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The Travelling Teapot


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My Goodness!

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 05:38:00 +0000

Oh goodness, gracious me! It has been six years since I last posted on this blog. I didn't realise the time it's been six years - I can hardly believe it has been so long since I wrote on this, my first ever blog. I had the bright idea of this being my blog where I would detail my trips and holidays but somehow it didn't seem to work out that way.

Enough! This is the last post on this format. I am going to change the whaddyacallit? The um... the.. the outlook, the view, what you see when you look at this blog. GEeze Louise, I can't even remember the word. The I'll have to go and look it up. Hold on ..... the template! This is the old Minima stretch template which is wider but it has long past its use by date and so I will choose one of the new ones.

See you all on the new template.

Getting My Act Together

Wed, 29 Sep 2010 00:08:00 +0000

This post is more like putting my thoughts on paper so to speak (or in this case typed in a post). When I created my first blog (Melbourne Daily Photo) it was to have a blog like others I'd seen and do one on Melbourne. About the same time I thought I'd love to do one about my travels, hence "The Travelling Teapot" was born. Originally I was going to document my trips and travels and I started off with my Alice Springs trip, didn't finish it, then started on my time in the Top End (Darwin and surrounding areas). Then it sort of became blogged down (no pun intended) and I didn't post here for ages.

I had this bright idea of starting a blog about a trip to Queensland, then one to New Zealand, then came the one on Malaysia and Cambodia. And now I have one about my next trip which is in February 2011. Somewhere along the way I seem to have lost the focus of what this blog was all about. I have all these blogs floating around and haven't finished one of them. A little like the jack of all trades but master of none.

So, what to do? Some travel blogs have a photo of a different place they've been and each post is separate from the other. I realised I had fallen into that mode with the last four or five posts. But is that really how I want this blog to be? Is this what I really intended at the beginning? I don't think it was and now I have to stop, take a step back and have a good long look at it, which I've done.

And so.....I have to finish what I started - that is go back to the beginning and finish writing about the Alice Springs and Red Centre, then, and only then, move onto Darwin and continue with that one, instead of posting random photos here and there. And so....the next post will be a continuation of Alice Springs.

No Digital Camera
I didn't have a digital camera until September 2006 and so all the photos of my previous travel were taken with an Instamatic ($29.95 from the local chemist). Taking photos of a photo doesn't give a very good result, but it is very expensive to have them done at a camera shop. (Think hundreds of dollars!) Anyway, that's about it for now folks, and I thank all those who have taken the time to read this.

It'll be back on track now, back to the original idea of this blog. I am also going to add this to the Pages at the top as well. Until then, keep on blogging and enjoy. And remember, old bloggers never die - they just get blogged down in blogland!

Buddhist Monk

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 17:19:00 +0000

Monk in deep saffron robe
Photo taken at Preah Promreah Pagoda, built in AD 1371. Deep saffron represents sacrifice and salvation.

Facing The Sea

Wed, 15 Sep 2010 19:21:00 +0000

From the verandah of the E & O Hotel in Georgetown, Penang.

Queenstown Post Office

Fri, 10 Sep 2010 11:35:00 +0000

Post Office
Queenstown is a mining town in the west coast of Tasmania. The Post Office was originally built of timber in 1896. The current Post Office was built in 1902.

Otehei Bay

Thu, 01 Jul 2010 19:38:00 +0000

Otehei Bay on Urupukapuka Island
This lovely bit of Paradise was once home to Zane Grey, a well known American writer and adventurer. Located on Urupukapuka Island, the largest of over 140 islands in the Bay, Otehei Bay is a beautiful beach with grassy picnic areas and the perfect place to enjoy a spot of island life.

Waikato River

Mon, 21 Jun 2010 15:49:00 +0000

The longest river
This beautiful flowing river is the Waikato and is New Zealand's longest. Rising from the slopes of Mount Ruapehu in Tongariro NP as the Tongariro River, it then flows north through Lake Taupo and issues from the lake's north eastern corner, tumbling over the Huka Falls and flowing northwest to enter the Tasman Sea south of Auckland. The Waikato is 425 km long with a gentle gradient and carries a heavy load of ash from the volcanic highlands. The Waikato has formed numerous lakes and lagoons along its lower reaches.

How the river got its name
The name Waikato originated during the voyage of the Tainui canoe, which had journeyed from Polynesia. Arriving just off the mouth of the river, the crew remarked upon the kato (the pull of the river current in the sea) and the name Waikato (wai meaning water) was given to the river.

I took this photo between Rotorua and Taupo in the North Island.

Today's Quote: No river can return to its source, yet all rivers must have a beginning - Native American proverb.

Kek Lok Si Temple

Sun, 20 Jun 2010 01:10:00 +0000

This lovely pagoda is part of the Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang. The base is inset in a lotus flower and there is a buddha in each window. I was fortunate to be there while the Chinese New Year decorations were still up - don't they add a festive colour?
The temple consists of prayer halls, temples, monasteries and lovely landscaped gardens.
Kek Lok Si means Temple of Supreme Bliss and is the largest temple in Penang and the most well known.
Overlooking the town of Ayer Itam, the temple is set in a hillside and you get maginficent views of surrounding areas and Georgetown.

London Court

Fri, 18 Jun 2010 17:17:00 +0000

Above: London Court
London Court in Perth, Western Australia was built in 1937 and is located between the Hay Street Mall and St Georges Terrace. The court was built in the Tudor style buildings of England.
The clock is a replica of France's Great Clock of Rouen. The inscription under the clock reads
"No minute gone comes ever back again
Take heed and see ye nothing do in vain."

Today's Quote: A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours ~ John B. Priestly

Yellow Water Billabong

Sat, 10 Oct 2009 09:34:00 +0000

Yellow Water Billabong is located at the end of Jim Jim Creek, a tributary of the South Alligator River. There are beautiful lily-covered wetlands, floodplains, backwater swamps and river channels.

About one third of Australia's bird species are found here in Kakadu National Park,and there are at least 60 species found in the wetlands - whistling ducks and magpie geese are prolific.

Yellow Water Billabong

We went on a 2 hour cruise in the early afternoon and our "Captain" was Agnes.

Some Places In My Travels

Fri, 09 Oct 2009 08:44:00 +0000

Haven't really had the time to post here for a while, but here are a few of the places I've been to.

I've been to places
I've travelled around
To Darwin and Tassie
And Kalgoorlie town
But no matter how far
Or how wide I roam
I still call Melbourne home.

Hawana - Is Tiwi For Hello

Thu, 13 Aug 2009 09:22:00 +0000

Friday 23rd June 2006Hawana, how are you? Hawana is Tiwi for hello. This little moppet hid around the trees as we approached and peeked around and smiled shyly. His name is Bom Bom. which I was told means bottom. Tiwi Design, located on Bathurst Island, started from a small Catholic Presbytery in 1969. Two young men, Bede Tungatalum and Giovanni Tipungwuti, worked with the art teacher, Madeline Clear, to produce woodblock prints.The artists soon began to transfer their designs onto silk screens and printing textiles quickly became a major activity. Today, Tiwi Design artists provide diverse works across many mediums, including fine art sculptures and paintings. This bird was created at Tiwi Design at Nguiu on Bathurst Island and was hand carved by Mario Munkara whose artwork is fine and therefore higher priced.Another lady also wanted to purchase it. I made sure not to put it down while I contemplated buying it as it was fairly expensive. I'm glad I bought it.Mr. Munkara goes "walkabout" selects a suitable branch which he brings back to carve. On the day I visited I was fortunate as he had just returned that morning and kindly consented to pose with me. Ngaruwanajirri Arts CentreOne of the ladies who make beautiful paintings.Tiwi Art marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=",144.851829&sspn=0.012011,0.01929&ie=UTF8&ll=-11.146066,130.896606&spn=3.806859,4.938354&z=8&output=embed" width="425" frameborder="0" height="350" scrolling="no">View Larger Map[...]

Mindil Market

Fri, 31 Jul 2009 01:22:00 +0000

Playing the didgeridoo.

Above: Playing the didgeridoo.

The Mindil Beach Sunset Market is a Darwin institution. Held every Thursday and Sunday from May to October there are many stalls offerning food, arts, crafts and entertaiment. Try some of the international cuisine - Turkish, Greek, South American, Sri Lanka, North African and many others. Or perhaps pack a picnic and sit on the beach watching the sunset.

Above: Chinese Violin player.

Stroll among the tarot card readers, leatherworkers, jewellers and artists. Listen to the free live street theatre, magicians and buskers. The young man in the first photo was giving a didgeredoo demonstration, while in the second, is a Chinese violin player.

Darwin 2006 - Galleries & Gardens

Thu, 30 Jul 2009 10:40:00 +0000

Monday 19th June 2006After a late start to the day, I did a sightseeing tour with AAT Kings at 2.00PM.One of the places we visited was the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory which is located at 19 Conacher Street Bullocky Point Fannie Bay, and set in a tropical garden on Darwin Harbour.Darwin HarbourI felt privileged to see paintings by Albert Namatjira - one of Australia's great artists, and perhaps the best known Aboriginal painter. Above: "Ghost Gums" by Albert NamatjiraTowards the end of the tour, we stopped at the Botanic Gardens which has, among other things, this beautiful fountain. It gets switched off at 5.00PM and we were lucky enough to arrive in time.Fountain at George Brown Botanic GardensLocation Details - Museum & Art Gallery frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src=",144.85184&sspn=0.012249,0.019076&ie=UTF8&ll=-12.425513,130.838242&spn=0.029337,0.036478&z=14&output=embed" width="425">View Larger Map[...]

Top End Panorama

Sat, 25 Jul 2009 03:36:00 +0000

Top End Map

Fri, 24 Jul 2009 00:41:00 +0000


Click on map to enlarge.

Tiwi Islands - Church and Culture

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 23:46:00 +0000

Friday 23rd June 2006Our guides Teabag and John told us of Fr Francis Xavier Gsell who established an Aboriginal mission at Nguiu on Bathurst Island in 1910 and worked there until 1938. During Bishop Gsell’s time, Catholic schools were established in Darwin, on Bathurst Island (two schools: St Therese’s and Xavier Boys’ Schools), and at the Santa Teresa Mission in Central Australia.The story of Creation of the Tiwi Islands is a fascinating one. When the earth was flat and in darkness, an old blind woman, Mudungkala rose out of the ground during Palaneri time (dreaming) carrying three infants. and started going north. In her tracks, the fresh water that bubbled forth became the Dundas Strait.After travelling on, forming the Tiwi Islands and their waterways in her wake, she then said the islands were to be inhabited with animals and covered with vegetation so that her three children would have food. She moved south, leaving her children behind and disappeared.The Dundas Strain separates Melville and Bathurst Island from Mainland Australia and Nguiu is around 80 kms north of Darwin.The interior of St. Therese's Roman Catholic Church is beautifully decorated in the Tiwi design.Teabag told us the Tiwis follow the old rules - strict rules by today's standards in Australia and elsewhere.Brothers and sisters are not allowed to talk to each other after puberty. If he wanted to give his sister a book, he must leave it in a place - he indicated the hollow of a tree. A message would be sent along by several people, and then his sister would come and collect the book.Not until they were both old and grey haired could they meet and speak with each other.There are four skin groups - mullet, pandanus, sun and stone - and when a young man is looking for a wife, two of those groups are taboo. Talking to a member of the opposite sex from the wrong skin group meant a very harsh punishment - they were beaten with a long punishment stick which broke their knees and elbows. Today it is more modern - the family gets together and gives them a flogging with smaller sticks.[...]

Tiwi Islands

Thu, 23 Jul 2009 19:38:00 +0000

Friday 23rd June 2006

100 kms north of Darwin the TIWI ISLANDS are Bathurst and Melville Islands. The Aboriginal population call themselves the Tiwi people. You can’t arrive on the islands unannounced and tour around – there are no facilities to do so. You must go with an organised tour or fishing group.

The Tiwi people are world famous for their art - traditional forms of paintings on bark and canvas, wood carvings, silk screened cloth, weaving and pottery. Paintings can be found hanging in major art galleries world wide. There are several art galleries on both islands. You can purchase directly from the artists. The Tiwis are also famous for their love of sports in particular Australian Rules Football with several men holding important positions in the AFL.

Nicknamed the Islands of Smiles, Tiwi people are coastal Aboriginals with a culture different to those on the mainland. Their strong traditions are still a very important part of everyday life today and they've successfully combined both traditional and modern lifestyles and have combined Christianity with their old culture/religion.

The Arafura Pearl
The shuttle bus picked me up around 7.30am from the hostel and dropped us off at Cullen Bay. The ferry the Arafura Pearl departed at 8.00am for a 2 hour trip to the Tiwi Islands. We had coffee at 8.15 and morning tea at 9am - chocolate muffin, cheese and biscuits, and a nice hot cuppa coffee. I had paid $20 extra to be on the upper deck which gave wonderful views of the ocean and it is so relaxing feeling the wind in your hair as you cruise on the water.

The Tiwi flag
The Tiwi flag is made up of part of the N.T. flag.

The stripes represent ochre that is used in their ceremonies and art.
The spear is a fighting spear and represents protection of the clan lands and the pukemani poles are male and female and the designs represent all the Tiwi clans.

The whole flag is pukemani.

As we neared Nguiu, we all carefully went from the ferry to another small boat which basically was a large piece of timber with drums underneath to keep it afloat. The Tiwi people were very friendly and greeted us with wide smiles.

The Red Earthed Land

Sat, 18 Jul 2009 05:05:00 +0000

Out in the far far way we wentAlong the dusty tracksTo where the sun beat down by dayAnd the sun slew back by nightOf an ancient land with clay red earth that white men never cameUntil the time of sailing ships that change the face of this great landA face that tweren't the same.But out there in the dusty red earth desert of the wildA dark man roamed with childer three and wife and familyThe tribe for that is what they wereLived freely off the landAnd tended it with care and loveAnd doused it with their painsOf lave and loving of this land These people dark did dwellAnd nurture it with passion trueAnd keep the land and tellTheir childer all of stories from theDreamtime land they cameA dingo calls across the plainsThe winds howl across the skies and a tree rustles its leavesAlong the road by a dimly lit wayA waterhole gently lapsThere comes a creature of the wild to drink in dissarayIts tail droops and it takes its fillOf life to slake its thirst For in this land of red clay earth and soil and gums so tallThis precious water comes to fill the hollows of the landWith billabongs and coolibahs that stand in majestyUnto a far horizon of wondrous sights to see.Australia my country!You are filled with many strange delights andThose of great beautyThe cockatoo with snowy breatsAnd parakeets so boldTheir colours like a rainbowThat dance with blue and gold.A tale to you now will I tellOf raging thunderstormsAnd lightning strikes and floodingsIn this land of contrast fellWith heavy downpourTo a dry and arid landA land so vast and huge and wideA land with desert storms. And as I looked up to the sky and saw the clouds did burstWith fervent prayer I asled for more to come to feed the earthThe lightning flashed across the skiesWith bright and silver lightAnd landed on a tall ghost gumThat set the night alightThen came the men with sacks of clothTo fight this rolling blazeA blaze so huge it rolled and spanOut of control of manAll through the nights these men of oldDid fight with all their strengthTheir might and power of less accordTo quench the mighty lengthOf bushfires burning, burning, burningThat did engulf the landAnd after it did take its tollOf foresty and floraThere are the blackened stumps,And carcasses fills the nostrilsWith burnt out auraBut then, then look! a new shoot comes forthComes forth to regenerateAnd it will grow, grow tall and strongJust like its parent grewFor fire is needed to replaceThe old ones with the new.And should you go one starry nightOut in to the far beyondRemember those who came beforeHelped make this future land so brightA land so filled with contrastOf power and beauty and might. [...]

Darwin - June 2006. Shopping In The Top End

Wed, 15 Jul 2009 13:31:00 +0000

June 2006

Walking along the city streets sucking in all that hot air made for a thirsty stroll. The number of times my 600 ml water bottle was refilled was too numerous too mention. The streets were uncrowded, and unlike other capital cities there were very few pedestrians and motor vehicles. In fact, some of the locals were incensed that a set of trafic lights had been installed.

The Plaza, Anthony Plaza is a lovely mall with a shady rotunda and ample seating. A children's adventure play area nearby meant the mums and dads could take the weight off their feet and relax - a popular pastime in the middle of the day. Actually, a popular pastime whatever the time as the balmy warm air just begs for relaxation and doing nothing.


The Darwin Newsagency where I purchased my weekly copy of "That's Life" magazine. A kind lady took the photo for the pose.

Alice Springs - Camel Safari

Wed, 08 Jul 2009 16:44:00 +0000

Saturday 17 September:After arriving in the Alice around noon, I did something that was on my "to do" list - went camel riding. Pyndan Camels had the best prices - so that decided me. I chose the Twilight Safari. Well not exactly chose - the other times were fully booked! As it turned out, the Twilight one was best because after the Safari was over, the camels had to be fed and we all took part.Above: ShadowsOn the safari, camels make long shadows.Above: Camel trainThe camel "train" had a maximum of 12 plus the driver. Riders are sorted according to height and weight. A young Chinese lass sat in front of me. (The heaviest sits at the back). I should perhaps point out, that since then I am no longer the heaviest having lost heaps of weight - but that's another story.:-)Above: On SafariMost of the camels had exotic sounding names. My camel, was called "B.J." Bit of a let down. Two little known facts about camels- 1. They have incredibly bad breath - yeewk! 2. The camel behind me kept on sniffing my camel' end. Seems this is what camels do - don't ask me why, I'm not a camel.The first five minutes on the camel were incredibly scary. I was terrified I was going to fall off - silly thing for a grown adult, but there you have it. Had I been able to get off I would have done so. Fortunately I was not able to - get off that is.After the first five minutes or so, I realised that if I moved my body in time with the camel's gait I was alright. Once you do this, it is a very relaxing and soothing experience. Camels have a very awkward movement and you sway this way and that. We saw some incredible scenery and joked that if the camel driver walked off and left us, we had no idea where we were. Feeding the camels:After the Safari was over, we all helped feed the camels and handle them. There were several babies amongst them.We found them to be very gentle creatures and it was the most amazing thing being in the middle of the desert with the dying sun and the silence of the Outback. The man who owned Pyndan Camel Tracks was helped by his wife and their young son, who I think from memory was around three years old, was a delightAbove: Mother Zillion and 4 week old babyThe baby camels  were very cute and the mothers are very protective. Their hair is very soft.Something hilariousWhen you first alight from your camel if you think there's no "side effects" then think again. We found that none of us could straighten our legs, and all had to stand with our feet about this far apart (indicates with arms a distance of about 85 cm) and the only way to walk was to stomp one foot at a time as though our legs were in a permanent position. Everybody was in hysterics - we all looked so ridiculous, and almost split our sides laughing. It was just such a wonderful day and so rewarding an experience.[...]

Alice Springs September 2005

Mon, 06 Jul 2009 19:52:00 +0000

Saturday 17th June 2005

Above: Welcome to Alice

Stepping off the train in the middle of Australia you feel a blast of hot air as the brilliant sun beats down and coats you in its rays. And coming from the southern state of Victoria it was a welcome feeling.

Above: Alice Springs Station
The station was a hive of activity and you feel like you have stepped back in time - a simpler time before the advent of computers and electronic gadgets. Finding the shuttle bus, people loaded up with backpacks, suitcases, cameras and other holiday paraphernalia, we all squashed in together happily like a pack of sardines and were on our way.

Above: Todd River
We marvelled at the sight of the Todd River - dry as usual. The sparse dry bed with gums and trees around its edges.