Underwater Camerahousing for my Canon 300D Digital Rebel by mid-March. I'm also getting a DS-125 Substrobe and the port for the kit 18-55mm lens that comes with the SLR. I was tossing up whether to get an underwater housing for a second digital camera that I had, a Nikon Coolpix 5700, but the money required was nearly as much as for the 300D enclosure, and its nowhere near the amount of camera.
LotionIt rubs the lotion on its skin" is a favourite quip around the office - usually when given a command or told to do something you have little input into...
Thailand - Pattaya
The diving wasn't especially good, the reef pretty unremarkable. It was good to be in the water though, its been far to long. The boat was nice and comfortable, and a full Thai lunch, so it was a great day out in the sun at the very least.
I had an aroma-therapy massage on Sunday after the diving which was sensational. I basically just lay there and drooled for a bit while all my muscles were convinced they were in fact not sore at all. Afterwards I went back to the room and did a bit more drooling and listened to some music.
Pattaya is rather popular for its 'night life' it has a thriving red light precinct, one that's remarkably famous from what I understand. The main street, Walking Street, has hundreds of bars and clubs all featuring 'go-go' dancers, which is a nice way of saying strippers... The streets are invariably cluttered with Pad Thai stands, neon lights, hawkers for the clubs and pirated DVD's... I got the feeling that you could probably get anything illegal you might happen to want within about 10 feet if you just asked.
The sleezy bits aside, Pattaya was an experience. So cheap ! The whole weekend cost me S$300 (about AUD$260), including the flights and hotel, diving. I have another stamp in my passport... Bringing the total countries to 4 ;)
Haw Par Villa (Tiger Balm Gardens), Singapore
I don't think I've ever seen a bigger monument to concrete, plaster, and bright colours anywhere. The park is unbeleivably kitcsh, goudy colours, luridly detail depictions of violence. An excellet place for the kiddies.
The buddist 'Ten Levels of Hell' Exhibit is a must see. Witness the punishment for 'ungratefullness' for example and tremble... (having your heart cut out).
There is also a large collection of jade sculptures in the park which finished things off nicely.
The photo's don't really capture the scale of the place. Its a bit of a jaw dropper.
Singapore Botanical Gardens and National Orchid Garden
The gardens has a huge expanse of natural rainforest in the heart of it, and is surrounded by formal gardens and paved and grassed areas that seemed fairly popular with family groups and picnicers.
I concentrated mainly on the Orchid gardnes, which is the only part of the park that has an admission charge - on corner of the gardens is given over to the Orchids.
I got the impression that it wasn't really the right time of year for the Orchids to be flowering, as many weren't. Those that were though were putting on a mighty fine show of diversity and colour.
Highlights were the coolhouse, showcasing some orchid species from cooler climes, and the Celbrity garden, featuring hybrid orchids named after visiting dignitaries and heads of state. I thought the Orchid named after Margret Thatcher was particularely apt - withered and twisted little flowers :)
The photos tell it better than I can...
Singapore Zoological Gardens
The Zoo takes great pride in having no fences, no bars, no restraints for animals. Most of the habitats have 'psychological' barriers instead like moats of water, raised rock platforms and walls, or just enforced feeding areas. The primate collection has largely free reign of the entire park and you often spied a monkey in a nearby tree.
Some of the habitats were enclosed simply through nessesity. The cool enclosure for the penguins, for example.
The zoo had also taken great care to simulate habitats that are as natural as possible. The cheetahs had grass and trees to climb in, the baboons had dust and rocks to congregate in. I didn't see one animal that looked remotely upset or bored.
We spent about 4 hours at the zoo, walked our feet off and had a ball. An absolutely stunning place, and a photographers paradise.
My favourite of the day would have to be the white tigers.
Myall Lakes N.P., Seal Rocks
The second section winds it way amoung the lakes and the ocean, offering some stunning views of the water and forest. A short way into the second section is the Grandis - the tallest tree in NSW. The Grandis is a mightly flood gum and really has to be seen to get a feel for how grand it truly is. The Grandis is at the end of a delightful dirt road that winds it way up through the dense forest.
We finished off the day with a swim at Seal Rocks, about halfway along the second section of the tourist drive. Seal rocks is magic, and the day was sunny and hot, the water cool and plesant and the beach nearly deserted.
Thirlmere Lakes N.P.
Futher down in the Thirlmere Lakes N.P. is a lovely day trip spot with an excellent swimming spot along one of the lakes - full of tea tree colour and children.
A beautiful day.
Kurnell - Steps, Leap to Steps
There were plenty of fishermen about, but the only fish they nearly caught was an Andrew... damn fool fishermen. Don't they know there are no fish about?
Blue Mountains - The Three Sisters
After visiting with the kittens we drove on to Katoomba and to the mountains tourist drive, and found a nice lookout with a fantastic view of the Three Sisters. The normal Katoomba lookout just doesn't give you a view this good - its very curious why its even there.
The day dawned perfectly blue sky and nice and cool. It progressed to fluffy white clouds and warm - a amrvelous day to out with the trees, and to have the sunroof open.