Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Fortnight "Fly Fishing" In Australia

The wife had a business trip to Australia this month. Some sort of spy GPS something or other. I don't know what she does so stop asking already. She couldn't bare to be away from the baby lady (who turned 1 today) for two plus weeks. So the baby and I joined her on the trip.

We were to stay at the Bentley Suites in Canberra Australia. If you don't know about Canberra, its a planned city that is home to the Australian government. Its built around a man made lake. The lake is full of fish. So what could possibly go wrong?

We packed for the trip. I brought one box of flies, my Tenkara rod, switch rod, and shooting head reel. We packed for winter weather as its the southern hemisphere.

Here are some pictures.

The flight from DC--> LA was uneventful. The flight from LA--> Sydney SUCKED. The baby did not sleep. She screamed the whole time. We had planned on drugging her but someone (not me) decided not to.

This is the puddle jumper from Sydney --> Canberra

 Check out this strange rreel. Advertisement in the plane from Sydney. And they have real Coke down there. Not the corn syrup stuff up here. I enjoyed one on the plane.
 View from plane
 Big canyon, I want to fish it

Walking in Telopea park from our hotel suite to the bus depot to get food at the market that now is in the depot.
 Cockatoos in the trees. Loud mo-fos too. They rip off all the foliage. Some sidewalks were unpassable with the stroller due to all the branches.
 Inside the market
 Fun hats. I would wear this in my old drinking-party days.
 Real bread. Everyone here was about local and fresh food. The grocery store was too. Big, green triangle with a kangaroo on the label made you know it was aussie made.
 CHEESE and charcuterie!
 We got the pesto and cheese bread.

 This was a shrink wrapped pizza. Never seen that before. And everyone had samples.
 This was the daughter of the pearl vendor. Notice her sweatshirt, thats the school 6 miles down the road from HERE! Its a small world.
 Baby lady was a bit tired
 Loation food.

 Cool architecture.
 The next morning I went looking for fish. Was not expecting frost on the ground. The local fishing board sent me to the park with the swans. The locals feed the swans bread and the carp eat the bread too.
 Big swan. NO carp around. Water was low.
 Bird in tree.

 Anahinga in the water. So there must be fish right?
 As we walked along the water a slick of nasty algae covered the lake. The smell was putrid.
 It was like thick split pea soup. The smell was awful. We kept walking and it never cleared up.

 Then we saw this sign. Time to head back to the original spot.
 View of parliament hill
 People must fish here, this swan has mono in its neck.
 So the next day I decide to walk to the fishing shop. Tackle World  The walk sucked. First we ended up on a semi-circle road and after an hour ended up back at the hotel. So we found our berrings and walked. Pushing a stroller for 4 hours of walking sucks. We passed this sign. No relation to the town of Fishwyck being the porn capital of Australia. Every other shop was a sex toy or strip club purveyor. We bought some bread flies and some other stuff and got one of the employees on the podcast. We took a taxi back.
 We stopped at the grocery store. The beer there is super expensive. A case of Sierra Nevada is $77. The cheapest beer was VB (victoria bitter) and it was $3 a can. The same price as a can of coke. Needless to say I didn't drink any quantity of beer.

Then we walked back to the hotel and saw this cockatoo eating a pine cone.
 Lorakeets on the ground.
 Tackle world window.

 The next morning I set out with a loaf of white bread and bread flies back to the park. The swans were annoying and swarmed us. Turns out the lake was low as the dam was being worked on so the water was lowered 3 feet. Throw in a recent storm with agricultural run off and the algal bloom started. I saw no fish.
 Birds along the park.
 The wife got out early and we got a ride to the botanical garden. We walked the loop and it only took about half an hour. No kangaroos there as we were told there would be.

 As these are now out of order, this is an anahinga from my walk around the east side of the lake. Baby lady and I were fishing with the bread flies when a group of women walked by. They said there were a bunch of carp on the other side of the lake. They offered to show us so we walked about 40 min to the spot. Not a fish. Then we had to walk back. The baby was pissed the whole time. Our hotel is behind those buildings on the OTHER side of the lake.

 Back to the gardens. I've always wanted to see the fern trees. I got to see them not in the wild but in a planted setting. Oh well. They were huge.
 Some shrooms.

 A parrot
 My ladies.
 Big fern tree in the 'rainforest exhibit'

 The bole of this type of tree was bright white.
 If you know my background, you probably didn't know I am fascinated and sometimes obsessed with epiphytes (plants that grow upon other trees). I got a schwing when I saw these. Lovely.
 The oaks along the road near us. Don't think anything here eats the acorns as the road was covered with them. The cars park along the spots between the road and the trees. Lots of porno pamphlets were on the ground around here and I saw some school kids rolling a faty.

 In the rainforest exhibit, sunlight breaking through.

 I told you there were swans. Lots of them. See how low the water is.

 Nothing. No fish.

 Scones in Bundeberg. A day trip to a local town. Not much there so we moved on to vineyards. I bought some boomerangs for the nephews and a present for Tom. The leather shop sold bull scrotum beer bottle holders-should have got one of those. And they had kangaroo scrotum change pouches. The lady didn't get the joke when I asked if the pouch shrunk when it was cold out.
 A sunset that is out of order
 Kangraoos are near! We are told they like the vineyards.
 Parking lot birds.
 So I spotted a pond at the vineyard. The conversation with the owner went like this:

me: i see you have a pond, anywehre around here where i might fish?
her: this is an organic farm, there are no chemicals in my pond
me: ok, i wasn't asking about fishing here, but i flew around the world, i'd like to catch a fish
her: can we keep the subject on wine
me: ok, do you do tasings
her: yes but the restaurant on the vineyard is booked for today
me: right. ok, we'll do a tasting, say i heard there are kangaroos here
her: yes, and i have chickens. you should go look at the chickens then come back to taste

We went out and saw the roos. Sleeping  in the vineyard. They flushed when we saw them. I was not the only one in our group freaked out by the lady. We decided not to go back to sample.

 We decided on another vineyard. We drove there. I spotted this mailbox on the side of the road. And they drive on opposite sides of the road there. Afleck vineyard was awesome. I actually liked a pinot noir.

 More roos were on the side of the road on the drive out. Apparently they will gut you if  you get close to them. They also like to challenge cars on the road. At night if they see headlights, they step out on the road to fight cars. Thus lots of dead roos on the road.

 The next day we went to the bus depot again. A day of celebration of wool.

 This guy played the digaderoo (sp?) and got my attention. I had to buy the fish painting. It is of a barramundi.
 His 16 year old son painted it. I bought it for $40 !n Quantas airlines dropped it on the tarmac and it got busted up.

 We then drove to a classic car show that sucked. I wanted to drive to the beach and see more Australia and its wildlife. We went to a vineyard instead. Cool wine barrel hoop and bottle chandeliers.

 A kangaroo ran by and jumped the fence. Its foot got caught and it fell over. Hilarious.
 Baby lady crawling around.

 We walked to parliament hill one day.
 Some sort of apple?

 Feeding the swans.

 Ok, I'm tired of typing now and a storm is about to come so I need to finnish up so the power don't go out and I loose this.


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