A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: BerylB

Mt. Isa to Brissie

Home Sweet Home

sunny

Stayed a night at Richmond Lakeside Caravan Park en route to Charters Towers - one of the best we have stayed at in 2 years. Next day arrived at Jim and Joan Barrett's place at Moonlight Creek. Well nothing has changed!!!! Welcomed with open arms and were met by 5 dogs + I believe 5 new puppies. He still has lots and lots of birds - as Jim puts it "if it eats and shits we have it"

Had a lovely steak dinner and then watched the State of Origin 3. In the morning before we left we looked at and patted etc. all the animals -alpacas, goats, deer(even a bambi), miniature shetlands---have you got the picture. I had to kiss Solomon, the camel goodbye. John did too.
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Called in for a few days with John's sister Trish. Her husband is no good and is suffering with emphysemia and bronchyectesis and another lung condition and hence is on oxygen off and on. I think she was pleased for the diversion for a while.

Now at Rockhampton and calling in at Edna and Les Martin's place at Bundaberg before heading for Caloundra and then Samford to drop off the van for a while.

Happy Travels

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Posted by BerylB 23:12 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Darwin to Brissie

Home Sweet Home

sunny

Left Darwin finally on 29th June. Had intended to leave a day earlier but we were both so sick with some"wog" we picked up in China.

Met some Mataranka locals at Adelaide River when we were having a pub lunch and they suggested we stay at "Territory Manor" soooo!!!!Arrived a bit late so ate at their bistro - a lovely setting.
This area was made famous byJeannie Gunn's novel - "We of the Never Never" My family visited there in 1956, when father was based in Mt.Isa. Mataranka Homestead is not recognizable anymore and now is a backpackers.A new Maluka's Bar and up-market bistro has sprung up on the site.Mataranka  005

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We took a very relaxing dip in the thermal pools at Rainbow Springs now quite flash with surrounding pavers as well as cement edges and steps to enter etc. but still tropical with overhanging palms.
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Also up the road from our Caravan Park there was Bitter Springs -0 unspoilt - so we hopped on the scooter, togs on and had a 34degrees dip. Had a 200m palm and paper-bark bush walk to reach it.
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On our way out of town the next day we walked over Elsey Cemetery - resting place of many of the book's characters. - Highlight of today was a Daly Waters Pub Lunch -an experience not to be missed -the pub I mean - not the lunch.
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Pushed on to the 3 ways, lunched at Barkly homestead and then arrived in Mt. Isa for the week-end with Johnny B and Alysone. Took our unregistered scooter all over town visiting all our old haunts. Made a couple of visits to "Townies" once to see Doolan Darcy and the other to meet George Tipping who has invited Byron and Joanne and John and I to join him in his camp at the Birdsviile races in September. At least we will be able to have hot showers and they have a big log fire each evening and his camp is right on the Racecourse prescinct.

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Posted by BerylB 22:29 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Cruising down the Yangtse

Chongquin to Yichang

sunny 26 °C

Departed 10am downstream -1st stop Fengdu, known as "The Ghost City' 176kms en-toute. Let me tell you it is not a ghost town. All these towns are massive, everything here is massive, bridges, the road system WOW!!! it is unbelievable!!!.

Went on the tour to Ming Mountain to see the ghost city - a collection of Buddhist and Taoist temples. John finished up not coming as there was a lot of walking although there was a chair lift up near the top. He had the flu. Highlights??? of this tour included -Ghost Torturing Pass, Last Glance to Home Tower, No Way Out Bridge, and The river of Blood. All or lots of these 50000 people had to be relocated because of The 3 Gorges Dam and now the Fengdu township is on the other dide of the river and now has 100000 people.

That evening the Captain put on a cocktail party and then after dinner there was a "show' - "Fashions through the Ages' -the most beautiful costuming.

Next morning after brekkie went up on top deck while we passed throught the Qutang Gorge, 8 kms long and took 30 mins to pass through. it was quite majestic, with precipitous cliffs, and spectacular scenery.

After an early buffet lunch hopped on a ferry boat for 90 minutes to get through some of the smaller gorges.The water here was much cleaner and greener as the opposed to the muddy, turgid waters of the Yangtse - the water is low too in summer. Then we swapped again to smaller sampan type boats to get us into some Mini gorges along the Daning River. We wound our way along about 20kms - birds singing , monkeys chattering. In Misty Gorge there still is a "hanging coffin"suspended from 1000m up on the side of a cliff face. This was such fun!!!!

That evening we spent some time on observation deck passing through the Xzilling Gorge, pst Godess Peak and then a Farewell Banquet followed by a Cabaret.

About 10.30pm started passing through the first of 5 massive locks - most impressive!!!!! The overall length is 6442m but won't bore you with the details. got tired of sitting up on our balcony watching 'cos it is sooooo slow and time-consuming so finally gave it away and went to bed.

In the morning the boat tied up and they loaded us all onto buses and took us to have a look at the Three Gorges Project. There are 26 powerhouses 700mw each unit. Lots and lots of security and although we got near the locks and the wall and the hydro-electric plants that was it. John was simply enthralled though.

Happy Travels

Posted by BerylB 18:20 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Chongquin

Yangtse

overcast

Jiang , our local rep picked us up early for the transfer to the airport to travel Air China to Chongquin - pronounced Chong Chin. This was where we were to start our Yangtse river Cruise , the following day. So because it seemed to us this was the back -of -beyond, we decided to book into a 5* hotel so we stayed at the Hilton Hotel. We had prepaid for the hotel but because it was drizzling we decided to "eat-in" and although this was lovely and very romantic it cost us megabucks as opposed to all the cheap meals we had in Shanghai.

John was already not feeling the best. However Allen, the local rep, arrived to show us the city and surrounds. We went to Eling park, Back Street markets, People's Hall and then the confluence of the Jiling and the Yangtse rivers .
Then at about 6pm he dropped us at the meeting place where we met all the other people who were going on the Victoria Cruise. We had a 90 minute bus drive as the water was too low to catch the cruise at Chongquin so we had to go downstream to Fuling. Spent that night stationary and departed 10am the next day.

Posted by BerylB 03:35 Archived in China Comments (0)

Shanghai

Zhujiajiao

overcast 27 °C

Asked Jiang, our local rep for ideas for our 1 "free" day and we wanted to get out of the city to the real China - rice paddies etc. so he suggested this place Zhujiajiao pronounced "Ju-Ja-Jo"

He was busy in the am with the company but said he would take us in the pm by local transport instead of costing us the earth with the company.

So he duly arrived and bargained for a cheap taxi ride about 50+ kms and got him down to 120 yuan about $20, which was ridiculous price for such a long drive. Had a lovely day, walking around the various alleyways. We went over 5 opening arch bridge over the Caogang River 1571, the Taran Bridge 1584 and others I can't remember. Saw Ah Po's Tea House and Granny's Tea House. We also saw an old medicine house1877 which still prepares its own pills, extracts, pelletts,and powders. We wandered up and down little market lanes, well preserved from the Ming and Quin dynasties, with their white walls and black tiled roofs.

Going home we had time to just sit, so Jiang bought tickets on the local bus for 9yuan which is about $2. Mind you it took hours -well 1 and a half to get back to Shanghai - a very interesting trip. Finished the day by paying a little man 100 yuan for a ride around the canals on a "bum boat" or similar. ---very exciting!!!!

Should add before we got on the bus Jiang suggested we go to the toilet in KFC which lay just outside the water village.

When we arrived back in town we asked Jiang to get us the the Bund - like the esplanade- 'cos we wanted to go under the Huanpo River on a flash AK System. It was good-like a gondola on rails. When we got to the other side it was dark so decided to spend another 100 yuan about $20 to ride the elevator to the top of the Orient Pearl Tower TV Tower. It was absolutely spectacular, the lights along the Bund and the lights on all the buildings as well -468m high.

Happy Travels

Posted by BerylB 02:57 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

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