April 2004

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14 April 2004

The two best things we did with Bruce, Kaj and Shay.

My two favorite places to go with our three visitors were Manly and Broken Bay.

  1. Manly
    I thought that going to Manly with Kaj and Shay was a lot nicer and more fun because we had some kids to play with. At Spring Cove, where we anchored, my dad found a rock that we could jump off. Everybody climbed to the top of the rock, except my mom, who stayed behind to make snacks. Kaj, Scott, Bruce, Tristan and I jumped, but Shay just couldn't do it. We also went to Manly Beach twice. We played a lot in the waves. The second time we went there were very big waves. We would float over the big waves, and see them crash just past us.

  2. Broken Bay
    See my report on 3/31/04

19 April 2004 - Opa and Oma

A week ago we picked up opa and oma at the airport. They arrived on April 14 from the Netherlands, one day after Bruce, Kaj and Shay left. We took a taxi back to the boat. Opa and oma came with a lot of spectacular gifts.

Here is a list of all my gifts:

from my tante Monique, oom Rik, Frederike, Arne and Maaike I got:

  • a useful wax letter sealer
  • a traveler's journal
  • Zoo Tycoon complete collection
  • three rings that Frederike made herself from tiny beads

from opa and oma:

  • two pretty shirts
  • one nice pair of pants

29 April 2004 - Jenolan Caves

On mama's birthday we went to Jenolan Caves. The Jenolan Caves are in the Blue Mountains. It took us about 4 ˝ hours to drive there. We stayed at Jenolan Cabins. They were very cozy cabins. We had a wood stove to keep the cabin warm. Tristan and I had to collect kindling and wood every day. The morning of the second day dawned very misty and freezing cold. Well, not cold, cold, but still colder then Sydney. The mist was so thick that you could hardly see a meter. It also felt like we were in a cloud, which was actually true.

We went into 2 of the many caves that you can visit.

In Lucas Cave there is the Broken Column. It is famous because of how it broke. The rock that the column sat on was in water. The water moved the sand that held the rock in place. After a while, the sand is almost gone and the column has very little support left on the bottom, it has to carry almost all of its weight without any help. The column eventually breaks because it can no longer carry the weight. The rock still has the bottom part of the column on it, the water moves that rock a little, and now the 2 parts of the column aren't even lined up any more either.

In the Orient Cave we saw lots of beautiful formations. One of the kind of formations are called Helactites. They defy the forces of gravity. We saw these crystal formations horizontally or in Z's. We saw one area which was called “The old curiosity shop”. One thing I remember the guide pointed out was “the tooth fairy's toilet”. Stalactites are rock formations growing from the roof of the caves. Water drips really slowly from the ceiling through the lime stone. The drop of water has a little bit of limestone in it. It then deposits the bit of limestone on the part of the stalactite that is already there, the water drips away. A stalagmite is a rock formation growing from the floor up, because of the same kind of drops falling from the roof. If a stalactite and a stalagmite meet they form a column. There is also something called a curtain. In the caves there was often a light put behind them, and then it just looks like a curtain blocking the sunlight. These curtains are sometimes also called “bacon” because of the lighter and darker colors they have.

It was really nice to go caving again, especially with opa and oma there. I have seen other caves in Lava Beds National Monument that were more fun because you could explore more by yourself. But the Jenolan Caves certainly had something special about them.