Believing is just the beginning...

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Busselton June 4th 2018

Saturday afternoon in the first week of June. A recent storm, last week, washed up tonnes of seagrass, as deep as 2.5 meters. This soon to rot seagrass, will cause hydrogen sulphide emissions with the buildup causing stench and environmental havoc, on the normally idyllic holiday beach. Storm patterns vary every Winter and deliver different outcomes of this seagrass issue dumped along the Geograph Bay and millions per year have been spent to clear thousands of cubic meters of this weed. Unfortunately this year the seagrass has been washed up on the main tourist beach and restaurant vista of Busselton Jetty location. Locals said they hope the next expected storms, may help wash away some of this problem...... read more

Oceania » Fiji » Nadi November 29th 2017

Fiji was previously known as the Cannibal isles. There are 332 islands in Fiji (106 inhabited) it is believed Fiji's indigenous people arrived from western Melanesia. So hungry were the sailors on arrival, that they turned on each other as food. Other theories are, that they preyed on each other for land rights and ultimate insult and domination. Fijian's today, have great pride in their history and have a wicked sense of humour, when one said to me "yum, vanilla skin, you taste like pork" I saw the playful glint in their eye but thought...thank goodness for kava!! Kava or Kava Kava drink, is rife amongst the locals and makes them into very "mellow fellows" It is an intoxicating drink with a tongue numbing effect with sedative and euphoric properties. It makes their day extremely relaxed ... read more

Oceania » Fiji » Vatulele November 25th 2017

Sanasona  village (a 20 minute walk from Yatule resort, at Natadola beach) was such a humbling and interesting visit.... after crossing a rickety old railway bridge, our small tour group was shown the laws of entry into the village, immediately removing our hats and sunglasses. ..the first stop was a meeting hut structure for 65 year old, chief, who sits under the bon wood central post and his 7 tribal leaders who drink cava and direct and disapline the 500 village population. Whipping with large sticks and banning the perpetrator out of the village, for any one who breaks tribe rule. Every member of the village thus stands for the entire community, in tact with land rights, laws and ancient and current rules. This meeting hut's name is Korowaiwai. It is warm in winter and hot ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta October 21st 2017

Man made canals are really smelly in low tide. Fish house factories are another pong to the area in the main waterways of Saigon. The combination of sewerage and waste, is especially offensive when the tide is low. Houses run along the bank, held up by stilts, are only 20 - 25 meters square with 4 - 7 members in each one. Many people have disease, dengi fever is high due to mosquitoes. Other pests are rodents, rats and cocroches. High tides come in the houses, it is always damp. Most Vietnamese cannot swim. They take ferries across the river for 25 cents. Helmets are a regulation on the ferry and children have a school in the Mekong Delta. Commuters take their motorcycles or bicycle transport across with them. Barges have two eyes because there are ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Mekong River Delta October 20th 2017

Land in the MeKong Delta sinks... as ground water is extracted for drinking, there are around one million wells in the area and sand is also extracted for industry. The flat landscape is within 2 meters of sea level and every year sea level rises 0.3cm. To compound the problem, barges carry sand or stone from the river bottom and put loads on very overloaded, really low barges. Stone works finish by midnight but many contracts are broken with ignorance of the rules and the sand is literally stolen from the river past the shut down hour. A temporary solution is to plant palms in the run off water canals/tributaries to protect the river bank from erosion. ... read more

Oceania » Australia » South Australia August 17th 2017

When offered a motorbike ride from Adelaide, South Australia across the Nullarbor via Kalgoorlie to Perth, spontaneity is good :) I flew out to meet a friend who bought a new Harley Davidson Cruiser in Brisbane and riding it across the continent. Halfway, as novice passenger, seemed my better option of 2,745.5kms done in three days and three nights. The only condition was, to travel 'light' and I took one backpack, which was strapped to the back. There were lots of highlights along the way and one, I had a laugh at, was a laminated page of snake tips at the Nullarbor roadhouse in the room, warning of four different types to watch out for. I resisted looking under the bed! Kalgoorlie super pit was another highlight, the reaped tonnage and sheer depth and girth of ... read more

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Puerto Varas June 5th 2017

Why are there so many dogs in Chile? With a no culling policy, many dogs are literally born and die on the streets. Estimated 2.5 million dogs roaming in large groups, abandoned by their families on low budget or let out deliberately to do as they please. Acceptance, is part of the community and culture with no cruelty tolerated. Meanwhile, the uncontrolled canine growth population has to weather the cold winter and disease, which kills and no medical care. The dogs appear to be well mannered and citizens and tourists are quick to feed and care for them. On a personal note..so many dogs to fall in love with...and I was honoured because one fell in love with me! He followed and later traced via Facebook his owners were located. An agreement was struck and he's ... read more

South America » Chile » Biobío » Los Ángeles April 6th 2017

Los Angeles is more or less in the middle of Chile. Climate heading into Autumn is moderate and vey comfortable, the population approximately 160,000. A car trip of the external, showed public hospital, two German colleges, three cemeteries, military base, industrial area, resturant strip, company houses, government housing, airport, University, wood mills, shopping centers (Lider, similar to Walmart and Jumbo). In the centro, I walked past the Police station, many retail outlets, malls, banks, government agencies and a big plaza area, where people gather and enjoy timeout from the CBD. It's easy to navigate as City is in grid formation. People and structurs are compressed together, rich and poor. Social code is evident. Only a few blocks appart. Two interesting sounding towns also visited were Saltos del Laja (beautiful waterfall) and Mulchen where timber (blue gums ... read more

South America » Chile March 27th 2017

Chiloe Island is known for it's Jesuit woodern 17th and 18th century churches, many used as lighthouse for the priests. Therefore, their extra steeple like tall structure. Chiloe is the second largest island of Chile with a population of approximately 39,000. It's industries are pastoral and seafood. We took a ferry across the channel and approaching the island of lush vegetation and rugged coastline, takes approximately 20 minutes. We visited the capital of Castro on the East side of the island and enjoyed a traditional seafood restaurant for lunch and ventured the markets and saw fat sealions being fed left over fish. The colorful palafilo beach houses on stilts are an artists delight. The island is full of magic and folklore.... read more

South America » Chile » Magallanes March 23rd 2017

The manor houses/palaces of Punta Arenas are some of the first buildings built by brick in the late 1800s and early 19th century Golden Age. Along with other commercial institutions, banks and residences. It was the era od European immigration of cattle keeping, mining and wood production. All these buildings are located around the town square and the French style is notorious. We visited two of these majestic buildings and all the original floor surfaces, fabrics and furnishings, statues and attention to detail remain. Totally breath taking in beauty and regal.... read more

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