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“There are trees on the coast stripped of bark, stark silver white, and without the bark one can see how the very wood is twisted so the dead tree seems to be like a corkscrew rooted in the earth. There are those who think that only people have emotions like pride, fear and joy, but those who know will tell you all things are alive, perhaps not in the same way we are alive, but each in its own way, as it should be, for we are not all the same. And though different from us in shape and lifespan, different in Time and Knowing, yet are trees alive. And rocks and water. And all know emotion.” Daughters of Copper Women by Anne Cameron

This book has been a great reminder of the importance of cherishing nature, remembering the hardships that natives have had to live through because of colonialism, and how much I respect indigenous people in the world. They have a good understanding of the world, earth, and cherish it more than most of us do. Why? Because it’s completely engraned in their culture to do so!

Warm thoughts,

Shane

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It's starts with C and ends with MassFriday was marked with much adventure and good times for me. I started the day by cruising out to downtown via a nice relaxing ferrie with a bit of sprinkle. It was beautiful to catch a different glimpse of the Sydney Opera House and Bridge while arriving at the Circular Quay boat dock.

I spent the afternoon checking out the National Museum of Art and discovering some pretty cool art and photography there. I was a little bit disappointed that I couldn’t go check out the aboriginal art (main reason why I went) because they were revamping that section. I guess I’ll have to come back later to check this out some more.

The highlight of the day was definitely the fantastic bike celebration known as Critical Mass, which is a celebration on the last Friday of every month [during favourable weather conditions] in most (if not all) major cities. Cyclists take to the streets in huge numbers and ride through like full traffic. There had to be at least 400+ cyclists riding on the road and the spirit was lively, friendly, and completely full of love. It lasted for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours approximately. I hate comparing things but I have to say that the spirit at this bike celebration was so much more free than what I experience in Toronto. People came with speakers mounted in their bike panniers or separate trailers, danced, smiled, and also brought kids along for the ride too. IT WAS SOOO GREAT! Whereas in Toronto I really felt like the spirit was very mellow and not so much a big party (people on the road kept asking us what we were doing).

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Whooaaa BIKES!On Monday I headed off to the Nunnery Bike Workshop to build a bicycle for me to use around Australia and right now around Sydney. Within minutes I had picked out a bike from there large selection of recycled, dumpstered, and donated bikes. The philosophy of this group is to provide bikes to anyone who wants one and based on the varying skills they’ll help you and provide you with a bike that requires more/less work. I found my baby from the pile to the left.

They run the cooperative out of the back of a yard in Sydney that has ample space for bike storage, repair, and a shed for tools. It’s a really great space and the people that run the entire show are super rad!

So for the next 6 hours I spent replacing brake wires, gear wires, tires, and all the rest for my new road bike. Props to Erica the coolest bike mechanic that I know for teaching me so much on the

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What kind of door is this?My flight from Calgary to Sydney was chalked full of some pretty interesting experiences. When I arrived in Hong Kong they had heat sensors on the people leaving the plane for some reason. It was cool to watch people walking through that for a little while. I have to admit that being on a plane for two days kinda puts that entire time into one big haze really (well for me at least).

When I arrived in Singapore I headed down to Little India to check out the sites, eat some amazing food (read: finally something vegan for me to eat), and friendly peeps too. The city is very bustling and a pretty interesting place to be. Then after touring the city on a free tour bus I returned back to the airport and jumped on a plane destined for Sydney, Australia (OH YAH BABY — yes I’m stoked to be here).

Dealing with Jet lag: When I flew to England I never really experience jet lag like I did coming to Australia. After touring around Singapore I arrived back to the airport feeling pretty good. Once I got back onto the plane it was around 8 PM and I was feeling pretty wasted and couldn’t entirely understand why until I looked at my watch and realized it was 4 AM Calgary time. At that point I pretty much passed out on the plane. The stewardess had to repeatedly awake me twice so that I could eat my two “vegan” meals (read: vegetables and fruit and no protein…yes I sent a complaint letter to the company what do you know me best for ;-). The next day my Aunty Arliss was bent on ensuring that I recover from my jet lag. So in the afternoon when I started to get tired she took me out for a walk and told me that I should stay awake until 8 PM (at least) that night. I figured I’d roll with this plan and honestly it worked really well! I felt awesome the next day and less tired the following night (YAAH).

Since I’ve arrived I’ve spent a bunch of time hanging around with my Aunt (mostly), hacky sackin with my cousin Andrew (he’s a rad cat), and touring around different parts of the city. Yesterday I went for a beautiful walk along Watsons Bay and Camp cove where I took a bunch of photos. It’s pretty nice to have left a country with snow on the ground to a country with splashing surf against high cliffs. It’s pretty beautiful. But for all those peeps out there that are starting to get extremely jealous I should note that I’ve been wearing a sweater the last few days because it’s still a cooler time of the year right now. Yes I know it’s at least not snowing and no I’m not complaining.

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