28 October 2013

Travels in Oz (and reading)

I’ve been travelling in Australia for the past few weeks visiting places I’ve never seen before (with the exception of our starting point - Sydney). It’s been a long time since I’ve done this type of free-wheeling type travelling and I've loved every minute.

The trip started in the lovely city of Sydney, which is a place I never tire of visiting.

The first place on our list of 'first-time' visits was Port Douglas in Far North Queensland.

I have to admit that while seeing new places was important, so also was having some downtime and this was the main reason for visiting Port Douglas. 

Port Douglas has a tropical monsoon climate and heavy rainfall during the summer season, but we were lucky with no more than a few drops of rain one evening. The average temperature for this time of year is the high 20s and it was every bit of that and tipping 30 some days.

*Spoiler Alert - there isn't much adventuring in this post - I guess a lot of people would rush around the Daintree forest and Great Barrier Reef, I didn't but I did enjoy my R&R time.

My favourite relaxing past-time is reading – hardly surprising as a writer! One of the pleasures of holiday reading is being able to read an entire book in a much shorter timeframe than usual.

I started with a book by Lisa Gardener. She has been on my list of authors to read for some time as a suspense/thriller author who writes a great page turner, but also paints realistic characters with great depth which is something often overlooked in the twists and turns of a plot.

As a complete contrast I then read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Since finishing English studies I’ve not read many of the classics, and I had an ulterior motive in my choice of classic. I’m a fan of PD James and had bought her book Death Comes To Pemberley which is based on the characters of Pride and Prejudice. While I knew the basic storyline I wanted to read the classic before PD James treatment of the characters.

What can I say about Pride and Prejudice? It’s certainly given me an appreciation of the time in which I am living. I wouldn't enjoy the restrictions of life at that time, but then I guess I wouldn’t have known any difference. Elizabeth Bennet is an interesting character and forthright in her opinions for the time. In respect of the writing it is interesting to see how style and type of writing comes and goes in fashion. I’m not a fan of omniscient point of view, but it was generally the style of the time. I find the omniscient POV pushes you away so you’re not as emotionally invested in the characters but I enjoyed the sharp wit of Elizabeth Bennet.

I thought PD James did a good job of writing in the style of the original book and following on with the lives of the characters, but it lacked the usual twists and turns of her other books.

If you’re thinking that I didn’t do an awful look of adventuring in Port Douglas I have to admit you’re right, but as it's been a busy year I really enjoyed a few peaceful days around the town and the edges of the Daintree Rainforest. 

Next on our travels was Uluru - Ayers Rock - and I promise the next installment will be all about Aventures in Oz rather than reading :) 

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