Monday, 31 October 2011

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wild flowers

Yes. I've been slack. Hopefully I'll get back into it now.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Monday, 24 October 2011

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Wakakirri Revisited

The kids had on encore performance of their Wakakirri dance today at the school's 'Calf and Craft Fair'.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Spring time

Bok choy seedlings, grown from last year's seeds, almost ready to be planted out.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The 300 Spartans

We're about to watch 'The 300 Spartans' and just realised that we heard the story of this movie when we were in Greece. We actually stopped at a memorial to the Battle of Thermopylae, north of Delphi. We even found a geocache there.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Up the creek

Finally took a photo. First one since the trip. Sport today - canoeing at Flat rock dam. Tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Edinburgh Castle

Finally got around to getting the photos off the phone. This was taken from near the geocache behind Edinburgh Castle.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


I suppose I should start taking a few photos. Haven't had the camera out for a week. Is that cheating?

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Friday, 14 October 2011

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Venice HDR

Now that we're home and I have a real computer available, I'm having fun playing with photomatix and photoshop.

This one is a photomatix HDR based on 3 exposures - and no tripod. I bought a small tripod later in the trip in Rome.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Monday, 10 October 2011

Notre Dame

I've spent tonight having a first browse through some of the 3700+ photos taken on the trip. I don't think I'll be short of a photo for a while.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Photo: Surprise!

Day 50: Mid-air to home

The plane touched down in Sydney at exactly 6:00am, just as the curfew ends. We were the first plane into Sydney, so all the formalities were quick and painless. Once we headed out we were surprised to see Grandma and Grandpa standing waiting for us. What a lovely surprise. We sat for a while having a coffee with them before calling Simon (We wouldn’t all fit in G&G’s car) to join us. Back at the Roche house we caught up on some of what we had missed before heading home.
We have been so lucky with the timing of everything over the last week or so; More riots in Greece the day after we left, floods in 70% of Thailand – but not in the area we were, and airport strikes in Sydney which we missed by a day or two.
There was some talk about what we were most looking forward to when we got home; for Lachlan it was seeing Puppy and Domino, Carol said her own bed, I opted for a reliable shower and Lauren said nothing. She just wanted to keep travelling.
Lots of people will ask, “What was your favourite place?” It will be impossible to answer. So many great places, so many great experiences. I’m sure the kids have learnt more in the last 50 days than they could ever learn in 500 days of school. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when they start telling their friends and teachers about their experiences.
Overall – 50 days that we’ll always remember, always treasure.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Bangkok Airport

Photo: Bangkok airport

Day 49: Bangkok to mid-air

A morning of packing up for the trip home and some last minute shopping. In the afternoon we headed to the airport to begin our overnight flight home.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Elephant Girls

Photo: Elephant Girls

Day 48: Bangkok

Today was our last full day and our day trip out of Bangkok to see some of the Thai culture. We were up early for a 6:20 pickup. Before we even left the hotel we had a surprise highlight – a parade, complete with dragons, bands and fire-crackers, passing the front of the hotel. At 6:15am! We found out later it was the last day of a 10 day Buddhist vegetarian festival.
The tour began with a stop at a coconut processing plant where they make coconut sugar and coconut oil. Next was an elephant ride; definitely a highlight. Then came a long tail boat ride to the floating markets, which was a great place to sit and watch the world go by. A teak carving workshop came next with some amazing pieces, and Thailand’s largest Buddhist stupa. Next was a fabulous smorgasbord lunch at the Rose Gardens. After we ate way too much we headed out for an elephant show followed by a Thai cultural show, with dancing, drumming, Thai kick boxing, self defence, sword fighting, bamboo pole dancing, and a traditional wedding ceremony.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Grand Palace

Photo: Grand Palace

Day 47: Bangkok

The slowest start we’ve had so far… 11am before everybody was awake. We headed straight to the Grand Palace. The taxi driver was full of useful and not so useful information. We found out that the king is very sick (possibly useful – but I’m not sure to who) and that the driver likes European cars (not so useful).
The Grand Palace is – Grand. Lauren loved it. It was so much bigger and grander than she was expecting. Unfortunately the Temple of the Emerald Buddha was closed today due to an event being set up (we think maybe the King’s birthday?) but we could still see inside from the outside. After we had a good look around we headed to the river where we caught a local river ferry with its extremely brief, jump-on-jump-off stops where it doesn’t even tie up to the wharf at some stops. Next form of transport was the ‘sky-train’ to get us back near the hotel, then walked the last bit, through the street stalls and markets. A swim and a poolside drink coled us off, before heading to the complimentary Thai dinner and Show, put on by the hotel.
The dinner was fantastic. Each person was served a variety of great Thai food, followed by traditional Thai dancing.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Photo: Welcome to Bangkok

Day 46: In flight to Bangkok

After losing 6 hours and sitting in Bangkok traffic for over an hour to get to our hotel, there was little time left for much else. A quick dinner in a nearby food court, a chat to the tour desk to organize the next few days, a short stroll around the block to check out the night markets and the day is gone.
We all managed some sleep on the plane, so hopefully we’ll be ready to get into it tomorrow.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Harrods Bear

Photo: Bit short on subjects today - too much travel.

Day 45: Athens to mid air over the middle east (on the way to Bangkok)

Our 5pm ferry from Santorini, which was rescheduled to 8pm finally turned up at 9.30pm, which meant we didn’t get back to Piraeus port in Athens till about 1.30am and back to the hotel in Athens just before 2am. Lucklily our pickup at the port was there to meet us and the hotel reception was still open when we arrived. The taxi trip was interesting – or should I say fast. I don’t think the kids have ever been in a car doing 140km/h.
After a bit of a sleep in we did some final shopping in Athens before heading to the airport. The taxi driver was great, telling us a lot about the troubles in Greece, working conditions and some of the things the government is trying to do. He told us that the reason behind the recent taxi strikes is that the government wants to deregulate the taxi industry, making it legal for anybody to take paying passengers and meaning the fees the taxi licence drivers have paid a fortune for would be worthless. In the public sector, the government is trying to cut 300,000 jobs. I can see why the locals are angry.
The next few hours is flying, waiting, flying – arriving in Bangkok tomorrow afternoon. Not much chance for any photos today, so I’m not sure what the photo-a-day will end up being. I’ll find something interesting I hope.