Backpacking Pensioners travel blog

Jeff at the Edge of the World

Southern Ocean from the Edge of the World

Cruise Ship

Sea Eagles

Jeff's Comments

The next day we said our good bye's and set off for 'The Edge of the World'. Well actually it was Arthur River where we were going to have a cruise the next day and that was where we found the 'Edge of The World' and had our evening barbeque before going to our camp site. This point has the longest stretch of water between lands in the world; South America is 15,800 kilometres away; (9,875 miles). Because of this the waves can be very high and the air quality is scientifically proven to be the best in the world and is used as the bench mark for the rest of us. Next time you see Edinburgh or Los Angeles saying they have such and such level of pollution, the starting level they measure by is the air quality of 'The Edge of the World'.

The boat trip was very interesting. The river area is unsuitable for logging or damming for hydro power and so remains as it has done for many many centuries. The captain/guide/and information centre, Rob, was a fifth generation person living at this place and his great great what ever left Forgondenny, Perthshire a long time ago. As we sailed along we came across a Sea Eagle waiting patiently on a branch. When we nosed into the side and threw a piece of steak onto the bank, he dutifully swooped down and took the steak; the mother bird could be seen on the nest with her two young so did not come for her steak. The male got a second steak on the way back and we expect he shared them. It is apparently unusual for Sea Eagles to manage to bring up two youngsters but these, with the help of the steak, seem to do it each year, despite the female being 41 years of age. They have a big nest, having used it for 40 years and the tree is doing well with all the fertilizer it receives.

We learned about various important plants of the Cold Climate Rain Forest and saw the widest, biggest and tallest Eucalyptus type of trees which are most commonly known as a 'Gum Tree'. The wood from these big trees apparently makes very nice furniture and is sold to the mainland as 'Australian Oak'. Well, no one wants to say their furniture was made from a 'gum tree'. The journey ended in time for us to travel to the world's only Blackwood Sinkhole Forest area known as the Dismal Swamp; and it is anything but dismal. The sinkhole, which is still sinking, creates a unique ecosystem that has existed for tens of thousands of years. You reach the forest by way of a long walk or a type of flume. It took 15 seconds, complete with hair net and crash helmet to cover the 100 metres. A very interesting place. Then on to the historic town of Stanley where we spent the night.

Sylvia's comments. To go down the flume you could chose a fast mat or a slow one, being the courageous person that I am I chose the slow mat. When I got to the bottom it stopped a little way from the end still in the tunnel, this voice from apparently nowhere told me to shuffle out of the mat and crawl forward. He then said I had stopped too early because I was on an 'old grannies' mat. Well I am an 'old grannie',. when it comes to doing stupid things like ride down large slides.

Back to Jeff

After spotting a dolphin in the bay we had a very nice meal in a Fish Restaurant; it is now the sixteenth of October, we have spent our wedding anniversary in some interesting ways and our 35th was no exception. Again we went penguin spotting and this time did not see even one. This should be rectified when we eventually get down to Bruni Island.

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