Sunday, December 29, 2013

I have finally gotten to the second and third day of our Tasmania trip.  Starting in reverse, as that's how the photos loaded, on day three, we went to Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary to see Tasmanian Devils.  They weren't very impressive, so I focused more on the kangaroos.  They give out little bags of kangaroo food (pellets just like sheep feed) so that you can feed the kangaroos by hand.  I really enjoyed giving food to the tiny joeys...

But I was a lot more hesitant about the larger animals, especially when I noticed more hopping up behind me, including the male top left of this next photo !

And decided that my kangaroo feeding days were over when one started grabbing at my hands with its sharp claws.  Yes, I officially prefer goats.

Koala, obviously

So moving right along (or back) to the previous day, we ended up going to see a cold little Tasmanian beach, which Sarah and Jon loved - Kurt and I were a little over the idea as we have much nicer beaches in Queensland...

We did however really enjoy climbing Mount Wellington.  I love the idea of a mountain that you can climb in a car, all 1271m of it.    It had interesting rock formations on it a lot like the Giants' Causeway, but we didn't go to explore as the terrain was very rough and we were unsure of snakes, etc.

Me, with this boy I found on the mountain:

Panoramic view of the mountainside and Hobart stretched out below - and of course, Sarah:


Our extremely chilly and windswept lunch of bread, prosciutto, olives and cheese.  Perhaps the shorts were a bad idea, boys?

Back in Hobart, at the docks, there were a couple of pretty boats/ships that we watched for awhile


And that was pretty much Hobart in a nutshell.  On the morning of the second day before going up Mount Wellington, we went to the Salamanca Markets, of which I have no photos.  They were really interesting, with lots of handmade woodwork, food, and other interesting items.  I bought a nice blackwood chopping board, and I think Sarah and Jon might have found a couple of items but I actually am not sure what !

It seems forever since we were in Tassy, and I'm sorry I haven't updated the blog more, but I've been a little bit incapacitated with a sore neck.  It has been difficult to sit up with a heavy laptop or type sufficiently lying down holding my iphone above my head.   Now I am on the mend, so here I am.

Unfortunately it was a fairly painful Christmas...  We all trooped up north to Bribie Island to have breakfast with Kurt's family, which was really nice.  Just in case Kurt is reading this, yes, I do like his parents, and it's a really nice house!  Unfortunately, the bacon punched me in the side of the head... well anyway I looked down at my plate and when I looked up again I think I trapped a nerve because all hell broke loose in my neck.  So that was really the end of my enjoying Christmas, and also probably the end of Kurt enjoying Christmas because he was worrying about me - thankfully, at his insistence, we had opened the presents before leaving Brisbane, so that was fun!

The next two days I spent lying down, and went to the physio on Friday, and have steadily been improving over the weekend.  Another physio session is tomorrow, and then hopefully I'll be all right.  Jon and Kurt have been the chauffeurs the last few days as apparently I am banned from driving, although I think I'll be fine now.  I'm also signed off work, so having spent Christmas which I actually had off, lying down, I should be able to actually enjoy the next few days with Jon and Sarah !

The problem is that the physio doesn't want me to do extended sitting, ie work, so has signed me off for almost a week, but I am now able to get out and do stuff (like putt putt) but I don't want it put on facebook in case someone at work gets upset at me!  Just a little bit complicated.

Anyway that's all for now, today we're just taking it easy, so nothing much to report.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Hastings Caves

On arrival in Tasmania, we descided to go to see Hastings Caves, as a sort of spur-of-the-moment 'let's do this!!' decision.  When we got there, after a 90 minute drive, we thought oh wait, it's mid afternoon on a Friday, is it even open? 

Kurt, excited to be taller than Jonathan

Thankfully, we were just in time (within 15 minutes) of the last tour, although the thermal springs & pool were closed.  The cave we went to see was Newdegate cave, named after some Tasmanian governor, and had about 240 steps in it going a few hundred feet underground !

"wedding cake" 

crazy staring tourists...

penguin stalagmite !

Kurt's silhouette


Friday, December 20, 2013

i hate youth hostels.

I'm lying in bed, in this 4-bed dorm, with itchy sheets and a skinny pillow, listening to people snore, beds creak, and people tromping around outside yelling at the top of their voices.

Obviously I'm a spoilt brat, and not cut out for this sort of lifestyle, and it's now after 0100 and it's making me angry!

And I don't have my earplugs.

Tomorrow's priority is earplugs... although they won't do all that much for the wayward bedsprings, haha!

The good news is that it's just two nights, and we are having fun apart from this!  

We arrived in Hobart just after midday, after two uneventful flights (one standby) and a painless airport experience - the lounge helps!  Picking up the car, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the discount also included a reduced excess, so money saved all round!  

The afternoon we spent in Hasting Caves, which were beautiful !  - and then we got woodfired pizza, drove back to Hobart and went for a chilly evening walk... 

And now the snoring is increasing in its intensity and I would really like some extra pillows to throw right now... although they'd also be useful to rest my head on !

Here's a lonely pre-editing cave photo to make you all happy...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

No Time to Blog.

Visitors are over from Ireland, and I am overworked and underpaid! ha ha

Today we are off to Tasmania for the weekend - will try to get some photos!


Friday, December 13, 2013

The 3rd and final Malaysian post...

I have no idea what this fruit is!  It had a mildly odd but not offensive taste.  The fruits were about 2 feet long, so much bigger than durian.

A backstreet

Someone asleep in the backstreet... 

Fabric shop for Mum !

Roti cooking

The bill for 2 chilli roti, water, a rice-doughnut, and curry sauce.  This converted to about $1.70 Australian!


Malaysian sweets

Market stalls

Weird cats with half-tails, that weren't very happy when I approached to photograph them

Mosque - we didn't go inside, I was afraid to venture through the door as I didn't know if there were rules against me - and B refused to go ask.

And then, with blistered feet from all the walking, we made our way back through customs (me with my new Malaysian Converse) and back onto the bus to wind our way back to our starting point.  At which stage we started yet more walking, but this will be in a post to come...

Unofficial Malaysian Detour: More Sightseeing

Singapore in the distance... from Malaysia

A random government building, with some random government person.

Anyone know what fruits these are?  All of the trees looked the same but some had beans on... I presume the male and female of the species.

Deserted buildings 

This car must have been travelling behind a truck full of black paint... or bitumen... or something else equally devastating to paintwork !

Where the military hang out

This building is called exactly what it says on the tin:

Bullet holes... (from WWII) 

The flag flown high

Unofficial Malaysian detour: The Hindu Temple

EDIT:  If you want to see the pictures full resolution, just click on them - I didn't want to make them larger on the full blog, as there are quite a lot and it could slow down already dodgy internet...


A few days ago, I got asked to do yet another Singapore ferry, which was fairly predictable, as I was on reserve and they had forgotten to crew it.  This ended up leaving me with a day off in Singapore, as we flew in one evening and didn't fly out again until the next evening.  So, we decided to go to Malaysia, As You Do.  

We caught a cab into the city, and then the local bus across the bridge into Malaysia, to a city called Johor Bahru.  There's an NDB (non-directional beacon) on the arrival into Seletar which is called Jaybee, which apparently is over Johor Bahru.  Hence the name.  We didn't actually find the NDB - nor look for it.  

Having gone through immigration (both sides), we ventured into the city, and acted the tourist for the day.  First up was the Hindu Temple, which they actually let us go into.  The building was covered with 3D art.  Before going inside we had to remove our shoes and socks, and wash our feet under the taps beside the stairs.

The Hindus really seem to have a multi-limb obsession...  The walls inside the temple were filled with more 3D art, all of which were different gods, and there were many Indians inside, praying to them.

The ceiling at the middle of the temple was filled with paintings.  The outer part of the temple was open to the air.  There were many altars under this ceiling.  I don't have pictures of these, as I was trying to surreptitiously take photos without being seen as disrespectful.

The doors to the temple, which were probably about 15 feet high, were covered in little bells, which everyone brushed with their hands before entering.  We didn't, not being Hindus, that might also have been classed as disrespectful.

There were many stores along the road outside the temple that were selling real flower garlands, which were incredibly beautiful.  If I could have brought one back into Australia, I would have !