Month: April 2016

Drive to Alice Springs

Drive to Alice Springs
Alice Springs, Australia

Alice Springs, Australia

This morning we check out at 9.00 am, fill the car with fuel at $1.98 per litre (is this the dearest fuel in Australia) and head towards the real Kings Canyon some 8 km out of town. The car park is full and the flies are on the war path as we don our fly nets and head of on the Creek Walk some 2.6 km. The sheer canyon walls are impressive as we hit a fork in the path.
One heads towards the famous Rim Walk and the other toward the more subdued Creek Walk. Deb takes one look at the steep climb, sheer drop-offs and rickety ladder bridges and immediately chooses the Creek Walk.

Its not long before we reach the end of the track, a platform with an amazing view of the highest cliff walls. We head back to the car park which has free Wi-Fi and do a morning Face Book update then hit the Luritja Road backtracking to the Lasseter Highway then onto the Stuart Highway to Alice Springs some 474 km away.

Its nearing 12.00 am when we pull into the very busy Eridunda Roadhouse who’s claim to fame is that it is dead smack in the middle of Australia. Having skipped breakfast we order a hearty meal and two cold beers, our first for the morning. Now back onto the Stuart Highway we spot a speed sign stating 130 km per hour wha-hoo! and we pretty much stick to that speed all the way into Alice.

On arriving at our Hotel (The Chiffley) we unpack and take a short stroll across the Todd Bridge into town. Damm! Its Saturday afternoon and everything is closed as it will be tomorrow and Monday being a public holiday. Not to worry we find the Todd Hotel and have a nice cold beer and buy some wine at the bottle shop before heading back to the hotel for a well earned rest after our long road trip. Tonight we check the restaurant menu which is listing 70% of its courses as Barramundi, so we decide to get take away and settle down to a movie in our room.

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Drive to Kings Canyon

Drive to Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon, Australia

Kings Canyon, Australia

Today we have decided to do an early guided tour of Uluru at the Mala Walk. We were originally going to do a very expensive helicopter flight until we discovered that the flight path has been restricted to a wide birth around the rock due to the fact that the noise disturbs the peace.

There are about 30 people waiting for the Park Ranger (guide) who has been contracted by the Aboriginal owners to tell their story 365 days of the year. The guide is very informative but is taking forever to move between viewing points, so Deb an I decide to continue by ourselves. The walk was very impressive, somewhat spiritual and took as about 45 minutes to complete.

We head back to our hotel leaving Uluru in the distance knowing we may never return. We make it just in time for the last breakfast sitting then check out as we are heading to Kings Canyon some 3 hours away.

We refuel at $1.40 per litre and stock up with more water and head towards Curtain Springs an old cattle station now offering fuel, cold beer, meals and low end accommodation. We spot Mt Connor which many tourists mistake as Uluru then cruise into Curtain Springs for a morning beer at $10 each, thank you very much. On the road again we turn left of the Lasseter Highway and head toward Kings Canyon where we will be staying for the night.

Two solid hours have gone by before we roll into town consisting of the resort, a van park, a pub called the Thirsty Dingo and a garage come store. We check into our room which is very basic at $310 per night and also very musty after being closed up for some time. We are met on the balcony by a pack of wild dingoes who we shoo off before heading to the pub to wash the dust down.

Just outside the pub is a sunset viewing area serving (you guessed it) cold beers and we chat with the tourists as the sun sets over Kings Canyon. Well that was poetic license as it actually set in the opposite direction. After sunset we headed back to the pub for some barbecue and country music then off to bed for an early night.

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Ayers Rock & The Olgas

Ayers Rock & The Olgas
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia

Today we head down to the Town Square where we buy some water, some tee shirts for the grand children and pick up our Avis hire car. On checking the vehicle (Toyota Camry), its certainly seen a mile or two and is covered in scratches. We look at the other vehicles in the lot and they all look similar.

We head off to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park as the mercury starts rising. After paying a $50 entry fee we head toward the Kata Tjuta (The Olga’s) some 50 km in the distance. Scooting past Uluru it certainly looks impressive but we will be heading back to it this afternoon. We get out at the first Kata Tjuta viewing platform and don our fly nets as the fly’s begin to swarm our faces in their hundreds. We spot some very disgruntled tourists who look very hot and do not have fly nets, we feel for them but they have been warned.

The Olga’s are impressive as we drive closer and pull into the Canyon Walk car park. We head off on the 1.2 km walk but Deb stops dead in her tracks refusing to go further, she states that it is to hot and wants to get back in the air conditioned car, so back we go. We pull into the only toilets in the area which has an adjoining picnic area filled with tourists. We wonder why anybody would stop here as the fly’s start to carry them away.

We head back to Uluru and drive around it twice stopping to take pictures in zones where it says no stopping. Deb gives me a caning every time I stop, but I don’t care as there is no traffic and these spots offer the best views. We stop at the Cultural Centre which is quite good with the exception of the exorbitantly priced Aboriginal artwork. We decide to head back to the resort for a cool drink as the day really starts to heat up and knowing that we are also heading out at sunset to view the Field of Light, a new exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro, that has just opened.

After a few cool drinks and a cool shower we catch a bus to take us to the Field of Light viewing platform some 5 km in front of Uluru. We are offered copious amounts of champagne and some very strange canapés as the sun sets and 50,000 coloured lights start to illuminate. As night falls the lights which cover approximately 5 acres become more impressive. We are then led down the dune and meander our way through the pathway that weaves throughout the display.

It was certainly different, it was very impressive and something we will never see again. Good ‘on-ya’ Ayers Rock Resort for organising such an event.

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Ayers Rock Resort & Tali Wiru

Ayers Rock Resort & Tali Wiru
Yulara, Australia

Yulara, Australia

We disembark at Ayers Rock Airport in the hottest part of the day (31 degrees). The humidity is low but the fly count is high, and boy are we glad we bought some fly nets.

We catch a coach to Yulara our home for the next two nights. Yulara or Ayers Rock Resort is a purpose built town consisting of three hotels two caravan parks and a town centre. Our accommodation is a place called Sails in the Desert and it is very impressive albeit a little run down.

We have a few refreshing drinks in the bar and wait for our special treat for the evening a romantic dinner named Tali Wiru located on a secluded sand dune 20 km out of town. We board a large 4WD vehicle looking much like a hummer and head out with 18 other guests to our destination.

On arriving we are greeted by a full blood aboriginal maître-de who escorts us to a viewing platform with Uluru at sunset as the backdrop. We have canapés and champagne to the sounds of a didgeridoo in the background being played by our white bus driver who reminds us of Samwell Tarly from Game of Thrones.

We are then escorted to our table on top of the dune where we partake of one of the nicest de-gestation menu’s we have ever had. We are interrupted half way through with a talk about how the local Aboriginals interpret the galaxy. Its a pity we have a cloudy sky but we do make out a number of constellations with the help of the speakers laser light.

After dinner we walk down from the dining area to a fire pit where we have cognac and hot chocolate while listening to Aboriginal hunting stories. Its then back onto the vehicle and home.

What an excellent way to spend our first night in Central Australia!

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Departing Sydney

Departing Sydney
Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Australia

On touching down in Sydney we walk a short distance to our connecting flight and decide to recharge our electronic devices. Guess what Deb has left the charger in the socket at home (whoops). I buy a new one at the airport store and we get some juice into the ipad while we have a morning beer at the James Squire bar.

On boarding for Ayers Rock the plane is half empty so we stretch out and relax. Deb watches a couple of in flight movies on her ipad, while I sit my iphone on Deb’s shoe to watch my own selection. The food on board is sparse but the beer is cold as we settle into our three hour twenty minute flight.

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Departing Brisbane

Departing Brisbane
Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane, Australia

We wake this morning at 4.30 am, it’s still dark and a mild 18.5 degrees. We are waiting for our old friend and Uber driver John Hare to catch a lift to the airport. Checking our luggage to Ayers Rock Airport we depart on the first leg of our journey to Sydney on time at 7.00 am. So far a good start to our epic Planes, Trains, Auto-mobiles, and a few Boats adventure through Central Australia and the Northern Territory.

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First week in B.C.S.

First week in B.C.S.
Agoura Hills, CA

Agoura Hills, CA

Hi Everyone,

Do not forget if you clic on one picture twice you can see them bigger.

we are now in an Internet zone so I will try to post more info and pictures on the blog

First a little info about El Triunfo where Link has his B & B

El Triunfo, Baja California Sur

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is located at an elevation of 483 meters (1,585 feet) above sea level. el-triunfo.php

El Triunfo is a small mining town in La Paz Municipality, Baja California Sur, about 4½ miles north of San Antonio . In 1862, silver and gold were discovered in the southern B.C.S. mountains, leading miners from Mexico and the United States to set up camp. Once the largest city in B.C.S, it was home to more than 10,000 miners. In its heyday the town was a cultural center, where Francisca Mendoza taught and performed. Pianos and other instruments were brought to El Triunfo from all over the world and a piano museum still exists. Another remnant of the past is the 35-meter-high smokestack designed by Gustav Eiffel. The mines shut down in 1926 and most people left. The 2010 census reported a population of 321 inhabitants.

Next morning after our arrival there was the Art Show Festival, lots of different dancing groups.

Booth everywhere where Artisans were showing their Arts

In the afternoon in the garden of the mining Museum a group was singing genuine songs from Baja Sur.

{The mining Museum has been built last year by Christy Walton one of the heiress of Walmart she also has a house there,

has also many houses in La Paz and a gourmet restaurant}

Next day we went down to Los Barriles on the Sea of Cortez about 45’’ drive.

Los Barriles, Baja California Sur

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Los Barriles is a town (population 1,174) in La Paz Municipality, Baja California Sur, Mexico. It is situated along Highway 1, 40 miles north of San José del Cabo and 65 miles tout of La Paz. Punta Pescadero Airstrip is 9 miles to the north, a vacation resort, is to the south. Adjacent to Buena Vista, the rural towns straddle the head of Bahía las Palmas on the Gulf of California, where winter westerlies average 20–25 knots (37–46 km/h; 23–29 mph). Los Barriles is within the transition area of the Baja California peninsula’s Sierra de la Laguna where the hills become sandy flats.

Mexican starfish mutation, the Devil Star, found in the Gulf of California between Los Barriles and La Paz.

Known for its flyfishing. Los Barriles is also Baja’s windsurfing. The town’s port was closed on 2 September during the 2013 Pacific hurricane season’s Tropical Storm Lorena. In 2006, the Shakespeare Theatre Association’s annual conference was held in Los Barriles.

And for the one’s who likes legends the name of Los Barriles (“The Barrels”) supposedly come from the pirates who would anchor their ships, in order to go on land to get fresh water, they will role their barrels on the beach to feel them up with water.

Until now we found out that all the “pueblos” {the villages} except for El Triunfo who has some remains from the time of the Missions

are mostly all the same: poor houses, small businesses, nice to gorgeous and expensive Villas, but forget if you are looking for historical

Pueblos, like I thought we would find, no style at all, here the only beauty is the Sea of Cortez, Jacques Cousteau had says that it was the world aquarium;

We were also told that one of the island still belong to Cousteau Foundation, as to be verified.

We visited the pueblos of Santiago and Mirafiori on the Tropico del Cancer close to los Barriles

Bonjour a tous,

Si vous cliquez 2 fois sur une photo vous l’augmentez.

Comme nous sommes en ce moment dans une zone qui reçoit l’Internet je vais donc essayer de mettre quelques infos ainsi que des nouvelles photos sur le Blog.

Tout d’abord quelques infos sur El Triunfo ou Link a son B & B.

El Triunfo, Baja California Sur

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Comme je n’ai pas trouvé la traduction en Français sur El Triunfo je vais faire de mon mieux pour vous traduire les infos Anglaises.

El Triunfo: 483 mètres au dessus du niveau de la mer. el-triunfo.php

Est une petite ville de mineurs de la Municipalité de La Paz. Dans la Baja California Sur, environ 10” de San Antonio.

En 1862 de l’argent et de l’or furent découvert dans les montagnes de B.C. S. Des mineurs venant du Mexique et des USA vinrent s’y installer.

Autrefois la plus grande ville de B.C.S avec 10.000 mineurs et des acheteur de métaux précieux venant du monde entier.

En son temps de gloire la ville était un centre culturel, ou Francisca Mendoza performa et enseigna.

Des pianos, et autres instruments de musique furent acheminés du monde entier vers El Triunfo.

Aujourd’hui encore un Muséum de la musique relatant cette histoire et qui abrite les instruments de musique de l’époque est ouvert au public.

Un autre monument du passé existe encore il s’agit de la cheminée haute de 35 mètres dessinée par Gustav Eiffel.

Les mines fermèrent en 1926 car elles n’étaient plus rentables, la ville fut alors désertée. En 2010 la population était de 321 habitants, aujourd’hui 327

Durant la nuit et très tôt le lendemain matin de notre arrivée la petite ville était en émoi se préparant pour le Festival D’arts.

Des Artisans montaient leurs tentes pour exposer leurs objets. Des heures durant sous un soleil de plomb des groupes présentèrent des Danses

Typiques de divers endroit du Mexique.

En fin d’après midi dans le jardin du Muséum de la Mine un groupe de musiciens interprétèrent des chansons typiques de B.C.S.

A signaler que le Muséum de la Mine a été construit l’année dernière, sous le patronage de Christy Walton

Une des héritières de Walmart, dans le jardin du Muséum elle possède aussi une grande maison, a de nombreuses maisons a La Paz ainsi qu’un Restaurant chic et cher.

Elle était parait-il ce jour la, a El Triunfo mais nous ne l’avons pas rencontrée par contre nous avons serré la pince a Jean-Paul Getty junior, lui aussi possède une maison a El Triunfo, nous avons eu avec ce monsieur et ses amis une conversation très civilisée cela ressemblait assez au bon seigneur du village venant soutenir ses serfs.

Cela dit, je vais m’abstenir, d’autres commentaires personnels.

Le lendemain nous sommes descendu a Los Barriles sur la mer de Cortez 45” d’une très bonne route.

Nous avons du reste remarqué que si les routes en leur grande majorités sont a deux voies seulement, elles sont d’excellente qualité.

Los Barriles, Baja California Sur

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

La encore pas trouve version Française aussi je vais traduire:

Los Barriles:

Population 1174 habitants, municipalité de La Paz B.C.S, se trouve le long de la “Highway 1,” (64 Km) au nord de San José del Cabo et (105 Km) au Sud de La Paz. L’aéroport de Punta Pescadero (14 Km) au nord, c’etait au départ un petit village de pécheurs mais aujourd’hui c’est avant tout un village pour Américains et Canadiens retraités de classe moyenne a très élevée.

A cote se trouve Buena Vista village d’eau de source minérale. Des vents de 20–25 knots (37–46 Km/h) font de Los Barriles un endroit idéal pour le windsurfing. Entre Mars et Avril se déroulent des championnats.

La se trouve l’étoile de mer surnommée l’étoile du Diable ayant subit une mutation.

Los Barriles est aussi connu pour la pêche {flyfishing}

Le port de la ville a été condanne le 02 septembre 2013 après le passage de l’Ouragan Lorena venant du Pacifique.

L’annuelle conférence de “the Shakespeare Théâtre Association’s” a eu lieu cette annee a Los Barriles.

Et pour ceux qui aiment les légendes le nom de “Los Barriles” qui veut dire Barils, vient parait-il des Pirates qui ancraient leurs bateaux au large et débarquaient leurs barils d’eau qu’ils roulaient sur les plages afin d’aller se réaprovisioner en eau fraîche.

Jusqu’a maintenant nous avons trouvés que tous les “pueblos” {les villages} a l’exception d’ El Triunfo

Qui possède quelques ruines et quelques maisons remisent en l’état du temps des Missions

Pour le reste tout se ressemble des maisons pauvres, des petits commerces, de belles maisons et de très belles et luxueuses maisons.

Mais si vous cherchez comme moi au début des petits villages Mexicains typiques il faut oublier.

Ici la seule et unique beauté c’est la mer de Cortez que Jacques Cousteau avait surnommée l’aquarium de Monde.

On m’a du reste dit qu’il existe toujours sur une île un Labo de la fondation Cousteau c’est a vérifier.

Nous avons aussi visite deux autres petits “pueblo” Santiago et Mirafiori au niveau du Tropique du Cancer

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