Craig Smith


Craig Smith

I'm an Australian guy with a passion for traveling. I am especially interested in nature. My aim is to see the "main" animal species in the wild and the "major world sights" and by the time I retire. (Not when I retire - life is too short !) My blogs are a mix of information and a bit of comedy - the latter largely provided by my long term traveling companion. The blogs are also a record for me myself, so I can read them with a smile when I am old and grey. Enjoy.

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Prahran December 6th 2020

Sunday December 6, 2020 A post ISO postscript We did it folks. Unlike almost every other jurisdiction in the world that has been battered by a second wave of Covid-19, Melbourne has emerged victorious. No cases now for several weeks. An extraordinary effort by every single one of us here, and for some, involving much hardship. We feel rightly proud. Now it’s December. State borders are open again and we are all thinking of the upcoming Christmas period with family and friends. That seemed such a distant thought in the middle of a Winter lockdown here in Victoria. It sure has been a year like no other. I do think the whole lockdown thing exposed some odd inequities in this country. Like, why was in OK for QLD to roll out the red carpet to footballers ... read more
Mezze cake - a meal in itself!
The crab cakes
Yes I can cook! - chicken stir fry

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Prahran August 23rd 2020

Sunday August 23, 2020. Journeying through ISO_2.1 The old saying is that Melbourne’s Yarra river runs upside down, with the muddy bottom being visible at the top. This seems to be a good metaphor for what is going on right now. Everything seems up-ended. The government does not want you to go out to pubs and clubs. People shun leaving the house to meet friends. Normally, you need a document to state why you are not at work. But right now, you need a document to say why you ARE going to work ! Such is the nature of ISO_2.1. Stage 4 lockdown. No leaving home except for shopping, exercise and certain permitted jobs. However, to be honest, it has not been a major impost for Ross and I. I can still go cycling about the ... read more
More flowers 2
Cherry blossum flower
Greek-baked chicken

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Prahran August 8th 2020

She is the grand dame of Australia. She is the cultural heart of the country, with the NGV, the International Comedy Festival, Jazz, film and queer festivals, and so many local multicultural festivals too. She gave us the likes of Howard Florey, Macfarlane Burnett, Helen Garner, Dame Nellie , Dame Edna, Tina Arena, Nick Cave, Kate Cebrano, Graham Kennedy, Kate Blanchett, Steve Irwin, Micheal Leunig, Crowded House (the group per se) and, of course, Kylie. She is renowned for her coffee culture, modern-day liberalism and intellectualism She is also the sporting capital of the nation – think the tennis, cricket, footy, that horse race and that car race. She is curiously European, with her fickle weather, trams, wide tree-lined boulevards, and Victorian era architecture. She has excellent pubs and restaurants and a legendary music scene – ... read more
Flinders St Station
Royal Exhibition Building

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Prahran July 23rd 2020

Craig and Ross in ISO_2.0 Episode #2 Thursday July 23, 2020. Last night, I spent the better part of 10 minutes trying to scrub some crud off a glass baking dish, only to realise the crud was on the other side. We need to buy a dishwasher! Such are the banalities of Melbourne ISO_2.0. We are now two weeks down. Theoretically, 4 weeks left of this six week lockdown. But.....well, who knows? It could be more, given recent COVID case numbers. I never thought I’d say this, but seeing the football on TV in recent weeks has brought some sense of normality and comfort to me. I’ve never followed it, but it has always been there in the background. It is a constant, something you can depend upon, like the sun coming up each day, or ... read more
Deserted City
statues with masks
The doggie Circle

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Prahran July 11th 2020

Craig and Ross in….ISO. Episode 1 (Saturday July 11, 2020). It was dear Shell Greyhound (aka Michelle Edwards) who put the idea into my head. She missed my travel blogs this year and suggested I blog about my time in isolation. Hardly riveting reading, I thought at first. But then I mulled over it and decided it would be a fun thing to do and, if nothing else, it would give me some amusement during ISO_2.0. So, here goes…. Living as we do in Melbourne, Ross and I have become old hands at this COVID-induced isolation thing (ISO). We have been more or less house bound since mid-March. All face-to-face teaching at the university had ceased, and lab-based research significantly wound back as well. I had not lost my job and had been lucky enough to ... read more

Asia » Cambodia January 12th 2020

The final cut of our photos: read more

Asia » Singapore January 4th 2020

Blog # 3: A Singapore postscript. January 4, 2020 Hello folks. I hope 2020 is being kind to you so far (and that you are not fire affected). For the last leg of our trip, we traveled from Phnom Penh across to Singapore on Jetstar. (Our experience on Jetstar Asia was just fine, compared to the woes I’ve had with Jetstar in Australia.) Like most other travelers, we love Singapore. It is warm, safe and clean, it boasts fantastic food and has heaps of things to do. Furthermore, the city state is shaking off its sterile, puritanical image. (It was once described by writer William Gibson as "Disneyland with the death penalty".) Nowadays, there are thumping bars and nightclubs that stay open later than that nanny city, Sydney. Clarke Quay last Friday night, for example, was ... read more

Asia » Cambodia December 31st 2019

Blog # 2: Siem Reap and onto Phnom Penh December 31, 2019 Well, happy new year everyone! 2020 , my gosh. (Over here, there has been extensive coverage by international news outlets of the Australia bush fires. And incredulity from commentators and experts at the inertia of the Australian federal government with regard to addressing climate change. Australia is especially vulnerable to global warming, but the band plays on.) Anyway, We are safe and well and coming to the end of our trip. It was hot and sunny the whole time in Cambodia. Don’t remember seeing a cloud! This “cooler” dry season of November-January is the best time to visit, in my view. It’s still hot, about 32°C each day. Just not shit hot (nor wet). After visiting Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, the two other ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North December 25th 2019

Blog # 1: Siem Reap, Cambodia December 25 , 2019 - Merry Christmas!! It must be very obvious to you by now that I’m addicted to travel. I’m obsessed with it. I’m always dreaming of where to go next. My head says: save money as it may be needed one day. But my heart says: spend it now and enjoy today. After all, who knows what tomorrow may bring? I’m a biologist and I know exactly how fragile human life can be. I am passionately following the “live life now” option. I feel that I have indeed made precisely the right call. So, I am pleased to say that we are back here in South East Asia, one of our favourite travel destinations. We booked flights several months ago and so here we are, in sunny ... read more

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai February 28th 2019

Blog # 7. Sunday, March 3, 2019. Earning our stripes in Tadoba, then Mumbai and back home. Dear family, friends and colleagues, Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing OK. We have come to the end of our five week India odyssey. This is the last blog of a trip that was one year in the planning. As usual, we have had a fantastic time. The highlight of the whole trip for me was undoubtedly this past six days. You can guess why. Wild animals. I’m talking sloth bears, wild dogs, a rare black leopard, various deer and birds and – most significantly of all – magnificent tigers! A life-long wish come true to see tigers in the wild. Tigers are endangered and elusive, and for me it was a race against time to see ... read more

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