Irregular Posts; 7th Continent

>>>Wednesday February 26 – Melbourne Airport from Meg Holmes Sitting at the Melbourne airport waiting to check-in for a very late night flight. AirAsia doesn’t open for check-in until just 3 hours before departure. Yes, AirAsia is an airline! This morning was cloudy and showery so we decided to spend the day in the city rather than venture into the Yarra valley to explore wine country. We checked out of the hostel, but paid 7 dollars to leave our car in their carpark for the day. We made our way to the State Library where a Free Walking Tour started at 10:30am. About 36 people of all ages showed up, which made guide Charlotte, very happy. Charlotte led us on a very informative 3 hour walk. She filled in lots of local history and commentary and provided lots of suggestions of things to do and places to eat. We retraced a lot of yesterday’s meanderings, but Charlotte added better understanding for what we saw. We learned about Ned Kelly, the founders of Melbourne, Batman, and more. Batman was not the comic strip hero but one of the founders of the city. Also learned about William Buckley- a convict everyone thought was dead, but who actually escaped to live for 30 years with the aboriginal peoples. After the tour, we took a tapas break at Movida. Pricey tapas but really good – morcilla croqueta with apple; quail eggs with lemon crumbs; fig paste wrapped around goat cheese, and sardines with pickled vegetables. Revived, we crossed over to the art galleries at Federation Square. Then we hopped the city trolley back...

Irregular Posts; Great Ocean Road and Melbourne

Tuesday PM Feb 25, 2014 G’Day,      “12 Apostles? You saw The Twelve Apostles?”      “Saw them twice; once as silhouettes after 6 PM and once in the early morning sun before 9A.”  When these sea stacks were discovered by explorers, they were called “Pig and Piglets”.  Later they were given a more distinguished name.  The coast where they are found runs east-west.  So the good sun light is late afternoon and early morning.  There are a few viewing sites and they attract hundreds of people, especially during the 10-5 touring time.      We arrived in the Port Campbell area around 1P and decided to gain accommodation and food before shooting.  We found space in a hostel and late lunch in a local spot.  The town has 400 permanent population but in season it can by a couple of thousand.  Being Monday, there were not thousands in town.      Silhouettes of the Apostles in the late afternoon were interesting but were not “post card” images.  We returned to the Gibson Steps site before 8A and found ourselves alone on the beach with a couple of gulls and great light on the golden/yellow stacks.  The sky and sea were great blues and whites. We shot for an hour before other visitors arrived. We left Gibson and went to the main viewing site with its walkways along the high sheer cliff edges. Not many others were present yet.  Because the light had become less yellow I shot manual and under exposed by a half stop to “recreate” the missing yellows on the stacks.  The polarizer wasn’t very effective since...

Irregular Posts; The Great Ocean Road, Australia w/ Meg

Sunday PM Feb 23, 2014 G’Day,  “Port Campbell not Port Arthur?” “Yuppp!.  Been on the Great Road in Australia, west of Melbourne, for a couple of days.”  We turned the fourth of our two rented camper vans in with no further trouble.  Now I drive a tiny Hyundai sedan with automatic not manual shift!! >>>Let me insert a MegPost about Port Campbell February 23 2014- Port Campbell by Meg Holmes   The Taijistoryteller’s Way has been along the Great Ocean Road since we arrived in Melbourne Australia on Friday Feb 21.   Our stay in Tasmania ended on pleasant notes. We had wandered down the Tamar River Valley, stopping to taste wine at Holm Oak – just one winery out of the possible 20! After spending the night at a caravan park in Longford, we headed down the middle highway to the Tasman Peninsula. But wait, what’s that on the map? Andover. Of course, we had to detour to visit Andover Tasmania – in the rolling farm hills and apparently a community of 3 farmsteads and a railroad crossing. The Tasman Peninsula was quite beautiful surrounded by the Tasman Sea and southern ocean. Our first stop was the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park. Just in time to feed the kangaroos — yes I fed the wallabies and padmelons as I was literally mobbed by the roos. But no handfeeding the Devils, as they are voracious carnivores with sharp teeth. We watched their feeding from the other side of their area. Have you ever seen a frogmouth? I got to hold one and eye it face to face. This park was informative...

Irregular Posts; Ulverstone, TZ

Wednesday Feb 19, 2014 G’Day, “HeyYouMissingGuy.” “yeah been an adventurish awhile since I could log-in.  Remember the posts “Vanning” and Vanning Again”?  Well this should probably be called “Vanning AgainAgain”.      We landed in Hobart on time on Valentines Day and found that our motel had changed its name but not its location.  But the wifi and the continemtal breakfast were no longer free.  OK, they srill had the shuttle that took us to pick up our Britz van.  It was very similar to Jackpot in NZ.  Slightly different configuration but OK.       Hobart is a provinchal capital and downtown had its Saturday market. There must have been a couple hundred vendors of vegs, crafts, food, buskers, and thousands of folks walking and viewing.  The world-wide attraction in Hobart is now the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).  The old is some egyptian stuff but the new is out of this world; conceptual, and digital, and installations of surreal things.  Nothing would be considered wall art.  In the courtyard there was a nude life form male posing for painters and sketchers. This is not your traditional museum.      In the Holiday park nearby, we had difficulty connecting to the AC electricity.  Local folks stopped in to help and talk but we got no electricity except the 12V battery.  So no charging the computer.  Dinner saw a thunderstorm that went on for almost an hour while we ate and talked to another traveler from NZ.      In the AM we drove 30 minutes back to Britz thinking the van had 240V circuit probs…but it WAS...

Irregular Posts; Ulverstone, Tasmania by Meg

Wednesday Feb 19 2014 Tasmania‏ guest writer Meg Holmes At the public library in Ulverstone, east of Penguin TZ, with 30 minutes free access. Briefly arrived in Hobart Feb.14, picked up Britz campervan Feb 15. Nice day in Hobart at Salamanca Market and the contemporary edgy provocative love/hate museum called MONA. Experiential multi-media art and installations at its most challenging. Sensory overload and, just as museum is mostly meandering in the dark, some of the artwork left the observer pondering in the dark. Sunday Feb 16, a quick back to Britz because power for appliances didn’t seem to be working (remind you of MightyVan?!!!). Then up the A10 to Mt. Field National Park and a walk into the falls. Very beautiful rainforest. Suddenly I felt something crawling up the inside of my pants legs – the attack of the leeches! I probably pulled off a dozen. The leeches and our first view of a pandemelon (kangaroo like critter) introduced us to Tasmanian fauna. Up the road to Lake Saint Clair National Park with a stop at the Wall in the Wilderness – a 300 feet long woodcarving mural of Tasmanian Highland history. By then Jack had had enough windy mounatineous driving for the day so we stayed at Catherine Bay at the park. This gave us an opportunity to walk, and we saw either more pandemelon or a wallaby crossing the road as well as an echidna feeding. We walked to platypus Bay and saw patterns in the lake water – could have been platypus, fish, or water rats. I am going to think platypus! Monday Feb 17 up...