Hello Dominica

July 14th, 2017
Hello Dominica

In June just past, we paid a short visit to what has turned out to be our new home. I felt like an undercover agent because we snuck off without telling anyone of our plans and then flew to the opposite side of the planet (not quite , but very close).

Flying into Dominica is a dramatric and exciting experience as the plane heads straight into a green forest and then lands on a short strip. We were greeted by the university driver who then took us to Portsmouth and more specifically, Picard where we were to stay for a week.

After a range of interviews at Ross over a couple days...

Hello Dominica
Ross University entrance gate
Hello Dominica
Ross University nestled in at the base of the hills

we took a tour of the island to view housing options...

Hello Dominica
I'm sorry, what did you say - I was staring out at the sea...

and to see what there was to be had in the shops. Before that, we started with breakfast in Le Flambeau.

Hello Dominica
Le Flambeau - this was not breakfast just in case you were wondering

 This seaside restaurant has it all...

Hello Dominica
Coconut palm trees blowing in the wind

Beach and ocean views...

Hello Dominica
Looking north towards Portsmouth

And amazing sunsets towards the west...

Hello Dominica
Sunset to the west

We went up and down the coast and were delighted to see some wonderful birds, one of the great things about our current home in Australia!

Hello Dominica
Okay, not exotic, but colourful
Hello Dominica
This was more exotic - not sure what it is!

I also noted that virtually every tree here grows edible fruit.

Hello Dominica
Coconuts for electrolytes
Hello Dominica
Breadfruit - flour substitute?
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Mangoes - so many they fall off into the street and get run over by cars
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Plaintains - the big banana

The volcanic and mountainous nature of the island gives it some awesome beaches...

Hello Dominica
Scotts head on the southern tip
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Soufriere - fisherman's beach along the village
Hello Dominica
Beach along the Sisters Restaurant in Portmouth - our new 'local'

... and stunning backdrops.

Hello Dominica
On the Atlantic side - see any pirates or Johnny Depp?
Hello Dominica
Mountain backdrop

Dominica, being volcanic, has hot and cold springs bubbling all over the island.

 The springs above are surprisingly cold, but there is a 'boiling lake' elsewhere that we have not explored yet. That will be my next post!

 Not surprisingly, the British were here and left a few cannon lying around to attract tourists.

Hello Dominica
Fort Shirley and the Bluff Point Gun Battery

 Being tourists, we felt it a good place for a selfie.

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Life is about to change!

After eating some of this...

Hello Dominica
Fresh tuna straight from the sea

at this little restaurant...

Hello Dominica
What was this place called - I'll go back and check!

we determined that perhaps we need to finally get a nice fishing boat to cruise these waters fishing for Lion fish and other tasty treats.

Hello Dominica
Good fishing spot?
Hello Dominica
Spear fishing for Lion fish

Where are you going for your next winter get away?

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Location: Portsmouth (2), Saint John Parish, Dominica, Dominica

Around in Australia

June 24th, 2017
Around in Australia

Since our last holiday, we have been trying to stay warm on these cold Aussie nights and getting out to keep our blood circulating. We have actually been quite busy and so have a lot of photos to look at. I'll try to give a bit of background to them so you know what I am showing you. Don't forget, you can see the gallery in order to get the actual location of these places.

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Christmas Cactus - blooming in our garden in June down under

Being seafood lovers and somewhat familiar with world seafood, we went to the Sydney Fish Market to see what was on offer.

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Entrance to Market

There are some interesting and delectable items for sale, although personally I was not overly enticed to sample some of them.

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Scampi - not an Italian gelato flavour as I had thought
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Fresh octopus - for real sushi, just eat these live
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Manta Ray wings for footy night with the lads
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Live sea urchins with built in toothpick
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Murray Cod - not your average cod as we know it
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Raw oysters - not sure of the point to just slurp it down in one go
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Oysters dressed up to disguise their oysterness

And if any of you Newfs were feeling left out, there is a bit of old salt cod for you too!

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Bacalao from Portugal, but probably caught on the Grand Banks

While there, we saw some unusual customers lining up to get some fresh sushi.

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Pelicans love seafood - he is not looking at the child!

We watched these two line up at the door and deftly catch an offering from the kitchen - fresh fish heads!

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What'cha got for me?
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Cheers, matey

We also went downtown again for the Vivid Sydney display. Different sections of the city are set up for displays  - and lots of food.


A few weeks ago, we took a short trip down the coast to visit our friend Cecelia at her new beach house. 

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Beach house in Kioloa

We also met Humphrey, the dog.

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Humphrey likes the new deck

As with most Aussie coast lines, there are endless beaches, waves and beautiful vistas.

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Beaches

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More beaches

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And beaches

We went for long walk along the beach to see what we could see.

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A long walk

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A plover, not unlike our piping plovers of Nova Scotia

We stopped to smell the salty fresh ocean air.

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A salty selfie with Cecelia

Kioloa is home to healthy population of kangaroos. 

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Feeding joey

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Mowing, er, munching the grass

Kangaroos apparently support a healthy population of ticks and mites in their dense fur.

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You tick muncher, you.

A word of caution to parents everywhere - kangaroos are wld animals with some serious kicking power. One kick of this toenail, and you will be punctured.

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Sharper than an awl

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They are so darn cute, though


We also returned to Parramatta Park to visit the bats again.

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Large fruit bats

The colony is alive and well. We have learned that they are not viewed kindly here due to the diseases they carry and the large quantities of poo they spread over people's houses.

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A large healthy colony


Another beautiful weekend, we decided to explore the childhood neighbourhood of our friend Diana. So, off we went to Watson's Bay to have a look-see.

We got ourselves to Circular Quay ...

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Circular Quay

where we hopped a ferry much like this one...

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Harbour ferry

... and passed several iconic Australian sights on our way.

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Harbour Bridge

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Opera House

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City skyline

Out at Watson's Bay, we did the South Head Walk which takes you along the water around the Southern point and entrance to Port Jackson Bay, which contains Sydney Harbour itself and other sections of the larger body of water. 

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View of the city

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Entrance to the harbour

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Selfie spot

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Double selfie


Finally, to mark the abundance of birds that grace our deck and keep us so entertained, here are a few more that we caught on camera.

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Crested pigeon

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Kookaburra - a type of kingfisher

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Crimson Rosella

Location: Inner City, New South Wales, Australia