penny and gary


penny and gary

Gary and Penny, from the beginning... Again. Round the world for a year in 07 and we've decided it's time once more. So packing up the house, the jobs, selling the cars and up up and away, this time with no return ticket and no fixed itinerary. A smidgin reckless, sure, but what the hell. May as well indulge in a few passions before the last great journey in who knows when.
Stay tuned and please stay in contact, cause whilst we love seeing what the rest of the world has to offer, we also love receiving news from home base.

You have to try hard to get lost in The Northern Territory. Roads are few, people equally so and traffic jams are an unknown concept. But with the right skill set it is still possible to wander off track. We have that requisite skill set but what we have learnt after a couple of episodes up here is you don't ask a local to get you back on the straight and narrow. It's like getting robbed in a country where corruption is sewn into the national DNA, where the last person you want to call is the police unless you fancy being fleeced a second time. Heading north from Katherine on The Stuart Highway, the Kakadu turnoff "can't be missed". Unless of course: The Historic Tourism Loop through Pine Creek was too much for us to ... read more
Jim Jim again again.
Come into my parlour sadi the croc to the boat tourists
Motor Car pools

The Gibb River Road. An iconic 800ish km stretch of dirt, bumps, gravel, corrugations and river crossings that doubles as a highway lumbering through the heart of The Kimberley. Come in the wet season and it's a desert in disguise, for the most part impassable and off limits to the general public in vehicles. The trick for us was to time it so as the road would be recently opened following the wet (this year's wettest for many a season) with plenty of greenery and waterfalls in full bloom. We hit some pay dirt as the Gibb's gates were recently upped prior to our arrival but for the yin there is usually a yang. Some of the tributaries to a few of the big ticket items still had the shutters down and channeling us to a ... read more
Echidna Chasm
Ok varments, we're ready for you.
Aqua back massage

Oceania » Australia » Western Australia » Cape Leveque May 21st 2017

25 years of marital bliss. Spare me the shocked expressions, there is no tongue planted firmly in the cheek. It's been a quarter of a century jam packed with the type of credentials that a marriage CV should boast. A 25th anniversary should also warrant a special location to celebrate other than Cronulla. Ten years ago for our 15th, Penny and I found ourselves planted at a Mediterranean-hugging seafood restaurant in cutesy Piran, Slovenia's mini Dubrovnik. Yeah, I know, another one. There are as many mini Dubrovniks as there are mini Venices but Piran's comparison is justifiable. Anyway, at that point in our lives it was decided we should be shoehorning somewhere exotic into the calendar every 5 years come May 17. So what about 20 years? Glad you asked. Cannon Beach on Oregon's redwood-lined coast ... read more
Middle Lagoon local
May 17. Time to crack the Moët.
Trudging up to Cape Leveque Lighthouse

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Freycinet National Park April 19th 2017

So tie me to an anthill, smear my ears with jam and call me Benedict Arnold if you must but I'm going to place my head firmly on the traitor's chopping block. For what my opinion is worth (not much I assume), USA AOK, is the most beautiful on this rock, if through nothing else other than its sheer, raw diversity. If you prefer to narrow down the criteria a touch then a few other sovereignties come into the reckoning. Alpine? How do you turn you nose up at Canada, Nepal, Norway or New Zealand (South Island). Perhaps architecture is your poison. From this humble man's opinion, France is top of the pops with my left field challenger (plus this makes me sound as though I've been around), Yemen. BUT!!! If coastline is your barometer of ... read more
Bay of Fires
Bay of Fires
Honeymoon Bay

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Mentawi April 13th 2017

You would think I'd learn but it seems some people in this world are a bit slow on the uptake. This was my 9th foray into the group of islands off Sumatra's west coast so it's not as if I was sucker punched by the heat and humidity a degree or so from the equator. Yet despite all previous experience and everybody else's advice to slowly ween myself onto the surf, the moment I set eyes on those waves, the "go hard or go home" ethos overrode pragmatism. Caught up in a haze of fantasy, the first full day involved 2 x 3 hour sessions beneath a flat equatorial blaze. 6 hours and during a forced leisurely paddle back to the boat anchored in the channel, it was time for a flashback. Last year, an acquaintance ... read more
Ooh la la
A couple of ales at day's end
Plenty of dead trees on this island

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Cradle Mountain February 19th 2017

It didn't matter which weather report you tuned into, if it was mainland Australia there was one common denominator. They were frying. Hometown Sydney in particular seemed to be ever inching closer to the sun, record temperatures nudging the mid forties. SUFFER! At the same time, under the same national flag, we were piling on the layers to quarantine ourselves from biting winds and mercury struggling to hit double figures. Rain swept in sheets at 10 minute intervals and snow sprinkled the peaks of mountains. One morning low cloud hanging around head height was the sort of stuff that justifies lighthouses and where you might expect Jack the Ripper to come skulking out of. And this is summer. Tasmania may be part of our Great Southern Land but crossing that latitudinal line over Bass Strait can ... read more
Evandale just out of Launceston
Cradle Mountain
Cradle Mountain

Oceania » Australia » Tasmania » Bruny Island February 12th 2017

No doubt about it, t'was a grand week. Melbourne never fails to plate up the urban hits. Tennis (how's about that men's final), edgy nibbles and tipples, standing ovation theatre, a few wineries on the fringes, an art gallery or 3 and the Colvin/Yeates express was all cultured-up. Alas, all good things have a use by date and we bid a fond farewell to our 19th floor Melbourne CBD apartment and traded it in for: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR I'll kick off with a negative. Our previous forays into the campervan world in NZ and US had us itching for more. So it was with stars in our eyes that we jetted across Bass Strait fully prepped for a month traipsing around Tasmania in our state of the art motor home. Our rental came ... read more
Cape Bruny
Go lay an egg ya mammal.
Tasman Peninsula sea cliffs

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Lembongan January 13th 2017

Boats - prisons with a chance of drowning. Our version of a boat fitted hand in glove with that metaphor. Roughly the shape of a coffin but twice the size and fitted with a pair of ambitious outriggers ostensibly to lend some confidence that all would be fine. Despite misgivings, our sturdy vessel covered the 2 hour crossing without a hitch, unless you consider hitches such things as spinning around uncontrollably in a whirlpool and the teenage "skipper" constantly bailing out water from the bottom of the hull. This narrow strait is one of the world's less forgiving bodies of water. But you negotiate that journey and then pull into a lagoon of pinch me I'm dreaming opaque waters of contrasting hues that paint chart guys might label "my chartreuse heaven". Round that image out with ... read more
From our aperitif stop.
Tough start to the day for these chickens
Not a fan of food shots but ......

Asia » Indonesia » Java » Borobudur January 5th 2017

Let's get spiritual, spiritual, I wanna be spiritual, let me hear your ....... Oops. I was going all Olivia Newton John on myself chasing down a few temples in Java. Islam may be the king pin religion here (in fact Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation on the onion) but a few of the other faiths still get a minor guernsey. The surprise is, given the at best boutique following of Hinduism and Buddhism on Java, the world's two largest relics paying homage to both faiths sit on the outskirts of Yogyakarta. Prambanan and Borobodur are a mere 20 and 40 clicks respectively from Yogya's CBD and their UNESCO listings had me firing up the Nikon, more so with the brochure descriptions of especially Borobudur: "Dating back well over a millennia. 9 levels. Thousands of intricate ... read more
You want buy batik?
So that explains the burning ring of fire every morning.
Visitors to Prambanan.

Asia » Indonesia » Sumatra » Mentawi February 14th 2016

I had an aunt and an uncle who went to South West Rocks 36 years in a row for their January holidays. Why? “South West Rocks has everything you could possibly need. A beach and a bowling club with a top Chinese Restaurant” they said. Uncle Sid and Aunty Jean living on the edge. What is it that draws people back to the same holiday distination on a regular basis? Perhaps that particular locale ticked all the boxes required for their hit and run vacation time and there’s a sense of comfort in the familiarity. I suppose that’s pragmatism defined but, “Where’s the adventure”? Having said that, there are quite a few dots on this earth we’ve retraced and would do so again given the chance. Offer me a ticket to Paris tomorrow and I’ll go ... read more
Your author.
Yes I know it's self indulgent

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