This past weekend, the group I came here with, CIEE, went to Merry Beach for a weekend away. It was wonderful! On the way there, we stopped in Kiama to see a blow hole and cathedral rock. The place we stayed at in Merry Beach was not what I was expecting at all. We got to stay in these nice condo-type places with a full kitchen, little living room, bathroom and two bedrooms. I had to share mine with three other girls, but it was more than enough room for us all. The weekend was absolutely amazing though! At the resort where we were, there were kangaroos hopping around everywhere. You could get about two feet away from them and take a picture of them without them hoping away. We were right on the beach too, and the view was so pretty. Both nights we were there, CIEE paid for an awesome dinner for us which was probably $25 a plate, plus they gave us wine and dessert.
On Saturday, we hiked up mount Gulaga, which was about an hour hike straight uphill pretty much, and the view at the top was incredible. When we were hiking up, they didn't want anyone to talk so that we would take in the surroundings and it was just so peaceful. Once we got to the top we got to talk with an Aboriginal about the mountain and why it was sacred. He talked about his tribe and what certain rocks meant to them, and it was really interesting listening to what he had to say.
On Sunday, we had more of a relaxed day in the morning and then in the afternoon, we went on beautiful bush walk on rocks that surrounded the ocean. The views we got to see were gorgeous and when we even got to see about 10 dolphins swimming in the ocean. I, of course, took not only pictures of the dolphins, but video too :) We walked along the rocks over to Pretty Beach, which was coincidently very pretty. Those of us who wanted also got to see a little rain forest as well on the bush walk.
Both nights when we were there, a bunch of the kids made a bon fire on the beach and it was just fun to hang out with everyone ad get to know everyone better. All the CIEE kids are super nice and I'm looking forward to the other trips with CIEE, because you just get so close to these people that you go with and it's a lot of fun. Also, CIEE takes us on trips that a lot of people don't think to do, so it gives me an opportunity to see a lot more than I would if I didn't come with them. I know we are also going to the Blue Mountains one weekend, surf lessons, and the Minnamurra Rain forest throughout the semester, so that should be heaps of fun! See look...I'm already part Aussie :)
Classes started today, and they seem much easier than Madison. I only have class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and so far I only have one exam. That should plenty of time for traveling!