Two Yanks Downunder

A blog about the experiences of two Americans on their first visit to the fabulous continent of Australia

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Of Gallery Openings, Yanchep and Pinnacles (part 1)

Friday was a busy day. We had tea with the Vice Chancellor and Ambassador's wife and sandwiched this in between Simon's class and his orentation for the Broome trip.

That night Christine and Tasha joined us for a trip back to the Fremantle Arts Center for the Exhibition opening of a Print show. The celebration was well attended and we were pleased by the quality of the art displayed. Tasha was so pleased, that she bought herself a print (The best one there, in my opinion - a lovely dramatic graphic print of a lving room with chair and cushion.) There was food and wine and anouncements of prize winners and we had a lovely time.

The next day (Saturday), Mom and I got off a bit later than hoped and found it much less difficult to get out of town than expected. We took the highway across the bridge and it took us exactly where we wanted to go up the coast toward Yanchep National Park. Right after we had turned onto the road for Yanchep, but before we came to the ranger station, we were pleased to see some kangaroos grazing on the side of the road.

We showed our park pass and then proceeded to drive around a very lovely park. The buildings were quaint and we appreciated the beauty of the orange vine on the top of this particular building.

We stopped at the nearby information center which turned out to be a glorified souvenir store (in another very picturesque old building).

...and then were delighted to discover that there was a Koala enclosure where the Koalas were loose in the eucalyptus trees, so we would have a chance to observe them (more or less) in their natural state. We walked through a well labelled botanical garden that had many lovely blooming plants and stopped to view a few of them.

I was quite intrigued by this eucalyptus that had the blossom coming out of the side of the stalk.

...but then headed straight for the Koala enclosure from which we could already hear the bellowing of the dominant male. The koalas were having breakfast and soon afterwards curled up and went to sleep.

They are hard to distinguish from the trees they live in and are basically furry lumps that hang in the crotches of trees. None of the pictures came out very well because of backlighting, but you can see that they are Koalas if you look carefully.

The park was made up of several microclimates, including a lake which was a santuary for the Tiger Snake as well as various bird life

Upon arriving we had been greeted by the whistles of flocks of White Tailed Cockatoos, and they continued to serenade us through this part of the park.

They travelled in large groups and taunted us, but never allowed us to get a good photo of them. We also saw the green ring necked parrots and some galahs, like this one that was searching for seeds on the ground.

This part of the park was one of several different areas connected by a circular road and so we travelled on to a second section that had some limestone caves. We decided not to tour "Crystal Cave" but did walk along one of the collapsed caves. At the beginning was a Spring area with palm trees and a different kind of vegetation from the brush farther away.

We walked along beside what had been the roof of a cave that had collapsed and were able to view the walls of the cave nearly in tact. These consisted of large rocks, which had been eroded by water in the forming of the cave. This one was called Wild Dog Cave by the Aboriginal people.

We saw these red trees on the way back to the "Spring area" of the trail.

We have been very fascinated by the grass trees ever since arriving in Western Australia and found these particular ones near our car to be a lovely specimen.

After driving around the Park Loop we decided wehad best be on our way and headed north and east away from the coast (because the map showed a dortted line directly above us.) We drove to the largest town in the area, Gingin and were famished by this time, so we had a typical Australian snack - a meat pie, some fish and chips and of course dessert of a cinnamon bun and carrot cake.

There was a lily festival going on in town which we were sorely tempted to visit, but common sense drove us to seek out a gas station instead.


At 12:50 PM, Anonymous min said...

What cool sites (and sights) you are seeing! It is really like a whole different planet!

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Wendy and/or Don said...

The visual is indeed very different and I am eager to see how it might affect artistic expression in painting


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