Category Archives: Australia

Western Australia, part 1

Sorry for the long delay in getting more Australia photos posted. I had to concentrate to finish a novel. The cover is on the blog in the right frame (desktop and tablet) or in the cluster of images at the bottom (on mobile devices).

I worked on STOLEN when we were in Australia, but the setting of the book is another location I have traveled to twice, Monaco. Though it was so long ago I don’t even have pictures, Monaco is a glamorous place that left an indelible impression on me.

Of course the same can be said of Australia. Maybe not the glamour in the same way, but the indelible impression. On this trip we saw different parts, always scratching the surface you know, but pretty much blown away and left wanting more.

Broome, where Cable Beach is located, is an access point for the Kimberley wilderness in Western Australia. We arrived at the Cable Beach Resort, one of the places on my Must See lists, just before sunset. This was not accidental! Actually we were supposed to get there a few hours earlier, but our flight from Darwin was delayed. We were lucky not to miss the famous sunset.

Guests at the Cable Beach Resort were mostly Australians from the south having a beach vacation away from their winter. The Kimberley and Broome are way north, closer to the equator and have a wet and dry season. The season when people visit is Dry which runs, I believe, from May to August.

It was nice to be some of the very few Americans around. I’m not sure why we were, but it’s a long way, and there’s a lot to see in Australia (understatement). I think most foreigners hit Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, and Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock). Friends of ours who emigrated from the US to Australia have settled in Western Australia, and they were the ones who told us about the Kimberley.

Anyway, I love tide pools, and I went crazy with my camera at Cable Beach. Here are a ton of photos if you want to see what it’s like. If you can go, I highly recommend it.

 

Yes I was fascinated by these little sand balls deposited around a hole in the sand. Not sure what it is…

 

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Western Australia, part 3

I looked for books while I was there and found one in a used bookstore in Fremantle, near Perth. It’s called Tracks by Robyn Davidson. She crossed a massive amount of Australia alone with three camels and her dog. It’s great, a tough non-romanticized view. Parts of it are sad, but I like the knowledge in the book. Our guide also recommended a couple books about the land, animals, and plants that I want to read as well. On this trip, the tours we took made me feel like I’d visited the Australia I imagine from reading my friend’s books about the outback. Australia will be in a book of mine soon, one co-authored with my friend John Holland who provides all the Australiana.

Some of the places we went.

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What do San Diego and Kakadu have in common?

It was amazing to see animals in the wild after having been so recently to the San Diego Zoo.

Here is is the Plumed Whistling Duck we saw in the Kakadu park in Australia. Not a perfect photo, they were far away and suffered camera jiggle, but this is one of my favorite photos anyway. It was just the feeling I had being there among so much bird life. I wasn’t sure if the amazing displays of birds would be present during the dry season, but I wasn’t disappointed.

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Here is the photo of the whistling duck from my San Diego Zoo, May 6th post (https://niccicarreraromance.com/2017/05/06/san-diego-zoo-birds/) clearly a different species, but related.

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There was enough water in the Kakadu to see wildlife without being overwhelmed by monsoons (and thrown overboard to swim with crocs). I don’t think they do tours in the wet season, or “The Wet,” as locals call it. Here are some shots showing the environment in The Dry.

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As you can see, it’s still not so dry! These are fantastic wetlands. Let’s hope they continue to be because they are vital habitat for almost 300 species of birds.

I hope you have a good Monday, or a good Monday evening for my Australian friends and a good week ahead. I will be continuing to share photos from our mad dash around Australia, so stay tuned!

The stock exchange at Charters Towers Australia

This arcade in Charters Towers is the site of the stock exchange that was created here during the gold rush.

The arcade

The stock exchange

Charters Towers does an amazing job preserving and presenting the historical places in the town. Everything is in pristine condition and the visitor’s office has volunteers there seven days a week.

Stock Exchange explanation

The Stock Exchange Moves In

“It was a grand moment when the ‘change’ moved into the Arcade. The courtyard was the pulse of “The World’ — the most important place in town.”

Ghost of Joe Millican, Stock Exchange Secretary.

Before the Stock Exchange opened, all wheeling and dealing was done by mining agents scattered throughout the town. By the mid 1880s, agents had combined into an exchange on Mosman Street, where smartly dressed kerbside brokers bustled about drumming up business. Agents peddled shares in dubious mines and secretaries often fled town with the takings. To keep control over what had become a wild and speculative market, a Stock Exchange was formed in May 1890 and shifted into the impressive Royal Arcade.

Scams

Scams, rorts and skulduggery

“Some of the mines floated had no hope of success — the promoters could not have expected to strike a reef if they penetrated the earth to its centre.”

Ghost of Warden Selheim, mining official who lobbied for a Stock Exchange to curb growing corruption.

Such a chaotic and speculative market attracted many rogue promoters and opportunists. People eager to share a slice of the Towers’ riches often found they had snapped up shares of worthless claims or ‘wild cats’ as they were called. Money invesed to develop mines frequently lined shareholder pockets rather than flowing into capital improvement. The Stock Exchange floor was a place of high jubilation for many, but also a place of crippling disappointment.

A rusty wheel… and thoughts on the new year

Tomorrow is the last day of one full year of blogging every day. And today I was dry! I almost blew my streak!

After my triumph with the Australia, interpreted post yesterday (thank you all for the kudos!), I found it impossible to get something else unique. I tried more putting together different photos using layers and textures, but nothing worked out. I thought I was going to miss a day.

Well, I was just looking through my photos and I spotted this one that I hadn’t shared yet. I like it just as it is, just a plain old snapshot.

From Ravenswood in Queensland Australia

From Ravenswood in Queensland Australia

I have to check my WordPress Reader to see how people are doing, but I’ll offer a thought before I do that. Do you feel like we ended the year with a big hurrah and high expectations for the new year? And maybe a lot of goals and resolutions?

The start of a new year coincides with the end of the holidays and can feel anti-climactic. After all, we’re faced with the reality of going back to work. The slog of all these resolutions.

Well, here’s what I learned from last year. I was afraid to check my goals because I knew I couldn’t have done what I set out to do, because I completely changed what I was working on. But I checked them and they were good goals. The specifics of writing x number of short stories and y number of novels, no, that didn’t happened, not in that configuration, but I set a goal to write an average of 500 words a day or 150,000 words total and I exceeded that. I had a goal to blog every day and grow my Twitter followers. Those ones I did. I think it works to have somewhat general goals and leave a lot of freedom to allow things we never thought of to happen.

My advice is to set some goals and then set them aside. Check them next year. They can set a direction for you and the process of checking them at the end of the year is a chance to reflect on what you did do. I didn’t do this, but I did that. I was amazed how much I did, both on my goals and otherwise.

The other advice I have, and really all this advice is mostly for myself, is don’t worry about the big events, the successes, the struggles… those things happen. Mostly life is built on doing a little every day and on showing up. If you just do that, you’ll have a great year.

Australia, interpreted

Yesterday I posted a picture of the National Gallery of Victoria. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with the photos from the interior, even when I took them, but I was vaguely groping toward something. This morning when I woke up, I knew what I wanted to do.

Australia with ragged edge signed

Perhaps this idea is the result of my subconscious mind working on the themes of our work in progress…