Sunday, August 23, 2009

Come for a drive

It was such a beautiful day, and with the roof off the Jeep is a lot of fun

Monday, August 17, 2009

My favorite modes of travel

Having too much time on my hands because I am at home with the flu, I reflected on some of my favorite means of transport. Now, lets not forget previous posts, where I mention my Scarpa boots, and the Troopcarrier (sadly gone but not forgotten), the WW2 Jeep as well as an array of motor bikes, but this time I want to reflect on a few other current ones.

The Subaru WRX STi with MRT enhancements Spec C 220kw at the wheels
This car is one of the best I have driven. Fast but tractable, it has a lot of performance but is not grumpy in traffic ( unlike the Evo9). A uncompromising car yet will do less than 10 litres per hundred. Brilliant for all its performance

My Cannondale Prophet Mtn Bike. Just a brilliant bike. Happy at speed downhill, but equally as happy at "stall speed" up some steep technical hill, it's reliable and forgiving. I am not sure that Cannondale has made another bike I would replace it with.

My Australian "Whaler." Captured in the desert at Leigh Creek, South Australia. This is a sentimental one.. The "Whaler" was a horse that was bred for the Australian infantry in WW1 later being used by British forces. A horse that has all the strengths of an Arab (fast, stamina light on its feet) but all the strengths of a Thoroughbred as well. Mine was classified as an officers mount, because he had a beautiful head. Its claimed the Whaler was one of the reasons for the Australian success at Bersheeba- Shaddow (as he was called). Took me a lot of time to gain trust and for him to get used to a more "domestic" environment than his original desert home.

My Kayak. What can I say? A paddle down the river on sunset... nothing better.

The Landcruiser on a fire trail. This is the new trayback. Videos dont really show how rough the track is, but the film stops only because I could not drive and film at the same time...

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Make My Day" awards!

Last year I had the pleasure to receive a "Make My Day Award" and just this week I received a "Thank You " award from Julie at "Being Ruby". Its always nice to receive compliments and encouragement, so this is my way of saying thank you by giving Being Ruby the "Make My Day Award" too.
Julie's blog caught my eye with great photography, interesting dialogue about such topics as the Tour d France, as well as other far away places in Italy and Europe.

Another blog that receives my "Make My Day Award" is Maalie. A good friend of mine, his blog is informative and Maalie always has interesting and surprising places he seems to pop up in!

The final Blog that receives my "Make My Day Award" is Lost and Found in India. Again another interesting blog full of surprises, and I find the different lifestyle of Braja fascinating. Each has a link on my blog and I encourage you to have a peak.

The start of the fire trail

So now the awards are out of the way.... Last Sunday it was time to test the new Landcruiser out on a fire trail and to enjoy a Coopers vintage ale at the end.

Coopers Vintage Ale

I have to confess that after mowing lawns, cleaning roof gutters as well as picking up all the leaves on driveways and foot paths, the rest was well received!

I stress that the ale was drunk at room temperature as I have a wager with Maalie re the Test cricket. I love the Australian bush and the Blue Mountains, there is always something to see.

Birds seen:- Gang Gang Parrot, Rosella, King Parrot, Superb Fairy Wren, Australian Magpie, Pee Wee.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cedar Valley, Walls Pass, and the Burralow Swamp

Cedar Valley Blue Mountains.

Neither walks are related- It's only that I want to combine two walks in the one post!

Last week I walked the Narrow Neck to the fire tower, then headed east to Walls Pass, (a chain down a rock ledge), that leads into the Cedar Valley. Why? To gain another perspective of just how someone could get lost for 12 days. Why Cedar Valley? Well, it's to the west of the Ruined Castle and if you click on the photo you will see that the valley looks like and ocean. Many years ago I walked through this valley and despite the best navigation, the terrain pushes you to the South, and it's difficult to fight.

I retuned after a number of hours and 20km (approx). There are just so many walks off the Narrow Neck and I have done posts on what an enjoyable bike ride it is too- some walks require rope so you can lower your pack down but again I was equipped only with a camel back so it was not an issue.

Birds seen:- Lewins Honey Eater, Eastern Spinebill, New Holland Honey Eater, Yellow Rumped Thornbill, Wattlebird, Australian Magpie, Bell Minor, Rosella, King Parrot. White Plumed Honey Eater.

The beginning of the trail beside the swamp.

The Burralow swamp is in my  back yard, no not literally!  I mean its a short ride, or 4wd drive into this magical place.  This was Australia's first  rice farm and may years ago I could ride my  horse passed the ruins of the old homestead. It has long gone and in fact the trails are becoming overgrown and its a literal bush bash to even walk where I could once ride even a bike. I am  not sure why the national parks do this. I  can  understand stopping vehicles, but this is such a great  walk.. There are even convict ruins- so much a part of our history, yet  there is no information about it provided anywhere.
Where once the Homestead stood. 

However, the day was perfect- golden sun 18c, the wattles perfumed the air, and it was not too long before we spotted a Glossy Black Cockatoo! These birds are on the "scarce" list, potentially endangered, so we have to report the sighting to National parks.

Birds nest! A Wren or Honey eater ( not sure)

Soon we spotted Yellow Robin, Superb Fairy  Wren, Whip Bird, both  male and female and of course a Kookaburra. The woods were full of brown flitty  things, but they  were so quick I could not get a good spot. I will say  they  looked like thornbills etc, but what  type I  do  not know.

The bush began to thicken and in some parts we were almost  on our hands and knees. In one spot the dew had frozen to the grass creating a magical environment.

Frozen dew!

After 4 hours we returned, tired but satisfied we had explored further this wonderful valley.

PS. It  appears that  David may  have been bitten by a snake.. He seems fine but has 2 distinct Puncture marks on his lower leg. We will monitor this and see how he goes. Not all snakes inject as it takes so much out of them.