Friday, August 29, 2014

Cuddling a Koala

I want to take this guy home with me!!!
OMG, I had the best time time ever at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. This is the World's first and largest sanctuary and it has been opened since 1927.  It was necessary to open this sanctuary as the Australians hunted these little guys for their pelt almost to extinction in the early 1920's. It started with two koalas name Jack and Jill and today they have over 130 koalas.  I got to take a picture cuddling one and I asked about them.  I know they are loners and they sleep most of the day so how can you take pictures with them and some even share the same "tree"?  I was told that each koala they use for pictures are actually trained for this and they only worked for 30 minutes a day.  They have 40 of the koalas they use for taking pictures so it is an easy job for them. The sanctuary has about 11 acres of land and is spread out.  It is clean and very natural.  It is self funded and all proceeds go back into taking care of the animals and improving the grounds. Except for the young ones born there most of the animals have been hurt and brought to the sanctuary. The biggest problem for them is being hit by cars and urban building taking away their natural habitat.  They talk about planting the different variety of eucalyptus trees in the back yard if you are a resident so the koala have more places to roam. Very interesting program.  They also have wombats, Tasmanian devils (which are given that name because they can eat 40% of their weight in minutes!!), Lorikeets, (a kind of parrot), sheepdogs (Rex and Hunter they put on an awesome show), birds of prey, platypus, kangaroos and wallabies and of course barn animals. I really had a great time, I wished my family was here as I know they would have loved it!!  Here are my pictures:
Lorikeet (parrots) feeding

Rex the sheep dog with his sheep

Another koala

A dingo

A barn owl

Sea Eagle

Young koalas playing!!!

A wombat

A mama kangaroo see her pouch !!

Yea, he stuck his head out!!!

A selfie with a Roo

Life Challenge: Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results...  Willie Nelson

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Brisbane - My Last Stop

Elephant statue on his head near a rat by the library???????
The train was on time and I got into Brisbane at 5 am in the morning so I went to the coffee shop inside the station and drank coffee until 7 am before walking to the hostel. The train was tiring and I didn't get much sleep as two young talkative boys were right in front of me, so when I got to the hostel (only 15 minutes from the train station BUT ALL UP HILL), I was tired to say the least.  I had to wait for a couple of hours until the room was ready but I sat on a comfortable couch and read which was nice.  Once I got into my room, I showered and did wash.  I didn't want to take a nap because I would have been up all night so I finish washing and then went grocery shopping.  They have a very large kitchen facility here with about 10 areas for cooking and 3 rows of refrigerators and about 100 dry cabinets.  You just have to fill out a card with name, room number and check out date.  Food is very expensive here but eating out is even more.  So, most of us at the hostel just cook. I walked around the city and found the weather here is beautiful (a lot warmer than Sydney and Melbourne) probably in the high 60's low 70's. Today I went on the city tour and they took me to the same places that I explored yesterday. Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and the 3rd most populous city in Australia.  Whereas Sydney and Melbourne is in New South Wales. Tomorrow I plan to go to the Koala Sanctuary, it is suppose to be the best one in Australia....  I will let you know. Here are my pictures of Brisbane:

At the Bridge

Another Bridge

View from the walking Path

One of many mosaic on the path

Pagoda given to Brisbane by Nepal

View from my hostel another Bridge but look at that beautiful sky

Roof of the hostel...

Still another bridge

Saw this on the walking path

View from the bridge

Epicurus garden (Kale) I got Oregano and  Basil

Life Challenge:  Do not go where the path may lead, instead go to where there is no path and make a trail... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sydney - Roaming around the City

Sydney is a beautiful city with lots of variety, so I just been wonder around and walked to the park, then to harbor to see the Opera house (up close) and to the rocks to see the bridge and then to Powerhouse museum.  This museum is amazing, it is really a hands on museum, great for kids, you could easily spend a whole day roaming around this place.  Each area has a different video with interesting information and places where you can experiment.  I saw lots of children all ages and their parents interacting with them and the different exhibits.  How great it is to see parents doing this kind of interaction with their children instead of at home and parents watching TV and kids playing video!! My daughter-in-law takes my grandchildren all the time to these types of attractions, I am so lucky!!! There is hope for this generation. Today I am going to Brisbane on the train...  18 hours and no bed.. oh well...  I can sleep when I get to the hostel!!   Here are pictures of my roaming day!!!
Playing Chess in Hyde Park

Harbor at the Opera House

Bridge where you can walk across No Thank You!!!

Salzberg Clock at the museum

Children at craft table

Car Exhibit

Rolls Royce

Space Exhibit

First Bicyle

Life Challenge: We do not remember days, we remember moments.....Cesare Pavese

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

City and Blue Mountain Tour - Sydney

Aboriginal Program

I took a night train to Sydney and got in at 6 am.  I bought a Discovery card which was “suppose” give me unlimited trains rides for a month.  It was the premiere card so I was excited about using it. But like all things, it was not quite what it was suppose to be or advertised.  My hostel in Melbourne helped me reserve a place but you can’t do it online like it advertised (you can only buy the card and pay for it online).  And not having a local phone it is pretty difficult to reserve.  So I was very happy that the hostel helped and called for me.  It took some time as they had to find me in their system and whew they did.  I got 1st class and was happy but realized that 1st is not a sleeper, if I want a sleeper it is an additional $88, but I did get a reclining seat but it was still uncomfortable, oh well, it was the experience right?  Arriving early, the directions that were given to me by the hostel were very easy to follow and I was there in 15 minutes.  Yea and the hostel was so good that they let me check in early and they even gave me a lower bunk that I requested.  I put my stuff away but didn't take a nap (I would have not woken up until late and then not sleep at night), so I took a free city tour which was interesting and gave me my bearings.  I am in the center of Sydney and walking to most places is within 30 minutes.  It is still very cold and off and on it rained.  The tour was about 2 ½ hours long and I walked a lot, but I saw a lot and took pictures, so now I will go back and see the art museum, library and the “the rocks” on another day. Today I took the Blue Mountain tour as the hostel said it would not rain today but is predicted to rain the rest of the week (oh joy).  The ride to Blue Mountains was about 1 ½ hours and there was a cable car and vertical tram that you could take inside the park.  The mountains were beautiful and I hike down to the bottom where they had a rain forest. Optional was an Aboriginal program which I attended and it was extremely interesting.  The Blue Mountains is the home to six different Aboriginals groups: the Darkinung, Darug, Gundungarra, Dharawal, Wiradjuri and Wonarua clans.  There are 250 clans and languages that make up the Aboriginals of Australia with different culture and customs but one thing they have in common is the love and respect of the land.  They have not changed in over 20,000 years.  This is not a primitive society; there is no slavery, no armies, prisons, empires or kings.  There is no homelessness and no distinction between rich and poor.  People owned what they could carry and had rights to the resources provided by the clan country they were born into. When the English arrived 200 years ago, the country was still in pristine condition, wildlife abound, the bush intact, and the water running their natural course. Captain Cook describes these people as the happiest people he had ever met. Here are my pictures of the city tour and Blue Mountain:

St Augustine Church

Kangaroo and Emu are Australia State Symbols

Ibis at the park

Opera house

Sydney's Harbor Bridge

Harbor and another view of the Opera House

A stop going to Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain

Another view Absolutely Beautiful

Three Sisters Rock

In the Mountain to the Rain Forest

The tram is the steepest tram in Australia

In the Rain Forest

2000 Olympic Center

Cable car to the Blue Mtn. Park

Life Challenge:  Things are beautiful if you love them...  Jean Anouilh

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Penguin Parade and other Animals

Koala at the Reserve
Today was a great day.  I did the Philip Island tour that was all about the animals.  I went to a wildlife reserve that takes care of injured or orphan animals.  The reserve is a nonprofit organization so all monies go back into taking care of the animals.  They put on shows and explain about the animals and then you got to feed and pet them.  There were Kangaroos, Emus, Koala bear, Tasmanian devil, and so many others.  Then the tour took us to the ocean where we were able to see penguins.  We were not allowed to take pictures in the evening as it would harm their eyes. But it was okay during the day, most of the penguins are in the water feeding but a few were taking the day off and hiding in their man made huts.  These are the smallest called fairy penguins. Very sweet animals.  Here are pictures:
Golden Opossum

Albino Kangaroo

Tanzanian Devil

Mama Kangaroo

Another Albino Kangaroo

This guy did NOT want me to stop feeding him!!



Penguin in his home

Man made homes for penguins

Where the penguins come back to nest

Life Challenge: Have no fear of perfection - you'll will never reach it....  Salvadore Deli