Page 2 of buddymedbery Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Sydney Harbour February 14th 2020

After Cairns, it was back to Sydney. The flight from Cairns left us with half a day, so we decided to explore The Rocks. The Rocks is the area of Sydney that was originally inhabited by aboriginals then by convicts, and for many decades it was a favorite haunt of criminals, prostitutes, and sailors. It is named for the sandstone on which the buildings are built. More recently, it has undergone partial gentrification, and has tourist shops and eating places, as well as two pubs that each claim to be the oldest in Sydney. We chose the Lord Nelson for a wee pint, and then for dinner upstairs, which was surprisingly significantly more upscale. The Sydney Observatory is located here, but we did not have time to visit. This area was once being primed to be ... read more
Lord Nelson Pub
Sydney Harbor Bridge
Opera House

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns » Cairns City February 10th 2020

Leaving Adelaide, we flew straight to Cairns. Along with Townsville, Cairns is one of the gateways to the Great Barrier Reef. When Jennie and I were here in 2005 we went to Townsville and took a dive boat boat out 200 miles into the Coral Sea for a week, but we never actually saw the GBR. For this trip, we decided to headquarter in Cairns, where the reef is much closer to the shore. Our hotel was right on the waterfront. Initially, it appeared that there was a big harbor outside our door, but when the tide went out it became apparent that it was actually just a large mud flat with sprouting mangrove seedlings. The harbor was at the end of the city, where there was a large mixed use development that appeared to be ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » South Australia » Adelaide February 9th 2020

In the environs of Melbourne and Adelaide we visited several wine areas. It is easier to cover them all together even though they were on separate days. Melbourne has the famous Yarra Valley northeast of the city, basically surrounding the area of the Healesville Aniam Sanctuary we visited. However, when we were at the the Sanctuary it was obvious that traffic was heavy and we found out that Elton Jon was giving a concert that night and the next night. Rather than going back up there to try the justifiably famous wines, we elected instead to go to the Mornington Peninsula. Mornington is Sonoma to the Yarra Valley's Napa. Much more laid back and informal, and frankly more fun. Viticulture is intricately related to microenvironment. A little higher tip a slope and the annual rainfall or ... read more
Melbourne Mornington Peninsula
Melbourne Mornington Peninsula
Melbourne Mornington Peninsula

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Great Ocean Road February 6th 2020

When you visit Australia, it is said that you must do the three R's: the Reef, the Road, and the Rock (Great Barrier Reef, Great Ocean Road, and Ayers Rock, now known as Uluru). On this day, we did the Road. The Great Ocean Road stretches along the southern coast of Victoria roughly from Geelong to Warrnambool. For all but a short traverse in the Great Otway National Park, it follows right along the coast, offering stunning views of cliffs and sea. When we were here in 2003, there was an arch we photographed. Several years ago, the arch collapsed, stranding some visitors on the seaward end, requiring helicopter rescue. Smaller arches are still around. The other thing that has changed is we did not see kangaroos this trip. We saw several along the road previously. ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Freycinet February 4th 2020

Although Melbourne is a wonderful city, and more European than most places in Australia, we did not actually spend much time there. Following our visit to Healesville, the next day we went to the Mornington Peninsula (more on that later) and the the following day visited the Museum and then flew to Hobart, Tasmania. For some reason, even more than the rest of Australia, Tasmania has always seemed a particularly exotic destination to me. Not sure if it is the prison background, or the sordid aboriginal history, or the Tasmanian devils of cartoons, or perhaps the far southernly location, but Tasmania has always seemed the stuff of dreams. As it turns out, it is indeed that in some ways. With only two days to spend in Tassie, we elected to focus on two things: the beauty ... read more
Freycinet Marine Farm
Honeymoon Bay, Freycinet National Park
Beach, Freycinet Peninsula

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Melbourne » CBD February 2nd 2020

For some time, we have been planning a protracted trip to Australia and New Zealand. Jennie and I came to Oz in 2003, but were unable to see some things, with only two weeks to tour around (one week of our trip was spent on a dive boat trip to the Coral Sea). We have never been to New Zealand. Since Chuck and Lucie had never been to either one, and given the length of the journey, we decided to spend an unprecedented 5 weeks seeing both countries as best we could in that time. We made some choices with an eye on the length of the trip. First, although we had wanted to visit the Ningaloo Reef to see whale sharks and see the oldest living things on Earth, the stromatolites of Shark Bay, we ... read more
Harbour Bridge
Sydney Opera House

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Healesville January 31st 2020

We will be traversing through Sydney multiple times, and so we left after this short visit, headed westward to Melbourne and environs. Bit of a tough start to the morning with an early flight and late night before, but travel allows no shirking. The good thing is that we arrived in Melbourne in early morning and were thus able to make the drive to the Yarra Valley and the Healesville Animal Sanctuary. The Yarra Valley is a well-known wine region (think Napa), but after our visit to the animal sanctuary we drove back to town. There was a lot of traffic in the Valley because there is an outdoor venue there and Elton John was scheduled for that night. (The next day we found out that he had to be rushed for the stage for safety ... read more
Gray kangaroo
Critically endangered helmeted honeyeater

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Darling Harbour January 30th 2020

After an abbreviated day the day of arrival in Sydney, we were ready to tackle a somewhat more ambitious agenda, although admittedly with some reservation of energy for attendance at the opera in the Sydney Opera House this evening. Opera is not particularly strenuous, nor was the journey to the SOH, but we were mindful of the fact that our home town is 8 hours ahead of us (actually, technically 16 hours behind us), and that would make staying alert until later at night somewhat more problematic. Just a short walk across a peninsula from Circular Quay is Darling Harbour, but with poor train connections and a need for exercise, we walked there in about 30 minutes from our hotel. One the city side is the Sydney Aquarium, and across a pedestrian bridge over the harbor ... read more
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North America » United States » South Carolina » Charleston September 12th 2018

Growing up in Charleston, a coastal city with large areas that are at or below sea level in elevation, one learns to respect hurricanes. We moved here in 1952, moved away for two years 1954-6, then back here permanently. So we missed Hazel. But we were here for Gracie. At that time we were living in the apartment building on Dunneman Avenue on the Citadel campus. Only the practice football field lay between us and the railroad tracks. At night we heard the poor lion in the small Hampton Park zoo with his coughing roar. Transistor radios were relative rarities, and computers for the home were not yet invented. So what guidance we got was from the television (as long as the station, and we, had power) and from the radio. Radio was mostly AM at ... read more
Hurricane Gracie Charleston SC 092959-Edit

Growing up in Charleston, one becomes accustomed to various airborne effluents that shape in a visceral way your feel of the city. In my youth, we knew that if the wind blew from the north we would smell the paper plant in North Charleston, an aroma which must be experienced rather than described. My high school driving instructor, whose husband worked at the plant, said it smelled like bacon and eggs to her. The MeadWestVaCo plants is still there today, and still perfumes the air with what my father would have called the sweet attar of roses. In the right sun, viewed from the water or the nearby I-526 bridge, the glass front along the Ashley River reflects glints of light from wavelets in the river, putting on an almost psychedelic show. Today, the smell of ... read more

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