North from Perth

We’ve had a brilliant time with Liz’s cousins. They’ve looked after us and shown us the local sights. Thank you so much.
Bade farewell to Steph this morning and collected our motorhome – home for the next 3 weeks. Take a look at the piccies and guess which one we chose. Answers on a postcard please …
Saw an emu today, another creature to add to our list.

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At Steph’s in the Perth hills

Left the beautiful coastal scenery behind, and moved to Steph’s place in the hills above Perth – equally beautiful countryside. Went for a ride out to a reservoir at Mundaring weir. As we stepped out of the car, the heat hit us.
Back at Steph’s, the kangaroos made their evening visit – real live Roos at last, and big ones too!

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Sightseeing around Perth

Liz was up bright and early for a 10 km run along the beach path, before the heat of the day set in.
Moira and Graham took us on a tour of the surrounding area, starting with seeing the pelicans in the bay.
Perth is a lovely city, beautiful views from Kings Park across the river.
Next stop was one of the main beaches in perth – cottesloe beach, site of a shark fatality last week. Loads of people in the sea, not us though!
Went to Fremantle – old buildings and a market to mooch around. HM Bark Endeavour was in the port too.
Stopped at Cape Peron to watch the sunset.

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Perth

Arrived safely in Perth, bumpy wobbly descent, but smooth landing. Great to see my cousin Moira and her family again. Met Graham’s sulpher crested cockatoo, very friendly bird (see tomorrow’s photo), went for evening walk to lake and heard all the motor-bike frogs brumming as only a motor-bike frog can do!

Adelaide

Now we know who taught the Romans! Long straight road, not a car in sight for over 150 km – in fact nothing much else in sight either except sand dunes, and the odd kangaroo. Kept ourselves occupied by counting the red and black posts along the roadside that marked the sites of accidents …
Came across a pink lake – caused by algae releasing carotene. Pretty.
In Adelaide now, lovely city centre, even better hotel – off for a soak in the huge spa bath!

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Volcanoes and the sea

Continued heading west towards Adelaide today. Stopped at Mount Gambier – extinct volcanoes with craters of really blue water. Walked up to a lookout tower – good views of the volcanoes and surrounding area. On to Beachport, a pretty seaside village – cuppa and an ice-cream. Finally arrived at Robe, another pretty seaside town, impressive houses around the Marina, lovely Coastal scenery. Liz went for a lonely evening run through the sand dunes – fortunately no snakes kept her company!

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Great Ocean Road

Not sure where we are now – Torquay, Anglesea, Peterborough, Selby Rd, Duffield Rd, plus green fields and cows. Ahh, koalas in the trees! Must be on the Great Ocean Road!
Fantastic scenery, winding road hugging the coast. Huge waves. Helicopter ride over the 12 Apostles was just awesome. Front seat next to the pilot too!

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East of Melbourne then west to Geelong

A saver day today! Gruel for brekkie, (well, left over porridge from race morning). Saved taxi fare by dragging heavy cases through Melbourne city centre to the car hire depot; booked overnight accommodation via agoda to save $40; found pub offering Monday night meal deals – free beer and cheap steaks! Even saved dosh by not going into the tulips display – took photo over the fence!
Now in Geelong, at the start of the Great Ocean Road, having explored Yarra valley and Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne . So different from the tropics – green, loads of spring flowers, vineyards and fruit trees.

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Race day

Liz set off at 8.00 am

Done it! Brilliant! Great fun! Masses of runners, ran most of the way with Mike who used to live in Leeds. Thanks for your company Mike!
Glad to report a finish time of 1:56 – a PB!

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From the tropics to the cold south!

Left the tropical heat of Cairns behind and flew south to the very British weather of Melbourne. At least the rain had stopped, and it does need to be cooler for the race. Nice hotel just one minute away from from the MCG, and the finish line! Strolled across to suss it out – really excited now and just want to start running.

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Last day on the East coast

Really hot today. Dip in the pool this morning, then a final drive up to the Tablelands above Kuranda. Back via the beach at Palm Cove for a coffee and cake, wallaby watching, a final swim and packing. Fly to Melbourne tomorrow – 15 degrees cooler there!

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Anti-venom needed!

One of the ‘must do’ trips in Cairns is a visit to Kuranda via the Skyrail. It starts with an hours gondola ride over the top of the rainforest. An exploration of Kuranda revealed lots of tourist shops and wildlife parks. Best bit was the venom zoo – loads of snakes, spiders and scorpions. We were the only brave (or foolish?) ones to cuddle a black headed python!
The return journey by train was scenic with views of waterfalls and gorges.
Quick dip in our pool, then treated to a display by a sea eagle!
Spent the evening watching the geckos play on the deck.

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A lazy day

Following yesterday’s exertions on the reef, a lazy day was called for! Trip into Cairns, mooch around the shops, visit to the supermarket.
Tea time, and Liz met up with Cairns Road Runners (in 25 degrees heat!) for a final training session before Sunday’s race. I had my Internet fix while she was running!
The picture is of Cairns esplanade where everyone was running or exercising, except me!

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Shark infested waters!

A very early start today – on board Sea Star at 7.30 am for a trip to the Barrier Reef. First stop was Michaelmas Cay, an uninhabited sand island. Learnt the basics of snorkelling in the shallow water, then explored the reef. Fantastic fish and coral, beautiful colours. After 2 hours it was back to the boat for lunch. Next stop was Hastings Reef, part of the outer edge of the Barrier Reef. A trip on a glass bottom boat first, then another snorkelling session. The water was deeper, beautiful fish of all types. We even got close to a White tipped shark!
A fantastic day!

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A croc-ing good day!

Today we went north to Daintree and went for a boat trip on the Daintree river, hoping to see crocs – we weren’t disappointed! A huge one was sunning himself on a sand-bank.
Liz spotted a snake on a tree on the bank, and the skipper got the boat right in next to it – fantastic photo opportunity. It was a green tree snake, it eats frogs, and is non-venomous. We were able to stroke it! We also saw a Spoonbill and a Great-billed heron.
Next visit was Mossman Gorge and a walk through the rainforest.
Ended our day with an ice-cream in Port Douglas.

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