July 27, 2013

Getting Back to Normality

Have faith! I have not abandoned you! I have simply been settling in to life back in the Comox Valley. I have been running around doing things all the time, like haying, refurbishing outdoor furniture, and building a small set of stairs just 13 years after we built the deck they lead down from. I will transfer photos from my little laptop to my desktop this weekend, and that will let me write posts in a lot more comfort, so hang on just a little longer!

In the mean time, here are some pictures from my goings on.

Haying. First of many loads of 150ish bales of hay, each of which weighs about 50 pounds.



Goose Spit.

I have been taking pictures with my camera as well rather than just my cell, but I will do those later as well.

July 15, 2013

See Ya Later Australia!

This will be my last post from Australia! I am all checked in, flight is in less than an hour and a half, all is looking good.

It has been an amazing time these past months, and watch out Australia, I will be back as soon as I can!!

Thanks to all the amazing people that made this trip possible, both here and back home. Thanks to all those who put me up and fed me!

I will miss this great land, and I hope to explore much more of it soon!!!

I also miss the beach in the picture above....

Thanks to all! And keep checking back as I have many more stories to tell!!

July 11, 2013

Hasta la Vista Melbourne!

Sitting in the airport now...Bye Bye Melbourne! I will be back, you can count on it! I have had a truly amazing time here in this city and around it, and it is certainly high up on my list of places to return to. I now fly to Sydney for about 4 days, then start the journey across the Pacific. I will try to do some posts while I am in Sydney, but failing that, I will do them when I get home! I have not forgotten that I still have some posts to do from Switzerland and down south of Sydney!

July 05, 2013

Bye Bye Land of the Queen

Today is, sadly, my last day in Queensland...But tonight I fly to Melbourne, so not all is lost! I will put up a proper post when I get some good internet!

July 01, 2013


I totally forgot to do a post about Whitsunday Island and its spectacular Whitehaven Beach!

On my last full day in Airlie Beach I went on a trip out to the islands. I went out with Ocean Rafting, as I had been told it was one of the best and one of the cheapest. They operate fast zodiacs out amongst the islands. When I say fast I mean almost 30 kts!

We left at about ten, and after a short stop on Daydream Island we powered out to Whitsunday Island. We disembarked in Tongue Inlet for a walk up to the lookout over Whitehaven Beach.

The water was crystal clear, the sun hot, the sky blue, the company fun. It was a great day. I sat on the yellow inflatable bit for most of the ride. They have little straps you  can hang onto. Quite fun!

We walked up to the viewpoint for the extraordinary view of the extraordinary beach.

This is what we saw.

At low tide, that whole inlet dries out, and the swirling sandbars surface out of the sea. It is a pretty spectacular view that was worth the trip out just to see!

We descended to the tongue of sand you see on the left of the picture for lunch and a hang out. For scale, that was probably almost a kilometer long from the base around the corner!

We descended to the pure white sand beach. It is almost pure silica which is what gives it it's unique color and texture. Also strange is the fact that it doesnt even get warm even in the hot sun!

Here are a variety of views from the couple hours on the beach we had.

It is an amazing place, and if anyone ever even considers going to the Whitsundays and not seeing this, they are crazy people.

We left the beach after a sumptuous lunch and headed to the north end of Hook Island for some snorkeling. I only went in at the first of the two sites, as it was freezing cold for me, and I have seen a substantial amount of fishies up in Cairns.

I did see some really cool fish I had never seen before, notably several massive Maori Wrasse. Search it on google images.

After that we rode back, a nice relaxing ride under the dimming rays of the late afternoon sun.

Airlie Beach looked nice on the way back in.

That was my amazing day out in the islands. It was pretty spectacular, and I highly recommend it!

A Bay Called Byron

Here a bunch of pictures from wanderings around Byron Bay and Lennox Head. Most of these have been from geocaching adventures.

Cape Byron and the lighthouse.

You can just see the lighthouse in this 360 degree panorama. In the middle on the other side of the cape you can see Byron Bay itself.

From Just down the road as the picture above.

Beach on a rough day.

Byron Bay on a nasty day.

Byron Bay on a nice day.

Easternmost point of land on the Australian mainland. Where I was when I took the picture I was the easternmost person in Australia for about 10 minutes.

Tiny Planet projection of the same place. I wasn't going to do one here, so I didn't take the pictures to minimize the pinching effect, but cool none the less I think!

The trail out to the Cape.

The view from just south of Lennox Head on a wet, walk to find a cache. It was gently raining for most of the time, until I got to be 5 km from the house, then it started pissing down biblical amounts of rain...I was very wet walking back.

Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head.

A beach near the cape.

Most of my time here in Byron has been spent reading, or walking. It has been very nice and relaxed. It has rained most of the days I have been here, a cold rain in contrast to Cairns rain which is odd and warm....After so long in such a warm place it is nice to have a valid reason to get rugged up with a warm blanket and lots of tea and soup and read a book.

I think tomorrow I am off to Brisbane for a few days.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The Hamilton Island Airport is a small affair. This is the entirety of the check in hall. I think it actually took longer to walk through the snaking line up barriers to the desk than it actually took to check in. Security was a breeze as well, and the lounge had excellent free wifi, a hard commodity to find in Australia!

After a little bit of a read, booking some bus fares, figuring out where I was going to end up that night, my plane arrived. It was still painted in the old colors of the airline.

It was a nice smooth flight, beautiful scenery. I had a nice empty seat beside me which was great. In Airlie Beach I had bought the latest issue of Nat Geo, and I saved it to peruse on the plane. It was the one with James Cameron on the front and an article about his recent descent to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, more than 36,000 feet below the surface of the ocean in his specially designed submersible. It is worth a read!

I was amazed and impressed with the airport in Brisbane. I checked the time when the plane landed out of habit. After taxi, deplaning, walking to the terminal, going to baggage retrieval, getting my bag and walking outside, only 12 minutes had elapsed since we touched down! Well done Brisbane!

I had decided to hop on a bus down to Byron Bay that evening rather than spending a night in Brisbane as I originally planned. The fast train to the city was only 16 bucks with my student discount (yay!). It was pretty empty, and it had excellent free wifi on it as well!

Arriving at the Roma St transit center where all the coaches and buses and trains meet up near the center of the city I was amazed at the number of people on their way to the state of origin game, all decked out in Queensland colors. It was pretty funny to see the very rare NSW supporter sticking out like a sore thumb.

I simply sat in the coach terminal for the few hours remaining before my bus. Storing luggage would have been 8 bucks and I wasn't willing to pay that for a couple hours of wandering around at dusk. Plus, there was free wifi! Yay Brisbane! I think those wifi spots were the only free ones I have found in Australia.

Anyhow, I took the Greyhound down to Byron Bay that night and spent the night in one of the best hostels I have ever been to. The Byron Bay YHA if you are curious. Very nice place.

By the time I arrived in Byron I had, all over the course of the one day, taken a car, a boat, a golf cart, a plane, a horizontal people mover, a train, and a bus, in addition to walking.

My cousin Marci picked me up in the morning and I have been hanging with her and the boys ever since!