Letho's Blog

Archive for Oktober, 2010

The Mornington Peninsula – Adventure Week

by on Okt.30, 2010, under Traveling Australia

After leaving Altona via a final (so we thought) Melbourne detour on Oct 26, 2010, we drove down to the Mornington Peninsula which is one of two peninsulas enclosing Port Phillip Bay in which Melbourne among other cities is located. The other peninsula is the Bellarine Peninsula. We arrived in the dark and searched for a secret and quiet camping spot. This was our first attempt at camping in the wild which included erecting our new and shiny tent for the first time. We finally managed to do that without knowing exactly where we were and if there were threats of any kind – did I mention that also it is illegal? 🙂

Oct 27, 2010

Waking up in the next morning we noticed the place was not that secret and car traffic occasionally passed by. Still, no one was really interested in our presence… our first camping site looked like this:

First campsite on Mornington Peninsula

First campsite on Mornington Peninsula

First thing in the morning was going to Arthur’s Seat from where we expected a nice view over Port Phillip Bay. We were not disappointed and spontaneously engaged in a fine breakfast.

We took a few walks, e.g. the T.C. McKellar’s Walk and Kings Falls Walk. Later on we headed to Sorrento and Portsea and decided to go to Cape Schanck to view the beautiful sunset from there.

We had a nice, romantic dinner consisting of red wine and crackers with cheese while enjoying the last light of day.

Last thing of the day – find a place to stay for the night in the dark and build the camp! We luckily came across Fingal Picnic Ground and settled there – as every so often a bit unsure wether this was a good idea…

Oct 28, 2010

Again we woke up early, worried we would be disturbed by the police and locked in jail with the key thrown away. Again, nothing like that happened and we took off ..

Did you note the sign saying „No camping“? Yeah, we did too .. so what. 😉

We used the fine weather to examine Cape Schanck in full daylight and detail again, e.g. the view to Cape Schanck Lighthouse.

With so much activity before breakfast the time was well due for that, and we did have it in Rye with a view to the beach.

Breakfast in Rye, Mornington Peninsula

Breakfast in Rye, Mornington Peninsula

Wondering why the picture is a bit sloped? So was I just looking at it. Nevermind.

Next station was Point Nepean which can be reached via Portsea. It is the most westerly and therefore most remote place you can reach on the Mornington Peninsula. It is resided on one side of the only 3 km wide bay entrance, with Queenscliff on the other side on Bellarine Peninsula. On our walk (of quite a few kilometres) we passed nice views of the coastline and Fort Pearce

… and a submarine entering Port Phillip (hopefully not a Japanese one?!) …

The Japs are coming! ;-)

The Japs are coming! 😉

… and more nice views – and finally Fort Nepean.

On our way back north we passed Sorrento and took a detour to the lovely Ocean Beach. Looks like the seagulls were having a day off at the beach, too:

Seagulls on vacation at Ocean Beach, Sorrento

Seagulls on vacation at Ocean Beach, Sorrento

Heading to the Dandenong Ranges we enjoyed some fine first-class camping cooking:

Delite Dinner!

Delite Dinner!

Guess what – it was dark already and we had no place to stay. Again. We came along Grant Picnic Ground near Belgrave which seemed ok. We fell asleep to the sound of sports motorcycles using the steep and curvy hills as a training ground. What sweeter sound could there be? 🙂

Oct 29, 2010

The good thing about not having the slightest clue where you are and what it looks like in the day is – you get overwhelmed by what it looks like in the day. We woke up to the sound of whispering trees, so loud as the waves of the ocean. Sticking our heads out of the tent we were stunned by giant Eucalyptus trees which are typical in the Sherbrooke Forest. Take a look at it by yourself:

Want some moving images? Here ya go, mate:

Exiting the picnic ground we stumbled upon these little beautiful fellas:

After doing the Sherbrooke Falls Walk ..

.. we continued on our way to Mount Dandenong, stopping at the Victoria Rhododendron National Garden near Olinda. It’s a cultivated garden, but in contrast to all the wild and genuine nature we have seen so far we gathered some remarkable impressions:

After arriving at Mount Dandenong .. yay, breakfast time! Finally at 3 p.m. in the afternoon .. *growl* ..

Breakfast on Mount Dandenong

Breakfast on Mount Dandenong

Noticing a pattern already? Yeah, we LOVE breakfasts .. 🙂

The weather allowed for a clear view onto the Melbourne skyline 35 km’s away:

Melbourne Skyline view from Mount Dandenong

Melbourne Skyline view from Mount Dandenong

Oct 30, 2010

Finally – after a last windy breakfast at Altona Beach – we headed back to Altona, Melbourne, found a campsite near Cherry Lake, were severely bitten by mosquitoes and made our way on the next day to Cape Otway. But that’s another story .. eh, article!

Breakfast at Altona Beach

Breakfast at Altona Beach

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Phillip Island MotoGP 2010: Australian Grand Prix

by on Okt.17, 2010, under Traveling Australia

After arriving at Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne, back from Tasmania on Sat 16 Oct 2010, we got to our LandCruiser and headed straight down to Phillip Island. It was only a few hours to go until the 2010 MotoGP race would take off on the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit!

We drove in the middle of the night through rain and windstorms, expecting the worst weather for this one-shot-chance at attending a live MotoGP race down under. Finally, at 2 a.m. we reached a public parking place only a few hundred meters away from the circuit and settled for our first night in the LandCruiser.

It was a „hard“ night – literally speaking, since we had no mattress. Take a look at our self-made accomodation:

We got up early and entered the circuit within seconds without getting stuck in any traffic jam – there is only one access road to the island, usually totally crammed before the race.

Our first impressions:

It is amazing how easily you can walk around the complete track. And it is even more amazing how amazing the views are, even from the general admission areas. We didn’t book any of the stands – far too expensive. Finally we settled on the Siberia heights and watched the Moto2 and MotoGP race from there. Luckily the weather got better and better, in the afternoon it was mild and sunny… perfect conditions for thrilling races.

Enjoy the following short clips which resemble the Moto2 and MotoGP race starts. Let’s start with Moto2:

And now the MotoGP race start:

Our overview of the circuit from left to right:

But that’s just half the truth. By simply turning around we enjoyed these stunning views:

Funny thing – in the upper left you can see Hector Faubel’s bike after he crashed out and took Maxwell out on the way as well. The latter punched the former right in the face for that seconds after the crash and got a Black Flag for unsportslike behaviour… not the fame in his wildcard Moto2 race he had hoped for, I guess. =)

Moto2 Race - Faubel is out, Cutie is in!

Moto2 Race - Faubel is out, Cutie is in!

Immediately after the race the race track was flooded by the crowds .. and we dived straight in, of course! =)

The day ended with the awards ceremony for the MotoGP race, of course:

1. Stoner 2. Lorenzo 3. Rossi

1. Stoner 2. Lorenzo 3. Rossi

The real winners, however, remain unnamed and shall only be revealed in the following pics:

That was truly an exceptional day and an awesome experience we will never forget. And hey .. I bought an Aprilia stubbie holder for my beer bottles! =)

What an amazing experience!

What an amazing experience!

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Tasmania – Day 4 and 5

by on Okt.16, 2010, under Tasmania, Traveling Australia

Day 4 – Friday 15 October

It was time to say goodbye to our nice hosts and to leave Northern Tasmania to slowly head back south to catch our flight the next day.

A quick stop at the Preston Falls which were easily to miss but have been one of the great waterfalls so far.

Preston Falls, Ulverstone, Tasmania

Preston Falls, Ulverstone, Tasmania

Now further on right through the middle of Tassie where we passed nice the great Liffey Forest in the Central Highlands and the Great Lake.

The normal road suddenly turned into a gravel road and we were a little afraid for our car. If only the land cruiser had been there…

As several times before and most some more times in the future we underestimated the distances and arrived late in the evening in Hobart where we took a hostel.

Day 5 – Saturday 16 October

Even on our last day it was (heavy) rain on and off but since we had to leave in the evening we didn’t let the weather change our plans. The famous Salamanca Market in Hobart turned out to be quite a tourist trap with lots of stands full of souvenirs and food. Well, we got a great Tasmanian devil t-shirt but the market was nothing special.

Back into the car and down 90 k’s to the Tahune Forest to see the famous Tahune air walk – a walk at the tree tops. Heavy rain spoiled our mood but we bravely took some pics anyway.

Quite wet and cold we jumped in our car and headed back to the airport where our airline seemed to show the usual chaos: first our flight was shown as boarding but the gate wasn’t correct so after some time our flight (already late) seemed to have departed but in reality was just leaving from another gate.

And very important: NO pictures outside the airplane as we have been told twice! Therefore, no proof pictures for you!

Conclusion:

Tassie has a beautiful landscape with some nice walks and beaches but also tries to make profit of every little tourist attraction they have (to see the old buildings at Port Arthur one had to pay 25 $). Despite the bad weather it was a nice experience but not as breathtaking as I had imagined it.

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Tasmania – Day 3

by on Okt.14, 2010, under Tasmania, Traveling Australia

We arrived late Wednesday night at Peter’s place deep in the Tasmanian forest near Ulverstone resp. Leven Canyon. We were sure to be on the wrong road (well, it wasn’t even a real road) when we finally found it.

Peter and his family bought some land about 15 years ago and built all the buildings themselves. They even have a hydro-powered site by using the small creek and waterfall that runs across their property to get a generator running and produce electricity. Peter brews his own beer and wine and tries to be quite independent.

Here some picture of his property:

Some animals living there…

day 3 – Thursday 14 October

We went to the Leven Canyon which was around the corner from Peter’s place and did the Leven Canyon Walk.

On our way back from the lookout we went through some beautiful forest:

We drove up north to Devonport because we wanted to look at some aboriginal inscriptions in the rocks there but apart from rocks we couldn’t find anything else.

Except for this very strange thing:

Mysterious thing

Mysterious thing

Finally a quick (only 100 k’s) visit to the Cataract Gorge in Launceston and a quick ride on a much praised but a little disappointing chairlift – although it’s the longest single-rope chairlift in the world.

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