Sunday, 18 January 2009

Sunday Scribblings, "Pilgrimage"

Ruth and Terry.

The Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is Pilgrimage.
This weekend I went away to Sydney and had myself a sort of pilgrimage. I went to pick up my Mum who lives with us as she had been to visit my eldest sister Thelma at Morisett near Newcastle. Sydney is about half way so we met up there. I had not been anywhere for a long time so I used the opportunity to go and visit some of the places I know and love along the way. And meet up and touch bases with some of the people I love too.
I emailed my cousin Ruth who lives in Sydney and asked her to meet up with us in the city and have yum cha for lunch. My sister Thelma, got her son Terry and his daughter Olivia to drive them there and Ruth was being visited by her Mum and sister Joan, so we all met up in the city.There was 8 of us.
The first picture above was taken this Saturday at the shopping plaza above Paddy's markets in china town.The people are my cousin Ruth and my nephew Terry. They were laughing because I got Terry to hold all the handbags and shopping.
The other picture above here is of a very nice sized Goanna that was in the park at Audley. He was very shiny looking, as far as Goannas go, so he must have recently shed his skin. Goannas or more correctly, monitor lizards have sharp claws and can run really fast if they want to. They eat carrion so if they bite you they cause infections and supposedly the bite comes back every year at the same time but I think that is just legend. They are also pretty funny critters because if you startle them one of their defences is to run up the nearest tall tree and if they think you are that tree...well, funny, albeit painful. They also eat birds eggs, bugs and other lizards and are really good swimmers. Sorry this is out of sequence for my story but I made a mistake and had to re post this picture and so this is where it will stay. For sanity's sake. He he.
This picture is a bit out of place in here too but it is of the evening sky last Thursday, viewed from my front porch. Pretty.
On Friday morning I left Canberra and headed north then turned down the Appin way to get to the coast at Woolongong which is just below Sydney. This is taken from one of the lookouts alongside the road above Coal cliff, (appropriately named as that is what is mined there), looking south towards Woolongong and Port Kembla. The coast line is spectacular along here, and as you can see, the escarpment that goes the length of the eastern side of Australia crashes into the sea here. There is a new bit of road here that I wanted to drive along. It is a bridge set above the ocean out from the cliffs. Last time I drove along there they were just starting to build it and the road was closed. There was always a problem on that part of the road because the old road was cut into the cliff face and always had rock falls and they had to keep repairing it. The new bridge is quite on engineering feat.
This is the little beach at the bottom of Stanwell Tops.Looking south.
Stanwell Tops beach looking north. The headland you can see above the beach in this picture is famous because hang gliders and kites are flown off it on the weekends, there are lots of people watching and you can see all along the coast looking south towards Port Kembla. I remember seeing the gliders when I was living in Sydney, where we moved when I was 10 years old, we would go for drives through the Royal National Park and down to there and buy an ice cream and sit on the cliffs to watch them.
This is the board up on the cliff at Stanwell Tops. If you enlarge it you should be able to read about it.
Looking north on Stanwell Tops. You can see one of the Hang gliders in the distance.
This was taken at the southern end of The Royal National Park which is one of my favourite places. If I remember correctly it was the first national park declared in Australia and covers an area from Stanwell Tops in the south to the southern shores of Botany Bay in its northern end which is where Captain Cook set foot on Australian soil and claimed it for England. He just beat the French to it, they were just outside the heads to the harbour. It suffers from bushfire damage each summer. But as far as I have heard it has been safe so far this season.
The park encompasses a variety of habitats from remnants of rain forest like this picture shows.
To low windswept coastal heath vegetation like this.This was taken on the roadside down to Garie beach.

This is a leaf from a London Plane tree among the gum leaves. Just because I thought it was beautiful. It was a huge tree and was probably planted at Audley in the very early days of the parks establishment when Sydneysiders came here to visit.
London Plane trees are commonly used as landscape trees in towns, parks and on roadsides in Australia but they grow huge and damage buildings and pathways with their roots. They are excellent shade trees planted in the right place.

Cockies, or more correctly named, Sulphur Crested Cockatoos in the big paperbark (melaluca) tree at Audley where I stopped to get some lunch.

The boat house at Audley. You can hire water bikes and paddle boats here to row on the Hacking river. Very pretty spot. We went there and got boats a few times when we were kids.

This is Terry and his Mum, my eldest sister Thelma. She did not know the chopsticks were behind her head. Our family has a tendency to try to play tricks on each other and get it on camera. He he.
She would not be impressed by me putting this photo up, but she does not have a computer so I think I am safe.

The next picture is of me with my Auntie Joan, she turns 80 in a few weeks. Cheers with the Chinese green tea at the Yum Cha restaurant. Yum Cha is sort of like a Chinese version of brunch, except it goes most of the day. They bring around little trolleys that are full of dim sum, steamed dumplings, gow gees and vegetables and all sorts of interesting tasty little morsels for you to choose from.Good fun. It worked out at $26 per head for lunch which is pretty good. That was including drinks and dessert.
My sister Thelma again. Smile sweetly for the camera Thellie!
My cousin Joan. She is 5 years younger than me. She is a great person and talks your head off. A family failing or what? Nah! I like people who can do that, they are good to have around as I don't have that verbal skill.

Last picture is of my Mum, Chopsticks and noodles she is now 88 years old. We didn't tell her that my auntie Joan and cousins were meeting up with us in the city so we could surprise her. It worked really well and the look on her face when she saw them was priceless.
So I had a pretty good weekend, a family pilgrimage, a drive down memory lane and some quiet time by myself to dawdle and do what I like to do, namely enjoy the beautiful earth.
I stayed in a motel by myself on Friday night in Liverpool and at my cousin Ruth's house in Merrylands on Saturday night which is the most time I have spent out of my own bed in probably a year. Almost a year full of change and adjustments.
Today on the way back to Canberra I had a sticky beak at the Sturt school in Mittagong. It is well known as a place to find top quality arts and crafts, especially in my area of interest, Pottery. There is work on display and for sale by the top potters and in the school holidays they have a variety of week long workshops. I have not been able to attend them as yet due to financial constraints but they are definitely on my to do list.I also took a drive up Mt Gibraltar above the town. Wow! You should see the houses up there! And the Gardens! Talk about nice to have money.
That is about all for tonight. I will try to get back to putting a post in here twice a week as I have not always managed it, at least not lately.
Love Linda.


Winterwood said...

beautiful the pics say it all! Wonderful views on pacific.

SweetTalkingGuy said...

Crumbs, Love the pictures, especially the Cockies!

anthonynorth said...

Some great photos there. A very colourful post.

Tumblewords: said...

Great photos and a pilgrimage of fun and memory for you! Nicely done!

anno said...

For me, this was an exotic pilgrimage -- thanks for taking me along!

Shadow said...

that looks like a super 'pilgrimage'. thanks for the photos. how i love looking at photos.... that sunset is amazing by the way.

latree said...

that was a great trip! I always love pictures of skies.
we call that reptile 'komodo' here, I'm not sure if you meant it iguana, which I think is different.

Bimbimbie said...

Hi Linda looks like you had a good time out and about and surprising your mum with the gathering of the rellies. Snap with the monitor lizard - been hugging our tree just lately too, haven't the skies been gorgeous talk about blood red *!*

Yolanda said...

I really enjoyed the pictures and getting to know you.