Leh Palace

2 February 2018, Leh Palace and Leh, Ladakh, India

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We had walked out of the National Park and we still had an afternoon in Leh.  We chose to visit Leh Palace and I combine those images with a few I took in our earlier stay in Leh.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

On the skyline of Leh, high above Leh Palace, is Tsemo Fort (the upper white structure), built between 1555 and 1575 by King Tashi Namgyal.  The buildings below it are Tsemo Gompa or Monastery, built by King Tashi Namgyal in 1430.  It houses an eight-metre high gilded statue of Buddha. Access is difficult because of a steep climb from a road and fleeting and uncertain opening hours.  Women are only allowed access when the statues are veiled.  This and the next image was taken from the roof of the hotel we were staying in during our first afternoon in Leh.

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Sunset over the distant mountains.

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The main street of Leh, Main Bazaar Road, the next morning.

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The far end of the same street, after returning from the National Park.  Leh Palace is on the middle skyline and Tsemo Fort on the right skyline.

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It would take a long time to walk from Leh to the Palace, especially at altitude and with the maze of roads.  We took a taxi up and the road comes in from the side.  This is a corner of the top of the palace as we walk in.

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Looking out over Leh from the path into the Palace.  In the foreground is Soma Gompa, a monastery built below the Palace in 1840 but disused since the 1950s when a replacement was built in town.

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Another view out over Soma Gompa.  The huge “carpark” in the distance is the Polo Ground and it’s not a relic of British India.  Polo originated in Persia and is said to have come to Central Ladakh from Baltistan, just north of Ladakh, now primarily Moslem and occupied by Pakistan. King Jamyang Namgyal is said to have introduced it in the 16th century who married Gyal Khatun, a princess from Baltistan. A few months before we arrived, polo was being played here during the 2017 Ladakh Festival.

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The main door to the Palace.

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Construction of the Leh Palace started in 1553 by Tsewang Namgyal, founder of the Namgyal dynasty, and it was completed by Sengge Namgyal (“the Lion King) who died in 1642.  It predates the Potala Palace in Lhasa, for which construction commenced in 1645.

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The palace has nine stories.  The ground area was used for stables, the first floor for storage and the second by servants.  The King’s Audience Hall, the Tsokhang, was on the fourth floor and the King and Queen’s private areas were on the fifth floor.  The three floors above that were wholly or in part for religious use.

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A detail of the ceiling of one of the interior rooms.

Remarkably, the palace has no foundations but the inwards sloping walls assist with stability and alternating layers of stone and wood provide elasticity to help withstand earthquakes.

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Stairs leading up to the highest level.

The palace was sacked by invading Tibetan and Mongolian forces in 1685.  It was also severely damaged by Zorowar Singh’s forces in 1836 and the royal family moved out from that time to their current residence of Stok Palace on the other side of the Indus.

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An upper floor room including faded remains of a very damaged wall fresco.

The palace is mainly empty apart from the Royal Shrine and some photographic displays.  Photography was not permitted in the shrine but there are images from there in Kevin Standage’s blog.

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There were magnificent views available from the roof of the palace.  This is Shanti Stupa, a new and elaborate chorten built in 1991.

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Stupas, near the polo field.

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A view from below of Tsemo Fort and Monastery.  There was originally a structure here built by the Dards in the 5th century and some of the ruins of that is probably what you see on the near skyline.

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Still in the palace and on the way down now.  A view from one of the rooms.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

A prayer wheel beside the road to the palace, incorporating a gate to I think a residential area.

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Architecture, India, Ladakh, Landscape, Leh, Leh Palace, Nature, Photography, Street photography, Tibet, Travel

A view of the palace in the late afternoon sun.

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That was the last post for the Ladakh trip, apart from monochromes.  Next will be a live music post, an exhibition post, and some monochrome posts from this trip.  After that l will be posting on the Atacama to finish off the posts for my 2015 Madagascar/ South Georgia trip.

Canberra Monochromes

July to December 2017, Canberra, Australia

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These are monochrome conversions from the following posts:  Australian National Botanic Gardens, Architecture Workshop with Geoff Comfort and Mount Ainslie.

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Eucalypts in Fog.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Eucalypt bark.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Eucalypt bark.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Melaleuca Styphelioides (Prickly Paperbark).

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

White rose with spider.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Cobweb with dew.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Isopogon.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Anigozanthos manglesii (red and green kangaroo paw).

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Green butterfly on probably a Melaleuca.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Water dragon.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Cunningham’s Skinks.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Kookaburra.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Topknot pigeon.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Pied currawong.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Eastern grey kangaroos.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Dragonfly wing.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Australian National University (ANU) architecture.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Circus Tent.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

ANU Architecture.

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Australia, Black and White, Canberra, Landscape, Macro, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Travel, Wildlife .

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Architecture Workshop with Geoff Comfort

12 November 2017, Canberra, ACT

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In early November I attended an Architecture Workshop run by Geoff Comfort, perhaps Australia’s leading architectural photographer.  I found this particularly valuable, particularly since there were only two people taking the workshop.  I was expecting a technical focus including use of tilt/shift lenses and although there was a technical element, it was more focused on visualisation and composition. A workshop with different attendees might be quite different, though.  We went to the Australian National University starting from the early morning.  In reent years there have been a number of interesting buildings constructed there.  Images follow. No need for further comment.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Landscape, Photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Landscape, Photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Landscape, Photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Landscape, Photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Landscape, Photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Landscape, Photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Landscape, Photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Landscape, Photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Landscape, Photography, Travel .

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Landscape, Photography, Travel .

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Bruny Island Lighthouse

2 September 2017, Bruny Island, Tasmania

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The last time I was in Bruny Island was when I photographed it in 1987 using large format film equipment for the Bicentennial history From Dusk Till Dawn.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

I took a similar photography in 1987, using a tripod but also lying on my back on the floor.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Cape Bruny lighthouse commenced service in 1838, the third lighthouse in Tasmania and the fourth in Australia.  This followed the nearby wreck of the convict ship George III in 1835, which hit an uncharted rock in D’Entrecasteau Channel and 133 died out of 292.

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The light mechanism you see features Chance Brothers turntable and lenses which replaced the original mechanism in 1901 to 1903.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

In 1901-03 the light came from kerosene lamps.  There were replaced with electric lights in 1959.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Trave
The brass vents on the wall under the walkway were to regulate the breeze so that the kerosene lamp operated optimally and did not go out.  The turntable would have been driven by a clockwork mechanism such as at Double Island Point (last image).  A weight would have slowly descended the tower and then needed to be wound back up.

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The original lights in 1838 burned sperm whale oil.  This was expensive and each lamp burned 600ml per hour.  There were fifteen of these lamps and the light was focused with mirrors rather than lenses.

 

Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

The original lamps were very fragile and needed to be replaced every three days.  There are two of the electric bulbs here just to provide a spare.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Far out on the distant horizon and barely visible to the naked eye is Pedra Branca Rock.  This is rock is 250 metres long,  100 metres wide and 60 metres high.  In 2003 a scientific team visited here as part of a program to preserve the endemic Pedra Branca skink and conserve the habitat of birds, especially albatrosses.  The weather deteriorated so that they could not leave the rock and a freak wave washed away a young oceanographer, Hamish Saunders, who was at the time 45 metres above sea level.  His body was never recovered.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Coutts Island, below the lighthouse.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Rocks below the lighthouse, evidently favoured by seabirds.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Looking across D’Entrecasteau Channel to the Tasmanian mainland.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel Beach to the north of the lighthouse, near the cottages.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

A view from the lighthouse balcony showing the cottages, beach and coastline.  Families were permitted after 1878.  There then would have been three cottages for three keepers working eight hour shifts.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

Another view looking up as I leave the lighthouse.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

The original keeper in 1838 had three convict assistants and relations between the keeper and the convicts were very formal.

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Architecture, Australia, Bruny Island, Cape Bruny, Landscape, Lighthouses, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel

These days radar and GPS has replaced the need for lighthouses except for small vessels such as fishing boats.  The lights are in any case automated and the keepers gone.  The light here was replaced by a smaller one further out on the point and the lighthouse has not been turned on since 1996.

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Abandoned Farmhouse, Bruny Island

1 September 2017, Bruny Island, Tasmania

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

After the cruise in the morning and after lunch, we visited the fascinating Inala Jurassic Garden which ties geological history to surviving plants from ancient periods.  I didn’t take any photographs of the garden but this is a Bennett’s wallaby being cared for there.

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On the way back was this abandoned farmhouse.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

We talked to a bloke living in a house across the road and he told us it was due to be demolished in a week or two and invited us to feel free to walk in and check it out.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife .

Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

House from the rear.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

Garage from the rear/

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

A fascinating glimpse of a home from a different time, perhaps a way of life now gone.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

The front door.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

A bedroom.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

Wallpaper peeled off to reveal newspaper backing.  This one above the fireplace showed a tyre advertisement from 1961.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

Fragments include an ad for Carnation Milk and a fragment of a page featuring Complete Home Section by Leila C Howard, Food and Cookery Expert..

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Here, underneath the wallpaper is a review of “Around the World in 80 Days”, a 1955 film starring Cantinflas and David Niven.

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Kitchen window.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

Another view from the back.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

… and from the front.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

Back where we were staying at the Bruny Hotel, the sun was going down over Satellite Island and the mainland.

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife .

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Architecture, Australia, Bennett's Wallaby, Bruny Island, Landscape, Nature, Photography, seascape, Tasmania, Travel, Wildlife

At the same time, here are a few houses in a bay just to the south.

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