As so often happens, this blog is behind. I want to write posts about my week in Western Australia, two weeks in Tasmania, visits to Adelaide and Melbourne, and wine tasting everywhere possible. Plus I still have Philippines posts to finish and some going even further back into my time in Asia. And while I fully intend to get at least some of those posts done, it won’t be today.
Tasmania has two well-known icons: the Tasmanian Devil and Cradle Mountain. I didn’t get to see the former, endangered nocturnal animals that they are, but I did make it to the latter. When I arrived in Cradle Valley the afternoon sun was shining and I happily set off around Dove Lake. An easy two hour walk with multiple stops for photos, admiring the view, and contemplating what I’d be doing
Like seeing the glow worms of Waitomo Cave, riding one of Australia’s great trains has long been on my list of things to do. The romance of traveling across a continent by train, watching the landscape change as the miles tick by, enjoying meals in a dining car, and hopping off for brief stops in the middle of nowhere, what could be better? Australia has two well-known rail journeys: the
Bora Bora: the Pearl of the Pacific. Exclusive resorts with overwater bungalows and expensive drinks, Polynesian dance shows, and views of water with more shades of blue than Gauguin could ever capture on canvas. A place of honeymoons and vacations of a lifetime. We spent 15 nights here, paying only for food, drinks, transportation, diving, a jet ski tour, and a few trips to the pharmacy. While having free accommodation
Hammerheads, silver tips, gray reef, black tip, white tip, nurse, and lemon: the sharks of French Polynesia I was lucky enough to see while diving. We missed the tiger sharks of Tahiti and Jen missed the hammerheads on Rangiroa but I think that means we’ll need to come back here. Sharks aside, the underwater world in French Polynesia is incredible. Visibility is almost always unbelievably good, the water consistently
There isn’t much to do on the atoll of Rangiroa in the Tuamotos other than dive and snorkel. On calm days when there isn’t much wind and the sun burns brightly, it’s too hot to ride a bike or go for a walk. On one such day, we got a tour of Gauguin’s Pearl Farm, home to the only school in the world where one can formally study the art
French Polynesia has long been on the list of places I want to visit and Jen’s been staring at photos of Bora Bora since I’ve known her. Although it stretched our budget, including it on this trip wasn’t really a question for us. Flights to Tahiti are expensive and only depart from six places in the world, none of which are close to our former home in Boston. With enough
There were a number of places we went, things we did and saw in New Zealand that haven’t made it to the blog. If we’d had regular access to good WiFi during the months that we’ve been traveling, a number of mini-posts would have been published covering these experiences. But the opposite has been the case: WiFi has been expensive, slow, and sometimes hard to find. So we’ve decided to
After nine weeks in New Zealand, we found much to love. Here are just 26 of them. 1. The many, well-marked picnic tables 2. Hikes and walks of varying length and difficulty are everywhere and easy to find. 3. Watching a bird of prey pick up a dead possum in the middle of the road while you’re driving 100 kph toward it becomes a routine occurrence after two weeks. 4.