Monday, July 24, 2006

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Hello from beautiful Victoria on Vancouver Island, outside Vancouver. We arrived here yesterday by bus and ferry ... the ferry trip took 90 minutes on the largest ferry we have ever seen. A pleasant respite from all the walking we had been doing since our arrival.

Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia is large, busy and beautiful and must be one of the world's best kept secrets, although judging by the number of fellow tourists here, the secret has gotten out.

I can only imagine how pleasant it must be to live here during the off-tourist season.

Both of us are impressed with Canada. The little bit we have seen so far is very impressive. For those of you who haven't been here ... several friends have ... it's very similar to Australia; multi-ethnic, clean and runs along the same lines. The people are friendly and "civilised" as one of our colleagues from the UAE put it. I guess we did come from the same roots after all, for which we should be forever grateful; we could have done much worse than coming from British stock.

Everywhere around Vancouver are plastic or fibre glass bears like the one in the photo, but they are painted to reflect different themes. I have no idea what the theme for this one is. We've taken several photos of each other beside these bears which are quite large. Apparently they are being auctioned off soon for charity, so some will no doubt appear at the front of local houses, possibly as letter boxes or to scare stray dogs (or people ... perhaps mothers-in-law) away.

Yesterday we visited Burchett Gardens which are huge with hectares of beautifully coloured flowers and nice green trees and shrubs. Today we are off to Parliament House, the local museum and anything else we can find. Oh, yes, we are doing a harbour tour on a small, egg-shaped vessel of which I'll get a shot. The boats are some of the funniest I have seen.

Best wishes from Canada

for Robin and Christina

Monday, July 10, 2006

Visiting Mount Isa, North-west Queensland


We're at Mount Isa until tomorrow (11 July 06) when we fly out to Brisbane.

We left Alice Springs on 6 July and drove to Tennant Creek where we left our 4WD with a friend and caught a late night bus to Mount Isa. The trip wasn't too bad as the bus was almost empty and we managed to get some sleep. Nice to sit back while someone else drives along what is an essentially boring road across the border.

Since arriving at Mount Isa we have attended a Rotary Change-Over Dinner with our friends Michael and Gayle Dougall, Robin and Michael have been on an underground tour of the Hard Times Mine tourist attraction, and we spent a delightful few hours driving to Lake Julius (dam) where we had a picnic lunch, took some photos and returned home.
The weather is a bit warmer than at Alice Springs and the days are beautiful and pleasantly warm. There have been some changes since we lived here between 1984 and 1988. However, we know the tour guide at the mine ... his wife taught with me at Mount Isa TAFE and we are meeting this evening for coffee, cake and a chat.

A photo of Lake Julius shows how it is possible to capture water, even in the dryest parts of our continent. There really is no shortage of water ... there is a shortage of infrastructure to capture and process it. If only we had a dam like Lake Julius at Alice Springs.

Best wishes

Robin for
Robin and Christina

Monday, July 03, 2006

Chris and Robin at Play - 1Jul 06

Here we are at play attending a friend's 40th on Territory Day. We had to go as something commencing with "P" so Christina was a purple witch and I was a parcel and tried to post myself to Jennifer Lopez.

There were some very interesting costumes at the party that included a pimp, prostitute, pilot, policemen, parachutist, professors, professional, parcel, purple witch, Pink, procrastinator, and a few others I can't recall.

Best wishes, Robin