Our Outback Adventure, Day 7

Mungo – Swan Hill 349 kms all 2nd rate dirt roads took 3 hours

We rose early and went out to shoot sunrise over the Mungo Plains, quiet and peaceful out in the scrubland and beautiful sunrise it was, it may have started out cool, but warmed up quite quickly once the sun was up. We headed over to the old Woolshed for photos before all the visitors arrived. True probably not that many, but nice to shoot something without people in it at times.

Back to the Lodge for a welcome cooked breakfast, pack and head out of the dusty dirt roads again, this time heading back to civilisation again. We have had no cell signal, nor internet for 3 days! We were all heading to Swan Hill, we went the ‘scenic’ route which was on less than secondary dirt roads and quite rough. We decided to try and find Heywood Lake and ended up on even worse roads, some of which were closed and flooded over!

Our scenic route was actually a short cut (even with detours) and we made it to Swan Hill in three hours! We wandered around town, had some lunch and then visited the Pioneer Settlement for a quick look around. We went out on the Paddle Steamer [PS] PYAP, which barely had 3″ of clearance due to the water levels being so low at this time of year; total water level was 2’3′” normally over 10″ foot deep. So we travelled up the Murray past Murray Downs Homestead and past campsite, houseboats and mighty river red gums (trees). It was such a lovely relaxing way to see the area on the old paddle steamer.

We then checked into our hotel, showered and changed for our last night celebration dinner together at Spoons Restaurant, on the balcony overlooking the river, we saw a magnificent sunset and then after dinner saw the wonderful “heartbeat of the Murray” light show back at the Pioneer Settlement. WOW! what a show, truly amazing and so deserved for all the awards it has won.

This is just a few snapshots off the smart phone……still impressive huh? We all went back to the hotel, a few of us had a night cap and said goodbye…..in the morning, everyone was going their own way. We had spent a week with these wonderful people, old and new friends, we will all see each other again, soon.

Almost done, with only one day to go…

~ Julz

Day 6 | Day 8

 

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Autumn and Metal

I’m back after a short break, found new photos to use for my challenges! So this week’s Cees Fun Foto Challenge is Autumn and Metal. I love Autumn, one of my favourite times of the year, days are pleasant (mostly) and the nights are cooler. Making sunrise and sunsets all the more spectacular and the night sky so much brighter. So here is my Metal and Autumn photos from a recent trip to the Outback (never tire of saying that, it seems so magical and romantic 🙂 – Blacksmiths, Metal water tanks and windmills, metal train tracks and iron ore mining sites…….. not to mention the sunrise and sunsets over a vast Autumn landscape

Til next time, happy snapping…

~ Julz

 

Our Outback Adventure, Day 6

Broken Hills – Mungo National Park, via Menindee Lakes, Pooncarie 331 kms all dirt road, Pooncarie to Mungo alone took 3.5 hours

We were up early this morning, no time to shoot sunrise, although it was lovely, we headed out to Menindee Lakes, off the beaten track, red dirt roads again for miles and miles. This series of lakes is often empty and there are dead trees sticking up out of the water everywhere you look. There is a main weir and feeds off the Darling River.

The Menindee Lakes is a chain of shallow ephemeral freshwater lakes connected to the Darling River to form a storage system. The lakes lie in the far west region of New South Wales, Australia, near the town of Menindee.

-Wikipedia

I was suffering from childhood flashback all along the road to Menindee and later email confirmed I had indeed been to this spot several times as a child. I remember the roads and the paddymelons growing wild on the side (a type of fruit bearing a similar appearance to watermelon but small and round like an orange or grapefruit). I remembered the lakes and the dead trees, wonderful spot for camping and the sunsets were amazing, but alas we were not there for sunset this day 😦

The road from Menindee to Pooncarie was also full of flashbacks; red dirt, blue skies and more paddy melons on the roadside. We saw a few kangaroos, some emus and more wild goats. We had the worst lunch at the Pooncarie Pub……..never visit there again! We finally arrived at Mungo Lodge in a huge cloud of dust. After we settled into out rooms, we were introduced to our last travelling companion to join us and then we were all escorted out to Mungo National Park to visit the Walls of China for a picnic dinner and sunset. I was not at all sure of what to expect,  I did not remember ever seeing or hearing of it before on previous visits. It was surreal, almost felt like walking on an alien landscape. Our latest companion had a drone and took aerial shots of the area, they were wonderful. I think Moth really, really, really wants to get a drone now……..I might just let him 🙂

Mungo National Park is part of the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area. The region abounds in ancient cultural and archaeological treasures, the scale of which is almost impossible to grasp without a visit. Findings include human skeletal material, tools, middens and animal bones, along with relatively undisturbed land-forms spanning several thousand years.

We even managed to fulfil a bucket list item for one of our companions to create light painting orbs in the desert here.

It was a long and dangerous drive back in the dark after a wonderful sunset; cars, dust and kangaroos…but we all made it back safely.

This is where I leave Day 6 and will continue on with Mungo and Day 7 next post…

~ Julz

Day 5 | Day 7

 

An afternoon in Fitzroy…

I recently spent a lovely afternoon in Fitzroy with Desley, we had lunch in a lovely little cafe and spent such a wonderful time catching up, good coffee and a fabulous lunch.

Fitzroy is an older part of Melbourne, in the inner city, and it is seeing a resurgence of artistic and creative types. There is street art (and tagging) everywhere, lots of hip bo-ho type, cool people wandering the streets and loads of cafes and clubs. There is the Rose Street Artists Market….such a wonderful place. Sorry no photos I was too busy looking and buying.

We wandered the streets shooting what ever took our fancy and we also shot out Regular Random segment here as well

DSC_0059

It really was such a lovely Autumn afternoon, which we topped off with another coffee and then hit the Movies for a fantastic few hours watching Beauty and the Beast! I can highly recommend it, if you have not already seen it……….‘Be our guest’

~ Julz

 

 

Share Your World – 18th April, 2017

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen? I am not really phased by one of the other, if I am scribbling notes I’ll happily use a pencil, but if I am writing to someone, which I rarely do, I always use a pen. I handwrite my Christmas cards in pen, but I am sending less and less, preferring to send e-Cards.

Would you rather be an amazing dancer or an amazing singer? Singer! Although I do like to move to the rhythm as well. But I love to sing, I have said it before; in the shower, especially in the car……..shame I am not very good 🙂

If you were on a debate team, what subject would you relish debating? Why smacking your kids is a GOOD thing. Seriously don’t get me started on the half wits around now-a-days……no fear of chastisement, as they know there is nothing anyone can do. Back in my day (GOD I sound like my GrandMother!) a good smack would whip us into line and we had respect for the person handing out that smack, or in my case, belt. Honestly the world is going down a craphole and most of it could be solved if people punished their children. No I’m not talking about physical abuse, just a simple smack on the bum!

What are you a “natural” at doing? Being creative, photography took a bit to learn, and I am still learning, but it seems I am quite good at that…but it’s the art; the creative, imaginative art that sets my imagination and soul on fire. I have always had an active imagination, now I can play it out on the screen. I used to paint and I was OK, I could never seem to create what was in my minds’ eye when I painted, but digitally I can create almost anything. It’s wonderful, I wish I had discovered it years ago, but then digital art was not what it is today, is it?

DSC_9166

Sunrise of the Murray River, Mildura

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

So much in my life is wonderful right now, I just had a fantastic Outback Adventure, a lovely quiet Easter weekend with family and friends and now on Saturday Moth and I are off on another adventure……..this time we are hitting more of Victoria’s amazing coastline. We are picking up where we left off from the Great Ocean Road Trip and heading East; more Light houses and fabulous coastal vistas. Can’t wait, hopefully I can get some more amazing photography like last week.

On a more boring note, I have finally caught up with two years of taxation stuff and I think I have finally sorted out most of my Photography Catalogue in Lightroom……such a headache, but both of them now seem to be under control……..whew! Now THAT’s a relief.

I hope you are have a fantastic week…don’t forget to visit Cee’s SYW Page

~ Julz

Our Outback Adventure, Day 5

Broken Hill – Silverton – Mundi Mundi Plains, 24 kms

We allowed ourselves the luxury of a sleep in this morning, as we had a free morning to ourselves, we did however miss a fabulous sunrise. We went to Bells Cafe for morning tea, it’s a retro 1960s cafe filled to the brim with retro goodies and decor. I got a lactose free Cherry Ripe Milkshake……yummo!

We then headed back out to the Line of the Load memorial for some more photos.

Next was the Royal Flying Doctor Service, a vital medical service which covers a majority of outback Australia, for which without, there would be no clinics or emergency services.  We did a tour of the facilities and had everything explained from changes in the last few decades due to technology and how operations work. We even saw the hangar where they house the air-planes.

We then wandered around Town for a bit, looking at some of the historic buildings, had some lunch at Thyme Cafe (delicious) and then met the others to head off to Day Dream Mine. Some ventured on the underground mine tour, I had read it was quite rigorous so I stayed above ground.  There is the remains of the old township and smelter, but it is quite dangerous and had to stay on the dirt road….the ground still has many open mine shafts which you could fall into, as well as some of the slag heaps still contain cyanide, arsenic and lead and disturbing them is ill-advised! The ones who did the mine tour all complained how stiff & sore they were from the cramped and difficult conditions they endured down there, for days! So glad I stayed up top. On and no I did not try the fresh scones 🙂

After carefully exploring the area we headed off again to Silverton. This area was used to shoot several Mad Max films, although they had to shoot the last one in Mongolia or something as the area broke out in a sudden case of Spring after some rains and wild flowers dotted the landscape………so very un Mad Max lol.

We wandered around this now ghost town, but as we arrived quite late we could not visit the many galleries dotted around the small town, nor the Mad Max Museum. We did photograph many of the abandoned houses and buildings, we met donkeys and horses, goats and some kangaroos. We then drove out to Mundi Mundi Plains for the most stunning sunset overlooking what could have been the edge of the world. So flat and barren and untamed, not a soul in sight except for ourselves.

We drove back (carefully dodging kangaroos, horses and donkeys) back to Silverton Pub for a lovely dinner, with loads of stories and laughs.

After dinner we went back out to one of the abandoned houses for some light painting in the ruins. No flaming steel wool tonight, too dangerous. True there is not alot left to burn down, but I am sure any damage would not be appreciated.

Some of us were so tired and still had the drive back to Broken Hill in the dark, so we didn’t play all night, even if I wanted to, I had some new ideas I had wanted to try. Oh well, can’t be greedy! Eventually made it back to the hotel safe and sound and that is where I will leave day 5…

~ Julz

Day 4 | Day 6

Monday Musings…

Easter Monday…….so the weekend is still on a roll, but that’s OK we are home this weekend and such a lovely relaxing weekend. Good Friday was spent with family, such a lovely day, both my girls and my Son in Law, my Parents dropped in for a visit and we have a debacle of a roast dinner………I can cook, but I think my oven in not working properly, 2.5 hours to cook a 1kg lamb roast? mmmmmm I see a problem happening here. Anyway we carried on, and feasted on Easter chocolate and alcohol 🙂 Oh and then played Monopoly……….have you played the new version with credit card? Weird…oh and it was the Australian version as well……double weird. But loads of fun………I didn’t loose exactly but I came close 🙂

Saturday………oh wow what can I say? Desley Jane and I had a wonderful day together, lunch and shopping at the Rose Street Artist market, I didn’t need to mortgage the house; but I did spend a little something $$. We then wandered the streets of Fitzroy, such a hipster paradise, fun people, cool characters and street art; so much happening everywhere you looked. We both did our Regular Random shoot, quite funny actually………be interesting to see each others pictures, as we shared the same subject!

Beauty-Beast-2017-Movie-Posters

I think the highlight of our day (apart from spending time together) we went to the movies…..we had both desperately wanted  to see Beauty and the Beast. OMG such a wonderful re-make…….good thing we had some vacant seats around us, I think we were both singing in spots and laughing…it WAS wonderful. But over all too soon. Eventually I had to make my way home, I had animals to feed and things to do, plus had not see Hubby all day.

Yesterday was spent in editing mode, plus trying to sort out my Photo catalogue; it is such a mess and so big…….I just have to do it. Food shopping, car washing (still had not been cleaned from our trip last week) and general household chores (I know…..so boring and mundane, but they never seem to do themselves!).

That leaves me with today……Easter Monday, no plans just relax………I think it will be that kind of day. We are off again on the weekend, so that will be wonderful, in the meantime, back to work tomorrow.

I hope you all had a pleasant and safe Easter and have a fantastic week…

~ Julz

 

 

Our Outback Adventure, Day 4

Mildura – Wentworth – Broken Hill 325 kms (3.5 hours)

We all rose early and met at the Mildura Wharf for sunrise, it was cool, calm and very quiet, with a few sleepy birds starting to stir. We all stood and watched the sun rise over the Murray River, each minute more magic than the next. This truly must signal the end of my Sunrise Jinx?

Finally we decided it was time to leave the wharf, pack up and grab some breakfast and leave for a new day’s adventure. Heading into NSW over the Mighty Murray River, we briefly spent the morning exploring Wentworth.

The Gaol, The Junction, Dock 10; all quite muddy. We then drove out to Perry Sandhills; red, red sand dunes (My photos below just don’t do it just 😦 ) that stretch on for as far as the eye can see. Sand so fine, like talcum powder, we had been warned against taking the cameras and only used the SmartPhone.

We then continued the long 3 hour drive to Broken Hill, saw lots of wild goats, but not much of anything else, apart from road kill 🙂 It was actually surprisingly green with so much scrub grass; I was expecting a lot more sand and dirt and much less grass. We had red dirt, cobalt blue skies and fairy-tale fluffy white clouds and stretches of road that went for miles and miles. We stopped for a late and very quick lunch in Broken Hill and checked into our Hotel (again on a main highway!) time for a quick rest up and then off to explore Broken Hill and the surrounds. We visited the Line of the Load Memorial where all the dead over the last few hundred years were honoured in a memorial. So many lost from rock falls, lead poisoning, crushed under trucks and a few from something as simple as a cut lip (septicemia). Some were never recovered and are still down under the rocks of these now closed mines.

 

We then drove out to see the Rock Sculptures at the Living Desert National Park. Stunning light in the late afternoon, we stayed for Sunset and then some light painting, until we got kicked out by the Park Ranger, as he wanted to lock up for the night (7pm). We drove back into town for a fantastic Dinner at Palace Hotel of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (movie) fame. Apparently there were even some drag queens, but we arrived late and missed them. They have a big festival weekend in September called Broken Heel!

We met up with two more companions who had a horrible caravan incident on the way up and had to limp into town for some repairs. The 4WD and caravan jack-knifed, causing damage to the back drivers side door, they finally got it shut, but now wont open, and punched a whole in the side of the caravan…..daylight could be seen from within…never a good thing. They were shaken up, but luckily unhurt. Apart from graphic tales of how it happened, we also had lots of laughs and drinks, with good friends, until finally we all headed off to bed. I will leave Day 4 here…

~ Julz

Day 3 | Day 5

 

Five Minutes @ Doughnut Time, Regular Random

DSC_0055

This week’s regular random is quite special, well for me anyway. First I rarely do street photography, as most of you know, but this day it seemed fitting. Second, and most importantly I shot it with Desley. We had met up for lunch in Fitzroy and had just enjoyed a lovely lunch and wander through the Rose Street Artists Market, we started to wander the streets looking for graffiti and thought it might be fun to both shoot our regular random on the same subject; at the same time.

Desley used the Art setting on her camera and got some very cool effects…….don’t forget to check out her pics from her post. I felt that due to the area, the hipster vibe, the street art and the cliche doughnut shop, I really wanted to process as least some of them in over contrast B&W. I normally feel so self conscious shoot street photography, but with both of us together, it felt safe and comfortable.

It’s actually a cool spot for five minutes of random…….and as Desley just reminded me, NO doughnuts were consumed by us during the shoot! OMG what is wrong with us? lol

DSC_0070

Well at least someone enjoyed them with a coffee. For more info on Regular Random, visit Desley’s Page; just shoot one object for five minutes and move only useful and not the object.

~ Julz