Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Greenbelt by day.

This is the same view by day.

I spent the morning looking for somewhere to settle for my time here accompanied by Rochelle (who is the brains of the house-hunting operations). :)

There were some ordinary places and some rather "interesting" ones but all I am really looking for is somewhere secure with internet - a bit of light and space is nice too. Will look at a few more tomorrow also.

Jason took me through the markets afterwards and we tried a range of interesting vegan wraps with tofu and other foods including some vegan shish-kebabs of marinated gluten.

I am going out tonight to meet the rest of the staff for drinks in an informal setting. :)

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Just a quick one to say I arrived and this is what the view looks like.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Three Adelaide beauties protested against KFC's cruel treatment of chickens who suffer at every stage of their lives from hatching to slaughter. KFC has no minimum animal welfare policies for their suppliers of chickens.
"Make it a Merry Chickmas - Boycott KFC" read the banner, exhorting consumers to vote with their dollar.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


To keep in contact, knowing I won't have a great deal of time for email, I will post a few photo's and experiences of my time in Manila.

The Philippines is an archipelago collection of 7,107 islands that are home to over 96 million people. The capital, Manila, is home to 11.5 million and Greater Manila approaches 20 million people.

Makati is the CBD of Manila and I will be staying in a region called Legaspi City

View Larger Map

Monday, November 19, 2007

Some time away


All the details from the trip to Spain remain un-posted - but it may happen... :) ... one day....

It's ironic in a way that I am taking some time out for myself, but there is always a great deal to be doing.

I needed to get away as I am having difficulty "digesting" the live export footage from the last Animals Australia Middle East investigation. Speaking about it publicly has become impossible as I choke up when I remember the images and sounds. It's not that I *feel* something extreme - I feel dis-attached and yet can't speak and get awash with tears. It is frustrating and counter-productive. I think that if I had to feel the enormity of the horror, I would implode - hence the dis-attachment and agony / mental indigestion.

While not seriously believing in "a greater plan" etc, one of those things that forces you to slow down occurred - I came to Mildura without my wallet. This is forcing me to stay put with virtually no resources which is exactly what I need to be doing. If I had the freedom that having
cash gives you, I would be out and about.... and not resting instead of getting things organised so it's a good thing.

It is incredibly dry up here in Mildura - I haven't seen it so dry before. The trees are suffering, the grass is gone and today it will be 42°C. It's reaching that temperature now.

I am going to sort myself out with some software training, inside in the cool.

Image is the Saturday sunset looking west from my Cardross home.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


We took a bus across to Barcelona so that we could overnight before heading to Reus for the flight to Dublin.

Barcelona - note that many of these links have an English or Castellano alternative.

Gaudi has a great many of his works here and while we didn´t have time for galleries, we visited the residence of the artist; a garden on a hill top that I had only even seen shots of in artist books. This is Parc Güell; previously designed for 60 housing allotments but only two residences were ever built. The Council brought the property which is now a park and popular tourist attraction.

Where we are sitting is the top of a large plaza, ringed with a mosaic balustrade that covers an area that was eventually to be an art nouveau inspired shopping centre. I am relieved that that didn´t go ahead. The view of the city was great however and very popular with international tourists.

We walked la Ramblé that runs from the port to the hill and seems to be the tourist heart. Branching off at angles are cobblestone winding streets that meander their way between the close set buildings. I say meander but it is actually neatly set out - but with such narrow streets where I don't understand how the trucks manage to get through successfully most of the time, where squares pop up out of no where and the streets aren't straight.... it has a very cosy feel.

I really liked Barcelona. Where we stayed was not far from a vegan juice bar and restaurant. Lovely food and professional service at an exceptionally reasonable price too. The restaurant was painted in an adhoc colourful fashion that added to the friendly feel of the place.


Juan´s parent´s generously offered to drive us to Segovia for the day where we wandered the ancient town that has the most remarkable Roman aqueduct that is standing still unaided by mortar - just stone on stone. It has been there for over 2000 years and is now threatened by the traffic that passes on the lower side, which compacts the ground.

Passing under the aqueduct, there is a winding road through the bustling tourist and eateries district, leading up to Plaza Mayor and the cathedral. The cathedral was completed in the 1300´s and is so amazing on the inside and out that it really did bring tears to my eyes.

The idea of such a building of staggering proportions being built so long ago is remarkable. 20 odd chapels ring the interior, voluptuously decorated with paintings, sculpture and gold leaf. It was absolutely freezing within the building however.

Segovia is home to a castle that inspired the one that Walt Disney uses and reconstructed in Disneyland. I am not well aquainted enough (thankfully) with Disney to know whether every Disney has one but it was an impressive and beautiful castle. Here´s Juan with the castle behind.

There is another church built by the infamous Knights Templar that supposedly housed a piece of the "Vera Cruz" (true cross). Closer shot.

Amazing township.

A few loose ends...

Firstly, thank you to all that sent or thought birthday greetings. I apologise for such a generic thank you but I will have time to get in touch more effectively when I get home.

I have loads more pictures to share and will post them now; it has been a very busy week and a bit since I last posted, made even more exciting trying to organise fund transfers with the bank.

For anyone thinking of travelling; I have only the highest praise for American Express Travellers cheques. Having lost and replaced one with a few forms and very little hassle when we were stuck in Barcelona, I seriously only have good things to say.

Now to post details...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ireland in Spain...

Gilliyn and Neville arrived last night at Barajas airport. I was stressed that we would not get there in time so took a taxi which was possibly the better idea except for the fact the taxi driver had no idea where to go and had to circle twice after going the wrong way and not listening to Juan - meter still running mind you!

We were in the right place more by luck that good management by the dodgy taxi driver. The airport is huge and the fourth terminal only opened last week. There are doors that look to be automatic someday, just leaning against openings in a precarious fashion. There have been teething problems in the opening that sound rather like the delayed opening of Adelaide´s new international terminal.

Ireland has banned smoking in pubs and clubs and here in Madrid the smoke is thick in restaurants and bars alike. Juan took us to a place to experience sangria but it was very popular and terribly noisy so we waited, were seated, observed for a moment and then yelled that we would try somewhere else.

Ironically just across the road was an Irish pub (Gill and Nev are from Ireland) where we settled happily. I was attempting to order cidir (cider) from the lady at the bar and she informed me in a strong English accent of her ability to speak English...

The weather has continued to remain fine and 10°C nights are not that bad at all. We plan to take the bus tour of sights of Madrid today before an evening at a vegetarian restaurant with some friends of Juan´s; one of whom is moving to Ireland so will quiz Gilliyn and Nev.

Some pics...

Farewell gift from the Koonamorians... (waves enthusiastically).

Juan, Elena, Pedro and Jorge outside a vegetarian restaurant we had lunch at. Pedro and Elena are vegans and father and daughter, and Jorge is Elena´s partner.

Candlemaking in Madrid. Some curious candles.

A gentleman selling some type of root that you chew. It has a distinct wheat grass juice flavor and all the fibre expected in a root. Interesting experience, definitely not addictive.

A very content stray cat enjoying the sun...

Sunset through the trees.

Boating on the lake in Parque del Retiro.