Tag: 2013

Ormiston Gorge

The final stop on our trip along the West MacDonnell Ranges was Ormiston Gorge. The Gorge is another beautiful gap in the ranges with a permanent water hole big enough for swimming and a nice camp site next to it. It feels a little bit like Ellery Creek but there are fewer people and it has the Ormiston Pound walking track is a round trip that takes you in about 3 hours around the Western elevation along the Ghost Gum Lookout and back through the gorge. The track provides many good viewpoints of the gorge and the Ghost Gum Lookout

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Ochre Pits

After our stay at the Ellery Creek Big Hole, we went on to visit the Ochre Pits further west. The colorful ochre outcrop is an important and cultural very significant place since ochre was used on a daily basis and from this rich source it was traded over the whole continent. The pits are just a short walk away from the car park. The about 3 meter high ochre walls are featured with a colorful wave pattern turning gradually from dark purple to light yellow and back again. This was definitely our favorite spot in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Picture gallery

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Ellery Creek Big Hole

After the stop at Simpsons Gap, we drove on to Ellery Creek looking forward to a cooling swim in the summer heat. The water was surprisingly cold but very refreshing. It was very nice to swim all the way through the Chasm. In the late afternoon, we started the Dolomite Loop Walk, a 3 km round trip around the hilltops with beautiful views of the landscape. After the hike, we started to set up camp and turned on the BBQ. The camp site was again almost empty, only one guy who was moving from West Australia to Melbourne stayed overnight.

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Simpsons Gap

After spending most of a day and a night in a swimming pool in Alice Springs, we started the second part of the trip to explore the West MacDonnell ranges. Simpsons Gap is one of the first sights when starting the trip from Alice Springs. There is a waterhole in the middle of the gap which does not carry a lot of water in summer. The No Swimming signs seemed a bit out of place at this time. Being so close to Alice Springs, it can become quiet a busy place. Eventually, we found the gaps and creeks further away (Ellery

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Arltunga – Abandoned gold mining town

The last item on the agenda for the East MacDonnell ranges was the abandoned gold mining town of Arltunga. This was the official first township of the European settlement in central Australia. It was about 600 km from the nearest settlement away and the trip took at least a week in the old days. The gold rush that lead to the township happened around the year 1900 and did not last very long. There is not much left of Arltunga, there is a museum with a one room exhibit about the history of the place plus lots of miners equipment that

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Perentie dreaming site

On the way to Trephina Gorge, we passed a significant site of the Perentie Dreaming. The rock narrow rock is very impressive, it reminded me a lot of the rock formations in the Warrumbungle NP in NSW. There is a short trail around the rock and there is not much else to see. Definitely worth the stop on the way along the East MacDonnell ranges. Picture gallery

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Trephina Gorge

Trephina Gorge is located in the East MacDonnell Ranges. There is a campsite close to the gorge and a walking trail that takes you around the gorge in roughly 90 minutes. The red cliffs on either side of the gorge are very impressive as well as the views into the country. The camp site was completely empty, the only sign of action was the posted weather forecast (next days all in the forties..). We had a good time though – we arrived in the afternoon and went on the trail just before sunset. Another good thing along the way is

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Emily Gap (Anthwerrke)

Emily Gap is just 15km east of Alice Springs. The gap in the mountain range along a riverbed is an important site for the Caterpillar dreaming with a couple of paintings of these caterpillars. The gap was our first stop on the tour along the East MacDonnell ranges, we went there straight from the airport. The heat was pretty intense and gave us a good idea on what to expect in the following two weeks. There was nobody else at the site, but the paintings were easy to find on the rocks across the riverbed. It was impressive to walk around to see

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A trip to the Red Centre

At the end of the six months in Victoria, we decided to go on a trip to the Outback right in the middle of summer. We had a great but very exhausting time with most days over 40°C. Our rental car with the AC quickly became one of our most favorite places during the day and there were a couple of things we learned right away. First, it is obviously incredible hot almost all the time. It is easy to drink a lot of water so stocking up right away after arrival was a very important thing to do. We usually drank

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Camping at Blanket Bay

Going east on the Great Ocean Road, we spent a great night at the Blanket Bay campsite in the Great Otway NP. I tried staying there twice before, but there are only about 20 campsites and they were already full both times. This time we had more luck and it proved to be one of the best camping experiences on the trip. We arrived in the late afternoon, after spending a good time with koala watching along the Lighthouse Road. While we pitched the tent, a young koala was walking around the campsite and spent a couple of minutes on a

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Twelve Apostles viewing platform

Here are some photos taken from the viewing platform next to the visitor center. We happened to pass this place twice about two weeks apart. Luckily, we had a sunny day and a cloudy one. Since it was summer, it was more enjoyable to hang out on the cloudy day. Especially the beautiful orange colors of the cliffs are more intense in the cloudy daylight. This spot must be the second most crowded place in Victoria after Melbourne downtown. Picture gallery

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Twelve Apostles at sunset

We pitched our tent in Port Campbell for the night and then headed out to the Twelve Apostles for the sunset. It’s a nice experience to go down to the beach at Gibson Steps since it makes you grasp the Apostles’ size much better than by looking at them from above. Also, there are far fewer people around than in the daytime, which makes the visit much more quiet. Here are some pictures from the stroll on the beach between the Gibson Steps and the viewing platform for the Apostles. Picture gallery

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Swimming at Childers Cove

After watching the wildlife at the Tower Hill Reserve, we made our way further east to the beaches of Childers Cove. There are two beaches pretty close by and both are stunningly half moon shaped and swimming is thus a bit protected from the open sea. The place has the big advantage that it is a bit off the main track to Warrnambool, the Great Ocean Road, and the last few kilometers are on a gravel road. It is pretty popular with the locals, but you will not find the GOR tour buses here. Lucky for us, we were the

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Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve

On the way to the Great Ocean Road we made a stop at the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve just a few kilometers east of Port Fairy. The reserve offers a couple of hiking trails around an inactive volcano and there is a good chance to get really close to several animals. There is an information center that has great coffee so we took some and scouted for koalas on the nearby meadow packed with gum trees and picnic tables. It was the only time, that we walked around just with our sandals since the heat reached 40C again and we did

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DES-Chan – Channel assignment framework and algorithms at github

I finally found the time to clean up the code for DES-Chan, the channel assignment framework, and the algorithms based on it. Work on the framework started already 4 years ago and has been grown steadily due to the great work of a changing team of students and co-workers. It is also the foundation for most experiments in my dissertation work. The code for the framework, the distributed channel assignment algorithms, and the ETX daemon for neighbor discovery in a wireless mesh network are now part of the DES-Testbed repositories at github.  Thanks again to everybody who has contributed so

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Braufest Berlin

On Friday I went with a couple of co-workers for a Feierabendbier to Braufest Berlin, where about half a dozen microbreweries from Berlin presented their latest brews. We picked up a beer map, marked the most-interesting sounding beers and proceeded to the tasting. Overall, (Indian) Pale Ales were most common and offered by almost every brewery which was very exciting because they are still hard to find if you go to a random bar in Berlin. Here is our map with our tour markers. All the Pale Ales we tried were really nice, outstanding for me were the Wedding Pale

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Balcony harvest: Tomatoes and Chilies

This year we had a very tasty tomato and chili harvest, despite the late start. When we came back to Berlin in April, it was still pretty cold so we decided to grow the plants from seeds and don’t get seedlings. Well, it worked pretty well, but we may have missed a month of fruits and some of the chilies are still struggling to get ripe. Here are the tomatoes we harvested from July on. Since some of the chili plants don’t like the cooler weather, we already put them inside since they started to kick off their leaves. The

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Byaduk tumuli lava blisters

Pretty close to the Byaduk caves are a couple of tumuli or lava blisters. The tumuli look like small piles of rocks and came into existence when the lava pushed to the surface. I guess, they are tiny volcanoes. Apparently, this phenomenon is pretty rare — there are only 3 discovered sites on earth with such lava blisters. Since most of the tumuli are on private ground, they are fenced it and can only be seen from some 100 meters away. So it was not the most impressive sight on the trip, but they are sort of on the way to the south

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Byaduk lava caves

On the way from the Grampians to the coast, we stopped at the Byaduk lava caves about 20km south of Hamilton. The caves resulted from lava flowing from Mount Napier that cooled and solidified on the surface. When the lava ceased to flow underneath about 30,000 years ago, the hollow caves were left behind and eventually the thin surface crumbled and opened them up. There are two different sets of tubes of which the first one is easily accessible. It is a bit slippery on the way down, so solid footwear (and of course a torchlight) are a good idea.

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Grampians – Mount Stapylton

After Hollow Mountain, we relocated the car to the Stapylton car park and started the ascent of Mount Stapylton. The walk is about 5km long and has some steep parts. The trail starts over a rocky but flat surface (called Flat Rock) where you have to look out for the markers a bit. After passing Hollow Mountain on the left, the track winds up the Amphitheatre along the Taipan Wall which has very impressive red parts. On the way up, you come across a beautiful rock which looks  a bit like a swan. The track becomes steeper towards the end

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