Australia – December 2000

2001-01-07

As you all know now X-mas and New Year is all over and we are well into the New Year.

December was very interesting month with an intensive course making up the major part of the month before I left Oz for Sweden the 18th of Dec.

The intensive was called ZL3211 Australian Tropical Herpetology. Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians.

The 8th of Dec we had a nice course called Snake Awareness Course which purpose was to promote increased awareness of North Queensland wildlife. A course designed to cater for all levels of interest from general information through to practical skills of handling wildlife. The course content will provide a framework for correct identification of venomous reptiles and the appropriate handling of such wildlife.

We had also a snake handling session for the purpose to practise the technique of catching the snakes if there is a need to remove them. The Carpet Python and the Common Tree Snake were the “practise animals”. If we caught then snakes safely we were allowed to continue to the Brown Tree Snake, which is a rear fanged, venomous but generally not dangerous snake. If we could catch that one with ease and felt safe we were allowed to continue to try to catch the front fanged, venomous and the potentially lethal Eastern Brown Snake.

I succeeded in catching them all with a safe manner and therefore did all the four steps. It was a real thrill of being in a circle with one of the worlds deadliest and potentially dangerous snakes!!

The 14th of Dec we went on a field trip to a DPI (Department of Primary Industry) Crocodile Farm just on outskirts of Townsville. Here they receive eggs from the industry and take care of Estuarine Crocodiles or Saltwater Crocodiles until they reach about 1.5m-2m in length before they are transported back to the industry to become bags, shoes and other very odd things. My personal view of this is that I don’t like farming animals for economic profit but, I rather see a crock farm for this purpose than people going out to shoot wild animals and through that killing of the wild population.

I was so interested in this process so I went back on my free time the day after and asked if I could do some volunteer work on the farm in February when I come back from Sweden. This was very appreciated by them and they welcomed me with open arms and told me to call him when I get back from Sweden so we could arrange a week to a week and a half on the farm. I will keep you all informed on how this will evolve and I will be posting some cool crock pictures too…

I will tell you all about this in February so keep coming back to my site and I promise news and cool stories…

I spend my X-mas in Sälen in the north of Sweden, skiing and snowboarding!!

HEAPS of fun, there was not too much snow though but there was enough for skiing in some of the pists, and during the week they opened more and more so the skiing was alright, but could have been better if there would had been another meter of snow or so.

I tried snowboarding for the first time the last day before we went home. It was heaps and heaps of fun! It was VERY tiring though! My lights were totally out at seven o’clock!!

I had an instructor the first hour and he said over and over again how surprised and glad he was over my quick learning! He thought it was so much more fun if the students learned quickly than students that just lay in the snow wincing over how hard it was…

The day after I could barely move of the pain my muscles had from over-use… but I like that feeling because then you feel that you have done some work…

That was my last chance of training before Canada and I feel safe with regards to the skiing and now I have at least tried Snowboarding…

That’s about what happened during the last month of 2000.

Talk to you all in the new year and I hope you all come back for a sneak look in February when I am going to tell you all about my Crock farm work.

Till then buds!

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