So my time in Australia was coming to an end, having spent nearly 9 months work free, it was time to go on a few side trips. When you are all the way across the world and opportunities come up you simply have to take them. We were incredibly lucky to receive an invitation, from our adopted Australian family, to spend some time at their villa in Bali. We jumped at the chance and flew out to meet them at the beginning of July.
Bali really isn't a wildlife destination, it is much more of a cultural centre but I enjoyed myself immensely. The people were fantastic, and their unique take on Hinduism blew me away. The colours, sights and smells were simply on a different level, quite different to the Hinduism I had experienced in India.
As this is a wildlife blog, I will be posting the wildlife images I did manage to capture whilst I was there, but at a later stage I might just add a cultural post too!
First off ... monkeys, Crab-eating Macaques in fact! These cheeky little fellows live around the island but are easiest to see at the monkey temples across the island. Perhaps the best known of these is in the cultural centre of Ubud, this is where I spent the morning photographing these fascinating primates.
As I am sure you can imagine it was easy to get carried away and fill up a memory in no time. For me though, it wasn't the best place to photograph, being a major tourist destination means the monkeys are not the only primates around and it is always the people that cause the problems. With the both the heat and the crowds building it was time to call time and leave these amazing monkeys to their day.
Birdlife is rather scarce on the island except in the mountainous forests that still cover the west of the island but there is other wildlife ... primarily creepy crawlies and insects galore.
Bali is also home to a great variety of reptiles but as some of them are wanted for traditional Asian medicines and others are considered pests they are not too keen on allowing people particularly close. This Tokay, a giant species of gecko was one of the few obliging reptilian subjects I could find.
And finally ... with time running out on our adventures, I leave you with an incredible sunrise taken on a visit to Bali's fabulous coast.
Coming towards the end of our amazing road trip meant heading back northwards. We would end up going back up the east coast we now know relatively well. We will be saying goodbye to friends along the way but first there were a few more destinations we wanted to visit. In New South Wales far south, is the coastal town of Narooma. My girlfriend and I fell in love with Narooma and its beautiful watery lifestyle. Amazing beaches, a crystal clear tidal lagoon and some noisy locals all made it it one of our favourite spots. By noisy locals, I don't mean the human inhabitants, instead I am talking about the small population of Australian Fur Seals.
We spent an afternoon watching these playful and rather characterful individuals, only wishing we had more time spend with them and this beautiful setting.
After leaving Narooma we headed on, northwards up the eastern seaboard of New South Wales. This meant we were heading past one of my favourite places in Australia. I have already mentioned and highlighted Kangaroo Valley on this blog but I had to pop in once more and catch up with the Wombats. There was one particularly obliging and inquisitive individual but it was a little on the skinny side. It wasn't just the wombats that knew how to pose of the camera, a Kookaburra that seemed to be completely at ease around people, posed perfectly on a fence post as I snapped away.
The next stop is Sydney so you will have check back here to see what adventures I had in a city I know quite well.