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Showing posts from 2013

Denmark... Australia

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Tuesday of our WA road trip was the day I fell in love.  But first we had a long drive through lots of trees.  We left Hamelin Bay in the morning and after a couple hours of driving stopped at Beedelup Falls in Beedelup National Park.  The falls was pretty small, but the highlight of this stop was the suspension bridge on the walk back to the car.  I can't imagine how Phil must have felt crossing it with his vertigo, but even without vertigo this thing was wobbling all over the place.
Down the road we stopped in Pemberton to climb the famous (really?) climbing trees.   They are three trees that used to be used as fire lookouts.  To climb to the top you use metal rods fixed in a spiral up the side of the tree.  What happens if you miss a step?  Don't worry, I'm sure the chicken wire they wrapped around the outside of the tree will catch you.  And once you get to the top, you have to do it all in reverse.  It was once of those attractions that would never happen in the US be…

Margaret River to Hamelin Bay

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The day after the Ironman was not exactly a day of rest for Phil.  I was on vacation, which meant lots to see and no time to sleep in.  We had booked a whale watching tour in Geographe Bay in the morning, but that ended up being cancelled so we took the extra time to explore the breweries and wineries of the Margaret River region.

Our first stop was Castle Rocks Beach.  It was just another gorgeous Australia beach with crystal clear turquoise water, red rocks, and no people.  O, and a skink!
Next up was Eagle Bay Brewery.  Phil tried the sampler paddle and we shared a really flat bread pizza with chicken, chilli flakes, pesto, buffalo mozzarella, and lime juice.
Next we stopped at House of Cards Winery and enjoyed some excellent Sparkling, Sauv Blanc, and Cab Sav.  Next door was a chocolate shop, so while Phil took his bike apart I enjoyed sampling the wares.
Down the road we went to the Canal Rocks, a really striking rock formation that funnels waves into a canal-like feature.  It was a…

Tri-triathlon

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On December 8th Phil races in his third Ironman Triathlon in Busselton, Western Australia.  Because it's summer and WA doesn't change their clocks for daylight savings time the sun cam up at 4:30 and the race had a start time of 5:45.  This meant waking up at 3:30, but since we were still 3 hours ahead on Melbourne time we weren't quite as bleary eyed as some.  
The 3.8 km swim course went around the Busselton Jetty, which is 1.9 km long.  Everyone started at the same time which was quite a sight for the spectators lined up along the pier.  It was nice being able to walk along with the competitors as they swam the course.  
Phil always gives me his goal times for the swim, bike, and run before a race, and I usually add some time to this before waiting for him to finish.  He had such a good swim during this race that I didn't even see him finish!  I was still standing on the pier trying to spot him when I heard the commentator announce his name, right on his one hour thir…

Aussie Jingle Bells

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Dashing through the bush
In a rusty Holden Ute
Kicking up the dust
Esky in the boot
Kelpie by my side
Singing Christmas songs
It's Summer time and I am in
My singlet, shorts and thongs Oh! Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Jingle all the way
Christmas in Australia
On a scorching summer's day
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Christmas time is beaut
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a rusty Holden Ute. Engine's getting hot
We dodge the kangaroos
The swaggie climbs aboard
He is welcome too
All the family's there
Sitting by the pool
Christmas day, the Aussie way
By the barbecue! Oh! Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Jingle all the way
Christmas in Australia
On a scorching summer's day
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Christmas time is beaut
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a rusty Holden Ute. Come the afternoon
Grandpa has a doze
The kids and uncle Bruce
Are swimming in their clothes
The time comes round to go
We take the family snap
Pack the car and all shoot through
Before the washing up Oh! Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Jingle all the way
Chris…

Every Day I'm Busselton

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A couple weeks ago we flew over to Perth on the western coast of Australia for the Busselton Ironman Triathlon.  After the four hour flight we picked up our camper van and drove 2.5 hours south to Busselton, located on beautiful Geographe Bay.

Busselton has the distinction of having the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.  I don't really know why they had to specify timber-piled, it makes me wonder what other kind of longest piled jetty is in this hemisphere, but around here you have to claim whatever you can.  It's not like there are that many people in the Southern Hemisphere to actually fact check.  But regardless, the Busselton Jetty is 1.9 km long, the perfect distance to feature the 3.8 km swim portion of the triathlon.

Phil checked in for the race and got his race number and gear bags, and after checking in at the caravan park we joint hundreds of crazy triathletes for a pre-race briefing and dinner.

Saturday morning Phil reassembled his bike and checked…

Killer Christmas Trees

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I've been a bit worried lately about Phil's Ironman this coming Sunday.  Not about how he'll do, but about the 6 meter shark that was recently spotted at the very place he's swimming, and the recent deadly attack in the area.  And I'd say no big deal because the sharks only seem to eat Americans but clearly we have a problem with that plus they have started eating locals lately also.

It would seem though that I've been needlessly worrying.  Turns out that there are more deaths per year due to Christmas Trees than due to sharks.  Since we're not getting a Christmas Tree this year, I figure that about balances out the risk.  More chance of being eaten by a shark minus less chance of being killed by a Christmas Tree equals zero right?


Our Trashy Neighbours

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When we first moved here it seemed like every few weeks or so people would put all of this crap on their front lawns and then it would magically disappear a few days later.  We found it really odd and kept wondering what was going on.  We finally learned about hard rubbish collection, which is apparently when the council comes around and picks up anything you want to get rid of.  And I mean ANYTHING.  We have seen all kinds of things stacked outside people's houses - bikes, mattresses, tvs,  furniture, appliances, children...

This used to be on a set day but councils have recently required that you call in and book a hard rubbish collection.  It would appear that our neighbours have not received the memo considering their crap has been outside now for over a month and I saw the hard rubbish trucks drive by early one morning without so much as slowing down past that house.  It sure makes me wonder, do these people not notice this pile of trash that's been sitting in their front…

Shepparton

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We went to Shepparton, a small town about 2 hours North of Melbourne, last weekend for a half ironman triathlon.  Phil did this race last year, and as easy as it is to get to decided to give it another go. Having been to Shepparton once we knew that there wasn't a whole lot to do, so we drove over on Saturday morning.  After checking in, racking his bike, eating lunch, and setting up the tent, we looked at each other with the 'now what' look.  So I gave trip advisor a browse to see what the local attractions were.  A place called Lower Goulburn River National Park caught my eye and we drove to check it out.  Turns out it's a big muddy river surrounded by gum trees.  Not quite the spectacular national park we were hoping for.  But we did find an interesting swamp along the way - 



We also drove through Mooroopna, which is apparently the Fruit Salad City.  There was seriously a sign that said this.  There's even a Fruit Salad Day held every February that you can bet we…