Posts Tagged With: memories

Weekly Photo Challenge : Summer Memories Down Under

Noosa Beaches

Noosa Beaches

Sun, sand and sea and being with the ones you love.

Burleigh Beach

Burleigh Beach

Surf’s up, sun’s out and 3 good mates are going for an early morning surf.

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach

Topping up the tan and who cares about skin cancer at this age…


Then for me summer is about the abundance of our beautiful tropical flowers.





Poinciana trees vibrant and glowing.

Poinciana trees vibrant and glowing.

Bird of paradise.

Another Heliconia

Winters are short in Queensland and it will soon be summer again.


This week Krista of WP  has challenged us to remember summer.


Categories: Australia, “postaday″, memories, photography, summer, weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

Lingering Look at Windows : From 2010

I haven’t been window gazing this week, so no new window photos. Oh dear, but a good reason to take a trip down memory lane and look through my many thousands of photos taken when travelling around Australia.

Challenges are a perfect opportunity to travel back in time and relive some of the adventures and places seen in the past while searching for that certain image that will fit into the challenge.

Port Fairy

Port Fairy

Port Fairy is one of those idyllic villages that has retained its heritage past. Artists and craft people are drawn to this place and the atmosphere oozes charm. A walk down the main street takes you back in time when the pace of life was slower.

Port Fairy

Port Fairy

Port Fairy

Port Fairy


Now for something quite different. Jondaryan wool shed, it is a heritage museum that has faithfully restored the buildings from the time when Australia was carried to wealth on the wool off the sheep’s back. To see more photos of when we stayed here click on this link

Jondaryan wool shed

Jondaryan wool shed. It has been a long time since these windows were cleaned!

Jondaryan wool shed

Jondaryan wool shed. The tin bath is the only means of keeping clean in the days of no running water.

Jondaryan wool shed

Jondaryan wool shed, life was tough back then no comfy innerspring mattress.

Dawn from ” The day after” has a challenge to find windows and post them each week. I love these Word Press challenges they open your eyes to the world around you. I also enjoy looking through all the other interesting and varied windows from around the world. Go to Dawns link, you may have some windows you can show us.

Categories: Australia, lingering look at windows, photography | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

Travel Theme : Transportation

What a great theme Ailsa has given us this week, “transport“, it is the very heart of travel. To travel is to go, and to go you need some form of transport to get from point A to point B.

This theme sent me to the big cupboard full of old photo albums and a trip down memory lane. Another opportunity to scan my old photos and travel back to 1988….

India is the destination. For me the country is shrouded in mystery, strange caste systems, hundreds of gods, spicy food, vibrant, colourful, noisy, dirty. A hole in the floor toilet system that defies description. inquisitive, friendly locals that watch your every move from eating to using that hole in the floor.

I joined Venturetreks and with an intrepid group of 19 other brave souls we journeyed around for 3 weeks using different forms of transport…

A flight from New Zealand to Delhi, then the crowded but amazingly efficient train journey into the Thar Dessert of Rajasthan…

Now the real adventure starts. Our camels await us. For 4 incredible days we cross the desert accompanied by three camel carts that carry all the tents, food, luggage and 2 talented musicians. After the first day they also carried a few of the 19 intrepid travellers. They lay on their stomaches to relieve the pressure on their sore behinds. I brought with me a New Zealand sheep skin pad, it was worth its weight in gold…

Note the sheep skin on the saddle...

Note the sheep skin on the saddle…

The musicians kept us entertained

The musicians kept us entertained

They smiled all the time

They smiled all the time

I have many wonderful memories of the endless desert landscape, the spicy tasty meals eaten round a camp fire each night, the dancing and music before climbing exhausted into our sleeping bags. Being woken next morning with a cup of chai and hot water for washing. Then another 6 to 8 hour ride to the next camp site. My camel being on his first trek and previously being a racing camel always led the pack. As we approached camp each afternoon it would be an exhilarating race to be first in, we always won!!!!

Next leg we travelled round the golden triangle of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur on a coach. Visiting the opulent palaces, mosques markets.

Now back onto the saddle, but this time it is a bike saddle…

Basic but comfortable bike

Basic but comfortable bike

For 3 days we biked through agricultural land of rolling hills. Often other Indian bike riders would bike alongside me and practice their english. They were unfailingly friendly and though I was often way behind the others ( I stopped often to take photos) and on my own I never felt threatened.

I passed various forms of local transport, here’s a selection…

5 minutes dow the road and I passed this bus

5 minutes dow the road and I passed this bus

Buses always full to overflowing

Buses always full to overflowing

Colourful, decorated trucks

Colourful, decorated trucks

Trucks full to overflowing too

Trucks full to overflowing too

Bikes full to overflowing too

Bikes full to overflowing too

Nothing is impossible...

Nothing is impossible…

Some time you just have to have a rest

Some time you just have to have a rest

More big loads

More big loads

Cattle cart

Cattle cart

Poor half starved horse

Poor half-starved horse

This part of the adventure ended when we biked into Agra and arrived at the Taj Mahal as the sun set. ( I have posted photos of this awesome creation of one mans love for a woman in a previous post you can see them by clicking here)

The final leg of this once in a lifetime journey took me down the mighty Ganges. Starting at Allahabad we sailed and rowed for 5 days observing life along and in the river. Sleeping on the boat and occasionally being put off to walk along the banks through the villages and meeting the people who lived and worked in the area. The journey ended at Varanasi the most holy of cities in India. The place that Indians bathe in the Ganges and burn their dead along the banks on huge fires.

Sailing down the Ganges

Sailing down the Ganges

It must be hard work for this oars man

It must be hard work for this oars man

This is just a very brief outline of the 3 weeks I spent in India. An amazing country that gets right into your soul. It is chaotic, crowded, confusing and cheerful. Looking through my photos brought back those memories from 25 years ago. The people, the stories, the sights and sounds. The constantly blaring horns and ringing of bike bells, the cows wandering every where, the smells, the delicious food, it all flooded back as if I had been yesterday.

Thank you Ailsa for this theme.

Yes we definitely need photos to keep our memories alive…

Categories: India, memories, transportation, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

A Word a Week Photo Challenge : Journey

So many journeys, so many memories. After all life is one long journey of constant discovery. To choose one for this post in response to Skinnywench’s challenge sent my mind spinning back through my years of travel memories.

Sue,aka Skinnywench of “a word in your ear” sets a weekly challenge by opening her dictionary at a random page and choosing a word. This week the word is “journey”.

I chose this memory of my visit and journey into the Grand Canyon for 3 reasons

  1. It is an unforgettable wonder of the world
  2. It is an opportunity to look back through my old photo albums and resurrect some of them to digital images.
  3. In response to a virtual chat (via the comments section) with Cindy Knoke, click here to see her interesting post about her visit to the canyon and photos as it is now. So Cindy here is my visit and photos…

In September 1991 we purchased a Delta Airpass, (remember Delta? Now long gone) We planned a whirlwind tour around some of the many iconic places of USA. New York, Niagara Falls, New Orléans, Austin, Florida and many more, it was a long list but of course impossible to see everything in a month.

Using Delta was such an easy way to get around, just choose a destination, turn up at the airport and the friendly staff would work out the best way to get to your destination. I had mapped out a rough itinerary and we had a thick catalogue of all the dates, times and destinations Delta covered to help us  make decisions. Back then I used a Olympus SLR camera and film. No way of knowing what the image looked like before developing it. How much easier photography is now in the digital age. So I have an album full of images and I spent a very pleasant day looking through them and choosing the images for this post, then scanning them into the computer.

We flew into Flagstaff and booked into the YHA. I do not remember much about the building, but I do remember the noise of the freight trains continually passing through town. I high-pitched whistle as it approached, then the banging and clattering as they shunted back and forward, then another ear-shattering toot,toot,toot as it left town. At one point Jack took the mattress off the bed and stuffed it across the window and we tried to sleep on the very uncomfortable innerspring base.

Next morning we palled up with Chris, a New Zealander traveling on his own and living on peanut butter sandwiches or, when he couldn’t afford bread, he would just eat spoonfuls of the brown “gunk”. He was a friendly, long, lean Kiwi. We hired a car between us to drive to the Grand Canyon. Chris drove we paid for the petrol, or should I say gas?

The first sight of this wonder of nature is forever etched into my memory. The crowds, the noise, the hustle and bustle faded into the background as I stood transfixed with the grandeur of the Canyon spread before me. Then I tried to capture the spectacular vista on film.

We’d decided to walk the Bright Angel Trail down into the canyon as far as the lookout over the Colorado River. The deeply rutted track made walking very difficult. Do you hop from the top of the ridge to ridge, or high-step over and into the depressions, either way it was hard work. Going down I stopped constantly to take photos and marvel at the view unfolding before me, watch the wildlife, big-horn goats, squirrels and the not so wild mules plodding along teetering on the edge of monumental drops with white-knuckled riders bumping along on them. Going down I remember thinking I prefer the safety of walking, that view changed as I slogged back up.

cheeky squirrel

Mule on the way down

Dinner time

finally reaching the lookout we gazed down on the turbulent Colorado River snaking along the distant valley. We took a well-earned rest. I noticed people soaking bandanas, handkerchiefs, scarves in fact any sort of material and draping it over their heads. A sign of what was to come. We started the walk back up. The sun became a ball of fire reflecting back off the rock face. The heat was intense. The track was steep. Those ruts became mini mountains. I ran out of water. I sweated. I wished I’d booked a mule.

Nearly to the lookout

Looking down at the Colorado River

I wish I had booked one of these for the walk back up…

If you look carefully you can just see the Bright Angel Trail we had walked along in the valley

As I write this I can feel the agony of my leg muscles, up and over the ruts then a stop. Next try hopping or rather stumbling from ridge to ridge, then another stop. Jack soon left me behind, “it’s harder for me to go slow” he said. I struggled on…

Eventually I reached the top…

Oh that incredible feeling of achievement as I smugly looked around at the bus-loads of Asian tourists as they spent 10 minutes taking photos of each other in front of this monumental vista, before boarding their bus to be whisked to the next viewing spot.

I had done it. Walked down into the Grand Canyon. It took 3 hours to walk down and 5 hours to stagger back up. WOW….

Bus tourists taking photos

Categories: A word a week challenge, Grand Canyon, journey, memories, photography | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

A Word A Week Photo Challenge : Love

Skinnywench of “A word in your ear“, each week picks, at random, a word from her dictionary. Then challenges us to make it into a post. This week the word is “Love”….


Horses: the love of my life

At 11 years old I, unexpectedly, passed the 11+ exam. In the 1950’s all children were inflicted with this exam to sort them into academic streams. It was more a common sense test with multi-choice questions, and not a test of your academic capabilities.

My Mother had promised me a bike if I passed as I would need it to get to the Grammar School approximately 20 kilometres away. I don’t think she really expected me to pass…

So now I had freedom in the shape of a brand new, 3 speed, purple Raleigh bicycle.

Living on the suburban outskirts of Hull, a large city in Yorkshire, the countryside, then, was only a 15 minute walk away and now I could whizz there in 5 minutes on my bike.

I had previously discovered “THE FARM”, I always thought of it in capitals….

It represented heaven to me as it was a stud farm breeding hackney horses and ponies and also New Forest ponies. I could now ride past it, with only a short detour, after school each day.

I was a horse mad child. I read about them,dreamed about them, doodled them all over my school books and fantasized about owning a horse of my own. In fact, at a very early age, in my mind, I did own an imaginary horse. Horses were my obsession, I idolised, adored and loved them. So that bike meant I could get to THE FARM after school at the time that the mares and foals were walked from the paddock into the stables and I could walk along behind the foals making sure they kept up with their mother.

Mare and her foal in the paddock

Me in school clothes talking to a foal. I am about 12 years old

Isn’t he adorable

On the weekends and school holidays I would hang around outside the gate into the stable yards and watch as the young hackney horses were trained and put through their paces around the arena. Have you ever seen hackney horses move? They are pure poetry in motion. They are bred to pull carriages and their gait is a high-stepping extended trot. They seem to float across the ground, with head and tail held high, fine boned and aristocratic. I would watch them for hours.

Two years quickly passed.  At 13 years old all my dreams came true…


The owner of THE FARM came over and said “I have often seen you standing out here for a long time now. Can you ride?”

I could, sort of, I had read all the books, I had practiced on the old cart ponies that came along the street. (I have written an earlier post about them, you can see it by clicking here)

So of course I said “Yes”….

Mr Partington, or “Boss” as every one affectionately called him, took me round to the stables and introduced me to a young New Forest pony that had just recently been broken in. Pandora.

My Pony, Pandora

New Forest ponies are very gentle by nature and an ideal children’s pony. I could call her mine, until she was sold. I could ride her, groom her, clean out her stable and give her unconditional love. I rode my bike home that afternoon in a cloud of happiness. My Mother was very happy for me. As a widow she had worked hard to feed and clothe me, school uniforms were not cheap, and no way could she ever afford a horse, not even riding lessons. Later she told me it was also a blessing in disguise as she always knew where I was during those tumultuous teenage years…

Eventually Pandora was sold to a child in Holland and my next pony was Nymph a more lively grey.

Nymph,Beautiful grey New Forest Pony

Boss with Nymph

Five years of my life I almost lived at  “THE FARM”. Of course I had to go to school and I went home to sleep, but those teenage years from 12 to 16 I lived a dream, I made life-long friends, had fun, got up to some mischief (but I am not going to tell you about that).

During most of my life horses have played a part. I still love to watch horses, I love the smell and feel of them, but now-a-days I do not come into contact with them so often, but they will always be in a special part of my heart.

The photos in this post were all taken in the 1950’s with a Box Brownie camera…I have scanned them into the computer…



In 1989 I went back to the UK to visit my Mother for her 90th birthday. That was nearly 35 years since I had been on THE FARM. Of course I went to see what it had become. Sadly it is no longer stables and paddocks but a used car yard and a housing estate now spread miles out into the one time country side…

Categories: A word a week challenge, horses, love, memories, photography | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

Travel Theme : Foliage

Looking for the Hobbits..


Foliage evokes memories and feelings of places visited and Ailsa’s theme this week is foliage.

Visit her blog “Where’s my backpack” and you will find many interpretations of this theme.

I have taken you back to March this year when we travelled around the South Island of New Zealand. This is the Haast Pass National Park. Dripping in moisture, the lichen, ferns and moss created an eerie, mystical atmosphere. The tree ferns rear above the under-growth and I looked around half expecting to see a Hobbit peering out at me. I look at this photo and I feel the magic.


Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore.

  There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the  trembling of a leaf.
Albert  Schweitzer

Categories: foliage, Haast Pass, memories, New Zealand, photography, quotes, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Solitary

Christchurch Botanic Gardens


We visited New Zealand earlier this year and stayed with a friend from my English life. Christchurch had been devastated by earthquakes and a year later they still had rumblings every day. The worst damage occurred in the CBD  and a year later they still had the CBD cordoned off and major demolition and repair work was going on. The Botanic Gardens are also in the central part of the city, fortunately many of the beautiful old trees survived the quake but they still lost some trees had a lot of damage and debris to clear away. At the time there was a lot of controversy about spending money on the gardens when so many other buildings and infrastructure needed repairs or demolition.

It was heart-warming to hear of all the volunteers that came forward to help with the clean-up and replanting of the garden beds. Now a year later the gardens are a blaze of colour. I totally agree with the decision to put money into the beautifying of the gardens. It is trees and plants that nourish the soul. To walk around and see the beauty is calming and uplifting.

As we walked around I noticed this woman stroking the lovely old gum tree. As I got closer I mentioned how beautiful the tree was.

“Yes” she replied, “I’m an Aussie and I just had to say g’day to a fellow Aussie survivor”…

Categories: botanic garden, memories, New Zealand, photography, solitary, weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Travel Theme : White

Ailsa’s theme this week is “White” this is so appropriate as it was International Peace Day yesterday, Friday 21st September.Go to the blog “Where’s my backpack now” and see Ailsa’s photos. The photo of the white peacock in her header is stunning.

White is the colour of purity and peace. The white dove of purity and the white rose of peace are just a couple of enduring symbols recognized world-wide.

When we visited New Zealand earlier this year I was amazed at the purity and cleanliness of the rivers and oceans in the South Island. We stayed in a guest house in Hokitika which was right on the ocean’s edge. Walking along the beach and watching the tide ebb and flow was a restful experience and capturing the image of the pristine white foam as it curled along the beach will remind me of that time.

Ocean at Hokitika Sth Island New Zealand


“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace”. — Kate Chopin


            “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” — Jacques Yves Cousteau

Categories: memories, New Zealand, photography, quotes, travel theme, White | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Travel Theme : Silhoette

I am going to cheat abit this week as last week I was “bush” in the great Australian outback, no internet. I had withdrawal symptoms when I found out I had missed Ailsa’s great challenge from last weeks “Where’s my backpack” theme of sunsets. So here is my silhoette combined with a sunset….

A glass of wine and some one you love, how good is that…

One of the really iconic places in Australia that is synominous with sunsets is Broome on the west coast of Australia. They always have a beautiful sunset and Cable Beach is the place to be.

About 4-30 the crowds start to gather. They bring the wine the nibbles, maybe prawns and/or chicken. Choosing a perfect spot to spread the picnic rug. Maybe go to the snack bar for fish and chips. The in crowd reserve a table at the prestigious Cable Beach Hotel where all the chairs and tables face the beach for natures ultimate performance. The atmosphere is happy and expectant.

Cable Beach Hotel balcony full of sun set watchers

The camels wind their way through the people and set off along the beach to take a group of tourists on a ride into the sunset…

Camel ride into the sunset

As the sun dips toward the horizon and the sky turns to that luminescent apricot, pink hue the cameras are all turned toward the incredible view and hundreds, maybe thousands of images are recorded of the moment. Just as the sky blazes in glorious shades of red a pearl lugger slips into the picture. Perfection; palms, sunset and the boat. It brings back memories of a great evening spent with friends.

This is what they are all waiting for, sunset in the tropics on the West coast of Australia



Categories: Australia, camels, memories, photography, silhoette, travel theme | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Travel Theme : leading lines (2)

The great Nullabor highway

Could not resist a second entry this week in Ailsa travel theme, leading lines. This post was inspired by Cinova <  in her post she showed us the Great Ocean Road. This triggered the memory of our drive across that other great Aussie icon road trip, the Nullabor plains. For many years it was looked on with fear and forboding as the road was unsealed, bulldust in the dry and deep ruts during the rest of the year.People looked on travellers that had “done the Nullabor” with admiration and awe.  The wind reached hurricane proportions, the weather was totally unpredictable. It still has an aura of adventure today, mainly fuelled by the tourism brochures.

We approached it with caution. Stocked up with water, extra cans of baked beans and plenty of batteries for the cameras.

It was an amazing 5 day trip for us, we found it to be so different to the treeless , barren image that we had visualized. It is now all sealed, no bull-dust. Sure it had almost 1000 kilometres of arrow straight road, ( part of that road was designated an airstrip to allow the RFDS to land planes in emergencies) the wind was a strong side wind buffeting us, part was treeless but still interesting, the road trains roared past. But there were other parts of pure beauty when you could drive off the road and camp in the bush behind a thick clump of bushes and watch the sun go down. Side trips to view the ocean pounding in on the rugged cliffs of the great southern bight. Looking out to the south and realizing the next land fall was the Antarctic. No worries about fuel as approx every 300 to 400 kilometres would be a roadhouse selling very expensive petrol.

Another site that broke the journey was watching for quirky trees. A shoe tree, a bra tree, a hat tree, and then we spotted Santa Claus standing in front of a tree decorated with red and green streamers and baubles, it was December 20th 2010, until that moment Christmas had seemed a long way away.

So this leading line was the start of an iconic journey across the Australian desert wilderness from West to East…

Nullabor “the treeless plain”

Amazing variety of greens

Trees in flower

A different sort of tree “the shoe tree!!”

Categories: Australia, leading lines, memories, photography, travel theme | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

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