Blue Tiers, Tasmania

I plan to ride a mountain bike through the Blue Tiers in Tasmania this Sunday. It’s a picturesque, remote alpine area of north-eastern Tasmania that is supposed to be well worth the effort.

The only problem is that I’ll probably be riding it alone, and I’ve never been there before.

So to be on the safe side, I’m publishing my proposed route here, with some checkpoints along the way, and I’ll update my twitter feed with a photo from those checkpoints so that (if you’re interested) you can keep an eye on where I’m up to. If I fall off the bike, or get abducted by aliens, at least you’ll know how far I got and where I plan to go.

I’ll be leaving the Weldborough Hotel at about 10.30am and aim to be back by about 3pm.

The checkpoints are:

  1. Weldborough Hotel. 0km. 10:30am
  2. Lotta Rd Turnoff. 6.4km. 11:00am
  3. Town of Lotta. 14.2km.  11:45am
  4. Poimena School Site. 17.8km. 12:30pm
  5. Emu Road. 22.4km. 1:30pm
  6. Weldborough Hotel. 30km. 2:30pm

Here’s the map

I’m really looking forward to it, and hope to share some great photos.

Exploring Launceston by Mountain Bike

Exploring Launceston by Mountain Bike

I’ll be working in Launceston for the next week, so I thought I’d come down a day and a bit earlier and explore the place by mountain bike.

I hired a basic hardtail bike from a local shop, donned my cold weather gear, and took off into the hills on this beautiful cloudless late autumn day.

The first part of the trip was up to Trevallyn Reserve which is perched atop some of the hills to the west of town.

The reserve has some pretty steep and rocky trails which were hard work to negotiate, but worth the effort. The view down the river towards the dam is spectacular.

After a quick break, I then headed to the Kate Reed reserve to the south of town. This has a lot more narrow single track than Trevallyn, and it was here I suffered a pretty nasty “Gumby Stack” where I fell off my bike for no reason other than I couldn’t pull my feet out of my clip-in pedals. Luckily my shoulder survived the fall and I have no broken bones.

I’ve never ridden in such cold weather before. It takes a lot more preparation than I’m used to. And you still get hot, and cold, and wet with perspiration.

But it’s a great way to explore a city. I’ll definitely try this again!
Looking towards the GorgeEarly morning near the SummitDewy trailsReachng for the CloudsThe Hoo Hoo HutLake TrevallynTrevallyn Dam

Fun at Luna Park

Fun at Luna Park

Fun at Luna ParkFun at Luna Park

I had a great time in Sydney today at a client’s Christmas Party.

We had lunch at Luna Park, so I took a few minutes out to take a few photos of this fun place.

The smiley clown looking guy had a girl with him. I told her I was really Seven years old and just looked old, and would she take my picture please.

As you can see she obliged!



A postcrossing post card from Judit in Belgium

The ship in the picture is “Carina” (you might be able to see the name КАРИНА in cyrillic on her bow).

Length: 122m, 7600GRT, 328 passengers.

She is currently known as “Rochale One” and operates as a static ship for student accommodation in Amsterdam.

She was built in Nantes, France in 1977 for the then Soviet government and named “Aywasowski”. She operated cruises out of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

She was renamed Carina after she was bought by German company Phoenix Reisen in 1997. She changed hands again in 2000 and was renamed “Primexpress Island”, operating out of Cyprus.

The ship was impounded in the port of Limassol (Cyprus) because of unpaid bills.

She was eventually purchased by a consortium of three Dutch housing companies acquired the vessel, towed it to Amsterdam and configured it for use as hotel accommodation for students.

Her engines are kept in working order, so she is capable of sailing as and when needed.

Thanks for the fascinating postcard, Judit!

Vladivostok, Russia

Vladivostok, Russia

A postcrossing postcard from Alla who lives in Vladivostok and actually studies at the University of Southern Qld.

Vladivostok is Russia’s largest pacific sea port, and home to the Russian Pacific Fleet. It is located near to the Russian border with China and North Korea.

Among the numerous naval vessels, you can see two cruise ships. The one on the left is Regal Princess, which was renamed Pacific Dawn in 2007. I am not able to name the cruise ship on the right.  My friend Geoff from Oz Cruise Club tells me the ship on the right is Norwegian Wind (now Superstar Aquarius), which cruises the Asia Pacific region most of the year.

Thanks for the postcard, Alla!