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Archive for the ‘Travel’ 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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Morning sunlight.

Morning sunlight.

Aotearoa.

Morning milking time.

Morning milking time.

 The spellcheck hasn’t heard of the Maori name for New Zealand. Actually it is the pakia name, Land of the Long White Cloud said in Maori. The spellcheck has put a red line under pakia too, it knows white man, Caucasian, honkie and gringo but it needs to learn Maori.

Pauline the fastest camera slinger in the west,

Pauline the fastest camera slinger in the west,

 Anyway Pauline and I are back in NZ that is why I have not been keeping in touch with the blogging family. We are catching up with our Kiwi family. I am having a jam packed, joyous time in the most wonderful little country in the world, Australia is the most wonderful big country.

Pauline shoots a couple of desperados.

Pauline shoots a couple of desperados.

 Pauline’s son needed us to mind the cat while he went on his honeymoon and I wanted to be on the right side of the Tasman Sea for the final of the world rugby cup, the Wallabies and The All Blacks. The Kiwis love their sport and are mad about the All Blacks.

A photographers paradise.

A photographers paradise.

 An advertising ploy was to put out a black milk bottle and a black Weetabix box featuring photos of The All Blacks team. No wonder they won with that kind of home support.

Interesting shapes on the Kaimais at Piroa on our way to Tauranga.

Interesting shapes on the Kaimais at Paeroa on our way to Tauranga.

We always get VIP treatment from our Kiwi family, so we are winners also. Laurence’s farm is better than a luxury holiday retreat. This weekend we are at Jackie and Greg’s place at Tauranga and the adjacent Mt Maunganui.

This tests me every time I visit, I think I am improving.

This tests me every time I visit, I think I am improving.

 Walking the Mount has become a traditional challenge for me. I love that walk it is a most spectacular scenic experience.

We have taken heaps of photos, done some drawing and it is one long sightseeing adventure. I have found a gym in Waiuku. I need their cross trainer to get my endorphin flowing, as my knees can’t hack the impact of running.

Another wonderful day.

Another wonderful day.

 The sun is shining and I have lots of good things to do before my holiday is over. See you later.

Check Pauline’s blog for the wedding and more on our Kiwi travels.

Pauline gets a few more tips on art from the locals.

Pauline gets a few more tips on art from the locals.

 

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A view of Sydney Harbour, CBD, bridge and all.

A view of Sydney Harbour, CBD, bridge and all.

On top of the world.

The Hawkesbury area North of Sydney.

The Hawkesbury area North of Sydney.

We departed the house we were minding in Canberra. Our flight plans did not coincide with our hosts. We left a day before they got back, it would have been nice to welcome them home but they would probably be tired and Peter was happy to mind Millie the dog and would drive us to the airport and pick up his daughter and family next day.

Wonder Woman at Work.

Wonder Woman at Work.

We were grateful for this and the enjoyable stay.

Flowering plants multiply flowers die.

Flowering plants multiply flowers die.

Pauline and I wanted to make it a warm welcome for their arrival home. Pauline Added the feminine touch to our tidy up. I know they will be happy just to be home with familiar things.

A statue at Canberra Air Port.

A statue at Canberra Air Port.

Our trip home went well only minor flight delays. That allowed me to take some photos at the airport, of sculptures, people and windows. I have plenty of photos for the Lingering Look at Windows, blog.

Best to be early.

Best to be early.

If I get organised, Pauline can tell you I just go with the flow. I am not saying I let Pauline do it all. What I am trying to say is I fit in with the inevitable changing my plans to suit prevailing conditions.

Tasteful wall decorations.

Tasteful wall decorations.

 This post is about the beauty of things that are a source of joy like flying home. Flying is always exciting providing we do not let it become stressful. Impatient to get there is a spoiler of any journey. If you have a delay there are lots of things to do.

Beautiful people.

Beautiful people to talk to.

You could walk and look at the unfamiliar surroundings. Walking is a good idea as you are going to be sitting while in flight. Observe the diverse range of people, note their dress, their moods and just watch all the activity.

Happy travellers.

Happy travellers.

 We love our home with its beautiful garden. There are no gardens liked it in our area. High fences and walls are the fashion and every inch packed with large expensive housing. If there is any garden at all it is low maintenance manicured and sterile. Nature is not welcome with chlorine in the pool instead of fish and water lilies.

Stop over at Sydney.

Stop over at Sydney.

If there is a fish pond it is not balanced naturally air pumps keep it oxygenated. Everything has to be pumped up artificially. Pauline and I have our beautiful oasis we have the best of both worlds at Burleigh.

Pauline in our back garden.

Pauline in our back garden.

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To see from a lookout you miss the intimate detail.

To see from a lookout you miss the intimate detail.

Chapman Drive Northhampton jc sx50 066_3000x4000 Chapman Drive Northhampton jc sx50 067_3000x4000

You have to look to see.

You cannot see how productive this land is from a car.

You cannot see how productive this land is from a car.

The renowned Western Australian wild flowers were at their best, after a wet season, three years ago on our last visit. Last week was the first significant rain they have had for two years in the area. The sky is now clear blue and the red dust is all caked and settled. Pauline is ready to roam the travel bugs are biting making her restless.

Slow up and see up close there is more than wild flowers.

Slow up and see up close there is more than wild flowers.

 There is a nice scenic drive from Geraldton, on the Chapman Valley Road, through the grain-growing area to Nabawa then on to the old town of Northampton. The brochure called it ‘The valley of natural charm.’ When the wild flowers are blooming, any city slicker would agree, even doing the legal speed limit of 110 km/hr., one cannot help but notice the colourful flowers.

A White Gum by the road.

A White Gum by the road.

There is a sign look-out, we take the rutted, washed out side track. Did we misinterpret that ‘look out’ sign? Pauline negotiates the rough and gets us safely to a plateau high above the road. It is a good view but quite a challenge to photograph.  The land has had a hard, hot and dry two years, we see tortured trees and acres of parched land, it is difficult to imagine waving wheat fields. Yet Geraldton is the second largest exporter of wheat in Australia.  Lupins and legume crops are also grown here.

Wouldn't this make a lovely painting.

Wouldn’t this make a lovely painting.

We stop to look at a little Anglican Church, it is closed, looks like it has not done much of the Lord’s business for a long time. Today we appreciate its beauty and the dedication the builders put into it. Man does some of his most wonderful works when religiously inspired and also some of his worst acts in the name of his religion.

Parked at the museum.

Parked at the museum.

 We find a nice place to park, in the shade of one of the old White Gums, at the Chapman Valley Museum, where the sign said open, but the doors were closed. We could see the old farm machinery, but I was more interested in the gum nuts. I love to see the trees in blossom, but nuts fascinate me. With their vast variety of shapes and patterns and the way they look silhouetted against the sky.

The shadow of the fence and the aged White Gums with the old Toyota parked, I thought made a good photo. How could I show their character and how these trees spoke to me of years of the weathers hard extremes endured to be shade for man and a home for a diverse range of creatures, birds and animals?

Let me show you natures inspiring abstract art

 and some creatures that find a home under the pealing bark.

Home and shelter to some a work of art to others.

Home and shelter to some a work of art to others.

 When the gum tree is injured it bleeds red sap that dries like red gem stones. I cannot show you, I can only point. You must look to see the wonders of nature. Slow down, the speed of modern life distracts us from much of natures gifts. You have to take the time to look, to see and not be distracted.

Time seems to pass quickly when you are interested. I removed a small piece of bark to see if anything was there. Surprise! A host of stink bugs scurried off. They were not easy to photo using macro, it did not matter if they were blurred, haste always blurs things, and the patterns and colour of the bark was so nice. I was having fun.

Then Pauline from the wagon said. “I am ready when you are.”  Once that may have excited me, but now it only roused me from my flirtation with Mother Nature.

Northampton has a lot of history with the lead mining and the building of the first public railway in WA. running from Northampton to Geraldton. The Church and convent are impressive buildings. I will leave them for Pauline’s blog. What interested me was the Family Store built in 1910 and still hardly changed from the stores I remember as child, thanks to the elderly couple running it.

Where is Mrs Wally?

Can you find Mrs Wally?

A room behind the store displayed the best collection of old sewing machines I have ever seen. We had only $1 in small change to put in the donation jar. In the store there was a wide array of merchandise on display. There was a sparkly coloured glass crystal necklace winking at me and asking me for $20. I did not need it, or want it, still I bought it. There are always times when a birthday is forgotten, it is handy to have some nice trinket on hand.

My mother had a 'Singer' like this.

My mother had a ‘Singer’ like this.

The owner said “You know this is not an antique, I bought it in Perth last week, do you still want it?” “No I do not want it, I am only buying it to see you smile and I would like to take your photo.”

The necklace and an ethical sales man.

The necklace and an ethical sales man.

 As the sun sank slowly in the west we arrived back home completing a round trip. To down load our photos and see how much of the day we have successfully captured.  Only a memory of some of what one can see if one looks.

He is not Love bug.

He is not a Love bug.

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Together.

A brand new day.

A brand new day.

Together.

When we are home this is it.

When we are home this is it.

I am blessed with another day to spend with you.

What wondrous things have you planned to do?

We have travelled far you and me.

Still there are lots more for us to see.

The world is large, we are small.

We live in hope, but can’t see it all.

In Korea, small children in vibrant Hanbok colours.

In Korea with children in their beautiful Hanbok  dress.

Appreciate our life is a candle in the breeze.

So enjoy life’s gifts, as the birds in the trees.

Appreciate taste, smell and hear,

All life’s free gifts that are here.

 An exotic fragrance drifts on the air.

We follow our noses to see what’s there.

Attracted by the sent of  Jasmine I come close up.

Attracted by the scent of Jasmine I come close up.

Hungry to find new foods to taste,

Culinary samples from every race.

Travel hunger carries us further on,

 Curiosity drives us far, to the beyond.

Beyond the comfort of our home,

That is the price when you roam.

At the end of the day Is the time to pray.

At the end of the day Is the time to pray.

Beyond the sunset into the night,

We dance to a song of heavenly delight.

Take a chance start with a dance,

 It could turn to love and romance.

In love with all life and one another,

What a wondrous world we discover.

Happier than a king on his throne,

Together facing life’s unknown,

Two people in love with life.

Two people in love with life.

Foot note   In 1982 Pauline and I met at a dance, one week before our birthdays.

Looking into a Bromeliad flower.

Looking into a Bromeliad.

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Both beauties.

Both beauties.

Lucky Jack.

The Captain and Cabin Boy.

The Captain and Cabin Boy.

I have often been called Happy Jack or Lucky Jack. I wonder is it because I am happy that I am lucky or am I lucky because I am happy and smile a lot? People ask, “Why are you always smiling?” “It is vanity the wrinkles are rearranged and I look better.” I joke. In fact I am advertising a good emotional state. People know I am friendly it is a win-win situation that promotes good.

Not this young, this is my grandson, but similar smile.

Not this young, this is my grandson, but similar smile.

I hitchhiked most of my way around the world in the sixties. I was young the world was mine; mankind was at the peak of extravagance, before thoughts of conservation, I had not realized there was a limit to the world’s resources. Success in thumbing a ride relies on your appearance, clean and tidy, not too big a bag and most important a smile. Choose an easy and safe place for your lift to pull-up and it is a good idea to display a sign showing where you going to.

 Happy jack smiles run in the family.

Happy jack smiles run in the family.

When the lifts are scarce and the sky is clouding over it is easy to forget to smile and instead get a worried look on your face. The driver has to make a snap decision and cannot decide what the desperate grim look means so does not take the risk. I learned a smile is the same in any language it says “I am happy, at ease and friendly.” People are attracted and respond positively to a smile.

Smiles are like boomerangs they return.

Smiles are like boomerangs they return.

I feel sorry for people who look for sympathy airing their troubles with a dismal gloomy face. Many people burdening others with their hard luck stories. What they do not realize is they are keeping their troubles alive, magnifying them and turning friends away. I feel admiration and compassion for a person that smiles when plagued by misfortune.

Smiles are beautiful in any language.

Smiles are beautiful in any language.

The way to improve your chances, not only in getting a free ride, is a sincere smile. By caring, being helpful and being friendly your chances of making new friends increases and it starts with a smile. When you increase your circle of friends you increase your good fortune. The more friends you have the more chance you have of hearing about opportunities that can benefit you. It is called networking in business circles in religious groups it would be fellowship and in all walks of life it is commonsense. Smiling, being helpful and friendly promotes happiness and luck.

Smiles love and peace a bit of reggae.

Smiles love and peace a bit of reggae.

An example, Pauline and I went to at a music venue we got there early. Sat at a table in a good position all available tables were soon taken. There were no empty tables but some unoccupied seats. Two seats were available at our table. Four people came in looking for a place. I smiled and said “There is room at this table you just need two more chairs.” After introductions we became friends, Terry belonged to a ukulele club and invited me along next time they met. I was looking for a ukulele club but none were advertised in the area. I went along and made more friends willing to pass on their knowledge. I am really lucky and the nicer I am to other people the luckier I get.

Be happy smile don't worry.

Be happy smile don’t worry.

The music was lively blues guitar; everyone was rocking or tapping their feet to the music. I let the music take me out on to the dance floor and did a solo uninhibited dance. I am not worried if people think I am a crazy old bloke or high on loco-weed. Musicians play better if they have an appreciative audience. I am the detonator that set others off dancing, it only takes one and others lose their self-consciousness. I do not need any stimulants other than the music, two beers is my limit. As for marijuana, one must be careful as it is sometimes mixed with other substances. You are pushing your luck if you try drugs to make you feel good. All that is needed is music a smile and good attitude.

Music, and loving smiles it is family trait.

Music, and loving smiles it is family trait.

Music is a good way to psyche you into a good mood. On a treadmill in a gym is a good cardiovascular exercise but dancing is also a great workout. I am no longer young and fit but I now realize the world is not mine to exploit. Simple pleasures are the best the higher you go the further you can fall. Sharing a meal with friends is one of the most enjoyable things you can do. Smile and be kind to others, if you are lucky the meal you share will not be your last.

Smiles make us one loving family.

Smiles make us one loving family.

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Those Autumn leaves.

Those Autumn leaves.

Why would anyone leave their home in tropical Queensland, to go to Tasmania in autumn, the beginning of winter? Well it gets you out of your comfort zone, we need challengers and on the Gold Coast it is golden sand not golden autumn leaves. A change could be the reason although everything changes. So the reason is Pauline my <pommepal.wordpress,com> wanted to go and when she asked me I gave her my usual answer, “What ever.” I like to cooperate and go with the flow. I have found things run smoother when we are obliging. Thinking along these lines I wrote this.  Hit the above link for photos and more of our adventures.

Logging in on big things.

Logging in on big things.

Life’s  Highway.

Cruising in the afternoon sun, all our work has been done.

We have both paid our dues, we have nothing to lose.

Where ever we hang our hat is home, this wonderful world is ours to roam.

To drift along with the flow, we have found is the best way to go.

Just like the birds in the trees, we are floating along with the breeze.

Smiling at everyone on the way, we make new friends every day.

We were up with the dawning, watching the sun rise this morning.

The days seem to rush past, how long can the blue skies last?

Rain must come you know, to make the flowers grow.

Rain will come and rain will go just comply go with the flow.

Rain makes the rivers run then a boat would be fun.

If the weather decides to storm, we will find some where cozy and warm.

Today we are out in the sun, meeting and greeting everyone.

As the sun sinks over the hill, I am feeling I have had my fill.

As the day finishes in a blaze of glory, I will leave behind my story.

We all have only this one life to live; it is not what you take but what you give.

If you push and shove and hurry, you only invite trouble and worry.

A helpful, kind and sharing human race would make the world a better place.

Make this your main aspiration, to be a real inspiration.

 

 

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