This Little Light of Mine

Dear Friends,

One of my favourite things to do as a world traveller is work experience –  I love stepping into other people’s shoes for a day. This week my work experience reached lofty heights.

The lighthouse at Cape Naturaliste has been operating for 110 years, guiding ships along the treacherous coast of south west Western Australia.

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Until 1996 it was manned by three lighthouse keepers, and even though the light is now automated, I got to be the keeper of the light and resident tour guide for just a day.

Come with me and I’ll show you around.

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Before we begin our tour you need to know the rules of visiting a working lighthouse.

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The lighthouse was built in 1903. There was a big celebration when it was turned on for the first time in 1904.

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Here is the control room. Before electricity, this tiny kerosene light bulb was all that was needed to power the lighthouse. Giant mirrors magnify the light so it can be seen for miles.

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It’s worth climbing the 59 steps to the balcony because the views of the rocky coast and the Indian Ocean are wonderful.

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Hold onto your hat please – it’s windy up here!

Justin.

 

All That Glitters – Weekly Photo Challenge – Dreamy

Dear Friends,

Have you ever spent time daydreaming about how you would spend your winnings when your lucky numbers come up? Or making plans for when Fortune unexpectedly comes knocking on your door?

I thought Lady Luck had smiled on me the day I found this enormous gold nugget just lying around in the grounds of the Royal Perth Mint.

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My imaginings turned to First Class Travel with all the trimmings…

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…until I found out it was gold-coloured plastic! How cruel – all my dreams faded away as quickly as they had come.

Back to Economy Class for me!

Justin.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Dreamy

Brilliant Disguise

Dear Friends,

Did you know there are some clever plants out there? I’m not thinking of Triffids though – they had very unpleasant personalities. I found three plants at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore which were much nicer than triffids and far more intelligent.

Meet Sansevieria kirkii ‘Coppertone’ from Africa. The coppery tinge on its leaves make them look dead or diseased and even the hungriest herbivore would not find them appetising. Isn’t that smart!

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Then there’s Lithops aka the Stone Plant. It looks just like a pile of pebbles but appearances can be deceiving. It is actually soft and juicy and full of water. Don’t give the secret away – a four-legged diner might find out.

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The most interesting plant I met was Mosaic fungi, more commonly known as the Orange Tile Mushroom. There was a whole forest of them, all popping right out of the concrete, vibrant and shiny. Unlike Coppertone and Stone Plant, who want everyone to think they taste nasty, Orange Tile Mushroom definitely isn’t edible. He is just meant to be admired.

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So why does the mushroom get invited to all the best parties?

Because he is a fun gi!

Justin.

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Eat It! – Weekly Photo Challenge – Endurance

Dear Friends,

One of my responsibilities as a World Traveller is to take on every challenge that comes my way so I can report back to my faithful readers. I love to try everything once…and that includes food.

I take this particular responsibility very seriously. You might think that eating delicious food from all parts of the world is a dream come true and you’d be correct. There are times though when eating yet another cake becomes a feat of endurance.

But as I said, I am responsible for telling you all about my travel experiences and so, with that in mind, I take a deep breath and the tasting begins.

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My stamina usually lasts until the last bite!

Justin

PS Here are some more amazing feats of endurance.

Ship Ahoy!

Dear Friends,

In 1770, as Lieutenant James Cook and his crew sailed up the east coast of Australia, they landed at only three places. Two are well-known: first at Botany Bay, where the British flag was unfurled and then at the mouth of the Endeavour River in northern Queensland, where their ship HMB Endeavour needed repairs after hitting a coral reef.

In between these two places was Round Hill Head, also on the Queensland Coast at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. On 24th May 1770, Cook came ashore to explore this beautiful beach, where the bush meets the ocean in a protected inlet.

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While they were there, the crew killed and ate a large bustard. It was the best meal they’d eaten on the voyage and Cook named the inlet Bustard Bay in its honour.

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Since then, the only change along this stretch of scenic coastline is the development of the small town of Seventeen Seventy, named after this conspicuous date and situated a little further round the bay.

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As I sat on the beach, alone and feeling contemplative, I tried to imagine what it must have been like for those intrepid sailors from long ago. When they stepped onto the gleaming white sand on a warm, cloudless day much like the day I was there, what were their thoughts?

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If I had been there, I would have been tempted to jump ship and stay forever.

Justin.

D is for Danger – Weekly Photo Challenge – Adventure

Dear Friends,

As you know, adventure is my middle name. If there’s something exciting happening I’ll be right there ready to join in, and if I’m adventuring with friends it’s even better.

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But there is a limit to how adventurous I’m prepared to be, not like some people who go in for extreme activities and then get into trouble. It all looks very painful.

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And I am not into self-inflicted pain!

Justin.

PS Here are some more daring adventurers!

 

All My Own Stunts!

Dear Friends,

There’s nothing more fun than revealing your inner child in a playground. When Manny and I came across this wonderful park in Frankfurt we revisited our childhoods and our imaginations ran riot. This park was a dream come true with swings, slides and even a Viking ship and we decided to try them all.

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First we rode the bucking broncos.

Then we were fierce Viking warriors sailing off to battle.

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After that we became bold stunt daredevils. The view from the top of the super high slide was great and we were the kings of the world.

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Unfortunately that was where everything came unstuck! It was all downhill from there, in more ways than one. These action shots tell the story!

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I won’t be filling Evel Knievel’s shoes any time soon.

Justin.

PS I’ve been to these playgrounds too.

Welcome to Mystery

Dear Friends,

Don’t you just love these guys? They are sweet and sassy at the same time and I’ve been following them on television for years. It was very exciting to meet them in person.

There were some other creatures with them and I still don’t know quite what or who they were. At first I thought Yellow’s friend was a hedgehog. He looked like a hedgehog and Yellow was handling him with great care.

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Now look at Red. His hedgehog-like thingy seems to be caramel-filled and, judging by the smile on his face, it was certainly tasty. He didn’t offer to share either.

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How mysterious. I wonder if I missed out on a special treat.

Can anyone enlighten me?

Justin.

 

Nice To Meet You!

Dear Friends,

Did you read The Eternal Traveller’s story this week about the Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the Giants? In her role as my personal assistant, Mrs ET comes with me on some wonderful adventures. We both loved seeing the giant red tingle trees from the top of the  walk, and being an alpine beaver I wasn’t scared of the height at all.

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What Mrs ET doesn’t know is that she was so busy looking up at the trees she missed some of the other oversized creatures at the Walpole Discovery Centre. I went for a quiet wander by myself and along the way I met some gigantors of the forest floor. A colony of ants was busy around their nest, while Millipede was scrounging through the leaf mould.

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Scorpion and Centipede were doing their best ‘looking fierce’ poses and Elephant Weevil…he was just weevilling around.

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With the benefit of hindsight I think it’s a good thing Mrs ET didn’t meet these creatures.

She’s not as brave as I am and her reaction might not have been pretty.

Justin.

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Don’t Look At Me!

Dear Friends,

Look at this bird…he’s trying to hide and hoping that if he can’t see you, you can’t see him.

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He’s hiding because he is very rude!

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I know I’ve had issues with birds in the past, but this bird took things to a whole new level.

His behaviour was disgraceful and his manners…well they were non-existent.

If I hadn’t heard it with my own ears I wouldn’t have believed anyone could be so thoughtless. He said I was the funniest looking creature he’d ever seen!

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I wasn’t going to say so, but I thought that was the pot calling the kettle black. Has he looked in a mirror lately? He’s not exactly what I would call handsome.

He looked me straight in the eye, insulted me and then he pecked me on the nose! Right through the fence! Thank goodness the fence was there or things could have been so much worse.

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He tried to tell me it was a kiss but I think I know a peck when I feel one.

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This emu is not my friend.

Justin.

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