Thursday, August 01, 2013

Way out west

When I had back pain late last year, I started taking my car to be cleaned at the hand car wash in the office building behind us. I rather got into the habit but a couple of weeks ago I decided to do it myself instead of being so lazy. While there are three car washes within ten minutes drive, I felt the need to do a bit more than just wash the car. I wanted to see something and I decided to go to the excellent car wash in Altona where I have been a number of times before. It is maybe a 20 minute drive at most over the West Gate Bridge and the carwash is both spacious and cheap.

With the car washed and sparkling, I went on to Altona Beach shopping centre for some lunch, avoiding the short cut to Altona as there is a ford, and I did not want the car to get dirty. I bought a padded post bag to post Little Jo's 'crystals' to her. I had some food at a bakery and then bought a very good take away cup of coffee elsewhere to take down to the beach, a short walk away.

This is the Senior Citizens Centre in Logan Reserve at Altona Beach. I looks like it was once a substantial house. Interesting.


It wasn't a particularly cold winter day, so a few souls were out on the pier and of course a heavily rugged up fisher or two.


Looking west with many footprints in the sand indicating people enjoying themselves over the preceding weekend.


The opposite corner to Logan Reserve. Nanny council has been very busy with crossings and speed humps and other traffic calming measures. How could you not be calm here. It is very peaceful.


Norfolk Island Pines are often grown at the beach as they are quite tolerant of salt. There is little other reason why anyone would plant such ugly trees.


Before I had left home, I looked at the electric street map for something of interest to see on that side of town. The area does specialise in swamps wetlands but while they are great for birds, I don't find them at all intriguing. What is this? 100 steps of Federation leading to a hillock. I will go there even though I don't know what it is. It was not much further west to Truganina Park at Altona Meadows. Don't know what this thing is at the base of the steps. A female physical trainer and her female student were running up and down the hill. Bah, I have 100 steps to walk up, but I suppose it is not as bad as last year when we visited Batu Caves in Malaysia with 242 steps while being harassed by monkeys, or worse what Ken in Paris has just done, around 300 steps to the top of Tour Saint-Jacques.

What is this thing called, love?


I do know what this thing is and there were quite a number of them around. Yes the photo is zoomed, but I did get quite close to the magpie and it seemed quite relaxed.


The steps were opened in 2001 by local MP Julia Gillard. Julia is still the Member for Lalor but rather than a little water passing under the bridge since back then, a tidal wave of political history has swept past. (nice phrasing Andrew)


Ah, the steps. The spacing of them was brilliant for my step length, with a step up, a step forward on the tread and then another step up.


If you are of a certain age and fitness level, you will often find things that need to be photographed as you climb stairs or walk up a hill. On the flat too, actually.


The last part of the climb was a gravel path.


Another puzzling piece at the top, art perhaps.


Looking to the north inland, the building in the middle distance is a basketball stadium with a water treatment plant in the distance.


The wheel ruts are calling card signs of lads. The stocks, I say.


To the east, city views.The Highrise was not visible to me.


To the south and south west are salt flats.


A disturbing number of dead trees could be seen not far away. I like their elegance, but I don't like that they are dead.


You really will have to click on this photo. The creatures seemingly trapped in a pool of water in a rock appear to be drowned worms of some sort. A couple were still wriggling. My love of critters did not extend to taking them out of the water.


Another blogger has been there before me. 

Off home now as the  sky is looking increasingly threatening and I didn't want my car getting dirty after my hard work. Trainer and her student were chatting and saying goodbye as I walked to my car parked near theirs and I followed them out. I puzzled over why you need a trainer to help you run up and down a hill. It is probably called motivation. I have little of that. Unless you are a kiddie, I don't think running up and down hills is good for you. I see ankle and knee injuries. While I am the last to lecture about exercise, brisk walking often and not eating too much fattening food is surely enough. I must put this into practice.

Car washed, tick. Post bag bought, tick. A pleasant time at a beach side suburb, tick. Some exercise and something new and interesting, tick. I could have just stayed home and wrote ranty blog posts, half of which I would later delete, but I felt better for having been out.


21 comments:

  1. That's funny, could have sworn JG was the member for Lawler ;)

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    1. Sorry Fen. I don't get it.

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    2. Whenever they say it on the radio, they pronounce it Lawler not Laylor. It grinds my gears.

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    3. Ah Fen, I had not connected the two.

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  2. What a brilliant day out. The beach looks great (I love a deserted beach) and the view back over to the city is superb.

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    1. Craig, extra good is a deserted beach when I am there and it has been busy. I am really pleased I made the effort to go there, where trams don't run.

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    2. Craig, extra good is a deserted beach when I am there and it has been busy. I am really pleased I made the effort to go there, where trams don't run.

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  3. When you wrote you'd "decided to do it myself" I thought you meant actually getting the buckets of water and sponges to wash your car. Driving to a different car wash is not the same thing as doing it yourself, but we got some lovely photos to look at.
    Norfolk pines were planted along beaches and other coastal area not only because they tolerate the conditions. They were planted first by sailors way back in the days of tall ships because of their strength and straight growth habit, which meant the trunks and branches could be used to repair or replace masts and spars on the ships when they limped into ports after storms, or just whenever they needed repair or replacement for any other reason.

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    1. River, while I see your point about the car washing, it is still quite physical. While I love the Highrise, it would be nice to have somewhere to wash your the car with a sponge in a bucket. You can't do it in Sydney on the street.

      Thanks for the info about Norfolk Island Pines. I didn't know that.

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  4. Another interesting day out, thanks for sharing.

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  5. Yes, FAAAAABULOUS phrasing!! And I join you in your assertion that the older one gets the more 'photo opportunities' are not only found, but required!

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    1. Hehe Red. I didn't think I was being too subtle.

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  6. Andrew these are some AMAZING sights and you captured them perfectly! I really love the magpie picture.

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    1. Thanks Keith. Most kind.

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  7. Enjoyed the trip Andrew and 'nice phrasing' is what we've come to expect from you...no pressure haha!

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    1. Grace, it happens so rarely that I have to remark on it myself.

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  8. A good day out, I like the beach in winter not so crowded.
    Merle.........

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    1. Merle, how about a beach side cafe where you are nice and warm inside while outside the wind blows and the sea rages.

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  9. I discovered Altona beach a couple of summers ago. I'm not local but am kind of on that side of the city. It's quite a nice family oriented beach to hang out. It's also huge!

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    1. M, while it was years ago, we were once there on a warm day and the damn jetskiers ruined it. I think it was before they were regulated.

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