Saturday, June 26, 2010

Whitsundays islands

I'm glad you like our trip to Fraser Island. It was just amazing.

We went back to Brisbane to catch a plane to Proserpine Airport. I like the name, it sounds like a Greek tragedy... It is far from being a tragedy, but it looks like a toy airport. Imagine the bush, with nothing but trees and grass, and a building in the middle of nowhere. At each end of that building, there is a gate with a shelter, one for Jetstar, one for Virgin Blue. The luggages are delivered under the shelter, while you register for a bus or a taxi to bring you to Airlee Beach. This is a 40 mn drive. All very cozy. The driver and the other passenger were quite willing to chat and to explain how life was in this little paradise.

I had booked a 2-days trip from Airlee Beach to Whitsundays islands. I was a bit worried because we would arrive in the lateafternoon in Airlee Beach and might be late to check in at the office. To my surprise, the lady call us at the airport to make sure we did arrive safely, and to remind us to come to their office that night, to check our wet suits. Their office was a short walk away from our accomodation (in fact, Airlee Beach is a small village, with only few minutes walks), and the staff was very friendly.

We had a great trip! The group on the boat was nice, the crew was nice too. And the landscapes!!!!!!!!!!
The only detail I did not like was racing. Our boat had quite a racing past, and her skipper was very proud of that. The first afternoon was spent racing with another boat, and I just hated that :-) I did not hate the race, I hated changing places all the time, and the boat at a 45 degree angle with the horizontal... I said "never again" but I know I would do it again, sigh... If you want to see more of that boat, go here.

Here we are, at the start
Emilie and I getting ready for snorkelling
(The wet suit is mostly against jelly fishes...)
Snorkelling, wow, that was an experience. I was not prepared to what I discovered once I put my head in the water. If I could, I'd still be there. Corals, plants, fishes of all shapes and colors, in quantity. That was amazing.
Sun rise 
Tongue Bay

Back to Airlee beach

Never leave your garden alone

for four weeks, during a rainy sping...
When I reached home, it was covered with weeds, higher than me (OK, I'm short, but still...).
And I had to clean it quickly, before the heat sets in and make any gardening job impossible. 
Thus I spent all my free time in the garden. On Saturday, at this point, I hated my garden, really. Until I saw Choupette in the large pot I had emptied to give the yucca in front a new home. (Click to enlarge the pic if you don't see her)
I kept on gardening the whole day, and every night of the week, under close supervision:
And finally, althought not perfect, I can look at the garden and enjoy it.
And take care of some important tasks, like having quality time with a cat.
I hope you will have a great weekend. I'm going to! More later...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fraser Island

From Brisbane, we went to Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world.
More information here.
First day, first contact under the sun:

Eli Creek

The Mahano

You can not only drive on the beach, but also fly from it. The dingos don't mind.

Second day: the rain forest, under the rain...

a strangler fig

One of the lake (not the McKenzie). Although it was cloudy, the colors of the water were incredible, and the water itself was very nice, very clean and not salty at all.

Fraser island provides a lot of wildlife, not only dingos, but also lots of sea birds and fishing eagles, and certainly a lot of other animals we did not spot. This alone is very amazing for a city girl. As we were leaving the island, I saw tree fishing eagles in the sky, fighting for the same fish, and sea birds diving into the sea. I saw scenes like that on TV, but for real, it is breath taking.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Clearly another modern city
but with some retro buildings
an artificial beach in the middle of the city
a beautiful walk covered with bougainvilleas

some funny trees
and some wild animals

Another nice town, indeed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Let's go to Sydney!

Sydney is a very special stop for us. For two reasons:

  • Although Melbourne is a very nice town, it looks very much like London, i.e. like Europe. Of course, Sydney is very european too, but it has:
    So it is the place that really said "You are in Australia"!
  • It is also the home town of this lady

    Her name is Karen. As we were teenagers, we happened to become penpals. That was long before Internet, so it was quite an adventure to receive a letter from the other side of the world, for both of us. At some time, we lost contact, but Karen found me again about 10 years ago, shortly before Amandine's first trip to Australia. Imagine, my daughter did met my penpal from long ago! I could not believe this was true. And now, I too met Karen in person, not only her but also her family. Unbelievable! She made our stop in Sydney very special. And guess what? Karen and her daughter will be in Paris next month. I'll make the trip to meet them there. It is just like a dream...

    Sydney is also:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Melbourne - Royal Botanic Garden

I too am glad to be back with you. I tried to follow your blogs while I was away, but I had only a limited access to internet, and so many things to do while in Australia, as you will see :-)
Of course, I'm going to tell you all about this adventure!

Lisa, I could not go inside the Luna Park, it is closed in winter, except during school vacations or weekends...
Melbourne Luna Park has a twin park in Sydney with the same gate.
I did not bring many stuff back, except pictures and beautiful memories: we were not allowed a lot of luggage until the very last days.

Speaking of telling you all, let's start with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne.
They are close to the ANZAC Memorial.
We visited them at the end of the afternoon, and in Autumn. This explains the light in some pictures.

I read that many public gardens in Australia like this one were created to look like those of the UK. Hence they are not really adapted to the climate. Apparently, things are changing, and when those gardens need renovation, local plants are introduced to replace the exotic (European) ones.