Page 6 of RJT Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Potts Point August 27th 2012

Sydney is a truly gorgeous city and I never tire of the stunning views I am lucky enough to see every day. Generally speaking I don't have the opportunity to travel much beyond a thirty minute walk of the city centre, however whenever I get the chance to venture further afield I leap at it.... And leap I did when offered the chance to spend a day on the harbour with my parents when they visited recently. A friend of theirs who was visiting as well, invited us out for a day on the boat and a picnic lunch. Her daughter and son-in-law have a beautiful motor launch, with a captain, so it was easy to say yes! The weather was more than kind, and we had a wonderful day getting to see the sights from ... read more
Hello Opera House!
I liked this angle of the bridge and brilliant blue sky
From the water..

Last weekend I was basking in the heat, surrounded by the red earth of central Australia. This weekend I was trying to stay warm in the Australian centre of power. Apparently Canberra became the seat of government because Sydney and Melbourne both wanted to be the capital and couldn't agree where it should be, so as a compromise they came up with Canberra, somewhere in between the two. And that's pretty much what it feels like. It's a funny old town, with massive big roads suitable for a Napoleonic army, but strangely empty of people or cars. This made it very easy to get around. I was there with Mum and Dad who are currently in Australia to visit, and Canberra was new for all us. We had hired a car, easily the best decision we'd ... read more
Commonwealth Avenue
At the airport
Lest we forget....

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Alice Springs August 6th 2012

Alice Springs has always been somewhere I wanted to see. When I was little, I used to love the old TV shows like “The Flying Doctor” and of course, “A Town like Alice”. Usually the problem with having a romantic notion of a destination is that it never quite lives up to expectation. In the case of Alice Springs I feared that would be the case when I first arrived, however by the time I left I was captivated by the harsh rugged landscape and marvelling at the stunning scenery. With a small population of around 25,000 residents, the town centre is fairly small. From my hotel, it was around a twenty minute walk to town, along the bank of the Todd River. This sounds very scenic and pretty, however at this time of year is ... read more
About to board the Robinson R22
A thorny devil
A frilly lizard (I think)

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Uluru August 5th 2012

What kind of nutter would book themselves on a day trip which involves travelling 1100 kms on a bus? Me for starters, and apparently a whole bunch of other people too. So at 6.00am I was waiting for the bus outside my hotel. It was freezing in Alice Springs, about 3 degrees, although the locals tell me that’s good, last week it was -2 degrees. The bus finally rolled by and I joined a coach load of other nutters heading out on quite possibly the world’s longest day trip. Our two guides, GJ and Tick, have control of us for the day and do a fine job in keeping us entertained, pointing out the sights and the animals, and educating us on the plant life, history, aboriginal folklore and geological beginnings of Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) ... read more
Erldunda - the centre of the centre
The Red Centre
Landscape in the middle

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Potts Point July 22nd 2012

Two months in Sydney and it's gone in a flash. When I first moved here I thought I would be able to update this blog with all sorts of interesting adventures, however in reality all I can boast of is having found somewhere to live, organised some furniture, and gone to work. A lot. However I have no complaints at all, and I am making new discoveries every day. I have a gorgeous apartment in Potts Point, with an incredible view over the city. I look over the Woolloomooloo wharf, over to the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. This view was the real drawcard for the apartment, and admiring the view with a glass of wine at the end of the day is a very good way to make your cares melt away. Potts ... read more
Sydney Harbour Bridge!
The opera house....obviously
Terrace houses, Bourke St

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Hokianga February 6th 2012

Four days after returning from my holidays I was off again. Not quite so exciting this time: no planes, no foreign languages, no foreign currency and sadly not quite as much sun. All of that said, it was a lovely weekend away, celebrating Waitangi Day in Northland. I had travelled up to Omapere, about 3 1/2 hours drive north of Auckland, with Cam and Ness, for the long weekend. Cam usually lives in Melbourne, but is currently based in Auckland for work, and Ness is from Christchurch, so was enjoying a respite from the earthquakes; however both are old friends from my Wellington days. We had booked a bach for three nights on the beachfront, in Omapere. Or so we thought. It wasn't exactly beachfront, but the beach was only a very short walk away. The ... read more
Hokianga Harbour
Enjoying the view

What a fabulous city, and what a shame I can't stay for longer. They are not kidding about the fog though, although happily I also got to experience San Francisco in the sunshine, and what a treat. The trip to San Fran from Cancun was a long one, not helped by the six hour stop over in Houston on the way. I was excited however to discover somewhere to get a massage, and I had lunch at the delicious Pappadeaux on the recommendation of the Texans when I was in Cuba. They did a very good deed, it was great, bless their hearts! On my first day I decided to take the hop-on hop-off bus. Taking more recommendations from friends I chose the blue bus outside Macy's on Union Square, a very short couple of minutes ... read more
The painted ladies and the San Francisco skyline
Union Square's heart
The banker's heart...cold, hard, unfeeling!

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Cancun January 24th 2012

Just before leaving Tulum I visited the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, not far from where I am staying. The Reserve covers 1.5 million acres and is a protected UNESCO World Heritage site. I went with an organisation called Cesiak who do eco-tourism and environmental education, for the afternoon canal tour . We went through the mangroves, floated down the canals looking at bird life and flora and fauna, and enjoyed a delicious dinner afterwards. My birdwatching days from Ecuador came back! I loved it. It was highly educational, and sadly not all that I've learned is good news. Our guide, Hugo, is passionate about people and the environment learning to live together in a sustainable way, and he was scathing about the all-inclusive resorts in Cancun and Playa del Carmen and how they are impacting the ... read more
Tulum beach
View from Sian Ka'an viewpoint up the coast
After floating down the canal

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum January 21st 2012

I had been looking forward to Tulum for months - white sands, Caribbean turquoise waters, hot sunny days - it didn´t disappoint in the slightest. In my reading, I had noted the unwelcome developments and commercialisation of the area, slowly chipping away at its charm. So it was with some surprise that I arrived at my accommodations for the next week and saw how rustic it was. It was a very simple adobe hut with palapa (thatched) roof, a bed, a mosquito net around my bed, mosquito nets and shutters in place of windows but with a private bathroom and hot water. It was not much different from the simple room I stayed in on a beach hut in Thailand 14 years ago, albeit with a 21st century price. The beach itself is the stuff of ... read more
This patch of beach is home for a week
Playa Mambo
Hammock - good for afternoon reading

North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Merida January 16th 2012

The only reason that I decided to stay on an extra night in Merida was so that I could go to the bullfight. The bullring is a short five minute walk away from where I'm staying, and as Larry was driving us to the bus station to book our seats he mentioned in passing that there was a bullfight coming up. So although I do not support bullfighting in principle, I made a random decision to buy a ticket to go, which meant staying an extra night. I figured that this is the one and only opportunity I would have to go and it would be an experience I wouldn't get elsewhere. I knew absolutely nothing about bullfighting before I went. It was fascinating, although I was taken aback at how close to the action I ... read more
El Pana!
El Pana before the fights
El Pana in action

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