Week Two – The Outback, Northern Territories – November 2-9, 2012

The heat is not at all my favorite thing, a fact to which those who know me even slightly can attest.  However, when I had set my sights on seeing the 2012 total solar eclipse from nearly the only land location from which it would be visible, I also knew that going to Australia for a few days or a week would be foolish.  Any destination that takes nearly twenty-four hours from portal to portal deserves at least three weeks or more.

So it was with relish that I planned our trip to Oz.  One week in Western Australia at Neil’s request because the Margaret River Valley is known for . . . what else?  Wine!  A week in the Outback, so I could visit Uluru, the sacred red rock of the Aboriginal people.  A third week at the Great Barrier Reef, scene of the total solar eclipse if we planned it right (and of course we did), and a five-day wrap-up in Sydney before heading back to Colorado.

From the air, we could see absolutely no sign of civilization.

Week Two began with a flight from Perth to Alice Springs, in the dead center of the Outback.  Once we had been whisked away from the e civilization that was Perth and its surrounds, I began to see the complete desolation that is the landscape of the middle of this continent.

I used my iPhone to shoot photos out the airplane window.  First completely abandoned red dirt, seen through a screen of puffy clouds.

The “folded over” mountains from our plane.

Then the “folded over mountains” as Neil called them, a sort of long ridge with vertical creases, such as one would make in a long loaf of bread.

The long and zigzagged road . . . the only one visible from the air.

At one point, halfway through my flight, I spotted a thin red line zigging one way and then zagging another, perhaps the only road for a thousand miles.  Or perhaps not a road at all.  If that’s not it, there IS no “it” through this section of Oz.

Finally we arrived at the Alice Springs airport, and after about 45 minutes at the Hertz counter and numerous errors kindly and frantically corrected by the only employee in the booth, the four of us lugged our bags and backpacks to a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, a honking big 4WD vehicle suitable for our Outback explorations during this next week.

Our Toyota “Camel” for travel during Week Two

This was the first rental car for which we were given a 100 km. daily limit for our travel.  We thought it a bit strange, but as they say in Australia, “No worries!”   After all, we wouldn’t drive more than 700 kilometres in a week, would we?

To be continued . . .


Have Resurrected Computer, Will Post!

May 17, 2012.  Why is it that the best laid plans of mice, men and women, really do come apart at the seams sometimes?  After transferring this blog to WordPress so I’d be really ready to keep track of our travels, I found myself with a completely dead 9-year old laptop last weekend, and nothing I could do would bring it back to life . . . until I completely left it alone for four days, removed and repositioned the battery several times, etc. etc.  For no particular reason, yesterday morning, voila!  I heard that distinctive chime that only means a Mac is booting up . . .

So, though I felt clearly lost without the electronics, I noticed several things:

1)  I reminded myself that despite the rain in France for a month before we arrived, and despite the forecast for several days of rain during our 16 days here, we have had simply beautiful weather, but for Tuesday, when we walked through the Marais District with a walking guide, umbrellas up against rain and gusts of wind . . .

2) I wrote a bit more in my paper journal about our activities, rather than try to deal with the French computer keyboard layout . . .

3)I finally made a firm decision to buy a new Mac as soon as I return home.

The writing and posting could be done at home, worst case, and my photos won’t go on this site, probably because of the ancient and now really dying system I have.  BUT . . . we definitely wouldn’t be enjoying our activities nearly as much if our weather had shown up as predicted.

So . . . there’s my introduction.  Now on to our adventures, which I will post in pieces, so you won’t have to make a sandwich before you settle in to read:

Provence, cont’d:  When last we left this website, Sunday, May 6, we had settled into our first day at our villa in Robion, in the Luberon Valley of Provence.  Indeed, we went to the market at L’Isle Sur La Sorgue, returned to our villa for relaxation near our swimming pool, and returned to L’Isle, etc. for dinner at Le Jardin du Quai.  It’s a beautiful place, and though the main course that particular night was a pork roast, not the best thing I’ve eaten here, the accompaniments were delicious, the garden cast a glowing light on all of us as the sun set late in the evening, and we enjoyed ourselves completely.

The drive back to the villa was under 30 minutes, and we eased ourselves into our respective villa bedrooms for a good night’s sleep.


Tuscany, Cinque Terre, and
The Lakes of Piemonte

May 9-28*, 2010

Ten women, 19 days:
Florence, Siena, Tuscan countryside villa,

Cinque Terre, and the northwest lakes

Included: 18 nights’ lodging (4 nights in Florence, 1 night in Siena, 7 nights in a Tuscan villa, 3 nights in Cinque Terre, 3 nights at San Giulio d’Orta), most breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 picnics, 10 delicious dinners, 2 Italian language lessons in Florence, private walking tours in Florence and Siena, entrance to the Uffizzi, Accadamia, and Medici Chapel in Florence. Day trips to Cortona, San Gimignano, Lake Trasimeno, Isole Maggiore, Montepulciano, Pienza and Chianti.

You will enjoy a train and boat ride to Portofino for a the day, and ME for your enthusiastic travel coordinator, guide, and all around firefighter. Facilitated reflective/travel writing is included for those who would like to participate. An expanded way for you to anchor your experiences on paper.

Cost of $5600 double occupancy, including airfare from Denver. If we get a better price on the airfare, I’ll adjust downward. If the Euro rises to more than $1.50 exchange rate, I will make whatever adjustment is necessary upward, but it should be minimal. Ask if you need a single supplement. NOTE: We do very well matching or rotating roommates.

A $500 deposit secures your space, non-refundable unless we can fill your spot if you need to cancel. Bring a friend not on my list and deduct $250 from your trip cost. Send payment to Lifeprints Journeys, 887 Blue Heron Lane, Fort Collins, Co. 80524. Questions? Call me at 970-481-6339.