Derin Images

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Mary Cairncross Park

For years we've driven past Mary Cairncross Park, but haven't had the time to stop. With our marking finished and nothing else pressing on the agenda, we packed a picnic lunch and set off to explore. We started off with just the camera, but went back for the tripod. After a few hundred metres and we decided there really were a lot of birds (like the lady at the information desk had said) and went back for binoculars and bird book. It took over two hours to walk less than 2kms through this lovely patch of rainforest. Our patient looking was rewarded as we saw a Wompoo Fruit Dove, Catbird, Noisy Pitta (the first time we've seen one of these) and a Black Faced Monarch feeding her baby... oh, and a stiff neck from looking up at the canopy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Taj

We've finally done it! There is now no need to be embarrassed if you hear we're coming to park our van outside your house. Property prices will no long plummet with our arrival. We have upgraded. While we were in Turkey we'd been looking online and the best one we'd found was at the Sunshine Coast (where we just happened to be going). The day after we arrived back in Australia the fridge in the old van let out all its gas (thankfully we were out at the time - we could barely breathe when we opened the door and it took hours to air out), so the hunt was on in earnest. When we went to see the Bushtracker it lived up to, and even exceeded, our expectations from what we'd seen online. It was a done deal. We were the talk of the caravan park when we moved our old van off to the side and arrived back with the new one. And then the rest of that day was spent ferrying goods and chattels from old to new, arranging and rearranging cupboards and finding the best spot for everything. Of course, this was all a major distraction from the marking that needed to be taking place... but we did eventually get to that (which is why it's taken two weeks to blog this momentous occasion). Every van worth its salt needs a name, and this one seemed to name itself - the Taj (as in Mahal). We have almost doubled our internal area and now have a bathroom (rather than a porta-loo in the kitchen) - it certainly feels luxurious. There are lots of big windows (which just happen to be looking out at the beach at our current location) so it's bright and open. Even though it feels massive inside, it's still smaller than a lot of the other vans in the park at the moment. We've had a revolving door of visitors to the Taj, and even a number of skype tours. Apart from one nephew who has many great memories of camping in the old van, we've had thumbs up from everyone - especially the Queen of the Taj. Now where is my tiara...

Monday, October 18, 2010

The cultural experience that is The Istanbul Marathon

Once a year the Bosphorus bridge is closed to traffic and open to people, so of course we had to enter the Eurasia Marathon - the only one that runs from one continent to another (Asia to Europe). Of course a full marathon is a little beyond our current level of training and fitness, so we entered the 'fun run'. Now we observed plenty of 'fun', but not so much 'run'.

We joined about 100,000 other people in order to experience the rare opportunity of walking across the bridge. Crossing the bridge didn't seem to enter the mind of some, though, as they sat down to eat breakfast, play chess, play cards or do a Turkish dance (I'm not sure how to make the video small enough to link to, so you'll have to imagine that one).

An event like this brings out all types, and there were certainly some types. If you look carefully you'll see the lady is carrying all the essentials for an 8km fun run - water, flags, hat and a bread ring. Now, you may not have realised that bread rings are necessary for an 8km run/walk, but they are. In fact by the time we crossed the bridge we were feeling a little peckish ourselves and a bread ring really did hit the spot.

It was a great opportunity for photos from the bridge, and there were good views of Dolmabahce Palace and the Ortakoy Mosque. Unfortunately the usual Istanbul haze prevented a good view down to Kiz Kulesi or the Sultanahmet area.

At the finish line we surrendered our bibs for a bag with a medal, a t-shirt and a certificate! Now, where can I sit down for a quiet smoke to warm down...

What is it about poking crocodiles that seems so attractive?

Konak, Izmir from the ferry

Monday, September 27, 2010


We don't often go to tourist places, so a trip to the Grand Bazaar with friends the other day was a great opportunity for photos.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

An unexpected surprise the day after we arrived in Istanbul...

And no, the rumours aren't true - he didn't just find it on the ground.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another day kayaking, another reptile encounter

On our way home we stopped at Bedford Weir for a few days (north of Blackwater). It's a great free spot to camp, and the kayaking is usually very relaxing. We put the boats in the water mid-afternoon and went for a leisurely float among the dead trees up a side branch. We'd watched the spoon bills fly away as we approached, and then return to high branches as we sat quietly. The ducks didn't let us get very close at all, but we did scare a number of large fish (probably catfish, according to the fisher folk) and caused some great jumps and splashes (the fish, not us).

All of a sudden Dazz noticed something swimming in the water ahead of us and quickly realised it was a snake. Of course we chased it. It went up a tree - what a perfect photo opportunity. Focusing on a snake, rather than on all the branches around it, was quite an effort (especially since it was the older camera with only a 50mm lens - the one that gets taken out on the water). He got a good photo of the snake, but we didn't quite get the 'crocodile effect' we were hoping for.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


After we left Karumba we spent a night on the river at Gregory Downs. We arrived nice and early in the day and had time for some campfire cooking (no fires at Lawn Hill NP, and it was too hot to even want a fire for most of the time we were there). The cheese and olive bread was voted the best yet!

Karumba was all about seafood - fresh Gulf prawns for lunch every day, a nice seafood meal out at the local restaurant and fish and chips on the beach watching the sun set over the Gulf. Dazz and Dad went out fishing on a charter boat for an afternoon and came home with 13 really good sized bream between them.

As we were planning on which way to head home we had a phone call from some friends who are travelling in their van (of ‘Darren’s bad for kids’ fame). They were keen to meet us on the Gemfields, and we love the Gemfields, so our direction and time-frame was set.

We stopped in Normanton for a photo with a replica of the largest salt-water croc ever shot, and had a quick look around some of the mining relics in Croydon. Next day was a big day, but we fitted in one photo stop at a lagoon and chimney ruin just outside Georgetown. Now we’re back at Sapphire for four days and Dazz is teaching another crop of children (and their parents) how to speck.