Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shell Shock, Culture Shock

Today was our first full day in Australia. A fairly prosaic day. We went shopping for groceries in the morning and, in the afternoon, I walked down to a bush reserve to check out a little climbing crag. Seems commonplace enough, but already I notice huge differences between Canada and Australia.

In Australia, you go to a bunch of different shops to buy your groceries. At the supermarket, you can get dry goods and dairy. Then you go to the butcher for meat and chicken, the fish shop for fish, and the green-grocer for fruit and vegetables. A lot of people have these super handy wheeled shopping carts so you can do what we did – walk to the stores, load your groceries in your cart and wheel it home (you drag it behind you). Very convenient and so awesome to be able to do everything without a vehicle.

After lunch, I walked a couple of kilometres through residential streets – amazing flowers in all the gardens – to where a fire road (looks like a BC logging road) led down into a bush reserve. Australians call anything remotely forest like “bush”. There was a small stream with some billabongs (small pools) running through the base of the reserve and the most incredible vegetation everywhere. Big tree ferns, huge eucalpyts, orange, pink, white, yellow flowering plants (none of which I know), and big Gymea Bay Lillies with their huge red flowers atop a 6 metre stalk. The air is full of the sound of bird-song – from the raucous cries of cockatoos to the delicate ringing of the bell-birds. Superb.

Looking forward to climbing some Sutherland Shire sandstone tomorrow. 

Gum tree reflection

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