Land Rover on a Pole

It's amazing how easy it is to obtain a brown tourist road sign in Australia.

Most ridiculous monuments of this sort are set up along coastal Queensland, but this one is in Keith, SA on the Western Highway. It purports to "commemorate the land clearance scheme between 1950 and 1964" though the linkage to an elevated Land Rover is rather tenuous.

State Library of South Australia

I had visited the State Library of Victoria, and found it to be exceptional. The State Library of South Australia shows that there are similar treasures elsewhere.

Perhaps I'll have to travel the country to complete the set.

Barossa Rapeseed

It was no accident that we made plans to return to the Barossa wine region. Wine in Australia is unpretentious, accessible, and aside from a few names you'd recognize, not too expensive.

Canola was in full bloom, and an Australian twist placed a stand of eucalyptus on our way to the area. Unlike more temperate areas, these blossoms were out in very early spring. I imagine that they can get a second crop out of this field if desired.

McLaren Vale

There are quite a few fine wine regions in Australia. There are so many, that one might plan a vacation to capture a certain set of sights and activities, and happen upon a noted terroir purely by chance.

We were driving from Cape Jervis to Adelaide and saw signs for McLaren Vale. Fortunately, our plans accommodated a few hours detour for some tastings.

Kangaroo Island

They don't call it Kangaroo Island for nothing.

The fauna here lost their caution around humans a few thousand years ago when aboriginal settlement ended. Kangaroos on the mainland always saw hunting pressure and so are a bit more skittish when approached. I'm told that petting zoos source roos from Kangaroo Island for this reason.

Remarkable Rocks

The Remarkables are an impressive set of granite boulders perched prominently on the edge of Kangaroo Island. Although one might consider a few boulders to be a few notches down from a top tourist attraction, they were amazing and worth the visit.

It's not difficult to imagine Captain Matthew Flinders himself swinging by in 1802, noting "my goodness, those sure are remarkable" and diligently annotating the map.

Wild Koala

Yes, koalas really do just hang about in Australia! This one is lounging in Flinders Chase National Park, and took time away from its snooze to give us a look. They take some effort to spot, as it is easy for them to go unnoticed when hiking along.

Cape Willoughby Lighthouse

Cape Willoughby is a long way down an unsurfaced road, and offers a charming lighthouse, in this case hiding under a rainbow! It was built in 1852 and deactivated in 2003.

The Peninsula

The Peninsula in Kowloon has a fleet of 14 Rolls Royce Phantom saloons, painted in a custom green to match the style of the hotel. They're outrageously expensive 450 horsepower parade floats (weighing 2.6 tonnes apiece). When we visited, most of the cars were out and about.

Hong Kong Harbour

Hong Kong's Harbour, as seen from the top of the Conrad Hilton building. Kowloon is across the water.


Mooncakes are strange pastries gifted in southern China, Hong Kong, and Macau, during the Mid Autumn Festival. The dough and crust are lovely, and typical flavors include red bean and lotus seed paste. So far, so good. This one, acquired at a recommended bakery in Kowloon, has two salted duck eggs inside, which don't quite complement the rest of it. Perhaps it is an acquired taste?

Cathay Pacific First Class

Krug champagne, proper caviar with a mother of pearl spoon, and a wonderfully comfortable seat combine to make Cathay Pacific's First Class truly special. Sadly, only a few days following this flight, Cathay retired their Boeing 747-400s from transpacific service. Being tucked into the nose on the lower deck of a jumbo jet with the pilots above you is a memorable experience worth pursuing.

Half Moon Bay

Half Moon Bay sits west of Silicon Valley, facing the Pacific. It sees regular coastal fog and dramatic sunsets. The unusual green is from an irrigated golf coast -- native flora would be a lot more dry and scrubby.


Sandpipers race up and down the shore, daring incoming waves to catch them. Their wee feet work very fast indeed, and they flock so that their motions are almost completely synchronized.

Their food must be at its most delicious when it's as far out to sea as possible.

Backyard Champagne

As the tomato crop comes in, we thought we'd enjoy a few bubbles. The visit to Champagne was inspiring, and we had a lovely tipple over some pre-dinner snacks.