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earth day 2018It’s now the 48th anniversary of Earth Day, and a good time to ask the question. How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970? The answer: “The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong,” According to Ronald Bailey (award-winning science correspondent) in the May 2000 issue of Reason Magazine .

Full article at WUWT.

Is it any coincidence that Earth day is the 22nd of April?  Just by chance it happens to also be Lenin’s birthday.

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Kiribati beach

Another year and the lovely people of Kiribati are still keeping their heads above water. More people should visit. It looks absolute paradise.

So what has changed around Kiribati lately?

Well, they have a new President(since 2016), and he seems to be not quite so gloom and doom as the last one. They had a terrible ferry sinking a few months ago. One of their sportsmen qualified for the Olympic team in weight lifting (First one ever, whoo hoo!), and the Kiribati government are looking to fill their sports education position. Anyone interested?  They are upgrading their airports to accommodate more visitors,  and a new Bar, “The Emperor” is now open on Friday nights.  Other than that, the fishing, snorkelling, and surfing are still pretty good, and life goes on as usual in these lovely pacific Islands.

One thing that has not changed in Kiribati is the level of the sea. It oscillates a fair bit, but overall not much change.

Kiribati sea level 2017 full

The long term rate of sea level rise at Kiribati is still less than 1mm per year.

Kiribati sea level 1949 to june2017full Yr

The sea level has actually fallen since 2014 at Kiribati, and the seas have not shown any increase for over sixteen years now.

Gonna need to create a new crisis I think. This sea level thing is, dead in the water”.

Or maybe they should just promote Kiribati as the tropical paradise that it is.

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IMG_9635The Flinders Ranges is a very special place.        A geological wonder on display with secrets hidden in plain sight. The mere sight of it’s majestic and proud sculptures contrasted against the vast Aussie azure, will silence the most hardened city dweller.

The backbone of the Flinders rises out of the endless flatness of the Eyre and the Willochra. Worn by the passing of time and the elements, the ranges are a mere shadow of what they once were. Even so, the dramatic remains are still impressive standing tall and proud.

IMG_9623Most however, will look but not see.   If only those would stop for a moment to marvel and wonder at how this geological masterpiece came to be.   Even some of the ancient local rock art is unknown to the more recent inhabitants. You know, the ones who have been here for the last 40,000 years or so.

Our last walk takes us to the end of the Heysen trail at Parachilna Gorge, and like all journey’s,  is looked on with great anticipation, but this one also with regret.  Regret, that by the end of the day, our many years on this journey will be finally over.

IMG_9625We kept to “business as usual” for this walk. Prepping all our gear, food and water the night before. Even so, we ended up managing to forget some things. Seems to be innately human to miss something, or perhaps I am just not quite as clever as I think I am.

The following morning we rose well rested and after a hearty bacon and eggs breakfast (Heysen Trail traditional), we set off once again to play with the Kangaroo’s and the rabbit’s.  The morning parade of Kangaroo’s was at it’s best this morning, with mobs left right and centre. Very sensible they were though, giving us room to pass with no harm.

IMG_9611Another perfect day in the Flinder’s was dawning as we neared our starting point.  The sun had breached the far off horizon while the cool breeze freshened up our early morning languor. By the time we got our selves organised the bright sun stood alone in the bright blue, “big” Australian sky.     We were now about to commence our last walk to complete the Heysen Trail. We paused for a moment to suck in the occasion, standing amidst the weathered hills and majestic mountains, as well as the old Eucalypt men of the Aussie bush. We were apparently still chilled from the early morning air it seems.

IMG_9631Wandering up the small rise on our start we checked the ruins of Aroona before heading off proper on the trail. The gentle open trail we started on is a little deceiving and is not indicative of the full walk ahead.  Although not challenging in gradient, it is quite long and very rocky in parts. The trail is also not well marked in the creek we were to walk in.

On our left, the ever commanding Heysen Range towered above us.  As if sitting on a throne watching it’s pilgrims pass by in a never ending parade of obedient subjects. We silently payed homage as we passed by.  The “junior” ABC Range on the right was still big enough to command some respect also.  We humbly walked on, in the shadow of both giants.

IMG_9639A bit up and down for the first six kms in open woodland with plenty of Pines eking out an existence in red rock of the Wilcolo sandstone.  Our trail slowly dragged us up hill 200 metres topping out at 585 mtrs above sea level.   After that it was all down hill. Almost. Good smooth track. Then rocky track. Good smooth creek, and then rocky creek.

The trail wound it’s way through the open woodland, in and out of the creeks until our final crossing of Five Mile Creek.  Leaving the creek we headed up hill to the right. The trail markers progressively becoming more sparse as we headed into the next gully.

IMG_9667The trail now basically followed Wild Dog Creek, however we were mindful that a “hard left turn” was coming up further along, and as it happened my GPS had run out of charge and guess what items I’d forgotten to bring? Yep the spare batteries. With my GPS now flat we had to re-acquaint ourselves with some old fashioned orienteering with the map.  All seemed fine for quite a while, in spite of the fact the Heysen signs had left us. We knew we would be following Wild Dog Creek for no more than about 3km’s before turning,  so when we hit the 3k mark we stopped to assess our lack of Heysen Trail signs.

IMG_9682It appeared that the hard left turn had eluded us at some point “back there”, and we were off the trail and still in the creek.  We knew pretty well where we were but had not seen any trail markers for the last kilometre or so.   A quick scan of the map and the immediate terrain gave us our likely location and off we went up the rise to the left, meeting the trail again having only missed it by a smidge.   Ps the “hard left turn was in actual fact a gentle left.  The creek turns right and the trail goes fairly straight.

IMG_9704Once over the rise and into the final gully, the last section (as always) seemed to go on for just “ever”.  “Surely this next corner/rise should reveal the end” I said many many times. Rocky creeks are always tiresome and this one was no different.  Finally seeing signs of the end(“see I told you it was around this bend”), Grant strode off confidently while I paused to take a few pictures and soak in the moment. Delaying the finality of our journey just a little while longer.

Triumphant at the end, we breached the stairs with a whoop and a yell!

Or, did we?

I’ll leave you all with three possible endings to our “most excellent” Heysen adventure.

 

Distance: 19 kms

Speed: 5.1 kph

Terrain: Wide track and rocky creek walking.

Altitude: 194 metres up hill, and 330 metres descending to the end.

And a few more sights……

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That lovely sight of my car at the end of a walk. Always means a cold beer.

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Aroona ruins

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Wilcolo Sandstone

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Would have loved to see the water that did this.

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Token offerings for the Heysen Trail Gods?

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Wild dog creek missed turn

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IMG_9008“Here Comes The Sun” sang softly to me from my phone, waking me from my slumber. The night had not been restful though. Wave after wave of Flinder’s Mosquito’s dive bombed me every ten minutes or so. Just enough to disturb my attempts at sleep, and when I did manage my way to unconsciousness, I awoke soon after with throbbing bites the size of almonds.  5AM finally finished the Mozzie onslaught and I arose in a stupor, keen to take on the day. Anything to remove myself from this Mozzie nightmare.

IMG_9026With the sun yet to make an appearance, we headed off towards Brachina Gorge. Today’s walk  will be Terezona to Aroona Hut. On the road we ran the gauntlet of kangaroos and rabbits skitting across the road all the way to the trail head. The pre dawn drive was interesting with kangaroos feeding along the roadside and many sitting on the road with little intention of moving along very quickly.  Our strike rate for today would end up being “zero”. Quite amazing considering the dozen or so Roo’s every kilometre. The Heysen Range standing proud with it’s striped bands of glowing ochre in the early morning sun as we headed north to Aroona Hut.

IMG_9035Quite an easy going track in the undulating terrain amongst the native pines and the wattle, with Emu’s and Kangaroo’s a plenty. The Roo’s maybe a bit shy, but the Emu’s are still pretty dopey.

The gentle track soon challenged us a little with an increase in grade. Uphill we went, topping out at above 550 metres. With the sun’s heat now beating down on us, it got a little more challengin g. The trail down the hill was welcome, although still a little uncomfortable without the refreshing breeze at the top of the hill. Once on the access track roughly following the creek, we “roller coasted” up and down before reaching today’s destination, Aroona Hut.

After downing an icy cold beer and a snack, we chatting to some other visitors, before heading off. With this walk done we have just one more to go to finish the 1200km trail.

I have to add, that like many parts of the Flinders Ranges, Trezona has quite the geological past for those interested.

Trezona to Aroona Hut.

Distance :14.3kms.

Speed :5.2 kms.

Terrain: Open woodland. Good track, Rocky in places. Two moderate hill climbs.

Elevation: 315 up and 300 down

And……the rest

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Wetherill watermelonJay Wetherill has just announced a renewables target of 75% by 2025.

And, he claims electricity prices will be cheaper too! He’s been  promising this for many years now. In 2014 he promised cheaper electricity. It has only ever gone up, year on year.

My own electricity cost has increased a whopping 138% from 2005 prices, with the biggest jumps in 2012/13, and 2017.

The only way to stop our journey to economic destruction is to vote for any one else who does not support unreliable and expensive energy generation. The major political parties need a swift kick up the arse on election day to get them to take notice.

This from Jo Nova.

See Jo Nova and my previous post before the last SA state election for more info.

So, who ya gonna vote for?

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Casting shadows in the sky.

Bizarre cloud over Perth November 2017.

Saw this on a recent trip to Perth (Australia). We had just arrived back to our accommodation when we noticed this bizarre cloud formation.  To me it looks like a shadow on the cloud, but a shadow being cast up?????  Comments about this are most welcome.

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Close up:

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One of the Bunyeroo Creek tributaries

Trezona is a message in a bottle from our very distant past. The rocks containing fossils from 600 million years ago are our companions during our walk back in time for our Heysen walk today.

Our start was a little earlier today to attempt to miss the heat of the day. We needn’t have worried though, as most of the walk today was fairly easy with a good trail on a mildly undulating terrain.

Not quite so many Kangaroo’s this morning, although there were bountiful rabbits. We saw lucky rabbits. We saw smart rabbits.   Then we saw the two rabbits that were neither lucky nor smart. But they did appear to be very attracted to my car though.

Now, with Grant’s car still in Hawker, we had to be a little creative with our logistics today with only one vehicle. Oh that’s right, I haven’t shared that story yet, have I.

On the previous day:

We had been scouting out Aroona Hut this afternoon and found ourselves chatting to some Queenslander’s who had been travelling aimlessly around the country.  Ending up in SA at Aroona Hut just at that moment we were there.  Go figure!  Reminds me of that old  saying. Where ever you go, there you are.  Anyway, we headed off to Wilpena for a coffee, but having the two cars this particular day, we decided to leave my car at the Brachina turn off to be picked up later. On arriving at Wilpena in Grant’s car however, there was concern over one of his car’s tyres.  His “smart” car was telling him that one of the tyres was a little flat, and on inspection we could hear a very disappointing hiss coming from the rear left. Oh dear! With no repair facilities at Wilpena Pound, a trip to Hawker was now required.              Back in the car we went for the extra 50 km trip down to Hawker.

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The start of Grant’s walk in Bunyeroo Creek

The lovely people at Hawker Motors inspected said problem tyre while we went for a coffee, and on returning were told it was not fixable and a replacement tyre would take two days to get in! Oh dear again!

Now in Hawker with no car. With my car nearly a hundred K’s away in the middle of nowhere, and our cabin even further away, we had to do some quick thinking.  While Grant sorted out the details for the car I headed over to the Servo to see if I could hitch a ride north, and as it happened just at that moment, a work team were about to head north to repair a gas turbine. And, they had a bit of room to spare, but only for one.  Awesome! So I left Grant to stew over his misfortune while I climbed aboard and we headed off.

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Nearly the top of the hill

Nice company these fellows, and I was very grateful for the lift. We chatted about the Flinder’s, our respective homes, and serial killers (SA has had a fair few). Just what you do while travelling in the outback in Australia with total strangers! They were joking about whether my car would still be there, or be on blocks. I just shrugged it off and said, “ Not many thieves out here to worry about, just those Wolf Creek type serial killers!!! 

So, on reaching my shiny blue Camry, I thanked my new found buddies, and hit the road again heading back to Hawker.  For a moment I did consider leaving Grant in Hawker and heading back to the cabin, but then I remembered I had left my wallet in his car. Damn! Back down the road to Hawker again, picking up Grant before returning to Angorichina. Clocked up quite a few K’s this day.

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“V” shaped creek bed. Bunyeroo

Ending a long day of driving, we dined on some spicy spaghetti bolognese.  A tasty Mount Jaggard sparkling Shiraz was the perfect accompaniment as we sat at our outside dining table, watching the evening’s orange glow slowly recede into the darkening Heysen Range.  The sharply defined silhouettes sitting atop the western ridge, persisting with their shadow puppetry until well after the bottle of wine was finished. 

Needless to say, after all of the events that has happened today, we slept very well.

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Great views this morning

So, back to today’s walk.  With only one car now we had to vary our traditional method of drop off etc.  Our plan now is for each of us to walk opposite ways on this track with me walking from Trezona, and Grant walking from Check point B7.  Meeting some where on the trail in the middle to hand over the car keys.

Grant dropped me off at Trezona, and drove onto Bunyeroo Valley heading to Check Point B7.  I would walk south to Check Point B7 while Grant would walk north to Trezona.  Remembering to hand over the car keys when we passed by on the trail, so I could drive the car back to pick up Grant afterwards. Very efficient of us really.

IMG_9382While Grant was still driving to his start point in Bunyeroo, I started off from Trezona in the dim light.  Wandering alone on the well worn path in the cool pre-dawn air,  the morning rays of light peeping over the hill caressing my skin with a suggestion of the day’s heat to come.  The sweet scent from the wattles wafted carelessly across my path, while the native bees hummed as they attended to their business, delighting in the yellow bonanza on display for as far as the eye could see.  The easy terrain on most of this walk was over all too quickly.

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Good Morning Trezona

The hills and creek walk were a little more challenging, especially for Grant who was walking from south to north. Great views of Wilpena Pound and surrounds again today.

The creeks were interesting, particularly the “V” shaped one. Straddling the creek with one foot either side was interesting. Stretched out the inner thighs quite well.

Such an early start and an easy walk today. It was even too early for us to have our mandatory cold beer at the the end!!

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Easy walking this morning

The rest of day we checked out Parachilna Gorge and the Northern Heysen trail head, as well as the Prairie hotel for dinner arrangements for later in the week.

It was now getting late, and with the shadows now stretching further across the land, and the Roo’s awakening from their slumber to once again play Kangaroo pinball, we headed back to our cabin. Our strike rate today…. two rabbits and one Kangaroo. Just a little stressful driving during the change of light, though it does get the adrenaline pumping. We headed back to our cabin for a BBQ, another sparkling red, and some music for the soul. Hard to take really. A nice Red. A red sunset. BBQ and the Blues. All while nestled in the magnificent Flinders Ranges.

In Short:

Check Point B7 Wilcolo Circiut to Trezona

Distance: 15 kms

Speed : 5.2 kph.

Terrain: Creek walking and then a bloody great big hill on a rocky track. The rest is open flat woodland. Good wide track.

Elevation: First 3kms in the creek with a 150 mtr ascent in less than a kilometre. The rest is not worth mentioning. Maybe 20 metre decline over the whole rest of the track.

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The gate heading into Check Point B7. Bunyeroo

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Heading off from Trezona (south)

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Easy walking from here (heading north)

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Morning my feathered friends.

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A view of where we will be walking. From way off to the left to the bottom of the hill where this road goes

After a year in the wilderness of the city, work, house, responsibilities, family and kids, I finally find a few days spare to return to the place of my heart.  Mile by mile heading north, the cars, buildings, and people become fewer and fewer, as does all of the “stuff” in my head.  Some have suggested that there is not much in there most of the time anyway.

A quick stop at Lochiel to say hello to the ladies at Jitter Bean for a delicious lunch, then on to Hawker for a final fuel stop before heading off towards Blinman, and Angorichina.

The next four days will be our final leg of the Heysen Trail from South to North. Walking from Wilpena Pound through to Parachilna Gorge through some pristine Flinders Ranges wilderness.

Day One: Wilpena Pound to Bunyeroo

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Some of our welcoming committee.

First. Compliments to the Adnyarmathanha people for looking after this wonderful land.

Cool morning so far today, even an hour after sunrise when we started the trek.  The wind was blowing quite firm and was pretty cool. The first 1.5 kms around the Wilpena Caravan Park seemed a bit of a chore, so we walked it the previous day when we were scouting out for today’s walk.  Seemed logical and easy to do, and reduced the following days trek just a little.

A nice easy track greeted us this morning with a committee of Grey and Red kangaroos cheering us on. A solitary Emu watching over the proceedings.  We were soon on the ascent up hill albeit quite slight. A rise of about 70 metres over a few kilometres.

IMG_9524With mist cascading over one of the Wilpena peaks, the early morning sun bathed the ridge in a warming glow.  All while we strode on through open grassland in the chilled morning air. The cypress pine’s slowly grew before us, filling our view.  We were soon immersed into this native forest which would be our friend for many a kilometre.

The views of this side of the Pound were pretty damn good. St Mary’s Peak and her companions towered above us for most of our journey today. With some of the trail a little uneven and rocky we had to remember to occasionally stop and look up at the magnificent views.  I nearly did an ankle admiring the view, at least twice. Good hiking boots always save me though.

IMG_9536The first part of the walk peaked at about 57 metres, before we started a long slow descent, albeit a bit up and down.  A very easy walk amongst the pine trees, and the path of red Wilcolo sandstone was at times just like a manicured city park path.

Leaving the Wilpena Pound area we continued on with the pine trees and the red path.

The nice wide track could easily lull you into missing the major right turn on the Heysen Trail.

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“It’s this way”. Yes yes Grant, I can see that.

The other track (straight on) is the Mawson Trail(for cyclists). This would be easy to miss if chatting at the time of passing it. Would never happen would it?

Our right turn took us through the creek and then up the hill, but just before the start of the hill, there was a great little camping spot. Very nice. Clearly some had taken the time to camp there to take in the atmosphere. We were now in the Wilcolo Circuit which will take us up this dirty great big hill and then down again eventually to the circuit check point B7.

IMG_9569We followed the creek for a way before heading up the substantial hill.  The moderate climb on a narrow trail got the blood pumping and cresting the hill we rejoiced in reaching the top.  Looking into this new valley, we stood and pondered. Somewhere down there was our finishing point for the day.

Bunyeroo Valley opened up before us with wonderful views.  We knew roughly where our exit point should be from our elevated vantage point, however the trees obscured our view until we descended into the very bottom of the valley.

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Check Point B7.

Check point B7 revealed itself right next to that big gum tree.   This is where we had to exit the Heysen Trail for the day. We followed the creek down stream on a rough track going west until we found the Bunyeroo Valley road. The end of today’s walk.

We drove up to one of the look outs on the ridge, before cracking a cold beer to celebrate and refresh.  Knowing that there is a cold beer in the car is always a motivating factor when struggling in the last few kms. It always works.

 

In Brief:

Wilpena Pound to Check Point B7 Wilcolo Circiut

Distance: 20 kms

Pace: 5.5kms

Terrain: Forrest walk on a good track. A narrow track up the big hill. A little bit of creek walking also.

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Wilpena to Bunyeroo

Wilpena (at bottom) to Bunyeroo Valley (Top “E”)

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Check Point B4 at the top of the hill

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On our way down to Check Point B7

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Global Warming Scare is Over

Is this the mathematical proof that the Global Warming Scare is falsified?

 

Monkton's climate mathMonkton math ipcc

 

The math used to project the potential warming of the atmosphere by the IPCC is WRONG.  The warming at worst will be mild and beneficial.

2.25° increase for a doubling of CO2 will keep our climate in a nice “Goldilocks” temperature range.

Can we now please get back to worrying about real problems instead of fake ones?  And, stop wasting billions of $$ on a non problem.

 

 

 

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Kiribati. Still not sinking

climate refugees Kiribati

50% faster than it was????   Apparently not.

Update to the sea level “catastrophe”  in Kiribati.

Kiribati sea level 1949 to june2017

The trend is reducing year by year.  There has been essentially no sea level rise since 2001. 16+ years with no increase in sea level in Kiribati.

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