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UPDATE SEPTEMBER 22

Blue Wren in Western Australia’s South West

Spring at last in Australia. I’m never quite sure if these update pages are read. A ‘like’ would give me an indication.

I’ll press on. Both Western Australia and Tasmania are remarkably still free of Covid community cases. I don’t know how long it will last with Covid’s Delta out of control in New South Wales – and to a lesser extent in Victoria . But vaccination rates are increasing, so hopefully we will achieve a good community defence when it gets here.

So I’m enjoying our Covid freedom while it lasts. This month I travelled to Western Australia’s capital, Perth where I went to the Kings Park Wildflower Festival and wrote a blog on the wildflowers of Western Australia with photos I have taken – West Australian Wildflowers – Exploring my backyard – September 2

I also visited Perth’s Port city of Fremantle and will post that story with photographs of its many historic buildings this month. Another blog I’m planning this month will look back on a trip to the South Island of New Zealand, an area I’ve visited many times.

Spring here also means more whales passing through Geographe Bay in the South West of WA. We’ve been seeing them during the last few months, but the peak time is September and October. You’d be very unlucky not to spot one in Spring! Yesterday, shortly after dawn, three humpbacks passed within 200 metres from where I was standing on the shore. And a seal was surfing right in front of me!

Earlier this week 17 humpbacks were counted within one hour, passing by the whale monitoring station at Point Piquet in Geographe Bay! And today I was lucky enough to see two BLUE Whales passing about 100 to 150 metres from shore! What a treat!

Humpbacks passing through Geographe Bay this month

A volunteer force of locals has been monitoring the whales in Geographe Bay since 2004, spending endless hours at a place called Point Piquet counting and observing the whales, and providing their research figures for analysis by experts. Citizen science giving whales a hand.

Whale monitoring and visitors watching in Geographe Bay this month

Drones have made a massive difference in improving these research efforts and a few months ago volunteers joined hands with professional whale researchers to establish a not-for-profit organisation to support targeted projects on whales passing through the Bay. The new company Geographe Marine Research (GMR) has been named a CSIRO Approved Research Institute which will work to attract corporate sponsorship and public donations to fund the research projects.

GMR drone operator for whale research

To me, it’s a magic time with Humpbacks, Southern Rights, Minkys and the mighty Blue whales all travelling through the Bay. And many of the mothers have babies in tow. There’s currently a Southern Right whale and her baby who have been in Geographe Bay for 41 days! It’s the time of year – every year – where I really don’t want to go anywhere else but my own backyard!

However, I did travel inland into WA’s Great Southern for a few days this month to see WA’s 52 square kilometre Lake Dumbleyung – a salt lake that spends most of its time totally dry!

Heavy rain this winter has filled it. So it was a rare opportunity to enjoy this sight! The remote Lake was made famous back in the 1960’s when Britain’s Donald Campbell broke the water speed record in his Bluebird boat travelling at a speed of 444.66 kilometres per hour.

I stayed in a nearby town in a unique hotel that has been developed in an old flour mill! See my September 9 blog – ‘Another gilded cage holiday’.

PS: My promised Japan snow walls story and photo is also now up on my blog – ‘Japanese Snow Walls Delight’ – September 18.

UPDATE AUGUST 18

A taste of our upcoming Spring this morning in Western Australia – a superb day with tranquil seas and more than a dozen humpback whales passing by the Bay I call home! I spent three hours watching and photographing them from the shore. Who needs to go travelling! Well, I would like to – but that pesky Covid is keeping us at home. I have given up hope of any travel beyond Western Australia this year. WA is currently free of community cases. And the island State of Tasmania is also free. But the other eastern States are not doing well – in particular New South Wales and its capital Sydney where today’s tally is over 600 new cases.

However: I have booked some more online travel experiences in Japan. On Friday I’ll be doing an online tour of Edo world near Tokyo, and on Sunday I’ll be exploring Nihonbashi in Tokyo! Keeping my travelling soul happy!

Hope you enjoy my new story this month – ‘A cruise with my hiking boots’ – detailing my trip along Western Australia’s remote and spectacular Kimberley coast. I also reposted and updated three of my earlier stories, including a repost of my story on Afghanistan. I was there in the 1970’s. The developments there in the last several weeks have been distressing, and I’ve found myself reflecting on better times for the country.

Currently, I’m working on a new story about snow walls in Japan for next month 😊

Humpback whale I photographed in Geographe Bay, Western Australia this morning

UPDATE JULY 26

It’s early morning in Australia ..very early ..still dark. But I am awake and watching the Olympic Triathlon on television. It’s being held on familiar territory for me – Odaiba Island in Tokyo Bay. I’ve written about the Island and its very unusual history in my latest blog this month.
It’s thrilling for me in the Covid times to recognise various landmarks such as the remarkable giant moving robot RX-O Unicorn Gundam
and the massive titanium silver ball in the architecturally interesting Fuji TV building. Covid continues to keep me in my home State in Australia. Interstate travel is possible from time to time, but always under threat of border closures because of Covid lockdowns. Not the sort of stressful travel that I need. International holidays remain out of bounds. So, in this blog I will continue writing for now about past travels, and introduce you more to my home turf in Australia. Hoping all my readers are staying safe.

UPDATE JUNE 14

I am currently on the road travelling in the north of Western Australia and writing new blog articles as I go. This is a huge State of Australia, and in winter it’s possible to travel from the cold Southern areas to the North where temperatures can reach into the 30’s celcius.

So, every winter there is a massive migration of Australians heading north, chasing the sun. With Covid still ruling out overseas travel, more Aussies than ever are doing this. Many haul caravans and boats along for thousands of kilometres for their holiday. Massive rigs like the one I photographed yesterday. Hubby and I travel a lot more simply, with just our Landcruiser and accommodation along the way.

For me, this current trip is about revisits – places I’ve been to before and already blogged about. So I’m trying not to repeat myself. Hopefully, my updated articles will offer plenty that’s new. However, suggest you refer to the original articles and then read my ‘On the road again’ updates with new photographs that I’m taking, like the butterfly I snapped on bougainvillea and palm tree shadows in Carnarvon yesterday! Western Australia, by the way, recorded a new record for the year this week. We are entirely Covid free. There’s no one even currently in quarantine after arriving from overseas that has the virus. No doubt this will change as we continue to bring back Australians from abroad. But hopefully we can remain free of community spread Covid. Currently, we have no need for masks, though I try to still social distance, and constantly hand wash. I also now carry disinfectant on my travels, and wipe down all surfaces as soon as I arrive at a new accommodation, no matter how clean it appears to be. I also carry our own cutlery, plates, bowls, cups and cutting board. Our new Covid world!

UPDATE JUNE 1

A busy time for my travel blog – oncoming winter weather keeps you indoors! Eight articles have been added to my blog in May – three on Australian destinations, two on New Zealand, and three on Japan. I’ve also added a new photo to my Faded travel Photo memories – a category where I feature photos from travels in my youth. This one was taken in Nepal in the mid 1970’s.

I’m slowly picking up followers from around the world – it’s nice to have what you’ve written read by someone. I’m also discovering some very good travel and food writers with their blogs. That includes one excellent writer/blogger who mainly focuses on tea and makes it sound fabulous even if you are a coffee drinker!

Hope you are enjoying my travel tales and getting a few tips on your favourite places for when we can all start travelling internationally again. Look to the bottom of this page for my latest stories.

UPDATE MAY 7 – NEW ZEALAND JOINS MY BLOG!

Yes – New Zealand is joining my blog. When I started in March, I omitted NZ because I hadn’t been back there for some years. However, I have so many photos, information and memories of the many times I’ve been in NZ, and friends there who keep me up to date – that I think it’s worth including after-all.

My first visit to NZ was to the South Island back in the early 1970’s as a young single backpacker, and it has impacted my life a lot since then. I’ve returned many times touring with my family, and when the ‘kids’ were grown, we left them at home to live and work in the Wellington region for two wonderful years!

NZ holds a special place in my heart – so time to share! My first NZ post will go up tomorrow!

UPDATE May 2, 2021

Since I began my travel blog in March, I’ve received feedback and consequently have added a new category – Far flung travel memories from my early travel days.

The main reasons I did not include old travels initially was because I didn’t consider the photos good enough – many have deteriorated over the years. Plus, as I explained in my initial introduction, I’m out of date on many of the destinations.

So much has changed over the last 50 years too. Some countries don’t exist anymore. Others have faced terrible wars. And my memory has also faded to the point that I can’t always go into enough detail to write a full blog about the photos.

But I’ve been persuaded that some of you might be interested in seeing the snaps. So here goes – adding my new category – I’ll post up an ‘old’ photo every week, with a brief explanation.

You’ll find all my categories – Australia, Japan, New Zealand and my new ‘Far flung travel memories’ on my BLOG page and also direct links at the bottom of this Home page.

MY TRAVEL BLOG – begun MARCH 7, 2021

Welcome to my travelling and foodie blog!

I’ve been travelling for over 50 years – hauling a backpack and tent in my late teens and 20’s, youth hostelling and pension stays around Europe, public transport in places like Afganistan and India, through to a taste of high end luxury hotels and travel experiences. Most of my trips have been self planned. I developed an aversion to organised bus tours and big ship cruises very early on, and prefer to organise and book my trips rather than using agents. The Covid pandemic proved this was a good move as I got all my money back without any troubles on a 2020 planned trip to Japan!

In the distant past I’ve visited: France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, the old Yugoslavia and Greece, Israel, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (including Kashmir), Nepal, Thailand (only Bangkok),Canada, USA (only California, Texas and Hawaii), New Zealand and many Pacific Islands. I am well out of date on most of these destinations.
So for now I’m concentrating only on recent travels in Japan, Singapore and Australia for my blog. When I embark on another trip to NZ in the next few years, it will be added in. Here’s hoping for a Covid safe travel bubble soon!

Australia and Japan are my great travel passions – I’ve been exploring all States and Territories of my home country Australia, especially the outback regions, throughout most of my adult life. Western Australia, where I live, and Tasmania, where I grew up, are the Australian States I know best about.

I’ve visited Japan three times since first going there about 20 years ago. I was headed back there last year (2020), but Covid kept me home. I plan to be up, up and away as soon as the pandemic eases and I am vaccinated.

During my travels, I’ve experienced some delicious food, and I’ll share some of those delights along with my travel tips with you on this blog.

On my BLOG PAGE, you will find categories where you can more directly access the stories that interest you. Links are also at the bottom of this page, along with my latest posts.

Visiting Queensland, New Zealand for the first time in the early 1970’s. . A stunningly beautiful country that draws me back constantly.

Latest Posts – Category access on my Blog page

Tea anyone?

I admit at the outset that I am not a fan of black tea. But in recent years, visits to Japan have seen me entering the world of green tea. I love the flavour of it in ice cream and cakes, and I’m growing to like drinking it. I’ve found you can even get green…

Keep reading

A WALK IN FREMANTLE, WA

My first memory of Fremantle – the historical and very charming Port city for the Western Australian capital Perth – was sitting on a deserted pier in soaring summer temperatures waiting for my ship to come in. In the early 1970’s, one of the cheapest and interesting ways to travel to England from Australia was…

Keep reading

FIND ALL MY STORIES TO DATE UNDER THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES OR ON MY BLOG PAGE.

ENJOY! 😎