Joined February 2020 Message
  • Day37

    Back to the UK

    March 8, 2020 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Said our tearful goodbyes to Lisa and Dave and took the short 55 minute flight to Sydney. Had a couple of drinks in the airport and then off on the next stage of our journey to Singapore. Had a decent flight, good leg room and as the flight was not full we had three seats between the two of us. Arrived at a quiet Singapore Airport and with only about an hour turnaround. We just about had enough time for a drink and a quick freshen up. Back on the plane for the final 13.5 hr journey back to Heathrow. Flight had a few more people on this time but Ali sat next to an interesting guy who was just returning from having been on tour with Elton John as one of his Chefs. Time went quickly and before we knew it we were back in the UK in the back of Paul's car on our way to Bridgend. The final 1.25hr drive seemed very short given the distances we had travelled over the last 5 weeks. Tried to stay up as long as possible but by 6.30 we gave in and crashed into bed. The final act of an amazing 5 weeks.Read more

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  • Day36


    March 7, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    We finished the day off by walking to the City Centre for the "Enlighten" festival. This is an annual occurrence where a number of the cities major buildings become canvasses for light shows along with a night noodle market, bars and other entertainment. We met up with their friends Bri and Sarah and spent some time eating bao buns and drinking beer before having a stroll round to look at the exhibits. With Autumn temperatures making the evening a bit chilly we walked back feeling a bit flat. We have done and seen so much, eaten and drunk too much - perfect holiday really!Read more

  • Day36

    Birds,Beer and Brod

    March 7, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Sadly spent the morning packing, ready for the long journey home. Ali and Lisa went off on their own and Dave and I went for a walk across the Wetlands - an area which had been used as a dumping ground for the building materials used during the construction of Canberra. The area was significantly damaged causing changes to the eco system. Over the years this has been put right and it has been returned to it's natural state encouraging a variety of wildlife and birds to make the capital their home. At the end of the walk we arrived in Fyshwicke, the home of the Capital Brewing Company. The bar was part of the Brewing Hall and food was provided by a Canberra Institution, Brodburger. Dave had the Brod Ap on his phone so we ordered when we started the walk. Just as well as there was a 57 minute wait for food. By the time we arrived it was down to 5 so just enough time to get a couple of beers in before tucking in. Lisa and Ali had been to the Zoo and got close up to some Meerkats sunbathing and a Wallaby who seemed to like Ali's massage technique.Read more

  • Day35


    March 6, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    L&D went and got some stuff for breakfast and as the weather was good we went for a walk around the lake to the National Museum of Australia. We walked through the grounds and saw some interesting pieces including a light tunnel by the same artist who did something similar at MONA. We had a quick look round the gallery and then back to the waterfront. L&D went shopping and Ali and I sat and had a couple of beers in one of the many waterside bars. L&D joined us and after a couple of sharp showers we went back to the apartment via the local bottle shop where a woman was giving tastings from a local vineyard. We bought a couple of bottles and then went back for dinner. Lisa had prepared some lovely prawns and Tasmanian Salmon. Starting to think of home now just one more full day. Will do some packing tomorrow.Read more

  • Day34

    Melbourne to Canberra

    March 5, 2020 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    Had a smooth crossing but when we arrived in Melbourne at about 6.00am the weather was pretty grim with some of the local roads flooded. Luckily not enough to close them but it did cause the level crossing gates to stay shut so after a bit of a detour we got on our way, ahead of us a 10 hour drive to Canberra. L&D took it in turns driving through the relentless rain but eventually it began to ease off and we arrived back in Canberra at about 4.00pm. Unloaded and had a Thai takeaway and a relatively early night given the nature of our earlier journeyRead more

  • Day33

    Cradle Mountain to Devonport

    March 4, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    We did a short walk through the Enchanted Forest and then met up with L&D. Managed to catch sight of some Wombats, a mother and its young and then a Wallaby. Started our journey back to Canberra. On arriving in Devonport we witnessed the first signs of panic buying with Supermarket shelves empty of toilet roll and hand sanitiser. Boarded the ship and went to the restaurant and had the all you can eat buffet. Filling the gap left by two days of walking through some of the most stunning scenery I have ever seen.Read more

  • Day33

    Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary

    March 4, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Packed up and checked out, but as our ferry was not until the early evening we had some time to explore the park a bit more. L&D went off for a walk and we decided to go to the Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary. The numbers in the wild have reduced by about 80% due to a face cancer which has ravaged the population over the last 10 years or so. No-one is really sure how it started and there is no cure, so breeding programmes like this are very important. They are quite vicious creatures with the males fighting face to face for supremacy and the right to mate with the female, often leaving scars on their faces. Some also have scars on their hind quarters caused by the females as the try to get away from the territorial males. We also saw Quols, very cute looking but equally as vicious dropping down on their prey from tree branches and paralysing them by sinking their sharp teeth into their necks.Read more

  • Day32

    Cradle Mountain

    March 3, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    The National Park is in the heart of the 1.4 million hectare Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. It provides a variety of landscapes from Alpine rugged peaks to moors, lakes and ancient forests. We went to the information centre and decided on our walk - a 3-4 hr circular walk starting at Ronny Creek, up to Crater Lake. At that point Lisa and Dave would go up to Marion's Lookout at about 1200m while Ali and I would go down to Dove Lake. The park is incredibly organised , we took the bus to Ronny Creek and then started our ascent to Crater Lake. Walking was relatively easy along a mixture of boardwalks and stone paths but with some steep climbs thrown in to get the heart pumping. The scenery was breathtaking, probably the best walk I have ever done. Got back to the information centre in one piece and had a drink of water waiting for Lisa and Dave who turned up about an hour later having made Marion's Lookout, We had a nice meal and then back to the chalet just about ready to crash.Read more

  • Day31

    Hobart to Cradle Mountain

    March 2, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    Today is Dave's Birthday. We checked out and went and had some breakfast at a nice bakery, picked because of the quality of the cakes. We chose three cakes and did our best to hide them away in the fridge in the car without Dave knowing. Did a bit of shopping as we were not sure what would be available at Cradle Mountain. We took a tourist route which took us past a couple of huge lakes / reservoirs used to feed the areas Hydro Electric plant. We stopped at Delaraine for lunch, a small town where everyone seemed to know everyone else. We had lunch in the Deli which was very good. We carried on to Cradle Mountain with the temperature dropping the closer we got. By the time we arrived it had dropped to 7 degrees the same temperature as Haverfordwest!!
    Cradle Mountain Wilderness Retreat is a development of small alpine chalets set in a huge National Park. There is a main reception with a bar and restaurant, so not quite the wilderness but very peaceful nonetheless. We stayed in and had sausage and beans on toast and played some cards. Steady night as big walk planned for tomorrow.
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  • Day30

    MONA (Posh Pit)

    March 1, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Lisa and Dave took us to MONA , a world famous Art Gallery built into the rocks just up the estuary from Hobart Harbour. We caught the Catamaran from the dock and were shown into the Posh Pit, a special treat from L &D consisting of a very nice bar with comfy seats and complimentary drinks and canapes. The gallery its self is very quirky set out over three subterranean levels. There is a mixture of traditional modern art, historical art and some very confrontational pieces which challenge the senses and the sensibility. These included a mechanical stomach which is fed at one end and then produces poo at the other. A man who has made his body a canvass and sits motionless for people to look at, as well as some stark video displays depicting some quite unpleasant and challenging topics. We spent four hours there, there is so much to see. We got the boat back to Hobart for a couple of drinks then back to the apartment with a takeaway. Early night as tomorrow we take a 4 hr drive to Cradle Mountain where the temperature is set to drop.Read more

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