Life Of Others : Howqua Valley – Easy Going Gelding

Life Of Others (Post#4) : Howqua Valley – Easy Going Gelding

I am featuring in this photo theme the horse that with me in my horse back riding adventure in Howqua Valley Victoria Australia, he was assigned to me considering it was my first time riding experience. His name is Woodman and he was with me for the two 2 days adventure in one of the beautiful high country places in Australia. The experience was amazing and he was kind to me as he follow my instructions to him. I was thankful to Woodman as he take care of me during the unforgettable adventure. Photo captured last August 2013.

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Ueno Park – One of Japan’s First Public Park and Once Kaneiji’s Ground

Ueno Park

Ueno Park

From Tokyo Station, we took JR Yamanote Line to Ueno Station. We got off at Ueno Station to visit Ueno Park. The park entrance is just beside the Ueno Station and because of this no one will ever miss the park by any visitors. We checked the map and search for things we can see around the area. There are lots of places to see in the park and all these places had their own entrance tickets. Because that day was our last day in Tokyo, we wanted to make a wise decision because we wanted to see more places as we can in a limited time that we have.

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Grand Fountain

Day Market

Tokyo National Museum

Therefore we decided to walk around the park and not to enter to any museums. Near the entrance we passed the The National Museum of Western Art Tokyo. Next, we saw the Grand Fountain wherein at the time of our visit, beside the fountain was the temporary day market. As we walked further we found The Tokyo National Museum. During that walk I used Triposo app to see if we can see interesting areas in the park aside from museums. Facing The Tokyo National Museum main entrance gate, we turned right and found The Ueno Rinnoji Temple (Rinno-ji Ryodaishi-do) which is a Buddhist temple which enshrined two priest. The temple is part of cathedral of Kaneiji temple. Beside Rinnoji temple, the Kaneiji Temple Imperial Cemetery. After taking few photos around the temple we walked back towards The Tokyo National Museum until we were near the Gate of the Inshu-Ikeda Residence known as “Kuromon (Black Gate)”.

The Ueno Rennoji Temple

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Kuromon (Black Gate)

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Kuroda Mermorial Hall

In the same corner of Kuromon, we saw Kuroda Memorial Hall. The hall was part of the estate of Kuroda Seiki which considered as father of modern western-style painting. Kuroda Seiki offered the part of his estate to be used for furtherment of the art.

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Kaneiji Temple

From the corner, we turned right and walked until we found the Kaneiji Temple. Kaneiji temple is also a Buddhist temple. I just learned that the whole Ueno Park are grounds of Kaneiji which converted into the park after it was destroyed during civil war and the temple has been relocated to where it is now. We spent time for taking photos in the surroundings of the temple and left to continue our stroll in the park.

Prince Komatsu statue

Ueno Park – Famous in Cherry Blossoms During Spring Season

We walked back to the center of the park by taking the same path we took on the way to Kaneiji Temple. After reaching the Kuroda Memorial Hall again, we walk the pathway where we found the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. We passed the main gate of more than century old Ueno Zoo. Along the way we saw the statue of Prince Komatsu. According to Wikipedia, Prince Komatsu Akihito was a member of Fushimi-no-miya, one branches of shinnoke of imperial family of Japan and eligible to Chrysanthemum Throne if the main line died out.

Benten Gate

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Bentendo

Some Fish found in Boat Pond

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Boat Pond

We walked in the middle and main walkway of the park. The said pathway is the famous area for sightseeing during spring season where visitors expecting  cherry blossoms. In the nearby area we found the Benten Gate and Benten Hall which surrounded by ponds such as Uno Pond, Boat Pond, Shinobazu Pond and Hasu Pond. Benten Hall was dedicated to Benten a goddess of good fortune, wealth, music and knowledge.

The Shitamachi Museum

From Benten Hall we walked towards The Shitamachi Museum (Museum of Down Town Customs). The said museum was dedicated to its traditional culture of Tokyo’s Shitamachi.

Ameyoko

After leaving Ueno Park, we walked in the nearby market called Ameyoko (a short name of Ameya Yokocho – candy store alley). Based on history the market was black market before second world war where most of American products were available. But even this time, it seems that if follows the history, because the said market still selling lots of various western products and common store sellers are not local Japanese but foreigners.

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Trekking Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

At camping area in the nearby village Yulara not far from Uluru / Ayers Rock where we chose to sleep for the first night of our camping tour, we helped our tour guide in dinner preparation. To be honest, I was not really good in kitchen and food stuff but still I tried my best to be useful, like helping the group in washing the dishes. After dinner, our tour guide announced that our wake-up call was 6am the next morning.

I washed-up myself before I get in the swag. When I was inside the swag, I got a chance to enjoy the sky at night and tried to listen to my surroundings. While I was in that moment, I was also checking my other group mates and found some were snoozing, some still talking and some were just quiet like me.

Overnight in an open space and sleeping in swag was one of the first unique experience I had in the Outback. Yes, as mountaineers, I usually sleep in sleeping bag inside the tent but it was first in swag which quite different. Swag is like a self contain sleeping bag, I never felt cold over night which was really surprising but good as well. Before I totally passed out for day, I was with a thought of happiness and satisfaction with my first day with Uluru / Ayers Rock specifically the base walk experience. That night, I felt excited again and I was looking forward for the next adventure.

Second day at the outback, I woke-up early in the morning. I organised my swag, I tried to roll it to be like it was before I used it, but it’s kind of difficult to roll, so I just fixed it as much I can.  I joined my group in preparing our breakfast. Since I had shower the night before, I was ready for the day’s event. It was still dark when we left the camping area, I felt like it was still early in the morning. As we were catching the sunrise we drove back again to Lasseter Highway from Yulara and visited a lookout area called Kata Tjuta Viewing Area (or Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing). We waited a little, in few minutes we witnessed the sunrise while watching  Kata Tjuta from a far. While observing The Olgas , from a distance at our right side while facing The Olgas, Uluru / Ayers Rock was also visible, the sun was actually behind it. It was a spectacular moment for me. We watched how great sceneries that Kata Tjuta shows because it is a rock dome ranges, it was called t that moment with the sun rising, I felt really alive, I felt really good. It was a moment that I was content and loved my life. It was one of the effect of the Outback to me. Sometimes I can’t explain why, because to other people maybe it’s just a places of rocks with probably no meaning to them, but for me it was a world of amazing things and serenity.

— Uluru / Ayers Rock at dawn and early in the morning from Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) from Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

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— On our way to Kata Tjuta

After, the sunrise, we went back to the bus and we drove towards The Olgas. We returned to Lassetter Highway and I knew that time, that the second day was the day to get up close and personal with Kata Tjuta. We arrived at the parking area where the “Valley of the Winds” trekking trail starts.

— Up close and personal with Kata Tjuta / The Olgas

— The trekking trail

— The first glimpse of Valley of the Winds from Karu Lookout

We jumped-off the bus and started our walk towards the base of The Olgas. At firs,t I thought that The Olgas are small hills until we were really close to it and realized how huge the rock formations and was like Uluru / Ayers Rock. Kata Tjuta is a unique kind of natural rock formation. I was reckoning, in such desert plain like Red Centre, that there such kind of rock formations like Uluru  / Ayers Rock and The Olgas existed. I was amazed how these were created and become what they are today. If we are living in a magical world like from a fantasy story, we can think of that someone may put Uluru and Kata Tjuta in the middle of desert plain and the most surprising, they are located in the almost center of Australia. I was still contemplating how these kind of rock formations evolved in the middle of the desert until I thought that it was some amazing geological miracle. The first part of the trail was Karu Lookout where we first witness the “Valley of the Winds”.

— The trekking trail

— The Olgas

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— Featuring the highest dome called Mount Olga

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We followed the trail inside The Olgas. I enjoyed the trek around the area. We passed a small water streams that looks like a natural canal or a petite river. Trekking in a natural environment such as The Olgas are one of the activities that I really enjoyed. Then, along the trail we saw the water falls which seems the source of the water stream that we just passed by. The same trail where the water fall is, we have to combine walking and hiking in an inclined part of one of the huge rock formation and there’s nothing to hold on. Honestly, that kind of trail made me felt really unsure to myself. I tried my best and we successfully passed the part of the trail until we reach the top area where the water falls came from.

— Trekking Trail

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— Getting inside The Olgas

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— The poop (captured this photo while our tour guide is telling something about the poop)

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— The water falls we passed by along the trail

— The top most area where the water falls came from

— Trekking trail

— Between The Olgas

We arrived at the top most area that we can reach in the trail and walk towards Karingana Lookout. There, I saw the “Valley of the Winds” again. At Karingana Lookout, “Valley of the Winds” was an amazing and a picturesque view. At the time of trekking, I was quite tired after taking steps upward to the area, though tired a bit, I felt it was worth to climb. At the lookout, I realized how lucky I was to witness such sceneries and such views  that cannot be appreciated down below.

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— Trail to Karingana Lookout for “Valley of the Winds” view

— Between The Olgas

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Valley of the Winds at Karingana Lookout

— Couple of shots on the way back to the parking area.

— Kata Tjuta / The Olgas

After spending sometime and after enjoying photo snapshots at Karingana lookout for the “Valley of the Winds”, we started to go back. We used the same trail going up to descend The Olgas. We passed the same water falls and slippery trail. After returning to the parking area, I thought that the adventure in The Olgas was finished until we drove back to Lasseter Highway and stopped at The Olgas Viewing Area.

Before we completely ended our adventure that day, after finishing Kata Tjuta trek, we returned to Uluru Sunset Viewing area because our tour guide considered that we experienced rain during the first camping day tour, it was good to go back for such wonderful day. And we spent few minutes to take photos and snapshots until we leave the premise.

— Kata Tjuta

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— Uluru / Ayers Rock (during our second day)

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Mount Conner

On our way to Kings Creek station, which was the designated place for our upgraded accommodation arrangement. Upgraded because from swag, we were about to sleep in Tent with two beds, which means one thing, a more comfortable bed are waiting for our group. Passing Lasseter Highway, we stopped at Mount Conner lookout area, where we saw how magnificent Mount Conner. I was amazed because the rock formation that Mount Conner has which stands around the area of Red Centre is another piece of huge rock formation in the middle of the desert and its  distinguished shape still notable compared to Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

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— Our Tour Guide

— Lasseter Highway

After enjoying Mount Conner from a distance, we crossed Lasseter Highway to enjoy the nearby desert with perfect sand dunes, we walked around the area and played the sands, we saw the lake as well and discovered a unique species in the outback desert called Ngiyari or Thorny Devil.

— Lake

— Desert sand dunes

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— Ngiyari (Thorny Devil)

The rest of the afternoon spent in the road while we were on our way to Kings Creek station for our third and last day adventure in Kings Canyon. It was another worth experience I had in the outback of Australia. And though I was quite sad that the adventure will be over soon, I was still excited for the next adventure.

Until then.

Kangaroo Island – Australia’s Wild Life Park Island

It was my second and last tour in South Australia, I knew that one of the hardest thing to decide when traveling is choosing which tour or adventure to select and which one is to give up. When I’m planning my holiday in this state, I wished that I had a longer days of holiday but I don’t have. After spending some thoughts about it, I chose Grand Adelaide and Kangaroo Island tour. I already published the stories happened to me on my first day in Adelaide in my previous posts and this time I am focused in my Kangaroo Island experience.

Every time I travel, I tried my best to see the national park around the area or nearby area because I have this thoughts that there is something special in such kind of place, something considered as natural treasure that humanity must protect. Kangaroo Island has Flinders Chase National Park and conservation parks wherein Seal Bay Conservation Park is one of them. The name of the Kangaroo Island was made because the early explorer of the island was came from the group of Matthew Flinders and at that time they haven’t eaten meat for so long until they saw small Kangaroo which the group hunted. That kind of story behind the names of places sometimes quite fascinating to learn.

Kangaroo Island Sealink Ferry Terminal - Cape Jervis

— Kangaroo Island Sealink Ferry Terminal – Cape Jervis Port

— Kangaroo Island from Kangaroo Island Sealink Ferry Terminal – Cape Jervis Port

From my hotel, the tour bus picked me up and we traveled to Cape Jervis for more than 1.5 hours where the Kangaroo Island Sealink ferry terminal is located. We jumped off the bus and transferred to the ferry that will bring us to the island which gave us a chance to cruise Backstairs Passage. In less than an hour we arrived at Penneshaw which is the ferry terminal of Sealink in Kangaroo Island. We left the ferry and transferred to the tour bus that’s waiting for us.

At Penneshaw Kangaroo Island - Kangaroo Island Sealink Ferry Terminal

— Kangaroo Island Penneshaw Port – Bay Terrace

From Penneshaw, we took Bay Terrace and North Terrace. We turned left to Thomas Wilson St to Howard Drive, then straight to Hog Bay Road. I enjoyed the ride as my eyes wandering in sceneries that I saw in the island such as Penneshaw Hotel near the port and Sea Dragon Lodge where a yacht station for island residences and visitors. The island is said to be the third largest island in Australia which means that one day may not enough to see all of the island. While inside the bus, one of my self entertainment was capturing photos as much as I can to remember all the places that I had been.

— Some window view snapshots from the bus along North Terrace road.

— Snapshots along Howard Drive

— Snapshots from Hog Bay Road

After passing Howard Drive, we stayed in Hog Bay Road in a while. Along the road, we saw American River which looks like a lake at first while inside the bus just to realised it is a river where it ends in Easter Cove of the island. Next thing happened that I noticed, we turned left on the way to Seal Bay Conservation Park. I can’t remember which road we took but one thing that I remembered, we passed the nearby island airport. We reached the Seal Bay Conservation Park. The park is located in the nearby coastal area or beach area called as Seal Bay Aquatic Reserve which is the access to many seals towards the bay. The park has boardwalk where visitors can walk through without disturbing the seals around the park. During our visits, most of the seals that I saw were sleeping or lets say they were resting. When I saw the seals, it actually confused me because they look like a sea-lion to me. But I noticed there’s difference between Seal and sea-lion. I found out that seal has small flipper, wriggle on their bellies on land and lack visible ear flaps while sea-lion has large flipper, walk on land using flipper and have visible ear flaps.

American River from Hog Bay Rd

—  American River from Hog Bay Rd

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— Seal Bay Visitor Information Centre

— Seal Bay Conservation Park

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— Sleepyhead Seals

I enjoyed my walk around the Seal Bay, with the help of our tour guide, we got a chance to walk in the nearby seashore area where we saw other seals in the sand, some were just came from the sea and some were sleepyhead seals. While looking and watching the seals, I can say they are one of the cutest sea-lion family that I saw. Seal Bay is in the southern part of the island where I experienced cold wind from the south because I visited the place during the end of month of Autumn season.

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— Sleepyhead Seals with some group of birds flocked together

— Seal Bay Aquatic Reserve

After enjoying Seals, we move to one of the wild life park in the island called Kangaroo Island Wild Park. Before it was called as Parndana Wildlife Park. Here we got a chance to see other animals aside from seals wherein the park collaborates with the island as they also protects and takes care of the animal being by providing conducive environment for them. After the wild life park, next area of the island we visited was Remarkable Rocks. Before we reached the magnificent rock formation, we stopped at the Remarkable Lookout to see the rock formation from a distance.

— Some animals at Kangaroo Island Wild Park (Parndana Wildlife Park)

— Kangaroo Island Wild Park (Parndana Wildlife Park)

Flinders Chase National Park

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— At Boxer Drive near Remarkable Rocks Lookout

Along Boxer Drive we appreciated exquisite sceneries along the edges of the island or the coastline. The bay is what they call Great Australian Bight. Within the area, where ever I turned my eyes into, I saw calmness and beauty of the place admiring the island and felt good knowing it is being protected as many generations will  be able to visit the place.

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