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This is all we took on this
I went to Australia to attend the International Carboniferous
Congress-Permian in Perth (www.iccp2011.org)
with two of my daughters. Afterwards, I
traveled through Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand alone. The
composed of my daily journal entries and photographs taken during the trip
(please excuse the tedious and poorly-written nature of the journal). Or
you may rather go
through my thumbnail catalog (pages A, B,
27 June 2011, Monday
We were all packed by 1:30 pm. Jaqi Carfagno picked us up at 2 pm and
took pictures of us on the porch.
She drove us to the Bluegrass airport and
dropped us off. We went through check-in and security. Then we went to
DeSha's cafe where we played cards and drank iced tea. Nora and Mary
ordered bruschetta with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil and Mary also
had a tomato-basil soup. At 4:20 we went to the gate area. Mary and I
worked on our journals and Nora read.
Our plane left at 5:20. It was
about a 2-hour flight to Dallas-Ft. Worth airport. We made our way to
terminal C where our next flight leaves. The temperatures is 100
degrees F here.
We ate at a food court. Mary and I had BBQ and Nora had
chicken nuggets and fries. I was next in line to a very big fellow who
I assumed was an athlete. A lady came up to me and asked me to take a
picture of her and the fellow. I took the photo and later she told me
he was Chris Wilbur. I said "all right." I don't have a clue who he is.
When we got back to the gate, we found that our departure gate had
changed and was in another terminal. We got back on the Skytrain and
went to Terminal A and our new gate.
We took off at 8:50 pm and arrived
at Los Angeles about 10:00 pm. We took a shuttle to the International
terminal to catch our Qantas flight to Sydney. We boarded the plane to
Sydney about 11:15 pm. The plane was completely full and a large number
of high schoolers (People to People) came on board as well. We were
never able to get seats that we wanted, they were assigned by the
airline. We were in the middle aisle; I sat between strangers and the
girls sat in one row in front of me. The Australian fellow next to me
was very nice. I told him where I was from and the conference that I
going to. He was a consulting coal-mining engineer and had been to
Lexington. Two young Australian girls sat next to me on the other side.
28 June 2011, Tuesday
For dinner, I was served broiled mahi-mahi, salad, bread, cheese and a
nice Australian shiraz. I watched the movie "Adjustment Bureau." It was
difficult to hear the dialogue over the engine noise. I didn't care for
the characters at all. I also watched the movie "Cedar Rapids" which
wasn't any good either.
I was sandwiched in on all sides and pretty
uncomfortable. It's a 14-hour flight, unfortunately. I tried sleeping
but it was not possible. There was just no room to stretch my legs. We
passed the International Dateline and it became Wednesday.
29 June 2011, Wednesday
After many cramped hours, I decided to watch another movie, The Way
Back (Wikipedia link). It was a
movie and a story (said to be true in the credits) about political prisoners in prison camp in
Siberia in the 1940's. Several men escaped in the winter blizzard and
walked across Siberia, Mongolia, China, Tibet, the Himalayas, to India.
Only three made it to India, several dying along the way. I enjoyed the
movie and would watch it again (when I could hear it better). About
5:30 am, we were served breakfast. I had a hot breakfast of scrambled
eggs, link sausage, mushrooms, muffin and yogurt and coffee.
in Sydney a
little after 7 am. We went through passport control and
customs and then found our shuttle bus. We didn't have any checked
luggage; the girls followed my advice and just took packs and field
bags. We got out a half hour at least before the others. We took the
shuttle to the Travelodge Hotel on Wentworth. We got there about 9 AM
but could not check in till 2 PM. Our Australian travel agent failed to
take this into consideration. We had to put our luggage in storage.
we headed out to Circular Quay (quay pronounced "kee" here). We walked
through the beautiful Hyde Park and the girls took lots of photographs.
Then we came upon the Royal Botanical Gardens and the girls liked this
even better. We will come back here.
Cook statue, sign
for statue, circular graphic fountain,
Diana, large church,
in fountain, Nora and Mary
in front of fountain
same bird, ibis on path, on grass, another ibis, myna on flower spike, another view
- old barracks,
Hyde Park, old building,
brass hog, statue
We went to Circular Quay and ate
outside the Guylian Cafe, a European chocolate company. We all ordered
cappacino and Mary ordered quiche lorraine and Nora had a lox-cream
cheese-spinach-caper sandwich. We all caught up in our journals in
this pleasant environment. Everyone is wearing winter clothing (it is
winter here), but the temperature, to us, is shirt-sleeve weather. Very
After out break, we walked to the Opera House and took
photos. We then walked around Circular Quay. We relaxed awhile on a
At 2 pm we boarded a Captain Cook Cruise called a "Coffee
Cruise." We went to a table in the covered part of the upper deck. The
wind has picked up, the sky is cloudy and the air is much cooler. The
large number of people who are outside will be cold. We toured around
the harbor for 2-3 hours. A lady described the sites and history
through the PA system. When we got to the mouth of the harbor, we were
served tea or coffee and various tea cakes. It rained some.
We got back
to the jetty and walked back to the hotel in the light rain. It was
dark by the time we got to the hotel. We checked in and went to our
room. This is very much a student hotel largely used by students,
backpackers and those on inexpensive tours. We have a small room with
three small beds and a microwave, and small refrigerator. We were too
tired to go out to eat, so we found a small grocery and bought ramen
noodles. We ate in our room and watched TV. We were all asleep by 7:30
30 June 2011, Thursday
I got up at 6 and took a shower. I went to the breakfast buffet (not
included) and had scrambled eggs, link sausage, bacon (ham), croissant,
and potato nuggets and coffee. The area was filled with middle school
students from different groups. The girls got up, had tea and we waited
in the lobby for our "Panorama Sydney Sights" tour.
Our bus picked us
up at 8. Our driver was Mel (Melanie). A French lady and a family of
Danes accompanied us. It was a nice tour and everyone was very
We stopped at Bondi Beach and had a coffee.
We got back to our hotel by
noon. At the hotel, we filled out our journals and I reconfirmed our
reservations for tomorrow's tour.
- rocky shore
(Permo-Triassic sandstone), Mary
at sea wall, another view,
the girls on the
rocks, another view,
with steps, trough
and the carved steps, lady
and Sydney Harbour Bridge, carved
sign for Mrs. Macquarie's Road, path along sandstone outcrops
- distant view of Sydney
view, rocky point
at mouth of harbor, cliff
at point, another view,
the sandstone, another view of rocky
at rocky point
at Bondi Beach, the beach,
video of beach (Youtube), the other end, surfers, coffee at the beach, shops, statue of surf rescuer
We then walked a few blocks to the
Australian Museum. We saw exhibits on Indigenous Australia, a special
exhibit on tropical birds, exhibits about skeletons, minerals, fossils,
dinosaurs, birds, insects, etc.
After we finished the museum, the girls
were hungry, so we walked to Chinatown and went to a Korean restaurant.
We each ordered a sizzling platter and shared our food. It was a good
meal. I ordered chicken with kimchee, Mary ordered chicken with veggies
and soy sauce and Nora ordered chicken with chili.
When we left about 5
pm, it was dark and the pavement was wet. We walked back to the hotel.
We got to our room about 5:30, but it felt like 10:30. I worked on my
journal and had a VB beer while the girls read. Everybody ended up
falling asleep by 7:30.
1 July 2011, Friday
I woke up about 3 am, but stayed in bed till 6:30. I got up, took a
shower and went down to breakfast. I had the same thing as yesterday.
After breakfast, I read the paper in the lobby. By the time I got back
up to the room, the girls were up.
We walked to the New South Wales Art
Gallery, but it wasn't open till 10, more than an hour away. We went to
the little kiosk cafe across the street and the girls ordered something
to eat and two cappacinos. After they finished, we walked through more
of the botanical gardens. This must be one of the best botanical
gardens in the world. The girls took lots of photos. We also saw
hundreds of flying foxes, the Succulent Garden and lots of very
interesting plants. We saw again the Masked Plover (aka Masked Lapwing,
that we saw yesterday with its chicks. These plovers have a sharp
spine on each wing that they can use to jab someone. We spent most of
the morning here and missed our chance for the art museum.
walked to the Opal Museum. They have on display lots of opalized
fossils of dinosaurs, plesiosaurs and other fossils. Their opals were
too expensive for us though. Mary happened to meet one of her old
friends here. The friend was with a student tour group and is staying at our
hotel. They will do something together later tonight. We walked back to
the hotel to get ready for our next tour.
At 1 pm, we walked through
Chinatown to Darling Harbour to meet our tour bus. There were 4 or 5
ladies from Australia and a couple from New Zealand also on the tour.
We drove across the Harbour Bridge and toured the neighborhoods up to
Manly Beach. At Manly Beach, we got out and walked around a bit. It was
raining lightly. After 45 minutes, we got back on the bus and headed
back to the south side of Sydney. It was rush-hour traffic and took
awhile, but the driver-tour guide dropped us off at our hotel.
- Rainbow Lorikeet,
yet another view
- the girls at
- flying fox,
another one, sleeping, tree full of flying
closer, another tree full, video of flying foxes (Youtube), yet more, more bats in a tree
- large, white
Blood Tree, sign
for the tree, tree fern,
Rough Tree Fern, sign
for another tree fern, stand
of tree ferns, tree fern
of trunk, sign
for Grass Tree, Grass Tree,
several Grass Trees,
another large orb weaver,
I went to a Rajasthani restaurant called "Jaipur." Nora ordered Chicken
Biryani and I had Lamb Vindaloo, plus garlic nan. We both liked our
meals. By the time we got back, Mary met with Kate and her friends and
they went out to eat. She got back around midnight. They fed the
possums at Hyde Park.
2 July 2011, Saturday
I woke up about 4 am, but I didn't get up till 7.
I took a shower and then went down for breakfast. Their menu doesn't
change, so I had the same as before. I did have toast and Vegemite
(Wikipedia entry) too.
After I finished, Nora came down for breakfast and I joined her. We
went back to the room and packed. We leave this evening for Perth but
we have to check out at 11 am. We put our packs in storage and walked
down to the Rocks.
We found the Saturday Open Market at the Rocks and looked at all
the crafts and food stalls. I stopped at the Lowenbrau restaurant and
had two beers, a Stiegel and a Spaten. When the girls were through
shopping, we walk to the New South Wales Art Gallery. We spent our time
in the 15th-19th century part. After the art gallery, we walked back to
the hotel and waited for our shuttle to the airport.
arrived and took us to the airport. The driver was from Beograd in the
former Yugoslavia. We checked in at Virgin Blue airlines, went through
security and waited for our plane. We boarded the plane at 5 pm and the
three of us sat together. A mother and two young children sat behind
us. After the plane took off the young toddler started kicking our
seats and screaming. The mother never did anything to try to control
child, and the kicking and screaming continued for more than four
The other passengers were put off as well. There were no empty seats to
move to. This was one of the worst flights I was ever on. Things didn't
get much better either.
We landed at Perth,
were in the baggage claim area
by 9 pm. We got a taxi to take us to the Kings Park Motel (in the
Subiaco suburb of Perth) which was in
walking distance to our conference. I paid the taxi driver 30
Australian dollars and rang the bell for the receptionist. The nice
husband and wife owners came out and welcomed us. They told us that
there was a problem with our suite. A pipe had burst and the room was
unusable. And they had no other rooms. By now, it was 10 pm. They told
us that they had booked us a residence apartment some miles away (not
within walking distance of the university). The husband drove us and
our luggage to the new place. We are to check in tomorrow, but can take
the apartment now. There are two bedrooms and a common area with small
kitchen. There is a washer and dryer too, which should come in handy. I
have no idea where we are though. The girls took showers/baths and I
filled out my journal. We haven't eaten since breakfast and there
doesn't appear to be any restaurants in the area. We are two time zones
away from Sydney, so it is 12:30 am Sydney time as I write this.
3 July 2011, Sunday
I got up at 6:30 am and took a shower. I also had a cup of
coffee. Nora got up shortly after and took a shower. I walked to the
reception area. We are staying at the Darby Park Serviced Residences. I
talked to the lady there and checked in. We're in the Subiaco suburb of
Perth. Lynne at Kings Park Motel will pick us up tonight at 4:30 to
take us to our conference registration. They will also pick us up at 8 am
next Sunday to our field trip group. I haven't figured out what to do
about the rest of the week though.
We walked around the neighborhood. There are lots of trendy shops,
stores, coffee houses and restaurants. We went to a Coles grocery store
and bought food items for the week. We went back to the rooms and
snacked a bit. I had granola (muesli) and filled out my journal. Then I
talked to the receptionist and found out where the closest bus stop was and
which bus to take to campus. The buses only run every hour on Sunday
and I had just missed it. I walked to a package store and bought four
varieties of local beer and a bottle of cabernet for the apartment and
carried them back.
At 4:30, we went to the reception area and Bruce (the co-owner of Kings
Park Motel) picked us up and drove us to the Icebreaker and
Registration at the University of Western Australia. [This conference was the International Carboniferous
Congress-Permian in Perth (www.iccp2011.org).] I met up with a
lot of my colleagues and introduced my daughters.
At 7 pm, Bruce picked
us up and drove us back to our apartment.
Back at the apartment the girls had popcorn and watched TV while I
caught up in my journal and studied the talks for tomorrow. My three
posters arrived and I'll set them up tomorrow. The girls are on their
own for tomorrow.
4 July 2011, Monday
I got up at 7 and took a shower. I fixed a bowl of
muesli and milk and had a cup of instant coffee. The girls got up
before I left and had some breakfast. I gave them some money and
suggested that they talk to the receptionist about things to do and how
to use the bus.
The day was cool (about 40 degrees F) but clear and
sunny. I decided to walk to the university. I put my mp3 player on and
listened to my Indonesian language lessons. It took about an hour or
1.5 hours to get there so I guess it was about four miles. I got to the
opening session just in time.
I have seen lots of old friends at this
meeting, Russians, Chinese, Czechs, Japanese, German, French, Aussie,
Irish, Brits, American and others. I had lunch with an old schoolmate,
Joan Esterle and two of her former students. We walked to a Viet Namese
restaurant near campus. I had a nice Pho soup and a durian smoothie. I
was very pleased to see that they had durian. I enjoyed both.
back to the talks and I saw that the staff had already put up my
posters for me. I have a poster on Carboniferous of the Appalachian
and Black Warrior Basins, another on the tectonic assembly of Asia, and
the third on the tectonic histories of the Lhasa and West Burma
When the last talk was over after 5 pm, the staff
served Australian wine and pizza. I had a glass of wine and talked to
friends. I didn't have pizza because I wanted to eat with Nora and
Mary. I caught the #97 bus and rode it to Rokeby Rd and Hay St. and
walked the rest of the way to the apartment. I got there about 6:30 and
both of the girls were asleep. They said that they had been to downtown
Perth and had been out all day. They didn't want to go out to eat. For
our July 4th meal, I fixed pasta shells (with marinara for Nora and
with pesto and Parmesan for Mary). We also had a baguette and wine.
5 July 2011, Tuesday
I got up at 6:30, took a shower and had a bowl of muesli and a cup of
coffee. I emptied the dishwasher and took the towels out of the dryer
and put them up.
I said goodbye to the girls, they were sleeping. I walked to Rokeby St.
and caught the #97 bus to campus.
I saw some very interesting talks on
the end-Permian mass extinction. Snacks, tea, coffee were served at the
breaks and a lunch was served as well. At the end of the day, food and
wine were offered.
After the talks were over, I caught the #97 bus back to Subiaco and
walked the rest of the way to the apartment. Both girls were awake and
watching TV. We walked around looking for a restaurant that everyone
could agree on, so we ended up buying food at the grocery and taking it
back. I don't think the girls were very hungry. They did eat at an
Indian restaurant for lunch. The girls spent most of their time today
in Subiaco, but I think they might have been a little bored.
We watched a little TV and then went to bed.
6 July 2011, Wednesday
I got up at 5:30 and had muesli, milk and coffee. I got up a little
earlier because today we all go on a field trip. I took a shower and
then woke the girls.
We walked to the bus stop, boarded #97 and headed to the campus.
campus, we boarded our bus, which left at 8 am. We drove southward for
about 2 hours to the town of Collie.
[free download of conference guidebook.] We went to the Premier Mine, an
opencast mine of several Permian coals. We went to two active pits and
I looked at the coals. I noted vitrain, clarain and fusein bands in the
sub-bituminous coal. It is low in ash and sulfur.
- visitor center
at Collie, another view,
Volker, Volker and I
- Premier Coal
at one of the pits, the
looking down, multiple
seams in the highwall, the three
of us, closer
view of highwall, ramps
in the fill, large Caterpillar
truck, truck and
- plant fossil
flora, another plant fossil
After leaving the mine, we went to a restaurant in the town of Collie
and had a nice sweet potato-pumpkin soup and buffet of potato and ham
salad, green salad, oriental-style noodles, rice, sauce with meat, and
After lunch we went to the Lake Clifton thrombolite locality
(Wikipedia entry). It is the
largest fresh-water thrombolite locality in the southern hemisphere. A
thrombolite is a deposit secreted by bacteria and single-cell algae
(the deposits are clotted, not laminated). We also saw and photographed
several kangaroos in the area.
- some kangaroos,
for thrombolites, emergent
of emergent thrombolites, thrombolites
in water, round
close-up, group on boardwalk, another view, closer view
again, two more, video of kangaroos
Later, we went to a small vineyard that made fruit wines. The husband
and wife owners were very friendly and offered many samples including
mango, mulberry, strawberry, etc. We also had some cheese, nuts and
crackers to snack on.
We headed back to Perth as it got dark.
At the university, Dr.
Backhouse, the field trip leader gave the girls and me a ride back to
our apartment. That was very nice of him.
At the apartment, I walked to Woodpeckers Pizza and ordered a pizza
with Italian sausage, olives and other ingredients. I brought the pizza
back to the apartment and we ate most of it.
I filled out my journal and then went to bed.
7 July 2011, Thursday
I got up at 6:15, had muesli and coffee and then took a shower. I woke
the girls and they ate. The three of us left the apartment and walked
to the university. Halfway there, we met Arthur Mory, one of the
Australian geologist working at the conference. He is also the
co-leader of our post-meeting field trip. He suggested that we walk the
rest of the way through Kings Park. As we walked, he showed us some of
the plants along the way.
When we got to the university, the girls and I attended the talks on
the Permian extinction event and the Triassic recovery. We had tea and
snacks at the two tea times, ate lunch at the conference, and attended
the poster session.
The girls changed into their dress clothes (they
looked very nice) and we all walked to the conference banquet held at
Matilda Bay Restaurant on campus. We had a very nice meal of
pumpkin-sweet potato soup, salad, chicken and large prawn with
couscous, and a dessert with creme brulee. And we had nice local wines.
We sat with two Americans, a Czech, a Canadian, a German and an
Australian. We had many interesting conversations.
At the end of the banquet, Dr. Backhouse and his charming wife,
Elizabeth offered us a ride back to our apartment. We got home about 10
pm. We soon turned in for bed.
8 July 2011, Friday
I woke up at 6:15 but didn't get up till 7. I had muesli with milk and
a couple of cups of coffee. I took a shower and got ready for the
conference. I called Kings Park Motel to confirm that they will pick us
up at 7:30 on Sunday. The girls can store a backpack there while we are
on the field trip.
At the conference, I attended the plenary session by Peter McCabe, and
then several other sessions till tea time. At tea, I took down my
posters. However, the glue that was used to hold the posters to the
boards was so strong that all the posters were damaged and glue was
left on the posters. They would be un-usable at future conferences. I
was going to mail the posters back home and use them for another
conference, but now that they can't be used, I won't mail them back. I
threw the posters away, but I still had other conference items to mail
home. I walked to the post office and mailed our three conference
packs, booklets, and other items.
Back at the conference, I attended several talks till lunch time. We
all walked to the University Club where we had a special lunch banquet
and conference closing. The commission (a UNESCO subcommission)
announced that the next meeting, in 2015, will be in Kazan, Russia,
about 500 km east of Moscow. After the lunch, we all went outside where
a photographer made a group photo.
We all said our goodbyes and I
walked back to our apartment. I got there about 5. The girls were
relaxing. I went to the VIC bar next door and had a Little Creatures
pale ale then returned to the room. I worked on my journal for awhile.
The girls took me to their favorite Indian cafe. I ordered Lamb
Vindaloo extra spicy, Mary had Mumbai aloo (potatoes), and Nora had
southern Indian spicy chicken Chettano (or something like that), plus
garlic nan and rice. I had a lemon-lime bitter soda (non-alcoholic) and
Mary had a mango lassie.
After the dinner, we went to the grocery and bought a few food items
and then walked home. I watched a little TV and then went to bed.
9 July 2011, Saturday
I woke up about 6:30, but didn't get up till 7:30. I had muesli, milk
and coffee and then took a shower. I fixed muesli and coffee for Nora.
Then the girls had mandarins and grapefruit (Mrs. Backhouse gave us two
the other night).
We walked around Subiaco. I got cash from an ATM and we got coffee
and hot chocolate at a coffee shop. We then went to a shop and bought
Nora a pair of running shoes.
We dropped the shoes off back at the apartment and walked east
along Hay Street till we got to the free shuttle bus route of the CAT
line. The girls had done this before. They took me to downtown Perth
and we walked along the many shops of the pedestrian area. The girls
found an Internet cafe and spent some time there. I walked a few doors
down and found a Chinese massage place and got a massage. Nora bought a
leather, round-brimmed hat to wear in the outback and we bought three
souvenir hat pins for the Perth region.
Then we went back to the apartment. We had some food left over so Mary
had a can of chicken noodle soup and Nora and I had shell pasta. I had
mine with marinara and Nora had pesto sauce. We also had sliced
baguette bread, carrots, and mandarins.
I washed a load of laundry and we started packing. We walked to a
Belgian chocolate place (next to the Regal Theatre) and the girls had a
fresh strawberry frostie and some sort of chocolate cake. I had a
mango-passion fruit smoothie.
We all went to bed after we finished packing.
10 July 2011, Sunday
I got up at 6:00 and had muesli, milk and coffee. I then took a shower
and folded the laundry. I woke the girls. They had a little breakfast
while I checked out. At about 7:30 we got the call that our ride had
arrived. We went to the Kings Park Motel and waited for our field trip
bus. [This was the Perth-Carnarvon Basins excursion; free download of field trip guidebook.]
We boarded the bus and started our long bus ride to the Carnarvon
We had lunch at a bayside picnic area where we had chicken, potato salad,
soup, apple, bread, etc.
We re-boarded the bus and headed to our first
site along a stream (Locality 1: Irwin River Coalseam Conservation
Park). We had to wade the stream many times and the water
was cold. I took my shoes off and waded the stream, but I
ended up getting mud and water in them anyway. I took a lot of photos
including some of glacial diamictites (Wikipedia entry) in the Permian strata. One
dropstone (Wikipedia entry) boulder was very large.
We headed to the town of Geraldton
where we stayed at the Ocean View
Motel. My roommate was Gregg who is at John Hopkins. He is a geochemist
and a nice young man. The girls are in the room next door. I washed the
mud out of my shoes and wore socks and sandals to the restaurant next
door (to the embarrassment of the girls). We had a buffet dinner that
included Salisbury steak, chicken in curry, fried fish, fried calamari,
After dinner, Arthur gave me newspapers and the girls and I put
newspapers in our shoes to wick out the moisture. I worked on my shoes
with a hairdryer as well, and then went to bed.
- the outfitter's
- the first
view (Holmwood Shale overlain by High Cliff Sandstone), yet another,
of first outcrop, sign
about outcrop, close view
of outcrop, another close
view, Mary and
and shale, girls looking
for fossils, crossbedded sandstone
- next outcrop,
the creek, disturbed bedding, coal seam? and
collecting tonstein, stacked
ripple marks, conglomeratic, rippled sandstone beds
- outcrop across the
creek, crossing the creek,
Arthur Mory and diamond-shaped
for Coalseam Park, another
the creek again, another
view, close-up of iron-stained
with dropstone, close-up
of dropstone, compaction
plus splatter structures at edge of dropstone, splatter structures, another view, close-up
of splatter structures,
at creek level
11 July 2001, Monday
I got up at 5:45 am and took a shower. I packed my pack and checked my
shoes, they were still slightly damp. I used the hair dryer on them for
a few minutes and then went to breakfast by 6:30. I sat with the girls
and a French-speaking fellow from Montreal, now working in Nova Scotia.
He works on Mississippian-age clastic sequences in Nova Scotia. I had
fried eggs, Australian bacon, toast, fruit, and Vegemite, plus coffee.
It is cloudy and rainy today. We loaded onto the bus and headed on a
500 km ride to Carnarvon. We had a morning restroom break at a campsite
on the Murchison River, named for the famous British geologist, Sir Roderick
Murchison (Wikipedia entry). I took a couple of photos of the river. I also repaired
Nora's boots. The front sole had de-laminated on both boots and became
filled with sand. I removed the sand and used filament tape to fasten
the toes of the boots. It wasn't pretty, but it should work for awhile.
I always carry filament tape for repairs. By the time we reached the Murchison River,
the rain had stopped and the air felt warmer (we are farther north).
However, we heard that the Shark Bay area had half-a-year's-rainfall
yesterday and the roads are bad. We will have to alter our schedule of
Later, for morning break, we stopped at Billabong Road House. The girls
got some chocolate ant I got a Bundaberg ginger beer. The landscape,
normally very arid, is covered by many shallow pools of water. Some of
the roads are closed. It is warmer here than it was in Geraldton.
The bus continued to Shark
Bay (Wikipedia entry)
World Heritage Site.
We went to the main visitor center at
Hamelin Station and walked along the boardwalk over the stromatolites.
The tide was high so that all the live stromatolites were covered, but
the water was clear. I took lots of photos. We walked along the beach
composed of Fragum
erugatum clam shells, denoting a high-abundance, very
low-diversity fauna restricted by the high salinity of Hamelin Bay. We
also looked at the very recently-made, Fragum-coquina
limestone that was
quarried for building stone locally.
We had a picnic lunch of fried chicken, cold cuts, bread, sliced
cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, etc. After lunch we walked to the souvenir
shop/cafe and I took photos of a slab of Permian Jimbacrinus
also bought a stromatolite cap because my old Survey cap is falling
We then got on the bus and continued our bus ride.
We stopped at an overlook just south of the Wooramel River. The
overlook is on a Cretaceous mesa capped by a calcrete. To the west, we
could see several supratidal flats that are normally dry, but now
contain water due to the recent rains. In the distance, we could see
Hamelin Bay (beyond the supratidal flats).
at Hamelin Bay (part of Shark Bay), another
view, concentration of Fragum clam shells,
along the strandline, shallow
stromatolite, part of the algal
mat, coalescing stromatolites,
substrate, series of
of stromatolites, closer
view, yet another
view, video (Youtube), boardwalk,
Drs. Haig and Davydov,
at beach, quarried blocks
coquina, closer view,
algal mat on
beach, beach-top coquina,
outcrop of lithified
view, another close
at outcrop, Arthur Mory
at outcrop, flowering bush,
quarry, video (Youtube), yellow-flowering
- Hamelin Pool
Station house, another
- Jimbacrinus bostocki,
a platycrinitid calyx
arms, label for
crinoid, another Jimbacrinus,
of two Jimbacrinus
with two Jimbacrinus
view, yet another
we went to Fascine Lodge. After we got our rooms, we
went to the bar, got a beer and played some eight ball. Tom Algeo and I
played the first games, then Mary played Arthur Mory and after that
others played. At 7:30, we went to the dining room of the restaurant
and served ourselves from the buffet line. I had large tiger prawns
(local), local oysters, salad, fish, vegetables, and had a small piece
of cobbler or strudel for dessert. It rained heavily while we were in
the restaurant/bar. I hope it is not so rainy when we are camping.
After eating, I went back to the room and went to sleep.
12 July 2011, Tuesday
I got up at 5:45 and took a shower and then my roommate, Greg, did the
same. We went to the restaurant at 6:30 for breakfast. We had a buffet
of poached eggs, hash browns, mushrooms, broiled tomatoes, beans, ham
(Australian bacon), toast, coffee, etc. Mary took some Vegemite packets
We boarded the bus by 7:30. So far the sky is clear although everything
We made our first stop at Coolkilya Pool (Stop 3) along the Manilya
bed. We had three walks, some of which were long. It is partly cloudy,
but very hot and dry and the sun is intense. We used sunscreen and the
girls also used insect repellent. The flies like to get on one's face,
but they don't bite. I saw some nice fossil beds with chonetids,
and other spiriferids, numerous very large
productoids, bivalves, plates from the crinoid Calceolispongia,
branching trepostome bryozoans, etc. We also saw many varieties of
birds and several gray kangaroos.
After the walk back to the bus, we had grilled hamburgers with sliced
beets, cheese, tomatoes, etc. I also had lemonade and coffee. We all
help with setting up and breaking down of the lunch stuff and also wash
outcrop of sandstone,
of sandstone and shale, swallow
view, our group
at the outcrop, another
marks (on overturned block), meandering horizontal trace
- white cockatoos,
closer view, Rose-breasted cockatoo,
Nora and Mary
- more horizontal
brachiopods (external molds), view along Manilya River, extensive outcrop of
slightly dipping strata, another
view, another view
of the river, view across
the river, mass of Neospirifer
brachiopods, another view,
outcrop of iron-stained
the creek, another
- walking the
capped by resistant beds, horizontal
trace, another horizontal
flowers, oxidized iron-bearing
brachiopod, another productoid,
inexplicable mass of
fossil shells in normally bedded limestone, crinoid plates
- crossing the
crossing, recently-deposited river sands, ripples and mega-ripples,
Next we headed to Dead Man's Gully (Stop 5, we must not have gone to
stop 4). We saw lots of fossils, but I left my camera on the bus. I
used Mary's camera to take a few shots. The fellow from Slovenia found
a nice crinoid which will end up with the UWA geology museum.
We went to the station (i.e., ranch) homestead and we set up our tents. I
picked a secluded spot and set mine up. After pounding the tent stakes
in, I looked around and saw that there were 3 tents set up about a meter away
from my tent. I pulled up my stakes and dragged my tent much further away.
Then I helped a Chinese couple set up their tent. We have access to
bathrooms here and we camp here for two nights.
The outfitters put
together a nice kitchen and dining area with a string of lights. We had
chicken schnitzel, marinara sauce, boiled potatoes, corn and peas,
and for dessert, banana splits made from bananas grown in Carnarvon.
Wine and beer, soft drinks could be purchased at a very reasonable
rate. I had a beer and then later a glass of red wine.
We sat at a table with some Russians and they started to sing some
Russian songs. Then the French-speakers sang some songs. I sang
"chicken in the bread tray" ending it with a rebel yell. Then a Chinese
fellow sang a regional Chinese song. It was great fun. We then went to
bed. The girls have their own tent. I was supposed to have a tent mate
but he never showed up.
13 July 2011, Wednesday
I got up at 6:45 and got in the breakfast line. I had an egg fried over
easy, toast and Australian bacon and coffee. We washed our dishes and
then made our lunches. I made Nora a salami sandwich, plus granola bar
and orange. I am just going to have an apple, I have been eating too
We walked to our first stop of the day, Manilya River (Stop 9) and
looked at slump features. We also made a group photo at the top of a
We boarded the bus and took off for our next stop. We stopped briefly
at South Branch Well locality (#6) to look at the boulder-sized
- recent sediments
in the Manilya River, another
view, Sasha at slump
structures, more slump
structures, yet more,
- recent sediments
(from flood) again, tool
marks and animal tracks, another view of tool marks, closer view
- view from hill,
with fake horn, Rose-breasted
We don't stop at 7.
We continued our trip but we had to split into two groups. We took the
16-passenger Mitsubishi 4-wheel drive on a 45-minute track to Toby Bore
(locality #8). We saw 3 red kangaroos. We got out and spent most of the
day walking the outcrop. It was a long, hot hike and we had to keep
drinking water to avoid heat problems. We ate the lunch we packed in
the shade. We saw lots of the Permian section here and the girls
collected crinoid stems to take back home. After we finished we rode
the 4-wheel drive back to the bus and headed to our station-homestead
camp, another hour drive. The other group will be behind us by an hour.
Back at camp, I took a cold-water shower. After the other group
arrived, we bought a beer and started dinner. We had spaghetti with
Bolognaise sauce, salad and garlic bread. After dinner we had a nice
campfire and everyone sat around it. We went to bed shortly after.
14 July 2011, Thursday
I got up at 6:30 and got in the breakfast line. I had Bolognaise sauce
over toast, a Carnarvon banana, granola, milk and coffee.
We divided into two groups again. The first group left in the 4-wheel
drive and the rest of us struck our tents, sleeping bags, etc. Then it
was our turn to take the 4-wheel drive to a locality about 5 km away
from camp. We looked at Tournaisian (Early Mississippian, Moogooree
Limestone) section with abundant Spirifer
sp. and Syringothyris
something that looked like Composita.
We looked at dolomitized, shallow-subtidal to perhaps near-supratidal dolostones. This locality is not in
the guidebook. We waited a few minutes for our 4-wheel drive and then
caught our ride back to camp.
Last night we had a change of plan because of a road being washed out. We
were originally going to the Kennedy Range to camp out in the national
park. Instead we will go to Shark Bay, camp out near Carnarvon and
visit Carbla Point locality that we had to miss earlier.
Now, we are going to Dead Man's Gully (Stop 5) again, but this time, we
doing transect A-B (instead of C-D). The outcrops were next to the road
and we walked along collecting fossils. There were abundant
brachiopods, rugose corals, and crinoid columnals. I found a crinoid
crown with multiply-branched arms. I'm not sure the dorsal cup was
preserved but cleaning should tell. I also found a large platycrinitid
primibrachial plate and abundant platycrinitid stem plates. I gave the
specimens to the field trip leader who will deposit them in their
museum for further study.
from hill top, another
- view along the
brachiopod, fossiliferous limestone
brachiopod, view of same
- view from top
of hill, another
We walked back to the bus where lunch was waiting. I had an olive loaf
(mortadella) and salami sandwich with tomatoes, cucumber, beet root,
greens and sides of beans and corn. I had a Carnarvon banana for
We got back on the bus and headed out along the dirt tracks to
Carnarvon. We stopped at a road house in Manilya and proceeded to
Our bus rolled into a caravan camp much to the dismay of
others already there. We set up our tents and air mattresses. I helped
the cook slice potatoes and make a cold apple-graham cracker dessert.
For dinner we had stewed lamb chops in a French onion sauce with corn
and vegetable sides. Margaret Frasier had a birthday and we sang Happy
Birthday to her as they brought out a birthday cake. We all sat around
the tables and talked a lot and then everything broke up about 10 pm.
Our tents were all packed together about a foot apart and I could hear
heavy snoring throughout the night.
15 July 2011, Friday
It rained lightly in the morning. I got up about 6:30 and had toast
with orange marmalade, granola and milk and two cups of coffee. We then
struck camp which was made difficult because of the wet conditions and
red sand everywhere. Sand stuck to everything and it was difficult to
put the tents into their sleeves.
We boarded the bus about 8 am and headed out to Shark Bay. The girls
have had a great time and have socialized with everyone on their own
initiative and everyone has been friendly with them.
We got to Carbla Station and had tea and cake for morning break. The
flies were very dense and many crawled over my face constantly. We were
again divided into two groups and the first group took the 4-wheel
drive bus to Carbla Point. After about 45 minutes, it was our turn.
Wayne, a friendly and witty Australian was the driver and owner of the
4-wheel drive bus. He has a beard and numerous rings pierced in his
ears. He was interesting to talk to.
When we got to Carbla Point we got into our swimming wear and entered
the water. It was very cold, about 50 degrees F (it is winter here). It
took 5 minutes to get used to it. We swam around looking at the
stromatolites (this is part of Shark Bay). When Arthur Mory got out, he
let me use his mask and fins. We are about the same size. The goggles
made a big difference. After about 20-30 minutes, we got out of the
water and walked around, looking at the various hypersaline
After awhile, our 4-wheel drive bus came back (it had taken the other
group back) and we returned to camp.
We had lunch which consisted of
three types of herring (I had a curry and a mango herring), tuna,
luncheon meats, bread, sandwich fixings and instant soup. Also I had
ripe olives and mixed vegetables.
I talked to the owners of the station. They are trying to make it a
research station for scientists and students. Last week, they had a
group of astrobiologists from the U.S.
We got back on the main bus after thanking our hosts. We said goodbye
to Wayne and then headed south to Geraldton. I hung the girls wet
clothes on the curtain line at my window.
We got to Geraldton
and our hotel, Ocean View Motel, about dark. My
roommate is Gregg again. We all went to the bar for a complimentary beer
or wine and then walked to the "China Moon" restaurant about a block
away. There was a light rain. It seems to have rained here the whole
time we were gone. We had lots of different dishes, some with chicken,
pork, beef, shrimp, etc. I asked the two waitresses where they were
from and they said the Philippines. Pierre, the Montreal geologist now
working in Halifax, is a vegetarian, and they sauteed some vegetables
for him. Charles Henderson got up and gave a short speech about the
field trip, the leaders and staff. Then we all walked back to the
hotel. I went to bed right away.
- part of our
group in front of Wayne's four-wheel drive bus (Wayne in red
16 July 2011, Saturday
I got up at 5:45 and went down to breakfast. I had two fried eggs,
bacon, hash browns, toast and coffee.
I got a paper clip from the desk and replaced the broken cotter pin on
my pack. We then loaded onto the bus. This is our last day of the field
trip. I said goodbye to Vladimir Davydov and Arthur Mory. I am supposed
to send Vladimir a tonstein sample from Kentucky when I get back.
We headed down the Indian Ocean Drive, a coastal highway with views of
the ocean. We stopped at a very nice cove called Green Head, for tea.
The cliffs are Pleistocene dune sands covered by Holocene dune sands.
The sands are calcium carbonate. The Pleistocene rock was dominated by
aragonite and the deep dissolution created caves. Along the beach were
very abundant Sepia
(cuttlefish) shells, Spirula
(goose neck), true limpets and mussels. There were many varieties of
weed too. We had our tea break here. I had a milo-coffee-milk drink,
cookies and a mandarin orange. The girls are having a good time. They
are reading a lot and share earphones while listening to music on their
We traveled south to the town of Cervantes and visited Lake Thetis
(Wikipedia entry). At
Lake Thetis, we saw more stromatolites, but these are the first that we
have seen that were biochemically precipitated by cyanobacteria. The
others were made by trapping of sediments by the mucus-layer secretions
of bacteria. We walked around the small lake taking photos of the
stromatolites, a couple of large black spiders (Mygalomorphs?), and the
for Jurien Bay Marine Park at Green Head, another view, another sign, the bay, the other side, video, another video, Sepia
shell, other side
of shell, globular green
alga, Spirula, another view, gooseneck barnacles, red alga, another view, sea lettuce (green
alga), sign for
dangerous caves, cliff line,
the beach, another view
- Magpie lark,
yet another view
After the lake we went back to Cervantes
for our lunch. We stopped at
the restaurant in the Cervantes Pinnacles Motel.
We had our choice of fresh local prawns, lobsters, or steak. Mary and I
got the local lobster and Nora got the steak. We all shared. We also
had chips (fries), salad, bread and I had a Pure Blonde beer.
for Lake Thetis, boardwalk
to the lake, succulents
(Samphire) and mud, boardwalk
over the lake, old stromatolites,
(these may have been moved), shallow
(or thrombolite) with top removed, several
for stromatolites, two
stromatolite heads, overview,
series of stromatolites,
view with beach,
at water level
- large, black
spider (3-4 cm), closer
view, closer view,
yet another view,
of lake, dunes
across the lake, sign
about dunes, Aymon, Mary
and Nora, another
another view, old
thrombolite, looking at several
old thrombolites, closer
view, close-up of thrombolite
fragment, another old
We loaded back on the bus and headed to Pinnacles (Wikipedia entry) at Nambung National
Park. There we saw thousands of limestone pillars ranging from child
size to greater than adult human size. They are thought to have been
formed by rainwater moving through the carbonate sands along tree
roots. The resulting concretions (rhizocretions) were then exhumed when
were blown away. I took lots of photos.
We reboarded the bus and spent several hours driving to Perth. We
arrived at Perth
about 5:30. We got our backpacks and said our goodbyes
to everyone and then walked about a mile and a half to Kings Park
Motel. We checked into our two adjoining rooms and got settled. We
walked to our favorite Indian cafe. I ordered masal dosa because the
girls had never had a dosa before. Nora had a spicy chicken chettinan
(as before) and Mary had chicken tandoori. We had rice and garlic bread
and Mary had a mango lassi.
for Pinnacles center, small
at end of walkway, panorama
of pinnacles, video, close-up
of pinnacle (watch for scale), closer
pinnacle, close-up of pinnacle
and pinnacle, closer
view, Mary and
at four pinnacles, another
view, yet another
at top of pinnacle, top
of another one, our group
and pinnacle, vertical half
of pinnacle, small pinnacle,
We returned to our rooms. We gathered our
dirty laundry and put it on my floor for tomorrow. I watched a little
TV, filled out my journal and the went to bed.
17 July 2011, Sunday
I got up at 7 am and took the dirty laundry to the laundry room and got
it started. I'll have to do two loads. I went back to the room for
coffee and TV while waiting on the laundry. The girls are sleeping in.
The clothes finally dried after three times in the dryer. The laundry
came to $20.
After laundry, we walked to the main part of Subiaco and
stopped at the girls favorite coffee shop. They had a latte, hot
chocolate, croissant and blueberry muffin. We then walked to the
theatre and saw the last Harry Potter movie. It was pretty good.
then walked toward downtown Perth and caught the free shuttle to the
pedestrian area. The girls got on the Internet. Nora had to fill out
some forms for her next college semester. I didn't bring my journal so
I couldn't send my e-mail entries. I did get another half-hour back
massage while I waited for the girls.
About 3 pm, we went to a Japanese restaurant nearby. I had a fried tofu
dish, rice and miso soup. The sauce on the tofu was very good. Nora had
a plain udon soup and Mary had a vegetable tempura udon soup.
After lunch, we caught the free shuttle to get back close to Subiaco. I
had to have stern words with a drunk (or drug addict) who was bothering
the girls and he made a big scene. At least he didn't bother the girls
anymore. We walked back to the motel.
We stayed in, packed and watched
18 July 2011, Monday
I got up at 6 am, had a cup of coffee and took a shower. I finished
packing and woke the girls up. We went to the office, checked out and
called a cab.
The cabby was a friendly fellow from Poland. We talked a lot about
Poland and I mentioned the cities there that I had visited. He is
returning there this Sunday for holiday. I enjoyed talking to him.
We arrived at the domestic airport terminal and got our boarding passes
for both of our flights. Our first flight is to Brisbane and the
second, to Cairns (pronounced "Cans" here). After a fairly long
check-in, we went through security and boarded our plane, another
Virgin Blue flight. We arrived in Brisbane about 3:15 pm (we are two
hours later here) and the girls got a garlic cheese pizza at a
restaurant. We went to our next gate, a Virgin Blue flight to Cairns.
We boarded and took off about 5:15 pm.
We arrived at Cairns
at 7:15. At
baggage claim, we saw a man holding a sign with our name. He was with
Airport Connection shuttle service. We were the only passengers. He was
originally from the south end of New Zealand's South Island. He took us
to the Pacific International Hotel on the Esplanade.
Nora called her classmates Michael and Sam who are here for part of the
summer. They are coming to pick her up and show her the sights.
19 July 2011, Tuesday
I got up at 6:20 and had a cup of coffee and bowl of muesli. I woke the
girls and we walked to the marina.
We boarded the Ocean Spirit, a large
motorized/sailing catamaran by 7:50. We went out to Michaelmas Cay
(part of the Great Barrier Reef) and
anchored. It took about 2 to 2.5 hours to get there. We rented wet
and used their snorkels, masks and fins. They took us to the beach and
we were allowed to snorkel in a portion of the reef demarcated by buoys
and rope. Nora and I lost Mary right away because she followed the
wrong man for a long time. We saw lots of fish, corals and many of the
famous giant clams (Tridacna,
Wikipedia entry). It was fascinating. There
were lots of
birds nesting on the island too. We met up with Mary back at the beach
and returned on the launch to the catamaran. We had a nice buffet
lunch. I had fried fish, boiled shrimp, bread, cheese and fruit.
After lunch, it was our turn on the "semi-submersible." It was like a
glass-bottom boat, but the windows were along the side and the
passengers were below water level. After 15-20 minutes we returned to
the big boat.
- the big
catamaran, view of hills
around Cairns, closer view,
our area, the
front deck of
- the girls in
their wet suits, Mary,
on the island, different
and chicks, more birds
and chicks, birds
into the water
After a while, we headed back to the marina and arrived there about
5:15 pm. We were back at our hotel by 5:30.
We all took showers. I filled out my journal while I waited for the
girls. Nora is going to go out with her friends again tonight.
- the girls
in the submersible, passenger
from window, coral rock,
coral, more varieties,
again, leaf coral
and coral heads,
coral, edge of coral,
broken coral debris,
coral edge, variety of coral, deeper coral, three
different coral heads,
took my shower, we walked down Esplanade St. The girls knew an Indian
restaurant that they wanted to try. It was only a block away. I ordered
Lamb Madras curry (extra spicy), Mary had Aloo Matter, and Nora had
Chicken Biryani. We also had stemmed rice and garlic naan. The madras
curry had very nice flavor but it was only medium spicy by our
standards. The girls ate it with no problem.
After dinner, the girls looked at souvenirs and then we went back to
the hotel by 8 pm. Nora went out with her friends and Mary and I
watched TV for a little while. I went to bed a little after 9 pm.
20 July 2011, Wednesday
I got up at 6:10 am, dressed and made a cup of coffee. I woke the girls
We got down to the lobby by 7:05 and loaded onto our bus for the all
day "Daintree Walkabout" tour. After about 1.5 hours we arrived at the
Kuky Yalanji Dreamtime Walks at Mossman Gorge. Our Indigenous
Australian (Aborigine) guide was Roy. We were very lucky to get Roy
because he is the trainer for other guides and is an expert cited in
several books and author of one. He has also guided scientists from
pharmaceutical companies into this rain forest. The tour through the
forest was about 1.5 hours and was very educational and entertaining.
After the tour, we drove to a plush rain forest resort, Silky Oakes
Lodge and had lunch. All three of us had Barramundi fish, salad and
nice bread. We all liked it.
- local sugar-can
rail cars, large orb-weaving
- Roy, stinging plant, tree with spikes, Roy and hut, another view, large seed, nut, nut-cracking stone, pool in creek, another view, view down creek, creek, another view, poisonous tree, orange
ear fungus, another view, large strangler fig, strangler fig (host
tree long gone), another
fig around young tree, Roy
and camp, ground-stone
of Emu, crossing creek,
creek, another view, closer view, Roy making body paint, video, soap leaves, closer view, suds, close-up, Roy, creek, orange and red seeds, tea and discussion,
blue and lilac flower spike
- sugar cane,
Then we drove to the Daintree River and got on a boat for an hour-long
natural history tour. We saw a number of salt-water crocodiles
(Salties) and three different
kinds of mangrove (those with a, prop roots; b, pneumatophores; c,
ribbon roots). It was a relaxing and fun cruise.
We drove a short distance to Scomazzon's Fruit Farm where they grow a
great many tropical fruits. We were served a platter of about 6 or 7
types of tropical fruit including passion fruit, red dragon fruit, sour
sop and several others. They grow many more than this but I guess these
were in season. They even grew durians but it wasn't available.
on our boat, another view,
our boat, the
tidal creek, tree snake (middle of
photo), salt-water crocodile,
close-up, another view, another croc, another view, close-up, another view, mangrove with prop
with ribbon roots, another
some kind of seed pod,
Mary, Nora, water monitor?, another croc, another view, tree frog, better view, another croc, closer view, another view, large croc on bank, closer view, another view
We got a quick tour of Port Douglas, went to a couple of overlooks and
We got back to our hotel about 5:30. The girls took a shower and then
we walked around to look for a place to eat. We found Perrotta's, an
Italian-style restaurant. I had a yellow tuna crudo. It was nicely
"presented" (i.e., fancy). The tuna was marinated but uncooked (crudo).
fine but didn't have much flavor. The girls shared farfalle pasta with
prosciutto, peas and marscapone, and they had a salad. For dessert,
they had a walnut brownie with vanilla ice cream.
The girls shopped for souvenirs and I went back to the hotel. We
repacked everything and got ready for our travels tomorrow.
onto beach, another view,
yet another view,
view with girls,
yet another view
- sign about beach
on the beach
- another overlook,
yet another view,
overlook, another view,
Mary and Nora
21 July 2011, Thursday
I got up at 4:20 am, brushed my teeth and had a cup of coffee. I woke
the girls at 4:40.
About 4:50, we went down to the lobby. I checked out
after paying $17 for two local phone calls. Our shuttle was waiting for
us, when we got to the lobby. We got to the domestic Cairns terminal
and the girls got their boarding passes on a Virgin Blue flight to
Sydney. From Sydney, they will fly back to the states. I saw them off
at their gate.
My flight is in the Cairns international terminal and the counter
doesn't open till 9:45. I stayed in the domestic terminal
because the other terminal opens later. I filled out my journal. I
about buying a book, but decade-old paperbacks are $30. Everything here
is triple the cost that it is back home. For example, a six-pack of
local beer is more than $20.
I waited till 9 am and walked to the International Terminal. It's sunny
and about 70 degrees F, very nice. I waited till 9:30 when my check-in
counter opened. I got my two boarding passes and an Australian customs
form. I went through customs and security. In the departure lounge, I
got a latte and an ANZAC cookie. It's a crisp, dark cookie with
oatmeal, ginger?, cinnamon, etc. I have a long wait here too.
I boarded the plane to Darwin at 12:15 and it took off at 12:45.
flew over the two northward projecting peninsulas and the Gulf of
Carpentaria. I noticed thousands of brushfires across the landscape.
These are all set by aborigines to drive out game, to refertilize the
soil and to allow new, tender vegetation to sprout.
We landed at Darwin
at 2:45 pm local time. I was directed to the international transit
lounge where we were not permitted to leave. There is a small espresso
bar here, but it is not open. I am hoping that something opens with
food and drink before my next flight at 7:30 tonight. I've only had a
cookie and coffee this morning. Mary and Nora should be well over the
Pacific by now.
The espresso bar finally opened and I had a lamb-rosemary filo pie(?)
with very small mixed salad and a VB beer. The filo pie was pretty
good. I bought a battery for my mp3 player and listened to Indonesian
language which drew a lot of attention as I silently (I think) mouthed
out some strange language. I noticed a lot of people staring at me.
After an hour and a half, I listened to Neil Young which wasn't as
stressful. This is a very long wait in a crowded room with nothing to
look at but other people looking back.
I loaded onto the plane at 7:00 pm. All of the flights that we have had
in Australia are no frills flights. If you want a drink of water or
tea, you pay for it ($3). I've got another window seat over the wing
and the plane is packed. This Jet Star flight leaves Darwin at 7:30 and
should arrive at Denpasar in Bali at 8:45 pm local time. On board the
plane I filled out an Indonesian customs form and an Indonesian
For the next part of my trip, follow the link below.