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AWESOME NEWS OF AWESOME! - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
The news is not that I have stopped overusing the word 'awesome'.

The news is this: Yanno how I've been warbling on about a research trip to the Jenolan Caves for the last few months? Only I've been hesitant to blow my $700 of Virgin Airline credit and I've been uncertain about budgetary concerns and taking time off work?

Well, everything is coming together. A while back, the lovely rhianimated, who lives near Jenolan, offered me crashspace for my stay. So, no accomodation costs: neat. Today I got an email announcing that some of us are flying down to Sydney for a gaming trade fair in late August. It's only a two-day trip, but here's the kicker: provided there is not a huge variance in the flight cost, I can request the return flight of my choice - in other words, work is giving us the option to extend our individual stays in Sydney into a holiday.

So... free accomodation AND free flights. My only costs would be food, return travel from Sydney to the Blue Mountains, and travel from Rhiannon's place to the Caves. It's starting to look like I'd be a bit of an idiot if I DIDN'T grasp this opportunity.

So here's what I'm going to do - pending checking the suitability of dates with Rhiannon, of course: When everyone else flies back home on Tuesday night, I'll be making my way to Rhiannon's place. Wednesday through Saturday I'll be spending every day out at the Jenolan Caves, doing tours, exploring the area on foot, photographing, asking questions and taking notes. (The tour guides are going to think I'm nuts and/or annoying.) Sunday I'll make my way back to Sydney City, maybe grab a coffee with former Disney coworker Tony, who I make a point of catching up with every time I'm in Sydney, and then fly back home.

My only worry is that Sunday flights will be considerably more expensive than Tuesday ones. If so, perhaps I can offer to make up the difference?

OMG. Jenolan. *cry* BEST... EVER... I'll have my personal debt paid off at tax time and my credit card paid off around the start of August, so I'll be able to save at least a few hundred dollars spending money for the trip... which is good because I hear some of those cave tours are costly. Especially the abseiling / rough / adventure caves, which OF COURSE I WILL BE DOING.

And it couldn't happen at a better time. My index-carded scene-by-scene breakdown will be just about finished after today. I finish work at 2.30 and Joe finishes at 5, so I'll be spending that chunk of time nestled in a coffee shop in Indooroo, transferring my point-form scene list in more detail onto the remaining cards. This way I can spend the two months between now and the research trip polishing my outline and looking for flaws and story problems, and researching the non-cave-related aspects of the story. After the Jenolan trip, newly filled with inspiration and the sights and smells of the caves, I can come home and begin my first draft.

4 have fought ~ fight the power!
raphstar From: raphstar Date: June 20th, 2008 08:39 am (UTC) (Link)
You are going to LOVE!!!! jenolan!!! When we went in October last year, they had a deal that your first cave trip was full price, but all others were 50% off. Ryan did the "plug hole" and highly recommends it. :) The tour guides are awesome. They looooooove what they do and they really like it when people ask them questions. The Lucas Cave they do performances in sometimes but the highlights imo are the river cave tour and the orient cave tour. If you can go on the Pool of Cerebus, do it! We missed out by one day and we are kicking ourselves for it. Also, temple of Baal tour is awesome to :) The sights are amazing, the smell is amazing and the little pocket of the world that is jenolan is amazing...

rhianimated From: rhianimated Date: June 21st, 2008 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Hiya Tania!

Late August sounds absolutely fine, if you don't mind the house being rather busy and me running off for college and whatnot! I'll look around for some info on buses that go to the caves; I know there are tourist buses that go there every day, and I think that might be the only mode of transport from Katoomba to the caves (about 60-70km), apart from the car! If I'm off on one of the days you're heading down there, I'll gladly drive us there for the day trip! :)
tania From: tania Date: June 22nd, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Woman, you are a legend! The long bus ride sounds nice, I love being on the move. :) Guess I'd better get cracking with organising this thing!
tania From: tania Date: June 23rd, 2008 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Work has given me the OK. It's looking like I'll be catching an afternoon / evening train from Sydney to Katoomba station on the Tuesday night. How far is your place from the train station? Would I be able to beg a lift or should I taxi?

Am still checking into daily buses to Jenolan, I notice that some combine the trip price with cave tours, which is handy. Oh my gosh, I have to decide which caves I want to see most... Those pamphlets you sent me will come in handy!
4 have fought ~ fight the power!