Monthly Archives: December 2011

THE YEAR THAT WAS 2011 – our travel highlights

Getting there sometimes required some effort. That's why they call them highlights. This hump is Mt Hvitserkur, Iceland.

I’ll be taking a short break from writing, blogging and nearly everything else (except collecting material for new posts) until the New Year. So it’s time for a look back at highlights of the year that’s oh so nearly passed. Continue reading


Filed under Travel

MEGALONGMANIA – Blue Mountains cycling

Beautiful rainforest, excellent road surface, shame about the gradient.

My occasional cycling partner Steven is a mountain man. Since we last rode together he’s acquired a smart new Specialized Roubaix carbon fibre roadbike and has clearly been putting in many hours testing it out.

My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to ride in his wake into the Megalong Valley in the lovely Blue Mountains outside Sydney. It’s a long way down, which experienced, thinking riders will realise means it’s also a long way up again. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling

SYDNEY WALK DAY 9 – back under the Harbour Bridge

Sydney Red Gums (Angophora costata) - could be the world's most beautiful trees.

A really good little walk today, with lots of features of interest and a few surprises.

Again I took the bike, because I expected to have to skirt around through suburban streets and I wanted to get that part of it over with quickly. Some Greenwich residents get nice views across the Shell Oil Terminal to the Harbour Bridge, but I’d already seen enough bridge views from Longueville.

The surprise came when I rode down a steep hill into Berry Island Reserve, named after a certain Alexander Berry. He also lent his name to the southern NSW town Berry and they never returned it. Continue reading


Filed under Cycling, Hiking

AROUND SYDNEY HARBOUR – Day 8, Woolwich to Greenwich

House prices in Longueville are among Australia's highest. Unfortunately for walkers, homeowners get most of the views and we get to see their fences, with only water glimpses between them.

I timed the ferry as it came across Sydney Harbour from Woolwich to collect me at the Greenwich wharf – 113 seconds. Trekking the circuitous overland route between the two points took me over four hours, and it wasn’t all as picturesque as the above photo suggests. Continue reading

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Filed under Hiking, Travel-Australia


Judith White - Moonrise. Image courtesy Defiance Gallery.

Sixteen artists, a trailer and a trek on the 233km Larapinta Trail through the heart of Australia, west from Alice Springs.

Each year celebrated painter Leo Robba takes groups of artists, some established professionals, others enthusiastic amateurs, out to the Larapinta for a week of walking and working.

An exhibition their results is in Sydney’s Defiance Galleries in Paddington and Newtown. Continue reading


Filed under Art, Hiking

MUSEUM OF SYDNEY – still life after Robyn Stacey

This one should have a tattered musical score, an hourglass and a skull in there somewhere. Photo NOT by Robyn Stacey.

I very much enjoyed the still life photographs by Robyn Stacey whose exhibition House is currently showing at the Museum of Sydney.

Stacey has selected objects from the historic Vaucluse House and Elizabeth Bay House, arranged them superbly, lit them artfully, and produced images to rival the great classical still life painters.

Her expertise is intimidating, but it wasn’t enough to deter me from setting up my own home studio and having a crack at it with the bedside reading lamp. Continue reading


Filed under Art, Travel-Australia