Marc's Public Blog - Trips to other locations


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This is a collection of my blog entries related to short or long trips I, or Jennifer and I went on.
I have some master pages for some specific locations/trips:

Paris over many years | Australia over many years | Canada over many years | Japan over multiple trips | Italy in 2011 | France in 2013 | Indonesia in 2013 | Japan in 2013 | Japan in 2014 | Taiwan in 2014 | Indonesia in 2014 | New Zealand in 2015 | Japan in 2015 | Costa Rica in 2015 | Singapore in 2016 | South Korea in 2016 | Japan in 2016 |

Table of Content for trips:

More pages: February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997



2014/01/19 Sydney in a half day
π 2014-01-19 00:00 in Australia, Trips

After our successful Sydney in a day last year, we tried Sydney in a half day this time :)

This was not really a plan to spend so little time in Sydney, but with our flights it worked out that way, we got a hellish red eye from Perth, and I figured it'd be more fun to spend 6 hours in Sydney than sit in the airport.

We went to the botanical gardens after stopping by Google to drop our luggage:









I had brought seeds to feed the cockatoos we saw last year. I love those birds:

I finally found some customers
I finally found some customers

an interested customer :)
an interested customer :)




it brought a twig to exchange for seeds :)
it brought a twig to exchange for seeds :)

The video shows how one wasn't shy at all, but the two other ones really wanted the seeds, but were too shy to take them from our hands. Per Jennifer didn't get them to eat from her hand this year.

These are Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and many have been tagged so that people can report sightings on this Cockatoo Wingtag facebook page. They're fun and intelligent birds from what people have been reporting.

From there it was just a short walk to circular quay where we went to get a jet boat ride:






The jet boat ride was fun and wet (I know, what were the odds? :). That boat had enough power to do 360 turns in the water. Cool way to see the Sydney harbour :)












Last, but not least, we went to Google for lunch, and I got a few pictures from there, and then from the Sydney airport before flying home:






See more images for Sydney in a half day
2014/01/18 Visit of Caversham Wildlife Park and Fremantle
π 2014-01-18 00:00 in Australia, Trips
After being on Rottnest Island, we took an early ferry and a longish cab ride to a wildlife park north of Perth, Caversham to go mollest animals.

It was a fun little zoo to visit:



















I love those birds
I love those birds










good thing I had bird seeds with me :)
good thing I had bird seeds with me :)






Finally, it was time to go molest some kangaroos










After finishing the zoo, we took a cab back to Fremantle to spend the rest of the day before going to the airport for our flight home:


We had 15mn to visit the marine museum before it closed:







the fast ferry to Rottnest
the fast ferry to Rottnest













After sunset on the beach, we had a good dinner before going to the airport for a hellish red eye to Sydney:




2014/01/17 Visiting Rottnest Island
π 2014-01-17 00:00 in Australia, Trips
Arrival at Rottnest after being dropped off by our diving boat after 2 dives around Rottnest Island that morning.


bikes are the best way to get around
bikes are the best way to get around

We went to our room first, and right away we had a hungry quokka came to our room. Thankfully I had some bird seeds that are ok for them to eat, whereas other foods can make them sick. They are the cutest marsupials:






After that, we went for a bike ride for what we had left of the day:






we saw more quokkas on the road
we saw more quokkas on the road













Quokkas are actually nocturnal, so we saw many more at night:


we had to b careful not to bike over them
we had to b careful not to bike over them

The next morning, our little friend came back for more (we left some water for it):


And we went back out to take the first ferry out:



See more images for Visiting Rottnest Island
2014/01/11 Visiting Xmas Island
π 2014-01-11 00:00 in Australia, Trips
Again, thanks to the Dirk and Linus travel agency, we elected to fly to Xmas Island after LCA 2013 since it was a better time of the season to go compared to Ningaloo Reef which is awesome, but very low season in January. The main reason was to go diving in warm easy waters with great visibility.

As seen from the plane, Xmas Island is reasonably large, you definitely need a car to get around
As seen from the plane, Xmas Island is reasonably large, you definitely need a car to get around

Thankfully they have a real runway that allows full size jets to land (along with proper luggage)
Thankfully they have a real runway that allows full size jets to land (along with proper luggage)

Our hotel was called "the sunset", I wonder why :)






Some dinners, we at in our hotel room with basic cooking facilities, others we ate in restaurants:


The island had a lot of industry linked to phosphate mining:






Unfortunately, people from other countries have figured out that they can just take boats to show up as refugees and flee to Australia:





Anyway, back to visiting the island, we covered a lot of the island thanks to the rental car:

This is the lovely 4x4 we got. It was full of dings and scratches, and that turned out to be a feature since we sure got a lot more scratches while driving between trees and plants and trying to avoid running over crabs that were everywhere.


We used our beaten up 4x4 rental to drive around the island to some hikes, remote beaches, and interesting viewing points, and it was definitely worth it. While they call themselves "the other galapagos" this is over-reaching, but they do have lots of cool birds, many many kinds of crabs, boobie birds, and more.


look at the webbed feet around the branches
look at the webbed feet around the branches






We also got to see flying foxes (bats):




We also had many lizards and geckos:



This of course does not count the diving which was quite good in warm easy waters with great visibility.

After the dives in the morning, we used our rental car to go visit the Island, and it was a lot of fun to see so many crabs. From what we were told, the ubiquitous red crabs that are all over, including crossing the road everywhere, making driving interesting, aren't good to eat, but the robber/coconut crabs are, however they are protected. To be honest, I grew attached to those little red crabs, they are not afraid of humans, I've been able to give them food to their claw which they grabbed and ate slowly, and they do a great job recycling organic matter (animal or vegetal).
I have so many crab pictures, it was hard to select a few:

we missed the big crab migration, but some roads were still closed due to too many crabs
we missed the big crab migration, but some roads were still closed due to too many crabs

those little guys were fearless and all over, including the road
those little guys were fearless and all over, including the road

coconut crabs
coconut crabs

we found this coconut crab white driving back at night
we found this coconut crab white driving back at night

beauty
beauty

this little guy went hiding in the urinal during a rainfall, maybe not the best move
this little guy went hiding in the urinal during a rainfall, maybe not the best move


these guys were more shy
these guys were more shy



coconut crabs come in different colors
coconut crabs come in different colors

a beautiful blue one
a beautiful blue one

the path was littered with crabs
the path was littered with crabs

this coconut crab found in the rocks had eggs
this coconut crab found in the rocks had eggs

ghost crab
ghost crab

the ubiquitous red crabs eat all debris, vegetal or animal
the ubiquitous red crabs eat all debris, vegetal or animal


we were able to feed the crabs some leaves, which they were happy to take from us
we were able to feed the crabs some leaves, which they were happy to take from us

all shapes and sizes
all shapes and sizes

unfortunately, many get run over
unfortunately, many get run over

Many other pictures from driving around and hiking to beaches:


blowhole
blowhole


we actually got to use the 4x4
we actually got to use the 4x4

Jennifer had to chase the coconut crabs I couldn't safely drive around
Jennifer had to chase the coconut crabs I couldn't safely drive around


remote beach we drove and hiked to
remote beach we drove and hiked to


the tracks are from turtles that came to nest
the tracks are from turtles that came to nest

Jennifer tried to channel her inner monkey to go get a coconut
Jennifer tried to channel her inner monkey to go get a coconut

I was able to shake one down for her :)
I was able to shake one down for her :)



these crabs can't swim, but they lay eggs in the ocean
these crabs can't swim, but they lay eggs in the ocean










they were underwhelming when we arrived, bad timing
they were underwhelming when we arrived, bad timing

A couple of late afternons, we went to Margaret Knol to finish the day. We got to see some birds and flying bats:





See more images for Visiting Xmas Island
2014/01/05 Perth Australia, Monkey Mia, Shark Bay
π 2014-01-05 00:00 in Australia, Trips
Thanks to Linux.conf.au 2014 in Perth, Jennifer and I got to go to Perth this year (second time for me after a first trip to Perth in 2003).

Due to merely asking, and some super nice pilots in the B747 we were taking from SFO to Sydney, the captain not only let me sit in his chair, but even took the picture for me :)



cute!
cute!

After a dinner and night in Perth, we took an early private flight to Monkey Mia and Shark Bay. Putting the price aside (flying in Australia is not cheap), the owner unfortunately used the flight to check out one of his pilots, so we had an extra person in the plane which does not have much room, and we did a long 3H-ish flight in the cramped back seats of a Mooney. It was pretty miserable, but we got to Monkey Mia eventually. Unfortunately we got there too late for the last dolphin beach sighting of the day, so having arrived there after missing the main attraction was a bit disappointing.

I've flown the slightly faster version of this plane, I don't consider it a 4 seater
I've flown the slightly faster version of this plane, I don't consider it a 4 seater

but we had 4 of us inside, it probably stretched the allowed payload
but we had 4 of us inside, it probably stretched the allowed payload

downtown perth
downtown perth







this board told us that we'd likely be out of luck for seeing dolphins that day
this board told us that we'd likely be out of luck for seeing dolphins that day





the dolphins swimming close to shore, but not interested in coming to see us
the dolphins swimming close to shore, but not interested in coming to see us

so we had a very expensive $100 burger (pilot saying)
so we had a very expensive $100 burger (pilot saying)

actually we got lucky and saw some wild emus
actually we got lucky and saw some wild emus







Next, we flew to Hamelin Pool to see Stromatolites by Shark Bay. Those cool organisms are now believed to have created part or most of the oxygen on earth, some 2 billion years ago. Unfortunately they helped create most of the animal life that exists on earth today, and in turn the fishes apparently though they tasted good and ate most of them. The few surviving ones are there because they are in very salty water that most sea animals don't like, and that's the case in Shark Bay:








this looks a bit dry, and it sure was hot and dry
this looks a bit dry, and it sure was hot and dry

this wild kangaroo didn't seem to mind.
this wild kangaroo didn't seem to mind.

After long flight back, I snapped a few pictures from Perth:




Naval museum and Fremantle in the back
Naval museum and Fremantle in the back


Some pictures of Perth University:



the women are not impressed, tough crowd
the women are not impressed, tough crowd

but they could be bought with food easily :)
but they could be bought with food easily :)

During the conference, one early morning, I went for a walk in the big park between Perth University and downtown Perth:










As for Perth itself, I didn't have any time to go visit it until the last evening after my flight in the B747 Simulator at Perth Flight Experience





I do have a few pictures from around the University where we had the conference, though:





And the university:





Jennifer and I walked around town a bit, had dinner, and got ready for our flight the next day to Christmas Island to see crabs and to dive


More pages: February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 October 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 October 2012 September 2012 June 2012 April 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 May 2010 January 2010 September 2009 August 2009 June 2009 January 2009 December 2008 August 2008 February 2008 January 2008 October 2007 July 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 October 2006 August 2006 July 2006 April 2006 March 2006 January 2006 December 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 April 2005 December 2004 October 2004 July 2004 June 2004 January 2004 January 2003 January 2001 August 1997