These Minnesota college students get an A+ for adventure. Follow along as they explore the world while studying abroad.
I just got back from a weekend in Toowoomba with my boyfriend. It was a nice break from the loud city of Brisbane. You know the old western movies with the old rustic iron wind mills? Well, Toowoomba has them. Toowoomba is nestled on the edge of the Great Dividing Range Mountains. The Mountains are not exactly what a Midwesterner would call "Mountains", but to the Australian's they are mountains. Toowoomba is also known as the Garden City of Australia.
But a lot of the area resembled home to me.
Some people might think I am crazy, but when I saw the fields It made me excited. I guess after seeing beaches and tropical trees and flowers - my eyes wanted to be refreshed with the familiar, since I am from the small North Western Minnesota town, Twin Valley I am used to the fields and harvest time since it is a huge farming community. The planted fields and unplanted fields made me feel at home. Small things catch my attention and make me excited!
While in Toowoomba, Johan and I went to a writer's workshop where Kathy Hoopmann, Australian writer spoke about Memoir writing. She wrote the book All Cats Have Aspergers Syndrome. Check out her work at her website: www.kathyhoopmann.com/index.html It was an interesting workshop because we talked about real stories. Our stories as humans. It was so interesting because, being the only American in the workshop I was surrounded by the stories of so many people from all over the world. Johan, my boyfriend was originally from South Africa. There were a few Australian's from Toowoomba and a near by town called Warwick (It made me think of when I was travelling in England because there was a Warwick Castle.) There was also an Italian. Kathy had lived in the United Arab Emirates for a few years with her family. It was so interesting hearing all these people talk about different things that happened in their lives. One story I thought was funny, was that one of the people from Toowoomba spoke about how when they were younger they would have to burry the cows when they died and if they didn't burry them deep enough they would have to saw off the cows legs. One such time there was a group of bicyclers riding past. Imagine the looks on their faces when they road past? What kind of stories do you have in your past? How about your family?
It was absolutely an amazing time. Then after the workshop, Johan and I went to Queens Park in Toowoomba and walked around. Being from Minnesota - one of my favorite things in the Autumn is when the leaves fall and change colours. It is Autumn here in Australia, right now. The trees in Brisbane don't really change much, which is a pitty. But in other areas I guess the leaves do change. Johan knew this and noticed something before I even did. He noticed that there were some trees that were changing colours. He handed me two beautiful red leaves. The red leaves are my favorite and I pressed them in my journal! My first red Australian leaves!
It was a lovely Autumn day. We went and sat at a picnic table under some trees and listened to natures music.
We had a lovely time in Toowoomba for the weekend and the writer's workshop. I wish we would have had more time in Toowoomba because there were definitely more things to see. Different day hikes and countless other views to be enjoyed.
To find out more about Toowoomba, check out this webiste. It is definitely a lovely area. I will most definitely go back and check out Toowoomba again soon! www.toowoomba.org/
Check out my personal blog for more information and details on different areas of my journey in Australia.
Just a few days ago I went on a day hike/climb with my boyfriend and a few others. Now, I am a girl who is used to the backpacking sort of hiking/climbing because I grew up going on hikes in Montana with my family. But, I would have to say that this hike/climb was something entirely different. The Mountain we climbed was Mount Tibrogargan. It was a beautiful day for hiking and being outside. I was excited to climb my first Glasshouse Mountain. I had wanted to climb it when I was here the other year, but hadn't gotten the chance to. The mountains were formed over millions of years ago by volcanic activity.
I am always fascinated by history wherever I go and I found out that the history of these mountains are intertwined with the Aboriginal and European history. Captain James Cook saw them and thought they resembled the Glasshouse Furnaces in England, which is what inspired the name "Glasshouse Mountains". (For more information on the Glasshouse Mountains check out the link below the picture and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_House_Mountains_(Queensland) )
On our way up to the base of the mountain, I found myself in love with the smells of nature. It is a Eucalypt forest. It's fresh and cleansing scent is definitely one scent that I love a lot!
The hike to the mountain wasn't overly bad, but as soon as we started climbing the mountain it changed completely. I have never climbed a mountain in the sense of hanging onto the mountain for your life, because one bad move could cause harm to you or someone else. But, I guess that is true in any extreme sport. I was happy to go climbing with the group I went with. My boyfriend is afraid of heights and had told me about the first time he had climbed Tibrogargan. He had worried about the heights a lot, but at the end of this hike with me he told me he didn't have time to think about himself because he was too busy thinking about me. I am definitely appreciative of him and our friends that knew the mountain well enough to guide us all.
It was definitely an interesting experience. The view from the top was definitely worth it. I give credit to my Mom and Dad for always telling me that... "Devin, the view from the top will be beautiful and worth it."
This picture doesn't show the steepness. It was much steeper than this.
On the top we took a break and looked at the beautiful landscape below. I got so many ideas for my fictional novel that I am writing. It was a breath of fresh air.
When we started getting closer to the bottom, I was definitely excited and very tired. It was my "first" climbing experience outdoors and without ropes.
It was a beautiful day! I definitely enjoyed it and will do it again sometime.
If you are on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia make sure you look into hiking/climbing the Glasshouse Mountains, but make sure to be careful.
•Know your way, bring water
•climb with friends
•don't climb down too late - otherwise you will have little light for the climb down
•Be sure to bring your cell phone, emergency numbers, and also a camera (preferably a smaller one).
•Don't hike while it rains or after as it will make the rocks slippery
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