Mesmerizing Sunrise at Monument Valley

Wow!  It’s been a very busy month that I wasn’t able to blog for weeks!  My apologies, as I took more responsibilities at work…

Anyhoo, I’m starting my 2017 in WordPress with a sunrise post.

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Isn’t it lovely?  I took the above at the Monument Valley, and it’s become my favorite because the colors remind me of a lot of things.

Indigo reminds me of introspection and meditation.  I’m an introvert, and I always require an alone time to ponder on things or recharge.

The hues of red caution me to keep my temper in check.  It speaks to me too of passion and love.

Black reminds me of what’s uncertain in everyday life.  Of my pride and faults and weaknesses.

My hopes and optimism are best conveyed by the color yellow.  It speaks to me of joy.

And of course, the rising sun reminds me to always be grateful for each day that grants me the chance to live, learn, laugh, and love.

Missing Maya

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Maya is my friend’s Australian shepherd.  It wasn’t really love at first sight between us as typical of shepherd dogs, she was very protective of her humans and did not immediately warm up to me, a stranger.  She was barking rather madly (the kind that’s sure to scare anyone) when she met me, but I’m such a dog person I just stared her down till she quieted and let me pet her.

Eventually, I became her constant playmate the whole week that I was in Manila.  Each morning before and after breakfast, we’d play games in the garden.  She’s such a sweet giant of a dog.

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And oh, so active.  There’s no rest where she’s concerned.  She would go to my room with her toy and insist that we play.  Sometimes, she’d chase me around the house too.

Maya’s also very intelligent and stubborn.  She loves disobeying her humans, and it’s funny how she has this look whenever she doesn’t feel like following someone’s instructions.

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And yep, she loves displacing me and hogging the bed to herself.

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Despite her stubbornness, Maya’s really sweet (especially when she wants food, te he) and can easily charm someone’s socks off.

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Isn’t she adorable?

Oh, Maya, I so miss you and can’t wait to see you again next year!

Gold Coast: Hinze Dam

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While this vast embankment and ungated spillway across Nerang River’s primary function is to provide water security and flood mitigation to Gold Coast, it has also become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike because of its stunning views as you can see from the above photo.

This Open Space was my first view of it as seen from the coffee shop that’s above the parklands and the lake.

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While my friend waited for our breakfast, I headed to where the walking trails were and was utterly charmed by these views.

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So pretty.  And the weather’s perfect for walking.  (I was in Gold Coast during winter, so it was still cold despite the sunny weather.)

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I lingered here for sometime to read a couple of signage that tell the history of the place, and found out that the dam was named in honor of the Hinze family who lived in the valley that got flooded by the dam.

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Don’t get confused by the Little Nerang Dam in the above signage as this forms part of Hinze Dam.

When I felt my tummy grumble, I headed back to the café to eat.  I’ll share more details about my dining experience at View Café in a future post.  In the meantime, here’s a teaser photo of my latte.

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After my filling breakfast, I headed to where the dam itself was.  On my way there, I got sidetracked by the information center, which was still closed when we arrived.  I spent some time here too learning about Hinze Dam’s design and operations.

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While the views by the circuitous pathways were lovely, the views along the top of the dam wall were just as pretty.

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The views were so picturesque I felt it’s worth a selfie shot.  Te he.

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I was so in love with the views I have dozens of photos from this spot.  Here are some of my favorite pictures.

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Blue happened to be my favorite color, and it was just so relaxing to watch the tranquil vivid-blue waters against the paler blue sky and the cottony white clouds and lush mountains.

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From the same spot, I could also see the village and parts of the dam.

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I’ll end this post with a panoramic shot of the dam taken while I was on the bridge.

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It’s definitely one of the prettiest sights I enjoyed in Gold Coast and among my many travels, so if you do find yourself in GC, make sure to include Hinze Dam in your itinerary.

Today’s Sunrise, November 25, 2016

I usually do my morning walk at 5:30 AM, but today, I decided to head out early as I was afraid it would rain that I’d miss my daily exercise. Tropical Depression Marce, after all, was due to make its landfall in the province this morning.

It was drizzling when I went out. I expected cloudy skies, but I didn’t expect streaks of light among the clouds hovering over Plantation Bay’s saltwater lagoons.

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Pardon the photo quality as it was still dark, and my smartphone isn’t really good at taking pictures in low light. I was too lazy too to come back to my room to get my camera or GoPro. Te he.

When I reached the resort’s Galapagos Beach, I was sidetracked by this view.

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So pretty. And the sound of the crashing waves was therapeutic to hear.

I took this photo on my second lap. The weather was kind of crazy. It was drizzling, and the wind was strong, but the sun was emerging too.

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On my fourth lap, I noticed that the sky was looking all golden, so I headed to Xanadu Lodge as it’s one of the best spots for sunrise-watching in Plantation Bay.

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I loved how the clouds looked wispy and golden and almost moving. The views were so lovely that I stayed for almost fifteen minutes, just when the color of the clouds changed to lighter shades of yellow.

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Isn’t it pretty?

All photos were taken using a Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

Sunset at Neddy Harper Park

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I could tell from the way the sun shone above Nerang River at Neddy Harper Park that the park would be a perfect spot for sunset watching. And so after spending half my afternoon at Cascades Gardens, I headed back to Neddy Harper Park to catch the sunset.

I love sunsets (and sunrises too) so wherever I travel, I make it a point to include sunset-watching in my itinerary. And as always, I wasn’t disappointed.

Just look at how this perfectly rounded sun looked like a full moon.

As the sun descended, people at the once busy park stopped what they were doing to admire the sunset, like this guy who stopped skateboarding to enjoy the views.

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I sat behind him, all the while envious of his prime spot. A lady stopped jogging and asked if it was all right to stand on the bench I was sitting on so she could get a better view. I said yes, sharing that I did the same thing a while back. We both laughed.

Surprisingly, skateboard guy left and because I was nearest him – and faster in moving, so I’d like to think, te he! – got his prime spot!

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Don’t you just love the view?  Too bad we couldn’t get to the dock as it’s roped off.  I bet the views there were better…

Behind me, the lady took a call and apologized that she would be late because she got sidetracked by the stunning sunset. I couldn’t blame her. I myself was supposed to head back home too, but the views were too pretty to miss.

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Here are some zoomed-in shots of the setting sun.

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The above was one of my favorites as I loved how the trees provided a nice backdrop against the fiery sky.

As usual, I’m ending this post with my most favorite photo from this set.

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As Beau Taplin wrote, “Sunsets are proof that endings can often be beautiful too.”