Budj Bim and the Coorong – Beautiful and spiritual places.

Budj Bim in Western Victoria and the Cooring in south Eatern South Australia are beautiful and spiritual places. Particularly spiritual for the Australian Aboriginal people who have occupied and cared for the land for 10,000 years.

The purpose of the trip was to meet up with friends from Adelaide at Kingston SE which sits at the southern end of the Coorong. It also claims to be the lobster capital of Australia!

Budj Bim National Park was a stop on route.

The campground is noted for its families of koalas. Beautiful to see but their growling and grunting through the night makes sleeping a challenge!

The park is set around an old volcano. In the park there are small lava tubes and lava canals you can explore as you walk around the old crater.

The basalt rock covers the local most of the local landscape. On the road out to Tae Rak (Lake Condah) there is Tumuli (lava blisters). Unique basalt rock blisters dotted on the landscape.

Tae rak (Lake Condah) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tae Rak incorporates the oldest aquaculture farm in the world. An Eel farm that has operated for 6500 years

Due to recent heavy rains the lake was full of water and the still day meant the water was mirror smooth

At the cultural centre I joined a cultural tour with an aboriginal guide.

It’s about a half day ride from Budj Bim to Kingston SE and the Southern Ocean and an extra special sunset.

The Coorong is formed as the estuary of the Murray River (Australia’s longest river) where is flows into the Southern Ocean.

The Coorong is a series of lakes running south for 200km from the Mouth of the Murray. The lakes are separated from the ocean by high sand dunes.

The lakes vary from almost dry saline ponds to deep expanses of water brimming with wild life.

Climbing over the dunes the Southern Ocean is wild and cold and pretty much deserted.

Of course I could resist taking a dip in the cold ocean.

The Coorong was the setting for the famous Australian movie Storm Boy. Also in the documentary Wash My Soul that examines the life and music of Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach there is stunning cinema photography of the Coorong.

Dotted around the lakes are reminders of colonial settlement like the well dug by Chinese immigrants as they made the long walk from South Australia to the Victorian goldfields in the early 1800s.

In my 2022 travels this was my December trip. There was lots of water in the Coorong which was beautiful. The big flood waters that fell in NSW and Victoria in November are still yet to reach the Coorong and the Ocean. Maybe another visit in the next month or so to see the lakes in flood is on the cards.

A bit like opposite ends of road touring in Australia. The BMW adventure bike and my friend’s EV.

If you would like to find out more about touring in an EV visit: littlecamperevtravels.blog

Around the Coorong the is much else to see and taste, art, wine, food and music.

Lust for a long lens

I’ve long lusted after a long lens. One of those ones that give beautiful bird photos.

I have finally bitten the bullet and invested of a 75 -300 telephoto lens.

I have to admit as I’m a piecemeal adventurer I’m also a piecemeal photographer and I’m going out on a limb here to share some of my initial photographs with my new lens

Most are really sharp some not as sharp as I would like. It’s certainly different shooting hand held with such a long lens.

In doing my research I learned a new word- Bokeh. This is the blurred background that a long lens gives. I think the next two images give a good example.

The flying tern and resting cormorants are sharp against blurred background.

While my blog has plenty of photographs, I call my style ‘words and pictures’ where I try, using these mediums, to give a sense of what I’m seeing and feeling in the places I visit.

I use Olympus (now OM) cameras and lenses. I found this blog very helpful in choosing and using my new lens; https://robinwong.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-day-at-frasers-hill-with-mzuiko-75.html?m=1

So friends and followers I look forward to adding some long lens elements to my next adventure blogs.

Addendum

It is still cold and blustery in Melbourne for Spring. So took another walk at the Newport Lakes Urban Forest.

It’s wonderful to have this forest and its birdlife so close to the centre of a big city.

The signs of Spring are around.

The Noon Flowers are in full bloom at the salt Marsh in the Jawbone Reserve.

Also the water birds are returning to the mangroves and mudflats to feed and breed. The wet conditions in inland Australia may mean that some birds may not come to the coast but stay in the inland wetland. But it was great to see some arrivals like;

Spoonbills;

Egrets;

White faced herons;

And the old friend that rarely leave, the Australian Pelican. This one was catching a fish. Hunting, priming, then strike. Two attempts for two fish.

There are also beautiful views in and from the reserve.

Another sign of spring is finally here was the nice turn up of Guzzis at the monthly coffee catchup on Saturday.

A collection of bikes at the coffee kiosk in Lygon Street an Italian Hub in Melbourne

While it’s still a battle for Spring to kick winter out the door, it will prevail. Such is the cycle of the seasons. Meanwhile way up north in Queensland. Julia Creek has experienced its hottest ever October day- 43.9c.

When travelling in Europe people ask me – What is the weather like in Australia? I answer – It depends where and when. The above is a good example of why!

Gorge du Verdon a walker and rider’s dream

The Gorge du Verdon in Provence offers spectacular riding and views from the top of the Gorge and walks up the cliff face and through the Gorge.

Unfortunately due to the long drought in Europe the water levels I n the Verdon River were low but the views still spectacular. And the cold water inviting for a soak on a hot day.

Castellane was my base for exploring the Gorge.

The imposing rock at the edge of the town provides a first glimpse down the Gorge.

Point Sublime is about 17km along the Gorge Road from Castellane and is a starting point for a number of Gorge walks and for canyoning.

The short ride to the Point gave a taste of the riding joys to come but first day was hiking.

It’s about a 300 metre decent down into the gorge a 1 km walk.

At the bottom of the gorge the first stop has to be a dip in the river.

The walk along the Gorge floor follows a tracks, sometimes beside the river, sometimes cut into the cliff and sometimes a tunnel through the cliff.

The next day was for exploring the road around the top of the Gorge and ended up doing some storm dodging and chasing but what views!!!

Some have said the Gorge du Verdon is amongst the most beautiful places in Europe. I won’t argue.

It certainly makes a wonderful backdrop for the Mighty Breva.

Dear friends a lot happened between La Rochelle and Castellane. I’m in Tuscany now and a lot has happened since Castellane. Sometimes adventuring gets in the way of blogging. Luckily this is a discontinuous narrative and I can fill in the gaps later.

From Plymouth to Brittany is just a short ferry ride.

The Plymouth Hoe looks over the harbour the original lighthouse standing guard.

I was on my way back to Europe to slowly work my way to Italy for the 100th anniversary celebrations of Moto Guzzi at Mandello del Lario.

The ferry was coming in ready for the trip across to France the next day.

The sun was setting on a month back in England.

And the August full moon rising a true mark of the next phase of this adventure that commenced back in May as I headed to Morocco

It’s about a 7 hour ferry ride to Brittany from Plymouth. The coast of Brittany is just beautiful, the beaches, the rocky outcrops the racing tides of the cold North Atlantic.

I set up my camp at the municipal camp ground near Plouarzel.

And go for a swim in the cold ocean.

It was great to be back by the ocean.

The giant of gulls the Atlantic black backed gull skimming over the water.

And the moods of the cold ocean, clear blue skies one day and sea fog the next.

A schooner ghosts past the offshore islands in the fog.

Italy is a long way east and Brittany is at the western most point of France

So the cool weather meant time to make distance east.