Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#26) : Donaghys Hill
Second best thing that I experienced during the tour in Tasmania was the time that we went to Donaghys Hill Lookout. We did a trek to reached the lookout and we had a 360 degrees views of amazing wilderness in the area. The lookout is almost at the center between Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. The scenery were breathtaking. It was one of the moment that reminds me that the world is wonderful. Another picturesque that are hidden that can only be seen from the top with an effort. These photos are part of Tasmania Adventure Photo Collection June 2013.
After coming from Mount Lofty Summit, we drove straight to Hahndorf, the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia. The town is located at Adelaide Hills which part of Mount Lofty Ranges. After I heard that Handorf is a German Town, I was really curious, as myself coming from an asian country such as mine, wondering what it looks like and what it feels like to be in a German Town. In less than half an hour after we left “The Summit”, we arrived in Hanhdorf.
First thing to noticed before we parked our tour bus were the trees along the Main St. The atmosphere that struck me was like a classic town with the touch of being a farm village. We got off the bus and I joined other tourists which I guessed the age gap was probably not that big compare to mine. They were three whom traveling solo, but in Hahndorf, we looked like friends that traveled together. As of this writing I can’t remember their names anymore. But I had a great time being with them. One of them was German, that was why she’s quite familiar in the ambiance of the place. She’s the one who mentioned to us that German Sausage is typical in a German town.
— Hahndorf Inn
We walked along the Main Street, from the parking area, we started our experience in one of the restaurants where we tasted their cakes. When we entered in the restaurant named Hahndorf Inn, I had this impression that its like a cowboy cafe because of the interior design of the restaurant, some parts seems made from wood and the other parts were concrete. Hahndorf Inn has a long history in the place and I guessed that the inn had been witnessed to a lot of people’s live in the area and even the lives of the visitors that happened there.
— Hahndorf Inn
After we finished our cakes we left Hahndorf Inn. We tried to explore most of the shops and stores along the Main Street. We stopped a little bit in Hahndorf Candle Barn where we found different kinds of candles, scented and crafted candles with additional artistic accessories. Then, it followed by German Village Shop where we saw traditional clocks which famous in old days such as cuckoo clocks and complimented by other hand-made crafts.
Hahndorf – Australia’s Oldest Surviving German Settlement Town
— Hahndorf Candle Barn
— German Village Shop
After reading stuff (from the official site of Hahhdorf) about this German town, I came to learn that the place is one of the historical place not only in Australia but also in Germany. Hahndorf name was came from the name of the ship’s captain that brought the German people in South Australia named Dirk Hahn, a Danes. These German immigrants were Lutherans who experienced great persecution in their faith from the King of Prussia whom got a chance to migrate in this part of Adelaide Hills.
Other places or establishments we passed were Leathersmith and Bush Gallery which we saw displaying leather made good products, Cafe 1839 (which closed that time), Hahndorf Academy which is one of historical building in the town as it used in different purposes from the time it was built last 1857, The German Arms Hotel which marked as historical, significant hotel in the town and serves local German beers, The Hahndorf Old Mill Hotel, The Stables Inn and Pioneer Memorial Gardens.
Morning day tour was over and our bus returned to the coach terminal where we came from that day in the morning. And because of that, I got a chance to stroll in the nearby market for lunch, the market is called Adelaide Central Market. After a quick walk, I select Chinese restaurant and ate comfortably with Asian menu. As I observed the place, the market was jam pack with people who common in such kind of place. Caucasian, asian and other races were flocked together in one place.
When the time was up, I returned to the terminal for my afternoon tour and in just few minutes, we were ready to go. The afternoon adventure focused on highland areas near Adelaide. Our first stop was Mount Lofty Summit which considered as the highest point in southern Mount Lofty Ranges. We passed city centre as we drove towards Adelaide Hills. I can’t remember which road we took to the summit but we drove almost half an hour before we reached the place.
–Mount Lofty Summit Lookout Area with Flinders Column
–Some information to be found and worth reading it
When we arrived at the location, I was really excited because highlands or lets say mountains or hills is my most favourite place to visit whether it’s an adventure climb or a simple tour. From the bus, we walked a little until we reached the lookout area. Mount Lofty Summit is also called as “The Summit” which considered as majestic peak in South Australia, I’m not sure what does it mean but for my own opinion maybe because of the panoramic views that will be witness in the place like Adelaide City Centre and Adelaide Airport which all within the vicinity of vast and wide Adelaide Plains.
When we were in the lookout area, I grabbed all my chances to take photos of the scenery. And it was amazing because at the time we were at the summit, it was obvious that the clouds was heavier and darker, these clouds had been visible to most of the photos. While strolling around the place, I learned that the summit was named by famous Matthew Flinders who an English man from Britain whom navigated Australia. “The Summit” also offers restaurants and cafes where people can indulge with great foods while watching panoramic views, a truly relaxing place to be.
–Adelaide City Centre
Mount Lofty Summit reminded me again how I really missed mountains, seeing places which can only be appreciated or discovered at the top together with nature is one of the main reason I love to be in highlands.
At the top, I can see beyond my imagination and started to think things in good ways and view the world again as liveable place to stay on.
Panoramic View (Post#22) : Victoria Valley and Victoria Range
One of the place that I dreamed to visit in Victoria State in Australia was Grampians National Park. The main reason why I wanted to visit the place because of its mountain ranges. I can’t really describe in one word the feelings that I have every time I am in such a place. Probably an inner peace within myself is one, the inspiration to have hope and to live again or the feelings of being reborn again. The photo above shows the Victoria Valley and Victoria Range which one of the scenic views to enjoy from Reeds Lookout in Grampians. We visited the place during sunset and the photo shows is cloudy and misty, we waited a little bit for clear sky just to witness this view before leaving the lookout. Scenery captured during our Grampians overnight adventure last July 2013.
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After passing Darling Harbour, I tried to asked people around the area until they directed me to the building, I walked along Pirrama Road which still at the harbour side until I reached “The Star” building. I asked security guards where is the exact location of bus terminal for Blue Mountain Tours until I saw a small kiosk of ATT Kings inside the terminal and approached one the crew in the bus stop area to confirm where is my bus for my tour. I followed directions and waited on the bus. In few minutes the bus arrived and tour guides assisted us on boarding. I finally relaxed as soon as I seated in the bus coach. After completing some things by the tour guide/driver we left the terminal and started heading to our first stop.
–The Star Casino Hotel
Along the way I saw the famous ANZAC Bridge as we drove along City West Link, then we took Western Motorway until we reached the Great Western Highway to Katoomba. We drove to Echo Point Road to reached Echo Point Lookout to witness how magnificent the Blue Mountains are and the Three Sisters.
–Echo Point Lookout
–At Echo Point Plaza (with Echo Point Information Centre
All the tourist got off the bus and started walking towards the lookout area. It was popular with the Tourist and we arrived there with other visitors already made earlier than us. I prepared my camera as I am expecting to witness great sceneries. I love mountains personally, irregardless if the mountain is popular or not every time I saw one, I will definitely look at the mountain. When I was standing at the lookout area, I saw how beautiful Blue Mountains, I did not just saw one mountain but what I saw was mountain ranges. I actually curious why the mountain is called Blue Mountains and without even searching or asking how it was named, the one that I saw was a solid evidence and I definitely understand why it was called Blue Mountains. As far as I remembered, we had given 1 to 1.5 hours in Echo Point Lookout. And it’s up to us the visitors how we were going to spend it wisely.
After taking shots at the top area lookout, I went down stairs to explore more of the area and to be able to take more photos of Three Sister as it is more closer. The Three Sisters are the rock formation which located in Blue Mountains and the formation is recognisable and everyone were taking photos within and I did not exclude myself on that. Then, I saw people really near the Three Sisters until I realised there is a trail towards the rock formation. The said trail is the same trail to trek down the valley. I did only towards the Three Sisters so I can take photos of the Blue Mountains in different angle and with the rock formation as well. I cannot afford to complete the trek downward as we only given within 1 to 1.5 hours and I don’t wanted to be left behind by my tour bus.
–Walking Trail to Three Sisters
–Near Three Sisters
While enjoying the panoramic view of Blue Mountains, it struck my mind if I will be given a chance to climb some part of this great mountain ranges in the future, if there will be a chance I welcome it wholeheartedly. The time in Echo Point Lookout was over and the next stop was Jenolan Caves.
When we climbed Mount Cristobal as part of our preparation training for Mount Apo climb, another place near in the mountain that our group visited was Kinabuhayan River which can be found within Barangay Kinabuhayan in Dolores Quezon. We stopped here to rest and to enjoy the river. Photo captured last February 2009.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#20): Mount Kinabalu
My first formal climb happened in Mount Kinabalu which became my way to be a member of mountaineering group in my country through my colleague at work. This mountain is the highest mountain that I ever climbed even though I haven’t reach the summit and only reached the hotel (Laban Rata – 3200+masl). Cannot forget my first climb experience and had been an eye opener that even I had difficulty on this climb I really love mountains. Photo captured last September 2008.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#18) : Mount Marami
I remember the climb we had on this mountain, it was the hottest climb experienced I had because we set the trek during summer season in my country. All of us emptied our bottle and we were struggling as all of us felt hydrated. It was good thing that it happened when we were on our way to descend the mountain. We saw a water source under a tree along the way and using water filter from one of our group we survived until we reached the jumped-off point again. The scenery is above is what they called Silyang Bato (Rock Chair) of Mount Marami and captured last April 2011.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#3) : Mount Anawangin
This is one of the magnificent view that I had while at the top of Mount Anawangin. I captured this photo from Mount Anawangin when we had the climb last March 2009. The scenery is looking towards the Anawangin Cove where we enjoyed our time after the trek. It is one of the great holiday I had back home. This mountain is beside Mount Pundaquit which located at San Antonio in Zambales Province of Philippines.
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The photo above is Cascade Mountain Side View which captured while I was near in Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park last May 2008 when I got a chance to visit Canada in short period of time. I can’t forget this park as this awaken myself to one of the things that I really love since I was in college which is mountain. Every time I saw mountains, I always think how beautiful the mountain is and wondering whats on it to experience. I love climbing mountain but never had a chance to climb an alpine mountain as I live in tropical country and what we have are tropical mountains.
This story was written to remember my first fun climb since I joined the mountaineering group. Like what I said from previous blog a year ago, after my first and major climb, the next thing is fun climb…(well most of you will think, that is weird, you climb the major climb first then fun climb next?). Well, I am just telling the truth and nothing but the truth.
My first fun climb held in Mabini, Batangas last Oct 25 to 26 2008. And the lucky mountain we climbed was Gulugod-Baboy Mountain. As far as I remembered, the group met at 7/11 in Pasay,Rotonda where the bus to Batangas is stationed. We traveled by bus from Pasay, Rotonda until we reached Batangas City, then we rode jeep until we reached the jump-off area in Mabini, Batangas near Anilao.
The great thing about the jump-off area are the wonderful view that it offers. I saw some beach from the ground and the beautiful sea that seems no end.
Here are some seaside snapshots I had while staying at jump-off area.
While waiting for other member in the group that will join the fun climb, we took our lunch near the jump-off area. While having lunch, rain fell. And since rain fell, this means, the trail will be muddy or slippery. But rain will not be the reason to stop mountaineers to go for the climb.
For this climb I met other members of the group and honestly to tell you, I have so much fun meeting them and it’s really great to know them.
As much as I remember, on this first fun climb, I experienced new things about climbing. Comparing my first and major climb to this climb, I realized that it’s not good to compare it, because each mountain have their own uniqueness, have their own features and challenges. My experiences when I climbed Mount Kinabalu were far way different when I climb Gulugod-Baboy Mountain.
For the photo above, I capture some part of the area where the rain already falling…
See the heavy clouds?
Here are the views that can be found while climbing Gulugod-Baboy Mountain.
These are also the photos that the sky seems to be unfriendly for the mountaineers
because it means one thing…its going to rain (we are lucky, the rain is in far from us)
Gulugod Baboy Mountain is just small mountain (has 500+ masl altitude) compared to Mount Kinabalu (with more than 4000+ masl). I cannot forget my experience while trekking this mountain. First we took the semi-steep small road which partially cemented that time, then we rested few minutes before taking the rough trail. For this climb, I will remember when the only thing I can hold on to were just grass leaves that I don’t know if these leaves can handle my weight. There were many times that I slipped away because the track were muddy. It’s just a good thing that my trekking pole was there to helped me. We passed grasses even taller than me.
When I reached the top, the feelings were wonderful and the amazing view from top was worth to see after such exhausted climb in few hours.
Here are the afternoon before sunset views I caught after reaching the camp
near the summit of the mountain
After reaching the top of the mountain near the summit, we also had a chance to witness the sunset view. With this kind of seeing sun is slowly hiding itself to people, the feeling so ecstatic. Sometimes you will think, how world is so fascinating with just having that moment.
This first fun climb was also the first night having a great time with the group. I got a chance to get to know them for real. The group called it “Socials” where some secrets revealed, some information gave away either by just telling it through jokes or even in a serious way. There were lots of fun and laughter that made me feel that night will not be over. In that social activities with the group, I also had a chance to introduce myself to the group and my reasons why I like to climb.
This is the famous lonely tree branch – a significant mark used as a proof commonly
by mountaineers as evidence that they reached Gulugod-Baboy Mountain.
Here is the summit of the mountain – where my group made their important jump shots
Its getting dark ..
Even the group had so much fun over the night for social activities, everyone still able to wake up to witness the sunrise from the summit. And I am one of them who trek the trail to summit immediately to glimpse the sunrise for a moment.
The moment – Sunrise
After enjoying the rising sun from the summit,
here are the photos around the Gulgod-Baboy Mountain Summit
I truly treasure my experience in this climb, as second mountain to climb I knew for myself, that I still have lots to learn in mountaineering.
Whistler becomes a buzz word while I was in Canada because the next Winter Olympics which will be happening in 2010 will be held in Whistler. I was so happy that I will be able to visit Whistler because I knew that I will not be around during the Olympic season. Before I even arrived in Vancouver, I had been planning my tour since I had only two full day weekends, two nights and half-day (just almost 5 days) to travel around British Columbia and I don’t want to waste my time just being at the hotel.
I was booked for Whistler Mountain and Forest Tour via Whistler Glacier Dome train last June 14, 2008. I booked the tour with Vancouver Landsea Tours and Adventures. Because the location of my hotel (Ramada Hotel) was in Burnaby, the tour company told me that they will not be able to pick me up from the hotel that I was staying. I was advised to go to Hyatt Regency hotel at Burrard Street. Therefore, I woke up early and went to the said hotel to join the group tour. After meeting my group, I was dropped off at the Whistler train station since my tour includes Whistler train.
Inside the Glacier Dome of Whistler Mountaineer Train (quite blurred)
Lions Gate Bridge (From North Vancouver District)
Vancouver view from West Vancouver
Bowen Island view from West Vancouver
Whistler train station is in North Vancouver railway station, this was where the Whistler train left Vancouver. From the station, we passed Lions Gate Bridge a suspension bridge that connects Vancouver to North Shore of North Vancouver and West Vancouver.
The train route follows the coastline of North Vancouver to West Vancouver near Marine Drive, then the rest of the tracks is almost parallel to Sea to Sky Highway. The trail seemed designed for a great train ride. The panoramic views along the Strait of Georgia, sceneries together with Bowen and Gambier Island from Lions Bay, Furry Creek and Squamish were really amazing.
Falls view from Whistler train Some photos while on our way to Whistler (along Sea To Sky Highway)
Scenic view near in Squamish
Riding in a train like that seems like a cruise because the dome train I took was more luxurious than the other carriage of the Whistler train. The travel was comfortable and enjoyable. I admired everything that I saw all the way from Vancouver to Whistler.
Almost at Whistler
Finally, we arrived at Whistler Village. Because I booked Whistler tour via train, I was separated in my group tour on the way to Whistler, they came to Whistler via tourist bus. I met the whole group and the tourist guide again in the village. I remembered that our guide told us that while we’re in the village, we have free time to spend and try things that we like. The group agreed to come back at the meeting place in a specific time.
Whistler Train Station
Some snapshots in Whistler Village
While in Whistler, I grabbed the opportunity to walk within the village. I was able to reach lake called Green Lake and found out that it was the Whistler airport station. Yes, it is the airport because it’s not the same like common airport we used to, it is an airport for a sea float plane, where small plane flies but lands in water either in harbor or lakes.
Whistler Airport at Green Lake (and its surrounding area)
Since the area is being prepared for the upcoming Winter Olympics in 2010, there were constructions going on in different parts of the village, but the construction activities did not hinder the normal operations in the village and tourist keeps on coming.
After walking for sometime around Whistler Village, I decided to ride gondolas to reach the mountain summit. I saw Blackcomb mountain booth. I bought the ticket and went on queue for gondola. The gondola that I saw in the area are open type gondola because it is the rides of people who does the skiing in the mountain during winter season and because the winter was over, the same gondola brings tourist like me to reach the top of the mountain.
During my ascent to the summit of the Blackcomb mountain, I was able to see the panoramic views of mountains around the area. If I saw Rocky Mountains in Banff from the ground, I was overwhelmed because I witness different angle of mountains from the top. And because it was Spring season I saw some parts of the Blackcomb mountain that still have snow and iced which a leftover by Winter season. I was lucky that I was wearing winter jacket at that time because I experience the cold wind from the ground up to the summit. I spent some time at the peak of the mountain by taking photos, by just looking around 360 degrees and by appreciating all the things that my eyes reached. I never experienced a mountain like that before where it felt like the other surrounding mountains were so close to me. It seems they were all reachable and I could just grab them with my bare hands with the blink of an eye. I told myself how beautiful and great the place where I was standing.
Panoramic Views at Blackcomb Mountain
I looked at my watch and decided to descend the mountain. I reached the ground of the mountain the same way that I reached the summit.
It was great to see a beautiful village surrounded by mountains. I was ecstatic and I never thought that a remote place like Whistler is a beautiful community covered by natures wonders. It was really a wonderful place for me. I really enjoyed my walk along the village and my rides in gondola. Discovering the place from the ground, from the sky and from summit made my experience memorable.
My group tour met together again. And in few minutes we left Whistler Village and we started driving back to Vancouver.