Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I love AVATAR the movie!!!!


Watched my AVATAR with Vmax 3D in Sydney :). Overall it’s a GREAT movie for me, ranked the same as LOTR and Matrix in my movie chart!!! Good storyline, awesome graphic, creative designs and art,…etc. I shall not talk much about the movie synopsis itself but what i felt after watching the movie.

AvatarFirst of all, i must applaud the movie for its great artistic design of the AVATAR world, the creatures, the environment, the tribe, and all the robots and machines. Though it doesn’t stray off too far from what we see and know of the earth species, yet the design is able to bring in a fresh and whole new experience to me. The colours used were simply awesome, never have i imagine the use of fluorescence and glow in the dark design for the fauna and flora!!! Altogether with the design of the alien tribe look, everything blends in so well that you don’t feel bored looking at it again and again.

Avatar_4Secondly, i felt there’s a message that have been constantly reminded to the audience which is: “we cant take whatever we want.” which is exactly the same as we human on earth, we cant take whatever we want just like that on earth.  The human that are trying to take the special element on the alien planet by force causes the imbalance of the alien world and destroy their beloved place.

All in all, i fully enjoyed the 2hr half ++ movie , love it!!!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My first memorable AUMC trip:Flinders Ranges-Wilpena Pound-Bonyeroo Gorge Aug28-30th 2009

OMG, this is such a difficult post to organize!!! Nonetheless, i made it, haha.

Heading up to Flinders Range National Park organized by AUMC (Adelaide university Mountaineering Club). 

Wondering how far it is from Adelaide??? It’s 450++ km from Adelaide CBD, haha.

Flinders Ranges National Park is renown for its rugged mountain ranges, spectacular gorges, creeks lined with River Red Gums and abundant wildlife.

This 94,908 hectare park is one of South Australia's most popular tourist destinations. It's world renowned for its geological history, Aboriginal rock art sites, impressive fossil remains, and ruins of early European settlement. It is home to some of South Australia's most fascinating natural attractions including Wilpena Pound.

Holy cow, all of us gathered in Uni usual AUMC place, a bit of intro among each other. Then it’s a mad mad drive all the way up to Flinders Range National Park continously for 6-7hrs stopping only for dinner and petrol.

Two car drove up first while another followed later in the night. I’m with Jono and Nicole in Mellisa wagon!!!! Dun look down at that poor condition of the car, it’s as reliable as your toyota or at least proton, haha. THough this car’s exhaust pipe made loud noise, we could still zzz in his car which Jono found ironic, haha.

IMG_8626It’s my 1st longest ride in Aus so far and it’s just full of fun along the way, chatting, getting to know each other, bout AUMC, Australia…etc.  

Basically depart at 5 ish and reached at 10-11pm?? haha. Drove through Port Augusta, and saw the huge thunderstorm building up, we were all like: SHit, this is not good at all, haha. Weather forecast was not at our side for this trip. However, as we drove deeper into the dry arid land of South Australia, the skies started to change and stars began to appear, haha. The road was windy and going up and down hills, passing through many small towns.

One thing i came to realize and learned – you must obey the driving speed every time you see one. You have to gradually slow down your car to 20km/hr when you drive through the town. And i think Aussie police are pretty efficient in catching drivers that break the rules, because all of them obey the rules very well. 

We all drove at our own speed, and relied on the map to navigate. It took half hr ish to find the camping ground entrance – willow spring as it was so foggy that night!!! Everywhere looked the same.

Luckily we are not walking, haha. It’s another ~5-10mins drive to the real campground through the rugged terrain. Set up our camp once we reached, as i borrowed my tent from my co-supervisor, i don’t really know how to setup mine as the design is different from the one i setup before, haha. Felt helpless that time as i couldn’t work it out, in adddition, it’s dark and i only have a bright enough torch (really felt the need to get a head torch), luckily Jono offered to help, then only i realized how the tent work, haha. THANX JONO!!!

Have a bit of supper and then chatting in the dark, haha. I could only listen throughout most of the conversation as there were heaps that i’m trying to understand and digest e.g places i never heard off, rich vocab, names, skills, …etc, but it was good, listening helped me know more so that i can join their conversation more later. Slowly one by one head off to zzzz.

Woke up ard 8ish next morning, some were already making breakfast further down a table. We realized we camp at the wrong site, we were supposed to camp at the designated flat ground but without any tree shade, less pebbles for easier tent setup. Still we did not change our location.

IMG_8628 IMG_8629

This is the toilet :). It’s not a very good one, but …..considered good enough to have one.
 IMG_8632 IMG_8634

Headed down to our destination after breakfast. This is where the trail starts.

Eventually you can be fly up to get an aerial view of Flinders range and Wilpena pound if you pay, haha.
IMG_8636 IMG_8637 

See the red arrow?? That’s where we are heading – the highest peak in Flinders Range (1171m) offering stunning view of famous Wilpena Pound.
IMG_8639 IMG_8641

It was a fairly easy flat trail at the beginning and walking among gum trees and some pines.
IMG_8642 IMG_8643

As we walked further, sights of the flinders range began to appear and we saw our first sight of St. Mary peak. The weather doesn’t look so promising as it’s quite cloudy, haha.
IMG_8648 IMG_8651


Walking among the pines, like this part :)

Slowly the easy part ended and the hard part began, from here onwards, it’s steep way all the way up!!!! Started to regret that i didn’t buy a pair of good hiking BOOTS!!! Because the boots are better for your foot and leg in this kind of rocky terrain as it stabilizes your foot better.
IMG_8657 IMG_8664

WE gained elevation pretty fast as these ppls are PROs and speed demons!!! Jesus, i can hardly catch up with them. Perhaps this was my 1st long steep hike in Australia without any training. It was considered HARD for me in the speed they were ascending!!!!

The views i saw kept me gambatteh all the way, haha.
IMG_8665 IMG_8668

The lovely couple, Jane and Derek (the AUMC president). Even Jane was better than me, haha. Thanks to Derek for waiting for me, haha and telling me to climb at my own speed as trying to catch up is gona make you exhausted faster. Everytime i took a bit of time to rest and looked up, they were like tiny ants still diligently climbing up, OMG!!!!!
IMG_8674 IMG_8678

Finally we climbed the 1st part, and the sight of St. Mary peak seems quite near, but ever since MT. Kinabalu trip, i learned not to trust my eyes in judging the distance, i knew it’s still a fair bit of ascend. A lot of times, it’s near only if you can fly up vertically, otherwise, you have to loop around to get to the peak.

We stopped for a rest, woooh, it was so windy on the other side of the mountain.
IMG_8679 IMG_8680

We started our hike again……
IMG_8682 IMG_8684

The views from this point onwards was just simply SPECTACULAR!!!!
8688 89pano crop
8809 10pano crop

Trust me, it ain’t easy to reach this point at their super speed!!!! I was the last to reach the peak, haha. Am glad to hear their words of “ Eddie, YOU made it!!!!”, haha.
IMG_8692 IMG_8693

As we reached, too bad the peak was TOO foggy…, we could barely see any further away. We have to wait for the fog to clear away and then quickly grab our chance to snap as many pics as you could, haha. Luckily the weather only drizzle a bit on our way, otherwise it was all fine, which was considered a blessing :)
IMG_8694 IMG_8695

Nicole staring across in the left pic, and many others hidden behind the rocks from the strong wind.
IMG_8696 IMG_8705

Slowly the fog cleared out, like a snail crawling away from the peak but came a lot more behind, haha. As if we could only see bits and bits of the views at a time.
IMG_8708 IMG_8711 IMG_8712 IMG_8713

And then……

Ta dah!!!!! The AWESOME panoramic view of Wilpena Pound (later we were gona trek throught the pound, remember this picture) !!!!! Btw, Pound mean an enclosure, in this case, it’s the valley below enclosed by the Flinders range!!!
8788 89pano crop
8790 91 92pano crop

Looking across the front horizon.
IMG_8756I simply LOVE this photo of Campbell along with the magnificient Flinders range!!!! Lucky to shot this photo :)
IMG_8732  IMG_8727IMG_8735 IMG_8742

My AUMC trip organizer – Alex (the one with beanie on). He is such an experienced climber and adventurer!!! Lucky to have know him!!! THANX to him that i get to see the world famous Flinders and Wilpena Pound, otherwise, i really have no idea when will i ever have the chance!!!!

Campbell and Alex off the cliff edge!!!


I love this photo too, as it showed a good contrast of how gigantic are the rocks, haha.

Jono and Nicole trying to setup their camera for group photo on the peak :)

IMG_8761 14

Don’t know why my face looked like shit in this photo, lol. Must be the wind, haha!!!

IMG_8763   IMG_8774 

The rocky vegetation along the mountain…

WE eventually climb another rock on our way down, haha.
IMG_8783 IMG_8784 IMG_8786

Jane taking photos of us on the rock from bottom.

Another pic i love!!!! Looking back at this photo, reminded me how nice it is to hike in Flinders and Wilpena Pound!!!!
IMG_8796  IMG_8801 IMG_8804

Campbell, Derek and Jane trying to do some bouldering, haha (photo on the bottom left). They are all PROs in rock/wall climbing especially Derek!!!!
IMG_8805 IMG_8807

Can you see the tiny ppl descending in the pic below???
IMG_8814 IMG_8818

Last view of St. Mary peak, haha. We decided to do a loop back to Wilpena instead of going back the same way we came, and altogether the hike to St.Mary peak and back to the info centre loop = 21KM!!!!!! Jesus christ, these guys are machines, hahha, but me too agreed lar to the idea, as i get the chance to trek through Wilpena Pound :)
IMG_8825 IMG_8830 IMG_8836

Trekking through the lowland scrubs across Wilpena Pound, AMAZING!!!!! It’s just so beautiful everywhere!!!

Oh god, another 9.8km???!!!!!!!! Jesus christ, lol

Just hope the whole trek back to the info centre looks like this all the way!!!!
IMG_8862 IMG_8870 8841 42pano crop

After this dried creek where we rested, the landscape TOTALLY CHANGED!!!!
IMG_8872 IMG_8875

The lovely spring flowers entertaining me all the way, haha (Pic at bottom left).
Now i guessed you know what i meant by total change of landscape!!!!! (pic at bottom right)
IMG_8876 IMG_8880

The landscape change is due to this part of the pound has been a European settlement in history. Can’t remembered exactly what were planted here, but eventually the plant grew well here, then the nutrient slowly fades, droughts,  the people left the pound. Not sure are they any people still living within the pound not and perhaps used for grazing.

Love the beautiful gum tree (pic at left) with the blue blue sky as backdrop!!!
IMG_8881 IMG_8884

IMG_8891OMG, can you read that??? We were walking for ages at a considerably fast pace and there’s still 4.2km?? hahahhahha. 
This trek through Wilpena Pound is part of the FAMOUS South AUstralia’s longest trail –Heysen’s IMG_8892trail.


Alex and Brad climbing the tree, haha.

Our campfire on the 2nd nite, hehe. REally nice to gather around with all of them, though again i’m doing the part as listener most of the time, haha. I enjoyed a lot, learned to BBQ marshmallow!!!! Something they do by just picking long twigs and stuck the marshmallow at the end and bbq it untill it melts inside, of coz making sure not to burn it (though some like it burned), haha.
IMG_8902 IMG_8905 IMG_8908 IMG_8909

Next day, it’s Bunyeroo Gorge!!! Driving out again, this time i managed to snaps heaps of driving photos along the dirt road as i’m sitting in the front seat in Jono’s car again. From dirt road to seal road to dirt road, full of FUN!!!! Especially Jono is pretty much a qualified dirt road driver, haha, he do dirt road car racing when he have time!!!!
IMG_8910 IMG_8911 IMG_8915 IMG_8921 IMG_8922  IMG_8929

Just love these views taken along the way!!!! Seen many of similiar photos from Documentaries but this time, with my own eyes live!!!! SO COOOOOOOOOL!!!!
IMG_8935 IMG_8945 IMG_8952

Jono is such funny person to hang out with, looked at his wagon, going through holes and splashing through pool of dirt water, haha and he doesn’t mind at all, hahha. His wagon is pretty much a 4WD, haha.

Started our walk……this walk was meant to be more leisure after yesterday's long hike, haha.

Bunyeroo Gorge is on the Bunyeroo Creek nestled amongst mountains such as Mount Rupert (556m), Mount Abrupt (818m) and The Guardian(613m) in east South Australia (

IMG_8957 IMG_8959 IMG_8960   IMG_8973 IMG_8978 IMG_8982 7

The walk was not bad, one get to see the tall gorge surrounding you!!! And the different rock structures. Still they were walking quite fast, but the slowly breaking up into groups, some walked faster and some slower, which was good, as i have more time to capture photo of this pretty flower (pic at bottom left), hehe.
IMG_8983 IMG_8984

Walked to the end of the trail, unfortunately the next part is not allowed entry, i think is for cattle grazing or something like that. Hence, we have to walked back after having a light lunch.
IMG_8986  IMG_8988

Didn’t bother to look at the map, as traveling with these PROs is just SAFE!!!
IMG_8989 IMG_8990

After the gorge, we packed our stuff, and it’s time to head back to Adelaide, end of our AMAZING trip!!! Though i hope to see the Bunyeroo valley, but we just don’t have time, till next time then, haha.
IMG_8991  IMG_8996  IMG_9008

Stopping at servo for petrol (Aussies like to add an O to the end of a lot of words, to make everything end with an O, like Arvo (afternoon)….others i forgot, but definitely there are plenty, haha). Campbell, Cameron, Nicole and Brad were just amazed at Jono’s car, haha (pic at bottom left).
9 IMG_9022

During our drive back, we opted a longer but less bz road with more to see – which is through one of the famous wine region of South Australia : Clare Valley which pass through Mt.Remarkable (southern Flinders range -pic at bottom left), while the others go back through Port Augusta. Though it’s not grape planting season, it’s the season for Canola flowers, haha. Saw quite a few fields of yellows Canola flowers!!! AWESOME!!!!
IMG_9024 IMG_9032

Me asking Jono to pull over for me to take photos, haha. In fact, this pic looks nice with the yellow field of canola and his sexy wagon, haha. 10
IMG_9044  IMG_9061

Reached Adelaide night time, very tired, but definitely an unforgettable trip for me!!!!! Many thanks to AUMC, to Alex, to Jono and others!!!!
Glad to have meet you all :)