Two Yanks Downunder

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

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'll Be in Albany

October 5, 2006

It has been really hard to learn to pronounce this City the way the Australians do (Al as in "Call me Al") Kind of like dealing with pronouncing Monticello like it is in a state famous for scotch tape and plastic wrap instead of an orchestral instrument.) (grin)

Anyway, I got up early and checked out the town for breakfast spots. After a bit of discussion we decided to eat in.When we finally left the hotel, it took us forever to discover how to get into the Albany Visitor's Center parking lot (we went in the "No entry" way (which turned out to be a bus entry. (The visitor's center was on one side of the train and bus station but had no parking at all on that side and no clear indication from our side of the street where parking was to be had.) After all that ToDo, we found out there was a business meeting in the center so we couldn't go in. Instead I quizzed the guard at the door about where to go and what to do and we decided to go to Frenchman's Bay in the morning to see the Natural Bridge and Blowholes before the weather changed too much.

It was quite an enchanting drive around the semicircle of the bay and we arrived at a place in Tondirrup park, where there was the Natural Bridge along with a busload of Japanese. We had to scramble across rocks,

but by now Mom was an old hand at this and we checked out both a big gap against which the waves came crashing in dramatically....

and a Natural Bridge formed by the stones. (duh?)

We drove down a little dirt road towards a lighthouse, but the way was blocked, so Wendy executed another of her notably dangerous mid-street U-turns and we headed to the blowholes. There were supposedly 71 steps which Mom went down begrudgingly and then there was a really long path across the rocks to the blow holes.

(I was later informed that there were at least 101 steps and it seemed like more than that to me!)

Mom turned back after almost reaching the end and she was right to do so, because the blowholes were rather undramatic although they did make a nice whistling noise along with their little puff of spray.

The best thing about this stop (besides the dramatic boulders by the sea)

was the bird sounds and the abundance of flowers.

The birds were everywhere, but would not allow themselves to be easily seen nor photographed,

so I contented myself with the slower moving flora of the area.

The views were lovely.

We also saw a lizard on the trail.

We skipped the bird aviary on the way back and headed instead to Two People's Bay - where the French and Americans met and determined to co-exist peacefully. This turned out to be a true delight.

The trip was long and many times we were sure we were headed in the wrong direction, for there were next to no signs. This
was not the typical tourist stop - it was a nature reserve with no ranger. On the way in, we were thrilled to see a Goa on the road.

We were actually a bit concerned for him as he seemed rather disoriented, but he was not dead on the road when we went home, so we are assuming he survived the day and recovered.

Mom did a drawing and I trekked around a bit and kept seeing the rear ends of lizards disappearing in the brush.


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