Category Archives: Australia

Australia 2014-2015

This was our second trip to Australia – we went three Christmases in a row. The tickets had been paid for before we realized I had breast cancer, and, as it turned out, the trip was an important respite between surgery and chemotherapy. I only learned for sure that I would have to have chemo the day we Read More…

This was our second trip to Australia – we went three Christmases in a row. The tickets had been paid for before we realized I had breast cancer, and, as it turned out, the trip was an important respite between surgery and chemotherapy.

I only learned for sure that I would have to have chemo the day we landed in Sydney. Knowing that we would be returning to months of hellish treatment, we decided to have as much fun as we could during our vacation! Continue reading

Helicopter Ride at Uluru and Kata Tjuta

While visiting Uluru, we did something that was a first for both of us: took a ride in a helicopter. Like everything else at Uluru/Kata Tjuta, the ride was easy to arrange: we went to the tourist office at the central square, booked it, and charged it to our hotel (we later settled the bill Read More…

While visiting Uluru, we did something that was a first for both of us: took a ride in a helicopter.

Like everything else at Uluru/Kata Tjuta, the ride was easy to arrange: we went to the tourist office at the central square, booked it, and charged it to our hotel (we later settled the bill for everything when we checked out).

The views were, of course, stunning –  but the ride itself was also a lot of fun. I want to do that again!

The red desert was surprisingly green; it has received an unusual amount of rain for the last four years.

Brendan in a helicopter

 

Port Douglas: “Could Be Worse…”

Early January is off-season in Port Douglas, and we soon learned why: we arrived to tropical rain like I hadn’t seen in years (possibly decades). Leaving the hotel for a walk without umbrellas was a mistake, as very quickly became clear: we were drenched to the skin ten minutes out. In the warm, tropical evening that Read More…

Early January is off-season in Port Douglas, and we soon learned why: we arrived to tropical rain like I hadn’t seen in years (possibly decades).

Leaving the hotel for a walk without umbrellas was a mistake, as very quickly became clear: we were drenched to the skin ten minutes out. In the warm, tropical evening that was no hardship (until we got inside the air-conditioned grocery store).

Port Douglas is a small town without a lot of excitements to offer in the evening (not that we particularly wanted any). No, we did not go see the cane toad racing and, more disappointingly, we never managed to get to this pie shop while it was open:

tropical Australian pies

Brendan did manage to find some of his favorite treats at the supermarket:

musk sticks!

Beach swimming is not attractive during the rainy season, mostly because of the stinging jellyfish. This patch of surf was cordoned off with a boom and net to keep them out, but didn’t look particularly nice anyway; we stuck to the hotel pool.

stinger danger

Our main reason for being in Port Douglas was to explore the nearby Daintree Forest and Great Barrier Reef – more on that later!

Watching Cricket in Sydney

I see a lot of cricket lately, because Brendan loves it. He’s good at explaining it, so I’ve even become interested (which has not been the case with any other sport I’ve encountered in my life). While we were in Australia this year, an international test match was being played between Australia and India. Naturally, Read More…

I see a lot of cricket lately, because Brendan loves it. He’s good at explaining it, so I’ve even become interested (which has not been the case with any other sport I’ve encountered in my life).

While we were in Australia this year, an international test match was being played between Australia and India. Naturally, we had to go! This was Day 1 (Jan 6, 2015) of the match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Frankly, this happened to be a boring game, one of a series of disappointments for the Indian fans. I know from other matches I’ve seen (including the current ICC World Cup) that cricket is by no means necessarily boring. Still, it was an interesting experience to be there.

Rain at Yulara

We expected heat in Australia’s Red Desert, and we got it – but we also got rain. In fact, the area has had record amounts of rainfall in the last four years, and was looking far greener than we expected. There was a brief, intense rainstorm the afternoon of January 1st, with rain on the tin Read More…

We expected heat in Australia’s Red Desert, and we got it – but we also got rain. In fact, the area has had record amounts of rainfall in the last four years, and was looking far greener than we expected. There was a brief, intense rainstorm the afternoon of January 1st, with rain on the tin roof reminding me powerfully of the Indian monsoons. Video cannot convey the smell of rain on red dirt, which is nothing at all like a monsoon rain in the Himalayas!