Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Austrailia 2006 Cairns

Trinity Links Resort in Cairns. Part of the World Mark network. Great place if you have a car. It's enough outside of the city that getting back and forth is a problem. Buses, taxis, etc. are absolutely needed.
Termite mounds. These things are all over the landscape. Hard as a rock and full of crawly white termites.
A strangler fig. A fig tree is a parasite. It climbs a tree and lives off of the host tree. When the host tree dies and falls, the fig wraps around the next tree and keeps going. It sends roots up and down, runners into surrounding trees and strangles them. This one is the biggest on the continent.
Had to go horseback riding at least once. Poor horse, it was sunburned and peeling.

The view from Tambourine Mountain. A bus trip not for the faint hearted. But a beautiful little town at the top, a winery and candy shop.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Australia 2006 - Cairns & GBR

Scenes from around Cairns. Parks and waterfalls.
The oldest turtle in captivity in Australia. Happy 100th birthday.
Boom netting. A sport Down Under. Toss a net over the back of the boat then hold on while you're being towed. If you get your balance right, you can stand up.

Diving the Great Barrier Reef.
A giant clam. And I do mean giant!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Australia 2006- Monarto Park

Fall foliage in Adelaide. Paths through the forest were colorful and crisp under foot.
My trip to Australia in 2006 was a little bit different. Lots of zoos, parks, animals, etc. Like these ring tailed kangeroos in Monarto Park.
And lions, lionesses. These were so neat, they'd follow the meat truck at dinner time. They knew who was carrying their steaks.

Giraffes. The park keepers put big limbs of their favorite trees on a post and the giraffes would all gather around, reaching up or standing on hind legs to get to the limbs, just like they would in the wild.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Various things of beauty Down Under

When the sun catches a cockatoo just right, you get some really great moments. Of course if this was film I would have shot about a thousand exposures to get this. Isn't digital wonderful?

Walking a beach at low tide. Because of the UV ratings, you have to cover up, especially skin that never sees the sun for any length of time.

Looking through the trees at the cliff faces.
Various bottle brushes. The plants in Australia are so unique.
Strawberries. There is a farm you can pick your own. And they were very sweet.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Road trips are always so interesting

Australia has beautiful and huge trees. Makes you want to stop and climb one doesn't it?

One of the most incredible things to see from a cold Alaskan point of view is a white beach. It's the middle of summer here, on a weekend: the beach is almost empty. Why? Can there be that many beaches that you can find one without crowds? Guess so.

The other thing that is a marvel from someone not used to Australian waters is to find a patrol boat near the beach, watching for sharks. Maybe that is one reason there aren't a lot of people in the water. There was even a helicopter in the air.

It's a koloa bear. They are like big fur lumps in the trees. When you're walking the trails you might get lucky to see one or maybe more. They sleep all day.

And sometimes you find a creepy crawly that you don't want around. Like a spider. This one had spun its web between the eves of the house, and the swimming pool. Beautiful creepy crawly.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Did you know Adelaide is in Egypt?

Last year the Adelaide Museum reopened their Egyptian exhibit. I was so happy to spend a couple hours wandering through it. I will get to Egypt one of these days.

The blue woman is Nut, a sky goddess.

One of the symbols that represented 'woman' was a cow. Hathor was a fertility goddess. The murals are so awesome.

Of course if you visit Adelaide wineries are around every corner. This is a pretty one. It's very easy to spend the day sampling wines and cheeses. Make sure you have a driver.

A couple hours outside of Adelaide is a nice park made up of a dam and lake. The water in the lake is the water resource for all the surrounding communities.

Check out the little dinosaurs! These lorikeets love the berries on a cedar tree.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Trails in and around Adelaide

A lot of the parks have trails that vary from easy day walks to vigorous multi-day excursions.

Some of the cliffs have great little cave like areas that give you a break from the sun and a place for your imagination to run wild on what was once there.

Stairs can lead up to steep overlooks and more cliffs.

A trail that once bordered a rushing river and lively waterfall. Now the water is almost gone due to the multi-year drought.
Mt. Lofty is the highest point in Adelaide. A great place to spend the day, over look the valleys and have a cappuccino or glass of wine.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Playing in and around Adelaide

There are some great hikes along the edges of Adelaide. This part of the landscape reminds me of the Southwestern states of the U.S. I kept thinking I'd find a cliff house tucked away in the overhangs. The river and waterfall that sculpted this area were almost dried up due to the extensive drought.

This area of tortured and blown down trees takes a little effort to traverse. Everything is still alive and green.

Of course hiking has to be inter-spaced with shopping. This great little lamp is just one of many found in a little shop in Hondorf.

One of the gardens on the edge of the city. This garden had great sprinklers hidden in the trails. They threw up great sprays of water and cooled the hundred degree temperatures.

Of course, after hiking and shopping, you have to lie in a pool and think about your day. Amazing how wonderful lemonade and vodka goes down after a hot day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Austrailia 2008 Down Under to Adelaide

In February 2008, I returned to Australia once again. This was my third trip to what has turned out to be my extended family and second home in so many ways. The following photos are just a sampling of some of the beauty 'Oz' has to offer. My brother in all ways but blood feeds quite a brood of wild cockatoos every morning. There is no way to sleep through all the racket and after awhile you must get up and watch the antics. Which means grabbing a camera and spending a long time shooting birds as they dance and swirl through the feeders.

The Adelaide Museum Polynesian exhibit. One of the most wonderful things about Adelaide is the museum, and the library, and the gardens. The list goes on and on.

This statue is dedicated to those who served in WWI, 1914-1918. It is very striking and I've yet to walk by it without a few tears. The middle of Adelaide is well worth the walking tour and taking the time to read all the plaques.

Once you leave the city there are many gardens and parks to explore. Some are more remote than others, requiring some 'bush wacking' to see the scenery.

For example, this cave. You won't find it on a map. You have to hike up a trail, climb up a rock face to find it. Once there, the silence of the forest is wonderful. If you're lucky you might see a koala bear along the way.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Last thoughts on Mexico

Since this is my last post about my trip to Cancun I thought I'd close with some photos of some of the different art found during the trip.

The arts are very important to the Mayans and the examples are everywhere.

From plaques on walls showing moon/sun/iguanas emblems. .....

.... to ceramic plates used for wall decorations

Murals of ancient legends telling stories of their history...

And swans made of towels in the resort.

Don't we clean up nice? Every now and again there are reasons to dress up and pretend to be ladies.

Enough of Mexico. On to the next adventure!