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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/carly1967
by Carly
Rated: 13+ · Book · Other · #1966420
Theses are my thoughts and ramblings as I forge my way through this thing they call life.
These are my thoughts and ramblings as I forge my way through this thing they call Life.

I blog with these groups:
Welcome... Blog City image small WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - August Un-Official Month on Now!

"Blogging Circle of Friends [E]

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August 10, 2020 at 11:22am
August 10, 2020 at 11:22am
#990431
For the 30-Day Blogging Challenge and Blogging Circle Of Friends to use.


WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - August Un-Official Month on Now!
30 Day Blogging Challenge

30 day Hard to believe, we've been traveling ten days already.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g641719-d2622335-Reviews-Kensington_Eng...
This is the hotel we're staying at in Pak Chong, Thailand. The Bonanza Exotic Zoo (BEZ).
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g641719-d7082897-Reviews-The_Bonan...
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g641719-d6669408-Reviews-Haew_Suwa...
We're going to have a picnic by the falls this afternoon. And spend some quality time together. Give a
brief summation of the last ten days including today's sights, in your entry today.


Thailand. Our hotel is beautiful. It seems a little out of place in Thialand... a British luxury, but it is lovely and I feel safe.

I have decided not to venture with everyone to the zoo. Since there is a National Park nearby, I would much rather go there. The Zoo is great if you have children and I often feel sad when the animals are contained. Going to the Park means I will meet you at the waterfall for the picnic.

Appaently the Haew Suwat waterfall may be recognizable to some. It is from the big screen – it shot to fame after being featured in the hit movie, “The Beach”. I didn't see this.

We could hear the roar of the water from the road and it got increasingly louder as we walked the short distance (around 100 metres) to the viewing point. Some of us were feeling energetic, and followed the trail leading to the top of the 20-metre high waterfall (65 feet) and see where the tumbling water comes from. The view was amazing.

The last ten days of travel have been wonderful, except for being contained on a train, I have managed to venture out into lots of natural settings and walked the land of 4 countries and 3 continents! I have tried to find the heart of each place I have been in.... avoiding the closed in spaces (not so much because of my Covid experience, but because nature inspires me and traveling should inspire you - fill your well, so to speak - even if it is virtually).

From what I have gathered of reading other people's posts, we are all avid travelers and find what makes us happy. SandraLynn has gone to a cooking class. Whereas I have walked the markets and taken virtual chances with the street food. She has also taken a hot air balloon ride. I prefer my feet on the ground.
BlueMoon and I had a wonderful time wandering the night market in Cambodia. I even enticed her to dance with me! She told me about going to the landmine museum. I could not bring myself to go to that... it seemed too depressing and stark.

We saw Lyn having one of those fishy foot massages and we both cringed. Lyn was giggling away, but I couldn't help but think it didn't feel right. It reminded me of an eposide of Bones when I body floats up our of the water... no thank you. Sandra Lynn mentioned the hospital visit she'd heard about and that nailed the idea closed.

We've kayaked. We've biked. We'd hiked and trekked. There have been planes, trains, and tuk tuks and quite possibly a car. At least one of our group took a hot air balloon!

I look forward to further adventures. Way to go Lyn ! You rock!


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Prompt: Pick one of these fun places and write about it. Experience Thailand With These 10 Things To Do In Pak Chong! - Updated 2020 https://trip101.com/article/things-to-do-pak-chong

Thailand is most famous for its beaches, nightlife, and Thai heritage. Nature has also blessed this country with some of the most important National Parks. The Khao Yai National Park was the first national park in the country. Area wise, it is the third largest national park of Bangkok.

The city Pak Chong is mostly famous for its proximity to the Khao Yai National Park. It is the gateway of the Khao Yai National Park as well as one of the main tourist cities. Pak Chong is located in the western end of the district named Nakhon Ratchasima Province.

I opted to come to the park instead of the zoo, in favour of more authentic wildlife viewings. Many creatures call Khao Yai National Park home. Macaques are very easy to spot, often descending on parking areas to try and steal food from visitors and rummage through litter. Watch out for snatch-and-run attempts on your bottles of water when hiking around the national park!

Deer, otters, and gibbons are also fairly common sights, along with numerous species of reptile, butterfly, and snake. Whilst some of the park’s snakes are harmless, be aware that you may come across huge pythons and venomous cobras. I am wearing boots and long pants just in case.

Bird-spotting is fun, with many varieties of birds flying through the skies, hopping amongst the branches, and scuttling through the undergrowth. If you want to see a mighty hornbill in the wild in Thailand, this is one of the best places to do so. I brought my binoculars and my camera.

Tigers no longer seem to live in Khao Yai National Park, although they do roam around neighbouring national parks. Bears, on the other hand, still live in the large mountainous jungle. I will be careful.

Khao Yai National Park has a sizeable elephant population, and sightings are becoming more common.
https://trip101.com/article/discover-thailand-s-fascinating-and-diverse-khao-yai...

August 9, 2020 at 1:58pm
August 9, 2020 at 1:58pm
#990350
For the 30-Day Blogging Challenge and Blogging Circle Of Friends to use.


WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - August Un-Official Month on Now!
30 Day Blogging Challenge

We;re staying at the Viroth Hotel
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g297390-d9514361-Reviews-Viroth_s_Hotel...
Siem Reap is the capital of the province Siem Reap in Cambodia. One of their most famous sites to visit is the Angkor Wat temple. Besides that, they have many more temples, museums, the Old Market and the Cambodian Cultural Village.
Explore the different options and discuss. Make us envious.
https://inspitrip.com/blog/8949/things-to-do-in-angkor-wat-and-siem-reap
https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductReview-g297390-d11466657-Private_Fu...


I know so very little about Cambodia. I spent a good portion of my morning just watching travel videos from a couple - James and Tah - Divert Living.

Here's a taste. This is visiting the fishing villages.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5cOHU_E4sE
This is the markets and general feel of the place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSfBetSN_es

I also checked out the map to get a sense of place. https://www.google.com/maps/@12.7267172,105.1633634,6.74z

That puts things into perspective. Adds a realness to the place and gets me out of any of my thoughts... that are probably skewed.

The hotel is very beautiful. In a country that seems so poor, it seems almost too much to be living in such luxury. In one video I watched, the guy said that the tourist section of the city has lights at night, but in the area where the locals live, it is dark - no street lights. That couple had rented an apartment in the local side and found getting home after dark a challenge. Shows you where the money goes.

I found myself wanting to explore as much as I could. Much of the day tripping has to be done in the morning due to rain in the afternoons, so I headed out to the Sunrise tour of Angkor Wat.

Watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat was a truly unforgettable experience. I got some amazing photos as I soaked up the place. We enjoyed a guided tour of the ancient ruins, and visited the temples of Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom, and Bayon Temple. Because our group was small, we had plenty of time for questions. I took my sketchbook as well and managed a few sketches.

In the afternoon, after a dip in the pool and a nap, I wandered off to the Made in Cambodia Market (see below). I got to experience some Cambodian cuisine. A very different sort of thing, but good. Probably healthier than my usual... or it looks that way anyway. I just have to be careful there are no peanuts in anything. Thankfully I have my epipen if I need it.

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Day 2822
BCoF:Educate us about famous musicians from Cambodia. I've given you one resource, feel free to expand with more information for us. Make us want to see one of the artists.
https://theculturetrip.com/asia/cambodia/articles/11-cambodian-musicians-you-nee...
https://theculturetrip.com/asia/cambodia/ this link worked better and then I just scrolled down for the musicians link.
...or discuss a shopping experience. Shopping Siem Reap can be as rewarding as exploring Angkor Archaeological Park’s exquisite temples—and there’s no need to wake at the crack of dawn. Siem Reap is home to craft markets, stylish boutiques, artisanal workshops, and artist’s ateliers, all filled with treasures that you can take back home. They're open well into the night for those who made it to Angkor Wat at sunrise.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g297390-Activities-c26-Siem_Reap_Siem_Re...


Shopping. I decided to venture out to the Made In Cambodia Market for a taste of authentic Cambodia. I was not disappointed.

I had to buy a Krama - a woven scarf. My biggest problem was choosing only one and which colour?
Whether you’re in the countryside or the city, the krama can be seen everywhere and is undoubtedly Cambodia’s signature fabric. To the untrained eye, the checked cloth is solely used as a fashion item, hanging around the neck like a scarf. Of course, this is one of its uses, but there are a multitude more, with the krama forming an essential item to any household. I would love one of these.
https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/827896984/krama-khmer-scarf?ref=pla_similar_list...
The Made in Cambodia Market... https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g297390-d4066214-Reviews-Made_in_Ca...

There was so much to see.... and buy! I am normally not one for picking up souvenirs, but the market had lots of interesting things that I could see myself using, not just putting out to capture dust.
The market itself also had some musicians playing. The music was good, different in some ways.

I did check out the link for the musicians and was intrigued. I really liked the SmallWorld SmallBand group. They were fun and had lots of energy and they incorporated the language into their music. Nikki Nikki was great too, but as I listened to her ,I just kept thinking how western influences seemed to colour her music - or at least that piece.

SmallWorld SmallBand: https://youtu.be/UoXek1rDLW8
Nikki Nikki https://youtu.be/trIdWoN8MEk

Looking into more traditional Khmer music - https://asiasociety.org/education/khmer-music
by Sam-Ang Sam -
"Khmer music is an important aspect of Cambodian life and culture. It is a significant component in religious and traditional ceremonies such as weddings or temple celebrations. Khmer civilization reached its peak during the Angkor period, from the ninth to fifteenth centuries when great monuments were built, with elaborate carvings depicting myths, gods and aspects of daily life. The carvings musical ensembles on bas-reliefs are nearly identical to the ensembles performing in Cambodia today, where virtually every village in Cambodia possesses a music ensemble. This continuity is testimonial to the strength of this ancient tradition.

Khmer music consists of polyphonic stratification and is based predominantly on the pentatonic (five-tone) scale. It is built linearly, devoid of harmony in the Western sense. Musicians in a music ensemble have a collective melody in mind that no single musician actually plays. Rather melody provides a kind of road map that directs the musicians to a common destination and serves as a guideline around which musical embellishment or ornamentation takes place. It up to the drummer to regulates the pace of the ensemble. Cambodian music. "

Here is some Khmer Traditional music - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7X7UjHo9z4
Khmer Classical Music - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaAox5PZk2w
It has a relaxing quality, though I could only listen for awhile before I needed a break.

August 8, 2020 at 7:14am
August 8, 2020 at 7:14am
#990229
For the 30-Day Blogging Challenge and Blogging Circle Of Friends to use.


WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - August Un-Official Month on Now!
30 Day Blogging Challenge

https://www.mapsofworld.com/australia/
https://www.mapsofworld.com/asia
/ so you have an idea where we are Perth, Australia and where we are landing next in Angkor, Cambodia.

30 day, Perth - Cycling is the locals’ favourite way to get​ around. So hop on, blend in, and discover the sights of Perth on this 3 hours experience.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductReview-g255103-d20197509-Perth_by_B...
The tour guide is so excited to have such a large group. And there's a lot of interesting places along our ride. Discuss what you've seen and what you liked thus far in Australia..

Biking. I'd love to, especially around a city I could have been born in. Just before I was born my Dad had an opportunity to go to Perth for a 2 year stint in the mining industry, but at the last minute they changed the plans and had their people come to the mine in Northern Ontario. My dreams of being born down under were gone, but my mother was happy about that. I was her first and only child and she was already nervous about giving birth, let alone doing it in a strange country.
That said, I know where Perth is in Western Australia.

Perth is a city of contrasts, where new urban skylines meet famous historical landmarks. By bike, we were able to get an overview of the place. The unmissable ​​panoramic views of the Swan River from The Old Swan Brewery were lovely. We got to see the incredible Eliza Statue which likes to play dress-up. I wonder if if is anything like the bear at the University of Guelph that is often dressed in odd get-ups.

We got to see ​a beautiful blue boathouse that has been rebuilt several times and had a color change or two. I hear this is an awesome place to take a sunrise photo - I'll have to do that tomorrow before we leave for Cambodia. We cycled through the ​400-hectare King’s park, where the fresh scent of lemons and clear skies awaited us at every turn. We ended at Elizabeth Quays, where we were welcomed by a vibrant and romantic atmosphere and were able to hear the haunting chimes of the Bell Tower​ - this was the perfect way to finish your cycling experience.

The afternoon I wandered and found the Hay Street Mall. Lots of shops. I had lunch in the Croissant Express and grabbing a few savoury muffins for the road... who knew you could have muffins with pumpkin and feta or spinach and ricotta. I found a coffee shop - Lowdown with some great coffee and browsed through several book shops in the area - Dymocks (the leading Australia bookshop), Elizabeth Bookshop (the oldest since 1973) and Boffin Books (the greatest in Perth).

The nightlife was fun. We popped in to the Wolf Lane for some rather zany cocktails before meandering onward.
https://www.wolflane.com.au/bar/



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Prompt: Perth - As a tourist, which would you rather come home with: lots of souvenirs or lost of pictures. Why?
Now that I am older, I would have to say pictures because there is only so much clutter a world can have. I will buy post cards to capture images that I don't have and I enjoy looking at the touristy stuff, but I limit my purchases knowing I have to carry all this stuff around.

Collecting small things, like stamps is interesting. So is a small collection of coins, but nothing weird... like that Kangaroo balls thingie I saw in one market video. Who would buy crap like that? The poor kangaroo!
August 7, 2020 at 6:06pm
August 7, 2020 at 6:06pm
#990203
For the 30-Day Blogging Challenge and Blogging Circle Of Friends to use.


WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - August Un-Official Month on Now!
30 Day Blogging Challenge

It's a good thing we're virtual travelers because in real time no international travelers are allowed in Darwin because of COVID-19. Our hotel is Vibe Hotel on the Darwin Waterfront.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g255066-d1218857-Reviews-Vibe_Hotel_Dar...
https://www.tripadvisor.com/AttractionProductReview-g255066-d11450386-Darwin_Hop...

Have fun exploring and share with us what appealed and what didn't. Please mention something that amused you from one of your fellow bloggers entry in the past week.

I was not really ready for the city. though Darwin is on the smaller side. Apparently you can't go into the ocean thanks to crocodiles and I found myself more interested in nature than exploring man made aspects. And with that I found the perfect day trip to Litchfield National Park. I even managed to convince some of my fellow travels to venture out with me. I don't know what Lyn has in store for us tomorrow, but I didn't want to miss this opportunity... a vast difference from the Antarctic adventure.

We traveled out a good hour and a half from Darwin. I got to swim in crystal clear swimming holes (no crocodiles) and under waterfalls, spot colourful birds and wildlife on bushwalks through monsoonal rainforest, discover the Lost City on a four-wheel-drive track and wander through a ‘graveyard’ of towering termite mounds. I packed my bathing suit, sunscreen and a picnic lunch for the perfect day trip. The entry was free.

https://northernterritory.com/darwin-and-surrounds/destinations/litchfield-natio...

This has a great snipet of the park:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMYffcIzoM8

I returned to Darwin in time to change and head out to the Mindil Market. I decided on one of my floatie dresses so I'd be ready for anything.
Maybe I could find a pair of sunglasses and get an extra pair for SandraLynn whose been squinting far too much this trip. (Loving her entries).

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BCoF you're writing about the night life options, make it entertaining because the 30 day people are seeking your opinion on how to spend their night exploring Darwin.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g255066-d13954237-Reviews-Stone_Ho...
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g255066-d4154617-Reviews-Darwin_En...
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g255066-d8099369-Reviews-Throb_Nig...


Well, given the sunsets are a not to miss thing, I headed for the beach to watch the sunset. I had plans to meet up with the others at The Stone House later. I was craving a little wine and comadary after a day of walking, swimming and exploring the natural world. But first I went on an exploration of the wonders of Mindil Beach Sunset Market.

Shopping eating and dancing. So cool. I got some wonderful souvenirs and ate some fabulous seafood paella cooked out in open vats, followed by mini pancakes which I watched them make. So full, I could barely move. But after the exercise I got earlier today I was not concerned. Walking around and looking at the venders things made me burn off the excess as did the dancing. I never thought you could dance to a didgeridoo.

The didgeridoo - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XittepXxus8

https://northernterritory.com/darwin-and-surrounds/events/mindil-beach-sunset-ma...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GcolqTQ5vU


August 6, 2020 at 9:19pm
August 6, 2020 at 9:19pm
#990145
For the 30-Day Blogging Challenge and Blogging Circle Of Friends to use.


WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - August Un-Official Month on Now!

30 Day Blogging Challenge

You have choices once we land in Katherine. Discuss what you discovered and enjoyed from the links.Include your fellow bloggers to help inspire interaction.
https://nt.gov.au/leisure/parks-reserves/find-a-park/find-a-park-to-visit/nitmil...
https://northernterritory.com/katherine-and-surrounds/destinations/nitmiluk-nati...
https://www.katherineoutbackexperience.com.au/


I have always wanted to swim in hot springs and I found I was not disappointed by the opportunity in Elsey National Park. I managed to convince some of my fellow travelers to join me. After a good while kayaking in the gorge with SandraLynn , . nfdarby, BlueMoon and {user:elusive4lyn, I convinced us to slip into the clean, clear... and warm water of the hot springs. it was heaven and great for the muscles we had used. I also got us walking and if we'd had more time, I would have loved to venture further and camp under the spectacular skies of this 'tropical outback'.
After days in the desert, this was a welcome oasis. I didn't even mind a bit more humidity.

I managed to source out the novel We of the Never Never by Jeannie Gunn (who published under her husband's name - Mrs. Aeneas Gunn). This is what down under Australia means to me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_of_the_Never_Never
Trailer of the movie:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RIITgPGmW8


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There are beautiful pictures in the links, your prompt is to pick one and write a poem or a story about that location. Be creative.
https://nt.gov.au/leisure/parks-reserves/find-a-park/find-a-park-to-visit/nitmil...
https://northernterritory.com/katherine-and-surrounds/destinations/nitmiluk-nati...
https://www.katherineoutbackexperience.com.au/

Alternative option is to write about the average Australian cuisine. How does it differ from our norm.

Craggy rocks line the edge,
As Sweetwater Pool descends
crystal clear and refreshing
After a walk through brush
As dense and fierce as the people.
Take care, mystery bides in the crevices
And lurks in the dark
Beneath skies of starlit beauty.

Thoughts on Australian food... Kangaroo.
Most Australians take pride in the fact that they’re one of the few nations that eat their national animal. Imagine eating a Canadian Beaver.... no thank you. But apparently kangaroo meat is an excellent source of lean protein and it contains almost no saturated fat. Don’t expect to see kangaroo farms though, all meat is harvested from Australia’s thriving wild populations.
I'd try it to say I have... but I don't expect to be a fan.
August 5, 2020 at 7:50pm
August 5, 2020 at 7:50pm
#990035
30 Day Blogging Challenge

30 day prompt.
From your morning stop at the outback outpost of Manguri, you’ll venture into the weird and wonderful opal mining township of Coober Pedy, where more than half of the residents live underground. Here, you’ll enjoy a day of discovery, and a gourmet lunch in the most unique of locations: underground. Dinner is served back on the train where you can enjoy a nightcap as your journey continues.
We'e going to get dirty today. But maybe we'll score an opal.

https://journeybeyondrail.com.au/journeys/the-ghan-expedition/
https://www.gemsociety.org/article/opal-mining-coober-pedy/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pniXiSEoTwM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrCpNlPggtA

Let your imagination take you wherever.

Coober Pedy mean 'white man in a hole'. Aptly named. I'm not into getting dirty and since I have no licence to dig, I will keep to exploring the place being careful to watch where I step, not walk backwards and keep the fly hat securely in place when we are out in the heat of the sun.

The history of the place is intriguing.... and when they say down under, they really mean it here as most of the residents live underground to stay cool.

You really need to have a passion for mining Opal to live here. I found the place quite desolate... and after months of confinement, this is not a place I wanted to spend a great deal of time in. The people here were wonderful.

I checked out an underground church and looked through the souvenir shops trying to find an opal pendant that had more colour in than just the white. I like the ones with more blue and green tones. It's all pretty expensive, but it was lovely to look.

Dining in the cool of an underground restaurant was great.

Getting back on the train for the evening was also pleasant after a day in the heat.
August 4, 2020 at 10:26pm
August 4, 2020 at 10:26pm
#989922
For the 30-Day Blogging Challenge and Blogging Circle Of Friends to use.


WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - August Un-Official Month on Now!
30 Day Blogging Challenge

We're hoping on The Ghan for one of the world's great train journeys. Travel through the heart of Australia in luxury while enjoying the all-inclusive food and beverages, well-appointed cabins and the Off Train Excursions that allow you to get a feel for the places the train travels through.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g255093-d12951577-Reviews-The_Ghan...
30 day prompt, check out these links and discuss. You must discuss a minimum of 3 of the links.
https://www.pinkroadhouse.com.au/oodnadatta-track/
https://www.australia.com/en-us/places/northern-territory.html
https://alicespringsdesertpark.com.au/
https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/
we'll be dining in https://journeybeyondrail.com.au/guest-information/food-beverage/queen-adelaide-...

A map is always good: https://www.mapsofworld.com/australia/cities/

I love being in a train watching the scenery fly by. The Ghan Train allowed us to travel and wind away along the track between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin.

Seeing the grand expanse of Australia going by was amazing. It looked quite desolate, but I think that it is rather deceiving. The Desert Park in Alice Springs was highly enlightening and I learned a great deal about the desert's wildlife, plant life and the diversity that is there.

There was much to learn. So many stories to hear. We were able to:
"learn how Aboriginal people find food or medicines in the desert and how to identify some of the important plants and animals they use
discover clever adaptations of plants and animals which allow them to live in a dry environment
see endangered desert mammals and learn what is being done to save them
stroll along a dry river bed and find out why the river red gums which line it are so important to animals
learn how to identify desert birds and how they fit into the web-of-life
catch a glimpse of the Centre’s history back through four and a half billion years."

It was an amazing experience. I loved trying my hand at a new language and I am sure they are still laughing about my ineptitude, but it was great fun.

Just hearing the history of the Pink Roadhouse had me laughing. But it was worth the stop just for the the famous OODNABURGER!!!
https://www.pinkroadhouse.com.au/history/

Witnessing the sunrise and sunset over the red rocks of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was breath taking.
I can't believe we got to visit one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, Uluru. Not only is it a spectacular natural formation, but it is a deeply spiritual place. We could feel a powerful presence the moment we set eyes on it.

At 348 metres high, Uluru is one of the world’s largest monoliths, towering over the surrounding landscape and some 550 million years old. It is made of sandstone, Uluru is often referred to as the heart of the ‘Red Centre’ and is one of Australia’s most recognisable landmarks. Seeing the colours change before my eyes, and getting to hear the stories of time was a priceless experience.

The unhurried capital of Darwin was a fabulous surprise with its balmy nights, colourful characters and outdoor adventures. The Aboriginal culture was strong here. There was an array of languages spoken in the streets and vibrant Aboriginal art in many of the city's galleries and museums. The city's proximity to Asia means you'll also find strong Asian influences, especially in the energetic food scene and night markets.



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Day 2818: August 4, 2020
Day 4 we catch a Ghan train in Adelaide. Have you ever ridden a train? What was it like? If you haven't ridden a train what do you think it would be like?


I love trains. When I was nine the Ontario Northlander was put in and it stopped in each town on the line to give school kids a chance to check it out. I still have my memorial coin to mark the experience. It was not until two years later that I got to take the night train from our hometown of New Liskeard to Toronto, This one gave us a cabin to sleep in. When we got to Toronto we took another train to Guelph when my mother and I moved to southern Ontario.

In the summer of 1980, when I graduated from grade 8, I got to take the train to Timmins on the Ontario Northlander to see my paternal grandmother. I took the train back to Toronto from New Liskeard after visiting my maternal set of grandparents. My mother met me at Union Station in Toronto.

When I was a kid, I loved to explore the train tracks behind our house. There were iron ore pellets on the tracks. I was forever catching hell for putting them in my pockets and my mother would find them in the laundry.

August 3, 2020 at 5:36pm
August 3, 2020 at 5:36pm
#989808
For the 30-Day Blogging Challenge and Blogging Circle Of Friends to use.


WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - August Un-Official Month on Now!
30 Day Blogging Challenge

I bet you were worried that you would never feel warm again. Take advantage and do your laundry and whatever because we're going to be roughing it on a train next. We're all staying at Hilton Sydney.

https://www.google.com/travel/hotels/Sydney/entity/CgsImO_m76TC4eXkARAB?g2lb=250...

There are a lot of great things to do and see in Sydney but you have one day so pick from the links what appeals to you and discuss what you discovered. Make us envious. Let your imagination get carried away.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g255060-Activities-Sydney_New_South_Wale...

https://www.thecrazytourist.com/25-best-things-sydney-australia/

After days of nothing but snow and ice, seals, penguins and whales, I am all to happy to be surrounded by buildings and feel some heat on my skin. Even winter in Australia is lovely. Still we only have one day, so I need to make it count. I decided on a historical bent and took a walking tour through the Rocks. This is after I freshened up and warmed up - that included hand washing out a few items, then heading down to the pool and hot tub before taking a shower.

The Rocks is the first site of European settlement in Australia, and is rich in history; it was particularly important first as a convict site and then as a working-class part of town. It’s also home to Cadman’s Cottage, the oldest residential house in Sydney. The Rocks is also well-known for its markets, cobblestoned laneways, and the stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There are also several excellent art galleries in this area, and great dining options.

The walking tour started at 9:30 in the morning. It covered 2 kilometres at a leisurely pace, focusing on the neighborhood located under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We got to wander around the area’s cobbled stone streets, alleyways, and courtyards. We stopped at Cadman's Cottage, which was built in 1816; Campbell's Cove; and the Garrison Church, which is known as the Church of Holy Trinity. We also got to see the shoreline of Sydney Cove, as well as fabulous views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Plenty of great opportunities to take photos.

A tour to view:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3lbMDn-H8E

http://www.visitsydneyaustralia.com.au/cadmans-cottage.html
https://www.therocks.com/venues/campbells-cove
http://www.visitsydneyaustralia.com.au/garrison-church.html
Sydney Cove: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdXbjZsiQmE

After the tour, I found a place to grab some lunch. The 7 Rocks Deli pulled me in for one of its tantalizing sandwiches and fries. Then I ambled over to Aslan Coffee Roasters to try their brew and send a few packages of beans solely from the Indonesian Archipelago home for some future indulgence.
Afterwards I headed for Hyde Park, a to walk and feel the sun on my face. A change of pace.
Open space and green. The city fading into the background. Having walked around The Rocks areas of town all morning it was nice to relax and find a spot to sit and meditate.

I continued on to a lovely used bookshop with a cafe and wine bar over on Glebe Point Road. With another new bookshop right beside it, I found myself in a little corner of heaven as I settled in to search for at least one book treasure to take home. If I bought more than one, I'd have to send it home in the package I was set to mail that contained my Antarctic gear - I was not dragging that such around all over the world.

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Blogging Circle of Friends

Day 2817: August 3, 2020
BCoF Let this quote inspire your entry:
Sydney in general is eclectic. You can be on that brilliant blue ocean walk in the morning and then within 20 minutes you can be in a completely vast suburban sprawl or an Italian or Asian suburb, and it's that mix of people, it's that melting pot of people that give it its vital personality. Baz Luhrmann

With this quote as my guide, I took in as much of Sydney as I was able. The Rocks area, Hyde park and its green space in the heart of the city center, then on to Glebe Point Road where the university students started to flow. I thoroughly loved watching the people - the tourists in the Rocks area to the city dwellers and students further away from the cove. Definitely a melting pot of people.

By the time I dragged myself back to the hotel I had had a day immersed in the flavours of the city. When a group of my fellow adventures were off for a night on the town, I did a quick change and caught up with them at the bar before we headed out for a late bite to eat and some local brews.

August 2, 2020 at 10:26pm
August 2, 2020 at 10:26pm
#989753
For the 30-Day Blogging Challenge and Blogging Circle Of Friends to use.


WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - August Un-Official Month on Now!

30 Day Blogging Challenge
Zodiac Cruising - 30 day prompt
Go where your cruise ship can’t — hop aboard a small, sturdy inflatable boat and buzz between the icebergs and around the mountains. This is your chance to get an up-close look at some of the more cautious wildlife in the ocean, on land, and in the skies. It’s common for leopard seals, penguins, and other curious animals to pop up alongside to say hello. You’ll never feel so small in your life as you gaze up at the massive glaciers and icebergs from sea level. To call it a humbling experience would be an understatement.
Good to know: This activity is a big favorite of photographers. Zodiac cruising allows for more intimate viewing as well as an entirely different perspective.
Antarctica is the site of some of the world’s most cutting-edge research. There are dozens of scientific research centers here, and one of the most interesting things to do in Antarctica is to take a tour of one of these fascinating facilities. The Vernadsky Research Base on Galindez Island opens its doors to visitors all while studying everything from meteorology, ecology, biology, glaciology, seismology and physics. It was at this research station that the hole in the ozone layer was first discovered.
Another cool and unexpected aspect of this research center is the Vernadsky Station Lounge, one of the southernmost bars in the world. Try the vodka, which has been distilled on site. Bottoms up! We're going to help examine green snow and check out the satellite studies of the visual evidence of climate change.
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-bar-at-vernadsky-research-base-antarctic...
Good to know: The post office at the Vernadsky Station is one of the few places in all of Antarctica from where you can send a mail. Mailing a postcard will cost you around USD 2 while a letter (including stamps) is about USD 6*.
We're still sleeping in our sleeping bags.


I'm not sure if my body is screaming at me from cold stiffness or from the Kayak workout yesterday, but I need to keep moving to stretch and get the blood flowing. Although my 'snow grave' was quite comfortable it took me a long time to settle in to sleep. I couldn't get over the stars.... or how loud some of our group snores!

Today we're touring around in a Zodiac - one of those inflatable boats that zip between the icebergs and mountains. You get a very impressive view. One that leaves me feeling humbled around all this natural expanse of wonder.

Visiting the research station at Vernadsky was also interesting. A lot of various kinds of research goes on - studying everything from meteorology, ecology, biology, glaciology, seismology and physics.
I made sure to send off several postcards and a letter. I'm curious how long it will take them to make their way home. I may have to buy some stamps and restart my stamp collection. Having a stamp from each of my travels would be a great way to collect something.

https://www.stampworld.com/en/stamps/Australian-Antarctic/Postage%20stamps/2020-...

After a day of exploring and taking the most amazing photographs, I am up for trying some of that bathtub Vodka.


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Blogging Circle of Friends

Day 2816
Prompt: Let this quote inspire your entry:
“I had a dream when I was 22 that someday i would go to the region of ice and snow and go on and on till I came to one of the poles of the earth”― Ernest Shackleton
Have you ever dreamed about seeing one of the poles? Where's your ideal dream place? This entry needs to be minimum of 100 words if you're participating in the challenge..


I have a feeling I would be dreaming of wood fires, sparks flashing up into the starry night sky. But to dream of coming to a place of snow and ice that would go on and on,.. that would be nightmarish if there was no way back to the heat of the tropics.

I have never shared the dream of going to either pole, though it would be an interesting experience. I believe the Northern Pole is more ice block, than land. And is the pole marked? Is it really a red and white marker? I highly doubt it. A little research found this from Wikipedia:

"The Geographic South Pole is marked by a stake in the ice alongside a small sign; these are repositioned each year in a ceremony on New Year's Day to compensate for the movement of the ice. The sign records the respective dates that Roald Amundsen and Robert F. Scott reached the Pole, followed by a short quotation from each man, and gives the elevation as "9,301 FT.". A new marker stake is designed and fabricated each year by staff at the site.

Ceremonial South Pole
The Ceremonial South Pole is an area set aside for photo opportunities at the South Pole Station. It is located some meters from the Geographic South Pole, and consists of a metallic sphere on a short barber pole, surrounded by the flags of the original Antarctic Treaty signatory states."

So there is a barber pole... ceremonially, of course.

I believe I read somewhere that Shackleton's wife even had him buried in Antarctica because he had never felt comfortable in England. Antarctica was in his blood. Now that is a serious dream. Mine would land me in Paris... though I hear the weather there is hot and heavy at this time of year.

Until tomorrow.


August 1, 2020 at 6:56pm
August 1, 2020 at 6:56pm
#989685
For the 30-Day Blogging Challenge and Blogging Circle Of Friends to use.


WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - August Un-Official Month on Now!

30 Day Blogging Challenge

30 day Activities :Kayaking with the whales and watching penguins and sampling local cuisine.

30 day Camping in Antarctica isn’t an activity for everyone — cozying up on the frozen ground in sub-zero temperatures isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you’re willing to sacrifice the luxuries of a comfy bed surrounded by four walls, you’re in for one of the coolest sleepovers you’ll ever have. While every boat tour company’s “campground” varies, one option could be Hovgaard Island on the west-facing side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Some outfitters provide tents while others opt for a more au natural experience of only a waterproof, cold weather sleeping bag (bivy sack) and thermal mat. Sleeping under the infinite number of Antarctica’s twinkling stars is a surreal experience and knowing there’s nothing between you and all of Antarctica’s frozen glory is truly a magical feeling. I've chosen the au natural for us.
https://www.2foodtrippers.com/antarctica-food/#:~:text=Oh%20Pemmican%2C%20the%20...
Men need to increase their caloric intake to 4500 and women to 3900 to handle the temperatures. I'm assured we won't gain weight.

https://www.adventurouskate.com/kayaking-antarctica/#:~:text=Kayaking%20in%20Ant...


Oh, Lyn your never cease to amaze me. Antarctica. Such a lovely place to escape to virtually, when the humidity is on the rise here (Southern Ontario, Canada).
So it looks like our Island, Havgaard Island, is almost straight down from the South American tip. Looking at the map as a satellite shot makes me shiver. Just look at these views...
https://www.petersmith.net.nz/photos/antarctica-8.php

Makes me feel small with majestic views like that. So does looking at the starry sky and watching the light display dance fire across the immense sky. There is no light pollution to block it out. Impressive.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hovgaard_Island

I hope everyone has packed warmly. Lots of socks and warm gloves. Thermal underwear. Looks like we'll be sleeping in 'snow graves' to keep us out of the wind. We are also going in the winter from what I can gather, good thing this is a virtual trip or we'd be there until Summer (October - February) We get about 5 hours of Nautical twilight. https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/@6697173

But here in this virtual world, where life is twisted to our own making, I can appreciate the place and the time. A chance to kayak would be fabulous... I would not want to be out on the water in the Nautical Twilight - my imagination would conjure too many deep sea beasts for my liking. Though I am sure my thoughts and dreams could be written out for future stories.

I wonder who my adventure friends this trip will be? I look forward to sharing a meal of bannock and Pemmincan with them. I'd try the Hoosh as well. And chocolate, yes please!!! No soft melted chocolate in Antarctica. I picked up a good stash of Reid's chocolates on Wednesday. I'd be willing to share. I like the idea of eating more and burning the extra calories just being here.

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Blogging Circle of Friends - Day 2815

Are you familiar with any of these authors or books? or discuss one of these quotes:
“Antarctica. You know, that giant continent at the bottom of the earth that’s ruled by penguins and seals.”
― C.B. Cook, Twinepathy
“I want to visit the snow in Antarctica before global warming turns it into a tropical paradise.”
― Steven Magee
https://www.wayfairertravel.com/inspiration/books-about-antarctica/.

Well, if anyone knows me at all, it's how I love to carry books around on an adventure. (In real time, I bought 11 books at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the second day of a bus tour of Scotland and had to lug them around the next 14 days!).

One of the things I enjoy about this adventure is the chance to research and check out various places around the world. I find I often get lost down the rabbit hole of websites and information. I have to keep reminding myself I have a blog to write. I started this blog at 4 am... it is now almost 7 pm! (I did do other things besides the research, but I have probably spend a good 4 hours, at least checking things out).

Most of these books talk about the harshness of the land and its climate. They talk about early explorers and the challenges they faced. I hope we don't get ourselves trapped in the ice.

When I look at the quotes and the idea of a 'tropical paradise'... I worry a little bit about how badly we treat our planet. But for right now I just want to enjoy the place and make sure that I leave the place as I found it, so that I don't contribute to its demise.

Apparently it is very dry here, so you need to hydrate and wear sunscreen because the ozone it the thinnest at the poles. No chance of seeing Santa or getting eaten by polar bears, we get to enjoy the penguins and seals and make sure the whales don't tip us out of our Kayaks as we glide over the water as black as night. The peace and silence here is amazing. The sounds that do carry are unhindered by anything but walls of ice. Even as we paddle, we seem to let the world slip away and let ourselves be part of something bigger.



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