“Ian talked about his recent trip with his daughter and three grandchildren to Western Australia. In Perth, after drives through Kings Park and along the waterfront, the children enjoyed close up encounters with kangaroos, koalas and snakes at the Caversham Wildlife Park. Ian also enjoyed riding with two of them on the scary Abyss rollercoaster at Adventure World. They took a ferry ride from Fremantle to explore Rottnest island on bicycles and got to see a Quokka - a small marsupial that is found only on Rottnest and Bald islands. Moving onto Bunbury, they took the ferry to Penguin Island in the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, did a wine tasting, went to a Farmers market, and viewed giant sculptures at Mandurah. They walked to the end of the 2 km Busselton Jetty, the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. At Margaret River, another highlight was their visit to the Ngilgi Cave where they listened to a didgeridoo being played in caves amongst the stalagmites and stalactites, and watched a demonstration of traditional aboriginal skills such as fire-making.”
August Active Travellers meeting 2022
Alan took us on a tour through Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia starting in Baku the capital of Azerbaijan famed for its medieval walled old city. We saw the Heydar Aliyev and the flame towers - 3 pointed skyscrapers covered with LED screens that light up like flames at night(3). Baku sits on the shores of the Caspian Sea. It was a Silk Road port city with several ‘Karvansaray’ (Hotels that used to house the camels & horses travelling the Silk Road) around the city and on the tour. Next Alan took us to Qobustan the home of Famous rock petroglyphs(1) about 40.000 years old and mud volcanoes. Azerbaijan is extremely oil and natural gas rich. We also saw Alfred Nobel and his brothers headquarters for their venture into oil refineries. The Nobel brothers established petroleum storage sites in Baku thereby helping Baku become a major source of oil and oil-related products.
Next we went to Armenia and Alan talked about the Armenian massacres and the controversy around them. We saw many many churches, temples, monasteries, mosques and fortresses in all three countries. Georgia a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia was very different to the other two countries. It is home to the Caucasus mountain village and the Black sea. Alan visited the famous Vardzia (2), a hugh sprawling cave monastery dating to 12thC. Tbilisi, there capital also has and walled town and is also well know for its red wine Georgia, the tiny Caucasian nation that’s been making wine longer than anywhere in the world. A wonderful presentation enjoyed by all.