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Archive for the ‘adventure’ Category

The house in the early morning golden light.

The house in the early morning golden light.

Jason’s Out Back Getaway House.

Sun peeping up on the other side of house.

Sun peeping up on the other side of house.

 Out in the country, in Aussie referred to as the bush or outback, I see and experience a feeling of boiphilia, an affinity with the natural world. Some would say the outback is desolate and ugly.

The children decorate the walls with love.

The children decorate the walls with love.

 If you are not observant, hurrying, wanting to be someplace else you never notice the wonder of nature. Amazing things never experienced in the city. Different to what you can find in the lush green rain forests of the coastal areas and highlands of this vast island continent of Australia.

Feral goat on track to water hole.

Feral goat on track to water hole.

 It is an 800 km/500 miles from the city of Brisbane to the town of Cunnamulla via Toowoomba, Dalby, St George. Then another 80 km to my son’s opal lease at Koroit North West of Cunnamulla.

Geoff on the excavator this open cut mining.

Geoff on the excavator this open cut mining.

 Pauline and I meandered when we travelled these roads, taking little detours, stopping to investigate everything of interest. We only travelled between two to five hundred kilometers per day. We stayed a day or more in Toowoomba, it is famous for its flower festival, It took us several weeks to do the trip to Cunnamulla. Stopping for photos of sights along the way. For us it is always the journey not the destination.

Jason checking for geodes called 'nuts'

Jason checking for geodes called ‘nuts’

 But Pauline and I have no deadlines and obligations like Jason. We are retired and have time to explore and admire this amazing world. My son Jason was intent in getting to the opals ASAP. So it was only a few necessary fuel and toilet stops. We even ate on the move to cover ground and save time. It is in total about a 12 hr. drive as the last 80 km from Cunnamulla to Koroit is over a rough gravel road.

Michael searching hopefully.

Michael searching hopefully.

 Australia is a about the same area as USA with a much smaller population so road maintenance is governed by how often they are used. On property boundaries, instead of gates, there are narrow cattle stops, made of railway lines placed with a gap wider than a hoof. They are about a meter wide and only long enough for one vehicle. When the tires run over the rails the sudden loud rippling noise snaps everyone awake.

Cool off in the water hole.

Cool off in the water hole.

 Cattle and kangaroos randomly roaming the road created a hazard. Jason slowed down to a safer speed. One unlucky kangaroo could not be avoid, if Jason had swerved any harder, towing a trail loaded with two off road motorbikes, he would have lost control.

Dry mud paten.

Dry mud pattern

 

 My seat adjusted like a comfortable airline seat. If I had actually been on a plane the bumps would have been unnerving, like flying through a turbulent storm. In the van the bumps only disturbed a sound sleep.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

 As it was my son Jason, grandsons Geoff, Michael and myself thought the trip went well and it was a wonderful time together. Times shared in remote places out of the usual familiar surroundings make a family bond. The boys played their guitars under the stars. The stars twinkle like a billion diamonds with no competition from city lights, smog or damp sea air.

Jason and Michel examin broken discarded geodes.

Jason and Michel examine broken discarded geodes.

 It is a hard, tortured land of extremes, long spells of hot and dry with fine red dust that penetrates the smallest crevices. Then the tropical rains bucket down and the roads are a red clay bog. This is out back Aussie beyond the black stump. My photos and words will not convey how this place is, or felt to me. But in keeping with my by-line in the header ‘Try even if you fail but never fail to try.’

On opal but I still think they are beautiful.

No opal but I still think they are beautiful.

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Pauline hiking to Volcanic Valley.

Pauline hiking to Volcanic Valley.

Action Packed. 

Pauline up-wardly mobile.

Pauline upwardly mobile.

We are all moving on even if we are stationary, nothing stays the same.  I believe it is better to move, go with the flow rather than stagnate. To wear out is healthier than rusting out. Change is inevitable do not resist it. Pauline and I are always on the move there is never a dull moment and no time on our hands to dwell on life’s knocks and difficulties.

All down hill now.

All down hill now.

I also find there is not much time to blog as I said in my last post. Since then I have been enjoying getting back fit. Biking down to the beach for my morning dip in the ocean I passed a new gym so I called in and they were offering a five-day introductory deal that suited me fine. As in seven days we would be flying from the Gold Coast Queensland to Auckland N. Z.

Hot stuff.

Hot stuff.

Since we arrived in Aotearoa (The Maori name for New Zealand, meaning the land of the long white cloud.) we have been on the move. This is a beautiful country that keeps one wanting to discover what is over the next hill or around the next corner.  This has given me the motivation to push myself just that little bit further hiking in the bush to see more.  The exercise is good for Pauline too.

Thermal hot pool revival.

Thermal hot pool revival.

These photos will give you a sample of our adventure in Kiwi Country. No photos of the Kiwi bird as they are nocturnal and we are early to bed. I have not even had time to finish the books I downloaded onto the iPad. I will let you know if they were worth spending time reading, in my next post. Pauline will no doubt give you more details in her next post.

Mt Mangunui.

Mt Maunganui.

It is getting to be a habit to celebrate my birthday by doing the most scenic short walk I know.  Mt Maunganui  N.Z. My photos do not do it justice but they may prompt you to go see for yourself.  This has been one wonderful day it started out cloudy and I did the uphill slog then it turned out fine. Like a boy scout I was prepared for the worst and took a big umbrella. It came in handy as a walking stick over the rough bits. Talk about lucky if I fell in the water I would come up with a pocket full of fish.

 

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City life.

City life.

Understanding.

 Not wanting to be anywhere in a hurry.

Not wanting to be anywhere in a hurry.

Intent on completing an activity to get to the next experience, what you are engaged in becomes a bother. The modern utilitarian attitude disregards the pleasurable aspects of every day activity. On a journey the destination is focused on. Speeding along the highway the scenery flashes by in a blur. The danger on today’s roads is greater than from venomous snakes and spiders. People fear nature’s creatures because they spend little time with nature. Their time is consumed working to buy fast cars, power tools and home appliances to save time.

Their is no danger if the spider and I have no fear.

Their is no danger if the spider and I have no fear.

The full enjoyment of walking is missed when the object, is only, to get physically fit or hurrying to the walks end. Walking can be an all round benefit to the health of body and mind, with awareness. When walking be aware of your thoughts and surroundings, be alive to nature. You experience the scent on the air, the sights and sounds unimpaired by wanting some future experience. It is nice to earth-out, barefoot on a beach or walk on wet grass in in the morning sun.

The  sand the sky the ocean and me.

The sand the sky the ocean and me.

Intent only on completing an activity to get to the next experience you loose interest in what you are engaged in and you miss the essence of now. It is a bad habit wanting something else, not giving our attention to what we are engaged in. Paying attention, interested and taking a pride in our activity gives joy and satisfaction. Few mistakes are made when focused on doing a job properly. To do a thing properly without error saves precious time and gives satisfaction.

Full concentration in the now.

Full concentration in the now.

Affluent countries are spoilt and miss the simple joys in life. I have noticed people not so well off still relaxed and smiling, while people with all life’s needs appear tense and serious. The wealthy have too many choices; this makes decisions perplexing and stressful. The enormous amount of tempting things advertised, we are told buy now pay later, this offer will not last, and all the psychological tricks to get us to buy what we frequently do not need and often cannot afford. This fuels people’s greed and keeps them enslaved in the race of the humans. The focus should be on humanitarian ideals not on a race to acquire.

To want for nothing is to have it all.

To want for nothing is to have it all.

How can we fix the problems in the environment, when we are the problem? Nothing is made to last and things can no longer be repaired. Cars were once made to last and could be repaired, electric toasters, jugs and stove elements could be easily replaced. Machinery today needs special tools to dismantle them some are sealed so they cannot be fixed. Commerce is focused on profit not the environment. Where are our priorities? We are making work for ourselves by making things that do not last. Our politicians are concerned in creating employment keeping the production at a peak. To counter this only buy what is necessary, do not be wasteful. Buying and investing discriminately is everyone’s responsibility.

Friends are their only riches.

No sandy beach, friends are their only riches.

Finding pleasure in natures free gifts needs no special equipment. Appreciating and understanding are the best things in life. Things made by hand are crafts and there is pleasure in working with our hands. If time is money, as people say, a dish-washing machine does not save time. There is the cost of the machine and the power it uses and in time it needs replacing. The same applies to most labor saving machines. Work can be a pleasure or drudgery depending on your state of mind. It is subject to our attitude, I like to work with my hands and take pride in doing my best. I do not play golf; it would be hard work for me. Considering the cost of the equipment and land producing only grass seems a waste. I would have to change my attitude to become a golfer.

This is Bangkok's way of sweeping the street.

This is Bangkok’s way of sweeping the street.

Ignorance is not realizing that craving is the cause of` many of our problems. The purpose of our life, and our life long goal, surely is to improve our understanding and correct our failings. Contributing to the wellbeing of all is the right way to live.  Love life and life will respond with rewards. It is good to calm down, think and change our outlook this will change our life for the better.

Not just another brick in the wall.

Not just another brick in the wall.

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Road to Cygnet.

Road to Cygnet.

RAINBOW RIDE.

Pauline in action,

Pauline in action,

I know I am fortunate. Why am I so lucky or am I blessed? I honestly believe it is karma. Karma is a fact in this life, I have experience it in my life. Karma flowing from one life to the next is beyond my experience. I have no knowledge of past lives so I will remain an agnostic on that issue. All I know is when people appreciate their life and give thanks, fortune smiles on them.

We had to stop.

We had to stop.

Pauline and I picked up a hitch-hiker about twenty kilometres from Cygnet, Tasmania, on a scenic dirt road winding around Port Cygnet Bay. She had faith and was bubbling over with appreciation. “Thank you! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ! Bless you!” were her first words. “Pull up.” I said to Pauline. “I can’t stop on a bend. “She protested “There’s a spot!” I said getting excited. “Too narrow!” was her agitated reply. “Alright stop as soon as you can.” Pauline soon finds a place and stops, saying to our passenger “Hope you are not in a hurry.”

Sunset to Cygnet.

Sunset to Cygnet.

I get out Pauline follows me to an opening in the trees. We show our appreciation of the magnificent sun set, by taking photos. “Sorry about that but it is so beautiful we want to share it with our blogger friends.” Pauline says getting back behind the wheel. “Praise the Lord Jesus; it is the new circle of change, good named and Good Almighty’s ancient golden Holy Spirit.” Our passenger said then told us stories of her past, beaming with joy, radiant with smiles; she looked younger than her fifty-one years. “I am going to church no hurry, I don’t have to be there for three hours, would you like to come too?” She informs us adding an invitation.

Cygnet Hotel where we stayed.

Cygnet Hotel where we stayed.

“Wow!” Pauline and I chime in together as we come to the top of a hill.  We are greeted by a stunning view, capped by the suns dying embers, closing another outstanding day. We photograph the last glorious moments of the departing sun. “Praise the Lord.” We can only agree with her and praise the powers that be. Between praises and blessings given to the wonderful creator she kept us entertained with her life stories till we reached Cygnet. “Halilulla, thank you, thank you, you are such good people, thank you, yes bless you.” Our hitch-hiker departs giving us direction to the only hotel open in the town.

Charming stairway Cygnet Hotel.

Charming stairway Cygnet Hotel.

After a good pub meal, a good night’s sleep in old-fashioned comfort. I am up with the birds to explore. All the rooms are vacant and the doors are invitingly open. It is like stepping back in time.

Old time comfort.

Old time comfort.

 All the rooms have solid wood furniture and the decor is in keeping with a bygone age where pride was taken in craftsmanship. We venture out on the long veranda fenced in lacy wrought iron, like in New Orleans.

Pauline looking at rainbows.

Pauline looking at rainbows.

Here we are greeted by a rainbow arched across a low grey background of cloud. We eagerly head down stairs to see the well maintained old architecture in the one main street.

Pauline  our hitchhiker Church and the rainbow, I got everything.

Pauline our hitchhiker’s  Church and the rainbow, I got everything.

The people take pride in their beautiful town preserving the best of their heritage.

School House Café, delicious  breakfasts.

School House Café, delicious breakfasts.

After scrambled eggs in a quaint, owner operated café, we are off on our photo expedition.

Cobweb Designs an exceptional shop.

Cobweb Designs an exceptional shop.

One shop in particular is a treasure trove of local art and hand-crafts of exceptional beauty and quality. Sue, the proprietor, is a well-travelled, interesting lady. She shares a wealth of knowledge with us as we enjoy the wondrous array of diverse art and natural curios. This shop ranks among the best of its kind I have seen in all my travels.

Susan in her shop, Cobweb Designs.

Susan in her shop, Cobweb Designs.

We are told of a dirt road that is in good condition and far more scenic than the direct tar-seal road. We are given maps and full instructions on how to find all the interesting things that only a local would know of.

Rainbow Road I call this way out of Cygnet.

Rainbow Road I call this way out of Cygnet.

As we leave this beautifully maintained, picturesque little town the rainbow still persists. The sun keeps pushing through the occasional misty shower, this only add to the beauty that surprises us around each bend. Many gentle bends give pleasant encounters as we smile the day away.

Long way to Huonville from Cygnet.

Long way to Huonville from Cygnet.

If you love nature she will return your love. If you open your heart to people they will respond.

The rainbow persists.

The rainbow persists.

 It is true, laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone. Try to smile no matter how cloudy the sky, there is a rainbow somewhere. Do not look for the fabled pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Enjoy the rainbow you have now.

 

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Greeting another wonderful day.

Greeting another wonderful day.

Just Do It.

The heading for a previous post was, “Go before you go.” It is not a reminder to visit the toilet before you leave on a journey, although that is a good policy. I meant it as a reminder that life is like a candle in the wind. Any moment life’s journey could be cut short. So do not procrastinate, act now, go and carry out those ideas, dreams and plans without delay. Do not delay, this could be your only chance, strong and gusty winds are always a possibility.

On his way to greet the day.

On his way to greet the day.

To travel and experience is only one shallow aspect of this warning about inaction. There is a down to earth quote, buried in my jottings; I will dig up for you. “If I have anything coming to me, now is the time to slip it to me, because I cannot read my tombstone when I am dead.” Never miss an opportunity to show your appreciation. Spend precious time with the ones you love. The people around you need to be told of your love and admiration.

A good way to start the day.

A good way to start the day.

Displayed on a T-shirt were these words “Just do it.” A lot can be read into those words. We can intend to do all kinds of wonderful things and do nothing. It is wise to not say hurtful nasty things. But it is unwise not to pay complements when they are due and neglect to communicate kind thoughts. Better than kind words are kind actions, just doing that will make a difference in friendship and the world around us will improve. If enough people adopt this idea it is possible the world at large will become less turbulent and may become free of greed, hate and war.

Still doing it.

Still doing it.

I often write cryptic words, or words that are ambiguous. I wrote “Go before you go.” instead of “Go today don’t delay.” As a heading that would arouse curiosity I endeavor to attract many followers. Not to make money or to gain fame as an ego trip for me. I want to try and share some of the joy and contentment I have found. Things I have found that allow me to smile and appreciate the beauty of this fantastic, ever-changing world. Life is a magnificent ride if we know how to travel. I could find writing this blog hard work or as a challenging way to pass on some useful knowledge. I look on this blog as a pastime to convey some helpful tips to making life a joy.

They are just doing it too.

They are just doing it too.

The effect I make may be insignificant, but if everyone put a little more effort into being a better person the effect would be immense. The drip would soon fill the glass and our thrust for peace would be a reality. The irony of the effort I put into my writing is I am benefiting, growing and learning, keeping up, to some extent, with the fast changing technology of today. Good deeds have a boomerang effect, like karma both our good and bad actions come back. Try out my ideas, just do it, and see if it works. With practice I am sure it will be beneficial.

Life has its ups and downs.

Life has its ups and downs.

The most important person in your life is the person you are with right now. Pay them attention, show them you care. The most important thing you are doing is what you are doing this present moment. Do not ignore this opportunity give now the importance it deserves. It is these moments that make up your life. To hasten to a future occasion, often only to be disappointed, is to waste the experience of the activity you are engaged in. It is easy to get lost in the past or long for a coming event and not realize you are missing the importance of now. We rush through life wanting and longing for an unknown future experience. Stop and realize we are hastening to the same unavoidable unknown final outcome. Realize life is the appreciation of the opportunity you have to live to the best of your ability now.

A wave from Pauline.

A wave from Pauline.

I know nothing but what life’s knocks have taught me and what I have read and learnt from recognized authorities, following good roll-models, avoiding bad influences and choosing carefully what I read and watch on TV and the movies. That is how our character is built on the experiences we encounter. If you absorb negative rubbish you will suffer. If you make an effort to improve yourself in body and mind by following ethical, educated, wise and caring people you will learn and improve and find life a joy. Now you know how I do it, all you have to do is take my advice, just do it.

a refreshing way to start the day.

a refreshing way to start the day.

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A tipical Blue Healer Camp.

A typical Blue Healer Camp.

Blue Healer Trip 1996.

This is a vine caller the Strangler Fig.

This is a vine caller the Strangler Fig.

Strangler Fig see how they take over their host tree.

Back in 1996 my pommepal and I hired a Toyota camp-van in Darwin. Stocked it with canned food we would need so we could visit Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. It was Pauline’s first experience of this area and it had been 40 years since I had visited here. All had changed there was no need for my concern about provisions one could see almost all the highlights without getting off the tar-seal roads. We enjoyed all the wonders of these great National Parks. Pauline saw Australian animals in their natural environments at the wild life park at Litchfield.

Pauline, the Blue Healer and Bush turkies.

Pauline, the Blue Healer and Bush turkey.

When we got to Cairns Queensland we decided to travel less luxuriously and save money. We bought an old Mitsubitsu L300 van for $ 2,000. It was painted a powdery sky blue with patches of red lead paint, actually it was difficult to see where the red lead paint finished and the rust started. It was the same colour as the Aussie Blue cattle dog known as a ‘Blue Healer’. So I called the van the ‘Blue Healer’ and there was also a TV serial about the police called ‘The Blue Healer.’

The Banksia is tortured by hars conditions pluss fires.

The Banksia is tortured by harsh conditions and fires.

So we could sleep in the van we removed a seat and bought a sheet of five ply wood to place between the back seat and rest on the ledge behind the front seat. Then we visited the recycle shop and bought all our camping needs. The only thing we bought new was our gas bottle. Pauline could tell you the total cost I never bother about costs as long it is within my budget. It was well within our budget it will have paid for its self after the first month.

Banksia men fun and imagination.

Banksia men fun and imagination.

We gave the Blue Healer a real test on its first trip from Cairns, at sea level, up to the Atherton Table lands. We stayed at a newly opened backpackers called ‘On the Wallaby’ at Youngaburra. We mostly stayed at freedom camps, they are free but some have a limit on time you can stay. For a change we sometimes stayed at old hotels or backpacker hostels. We also did WWOOF ing and learned organic gardening as well as all the local knowledge. WWOOFing is the way to meet interesting people and learn many astonishing things, most are vegetarians again we learned new recipes.

Wonderful WWOOFing experiance at Murgon.

Wonderful WWOOFing experience at Murgon.

Murgon go there.

The old ’Blue Healer’ carried us over mountains and on bush tracks it forded streams and took that van where we never would have risked an expensive vehicle. It was small but Pauline and I had it set up to our liking and it was home, we loved our ‘Blue Healer’ it never failed us. We had an amazing trip on a meandering journey all the way to Sydney. In Sydney a warrant of fitness to sell a rusted out vehicle is not granted. So I reluctantly sold our ‘Blue Healer’ for parts. I like to think of that as recycling and that the parts are still traveling around.

Waiting for dinner, diary notes.

Waiting for dinner, diary notes.

When Pauline and I travel we like to meet people and see the things the locals enjoy. It is a learning adventure, not always easy, but we always have a bailout plan. We travel light and never keep pushing on beyond our resources in physical, stamina and finances. Always have your return ticket. You hear a lot of horror stories. Pauline and I have ventured way off the beaten tourist tracks and had no drastic problems. That is because people are usually a reflection of you and you need to deflect them. Do not dressed out-of-place or flaunt your wealth.

The dark tunnel to Emu Beach.

The dark tunnel to Emu Beach.

That may be why we had such a wonderful time in the ‘Blue Healer’ we had no worries about scratching the paint. We could have walked away no worries, other than hitching a lift, if it had failed us. A small van can fit in were the big vans have trouble and people were never envious of our great ‘Blue Healer.’ I have never enjoyed a vehicle more than the ‘Blue Healer’

Singing wind monument at Emu.

Singing wind monument at Emu.

Emu go there.

I am not sketching much since digital cameras took over. Back in 1996 photography was expensive so I always did a sort of sketch diary and this was good. It gave me an excuse to take a rest and better observe things. Sketching can be like meditation you are fully focused. Now we still have thousands of photos deteriorating in a cupboard and I have my trip sketches of old trips. Drawings well not fade as photos and our memory does. Actually it is not our memory but our recall. This post has triggered my recall.

Light House Byron Bay.

Light House Byron Bay.

Byron Bay go there.

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