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My first destination down under

So CUTE!!!!!

So CUTE!!!!!
These are my new best friends

Monday, August 8, 2011

Deliciousness of food and drink in Melbourne

I got into Melbourne yesterday afternoon and it was a quick check-in and then off to the other part of the CBD (what Aussies call their downtown - guess what it stands for correctly and I'll give you a lolly!) to find the start point for the Colonial Tram car dinner.  It rolls around the city while you eat an incredible meal.  And I'm not gonna lie - it was delicious.  Like SO delicious.  Like HUGELY delish!

I'm talking a white chocolate parfait with a raspberry and praline sauce that had the texture of silk.  Yuh-me!  I was almost prepared to marry my new friend Dean so I could get my hands on the recipe.

Anyhoo....after I slept off that meal it was time to go for a tour of the Yarra Valley wineries.  Can I just say as a general piece of advice that any wine tour that starts with a 9:30 am pick up is probably gonna end up being a total gong show!  I was loop-de-loop by 11:45 in the morning! 

 Lunch was a big help and I was able to maintain some composure after that.  The most rustic of the wineries was this one....

The most posh/lush was this one.....

The lush one served bubbly.  Yummy.  Good way to end the day!  Cheers to all of you! 

Tomorrow is the 12 Apostles and shipwrecks along the Great Ocean Road!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I survived "The Alice!"

Back from the frontier!  Holy smokes - I did NOT think it was possible for something to seem like a frontier town in this day and age anymore but WOW!  If there is a frontier town left anywhere...its Alice Springs!  I took this cool picture of a 2nd-hand store logo cuz it was SOOOOO funny.  Look:

Anyhoo, I went camping in the outback for a three days.  In that time, we drove more than 1500 km and walked over 20.   We did a base walk around Uluru...

...then drove to a point further away to watch the sunset over the rock...

...the next morning we were up at 5am (yuck) to do a sunrise walk around Kata Tjuta which was AMAZING!  I took over 300 pictures on this trip so you are lucky you're just getting a glimpse and a smattering. 

The final day we scaled Kings Canyon and did a 6km walk along the ridge. 

This is the top of a cliff face about smack in the middle of the hike.

This whole things was intensely amazing. One of my favourites is that out of PURE necessity, the trees grow out of the rocks.  Thats called wantin' it!

In my humble opinion, the rainforest holds nothing to the outback.   I mean....check out the desert sunsets!
Anyhoo....if I picture tells a thousand words....I just wrote a russian novel.  *yawn*   Time for bed.  See you soon!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Out of commission for a few....

Heading to Alice Springs in the morning and then the following morning, out to my camping trip to Uluru. 

Internet is likely to be dodgy during this part of the voyage so I won't be able to update for a few days or know....just in case you were worried.   :)

Promise to put up a super-MEGA-post as soon as I can and definitely by the time I hit Melbourne. 

P.S.  I miss my here he is in all his squishy-faced glory to hold you over until I return.....

Traditional railway? Or sky railway? How 'bout BOTH!

Last full day in "Tropical Northern Queensland" today - I'm so OVER this rainforest!  Ha!  I've gotten to walk in it, drive through it, river-boat through it, and ARMY DUCK through it!  The one thing I haven't experienced with this damn rain forest is any RAIN!  Maybe next time, I shouldn't come during the dry season!

Started out the day going up the longest sky rail in the world (7.5 km) via one of these funky mint green dealies and saw the rainforest canopy from above. 

Look at me Nan!  No hands!  See?  I'm okay!

Good vista.  A bit of a switch.  From up there - it looks like this:
There is a village at the top of the skyrail called Kuranda - its a bit of a hippie haven from an earlier age.  Its got a ton of cotter's markets from which I bought an Aboriginal painting of a platypus - did I mention its getting to the point where I'm having to ditch crap from my luggage to make room for the new crap that I have accumulated?

Anyhoo....from there I spent the afternoon at a place called Rainforestation.  Kinda hokey except for the fact that they have one of these and its SOOOOOO cute!  I want one.  Moosh needs a brother!

More koalas...yawn once.  More kangaroos....yawn twice.  More wallabys...yawn three times.  Then....FINALLY!!!!  I get to say it and I get to mean it!  The DINGO ATE MY BABY!

Looks kinda like Dakota. 

Anyhoo....on the way back down out of the rainforest we passed this waterfall and I have to admit, its one of the prettiest things I have seen yet.

So...thats what I did today.  What'd YOU do?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Port Douglas

This is a town that began as the main port town in the area.  It competed with Cairns (the major city up here) unsuccessfully until it eventually shrunk to become a small fishing village.  Revived by tourism, its now a resort town full of vacationers from every corner of the globe.  Today I had no tours planned so I decided to walk from my end of Four-Mile Beach to town.  I wanted to take a look at all the little shops and galleries (even though I have been warned that everything here is overpriced - why must the shopping gods punish the tourists).

I set out just before 10 am and walked with my CRiPod in my ears and my toes in the water all the way into town.  What a great beach!

The town actually sits on a peninsula so I walked up one beach, down the main street in town and ended up at the beach on the other side.  This is the more historic of the two as the old wharf and church are right on the water.

After sampling the coffee at a couple of cafes I headed back along the beach back to the resort.  By now, it was approaching low tide and the beach was a lot wider than it had been in the morning.  These really tiny crabs burrow up from beneath the sand, pushing perfectly formed little sand balls out of their burrows as they go.  It makes a really cool dotted effect all along the beach thats about 2 metres wide.  Close up, it looks like this (the little holes are where the crabs live):
 Boring day relatively speaking but I'm gearing up for tomorrow.  Back into the rainforest.  Plus, I have to save up my energy - I'm leaving for Alice Springs in a couple of days! Sweet!