Places That I Have Been To That You Might Want To Go To Someday

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 Places That I Have Been To That You Might  Want To Go To Someday

“Rover did not know in the least where the moon’s path led to, and at present he was much too frightened and excited to ask, and anyway he was beginning to get used to extraordinary things happening to him.” J.R.R. Tolkien

I always have a list of places in the world that I want to go to which may or may not become reality.  But sometimes when I’m looking for a photograph, I see all the amazing places that I have already been. Hope you get to visit some of these someday!!!

 Iguazu Falls  Argentina 

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Amazon, Brazil

Angor Wat and Ta Phrom, Cambodia

Easter Island Chile

Maktesh Ramón, Israel

Naoshima , Japan

Petra, Jordan

Rotorua, New Zealand

Machu Picchu, Peru

Safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Ayuttheta, Thailand

Cappodocia, Turkey

Halong Bay, Viet Nam

Fly safe,

JAZ

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Beaches

Beaches

‘So that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again… “Virginia Woolf

I know the beach. I grew up on one. I knew the color of the sand, the coldness of the water, how the waves break and the distance between the jutting rocks. I found this photo on the internet. I lived right behind the left side of that  photo. I also learned to ride my bike at the beginning of the boardwalk. The houses weren’t there yet. It was all beach. but that red brick wall was. When we mastered the two wheeler, we would come careening down that incline with the dangerous thrill of wondering if we would turn the wheel before smashing into the wall. I ended up riding right on the beach a lot.  (Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York)

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I liked how the sand felt on my toes and how the sun warmed my back. (Okinawa,Japan)

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I knew where to find clam shells, crabs and snails. In the winter I built snowmen on the beach. In the spring, I chased birds. When I got older, I dated a lot of the lifeguards in the summer. I was happiest in a bikini on the beach getting a tan. (Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia)

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I remember sad moments, scary moments and wonderful moments in an ocean. (Santa Barbara,California)

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I’ve seen the power of hurricanes, felt the waves knocking me down or the undertow pulling me further out and almost drowned. There was always at least one drowning per summer. (Cartagena,Colombia)

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We rented beach houses in Malibu when our kids were young. (Malibu, California)

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One summer, I decided to make a table out of sea glass. I needed thirty pounds of sea glass and I was determined to get it. I enlisted the help of family and friends. When a big pile of rocks came up, I was out there for hours, with my feet cut up. It was a job. Everyone on the beach wanted sea glass. I have the table. (Shell from Eluthera, Bahams)

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I still always look for sea glass on a beach.

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I bring bags of shells or stones home from any beach in the world. I can not walk on a beach without looking for treasures. (Panama)

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I turn to water for a sense of calm and clarity. (Hvar, Croatia)

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The ocean gives my brain a rest and heals what is broken. (Marajo, Brazil)

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It connects me to something beyond myself. (Great Barrier Reef, Australia)

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My life and my problems always seem very small compared to the vastness of the ocean. (Varadero, Cuba)

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When I walk onto a beach in any country, it invokes the memories of my childhood and I am at home. (Paraty, Brazil)

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Fly safe,

JAZ

 

 

Welcome To This Journey (The Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, Australia)

Welcome To This Journey  (The Great Barrier Reef  and the Daintree Rainforest)

“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.” –  Australian Aboriginal Saying

Nothing you have heard prepares you for the first time you see the Great Barrier Reef.

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Situated 15 km northeast of Port Douglas, the Low Isles is a 4 acre coral cay surrounded by 55 acres of reef. The corals are very close to the island, which makes snorkelling an easier enjoyable experience.

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It is just another day in paradise.

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The Great Barrier Reef is the largest organic construction on earth. It is the oldest and most famous coral reef in the world.

There are 150 different species of hard corals in the waters surrounding Low Isles. These are dominated by 15 species of soft coral.

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You can’t take anything  from the reef. Not a shell or stone or dead  piece of coral –no souvenirs –this was very hard for me.

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When snorkeling, watch out for coral, giant clams,  zebrafish, turtles,  sharks. jellyfish and multicolored fish of many sizes.

Don’t touch anything. Handling certain corals and organisms can kill them.

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In 1928, this cay was the  base for a year long scientific survey that examined the structure and ecology of the surrounding reef. This was the first scientific study of a coral reef anywhere in the world and many current theories of coral reef ecology are based on the findings of the expedition.

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Make sure you go on a reef  tour that has the eco tourism logo.

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It is best to wear a lycra body suit when the jellyfish are stinging. Or if you are a lifeguard and out in the very strong sun all day. They are layered from head to toe.

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They only cancel reef tours if there is a hurricane. Or cyclone as it is called  in the southern hemisphere.

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Steve Irwin died in the Great Barrier Reef. It was a freak accident where a stingray hit him straight in the heart. That almost never happens.

Sharks are immune to all known diseases.

President Clinton was on vacation in Port Douglas at the Sheraton Mirage (closest city to the Great Barrier Reef) when 9/11 happened.

Nothing in Port Douglas is allowed to be built over the size of a coconut tree. Mcdonalds is not allowed to be built either.

There is no smoking in any building or National Park (beaches and rainforests included) in Queensland. (State where GBR and Daintree rainforest are located.)

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The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest in the world and somehow has bypassed-ecological change and has plant life that has long since dispersed everywhere else. It is a Unesco World Heritage site.

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The Daintree Rainforest situated north of Cairns in tropical North Queensland. Approximately 1200 square kilometers in size, it supports over 3000 species of plant, over one third of Australia’s mammalian species including 13 of which are found nowhere else in the world. It is also home to a quarter of Australia’s frogs, a third of the country’s freshwater fish and nearly half of Australia’s birds.

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Mossman Gorge ( where we were)  is located in the southern part of the Daintree Rainforest. Our guide was from the Kuku Yulangi tribe. His ancestors lived in the rainforest.

During the rainy season, the rain is measured in meters. The  rainy season is called the green season.

The rainforest has cassowaries and tree kangaroos – both endangered species. I didn’t see them.

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The Aborigines of the rainforest are not overly tall hunter gatherers.

Dreaming stories pass on important knowledge, cultural values and belief systems to later generations of the Aborigines.  Through song, dance, painting and storytelling which express the dreaming stories, Aborigines have maintained a link with the Dreaming from ancient times to today, creating a rich cultural heritage. The indigenous people in Australia  were treated badly throughout history.  It is clear that efforts are being made to tell their stories .

In Queensland there are over 600 dialects of Aboriginal languages  but none of them have words for yesterday and tomorrow. They saw the world differently  then the Europeans did.

It is important to learn from the elders in the rainforest. –which plants make the medicine for which illness, where to find food, how to make a shelter, how to  send a message by hitting on certain hollow trees which echo through the forest ,which trees make the best musical instruments and much much more. (this type of tree is hollow and makes a loud  echoing noise  when hit – good for sending messages in a forest)

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The rainforest is a supermarket, pharmacy , hardware store,  etc to the Aborigines. Everything they need to exist is there. When you get your food from the bush, you understand the connection to the natural order of things.

Ants are used to treat the common cold and flu. The sacs on their back is loaded with vitamin C. Sarsasparilla leaves become soap when mixed with water. Yellow wattle is used in cancer treatment.

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Mangos grow well in this area. It is almost mango season. They make mango preserves, mango chutney,  mango syrup,mango wine and even mango toothpaste. Never pick a green mango because they are poisonous.

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Cocatoos destroy banana plants.

Wallabies destroy the grass for the sheep and cows.

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Cattlle is big business in Queensland. (This is cattle is in Tasmania – I  just like this cow picture -I didn’t have to say anything.  You would not have known.)

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Crocodiles can live up to 200 years.

There are twenty three varieties of crocodile in Australia. The largest and most dangerous are called  by the cute name of “Salties.” They can live in fresh and salt water but prefer the combination of waters found in the Daintree rainforest rivers.

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Here we are in the Dainntree wetlands looking for one of the big crocodiles who lives here named “Wallet.”

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Instead we found Brahmins from India. They are imported here because they are tic resistant cattle.

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If you are going to be on this planet for millions of years, you better be very good at what you do. Crocodiles  are the top of the food chain in Australia.

Do your part at home to protect the environment and fight against global warming. The current theory is that global climate change affects coral reefs and rainforests throughout the world.

Fly Safe,

JAZ

Things I Have Learned In Australia

Things I’ve Learned In Australia

“The bigger the hat, the smaller the property.” Australian Proverb

We drive on the “right side” (left)  but they drive on “the correct side”.   So, in a Mcdonalds drive through in Australia, is the order window on the right or the left? I don’t know because I did not eat at Mcdonalds in Australia.

They also apparently walk on the correct side. I wondered why I was always walking against the foot traffic. I ran into a marathon in the park. That was tricky.

Kangaroos cause more driving problems in Australia than bad drivers and alcohol combined. They jump out and cause many accidents. If you hit one, first check the pouch to see If there are babies and then pull it over to the side of the road. (Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Australians order coffee by length and thickness . You can have a long black, short black or a flat white . None of those work for me. I solved the problem by ordering a long black and then asking for a little milk . Australians like their coffee strong.  They have Starbucks,  but they are quick to tell you that their coffee is much better, and in Australia it is.

A didgeridoo is a musical instrument called a didgeridoo.

One third of Australia is desert.

Australia has the lowest precipitation of the world’s inhabited continents.

Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of Australia. Prince Harry was in Sydney for the Hundredth Anniversary of the Navy.  His family would like him to spend more time in Australia.

Voting is compulsory. If you do not vote you pay a fine.

You always lose a day when flying from America to Australia. You gain it coming back but not really because you are in a stupor just trying to stay up.

There are 69 varieties of kangaroo in Australia. (Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Almost every animal in Australia has a pouch. (Bernadette and wombat, Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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” So if you are in the desert in Yulara, just check your bed for creepy crawly things and call the front desk”. (Uluru)

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Australians always say sorry like the British even if it isn’t their fault.

Catcher In The Rye, Farewell To Arms and  Brave New World  were all banned in Australia in the 1950’s.

Australia has never had a serious civil disobedience.

Waltzing Matilda by  Banjo Paterson, Is  the unofficial song of Australia. He is the only nineteenth century Australian named after a stringed instrument.

In Queensland they say, “beautiful one day, perfect the next.” (Great Barrier Reef)\

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A Billabong is a watering hole.

The bush is anything that is not the city. I spent the afternoon in the bush.The outback is everything else. As in,  I have been to the outback of the United States.

Camels were used to build the railroad from Adelaide to Alice Springs and then set free. This is the only country in the world with wild one hump dromedaries  running free in the central and northern deserts. Dubai imports racing camels from Australia.

It’s pronounced “Cans” and “Melbin” ( Cairns and Melbourne). It’s pronounced Sydney, Hobart, Alice Springs, Yulara and  Port Douglas.

Australians  always have a  near death experience story often involving a crocodile or a snake. Today our driver in Port Douglas  said his son found a fifteen foot python in the toilet.

Eighty per cent of all Australian deaths by crocodile are alcohol related. The crocodiles don’t drink.

Australian cities are safe and clean and you can not only brush your teeth but drink water from the tap.

There is the same rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne that there is between NY and LA. They have the same bad jokes about each other. (Melbourne)

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Melbourne had the Olympics in 1956 Sydney had it in 2000. (Sydney Opera House)

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The first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per person than any other community in the history of mankind.

More land in Australia is occupied by pubs than mines.

In 1954, Bob Hawke made it into the Guinness Book Of World Records for drinking 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. Bob Hawke went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia.

There are 1500 species of spiders, 6000 species of flies, 4000 species of ants and 350 species of termites in Australia.

There are more than 150 million sheep in Australia, and only some 20 million people. (Tasmania)

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Australia has more animals and insect that can kill you than anywhere else.

The ten most poisonous snakes in the world are Australian. (tiger snake – top five Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Most of the plant and animal life found in Australia exist nowhere else in the world. (Tasmanian Devil, Bonorong Sanctuary, Tasmania)

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Australia is the largest landmass in the world. It is the only continent that is one country.

This is the only country that was started as a prison. When we achieved our independence in 1776 England had to find a new place to send their criminals. (Penal Colony, Port Arthur, Tasmania)

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Their minimum wage is much higher than ours. Tipping is not expected ” because they are paid well”.  Everyone knows that tipping is part of our culture, so they do seem to expect Americans to tip. If you like the service, ten per cent is fine.

Australians are the biggest gamblers  on the planet.

Australia has the world’s oldest rainforest, very old fossils and rocks and the and the world’s oldest people -the Aborigines. (Daintree Rainforest)

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Canberra is the capital of Australia. I never remember this.

Crocodiles can live up to 200 years.

Water flows down the drain in the opposite direction in Australia because it is the Southern Hemisphere.

We have hurricanes and they have cyclones.

In 1805 British law gave the Europeans the right  to punish Aborigines in any way they chose to. In 1838 the law was repealed.  The killing  went on for another century.

Central Australia has no surface water.

Ugg boots or as local call them ‘very ugly boots’ are an Australian design bought by an American company,  where a sheepskin has been turned inside out and made into a boot.There is an Australian Company called Emu where the boots are made and owned by Australians.

The sports capital of the world has 70 percent of its total population participating at least once a week in a particular recreational activity or sport. Australia also ranks in the top five for obesity.

The Australian Coat Of Arms has a kangaroo and an emu on it. The reason being, kangaroos and emus can’t go backwards. They can only walk/hop forward. Australians eat the animals on their Coat of Arms – maybe because they can’t run backwards?

Australia’s first police force was a band of 12 of the most well behaved convicts.

The ‘dingo fence’ in Australia is the longest fence in the world (5,530km) – about twice as long as the Great Wall of China. (Dingos are wild dogs)

According to US Customs in Los Angeles, Tim Tams (Australian biscuits) are one of the main things that Americans bring back from Australia. It wasn’t just us. No wonder customs was so quick. They are not looking for cookies.

What I knew about vegemite before I came to Australia, was that it was something that a muscle-bound bread salesman from Brussels, offered in the form of a sandwich because he came from the land down under. (Lets see who gets this reference).  What I know now  is that it is a salty yeast spread that is way too strong for wimpy Americans like myself.

The Coastal Studies Unit at the University of Sydney has counted 10,685 mainland beaches in Australia. (Bondi Beach, Sydney)

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Though Australians sound like the British, their easy-going, fun-loving, honest,  kind personalities, make them among the most likable people I have met in the world.

Fly safe,
JAZ
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