Archive for November, 2011

The Hell Driver

21/11/2011

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No not the film which allegedly made a star of Sean Connery but also featured such glowing stars as; Stanley Baker, Herbert Lom, Peggy Cummins, Patrick McGoohan, William Hartnell, Sid James, Jill Ireland, Alfie Bass, Gordon Jackson and David McCallum. The title came from the conditions they had to drive under and what happens to someome who tries to do something about it.
Sunday dawned sunny and I was dressed in shorts and flip-flops (or thongs as they are called here) before driving into Burnie to deliver JTO to church. Things had already got colder so I changed back into jeans and shoes in the van. I walked through the streets where workmen were putting up the christmas decorations, still in the, for me, incongruous sunshine. I walked down to the seafront and it started raining so I walked back under the awnings and so was protected from the rain. I bought a phone card so I could call my Mum as it was her birthday. By this time the skies had openned and it was raining like back home in Alsace, so much so it almost made me homesick and then I thought of the cold and the dark in Strasbourg now and I was cured. I had coffee in a bakery which was large and impersonal and the coffee lacked something and then headed off to meet JTO and, whilst waiting, watched the workmen attach the Christmas decorations to a light-fitting nearby where I was standing. One of those things you can watch and be enthralled by because you are waiting to do something else but which you wouldn’t give a second thought to in normal life. We met and went to make the birthday phone call but my failure to calculate the time difference correctly meant my mother had gone to bed so I chatted with my father for a while then agreed to ring their tomorrow, my later.
A quick fill up at the petrol station and we hit the road for Devonport, back where we had begun out Tasmanian adventure just two days earlier. Well not quite as we got off the highway a couple of stops early to head down the Mersey Main Road and track down my quarry, the ‘Big Apple’. I commented in my previous piece about the fascination for ‘big things’ in Australia and my pursuit of them on previous visits. After the big Penguin the day before it was the turn of the big apple. I apologise for the picture, although it may be familiar to people who have been following Ricky Gervais on Twitter. A florentine and an OK coffee later and we set off along the road to Sheffield, which has a number of murals painted around the town and it is famous for them. Next it was the turn off for Paradise where we both had our pictures taken with the road sign. You never know when it might come in handy to be able to say you’ve been to paradise and have proof of it, although I doubt the listeners will think of the one in Tasmania. This was on the road to Mole Creek and the Trowunna wildlife sanctuary and home of the third and last big thing in Tasmania a large Tasmanian Devil, of course. After having the picture you see taken we went in. As we paid our entry fee there was a commotion and it transpired a Quoll, before then I had not heard of one either, had got lose and it was bothering the devils.(See what I did there) The impression given was that the Quolls were nasty creatures just wanting to wind others up for no reason and the devils were OK. This was reinforced walking around where they seemed friendly and interested, although it could also have something to do with them associating the arrival of humans with the arrival of food. We also saw Wedge Tailed Eagles, Wombats, some less interesting birds and then JTO bought some feed and hand-fed some Kangaroos, which brought lots of them over to us. I didn’t do it and the massing of Kangaroo had me a bit spooked – imagine a Skippy version of the Birds taking revenge for my earlier eating of one of their kind as Spag Bol – so I, in best reporter fashion, made my excuses and withdrew from the scene. Whilst at the wildlife sanctuary it had rained one minute then the sun shone the next.
We then set off for the drive to Hobart and a caravan site there. I had planned what I thought was the most direct route going through the Central Plateau Conservation Area and alongside the Great Lake. JTO suffers from motion sickness so I thought there are less likely to be lots of turns alongside a lake to make this worse. OK so the road is not coloured in all the time in the map but that just means there are problems in Winter or some other insignificant matter like that, right?
On the way to the next major town with a turn-off, Deloraine, we stopped in Chudleigh at the Honey Farm where they had bees, including a hive in a glass case you could see in action, lots of bee produce and information about bees and the products we get from them, including the massively important role they play in fertalising crops, without which we’d be stuffed.
On the road to Deloraine I got stuck behind a Sunday driver going 80 kmh even when it was not the speed limit. After taking seperate routes at Deloraine I was pleased to be able to speed up on what seemed an excelent road. I almost missed my turning when the excelent road continued onwards on what was only a C road to a middling seeming place called Meander but I just managed to break and make the turn in time.
The road got narrower and became a straight two track road through woods which seemed a bit poor for what is the A5, a highway. After a while the road started to climb and the advised speed for the turns became 25 kph, something I had not experienced before. It was difficult to keep any speed going, how would I make Hobart in the timescale I set now?
The repeated tight turns were not doing anything for JTO’s motion sickness. The turns kept coming and we kept climbing. We had gone up between Devonport and Sheffield but nothing like this. More climbing and more turning. Now it had started to rain in showers too. In some instances, because of the altitude and the cold, the water was condensing in clouds from the water on the road in front of us.
Then relief, the turns stopped and we got above the top of the forrest. We were even able to stop at one point and take pictures of the woodland and rocks below. We were clearly not the only ones not expecting it to be so wet as we met someone leaving the lookout as we arrived who only had sandles on.
I started the van up again and headed on. It was not so rapid and there were not so many tight turns but we were still going up. The rain increased and I had to have the wipers on full. Then the rain turned to sleet. We got to a more open, less rocky part, with a lake on our right-hand side and the sleet turned to snow. The van was cold. I turned up the heating as much as I could in the van. Should I turn back I thought. Had this all been a ghastly mistake on my part? Better end the chance of danger now and turn back. My gallows humour prompted me to say something like “places I bring you to eh?” but my desire not to undermine morale in the van caused me to bite my tongue.
I drove on and the snow stopped. So did the road.
The reason for the break in the colour of the road on the map was that the uncoloured parts were unmetaled, or as they say here unsealed. It was not tarmac but a gravel road. We had joked about the lines from the Neil Young song “where the tarmac turns to sand” well here it was. There were some short metaled bits of road but just where there were some groups of habitation or a cattle grid. Mostbof it was gravel.
I drove on, largely down the middle of the road whose condition varied and we were bumped about from side to side, sometimes alongside the lake mindful of how easy at speed it would be to lose contol and direct the van into the lake. At the same time trying to keep the speed up to make Hobart, sometimes in the rain, sometimes in the sun. Then a new danger appeared, the wind came up. As we moved away from the lake the vegetation which had been ever present thinned out then disappeared and there was just the occasional tree with grass blowing in the wind. Then we were back next to the lake with the wind and I was still fighting the wind. Just as I thought we had reached the end of the plateau and were heading downwards we were back in a large exposed expanse and I was fighting the wind.  This lasted for more than half an hour. Plateau after pleateau. Fighting with the wind, fighting with the wind. The wind was to remain strong and I had to wrestle with it all the way to Hobart.
Slowly the longed for relief came. We descended. This brought its own problems of fighting the wind and trying to prevent the van getting so fast on steep parts of the descent that control was lost.
Descent, speed, wind, descent, speed, wind. Finally we came to Bothwell and a psychic barrier had been passed. From now on the road was metaled and the worst was behind us and it was still light. Would we get to Melton Mowbray whilst the light held? On the much improved road surface, and, despite still fighting the wind, the 20 kilometres went by relatively fast and, after leaving the builtup area, we turned onto the Midland Highway, the main north-south road on the island and the speed picked up, but there was still the ever-present fight with the strong wind.
We made it into Hobart and, with a few wrong turns, made the Treasure Island campsite we were headed for and were able to go out and eat at the awful Granada Tavern, do not go there if in Hobart it is awful. But we were just so hungry we wolfed down what they put in front of us, called my Mum to wish her a happy birthday, spoke to my brother then went to sleep.

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A day of contrasts

20/11/2011

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A day that began with us waking to the sound of rain drumming on the roof of the van ended with us walking in the sea in strong sunshine.
After getting up a shower in the facilities at Low Head caravan park was great and set the day up. The rain had sropped when I left the shower block and, after breakfast, it was time to leave Low Head. The weather was grey when we left George Town but when we got into the forrests outside the fog grew really thick. Two wine tastings, first at the Bay of Fires vineyard where they produce the award winning Arras sparkling wines before going to Pipers Brook vineyard, the tasting room of which is pictured, where we had a coffe in their cafe. What they have done very well here is to market the vineyards as part of a region, with explaination booklets and road signs for each vineyard branded as part of the route. Alsace promotes its wine route very well but could learn something from Tasmania over the signing of the vineyards, which are hard to miss if you are not from the area and driving around unfamiliar countryside.
After that we drove into Launceston where we had lunch at Cataract Gorge where there is a cableway you sit in and takes you over the gorge formed by the Tamar River, which has a bridge  over it and a park with a walk round it. I’m not sure if you can see the chairlift in the picture.
After lunch I drove to Penguin. A place named Penguin. After the Fairey Penguins which are very common around the area. There is something of a craze for large objects in Australia. You can get a book and a map showing the location of them around the country. To mark an anniversary a large penguin structure was constructed on the foreshore of the town. On our last visit together ten years ago we discovered these ‘big things’ and then, and on subsequent visits I’ve tried to visit as many of them as I can. So I got off the highway at Ulverston and drove along the coast to Penguin to take a picture of the one there, and be pictured with it, as you see.
After a stop for a coffee, to pick up some shopping, and watch the freight train go through the main street of the town we headed off for our destination, Burnie, where we found somewhere to park our van in a place called Cooee, I had to resist calling it out regularly, walked down to the sea and ended the day with our feet in the waters of the Bass Strait.

Spirit of Tasmania

19/11/2011

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We left our stuff in our cabin and headed off to the restaurant. We have been watching the television adaptation of the great book, ‘The Slap’, which is on at 20:30 so, it being not much after 18:30, we wanted serving early or late. We were told it would be fine if we sat down immediately which we did. Then, a large group were seated in our section after us and serving them meant we didn’t get our last course until after the progamme had started. We entreated them to serve us but nothing happened. When we did get served the waiter said there were other people waiting, as if that made it OK when we had been assured we would be served. I complained but I do not expect to hear again from Spirit of Tasmania, the ship we had such poor service upon. It was a shame as we have eaten on a number of ferries in the world and not been treated as poorly as on this one. It was also a shame as we were looking forwad to the trip, which the meal payed a key part in. It was also a shame as the food was good and we enjoyed eating it. The main part of the journey we spent asleep – part of the reason for going by boat, as well as the romance, being that you got the journey and hotel room in one.
The next morning we awoke with time to shower before getting our things together and disembarking. As we walked out a man asked me if I’d hired a camper-van and what my name was. It turned out the people we hired it from had delivered it to the ferry terminal which was great service, I’d thought we would have to go into Devonport to find them. So, after doing all the things you have to do when hiring a vehicle; have how it works explained to you and walk around agreeing where there are pre-existing dents and other problems, we climbed in and drove off.
Whilst the place we eventually went to for breakfast was not too far away it took me a while to find it. We drove back and forth along some roads until I found a sign for the shopping centre I had been told we could find a cafe in. I had mastered the art of reversing the vehicle by the time we stopped.
We decided to head to Exeter on the River Tamar from Devonport on the River Mersey. Place names here refer to the place people came here from or important people, there is no logic, in terms of similar place names and river names being used together, to them. I was even more happy when I crossed a river, I have never crossed the Rubicon before, so “alea iacta est” just had to be said and quoted on my facebook account. In Exeter we went to the Information Centre who were stupendously helpful, giving us a sheet with ideas of paces to go in the Tamar Valley. The first place, Exeter Bakery was not too far away and we had great coffee and bought pies for our evening meal. On the way to it we saw the sheep looking in the window of the butchers and the headline about a politician paying for underage sex. By now the rain was falling quite hard as we drove to Blackwall then Gravelly Beach, where we stopped at the Stoney Rise vineyard where we bought a couple of bottles, one of which was cold and allowed it to be drunk at the Koklas cafe in the same village, as it was bring your own. It was a mediteranian restaurant and the food was very good, particularly the baclava, but they were a bit over proud of their mayonaise which covered everything to the detriment, for me, of the Salmon and potatoes.
After lunch we went to the site of an old flour mill up the Supply River, which also had a cascade. Walking further up the river it was possible to follow the old mill race up to the weir. We met a Hungarian, who had been riding a mountain bike fitted with an engine and had been working casually in Tasmania, who told us about the masive Bass in the river and that he had also seen Platypus in it. I didn’t see either of them. We then drove.to a spot where we could see the Batman bridge before a bit further on stopping at another place you could see it, but mainly because of the Auld Kirk on the site. Built for the Presbyterians by convict and free labour, and having fallen into disuse at times during the following almost couple of centuries. The rain, which had been falling for most of the morning had eased off so we were able to explore the graveyard.
Next up a visit to another vineyard, Tamar Ridge wines, before returning to the West Tamar Highway at Beaconsfield. After fuelling-up we headed to Beauty Point. I do not know who the eye of the beholder was who named the place, but it was certainly in his eye he saw the beauty. A brief retracing our steps before crossing the Batman bridge and driving to George Town. This was the third place settled in Australia and we saw some of the buildings from the first settlement.
We had not decided where to spend the night and started to settle down in the car park at the centre of George Town. We had made heavy use of electical impliments and wanted to recharge them. This was the point at which I realised that not only did the microwave not work if the camper-van was not plugged into the mains but all the 240 volt services, including the plugs for recharging our devices. It was now pretty bleak with it being cold, the rain coming down pretty hard outside stuck in the middle of a car park in the middle of a shopping area where everything had closed down. After a bit of discussion it was agreed that we had to go to a proper site, in order to get all the facilities we needed. There had been some leery youths hanging about and a car park in the centre did not seem to be the best place to stop. It was also raining quite hard.
It was not just the devices, we could not heat up our pies otherwise also. A few miles out of George Town was Low Head where there was a camp site with charging facilities for camper-vans. They had space and in the rain I connected the line for the charge but still the microwave did not work and the devices did not charge. Fortunately I mentioned to the owner I was new to this and he came over and showed me the switch you needed to turn on to make the van charge. A further discussion was had about discharging the washing-up and shower water after which I was advised to let it out on a not too busy section of the highway.
After which excitements we settled down for the night, ate our very good pies, drank some of the wine from the vineyards, talked to  family then slept soundly. The rain having stopped before we went to sleep.

End of phase four

17/11/2011

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The Australia adventure has been seen as being in six different phases. Tonight I get on a boat to sail to Tasmania and I’m excited about getting on the boat and about exploring Tasmania. It has worked out that our time in the capital cities has been much more of the nature of downtime, relaxation. After the rush of doing things and seeing people in Sydney it was nice to take it easy in Adelaide and so, after the rush from site to sight on the Great Ocean Road tour, it has been nice taking it easy in Melbourne.
The first day was spent on the south bank of the Yarra, first off getting a coffee in the Southgate centre before walking a little then feeling like lunch. We stopped at Ponyfish Island a cafe/bar under the pedestrian footbridge connecting the south bank to the station. We were quite early and the place filled up and was quite clearly popular. The food was very good and sitting on the water there was a cooling breeze, which was welcome in the heat and sunshine. Later in the afternoon we walked past the conference and exhibition centre to a giant shopping centre containing outlet shops we had been shown on the trip into town at the end of the tour the day before. I wanted to get cheeper underwear to replace some that are getting rather elderly but the shop I wet to for them didn’t have any but, as is the way with these things, I did end up buying some new jeans at the Guess shop. Dinner that evening was free at the Backpackers we were staying at so, after pasta with a vegetarian sauce, we headed out looking for the bar where Manchester City fans gather to watch matches. My directions were dodgy and it turned out to be further than I wanted to go. It also meant I would not be able to get to it either on our return from Tasmania to see City play Napoli in their last away Champions League match. It had started raining so I sought shelter in a bar on Federation Square.
The next day was still sunny but there was a strong cool breeze so we spent the morning in the Immigration Museum where there was a very interesting display about the children sent from the UK on forced migration schemes. It was only last year that a formal apology was made by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the thousands of people sent to Australia, Canada and other countries. It is quite amazing that as recently as 1967 young people who were deemed as waifs or strays, people from orphanages, and earlier the Workhouse, even where families had just put them in temporarily because they could not cope, were sent off to populate, and work on, the land. We had lunch in a restaurant on Federation Square where we watched enthralled as a couple were directed through a small piece of theatre that was either an audition or a part of a larger piece that needed working on. Back to Southgate and dinner at Wagamama then back to the hos-tel as I’ve discovered it is pronounced in Australian English.
Today we were up for the cooked breakfast and checked out soon after but continued to use the facilities through the morning to keep in touch with the world. Coffee at Poneyfish Island in wonderful sunshine before lunch and then we collected our bags and headed to the tram to Port Melbourne, and I discover the stop is now called Beacon Cove, thankfully in time to get off before it heads back into Melbourne. A quick drink before check-in opens and we board the Spirit of Tasmania. Excited? You bet.

End of phase three

15/11/2011

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In the morning those who wanted to see the sunrise at the 12 Apostles got up early and headed off to see them. I chose to sleep on and then get up for a breakfast of fried eggs on toast and more toast. Having helped clear up and/or wash up for the previous two days I felt comfortable getting up and leaving the clearing up and washing-up to others.This did not include the two German princesses, who mainained their record of doing nothing to help with either meal preperation or clearing up.
We packed up the bus and headed off to our first visit of the day, a piece of ancient, temperate, rain-forrest at Melba Gully; the owner of the land had named it after the singer, Dame Nelly Melba. Thus the day began as it was to continue with the bus heading along windy and, comparitivly narrow, roads; which are not too bad if you are sitting at the front but are not good if you have ever had any motion sickness. I do not suffer from motion sickness but I was glad of the frequent stops which gave a break and a chance for the stomach to settle.
Walking through the rain-forrest you were immediately struck by how much colder it was than it had been. I also quickly noticed the giant ferns which grew so tall you were walking underneath them, something which added to the gloom and cold of the area. We walked up to a massive tree and some people had their picture taken with it. If we had gone the other way we would have come to a cascade, which I was more interested in seeing. The rain-forrest is also notable as the habitat of a carnivorous snail. We saw one and it just looked like a snail. I do not think it will be joining the collection of dangerous animals in Australia anytime soon.
We left the forrest and went to Yatzies cafe in Lavers Hill, which we were warned had nice pies but they were very expensive. I did not try the pies, but a fellow tour member who did said they were very nice. I had a coffee and something called a hedgehog, a slice a chocoalte containing broken biscuits. My mother used to make something similar but we called tiffin cake but, unlike hedgehog, it was not topped with dessicated coconut. I have never understood why the British version includes dried fruit as I do not think it adds anything.
We visited Apollo Bay and then Skenes Creek although I do not remember anything special about them.
I do remember our next port of call, Kennet River, as here we saw the Koalas and fed the birds which you can see pictured. For the Koalas life is good with them sleeping three-quarters of the time and eating the rest. Our guides had some bird feed which meant our group attracted the birds.
Then, after a very quick visit to Cape Pattern where I took the picture of the Great Ocean Road showing the twists and turns of the road, we then went to Carsbrook Falls, which you can also see, before we headed for Lorne and lunch.
We arrived in brilliant sunshime and in the time it took to park the bus it had started spitting and by the time we had got close to the beach the heavens had opened so we had our lunch in the cafe they were bought from. This allowed me to have a piece of Humingbird cake, which thankfully did not include the bird of the same name, and a coffe as well. Whilst I was having this some others from the group had a swim, but I did not have time to do so. Back in the bus in time for it to start raining again.
We headed along the coast to the Great Ocean Road Arch, pictured, which commemorated the ex-sericemen who had built the road, often with just a pick and a shovel, on their return from the First World War as a way of giving them meaningful employment. I hadn’t realised, or remembered, that the road had not always been funded by the State or National government, with large parts funded by public subscription. This surprised me in vew of the benefits it has brought to the communities along it.
We made a stop at Bells Beach, made famous by the film Point Break, where one of the Germans; who is on a round the World tour showed the problems of such a thing when she refused to get off the bus because, “it is just another beach and I’ve seen loads of beaches.” We then headed to Torquay, which was the place Rip Curl and Billabong, started out, and is part of what is called the ‘Surf Coast’. We had some time to look at the outlets selling the different surfing gear but I bought none of it. Then it was a straight road back to Melbourne whch after the twisty and turny coast road was most welcome.
On the bus before Melbourne the competition, which had been taking place throughout the trip, came to a climax and thanks to sterling efforts from two members of my team in bus basketball, which is probaby illegal – but I didn’t tell you we played it, meant we were the champions.
We entered the more urban environment of Melbourne which meant the bus got held up much more before we reached Flinders Street which was our drop off. With the good-byes the third phase of the holiday ended and the fourth – Melbourne began.
We took our cases to the hostel and checked-in before heading out for something to eat. Just around the corner the street had been closed and tables and chairs placed out in it from different restaurants. We chose an Italian from which you could smell good cooking. I had the pasa meal of the day which was OK apart from the pork being chewy. There was also a mix up over the wine when they did not have the wine we wanted, gave us another similar but only charged for a cheaper one (good) but then charged us for another bottle we did not have (bad); undoing all the good work of the waitress before. We returned to our room and it was not long before sleep overtook us.

Reaching the ocean

14/11/2011

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We left the backpackers and set off for a walk. It started through fields full of kangaroos then into woods where it was possible to see where the kangaroos had been, as under the trees was like a well mown lawn. As we started to get higher the evidence of kangaroos finished. We had been advised there was no need for water or anything like that as we would be out for about forty minutes but after a while walking it was agreed to go on to Boronia Peak so we ended up being out for a couple of hours and walking eight to ten kilometres up to the peak and back with more difficult terrain the closer yoy got to the top.
When we got back to the bottom we were meant to go to a cultural centre to learn about the area and the Aborinial myths of the area, but it was closed. We went to the cafe at the information centre attached but I had left my wallet behind as not necessary. I did manage to scrape together the money for a couple of coffees from my loose change which was good as we were parched. The bus was brought round which was good as I was knackered. We then had a couple of hours drive to the coast. It was good that we got a chance to get our feet in the water.
We stopped for lunch at Tower Reserve, a former volcano which had been cleared and farmed but had been returned to its original state and is now a nature reserve where we saw Koalas and had Emus try to behave as badly as the one who appeared with Rod Hull.
We left and headed to the ocean where we saw a number of sites that had been caused by errosion of the sandstone, like London Bridge, the Twelve Apostles etc.
We went to our accommodation for the night to drop off our stuff before going on to the pub, the Thirteenth Apostle, where we would eat. Some got back in the bus to see the sunset on the coast but it was so overcast there was no sunset to see. In fact whilst they were out the skies opened. We then played group building games before going to bed and sleeping soundly.

Fry me kangaroo down sport

13/11/2011

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Garlic and wallaby do blue? Up early yesterday to get the first tram into the centre of Adelaide. Unfortunately the Christmas Pageant (in early November?) meant we could not take the tram all the way and we had to go further to get to our bus. So,in the sunshine and warmth of 6:50 on a late Saturday morning we walked with our cases past people who had already set out their chairs along the route of the pageant to get thevfront two or three rows, with people kipping, children playing excitedly or chalking on the road and people queueing up at stalls for food and/or drink.
It was pleasing that whilst late we were not the last. When they arrived we set off and spent the morning driving through farm land with the occaisional stop for a toilet break, coffee (at a place called Keith, the middle name I do not use but I still had my picture taken with a sign there) before lunch at a place called Frances. Hot-dog with salad provided just the right mix of foods to keep us going through the afternoon.
During the journey people introduced themselves and it turned out there that out of our group of 11 people, eight were German, which, as regular readers will be aware, is something I am exremely comfortable with.
After more driving we came to Mount Arapiles, a sandstone outcrop amongst the farmland. Millions of years ago when the land had been under water it was an island before the land rose up and the seas withdrew. We walked up to near the top and had a fantastic view of the countryside around. Despite being sandstone it is not very crumbly and the sheer former cliffs make it ideal for climbers and there were a lot of them camped around.
From the top we could see the Grampians and that was where we went next. The route there was along dirt roads and the dust from other vehicles meant thatvwhen we arrived everything was covered in red dust. We reached an area called Halls Gap and there hadclearly been a party going on at the clubhouse next to a footy pitch surrounded by trees. The kareoke was still going on and people had clearly had a beer, or maybe a few more. On the footy pitch were a number of kangaroos so the bus emptied to take photos of them. I did not resist, as you can see.
We then climbed Chutauqua Peak and went to Clematis Falls, which were a bit disppointing, as though someone had had turned off the water. After a lot of walking and climbing people were reieved to go to the backpackers were we were to spend the night. A dinner of skippy bolognese was very welcome. People sat around chatting for a while but the exercise and fresh air soon had everyone in bed and sleeping soundly.

Palindrome

11/11/2011

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The last few days have been spent in a beachside suburb of Adelaide, Glenelg. One of three palindromic places, I am told, in Australia. From the beach, walking inland, you pass a memorial to the 150th anniversary of the settling of the place before coming upon Moseley Square which has bars, cafes and fast food outlets around a pedestrian square with tables and chairs under palm trees. The square is also the terminus of the tram which runs through Adelaide to the Entertainment Centre. The tram runs from the square along the main drag of Glenelg, Jetty Road, where there are all sorts of shops, retaurants, chemists, banks and other services like hairdressers and barbers.
I’ve had a restive few days staying at a motel, swimming, resting in the un and seeing some of the sights. I spent the palindromic day, 11/11/11, at the palindromic place and, having been told that remembrance day is not celebrated here – ANZAC Day being the more important rememberance I was pleased to read of a remembrance service locally. I went to Brighton School where the Australian Army formed an honour guard before the poem, ‘at the going down of the sun, they shall not grow old…’, the Australian anthem was played and then 102,000 poppies, one for every Australian serviceman killed, were released from a helicopter overhead. A simple but moving ceremony of remembrance which was different in being held in warm sunlight.
I have now left the palindromes behnd and have headed south on a journey to Melbourne which includes going along the Great Ocean Road, alongside the ocean, which was built by soldiers returning from the first World War and to provide employmemt for them.

Test post

11/11/2011

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I am trying to do this post from my TAB tablet whilst travelling in Australia. This post is just to see if and how it works and, if you’ve followed this far here is a picture for you.


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