Monday, October 29, 2007

Coolabah Shades is open for business

Well folks, after years of talking about it, I have finally gone out and done it.
Yep I and now officially working for myself.
So if you or you know anyone who is interested in Awnings , Shade Sails or Blinds then Coolabah Shades is the place to come.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Frank 2007, The story so far

Frank has been taking a look around Melbourne.
Yesterday we went up the Eureka tower. A 92 story 300m high tower, its the tallest residential building in the world, (until the one thats being built in Dubia is finished).

Mr & Mrs Carradus

Our Big Day

Photos courtesy of Rachel Reynolds & Thomasr
The full Album can be seen at

Monday, July 02, 2007

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Big Day Approaches

Well folks, not long now before Margarita seals the deal with her Knight in Shinning Armour.
For those people who would still like some ideas if they are planning on giving ( especially those from Kendal. Its a small world with the Internet and a credit card).
Here are some ideas.

Dinnerware: Heritage

Serving ware: Heritage

Flutes: Cascade

Goblets: Cascade

Vase: Cascade

Tumblers: Luigi Bormioli 35cl X

Tumblers: Luigi Bormioli 45cl X

Cookware: Ultima 2 VUE 18cm X

Cookware: Ulitima 2 NON 24cm X

Household: Electrolux Ergorapido ZB271 (Stickvac) X

Bathroom : Digital Scales

Other items to consider

Sony x-series 40” LCD TV

LG DVD Recorder w/hard drive

Windsurf board

Sony A1P HD Video Camera

Mitsubishi 4x4 Delica 3500D


If you buy anything on the list could you please click on the comment link below and let us know (anonymous if you like).

And we'll see you there with your Glad Rags & Dancing Shoes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Game

The following video is what happens when a South Amarican football team scores a goal, camera moves a little due to being pushed about abit.

Back to Santiago

After we left San Pedro, we caught yet another bus and headed for Antofagasta, Its a large port town and the exit point for most of the minerals, mainly copper from Chuquicamata , the worlds largest copper mine.
Here we caught up with another part of Maggie's family.
Many thanks for your hospitality to Cecilia, Bernardo, Don Miguel, Eugustin, Fernanda and JoséMiguel.

Maggie, Eugustin and Cecilia

Maggie and Cecilia

Maggie with JoséMiguel

The Pom and La Chilena in front of the Torre Roloj, a gift by the British, it's a small version of BigBen.

And finally we arrive back in Santiago after another long overnight bus trip, after relaxing for a while, we got ready to go and see Jano's and Lillian's football team play. Antonella Paz (Lilliansdaughter) is starting out early.

MachuPicchu and beyond

It's a long way from Cusco to MachuPicchu, 4 hours by train that weaves its way down the canyon until you meet the Urubamba river, then follow the Urubamba til you get to the town of Aguas Calientes (Hot Springs).
We stayed in Aguas Calientes for a night and caught the first bus up in the morning (6am), most people don't get there til after 10.30am when the daily trains arrive.

We made it- we got to MachuPicchu
Because we didn't do the inka trail I wanted to climb the mountain that you can see at the back of the photo,Wayna Picchu(Young Mountain). But just as we were finishing our tour, I realised that I left my moneybelt in the hostel where we stayed, so we had to catch the next bus back down( 20mins). They had it there luckily, then we caught the bus back up again, by that time we didn't have time to climb the mountain so we went to the sungate instead.

Looking down on MachuPicchu from the sun gate. This is the first view you get on the final morning if you walk the Inka trail.

An Inka Chick

After MachuPicchu we caught the train back to Cusco and stayed one more night there. The next day we caught another bus to take us directly to La Paz in Bolivia, hopefully it is better than the San Martin Bus that took us to Cusco.

Waiting on the Bolivian side of the Peru/Bolivian border, waiting for the Bus to clear.
The border crossing felt like a prisoner exchange that you see in the movies. we get out of the bus on the Peruvian side go into the little shack, get exit stamp. Then we had to walk over the bridge to the Bolivian side and get our entrance visa stamp, then wait for the bus to clear.

View from the bus as we approach the highest capital city in the world(3800 m), at this altitude, walking starts to be hard work.

From the lookout over La Paz.
La Paz must also hold the record for the most street vendors in the world .I think that if you don't have a full time job in La Paz you end up opening a stall on the street, or just throw a blanket down on the pavement and sell anything you like. One woman was selling meat from a blanket of the pavement, makes you wonder.

At Chungara, the border crossing between Bolivia and Chile, this crossing wasa little easier, we still had to get out of the bus for the stamps and stuff, but at this crossing the two side are about 7km's apart, so you do your thing at the Bolivian side, get on the bus, drive to the Chilean side(where this photo was taken) and do the whole on off thing again...

After more bus trip we made it to San Pedro de Atacama .
Valle De La Luna (Moon Valley)
NASA come here to test their Mars rovers and secret stuff, its also where alot of people report sightings of Ovni's (UFO's) what a coincidence.

The next morning we got up at 3.30 to go to the Geysers of Tatio, best time is between 6 and 7 am, hence the early rise.
All I can say at first is, it was bloody cold. They told us to wrap up because it gets below freezing, but I thing the higher up you are the colder it seams, it was -7 c but felt like - 20 c until the sun came up.

After the tour of the Geysers, one of them runs into a large pool where you can swim, its a bit cool getting in and out but it was nice and hot in there.
The Geysers boil at 85 c, the pool was about 30 c.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Trip North

Well all i can say is that its been an experience.
We left Santiago on a bus which took us directly to Arica in the north of Chile, about 28 hours, we had salon cama, which is somthing like buisness class on a plane.
Once you get about 500km's north of Santiago, things turn very bleak, nothing around but sand, more sand and....even more sand.

At the base of the Morro de Arica, this lump of rock was an important strategic position in the war of the pacific between Chile and Peru in 1880.
but its still it's just a big rock.

Driving around the valleys of Arica, we hired (I Hired) a ute shown and we went for a little play. couldn't do very much because the 4x4 was playing up, bugger. at leased we got if for half price.

Heading up the side of a valley where the green stuff stops.

On top of the Morro de Arica. I think they knew I was coming.

After a few days, we left Arica and crossed the border into Peru. We arrived in Tanca on the other side to arrange a bus to Cusco, Cruz del sur which is the best company didn't have any seats so we let ourselves get hijacked be these 2 touts who took us to another bus depot. They were full of promises about same good service, direct route, bla bla bla. It turned out that we were on a Hillbilly bus, the bloddy thing stopped at every place that had more than 2 houses, and sometimes just on the side of the road for fun. The trip to Cusco lasted 20 hours, I thought the next stop was going to be Rio.

This is what you look like after you've been on a bus with the entire population of Peru, no sleep for 20 hours and having to suck on coco plant sweets to combat the altitude.

Finally we arrive in Cusco.
After finding our Hotel, cleaned up and went to get something to eat.

The hats cost about $1.50 from a street vendor, of which there are shitloads.

You can't move on the streets of Cusco without someone coming up to you trying to sell you a tour, food, trinkets, hats. Apart from the police, there are guards who blow whistles to stop the vendors from hassling people too much, fat lot of good that does.
Bad news.
The Inka trail is fully booked up, no places til mid april. so we are just going to have to take the train. hopefully I'll get to climb the peak behind machu pichu thats alway in the photos,.
Ok. Time to go. hope you are all well.
bye for now- til the next post.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Chilean Life

Well we made it after what felt like a 3 day flight, it was only 12 hours from Auckland but felt longer that the flight to uk. This photo is the view from the plane heading in to land.

After we landed, we were met by what seamed like half of the Chilean population, they hired a minibus to come and pick us up.On arrival at Lili's house (Lili is Maggie's twin sister), we quickly sat down to lunch Chilean style, which means "Enpanadas" (enpanadas are basically Chilean pies), followed by lots of drinking into the night.

The next day we went walking around Santiago, this photo is from the top of Cerro Santa Lucia, which is like a little tower on top of a knoll in the middle of the city. you can see all around Santiago from here. Santiago is in the bottom of a very large basin and its very flat except for a few of these Cerros, The basin gives Santiago its very own micro climate which is made worse from all the smog which cannot escape.

This is the centre square, Plaza de Armas, on sundays it's full of Peruanos who come here to sell or just hang around in the numerous cafes.

At the Palacio de Monedas, which is the presidents palace when she is in office.

The norm for a country town is to sell half kilo enpanadas, I'm sure Tom and Rachel would like it here.

On our way to Valparadiso on the coast, the is what happens to most of the clouds when the hit the mountains around Santiago, just under the cloud line there we went through a 5km tunnel and popped out on the other side with thick cloud.

This is the house that we stayed in, it's a bit run down but still an amazing house, built sometime in the 1800's, very spooky inside.

Maggie's sister Lili in Valparadiso, Valpo' is a strange place, so many people wanting to live ontop of each other, driving around the place is a nightmare, most people tend to walk up these stairways or take the lifts.

We went out for a drink in Valpo' at a bar called Margarita, there Margarita had 2 margaritas, the size in the photo, well needless to say, someone wasn't feeling to well later on or the next morning.

Just yesterday, Jano (maggie's son) & myself went to the outskirts of Santiago to climb up one of the mountains, practice for Machu Picchu, and to burn of some of the beer and food that we have been consuming since we got here. One thing about the Chileans, they love to eat, maybe we will get stung for excess weight on our return flight.

Ok, well that will have to do for now. Tonight is the birthday party for Maggie & Lili, sowe'll see how well we all pull up in the morning. On Monday we will be setting off on our journey north, I{ll try to blog somewhere along the trip.
Ok, bye for now, hope all is well in you different timezones.