Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Back to the Rainforest - Box Forest Circuit.

Wednesday 25 January

Our summer weather this year has been very hot and humid. To date our walking has been local and starting very early, i.e. 5.30am.
This week we decided to see if the rainforest up at O'Reilly's, on Green Mountain was cooler.

The view when we arrived at Kamarun Lookout at 7.20am was breathtaking. Clear skies and not a hint of humidity.

The view NE.

Australia day was the following day, so our very early morning tea had an Aussie theme.
Anzac biscuits and lamingtons.

The view west.

The hike almost got off to a bad start when I slipped off a ledge, whilst taking a photo of our departure.

We all quickly agreed we had stayed away from the forest far too long. We had forgotten about the tall giants.

What a tenacious old man this tree is - Pink Barked Brush Box. Some of them [perhaps this one] in this area, have been radio carbon dated at 1500 years, the oldest giants on the Australian mainland.

Front view

Side view.

Back view and still living!

Upper view

We had forgotten the scrunching sound of forest litter as we walked and the variety of fungi and forest fruit.

Mossy rotting trees

The sound of birds and basking lizards.

Palms and falling trees.

The constantly changing light.

But best of all, for 1/3 of the hike] we had forgotten the wonderful sound of tumbling steams and cascading waterfalls.

Our rainforest trees tend to have small insignificant flowers. I found this bloom on the path and had to spend some time looking up, to establish which tree it had fallen from.

It is definitely the journey that counts. Not the distance - just 12 kms.

My husband and I celebrated Australia Day quietly, with a BBQ with friends.

Our 'tucker' must have been smelling pretty good, as we got some extra Aussie visitors.

We revelled in this hike so much, we are heading back again this week.

I would love to read your comment.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Mediteranean Cruise and other incidentals.

 Cruise - Friday 21st October  to Friday 28th October.

We departed from Barcelona at 7 pm.

Day 2 - Marseille

Cathedral of Marseille
Harbour and Basilica of Marseille
17th century Fort Saint Jean / Museum of European Civilisations.

Day 3 - wet Genoa

Ancient Roman Arch with Columbus gardens in the back ground.
Wonderful shops and an amazingly tiled footpath.
Monumental Gate, built 19th C, where one entrance to the city had been.
Harbour and lighthouse, dating back to 1300's.

Day 4 - Naples.
 We took a tour, south to Sorrento.

View of Naples from our boat.
View of Mt Vesuvius from our boat.
Sorrento beach [south of Naples] as seen from the clifftop, before we descended on a zigzag path.

Day 5 - Messina
Again we took a tour. Morning at Nt Etna. Afternoon at the hilltop town of Taorina.

Mt Etna was the highlight of the cruise for me. Its massive smoking crown, surrounded by vast fields of craters and lava flows was quite something to see.


Day 6 - Malta
I would love to return to Malta. Its soft caramel coloured, sandstone buildings against the blue sea were magnificent. Inland from the Port of Valletta, the old fortified city of Mdina was a magical town. Its sandstone buildings, narrow lanes, lack of vehicles and views across the plains was stunning.

Day 7 - Mallorca.
The boat moored at 9pm. Not long after we left on a 3 1/2 hour tour of the city of Palma and a flamenco dance exhibition. The show was at a ranch out in the country and contrary to our expectations, was spectacular. 
The cathedral in the night light was imposing, but no-one really wanted to explore down town at 12 pm. The ship used to visit Tunisia until the death of tourists on the beach there, hence the strange arrival time.

Setting off to travel, one has a fairly clear picture of the places to be visited. It is the unexpected sights, that increases ones overall enjoyment of the visit. For me, it was the sights I would never see here in Australia.

I always have to have a window seat. Suddenly the Nile River was below.

Donkey and carriage - Seville.

Firewood delivery - Trevelez, Andalusia.

The tastiest green olives I've ever had - Sorrento.

Dining in an outdoor restaurant with my football fanatic husband, who discovered ours was the only restaurant without a TV to watch. His head kept swivelling to see the different games. 

Elaborate street signs in all the cities.

Beautiful mosaics.

Mosaics, balconies, balustrades and hanging baskets - Granada

Knitted pot plant covers - Trevelez.

Pot plant sculpture - Cordoba.

Alleys and corridors, just begging one to investigate.

Sooooo many wonderful doorways.

Unusual window.

And the markets - inside and out!

Not what I was expecting to see in the Great Bazaar of Granada.

Movie action - Barcelona.

Coffee time is people watching time.

These people were carrying a banner - Association of Capi, Seville. Google didn't help me out. 
The remaining 3 shots are of an unusual wedding and procession.

A gallant suitor.
This was not staged. I just happened upon it.

Lisbon light poles - Columbus's boat.

Intricate street lamp.

Decorative garden wall - Seville.

Unusual pruned tree - Madrid.

Osborne Bull. - initially an advertising gimmick, but now seen through most of Spain.

This bull was on our Andalusian hike. 
We still haven't been able to have it translated clearly, but we think it means - 'Bulls in the area'.

The number of scooters on the roads is mind boggling, particularly Barcelona.

Impressive toilet vacilities - Lisbon. 
We quite happily paid 1 euro. The display on the back wall is made from coloured toilet paper rolls.

Marilyn Monroe waving to us in Barcelona.

Traditional Portuguese rooster statues. 
I've just discovered we should have seen the one on the left at night. [1600 LED lights] Also, it is off to China for Chinese New Year.

Beautiful letter box - Barcelona.

The local bakery.

I watched this playground scene for quite some time, as we sat drinking coffee in a cafe at the base of the Tibidabo, clog rail, Barcelona. The playground was on top of a distant high building. The child in the red stripes had been sitting forlornly by him / herself for quite some time. Then the little girl joined him without fuss. I was delighted to see both of them join in the games, before we left.

So lovely to see little girls still being little girls.

Portuguese flag atop the Castle Jorge.

And so finally my saga of our incredible Spanish holiday comes to an end. It has been marvellous to browse through all my photos and research details, so quickly forgotten. Thank you for all your lovely comments on my posts. They are greatly appreciated.
Now it is time to get back into the Aussie bush, even with our high summer temperatures and humidity.

I would love to read your comment.