Page 3 of Travels with Cathy and Steve Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Blue Mountains December 20th 2018

Tuesday 18th December. So sleeping on the train has been fine and, another first here, showering on the train was good too. I'm sharing the facilities but there are two showers between 10 people so it is fine. Plenty of room, hot water and lovely soft towels. What's not to like. This morning we were bussed into the centre of Adelaide for a brief walking tour and a light breakfast. Less than two hours in all so we did not see much (mainly war memorials if I being blunt and I've done enough of them over the past 2 months... ) We had a complete crew change in Adelaide but we are all used to the rhythms of the on train routine now so there was not be any disruption. The thiird and final dinner on ... read more
I meet a life size miner
The valley in the gloom
The view from the  cable car

Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Adelaide December 20th 2018

Monday 17th Dec. While the on-train sleeping experience was good with a comfortable but narrow bed, and a gentle rocking motion, I did not sleep well. Too much food probably but I did manage about 5 hours. On waking the scenery had not changed... Empty, open and endlessly flat. We made a couple of brief off train excursions, just to stretch and look about, but there was little to see... that's the whole point! Our second stop was at the appropriately named "Cook". Why appropriate? Because the temperature there was 44 degrees C. It was a dry heat so not that difficult but the wind was blowing so it felt like standing in front of a fan over with the door open and the fan still running. Wow that was hot! The second evening was again ... read more
Indian Pacific loco
Half way
At cook it was 44 degrees C.

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Kalgoorlie December 20th 2018

I'm nowback in Manly Vale having been without WiFi for four days, so I will try to atch up on the train journey now: Sunday 16th Dec. Up early and a taxi to East Perth Station for check-in on the Indian Pacific: the train that will take 3 nights and 4 days to get back to Sydney. I'm in a very compact but comfortable solo cabin, in a very recently refurbished car.. All very smart but it is tight. I and other solo travellers soon made our way to the lounge bar which is offers great views. All food and drink included and we were soon into the bubbly and chatting away. Unsurprisingly there are several old fogeys like me on the trip. More surprising there are quite few solo ladies travelling, all of whom seem ... read more
In my cabin on the Indian Pacific
Giant machines at Kalgoorlie

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Albany December 15th 2018

Friday 14th Dec: A nie hot sunny day to explore what Albany has to offer. Three things to note: 1) Whaling...We seem to have encountered a nmber of whaling places recently and indeed whales but in some ways this topped the lot... A vist to the last whaling station opened and closed in Australia. All fully preserved with a "whate chaser" ship. This was possibly one of the grizzlest exhibitions I have even seen (and I'm including the Killing fields in Cambodia etc) all with colour photos and film of what whaling was all about... Here's the wierd thing. The station was opened in 1952 (my lifetime) and closed only in 1974. The film footage had all these strapping Ozzy lads dressed just like I did in 1974... Could have been me slicing up the poor ... read more
Whale chase boat
A Large saw!
The same saw in use!!

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Albany December 15th 2018

Thursday 13th Dec: Today I drove down to Albany on the South Coast. A long (>250 kms) and interesting drive with a couple of good stops along the way. In particuler I drove through an area called "The Southern Forests"... Where you "come for the trees!". Also a couple of charming small town: Nannup & Pemberton.... All jolly nice but not really that much going on. Near Walpole there is a an area called "Valley of the Giants". We're talking seriously large trees here. The high point (no pun intended) was the Tree Top Walk; a 800 metre walk way suspened 40 metres up in the canopy. So good I did it twice! The thingis made of several bridges (see photos) and they move... A lot. I reckon they moved vertically 6 or 8 inches as ... read more
"Tree Top Walk" - Bouncy walkways
"Tree Top Walk"
Granma Tingle Tree

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Margaret River December 14th 2018

Wednesday ended with a trip to too more wineries this time with paid for tastings. This region is famous for its Chardonnay's and Cab Sauv. The Voyager estate was particularly inpressive with lovely gardens and an impressive tasting room. I managed to sneak into anothe place at 16:55 (5 minutes before closing) but they were happy to let me stay on and taste a few.... I ended up buyting a bottle..... In appreciation and instead of paying the tasting fee of $10 . A nice way to end an exhilerating and tiring day. (I'm passing over a distinctly average dinner that night).... read more
Tasting room
Oak barrels
Voyager estate

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Margaret River December 13th 2018

After the Lighthouse at Cape Leeuwin, I worked my way up the Southern half of Caves Road which is very scenic 120 kms drive in all, with amazingly varied landscapes and fauna. The vegetaion changes every few kms. Heathland here, massive trees trees creating sun dappled avenues there, and then the many vinyards. All delightful on a glorious sunny day as it was. But my main focus was on the caves. There are 120 in all along this coast but I managed two of the larger more popular examples. Jewel cave first with a series of the massive chambers, each with many marvellous calcite foramtions. I'll spare you a geology lesson, but the limestones is very young in geological terms (1.5 million years). That's still enough time for the caves to be created by water dissoving ... read more
Jewel cave
Many unusal calcite formations
Lake cave entrance

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Margaret River December 13th 2018

Tuesday started with an early brilliant breakfast in Freo.... Truffled eggs with bacon! Then I hit the grit and drove several hours with a cxouple of stops down to Margaret River. The later stages of that driveincluded a visit to Cape Naturaliste where I managed a 30 minute coastal walk around the heathland. Itwould have been a nice walk but the 5 million flies that constantly landed on my face, tried to crawl into my ears (and nose) and were a complete pain, drove me away. Not good. Then I drove down the "Caves Road" (more on caves in the next blog) and headed to Margaret River, past dozens of wineries, in rather disappointing weather- dull and cloudy. These looked very inviting but I pressed on and got to Margart River in the afternoon. Had look ... read more
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
The view from the top - along the West Coast
Steve at the top

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Rottnest Island December 11th 2018

Monday was all about Rottnest Island, a limestone and sand island about half an hour by ferry from Freo. No cars - most people bring or hire a bike. I took a pre booked tours, a ride on a wierd little tram thing and walked a bit. It's about 14 kms long so you need some form of transport. The weather was glorious, at least until it was time to go. Rottnest is so called because the Dutch "discoverers" found loads of what they took to be large rats - hence "Ratsnest". But they were not rats at all. They were Quokkas, a proper marcupial and basically a small kangeroo. The first one I encounters was carrying a " joey" in her pouch (sorry no good picture of that). There are about 10,000 of them on ... read more
Quokkas get everywhere
One of score of rocky coves
One of scores of sandy idyllic beaches

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Fremantle December 10th 2018

SC : I'm now on the solo leg of the trip heding out West ... Yesterday I was up and out early for my flight (flight number 8 of RTW4) from Sydney to Perth. Cathy got up early to take me to the local bus stop and from there I took public transport. I was not expecting much from my 5 hours, 4,500 km and three time zones flight to Perth in Western Australia but it turned out quite well. No issues except a particulalrly long wait for luggage. Then I drove my hire car down ot Fremantle (only 40 minutes and got settled into my decent city centre hotel around lunchtime. This left me time to explore downtown and the famous "Freo Market".... I should explain here the Aussie predilection for shortening names And words ... read more
Free beer at a launch party
Freo market
Insie the "Little Creatures" restaurant and bar

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