Not Travelling in the time of Coronavirus- Melbourne lock down clips my wings

Not Travelling in the time of Coronavirus- Melbourne lock down clips my wings

The second Melbourne, Australia lock down has just been implemented

After being in and out of lock downs in Spain and England and quarantine in a Melbourne Hotel, this second lockdown in Melbourne has finally anchored me.

 

Famous landmarks of the usually bustling city cast with an almost ghostly quietness

Even the usually bustling Victoria Market with its colourful displays of produce, like the life has been sucked out of its ancient stalls and sheds

 

No queuing four deep at my favourite stall

Chance meeting with someone I hadn’t seen for a while

Little is left to chance in the time of coronavirus

At the eastern end of the city

The Monuments, the Shrine of Remembrance  and the Old Observatory along with Gardens and the floral clock stand alone

 

In the lanes and alleyways of the inner city

Usually vibrant

The graffiti almost mocks the quiet desolation

 

The next 6 weeks (the length of this lockdown) will be a time and thought of what has been and what will be.

Something different to share over the coming weeks.

Travelling in the time of Coronavirus-the last ferry from Santander

Travelling in the time of Coronavirus-the last ferry from Santander

It was the last passenger ferry from Spain to the UK steaming into Santander

A small group of motorbikes

And lines of cars and campervans waiting for the exodus.

Like a mini Dunkirk escaping an invisable enemy

It was a different crossing to the previous I have had

No promenading the decks as all passengers were confined to their cabins

Running on the spot to exercise on the 24 hour crossing

Back in England

A walk along the beach in Rye Harbour

Through the marsh to gather my thoughts.

Tonight the UK has gone into lockdown.

Things change quickly in a pandemic.

Travelling in the time of Coronavirus-the Spanish lockdown

Travelling in the time of Coronavirus-the Spanish lockdown

I arrived in Jerez de la Frontera the day the Moroccan Govt closed the border with Spain

That was the end of the Morocco trip

I had booked into the alburgue in Jerez. I extended my booking a couple of days so I could think of the next move

In Jerez some sherry tasting a must

No tasting for this adventurer

I guess it was a sign of what was to come.

So I had to console myself with some garlic prawns and red wine

The was hardly any activity in the Square. Some locals and a few tourists, from the USA and UK by the accent

The cafe owners strangely subdued. Maybe they new something was about to happen

Maybe the lost income from the covid19 pandemic was weighing heavily on them

That Saturday night the lockdown was proclaimed for 15 days

Everything to shut except food stores, pharmacies and petrol station.

Stay indoors

The streets of Jerez totally deserted on Sunday mid day

Initally I had thought Id sit out the lockdown in Jerez.

Sunday all seemed OK. A long term rate could be negotiated. Fix it up Monday morning

It was warm in Jerez, the alburgue was modern big grounds to exercise in and a pool. Perfect place to sit out the lockdown

Monday morning all had changed. Tuesday I had to be out.

Thinks change quickly during a pandemic!

Sunday France had declared a lockdown so travelling back through France was off the cards

Frantic work on the phone.

Booked a ferry spot from Santander to Portsmouth the next Saturday.

All the hotels were shut. Where to stay.

Thank you to the good hearted souls who have given me shelter via airbnb

It was a cold ride from Jerez to Valladolid where Im currently staying locked down

It had snowed the night before on the skifields south of Salamanca. But the sun was out

I pulled into a parking bay. Pulled out my little burner and made a coffee and had a snack of cheese, olives and manderine

And though Spain is beautiful even in the time of a lockdown

At 10pm at night in Jerez, in Valladolid and across Spain. People clap and cheer in appreciation of the health workers.

Cause they are on the front line of the pandemic

The Spanish are beautiful people

Flag etiquette and Respect on Australia Day

Flag etiquette and Respect on Australia Day

Flags at Hobsons Bay Yacht Club

Flags are the traditional way of ship comminication

The flags tell a message of respect.

The club burgee at top of the mast says the ship is from Hobsons Bay Yacht Club

The Australian flag from the back stay identifies an Australian ship

The courtesy flag is a sign of respect to the country you are in.

The flying of the aboriginal flag from the cross trees says we are in aboriginal country.

Three flags can give a simple but true message.

Overwhelming beauty of nature

Overwhelming beauty of nature

Did you go to the Guggenheim in Bilbao?

And I had

The huge construction of of shiny titanium with its labyrinthine galleries

The best of humanities construction

And the oohing and aahing ensued

But only 80km away was the Picos de Europa

Vast canyons of granite

Ribbons of gorges

Crystalline glaciers

Shaped by the earth itself by nature the great creator.

I saw the Cathedral in Santiago de Compestella

With its imposing edifice

Its halls and alters adorned with gold and silver

The faithfuls tribute to God above

To his heavenly powers

But north of Santiago de Compestella

On the coast is the Praia das Catedrais

The marble buttresses carved by the sea and the wind

The halls and caves rich in the colors of nature, the sheen of the rock the soft green of the moss

Natures gift to us to treasure and enjoy

I find I have my faith now in nature

In the earth

Not in a belief, a god, a spirit, an omnipotent by non existent creation of a prophets mind

But in the earth and the land that we too often take for granted

The earth and the land that gives life

I met an Aboriginal Elder in Cape York – Willie Gordon

From the Guugu Yimithirr tribe

His descriptions of the relationship between the Aboriginal Australians and the land shifted my understanding of the land and nature

The life giving force of nature and the land

For we are of the land and at its end we return to the land

Reflecting on Ireland and the Irish

Reflecting on Ireland and the Irish

May the road rise up to meet you

May the wind blow always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

And the rains fall soft upon your fields

Until we meet again

So goes the old Irish Blessing.

Glendalough

Ireland, the soft green place of damp air, great learning, amazing friendliness and intense struggle

Monument to Irish immigrants

The Irish diaspora spread all around the world

The contrasts of Ireland so stark

From the halls of Trinity College

To the murals that are are a record of the troubles found in Derry

And of course the contrast is an actual divide

The north and the south, the Republic and the British

Can this divide be overcome?

People of good will can achieve anything

Peace statue Derry

And on the border of Derry and Donegal bikers from both of the border come together to raise funds for a lifeboat in a little village in the Republic

Brittany – Last stops on the continent for 2018

Brittany – Last stops on the continent for 2018

Jutting out into the Atlantic

Brittany has much in common with the Celtic cousins in Cornwall and Ireland

The quaint seaside ports also along the coastline

Reflecting the Brittany’s place as Frances finisterre (lands end)

Brest it’s major city

With its ancient citadel apon the hill

A long maritime history

And beautiful beaches

Ahhh Switzerland

Ahhh Switzerland

What is it about Switzerland that takes my breath away

The amazing vistas across the lakes

Amazing mountain passes like the old San Gotthard pass with its cobblestone surface

And party atmosphere at the top

Or village of Gletch where the Furka, Grimsel and Nufenen passes all converge

Maybe it’s the white Glacier topped mountains

Or is is the amazing biker culture that see riders of all types out enjoying the Alps

The goulash soup at the resturaunt at the top of Nufenen pass comes close

But maybe it’s the subtle heartfelt welcome that is so Swiss that makes one say ahhh

Sud Tyrol

Sud Tyrol

The rich sediments

The rich culture washed down

From the high alps

On Sud Tyrol

Looking back to the Stelvio Pass on Sud Tyrol

A high plateau

Sitting between the Alps of Switzerland, Italy and Austria

Rich agricultural land

Its part of Italy

The main language in German

The houses look as is transplanted from Switzerland

And of course through it is the Reschen passage

Into the Pyrenees – 1 – Cauterets, the Pont d’ Espagna, and the World Cup win

Into the Pyrenees – 1 – Cauterets, the Pont d’ Espagna, and the World Cup win

France wins and Cauterets celebrates

In a quite valley

In the Pyrenees

A few sort miles from Spain

Over the Pont d’ Espagna

Cascading

Water

Bringing joy and beauty

On the bridge to Spain

In the Haute Pyrenees

And in bars in Cauterets the faithful watch the world cup being won

And the Gendarme too sounded the victory siren

In Cauterets when France won the World Cup.