henry and his girlfriend Megan, all the best for their fantastic 6 month world trip which they begin next Monday, the 20th of November. They finish their trip in London, UK where they will work for a year or two. It's no doubt going to be the adventure of a lifetime for them (especially when they get to South America :)) but we're going to miss them extremely! :( However I can't wait to read up on Henry and Megan's adventures!

Whilst they've been busy wrapping up and relocating their belongings, I've been busy organising my CV and applying for numerous jobs. However I'm happy to say I no longer have to search because tomorrow I start a new job with Strategic Campaign Associates after a successful interview earlier today. I'm very excited to be working with this company and can't wait to gain more commercial experience working on a variety of different projects.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Adios Familia y Gracias Por Todo!


Yesterday evening was when dad and I said farewell to our family in Ecuador. It was extremely hard to let go of the family which I had only just started to get to know. I shed many tears with some members of the family at the airport but promised to return very soon and not every 30 years, which is the length of time dad hadn´t returned to South America. Next time I hope we can come for Christmas and New Year for a BIG family reunion and bring everyone from Australia, which is what I originally wanted this trip to be.

We made the most of the time we did have and shared some great weekends with the family and travelled to some very exciting places in Ecuador during the working week. We especially enjoyed our relasing time with the family in Papallacta´s natural hot springs on the second last day in Ecuador.

We´d like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our family in Ecuador for everything and for spending time with us over the past month. We have really enjoyed our time with everyone and are extremely sad to leave you all after our brief stay. We will miss you extremely! :( We promise to return more quickly next time and not every 30 years!
Con mucho cariños y a brasos para todos y cuando volvamos nos quedaremos por mucho tiempo asta que esten avuridos y artos de nosotros :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Oriente (Jungle), Ecuador

The great thing about Ecuador is that it's a relatvely small country compared to other countries in South America and has lots to offer adventuring tourists. I'm talking about the mighty Oriente, the Amazon!
Dad & I just recently returned from our awesome 5 day adventure to the Cuyabeno Reserve in The Oriente of Ecuador through Samona Expeditions. We went fairly deep into the jungle. Just to give you an indication we took a bus from Quito to Lago Agrio (7 hrs), then a van to the Cuyabeno River (2 hrs) and then we took a motorised canoe on the beautiful river to reach our naturally beautiful Samona Lodge(2 hrs).
Even though it took a while to reach our lodge the canoe ride over the river warmed us up for the adventures that awaited us in the jungle. Dad and I took a motorised canoe up the Cuyabeno River (the boat about 25m length) manned by two men, Dario (18yrs, the Captain of the boat who was in control of the engine) and Frederico (about 30s up the front of the boat).
Only 5 mins into our trip oer the river we came across our first obstacle, a fallen tree which went right across the river. I thought we'd have to turn back to get a chain saw to cut the tree because the boat couldn't go through. After Dario and Frederico had a quick 2 minute examination of the tree, Dario reversed the boat and the next thing I know he is telling us to hold on to the boat it's going to be rough! WHAT?!
Dario cranked up the engine and the next thing I know I'm clinging onto the boat and screaming as we skimmed over the top of the fallen tree! lol It was so exhilarating! I was all smiles after that! Cheering and woohooing! What a start to our trip! I wish I took a video of us flying over! :)
The first 2 days were pretty hot and the humidity was of course very high, kind of like Cairns in Quensland, Australia. The temperature was 32 degrees. But with that sort of weather we were able to cool ourselves down by taking a nice relaxing swing in the Lagoon close to our lodge. Yes I can't believe we actually swam (more than once) in the waters of the amazon amongst the pirrahnas and whatever else lye in the water!

I was a little reluctant to at first but when our guide, David and Dario were the first to go I felt safe. They have never been bitten by anything in the water any time year round, however of course only swim in the daytime. Caiman (crocadiles) come out at night to feed.

The Caiman watching was another thrilling adventure for us as our search for them occured in the darkness, the only light coming from our torches in search of the Caimans' reflective red eyes near the banks of the river.
Dario and David were quick to find them too! The first two we saw were small and the boat was only one metre from them! The caiman lie still in the water almost as if they were stunned by the lights beaming on them. My digital camera died on me though and I wasn't able to take a great shot of them! We also saw two large Caimans, one of which we were only 2 metres from! It made me a little nervous but very excited at the same time!
Walking through the jungle was also just as adventurous! We trudged through the muddy swamps in our boots which were provided and spotted monkeys in the distance insects of all kinds, birds, flowers, termite nests and a poisonous snake (called Fur de Lance) asleep coiled on a log.
We also went pirrahna fishing and I was the lucky fisherman that caught most of the fish! David the guide also caught one. I caught two pirrahnas and one small cat fish which flew into the canoe.
Playing card games in the evening was also a lot of fun. We played a game called Donkey where the loser had to do a punishment (kind of like a dare).

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Galapagos Islands-Ecuador

!Buenós dias¡ Today dad and I finished our 5 day trip through the beautiful Galapagos Islands! We went on a boat cruise that took us from Santa Cruz island to Bacha Beach, North Seymour Island, Santa Fe, Española Island, Floreana Island and then back to Santa Cruz Island.
It was a fantastic trip even though I feel like I´m still on the boat from all the swaying over the last 5 days. The flight over to the islands went smoothly and I remember my first reaction when we first saw the islands as we flew over. Is this the Galapagos Islands?! It looks like a desert! I had expected the place to be overwelmed by luscious fouliage and trees!

We entered Baltra airport which used to be used for US military base. However most of the islands we visited were quite barren as this time of the year the trees lose their leaves even though the rain was well and truely present almost everyday we were there.

Some of the best highlights on this trip would first and foremost be witnesssing nature and the beautiful animals that can only be seen in the wild there. We saw blue-footed boobies, magnificent Friggate birds, many sea lions, land & marine iguanas, hawks, penguins, mockingbirds and much more!

As we walked through the Islands it was amazing to witness how natural everything is, we saw a baby sealion that was dying from a shark attack and it will be left to die in order to keep up with the circle of life. It was very saddening at the time since it was only a baby.
Snorkelling was also fantastic! Marine life we saw included many colourful fish, star fish (yellow, red, blue), sting ray, white tip (vegetarian) shark, turtle, jelly fish, and the best of all the playful sea lions at Española Island at Gardners Bay! I hope the photos we took come out! I really regret not buying another underwater camera on the boat we took because the last time we snorkelled it was so shallow and the colours of the fish and the coral were breathtaking! I´m going to try and get some shots from the people we toured with.
The tourists on the boat were really nice and many were again from Australia! More than half in fact! There were 5 that were about 18 years that were volunteers staying in Ecuador. They worked in local schools and one worked in a juvenille prison as a baker! Unfortunately he got his headphones stolen as a going away present! :(

We also played soccer on the 2nd last day but unfortunately the boat crew were too good. We played pretty hard on the sandy soil and didn´t do too badly condsidering we´d only got the team together that day. I was the only girl on the team.
Today the last day of our trip we visited the Charles Darwin Station on Santa Cruz Island and saw the Massive Galapagos Turtles in captivity as well as the breeding programs with all the tiny Galapagos turtles that were only 2-4 years! So so cute!
The weather was quite warm and mostly cloudy on the last three days with patches of rain and shine coming through parts of the day. The average temp was 30 degrees.
The food on board the Floreana boat was yummy all round! With the crew being very helpful and friendly.
All round we had a great trip and met some friends on the boat and our animal friends on land too! Absolutely amazing! I´ll definately be returning again soon! I hear May is the best time to go, according to our guide since it´s in between the two seasons.

Tulcán-Ecuador and Ipiales-Colombia


Hóla once again. It´s been a while since my last entry and I´ve been quite busy touring Ecuador and a very small part of Colombia.
Dad and I visited a small town north of Ecuador called Tulcán for it´s large and well known cemetery there. I hear you saying....Cemetery?! Yep, cemetery.

The gardens are the main feature there as the cemetery is lined with giant hedges that are sculptured into geometric shapes, pre-Colombian symbols and various animals. It was such an awesome sight to see! The figures were very cute, especially the animals. The graves were equally beautiful as the burial places are above-ground tombs stacked atop of one another so that they resembled a mini apartment complex rather than a final resting place.

The entrance of the tombs are heavily adorned with shrines and beautiful fresh flowers.

The day after visiting Tulcán we crossed the border into Colombia to visit the famous church Virgin de las Lajas. A magnificent church built against a cliff face!
Absolutely awesome! However interestingly at the border crossing we met some school kids who wanted to practice their English with us! So we agreed and also met their teacher who we later went to visit that night for a cup of coffee! It was wonderful chatting about our cultures, we also met another man from France who joined us that night as well.

He´s doing a walking trek for 2 years for the Aneascode (I think that´s right) following inca trails and finding ones that need preservation. We´ve met quite a few volunteers here and just recently some very young ones on our cruise through the Galapagos but that´s for the next entry....till next time. Chao!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Baños

Hi Everyone! In the last few days in Ecuador, Dad and I have been visiting some of the local cities near Quito, Ecuador. Our family have been showing us around to many beautiful places.
Yesterday Dad and I went to Baños which was about 3 hrs drive from Quito. My uncle Marco, his wife (Lucia) and his son (Mauricio's) family invited us out for the day. It was difficult to wake up in the morning because the previous day we went to my cousin's son's Baptism celebration which was in the evening and went through till early hours of the morning. We did manage to wriggle out of bed though.
On the way we passed a volcano that errupted 3 months ago, Tunguragua. The whole city had to be evacuated at the time. We stopped to have a look at the destruction that it caused which was incredible. Many tourists were there picking up some of the rocks that were left there.
We also passed a town (forgive me for not remembering the name) where they mainly manufacture jeans clothing. There you can find them very cheap, about $7 a pair of jeans!!! I´ll put the name up of the place as soon as I can for all you shop-a-holics! :) Whilst we were there we also saw roasting ginea pigs on a rotisary!!! We stopped to take a photo beside it! I smelt delicious but we didn´t try it. We have tried it though when we were in Peru, it tastes really nice! SOrt of like chicken!
Baños is a beautiful small city where a lot of tourists come for many different tours and adventures like bungy jumping. We were really just passing through.
We went into the beautiful local church there, ate some beautiful hand made candy which we saw being made, chewed on some wonderful refreshing sugar canes, ate a local dish called liaguarlocro and beautifully cooked trout and chicken.
The day passed very quickly and unfortunately we didn´t visit the hot springs in Baños...hopefully we get another opportunity to visit Baños an dthe lovely hot springs which await us.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Beautiful Quito-Ecuador!

¡Hola todos! Dad and I have been in Quito, Ecuador for the past four days, since 21st of September. We came from our very brief stay in La Paz, Bolivia where the shopping was cheap and the traffic plenty.
On arrival at Quito airport we weren´t sure if we´d be greeted by anyone in the family. Upon our exit from customs we didn´t see anyone from the family so we were quite disappointed. Dad then proceeded to go to one of the phone booths at the airport when I noticed a young man with aviation sunglasses walking towards me with another lady beside him. I was my cousin Carlos Alberto who had come to Australia to study a few years ago with his mother Susanna! Some of our family was there!
We were so happy because it turned out that a lot of our family had come to the airport to see us! About 10 people! I just wish I knew a lot more Spanish because most of them don´t speak English. I´ve been trying to speak in Spanish most of the time. It´s been quite trying and funny at the same time.
We´re currently staying at my tia (aunt) Lupe´s house in Quito. She has a lovely house right in the city not far from the city´s (old town) where there are many beautiful museums, parks and wonderful examples of colonial architecture. Her family is wonderful too! Lupe, Tito Fernando, Ismael (17yrs), Samantha (15yrs) and Veronica (30yrs) who lives nearby.
My uncle Oswaldo and aunt Lupe has been showing us around town so far which has been great!
We´ve been to the contemporary art museum where we saw some beautiful religious artworks and an amazing wax museum of people who were important figures in the history of Ecuador.
Two days ago we made our way to Otavalo (3 hours by bus) with my aunt Lupe. Otavalo is Ecuador´s most successful indigenous arts and crafts city. The Saturday markets are the best there and lucky for us we went on a Saturday! The market is amazing there! The colours, music and the political representatives in the Quechuan speaking community was very lively.
Shopping there was very cheap and excellent! I could have been there for days just admiring everything and possibly buying everything!
Yesterday we made our way to my Uncle Carlos Alberto´s place just outside of Quito. His house and property is HUGE! Soccer fields, pool, tennis and volley ball courts lent for some great choices of active sports!
Almost the whole family gathered for the day to have a late lunch and play some exciting games of soccer! I made a pretty good goal before lunch which felt so good! lol However after the beautiful lunch with the family it was a mens game. Dad, my cousins, uncles and family friends shared in a friendly and thrilling game of soccer. It was so exciting to watch! My family are really good soccer players!
Today was a rather easy day strolling through one of Quito´s parks which is up on a hill where you can wee a 360 degree view of Quito. A very tranquil place away from the bussle of the city.
I haven´t been feeling all that well the last few days because I caught the flu from my temporary brother Yoni from Lake Titicaca and haven´t managed to shake it off. Hopefully I´ll wake up tomorrow feeling a little better because there´s so much here that I want to go visit! The Galapagos Islands and the Amazon are on the top of the list. We´ve got some tourist info now so we´ll be booking these trips very soon. So stay tuned for further posts.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Day 15-18 Cuzco Day 18-19 Puno & Lake Titicaca





Our trip through Peru has almost come to an end. Tomorrow we leave Puno and make our way to La Paz in Bolivia. I am feeling very sad yet happy at the same time because we´ll be meeting the family very soon.

Ok I better get typing! The last few days have been great! From visiting Cusco´s local archaeological sites; Sacsaywahman, Tambomachay, Quenqo, Puka Pukara to shopping in the local markets to experiencing the wonderful nightlife clubbing in Cuzco....it´s all been amazing! Cuzco is a very busy city and there always seems to be something happening everyday. In total we spent 4 days in Cuzco and we saw two parades which celebrated two of the 400 saints that Cuzco regularly celebrate down the streets of the Plaza de Armas (the Main Square). On the last day in uzco there was another parade. This one was a Marching Parade that is held every Sunday through Cuzco´s main Square. It starts with the Military Band followed by a series of different groups like schools, hotels, environment protectors, dancers.....lots of different groups! Cuzco was certainly a great place to hand out.
The nightlife was pretty amazing too! Dad and I went to three different clubs in the main square, Mama Africa, Mythological, and Extrem. All had different music but al were catchy in their own way. Mama Africa with Rythm n Blues/R 'n' B, Mythological with a mix of everything rock/dance/trance/heavy/classic/rnb/pop and Extrem where all the more younger crowd hung out played popular reggaeton/rnb music. We stayed in Mythology for most of the night though. Many tourists hung out there as well.

From Cuzco we took a very very long bus ride to Puno. From 2-10pm. The average speed of the local bus was probably about 40km/hr. The driver had to dodge all the pot holes along the way. Daniel you´d have freaked out to see the size of some of them I reckon! But at least the bus ride over provided some great on board entertainment! Some provided by the upset locals wanting to sit down but most of it came from the shonky but hilarious Indian movie that played on the tv inside the bus. The cinamatography was a classic! There were a lot of bulls used in the making of the movie which was just hilarious! We´re on a mission to find out the name of that movie too, we´ve asked Nicolas our tour guide to help us out! lol He just laughed.

The last two days we visited beautiful Lake Titicaca! Before we boarded the boat at the port we bought groceries and stationary for the family we would be staying with on Island Amatalia. After that we took a very slow boat ride (about 3 and a half hours) to Isla Tequile where we ate beautiful Quencha soup for entree and Trout with rice and chips for the main. The people on the island spoke Quechua and were all helping each other out in removing the corrigated iron roofing from one of the buildings-even the women. The women have to be very strong there because the community operates like a communist one where everyone helps out.

From there we took our boat again to Isla Armantani where we would be meeting our local family that we would be staying with. Our young mama wasn´t a mum at all. She was 17 and single and her name was Amelia.
She took us to her beautiful large house which was near the port where we arrived. Later that day we played football (soccer) with the local kids! That was soooo much fun! Unfortunately our skills were no match for them though. They beat us 4-1! We put the blame on the alttitude though since we were almost 4000m above sea level.
After the ame we headed back to our families´places to eat dinner.
Dad and I were lead back by Yuni (brother of Amelia who was 13 years and in 2nd year High School). He appeared quite shy. When we reached the house we joined mum (Ancelma), Amelia and Yuni in the kitchen and chatted in Spanish to the children who knew how to speak Spanish. They were interested in finding out more about us and what we did for a living. The family were very friendly and kind. After dinner we presented them with the groceries that we had bought earlier in the day adn they were extremely happy and it gave us such a nice feeling.
The cooking smelt great and tasted absolutely devine! We had yummy vegetable soup followed by vegetable pasta with rice. The people on the Island are veetarian so it suited us quite well since Dad and I mostly eat vegetable back home in Oz.
The itchen was very small but cosy. It was very smokey inside too and the smoke was stinging my eyes but I didn´t mind too much since we were with the family and in a warm place. It gets quite cold on the island.

After dinner we headed up to our room and was later presented with traditional outfits that we were had to wear to the party that was going to take place up on the hill. Ancelma helped me get dressed in a beutifully embroidered and highly decorative outfit. There were I think 6 pieces in total! When Ancelma wrapped the belt around me it felt so tight like a corset! The skirt was very heavy too!
Dad´s outfit was quite easy, he only needed to wear a big poncho. :)
So after dressing up we walked up the hill to the party which had already begun. No one was dancing yet though. Everyone in our group looked amazing! The girls looked so beautiful and the men quite macho in the ponchos!
The music was typical music of the Andes with Flutes, drums and vocals. Yuni (brother) was the drummer in the band! He played very well.
I was asked top dance by one of the local men there by the name of Hover, pronounced whober. He was a good dancer and spoke very good English which really surprised me!
The rest of the night went very well with all of us dancing and joining hands with other tours groups to form one huge chaing that raced through the room.
What a great night we had.

The next day we had to farewell our family who had been so nice to us. I bought the chullio (beanie) which was given to me to wear whilst we were on the Island.
We headed to the Isla Uros where we visited some of the communities that lived on floating reed Islands! It was incredible to come off the boat and jump on the soft reeds. Lucio our local tour guide gave us a history lesson of the place and it´s people as well.
We took a reed boat across two of the floating islands which was very relaxing, not like the one we had experienced coming over to Isla Tequele and Amatalia.
After visiting the reed island we made our way back on our regular boat to the port at Puno.

We´re back in Puno and had quite a relaxing day just wondering the busy streets and organising some of our photos to be printed for the family we stayed with. I´m going to post it to them from here in Peru. The fotos turned out much better than expected too!
We ate at another great restaurant tonight which Nicolas brought all of us too. Our last dinner in Peru. Tomorrow we head to La Paz where we finish our tour. It´s been a great ride and experience.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Day 10-Cuzco Day 11-15-The Inca Trail

So much has happened in the last week that it{s going to be very difficult to type it all up in the space of an hour but I'll try my best.
After flying up from Arequipa to Cuzco we had an easy day in Cuzco. We just wondered the local streets soaking up the culture and atmosphere of this huge city. It's the 3rd largest city in Peru (I think) with 300 000 people. Later that afternoon we met with our local Inca Trail guide called Coco who ran through what we'd be doing on the Inca Trail over the next 4 days. He English was pretty good so it was easy to understand him, he was also an easy going guy.
The next day we had to be ready for 6:30am to be at 82km (the start of the Inca Trail) for 7:30am. It was a beautiful day for hiking. We hiked for 14km the first day which was mostly up hill. Along the way we passed many houses with goats, horses, pigs and chickens. The hike was extremely tiring for me and I really regretted not doing any active exercise before leaving Oz. The majority of our group did really well, with dad ploughing ahead and keeping up with the front of the pack.
We had so many porters on the hike too. They all helped carry our gear, food, water and camping equipment. The youngest was 18 years! It was truely amazing to see the strength, balance and endurance of these guys. They would leave the camp sites after us and then overtake us along the hike! Each man carried about 30kg on their backs.
After the gruelling first day it got easier from then on. The food on the Inca Trail was soooo good too! The chef, Ilario was an expert in preparation and received many complements from everyone. Every meal of the day had three courses!
On the 2nd day we were introduced to all the porters in the morning; 15 of them! They introduced themselves, how old they were and if they were single. It was very funny. Our group also did the same but of course I mentioned I wasn't single. :) When it came to Coco's turn he was reluctant but after some pressure from Joe (the funny Aussie guy in our group) he gave in and said he was 28yrs and single to which Joe then jokingly ran to him! lol
Before we headed off on our journey we shook hands with all the porters, including one I won't forget who had one hell of a crushing hand shake which left all the ladies holding their hands in pain! :) Funny yet painful at the same time.
We headed off on our trek once again, and began uphill. With stiff legs from the previous day it was difficult to get them working again. I took my time near the back with Julia (one of the lovely English girls in our group) who acted like my first aid kit whilst dad wasn't nearby. We had to stop three times along the way.
The first to remove my thermal singlet which was making me extremely hot and exhausted, I forgot to remove it at the campsite. Julia acted as my shield from being seen from the male guide behind called Jemil. After that we stopped another two times; one to take an Imodium tablet (as soon as we left the camp site I was busting to go to the loo!) and the other to put on some insect repellant. It was all my doing.
By the third stop we were quite a fair way from the majority of the group so we took our time. We climbed to about 4000m bove sea level at one stage. At that point of time the coca leaves really helped me out. I left poor Julia behind with Jamil and Colette (her friend, also English) to race up the last steep mountain climb that day. I was cheering when I reached the top.
The rest of the journey we proceeded downhill to get to our second campsite. Dinner was beautiful once again with dessert being a flamming hot presentation from the chef himself. Quite spectacular!
After dinner Coco shared some stories with the group, most of which were scary stories of experiences on the Inca trail. Many of the girls didn{t want to go to the toilet on their own that night thanks to Coco.
The 3rd day was an easier day as the majority of the trek was Inca flats. I stayed near the back though to take loads of pictures of the changing scenery and beautiful orchids along the way. The scenery had changed to jungle now and everywhere we looked you could see abundant moss, butterflies, and birds. The temperature also ranged from 12 degrees to 30 degrees in the same day. The majority of the trek was downhill and my left leg and knee wasn't coping well at all. I was struggling quite a bit and was one of the last to arrive at our 3rd campsite at 2:30pm for lunch.
Jamil had some good laughs calling me an old woman the day before and today once again. I really felt bad though and a little ashamed about how unfit I was.
At least today we had our chance for a refreshing shower at last! :) After this I felt a lot better.
The evening was also very exciting. It was our last supper and the final farewell and thanks to all the porters who played a huge part to such a successful trip. We had all made it this far and everyone was feeling quite good at this stage. The first 2 days maybe not so much. :)
After dinner the porters sang in Quechua and Julie (elderly Aussie lady) and I were plucked from our seats to dance with two of the porters. Very fun and the dance was very easy which helped! :)
The 4th day started at 4am for the main reason that we had to be one of the first to get to Machu Picchu. There were several other groups with us, all eager to be the first in line at the checkpoint. We were the second group in line at the checkpoint at 5am. At 5:30 they opened the gates and it was a mad rush up the gradual ascending inca flats, to the Sun Gate which overlooks Machu Picchu.
The pace was extremely quick and the troublesome leg I had was pretty much gone this day so I was racing up with dad ahead of me.
In about an hour after scaling the 55 vertical monkey steps to the top where the sun gate was we waited for the morning clouds to clear to see magnificent Machu Picchu.
It was beautiful and really made our hike so much worthwhile. It was another 20 minutes down to Machu Picchu where we took several photos, including group shots. Coco and Jamil being the paparatzi, holding all our cameras. It was very funny to see!
We finally made it after an incredible 4 days. Machu Picchu, one of the most beautiful sites in the world was right there waiting for us. After about 10 am there was a flood of tourists who came in so photo opportunites were a little more difficult. However that didn{t stop me from snapping away. My only regret was not taking a panoramic shot from the top. Ah well. I still have some great shots which I will share with you all very soon.
There were about 30 llamas in Machu Picchu as well! One nearly bowled me over when I was caught by surprise after shooting a video of one of them! It stepped on my toes though, it didn't hurt though. Coco gave us a two hour tour of Macchu Picchu;explained the Inca culture, the Beliefs, founder of Machu Picchu and several temples within the magnificent place.
Thanks to Coco and his team for taking good care of us all, this experience was hard but incredibly satisfying at the end. It was truely unbelieveable and I'm so happy that I undertook this journey to Machu Picchu.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Days 7, 8 and 9 - Arequipa, Chivay & Colca Canyon

After a lengthy evening bus ride to Arequipa from Nazca which took around 8 hours, we all had a free day to wonder around this beautiful city. Arequipa is called the white city due to many of the buildings being carved out of lava and soil from a volcanic erruption that happened in the past. It´s one of the most beautiful cities we´ve seen so far and the atmosphere is a buzz here.
The following day we made our journey to Colca Canyon, our local tour guide Fernando was great and very knowledgable about the area. We stopped at many vantage points along the way to Colca Canyon. The mountain terraces (flat planes in the mountain side used for farming) are incredible, although these days aren´t widely used. Mining is the main source of income for a lot of the people. We went to the highest point in the region which was 4971m (or there abouts), there we found many small rock towers that people had constructed as an offering to the mountains to let them have a safe journey. Quite spectacular! Altitude sickness was kicking in but sucking on the coca leaves helped quite a bit. :)
We went for a late afternoon walk after we reached another wonderful hotel, this time in the Colca Canyon! The view was incredible! On our walk up the mountain close to the hotel we passed many local children who were hanging out in the mountains. They were very friendly and really liked us taking pictures of them :) it made them very happy. The most joy we had though was when we all purchased some simple girts; pencils, books, bread, stickers from a local store to give to the children in this poor village. It was so nice to see how happy it made them and the gratitude they gave afterwards was unlike any other. Extremely overwhelming it did bring a tear to my eye.
Later that night, most of us made our way to the local hot spring. Another new experience for me. It was a great way to relax in the warmth whilst watching the moon creep over the mountains.
After the relaxation at the Spring, we made our way to a local Peruvian restaurant where we witnessed a fantastic live Peruvian music and dance performance by a young traditionally dressed Peruvian couple (about 20 years old). At different points it looked quite violent where the couple we picking each other up and dropping each other. :) Maybe that was a mistake! Later on they chose some poeple from the audience to dance with them. That was quite entertaining also. How I wish I brought my camera with me.
That night I was quite ill from wearing my wet swimmers the whole night but the following day I was fine.
The next day we travelled to the Colca Canyon but specifically the Condor Pass where many tourist come to see the magnificent condors! After some time at the local look out we saw one souring right above us not to high in the sky! :) Rob, one of the people in our group managed to take a great shot that filled the screen on his digital camera. I wish I´d used digital zoom too.
After the Condor Pass we made our way back to Arequipa to relax. Tomorrow we head out early again 6:45 to make our way to the airport for our flight to Cuzco. There we will go to the Sacred Valley and then start our four day Inca trail, so you may not hear from me until afterwards.
Till next time.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Day 5 & 6-Pisco and Nazca, Peru

Today has been another adventurous day in Peru. I´m absolutely knackered!
Early this morning we all made our way to the local airport to have a one hour flight over the Nazca lines; it was absolutely amazing experience. It´s really hard to describe it, I guess it´s just one of those things where you have to be there.
However I forgot to bring my tea tree oil to sniff because if anyone knows me well I have terrible motion sickness. I was ok for most of the flight but when we landed back at the airport the pilot did one fast hairpin turn and that was enough to make me bring up all my delicious breakfast...I felt so awful and gross. Lucky there were bags there. Sorry for the ones back home who have just finished eating!
I´m so glad we stayed on the ground afterwards. We visited a local cemetery of the Nazca people. It was extrodinary to see these open graves that had a whole family together as well as some of their possessions in order to bring it with them in the afterlife. We also visited demonstrations of pottery making and mining which was a great insight into the local professions. Our local guide said mining pays a lot more money than anything else in Peru but is the most dangerous.
For lunch we ate at a lovely restaurant in the heart of Nazca where I tried the Peruvian Ceviche, which is a seafood or fish dish cooked with lemon. One of the poor English girls in the group took a bite out of what she though was a pepper (capsicum) but in fact was an extremely HOT chilli. It took quite some time before here scarlet red face turned back to white. I had some too and WOah....the hottest thing I ever tasted! But the dish was absolutely delicious! Chris is you´re reading this I wish you were here, you´d love the food so much. But don´t worry I´ve been taking pictures of all the mouth watering dishes so maybe I can ask them how they cook it.
The rest of the day we went to the local Nazca Museum, strolled around the streets of Nazca and cooled ourselves down by taking a dip in the hotels swimming pool.

Just briefly yesterday was a more active day; went to Ballestos Islands, and went to the Sand Dunes in Huacachincha. The sand dunes was the most exhilirating part of the day. We went riding in a V8 vehicle of the dunes which was soooo much fun and then got to ride down the slopes on boards. I tried lying down as well as standing. I loved lying belly down head first and shooting down the slope! I wish I had one of these dunes in my backyard! :) It´s the first time I´ve ever been to a dessert and I loved it. It wasn´t that hot either! Today was much more hotter, 32 degrees.
Ok dinner is waiting for me so I better join the others. Take care and hasta lluego!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Day 4- Pisco, Peru

Yesterday we met the people in our tour group and funnily enough the majority are from Australia. :) About half Oz, one Japanese, two English, and one Canadan. The majority of the group are quite young with the oldest going to 55years or there abouts. We also met our tour leader Nicolas who has been doing this profession for about 4 months but has been a guide in other things for 4 years. It{s amazing that he's only 22 years old!
Right now we're in Pisco, Peru and relaxing after our bus ride from Lima which was about 4 hours. Our hotel is beautifully furnished and adorned with Peruvian arts and crafts. It's very homely and has a wonderful atmosphere.
Before arriving here though, it was hard to believe that such a nice place could be in the midst of very poor neighbourhoods.
On our way here we passed two funerals which were street funerals; massive crowds follow a car adorned with flowers and the procession is quite amazing. Music is played and from what I saw the people also sang.
After dinner this evening we had the pleasure hearing some wonderful live traditional Peruvian music; music of the Andes. Amazing that such beautiful music can be made with just 4 people. We bought the groups' CD for 20 soles. I can't wait to listen to it when we get back home. If I stumble upon a new computer in a local internet cafe I'm going to try to get it on my iPod! It would be lovely to listen to it when I'm hiking in Macchu Picchu.
Tomorrow morning we're heading to the Ballestos Islands bright and early at 7am so I better go get some rest aye?! Bienos noches till nest time!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Day 3 - Friday 1st of September. Lima - Peru





Yesterday dad and I had a very late night in Lima-Miraflores trying to fix my iPod at a local Internet cafe (they operate 24 hours a day which is great!).
The problem I was having was that I couldn´t download photos from my camera and the iPod also had photos on there that weren´t showing on the menu. The only solution I could see was to re-install the iPod updater. This would mean I´d lose all the songs I put on there, which was probably only 3 albums, so that was not much of a sacrifice.

Well I´m very happy now because now I can download the pictures directly from my camera again after installing the iPod updater from the PC here in Lima. :) I´m hoping the iPod behaves itself for the rest of the trip.

Anyway later today we are meeting our tour guide to discuss our 3 week tour through Peru. We met Nicholas (tour guide) briefly this morning to meet him and to find out what was happening because we only had notice today about our tour. Very late notice. So we´ll find out more later.

This morning dad got his hair cut a a local hairdresser, he also got a hair treatment and head message there too! The product is called Plecenta Vital (placenta of the llama) it sounds pretty disgusting but trust me it smells pretty good and for 5 soles it was worth it. (about 1.5 US dollars)
Check out the photos! :) We´re also drinking the Mate de Cocoa (Cocoa tea) which should help us relax, lol

Alright we´ve finished here at the internet cafe now so I´ll leave it there and chat to you again next time.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Day 2 in Lima



It´s been a very long day so I´ll keep this short.
Dad and I went on the Lima City Tour today and saw many great places including a tour of the Cathedral of the Francescas and the Catacombes. Quite amazing! It was the very first place where the religious believers were practicing and were buried since there were no cemeteries.
I´ve had terrible issues with my iPod but it may be fixed now. I have to go but I´ll try uploading some photos before we go. My poor dad is sleeping in the seat next to me as I´m typing this it´s 1:25 am

Thursday, August 31, 2006

In Lima

Hola con Todos,

My dad and I are here in Lima and we are doing well after a very long.....flight from Sydney! In total to get to Lima it took 29 hours! So I couldn´t wait for the hotel bed, it beats sleeping in the Airport for 8 hours :) Lan CHile the airline is very good and gave me some Spanish conversation practice. :) The airline food was the best I´ve ever tasted as well.

We are having a very difficult time coping with the jet lag. We arrived at Lima´s airport to find that no one was waiting for us so that was a terrible start to the end of our very exhausting trip. So the nice people in the airport who contact transport, helped us out and contacted our Gap tour here in Lima. After about half an hour of them helping us, we just took a taxi which they organised for us because no one was there.

The first impression of this place was that it reminded us of Philippines; the honking horns, the pollution and even the people drive the same. There are crowded buses here too! :) We haven´t taken one though. I was trying so hard not to laugh when our taxi driver disreguarded any other vehicles on the road or the traffic conditions. At times he was so close to the car next to us the we could easily have conversation with the others in the the car.

We are staying at the Hotel Girasoles in Miraflores. It´s quite a nice hotel and the people are very friendly with many other tourists from around the world. One lady is from London and finished her 3 week trip and she said it was amazing so I can´t wait to start it.

It´s 9:54pm (12:20pm in the afternoon back home) and we just finished eating dinner at a local restaurant called Majolos. We ate pork with potato salad, cheese and ham battered sticks, and chips. Very tasty but hard to finish because it was so filling.
The whole dinner cost us $61 soles (soles is the local Peru currency about $20US).
We decided to go for a walk after dinner to look for an internet cafe and we found one with the help from local police that were in the area. It´s pretty cheap to use the internet too only 2.5 soles an hour.
We have had a small nino (boy) approach us wanting our ajua (water). I thought it was odd, so we gave him a few drops of our bottled spring water but he wanted more and his sister came too after a while. Then I realised we may be in a bit of trouble so we just decided to move on because they were a little pushy, they must have seen we were tourists. I think the less we worry about
Dad and I have been taking it easy these first few days because we are feeling quite dizzy from the flight over so we´ll hopefully get rid of this jet lag soon.
Ok well ´ll leave it here and hopefully blog again soon with some pictures. I didn´t bring my iPod along to the cafe. It´s in the safe in the hotel. Hasta Lluego!

Friday, August 25, 2006

My Farewells

It’s hard to believe that today is my last day at work here at uni (I’m on my lunch break so I have an excuse for this post). ☺ Due to changing circumstances that can’t be over turned at the university, I will no longer be working here.
I feel a little sad that the future of the Centre is changing but more importantly many people that I have had the pleasure of working with are having to leave as well because of the change.
To all the colleagues that I leave behind, I wish you all the best in the changing face of the Centre. May it continue to strive for excellence in support for academic staff and their students.
To all the colleagues leaving, I wish you all the best in your future and may wherever you go be an exciting experience for you.

So where do I go from here?
Overseas!
Hehe, yes I’m leaving again! This time overseas! At the moment I’m in the final packing stage for my holiday to Peru and Ecuador! I’m not thinking about me being jobless at all really. I suppose if I had debts I would be.

I am leaving a lot behind including my family, my love, my friends, my dog (Spot) and the two jobs I once had. It sounds a little depressing doesn't it? However I’m not depressed. It’s a new beginning; this holiday is a totally new adventure in unchartered waters and will open my eyes to many new cultures and experiences. It will give me time to live a little and really come back to Australia with a fresh mind.
I have no idea what to expect when I get to Sudamerica and in many ways this will help me when I get there; to take it as it comes, even if my sketchy Spanglish is enough to get me through! Lol
Tonight is my Despedida with some High School mates and I can’t wait to catch up with them. It’s been a long time since I caught up but we still remain the best of friends. We’ll share some great stories I’m sure.
Till my next time we meet, chao!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Wolfmother Showdown



Last week I was blown away by the electrifying performance of Sydney rockers, Wolfmother! They'd recently landed back in the land of Oz to do a couple of shows before they head back overseas to the US and Europe.
The sold out concert last Thursday, the 20th of July at The Hordern Pavillion in Sydney opened with two support acts; The Tucker B's (Australia) and Dungen (Sweden). The high theatrical-like drama and energy from the Tucker B's was definately kooky and strange, yet easily fantastical at the same time. Their unique stage presence and belching songs was surreal and impressionable. I then almost lost myself in the psychedelic sounds from Dungen, a band from Sweden. The beautiful sounds that came from the combination of the flute and band instruments were reminiscent of the free love and spirit of the 70s.

The headline performance by Wolfmother was awesome and they looked real good too! :) The Sydney trio really know how to rock the socks off everyone and I was glad to be one of them! All their catchy songs were played; Woman, Minds Eye, White Unicorn, Collosal, Love Train, Joker and the Theif (my favourite), amongst many more tracks.
That night was also lead singer, Andrew's birthday and it was quite fitting that we all sang Happy Birthday to him. It has all been recorded on film; the lights, cameras and crew on stage made sure nothing went astray. :) Happy Birthday Andrew! I hope you enjoyed what was left of your chocolate cake after your generous cake tossing to us :)

I'll definately be looking out for the footage that was taken at the concert!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lucky Bastards Chosen

A few blog posts back I mentioned a competition that I entered called 'Junior Lucky Bastard'. Today I checked out the 55dsl website and foudn out they'd decided on two winners. Unfortunately I wasn't one but nevertheless, 55dsl made some two very good choices. The winners were Jeremy Angelier (top choice) and Rob Jung (hilariously funny try hard :)). I'll be keeping a look out for the hilarious antics they get up to.

Check out their applications.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Coldplay light up the Entertainment Centre!




Yesterday night I was dazzled by the spectacular performance of Coldplay live at the Sydney Entertainment Centre! Their show was filled with amazing music accompanied by wonderful surprises, amazing lazer shows and big screen motion graphics; it was more than enough to "ignite your bones". (Coldplay-Fix You)

The support act was from Youth Group (Perth, Australia). I hadn't heard much of their music so I was looking forward to hearing them live for the first time. Youth Group performed brilliantly and their songs are beautiful; the ambience created by the nostalgic-like sounds were magical at times.

Coldplay then kicked off their concert performed Square One from their latest album X & Y which simultaneously featured a huge count down digital ticker on the large screen on stage . The excitement was generated immediately and everyone knew we were going to be in for a great concert!

They played all my favourite tracks, including ones from their second album Rush of Blood to the Head-'Clocks', 'Politik' and 'God put a smile upon your face'.
When Coldplay performed 'Yellow' it was a lovely surprise to see massive yellow balloon balls float down from the roof onto the people below. The balloons were pushed back up in the air (unfortunately we missed out on the fun since the balloons never made it up to the seating area).
Chris Martin (piano, guitar, voice) had fun bouncing and lying on the balloons too! Near the end of the song he attempted to pop one of the balloons on stage by throwing down his guitar. It didn't pop. :) He later said to 10 000 people in the audience, 'that's got to be the worst guitar throw in the history of Rock and Roll'. :) Everyone just cheered him on after that!

The concert continued and so did my enthusiasm for the music, I jumped right out of my seat several times (almost oblivious to the fact that there were people behind me).
Martin surprised us even further when he ran down from the stage, down the back of the Entertainment Centre and up into the seated area! He wanted to make sure that we didn't feel disadvantaged up in the seats. Never!

Coldplay also made a dedication to Slim Dusty and Johnny Cash by doing a cover song of theirs. Just when I thought the surprises were over they came back on stage to play a cover of Kylie Minogue's 'I Can't Get you Out of my Head'!!!! It was a little odd but that didn't stop me from bopping along to it! lol
I thoroughly enjoyed the concert and the light-hearted humour from Martin when he occassionally stuffed up. :)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Puppetronics Master-David Strassman


Yesterday night I watched the spell-bounding live performance by Puppetry Master David Strassman at the Blacktown Workers Club. It was incredible to watch Strassman have conversations with Chucky, Ted E. Bare and other characters simultaneously! At times he had three-four way conversations!! Amazing! Even in one part where Strassman stuffed up, Chucky was quick to exclaim "You just F*@!ed up your line!" which had Strassman laughing for a while with the audience laughing even harder.

Chucky was very naughty as usual; swearing a lot and picking on people in the audience, so Strassman punished him by putting him in the gay pink naughty chair to which Chucky rebelled against but was put there anyway. Strassman told Chucky that he could easily be replaced. At this point in the show he picked out a man and woman from the audience to help him out on stage. To the audience's surprise he turned them into puppets by placing a mask over their mouths. This mask had a moving mouth component that Strassman could control when he put on their voices, so the participants didn't need to move their mouths at all! It was unbelieveably hilarious to watch these humans turned into puppets in just one minute!

He introduced some of his new puppets too! A.N.G.E.L. (Autonomous Nuron Generating Expermental Lifeform), the first female puppet he has made who is a personal assisstant, computer, cell phone, fax, printer, scanner, and full tea and coffee service. Even though she is robotic she has a strong sense of womanhood and even tried to pick up a 'cowboy' in the fourth row! :)
Other characters with stand out performances were Kevin the "Tabbit" from planet Rigel 3, Sid the energetic and determined Beaver, and senile Fred who is grandpa Ted.

Some new puppet technology was also introduced with a cute three piece dinosaur (triceretops) choir who sang Queen's Bohemian Rapsody all with just the waving of Strassman's hands and conductor stick!
Definately a show not to be missed if he ever comes to a town near you!

Watch Strassman and Chuck's hilarious at home video at this link!

Photo by Evans.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Lucky Bastard

What's that?! :)

Yep, I want to be one of the Lucky Bastards who is offered the chance to travel the world in 55 days and get paid doing it!
Early this morning, I submitted my video for the ultimate experience.
The video is a short black and white, 'Charlie Chaplin-styled', documentary of my trip to the USA to visit mum (late in 2004). This is the first video project I have made and I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning to complete it, so I'm hoping that it's a winner! I have some stiff competition though.
For those of you who want to watch it, you can find the video here. You'll need to download the file in order to view it properly.
Any comments about the video are greatly appreciated!

Monday, June 05, 2006

End Of Fashion in Style

On Saturday the 3rd of June I watched one of my favourite bands perform for a recording at Foxtel for CD:Live, End Of Fashion from Perth, Australia. I knew about this all thanks to the band posting up a bulletin on myspace.com, for the chance to win exclusive tickets to the performance! I brought my cousin Cecile who is also into the band along for the show.
With all the cuts and retakes that television is filled with, End of Fashion did manage to keep their cool and performed brilliantly playing two songs; their latest single release 'The Game' and their first release 'Oh Yeah'. It was their catchy tunes and high energy performance which kept us buzzing with excitement.
It was hard to believe I was one of about 40 people to watch them perform and be interviewed only an arms-length away from them, it was very surreal. Before their interview which was on a massive pink u-shaped couch, I had a small chat to Rodney (back up vocalist and guitarist) after he asked if anyone wanted to take his place. He said that they always get asked the same questions which I could imagine would get predictable after a while and maybe too boring.
After the props and dress department gave up dressing them in gay Portman's accessories clothing, the interview started with Tom (the drummer) wrapping a scarf around the presenter's head, which was a better result. :)
End of Fashion were asked about fashion trends and whether they'd sported the look; like parachute pants, mullets, undercuts which some of the guys openly admitted to having in the past and ones which they still have. Rodney currently sports the mullet look but it looks cool and not like some of the tragic ones I see when I go further west in metro Sydney.
Justin (lead singer and guitarist) spoke about their 'shocking' experience when they played at SxSW in the USA where electric shocks kept coming out from the microphones. It sounded like hell yet funny at the same time. I think 67 Special's lead singer, Ash had a similar electrifying experience back here in Australia but he ended up in RPA hospital in Melbourne.
We also saw Kid Confuscious perform and be interviewed at Foxtel later that day. I'd heard of them before but wasn't familiar with their music. I quite liked their funky and soulful sound. They're going to be releasing an album soon but the title is not confirmed so the audience was asked for any suggestions. I got to say my corny suggestion of 'Confuscious says' although we were preped before hand when the producer asked if any of us had any funny titles for the album (mine was one of three that she picked for us to yell out). So that was my airplay plug. :)
So all this finished at about 7pm and we went off to top the night off at my brother Henry's (affectionately known by many as Hank) Dirty 30th at the Alfred Hotel in Camperdown. Happy Birthday Hank! We hope you had a great night/morning, cos we did!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Eskimo Joe at the Annandale

On Saturday May 13th, Daniel and I checked out the gig by the Perth boys Eskimo Joe at the Annandale Hotel. Having never seen them live or even knowing much of their other songs aside from the ones that have received the most airplay ("From the Sea" and their latest "Black Fingernails, Red Wine") we were hoping for some great tunes and yes they did deliver! :)
I remember the first song I ever heard of Eskimo Joe was when I was back in year 11 (wow that's almost seven years ago!) and I heard "Turn Up Your Stereo". I really took a liking to that song and if I was to hear that song now (instead of back then) and compare it to the songs made recently, I would never have thought it was from the same band. Eskimo Joe have certainly come a long way since then!
Eskimo Joe's support acts were the Offcuts and Red Jezebel(Perth). Their live performance was also quite engaging and I especially liked the unusual but lovely mix of country/alternative/rock and in one part Spanish classical guitar which came from the band Red Jezebel.
But the highlight of the evening was no doubt Eskimo Joe! Since their appearance on stage the atmosphere was incredible and the music even more so. I think the woman in front of Daniel was having the best time of her life, having almost guaged out one of his eyes in all the excitement of throwing up her hands constantly! :) Luckily he was saved by her own decision to move to the front of the stage.
After the show we bought their latest single release, "Black Fingernails, Red Wine" which was on sale and walked out of the Annandale Hotel when I realised maybe we could meet the band and possibly get their autographs too! Unfortunately they wouldn't let us back in so that was a little bit of a let down. But it didn't stop me from singing their songs on the trip back home in the car. It was a great night in a very intimately small setting, just right!
Can't wait to see them again!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Myspace.com

I've expanded my blogging-ness to mySpace.com, although I really just signed up to myspace so I could check out musician/band images and talk directly to them via the messaging board. The only down-side to this site is that you have to do a free register before you can check out anyone's pictures or message them directly and you always have to login to your account in order to do this (a bit of a hassle). So Blogger still kicks ass when it comes to viewing and sharing. Myspace address is http://www.myspace.com/eleonortapia

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Design News From Eleonor

I've just set up a new blog where I will be publishing the latest on design and e-learning. Read about the exciting new web resource in Quality In Learning and Teaching-QILT from the University of Western Sydney, produced by the Educational Development Centre (EDC) here!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Nickelback Rocks the Superdome

 
Nickelback banner outside The Superdome

 
Chad on stage with a massive tv screen in the middle of the stage, which was one of three

 
The total band on stage

 
Close-up of The Chad in action

On Saturday the 29th of April, Daniel and I were rocked by Nickelback in concert at the Sydney Superdome!...although much to our disappointment, the fans around us were like zombies in front of a tv at home who couldn't be bothered getting off their asses the whole time!
The concert was awesome and certainly wasn't a reflection of what was happening around us in terms of the unlively "older" fans. It had everything I had come to love from their first concert back in 2004 for their Long Road tour; pyrotechnics, fireworks, explosions and lots of it! The band's ability to entertain the crowd was incredible. Not only did they shoot out freebies to the audience via small hand-held canons but they also did their famous "beer-o'clock" segment! This is where the band in the space of a minute, toss out beer to the audience in plastic cups! It was so much fun watching the beer spraying through the air and watching it splat on the person (who didn't catch it) and the many people around them.
Chad (lead singer and guitarist) was extremely sociable to the crowd, he even had time to have a conversation with one of the fans in the audience up the front. Chad later took a poster from a fan and held it up to everyone at the concert to see, it read "TWINS 4 CHAD", to which he responded "that's a first for our concerts and you have my undivided attention...but if you're after my kids I'm walking in this direction". (he started walking away from them :) )
Chad invited everyone in the audience to party with them at the Home nightclub afterwards! I can just imagine how packed that venue would have been!
I lost my voice at this concert just like the last, but it was all worth it! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Korn in Concert at the Sydney Superdome!


On Thursday the 27th of April my boyfriend Daniel and I had a massive night of heavy metal at the Sydney Superdome! This was my first taste of REALLY heavy metal music live in concert and I loved it!
The line up for the evening featured four Heavy Metal bands from the USA (with all three support bands never having played in Australia before); 10 Years, Hatebreed, Disturbed, followed by the main performers, Korn. As you would expect the night included plenty of shouting, jumping, moshing, and crowd surfing,(especially in the mosh pit that went off on the general admission floor! It looked quite violent in the heavier songs). By the end of the night my neck was sore and Daniel had lost his voice from all the singing/shouting along to his favourite tracks from Disturbed and Korn.
The only real let down for the evening (besides the fact I couldn't bring my digital camera in with me) was that the sound for Korn wasn't right; the lead singer couldn't be heard over the drowning of sound from the other instruments. However, it did get better towards the end of their set.
When Korn performed I was in aue and amazement by the unusual sounds made by the lead singer that he is known for. It's like the heavy metal version of Hip-hops beat-boxing to give you an idea.
We got to see some interesting looking people that night too and ones that didn't quite fit in with the niche, particularly a young girl infront of me that dressed like one of the girls from The Veronicas (as overheard from a group of middle-aged men behind us, who laughed). You definately don't wanna go to a heavy metal concert wearing the wrong stuff.
All in all I had a f*#king kick ass time and I'd do it all over again!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

FBI radio now streams online

Great news everyone! FBI now streams online. Go to the FBI website here. FBI play a diverse range of ecclectic music from instrumental/dance, electro, funk, indy/rock from Australia and abroad. Check out their site for more info.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Vote for me!

Just a quick note to say that I'm featured on the frontpage at Noise today! Please support me and vote for my work at this link. I am number 28 and my work is called Retro Tie Series. A monthly prize of $1000 is given to the top voted work. You can vote once a day. There's 20 days left. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Featured Artist on Noise tomorrow

Just a quick note to say that I'll be the featured artist on the Noise website entry page tomorrow the 11th of April! The work featured is something which I made back in Second year uni so it isn't really polished but it's awesome to be even featured on the site! Vote for my work so I can win $$ :) Thanks! Visit the Noise website to view.
Noise is a website that features work from artists who are 25yrs or less who produce work in any of these categories: art, illustration, design, photography, motion graphics, animation, writing or music.
I'm going to upload more recent work to Noise over the next few weeks and enter some of the competitions that are currently running as well.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Live on Triple J radio

Friday the 7th of April was a very exciting day for me, because at approximately 4:25pm I gave a live speal on Australian national radio about my dramatic morning in purchasing the hotly contested Arctic Monkeys tickets.

I wrote into Triple J's Great Day/Crap day segment with Robbie Buck's Topshelf radio. (This is where you request a song for a great day and a song for a crap day). A lady from the station called me on my mobile at about 3:15pm and said she'd call me back between 4:45 and 5:15pm.

I told family and some friends they could catch me on the radio at this time but Triple J ended up calling me at 4:20pm and only two people I told heard me on the radio, along with the rest of Australia who was tuning in at this time.

I spoke to Robbie Buck which was pretty cool and it was just like speaking to someone I knew over the phone. It was a great experience even though they couldn't play my song requests in the end, they played Mardy Bum from The Arctic Monkeys instead, which is still great because it's from them!

The story below is my post that you can find here on the Triple J website.

I was driving to work this morning listening to Triple J when I hear that the Arctic Monkeys concert tickets sold out! I didn't anticipate it selling out that quick, thinking I'd have time at work.

I was pretty disappointed but when I heard they were selling tickets to a second show at 9:30am I was determined to get those tickets!

I knew I wasn't going to make it to work in time for 9:30am so I thought I'd pull over and try the ticketek phone line from my mobile. Good use that did! After waiting 20 mins on the phone the guy on the other end told me he could only seccure one ticket and said that I should try purchasing them online! That was so CRAP! I was still 15mins from work!

That just wasn't good enough so I started the car and continued what seemed to be the longest trip to work in order to have a slim chance of getting tickets.
From 10am till 11am I would have to say I clicked on the ticket link at least 200 times and would you know I got those tickets!!!!!! WOOHOO! I'm seeing The Arctic Monkeys!!!!! YEAH!

Great Day (got 2 tix!!!!)-Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor by the Artic Monkeys.
Crap Day (dedicated to the guy I spoke to on the phone who couldn't get me those tickets)-Scummy Man by the Arctic Monkeys

Saturday, January 28, 2006

FRANZ FERDINAND ROCK SYDNEY!

On the 25th of January I threw myself into The Franz Ferdinand
concert at The Enmore Theatre and boy was it HOT! The concert kicked off with support group, Cut Copy who warmed us up with their enthusiasm and energetic dance beats till Franz Ferdinand made their appearance. Franz Ferdinand, my favourite band who come from Glasgow, Scotland, captured the crowd with their awesome tunes and catchy beats. My friend Ebony and I were very fortunate to witness them up close, literally only 3m away from the gorgeous band, especially the sexy steely-eyed, lead singer Alex! Aaaah it was bliss!! Lovely Scottish boys! :)

They played all their hit songs including their number one song from last years Triple Js Hottest 100, Take Me Out. It was beautiful watching them perform and hear the audience singing along to all their lyrics. Being swept up by everyone around us jumping along to the beats, was also another thrilling experience, quite funny at some points too! We had such a great time dancing and singing our lungs out.

With the concert being at The Enmore Theatre it was a very nice intimate setting, I couldn't imagine it better at any other venue! Franz Ferdinand come back to Sydney again soon!!!!!

Love you and your music!!! Mwah!

You can check out photos from their previous gig night on the ABC Triple J website

Set list:
This Boy
Come on Home
Do you Want To
Tell Her Tonight
Matinee
Fallen
Walk Away
Eleanor
Take Me Out
Darts of Pleasure
Love & Destroy
40'
Michael

Heathen
Van Tango
Outsiders
This Fire



Franz Ferdinand at The Enmore! Posted by Picasa

The lead singer Alex mesmorises me... Posted by Picasa

Franz Ferdinand rock Sydney! Eleonor and Ebony after the awesome concert! Posted by Picasa