The Great Ocean Road runs along the south coast from Geelong, south of Melbourne towards Adelaide, the total journey between the two cities is just over 1000km and the Great Ocean Road (GOR) extends for about half of it. The road is famous as a scenic route and in particular for a stretch of limestone coast with a series of rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles, although thanks to continuing erosion there are only nine now! Continue reading Great Ocean Road
Marks decision to head south and pick up Highway 63 was inspired, we had a lovely drive south from Abel Tasman down through the fruit orchards around Nelson with the blossom just starting to come out. The road east took us along a wide river valley between towering hillsides, it reminded us of the Scottish Highlands. As we approached the town of Blenheim we drove through the Marlborough Wine region with vineyards on either side of the road stretching almost as far as the eye could see. We stopped for coffee in Blenheim, it was another modern low rise, town but it had a nice riverside park. From there we turned south and followed Highway 1 to Kaikoura. Continue reading Kaikoura
Well, what can we tell you all about Samoa? In brief it is a beautiful country with lovely people and stunning scenery.
We arrived early in the morning on our flight from Honolulu and were met by Michael, a member of staff from The Seabreeze Resort, our first stop in Samoa, he had a car waiting complete with iced water and cold towels to refresh us after our journey – great start.
We arrived at Hilo airport at the south end of the island, picked up our hire car and drove approx. 30 miles to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It was an easy ride through residential suburbs and pleasant forest; the road climbed gently but there was nothing to suggest that we were driving up a live, and very active volcano. We arrived at the National Park entrance, stopped at the visitor information centre to pick up some maps and talked to a park ranger to find out how they suggested we use our time in the park. Opposite the visitor centre we saw the entrance to the Volcano House Hotel, it looked similar to other park lodges we have stayed in, nothing fancy and all about the park location. We left our bags in the car while we checked in, and then went to find the bar to get some lunch. Wow, that was when we saw the view!! Looking out of the panoramic window in the bar we looked straight out onto the crater of Kilauea, and right in the middle, in a smaller crater we could see smoke rising in a cloud into the air. Continue reading The Big Island (Hawaii 5.2)
We rose early on Wednesday and reported to our departure lounge ready for our 06.25 disembarkation. The port of Whittier was grey and foggy and the rain was pouring down, fortunately the Alaskans know how to deal with these conditions and we followed a covered walkway across the quayside to our waiting train. The trip to Mt McKinley Lodge took about 6 hours, the first five were in a glass domed railway carriage which gave us a great view of the Alaskan landscape as we headed inland and north. We were sharing a table with a couple from the Midwest who, like everybody else wanted to talk about Brexit, and after that to find out what we think about Donald Trump!!
Glacier Park Lodge is an historic hotel, it was built in the early C20th and is a log cabin construction; the main lobby is three stories high and supported by huge whole Douglas fir tree trunks. The Lodge is about an hour from the park entrance so we spent one night there before transferring to St Mary’s Lodge which is a five-minute walk from the entrance! We will have another night at Glacier Park Lodge before we leave for Seattle on Sunday evening. The ride from one hotel to the next took us through the Blackfeet Nation Reservation, Glacier Park is the traditional tribal land of the Blackfeet Nation and has great cultural and religious significance for them. Unfortunately, the treaty which took the land into Federal Government control pretty much excludes the Blackfeet from accessing the land; they now live outside the park in and around a town called Browning, where their main income is from beef cattle and lumber.
We are now back from our Cornwall trip and looking forward to the big one.
Today we have paid the balance of the element that Audley Travel have organised for us. That is from Alaska to Dubai, six months worth of travel: now it is real!
Bring it on.