Joined September 2017 Message
  • Day26

    Sydney Miscellany

    February 6, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    What a harbour!  Vancouver has the mountains but this one is huge...and sooo active. Fun to watch. 

    Took a ferry (there are many, many going every which way) to Manly Beach...another beautiful, long, sandy. Met up with friends from Victoria...Reg and Kerry who gave us the Manly tour,  super beach walk, happy hour back at their place, a great dinner in a beach-side restaurant. Not too hard to take. 

    City walking tour the next day....Captain Cook; Sydney the depository for convicts from Britain; fight with Melbourne for country capital (neither won, so they built Canberra); Danish designer of the opera house (Jorn Utzon) got ripped off and let go when he went overbudget and overtime, and things got political ( unusual for big projects 🤔); protests over building the harbour bridge (nicknamed 'the ugly coathanger'); harbour condos selling for $22 million...uber expensive even by Vancouver standards.

    A big, action-packed, noisy city of 5 million...wonderful to see, but ready for the smaller places in N.Z.
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    Nan Poirier

    It helps that you’re dressed in white Waldo!

    Nan Poirier

    Was it the beak that intimidated you!? 😄

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  • Day24

    Beach bums

    February 4, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    We may be getting old...and we never were big beach people.  So the whole beach scene with hundreds of people struttin' their stuff, lying in the sand, the sun beating down it's UV cancer rays, swimming in shark infested waters, ....we don't quite get it.  

    I guess the first line says it all... struttin'. And while there was more to keep Daryl entertained , I did get my share of eye candy.

    Bondi Beach...35,000 visitors a day. Lovely long sandy beach...classic strip of shops and restaurants across the street. A great cliff walk along the coast....great views, lots of steps up and down to 4 other beaches. Another hot day so we take our time. Was great.

    Figure by the last beach we better see what we're missing.  So struggle into our suits over sweaty skin...down the steps to the sand...zigzag among the sun-worshippers (some notably topless)...put our packs on the towels (worry about leaving them unattended)...worry about no sunscreen on our  backs (we'll only be a  couple of minutes)...head for relief in the cool water.'s c-c-c-COLD!  We'll, we're here now...gotta go in all the way. And we did. Then back out to rescue our packs...up the steps... shower off the salt water...dry off on the grass... ✔️. That's done. Now let's go for a beer.

    As we're walking along the beach to find refreshment, we hear the lifeguard warn there are bluebottles (stinging jelly-like fish) coming in. If you don't want to get stung, get out of the water. Then we see the sign that says swim between the flags...we hadn't. But you couldn't really call what we did swimming.   The beer did taste good though 😁.
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    Susan Scheer

    VERY entertaining blog post ! Loved it !

  • Day23


    February 3, 2019 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    Despite a relatively short flight, a good part of the day spent getting out of Melbourne and into Sydney. Cool seeing the iconic highlights up close and personal.

    Easy train ride into town...shades of Vancouver skytrain. Walk along the infamous harbour...close to where we're staying in The Rocks. A busy Sunday night...guess it probably always is. Maybe more so with their lunar festival on now. Chinese New year on Tuesday... Year of the Pig. Gong hei fat choy 😃.

    Great views of the harbour bridge and opera house from lots of angles. Sure there are more pics of those in our future....
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    Grant Macauley

    Thanks guys! Travels look good mate(s) Nice mix of Beer and Biking! Grant

    Susan Scheer

    Enjoying the blog SO much !!

  • Day22

    Melbourne again

    February 2, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    Crazy weather across Australia...bush fires in Tasmania (telling people it's too late to leave, so go into a building), floods in Queensland, heat waves south and west Australia.  And cold extremes in North America and the U.K. 😳

    Melbourne today...36°. And we went cycling! After breakfast at our fave restaurant on Degraves street (the owner remembered these Canadians from 2 weeks ago...problem patrons? 🤔).

    Cruiser bikes from Freddy's rentals🚴‍♂️🚴‍♀️ . What a bike path all along the Yarra River right from the centre of town! Rowing practice on the river all day long. Nice ride but the heat takes its toll. The beer stop 🍺 at Australian National Hotel was a welcome break. Fitzroy Park...lovely...for our picnic lunch.  Direct route back rather than the winding river path was way shorter. 

    Happy hour at our hotel lounge, then took advantage of our kitchen to have dinner in. We've had a good mix of dinners out and in, so not too restaurant-weary yet.
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  • Day21

    Aussie Miscellany

    February 1, 2019 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

    We canned Canberra. We weren't getting many must-see's, then a Canberra native said... "Visiting administrative exciting" 😝.  So back to Melbourne - familiar territory...relatively.  Handed back the rental car...incident-free! 2200 kms later.

    Driving Aus observations:

    Tiddly and well-kept homes and towns, even along the thoroughfares and thru the small out-of-way towns. Very different from small town America or even BC.

    No gas and dash protection. First time we went to fill up - nowhere to pay at the pump. So in we go to pay...  "Just fill up and come in after". Okay then.

    They're serious about safe driving down here...or are they? Safety signs everywhere,  regular passing lanes, good highways. But they do let you whip along....110 on highways and 80-100 on two-lane bumpy, windy roads 😯! It'd be 60 max at home.

    Queen Victoria statues and place names boast colonial history everywhere you look.

    Love the aboriginal paintings are amazing! Cool murals in the small towns too.

    Thought Melbourne would be a bit quieter with the tennis over and school back. Not so, on a summer Friday night after work. Can't see any recession from this view!
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  • Day20

    Gold Rush Town

    January 31, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Spent a great day at Sovereign Hill, at Ballarat, 90 minutes from Melbourne.  A re-creation of the gold rush here, began in 1851. They've really done it up well...original equipment and machinery. A main street the way it would have been...minus the smells and violence. Demonstrations of blacksmithing, wheel making, gold pouring, candle making, soap making, forging, shooting, horse drawn name it.  Actors dressed in period if they live here...just like they used to.    All the shows were done with good info and humour;  always something going on in the streets...'medical emergency', newlywed arguments, troopers marching down Main Street.

    And of course the trip down into the mine, where they discovered the 'Welcome Nugget'.  Welcome, as the gold finds were starting to slow down.  It was the largest nugget (69 kg!) ever found in the world...and still the second largest.

    Crazy temperature dropped almost 20 degrees overnight. First time we were sweaters during the day. Forecast to warm again tomorrow.
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  • Day18

    Aussie critters

    January 29, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Cleland wildlife park just outside Adelaide satisfied my desire to see more Aussie critters. Natural environment, lots of animals, birdlife, forests, wetlands. Now I'm not searching for kangaroos in the countryside. Unfortunately, still see lots of kangaroo they're obviously out there. All the trucks and utes have big chrome 'roo bars' on the front bumper. Guess they don't want to slow down.

    A word about the flies... We're perfecting the 'Australian wave' to bat the little guys away as they fly persistently into our faces. Not an Australian feature I'll miss.  Interestingly, we weren't bothered at the wildlife park. Maybe enough predators for them?
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    Susan Scheer

    very very cool!

    michele atchison

    hard to see koalas in the daytime - were you lucky ?

    Cindy and Daryl Brown

    The wildlife park had them out...they seemed very well treated.

    Kellee Strom


  • Day17

    Clare Valley!

    January 28, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Drove a bit north to the Clare Valley. More great scenery in the Adelaide Hills.

    Three times lucky on the cycling! Clare Valley Reisling Trail... absolutely beautiful. Beats the Napa and the Loire Valley for great wineries, super scenery, neat history. Discovered Reislings dont have to be sweet 🥂. Stops along the way... 'flat white' ☕ under the olive trees; gourmet cheese plate at O'Leary Walker winery (4 generations of vintners). Went 40 km today...only 29° so no problem 😏.

    Sevenhills winery... started by the Jesuits to make wine for the altar...still going 180 years later. And that's the age of the oldest vines...still producing!

    Final tennis watching.. men's final. Shorter night than expected... congrats Jokey!
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  • Day15

    Travel to Adelaide

    January 26, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Lovely drive thru rolling hills straight into wine country...McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide. Can't believe the number of wineries everywhere you look. Okanagan and even Napa don't compare.

    Visited Graham Stevens winery on a local's recommendation. Good call. Graham has been in the wine business for 50 years... a very knowledgeable and likeable character.

    Then of South Australia. What a nice city. The first surveyor general is lauded for planning a city that's accessible and liveable with wide streets (where you can turn a cannon around) and 50% green space. We went to the bustling central market, art gallery, crossed the River Torrens... convention centre, Adelaide oval playing field, St. Peter's cathedral.

    At the market Daryl tried to explain how to cook 'eggs over easy'....not much success...but still a delicious brekky.

    And what a coincidence...met up with good friends John and Lynn from Victoria 😉. Dinner at Jamie Oliver's Italian then watched the women's tennis final (congrats Naomi!), hearing Australian Day fireworks outside.
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    Grant Macauley

    Just checked in, enjoyed the pics, all looks good, thanks grant

  • Day13

    Only mad dogs and Canadians...

    January 24, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 37 °C

    ...go out in the mid-day sun. ☀️☀️

    But we really wanted to try out the Encounter Bikeway...30 km coastal path on the Fleurieu peninsula south of Adelaide. not the best idea. The ocean breeze wasn't a bit of help, it felt instead like a blast furnace 🔥. Ice tea and a tuna toastie in a retro vibe cafe gave us the strength to get back... only 12 km total but exhausting. The car temp showed 48°! Records being broken...if this is what global warming looks like, well....

    Lucky we have a comfy place we're staying in Goolwa. Aircon works great; nice to have dinner in for a change. And the tennis...good time to sit in and watch the semis. 😥 for Raonic. Cheering for Tsitsipas now (so at least Roger lost to the winner 🙃).

    The other side of kangaroos ... we've seen quite a few road kills ☹️; others offered on the menu and in the grocery store. Like venison for us I guess.

    Daryl washed a few clothes and hung them outside to dry 👕. Half hour later and it's like they're just out of the dryer.
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    Susan Scheer

    totally gorgeous and exciting !!!

    Tim Majocha

    Oh yeah... reminds us of the Emirates.

    Tim Majocha

    .... “oh man Tina... it’s Abu Dhabi hot! “


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