meeting the sea – hamster in australia

In my first blog, I talked about letting go of the script and expanding our virtual hamster balls. To achieve this it is very important that we break out of our rut, travel and see life beyond our circles. Nothing puts things into perspective better than “leaving”.

I have been lucky enough to expand my hamster ball to Australia. Landing from a high context, collectivist culture into a low context, individualistic culture certainly adds to your worldview. For me, it has been quite a breath of fresh air (literally). But this post isn’t a study in human behavior. This is a simple account of my first day in Australia and how I saw and felt the sea for the very first time.

I am currently visiting my brother in Sydney. We started the day with a loaded breakfast at this place called Pancakes on the Rocks. The first thing I noticed as we entered was big smiles, country music in the background and loud chatter. The classic weekend high. It must be contagious because I went all in and ordered these Australian sized chocolate and vanilla pancakes. These felt like heaven melting in my mouth.

I strongly believe in the healing capabilities of a long drive, provided that it’s set against nature with minimal traffic. So after stuffing ourselves, we embarked on this journey of karaoke singing and deep contemplation about life, relationships, politics and future goals.

After driving for two hours alongside the Royal National Park we made a stop at a viewpoint. And there it was – the sea. Calm yet glorious. Minding its own business but forcing you to pay attention to it. For some time I just stood there, taking in its enormity and the deep blue from above.

Royal National Park, Sea view, Sydney, AustraliaRoyal National Park, Sea View, Sydney, AustraliaRoyal National Park, Sea View, Sydney, Australia

That’s a whale, fraternizing with some seagulls.

Whale, Seagulls, Royal National Park, Sea View, Sydney, Australia

We made another stop at the Sea Cliff Bridge on the Grand Pacific Drive near Wollongong. By the time we reached there the sun had hidden behind the mountains. Here I could hear the water crashing against the rocks below us, sending puffs of foam in the air.

Sea Cliff Bridge, Grand Pacific Drive, Australia, Sea, Foam

Love locks. These were spread all along the pavement overviewing the sea. It’s amazing how something so simple becomes so beautiful when given a meaning.

Love Locks, Sea Cliff Bridge, Grand Pacific Drive, Sydney, AustraliaLove Locks, Sea Cliff Bridge, Grand Pacific Drive, Sydney, Australia

Time to get up close and personal with the sea so we made our final stop at the Austinmer Beach. A squeal of excitement escaped me. This is how I wanted to experience the sea for the first time; quiet, uncrowded, blue.

Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

I took off my shoes to feel the sand. Cold! Cold! Cold! I stepped closer to the water and let the wave hit me. It came, it went back, taking a little bit of sand from beneath my feet, giving the feeling that I had sunk a little bit.

(I look like a blob because that’s what happens when you underestimate the weather and don’t take your coat with you.)

Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

Frostbite at this point.

Cold Feet, Sand, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

I made some friends. This guy was extremely camera shy. Gave me a month’s worth of work out.

Seagull, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia


Seagull, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

Oh hello, I read about you in Enid Blyton’s adventure books. Thirsty little bugger.

Cockatoo, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

It was time to grab a bite. We decided to immerse in the iconic diner experience in this small place by the beach called Shells Diner. Classic rock and country music banged in the background and I spotted some AC/DC and Led Zepplin on the walls. My kind of place.

Shells Diner, Indoor, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

We ordered tea to beat the cold with some Barramundi fish and chips.

Tea, Shells Diner, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, AustraliaBarramundi,Shells Diner, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

As we devoured the delicious food and enjoyed the sunset I could hear the owner singing along to the music on top of his voice.

Sunset, Shells Diner, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

This guy was having the time of his life. Maybe having, even more fun than his customers. I have never seen a happier man at work. He came out of the back and introduced himself as Brad. He fit the diner’s persona perfectly, straight out of a classic rock band.

Shells Diner, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

Brad’s Angels.

Shells Diner, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

During a pleasant chat, he said that we’d be able to take amazing photos in a few moments. As we turned our attention to where he was pointing, we witnessed a gigantic full moon rising from the horizon – putting the sun to shame.

Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

The whole landscape became eerie. The calm sea became aggressive, the tide acted like a Spanish bull that has seen a red flag.

Shells Diner, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, AustraliaAustinmer Beach, Wollongong, AustraliaFull moon, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

As the great Adele says. “It was just like a movie, it was just like a song…”

Full moon, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia

And with this final shot, we said goodbye to the sea and this dream of a day.

Full moon, Austinmer Beach, Wollongong, Australia


  1. Beautifully drafted and crafted.Really high on the tide hamster😇…

    • The Hamster Ball

      High indeed 🙂

  2. I This one is right on spot… And I was waiting for it…. Rhythm of nature is placed on the paper with sweet music notes … Its fabulous … Fantastic …. Perfect… Lastly you sent me back to famous five world.. Keep going

    • The Hamster Ball

      Thank you for your support 🙂

  3. That blue color of the sea and the moon rising up from the horizon … *drooling*

    • The Hamster Ball

      drooling was involved indeed 😛

  4. Hamster I believe your words are more powerful than actual splendid beauty of the nature captured by your camera and photographic skills behind it.when have u become so fluent narrator of your inner self and happenings around u, I just didn’t know.Any how keep smiling and enjoy your trip as best as u can.lot of prayers.

    • The Hamster Ball

      Thank you. My words can’t beat the beauty of nature though :).

  5. It just feels like hamster is out of itz bowl…..;)…….the mesmerising beauty of nature n the chocolaty pancakes r really mouth watering….good work mate….keep it up

    • The Hamster Ball

      Cheers mate 😛

  6. This is so so well written. You should write more often. Looking forward to reading more of your work and going to Australia as you made me fall in love with a part of it. <3

    • The Hamster Ball

      Thank you <3

  7. Would love to visit Australia, your post reminded me of my love for the Australian beaches 🙂

    • The Hamster Ball

      Pack your bags as soon as you can 😀

  8. Sitting besides ocean is one of my favourite thing

    • The Hamster Ball

      Then visiting this place should be on your bucket list 😀

  9. This looks like an absolutely beautiful place! I am sure that the photos don’t do the true beauty justice.

    • The Hamster Ball

      They really don’t 🙂

  10. Amazing! I really like the love locks and completely agree with the power of long drives in nature.

    • The Hamster Ball

      Thank you 🙂 Stay tuned to read more from my trip to Australia.

  11. This is definitely on my list. This beach looks so dreamy and the food looks amazing!

    • The Hamster Ball

      Definitely worth visiting 🙂

  12. You describe your experiences so vividly. The photos are an added bonus. I must admit I’m a bit jealous I would love to do more traveling. I hope to do more traveling soon.

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