Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Have camera, want to travel...











click to see all images at large size...

As promised, more images from our road trip, while I get caught up with work, which has piled up on me, as I expected it would. I have a book to package in the next few days, and I'm already so far behind schedule, the mooted launch date of next weekend has turned into "sorta kinda maybe Easter weekend." Which is not such a good idea, because a lot of people travel at Easter, and I'd really wanted to get the book out ahead of time. This helps sales, because people go shopping for reading material to pass the hours on the train, bus or plane. By the time you get to Easter itself, it's too late. But today is Thursday, and ... wellllll, we'll see. As you know, the book is More Than Human, by Keegan and DeMarco -- you saw the cover last week, before Dave and I took off on the trip. 

So, boy, am I going to be busy ... and you'll understand if I post photography for a while instead of CG art. Photography is an art form too! 10-20 years ago it was my art form. I know: excuses, excuses, right? But when photos are really beautiful, I think they're their own excuse. So here we go:

Top pic: stormy skies over Rivoli Bay -- Beachport, in South Australia's SE. It was warm with a soft wind, gulls and cormorants. Beachport is famous for its jetty, which is looooong like you wouldn't believe. You're almost on the Coorong coast here ... huge skies, miles and miles of peace and quiet and mostly empty roads. Mind you, it makes for a drive on which you could fall asleep. (Hobo Jim and Johnny Cash to the rescue.)

Pic #2: It was a glorious sunset, Sunday night, when we were on our way back from the Great Ocean Road. We actually stayed way too long at sites like the 12 Apostles and "London Bridge" and so on. The lower the sun fell, the more vivid the colors on the rocks. Result: we got back to camp hours after full darkness. Gotta keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos hopping across the road (they're nocturnal), because it can get dangerous -- you don't want to hit one. Alas, we saw a lot of dead ones, due to collisions with cars and trucks ... and one very live one, crossing the road about a hundred meters ahead of us; and a wallaby standing on the roadside, watching us go by. And a couple of small wombats just standing in the middle of the road like maniacs. Rest assured, both of us were watching out with wide eyes. 

Pic #3: the wetlands on the river, at Robe, in the SE of SA. I'd expected the mud flats to be stinky, but they weren't. There were dozens of white herons working the area, but even with a 730mm lens, I couldn't get close enough to them to image them well. I got lots of shots, but not the "full professional work" you expect from me here. Just shots for my own amusement. I take a lot of those, too.

Pic #4: road trip! Road. Lots of road. Looooooots of it. We put about 1,600k on the car ... if you're interested, the trip was done in a Hyundai i30, and I really recommend this car, if you're in the market for something at this time, and can handle about $25,000. We rented it ... Europcar is a terrific company to deal with, and four-day hire was very inexpensive, even including the full-on insurance. (The point is, if you're going to abuse a car, abuse a brand new one, with full insurance, not your own poor car. This is the first time we've done one of these trips in a rental, and it was such a good decision. Full marks to Europcar. And I give myself a pat on the back for thinking of this way to go.) Anyway, this stretch of bitumen is part of the Great Ocean Road ... you're on your way from one astonishing bay to another ... come back tomorrow, and I'll show you some of them!

Pic #5: limestone caverns at Tantanoola Caves, South Australia. You're on the Limestone Coast now -- south of Naracoorte. It's cattle and sheep and wine country, with fantastic ground water. Literally an underground ocean of fresh water, deep beneath your feet, and -- caves. This one here was discovered by a kid who was hunting for rabbits. He put his ferret into a hole, and when the ferret didn't come back, the boy lifted out some rocks and went to find him (her?) and ... this is what he saw. It was amazing. Warm! A little bit humid, and room temperature, with a fantastic echo. If you're interested, check this out... I got scores of good images; I'll show you some more tomorrow.

Pic #6: big skies. Huuuuuge skies. I love to watch the sky, and photograph it, and I must have taken a couple of hundred shots of it on this trip. In town, you don't see the big skies -- also, we live surrounded by the Adelaide Hills, so again, you don't see the huge skies. In the SE of the state, and over the border in Victoria, the land is very, very flat, and the skies are vast. Irresistible, when you're holding a camera.

Pics #7 and #8: the Blue Lake at Mount Gambier ... the lake itself, and the "reverse shot." What's behind you, as you stand there gosh-wowing about the lake. It's ... so ... blue, even on an overcast day. The water is that color about half the year due to its chemical composition -- it's not just reflecting the sky, as witness this shot, which shows how cloudy the day was. Incidentally, this is also Mt. Gambier's reservoir, and the tap water tastes great. Every place else, including home in Adelaide, we use filtered water or bottled; the tap water is so good in Mt. Gambier, we just filled up the jugs and thermos right off the tap. Nice.

Pic #9: a sinkhole between Mount Gambier and another extinct (dormant?) volcano in the area, Mt. Schank. They say it's been 4,500 years since these volcanoes erupted -- regional Aboriginal oral history goes back far enough to have recorded it and passed down the stories. The place is full of sinkholes due to the geology ... when they hit the water table, they fill up, like this one. It doesn't seem to have a name, but it's fitted out with stairs and a platform, for swimmers. Peaceful and beautiful. This shot was taken from the platform at the bottom of a very, very, very long stepway down.

Pic #10: Piccaninnie Ponds, about one mile west of the border. Bottomless lake, with a limestone cavern deep, deep down, which is a scuba diving destination. Me no dive. Me like peace and quiet and fresh air. The ponds are like a microcosm, a whole world in themselves. I could have stayed there all day, but we were already late (gotta pick up and run!) and the Great Ocean Road was waiting. I'll show you some of that next time...

That's all for today. More tomorrow! 

Now, I have to get to work on that book...

Jade, March 29  
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