Sunday, April 28, 2019

Camino Plans 2019

The pilgrimage season is upon us again and I've been busy making plans and reservations for the first couple of weeks:

May 1 Madrid Chamartin. Purchase Seniors Railcard, SIM card.
2 Fromista (by train) dep 8.00 am. arr Vall 9.16. dep 9.55. arr F 10.59 
walk to Villamentero 10 km La Casona de D.Petra bkd €50
3 Carrion 10 km San Zoilo bkd €65 
4 Terradillos (by bus) ; walk to Moratinos 3.2 km  Alb San Bruno bkd €38
5 (Sun) Sahagun  10.2 km Los Balcones bkd €70 for 2 nights 
6 Sahagun; Romanesque Churches of San Tirso & San Lorenzo, best egs of Mudejar on entire route.
7 Leon by bus Hotel Spa de Paris bkd €88.20 2 nights (Bus dep 12.45; arr 13.40)
8 Leon 
9 Villar de Mazarife (by bus to Virgen) walk 13.7 km
10 Hospital 15 km Don Suero de Quinones bkd €50
11 Astorga (by bus, hourly) Hotel Spa Ciudad de Astorga bkd €90
12 (Sun) Santa Catalina 10 km Hotel Via Avis bkd €58.50
13 Rabanal del Camino 11 km. El Refugio Hosteria bkd €35 
14 Acebo 16.5 km La Trucha del Arco Iris bkd €40
15 Molinaseca  8.2 km La Casa del Reloj bkd €30 Eat: El Capricho Josana
16 Ponferrada 5.3 km (bus?)

I will be starting in Fromista, where I left off the Camino Frances last time. The stages are short, giving me plenty of time to visit Romanesque Churches. Some bus journeys are planned, over parts I’ve either done before or know to be boring. In Ponferrada, a big decision: either continue on the Frances or divert to the Invierno, depending on how fit I feel. The Invierno runs to the south of the Frances, and was the traditional route for pilgrims to avoid snow on the mountains at O’Cebreiro. It is also a route less travelled, so there are fewer accommodation choices and longer stages without services. There is, however, lots to see and apparently a train service from Ponferrada to some of the towns in case I want to take it easy.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Perth Garden Festival

Even though we no longer have a garden, only a balcony, I like to visit this annual event. Now it’s held only a few kilometres away, so no excuse. Big changes since I last visited about 4 years ago. There used to be long queues to get a coffee; now there are vans set up throughout so that everyone can get their caffeine shot. This year, there seems to be a big emphasis on succulents:

There was a hanging basket competition, but our balcony is a bit too windy sometimes:

This is all about the latest craze: how to plant up your verge:

This stall was all about “super healthy” water, containing antioxidants and other good things. I had a glass, as I needed to rehydrate on a warm morning and it tasted OK. The girl wanted to take down my details. I asked the cost, thinking you could buy a bottle; but it’s a device which fits onto your tap and -wait for it- costs $2000. Is this a con or what?

Lots of garden ornaments on sale. This grass tree sculpture was my favourite:

I came away with two tiny purchases. The one that looks like small pebbles is a Lithops. The strange-looking cactus is called Euphorbia trigona rubra:

Last roses of summer from C’s garden:

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Kings Park

The WA Nats Club organised a Sunday walkabout round Kings Park. We were led by Peter Coyle who had a stack of interesting stories to tell us, including snippets of aboriginal history and folklore.

Here he explains about grass trees and how the long spike can be made into a spear for catching fish. Because it’s so light, the spear and the fish float to the surface and can be used again.

We were lucky enough to see this Banksia in flower in the endangered species garden.  It is Banksia Rosserae,  a rare arid land plant which produces a flower that is a perfect sphere.

This is the famous boab tree which was trucked down from the Kimberley to save it from destruction. It is now carefully looked after, with the soil heated to keep its roots warm in winter. It had to lose some of its limbs during the move. I am surprised it’s still alive!

This is the treetop walkway seen from below.

As we were sitting down for a rest and a demo of some indigenous artefacts, two magpies appeared (male and female) thinking that Peter’s plastic boxes might contain something edible.

Peter turned his camera on us!

This elaborate piece of pavement was made from different shades of Carrara marble and represents Banksias.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Dinner in White

Yesterday we observed preparations for a big event happening on the lawns in front of us. White fences were going up, lights and (worst of all) speakers. This would indicate massive disturbance to us at bedtime. About 4.00 p.m., people (thousands it seemed) started to arrive in force. All dressed in white! I went for my usual walk and was able to discover what it was all about.

Dinner in White is an international event which takes place in locations around the world. People join up and are told at the last moment where to go. It has been held near the Eiffel Tower, for example. Now it was on our doorstep! I couldn’t resist taking photos of the white outfits, thinking that the girls in their flimsy attire would soon feel chilly as the evening wore on. A small orchestral group was playing light classical (eg Claire de Lune). From our balcony this was quite pleasant as we ate our own meal: a big change from the loud pop music which carries across to us from other events in the neighbourhood.

Security guards - impossible to sneak in!

Our block is 2nd from the left: very close to the action!

Huge crowds

Just missed the kiss

Friday, April 5, 2019

Yorkshire Pudding: Timetable

Yorkshire Pudding: Timetable: Yesterday - 8.30am - Ian and Henry perform admirably on The Radio Sheffield Breakfast Show in conversation with the morning presenter and...

This relates to a something said on Cup on the Bus blog. (This is a copy of my email to Joanne).

Re: "Except the brave former Buckeye is stymied at the comment section. Her comments do not post. I wonder if it is because her browser is Safari, though I see on my statistics page that people come in on Safari. I know a lot of you have sort of dummy blog accounts. When I click on your name, there is nothing associated with it, except the number of times someone has come for a view.

Maybe a Hotmail account, or a Google account. Any ideas?

I read lots of blogs where i used to be able to comment, but now I can’t.  I am very frustrated!!  My browser is Safari on my Mac or iPhone. Most people, like you, have comments enabled via  Google Account. Even though I have a Google Account, I don’t know how to activate it in relation to blog comments. A few blogs I read have an alternative to Google Account (Name and URL). These I can use, but they are becoming fewer and fewer - I suppose because of defending against spam. Can you please post this from me and see if it elicits any ideas that might help me.



NB. This was supposed to be sent to Yorkshire Pudding.  Its now appeared on my own blog .Why???

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Lake Monger

We’ve had the hottest March on record in Perth. The worst thing has been very warm nights, when we couldn’t decide whether to leave the air con on or open the windows.

Today suddenly turned cooler, so it was ideal for a walk round Lake Monger. This is a 3.5 km track and very popular with walkers and runners, as well as numerous water birds on the lake itself. It was nice to walk under an overcast sky with a cool wind off the water.

Black ducks gathering

Coots pecking at the edge

This one came to see me. Look at the size of its feet!

Banksia flowering