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New Website

Dear Readers,

After many weekends of hard work, I am proud to announce that this blog will from now on be continued on http://www.druefenacht.ch . You’ll find it under the tab “Blog”, along with other things that currently keep our lives busy.

See you on the new page,

Simone and Dominic

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2014 in Australia

 

Simone – Conference in Fiji

Sorry for this late post. Both Dominic and I were crazily busy during the last couple of weeks.

I went to Suva, Fiji, for the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania Conference, together with Sandra, David and Monica. The main reason we went was to do some networking as board members of the Sydney Society for Conservation Biology. But at the same time we took advantage of being at a conference and presented the our PhD projects. The conference was very interesting and we got a lot of interest from the people there for our society. We also sold some re-usable coffee cups to fundraise for our Little Penguin Project in Sydney and got some new speakers for our seminar series. And my PhD project presentation also got a lot of interest. So all in all it was a great conference for us!

We had planned to stay in Fiji for 4 more days after the conference to go diving. But unfortunately, we all caught the flu that was going around in Suva. We were so miserable and would not have been able to dive because of our clogged noses and ears and also we were all pretty feverish. So we spontaneously decided to rent a bure on a beach at a resort at the Coral Coast. And spent the rest of the days in Fiji lying in our bures and wishing we could go out and enjoy the beach and the water. Fortunately on the last day we felt a bit better and therefore good enough to go for a short kayak trip and to go snorkeling in the nearby marine park. It was a wonderful snorkel! We saw so many beautiful fish!

This trip was a bit disappointing because of the stupid flu, but what I saw of Fiji got me really excited. So now I know that it will definitely be worth going back some day and not catching the flu, but go diving instead :-)

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Australia

 

Kangaroo Valley

After a couple of stressful weeks we really needed a calm weekend in a nice place to relax. We actually wanted to go to the North of Sydney to Bouddi National Park, but it turned out that we weren’t allowed to sleep in the car there. And it was definitely too cold for just a tent! So we left the decision of where to go until pretty much the last minute. My supervisor told me that she loves Bowral in the Southern Highlands, so we decided on Saturday morning that we would go there and see what is around.

On the way to Bowral we stopped at a rest area on the highway where they were selling farm-fresh fruit and enjoyed some vitamins. We were already feeling much more relaxed :-) In Bowral we had a great lunch and then went on to the Fitzroy Falls, where Dominic had been before, but I haven’t. He wanted to show me the lyrebirds that are in that National Park, since I had not seen a male singing (only heard) until then. The walk was amazing (even though pretty chilly) and we even found 2 lyrebirds that we could get really close to. It was amazing! The park was full of lyrebirds. We could constantly hear them singing their wonderful songs and mimicking lots of funny noises, such as magpie calls, cockatoos, camera shutters and even something that sounded like a toy gun :-)

We then decided to go to Kangaroo Valley, where we had both not been yet. We arrived there when it was almost dark and were told that there is a picnic area where you can camp for free. So we went searching for that picnic area and were amazed when we found it! It was an awesome camping area (not just picnic area) and there were kangaroos and wombats everywhere on the field. We then went into the town Kangaroo Valley to have some dinner in a restaurant with an open fire. It was so cold and cozy that we felt like we were in Canada in the mountains :-)

That night the wind was so strong that our car kept moving back and forth – we felt like babies in a stroller ;-) Suddenly the car started moving faster and not with the wind. I thought someone must be shaking our car, but we couldn’t see anything, because it was dark. Dominic thought I was being dramatic, but also didn’t have a better explanation for what was happening. Then Dominic decided that it had to be something under our car, so he opened the door and shone his flashlight underneath it – and saw a wombat coming out from underneath Olive!!! :-) Poor little thing had to squeeze himself through, haha! During that night there were two more wombats who apparently like squeezing under cars.

On Sunday we decided to go to a winery in Kangaroo Valley, from which we had drunk wine at the restaurant the night before and found it delicious! 11 km down a dirt road and we found this beautiful little vineyard in the mountains and a wonderful house in the middle of it. It turned out to be run by an older couple, who does all the work. They even have lots of citrus trees and other fruit that they use to make jelly. We had an awesome time tasting lots of their wines and of course brought some home to enjoy another time. We also wanted to buy some limes and even got to pluck them ourselves! It was awesome!

On the way back, we spontaneously stopped at a sign that said “Grandpa’s shed” and were amazed by everything this guy was selling! We found a couple of useful camping stuff and I finally found a nice tea pot for the cold days in Sydney :-)

All in all it was a wonderful spontaneous weekend, where we just did what we felt like at the time and we could really relax! We started into the new week with a lot more energy than we had finished the one before :-)

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2014 in Australia

 

Anniversary Tall Ship Harbour Cruise

For this year’s anniversary, we went on a Tall Ship Harbour cruise. It was an excellent evening, and we enjoyed it a lot…. Nothing more to say, here are the pictures!

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Australia

 

First Camping with Olive

This weekend, we went on our first overnight trip with Olive. For those who don’t know, Olive is our car, ready for adventures! Together with Sandra and David, as well as Benni who represented Austria on our trip, we drove two hours south to Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve, where the Germans wanted to go kayaking. In the meantime, we explored the surroundings of the lake, and were fascinated by all the birdlife.

In the evening, we drove to Belanglo State Forest, where we intended to spend the night. unfortunately, there was a Husky (yes, the dogs we were told in Canada that -15 degrees is too warm for them!) meeting. It was so noisy that we decided to go to the nearby Penrose State Forest, where we had a great campfire with plenty of food.

After our first night in Olive, which by the way was excellent, we did the Boxvale tramway walk, which led us through a couple of crossings up to a tunnel, ending with a lookout point.

It was a great weekend trip, and we are already looking forward to our next adventure with Olive.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2014 in Australia

 

Kiama and Bombo Beach

This Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, but since I was doing a “Traditional Home Made Indian Cooking” class that took most of the day, we did not have time to go on a trip. So we decided to go somewhere (anywhere, actually) on Sunday. Sunday turned out to be a pretty nice, though cloudy, day as well. We looked at all the maps we have and decided to drive down to Bombo beach to see the spectacular stone formations there. We first drove to Kiama (just South of Bombo Beach) to have lunch and see the blow hole there. We got surprised by a beautiful sea side market and actually spent quite a lot of time in cute Kiama. Then we drove to the North of Bombo Beach, where we went for a short hike to the Bombo Headland Quarry and Cathedral Rocks. It was a great trip and actually the first “longer” (2 hours each way) trip with our new car, Olive :-)

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Autumn in Centennial Park

Today, Simone went to an Indian Cooking course and because the weather was really nice, i decided to go for an afternoon walk to Centennial Park with my new wide-angle lens. The Indian summer might not be as nice as in other parts of the world, but on the plus side, it was still really warm.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2014 in Australia

 
 
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