All the fossil work has been done and I've spent the last few days driving from Adelaide to Melbourne. I knew it was a long way - but it really is a LONG WAY. We stayed overnight in Mount Gambier and then in Lorne, stopping off at a couple of quilt shops and scenic spots along the way. After battling the wind, the rain and numerous tourists, I managed to get quite a few pictures of places along the Great Ocean Road, including the twelve apostles (some of which are shown in the photo). It really is a beautiful part of the world. In Lorne, we ate very well at The Maple Tree and Moon's Espresso Bar and visited Erskine Falls. Just two more days until we board the plane for our long flight back to the UK. I'm not looking forward to the flight but I can't wait to see Mr Q and my two cute kitties again.
I've spent the last few days visiting fossil localities along the mighty Murray River. I love the landscape here - the river cliffs, the vegetation that looks so alien to a girl from the northern hemisphere. The birdsong sounds so different too - the morning chorus here is a symphony that surprises and delights me - full of whoops and whistles. And the birds themselves are spectacular. I've seen sulphur crested cockatoos, galahs, pelicans and many others that I haven't had a chance to try and identify. I can't get over how different it all is, and then I return home to my rented cottage in the evening and am surprised all over again - the television is almost exactly the same as in the UK - Dr Who, Silent Witness, Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders. It's a small (and crazy) world!
I've been off the radar for a while - marking exam scripts, attending lots of end of year meetings and leading an undergraduate fieldclass to Donegal in the northwest of Ireland. Now I'm spending three weeks in Australia, again for work. Today I spent the day at Maslin Beach, south of Adelaide, studying the Tortachilla Limestone and its fantastic fossils. Fun times! As you can see, the scenery is beautiful and the weather was fabulous. I can't believe they call this winter.