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Lulu's Australia Adventure

Day 7

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Today, after our wake up call at 6:15, Elvira, Shea, and I went to breakfast. After waking up Laura's room who did not get a wakeup call, we finally boarded our coach bus and headed off to the banana farm. When we got there, they had some tea and pasteries prepared for us. They were reallllyyyyy yummyy :). After that, we headed down to the banana plants. We saw a beautifull waterfall. I think the funniest part of my day was when Ms. McGuire, Laura, Sophie, and I invented a spraytan out of the dirt on the banana farm for Ms. McGuire and Laura. It was really funny and it worked SUPER well!!!! We even came up with a name ( volcanic tan), a slogan ( because you're hot), and we planned on taking some home and filming a commercial. It was soo funny!!! Then, we drove around the farm and looked at some of the banana plants. Then, we watched the bananas actually being processed. We got to help seperate the big clusters into smaller ones. Then, me and Sophie interviewed the owner of the farm, Terry Hampson. When we got back on the bus, Laura, Ms. McGuire and I were trying to get dirt to take home, but we didn't have enough time. the wife of the farm owner gave us her card and said we should email her and she would send us some of the dirt. After the banana farm, we continued on our drive to Towensville. We got to the Reef HQ which is going to be our research station for our great barrier reef excrution. We went through saftey procedures and looked at some of the fish. Then, we went back to our hotel.

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Day 5

Monday, June 1, 2009

Today, we woke up in our nice,warm, snuggly swags. We had some breakfast and departed for our 6 hour bus ride to Uluru. A couple of stops later, we finally arrived at the massive rock known as Uluru by the indigenous people. An indigenous man from the Anagu tribe showed us the survival skills and the traditional tools used by the aborigonies. We got to throw spears and learn how the women seperated grass from seeds. He also showed us how to make traditional glue from plants. Then, we were thought of how to make traditional dot paintings. I did mine of snakes gathering at a waterhole. We were thought that all aborigonal paintings have a story behind them. After that, we were going to go see the "sunset", which didn't work so well considering the whole sky was covered in clouds. We still got some really cool pictures of uluru. We got some us holding and biting the rock. Then, we drove to check out our hotel. For dinner, we had an traditional " aussie-do-it-yourself" BBQ. I made my own chicken and an Emu susage ( it came with the meal, don't worry :). The chicken was good, but whenever I tried the emu susage, I thought of a cute emu in my head, so I stopped right after one bite. Then, we did our own preformance of " home among the gumtrees" in front of the entire dining area. After that, we headed back to our rooms for a good night sleep.

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Day 6

Today, we woke up at 5 AM to go see the sunrise at Uluru. It was so early that we couldn't even eat breakfast at the hotel. Instead we got bagged food and we ate it on the bus. We left when it was pitch black and got to uluru. We watched the sky getting lighter, but the sky was full of clouds. When we were about to get back on the coach, the sun broke through the blanket of clouds. Within minutes, Uluru turned into a ball of fire. The bottom turned bright yellow. The middle was a firey orange, while the top was a deep red, almost a maroon shade. It was one of the most specatuclar things I have ever seen. Another really amazing thing was that the tops of the trees turned yellow too. I was really hoping we could climb Uluru untill I learned that it was offensive to the local aborigonal tribe, the Anagu. After the sunrise, we went to go take a tour of a certain part of Uluru with our coach driver, Richard. Richard showed us some of the cave paintings and he showed us how the aborigonies used trees as their pharmacy and what medicines they used for what diseases. Then, we visited one of the 6 semi-permanent waterholes around Uluru. There was a heart formation in the rock. It was really pretty. Then, we drove to Kata Tjuta. It is a rock formation located 20 minutes away from Uluru. The view was amazing and we could see Kata Tjuta and Uluru at the same time. Afterwards, we got back on the bus and drove to the camel farm. Since it was raining, we could not take the camels on a ride through the desert, but we still got to get on them and rode around a small round. The getting up and down part was really cool because it swayed really hard. After the camel rides, we went off to the shopping town to have some lunch. Elvira and I went to the supermarket to see if we could find something cheap to eat there. Instead of lunch, we walked out with 56 chupa chups!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We divided them up, do now I have 28 chupa chups. After lunch, we drove to the airport for our flight to Cairns. When we got off our 3 1/2 hour flight, I was shocked by the humidity out here, comparing it to the dry conditions of the outback.We had finally reached heat!!!!!!!!!! We got on our coach bus and headed off to the crocdile farm. On the way, we made a short beach stop. How come the Pacific Ocean is warm here but not in California?! Then, we finally arrived at the croc farm. We witnessed a live feeding. The crocs were huge!!! The leader of the pack was 13 feet long!! Then, we watched a private show where animals were brought out. There was a phython, a baby crocodile, a wallabee, and a koala. The baby croc was really soft, way sdofter then I expected. The wallabee was soo cuutttteeeeee! We learned how to tell kabgaroos and and wallabees apart. We also learned about the diffrence between alligators and crocs. The koala was soo adorable. He behaved like a human baby and it was really interesting to see it up close and pet it. After that, we headed to eat some dinner at the farm. Now, we are off to the hotel back in Cairns.

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Day s blog

Saturday, May 30, 2009

This morning, we had to wake up at 5 AM (!!!!) for our flight at 8:40 to Alice Springs. We left Hotel Ibis and Melbourne. After our 3 hour flight and Mrs. Jensen talking about ginger beer for the whole flight (HAHA) we finally landed in Alice Springs. We set off to the Ooraminna Bush Camp but were stopped about 1/4 of a mile later because our bus is too heavy and would get stuck in all the mud because we managed to make it to the outback on one of the ten rainy days they have in one year. While waiting for 1 hour to get a 4 weel bus, we played a couple of games to make the time pass. After finally arriving at the Ooraminna Station, we had some lunch. Then, we baked some traditional "outback bread", which is only made of water and flour. After that, we seperated into two groups to learn how to whipcrack and to learn to build swags. Then, we rotated so we all had a chance to do both acrtivities. Swags are like canvas sleeping bags. There is a foam matress, shets, a pillow, and a sleeping bag. It is put together a specific way, so it almost feels like a bed. The whipcracking was harder then I imagined. I tried a couple of diffrent tequniques but finally got the hang of it. Now I can crack a whip :). After building the swags and whipcracking, we got to taste some of the bread we made. It was better than I imagined considering it was only made of water and flour. After that, we went out for a walk. We climbed many of the rocks and had a really good time. Afterwards, we had some dinner and headed down into our swags. Because it had been drizziling all day, we had to sleep under a shed, instead of under the stars :( :( :(. It was still realy cool though to snuggle up around the fire and get some despratly needed sleep.

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Day 2

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today, after waking up at 5:30, me and my 3 friends from school that I am rooming with, Elvira, Laura, and Sophie, went down to breakfast and enjoyed our first, although very early, breakfast at Hotel Ibis. After boarding the bus, we drove to the Otway Fly National Park. To get there, we drove along the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road is a magnificent road that runs along the shores of southern Australia. The road was build during World War I when Australian Veterans needed employment. We stopped in some sea-side towns and viewpoints. It was amazingly beautiful!!! Next we headed inland to Otway Fly. There, we had a chance to plant two kinds of trees that primarily grow in the Australian rainforest, the Mountain Ash tree and the Mortal Beach tree. The Mountain Ash tree is the 2nd tallest tree in the world, next to the California Redwoods. They grow up to 400 feet tall. The Mortal Beach tree fed dinosaurs thousands of years ago. Then our guide, Peter, took on us a tour throughout the rainforest. We learned about the different kinds of trees and how the Aboriginal people used the forest for resources. We also drank water from a stream. We hoped we would see platypus, but unfortunately we didn’t. The water from the stream tasted really fresh and yummy. The air in the rainforest smelled amazing because of all the trees around, unlike smoggy LA. Now we are headed off to dinner.

Day 2

Day 1

After getting all of our luggage at the airport, and realizing that the Colorado Kid’s luggage didn’t make it, we drove to the Moonlit Animal Sanctuary, an hour drive from Melbourne. Once there, we followed animal specialists around to experience one of their normal workdays. First, we helped fix up a wombat enclosure. Because Wombats dig a lot, the enclosure was covered in deep holes. The animal specialist, Marion, fist had to catch Rita, the wombat, which was a probably the biggest task of the day. First, we dug up dirt from another location and drove it back to the wombat enclosure. We used the dirt to cover up the holes. Then, a few of us went of to collect branches to decorate and remodel Rita’s cage. After that, we went on a Wallabies walk. We got food and got to walk around and feed the Wallabies out of our hands. They were sooooo cute J. Some were really shy, while other walked up to you. After the wallabies, we tested the fertility of squirrel gliders. We each got to fill out the official lab sheets and watch the squirrel glider be tested. They were soooo cute and had the biggest eyes. After the squirrel gliders, we were going to go and weed a section of the sanctuary, but because it stared POURING we had to change our plans. Instead of going weeding, we instead learned about diets of all the animals. When the specialist showed us mealworms, the Colorado kids and their teacher dared to EAT some!!!!!!!! It was sooooo gross. TO make the matters worse, when we got back to the cabin, we learned about frogs and their diets. When the animal keeper fed the frog a cockroach, Ashlee had the nerve to eat one herself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After being completely grossed out but also impressed that she would dare to do something like that, we enjoyed our first traditional Aussie BBQ. When it got dark outside, we went on our night walk around the sanctuary to see the animals that are night active. We petted and fed bettongs, and let a bird bite us. The best thing though on the way back was that we got feed and pet kangaroos in the dark!! It was so amazing!!! We also got to see a Koala eating eucalyptus. It was so adorable!! That wrapped up our day at the Moonlit Sanctuary and our first day in Australia. Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel to get a good night rest.

Essential Programs Details

Duration 14 days
When May 25th - June 7th, 2009
Focus Marine Biology
Conservation/Wildlife
Aboriginal Culture