Entries Tagged as 'Travel'

Traveling Australia

Its been about 7 weeks since my blue water adventure came to an end – it seems much longer then that. Since then I have been on the road exploring as much as I can of Australia. On March 12 I left for Peth and spend two week going seeing a tiny part of Western Australia.

For a photo essay of that trip so to my flickr site:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cbshad/sets/72157617225871181/

Next I spent 3 week driving around. I left Melbourne and drove along the Great Ocean road. Next come the Grampians followed by Adelaide. Then to the outback and a long drive to coober Pedy. I continued north to see Uluru. Back down again then headed east through the Flanders Ranges to Peterbourgh and Broken Hill. Heading East on the Barrier Highway I made my way to the Blue Mountains and the end of this leg of my trip. In all I drove more then 5,600 kms over 3 weeks

Photographs can be seen on my flickr site:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cbshad/sets/72157617229711017/

Currently I am hanging around Coffs Harbour resting and planning the last month of my visit.

Cheers

SIMON’S TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

It has been eight days since we landed in Simon’s Town, South Africa and it has been a wonderful place. The boat is resting up at the False Bay Yacht Club. The people there have been wonderful and extremely helpful. Everything we need to prepare the boat for the next leg to Australia is there.

New York to South Africa (46 of 46)

We have spent our days working on the boat or running errands so, regretfully, I have not explored the area as much as I would have liked – an opportunity missed and a reason to come back.

As I write this I am sitting outside of the club looking out seeing the bay surrounded by rocky shrub covered mountains, which when the wind blows are covered by thick blankets of white clouds. Buildings dot the foot of the hills around the bay and rocky outcrops and white beached meet the cool waters of False Bay. The weather is very much like the Mediterranean; cool nights and warm days chilled by a strong breeze.

New York to South Africa (50 of 52)

Most of what I have seen has been only on the rain going to Cape Town from Simon’s Town and back (to check in and out of emigration and customs). All we saw in Cape Town was the touristy waterfront with its malls and restaurants (very nice if you like that sort of thing).

New York to South Africa (47 of 52)

New York to South Africa (49 of 52)

Simon’s Town is a small, and is the location of the South African navy. The main strip is near the water and is mainly tourist shops restaurants. There are no large hotels or resorts here. Above the main street, working up the steep hillside are the houses; small blending beautifully in with the natural surroundings. Looking at a pamphlet on exploring Simon’s town there is lots to see and do, from going on scenic hikes to cage diving to see great white sharks. There are also less adventures thing to do like wine tours and seeing penguins along the shore.

After day of working on the boat and having a couple of cold cheap beers at the club, we would go and eat at one of the many restaurants. The food has always been very good and the service excellent. And the cost? In a word – cheap. With an exchange rate of 1 Rand = 0.1245 Canadian dollars, food, wine, beer and services are surprisingly inexpensive. We normally spent between R100 – R150/person of a multi course meal leaving us stuffed and happy. The cost for boat maintenance at the yacht club has been a surprising pleasure. And it only cost us about R200 to do the laundry of five guys who just spent 69 days at sea.

I wish I could spend more time here and explore, hiking in the hills and along the Cape and swimming in the cool waters. At least I have enjoyed sitting at the club letting the morning sun warm me up while gazing out at the bay and sunlit mountains. The pace of life is relaxed here and has that feel as a place that Earnest Hemmingway would have enjoyed.

Canoeing in Algonquin

 

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On September 3, my brother and I did a four-day canoe trip in Algonquin Park.  During our small adventure, we faced a wide range of weather conditions starting the morning we arrived where heavy fog snuggled the area like a thick down blanket.  We could not see or hear anything, but by the time we left with our rented gear from The Portage Store the morning air was fresh and the sky was clear.  Rusty, my brother and I paddled the canoe like drunks trying to walk a straight line.  Loons welcomed us with their calls as they watched us with more curiosity then fear.  Throughout the trip, loons would come within a paddle length of our canoe.  Never before had I been so close to these iconic birds – it was fantastic and a highlight of the trip.

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By the time we reached our destination at the eastern end of Burned Island Lake, 5 ½ hours of paddling and four portages had passed.  The high cirrus, then cirrostratus clouds hinted at the weather to come.  Tired and sore we rushed to set-up camp while, close to shore, a loon feed its young.

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The rain waited patiently until we started cooking dinner.  The first night left us tired with stiff backs and in bed by 8:00 pm.

On the second day, we emerged from the tent to brilliant blue skies.  After breakfast and always in the company of loons we explored the lake in our canoe.  We moved camp having stumbled on a more idyllic spot among a stand of tall pines and chattering red squirrels.

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We relaxed our aching muscles around the small crackling fire as the day wore on and by late afternoon, the clouds returned with the threat of rain.

After another sleepless night on hard ground, dawn welcomed us with light rain.  As morning passed on, the clouds darkened and rested on the treetops.  The wind, out of the south, whipped up to hurricane force.  The trees screamed under the strain, the lake frothed with anger, and our small tent looking like a balloon trembled with fear.  Our moods sagged under the strain from the lack of sleep and foul weather so we wasted the hours trying to sleep.

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Then by mid afternoon, the wind changed direction – coming from the southwest.  The new current of air blew our dark mood away revealing the surroundings in a new light.  No longer menacing the clouds danced atop the trees showing off their many glints of silver.  The trees sang with the wind and the waves added rhythm by crashing on the shore.  The musty damp earth and decaying detritus of our campsite now had a sweet smell.  All around us, vivid colours came to life.  The moss and lichen, covering the rocks, were an intense green against the rusty brown pine needles littering the ground.

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With moods buoyed, my brother grabbed his sketchbook to capture the beauty of the dramatic scenery while I played with my camera.  The evening finally brought an end to the wind and we enjoyed our last night sitting next to the bright fire watching the flames dance in the darkness while the loons sang their beautiful songs of the north.

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