Monday, October 5, 2015

subterranean sojourn

No overseas birthday this year - the first for 10 years! I need to focus on building my shipping container house.

But as the day drew near I decided I couldn't bear to stay at home so we decided to head to Wombeyan Caves just over an hour from here.

During the past couple of years that I've been in Goulburn I have made many trips around the countryside to various little country towns and places of interest but had not headed directly North.

So Paul came over and we both set off to a small old town called Taralga about 50kms away in an area known as the 'Richlands' due to the fertile soils in the region.

Taralga dates from the early 1800's and contains some lovely old buildings.

We stayed overnight at the Argyle Inn (1875), a basic pub hotel with a nice wide upstairs verandah where we sat in the evening while Paul had his beers.

It looks out over the town and across to the windfarm windmills on the adjoining ridge.

Birthday brekkers: Vegemite on toast and a long black:

The next morning we set off early to the caves, a further hours drive two thirds of which was dirt road.

The caves are quite small and modest compared to some of the other cave systems (such as Jenolan Caves -  believed to be part of the same Karst Limestone geological layer about 120kms further North) but still worthy of a visit.

We restricted ourselves to just a couple of the caves - one guided and the other self guided. The former was the most interesting and unfortunately photos do no justice to them whatsoever!

There was also some very friendly wildlife in the grounds of the caves entrance.

King Parrot:

Mother and child:

Paul sleeping with the roos:

And it wouldn't be a birthday without the birthday candle ritual!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Selection of details from last trip.
(Click to enlarge)

Monday, November 3, 2014



A recap of some dome interiors from the last trip.
(click to enlarge)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

more mesmerising mirror mayhem

Our last day in Iran and we were down to our last mosque!

This one was called Sayyed Alaeddin Hossein Mosque (or The Jelly Mosque as I preferred to call it).

Paul had ducked into it a couple of days ago while I was back at the hotel. He insisted I come with him today to see it.

It was spectacular.

(Make sure you click on the photos - they deserve to be seen full sized!)

While I was wandering around the mosque I found a door open towards the back of the building and stepped inside.

I found myself in the 'school' part of the mosque where religious students spend 30 hours a week studying the Koran. This was another stunning display of mirrored mosaics.

As my last post for this trip I have to say Iran was a wonderful place to visit. Not only did I feel safer there than just about anywhere else in the world, the people were the friendliest I have ever met in all of the 85 countries I have visited.

Do yourself a favour - go there!

Friday, October 17, 2014

persa police

Today was Paul's birthday.

Ever since he was 12 he has wanted to visit Persepolis in Iran.

He finally got his wish.

We hired a car and driver for the 70km drive to make the day easier. Our first stop was Naqsh-e Rustam about 12 kms away from Persepolis.

This is the site of the rock cut tombs of Darius I (c. 522–486 BC), Xerxes I (c. 486–465 BC), Artaxerxes I (c. 465–424 BC), and Darius II (c. 423–404 BC).

Nearby is Naqsh-e Rajab - a series of rock carvings of Sassanid era rulers from around the 2nd Century AD:

Then we hit the main site of Persepolis - the earliest part dates from 515 BC.

It is a huge and majestic site and there are enough ruins to give an idea of its scale and grandeur. We wandered at leisure for around three hours before heading back to Shiraz.

Paul was chuffed!

(*'persa police' - how the locals pronounced our name for the place. They call it Takht-e Jamshid.)