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Travelog for: Nicki Bear

Mount Canobolas, NSW, Australia - 6th February 2009

By: sararingham

It was very very hot today. We found out that on Sunday it's supposed to get up to 47'c (116.6'f)... it's supposed to be the hottest place on Earth that day... beating out the African deserts and the Middle-East. So we're trying to prepare for the massive heat wave that's already brought us down to nothing since it's been so hot for a while... although, not that hot... we're not really looking forward to it... so today to get away from the heat, Sara took us up to Mount Canobolas which is actually an extinct volcano... here I am at the top of the summit, facing Orange below me...

...right in the center of the summit it's got this map...
...the map shows you what you can see and in which direction, so Orange is that way, Mudgee is that way, and so on and so forth. You can see quite far on a clear day... it's actually the highest point West of the Blue Mountains up until a mountain in South Australia - which is very very far away (think around half the distance of the United States)...

...and here I am at the other side of the summit facing the opposite direction from Orange... you can't see much, all you can see is it's very very brown because of the lack of rain...

...because of the massive heat that was today (35'c) and going up the big hill our car needed a bit of attention so while Sara was taking photos, Daniel her husband was cooling the car down a little bit so the car didn't overheat...
...at least it's down hill to our next destination... that should give the car a bit of time to cool down... we can hope anyways... write again soon! :-)

* Posted Feb 6, 2009, 12:35 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lake Canobolas, NSW, Australia - 6th February 2009

By: sararingham

Next stop was only a short drive down a big long hill, through lots of bush land... we were now visiting the man made Lake Canobolas... it seemed to really heat up even coming a little bit down that mountain... we no longer had a small breeze that the summit allowed us... so it was very warm. So while we were here we stayed in the shade... here I am in the shade of a tree near the lake. :-) Doesn't it look just wonderful?

...there were lots of ducks while we were there - most of which were in the shade but there was this pair of Australian Wood Ducks which Sara always used to refer to them as the "fancy" ducks because of how pretty they were. Although they look a lot different to the wood ducks that Sara are used to, which are of course native to the United States. :-)
...they had three not so little ducklings following them in a row... it was pretty cute, they were swimming to some shade on the other side of the lake... what I would have given to be a duck today. The water looked so nice and cool... it's time to head home everyone is getting a bit of a headache, time to get lots of water into us... write again soon!

* Posted Feb 6, 2009, 12:43 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 6th February 2009

By: sararingham

Well, also thought I'd update on the status of when we got home... when we got home it seemed to get hotter - at least by another 2'c which doesn't seem like much but when it's so hot already it kind of kicks you again when your down... :-/ We had fans on the birds, the dog and the mice... so we found one of Sara's mice actually laying in the breeze of the fan trying to cool down... poor little girl! Her and her sister and trying to keep cool by sleeping in one of the tubes even now at almost midnight...
...her and her sister almost look identical, so she's not sure which one it is (one has a small white spot on the backside) it's either Puff or Fluff... and Charlotte is in the wheel (the white blob)... she also has two others that aren't seen or mentioned - so 5 in total, the other two are Moo, and Choc Chip. :-) They're quite fun too watch, too bad it's been too hot to have them be as active as normal...

...and as the sun was going down Sara always says to herself... "Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning sailors warning." Since there was such a bright red sky at night... it means we are in for another scorching day tomorrow...
...I'm kind of hoping this heat wave will end soon, it's hard to sleep and hard to move much and actually do anything... so fingers crossed! Write again soon! Miss you mom! :-D

* Posted Feb 6, 2009, 12:49 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 11th February 2009

By: sararingham

Yesterday and today have been BEAUTIFUL! It's not been sunny much and it's been much much cooler with overcast... it's so much nicer than it being so hot you want to shed your fur... it's been crazy. I'm sure you've heard of the Victorian fires. I can assure you us toyvoyagers and Sara and her family are okay... we just got some massively high temperatures and no fires thankfully! It's very sad to hear about it on the news though with a death toll of now 181 people and set to double. This is the biggest natural disaster ever to hit Australia... massive!

Anyways because it's been cooler Sara's pets have been more active so Sara's been able to take some photos of them... we decided to get in the shot because she seems to own a zoo. She's a huge animal lover though and takes great care of her pets... lets see, here I am in front of her mice...
...they didn't really want to sit still for the photo but there are 5 of them in a huge mouse mansion as Sara calls it... they're happy since their cage just got a nice clean out.. now they're organizing things to make it their own again... haha they're so cute! :-)

...and here I am in front of the birds...

...now the question is... how many if any of those birds can you name? I know they're very hard to see so Sara took some photos. It's interesting because all the birds besides one is native to Australia. Click the name to get more information if your interested about the bird(s). :-) First we have the Society Finch...
The pair of society finches are the only ones not native... they're actually not native to anywhere... they were always captively bred so they're very good in aviaries and will pick up where other birds have left off sometimes in raising baby birds. :-) Aren't they nice? They're very friendly little birds. Sadly when Sara got them they couldn't fly more than 6 inches off the ground because they had been stuck in a tiny cage their whole life. They're much happier now. :-)

Next bird is the Spice Finch they're also very friendly birds and they get along best with the Star finches. :-) They like to wake up every morning to chirping... they're very cute! :-)

...now were getting into the kind of stranger of the birds... the beautiful little Diamond Dove they're the worlds smallest dove and they're very peaceful birds... they are very quiet except for the occasional"hoot hoot" noise...

Then we have the birds that live at the bottom... the little Button Quail these guys are two males, Milky and Red Baron (names fit well) it's hard to get photos of them sadly so Sara had to just deal with what she got here...

...then we have the beautiful Gouldian Finch they're very vocal birds and Sara swears they know they're pretty... but aren't they? The bright one is a male and right next to it is a female of the same type. :-)

...and last but not least of the birds we have the Star Finch there are two different varieties... the yellow face and the red face. You can see the red face and the yellow face in this photo. The red face are a lot more common... they're beautiful birds and the first finch she got was the yellow face male (the one with more yellow on his face) on the left hand side. His name is Peep. He's also the one in Sara's avatar with his "girlfriend" Dotty... also known as Peeps girlfriend in this house you'll find out why in a minute...

...if you want to hear what these birds sound like you can hear Peeps unique song here... you can hear the normal red face singing here who is Mr. Peep and ends with the white male zebra finch Frank. :-) Now as to why we call them that... just as we were about to go away they cuddled up together so Sara took a shot...
Aren't they adorable? :-)

Anyways, there's also the fish but they're happy being in the dark at the moment and Sara doesn't want to scare them for the photo... but we also have Anni... Sara's 10 month old beagle puppy...
Anni had to stay in the cage while photos were being taken because Sara can't fully trust her to leave it when she responds... case in point... Anni being good and Anni being naughty... it's a new trick so I can't expect miracles... :-P But yeah, now you've been introduced to all of Sara's animals... I hope you enjoyed having a bit of a tour on the animal side of Sara's house... Write again soon mom! <3

* Posted Feb 10, 2009, 11:38 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Sydney CBD, NSW, Australia - 16th February 2009

By: sararingham

Today we took a trip to Sydney. We had to go to Camperdown for an appointment for Sara's son, Andrew. But we decided since we had a bit of time to check out some of the local beaches... well, since Camperdown is pretty much in the CBD of Sydney we were directed to the beaches of the CBD. Which are extremely crowded, hard to get to and overall a pain in the butt. Especially driving, people don't drive in the CBD for a reason... but the GPS took us there so that's where we went... the concrete jungle was too much for the GPS though because it kept driving us in circles before finally getting us out... needless to say we gave up going to that beach and just decided to head back to Camperdown...

Although I don't have any photos of me (it was too hard because we all kept slipping off of the dashboard) in the CBD but here are some of the things we saw...

This is coming into the CBD around Darling Harbor. If you can see that little gold star on the left side of the picture... very pretty... and look at all those huge buildings...
The next photos is the middle of the CBD on the main street of Sydney, George Street.

In these photos you can see the Queen Victoria Building it's a very iconic landmark of Sydney... very beautiful isn't it?  Here's the statue right out front of it... Queen Victoria... if you look at the link connected to the Queen Victoria Building you can see what it looks like on the inside... very elegant!

Next on the short tour through the lesser known CBD icons is the clock tower on Martin Place... isn't it gorgeous?

Last but not least we got to see the AMP Tower people climb up on top of it and walk around the edge in what's called the Sydney Tower Skywalk part of the walk actually has a clear walkway so you can see straight down! Crazy!
Well those are the lesser known parts of the CBD of Sydney. I hope you enjoyed the walk through so to speak. We hope to be taking another trip to Sydney in the coming days *fingers crossed* Write again soon mom!

* Posted Feb 19, 2009, 4:12 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 19th February 2009

By: sararingham

Wow! Sara got the fright of her life earlier this morning. Remember that tarantula? Well, it disappeared for a few days. Her and her husband kept remarking that they should find it because it's a big spider and well, you really want to know where it is... because having something like that spook you... well isn't fun. Well what happened early this morning (around 2am) Sara will probably never forget...

Sara was sitting at the desk and then looked down at her hands and saw some legs moving towards her hand. She quickly pulled back and stood up. She even made a whimpering noise... how crazy is that? Someone so big... compared to something so small? Well it decided to make a home between her keyboard and mouse so Sara decided to show us how big he was... so here I am... do you see it?

Pretty dark eh? Well, here's with the flash... I'm sure you can see him now...
Definitely not something you want crawling on you in the middle of the night. Sara thinks it might have actually had to crawl across her stomach to get where it currently is... oh my gosh that would give me the heebie jeebies! You can bet she went straight to bed after that little incident...

Hopefully we'll take another trip to Sydney again soon! Write again soon mom! Miss you!

* Posted Feb 19, 2009, 3:41 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 3rd March 2009

By: sararingham

Hi! It's been really boring around here lately.. Sara hasn't been able to get out as much as she would have liked to so we've been sitting at home with her... well, nothing much interesting has been going on but today Sara tried kangaroo for the first time. So she thought this was note worthy... we all smelled it and it actually smelled really yummy! It looked just like a steak and Sara says it actually just tastes just like beef, but very very lean, almost no fat at all.. yummy!
Not much there but sometimes I wish we could try new things too - so here was Sara's dinner (or part of it anyways) from the other day. I promise more interesting things ahead in the days to come! Write again soon!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 7:35 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Blayney, NSW, Australia - 5th March 2009

By: sararingham

Today we were taking a small road trip. No where exciting but Sara took this as an opportunity to show us what the Central West is full of... which sadly isn't all that interesting, but hopefully you'll find it a bit more interesting... it's very dry and brown here. There's been barely any rain, so now that it's Autumn, we're hoping for a bit more rain... *fingers crossed* first stop we went to a small town called Blayney which has a population of only 3,000 people...

Here I am at the top of the highest point in Blayney, Church Hill... you can see the whole town from here...

...and here's the rest of the view around Church Hill from where we're standing...

Coming down from Church Hill we went down the main street to our next destination... here I am on the main street which is called Adelaide Street...

We're back on the road again... I'll update more soon!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 7:48 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Carcoar Dam, NSW, Australia - 5th March 2009

By: sararingham

Next stop was the Blayney Wind Farm and Carcoar Dam which is just outside of Blayney and Carcoar... here I am in front of the wind turbines...

Sara also decided to show you Carcoar Dam... if you click that link you can see what Carcoar Dam used to look like. Since the Central West has been in a drought for so long the water level is much much lower than at the moment... here I am in front of what is left of the dam...

Kind of puts it into perspective how much of a drought Australia is in, especially inland from the coastlines... here's a closer image of the water level. You see that line on the hill just below the trees? That's where the water used to be... can you imagine THAT much water evaporating? Scary isn't it?

...and here are a couple more photos of the wind mills that run the wind farm...

Write again soon!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 8:24 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Carcoar, NSW, Australia - 5th March 2009

By: sararingham

Next stop was Carcoar which is one of the many tiny towns between Blayney and Cowra, so we decided to get a few photos. Carcoar has a population of around 400 people... so very small, here I am on the main street...

...there's sadly not much to see here but Sara took us down to the little river that runs through the town. Sara says her and her husband Daniel used to drive here from Blayney to here to have picnic's once in a while. :-) Isn't it pretty?

Back on the road... we're almost there! Another 40 minutes or so... write again soon!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 8:40 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Cowra, NSW, Australia - 5th March 2009

By: sararingham

Last stop, we're finally there! We've arrived in Cowra which is a town about half the size of Orange, with around 13,000 people. There's not too much to see here... Sara and her husband had to do a few mystery shops. So we just waited, after all the jobs were done we all went down to the Lachlan River... we saw a LOT of bird life while we were there... here I am in front of the river...

Walking down to the river there were a lot of aboriginal paintings on the underside of the road (which passed over the river)... here are some of the paintings...
Can you guess what some of the animals are? Well, there are dolphins, echidna, turtles, fish, dugong, kookaburra, and snakes. How interesting is all that? Isn't it pretty?

You can't tell but there are HUNDREDS of Long-billed Corella's... they're making heaps of noise but they're fun to watch. Sara took a short video of them in the tree... you can watch the video here. It's short and you can also hear the noises they make... they were crazy... here are a few snap shots of them as well...

...and we even got to see a bunch of Australian Wood Ducks...

After spending an hour or so at the river we decided to head home. It had already been a long day and it was only 230pm. Crazy! Well back home we go... write again soon! Miss you mom I hope you enjoyed my day out!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 9:11 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 6th March 2009

By: sararingham

Hi mom! Sara sent me off to Mexico today... hopefully travel time won't take too long I'm packed into an envelope with my notebook so I can't wait to get out and see what Mexico looks like! How exciting! Write again when I get to my next destination! <3 Miss you!

* Posted Mar 6, 2009, 2:51 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Tijuana, Mexico - 14th March 2009

By: angelicabermejo

Hi mommy I finally arrive to Mexico, Angelica greet me this morning and was happy to see me, she told we have a busy weekend upon us and to star with it we're witing for the Depeche Mode ticketso to go on sale, she tells me she's a huge fan so we're excited!!
Lets just hope find a couple of good ones, and after that we have parties and a road trip to the vinyards yay!!! talk to you later mommy.

I just arrive and Angie's happy because this is the first time she hosts a TV.

Still waiting... one more hour... yay!!

* Posted Mar 14, 2009, 5:56 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Ensenada, Mexico - 15th March 2009

By: angelicabermejo

Hi Mommy!!
The first weekend in Mexico was very active, after buying the tickes for DM's concert we went to Ensenada (just south Tijuana) and here is the evidence:

First we took on the road to Rosarito (10 minutes south fron Tijuana) for a traditional breakfast "Burrito de pescado" or "Fish Burritos" with a side of rice and beans.

After having our tummys full we went on the road again but stop at this sightseeing point in the middle of nowhere.
It was very high, about 200 meters above the sea, but I liked it.
After that, Angelica's husband took me out to the vendors outside for some real mexican candy.
And again to the road, Angelica told me that she loves driving here because is so lonely and peaceful, no house around or people, this is where she and her husband go after a long week at the office is like a 30 minute drive and its worth it.
And finally we entered Ensenada!!
They took me to this landmark called "La Bufadora" or "The blowhole" it was amazing!,  down the place we sited is a cave tha fills with sea water and then the presure makes it go up to the sky, like a geiser, here you can see it.
And finally we went to the flea market to buy some postcards with pictures of this landmark, Angelica is attaching one to the notebook, and also told me that she;s goin to make home made burritos next weekend and she is goin to show me how! yay!!, hope you enjoy the photos mommy, see you soon.

* Posted Mar 25, 2009, 5:42 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Tijuana-San Diego, Mexico-USA - 21st March 2009

By: angelicabermejo

Hey Mommy!

Today we wanted to go to the San Diego Zoo but i was a rainy day,
so instead we just cross the border, here the waiting line may vary from 10 minutes to 2-3 hours, we're lucky this time only 20 minutes!
did some shoping
and back to Tijuana for another Burrito (yes is a very common dish in North Mexico)
On the way home we saw a few statues on the road resemblin:
Agustin Iturbide
Miguel Hidalgo
All mexican heroes!
I'll post new pic's soon mommy. see ya!!!

* Posted Mar 25, 2009, 5:59 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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