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At long last, the final pictures of our journey out to Western Australia.  There were many reasons to fly to WA for our campervan roadtrip:  the weather, the coast, the abundance of trees found no where else.  But you know us, and knowing us as you do, you had to know there was a hike in there somewhere.

For the past three years, we have tortured Kristin & Damiano with tediously long day hikes for which we are typically underprepared  had the pleasure to share our love for the outdoors with our best friends and have seen some pretty beautiful terrain — from the open plains and a wispy Fairy Falls in Yellowstone to a 2-day excursion up Mt. Chirripo through rainforest and sub-alpine ecospheres and knee-deep in mud.

We had our reputation to live up to.  So it was with that in mind that we set off to WA for a week’s worth of adventuring and a day’s worth of tramping on part of the infamous Aussie Bibblumun Track.

The Bibblumun Track is a 1,000 km long distance trek from the suburbs of Perth to the far South East coast of Western Australia.  We conquered but a piddly little 12kms (we think).  See, we didnt really bring a map and estimates of the portion from Peaceful Bay to Conspicuous Cliffs ranged from 10-15kms.  Also, we were a little short on water.  And Dami didn’t have hiking boots.  And our (new color filtering) camera ran out of battery they day before so I had to lug the big ‘un all day.

In short, a typical fantastic four hike.

But oh what a beautiful little stretch of the trek it was…  Read about the journey on the out and about page and experience the beauty of Western Australia, from shrub to sun to sea.

After there was Margaret River, and before there was the great day hike along the Bibbulmun Track, there was some general tramping in Walpole Nornalup National Park with Kristin and Damiano.  We spent some time wandering through the Valley of the Giants, home of the towering karri gum trees, girthsome tingle trees and crazy-barked jarrah trees.  More pictures you know where

Yep, we’ve been having fun with the color filter

(claire & kris at royal botanical gardens)

Our first days out west involved a 6am near-missed flight, loading up the campervan in Perth, driving south to the wine region of Margaret River, ample tastings before sunset, fortifying ourselves with food and wine for the days ahead, and (on day 2) a morning’s drive further south to our ultimate destination:  Walpole-Nornalup National Park, WA.

On the way to Walpole, we stopped at Cape Leeuwin, the most south-west point in Australia where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet and create a seriously wicked landscape (and seriously strong wind!).  The unplanned stop was quite apropros, since our last two annual adventures with Kristin & Damiano have involved trips to the Continental Divide of North America (in Utah and Coast Rica, respectively). So of course we had to snap a photo at this momentous spot.  We also amused ourselves with some windswept antics – the wind was so strong you could literally lean into it with considerable force and the oceanic gales would still keep you upright!

Pictures of our afternoon in Margaret River and visit to the Cape are on the photos page.

(claire & kris, watching the sunset)

We’ve had a great time over the past few weeks exploring the city with Kristin and Dami, meeting up with Maud and Steve (friends of K&D made in Paris and now residing in Australia) and Paolo and his daughter, Annabelle (Dami’s 
cousin and niece) and Kelly & Adam in their (now former) ‘hood.

We wandered around the CBD, meandered through the royal botanical gardens, took in a footy game, and spent an afternoon strolling along the streets St. Kilda.  It’s nice to take time to appreciate the city you live in…

More pictures on the photos page.

Kristin’s camera has the coolest setting ever – sketch mode.

This is me, on the pier at St. Kilda beach.

(photo by kcma)

We just bought a new camera (Sony HX20V), for a new, compact hiking and adventure version of the larger Sony we’ve owned and loved for the last few years.  The new camera is a pretty rad little handheld with 20x zoom and a ridiculous amount of options and features.

We spent Saturday afternoon walking around Melbourne with Kristin, Dami, Paolo and Annabelle and testing out the color filter features.

(yellow:  birds of paradise, Royal Botanical Gardens)

(blue:  random couple, Centre Place)

(red:  Centre Place alleyway)

(green:  Kristin & Damiano, Royal Botanical Gardens)

It’s been a hot minute since I posted some Melbourne street art.  I took these shots of Hosier Lane when dad & donna were visiting in March.  Since then, construction at the nearby high rise has littered the laneway with scaffolding, obscuring the art.  So as a refresher, I thought I’d post some shots.


(sad elephants)

These installations aren’t just tags; there was a definite focus on multimedia.


(senorita roja)

It’s been a busy couple of weeks…. so let me explain my absence:  the usual suspects (late nights at work make Claire sleepy and no-bloggy); Queen’s Birthday weekend down at the Lakes Entrance and hiking through the Snowy River National Park; back to back shows for the grand final of the Voice Australia (that’s my girl, Karise!) were all contributing factors.  Not the mention the biggest earthquake to hit Melbourne in a century, a whopping 5.3, which rattled our house for a full 2 minutes (ok, so not really a factor affecting my lack of blogging, but a fun fact nonetheless!)

Then there’s the vortex of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games, which have finally sucked me into their spiral grasp. Read the first book cover to cover in a 24 hour span, and had to force myself to put down the second book at 2am each night to keep my sanity (and combat the Claire sleepy no bloggy-ness). 

But that was then, and this is now. So welcome me back, and enjoy some pictures from coastal Victoria (check out the full pictures page for the backstory on all those broken trees!)


Jumping into the third book tonight, so see you in 400 pages or so…

Last weekend, we spent some down time for our fifth wedding anniversary in our favorite spot in Melbourne — Mornington Peninsula.  With Bentley in tow, we headed down to Rye Beach for some R&R.

Among the weekend’s activities: golf at St. Andrews Beach, strolling on the sand, multiple rounds of competitive ping ponging courtesy of the “table tennis” at our rental house, wine tasting and champagne sipping at the Cups Estate, catching the panoramic views up at Arthur’s Seat, snapping shots of the sculpture work of William Ricketts (a Richmond native famous for integrating Aboriginal imagery into his works) and getting reacquainted with the finer points of our Sony Cybershot HX1, testing out manual aperture and shutter speed and playing with variable color filters.

A few photos… on the photos page.