Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Land Holiday Is Over, Getting Ready for Whitsunday Holiday

The "Broken Hill" Looms in the Back Ground 
of the Town Broken Hill
Life is tough when you return from one holiday only to get ready for another.  We returned from our land travels on Monday, April 16...unpacked, April 17...grocery shopping and stowing goods, April 18....laundry and boat projects, April 19 Blog day and boat projects.  Worrall Wind was dry and in good shape when we returned.  While Matilda is cooling her wheels in the marina parking lot, we are now in the midst of getting WW ready for her voyage north (cleaning lockers, moving stuff around, putting in a new galley faucet, repairing the bar-b-que, and the list goes on).  We got our bikes out today and plan a little ride, later this afternoon.

We are excited that we will have visitors while we are in the Whitsundays.  Our son and daughter-in-law will be flying into Hamilton Island in early June, and our friends the Brambles will be joining us in early September.  We can hardly wait, but in the mean time we're getting the boat in ship shape and unloading the V-berth, and forward head for guests.  Matilda will become our temporary garage while we are at sea.

Enough of that, here are some of the last photos we took on our overland journey from Broken Hill, April 11 and 12, to Brisbane.  Broken Hill is a mining community.  It's name derived from all of the broken rubble pulled out of the ground to make the hill.

Lovely landscaping

Miners' Memorial

It's a picturesque little town with "romantic" street names like Bromide, Iodide, Oxide, and the like, but the hill is just plain ugly and stark.

 Hundreds of miners have lost their lives here, not only from accidents, but all the kinds of "osis" diseases of the lung attributed to breathing years of mine dust.

Easy to Feel Small in this Big Country.

The actual town of Broken Hill in the shadow of broken hill is inviting and busy.

After our visit to Broken Hill, we drove out to the Day Dream Silver Mine and took a tour of the mine.

The mine is no longer operational, but an interesting tourist attraction.  To get to the mine, we had to drive on a dirt road for several miles with two gates that needed to be opened and closed along the way.

There was a car behind us that had been eating our dust, so we opened the first gate for them and they carried on, opening the second gate for us.  After eating each other's dust, we introduced ourselves and spent the rest of the afternoon together exploring the mine, driving to Silverton to take the "TEST", and watching the sunset at Mundi Mundi.  Our new friends are Carolyn and Drew from the Blue Mountains in Oz.  We hope to catch up with them again next year when we tour their environs.

Day Dream Silver Mine Photos:
Ready to Go Down

Tight Squeeze.  What do you see Russ?


Silverton Photos:
Mad Max - Road Warrior Movies with Mel Gibson were filmed here.

We took the famous pub's "TEST" and passed....
We were promised a free beer!

We Paid for the Indignity by Donating to a Charity.

Could we drop the balanced potato
 into the funnel tucked into our pants?

Maybe not, but we passed anyway....wet pants and all...
Need I say more?  Notice the size of the free  beers.

Chapel in the Late Afternoon
Mundi Mundi Photos:
Mundi Mundi is supposed to be one of the places on earth where the horizon is so flat, one can see the curvature of the earth.  Hmmm.  Ok.  We couldn't see the curve but did enjoy the cloudless sunset over the desert.

New Friends, Carolyn and Drew

The following morning, we left Broken Hill and Headed for Bourke which is considered the gateway to the Queensland Outback, called Matilda Country.  We arrived in Bourke late afternoon after a long drive.  The drive because of the recent and unusual rains and flooding in the desert was quite lovely.  Mobs of emus wandered about, there were still areas of standing water, and the gently undulating pastel green grasses were beautiful.
Did you know that multiple emus
and kangaroos are call mobs?

The grass was glowing in the afternoon light.

As we came into Bourke, there was a field with
hundreds and hundred of colorful Galahs.

We were on a street near the Darling River, when a woman waved at us and called out, "You're doing what I would love to be doing...traveling."  Since we were a little lost and looking for a caravan park, we asked her for some directions.  Anne-Marie and her husband Phillip are proprietors of the Diggers on the Darling Restaurant, and soon to be event/conference center for Bourke.

We returned the following morning to Diggers (term for WW1 Vets)  for a tour from Anne-Marie's husband Phillip.

The Darling Came Up to the Top of the Levy
During Recent Floods.
They have many exciting plans for converting the Returned Service League (Veterans), Hall and the adjacent town hall into a multi-purpose conference center, while still maintaining cultural heritage of the RSL. Looks like hard work.   Currently, the restaurant and deck are open.  We enjoyed a great breakfast here before heading to Moree.  Good On Ya! Anne-Marie and Phillip.  You're doing a great job.  You deserve a little holiday.  No wonder Anne-Marie looks forward to a little traveling.

We took a few photos on our way to Moree,
This is the last cotton-picking photo of the trip.
(Looks like popcorn!)

but since we had come through here and Toowoomba, taking photos at the start of our Waltz with Matilda South, we are now out of photos!  Bet you though they would never end!  We spent an enjoyable afternoon in the thermal pools in Moree on Saturday, and had a great Mexican Fajita dinner and went to the show to see Mirror Mirror in Toowoomba on Sunday.

So that brings up to the present.  We hope to leave for northern islands as soon as the weather looks promising, but have paid up here at the Marina until May 9.  So anytime after that we will be on our way.  Most likely, we will not post much until we leave.   Drop us an email.  We'd love to hear from you.  Cheers everyone.

All is well with the 2 Sail R's on SV Worrall Wind.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Melbourne to Flinders Range, South Australia

Shot Tower Acrcade in Melbourne
As I write this blog, Russ and I are driving  on a seemingly endless two lane highway through a desert landscape similar to Nevada with scrub brush, moss green and brown stubby grasses, and umber rolling hills.  Kangaroo and Imu bounce and saunter across the road.   We have just left the Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound and are headed to Broken Hill through the NSW Outback, Brisbane bound.  Waltzing Matilda is rolling “home” to Worrall Wind.  It will take us about five days of driving.

We just finished listening to the Secret Lives of Bees (excellent), and are now listening to a Atlantis Found by Clive Cussler.  Russ has his hands on the wheel, and mine are on the keyboard of the Mac resting on my knees.  There are sunscreens on the passenger side window keeping the blazing sun from burning into my skin and computer screen.  It's going to be a long drive!

Glad we have things to keep us amused.  We have a basket filled with electronic gadgets with cords plugged into a cigarette lighter extension with two USB ports (one for the Mifi, one for the IPad, and two plugs (one for the I Pod, and one for the MAC converter/transformer.)  We have our music, electronic maps, email, and Internet while we travel through most places.    There is a serpents' nest of cords.  Despite how I try to keep them organized, the electrical snakes are determined to tangle and knot themselves up.  We will have really come along way if we can figure out consistent wireless energy to our precious technology.

So let’s  backtrack a little over a week ago on Sunday, April 1, when we crossed over to Melbourne from Tasmania.  Our trip across Bass Strait was uneventful, thankfully.  We arrived at the Coburg Holiday Park after dark.  Fortunately, we had learned from our first crossing to bring a dinner along with us.  We had eaten on the ferry, so we only had to  pop the top on Matilda, plug her in, take hot showers and tumble into bed.

Monday, April 2 - Melbourne

We bought an all day transit pass at the camp office and set off on a beautiful day to explore downtown Melbourne by tram and bus.

We spent most of the morning on the tourist coach circling the city and taking in the sights.

Downtown Melbourne
I had really looked forward to going to the open market only to find out it was closed Monday-Wednesday.  Oh well, even closed and with all the stalls covered over, it was an expansive open air market, covered with colored awnings and tarps.

To ward off our disappointment, we decided to treat ourselves to a big Italian lunch in the restaurant district where open air cafes stretch for miles.  I had a wonderful cannelloni and Russ had a lemon veal scallopini, accompanied by salad and garlic bread.   After lunch and a few glasses of wine, we were mellow and ready to continue our walk through Melbourne.  We ventured into the Chinese district.

As I was gazing into a jewelry store window at some opals, a woman about my age who was standing next to me started to explain what I should be looking for if I wanted to buy an opal. 
Ursula helps us with directions
We struck up a conversation. Ursula was on her day off and was a knowledgeable  and enthusiastic resident of Melbourne.  When we asked her where to find the Arcades (old historic buildings converted to shopping malls), Ursula offered to show us around.  She was a wonderful guide and took us in and out of buildings and alley ways showing us points of interest, sculptures, stained glass, and mosaics in each of the arcades and then took us to the state library.   Here are some photos:

Historic Front Preserved, New Building Will Go Behind

Shot Tower Atrium from the Outside

Melbourne - Victoria State Library

Looking up to the top of the Shot Tower.

Shopping Arcade around the Perimeter

Thanks Urusla!
The afternoon was a treasure and went way too quickly.   We capped off the day with coffees, exchanged email addresses, and parted ways.  Someday, we hope she comes to San Francisco…and we are actually there…to reciprocate her generosity.

Tuesday and Wednesday, April 3 - 4 – Great Ocean Highway

We left  Melbourne after breakfast, and headed south west to the Great Ocean Highway.  The sandstone earth, from endless waves rolling and pounding in from Antarctica has been carved and etched into exquisitely beautiful cliffs, spires, arches, roiling pools, blowholes, and beautiful beaches.  The water around the cliffs are both beautiful and treacherous.  Many ships and lives were lost in these waters as early settlers made their way from England to Southern Australia.  Here are only a few of the beautiful scenes.  To see all of them go to our web album on Picasa, Yanks in Australia 4.

Natural Tower

The Sow and her Piglets were renamed to the 12 Apostles

Large Rollers from Antarctica Meet the Southern Coast of Australia

A Peaceful Moment for the Pool at Low Tide
Thursday, April 5 – Naracoorte Caves – Happy 85th Birthday Mom!
On Wednesday afternoon, we headed inland toward Naracoorte National Park, a World Heritage Site, of limestone caves and prehistoric fossils.  Along our route to the caves we passed through some interesting towns, one of which was Dartmoor. The town made an art form of carving the stumps of gum trees to commemorate fictional and historic events.  The big stump is all about fairy tales.
World War I Commemoration

Baby Bear, Red Riding Hood, the Wolf, the Baker

Jack Jumpe Over the Candle Stick....Great Balls a Fire!
When we arrived at the visitor center at Naracoorte, we signed up for all of the cave excursions the following day.  We explored the Wet Cave, Fossil Center, Bat and Blanche Caves, Alexandra Cave, and the Victoria/fossil cave.  At the end of the day we returned to the Bat Cave to watch the 10’s of thousands of bats ascend from the opening into the night sky to catch their day’s meal.  It was a great day, but needless to say we got our cave fix for awhile.

Wet Cave Images:

Young Stalactite - one drip at a time

Bat and Blanche Cave Images
Moon is coming up

Sun is going down

We see one!

Here they come!  We feel the air swish a they wing by!

Life is good when you eat out every night!

Fossil Center

Prehistoric Koala Faced Kangaroo - over 6 feet tall

Cat-like Marsupial
Alexandria Cave

Flow Stone

Reflection of Stalactites in Cave Pond

Folded Curtains

Beautiful Straw Chandalier

Victoria/Fossil Cave

Cave Jewels

Friday, April 6 – On our way to Adelaide

As we checked out of the Naracroote Holiday Park, Russ made the acquaintance of the owner and fellow Lion Mick.  Mick and his family have owned the park for 18 years making continuous improvements.  It was indeed one of the nicest parks we have camped in with a beautiful brand new kitchen, sparkling clean bathrooms with fresh flowers, swimming lake, mini-golf course, and Mick’s pride and joy, a narrow gauge Tiny Train.

Lions - Russ and Mick on Mick's Tiny Train
Once we left Naracroote, we had a long drive to Adelaide.  The wind was blowing fiercely, sometimes gusts of 50 mph would toss Matilda wildly to the side.  As the landscape became more sparsely covered with vegetation, we were frequently engulfed in dust storms blowing across the road that necessitated having on our headlights.

There were a lot of holiday travelers on the road.   Almost everything except for roadside services was closed along the way as it was “Good Friday” holiday.

By dusk we reached Brownhill Creek Holiday Park on the outskirts of Adelaide.  Because it was the Easter holiday weekend, the campsite was crowded as was the city for the next two days as we toured around.

Saturday and Sunday, April 6 & 7 – Adelaide, Glenelg, Port Adelaide – Happy 85th Birthday Dad!

Unlike many cities that spring up and sprawl out helter skelter, Adelaide, is an intentionally built city, by English settlers.  A large  green belt surrounds the central business district which is laid out with wide tree lined streets and broad sidewalks.

Migration Museum Captures Old and Reflects New

Behind New Glass Facade is the Historic Museum

Old Historic Building Preserved in Glass Atrium
Similar to Melbourne, Adelaide makes a conscientious effort to preserve its early architecture and historic flavor.  Old buildings are torn away, while their front faƧade is restored and becomes the outside or interior atrium of a more modern face.

While in the area, we spent time walking around Adelaide, visiting markets,

Chocolates for Easter

Move Over Bunnies!  We're the Easter Bilbies, native to Australia.

These kids were real screechers.  Look at amused faces of onlookers.
People were donating so the kids would take lessons.

botanical gardens,

and two Museums…the Migration Museum and History Museum replete with beautiful examples of Aboriginie Art.

 To break up our city time, we made our way to the beach town of Glenelg which reminded us of Santa Cruz, and Port Adelaide where we visited:

Port Adelaide:

Old Lighthouse
Dry Goods Market - Just Before Closing Time

Maritime Museum - Large Collection of Mast Heads

Beach Town of Glenelg (The Plymouth Rock of South Ausrralia):

Monday & Tuesday, April 8 and 9 – On our way to Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound

It took us all day to travel from Adelaide up into the Flinders Ranges.  This is an area in South Australia that 3,500 million years ago was a mountain range higher than the Himalayas.  Through tectonic movement, faults, ice ages, rising, falling, folding, and sliding of the earth, Flinders ranges have worn away and geologic remains are no more than about 3,400 feet high. The interior sides of what used to be the mountains are wonderfully exposed and tell the tumultuous story of earth's evolution.

Flinders Ranges Ahead

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flinders_Ranges .
The oldest known fossils, 540 million years old, have been found in these ranges. http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/national/ediacara/information.html These early creatures are known to be those that created oxygen that eventually developed our atmosphere.  Wow!

We spent most of Tuesday hiking around the Flinders and enjoyed an evening of slides and history at the amphitheater under the stars. 

Wilpena Pound  is the primary area of the Flinders.  The name is a combination of Aborigini and English.  Wilpena means a palm up with curled fingers hand.  The fingers represent mountains surrounding the valley.  Pound is an English term that means a place where animals are kept.  Early pastoralists kept their sheep and goats in the valley and they called it the pound.   There is only one way in and out, so it was a safe place for the animals.
Path to the Top of the Pound

Looking into the Pound

Walk About in the Outback

The Flinders has a long and often sad history as the settlers struggled against the elements.  Severe droughts dried up the dreams of farming and sheep keeping.  Ruins of dried dreams dot the desert landscape.  Due to exceptional rainfalls this year, the Flinders is green for the first time in  many years.

So that brings us almost up to date, as we Waltz Matilda back to Brisbane.

We weren't able to post this log due to Internet connectivity problems in the outback until this evening.  It is now April 13, and we have been through Broken Hill, Silverton, and Bourke, but will catch you up on these places later.  We should be back in Brisbane in 3 days.

All is well with the 2 Travel R’s in Waltzing Matilda.