Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Missing planes saga

Well it didn't finish there... no economy seats on the later flight, forfeiture of the early ticket money, business class seats for a one hour flight, plus a mountain of food not needed, NO bus class checkin , just hustle with the mob, and fly back one hour to Istanbul, various long delays, then a 1 hour flight forward to Antalya so instead of an hour or so to save time with a short coach ride - 1 hour on to the ancient seaside town of Side, they arrived at 11pm - ugh! At the the room was good, although, due to the vagaries of the Turkish wifi they (the hotel) didn't get the email so could only give a room for one night!!!
Beautiful little town, thanks Paul for the recommendation. Moved next morning up the road to the hotel of another family member and spent three glorious days, swimming and exploring this lovely place, where the sea turtles (carretta carretta) come to visit and cavort.
The whole town is built on an ancient city. Truly lovely.
More soon..

Friday, July 13, 2012


This has been a long break from reporting for us on behalf of D and G.  Their next adventures took them to the Cappadoccia region. They stayed in the Hotel Sofa in Avenos which is a lovely village in the region, with a large fast flowing river, similar size to the Macleay.  AND they hire out gondolas. The area was truly fantastic, and they walked themselves to exhaustion. Second day they, hired a car, and really enjoyed their adventures. The cherries were delicious, as usual, as were all the stonefruit coming into season. The wild and wonderful landscapes, lend themselves, to amazing imaginings. Many are ancient churches, still with the ancient artists handiwork on display. The people didn't live constantly in the caves, only when the warring marauders came through. on the last day when they were due to drive to Kayseri, to catch a mid morning flight,  and were held up in heavy traffic due to road works AND MISSED THE FLIGHT!! .....
More on that later..

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pammukkale to Lake Egridir

The trip across was by train and they settled in to a great hotel across the road from the wonderful shining white terraces, the hotel owner drove them up to the Heiropolis entrance,(where D nearly stood on a small thin green snake nearly a metre long) that made her leap.
The walked through the ruins along the top of a ridge with the terraces spilling off to the west, after walking for about half an hour they came upon the antique hot pool with the old  columns artfully placed around in it. Water temp 36° they stayed around in it for about an hour luxuriating. Then paddled back down the hill to the hotel through the travertne shallows.
Next day, was a tour with 5 other people to Aphrodisius where D got all excited because she spotted a hoopoe bird. Rare in Turkey these days. The stadium of this ancient city still in really good repair for a place a few thousand years old. It seated 30,000 bodies. That afternoon it was back on the coach and off to Lake Egridir. This is in the mountains of central Turkey, where the beautiful roses ars grown for their oil.Attar of Rose. More later...

Last week in Turkey

This is the is D and G's last week in Turkey before they head off to Venice. So here's the updates, with some photos and more, when they get to Italy. Ephesus and the small town of Selcuk, with the storks, nesting on the tops of the power poles, the minarets - the mums and Dads take off at prayer call time, unfortunately, the bubbies have stay and get themselves, blasted by the speakers.  Selcuk museum, though small, was very interesting, G bought a CD of Turkish instrumental music that was playing. The was a very old road, now next to a busy highway, which the locals use for walking, it used to be for donkey carts, horses etc, but it's too narrow for the traffic these days. It is lined with huge mulberry trees, alternately black and white mulberries, yummy all fruit ripe and dropping. It runs for a couple of kms past the entry to the Artemis temple site. It's a very elegant boulevard of dappled light in the early morning.
Leaving Selcuk, they travelled on the commuter train to Pamukkale, a very fast two hours, lovely clean, train NO GRAFFITI!  Turkish kids must be having more fun.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ephesus nr Selcuk

The blog has been somewhat neglected for a while.  So much going on. Stayed in the hotel Rebetika beside an ancient mosque Isa Bey Camil, fell down a few centuries ago, after an earthquake, but has bow been partially restored, is very elegant and is used by the local old boys at prayer time.  The nesting storks use the minaret, to rear their babies. Photos coming soon. They fly off when the megaphoned call to prayer starts. Poor nestlings can't though.  It was so lovely to see the storks again, not seen since the Morocco adventure. Ephesus, was amazing, and typically, D and G started from the lower end so it was a long slow and steady climb, as the day heated up and the coach loads from the cruise ships and the tours arrived. 25000 per day now but goes up to 250000 at full peak with 10 ambulances on standby. Even with all the crowds it was a truly amazing sight. The tour guides had a set path so it as relatively easy to get away from the crowds.  The beautiful red flanders poppies we blooming everywhere amongst the fallen marble columns, supported by Queen Anne's lace with flower heads as big as saucers and bigger. Fig trees ancient and huge provided shade.
On the way back down they got a ride in a horse drawn buggy and wou d their way through pomegranate and nectarine orchards, all red and glowing in the shady green trees, as they clip clopped along.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bursa and Beyond

After a 2 hour fast ferry trip from Istanbul D and  G arrived in Mudanya, a lovely seaside town near Bursa, the 2nd largest city in Turkey, staying at the Montania hotel, an old railway station built by the French in the 1800's. A bit down at heel in the rooms, but lovely and relaxing after all the bad stuff that's been happening here. Mate died from stress, so now no easterngrey joey babies have survived the latest release.
From room in Montania

They had a really relaxing time here and next day travelled on to Bursa, the silk centre of Turkey, had a wonderful time exploring the silk bazaar. Didn't buy anything but did  a lot of admiring. There was also a cable car trip to the top of Uludag mountain, to the ski resort area above the city. beautiful wildflowers in bloom, all our garden flowers.  Very chilly at that altitude but lovely and sunny, and lots of rubbish, beautiful mountain streams, chilly and clear. The next was a walk through the spice market, buying beautiful fresh and crunchy hazelnuts, native to this area. Beautiful fresh almonds, yummy fresh dried figs.  Everything was so relaxed unlike Istanbul.  Another lovely walk was to the green mosque, stunning green tiles, perfect for D's bathroom. If only they were available in Oz.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Heybeliada - Princes Islands Istanbul

Awaiting brekkie at L'isola guesthouse
Seagulls on rooftops nesting in guttering.

Ponies off to work

Istanbul to Heybeliada

Needed a break from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke, so the Princes Island group was the choice.  L'isola Guesthouse, on Heybeliada.  What a place to wind down, especially after the horrible news of Bro and Merinda, very hilly, with the whole places roofs becoming nesting sites for the huge seagulls. There seemed to be as many cats here as in Istanbul, heaps of dogs too.  No-one seemed the least bit interested in a sterilisation programme.  It is kitten time now so, although very cute, the numbers are swelling.
Oh it would be so easy just a quick nick with the razor blade, to the boys.
One of the original houses, in Heybeliada, neglected because they can't be removed only renovated.

Anyway, D and G walked the road around the island, which is lovely despite the piles of garbage. Horse drawn carriages, no private cars allowed. Really peaceful, even managed to breakout the sketchbook and charcoal. After 3 nights back to the ferry for the 90 minute trip back to Istanbul for two days.
Next adventure by fast ferry to Mudanya then Bursa.

Pictures from Istanbul

Not praying-photographing!!
Hagia Sofia
the spice bazaar

A bucket of Suckers - leeches

Monday, June 4, 2012

Istanbul May 21

The picture below is looking from the terrace of the Hotel Sebnem down to the steep street.

After a long flight overnight they arrived, reasonably relaxed, only to discover that the price of visas for Australians had gone from $US20 to $US60 or 45 euros payable immediately in that currency and......no prior notification.  Luckily G was prepared, maybe he was a boy scout in another life. LOL. Istanbul, was hectic, exciting, hilly, crazy and hugely interestîng. The hotel Sebnem in Sultanahmet was a lovely small family run place with fantastic views from the roof terrace, the brekkie spot, a fitting place for the truly magnificent repast.  A few days later they met up with D's brother and sister-in-law and all had lunch together before the WA connection had to travel on.

Friday, June 1, 2012

News from D and G

The first few days of the trip were spent in a really nice boutique hotel, named the Puri Melaka it had been the family home of Chinese merchants and is very cloyse to Jonkers St, a real tourist trap.  D and G used to get up about 6.30am and go walking for an hour or two befor
e a sumptuous brekkie.  They took a trip on the river and saw some really interesting sights, including this huge scary monster, who could easily eat a joey. They left after 4 days and flew on to Istanbul.

This scary monitor was spotted by G when he and D took a boat trip along the Melaka river. It was relaxing (waiting for a victim?) whenthey saw it they reckon it was two metres long.
This little cafe was also spotted from the ferry.

 Reggae by the River
water monitor

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Mate has started to get well, thanks to the fantastic nursing skills of Carole and Stephan. We are so pleased they are looking after us and especially little Mate.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Upsetting news

We've all been released- then Bro gets the nasty protozoa disease, just when we discover that D and G are heading overseas and leaving us with the strangers who came fora cup of tea the other day.  Nice people though,Carole and Stephan,housesitters. They are from WA.They looked after Broey and he got really well.  Then little Merinda,didn't come in for
her morning munchies, something odd, we haven't seen her since. We are all really worried. Next Broey missing a few days later.  Carole andStephan went searching and found his little headless body down by the dam.  Everyone was reallydistressed  and Carole had to email D and G to tell them the sad news.
More awful news, Mate, the third in the trio,has stressedso much he has contracted coccidiosis. Mate probably won't survive!  All our humanfriends are very concerned.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Changes in attitude,

Lots of action 'round here lately, something seems to be happening, we had visitors we've never seen before.  We were all scared, thought it was stranger danger. The people stayed and had a cuppa on the deck, no-one gave us any titbits, but sooky Merinda got to sit on D's lap for a while.
Everyone is released now.  But we've all had ringworms on our noses, and the treatment hasn't been fun.  Betadine spray and Caneston cream two or three times a day.  BUT... it's working, and we get to drink a bottle of wamberoo milk. Yum...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ali (Silver Streak)

Bro in his favourite "pouch"

Pipi one of our newbies red necked wallaby

Here are some of the babies who have just been let into the large pre-release pen
Leaf tailed gecko who lives near the deck

Monday, February 27, 2012


Ali (the silver streak) in shelter

Hail on my favourite lounging around spot.  I hid over in the trees in the background when this came on
During the recent storm season we had a hail storm which sent all the critters scurrying for cover.  Ali aka "the silver streak" a red necked wallaby, raced up to the shelter in her old pen.  Here's a photo of her now.  We kangas, just hunkered down in amongst the tall trees.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Tamba in her dustbowl note bulgy pouch
Tamba has a pinky joey in her pouch.  She has been very secretive about it and D first got suspicious a few weeks ago, when there was much cleaning and inspecting of her pouch going on.  Now she lies about in the dust bowls she likes to create (whilst I lie on the deck!) to keep the irritating insects at bay.  We can spot the tiny thing wriggling in the pouch. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Yarra on You Tube

I have posted a video on You Tube of the brown headed honey eaters collecting fur lining for their nests. These little honeyeaters nest high in the eucalypt canopy.
Click on this link below

Mate In Temp pen

January end - Cripes more joeys. Carer Annette from Arakoon, arrived a few days ago with Roley and Pip two red necked wallabies.  Roley got his name as he was always falling out of his pouch, when he was tiny.  They are really sweet, friendly and healthy.
Blow me down D and G have decided to accept two more a swamp wallaby joey and another red necked joey.  This is crazy.  That will be 7, don't know how the morning and evening feeds will go. They don't have that many hands.
They've decided, these are the last newbies now as they are going adventuring in May and these littlies will have to be released before they go which is a tight timetable.  The housesitters will take over and it should all run very smoothly.
JANUARY 26, 2012  Australia Day dawned wet, gusty and all the celebrations for the Valley have been cancelled.
Not that we the macropods could care less.
D and G have just accepted yet more joeys.  In December we were joined, (well in the pens, that is)by three eastern grey babies,
Merinda from Collombatti, a neighbour nearly, whose Mum was killed by dogs; luckily she wasn't but, her shoulder was dislocated and Carol - her carer at the time had to carry out lots of physio on her tiny little body.  Shea the wonderful vet worked her magic,and Merinda survived.  Although, she did spend some time on heat pads etc.She also had trouble with her tail which was permanently curled to the right.  Now that she's a happy little hoppy, her tail is lovely and straight, and she nearly can hop without wobbling.  She's gaining weight fast and nearly has her lazy toilet habits under control.  Can now get out of her pouch to toilet.  D is so thrilled, saves on so much laundry.
Mate - a pouch buddy, who's a gorgeous creamy colour, also a Collombatti kanga, whose Mum was shot, progressed really well until one particularly wet and windy night, when the ringtail possum raiders (mum with joey on back) popped by to steal some pellets from the joeys, and spooked them all.  Mate went into shock and next morning, when G went to feed the wamberoo, he was listless and hunched up.  D was at the pool swimming laps, stopped to catch her breath and heard the phone ringing.  Jumped out only to learn of this, bolted to the car and home.  Diagnosis - Mate had coccidiosis - prognosis - usually fatal.  Luckily not, but only after careful nursing, a faecal float, by Shea the vet, and doses of antibitoics and Coccivet @ 10 times the normal preventative rate and super hydrating, pushing fluids, he survived. Eureka.
Bro the other pouch buddy.  Such a gorgeous snuggly little bloke, his Mum was killed in a vehicle collision, also a Collombatti boy.  Pretty scary out this way.  Also alovely creamy colour. His progress has been uneventful.  They all weight around 4.5kgs now.  D ill post photos soon.