Sunday, April 23, 2006
At last! Learning how to kitesurf:
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Fact of the Month:
An albatros can sleep while it flies. It apparently dozes while cruising at 25 mph.
Monday, April 03, 2006
The Wiz around OZ
Australia, hmm... speechless; that's how I felt. What an amazing country.
Our adventure started off in Perth for four days. Then on to Sydney to pick up our campervan in which we would drive 3000 km up along the east coast to Cairns. From there we flew to Ayers rock (Uluru) to pick up our flight back to Perth & onwards to Dubai. Phew! What a journey! So much to see and not enough time.
Perth was our favorite, a busy city yet you can escape anytime to the beach, a forest park and even beautiful islands. Perth is a very down to earth, relaxed town. People living and working there look like they're on vacation. We visited an aquarium which has a tunnel . You can actually feel like you are swimming with the sharks.
Rottnest island, just off the coast of Perth. With only bikes allowed you can imagine the slow pace of life which suits the Quokkas just fine (furry little lazy animals). Even the sting rays are friendly here.
Sydney was spectacular but too busy for my taste. I had to stay focused so no one would step on my toes! Still, everyone would love the luxurious houses on the harbour!
We admired United Buddy Bears who are travelling around the world to promote peace on behalf of the children of the world, 124 of them in all from various countries!
Aboriginals playing the didgeridoo at Sydney Ferry Terminal...
Driving 'Apollo' (campervan) was an adventure itself. We shared the highways and Michael did the busy towns. It's a fair size with 2 double beds, TV & DVD, microwave, air conditioning and a shower! Its even bigger than most hotel rooms in London! The best thing with a Campervan is you invariably stay right on the beach..
We visited most towns along the east coast as we went along, stopping at those we fell for. Nambucca Heads is one such venue. You should see the pier! All the rocks are painted by people who passed through this marvellous town.
Attention all Irish mothers:you've some competition with the book shop internet cafe; their Irish breakfast is unbeatable.
Another place to mention is Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The animals are everywhere, running free with the exception, of course, of the crocs... big fellows. The koalas proved to be omne of the world's cutest animals, as well as one of the most content. These guys actually sleep in their food and awake only to change positions or simply to reach for a nibble...
Byron Bay is one of my favorite places. It is a hippy heaven, a place full of music and colors. The most beautiful sunset and moonrise I have ever seen in my entire life. Just speechless. The surf was incredible as well, ocean swell turning into perfect tubes which seemed to break forever...
This is Surfer's Paradise, it is just wild and pure fun.
Noosa Heads: stunning landscape and crystalline waters.
Hervey Bay, another amazing place... Every day literally millions of fruit bats the size of hawks blacken the dusk sky as they awake from their days slumber and head out for a night's hunting. This causes no end of noise from the Lorikeet, small rainbow coloured parrots who fly like neurotic kamikazees. They're so loud that you can't have a conversation, much less a lie in!
Hevery Bay is also home to Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island & World Heritage listed; certainly one of the world"s great wonders. The island is 125 km long and more than 250m above the sea, though this sand heap is 1,250m above the bed rock at the ocean's floor on which it settled after its long drift all the way from Antartica.... Even more astounding than the sheer size of the Island is its carpet of rainforests and 200 fresh water lakes which dot the landscape with water as clear as glass. The lakes come in handy too, by the way, because the surrounding coast is teaming with man-eating sharks, there to feast on the migratory whales. Dolphins and turtles can often be seen.
Another interresting place is the Capricorn Caves. It's in land & we stopped there for an overnighter when I did not dare take a shower in the camp site. The wild life there was just fascinating yet overwhelming. You hear the animals in the bushes and swear they are trying to intimidate you. Well it worked! But in the day time we found this family of wild kangaroos.
We had to wait in Townsville for cyclone Larry to pass across the land and were so relieved to see its trailer cyclone Wati did not follow Larry to the coast. This is Innisfail, south of Cairns. No fatalities & yet the damage of that cyclone was devastating. What trees were left standing were stipped of leaves and even bark. Banana plantations were flattended like crop circles. Roof tops littered the battered sugar cane crops as we passed through the flooded countryside.
Arriving at Cairns safely, we decided to go diving.We are at the barrier reef after all! It is Michael's first dive ever.You will not believe it even if I said that the fish were bigger than both our heads combined together! This rather innocent looking batfish would devour a drumstick and spit back the bone...
This is a real clam. You can put you hand inside but it will not close all the way because of all the flesh. In other words, it is too fat to close so you can tickle it if you want but don't try it with the small ones!
In the hills just north of Cairns, we went to Barron Falls; spectacular.
We actually have over 500 pictures but thought that might be enough.