Weekend Walk

We just returned from a really nice walk in Yarra Bend Park, actually a national park, along the banks of the Yarra River. We walked for about 3 or so hours and took in 11km. We’ve signed up to do a crazy 35km walk in September, from the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne to Brighton Beach, called the Bloody Long Walk. We’ll need to get in some practice before then so I’d like to make it a regular occurrence.

We grabbed a coffee on the way and stopped for a little bite at Lentil As Anything, which is a not for profit, veggie food place. You pay what you can for your food, with no set prices. It’s a really nice idea. We visited the St Kilda branch last year in May, when we were staying in a hostel and had very little money. The St Kilda branch wasn’t too impressive, but the Abbotsford Convent branch was delicious and very busy. No pictures, but a map of our route..

walk 28.6

Tour of the Salt Flats of Bolivia, Day Three, Part Two

Looking through these pictures is such a treat. This trip was now 17 months ago. That astounds me! Time has flown and we have been in Australia for over 15 months. I’d love to return to South America and Bolivia especially to see even more.

This part of our Salt Flats trip was my favourite. We saw so much, but this savanna landscape was the most lush and beautiful. There were intensely green mosses and grasses that drew donkeys and alpacas as well as huge dark lakes. The sun was shining and I could have stayed all day. It was like discovering the Garden of Eden in the midst of deserts and rocks.

  

I had to capture this picture below as proof that James Blunt terrorises all over.

       

    

Our driver Moses has one of the best jobs in the world.

    

Our guide, Carla, enjoying the serenity of this place.

        

These boys! We were a great team for these few weeks together!

               
    

After I fell for that beautiful, lush landscape it was time for some fear. We walked out onto a rocky peninsula which overlooked a canyon. I wandered out and soon realised the sheer drop that sat metres from us on either side. I had to sit down in the middle and be comforted by Dermot whilst Darren and Oliver and Carla bravely traversed the outskirts. They were fearless. All I could picture was a slip or trip and a missing team member. Yet another example of me catching the fear in South America. What a wuss.

     

Carla told us to look through the sand for sparkles. We found little gems, like diamonds, all through the sand. Far more interesting that risking my life on peninsulas!

    

I like this picture below because it sums up my Salt Flats Tour wardrobe. Leggings, vest, cardigans and ridiculous socks I bought from a market in Tupiza. I swear I couldn’t find any that weren’t crazily patterned, certainly for children.

      

Note on our tour: We took our tour with Hostal Los Salares and Moses and Carla were our driver and cook/guide respectively. The hostel is based in Tupiza, so we took the 4 day trip from Tupiza, ending in Uyuni. Our group highly recommends this tour for the landscape, really good Bolivian food and the lovely tour staff. You can book the hostel on hostelworld.com and book the tour when you arrive.

    First few weeks in our new house…

 We’ve really settled in to our new house, and feeling comfortable and happy in this space. We’ve become very good at making meatballs as a team; Oliver makes the meatballs, I make the sauce and together we figure out the spaghetti and wine…. It usually ends quite well.  

This is our lovely cosy room. It was icy cold for a few weeks, we could see breath hanging in the air, but a heater and an electric blanket later we feel older and more British than ever. But spectacularly comfortable.  

Our friends came over for dinner and Settlers of Catan and a lack of seating. Very understanding they are.   

Actually, we didn’t even get around to Catan that night, but Oliver, Toby and I have made time.  

     

Keeping in touch with Alan, the only way we know how, with silly pictures…  

Just like in Manchester I have favourite mugs. We got them in a charity shot and they symbolise Saturdays and coffee and this new house.  

A really good dinner, thanks Toby. Spicy chicken wings and blue cheese sauce. This was the shameful result, along with that familiar feeling of “what I am doing with myself?”