William Ricketts Sanctuary Dandenong Ranges Melbourne

After my serious dose of nature in Sherbrooke Forest, and my communing with my first-ever lyre bird, I headed up the Tourist Road to Mt. Dandenong and the William Ricketts Sanctuary.

Entrance to the Sanctuary
Entrance to the Sanctuary:  God Love – pulsating in a rhythm that moves and sweeps through all life. To understand your highest self you must live in that rhythm.

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The Road to Milford Sound – New Zealand’s South Island

Tourist information stresses filling the petrol tank before leaving. There are no service stations between Te Anau and Milford Sound and I know from this that I’m heading into serious wilderness. It’s a little daunting but I’m almost fearless, intrepid traveller that I’m becoming.

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Wycoller Beck Lancashire England

The morning after my visit to Skipton, I was having breakfast at Rosebud Cottage, my B&B in Haworth, when my host asked, ‘Have you heard of Wycoller Beck?’ I hadn’t. ‘Wycoller is the village and Beck is the river that runs through it. It’s a beautiful spot and has a Bronte connection, if you’re still looking for those.’ I was. ‘Turn right out of the driveway, then, and just follow the road. You can’t take your car into the village, though. You have to park and walk down the hill.’

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Skipton Narrowboats England

Skipton is one of the towns connected by the Leeds Liverpool Canal. The canal was opened in 1816 and, at 127 miles, is Britain’s longest inland waterway. After spending the morning at Skipton Castle, pretending I was in an episode of Robin Hood, I wandered down the steep High Street to the quay.

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Anvers Chocolate Factory Latrobe Tasmania

If you want to know what heaven is, indulge yourself with hot chocolate made in a chocolate factory: pure liquid chocolate. Anvers Chocolate Factory is situated in a beautiful Californian bungalow, surrounded by cottage gardens, on the outskirts of Latrobe, in the north of Tasmania. I sat next to a window. The room was cold but the light morning sun shone through, emulating warmth. A waitress approached and I ordered my liquid heaven.

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Skipton Castle England

While in Haworth, I decided to catch the bus to Skipton to visit the castle, seeing I’d missed it on my way through. In 1090, Robert de Romille, a Norman baron, built a fort here, but its timber ramparts were not much help against the frequent raids of rampaging Scots. He replaced it with a more formidable stone castle, setting it on top of a rocky bluff.

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Plans Gone Awry-Arthur River Tasmania

The Edge of the World. That’s what the sign said and, standing on the hill looking out to sea, that’s how it felt. Untamed and untameable: Arthur River, North-West Tasmania. If you sailed from where the river enters the sea and kept going, you would hit South America without touching land. This accounted for the vicious wind ripping through me and I was grateful for the knitted beanie a caring friend gave me on my announcement that I was exploring Tassie in the depths of winter.

Arthur River -Image by Alex Wise
Arthur River -Image by Alex Wise

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Communing with the Brontes – Haworth England

My accommodation sat at the bottom of a steep hill, leading up to the historic village of Haworth, where Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, grew up in their father’s parsonage. It was here they wrote their poetry, short stories and novels. At the top of the hill, I crossed the main road, passed under an arched stone-covered alleyway and entered a tiny town square and another era.

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Embsay Yorkshire Dales England

The trouble with a brand new rental car is that there are no scratches already on it and so any I added couldn’t be blamed on the last person. I would have been happier with a ‘bomb’, as long as it kept going. Still, driving that Toyota Hybrid was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. It floated. There was not a bump or rattle, none of the normal sensations, certainly those associated with the cars I’m used to. I glided through the suburbs of Harrogate and out the other side.

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