S: In Search of the Dolphin-ROO
BC: The End!
FC: Daniela Aramu & KrisTiki Wheeler December 2008 | In Search of the Dolphin-ROO Western Australia!!
1: New South Wales & Western Australia "In Search of the Dolphin-Roo" 16 Dec 2008 - 9 January 2009 Daniela Aramu & KrisTiki Wheeler | "Welcome to Australia and my house..this is your room. Oh, and I saw a spider in there the other day...keep an eye out for it."
2: 14 Dec 2008, Sunday KLW: Yesterday I spent with Shilpa enjoying the bright and sunny Sydney day. It was so sad to see her off at the airport! I almost cried...I think my saving thought was....Dani will be here tomorrow. Go home and CLEAN! In the early am on Sunday, I drove back down to the airport to pick up Daniela. I was not really sure she'd show up, as she had suffered a really bad bout of food poisoning in Korea the 2 days before! She's a trooper and I picked her up at the airport...late due to Sydney rush hour traffic. But it turns out, the weather was still sunny and bright, so she was outside relaxing in the sun when I arrived at the airport! We did not do anything exciting, went to the grocery store to get her some crackers and soda....and straight home to hang out with Hershey and the Cockatoos. As you can see to the left...this is my wild Cocky that eats from my hand. He's a sweetie....a loud screeching sweetie that demands food if I'm in the house, and if I don't produce will rip the siding from the house. Hershey was very happy to have people there to hold him and love him...and took total advantage to sleep on us both! Dani took a long nap and returned to health. It was really really nice to have a vegitative day at home! PS. The Song lyrics throughout are from the song "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" :) | Keep me cockatoo cool, Curl, Keep me cockatoo cool Ah, don't go acting the fool, Curl Just keep me cockatoo cool Altogether now!
3: 15 Dec 2008 KLW: Left Dani at the house to recover and hang out. I went to work for my LAST day at VODAFONE! Quit my job by 10am, lunch at 12 in Sydney CBD, I arranged it for my last day and Xmas lunch...good that I got to arrange it! Hasta La Vista Vodafone! 16 Dec 2008: KLW: Dani and I left about 9am or so for the KrisTiki Sydney tour. We parked in Manly, had a nice brekky on the beach, took a walk around for our "THANK GOD IT"S SUNNY" beach shots. Then we rode the Ferry over to Circular Quay...This really is the best way to see the opera house and the bridge for the first time! And I must say, once you fly all this way, you don't really feel like you are somewhere foreign...till you see the opera house gleaming in the sunlight. Then you KNOW you are actually in Sydney. Not sure what they'd do if they did not have the Opera house!? | Is Manly... well, Manly? The englishman that named the place was amazed at the 'manliness' of the natives when he pulled his ship up. So the name stuck...it's MANLY. | KrisTiki Tour: Sydney
4: 16 Dec 2008 KLW: After we arrive in Circular Quay, the easiest way to see alot of Sydney and learn just a bit of history is to hop on the City open top bus tour. Just love those.... And having been on them now a few times, it's even better! You can sit back and relax and enjoy the scenery...and imagine builders creating the giant Limestone buildings in exchange for pay in RUM. Imagining the original settlers who were either the jail keepers or the jailed...and the idea that if you trace your heritage back to an original settler, odds are you will find some kind of criminal and a prostitute or 2 in your past...OF course, probably we all can since we came from a colony--but it's hard to imagine quakers as hanging out on a street corner! Australia has only 21M people in a space the same size as the continental USA. 75% of the population lives in and around Sydney. The culture is a mis-match of Chinese, English, Indian, and Persian as best I can describe. There is alot of Greek influence everywhere...and now they seem to have a Lebanese mob running all the nightclubs. But good hummus can be found everywhere! *giggle* What strikes me as odd...when you walk down Sydney city streets, you have to get used to people bumping straight into you. They do this so hard it hurts sometimes. To survive in Sydney, you have to use a football shoulder to dig into those folks coming at you and wedge them out of the way! It seems nothing but rude to a midwesterner...but a girl has to do what she has to do to survive! The weird part is, if an English person bumps into you they say "sorry". When the Asians (and i mean Chinese & SE Asians) do this, they just expect you to get out of the way. When Americans get treated this way, we push back and yell at the offender to ask if they were raised in a crowded barn! | Ozzie Lingo Guide: Circular Quay is pronounced "Circular KEY"
5: At the end of the KrisTiki Tour, we end up at Bondi Beach. Dani wanted some sun time, and Kris needed a rest. So we split up a bit...Kris watched the hunks on the beach and Dani hunted for sand dolphins by catching some rays of the afternoon sun. We took the bus back to Circular Quay and had a look around at the Opera house while we waited for our return Ferry. Once we got onto the ferry, it was dusk. We were setting at the front...and I was admiring some very cute men on the lower deck...Sydney is very good for that! When we started to see the GIANT FRUIT BATS taking off for the evening from the Botanical Garden. These Giant bats have 24" wingspans and were flying right over the Opera House and in the path of our boat overhead....Fantastic!
6: At dusk, the resident 20,000 fruit bats glide over the opera house, bay and the bridge. If you listen carefully, you can hear them chittering to each other! | How Did-Ger-I-DOO that??? (had to be asked!) | 16 Dec 2008
7: KLW: It's a good thing Vodafone "Garden Leaved"me! This means that they let you off paid for 4 weeks so you don't have proprietary secrets with you when you leave. Reason it was a good thing--we'd bought our tickets to Perth for today! We got out rather early and took Hershey to the cat spa. Dani fell in love with the kittens ...i was a little afraid we'd have to figure out how to pack a kitten to go with her to Germany! UGH! They were cute...But not as cute as Hershey! We then drove over to Featherdale Wildlife Park to get our ROO on...It proved such a great hit with the other girls, I thought Dani would surely love it....I was right, she did! :) We spent awhile at the park loving on everything that would let us...then headed to the airport for our flight to Perth! Wow! Featherdale was packed full of bratty kids! I did learn how to turn on an Emu...rub his neck. Then he makes low guttural 'cluck-pop' and growly noise...he was not upset...and acted upset when I left and stopped the neck massage! Hmm....glad there was a fence, lest another GOOSE incident occur!!! | GRRRRRRRRR | Watch me wallabies feed, mate Watch me wallabies feed, They're a dangerous breed, mate So watch me wallabies feed Altogether now! | 17 Dec 2008 | Featherdale Wildlife Park!
10: Ozzie Lingo Guide: Bog Roll = Toilet Paper Ace! = Excellent or Very Good! Aussie Salute = Waving motion to brush away flies from face with hand. Avos = Avacados Bathers = Swimming costume BIkkie = Biscuit as in scone or cracker Bingle = Motor vehicle accident Cab Sav = Cabernet Sauvignon Chook = CHICKEN Chrissie = Christmas Coathanger = Sydney Harbor Bridge Cockie = Cockatoo Crook = Sick Hotel = Often just a pub! Maccas (or Mackers) = McDonalds Matilda = Swagman's bedding, sleeping roll Yakka = Work | Itinerary: 17 Dec -Leave for Perth 18 Dec -Drive to Bunbury WA 19 Dec -Find a beach Dolphin Bunbury 20 Dec -7am Dolphin swim Rockingham 20 Dec -Cervantes overnight (big drive) 21 Dec -The Pinnacles+long drive North 22 Dec -Geraldtion to am Flight for Abrolhos Islands 23 Dec -Geraldton to Monkey Mia 24 Dec Xmas Eve! Monkey Mia 25-26 Dec -Beach, sand, boats, tv watching in Monkey Mia! 27 Dec -Long drive to Kalbarri... 28 Dec -Kalbarri to Fremantle 29 Dec -Rottnest Island/Fremantle 30 Dec -Back to Sydney!!! 31 Dec -Shopping and get ready for NYE!....... 1 Jan -Sydney! 2 Jan -Sydney! 3-5 Jan -Queensland for Dani! 6 Jan - Sydney Aquarium! 7 Jan -Botany Bay and Dani goes home | KLW: Ok, so Dani and I wanted a great big road trip...I'm just now coming off a long fly-drive-snorkel-drive trip...and a bit tired. SO the plan was to get garden leaved from work...Check. Hop a plane to Perth...Check. Figure out what to do when we get there--although I did make some Xmas arrangements, because I know that all of Australia leaves home and goes to the beach during that entire week! In the end, we had the itinerary above. It looks WAY too hectic in writing. We would drive a couple - few hours each day, land somewhere with a thought about what we MIGHT do the next day. We played Andrea's game of HORSE, made a few modifications as we traveled where there are too many horses. I made Dani turn around more times than she wanted to to see something I thought was fun on the side of the road.... Emu's usually. :D Once it was Black Cockatoos, which, as it turns out was a great stop, as they were "RARE Carnaby's Cockatoos" Learned some things I planned well for--always travel Oz with a "Bog Roll" as bathrooms are never there when you need them! And last but not least... I proved...Kris is NOT on vacation until SOMONE (usually Kris) gets HURT! In that regard---Great vacation!!!!
11: The Kookabura Song: Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree Merry merry king of hte bush is he. Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra, Gay your life must be! Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree, Eating all the gum drops he can see. Stop Kookaburra, stop Kookaburra Save some there for me! Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree, Counting all the monkeys he can see. Laugh Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra, That's not a monkey, that's me! Kookaburra sits on a rusty nail Gets a boo-boo on his tail. Cry Kookaburra, cry Kookaburra! Oh how life can be! | Roadtrip to Western Australia!
12: KLWs Useless Facts on Black Swans: Black swans were first seen by Europeans in 1697 when Willem de Vlamingh's expedition explored the Swan River, Western Australia. Black swans are primarily black feathered birds with white flight feathers. The bill is bright red and the feet are greyish-black. The black swan was a literary or artistic image, even before the discovery of the creature in 1697. The black swan's role in Aussie heraldry and culture extends to the first founding of the colonies in the 18th century. It has been equated with antipodean identity, the contrast to the white swan of the northern hemisphere indicating "Australianness". The black swan is featured on the flag, and is both the state and bird emblem of WA. | KLWs Useless Facts about Perth! Captain James Stirling founded the city of Perth as part of the Swan River Colony in 1829. Stirling thought the natural environment around Perth was "as beautiful as anything of this kind I have ever witnessed" and advocated that a colony be established there. The British Gov't agreed to found the colony as the first free settlement in Australia and the first settlers arrived in Western Australia in June 1829. On August 12 of that year, the felling of a tree marked the official foundation of the City of Perth. | 17 Dec 2008 | Perth
13: 18 Dec 2008 KLW: We had a great brekky in the Perth Hostel and did a stroll around the town. Then off in the car to the SOUTH. We had decided to search for the illusive "Dolphin-ROO" in Bunbury, where Dolphins are known to come up to the beach and check US out. On the way, we were driving along the coast with BEAUTIFUL pristine turqouise and blue waters lapping at the shores. No jellyfish warnings, no shark warnings...so either there aren't any....or folks just know. (??hmmmm, wonder which it is!?) Our first stop was at Kwinana beach. | Kwinana WA
14: KLW: Once on the beach, I thought I had lost Dani. Dogs, no surf, and just beautiful blue waters that you could see straight to the bottom of. We both went for walks in the water, but those Dolphin-Roo's beckoned! We stopped in Mandurah for lunch along a nice boardwalk. Dani bought her snorkel set and we hit the road some more! We were almost to our target--Bunbury! We arrived, and stopped at the Holiday beach park to rent my usual Park cabin. This one came with 2 rooms, kitchen, living room and a bathroom. We dumped our stuff and set up for the next day. Had some dinner downtown..I thought it was fantastic Italian...not sure if Dani agreed. Since she IS Italian, I'll take her word for it! :) In the am, we can either sleep in or get up super early for a dolphin boat ride...Yep...we slept in! :) | Ozzie Lingo Guide: Rock Up = to turn up or arrive Ripper = Great or Fantastic Lollies = Candy or sweets Esky = Eskimo Cooler Budgie Smuggler = Speedo's, men's bathing costume! | Mandurah WA!
15: Bunbury: is renowned for the wild but friendly bottlenose dolphins that live in Koombana Bay. These gentle creatures visit the shores of Koombana Bay at about 7-8am each day. It offers an unique interactive experience and getting up close to them in their natural habitat. The Dolphin Discovery Center, located on Koombana Drive offers a real Ozzie dolphin experience. | 19 Dec 2008 | KLW: Dani woke up and went for a run... She's so healthy! We went up to the beach with hopes of capturing a dolphin. Instead, I stayed in as to not get burnt to a crisp on our first day! Dani, on the other hand went out with no sunscreen to work on her tan. No dolphins...but I managed to get the low-down on the area from the women working there. And to get Dani's tacky Chrissy pressie! :) | KLWs Useless Facts: | Bunbury WA!
16: KLW: So what I learned from the ladies at Dolphin center was that in a place down the road, not too far from Bunbury, a family used to live. They decided to move, and when they did, they dropped their yard gnomes off at a round-about to "set them free". The thought was that someone else would most likely stop and pick up the gnomes. Instead, other's from all around the globe set their gnomes down on the round-about. So much so, as it created a traffic hazard to have all these folks looking at the free-gnomes, so the city had to move them to some land just off the round-about. And today, there is a thriving gnome society in the woods near this round-about. It's called, GNOMESVILLE! | 19 Dec 2008
17: KLW: So on our way out of town, we had to do a drive through with our new friend...Squeaker the Dolphin--a very annoying squeaky toy from the Dolphin Center. Dani did not look enthused about coming to Gnomesville with me and the Gnome from our previous trip....but she did seem to have some fun! They had a little gnome school, a city council, Gnomes from around the world, gnomes on bungees,...and the best one | was perhaps the RESCUE gnomes with a rope rescue set up and little orange painted rescue gnomes. It was a very weird little place. But I said Aloha to my little travel gnome buddy and left him with the 3rd grade gnomes to share his travel stories. If only Andrea, Noopur, and Shilpa were here!!!! | 19 Dec 2008 | Gnomesville WA!
18: KLW: Dani made arrangements for the night in a B&B at Rockingham. We pulled in kinda late, but the folks there were really nice and helped us make reservations for the Dolphin Swim the next day. Now an old pro at wetsuits, I asked the guys on the boat for a GIGANTOR suit...don't want it all tight and binding! It's so funny watching a group of 30-40 strangers packed on a boat strip down to almost nothing to put on a wetsuit. Mind you--you're lucky if your suit is DRYI! if not, it's wet cold and you can only IMAGINE what was in it before you! I just exited the boat to the deck, and alone...stripped down to put on my wetsuit in peace. Dani quickly joined me. And many of the folks on the boat looked at us like " Hey , i wished I'd thought of that!" --photo in background was taken by Kris with underwater camera... | 20 Dec 2008 | Rockingham WA!
19: KLW: Once we were all suited up the boat took off in search of some dolphins at the bottom of the bay. The entire bay grows this type of seaweed. The dolphins come in to rest and munch on the seaweed--of course this seaweed to them is like mary jane to humans! So basically, a bunch of gringo tourists are swimming in funny suits, in long lines watching doped up dolphins. FUNNY! One of the crew became "Dolphin Boy", his job was to take a water scooter down to the seaweed bed and play with the beasts...then there were 3 guides up top that pulled about 7 of us each on a water scooter so we could see the dolphins. It was really fun! They divided us up with colored webbed belts that we wore around our waists, then we would line up in the water and hook onto someone's belt ahead of you, hence making the line to pull. Once people started getting tired, there was more and more chance for us to get into the water to see them. We took EVERY chance we could! | 20 Dec 2008
20: 20 Dec 2008 KLWs Useless Facts: Rockingham is one of the few capital cities in the world that can boast that dolphins, penguins and sea lions live on their doorstep. The seaside town is only 40 min drive south of Perth. Bordered by sheltered, crystal blue waters of the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park and Cockburn Sound, Rockingham's coastline comprises of white sandy beaches, protected bays and a network of limestone islands and colorful reefs that provide the perfect environment for visitors to interact with local wildlife. KLW: It was so fantastic to see how excited Daniela got once she saw those dolphins the first time. We were SOOO tired after our trip! I took off to find a donut or something, and Dani went to the beach. Unfortunately, it started to rain, so I went and found her for a nice long brunch before we took off for parts unknown! We thought about meeting up with Kirsten--she was in Perth, but sounded like she found a cute Bloke to hang with. So we decided to drive up and play HORSE on the way to Cervantes. Cervantes has a rare limestone formation called "The Pinnacles". Dani pronounces this as "PEENEECALS" I love it! | Kangaroo Paws!
21: 20 Dec 2008 KLW: After our cold but thrilling dolphin swim, we took a few fotos around town and headed out. This was our first day to get some miles behind us, so to pass the time, I taught Dani the "Horse" game that Andrea had taught us on our previous drives around Australia. LIttle did we know, we soon were driving past the HORSE raising capital of all Australia! Dani faithfully was saying "horse, horse, horse horse..." as fast as she could to get them all on her side of the car...I also was saying the same...till I saw something NEW! Dani heard: "horse ..horse..horse horse horse KANGAROO, roo roo roo roo roo..." She JUMPED from her seat in the car and wanted to CAPTURE them. SO I whirled the car over to the side of the road (lots of traffic, and a construction zone!) turned around, and then went back down to park on the brand new construction pavement. :D Before I even stopped the car, Dani was out and hopping down the road after them! | Kangaroos with Paws! | 20 Dec 2008
22: 21 DEC 2008 KLW Useless Facts: Nambung National Park, outside Cervantes is where we headed for our days sightseeing. These photos are of the Stromatalites in Lake Thetis. Stromatalites differ from normal fossils (such as shell or bone) because they are formed by the activities of micro-organisms. They result from some combo of trapping, binding and precipitation of sediment. The constructing organisms are mainly bacteria, blue-green algae and various green unicellular algae. These organisms are the builders of our planet's oxiginated atmosphere! Lake Thetis is a saline lake which contains some Stromatalites. | Lake Thetis & Stromatalites | Squeaky the Dolphin haunts Lake Thetis.... | Cervantes WA!
23: KLW: Dani wanted to climb the hill to see Drunken Bay. I followed her up to the top where we were rewarded with a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean. There was a path with steps leading down from the hill towards the beach, below. Dani decided to go down there, I did warn her to look down at each step before she stepped onto it to look for little snakes, as they like the shade made from the step above. I must have freaked her out a bit. She very carefully walked down the steps, and then warily down the path...Once she passed a small stand of acacia scrub on her right---she FROZE. Then she turned and bolted straight back up the path! I was too curious, so I climbed down the steps, very gingerly--as I have really rotten ankles and knees! When I got to her, she said breathlessly...there was something there! I figured if it made a crashing bush noise, it was not a snake. So, we walked back down the path to see what was 'there'. Turns out to be a lone kangaroo sitting in the sparse shade of the acacia. Dani was thrilled to see yet another roo! But boy it did scare her when it made all the loud noise! *giggle* | 21 Dec 2008 | Drunken Bay WA!
24: Thank god we could drive with the a/c blasting! | Dani: "PEENEECALS View...." KLW: I'm writing this 2 years later and I still hear "The PEENEECals are beautiful" in an ever-so-soft Italian accent! :D | 21 Dec 2008
27: KLWs Useless Facts: Cervantes is a town located 231 km north north west of WA's state capital, Perth. The population is 503 and the town was named after a ship that was wrecked nearby. The ship, in turn, was named after Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote. There is little industry in the town beyond fishing. The Pinnacles are nearby in Nambur National Park which makes for a small industry in Tourism. The Pinnacles are limestone formations, the material of which came from seashells in an earlier epoch rich in marine life. These shells were broken down into lime rich sands which were blown inland to form high mobile dunes. This represented the raw material for the formation of the Pinnacles. The mechanisms thru which the Pinnacles were formed is the subject of some controversy, with 3 possible mechanisms proposed: 1. The Pinnacles were formed from lime leaching from the aeolian sand (wind-blown sand) and by rain cementing the lower levels of the dune into a soft limestone. Vegetation forms an acidic layer of soil and humus. A hard cap of calcrete develops above the softer limestone. Cracks in the calcrete are exploited by plant roots. The softer limestone continues to dissolve and quartz sand fills the channels that form. Vegetation dies and winds blow away the sand covering the eroded limestone, thus revealing the pinnacles. 2. THe Pinnacles were formed through the preservation of casts of trees buried in coastal aeolianites where roots became groundwater conduits, resulting in precipitation of indurated (hard) calcrete. Subsequent wind erosion would then expose the calcrete pillars. 3. ON the basis of the mechanism of formation of smaller "root casts" occurring in other parts of the world, it has been proposed that plants played an active role to create the Pinnacles. The proposal is that calcium is driven to form a hard shell over plant roots, over time this calcium is converted to calcrete. The root dies and the space is then filled with carbonate material. | 21 Dec 2008 | The Nomadic Dolphin-Roo....
28: 21 Dec 2008 KLW: We had driven from Rockingham, south of Perth to land in Cervantes for the night. We scored a hostel room with bunkbeds by ourselves and went to the pub for dinner. It was not good, but had the entertainment of a fishing boat that had come in to dock. SO the local women were all giving us the evil eye and the men looked intrigued with exotic out-of-towners! *laugh* The plan today is to drive to Geraldton, where we'll stay 2 nights so we can take a side trip in the air for a tour of the abrolhos islands. This am, we thought we should try to live it up in this one-street town. As Dani put it "Where is the town?" We drove over to Nambung National Park to visit Lake Thetis, Drunken Bay, and The Pinnacles. I think both of us thought, "Eh, big sand spikes..." till we saw it. It was truly beautiful! The park is all sand dunes with a few scrub bushes around (acacia and tea tree, or Manuka) We took tons of photos, drove the car around the car track to visit the different Pinnacle clusters, as it was WAY too hot on the sand to really stay out for a long time, the a/c was wonderful! | The Pinnacles WA!
29: KLW: As we left that wood deck, I was wondering what kind of odd paw print it was showing us as stepping off the other side. Now as excited as Dani is to see Roo's and Dolphins in the wild...I'm just as excited to see an EMU! I was following Dani off the boardwalk to the car, when she stopped to investigate a giant grasshopper on the ground. When I looked up from that, I could not believe my eyes! It was a 6 foot tall EMU! She was walking very slowly towards the scrub that the boardwalk was built through. She did not alter speed or course, but did cast a curious eye towards me as I yelled "EMU DANI EMU DANI DANI EMU EMU EMU..!!!" And did the best I could to click click click away at my camera to make sure I had some shots! I was so happy the rest of the day! :) | KLWs Useless Facts: EMU EMU EMU!!!!!!!!!! The Emu is a large flightless bird. They stand 1.5 to 2 m tall and on average weigh about 75 pounds. They have 3 toes at the end of long legs which allows them to run extremely fast. The females are larger than the males. Emu's feed on grass, leaves and small insects. They live all over Australia in grasslands (and apparently deserts!) The female lays up to 20 eggs, which are large and are soft dark green in color. These eggs are prized by humans for decoration and animals as a food source. The male incubates the eggs for a period of 7-8 weeks and does not leave the nest for this period. When the eggs hatch, the male emu looks after the hatchlings for another six months. The Emu is the worlds 3rd largest bird. The Ostrich and the Cassowary take the top 2 positions. The emu belongs to a group of flightless running birds with flat breastbones known as ratites. Ratites are the oldest form of modern bird families. They include kiwis, ostriches and cassowaries. THe emu's feathers are very primitive and look like a form of coarse hair. The special nature of these feathers enables emus to cope with extreme changes in weather. The emu's tracheal pouch, which is part of its windpipe is used for communication. it is over 30 cm long, and very thin-walled. It allows the bird to produce deep guttural grunts. KLW: and from personal experience, when you rub their necks just right....they sort of growl purr in a low clucking noise! | 21 Dec 2008 | Death of the Dolphin-Roo????
30: Attack of the DOLPHIN-ROO....!! | KLWs Useless Facts: | It is a little known fact that the Pinnacle deserts are inhabited not only by the typical downunder creatures, such as Emu, big giant bugs, and kangaroos. Legend has it that the desert was once ruled by the nomadic and voracious breed called the Dolphin-Roo. These creatures sneak up on their prey when they least expect it. In broad daylight, they approach their prey silently, playing no shark approach music as heard in movies like "Jaws". Just at the last moment, before the prey is devoured the Dolphin-Roo let's out a high pitched, hair raising SQUEEEEEEK that can be heard for miles, and annoys all that hear the forlorn screech. Fortunately, once a Dolphin-Roo attacks, it can be given away as an ocean toy to the nearest unsuspecting child....See the Abrolhos islands...
31: KLW: Dani was most intrigued as the wind was blowing so hard, as soon as I got the Peeneecal tree wrapped and took a step away, it would all blow off. I finally got 1 good shot (see above). So we've already had a full morning, We saw the stromatolites of Lake Thetis, Climbed almost down to Drunken Bay--found wild Roo, and have explored the Pinnacles of Western Australia where we had the opportunity to see a large grasshopper...an even bigger EMU and put up a little xmas cheer for ourselves! But as die hard roadtrippers, we must push on...so north we head! Jurien Bay was quite close by, so we stopped for lunch in this 1 horse town...And Dani thought Cervantes was TINY!? Jurien did have a type of hospital barn....but that was about it. The bay was gorgeous and we got some really nice burgers and malts at the drive in there. Onwards and Northwards! along the way, i fell asleep...normal really. But Dani drove and drove...i just woke up in time to ask...Was that a big group of black COCKIES??? TURN AROUND! I think Daniela was a bit perturbed that I made her turn around to see them. In fact, a local (hear the banjos in the background) stopped to see if we had car trouble. Unfortunately, i think that's a pick up line for serial killers in this country! so NO no car trouble!!!!! | KLW: Dani on the other hand, got some excitement as we drove thru the park and I decided these peeneecals looked like rock xmas trees. So I stopped the car, got out in 110F baking desert heat and removed our car xmas decs--the melted red and silver garland and the dolphin and xmas hat from our travels to make a Peeneecal xmas tree.... | 21 Dec 2008
32: 21 Dec 2008 | Jurien Bay WA
33: 21 DEC 2008 The coastline around Jurien Bay was first known to Europeans in the 17th century. An expedition under the command of Nicolas Baudin sailed along the Western Australian coast. The first settlement was established in the mid1850s. A jetty was contstructed in 1885 due to the success of pastoralism. In the early 1900s, a temporary fishing village was built around the Jurien jetty and the coastal waters were used to catch dhufish, snapper and groper. Permanent residences were only built in 1950s, however the buildings were only corrugated iron shanties instead of properly built dwellings. The settlement did not grow due to poor and unreliable water supply. Crayfish, or Western Rock Lobster, are abundant in the area, and the towns development soon became influenced by the crayfish industry. Crayfishing has now become a multi-million dollar industry, sending goods regularly to Japan and the USA. | Du- Dah..... | Du- Dah, DuH DAH.... | Du- Dah, Duh DAH DUH DAH DUH DAHHHHHH | AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....I think we're going to need a bigger boat..... | KLWs Useless Facts:
34: The Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo is a large black cockatoo with white tail panels, white cheek spots and a short bill. It lives only in SW AUstralia where large-scale clearing for farming has fragmented it's habitat, particularly mature eucalypts, such as, the salmon gum and wandoo that have suitable hollows for nesting. They eat a variety of native and introduced plant species and on insect larvae. Plants include kwongan heath plants such as bansksias, dryandra, hakea, grevillea and also marri seeds. The populations of Carnaby's Cockatoos have declined by 50% in the past 45 years. The cockys live tor 40-50 years in the wild. A large proportion of the remaining population is now past breeding age. When these older birds die, there will be very few younger birds to take their place. | 21 Dec 2008 | KLWs Useless Facts:
36: Geraldton, 424km north of Perth, and is rightly known as the Sunshine City for it's year-round sunny climate and modern town. High on Mount Scott, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the city of Geralton is a memorial to the HMAS Sydney. | BLONDES | 21 Dec 2008 | KLWs Useless Facts: | Geraldton WA!
37: The Abrolhos Islands, or Houtman Abrolhos as they are more correctly called, consists of three separate groups of islands some 70 km west of Geraldton off the Western Australia coast. The group extents 80 km N-S, with the Wallabi group to the north, then Easter, and finally the Pelsart group to the south. The islands are predominantly coral based, and the protected waters harbor some of the most magnificent coral gardens in the world, rivalling the GBR. In the late 19th century the southern islands were worked for guano. The northern islands are the center of a lucrative cray fishing industry in season. The islands are a wildlife sanctuary and camping is prohibited without authorization. 54 vessels are listed as sunk around the island, including 2 of the earliest recorded vessels lost in Australian waters. The Dutch East Indiaman Batavia (1629) and the Zeewyk (1727). The largest vessel in the group was the 2892 ton iron steamer Windsor, off Pelsart Island in 1908. The Batavia, a Dutch vessel made of wood at about 600tons and owned by the Dutch East India Company wrecked at Morning Reef off Beacon Island on 4 June 1629. The ship was crammed with trade goods and supplies, 12 bound chests of silver coin worth 250,000guilders and a casket of jewels valued at 58,000 guilders. 316 soldiers, passengers and crew were jammed aboard the vessel, probably little more than 150' in length. Relations between Pelsart and his skipper Jacobsz were already poor and when the commander reprimanded him for drunkenness at the Cape of Good Hope they deteriorated further. Most of the passengers and crew reached safety on Beacon Island. Pelsart made a 1,200 nautical mile journey north in one of the boats and was picked up in the SUndaStrait and taken to Jakarta. Perlsart set out almost immediately in the Sardam to return to the Batavia and arrived back on 17 Sept after a voyage of 65 days. In his absence, Cornelisz, the Batavia's undermerchant, had seized the ship's treasure, and with his followers had indulged in an orgy of murder and rape; they killed no less than 125 of the wreck survivors. Forty had drowned in attempting to reach shore and 20 died of disease. Pelsart and a council of officers from the Sardam tried the mutineers. Seven, including Comelisz, whose hands were first cut off, were hanged, while 2 others were marooned on the mainland and never heard of again. Others were punished when they arrived at Jakarta. | 22 Dec 2008 | KLWs Useless Facts: | Abrolhos Islands WA!
38: KLW: Dani and I headed out early for some brekky and to catch the flight at the little tiny airport of Geraldton. We met the family of 4 we would be traveling with and Steve the pilot. Steve would be our pilot and guide for the day. I set in the back of the plane, near the wing and hoped for the best on this little tiny propeller plane! Steve was very nice to us, our take off was smooth, the flight was smooth...and he would tell us through our big noise canceling headsets "I'm going to turn left and show you...". It was fun, and the plane was really loud, but we could talk to each other through our headsets. Daniela, is terrified of heights and was holding on for dear life in the front seat with Steve. The family did great...well...till I got sick at my stomach. Steve was good--but not that good. Apparently--I get REALLY motion sick when looking at islands, shacks, and shipwrecks below the plane! I did have to use the "Inconvenience" bag...yep the puke bag. And unfortunately--forgot that I had a speaker nearby. So EVERYONE on the plane got to hear me Puke in the bag at least 4 times! All the kids in the family reached for their bags...and soon I was afraid that I made EVERYONE SICK! Thank god I was the only one that puked! YUCK! - and darn it--there goes breakfast! | 21 Dec 2008
39: KLW: When we landed on the dirt and gravel runway--Now that looks remote! Steve had told us on the flight that the islands ONLY had people on them during fishing season, and we were not there during fishing season. So in effect, we were the ONLY people there! FANTASTIC! Daniela must have forgotten this, when we landed she asked Steve where I could pitch my puke bag...I just giggled. I knew the answer coming...when there are no people, there is no trash service...so we have to Haul it back WITH US on the plane! I think I was the only one that realized this before she asked the question...I looked at her and asked--who's going to pick up the trash? We're the only ones here! :D Then we all had an "AHA" moment...followed quickly by a "DISGUSTING" bag left in a hot plane moment! *DOUBLE YUCK!*
40: 22 Dec 2008 | KLW: So we hiked out to the beach, set up our table, had a cuppa, had a donut that Dani and I brought THANK GOODNESS! and sun creamed up for the snorkeling! Steve led us out through the sea-grass to see some really pretty purple corals. Not many fish...I got lost trying to get our way back to the beach. Thank goodness Dani knew how to get back! Then we spent alot of time just looking for little shells in the shallows. I made friends with the little girl with us, we hunted for shells EVERYWHERE and decided that we had to leave some behind or the plane would not get us home for all our shells! Steve walked us up to see the Osprey nest, and we found a dead seal on the shore. Poor little guy! Daniela stayed to swim and work on her tan some more...Then we got ready to fly back. I got to set in front--as NO one wanted to hear me puke anymore! I felt lucky, I made it back without any other incidences! Dani seemed quite happy and secure in the back. She took all the good pics while we were flying... I figured that's what made me so sick the first time! No cameras on a plane! Loved the Abrolhos day, and we needed more like these!
41: The Osprey nest surrounded by broken shells and collected things... | K's little shell collecting friend... | Dani works on her tan!
42: KLW: Geraldton had been fun. On the drive up and into Geraldton, we had started to notice these signs along the road: Local Police Now Targeting...... Most of the time, the item targeted was: drink driving, or seatbelt usage, or Speeding....but as we watched who was getting pulled over we think there might be other signs we were missing...such as: Local Police Now Targeting.....blondes, brunettes, foreigners, rednecks, Young kids that look like trouble, kangaroos, Dingos....and the list went on. On the am of our departure from Geraldton we had a really nice breakfast in town and drove up to see the lighthouse. We walked out to the beach on the point and OMG the wind was blowing so fiercely that the sand was picked up and blown just below your knee. I was sunburned from the island trip on the backs of my calves and OMG, there is nothing like getting your sunburnt skin Sand blasted the next day! It hurt alot! We then went to the next highlight of Geraldton, the HMAS Sydney memorial..it's on a great little hill manicured with plants and flowers. The seagull dome was fantastic, but the wind was still very fierce! Ducking back into the car to escape the wind, we started our long drive up the coast to Denham and Monkey Mia. This was going to be a long driving day. Lots of lonely, straight, flat roadway. Surrounded on both sides with scrub, wildflowers, and red dirt everywhere....Dani asked me again a couple hours into the drive.... "ARE WE IN THE OUTBACK YET?" Technically, no, we were still on a paved road. But for all intensive purposes--it was HOT, Dusty and nothing but an occasional car would pass us. Even the Roos were down for the day's heat! | 23 Dec 2008
43: High on Mount Scott, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the city of Geralton is a memorial to the HMAS Sydney. The HMAS Sydney was lost with all hands in a mysterious battle, believed to be off the Geraldton coast. The center of the memorial is a dome, 12m across, raised on pillars 3m tall. It is seafaring tradition that the souls of lost sailors are embodied in seagulls. The dome consists of 645 stylized stainless steel seagulls that represent the souls lost when the HMAS Sydney was sunk with all hands in November 1941. The bronze woman in 1940s dress, standing, gazing into the distant horizon waiting forever for the return of her beloved son, or her husband, or her boyfriend. The story of HMAS Sydney remains an official secret, sixty odd years after the event. | 23 Dec 2008 | KLWs Useless Facts: | Geraldton WA!
44: I've Been Everywhere... by Geoff Mack, sung by Lucky Starr Well, I was humpin' my bluey on the dusty Oodnadatta Road, When along came a semi with a high and canvas-covered load, (Spoken) "If you're goin' to Oodnadatta, mate, um, with me you can ride." So I climbed in the cabin and settled down inside. He asked me if I'd seen a road with so much dust and sand, I said: "Listen, mate, I've travelled ev'ry road in this here land." Chorus: Cos "I've been everywhere, man, I've been everywhere, man. 'Cross the deserts bare, man; I've breathed the mountain air, man; Of travel I've had my share, man. I've been everywhere... Been to: Tullamore, Seymour, Lismore, Mooloolaba, Nambour, Maroochydore, Kilmore, Murwillumbah, Birdsville, Emmaville, Wallaville, Cunnamulla, Condamine, Strathpine, Proserpine, Ulladulla, Darwin, Gin Gin, Deniliquin, Muckadilla, Wallumbilla, Boggabilla, Kumbarilla, I'm a killer. Chorus: (Spoken) "Yeah, but listen here, mate, have you been to..." | 23 Dec 2008 | DA: I definitely think this IS the Outback! | KLW: This drive is exciting for the first hill. After that..it just looks the same. Driving on the wrong side of the road...no radio stations, just mp3 players, and heat...it was 115F, dry, and windy. We stopped...like everyone does for fuel, an ice cream, some water...and a pit stop at teh Billabong roadside petrol station. It's found by it's latitude and longitude...not by an address. Dani, we may have found the outback!
45: ...I've been to Moree, Taree, Jerilderie, Bambaroo, Toowoomba, Gunnedah, Caringbah, Wooloomooloo, Dalveen, Tamborine, Engadine, Jindayne, Lithgow, Casino, Brigalow, and Narromine, Megalong, Wyong, Tuggerawong, Wangarella, Morella, Augathella, Brindabella,... I'm the feller. Chorus (Spoken): "Yeah, I know that, but have you been to..." I've been to Woolongong, Geelong, Kurrajong, Mullumbimby, Mittagong, Molong, Grong Grong, Goondiwindi, Yarra Yarra Boroondara, Wallangarra, Turramurra, Boggabri, Gundagai, Narrabri, Tibooburra, Gulgong, Adelong, Billabong, Cabramatta, Parramatta, Wangaratta, Coolongoatta, What's the matter? Chorus (Spoken): "Yeah, look that's fine, but how about..." I've been to Ettalong, Dandenong, Woodenbong, Ballarat Canberra, Milperra, Unanderra, Captain''s Flat, Cloncurry, RIver Murray, Kurri Kurri, Girraween, Terrigal, Fingal, Stockinbingal, Collaroy and Narranbeen, Bendigo, Dorrigo Bangalow, Indooroopilly, Kirribilli, Yeerongpilly, Wollondilly, DON"T BE SILLY! | Chorus: I've been here, there, ev'rywhere, I've been ev'rywhere. (Spoken) "Okay, mate, you've been ev'ry place except one, and ya don't need my help t'get there." (Sound of door slamming and truck driving off.) | Billabong Roadhouse: Latitude: 26.81617 Deg S Longitude: 114.6126 Deg E Altitude: 137 m | Billabong Roadhouse | Middle of Nowhere WA!
46: Why are there no MONKEYS at Monkey Mia? | 23 Dec 2008 | KLW: We rolled into Denham and stopped at the tourist center to have a look around. They have a fantastic tourist center that explains the region of Shark Bay and some of the critters we'll see along the way. Dugongs and Dolphins! Denham is another 1 street town, but actually boasts a medical clinic! We drove on to the National Park at Monkey Mia to check into our seaside room and went to the 1 restaurant for some drinks and some dinner. The water was just clear turquoise blue, the sunset was gorgeous, and the place was PACKED! Aussies do love their summer Christmas Get-aways! | Monkey Mia WA!
50: KLW: Dani went out every day at 7am to find the Dolphins feeding on the beach. I slept in--too much car travel over the last 2 months had taken a toll. :) NO pun intended! (I was impressed that Dani was up before NOON!) We made some plans that day to take a Sunset catamaran sailboat cruise and for Boxing day to take a Dugong/Dolphin spotting cruise. OH FUN! | 24 Dec 2008
51: KLW: As I was sleeping in these 4 days, Dani came back from the beach on Christmas Eve and told me to get out of bed...quick! There were EMU's on the beach! So I lept from my bed and found a papa emu with 3 babies (big babies) walking away from a goofy looking guy with big teeth and a big camera on the beach. He made me rather mad--as he was walking fast chasing the critters and they were obviously trying to get away from him. I took the literal High road, and from our upstairs balcony clucked at the Emu..ok I growled and clucked as the Emu at Featherdale had taught me. They immediately came over to me and we played 'Romeo & Juliet' from the balcony as I dropped bread down to the buggers to eat. The adult, let's call him Steve :), would stretch up to our balcony and stare at me with those deep gold eyes...it was WICKED! And this background is genuine Emu feathers! The best part of this story, while I was distracting the Emu's that goofy looking guy followed the kritters up to my balcony. I ran down and got to the yard with the bread. When I finished giving the papa emu all the bread, he had to look at each of my fingers separately (see photo below on left) to make sure I was not hiding anything. Then he directly walked off to the goofy guy--now standing on somone's lower balcony and trying to get his camera about 8" from the baby's faces. The male walked right up to him...and Grabbed his Goofy sticking out front teeth in it's beak! THe man jumped--acted like it hurt. and the papa emu just giggled and had a look on his face like..."they were yellow like bread. ?huh?" | 24 Dec 2008
52: 24 Dec 2008 | DA: Is anyone else feeling ...wet? | KLW: *LAUGHING Hysterically!* | Merry Christmas Western Australia
53: KLW: Christmas Eve Shotover Cruise proved a bit ....wet. The captain was having too much fun hitting waves at an angle and causing tidal waves to come over the port side. Which happened to be the side Daniela was sitting on. I looked back at her from the Bow to smile and wave--and she looked like a very soaked and cold waterlogged puppy! Poor DANIELA! | 24 Dec 2008
54: 25 Dec 2008 | MERRY CHRISTMAS!! | KLW: We woke up to a bright and sunny beach day for Xmas! Unwrapped pressies on our balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean, Dani worked on her tan, I went to my first Chrissy Cracker dinner, and then went for a drive to entertain myself and stay off the beach...Yea I get bored just hiding under shade on a beach! and sunburn within 10 mins, so it's never fun! But Santa came to see us both!
55: 25 Dec 2008
56: Shell Beach is about 45km south of Denham Township and on the Western side of the peninsula, the coquina bivalve shellfish has no predator. The shell fish have existed in huge numbers for thousands of years, then died natural deaths and been washed ashore. Shell Beach is covered for 60km long stretch to a depth of some 7-10m. The effect is brilliant; a long, snow-white beach bordered by aqua blue ocean waters. Shell Beach is one of only 2 shell beaches like it in the world! It is thought that this cockle was first deposited here about 4000 years ago. Over the years the shell deposits have cemented to form soft coquina limestone. Rainwater repeatedly dissolves small quantities of calcium carbonate of which the shells are composed. As the water evaporates, the calcium carbonate is precipitated as calcite crystals, which bind the shells together. Coquina limestone blocks have been used to build many of Shark Bays old buildings. These blocks have very good insulation characteristics. A coquinite quarry can be visited at Hamelin Pool. | Merry Christmas! | KLWs Useless Facts: | Kris on Shell Beach | NOT | Shell Beach!
57: KLW: So off I drove from Monkey Mia with the a/c blasting and singing christmas songs with a full stomach from my english Chrissy meal. I had a plan...drive to Shell beach, play a little, and then head on to Hamelin Pools. If I was lucky I'd make it to Ocean Park before they closed....and back to meet Dani at 7pm or so. Well, all is frought with good intentions! I arrived at Shell beach--I was the only person there. Great, I thought. So I jumped out of the car, big expensive camera in hand, sunnies (sunglasses) on --it was bright!, flip-flops for walking, and a dress--it was XMAS afterall. I got about 30' away from the car and it happened. I steped down with my left foot, and it rolled off of the pavement and into the ditch--went snap crackle pop and down I went. I landed sliding down to the ground so hard my sunnies fell off my head and cracked the frame, my shoes...heck I don't know where they landed. I almost threw up--I was in that much pain. And then I realized...I had left about 90 km from Daniela, with no water, could not walk, had no sunscreen on, and was carrying a camera that I almost landed on--and no WATER! I burst into tears from the pain, frustration, and the immediate panic thought of "I'm going to burn alive and die of dehydration on this damn beach...and all before I actually SEE the beach" Some days, when you are alone...you are REALLY alone. I waited a few mins right where I fell--assessed the damage after the initial shock wore off, scraped up knee, elbow, and my ankle is now the size of a cantalope, I'm crying my precious bodily fluid out in sweat and tears...Yes I am going to die...on Christmas Day, in Fucking hell no where Australia...And Daniela will never find me!!!! (cause my mobile phone is in the car...) So now I'm stuck in the middle of no where with a potentially broken ankle...I just sucked it up and drug myself to the nearest bench. Then I got angry. I had driven all this way to see the damn shell beach--by god if I was going to die here, i might as well see the pretty beach! So I drug myself over the shell dunes and looked at the damn shell beach. It was fairly pretty, but the tide was out so not pretty with the water. I lurched back to the car, got in and still crying had a decision to make...drive back to feel sorry for myself the rest of the day not seeing the other sites...or by god drive and see as much as I could from the car!! drive on...and the a/c jetting out of the vent felt good on the ankle.... | Along the route to see the sights, there is a sign..."USELESS LOOP ROAD". Aussies just love the OBVIOUS naming convention everywhere they can apply it...I did not drive down the road, as I was in total pain and figured they would name it "Most beautiful vista Ever Road" if it was worth driving down...so here's the story about the road: A solar salt operation and gypsum mine have been operating since 1968 at Useless Loop. The salt is produced when ponds are repeatedly flooded with seawater, which is progressively concentrated by evaporation and scooped up when dry. Overseas ships call regularly to collect the product which in fact is the purest grade of sea salt in the world. As it is a closed mining town there are no facilities for tourists... (Some how this is starting to sound like AREA 51 for Oz!) | USELESS LOOP ROAD | 25 Dec 2008 | Merry Christmas! | KLWs Useless Facts:
58: Hamelin Pools & Telegraph Station is privately owned enterprise and features the historic Flint Cliff Telegraph Station and Post Office. Opened in 1884, the original building is now a museum which also exhibits a living Stromatalite. The old Postmaster's residence is now a tearoom serving Devonshire teas, light meals and refreshments. Within a short distance is the Shell Block Quarry from which most of the surrounding station homesteads are built and the Stromatolites. Hamelin Pool Stromatolites are the world's best known colony of Stromaolites. The pool is a landlocked marine basin partially separated from Shark Bay by a shallow barrier bank constructed in the last 5,000 years through the accumulation of skeletons of marine organisms living in seagrass meadows. The algal Stromatolites here are the most abundant and diverse to be found in modern times. Stromatolites differ from normal fossils because they are formed by the activities of micro-organisms. They result from some combination of trapping, binding and precipitation of sediment. The constructing organisms are mainly bacteria, blue-green algae and various green unicellular algae. | 25 Dec 2008 | KLWs Useless Facts: | KLW: Before I headed to Hamelin Pools, I decided to try to find some ice. Now where in the world does one find ice in the outback, dry hot christmas day? Well--10k down the road was a campground. So I went there--met some nice folks that lived there all year around, and invited myself to tea, told them what happened to me, and asked if by chance they had any ice? It's always a fun thing to be in a foreign country with NOTHING around you..hurt and asking strangers for help. They helped, i got some ice and off I drove to Hamelin Pools. At the pools I stopped to talk to the locals--a couple toothless old guys that offered to get the chain saw out for my ankle.... Nice--most folks would be terrified of potential amputation in the field... but they were offering to give me ice from their ice block--they did things the old fashioned way around there! | Hamelin Pool!
59: 25 Dec 2008 | KLW: The rednecks gave me driving directions to the pools, so my ice and bad ankle drove over there, hobbled down the boardwalk to look at the rocks--it was sweltering, so my iced did not last long. I hobbled back to the car and down the road again. By the time I did all this I missed Ocean Park and did not get home till really late. Daniela was worried about me, and I suppose rightly so...as I still felt like I should have been dying on that damn shjell beach! | You know you are "downunder" when the trees grow upside down!
60: 26 Dec 2008 | Dolphin & Dugong Boxing Day Cruise!
61: KLW: As this was our last day at Monkey Mia, Dani woke me up to come see the dolphins feeding. I walked as far as I could on the sand and just waited for them. Then decided I could see more from the dock. So I went there with the camera to take photos. Later that day we went on the Shotover cruise again...this time much wiser to the riding on the side makes you REALLY WET theory. We got to play with Dolphins on our wake, and started to spy Dugongs in the water all around us. I would have LOVED to swim with them! The skipper told us about sea snakes he sees occasionally, they come up and look at the boat out of curiosity, then swim away. Dani was the lucky one on the cruise--some guy was fishing for her! Not sure he caught her--but it's always fun just to be fishing for boyz! :) | 26 Dec 2008
62: I Wonder if anyone will notice a DOLPHIN in my bag??? | 27 Dec 2008
63: W A R N I N G | Monkey Mia to Kalbarri... KLW: After a relaxing boxing day, we loaded up the car and headed to Kalbarri. Apparently, we were in great company as we got the LAST hotel room in town! It was a hostel at a horse ranch, Dani was thrilled and went for a trail ride all evening! I opted for a drive around town to explore and find where to eat dinner...turns out, the wind was blowing up a storm...the sand and dirt stung you everywhere. I went to the city park and found a flock of pink Galahs. They were all on the ground eating grass...and trying not to fly....continued | 27 Dec 2008 | Just Kidding! No Moose near Denham! | Ocean ParkWA!
64: KLWs Useless Facts: Ocean Park is approx. 7 km from Denham along Shark Bay Road, WA. Ocean Park is open everyday from 10a-4p with guided tours. This aquaculture venture, is a gazebo sitting over 2 constructed lagoons with bridges connecting the two. This enables visitors to view a display of marine animals including sharks, pink snapper, and eagle rays. | 27 Dec 2008 | Sea Snake Extremely Poisenous! | Kristi feeds a Stingray! | SHARK! | We are HERE! | ??? | Really, ya think??
65: KLW: Continued....but as soon as one Galah would jump up to take off, it would get blown way up to the top of a tree..and have to walk back down to the ground. Hilarious! I laid in the grass for a long time and watched them parade by me about 5 feet away. There were adult sized babies screeching for their mothers, as they all looked the same, the baby would walk up to a Galah, skreech at it and see if it was receptive to it's incessant demands. If no, the Galah in question would snap at the baby and he would sulk away to find another mother--testing her to see if it was his. You could then spot the mother of the offending chick, as she would pop her head up from a few birds away and watch the skreecher. Then when the baby looked up for her above the crowd, she'd duck her head back down so as to not be seen! FUNNY! Eventually the baby would find the mommy Galah and stick his head in her mouth looking for food. She would be disgusted, give him some, then hop up, let the wind grab her wings and WHOOSH! She'd be lost among the pink and grey bodies, leaving Skreecher to start skreeching again ..."Are you my mother?" While I was out, I scoped a great place for a nice dinner, we could see the bay and watch the sun set over the water. It was really pretty, food was good, too! We then went back to the hostel, had a couple beers with the other folks and bunked in for the night. Tomorrow will be a long drive and an early am Quad bike ride! KLWs Useless Facts on Kalbarri: Kalbarri is nestled where the Murchison River flows into the INdian Ocean, 2 hours drive North of Geraldton. This is one of WA's most popular holiday resorts. The climate is warm sunny for most of the year. Marvel at the 186,000 acres of some of the states richest wildflower bushland. With Kalbarri Nat'l Park basting 800 species of wildflowers, it is no wonder that on any day of the year you will find a bloom of some kind. 28 Dec 2008 KLW: Our hostel was just 300m from the Quad bike tour location that we went on today. We had a great time riding through all sorts of rocky and sandy terrain. The guide, again...let's stick with "Steve" for all guide names! Took us to see the Murray River. He stopped so we could gauk at Kangaroos in the road, beautiful landscapes and a giant red rock out in the middle of nowhere. When we stopped to see the Roo's, there was a little snake trail in the sand above the tire treads...wonder where that little snakey-poo is? After our Quad bike ride and a trip to town for some lunch and a quick stop at Rainbow Bird World for Kristi...she got to scratch cockatoos on the head, but it was far to sticky hot to stay there long! We took off back down the road to see where we'd land after Kalbarri. Dani did most of the driving today, thank god we found fuel when we did! Although, not so much luck with the bathroom! Good thing I grabbed a role of TP along the route! Aussie bush....go forth and be watered! | 27 Dec 2008
66: Daniela: "Are we in the OUTBACK yet?" | 27 Dec 2008 | Kalbarri WA!
67: Unattended Children will be promised a Pony for Christmas! | 27 Dec 2008 | Trail Ride Kalbarri WA! | Henry the goat
68: upside down bird in a pine tree... | Are YOU my mother??? | Flock of Pink Galah at the Kalbarri city park!
69: 28 Dec 2008 | Quad Bike Tour Kalbarri WA
70: 28 Dec 2008
71: The Murchison River is the 2nd largest river in Western Australia. It flows for about 780km from the southern edge of the Robinson Ranges to the Indian Ocean at Kalbarri. It has a mean annual flow of 200 million cubic meters. The river was named by the explorer, George Grey, the name honors a Scotish geologist named Sir Roderick Murchison. | 28 Dec 2008
72: 28 Dec 2008
73: 28 Dec 2008
74: 28 Dec 2008 | Rainbow Parrot Park Kalbarri WA!
75: 28 Dec 2008 | Roadhouses...
77: 28 Dec 2008 | NO LIVESTOCK to be ridden or driven along Road Reserve!
78: 29 Dec 2008 KLW: We got up and had a nice breakfast, then wandered down to the waterfront where they have a large market set up in one of the old warehouses. Across from that is the ferry to pick up for Rottnest Island. Dani did the beach thing and I rode around the island taking a few pics, had lunch, and walked around to see everything. Dani got browner...I got a ripe burn on my back...and I got to touch a Quokka! Although I must state now...I'm jealous of darn Italians and their dark browning skin! :) Fremantle is located 30 min from Perth's CBD. THe bustling and dynamic port city of Fremantle oozes a vibrant mix of cosmopolitan class, funky culture and warm, heritage charm. Known as the world's best preserved example of a 19th century port streetscape and boasting WA's largest collection of heritage listed buildings. Fremantle is also the ideal place to learn about WA's pioneering history. You can experience fascinating stories of convict prisoners, maritime heros, murderous mutineers, and pioneering settlers at the Fremantle Prison and incredible range of museums. | Rottnest Island WA!
79: Rottnest Island was named "Rats nest" because of the numerous Quokka located on the island. A Quokka is a small marsupial that is very active at night and sleep during the day. There are approx. 10,000 left in the population on Rottnest Island. It's head is broad and short, with a dark stripe visible on the forehead. They have small rounded ears covered by fur. Its body has long thick shaggy fur normally brown. THey have large hind feet with a very rat-like hairless tail. They eat at night on native grasses and shrubs. They need little drinking water as their bodies can reuse a portion of their bodies waste products for water. | 29 Dec 2008
80: Rottnest Island is located 10mi from Perth. It is called Wadjemup by the Noongar people, meaning "place across the water". The island is 11km long, and 4.5km wide at its widest point. It is classified as a nature reserve and is managed by the Rottnest Island Authority. The Western Aussie vernacular diminutive is "Rotto", or "Rottnest". It has been an important local holiday destination for over 50 years. Originally inhabited by Aboriginal starting 30,000 years ago, the island features in Noongar Aboriginal mythology as Wadjemup. There were no people on the island when European exploration began. It was observed by various Dutch sailors from 1610 onwards. The island was named "Rattenest" in 1696 because the Dutch captain described a marsupial, called the Quokka as a large rat. The island became an aboriginal prison in 1838 after 10 prisoners were sent there. The island became a penal colony for Aboriginal people between 1838 and 1931. The prisoners were sent there for offenses such as: spearing livestock, burning the bush or digging vegetables. | 29 Dec 2008 | Of all things, doesn't this sticker make you WANT to spit, just to see the DNA test...!!!
81: NYE SYDNEY HARBOR!!!! | 1 Jan 2009 | Red Underwear? In Italy, at Christmas time, all stores carry ONLY red underwear...so I found when in Venice/Padova in 2005. I did not know why--Do all Italians LOVE only red underwear? Dani started looking frantically for RED underwear leading up to New Year's Eve...and she explained the mystery...Everyone is supposed to wear RED underwear at the turn of the new year to get good luck for the following year...so when in AU with an Italian...you must wear your red underwear...We finally found 3 pair (Dani, Kiersten and myself) on New years eve...that was lucky!
82: "Tie me kangaroo down, sport Tie me kangaroo down Tie me kangaroo down, sport Tie me kangaroo down... | Tan me hide when I'm dead, Fred Tan me hide when I'm dead So we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde And that's it hangin' on the shed! Altogether now! | KrisTiki's Blue Mountain Tour New South Wales! | 2 Jan 2009
83: KLW: Today we decided to do the Blue Mountains. We left early enough to stop at the Ugg Boot outlet on the way, and it was fairly sunny out. But did turn super cold by the end of the day. I did find out accidentally, Dani really really does NOT like heights. She was terrified of the cable drop car, we skipped the cable ride across the gorge--too high. And I though she'd claw out of the cage keeping us in the vertical railroad. No more heights for Dani! All in all it was a good day--aside from traumatizing Daniela! | 2 of the 3 sisters statue | DA: NO WAY!!! | DA: EEEEEEEK!! | DA: OMG TOO HIGH!!!! | The Three Sisters! | 2 Jan 2009
84: "Play your didgeridoo, Blue Play your didgeridoo Ah, like , keep playin' 'til I shoot thru, Blue Play your didgeridoo Altogether now! | Echo... Echo... Echo... | 2 Jan 2009
85: They look blue to me!
86: 2 Jan 2009
87: Don't assume ALL Koalas are Cute & Cuddly... | 'n'take me koala back, Jack Take me koala back He lives somewhere out on the track, Mac So take me koala back Altogether now! | ...or Kristi's for that matter!
88: Dani's Week with Kiersten | Cairns, Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef, Byron Bay...and back to Sydney! | Byron Bay lighthouse
89: Daniela's first dive on the GBR! | SHARK! | Grouper! | Kiersten! | Daniela!
90: Darling Harbor NSW!
91: KLW: The day before Dani's flight, we decided to take a better look at the Dugong's that we saw from the top of the water, sailing at Monkey Mia...Down to Darling Harbor we went, hung out at the aquarium, had a really nice meal watching the water and people walking around... it was a great day...although I must say...sailors have been at sea way too long if they think a Dugong is a beautiful mermaid! :)
92: Always let sleeping turtles lie... | Sage advice about sharks...
93: DUGONGS!...or MERMAIDS!???
94: Darling Harbor, Sydney NSW
95: Hey, LOOK! It's a SHAAARRRK! Dani, Distract it, I'll poke it in the eye!!!
96: KLW: Well, today is the day...Dani and I head south to have some brekky at the beach in Brighton, just south of Sydney. And have a walk along Botany Bay beach where Capt. Cook originally landed. Dani soaks up the last of the bright sun rays and I am getting ever more sad that my last friend visiting is leaving me! Yea, I don't cry at movies or at the airport when someone leaves....well that's out the window now! ;) Miss you terribly and can't wait for another visit from someone soon! :D | Botany Bay New South Wales
98: Traveling in a fried-out Kombie On a hippie trail, head full of zombie I met a strange lady, she made me nervous She took me in and gave me breakfast And she said... Do you come from a land down under? Where women glow and men plunder? Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder? You better run, you better take cover! Buying bread from a man in Brussels He was six-foot-four and full of muscles I said, Do you speak-a my language? He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich And he said... I come from a land down under Where beer does flow and men chunder Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder? You better run, you better take cover! Lyin' in a den in Bombay With a slack jaw, and not much to say I said to the man, Are you trying to tempt me Because I come from the land of plenty? And he said.... Do you come from the land down under? Where women glow and men plunder? Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder? You better run, you better take cover! Living in a land down under Where women glow and men plunder Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder? You better run, you better take cover!
99: Arrividerci, Sydney.... I'll be back