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A weekend in Shoalhaven – I

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They say, if you really want to understand something – anything, a person, a place, or even an environment, you need to give it time. Time to observe, understand, introspect and then finally decide whether to love or hate the same. Without which, any judgment  becomes a flurry of an observation. I would say the same deeply of any traveler’s tales. He needs to spend some real time to feel the wind on the hill, hear the call of its denizens in the bush lands and smell the sea-breeze as the waves lash and crash on the isolation of the […]

A Walk Along Watson’s Bay

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Sightseeing Sydney is never complete without its share of seaside walks. Blessed with a corrugated shoreline that runs for hundreds of kilometers, there is no dearth of coastal walks filled with the bounty of the Pacific blues, rocky escarpments and fauna so typical of the continent. Sydney’s shorelines can be imagined as three elongated and heavily gnarled fingers – the North Head (with its famous Manly to Spit walk), the Middle Head (housing the Taronga Zoo and the uber luxuriant Mosman suburb) and finally the South Head (read: Bondi to Coogee) The South Head, Sydney North of Bondi at the […]

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Photo Essay: Vagrants in the Valley

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Last Sunday, we turned vagrants, wandering along the enchanting Kangaroo Valley, hopping aimlessly, yet joyously from one point to another. The day flitted between sunny and cloudy, painting different images in the thoughtful mind. While the sun in the bush lands and the vales paint a bright picture, a cloudy day comes in with its own share of melancholic beauty. Instead of my usual essay, I decided on a photo essay this time, sharing what the vagrants saw in the Valley – as they say, a picture is worth….

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Sydney’s hidden jewels – Ball’s Head Reserve

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Summer was here. Meaning more barbeque, walks and swims with the bounty of longer days and pleasant air and sunshine. So this weekend, we headed to yet another scenic reserve hugging the coastline of one of the most beautiful harbors in the world – Ball’s Head Reserve. The heavily corrugated shoreline of Sydney covers over 200 km of coastline, with a plethora of reserves, inlets, gardens and beaches – it’s no wonder then, if you blindfolded-ly point out a place on the map of the city, you might end up in a scenic landmark. Add to this either of the […]

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Taronga: Fantastic beasts and where to find them

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The beauty of this vast continent cannot be complete without its fascinatingly diverse fauna – while we must have all seen kangaroos and wallabies prancing in the wild, the list of aussie marsupials is one long (and beautiful) one. The zoo is naturally the easiest place to go catch’em all. I was delighted to spend a sparkling sunny day savoring the views of one of the most beautiful harbors in the world, while flitting from one beautiful beast to another. Set up about a hundred years ago, the zoo has no bar based ‘prison cells’, rather the animals are kept in natural environs in well […]

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Flower power @ Floriade, Canberra

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Springtime in Sydney ushers in the promise of a host of flower shows all around the state. Rydal displays its daffodils, Auburn charms with its cherry blooms, Blackheath is resplendent with its rhododendrons. But last weekend, it was time for the tulips. So off we headed to the Floriade in Canberra. (For the record, Bowral, a quaint hamlet in the Blue Mountains, is also famous for hosting its tulip shows in spring) It is roughly a 3-4 hour car ride from Sydney to the capital city, with straight roads laid out like asphalt ribbons for miles. The best views of […]

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Bring on the sunshine: along the Sunshine Coast, Queensland

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I – Noosa It all starts with a name, something evocative enough to paint a picture of melting warmth in the mind. It then grows inside you, making it seem more beautiful with the passage of time. Until one day you decide to meet your fabled Shangri-La. The problem with this kind of imagery is the heights to which the human mind can escalate expectations, which more often than not, surpasses reality. And then Shangri-La is sadly reduced to a mere morsel of memory. But then, as with most aspects of life, there are exceptions, and once in a while, […]

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Sydney’s hidden jewels: Frolicking in the forest district

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As always, Sydney never fails to surprise me. The city sometimes has too much to offer.  I was wandering towards Manly last weekend through Sydney’s so called Forest district when I uncovered the hidden jewel of Davidson Park. The Forest District, or the Forest is a generic name for the northern suburbs of Sydney particularly along the Kuring-gai Chase and Garigal National Parks. The suburbs here include some flora-fecund names such as Forestville, Duffys Forest and (my favourite) the Frenchs Forest. Actually my Francophillia led me to explore the latter in the first place when I encountered the lovely Davidson […]

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A leap of faith

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Talk of Stanwell Tops to any Sydney-sider, and you might get to hear of splendid Saturday mornings where adrenaline junkies bedeck the blue sky with vibrant colours of their gliders. But before you try to feel the wind on your hair next time on this beautiful vantage point, try stopping at nearby Helensburgh for a bit of faith at the Venkateswara Temple. Constructed in 1978, this temple is daubed in simple white but is embellished with myriads of figurines typical of temples from Southern India. It holds no records (the largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere lies not far […]