Friday, March 16, 2007

Stinger Season

What a difference an email can make. I heard from our friend Ludi in Sydney, who pointed out that the period we had planned for the East Coast (North of Brisbane) is
  1. the wet season, meaning humid as hell (is hell humid? There's one for the theologians amongst you. Would it put out the fires or make their heat even worse. I don't mind heat as long as it's dry...)
  2. the stinger season. A stinger is something that lives in the water near the coast. It got its name on account of its tendency to sting people. Oh yeah - their sting kills.
So Melbourne is looking really good right now! And we have some friends there too that we haven't seen in many's the year.

We'll still make it to Brisbane (sorry Simon, we're still coming) but we'll leave it till the last four weeks of our time in Oz as opposed to the middle four.

So now things are looking like this:

4 weeks Sydney (based in one address but day tripping).
4 weeks on the road, in three stages:
  1. from Sydney to Melbourne (via the Australian Alps where my Aussie mate Mike here in Cork tells me there are ski stations that specialize in Summer walks - sounds really great).
  2. Melbourne back to Sydney via the Coast Road (stopping off in places such as Wilson's Promontory which hopefully won't be completely overrun) and
  3. Sydney to Brisbane (I have no idea what we're going to see on this stage.
We're really happy with this plan. The choice of where to go in such a vast place has always been a difficult one, but this feels right.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Getting a visa for China from Ireland

This page on the Chinese Embassy in Dublin explains that one has to apply in person in the Dublin office, or send somebody else. In other words, the postal system here is considered so undependable by the Chinese authorities that they're not going to risk using it!

Holiday visas last for 3 months from time of issue. This means that in order to get the visa for myself, my wife and the two kids, we're going to have to head up to Dublin within two months of departing Ireland. What a pain in the ass!

Cork: More Lectures on China

According to this UCC page, the recent lecture series on China and the Chinese continues in the Central Library on Grand Parade, Cork City. This week the topic is "Women in China Today and Yesterday" on the 6th of March. Next week it's "China Today".

This Time Next Year: Sydney Gay Pride

I've been indulging in "this time next year" thoughts - much to the discomfort of my superstitious wife. By now, China will be behind us and we'll be half way through our 4 weeks in Sydney. Hopefully we'll get to see the Gay Pride march which looks fantastically outlandish and has been going since 1978.

You definitely don't see much of this round these here parts, and it should be an interesting eye opener for the kids.