Fortnight of Fun

The last fortnight has been awesome, truly great and just plan good. Over the past two weeks I have had some great adventures in Alice Springs, Canberra and possibly even around Sydney though I might have to think a bit harder about that one to come up with an example.

Over the long weekend I was lucky enough to be able to go up to Alice Springs for the weekend and hang out with amazing people camping, slack-lining, walking, camp-firing and art auction attending. We had amazing weather (As always for this time of year) and camped under the multitudinous stars that are a feature of deserts every where. Although the whole weekend was amazing I think the two most impressive discoveries were a gorge full of carved aboriginal petroglyphs that have been dated to between six and eight thousand years old, and that crispy campfire bacon, roasted banana and maple syrup go quite well together.

 

This past weekend I have spent in Canberra in a similarly awesome weekend that involved lots of exciting things like cake, mountain biking at Sparrow Hill, a two year olds birthday party, a Global Wind Day Picnic, markets and lots of coffee! A big thank you to everyone who made it a second great weekend!

Oh, and the awesome thing about Sydney… Family of course. Thanks all!

Sunset on Alice Springs

Tomorrow is my last day in Alice Springs. As it turns out the world around me wanted to say goodbye on Wednesday by offering an amazing day of rain followed by on of the best sunsets I have ever seen, and living out here that is a big call.

Sitting at the first saddle of the Mt Gillen walk I was treated to rainbows, glowing mountains in the distance, golden valleys and red red rocks at the sunset around me.

Thanks Alice Springs. You’ve been amazing!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Palm Valley

Yesterday I had a mid-week adventure to rival all others. Central Australia has received vast amounts of rain recently (20-60mm) and as a result all of the gorges have been filling up, and as anyone who has been following the blog would know I have been making the most of it!

Yesterday’s mid week adventure was to Palm Valley, an isolated valley full of cycads and palm trees an hour and a half from Alice Springs. Normally dry, our experience of the valley required wading through water holes and rock hoping around others. The creeks are full of tadpoles, frogs and fish. The air was full of cicadas and dragonflies, and generally it was a pretty amazing day.

Happy Christmas to you and me!

Hi All,

The blog has been a little quiet for the past few months, but it is Christmas time and I thought it time to join the cheeriness. So have two photos! One in my christmas present to myself for the next few years, the other is a strange likeness of me that I just happened to find on the internet!

christmasbike

Redbank Gorge and Mt Sonder

Over the weekend some friends and I went camping at Redbank Gorge and climbed Mt Sonder. It was an awesome weekend with lots of swimming, but 35 degrees on the last day of winter is a bit rude really. Anyway, I survived, I didn’t reach the top of Sonder because I couldn’t handle the heat, but I had a great weekend.

Enjoy my happy snaps!

Trephina Gorge Day Out

On Saturday I got to go on a little jaunt around Trephina Gorge. Here are a few little happy snaps.

Misty Alice Springs Morning

It rained yesterday, not just a little rain, but something like 25mm. This and the very cool weather resulted in a lovely misty morning which would have been more suitable to a southern town.
Anyway it was great so I went for a nice walk.

image

image

Bond Gap Bushwalk

After a fair few weeks of “looking after” my ankle it seemed like time to head out for a bit of a bushwalk along the MacDonnell Ranges. In keeping with my “sensible” planning we selected a nice easy loop walk along the Woodland Trail to Bond Gap, and then along the Larapinta Trail back to Simpsons Gap and eventually our car.

So with all this in mind my housemates and I set out on a 21km walk at a cracking pace that couldn’t have been much slower than a forced march! That said the weather was perfect, with cool winds and a cloudy sky the temperature stayed below 20 degrees all day which is most unusual in Alice Springs.

Our route for the day. Like good people we walked clockwise.

Our route for the day. Like good people we walked clockwise.

Despite the cracking pace we had some amazing views, and stopped for a while at Bond Gap for a bit of a play around on the rocks and a swim. Hope these photos suitably tantalise.

Solar Eclipse

Recently there was another solar eclipse in Alice Springs. Unlike the last one, I didn’t know this one was happening and had the strange strange experience of sitting at the kitchen table wondering if I had lost my mind. Actually it wasn’t so much that I had lost my mind, but my memory as I was certain that clouds didn’t block out as much light as was occuring right then (it had been a while since we had had a cloudy morning okay).

Anyway a call from my boss drew my attention to the truth and I set about playing with the eclipse and seeing if I could get photos of the eclipse or the visual effects of the eclipse. The following are the results.

Stage 1: Looking at the Sun.

Okay so looking at the Sun isn’t the brightest thing to do, but looking through the lense of my camera seemed like a good idea. Interestingly the sunspot at the edge of these photos shows the eclipsation better than the photo.

The eclipse was pretty obvious, and certainly visible through the camera.

The eclipse was pretty obvious, and certainly visible through the camera.

DSCF3484

The sunspot in this photo shows the sun as it’s most eclipsed point, or at least roughly….

This got pretty boring pretty quickly so we start playing with more creative techniques of observation!

Stage 2: Playing with shadows

We tried a number of very conventional and creative methods to see what was going on.

The highest degree of planning and experimental design are demonstrated in out eclipse watching apparatus.

The highest degree of planning and experimental design are demonstrated in out eclipse watching apparatus.

The results of out amazingly technologically advanced apparatus.

The results of out amazingly technologically advanced apparatus.

Obviously this was a lot of hard work. So we played with bigger shadows instead.

Easily the coolest and easiest way to view the eclipse was through your fingers!

Easily the coolest and easiest way to view the eclipse was through your fingers!

Every shadow was bent and distorted!

Every shadow was bent and distorted!

It turned out you could see the eclipse in every shadow, so we decided it was easier to play with shadows!

It turned out you could see the eclipse in every shadow, so we decided it was easier to play with shadows!

All in all a fun morning, and I got to say I was late to work because there was something wrong with the sun.