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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.
I like the spider...
Me too! But I'm Australian, we have them for pets down here.
LOL! That's awesome.
You're selling The Land of Oz pretty hard there!
We were just talking about this the other day, planning out our list of "Places To Go Next". Australia is ranked higher on my list than Neda's, so you'll have to work a bit harder to convince her.
Has the country recovered from the fires?
Gene, tell Neda spiders are just butterflies with two extra legs & no wings, & snakes are just lizards without legs.
We also have koalas (drop bears when they mate with Tasmanian devils) kangaroos, wallabies & lots of cuddly marsupials.
The most dangerous creature in Australia at the moment is our parasitic politicians.
The majority of the fires on the east coast are under control thanks to the rain (floods) we are getting at the moment.
That's good to hear. It looked like such a horrific situation.
Actually, neither of us are beach people. We're both mountain people. Twisty roads in the summer, snowboarding in the winter!
Our good friend lives in Melbourne and we've been invited to the MotoGP race in Phillip Island in October, but Neda is thinking this might be too soon after all the fires. Might be better to visit the year after, when all the brush and animals (and spiders) have recovered?
I heard that mountain men like mountain women, or is that the other way round? Anyway what we call mountains Canadians call hills, still fun to ride though.
Our "mountains" are called the great dividing range. They start just outside of Melbourne in the south & travel north all the way up to Cape York Peninsula, just below New Guinea, about 3,500km long.
Snowboarding is best during July / August in a small area called " The snowy mountains" go figure.
MotoGP race at Phillip Island, DO IT. Perfect time of year for riding & you won't be disappointed with the location.
The fires were bad but Australia is a big country, still a lot to see that is unburnt, plus those places that were burnt are screaming out for visitors. It's what keeps those country towns alive. They'll offer you Aussie hospitality that you won't believe.
Plenty of wildlife carers down here, Neda could help some of them out by nursing a koala & feeding it with a baby bottle, she would like that.
The spiders are fine, they live in our homes with us. Their furry, cute & fun to pat or pet.
Inscription in the stone
I think that just tipped the scales.
See you in October!
Before we hit the shrine, we walk around the manicured gardens
Cherry blossom season is regretfully short. It takes one week for the flowers to bloom and then another week for them to fall from the branches
A light wind is already taking some of the petals off the trees and scattering them on the ground. The short sakura season is such a spiritual time for the Japanese, it symbolizes the ephemeral nature of life - brief and fleeting. During WWII, Kamikazi pilots painted sakura flowers on the side of their planes, the falling petals mirroring their own suicidal dives - the young pilot's lives just as brief and fleeting.
Walking underneath the torii gates and up towards the temple
Yutoku Inari Shrine across a narrow river
The Inari deities are associated with foxes, whose statues guard the shrine
We love Japan!
Tourists come from all over Japan (and the world) to see the shrine
So orderly, even tree stumps grow in a pretty design.
And your Japanese inspired dinner looks delicious!
While some may need shelter from the falling rain...
others revel in the shower of petals
Inside the Yutoku Inari Shrine
Walking around taking lots of pictures
We don't often time our travels very well. Snow and ice chased us out of Alaska and we spent a year and a half following the rainy season through Latin America. But our timing through Japan is impeccable. Cherry blossom season is #1 on Neda's list of things to see and we've now reached the beginning of the season right at the southern end of Japan. Although sakuras may only bloom over two weeks, we're going to slowly follow the blossoming season as the warm weather travels north. We'll definitely get more than two weeks of cherry blossoms!
In Japan and in other asian cultures, this orange-reddish color, vermilion, is the colour of life
The colour wards of evil spirits, bad luck and danger. It reminds me of the vermilion-laquered furniture of my family home in Malaysia.
We walk around Yutoku Inari Shrine with petals in our hair. When we get back to our bikes, they too are covered in pale pink snow
At least the rain has stopped as we climb back on our bikes. We've only got another hour's ride north to the city of Fukuoka, but as luck would have it, shortly after we leave Kashima, the sky opens up cold rain on our helmets.
At least we've kept our rainsuits on as we brave through the elements.
I'm just glad it isnt me who has to sweep up all those petals from my driveway ...