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Travelog for: Argoyle

Orange, NSW, Australia - 9th December 2008

By: sararingham

Hello! I have arrived in Australia - there's a few other toyvoyagers with me here... there all international except one... but I'll take some photos and put them in my journal soon... for now it's time for me to get some rest... it'd be 3am in Texas right now.. crazy! Miss you mom! <3

* Posted Dec 9, 2008, 9:11 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Road to Bathurst, NSW, Australia - 11th December 2008

By: sararingham

Today we decided to take our first trip... we hadn't been anywhere recently since Sara's been busy going to the gym and everything so I haven't been able to see much yet... but Sara's going to try to change that for me so I can see this area... anyways, today it was really hot outside but we all packed ourselves into the car and headed out to Bathurst... Bathurst is a 45 minute drive away with little to nothing in between Orange and Bathurst but I'll show you the "sights" anyways... :-)

This is just exiting Orange.. it's still got a lot of farmland just outside of the trees... but it does create an illusion of a lot of trees doesn't it?

Maybe 5-10 minutes outside of Orange are a couple vineyards. Orange is famous for it's vineyards. There are two huge ones outside of Orange, and there's a whole heap of smaller ones near Mount Canobolas which we'll see a bit later on... :-)

Just outside of all land which has all the vineyards on it is the tiniest town ever... it's called Lucknow, it's literally a one road town, this is it.. what you see is what you get... with lots of farmland... but there's a coffee shop, some kind of strange antique shop, and some huge gold mines that have been abandoned for years... I'll go into that a little bit later though... another day - another thing to see. :-)

You'll find a lot of the road to Bathurst looks a lot like this... not really that interesting, but sure are a lot of sheep and cows...

...one thing that's very Australian - the famous red dirt - the dirt that's got a LOT of iron in it... one of Australia's big export to other countries... we've got a lot of it...

...another thing you see, lots of kangaroo signs, and occasionally the kangaroo road kill as well... which is pretty sad but I guess it happens everywhere with native wildlife... we didn't see any kangaroos this time, even though we did go searching... :-( Maybe next time...

We're almost there now... don't know if you'd know it though - still looks a lot like farmland to me...

...Welcome to Bathurst...

* Posted Dec 14, 2008, 6:35 am Last edited Dec 14, 2008, 7:14 am by sararingham [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Mount Panorama, NSW, Australia - 11th December 2008

By: sararingham

Well, now that were finally in Bathurst we saw one of Bathurst main things to see... usually Sara takes all toyvoyagers onto the Mount Panorama race track... but for some reason it was closed... we had a bit of a look around and they were having a race today... not the HUGE Bathurst 1000 but some smaller race... we couldn't do much but stand back and watch...
The famous Mount Panorama sign, this is right in front of the starting gate... and then we saw some of the race cars...

I'm not in these photos because Sara was so zoomed in that I wouldn't have looked like anything but a blur... sorry about that! But I can promise, if I'm still with Sara next month we'll be going back to Bathurst and hopefully this time we can see some kangaroos too! :-)

We also got to see the newly famous Peter Brock Statue he died a day or something after Steve Irwin died in 2006, he died in a race but he was known as "king of the mountain"... so they made him a statue an put it up for this years races in the beginning of October...

...just as we were leaving we saw another race car coming in... it means this must not have been anything but qualifying but it was still cool to watch for a while...

I hope you enjoyed my time in Bathurst... hopefully I'll go back again soon! Write again soon mom! Miss you!

* Posted Dec 14, 2008, 6:48 am Last edited Dec 14, 2008, 7:10 am by sararingham [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 14th December 2008

By: sararingham

The weather has been really crazy the last few days... when we went to Bathurst it was really warm out - cloudy but very very warm... the last few days it's been really rainy and cold... with very high winds... the weather changes here are so crazy sometimes... but hey, I'm enjoying the cooler weather while it lasts... :-)

* Posted Dec 14, 2008, 7:19 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Bathurst, NSW, Australia - 17th December 2008

By: sararingham

Today we took a very unexpected trip... Sara had to plan quickly as they only realized they were going yesterday... but we had a lot to see this time... I won't tell you where were heading as it was a big trip but our first stop was Bathurst... this time Sara actually saw some kangaroos...
...the kangaroos were a LOT farther than normal this time... the first photo the photo was taken with a 12x zoom, the other photos it was 48x zoom... if that also would explain why I'm not in the photo... I would say I'll never get enough of seeing these little (or not so little) guys. :-)

More to come...

* Posted Dec 18, 2008, 7:26 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lithgow, NSW, Australia - 17th December 2008

By: sararingham

Maybe you have an idea of where were going now? You look at the map and you probably already know... but next stop was Lithgow, we stopped to see the huge mining lantern again while we got our bearings before moving back onto the road... here I am in front of the mining lantern... if you can see where there used to be a "flame" is now a Christmas tree... :-)

We had to go to the bank as well to pull out a bit of money so we had to go and search for the bank down the main street of Lithgow, this is what the rest of the town looks like...
...looks not much different from Orange and Bathurst... nor does the middle of Sydney - lots of older buildings... with Lithgow, even though it's much closer to Sydney than Orange and Bathurst a lot of the business have gone out of business... it's very empty... kind of strange isn't it? Hold tight there's still way more to come! :-)

* Posted Dec 18, 2008, 7:36 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Paramatta, NSW, Australia - 17th December 2008

By: sararingham

Welcome to Sydney! We're here... well... not quite yet... were currently in the outskirts of Sydney in the towns of Penrith and Paramatta... pretty large cities though... here are some of the photos from Paramatta as we were going through... sorry were not in them it's hard to take photos so quickly as your going through the towns...
...you wouldn't know from these photos but navigating through even the outskirts of Sydney is very hard sometimes - one wrong turn and your in another suburb and totally lost... lol there's another little while before were there - but first we have a stop off to make...

* Posted Dec 18, 2008, 7:49 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Riverside, NSW, Australia - 17th December 2008

By: sararingham

We were going to Sydney to look at a car - our current car needs a lot of fixing up so were getting another one that uses LPG (propane) for fuel, so fuel is half the price... so were going to see a 2000 Ford AU Falcon, the newest car we've ever had... where we were seeing the car was in Riverside but we decided to check out a bay called Tambourine Bay right down the street... it was quite beautiful! :-)

Here are some trees around the bay, these ones are interesting looking aren't they?
...but what's cool are these trees...
...these are called Morton Bay Fig Trees... they're native only to Sydney and one of the original trees that Sydney was full of before it became really civilized.. aren't they cool looking?

As we were going a small walk down to the bay here's what we saw above the trees...

and of course here I am in front of the bay... isn't it pretty? the water was also very very warm... it's amazing to think the ocean could be so warm...

* Posted Dec 18, 2008, 7:59 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Cockatoo Island, NSW, Australia - 17th December 2008

By: sararingham

This wasn't just our first time going through Sydney like this - this was also Sara's... we had just gotten our GPS navigator so Sara and Daniel cruised through Sydney and were able to see somethings they never thought they see - and places they never thought existed... so next stop was Cockatoo Island... when they were driving through they realized one thing... it's a very rich area, there were HUGE houses and they all looked very expensive... Sara made her way down the hill with us and almost jumped out of her skin when she saw what was there...
...Sara hasn't ever had a chance to show some toyvoyagers the Sydney Harbor Bridge like this, and it was a beautiful view point of the bridge - it would be an awesome place to sit if you were going to see the fireworks on New Years Eve...

The other photo is of the AMP tower and the Sydney skyline... sadly you can't see the opera house from here... but there's more to see... how exciting is that? After we went to Cockatoo Island and saw the awesome harbor bridge and the AMP tower we went to a point called Onion Point... there wasn't much to see - we had to walk along a dock to see anything and this was the view...

As we were heading back to the car we saw these really strange flowers? Aren't they pretty though?

...there's more coming... :-) Write again soon!

* Posted Dec 18, 2008, 8:12 am Last edited Dec 18, 2008, 8:52 am by sararingham [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Sydney CBD, NSW, Australia - 17th December 2008

By: sararingham

We just happened to be going right through the central business district of Sydney... which is to put it lightly very scary to go through... lots of traffic, lots of people, lots of roads... people don't usually like to drive through it... you walk or you taxi or bus it since it's so confusing... but the GPS put us directly in the centre of the CBD of Sydney so Sara got a few shots before going back out of the CBD heading towards our next stop... here are some of the shots in the middle of the city...
...we were getting a bit lost and we only had a little bit longer to spend at our next stop... plus we kind of got lost... but there's more to come! :-)

* Posted Dec 18, 2008, 8:20 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Balls Head, NSW, Australia - 17th December 2008

By: sararingham

Well next stop was Balls Head... sounds like a funny name... really quite actually but Sara was amazed by the sights she saw when we were up at the "peak"... there was a lot of steep hills around where we were driving and then bang! We were there... these are some of the things we saw...

...here's the Anzac Bridge... Sara's never been on it but it's one of the other more famous bridges in Sydney....

...we also got to see a much closer shot of the AMP tower...

...as you can see there is a lot of cargo ships going in and out of the harbor as well, here's one of them...

It was a really clear and hot day despite the darkness of the photos (we were in a lot of trees) as you can see there were a lot of people on boats and at the beaches today...

...and as we were driving back down... we saw something that made us pull over... I only had a very short time to take photos or I would have gotten all of us out of the car for a photo but this shows how close we were to the harbor bridge and the opera house...
Isn't that just gorgeous? Too bad we couldn't see the whole opera house as was planned for today... but this isn't it? Sara took us to see something a bit more exciting (she thought anyways)... back on the road...

* Posted Dec 18, 2008, 8:29 am Last edited Dec 18, 2008, 8:48 am by sararingham [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Manly Beach, NSW, Australia - 17th December 2008

By: sararingham

Last stop today was Manly Beach, one of the most popular Sydney beaches... it was very beautiful... one of Sydney's most famous beaches is called Bondi beach, but it's usually so packed that we don't even bother... there was sadly not much to do for us little toyvoyagers so we got a photo and then we went back to the car so we weren't taken or hurt by being left on the beach... here I am in front of the beach... isn't it gorgeous?

...before we went back to the safety of the car one of the seagulls decided to come and check us out - I think he thought we were food...

...here are some other shots of the beach... isn't the water so pretty? It was also very very warm as well... sadly Sara and everyone wasn't ready for the beach so they couldn't go very deep in the water... but Sara enjoyed taking photos...

...and just as we were about to leave a whole bunch of people came in from what seemed like out of no where... there was maybe 20-30 kayakers... some professional, some more or less beginner but it was quite fun to see them coming in and out. Sara thinks they were practicing for a triathlon... they had a lot of fun playing in the waves...

We had spent over an hour at the beach, it was time to head home... it was going on 7pm and it was a 3 and a bit hour drive home... it's been a long LONG day I hope you enjoyed seeing Sydney through my eyes... we hope to go back again next month! If I'm still here I'll get to see a bit more of the Sydney beaches! Write again soon mom, we have another big trip coming up at the end of this month! Miss you!

* Posted Dec 18, 2008, 8:42 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Molong, NSW, Australia - 23rd December 2008

By: sararingham

It's just before Christmas and it's time to take a trip... me and my toyvoyager friends are unsure about where were are going but Sara insists we are going to have a lot of fun... here I am as we are driving through Molong.
...as you can tell it's very dark and rainy... but through these photos I insist you'll see how random the weather can be in this part of Australia...

* Posted Jan 10, 2009, 7:33 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Wellington, NSW, Australia - 23rd December 2008

By: sararingham

Next stop was Wellington, a larger town than Molong... I guess around the same size as Orange (with 38,000 people). There's sadly not much to see or do here but here I am...

...and here are some photos as we are driving through the main street of Wellington as you can see there's not much to see.
Although we had no time to stop we were already running a little late.... so moving on...

* Posted Jan 10, 2009, 7:41 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Dubbo, NSW, Australia - 23rd December 2008

By: sararingham

First off, sorry I'm not really in any of the photos next... Sara had a hard time getting in and out of the car with a 2 year old let alone with all of the toyvoyagers... we saw most of it - but the pictures really tell the story. :-) Enjoy!

Well... we have arrived in Dubbo... after a 2.5 hour drive were finally here... we've been through rain and sun and it's already pretty hot here. Dubbo has temperatures that are very similar to Africa. So they have a major breeding program with the African animals. They successfully breed a lot of endangered animals so the heat is normal but quite uncomfortable... :-)

Well we've arrived at the zoo...

In these photos you can see the entrance to the zoo... it kind of looks a lot like the entrance to Jurassic Park doesn't it? Also the little cars you can rent to drive around the zoo. Since the zoo is so huge you can either drive, walk or bike around the zoo...

Well now that were at the zoo, it's started to rain... the wild dogs were underneath a tree keeping dry... not many animals were moving much since it was raining so much...

Well we decided to move on anyways... we can't stop the rain... but then it REALLY started to come down... we were standing near the camels and Arabian sheep when we ran to an enclosed area (at least the top of us was covered).

...the animals didn't really enjoy it so grouped together... and then it started to hail... so they all ran in every direction. You could barely see them even though they were right in front of you... crazy...

...and then we decided to deal with the rain (after the hail) and ran down to see the black rhino. Which is one of the babies that were successfully bred in the zoo... obviously he's not a baby anymore...

Within 5 minutes... it was done raining, the sun was out and it was heating up. Within 5 minutes the rhino went from soaking to totally bone dry (as the photos show)... so we decided to go and visit the Arabian sheep and camels again...

Then the giraffes... Sara was going to feed the giraffes today but was 30 seconds (literally) too late for signing up... so she was a bit sad about that since last time they missed feeding the giraffes as well... but they did come pretty close anyways...

This next photo shows you what the zoo looks like with the less dangerous animals. So the giraffes, zebras, any "safe" animals (more or less) you could get quite close... you could stand on this hill and then the fence was below... it's quite an amazing experience... but this shows you how close the giraffes can get to you (they've gotten even closer)...

Sara then went and saw a talk on the hippos... the females are separated from the bull hippos which are extremely territorial. The zoo keeper told them about how the hippo population in the Democratic Republic of Congo went from 29,000 hippos in the 70's and 80's to 700 hippos last year when they checked. It's kind of sad really... they sprayed some water in their mouth since they really enjoy that it's almost like a massage for their mouth. Also shows off their amazing teeth... this picture is one of the bulls...

Next stop was the less endangered white rhino... he was all alone but the group of the others was in some shade... not sure why he didn't want to be there... but obviously he did because he walked over there a few minutes later...

Next stop was the cheetah's... now where's the mom? Sadly the mom died during complications while giving birth to one of the two cheetahs... via emergency c-section... so they had doubts the babies would survive. So they had someone stay there 24 hours a day 7 days a week to take care and feed the babies every hour on the hour... thankfully they made it... even without a mom they're very happy little cats...

...and then we got to see the African elephants. They were doing a talk on them at the time I took these photos so you can see all the people and the zoo keeper and everything feeding them. I love elephants they're very beautiful creatures...

...next stop was the Siberian tiger. Sara hasn't ever been able to see him before... he's always been hiding and sadly it didn't take long before he went and laid down in the shade where he all but disappeared. You can tell how hot it is when the tiger is panting... :-P

Near the tiger are the bongo's... the baby was there - who wasn't there the last time I visited in October... isn't he adorable?

The first time Sara visited in February 2007... she saw the African Water Buffalo in the water. It was so hot all of them were packed into the water to keep warm. You could barely see them. Obviously it wasn't that hot... but they weren't moving much...

Next section was the "Australian Animals" section. There's this big "walk" where you walk through where there used to be kangaroos on the ground and koala's in the tree. But for whatever reason it's only koalas now. You have to walk up pretty high and you can see some koala's sitting in the tree... sleeping of course... :-)

Next stop was the emu's... they were also quite close to the edge. Sara was only a few feet from one of them (obviously not the one pictured)... Sara loves emu's they're so graceful for such a huge bird...

...and then next to the emu's were the kangaroos... they weren't very active at all either... but now you can see the grey kangaroo (which are the ones I've seen in the wild) and the larger kangaroo, the red kangaroo. Which are native to Dubbo and more of the 'outback'... :-)

One of the last stops was the galapagos tortoises... they're HUGE and they have breeding program here too... we got to see 4 different tortoises while we were in this section... you can see two videos here and here... they're both quite short but it shows all four of the tortoises, two of which are in the photos below...

Well... obviously we didn't take photos of all the animals... they have like 3x more animals than are currently pictured... but I had fun it was very warm but it was very informative as well... I hope you enjoyed the photos! :-) Write again soon! :-)

* Posted Jan 10, 2009, 8:12 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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