Monday, 8 November 2010

It's only a flesh wound!

Tuesday 9th November 2010

MP3 track of the day: - Tie me kangaroo down sport - Rolf Harris

Weather: Hot, humid and cloudy

I was out of the hostel pretty early, as I knew my time in Sydney was limited. My plan was to do the important things first; number one being SydneyOpera House, number two being Sydney Harbor Bridge, number three being the Botanical Gardens and number four being taking a ferry across to Manly. I decided that for today I would concentrate on the top three as the Opera House, bridge and Botanical Gardens were close together.

First though I had to find a post office to send home my New Zealand guidebook (sob) which was found easily. I found the bloke, in the post office, a little rude as he tried to rush me through posting my parcel. I presumed it was because I was back in the city where time is short and the queues are long ... I miss the small towns. After this I popped up onto the main street to see the mono-rail runing by above my head. Sydney is a little like Vancouver in regards to its public transport; it seems Sydney town council couldn't decide which type of public transport to opt for and so it decided to have all the types it could think of.

I decided to take a couple of snaps of the urban area with the train as the centre piece. The photo was taken, but there was something wrong with my camera. I couldn't work out what it was; at first I thought it might have been the battery running flat, however after a change ,the problem remained. I couldn't really fiddle with my camera as, yet again, the streets were full of people and I'm still trying to get used to it after New Zealand. I decided to stick to my plan and head for the park where there would be benches and I could sit down and have a look at my camera.

Well basically the problem is that I have an option button, on the back of my camera, stuck down. The offending option button is the 'up' button on the little circular joy pad. I can still take photos but I can't look at them, on the camera, because as soon as I click on that menu, my camera thinks I am pressing the up button continually and so it just flicks through my photos at an alarming speed. It isn't a massive problem but I cannot, say, select timer (and put the camera on a tri-pod and take a photo of myself) as I cannot highlight the option without it moving off timer of it's own accord.

This was all very annoying; I reckon the problem occured when my hand luggage was in the luggage compartments ... it must have moved, maybe in the rough landing. I decided that I had to try and do something to fix my camera; I reluctantly headed back to my hostel to get my penknife to see if I could prise the button free. No suck luck as a) all the blades on my pen knife were too thick and 2) it's not the button that you press that is jammed, it's the bit it connects with inside the camera. This was all abit of a pain as all I could see is $ in getting it fixed. I wanted to get an idea as to how much it would cost to repair and so I went to reception to see if they could tell me where the closest camera repair shop was.

Luckily it was only two blocks away and so I headed out; thinking about it more, my next destination is Japan and trying to get it fixed there would be expensive and difficult due to the language barrier. Then again Nikon are a Japanese company so maybe it would be a better idea to wait.

I found a repair shop and went in to see the man who, after I explained the problem took in a deep breath and started with the word well (why do all people in the repair business do this?). The upshot was that he wanted $100 dollars and a week so that he could strip it down and have a look. Firstly I thought it was very expensive, secondly I thought that the solution was a little over the top but most importantly I'm leaving tomorrow evening and so I don't have a week. As soon as I mentioned that I was leaving tomorrow night he changed his evaluation and said that he could possibly fix it within that period of time. I didn't really trust him and so I decided to leave it. So my camera had taken a flesh wound, I hope this wasn't the start of things to come.

It had taken me an hour to investigate my camera issue and time wasn't on my side in Sydney; as I could still take photos I decided get back onto my original plan and head back to the Botanical Gardens where I should be able to get a good shot of the Opera House. On the way I past other beautiful buildings which I stopped to photograph (but I couldn't see how good the photo was).

I arrived at the Botanical Gardens but walked straight past them to the end of the peninsular to get a great view of the Opera House, with the harbor bridge in the background. I took loads of photos as I took the harbor path towards to the Opera House. On the way I saw thousands (well maybe a hundred ... but it felt like thousands) of Chinese tourists all getting in my way. It was particularly annoying as I had no prior warning, I hadn't seen their huge battle buses lining the streets before the park ... maybe they have started to camouflage them.

As I approached the Opera House I noticed that the front of it was cordoned off due to some structure being erected on there. I immediately recognised the Opera House stairs as the ones in a photo of Alex and Sarah's wedding (they got married in Sydney). Moving on I went towards the harbour bridge and the other side of the opera house.

The weather was humid and even though I had brought 1.5ltr of coke with me I was almost out and still thirsty. The other important factor was that it was dinner time and so I headed into town to get something to eat before returning to the harbor front. So Sydney Opera House seen and photographed - check, Sydney Harbor Bridge seen and photographed - check. Next was to head back to the Botanical Gardens, but before then I found a spot which over looked both the bridge and the opera house and I decided there and then that I would return at night to take a few more photos.

I didn't actually realized I was in the Botanical Gardens due to there being no signs saying 'you are entering the Botanical Gardens'. Instead, I saw loads of signs for the individual gardens themselves and so I just wandered around them. The gardens were beautiful and I loved just walking around, photographing and looking at all the different colours.

It was only 2:30pm however I had been on my feet for nearly six hours and, due to the humidity, I was pretty tired. As I had decided that I wanted to be at the harbor tonight I decided to return to the hostel via photographing the city centre. I got quite a few good photos of the city centre which is a mix of European and American design, American with it's tall buildings and European in the way it's roads are laid out.

Once back at the hostel I went through my photos (150 in all) before emailing my insurance company to see if they will pay for the camera repair (worth a try). I think I'm just going to chill for abit, possibly heading into town just for a wonder, before having an early tea and then heading to the waterfront tonight.

Tomorrow I shall take the Ferry to Mainly before getting my plane to Tokyo.

Toodle Pip

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