Being in Sydney for a stint, while we wait for the motor upgrade on our cruiser we have been forced to take advantage of public transport. Now, we are both retired and had arranged for the local ‘Opal’ transport cards. As pensioners and seniors we have our own class of card and what a gem these ‘Opal’ cards are… And what a wonderful fraternity of senior concessions NSW has, this specifically in the Sydney region for golden oldies to enjoy. Wake up Queensland… the Go-card’s barely cut it in comparison. Both these cards, as within other States, have been designed to facilitate the use of public transport with ‘tap on, tap off’ technology and I LOVE our NSW ‘Opal’ Cards.
Perth … is the most remote city around the globe and ‘a world unto itself’. If Aus’ is to be considered as sparsely populated then Western Australia holds the crown amongst the States of Australia. Western Aus’ is more than 3½ times bigger than Texas and is the 2nd largest state/province in the world. It is 33% of the Australian continent. It has barely 10% of the Australian population and and 92% of this population live tucked into the SW corner of the state.
It has been a year. A whole year since we settled into the van to live permanently in transit, travelling the highways and tracks of Aus… out on the wallaby. This was a dream of ours since The Man and I met. It was one we shared from very early on in our lives and now we are living that dream. One we hope to live for many more years to come.
Climbed out of bed this morning at some hideous hour… if I was back in Aus I could have said I slept in but here on the other side of the world 6am is a hideous hour. I think it has something to do with the sun not setting until 10pm and taking so damn long to sink. Nothing seems to stir beyond 8:30am here so our hour of rising is considered hideous. Continue reading
There are times when the past comes to visit. Times when you are touched by something from your heritage and you are reminded that people, those from history, loved and lived just like you do. Their life experiences, the recount of day-to-day events from a century ago are like a window into a world that is no more. It is a wonder to visit such things.
History… an interesting thing. At the moment we are touring the Great Rocky Mountains. We landed in Vancouver Canada (didn’t want to spend time stripping for US customs) and settled into our respite room to recover from jet lag before we headed out into the wilderness that is the Rockies.
First up was the telly… a bit of idiocy to put us to sleep but what we found was a run of the American movie, ‘Sunday Too Far Away’. Now Aussies will be saying at this point… “What the Hell?”. Yep… I hear ya. I love the Aussie classic, but although this had Jack Thompson in it and a lot of the favourites it was NOT the movie I remember.
I have had the opportunity and privilege of treading the stone pavements of Ancient Pompeii, I have sat on the walls of the stone domes of the monks on the sharp hillsides of Ireland. In Wales I stepped along paths through the marshlands where the Druids once lived and in London I wondered over the Roman ruins unearthed beneath the city. I have trodden many places, amongst Viking ruins in Sweden and along ancient paths down through Europe but it was only this week that I felt the life that can be found in still even more ancient places.
In the last weeks I have had opportunity to consider the art of storytelling relative to culture and it has been something of a revelation. Storytelling is close to my heart and I am most comfortable in my skin when I describe myself as a storyteller. But just what is a storyteller and are there ever stories that are not yours to tell, even though they are those that you create?
As a child I grew up with the wonderful story of the Three Sisters, they are three statuesque rock formations, which are famed around Australia. As a child I would eagerly listen to the Australian Aboriginal tale of how they came to be within legend and I searched them in wonder when the opportunity arose, eagerly looking for familiar facial forms in the rocks. It is a romantic and dramatic tale of love, desire and quest and wrapped around the three pinnacles, which sit on the edge of the escarpment at Katoomba.
We’ve been exploring the NSW hinterland up the remote regions of the Clarence Valley, part of the Great Dividing Range. There are some real gems to be found out here, both mineral and emotional. In Aus. there are some destinations where the road is the attraction, places such as The Great Ocean Road, The Daintree with the Bloomfield Track and the Nullabor which I have written about and many still to explore but I do love it when I come across roads, which are destinations in themselves.
The history of freecamping in Australia begins back to the very first days of the young colony. When Governor Phillip chose a spot to set up camp on what was Aboriginal land, he gave birth to the nations first Freecamp. The Legality of his Freecamp is still being debated in some quarters but the argument has been lost in time and the nations history. However his right to freecamp was never revoked… until most recently by some municipal Councils.