View At My Window : Loch Ard Gorge

View At My Window (Post#21) : Loch Ard Gorge

One of the first places that I visited during my first travel in Australia was the Great Ocean Road in Victoria State. It’s around two weeks since the first day that I arrived in Melbourne, I joined a Great Ocean Road tour because that time, my first assignment was initially 3 months contract with the client. With that thoughts in mind that I will be out of Australia after 3 months, I grabbed my opportunity to see Great Ocean Road. One of the highlights of the tour was to see the Loch Ard Gorge in Port Campbell National Park. The gorge name was after the clipper ship Loch Ard. Loch Ard was a sailing vessel which was wrecked at Mutton Bird Island in 1878 which not far from the gorge location. As per history, there were 54 passengers and crew in the ship but only two survived. Photo captured last February 2013.

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Kawaguchiko – Finding Enjoyment on its Lake after Unexpected Moments

After spending sometime in the 5th station of Mount Fuji, we decided to go to Fujikawaguchiko. A town near at the base of the mountain. My whole family and I will never forget this town in our Japan travel because it was the place we experienced a nervous and quite hopeless moments of our lives. It was not really a life threatening situation but a desperate moment of our travel.

After we got off from the bus we took from 5th Station to Kawaguchiko Station, we walked around near the station to find an ATM machines so I can withdraw some money we need. First, we tried the convenience store that we found and we were unlucky because I was not able to take some money because it seems that my ATM card was not being accepted. Next, we tried another similar convenience store and I tried again my ATM card and the result were the same. At that time I started to feel anxious. We walked back to the station and went to the information center and asked around about the ATM nearby. After some inquiries, I let my parents stayed in the station. My sister and I went to find the banks and the post office that was given to us by the officer from information center. There were two more banks we visited and tried my ATM card, again both result were the same. I was really confused and surprised because I was able to get the money at the ATM in airport. There was one last place we had tried on, the post office where there’s international ATM. At that time, I was really nervous and felt uncomfortable because my family and I were in the middle of a town far from Tokyo and does not have enough money to even come back to the city (I only reserved the bus and still need to pay for it). At the post office, I tried to use my ATM again and the result was failed again. When that happened I had a feeling that my ATM card was somewhat blocked by my bank in the Philippines. It’s my suspicious reason why my ATM was not accepted for almost 5 places with international ATM.

I was thinking to call the bank. I have my mobile phone but felt doubtful to use it since I was weary about the international calls that will cost me. I checked my Skype and checked if it has still load to allow me to call outside. I saw that it wasn’t enough. I reloaded my Skype account and used it to call the bank. During the call, my hunch was  correct. The bank blocked my account after they detected, that there was withdrawal in my ATM outside the Philippines. I was really angry with them, because they never notified me, then told me they’re trying to reach me but unsuccessful. The agent that was talking to me, immediately unblock my card. After the call, at the post office, I tried my ATM card again and without issues, I successfully withdrawn money. It was really a great relief. That time I felt at ease. My sister and I came back to the station to pick-up my parents. That’s the only time we were able to had our lunch. What an experience indeed!!!

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Lake Kawaguchi (Kawaguchiko)

Because we lost time to see more around Fujikawaguchiko, I decided to see the nearby lake from the station. We walked around half an hour and we reached Lake Kawaguchi. As we were anticipating the bus scheduled booking that I had to go back to Shinjuku, we estimated our time to spend in the lake. We spent sometime in some parts of the lake. We walked a bit and enjoyed the sceneries that the lake is offering.

Kawaguchiko Station

Finally, we went back to Kawaguchiko Station. And there I exchanged my booking to bus tickets and paid appropriately. Then we’ve waited for our bus to arrived. If our travel from the city to Mount Fuji 5th station was smooth in the morning that day, it was different when we were on our way back to the city. Since it was Sunday night, we experienced the traffic jam that Japan has. We left Kawaguchiko station past 6PM and we arrived in Shinjuku station almost 11PM and had our dinner in the area. We reached our hotel in the city almost 12AM. It was a good thing that the next day adventure we had in our schedule gave us ample time to rest because we were schedule to watch Sumo Bout event.

That’s how we spent our third day in Japan.

Mount Fuji – A Sacred Famous Mountain and Arts Inspiration in Japan

One of the considered perfect cone volcano in the world is Mount Fuji. I first learned to know about this volcano in Japan when our very own active volcano from my country named Mayon Volcano which is also considered to be the same with perfect cone volcano. I learned that Mount Mayon considered to be similar to Mount Fuji. Though I haven’t seen Mayon Volcano for real and only in photos, I can see the resemblance of the two. For me, both of them are probably has perfect cone. Based on photos, both of them has magnificent scenery from a distance. The difference that I can emphasized between the two is Mayon Volcano doesn’t have snow-capped because we don’t have winter season like Japan.

As a mountaineer, I also dreamed to climb Mount Fuji. But during the trip to this mountain, it’s not part of the family’s itinerary, I only planned to see the mountain and its summit up close and personal and be within the mountain since I was with my family.

It was our third day in Japan when I scheduled the trip to Mount Fuji. It was Sunday that day and the only thing I booked was a bus going to Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station (also known as Yoshidaguchi 5th Station or Kawaguchiko 5th Station) of the mountain from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo and a return bus from Kawaguchiko Station back to Shinjuku Station.

All of us woke-up early in the morning and prepared as early as possible we can based on the time calculations I did to reached the bus station that will bring us to Mount Fuji. From the hotel we took subway Hibiya Line from Kayabacho station to Naka-Meguro and we transferred to Marunuchi Line to Ogikubo in Ginza station and got off at Shinjuku Station.

Because Shinjuku station is one of the major and interchange station we experienced some difficulties to find the bus terminal that I bought the ticket online. The terminal we were looking for was Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal. We arrived at Shinjuku station at the right time that I planned it, but because we need to find the terminal, it seems that the timing was very tight as the bus schedule we need to take was 6:40am and at 6:30am we must be in the terminal as we need to exchange the booking that I had to a bus ticket. We asked few locals around the area of Shinjuku station but it seems no one understand our English language. We looked around and saw where the bus coming from and asked again while we were walking towards the  terminal. We talked to someone and confirmed where the terminal was. I had a map of the bus station but because of some orientation issue we got confused at first. My sister whose really good in directions confused too until she noticed some of the landmarks.

Finally we found the bus terminal and we saw a lot of people in the station. It was not really surprising because Mount Fuji is a popular tourist destination in Japan. I went inside the ticket office where queues of people can be seen, I queued myself and when it was my turn, I exchanged my booking to a ticket and we were set to board the bus. Most of the people coming to Mount Fuji were climbers or hikers. They were completely geared for the climb. When I saw the climbers I felt some envy within myself because they will climb Mount Fuji and I wasn’t.

We queued in the line and waited for our bus. When the bus arrived, I started to get excited because Mount Fuji like its country of Japan was one of my dream to see for real. When we got on-boarded in the bus, I can’t deny the excitement that I felt. The bus left the terminal and while we were trying to leave Shinjuku area, I saw some part of Shinjuku. I just realized and noticed that the place is towering of buildings. It seems there are lots of businesses districts and offices area that surrounds Tokyo.

We took the highway after leaving Shinjuku area. The bus travel we did that day was the first travel we had by land aside from train. From the time that we arrived in Tokyo, we always took trains from one point to another. Because we were in the bus, it added some excitement because I can see some part of Japan while traveling. The great thing about it, I can see a lot of places while in the road. The whole travel took us more than 2 hours before we reached the 5th station in Mount Fuji. Because we traveled in Sunday morning there’s not much traffic in the road. When we reached the base of the mountain, I felt that the atmosphere changed and the road trajectory was snaky. Then, next thing happened, there’s some drizzle in the air. Being part of the mountaineering group made me realized the rain within the mountain specially if nearer in the summit seems to be normal and that drizzle in Mount Fuji was not really surprising to me.

After the rain just stopped while in 5th Station in Mount Fuji

At 5th Station (Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station)

Around Mount Fuji 5th Station

Before we reached the 5th station of Mount Fuji, the rain fell. And when we got off the bus, we felt the cool weather in the mountain. And to think that its raining, we really experienced the windy chilly rain. Since the 5th station is the most developed than other stations around the mountain before summit, we saw different establishments in the area such as hotel for accommodations and shopping stores that people can go to temporarily as a shelter while it’s raining outside and for last minute shopping before climbing the summit.

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Mount Fuji Summit

With Mount Fuji Summit

Mount Fuji is so popular to tourist and people flocking in the mountain is normal. And I also learned, that the weekend that we visited the mountain was the last weekend that the mountain was open for climbing season as it will close due to season changes. I saw a lot of groups who really came just to climb the mountain and I felt sadness again. I promised to myself that I will come back in the mountain with the objective of climbing the summit of it.

At one of the shops in Mount Fuji 5th Station

Since we were not climbing the mountain and the timing when we reached the 5th Station was not really that great. What we did were stayed and roamed around inside of one of the stores in the area as we were amazed on a lot of stuffs and souvenirs to enjoy, had our lunch, walked around in the nearby temple and lookout and finally we took photos as we can with the summit of the mountain as our background.

Komitake Shrine

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Komitake Shrine

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Sceneries at Observation Point near Komitake Shrine

Panoramic View : Mount Arayat Summit

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Panoramic View (Post#23) : Mount Arayat Summit

When my mountaineering group held a school outreach for the students in Sitio San Pedro Elementary School in San Jose Tarlac last July 2012, one of our side trip adventure was to climb Mount Tangisan. And from the summit of the mountain another noticeable mountain can be seen from afar and it was none other than Mount Arayat. This is the first mountain that people see while traveling along North Luzon Expressway coming from Metro Manila.

Through My Lens
 – Aug 08, 2016
Our World Tuesday – Aug 09, 2016
Travel Tuesday – Aug 09, 2016
Outdoor Wednesday – Aug 10, 2016
Wednesday Around The World – Aug 10, 2016
Skywatch Friday – Aug 12, 2016
Scenic Weekends – Aug 12, 2016
In Heaven – Aug 13, 2016

View At My Window : Strahan – Risby Cove

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View At My Window (Post#23) : Strahan – Risby Cove

When I got a chance for 3 days adventure in Tasmania, next biggest island to the mainland of Australia, I had opportunity to experience the island. Part of the itinerary is to stop over for a while in Strahan, a small town located near the cove. For me after seeing the harbour from upper area, I had a glimpse how beautiful the places is. For me it is a perfect place for a rest house used for a getaway from busy life in the city. Photo captured during my adventure in Tasmania last June 2013.

Blissful Second : Killara Estate (Yarra Valley) – Feast Time

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Blissful Second (Post#3) : Killara Estate (Yarra Valley) – Feast Time

We went to Killara Estate in Yarra Valley as part of wine itinerary tour. Aside from tasting wine we had our lunch here. The photo above was some people enjoying the lunch at the time we were in the restaurant. Photo captured last February 2013.

Hahndorf – Australia’s Oldest Surviving German Settlement Town

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 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.

— Leathersmith and Bush Gallery

— Cafe 1839

— Hahndorf Academy

— The German Arms Hotel

— The Hahndorf Old Mill Hotel

— The Stables Inn

— Pioneer Memorial Gardens

Natural Wonders : Mount Chepren and Waterfowl Lake

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Natural Wonders (Post#3) : Mount Chepren and Waterfowl Lake

When I visited Columbia Icefield in Jasper, Alberta which I considered one of the great places that I had ever been, I had an opportunity to see beautiful and amazing sceneries along Icefield Parkway. And one of the scenic views that I witness was mountains lined-up in both sides of the road. The snapshot above was Mount Chepren together with icy-crystal Waterfowl Lake which can been seen in Icefield Parkway still in Banff, Alberta area which I captured during my adventure tour in Canadian Rockies last May 2008. The name of the mountain was came from the 4th Dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Chepren (or Khafra) according to Wikipedia.

Panoramic View : Victoria Valley and Victoria Range

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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.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:

Blue Monday – Jul 11, 2016
Through My Lens
 – Jul 11, 2016
Our World Tuesday – Jul 12, 2016
Travel Tuesday – Jul 12, 2016
Outdoor Wednesday – Jul 13, 2016
Wednesday Around The World – Jul 13, 2016
Skywatch Friday – Jul 15, 2016
Scenic Weekends – Jul 15, 2016
In Heaven – Jul 16, 2016

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga)

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Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#22) : Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga)

Kata Tjuta is a group of large dome rock formations which located near In Uluru and Alice Springs. It was mentioned that there are 36 domes. This site like Ayers Rock is a sacred to Aboriginal people in Australia. The photo above is one of the valley in between dome rock formation we saw after we did a short trek on one of top area inside Kata Tjuta. As per Wikipedia, Mount Olga is the highest point and name came from Queen Olga of Wurttemberg (grand-daughter of Russia, wife of King  Charles I). Photo above captured last March 2013.

View At My Window : Sungai Melaka (Malacca River)

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View At My Window (Post#20) : Sungai Melaka (Malacca River)

The photo above was Sungai Melaka or Malacca River. The snapshot was captured during the adventure in Malaysia together with my youngest sister last January  2013. My impression in the town of Malacca was like an old town, which truly reflecting its own history of time. The river has important role at the height of economic boom of Malacca Sultanate which depicted on its history during 15th century.

This post has been updated to participate for Monday Mellow Yellows – February 8, 2016 and Wednesday Waters – February 10, 2016

Discovery : Banff Spring Snail Pond

Hot Spring Pool at Cave and Basin

Discovery (Post#2) : Banff Spring Snail Pond

The photo above is previously a hot spring pool that people used before but because of endangered species of Banff Spring Snail, it has been preserved since then for the benefit to preserve the said species. Banff Spring Snail is only to be found here in Cave and Basin National Park Historical Site located in town of Banff in Alberta Province of Canada. This national park is one of the great place to discover whether you are in Banff or just around the corner of Canadian Rocky Mountains. Photo captured last May 2008.

Blue Mountains – Scenic Mountain Ranges In New South Wales

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.

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–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.

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–Echo Point Lookout

 

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–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.

 

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–Blue Mountains

 

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–Three Sisters

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.

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–Walking Trail to Three Sisters

 

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–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.

 

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–Leaving Katoomba on the way to Jenolan Caves

Panoramic View : Waterfowl Lake And Surrounding Mountains

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Panoramic View (Post#21) : Waterfowl Lake And Surrounding Mountains

When I visited Banff National Park it inspired me and awakens me that deep in my heart I love nature and specifically I love mountains. Banff for me was like a real paradise wherein every part of it were almost perfect with its natural beauty. Mountains together with the glacier and icy lakes made the surrounding so uniquely wonderful. The photo above was one of the pristine icy lakes that I found while passing Icefields Parkway which captured last May 2008.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Through My Lens – Jun 20, 2016
Our World Tuesday – Jun 21, 2016
Travel Tuesday – Jun 21, 2016
Outdoor Wednesday – Jun 22, 2016
Wednesday Around The World – Jun 22, 2016
Watery Wednesday – Jun 22, 2016
Skywatch Friday – Jun 24, 2016
Scenic Weekends – Jun 25, 2016
In Heaven – Jun 25, 2016

National Rhododendron Garden and Grant Picnic Ground

It was almost a month after I returned to Melbourne last October 2014, it was my first day to really go out again to explore some places that I haven’t seen yet. The place we were targeting was somewhere near the city which was Dandenong Ranges National Park. On this trip, I discovered and learned that this National Park has a lot to offer to anyone.

As my friends got a map of the national park, when they were discussing places visit near the city, they selected a garden. At first I really don’t understand the name of the garden because I was somewhat unfamiliar with the term. The name of the garden became clear to me when we arrived at the place. The day we went out was still Spring season and since we were technically inside the mountain, it was really cold and it felt like it was winter.

 

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The name of the garden we visited is National Rhododendron Garden. I honestly not familiar with that flower family. I felt that I never heard it before or I forgot it from my secondary school years.

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We had lunch first at the parking area as the garden does not have a facility such as picnic area where we can eat. After lunch, we went inside the National Rhododendron Garden through the store beside the closed main gate and stopped for a while to look around inside the store. In the store I found out what Rhododendron flower family look like. After spending sometime at the store I left my friends and took my chances to walk inside the garden. I remembered one funny thing happened to me inside the garden. At the time I was there and following the path walk, I was a fool looking around and taking photos using my DSLR and yet I never immediately noticed that I am taking photos without knowing that my camera does not have memory card. Yes, I was crazy taking photos without checking the screen of my camera after takings shots where some messages that my memory card slot was empty, because of the situation I never able to save all my shots. Since I already spent time walking in the garden, I was quite sensitive with the time and I knew that my friends were waiting at the store. I tried to return to the garden using my iPhone and all I was able to do was to have a couple of shots as my souvenir to the garden. Most of the memories of Rhododendron garden were all in my memory.

 

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–Some photos that I quickly captured with my iPhone before leaving the garden

I returned to the store and in few minutes we left the garden. When we were back on the road, my friends checked again the map of Dandenong Ranges and then they agreed to visit a picnic ground which became our next stop that day. We went at Grant Picnic Ground. I honestly had no idea what to expect in the place until we saw a lot of visitors looking around at the bird feeding area. Since we had limited time in the place as it will close at 5PM, my friends bought seeds so they can enter in the fenced feeding area and to have a moment with the birds such as Rosella, native and wild birds.

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I let my friends feed the bird while I take in charge of photo shoot. There still birds in the feeding area but when my friends entered in the fenced area, birds started to flock together and slowly approached my friends as they saw the food/seeds. We started to laugh as we heard screaming. It was fun-filled sight as my mates felt a little bit nervous when birds were so close to them physically, some birds flew to their heads, some stepped on their arms or feet, birds comes wherever the food was. My friends were screaming as they felt the bird’s claws and its pointed toes. All of us were enjoying what we were seeing inside the feeding area.

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–Crimson Rosella

 

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–King Parrot (the one that I tried to chase with my camera as its colour is really striking)

Last thing I did was I went inside the souvenir shop just to look around and just check if I can find post cards that will leave memories of Grant Picnic Ground. Then after few more minutes had been passed, we decided to leave the place as   it closed the feeding area and the shop since the business day is over for the day. This how we ended our adventure.

 

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–Cockatoo

 

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–Cockatoo

 

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–Cockatoo Flying

In The Middle Of Somewhere : The Hahndorf Inn

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In The Middle Of Somewhere (Post#1) : The Hahndorf Inn

One of the area I visited during my two days holiday in South Australia is the small German town – Hahndorf. Since the place is in Adelaide Hills region, the ambiance of the place become perfect for a German place. When our tour bus dropped us in the area, the first thing we did was to look for a cafe that offers some of its cakes. We ended up at “The Hahndorf Inn”. The atmosphere inside the restaurant was relaxing and all of us (together with some tourist) whooping our eyes after we saw the cakes displayed and we immediately took our orders at we felt that the cakes were all yummy. Photo captured last May 2013.

Fruit Picking Adventure at Bacchus Marsh

Since the season in Australia is switching from spring to summer, it is the same period to enjoy harvesting season. And when that season happened while I was in Melbourne therefore it is common to be invited by my friend to go somewhere and enjoy fruit picking.

This time I was invited to join the strawberry and cherry picking. Back home I already experienced strawberry picking but not the cherry. Since I was curious what was it like I accepted the invitation.

It was beautiful Saturday that day and my friends picked me up in my hotel. From St Kilda Road going to the City we took left to Kingsway. Then we left the city by taking Western Gate Freeway, we turned right to West Ring Road then to Western Freeway, then we took Bacchus Marsh Road where the farm we were targeting is located.

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–Western Freeway before turning to Bacchus Marsh Road

We arrived in Naturipe Farm, almost lunch time. Instead of going straight to the farm, we decided to have lunch first. Different families came one by one and all of us met at the table area in the farm. And the exciting part was when the foods were being prepared and all were Filipino menus which I really love. When food were ready I jumped into the table and helped myself in grabbing one by one, because it’s too many, I was confused which one to eat first, but in the end I got full. It was a great lunch as I felt again to be part of a huge family in Melbourne.

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–At Naturipe Farm

After all were done for lunch, all the food were packed and the whole group went ahead to the farm. I was surprised to discovered that there were too many people dropped by to the farm, it seems the fruit picking activities has been a headline to the city as we need to line-up in a queue just to get inside the farm to pay the entrance in cherry picking, while the strawberry picking was free. Though the sun started to heat-up, we remain in the queue until we got our chance to enter to the farm. We paid the entrance fee and plastic boxes with the bucket.

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–The queue

After we passed the long queue, we went straight to cherry picking area. We showed our receipt to person in charge at the entrance and directed us where was the picking area. As I saw the vines of cherries. I was excited and started looking at the cherries. I looked for dark red cherries as they were the cherries that’s really sweet. Our group even inside the cherry farm, did not stop in taking photos, everyone were posting their selves in different parts of cherry vines. All of us seems happy in picking the cherries and to be honest I myself enjoyed the activities as well.

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We took hours in cherry farm before moving to Strawberry farm. Here my eyes become bigger as I saw huge strawberries and I felt that all of them were calling me to “Hey you!!! What are you waiting for? Pick me now!!!” I grab all the strawberries that huge and red. I even eat strawberries while picking it, the taste are sweet even it’s not red and I wonder how it happened? Well that secret I leave with the nature I just keep picking the fruits. When I felt that my bucket seems heavy enough I stopped and waited with others to go to the counter to pay all what we got.

Strawberry

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–Fruits that I picked (I already ate a lot :))

After paying at the counter we met each other again and said our goodbyes for another great and wonderful experience with the people who I call family in Australia.

Australian Rainbow Trout Farm

Since I was back in Melbourne last October 2014, I got another chance to see more of Victoria in Australia. It was Melbourne Cup that day again, and the people who close to me or let say my friends in Melbourne planned to go somewhere so we can spent the holiday in a worthwhile trip. The plan was fishing. I never joined nor engaged fishing activities before. Though even I was hesitant to confirm that I will be going, I decided to go.

While we were on our way to the trout farm, I checked my phone’s GPS, I was curious which road we took and where we were heading. The trout farm is located in Dandenong Ranges specifically in Macclesfield. I was picked up at my place along St Kilda Road around 8AM. Then we picked up another friend in Malvern. After that we hit the road again and from the city we took Monash Freeway. Then we turned left and took Wellington Rd, we followed the road as is, when we reached Clematis we turned right and took Belgrave-Gembrook Rd. We turned left again when we reached Macclesfield Rd and in few minutes we turned left and took a little rough road of Paton Rd until we reach the destination. Well every time I traveled I like looking at the GPS apps when data is available because at least I was able to recognize the place that I passed and the place where I had been. Seeing the places and knowing its names made a sense to me.

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When we reached the trout farm almost 10am, we were the first group visitors arrived in the place and first batch in our group. I helped out in taking stuff from the car of my friend and we went to the kiosk inside the farm to pay our entrance. Then we went to the selected tables we chose as our group were quite big. I helped out to stuff the table and took some time in frying sausages. These kind of activities in the farm were really nice for group of people or families because these were really nice way to have friends bonding or family bonding.

Then, one by one each batch in our group were coming and since it’s holiday in Victoria, a lot of people took the opportunity to go to the same farm we were to have some break. I thought at first that I was not going to enjoy the activity but I made mistake. I was really happy when we were there because the whole group were there, chatting, laughing and eating.

Since most in the group brought foods, there were many menus, deserts and finger foods. My eyes were popping out  and my mind confused as I really don’t know what to choose, all menus in the tables were all Filipino foods which I really love.

After lunch, we went to the fishing area where we spent most of our time in the afternoon. Most of us took the fishing rods and tried to catch a fish. The activity was so enjoyable because most of us were surprised once someone from us were able to catch a fish. I did not tried to catch a fish, I just posed so that I will look like I was catching a fish. Everybody were laughing when someone scream because of surprised reaction as their fishing rod caught a fish.

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–Fish Pond

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–Fishes

One of the great feature of the farm was it has fish pond where you can do a guaranteed fishing and it is guaranteed that you will be able to catch one. And most of us tried to control catching a fish because every fish that will be caught must be paid and the payment is based on the weight. We were smiling and joking that this was the kind of fishing activity that you did not worry if there will be fish to catch, you will worried for how much you were going to pay after you finished catching fish.

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–Fishing Time

After fishing time, we spent talking and eating again, until I left the group for sometime and walk around the farm so I can find some scenic spot for photo shots as my souvenir in the place.

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–Photo shots inside the farm

I returned to my group and helped out for packing all the stuff we used. After half-an hour we left the trout farm and we hit the road to the city, same route we took when we were on our way to the farm. I was dropped off first at my place.

I had a great time again with friends in Melbourne. I’m thankful again for a wonderful place, lots of memories and I will surely treasure all of them. Until next adventure.

Panoramic View : Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga)

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Panoramic View (Post#17) : Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga)

Kata Tjuta was one of the main itinerary we had while touring Red Centre. We actually experience trekking this rocky mountain and discovered magnificent domed rock formation at the center of Australia. Like Ayers Rock, this is also considered a significant place for the Aboriginal people (Indigenous people live in Australia). Photo captured last March 2013.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Skywatch Friday – May 20, 2016
Scenic Weekends – May 20, 2016
In Heaven – May 21, 2016
Through My Lens – May 23, 2016
Our World Tuesday – May 24, 2016
Travel Tuesday – May 24, 2016
Outdoor Wednesday – May 25, 2016
Wednesday Around The World – May 25, 2016

Chromatic Outlook : White Rabbit Brewery

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Chromatic Outlook (Post#13) : White Rabbit Brewery

I accepted the invitation of my colleague at work when he invited us to go to Yarra Valley. The said valley are famous because of wineries which stretch to its whole space. And one of the place we visited was the White Rabbit Brewery in Healesville. They knew I don’t really drink but to see what’s inside the brewery were considered adventure and discovery. Photo captured last October 2013.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Black and White View – Jun 20, 2016
Black and White Wednesday – Jun 22, 2016
The Weekend in Black and White – Jun 24, 2016