Monday, July 28, 2008

Cairns... Tropical Australia & backpacker's gateway to the Great Barrier Reef!

First impression of landing in Cairns: We are in Jurassic Park!
Don't get me wrong, the scene is beautiful since the nature is so overwhelming and intact, and I think those that landed in Hawaii know what this feeling is....Green mountains all around, and beautiful blue ocean on the side.

This city is the Gateway to the GREAT BARRIER REEF, one of the world´s 7 Greatest Natural Wonders, and that´s were I spent around 10 hours underwater on a 5 day DIVING TRIP @ the Cod Hole feeding Potato Cod fish and Sharks with www.Taka.com.au

video

The NIGHTLIFE is also a highlight in Cairns, since it´s a hub for backpackers that fly in or come with their camper vans from trips around Australia, and stay from 1 day to a month, for parting, diving, and even working.

I stayed @ the GILLIGANS backpackers what Lonley Plannet guide (www.lonelyplanet.com) correctly describes as "the Ritz of the Hostels". The place is amazing by day (with Barbecue deck, pool, guest kitchens and tour desk) & by night (with bar and club). I made great friends there and we had dinner parties every night.
The dorms of up to 8 people are all girls, all boys or mix. There is also the option of being in a single room (as being in a hotel) and since the location is exceptional (4 blocks from everything) this is an option of all type of travelers. See this site for the virtual tour of this amazing hostel www.gilligansbackpackers.com.au

The permanent fresh fruit market downstairs is the best way to save on self-made MEALS, but the Marinara Pasta for AU$ 11.90 @ the Gilligans coffee shop is a bargain for a good meal, and the special 5 drinks for AU$ 10 @ the bar is unbeatable.


Cairns due to Mangroves (mud swamps) has no BEACHES downtown. That make the LAGOON
(the man made beach at the Esplanade) the place to be and be seen, unless you take a bus for 30+minutes north to find the various beaches for all tastes.

I also adventured north to Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation, where there is the most ancient RAIN FOREST botanic specimens in the world, with over 200 million years.

The hike of the Sorrow mountain took over 5 hours (return) but that was really a site worth the trip. Thank you Sam for this invitation!

Now (August 7th) I leave to Beijin, for the Olympics, but I will miss this beautiful part of the earth! Australia I LOVE YOU!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thank you Sydney!

Debrief of Sydney? Beautiful people, landscapes, positive energy, international city that gave me a Wonderful feeling in WYD 2008 of belonging to something much greater that us, with an experience of God!

Lessons Learned?
DO's:

* Come in Summer (Nov-May) and enjoy Bondi and Manly beaches (cool as Ausie´s chardonay);
* Buy a pre-paid SIM card to use your mobile locally with the friends you meet;
* Have See food & Prawns (shrimp) at the Fish market;
* Dine & Wine with friends by the Harbor Bridge (
discounts from mon-thu);
* Sauveur Victoria´s Cabernet + Merlot wine with seafood pasta;
* Stay close to train stations (they get you everywhere);
* Lunch downtown @ mall food courts and shop for souvineers on the streets there (very inexpensive);
* View of the Sydney Bay for
free on Buena Vista Café Bar (at Supreme Court building downtown);
* Try last minute student rush tickets to the Opera House for over 70% discounts;
* VISIT THE AQUARIUM or THE ZOO.

DONT'S:
* Come in Winter (June to August), too cool for us Brasilians to hang out at the beach in Sydney (= to Porto Alegre-Brasil).

After all the wonderful Welcome received in WYD 2008 (displayed even in the sky) it is time to leave Sydney! I´m already in Cairns, but can´t forget to thank all the special people that made these past days so joyful.To avoid placing a long list, see some pictures of whom are some of these special people & moments.

Thank you all with all my heart !!
(you know why and for what :-> )


Welcome in Sydney´s sky
for WYD 2008 pilgrims


Ausie Pizza & Wine with Brazil Group & the Mort & DiGioia
(my homestay family)

And Laura - The best english Hostes in Sydney, that with her friend helped us keep warm with 6 gas heaters by the Harbor bar

Brasil´s Bishop for the Youth

The Koala hug


All are 1!

THE ULTIMATE TRUTH

The Vigil with the Pope @ Radwick

Sunday mass with the Pope @ Radwick

Finding Nemo with the Junior Morts :-

Nemo´s friends

Loads of Nemo´s friends @ the Syney Aquarium!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Engagement by the Pope

Going to WYD 2005 in Cologne-Germany ~ us$ 2000
Going to WYD 2008 in Sydney-Australia ~ us$ 3000

Seeing my Brasilian friends Diego & Fabi meet in WYD 2005 and get
engaged in WYD 2008 = PRICELESS!!!

For the WYD 2008 speeches and program see site below:

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/travels/2008/index_australia_en.htm

More of my pictures taken on Sydney WYD 2008 please see my Flickr link below:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mariosworld/sets/72157606246207487/

Monday, July 21, 2008

Aboriginal music

The instrument below is a Diggeridoo: one of the oldest musical instruments in man history.
Check out how modern music sounds like with this aboriginal player at the Sydney Harbour.
video

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Video Sydney WYD 2008

Message from the Papa Ratzi :-)

video

Procession towards Randwick's Vigil

Today we start heading to the place where half a million young people
will go for a Vigil and tomorow's Sunday mass with the Pope.

Who will we meet? ONLY GOD KNOWS!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Help save the World" says the Pope

Papal arrival in Sydney's World Youth Day 2008 brings a crowd of over
200.000 pilgrims from all over the globe to have "Emmanuel" and
receive the power of the Holy Spirit.

The message of our Holy father in today's opening session is simple
yet powerfull, reminding how the future is ours therefore we should
help overcome the huge threats for mankind's existence, from resources
burn-out to social desagregation.

I know there is hope and I felt here that thousands like me will do
their best toguether to make the difference.

On Benedict XVI exit I took the picture bellow, and now we know: the
Pope is with us once more! :-)

Sydney's skyline

As Bahias de Guanabara e Sydney tem algo em comum: a beleza da
interacao do homem com a natureza.

A vista da foto eh tirada do Buena Vista club no predio do tribunal
federal Australiano (local proibido acessar com cameras, porem nao
tive como nao usar o celular)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tem coisas que nem a Philco faz para vc...

Cheguei na Australia no lancamento mundial do Iphone 3g e veja soh que
anuncio mais encontto enquanto o busco.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Melbourne: Family is Family..........Worldwide :->


Something you feel when you travel alone is homesick. That is if you don´t meet with family.
For me Melbourne is a BIG Milestone on this trip, I MET MY AUSTRALIAN (Aussie) FAMILY for the 1st time!!

Uncle Gordon (son of my Grandmother´s brother John, so we are cousins on 2nd degree, but I find Uncle an appropriate term since he´s from my dad´s generation) is a very cool dude. Has his own business going and also works as a DJ. And he also finds time to grow his own crop and makes his own dried tomatoes in his little backyard farm ;->

Aunt Janette is the sweetest Aussie aunt you could expect. We went shopping in the Victoria Market, and she showed my Uncle Gordon´s favorite eastern European store (the Hungarian blood in us have their say). We saw the most amazing size and varieties of seafood, and wine tasting and shopping of the Australian specialties was also lovely.

And their son Jesse is a Cricket star.
Girls watch out this guy is something else!




















More Pictures on Melbourne on my Flickr set site below: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mariosworld/sets/72157606200680012

Friday, July 11, 2008

July 10th 2008, the day that didn't exist



Travelling down under can be puzzling.
I boarded in Chile July 9th 11pm local time, had 26hs total transit* BUT arrived to Melbourne on July 11th 12pm local time.

WHERE WAS JULY 10th ?
Vanished into thin air (literally).

*with an extended 5 hour pit-stop in Auckland - New Zeland

4 Lessons learned so far:

i) Travel light (your back deserves it)
ii) Change your watch & eating /sleeping habits, as you board, to the final destination timezone (shortens jet leg impact)
iii) Drink lots of liquid and no Alcohol
on the plane trip (keeps you from dehydration)
iv) Keep your things in your bag when not in use (I lost my braces during breakfast)


But so far, so good :>

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Viva la Independencia...

Y el asado Argentino!
Great time celebrating Argentinas Independence eve with Tomas, Carla and the Lanzillottas. Nothing like delicious beef, nice wine, good dessert and Great Company! Thank you To+

We are 1!

Con una rubia nel avion....


...directo a Buenos Aires ;->

Travelling always brings toguether great people. Today I was starting my 4 month world tour and Jacinta, my Argentinian friend I met in the plane was ending hers that took 2 months. We took this photo on the flight here, that came out really good (we can tell the photo is from a pro, seeing she´s a Photographer and an artist).

We had a great talk about travelling and life in general, and she told me about a good site for contacts, called www.couchsurfing.com

I will look into it on the trip to find homestays. Tomorrow is Independence day here in Argentina and I have to go out now for a Barbacue with friends. Will write some more soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

2008 World Tour = 16 stops in 4 months

I´ve decided to write in English to keep this Blog as universal as possible, seeing it will be read by my friends in Brasil (which most understand English) and around the globe.

My trip starts tomorrow, with a 1 day stop in Buenos Aires where I meet my good friend Tomás from www.lamartina.com and have a nice Argentinian "Merlot".

From there I fly to Australia, with a Pit Stop in New Zeland. In Ausieland I´ll spend 3 weeks:
1 week with family in Melbourne
1 week with the Pope Benedict XVI AND 250.000 young people in Sydney in www.wyd2008.org
1 week diving in the great barrier reef in Cairns.

From there I go to:
Beijin for the Olympics,
Xangai for visiting friends,
Tokyo for business fair,
Seoul for visiting friends,
Hong Kong for another business fair,
Bangkok for fun,
Mumbay to visit a good old Friend,
Dubai for prospecting businesses,
London to visit relatives

and finally to Italy where I start my Masters in Economy of Sharing, a Brazilian innovation on this field. The masters will take place in Florence @ www.iu-sophia.org

Flying to Melbourne is not an easy thing. Just to grasp issue, the the flight
from Buenos Aires there will take over 20 hours (you could go from Sao
Paulo to Europe and back on this time-frame).

To avoid getting sick with thrombosis (and bored to death) my mum gave me a list of exercises
her Lian Gong teacher has thought her.
For those traveling a long way (or just working 12hs a day on a Notebook) I decided to share this video with those exercises. Hope you find it usefull ;->
video