Friday, November 30, 2012

What the Mind Can Conceive, People Can Achieve – Fri., Nov. 30

Imagination, creativity, intelligence, technology, craftsmanship--conception to achievement. From art to buildings to superstructures; these creations are covered in my blog today.

South through Sydney to the coast; today was a good day to leave the Hunter Valley. The temperature is predicted to go to 40 C (104 F) in Cessnock.

Our drive through Sydney suburbs was crowded, but the traffic moved through the city streets with no major hang-ups. We took the Hwy 1 Expressway Tunnel under the Harbour and followed Hwy 1 south until we reached Kirrawee where we turned off the highway to find lunch. Not only did we find a good roasted chicken lunch, we also found beautiful murals and artwork which looked like they were created by local school students. (No signs explained who did the artwork.)

Click to enlarge--beautiful piece of art.
On Highway 1 headed south, we turned east on Lawrence Hargrave Drive and followed the sign to Sri Venkateswara Hindu Temple. We didn’t go in, but I took photos of the beautiful building.

Detail above door.
As we were driving down the road we saw a sign for Kellys Falls. We made a quick detour on a side road and did a short walk to see the falls. We could hear the falls and see indications of the falls, but no viewpoint of the whole waterfall. I did get a few photos, though, of pretty scenery and a lizard.

Bob rock hopping.
Looking down over the top of the waterfall.
From the Temple, we took Lawrence Hargrave Dr. to Grand Pacific Drive (AKA Lawrence Hargrave Drive) which hugged the east coastline from Stanwell Park to Wollongong.

The beautiful coastline and Ocean Baths at Coalcliff.

Swimming beach and Ocean Bath at Coalcliff.
For many years, Lawrence Hargrave Drive was closed because of frequent rockfall, embankment slips, mud and rock slides, weak rock, marine erosion and weathering of the rock. It was too dangerous to allow anyone to pass.

A great engineering marvel, the Sea Cliff Bridge, solved the problem along this stretch of coastline. The bridge was built out over the ocean, away from the frequent erosion of the cliff face. This is a testament to man’s ingenuity. We were duly impressed. There is a turnout with information panels and a walkway across the bridge.

Sea Cliff Bridge walkway and bridge.

We walked partway on the bridge overlooking the ocean and rock shelf below and marveling at the bridge itself. The day was overcast, but warm and extremely humid, plus the flies were totally annoying. We would have walked farther, but we were too hot.

Parks, beautiful coastline, lookouts, very nice homes and old towns lined Grand Pacific Drive. Wollongong has a cute little harbour protected by two lighthouses.

View from a lookout.

Art by Michael Dwyer--Comradeship.

Ooh, another lizard (or dragon?)
Wollongong Harbour.
South of Wollongong, Port Kembla impressed us with miles of steel production facilities. The buildings were enormous. Both sides of the highway were populated with steel mills. My head was going back and forth like we were watching a ping-pong match. Bob was driving in traffic, so he looked from time to time.
We were familiar with the road from Shellharbour to Nowra since we had traveled it twice while we were taking day trips from Bowral in the Southern Highlands. That part of the road was on a highway, so we cruised through there rather quickly. In Nowra, we stopped at the Info Centre to pick up maps for our trip south to Victoria state.

I had seen a photo in one of our Coastal Explorermagazines of dolphins surfing the waves at Mollymook Beach. I thought it would be cool if we could see that. The dolphins have been known to surf the waves with the surfers.

Our next stop was Mollymook Beach where we went to the Beach Hut Café and ordered “take-away” (to go) food which we ate at a picnic table at the beach park so we could watch for dolphins. We stayed there about an hour searching the sea and the surf for the dolphins, but none were there this evening.
South end of Mollymook Beach.
Imagine dolphins surfing these waves.
Another hour later, we checked into our hotel for tonight in Batemans Bay. Our wifi here is incredibly slow and keeps kicking us off. I will try to post the blog, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to post photos. When we pulled into the Comfort Inn, a gorgeous peacock came to greet our car.
Peacock greeting committee.
A lizard was catching its dinner at the lights outside our room.

Total change of subject here…A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned I would put some of the local Sydney headlines about our presidential election in my blog because I thought they were clever. Here are the headlines (maybe you’re not sick of hearing about election stuff by now). These are from The Daily Telegraph, Sydney’s biggest selling newspaper, the day after the election.
·         “Barack to the Future”
·         “Grand Vision for Come-Barack Kid”
·         “United Mates of Obama”
·         “Shattered Romney Suffers a Direct Mitt”
·         “You Can’t Beat the Tweet in America: THE big winner of the election? Social media in a landslide.”

 Miscellaneous stuff:

Here more abbreviations Aussies use:
Salvation Army = Salvoes
St. Vincent de Paul = Vinnies
Utes = sport utility vehicles
Woolworths (grocery store) = Woolies
Motorcycle gang member = bikie

I am amazed by all the different sports played here: cricket, Rugby League, Rugby Union, lawn bowling, Aussie Rules Football (footy), Life Saving (Surf Clubs compete for prizes).

More ‘stralian words we’ve learned:
arvo = afternoon
coldie = beer

We have less than a week left in Australia. : (  We’ll be spending most of our remaining time along the coast with a day in Melbourne.

Tonight we have thunder and pouring rain. Hopefully this storm will break the heat and humidity. All for now. Good night.