Just 4 Sydney-side Hartnells

Just 4 Sydney-side Hartnells

Monday, January 31, 2011

Naracoorte Caves

About a 4 hr drive to the south of Adelaide is a fantastic little group of limestone caves that would make anyone wonder. Cam & I went on a camping weekend in style with the "Ant," a tent, and a blow up mattress that we just bought. Ahhh, reminds me of nights in Connecticut with Maryellen & Alex. There was this fountain on the way in the town of Keith, built to commemorate all the springs in the area.

Cam & I had a contest to see who's image from the caves was the best. In looking through our images to put up this blog, I concede the contest (but he will have to read the blog to know that, which I am hoping he won't do & therefore I won't have to pay the beer). This shot was the reflection pool.

Just to review for those who haven't been in a cave recently, as water seeps through the limestone, it picks up minerals and drips from the ceiling can form stalactites that hang down or stalagmites that build from the floor up.

You've probably seen stalagmites & stalactites yourself, but are you familiar with straws? Straws are hollow & very thin, hence why they appear in this photo almost as icicles.

The caves are a part of the World Heritage list for their extensive fossil collection. Over 100 species for a huge chunk of time (thousands of years) fell through 8 holes into the caves. Some of those were kangaroos and koalas that still are in Australia today. Others were megafauna (large animals) that are now extinct. What you see me checking out is the cave floor just below one of those openings. Flinders University people & others have been excavating this cave since its discovery in the 1960s, and have millions of bones to still record.

Finally the last tour we went on was at night to see the bats. Its difficult to tell in this shot, but we saw hundreds leaving a cave to gather insects just after dusk. See the black dots in the upper part of the cave opening? Also check out the other visitor in the lower left. We didn't even know the possum was there until downloading the photos!

FLASHBACK: Copper Coast South Australia

Cam & I headed to the Copper Coast & stopped at Port Pirie. We checked out what remains of the mining communities and even went down the coast.

One of my favorite buildings in the town was this butcher with the heads of animals hovering over patrons as they entered.

Right across the street was the train station of Port Pirie, absolutely full of memorabilia. We even were able to climb up and check out the view from the tower.

Crazy but how many others have looked out that window over the centuries.

At the visitor center, i found one of the fascinating cut out head boards. Love that yellow on Cam.

Finally, Cam & I found a Port Broughton! I took a photo & wrote a post card to my friend back in Massachusetts, Broughton. Broughton has moved to Scotland on a scholarship. I wish her luck & maybe we'll be able to meet up sometime.

Till then, keep on walking...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

FLASHBACK: Wool in Hay & Port Adelaide

I can't exactly remember when, but we were in Hay & Port Adelaide sometime in 2010 and both locations relate to wool, so I thought I would combine them in one post.

I pretended to be a sheep cutter in the museum in Hay, this was only after witnessing the speed of a master who demonstrated on a live sheep. Don't worry, the sheep weren't really hurt during the demonstration. It was pretty amazing to watch him turning the sheep over wearing moccasins.

Wool was stored in bails and then shipped to various ports, including Port Adelaide. The bailing equipment was really varied from the crate that had a sack inside to complicated machines that helped pack lots of wool.

We saw this wool bailing mechanism inside a wool storage building in Port Adelaide that today was more a U Store It kind of place. Beautiful architecture, and absolutely huge, lots of place for storage (in the past and currently).

Finally, I noticed in Port Adelaide these two train signs right by the train tracks that were facing each other. Talk about a crash just waiting to happen. Next post will be about us caving in SA about 4 hr drive from Adelaide. Wicked cool pics!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Torrens River Day Out

We've been pretty lucky with our weather in SA & a stroll along the river's edge is just the thing to somewhat reconnect with nature. Check out all the creatures large & small we encountered along the way.

The day began with part of a cricket game. I'm still struggling with the rules, but at least it is similar to baseball. The largest difference is number of runs scored...we are talking hundreds for cricket & you know a dozen is pretty huge in b-ball.

Then we gazed at some baby swans...Cam thought they were pretty ugly, but still fluffy & lets face it most little things are just cute.

Then further upstream there was a turtle sun bathing/basking. A pelican came in for a closer view with a black bird in the background, I think another swan. Crazy that C was able to catch all 3 in one shot.

My absolute favorite animals were this band of duckies. There were over a dozen! Everyone was trying to count them & they just kept wandering & swimming and being lost or left behind. You could tell they were probably only a week old.

We ended our bike tour with a couple of lamas outside the prison. It was a furry end to a wonderful trip on the Torrens River.

FLASHBACK: Maquarie St. in Sydney

When C & I were still in Sydney before moving to Adelaide we went to a light festival that celebrated Macquarie. Beginning at the church, we also went to an early hospital, barricks, and other early buildings built by Macquarie at the beginning of the colony. These images really speak for themselves.

Time keeps ticking, that's for sure.

FLASHBACK: SA into Victoria and back to NSW

Cam and I went from Burra, South Australia into Adelaide and then headed toward Victoria and back to New South Wales & Sydney. I'll cover all those miles in this post. Its a lot of mining, so hold on to your hats.

The first stop was Bremer Mine, a copper mine that operated between 1850-1875. Not much was left, except a stack and a powder house.

We stopped at a museum about the Chinese immigrants who primarily came to Victoria to mine gold in the 1800s. Much of their history has been erased from memory. Placards state how Europeans were the first discoverers of gold, when other more inclusive histories credit that task to the Chinese.

The museum & its contents were informative, and the architecture was monumental.

Back on the road, C & I stopped for a picnic & walk alongside this small creek. Undoubtedly, this small trickle may very well be completely bursting given the recent weather. Floods are spanning the entire eastern coast of Australia causing mind-boggling amounts of destruction.

We also stopped in Clune, Victoria where a huge book sale was underway. The town was very historic, although the width of main street pretty inconceivable.

One of the best parts of our ride was this strawberry & cream cow next to an information center. MMM, strawberries & cream.