Page 9 of swanningaround Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Airlie Beach April 28th 2013

Geo: -20.2679, 148.716 28th March - 21st April: New Zealand, en route to Sydney, and up the East Coast.I have been too lazy to write a blog and feel ashamed! Perhaps the reason for the reluctance to write will become clearer: We moved so quickly I forgot where we were and where we had been. We drove up the East Coast quickly to escape the populated areas and without much of any real interest happening.From Fiji we returned to New Zealand to be collected from the airport again by Richard. We were only staying long enough to go and see a film (Hampton Park on Hudson, might not have the title absolutely accurate), have lots of lovely meals sitting out on the patio late into the evening in the unseasonably warm weather, do the washing and ... read more
Soldier Crabs
A 'General' soldier crab
Would you believe 'McSwan'?

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waikato » Hamilton March 30th 2013

Geo: -37.7871, 175.283Fiji 27th February - 28th MarchBula, as they say in Fiji. (Welcome/hello)Sorry I keep changing from present to past tense in the blog but I passed time when it was raining by writing in situ so was describing what was happening around me. We flew into the capital Nadi (pronounced Nandy) and were collected at the airport by a Bamboo Hostel staff member who put us in a taxi to the hostel with another guest, as a few people had arrived on the same flight, so the journey was quick and easy. Bamboo provided a twin room but only shared bathrooms. The facilities were such that despite being a very friendly and relaxed place, we would only stay there 1 night.It was lovo night, a traditional meal cooked in the ground so we put ... read more
The beach at MacDonalds
The hammock - our favourite place
Jim working hard enjoying himself

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waikato » Hamilton February 20th 2013

Geo: -37.7871, 175.283Sydney 31st Jan to 27th Feb Hamilton, New Zealand Our last couple of days in Sydney passed quickly. We spent one day sightseeing before cleaning the van ready for returning it to Travellers Autobarn. When we arrived there I gave a list of things that didn't work or needed replacing in the van. The guy checking the van was very pleasant and when I gave him the list he said, "My girlfriend is always writing lists too" so I thought he would just bin it but later we had to go to the HQ along the road and the list was already with the man there. He did say he would arrange the refund for time off the road.We went to the HQ to see if we could amend our booking for the next trip, ... read more
Contrast of old and new in Sydney
Opera House from Ferry
Manly Beach across the Harbour

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waikato » Hamilton February 2nd 2013

Geo: -37.7871, 175.2839th January Mallacoota, via Canberra to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, 22nd January.We fell in love with Mallacoota and stayed a week. I don't know why but for some reason once we reached Mallacoota and on our journey since, everyone has been very friendly. It was the scenery and setting of Mallacoota which we loved as well as the variety of trails and walks we could amble along. Although it was still busy with the sites full, most people don't venture further than a nearby beach. When we went walking we rarely saw more than one other couple or a family for the duration of our expedition. At the end of the last blog I said we were going in search of a Superb Lyre Bird. We hunted for a couple of days but ... read more
Camps come in all shapes and sizes
Bats at dusk in Bateman's  Bay
Moving house

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Mallacoota January 9th 2013

Geo: -37.5587, 149.75430th December Howlong - 9th January MallacootaHappy New Year to you all.We have been in a communications black hole for some time (with the exception of a brief stop at McDonalds) both for wifi and then even mobile signal. When we reached Mallacoota the first site had wifi but was charging £13 for 2 hours. Apologies for the delay in posting the Christmas blog.As you might have gathered the extensive Riverina area, although beautiful in its own way, and providing plenty of birdlife, was starting to make me feel claustrophobic. Strange really as it is a huge open flat space but I did start to feel that it was oppressive. However the scenery soon changed as we headed south east and after visiting the Wonga Wetlands (where we saw 2 turtles climb out the ... read more
2 Long Neck Turtles  sunbathing
Kingfisher - they are everywhere
Bogong in the Alpine National Park

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Deniliquin December 29th 2012

Geo: -35.5285, 144.959New South Wales, Deniliquin 22 December - 29th December 201228th December: Today is our last full day in Deniliquin, or Deny as it is referred to locally. I am not sure what we expected but we have enjoyed our stay. Unfortunately the only public wifi in town is at McDonalds where it is very slow and seems to throw users off after 10 minutes or so, (and they were closed Christmas Day). As a result, sadly, it was not possible to skype, or post this blog.The campsite is very well managed with plenty of grassed areas which are regularly watered so the kangaroos come to graze every evening. The site also has some old steam engines that the owner rescued and are now semi-displayed. The ensuite has been a luxury - our private bathroom ... read more
Preparations for Christmas dinner
Our neighbours brought their birds on holiday
Our Camp Office, previously a bar

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Echuca December 21st 2012

Geo: -36.1287, 144.748Victoria, Halls Gap 13th December to Echuca 20th DecemberHope we didn't confuse anyone with the date on the last blog, we were one day out. We seem to be having difficulty keeping track of the date here.After leaving the high land of the Grampians we rough camped in a National Park near Maryborough where we saw no-one. Unfortunately there were not many birds around either. It was strange being on our own about 3 kilometres from the road. From there we travelled to Maldon in the gold mining area of Victoria. We didn't intend to stay there but when we visited the Information Centre the man was so helpful that we felt we had to stay. He contacted birding friends to find where to go for birds so we had to go back and ... read more
Bendigo Town Hall and Clocktower
Pretty verandahs
Rosalind Park Fernery

Oceania » Australia » Victoria December 12th 2012

Geo: -37.1538, 142.512Victoria: Thursday 7th Tower Hill to Thursday !4th at Halls Gap in the GrampiansWe continued along the coast visiting the 12 Apostles, London Bridge etc, all features produced by the weathering of the limestone cliffs. It is an interesting drive, so much so that one day we only managed to travel 50 miles instead of the 100 we had planned. En route we visited an artisan cheesery (we tasted 9 cheeses and came away with 2 - delicious) and then a chocolate maker. Surprisingly (and to those who know we are chocoholics) that visit was most disappointing as they seemed to put liquorice in everything. At Mait's Rest we did a walk through bush consisting of a mix of plants but predominately tall tree ferns, very different from the Australian bush I had expected.Then ... read more
12 Apostles
Arch on Great Ocean Road
Different style stack

Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Port Campbell December 5th 2012

Geo: -38.6191, 142.996SingaporeSingapore is flat! No-one told me, so for some reason I thought it was hilly like Hong Kong. Flat and boring scenically, as the high rise modern buildings ensure that no distant views are available and in most places it is not possible to see the sea although Singapore is an island.Despite this it makes for an interesting stopover. We arrived on Monday evening after having a night on the plane (effectively losing the day) so we did not expect to sleep much. By eleven pm we decided we should try and get some sleep or at least lie down. The next we knew it was MIDDAY Tuesday and we had had another 13 hours sleep! Then we spent the rest of the day in the Botanical Gardens. A very soothing place with beautiful ... read more
High Rise skyline
Raffles Hotel
Peanut shells

Africa » Egypt November 22nd 2012

Geo: 25.7024, 32.6421At last Swanning around is finally on the move again! As most of you know our plans to set off to Costa Rica with Paul and Sheila were blown off course as Jim had a medical problem. We felt very guilty about letting them down but they seem to be having a great time and have posted some fantastic pictures on their blog. It has only whetted our appetite to visit Costa Rica even more, so we hope to get there next autumn, but unfortunately without Paul & Sheila.Thankfully Jim's operation seems to have been very successful, and although still tiring quickly,he is fine. We are so grateful to Paul and Angela whose barn we were staying in, and who made us feel at home and reassured us that we could stay as long ... read more
Avenue of sphinxes
Sobek the Crocodile God
Vegetable & fruit carving

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