Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Hawkers market

This week is the Melbourne Festival of food and wine, Monday night we went the hawkers market heat beads event, this was held in the Queen Victoria market, a $45 ticket bought us entrance and 4 plates from a variety of over 30 different Asian dishes, it was very hard to choose from the great assortment of Japanese, Chinese Indian, Balinese and so on, expecting a small taster plate we were surprised to get a great big plateful of food for each voucher. We sat at tables and it was quite a social event, where we got to chat with some really nice people. There was music and dance with Chinese Dragons, Japanese drummers and Indian and Balinese singers and dancers.
While in Melbourne we stayed at the Travelodge Docklands, a brand new hotel which was very modern and can be reccommended for convenience to get into the City and also the new Docklands where there is a large restaurant and shopping area which has been built around the old docks.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wilsons Promonitory

Its 15 years since we went to Wilsons Promonitory, so we thought we would give it a try, we had a nice trip down stopping at some great towns on the way, Korumburra, and Fish Creek.
There is now an entry fee to the park and then 30 kilometre drive through lovely scenery, unfortunately there is some bad burn from last years fires. We got to Tidal River the furthest point we found it has become very commercialised, with an outdoor cinema, camping for hundreds of people, including school parties, we had a walk along the trail to the beach and a cup of tea which took the cafeteria staff half an hour to prepare! then made our way back to Foster for overnight accommodation and a meal at the Exchange Hotel - this was excellent. On our way to Foster, Mary spotted a Wombat grazing, we stopped the car and managed to get really close to it, it was not bothered at all and just stood looking at us. Next day we returned to the park and had some good walks to Darby Beach and Cotters lake beach. Midday we started back to Melbourne stopping at Coal Creek on the way, this is an old mine site with streets and houses set out as they would have been in the early 1900s, it is a very interesting place where you could spend several hours.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Kalbarri and back to Melbourne

Early on the road and there are lots of goats nibbling the roadside verges, the best thing is to blast your horn as soon as you see them ,because if they run in front of you they can do a lot of damage to the car.
On the way to Kalbarri we stop at a couple of viewpoints to see the Murchison River gorges, beautifull, but the flys are a real nuisance, we did see an eagle fly over the road in front of us with a 3 foot snake hanging from its talons,
The bush fires are all out, though in one area we drove through, several kilometres of bush were burnt and blackened by fire.

Back to Perth
last leg of our trip bringing us back to Perth.We arrive in the suburbs mid afternoon the traffic is horrendous, after driving on virtually empty roads for the last fortnight its a bit of a shock, still our reliable sat nav gets us there in the end. We have been surprised at the big variation in petrol prices the cheapest was just outside Perth at $1.19 and most expensive in Exmouth at $1.59. The odometre reads that we have covered 4,700 kilometres in the last 15 days – we were on unlimited mileage

Tiger Airways flies on time
Arrive at the airport after a 15 minute drive from the hotel, drop of the hire car, and YES, the flight is on time ,no delays, we were a bit worried after our 5 hour delayed flight out to Perth.
Today is the coolest day since we left Melbourne, the temperatures have been in the low forties by mid morning most days, so its a good job we had A/C in the car,
On The Plane---Pilot Announcement---
Melbourne airport is closed due to thunderstorms,we are on hold for 45 minutes then divert to Canberra to refuel, finally arrive in storm battered Melbourne at 19:30 in the evening, and arrive at Emmas around 10 :30 at night. And hear there has been lots of storm damage throughout Melbourne.

Coral reef and Spangled Emperor

Mary with Spnagled Emperor
termite nests

A long drive today along very straight roads,with very little traffic, the occasional road train, emus, hundreds of goats and loads of road kill, from which the Wedge tail eagles have a free feast, In the terrain alongside the road are hundreds of Termite nests up to 8 foot high.
We arrive at our chalet, to a mother and baby emu greeting us, following day went up the coast dropping in at beaches and bays arriving at the end of the sealed road at Yardie creek where we had a walk along the gorge spot ting the black footed wallabies.
The beaches are amazing with coral reef sometimes no more than three metres from the shore with an amazing variety of fish.
A lot of holiday makers bring there own boats,for fishing and our neighbours asked us if we would like a fish for supper, next day we were presented with a 10 pound Spangled Emperor,which we barbequed ,twas very tasty.

Exmouth was the furthest North, so we set off back south, after we left Shark Bay we had heard the road between Kalbarri and shark bay had been closed with Bush fires ,but we hear it was opened again, the snorkelling at Coral bay is fantastic, i find myself surrounded by purple fish around 2 foot long—guess what? they are Spangled Emperor come to get there own back! Later a family were feeding them fish guts and they were jumping out of the water
Our accomodation is around 5 kms from the town near to the Carnarvon 1 mile jetty, apparently a steam train (called the coffee pot) runs down the jetty in holiday season, we walked down it and it was very wobbly and so i would not like to do it on a train, even though it is made of Jarrah wood.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Geraldton to Monkey Mia

An early start from Perth to miss the traffic, we arrived at the Pinnacles national park mid morning it was very hot - around 40 degrees but we had a walk through the pinnacle rocks which are really weird then carried on up the coast to Geraldton, really nice Bed and breakfast ,as soon as we arrived we were invited to use the pool,which is set in a garden full of trees and plants, then we explored the town.
Shark bay and Monkey Mia
we stopped at several places on the way to shark bay, Shell beach where the beach is completely made up of tiny shells which are said to be 10 metres deep in places and the sea is a fantastic turquoise blue, The stromatolites, the living rock that produces the atmosphere we live in. these rock formations are under the sea and we were the only people on the jetty where you can see them.
On the walk to the jetty is a shell quarry where blocks of consolidated shells were cut to build with, the place we stayed in Denham was built with these blocks. We stayed at the Shark Bay Hotel Motel the most Westerly Hotel in Australia,but that is ALL you cou say about it,
Following morning we had an early drive over to Monkey Mia , where the dolphins were waiting to say hello to us, there were about a dozen around at one time and another and several very young ones,who amused us with there antics, again it was very hot, while snorkelling off the beach i saw a sea snake around 5 foot long, luckily it was swimming away from after lunch set off on a Catamaran to spot some more marine life, the boat was around 60 foot and with only 14 people on board we had the run of the ship, one of the main things we wanted to see were Dugongs (sea cows) before long we had seen turtles, shark, rays, and eventually a dugong which we followed for around 15 minutes, another really hot day, with loads of sunscreen to stop getting burnt.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Out of range

Sorry there has been a gap on the news ,but we have not been able to get internet access, anyway, news of the rest of the western Australia trip coming shortly.