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

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 fa├žade 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.  

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