Archive for April, 2006

Parliament opens in Nepal

Today the Nepalese Parliament met for the first time in nearly four years. This is after massive protests and riots over many weeks turned the tide of opinion against the ruling king. Unfortunately, the desigated Prime Minister was too ill to attend this special sitting of parliament. The problem now is to deal with the urgent call for elections and for a new constitution to be written.

To read more go to the ABC News Online page here.

To read of my adventures in Nepal in January of this year go to the Archives section of this blog.

Celebrations in Nepal

There have been massive celebrations today in Nepal over the king’s capitulation when he declared that parliament would reconvene on Friday for the first time in nearly four years. Nepal is a country struggling to come into the modern world and has seen contant civil unrest and conflict over the last decade. This era has seen over 13000 deaths. The last three weeks have been particularly uneasy with riots and protests in the capital Kathmandu.
To read about my adventures in Nepal in January of this year, including trekking the Himalayas, go to the Archives section of this blog.

Big Changes in Nepal

Big changes are promised in the struggling Himalayan country of Nepal. After weeks of turmoil and rioting, the king has finally relented and is recalling parliament. It will assemble on Friday after almost four years since it was dissolved.

For an account of my experiences in the fascinating country of Nepal in January of this year go to the archives of this blog.
To read the full story from ABC News Online click here.

Monarto Conservation Park

Last Saturday we travelled the short distance from home to Monarto Conservation Park just west of Murray Bridge, South Australia. We took a picnic lunch to eat in the car park. After lunch and a cuppa we went for a walk through the park along the walking trail leading from the car park. This trail makes a one kilometre loop through several different habitats in the park. After about 45 minutes of gentle strolling the track leads one back to the car park.


The predominant habitat of this park is mallee. At one point alone the track one comes to a a small rise overlooking the western parts of the park. The view is one of a sea of mallee. There are small patches of casaurinas and large tracts of heath like vegetation. The heath type areas are brimming with small to medium sized plants, making the area like a natural botanic garden. Grevilleas, astrolomas, correas, acacias and many more kinds of native plants make walking through this park a true delight. I was able to take a few good photos; the real delight will come in a few months when many more plants will be in flower.

Birds of the Park

While it was tempting to only go along plant watching, something my wife does all the time, I also kept and eye and ear out for the bird life all around us. There were scattered clouds and a cool breeze so I would have expected a good list of birds. It was, however, a little disappointing with only a moderate list. Grey Currawongs, Australian Magpies, New Holland Honeyeaters and Red wattlebirds were quite apparent. I heard a Grey Shrike Thrush and saw several Mallee Ringneck Parrots. As we were about to drive off I saw and heard two Peaceful Doves in the trees near the car park.

Adelaide Zoo

Last Tuesday we drove to Adelaide for the day. In the morning we took our daughter Rose to to the Adelaide Airport. She flew to Sydney for a conference and to stay with her brother and sister-in-law. After attending to some business and having lunch we went to the Adelaide Zoo.

Many Changes

We had heard that there had been some recent changes at the Adelaide Zoo with the opening of some new exhibits. After we had been there for only a short time we realised that there had been many changes since our last visit several years ago. The new exhibits, although not all yet complete, are great. They enable excellent views of the animals and they continue the trend away from wires and bars to glass viewing areas and overhead walkways. This also makes photography much easier and I was able to get some great shots.


The lion display is now great. One is able to get within about 2 metres of the lions. I was able to get several close up shots of the male lion looking very regal indeed. It was quite disconcerting to be stared down by a lion at a distance of less than two metres. He was probably trying to assess whether I’d be worth the effort to catch and eat. After all, I’ve recently lost about 11 kilograms in weight. Mmmm. On the down side these photos had to be taken through the usual wire netting. Still – the wire does give one a feeling of safety being so close to such an awesome creature.


We spent quite a long time in the rainforest aviary. I again managed to get some really fantastic shots of birds close up. It was rather overcast (it had rained heavily as we entered the zoo) so the flash came into its own.

All in all – it was a very pleasant and relaxing three hours wandering through about half of our favourite zoo.