New zealand to thailand photo credits

Trip Start Sep 01, 2007
Trip End Sep 10, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Alaska
Tuesday, November 2, 2010

blenheim, new zealand

yvonne and irene dig in the sand with the masses for the elusive ticket that brings prizes

the grants:  last time we were here, william was as tall as irene.  now he is as tall as jason and still going.

xmas lady:  as a treat for having christmas on the road, we visited this house.   a local lady collects all things christmas and sets up the house for free every year.

on the way out of the bay, on the ferry, we passed this lighthouse.

sydney, australia

jason and irene pose in front of the opera house as the didgeridoo players play in the background

the bridge: they lead $150 trips up this bridge now!  going under it by boat was just fine.

finding nemo:  due to the weather, this display of the great barrier reef is the closest we got to it also.   I guess we just have to come back

this is the closest we came to seeing platypus.   in the sydney aquarium.   did you know, even the platypus has a poisonous barb on his rear ankle?  it seemed all animals in australia have some sort of penchant to kill!

sharks:  and, thankfully, this is the closest we came to sharks.

manly beach:  sydney has a great public transit system that includes the ferries all over.  you can buy a day pass and get out of town easily.  so we did some exploring on nearly every ferry to see the whole of the harbor.   this is manly beach, to the north east of sydney.   everyone is on holidays from school!

caloundra, australia

avoca:  grace, frank and carmel welcome us to their beautiful home in avoca.

this is the big pineapple on the way north

australia has this thing with big plastic statues.  so we took photos of the ones we could.  this is the big prawn on the coastal road north

I think this guy is the macadamia nut dude.

the green flats:  the road stretches in front of us as we head off on a small road to the coastal town of 1770

big roo:  this is a big grey kangaroo, I think.   it was standing in the field as we drove out of agnes water.

1770, australia

our turtle:  k-71518 is an endangered laggerhead sea turtle of 33-37 years of age, here at mon repos to lay her second clutch of eggs for the season.

bagara, australia

bundabergin:  irene and jason get silly at the bundaberg ginger beer factory.   they make real sarsaparilla and ginger beer here.  (not like the ginger ale with artificial flavors!)

the ginger beer factory is shaped like a big barrel.   bundaberg is also famous for the rum that comes out of the area.

tin can bay, australia

ahhhhhhh! these giant pelicans hang out at the pier. they bite too!

feeding the dolphins: irene waits to feed an indo-pacific humpback dolphin

the majestic theatre first opened in 1921. they went back to playing silent films, with an organist in 1987.   we are watching tramp, tramp, tramp here.

pomona, australia
I swear these roos are bombed, they don't even move when you get close.  just before they lay down, they scratch around a bit and then there is a colossal flop and they lay like dogs.

more drugs: these roos are fed so much they just sniff at it and close their eyes

bounce: really I don't want any more food!

camels: someone brought camels here to get to the outback and now there is a whole herd of feral camels in the outback.

cassowary:this crazy bird has big claws on its feet that can take out a man's intestines.

crocaseum: feeding the crocs in steve irwin's croc-a-seum.   crickey!

dingoes:  we saw 3 on the road all together in our whole trip in australia, but this is the only photo I got because they are shy and fast in the wild.

echidna:  the elusive echidna looks like a spiny hedgehog.   we saw a few on our trip but I was not fast enough with the camera

wombats:  we never did see one in the wild, but this is a wombat.  they are the size of a potbelly pig, which is much bigger than I thought.

emu:  oz version of the ostrich

irene feeds the elephants:  get her to the zoo and she turns into a little kid again

kookaburra:  this noisy little bugger cackles early in the morning and then laughs his head off about it.

jason doesn't stand up to the python in this case!

Tasmanian devil:  this was the best shot we could get of him. it just kept running and running around in circles.

crickey:  irene jumps with steve irwin

jason cuddles the croc at the front entrance

coloundra again, australia

the vines and mushrooms compete for space

daniel, pete, jesse, and janna have a picnic lunch with us

ettamoogah pub:  this pub was made to look like a local cartoon.

the glass house mountains loom in the distance

marycairncross park walk: the tall old rainforest is preserved in this area.

pademelon: this blurry photo is all I could get of a red legged pademelon and joey.  someone had spooked it off the trail just as I took the first photo.   anyway, it's like a really small kangaroo.

strangler fig: the vines grow up the trunk of a tree and then gradually choke it.

avoca, australia

big banana: jason tries a chocolate dipped banana at the big banana

nell, carmel's youngest, and the groodle (golden retriever and poodle) named boris hang out with jason

melbourne, australia

flat country:  the fields open up on the way south of sydney to canberra

capital blues:  fountain in the middle of the capital, canberra

crazy parliament building looms at the end of the street.

my rock:  we saw some sheep jumping around like they were playing king of the hill in this area of random stones, south of canberra

a joey gets a quick feed in from mom in kosciosko national park

wild emus walk away in kosciosko.  we ended up seeing 2 more broods of mom with a bunch of babies on our drive

homestead on one of the tracks in kosciosko

irene celebrates the brief break in the rain that poured over night in kosciosko

no standing actually means no parking but this struck us funny.

on the ski lift up kosciosko

this lift is seriously long.   it seems overkill that this place has 55 of them.

these guys take conservation of the vegetation seriously.  this raised track goes most of the way up the mountain.

there are only a few glacial  lakes in all of australia.  this is one of them, near the peak of koscioszko.

on the summit of australia's tallest peak, mt koscioszko

just a small problem with the flies.  but at least they don't bit

tree palms and river in the goldburn forest

dusty little back roads can take you to some great place

same road. sudden waterfall

the yarra ranges house some of the tallest trees in all of australia

poaching the nordic ski area of lake mountain for a campsite

seriously? the car racers check out their ride

really serious: these guys have sponsors and suits and everything

getting tips: in the middle of all of this, our dusty little pregnant roller skate sits like an eyesore next to all these really sparkling souped-up cars.

catch a fish: after the car races, we saw a private trout farm and decided to stop and look.  you can catch these fish in the ponds and then you pay by the kilo for the catch.  no catch and release except for in this junior's pool where irene made a mess trying to catch the hatchlings.

crazy art: in one of the districts of melbourne, an artist has made several items over and in buildings like this

more of the same art over a shop

is that really water?  after a long and grueling journey back to melbourne, I was not surprised when chooka came back to the table with a whole bottle, but it turned out to be water!

sun setting over melbourne

paul and chooka at the media center watching tennis finals on the big screen

back to melbourne, australia

the lighthouse that cost us the ticket is pretty striking on a fine day like this.

wedding photos:  anyone who has seen our wedding photos at the lighthouse in montara knows what I was trying to do here.

real koalas in the wild!    koalas (as well as wombats) have a cartilage butt plate that allows them to sit for hours on end motionless in the strangest of positions.   wombats on the other hand, use theirs to mash the heads of intruders to their dens.

12 apostles rock formations off the coast of southern australia

another 2 apostles looking the other direction at the remaining apostles’ rock formation.

what’s in there? irene checks out the tide pools on a beach near queenscliff

the beach near queenscliff is nice and flat and solid for good walking

errghh!  I really don't want to drive or do anything anymore today@!

ok we’ll stay here then.  the beach at rye, after taking the ferry across to mornington peninsula was a treasure

the red hot center at alice springs, australia

typical desert landscape:  these are the trails that transect the Ayers rock resort. the red soil gets into and onto everything, not unlike the red soil of hawaiian lava or utah

big grasshopper:  just one of the local inhabitants of the Resort

large preying mantis:  another inhabitant of the resort

This is our first up close view of the "Rock". It is quite impressive to see such a large object rising out of the very flat dessert.

no comment just look at the picture.

side view of rock:  from a distance, it looks like it would be smooth.  but up close Uluru has many facets and formations and the walk around the base offers a different view every few minutes.

Uluru sunset:  the start of the sunset

proof we were there:  like so many of our photos in the iconic areas, they almost look photo shopped.   this is during the sunset

final light on Uluru:  unfortunately a distant rain storm blocked the low angle rays that make the real red of Uluru pop.  however, just after that a deep purple arrives and the sky fades away

sunrise at Uluru:  Yes, we got up at 5 in the morning for this

first view of kata tjuta:  kata tjuta is another monolithic rock area of importance nearby.

closer view of kata:  it appears to have more to it.

hiking within kata tjuta: the valley of the winds walk heads right into a box canyon and then pops out at this slot to the center of the formation.

other kata tjuta hiking trails: this is the walpa gorge which heads back into the slot to a small oasis area.

outback ambulance: Even the ambulances in the out back need to be rugged. Notice the heavy duty 4x4 tires and snorkel for crossing deep water.

the outback looks alot like arizona
the shear walls of kings’ canyon: watarrka national park holds kings canyon which was formed from ancient sand dunes.  here you can see where some of the more recent areas of the wall have been exposed during rock slides about 60 years ago in the white section.

the garden of eden, king’s canyon: after walking along the rim, you descend into the canyon to the garden of eden, which it resembles well. if you can stand the flies and heat long enough to sit still, the sounds of nature are amazing.

king’s canyon crack: these cracks can be seen from airplanes they say.

irene checking out the garden of eden: standing in the shade for a moment of coolness you can hear birds and frogs calling.   I think that might be a cycad plant just behind me.  if so, this size would be about 3-400 years old.

outback driving scenery: the drives can be seriously llllooooonnnnnnggg here.

outback camping: ormiston gorge in the western mcdonnell ranges is a little haven.   we had this all to ourselves and it had flush toilets and showers.   in the middle of the night, we heard dingoes calling to each other about 10 meters away from the tent

ormiston gorge: this is one of the coveted permanent water holes in the area.   plenty of birds and dragonflies but we didn't see any rock wallabies.   again, it was because we started at 11 am in the heat of the day.

irene admiring the oasis of ormiston gorge: we had a great time in the red center because so much of the time, we had hikes all to ourselves and we could really enjoy the beauty and wonder of such an ancient place.

outback honey: this is called a sugarbag by the local aboriginals.   honey was a source of water/liquids as well as sweetness.

grub in hand, bush tucker: this is a witchity grub.  yes, that huge thing is a live larvae of a moth.   it is a good source of protein and fat because the larva is working up to getting into a cocoon.    they are found in the root system of a specific tree in the area.   aboriginals eat them both raw and cooked.   (andean people eat something like this too but I never found it).  things with lots of fat and protein are treasured in an area where you are burning up lots of energy.

enough for everyone:  the grub puffs up and gets bigger in the ashes of the fire.  it only takes a minute or two in the coals.

yummy: we were on a tour with a bunch of sensible people so we were the only ones who would try it.  you can see irene trying to convince herself.   but after saying we would and with such a crowd around, we had to go through with it.

more yummy: while jason chews the entire half of his grub, I prolonged it by biting off a bit first to make sure I would be able to handle it. because it was cooked, it wasn't so bad.

roo tail yummy: the kangaroo meat goes to all the high priced hotels and restaurants.  however, you can find roo tail everywhere.   this tail was cooked traditional style in the ground next to the coals.   the guide is cutting it open for us.   
note also the bowl, which is hand carved with burn etchings.

peggy nakamara painting:  after roo tail and grubs, we got to some local artists.   peggy nakamara holds the painting that we bought from her.

irene trying a non returning boomerang; used to knock an animal off its footing or wound it.

jason throwing the boomerang.  jason was the only one to actually hit the target.  such a good provider

the royal flying doctors service:  the center in alice holds a great museum.  irene's mom was going to come here to work as a nurse in the 1960's but chose america instead.

every now and then a road train will come by, which is a tractor trailer with 3-4 full trailers in tow.   you can see them weaving along, it is terrifying.

darwin, australia

completely different landscape:  the north of australia in darwin is different again.  now, in the wet season, it is all very lush too.

estuarine croc coming by

jumping crocs. holy mackerel!  that is a real, wild croc.  don't lean over and fall in

the water crossing at magala:  yes, there are crocs in this water crossing
don't get stuck or at least don't be the first one out of the truck if you do.

where’s the road? traveling through the swamp

kakadu national park lookout from ubirr

rock art:  this is the main art gallery at ubirr thought to be in a kitchen of sorts as most of the work depicts food.   

there are also 2 silhouettes of men with pipe in mouth and shoes on.

a closer view of the same

rock art:  here you can see some of the detail of the fish

another kakadu lookout:  I wonder if they know they are standing on an overhang?   
near anbangbang billabong

at least 20,000 years old:  dynamic rock art of the southern portion of the park.

 motor car falls

we’re taking a dip in non croc water:  boulder creek. a refreshing dip

jason checks out an enormous termite mound:  termites make a mound this size that has a network of tunnels underground at least this size again.   they move into the mound during the wet season to avoid the floods.

great aboriginal art:  this art work is about 3 feet by 4 feet or so all done in the traditional style of the northern aboriginal tribes.  it used to be done with sticks dipped into ochres.   this particular artist was working on a piece out in front of this gallery

bali, indonesia 

looking down the walkway towards our room in our little slice of paradise in kuta, bali

the shrine at our resort in kuta was decorated and attended to twice daily

the pool:  for the same price as a tent site.....hmmm

barong dance:  the monkey dancers come out to interact with the tiger during the barong dance.  (this one is the show, not the sacred one I referred to in the story

lady dancers:  our first glimpse of southeast asian style dancers

detail of a hand carved wood door in the ubud area

 I think this is mount batur in the kintamani region.

jason’s first love:  inside the sri batu spice garden, jason finds a cocoa bean.  a chocolate lover's holy grail.   they make hot chocolate right there for you as well.

local pineapple:  this is what the original pineapples of this island looked like

making batik:  the fancy batik fabrics we buy at home in the import shops are made by hand here by drawing designs with wax, dipping the material in the desired color and then boiling the fabric to rid it of wax.  multi colored pieces go through this process for each color.

guarding the sebatu holy spring water temple

just one part of the spring water temple.

statue bali:  many of the intersections around town in kuta have statues like this one.   this one depicts a story of a man fighting a snake; he is later helped by god to overcome his struggles.

spirit house:  on one island we were told that these small ornate structures were inside of each family's shrine to house the statues that came visiting.  on another island we were told they were spirit houses so that the spirits feel comfortable and don't enter the home.   still another told us that each house has 3: one for the builder, one for the women and one for the men.   either way, they are a common site and very pretty.  
the bamboo stalk in the front was also a common decoration that I understand to be changed around half yearly.  
this photo was taken in padang bai

cock fights?  they are plenty proud of their roosters here.   but they don't get to strut around freely in padang bai

statue of barong, the tiger, at our hotel in padang bai

garuda:  I think this statue is supposed to be visnu riding on the back of the eagle, garuda.  but anyway, it was the statue on our hotel in padang bai

infinity pool:  padang bai on the island of bali has some pretty swanky places to stay.   we liked this pool alot

banyuwangi, indonesia

snake fruit:  these things are awesome.   the skin looks like a snake.  you peel it back and find several cloves, like garlic.   but it tastes like apple, sort of.   and they are very filling.   perfect for a 24 hour bus ride

overtaking:  yes, we are in the front seat of this bus, on the left side.  the driver is in the middle of the road, on a bridge, trying to pass a car with oncoming traffic.   he did not give way, and the three vehicles somehow passed all on the bridge at once, without a scrape.

asian chicken bus:  the ordinary service to the village is on a small bus that is in poor upkeep.  it makes the chicken bus of guatemala look like a rock star transportation service

bike tuktuk:  that's me looking out the back at jason.   we would have never gotten into separate "taxis" early in our trip.  we must be getting used to it.

or maybe we are just way too tired to care.   just take us to this hotel and don't try to talk to me about anything.

Borobudur, indonesia

i’d like the chicken the whole chicken, please, with the head, the beak, the comb still on it please.  dinner at the hotel in Borobudur

rice paddies:  the classic photo on the side of the road in Borobudur

one of the complete buddahs, in the lotus position of sitting and the hand position of blessing

detail of a relief carving of the life of the Buddha

stuppas:  7th layer of the temple where the stuppas and rounded edges start.  inside of each stuppa is a Buddha in the lotus sitting with hand position of justice.  it is said if you can reach the Buddha to touch it, you will achieve nirvana.

close up of the Buddha inside the stuppa

uncovered Buddha:  when the dutch restored the temple, they left one Buddha on the circular top rows uncovered for people to see.   behind you can see the next level of stuppas with square openings and the final, closed stuppa, representing perfection.

a photo of us at the top of the temple overlooking the countryside in the background

yogyakarta, indonesia

katrina’s shot:  katrina, this one is for you.  the squat toilet is better than it sounds.   you have a bowl like this one, which has the place for you feet.  this makes it so that you don't get any splashes or splatters.  and then you use the water bucket to flush it down.   no worries about sitting on a yucky seat, cleaning it off or trying to hover over a real toilet.  and no worries about whether the flush mechanism will work.   it also explains why we occasionally find a set of shoe prints on toilet seats at home...

candi sari:  a small Buddhist temple on the way to prambanan, also built in the 8th century.

prambanan:  a hindu temple built at the same time as Borobudur shows that the two religions competed in temple building, but existed side by side otherwise.   this is the center of the previous java kingdom and the area itself has more than 150 temples.     the main temple complex, photographed here, consists of 3 concentric squares.   in 1006, there was a natural disaster which killed many here and at Borobudur, and toppled the outer wall.   the siva (shiva) temple was restored and reinforced in the 1980's.   in 2006 when another natural disaster occurred, the temples were badly damaged and remain unstable.  you can now only get this close.  though renovations have begun, the lasting instability has slowed progress.

kids looking at tourists:  these kids had never seen tourists before.  they come from a town some 500km from the temple.   they were passing us by in silent stares when finally one of them asked our guide if they could take a photo.   we said yes and suddenly kids were running from in front and behind us to take a photo with us.   it was like being on the red carpet.  so after a minute or so, we said that everyone had to get in together for a shot with our camera.   a great cheer went up and they all piled in.   it was an interesting experience.

leather puppets:  these puppets are carved by hand over the course of 2 weeks out of rawhide.  then they are painted by hand with cat whisker brushes to amazing detail.  the silhouette they make can be seen through the screen.  or the color side from behind it.

finished puppet of the tree of life

puppet show from the back:  you can see the musicians in the foreground and the puppet master putting up his selections.

this is what the show looks like from the audience.  but you can get up and walk around to the back and see the colored side and the musicians during the show if you want.

painting mafia:  greed, not language, was the barrier here.    this man posed as this painting's artist at an "art show" for the relief of the earthquake victims in sumatra in order to clench the deal.   the salesman spoke english very well, so we know he didn't just "misunderstand" our request to meet the artist.   the painting is an original and real batik.   just not painted by this guy, nor anyone in this shop.   nor were they collecting for the earthquake victims.    these guys go to the government batik painting school and buy all the paintings for cheap and then quadruple the price.  they then copy the school signage and pay touts to bring you to them, thereby undercutting the school itself.

ramayana ballet:  these are the main characters of the ramayana ballet that we went to see by the sultan's palace in yogy

tuktuk:  waiting for fares in the heat can be exhausting business.   as can biking large american tourists around!  this was not an unusual site to see around the town of yogy

jakarta, indonesia

ingenious kids:  kids siphoning gas out of the cargo train at a stop.

train snack:  this cheap train snack comes wrapped in a banana leaf with a spoon and all the "fixins" inside.  
the noodles can be lethally spicy


a room with a view is not possible on our budget in singapore.   this is what we get for double what we paid in bali for the resort.   unbelievable how it can change just a few short hours away.

death certificate:  just in case you didn't read the guide book or the signs on immigration, you get a card in your passport to remind you not to traffic drugs in singapore.  you can't claim you didn't know or that you are a tourist here.

we didn't stay long in singapore as it was so expensive for us.  with money, it looks and feels like a comfortable place to visit or even live.

kuala lampur, malaysia

kuala lampur: as seen from the communications tower

the communications tower: as seen from the ground, walking around town

the towers:  the skyline in the evening time

the building of the mosque really is magnificent

national mosque: irene learns from the host at the national mosque

wearing the robe:  the purple robes are striking amidst the pillars in the front part of the mosque

us at the mosque:  here we are, robe on, at the mosque

fashions? we saw this kind of style alot, starting in australia.    in malaysia, it really stands out against the backdrop of so many women in head scarves.   this example was at the airport

phuket, thailand

flower petals arranged in a bowl in front of a shrine

the phuket area has many, many little islands.  some have great dive sites off of them.   this one we encountered on our phi phi overnight dive trip

this is where the movie the beach was filmed.

a traditional longtail boat rests at the beach on phi phi island

the big Buddha looms in the distance over the island of phuket as we approach

karon beach: this is the beach just a walk away from our place in phuket

vendor: a typical street in phuket.   notice the vendor on the foreground.  like many, she is carrying a heavy load around town.   this particular lady had a whole bbq with hot coals on which to cook the food in the other basket.

chumphon, thailand

insolent bastard: Thai monkeys can be very cheeky.   Our friend bob boyd sent us this photo.   We met him on a dive trip to Ko Phi Phi in Thailand.   He was a hoot. (the guy that said riding a one hump camel is like riding a dog house through an earthquake).   The story of the monkey stealing his freshly opened ice cold water was no different.    He finally just gave in and opened it for him.  The monkey drank the whole thing, just like this.

bangkok, thailand

amy and kip:  kip was still in town when we first arrived so we all went out to korean bbq.

hi amy! it is so great to see amy after so many years!

me and jason:  look, we are well rested!! after several days of lazing around

unc vs duke:  before we left for northern thailand, we got to spend some time with kip and amy's friends to watch the duke and unc game. amy is a duke fan and kip is a unc fan

chiang mai, thailand

foot massage:  this massive massage area was in the night market in chiang mai

big ears:  these ladies live on the "cultural reservation" with the karen tribe.  the women have big grommets of silver or gold in their ears to show wealth.

karen scarf:  though it seemed a little weird to go to a reservation of sorts, I have always wanted to meet one of these women in person.    their loomwork is really pretty and I love to buy direct from the person making the item.

village life:  a view of the village's rice fields from the upper portion

into the jungle:  irene disappears into the grass of the jungle

rustic:  we pulled up into a "rustic village" and found a satellite dish out front.  too funny

Hmong village:  top view of the Hmong village we stayed in the first night.

the dorm or common room for all of us to sleep in

bamboo deck:  the deck outside the common room.   the whole structure is made of bamboo

our ride on the elephant

petting the elephant after our ride

irene gets a back thumping in the waterfall on our hike

our hiking group minus jason who is taking the photo

black lahu house:  this is the village we stayed in on the second night, also bamboo.

bee charmers:  the honey comb and honey freshly collected

jason takes a dip:  jason catches his breath in the cold spring water

the wild banana that grows all around here is only used for the elephants as they have too many seeds for practical human consumption.  the flower of the tree, shown here, is cooked and eaten.

on fire:  still flaming burn patches along the trail

jason inspects the fire:  yes, it is safe to walk through here, he says

the bee larvae from the honey comb collection prepared for eating.

girls perform:  the children of the village went and dressed up in their finery to sing to us.   this is a good example of typical female black lahu dress.

luana and nabo:  luana, one of the girls on the trek,  cuddles with a young girl from the village.  I think her name was nabo but I am not sure.

crammed in a truck:  on the way back to town we all crammed in the back of this truck

doi suttep:  the stuppa at the center of doi suttep in chiang mai is covered in real gold.

in front of the stuppa:  the day was brilliant and clear making the stuppa and the surrounding temple area dazzlingly bright.

more from below the stuppa

inside with people giving alms and praying with the monks and buddahs

chiang mai as seen from the height of the complex of doi suttep

stairs:  a view of the stairs up to the temple from the bottom.

namaste:  even ronald gets into it

takraw:  this game is like hacky sac and basketball combined.  they kick or elbow the ball to get it into the basket.

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