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Travelog for: Steve

Loosdorf, Austria - 21st August 2008

By: Katatonia

My very fist day started with a cup of coffee.

When I looked out of the window I saw a nice garden with a swimming pool ... nothing can stop me here  - I have to go swimming!

Oh, and look who I've met here... my owners dog! But I was brave and looked her in the eyes and said: "Hello fella - nice to meet you!"

* Posted Aug 21, 2008, 11:34 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Loosdorf, Austria - 21st August 2008

By: Katatonia

Today was a great day, I worked a lot & repaired a lot of things! 

This was my first day in my hometown.
And now my very first journey starts ... can't wait for Australia!  :D

* Posted Aug 21, 2008, 5:39 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, New South Wales, Australia - 29th August 2008

By: sararingham

I have finally arrived in Australia! I'm quite tired though from the journey I'll do a proper update later with pictures! :-) Miss you!

* Posted Aug 29, 2008, 8:32 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Mount Canobolas, New South Wales, Australia - 1st September 2008

By: sararingham

We all woke up to a nice and sunny day today, and even better it was the first day of Spring! We all packed up into the car and headed.. somewhere.. Sara wouldn't tell us where... she did say she hasn't been able to properly take toyvoyagers up here for months because of how cold it's been and the road has been closed 2kms from the top because of snow fall... crazy! In August? Well here we are on the road...

...as you can see the road changes quite drastically from open fields to a whole bunch of trees, eucalyptus trees to be exact... you can't tell much from the view in the photos but a lot of what looks like farmland is actually vineyards... there are LOTS of vineyards surrounding Orange...

...and then all of a sudden the road turned into a dirt road... we all had to hang onto each other as we were bumping around so much...

...then we stopped... quite abruptly in the middle of the road... Sara spotted something and then we took a photo... you can't see it in the photo as the distance is quite far... but there was two white spots flying out of the middle of the road... what was it? We saw a cockatoo... a wild one, how crazy is that?

Welcome to Mount Canobolas! This is the highest point West of Sydney until the far side of the country in South Australia (on the Western Australia side)... on a clear day like this you can see pretty far... the height of the extinct volcano now is around 4,650 feet or 1,395 metres)...

...Then right in the centre of the peak there's a view point and there's a little map that shows the direction of each of the towns, so it shows where Orange is located, Parkes, Forbes, Blayney, Millthorpe, Bathurst and all the surrounding towns (Parks and Forbes is a bit farther so you can't see them really but it shows you what your looking at...) here I am checking out the map...

Here's some information about Mount Canobolas from the view point signs:
Mount Canobolas volcanic complex is listed in the Commonwealth Heritage Register for it's unique geological composition and location. These factors have resulted in a distinctive vegetation pattern, containing rare and unique species, which in turn contain habitats for a number of equally unique animals.

Within a 30 kilometre radius of Mount Canobolas, approximately 30 vents are known to have erupted. These eruptions commenced about 50 million years ago and halted approximately 10-15 million years ago. The Mount Canobolas vents erupted over that entire period, while others within the 30 kilometre radius were active for shorter periods. The basalt capping has largely weathered away, producing fertile soils as far away as West Wyalong (which is 223kms away).

On the way back down the other side of the view point we looked out into the direction of the city of Orange... it shows you how far up we really are... there are a lot of bush walks in this area... it's pretty amazing the wildlife in this area as well. Sara said she's seen kangaroos jumping through the bush on one of the bush walks they took last Autumn...

After spending quite a while at the peak we decided to drive back down... but there was one more stop to do before we were off to lunch... we stopped half way down and had a look back up towards the peak, and the opposite direction towards the city... as you can see were still quite high up...

The smaller peak next to the "flat top" of Mount Canobolas Sara said she believes is called "Little Canobolas" and is one of the main vents next to the main vent that was where we were standing... as you can see because its' the highest point they used that to their advantage and put radio and TV towers up there... sadly it's a bit of an eye sore...

Well... onto our next stop... it won't be long until were there now...

* Posted Sep 5, 2008, 8:39 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lake Canobolas, New South Wales, Australia - 1st September 2008

By: sararingham

It wasn't too long and we were almost there... when again, Sara stopped the car, but this time she jumped out and walked a bit back where we were and got a photo... we saw it but Sara said we couldn't be in the photo since it might scare him away... a kookaburra... one of the things that make Australia Australia... they're quite noisy and you know them when you hear them but this is the first photo Sara's ever been able to get of one...

...and then before we knew it we were there... Lake Canobolas!
We all sat on the beach for a little while and then all the ducks and coots came over to greet us, they must have thought we were bread... Sara picked us up and got one last photo with us and the lake before moving on and getting some lunch!

Now here I am in front of the lake, isn't it such a pretty day? It doesn't seem like much but it was quite a busy day, I'm happy to be getting some food and resting at home! I'll write again soon mom, promise!

* Posted Sep 5, 2008, 8:50 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lucknow, New South Wales, Australia - 10th September 2008

By: sararingham

Another time for another drive, dang it seems like we're driving all over - it's amazing what living in a town does, anywhere you want to go we always have to drive everywhere, oh well... at least we get to see the country, what most tourists don't usually see... :-) Well, remember when I told you about the vineyards that are surrounding Orange? Well, here's a very good example, right in front of where we are here it just looks like a whole bunch of farmland, in which, you wouldn't be wrong... but it's two large vineyards on either side of the road, one of which is called the Turners Vineyard. The other Sara's not sure of the name, but it's another large one, people can pay a few hundred dollars a night to stay (in either of them)... and they do, it's pretty upscale for being... so far away from everything...

Now that were outside of Orange, you'd think there'd be really nothingness beyond a whole bunch of sheep and cows, and sometimes horses... but instead... we're now coming into another town? What's this?

Now this is literally what you would call a 'one road town' because that is literally all it is, there is a few unique things about this little town, and it's actually got it's own name, but not it's own post office... that's how small it is... it's called Lucknow.

Here's a bit of history that Sara told us about the town... in the second photo you can see it a bit better but there are two huge gold mine shafts on either side of the road... when they initially came to this area, they started digging for gold and after many years. Found all but nothing. So they named the town 'Luckno' which literally translates to 'no luck'. They then left the town...
...they then came back many years later to try again and see if it really is as empty as they thought it was... when they came back, they indeed did find gold so they renamed the town 'lucknow' because they now had that luck they were looking for.

There is a LOT of gold in this area... where Sara used to live when she moved here, a town called Blayney her and her husband would go to a smaller town near Blayney was called Carcoar and there was a small river and right near the river you'd actually find some gold flakes on the banks of the river. Quite interesting actually... well, this isn't our stop today as I'm sure you can tell... moving on...

* Posted Sep 13, 2008, 1:28 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia - 10th September 2008

By: sararingham

Well... as I said, we definitely weren't done today... we drove for another good 40 minutes and finally we were in another town about the size of Orange (40,000 or so people) which is called Bathurst. It's famous for it's V8 race track... but first stop, we went kangaroo hunting...

Sadly when we got to Bathurst they've started building lots of houses in the area where Sara usually see's kangaroos, so they went behind Mount Panorama to search for them there, and didn't see any there either! :-( How sad! We did see a few... but sadly they weren't alive... hopefully I'll see some while I'm in Australia... Sara was a bit sad too because she loves taking photos of them and showing off the famous icon to all the toyvoyagers that visit! Fingers crossed we see them on another journey!

Next stop was the V8 race track that's called Mount Panorama when they have the famous races each year, Australia pretty much just stops... especially in this area, everything is like a ghost town because everyone is watching the races... they're holding them this year on the 9-12th of October. So not too far away, they're preparing the track for the big weekend...

...here's a bit of information about the track, and a map showing you what the shape of the track looks like...

...and here I am in front of the entrance of the track...

Now it's time to take a ride on the V8 track... how often are you really able to do this? It's actually a road (part of it) to get to houses, and on the inside of the track they have vineyards, and houses and everything that are rented out during the races... they even have a play ground on one side of the track (short distance away but within view while your driving on the track) for the kids. :-)

Not sure if you could really see it, but there were people on the track, jogging around it, it's common to see people doing that... Sara finds it kind of amusing, but there are A LOT of people that come from all over Australia and sometimes the world just to drive on the track... pretty cool huh? Well here's what the starting gate looks like as well... I wasn't able to get a good shot from the other side of the track...

Well sadly there wasn't much else for us to see in Bathurst, we had a deadline and had to be back out of there pretty quickly after we got the mystery shops done... but here are some photos of what Bathurst looks like... there are a lot of older buildings... the first picture is at the top of the main street and that's a big church on the right side and the second photo is showing what the buildings commonly look like throughout Orange and Bathurst and all the surrounding little towns... :-)

Well, were back on the road and going back home.. I'll write again soon, promise! :-)

* Posted Sep 14, 2008, 8:12 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Millthorpe, New South Wales, Australia - 13th September 2008

By: sararingham

Well another time to take another car ride... what a surprise lol... I wonder where were going now? We're leaving Orange now, here's the exit sign that says "drive safely and return soon"... awwww! :-)

Well this time we were off to a smaller town with only a little over 700 people in it, yet quite a few pubs for the population... and lots and lots of farmland... we stopped off and met some friends... they were not that interested in us... oh well... Australia is quite famous for their sheep and sell the wool all over the world... these guys were pretty cute aren't they?

...and here's what it looks like as the view from where I'm standing, you can actually see Mount Canobolas in the back ground... that pretty much sums up what this entire area looks like outside of the small towns and larger cities (larger meaning 40,000 people)...

Well, not far from there we were now entering the small town of Millthorpe... first stop was one of the main streets in Millthorpe. This tiny town is historically recognized by Australia because of some of it's buildings and historical streets. The Australian TV movie Jessica which Sara's husband's sister was an extra in... pretty cool huh? Well, here I am on Pym Street...

Now, here's a bit of the information on Pym Street...

...then right next to it is another historical sight... the railway station and the railway hotel... here I am in front of it. :-)

...and here's a little bit more information about the railway and the hotel... as you can see from the hotel it's almost eerie how similar they look, even a century later!

Well it was time to keep moving, there wasn't much left to do, so we went up to Sara's mother-in-laws house and planted outselves in the kitchen preparing ourselves for the birthday party that was to come...

After the birthday party we headed home and went straight to sleep, it was definitely quite a long day! I'll write again soon, promise! :-)

* Posted Sep 14, 2008, 9:10 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, New South Wales, Australia - 15th September 2008

By: sararingham

Wow, after that long weekend, we had another visitor come today... I wonder who it is...

Well, what do you know? It's a little carebear called Lollipop how nice to meet some more little guys just like us!

* Posted Sep 19, 2008, 1:32 am Last edited Sep 19, 2008, 1:48 am by sararingham [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, New South Wales, Australia - 19th September 2008

By: sararingham

Today, we had another little one arrive today... well, not little one... the size of the packaging is quite... large... I just hope whatever it is isn't dangerous...

Then out pops Luv Leon she's pretty big compared, but I think she'll be okay, she's pretty cuddly and seems to love us already... this is going to be great! :-)

* Posted Sep 19, 2008, 2:54 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, New South Wales, Australia - 19th September 2008

By: sararingham

Sara never really introduced me fully to all the animals I've been living with the last few weeks... pretty naughty of her, but she made up for it... I was happy to meet my roommates. Some of them I've heard for quite a while but not really have seen, one of the biggest things in the house is the aviary that lives in Sara's kitchen... :-)

These are Sara's birds, she's got quite a few... most of them are finches, but she also has two button quails and two diamond doves (which are the smallest doves in the world - which are not much bigger than a finch). Sara's birds are all Australian native, they include star finches, gouldian finches, spice finches, and zebra finches. :-) They're all quite pretty aren't they?

Next stop was their fish tank, obviously these guys don't make too much noise but they had a few babies so their few platties turned into a few more... so most of them are identical but there are swordtails and a guppy for live bearing fish. Otherwise there are a few barbs, loaches, and suckerfish (one of which is quite large).

Then not quite the last yet, but other side of the house Sara has a puppy currently in a kennel. Don't worry she's not in there most of the time, except night time or the times that Sara's not home. But because she's still a puppy I can hardly get a photo together with her, let alone with her not trying to eat me... :-) She's friendly though, her name is Anni, and she's a 5 month old beagle. :-)

Last but of course not least, the mice... Sara has 6 mice (2 of which are brand new from today)... she's got them in a large mouse mansion and they were all roaming around the cage and being crazy until we came around! Oh well! It's daytime so they're sleeping away... they live on top of the dogs kennel most of the time where they're safe... they're also very friendly animals!

So I hope you enjoyed the tour around Sara's home with her pets... she's got quite a few but as you can tell I'm sure she's an animal lover! :-) Write again soon!

* Posted Sep 19, 2008, 11:54 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lucknow, New South Wales, Australia - 19th September 2008

By: sararingham

Well, last but not least today we went to Lucknow again. This is honestly Sara's first trip to Lucknow where she's actually stopping and having a look around. She's always just drove on through, this time she decided to learn a bit more about the tiny little town and have us learn some more history about the town... there's a little walk around through the farmland so you can learn a bit more about the mining industry...

Then of course, first things first we walked over to the giant mine shafts one on each side of the road... here I am in front of them...

...then we got to learn a bit about the history of Lucknow and the mining that was happening when it was up and running way back in the 1940's...

Since the writing on the sign is very small, I'll write out what it says...
The photo shows the village and mining activity in Lucknow about 1900.

The Bathurst to Orange road, bounded by palin fences, cuts through the village. The Tangye Dam, in the foreground, stored water for the stam boilers and batteries. Immediately behind the dam you can see the cyanide processing site. On the let is the Reform Mine poppet head, with the Phoenix Mine poppet head located on the hillside behind.

The Lucknow school buildings can be identified on the ridge line at right. Mamhead, with it's striped awning, is located in the centre.

...and here I am in front of the Tangye Dam that was mentioned in the information that we just read... this actually really surprised Sara since she never thought there was a dam that ran through this town... especially this much since were in such a drought right now, it was quite surprising actually...
...it was pretty warm today, I was tempted to take a dip in the water, but then decided against it as it probably wasn't as clean as I thought it would be (mainly because of the drought of course).

...almost done with the walk through now (it wasn't too long anyways) here was another information sign... to show you the backdrop of what it looked like where we were here's what it looks like... and now here's the information from the sign...

...again since the writing is quite small I'll type out what the sign reads so you can have a read yourself:
In May 1951, only a few months after Australia's first gold rush started at Ophir, gold was found at present day Lucknow. The Wentworth Goldfield (named after the early land owner WC Wentworth) was initially an alluvial field, but the wealth of the lode lay underground. A comprehensive network of mines was established during the late 1800's, the remnants of the mining operations still dominating the Lucknow village landscape.

During the late 1880's, a series of dams was constructed along Fredericks Valley Creek to provide water storage for the mines. The bluestone walls of these structures are still evident. To the east of Emu Swamp Road, the 'Boat Dam' was constructed and used by the Lucknow village community for recreation. Swimming, rowing and boat regattas were held on the dam.

By the early 1900's the mines had flooded due to the rising water table, and much of the goldfield was abandoned. A resurgence in mining occurred during the 1930's but by the 1940's the boom years of Lucknow and its mines were over. Today Lucknow services the surrounding rural community, its poppet heads and mullock heaps remaining as testimony to the village's historic mining history.

...as you can see there's not much to Lucknow since the mining left in the 40's so a lot of it is just farm land, there are a LOT of sheep... as you see everywhere in Australia - especially since Australia seems to be known for it's sheep and it's wool... we saw a lot of sheep... they all seemed pretty happy! :-) oh, and we even got to see some Australian wood ducks... Sara loves these ducks, she calls them "fancy ducks" because of their brown head...

...well... there's not much more to see in this area, and it was getting quite late and quite warm so we decided to head back to the car... on the way back to the car we stopped and got to see some real aboriginal paintings...
...well I hope you enjoyed my little trek outside of town... I'll post more again soon there's more interesting and historical stuff to learn about rural Australia. :-) Write again soon!

* Posted Sep 23, 2008, 2:30 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, New South Wales, Australia - 28th September 2008

By: sararingham

Well, the time has come... time to move onto another Australian host... lets see what we'll see next... I'm on my way to becka_kate in Sydney!

* Posted Sep 27, 2008, 2:34 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Sydney, Australia - 5th October 2008

By: becka_kate

I've arrived safely in Sydney and am about to head off to Canberra (Australia's capital) for a week of fun and games and have just been promised a trip to the beach if I'm a good little shark and the weather stays nice!

* Posted Oct 11, 2008, 7:25 am Last edited Oct 19, 2008, 1:42 pm by becka_kate [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

on the Hume Highway (NSW), Australia - 8th October 2008

By: becka_kate

We set off early in the morning to make the three hour drive from Sydney to Canberra, which turned out to be a little bit longer than normal because of the road works. We had a nice sunny day, which my host found a little unusual seeing as she's used to making the drive either in the dark or in heavy rain.

On the way I noticed lots of trees with tiny yellow flowers on them that I'd never seen before. I found out that they are called Wattle and are the floral emblem of Australia (and why their national colours are green and gold!) They are a very pretty flower, but not very good if you have allergies!

More road works and more wattle!

* Posted Oct 11, 2008, 8:06 am Last edited Oct 11, 2008, 8:09 am by becka_kate [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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