Thursday, May 28, 2009

An orientation at Rainbow beach before heading out camping...

With the company we booked our Fraser Camping trip with, they require that you have an orientation before you head out camping. The camping we did, was a self-drive of the island with 11 people. Damien and I were in the same group, along with Ashley, who we met from Noosa. The others included: CJ, American who lives in Hawaii, a couple Connor and Dawn from Ireland, Paulo, Daniela, and Guilia, three friends from Italy, and two other Canadian girls.

The orientation was basic. It included a movie from the government of Australia about saftey tips which mostly contained bad advice. The staff then gave us a run down on our food, real saftey tips, a suggested outline, and alcohol order forms. We got to meet everyone from our group for the first time. I'm not going to lie, I wasn't sure how well our group was going to get along. I had a feeling that each would stay in their own little click, especially when later that night only Damien, Ashley, CJ, and I ended up having drinks with each other.

The next morning we were up at 7 to check out of the hostel, and have another orientation with the vehicles and camping equipment.

Here is a picture of us all infront of the truck.

I'm going to leave it there for now. It was a wild trip and I want to make sure I get all the details in order and go through the 784 pictures we all took to find the best ones to post.

Just as a teaser here is a nice one.

Yes, that is a shipwreck in the sunset.

Will post tomorrow, so make sure to come back and check.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oh Noosa, you could have been so wonderful...

The bad weather started in Noosa hours before we arrived. It just poured rain. And with all that rain, there is not much to do there. It sucks because I have a friend who stayed there for 3 weeks he loved it so much.

Well the first day we arrived we were put into the crappiest room in the hostel and the tiniest room we have stayed to date. Other than that, the people staying there were fun. I met Ashely, from Alaska, and a fun couple from the UK. It turned out that Ashley was on the same schedule as Damien and I for the most part.

Time was passed watching movies and tv shows. I was thankful I'd hauled around my external HD whilst here. And when time wasn't being spent watching movies, it was passed by either drinking or playing cards. I taught everyone how to play crazy 8's, a game that I hadn't even played for the longest time, and we stayed up late playing that. It was good fun.

There was one sunny peroid and when it hit, Damien, Ashley and I grabbed our suits and quickly made it to the beach. Since the weather had been terrible, the surf was huge and I imagine, quite dangerous if you didn't have lifeguards on guard.

Here is a picture of the beach in Noosa.

Here's Ashley and I out getting crushed by some of the big waves. I actually had one curl over my head and toss me like a rag doll. Fun :)

These birds would follow the wave in, and then run away as the wave came back out. It was funny to watch.

Ashley with the big waves in the background.

I caught a little crabbie on the walk back.

We stayed at Dolphins hostel in Noosa.

Damien chillin on the chair. We spent a long while on those when it was pouring.

Our tiny room faced the outside and had a glass front.

It also leaked, but thankfully didn't get any of my stuff wrecked.

Anyways, we made the best of our stay in Noosa that we could have. I couldn't get any surfin in which sucked, but that is how life goes sometimes. Our next stop was Rainbow beach for a night.

N Drew M e a d e s

Clubbin in Brisbane and dreaming of shopping...

I have spent 3 nights in Brisbane. I stayed at Base Hostel which was a good choice.

While in Brisbane we didn't really do much to be honest. The first day we got here we just walked around the city and got oriented a bit. Went out to a club called Bank in the valley, I enjoyed it. The second day Damien and I went for a walk in the Botanical Gardens in the city. We were looking for this bridge that we saw in a picture of Brisbane, walked around for a bit only to realize that it was the frist bridge we saw, and thought it not that. We even asked some locals, who didn't know what we were talking about, their response was 'what do you expect, it's Brisbane.' Appearently there is not much else to do here but club and shop.

One problem though, I don't have any spare money to spend, or even room in my pack for that matter, so that is out of the question.

Check out this fat guy trying to get on a tiny boat. Hehe, I like having a large zoom on my camera.

This is the bridge we were trying to find but had already found.

The roots near the river? stuck out of the ground which looked creepy.

On the second night, after going out again to the Valley, the fire alarm went off at 5:30 am. I woke up dazed (not drunk) to the smell of smoke. For a split second I thought this might actually be a real fire and not just a false alarm. I still took my sweet ass time leaving the building though; I went to the bathroom and grabbed my iPod before leaving. It was a false alarm, they first made an announcement stating that and telling everyone to go back to bed. Two seconds later we were told that we had to evacuate the building.

What really happened I'm not sure. I overheard someone saying that the smoke came from the bar in the basement, but we weren't given any real answers. The whole ordeal reminded me of first year university, and the handful of times some drunken kid would pull the fire alarm in the residences. Only, this time I wouldn't have an exam to write the next day :)

We got a new puppy back home! I didn't even realize that when I skyped but here is a picture of my brother showing her to me.

She makes me want to rush home and see her :(

*** This is a little old info considering I have done half of it already, but I'll keep it here.***

We have the next 2 weeks booked now! The plan goes as such: 3 nights in Noosa, 1 night in Rainbow Beach for orientation to the Self-Drive of Fraser Island, 2 nights on Fraser camping, 1 more night back in Rainbow.

Then, off to the last surfing spot before the Great Barrier Reef ruins the surf with it's awesomeness. We are spending a night at a small town called 1770. I plan on getting a great last day of surfing in there.

After 1770, we are heading to Airlie Beach for a night, then we sail off from Airlie for 2 nights in the Whitsunday Islands. Picture this, a nice sea vessel with 25 or so backpackers just sailing around visiting beaches, swimming and diving. I am going to have my first scuba dive off of the boat. I can't wait, it is going to be unreal.

Then back to Airlie beach, and that is where our planning ends. Most likely, after Airlie will be Magnetic Island, Mission beach, and then our final stop, Cairns!


1770 to Airlie tonight


I'm just going to start typing up some blog posts from Brisbane, Noosa, Fraser... etc
So you will get some new info soon, and pictures!

The internet here in 1770 is terrible, so hopefully tomorrow in Airlie it will be better. I'll find a way to upload some pics somehow.

After tomorrow, I embark on my Whitsundays sailing trip. I am on a boat called Matador, and while on it I hope to have my first scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef.

I'll take lots of pictures there as well.

I spent the morning here in 1770 surfing it up. I grabbed a 6'4" board and was able to ride it nicely, which I'm proud of as it means I know what I'm doing now. :)

I'm a see if I can make some Skype calls tomorrow. I wanna see the new puppy again!!! Oh and my family too...

Tonight I am on the overnight bus to Airlie beach. It's a 10 hour trip, and I hope it's not too full so I can get a nice sleep in.

Well chat soon,

Andre(w) Meade(s)

P.S. I have started texting to twitter more often, so if you want a better up to date of whats going on, add me, or check the widget on the blog.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Back from camping...

Hello all,

I just got back from camping at Fraser Island. Wow. Unbelieveable. There were 11 of us doing a self-drive adventure and it was increadible fun. I will post some of the 800+ pictures that were taken sometime tomorrow.

I'm on the bus tomorrow to go to 1770 where I am going to stay for a day of surfing, then its on to Arlie beach for sailing in Whitsundays.

Keep it real,


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stuck in Noosa and it's boring when its raining.....

Yeah it is. Seriously. It has been raining since we got here. Internets is expensive at the hostel so I might try and find some free one later. But yeah, Noosa has beautiful beaches, just not when the forecast calls for rain till Saturday.

Hopefully at least, the rain stops before we start our Fraser Island camping. As much as I waking to the sound of rain on a tent, it sucks when everything is soaking wet.

I'll post pic and info about Brisbane when I get the chance.

I wanna go surfing :(

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Surfers Paradise really looks like a surfers paradise...

We were only in Surfers Paradise for a short stay. Damien and I arrived on Wed afternoon and left Friday morning. That's not that much time to get to know one of Australia's most popular travel destinations to be honest, be we got the gist. The first night we did a pub crawl still with friends made back at the surf camp. That was fun. There were just over 100 of us club hopping and partying together.

The next day was a good ole beach day. No surfing though :( I absolutely love seeing the skyscrapers in the background of the beach. Part of me wishes we would spend more time here because the beach is great, but since this is such a commmercial area, it ain't cheap, and I don't really want to go to any of the theme parks here to be honest so it's better to move on.

Oh some advice - Don't stay at the YHA here in Surfers. It is too far from the city centre. Seriously. We did get a free shuttle to take us from the bus stop to the hostel, but there are only 4 shuttles a day, the latest being at 5:20 pm. The city buses back to the hostel stop at 11:20 pm, so after the crawl, I had to take a taxi back. Shitty. That was a waste of $15, but I really didn't feel like walking the 40 minutes. I wasn't in bad shape Mum, don't worry. So yeah, if you're reading this, heed my advice and do not stay at the YHA in Surfers Paradise for that reason alone. It is clean and a nice hostel, but just has a terrible location.

At least Damien and I have learned to do a little research before we book our hostels now. Our planning is getting better too. So far on our trip all we have really done is go to beaches, surf, and get drunk in different places. As glorious as that sounds, it has gotten boring. It is time to start seeing some sights (alliteration FTW), and doing more then just going out and partying. We are also going to get our Fraser Island and Whitsundays tours booked. I will update on that when we do finally do it.

Next stop is Brisbane.

The first day we arrive was a mix of cloud and sun. This is me and some random surfer. She wasn't that bad...

I really like the horizon. Hmm I have a better picture of this...

Next Day

Walking the walk.

Just a nice shot of one of the lifeguard towers.

Damien soakin' up some rays. With sunscreen of course :)

Grrr. As I was writing this post I hear though my window some drunken retards walking by saying "Fuck Canadians" blah blah something about a 2 dollar bill. I'm pretty sure they were American by their accent, but it is not fair for me to guess without knowing for certain. It doesn't really matter though, all counties have idiots.

Anyways, the movie Into The Wild is was playing in the common area, I am going to go went and continued to watch it.

Bye for now,

Andrew Meades, eh?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Byron was fun... in Surfers Paradise now...

Another post to show that I am still alive. I don't have much time right now so I'll just give you a quickie with a better post tomorrow. We headed to the Byron after the surf camp. It is a small little party town with several great beaches. The group of us were there for 5 nights. We had a couple beach days, one where we rented boards and surfed all day; that was an amazing day. Here is a picture of me catching the wave. I'm getting pretty good if I can so myself.

Here is the group of us, all surfers fresh out of surf camp.

One of the days it was crappy on and off raining. We tried to go to the beach only to have it start pouring. Then we tried to do the light house climb, it's supposed to be very beautiful, only to have it start raining again. So, Mike, Lisa, and I went and saw the movie Star Trek, which was surprisingly not nerdy at all and an entertaining movie.

The next day Damien and I had our surf lesson. Wow, that was brutal. The swell was 10.5 feet meaning that some waves were even bigger. It was brutal trying to surf them. Getting out 'the back', meaning behind where the waves break, took all your energy. I felt bad for the people who were there trying to learn for the first time. We went to 7 mile beach just below Byron because Mojosurf didn't have permission to teach surf on Main Beach in Byron. I did manage to catch a couple waves, but the effort in that outweighed the thrill. Compared to the surf at the camp or at Main beach it was insane.

Right now I am in Surfers. I like it here, the city looks clean and beautiful. I like how the skyscrapers are right behind the beach. I will post some photos of the city after I take some good ones tomorrow. Tonight, the group of us are doing a pub crawl, which is a really good way to check out the night life here for cheap. There are going to be over 100 of us doing this to its sure to get a little crazy. But hey, no rest for the wicked, or when you're traveling and on vacation.

I hope everyone is doing well. We'll talk soon. I have better internet here so that is great.

Cheers mate,


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spot X Surf Camp and whats going on in Byron Bay

We left on the Greyhound at 9 pm on the 5th and drove for 8.5 hours. We arrived at the bus stop dark and early, and were waiting to be picked up by the Mojosurf van. I was brutally tired since I didn't manage to get much sleep on the bus, but here I am waiting. The guy was late to pick us up, we passed the time by making friends with two girls from Saskatchewan who got off the bus at the same time though.

The first day was raining and crappy. We went out at 9:30 and had our lesson. It was only

the four of us and the instructor which was great. I learnt the basics of how to stand up properly, and the correct footing positions. Most of the first lesson I already knew. I don't have any pictures from the first day due to the weather. No worries though.

We spent the rest of the day trying to find something to do and spent the night partying around the camp fire with the other people in the camp.

The following day was beautiful. Our lesson was at 7 am so we were up bright and early, with not too bad a hang over as we did go to sleep early due to tiredness. I did better on this day, managing to get up and stay up for longer on the waves. We learnt a little more advanced technique for getting up, but again, not much more than I already knew. The instructor's on this day sucked to be honest. They didn't really care if we were improving out there and spent lots of time goofing off in the waves. The sun was out all day though with no hint of clouds. Umm, I dont have any pictures of me actually surfing at the surf camp. They wanted you to purchase them for $30 or more, and I did not want to. The pictures weren't even good quality and most of the were silouetted from the sun.

After our lesson we went out to the beach to hang, our posse now consisting of Mike and Lisa, a couple from Manitoba, Ashlea, a girl from Florida, Andy, a guy from the UK who lives in Japan and of course, Damien and I. It is actually the same group here with us in Byron as we are all sorta on the same traveling schedule. Now I know you are dying to see what the camp looked like, so here:

I'll insert a movie when can.

And then some pictures from the beach:

Me lookin' cool

There were these little crabs making balls of sand all along the beach.

The photographer, some fisherman, and a random surfer. The beach had a huge tidal zone by the way

The beach did have great waves to learn on. And the surf was good every day regardless of the weather.

The next day was much of the same. Hung over wakenness, have breakfast, and a couple hours of surfing. The food was really good at the camp; I stuffed my face everyday. Damien and I actually left a day early to head to Byron Bay with all of the people we have met. Everyone else was leaving the camp that day so we did as well, which has turned out to have been a great decision. Here are some pictures from the second day:

We hung out and watched the sun set on the beach.

Damien, Ashlea, and Andy looking cool walking up the beach.

From the left: Me, Ashlea, John, Mike and Lisa.

Right now I am in Byron, sore, because we rented surfboards and were surfing all day today. Yesterday was a fun party night. Tonight is going to be a fun party night. Such is the life of a traveller it seems. We are meeting new people everyday which is great, adding more and more to our group. Our latest addition is our roommate, pronounced “yawn” I don't have the faintest idea how to spell it. He is from Switzerland, and can speak French with Damien.

I will post an update and some pictures of us surfing here in Byron soon.

A Meedz

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Spot X surf camp goodness; Australia is full of Canadians...

Hello all,

Just thought I would throw up a quick post to update. Surf camp was awesome! The first day we got there it was crappy weather, raining and such, we still went out and had our lessons in the rain as it doesn't affect the surf. The next two days were beautiful. Sunny and the surf was great. What did suck though was that our lessons were at 7am, meaning we had to get up just after 6 for breakfast before hand. And considering we spent the nights partying it up with everyone, the mornings were rough. Surfing though, is an amazing hangover cure.

Damien and I have met lots of people so far. Lots of Canadians to be honest. It is strange, it is sorta like you come to Australia to meet other Canadians ;) I've got Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and BC covered so far, and of course others who closer by me. Two of the people that worked at the surf camp lived near Toronto, one in Brampton, the other in Scarborough which is about 15 minutes away from home!

I have lots of pictures of the surf camp and will upload some tomorrow. A bunch of us have met up here in Byron Bay and are going to head to the famous Cheeky Monkey's bar tonight. Tomorrow will be a day of surfing on one of the many beaches here in Byron.

I just wanted to let you all know I am still alive, and that my surfing skillz have increased ten-fold. Life is awesome, never forget that :)

Great Canadian Surfer,

AndreW MeadeS

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Nanny!!!!

I would just like to wish you a very happy birthday nanny. Thank you for all your help. You are the best!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Time to travel...

Ahhh not having internet at the apartment the last few nights has left me feeling like a part of me is missing. My internet part. It's a bad addiction I know...

FINALLY, it is time for me to travel. I've dreamed of this day for too long, and now that it is upon me there is a strange feeling. As excited to bid Sydney farewell, I know that I am going to miss this city. I know I am going to miss having an apartment where I can just leave things around where I want; you cannot do that in a hostel, at least if you want to keep your things. But yes, it is time for a change.

First up: Surf camp at Spot X for 3 nights. Spot X is in a secret location 3 hours south of Byron Bay.
Then to Byron Bay for 3 nights.
Then it is to Brisbane I think, for a few nights.
That is as far as I have planned out right now. I like only having a week and a bit planned ahead, that way plans can change easily.

I'm a little hung-over today, I won't lie. I went out bowling with IEP and my friends last night. Had some fun, said some goodbyes. I will see my friends again though when I stop back in Sydney for my flight I'm sure.

Well, I need to go and finalize my packing and do my last minute preparations so I am going to go now. I will post at the surf camp if they have internet. Otherwise as soon as I get into Byron I will. So, my readers, I hope all is well for you for the next little while, and remember, never be afraid to head out into the unknown. Jump in feet first if you must, shake up your world a little when it gets too boring and mundane. I am. And I am going to have a life where I always will.

Bye for now,

is outta here :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Farewell Sydney

I am going to miss you.

Friday, May 1, 2009

5 months and I'd never been to Watson's Bay...

At about 2 o'clock today I ventured out to Watson's bay, a part of Sydney I had never been to before. Not even that, I didn't even think of heading there to be honest. It was only when my friend Brian posted on Twitter that he just came back from trip there, that it donned on me to go. Even as late in the day that I did end up there, it was still beautiful and awe-inspiring. Such an incredible view of the city is gained from there. Don't believe me? Here are some pictures.

Also, I attempted to take some pictures of the birds there as well. That ain't easy. Kudos to professional bird photographers, they must have plenty of patience and a great eye.

I took bus 380 to get there from my apartment. It was about a 45 minute bus ride. When I first arrived, I stepped out looking at Watson's bay, and took this picture of the city between a couple trees.

You can see the city ferry coming in the bottom right. There is also a ferry port here.

I turned and continued up to Gap Park and took this video of my view.

No dogs allowed. $150 if you climb over the fence. I was tempted to at some points.

It's a shear cliff face that looks like its been made that way by human means. I'm sure to save us from it collapsing while on it.

I followed along the paths for about 10 minutes, listened to the birds chirping. I could have sworn I heard monkeys, I don't know why or how, but I did. I eventually came to the end of the line. Onwards was another park that I didn't have access to.

From there you could see the opening to Sydney Harbour.

Someone cut their name into this plant. BHJ 06-07, really wanted to be remembered but was too lazy to scratch it into the rock like everyone else. Sigh.

I then took this video of the view from one of the highest points. I didn't manage to capture a big splash at the end like I wanted.

A shot of the view.

I then headed down to the bus stop to catch my ride back home. The bus stop is not that far from the best viewpoint.

Then while waiting for the bus drivers break to end I went around trying to take some pictures of the colourful birds you see around here. I did manage this nice one.

Here is a map of the Bondi Explorer bus route. This is not the bus I took, though you can use the map to get the gist of where I was. As you can see, I am all the way out on the far point, #10, and I live right at #17.

And so yeah, that was my adventure for the day. I saw an area of Sydney I hadn't before and I am glad that I did. Next up before I leave, Maroubra Beach.

Here is the facebook album if you would like more pictures.

Have a great day/afternoon/night, where ever you may be.