Monthly Archives: July 2015

My Top-100 – Ver. 2015: Prelude.

Hi all!

Many of you have probably noticed that I get around this globe of ours rather often. More often than not this getting around is for business (meetings, conferences, speeches, etc.), but I normally try and fit in a bit of free time too so I can go and inspect this or that place of interest nearby. Sometimes this is a mere ‘see, take pics; sorted; next!‘. Other times it’s a matter of seriously studying some seriously amazing natural and/or historical phenomena.

As I’d look at all these wonders of the world, I’d often think to myself: ‘everyone should see these’. I’d then normally get to thinking ‘what else needs to be seen in this world?’ What are the most interesting and breathtaking places on the planet? And once upon a time (many years ago) I was handed a ‘Top-100 Most Beautiful Places in the World’, or something like that. Around the same time I also saw a TV program called the ‘Тop-20 Places to See Before You Die” (again, or something like that).

After viewing both, the first thought that struck me was, ‘these ain’t right’, and it occurred to me that the writers/program makers probably hadn’t really seen much of the world at all, let alone be qualified to write lists on the best places in it. So it was there and then when I decided to intervene directly and come up with my own list – ‘of the very best and most interesting places on the planet, which all need visiting one day – if you’ve the time and cash to spare’ (or something like that).

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In Kimberley, Oz, I was. Part 7.

As mentioned in my previous post, in this one I’ll quickly go over what we didn’t see in Kimberley, but really wanted to.

Since Kimberley is a truly titanic territory, seeing it all in three days (a mere long weekend) is simply impossible. However, I was assured we did get in all the best bits of the territory. Also, another important objective was reached: Now I know where, when and specifically how inspecting the place’s natural beauty spots needs to be done. Thus, the below material should be taken as a plan of action for future visits…

So, herewith, some pointers for how best to plan and organize a sightseeing vacation in Kimberley, Australia:

– Season to visit: April-May – right after the rain season; so as to see the waterfalls at their best – in full gusto.
– Micro-timing of the trip: when there’s either a new or full moon; so as to see the tides at their best – at their maximally extreme.
– To have one or two days’ plane or coach excursions; so as to see all the sights described and photo’d in my Kimberley posts 1-6.
– To charter a ship for, say, 10 days (preferably with a helicopter, or to come to an agreement with a local chopper company).
– Sail on the ship from Broome to Wyndham (or nearby – wherever the ship can moor); so as to be able to inspect all the most significant coastal beauty.

… And those most significant coastal beauties are as follows:

1. King Cascade, somewhere on this river. (Surprisingly, the Internet has little to say about or show of this place.) It’s around 200km (as the crow flies) northeast of the Horizontal Falls. The few pics on the net are here.

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Flickr photostream

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In Kimberley, Oz, I was. Part 6.

G’day possums!

Herewith, the penultimate post in what has turned out to be a bit of a marathon travelogue series from down-under…

After lunch after our morning adventures on our last full day here, it was finally time for some retail therapy!

But not in the traditional sense of mall-traipsing + inevitable food-court submission, naturally; no malls in Kimberley. No, it’s a very specific type of shopping – of just one product. Can you guess yet?

Guys (males) – I’d recommend doing this spot of shopping either without the wife/girlfriend/daughter, or without credit cards or cash. Preferably with neither! For the product on offer here doesn’t come cheap…

The product is… the pearl! Pearls are industrially produced here at Leveque Cape.

It goes like this:

Locals here catch oyster shells, implant inside them a foreign body (I forget made of what), then put the shells into net cages and put them back in the sea. Several years later they open up the shells to find – da, daaaa – pearls!

The meat left over inside the shells is fed to hungry tourists here, and beautifully cleaned up and finished shells are also sold to them once they’ve had their fill of the oysters. Nice little side line :).

Check these pearl-farming pics out:

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Shells…

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In Kimberley, Oz, I was. Part 5.

Time to move from all things on-land to all things just off it – to the more attractive sections of coastline, for we were told the best natural charms of Kimberley lie on or near its shoreline. From Broome (the region’s ‘capital’ if you missed it earlier, also our base) the nearest bit of awesome ocean-ness is up at Buccaneer Archipelago, just under 250km away.

What a place! Countless islands, islets, cliffs, straits, bays, an almost turquoise tropical ocean, and impossible horizons. Wikipedia reckons there are more than 800 islands here. But I don’t get how they can be counted accurately: when the tide is low some tiny islets may emerge; when high – they’ll disappear again…

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In Kimberley, Oz, I was. Part 4.

G’day possums!

Back. In the outback…

The next point of call on our tour or northwestern Australia was the Tunnel Creek National Park, around half an hour’s drive from Windjana Gorge.

Tunnel Creek itself runs through a natural cave cut into the limestone that was once the Devonian reef here under the ocean. Tourists come and naturally walk through the tunnel, which is what we did too. Insider tip: Wellington boots are a good idea. You’ll see why:

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