Friday, October 28, 2016

A Trip To the Past With a Nature Chaser

Hey all,

Before I start with today's blog, I just wanted to remind you all about my latest book. 

Out today just in time for Halloween fun, it's a story you can read any time of the year.  Check it out at...

Now that the advertisement is over--*smile*--Jonathon and I had a great two days off this week. Monday was a errand day. Lazy morning, doctor appointments, then an exciting trip to the grocery store.  LOL

Back in time for a relaxing night watching the last two of the Bourne series. Hadn't seen either of them, so it was fun.  Nothing like having a snuggle with your Sweet Baboo while watching Matt Damon. *snerk*

Then on Tuesday we got up early and headed out for a road trip.  Our Blue Mountain trip has been postponed until next week due to scheduling conflicts, but that day we grabbed a car and headed south. We wanted to go to the Botany Bay landing site where the English first arrived in Australia, and then on to the Royal National Forest.

The Captain Cook Monument

The small stone monument on the rocks is the actual landing spot.

And this is what it says...under bird poop. LOL

Botany Bay was REALLY interesting. Even though it was another nation's history, we knew enough about the founding of Australia to make it informative. And we always enjoy learning new facts about places we live. And to stand on the rock where the English first set foot on the continent was pretty cool.

I liked that they didn't overwhelm us with the idea of how wonderful the British were to take over Australia. In fact, they were very open about how the British had displaced the Aborigines, the ramifications of that action and what happened in history because of it.

But they did show and tell us about the eight days they spent in Botany Bay. Which included a lot of scientific discovery. Much more than the actual colonization. (that came later) In fact, Botany Bay was named that BECAUSE of the botanical work done in the area.

The park has built a great walk down to the actual landing site, then signage all along the bay. I learned a lot and enjoyed the displays inside the visitor's center. If any of you have a chance to visit, do it. Inexpensive day of learning and a beautiful park to do it in.

After Botany Bay we drove down to the Royal National Forest Park. And wow! What an amazing park. We stopped at the Visitor's Centre first and found out information about different hikes. We were excited, wanting to discover as much of the countryside as possible.

We started with a bush walk down to a waterfall.  It was a beautiful day and the walk was quite nice. Mostly flat, except the last little bit. That was steep and rocky, so we had to be careful. We didn't see any critters, other than some birds like Cockatoos and a Kookaburra, but there was lots of flora that were quite odd--some we'd never seen before. Here is some of what we saw...


Winifred Bush Fire Trail

The waterfall wasn't much, but it was a small oasis of cool quiet water in the middle of the bush. We were surprised at the number of people around, since it's so remote, but it was worth the walk with all it's arid beauty.

Next we went to the Wattamolla Beach Cliffs.  And WOW... We've seen some beautiful seaside views in a lot of countries, but these were just amazing. On Providential Head point, we thought we might have seen a whale spout or two. And the cliff walk... All I can say is we had difficulty deciding whether it was terrifyingly scary or one of the most amazing places I've ever been to. You decide...

So we'd wandered through the bush and climbed the sea cliffs, now it was time to head to one of the prettiest places in the park. The Forest Path Walk consists of some really beautiful countryside--all rainforest oriented. It's VERY different from the other two walks we did. This has palms and wetlands and many of the trees you'd expect in a rainforest. BUT there are also gums trees and regular Australian flora as well. The mixture of the two makes this is a unique and lovely landscape. See what I mean?

As you can see, things are VERY different as you wander around different parts of the park. But it's like visiting different parts of Australia all in one place. And that's pretty cool. I wonder if locals know how great this park is? They talk a lot about the Blue Mountains, but very little about this amazing place.

Isn't it just like that though? So many times familiarity breeds contempt or more likely...apathy. If I've learned anything in our years abroad it's that when we do finally retire back to the states, I will make sure I look around and see what the USA really has to offer. Not just those famous sites like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls or the California Redwoods, but something much, much closer.

My own backyard.

Have a great weekend!

CJ England


Ray said...

I would love to see that area. During the Vietnam war my ship went to two countries I had not been to after I left the ship, Australia and South Korea. I never made it afterward even with all the places I've been.

I like the Botany Bay plaque. When I was in Plymouth England I was walking around with an English friend who I had previously met on the internet. We stumbled on the plaque commemorating the departure point of the Mayflower as it set sail for Plymouth Rock.

Phylis said...

Every time I read Botany Bay, I kept hearing Chekov in Star Trek The Wrath of Khan saying it. :) That is really cool, that all of those hikes were available in the same area. I like finding places that maybe not everyone knows of. Part of my goal is to explore Nebraska and find neat places. I have always wondered about people who live in the mountains. Do they get blase about the vistas that open as they come around the curve on the road, or are they so used to it that, meh? Thanks for sharing CJ. You are my connection to the scenic world outside of the US!