Published: December 22nd 2011December 22nd 2011
Cockroach Reg. has been evicted.
For anyone out there with too much time on their hands who actually reads our blog, then you may remember when Liz brought a stowaway onboard in the form of a very large Cockroach. Upon entry it shot under our fridge and there it stayed for the best part of the last three weeks only occasionally being heard scuttling about in the middle of the night. Whilst watching TV the other night Reg. was spotted by Liz on the sofa, some frantic shouting, a quick lift of the cushion, open the door and Hasta La Vista Reggie.
After leaving Hervey bay we headed south toBrisbanefor a few days hoping for some Aussie cultural experiences as recommended in our lonely planet guidebook. Sadly we were thwarted as the museum was closed for renovations, so was the impressive looking city hall and our ferry journey down theBrisbaneRiverwas made in heavy rain and dark clouds. It did brighten up late in the day and a tour of the Botanic gardens and the riverside walk meant that the day wasn’t wasted. From Brisbane our next stop was Byron bay where the 20-30 year olds surf
hard and party hard, so we took a long coastal walk in the hot sunshine which nearly finished us, were it not for the miraculous reviving qualities of Gin (Bombay Sapphire of course) and Ciders for Liz.
After Byron we stayed in a little place called Yamba for a day and then on to several nights in Port Macquarie where we visited a Koala hospital which looks after all the bears who get hit by cars, bitten by dogs or suffer any other misfortune. There were orphaned young ones (joeys), adults and some old-timers who would unlike the others not be released back into the wild which is always the aim. The bears we were told even have favourite trees which once recovered they are taken back to, although the hospital care with a range of fresh eucalyptus leaves and milk supplements on a daily basis, you could forgive the ones who wanted to hang around a bit. From Port Macquarie we went to the lakes area around Forster staying for a few days at a campsite in Pacific Palms. Great beaches, costal walks watching dolphins in the sunshine, what’s not to like? Surfing is almost a religion
out here, particularly on this part of the coast but although there are no saltwater crocodiles and few nasty jellyfish this far south, there is still the small matter of sharks. Heading to a beach near Yamba we were stopped by a police notice saying the beach was closed due to a shark attack where a lad on his surfboard was badly bitten on his leg but will make a full recovery his board however was trashed. The Pacific Ocean meets theTasminSeaaround where we are and it is noticeable when taking a dip that the temperature has dropped from around the 28 degrees we enjoyed at the Whitsunday’s down to around 20. It is still a long way above the muscle freezing, unable to breathe Atlantic which we grew up with and as kids used to play in until a pale shade of blue alerted a parent that hypothermia had begun., Speaking of swimming does anyone remember “swim with Rolf” (Harris), where the bearded middle aged man in horn-rimmed glasses used to present a programme where he was in the pool with a load of young children. No I didn’t find it strange at the time either, but to be
fair its no wonder the Aussies are such good swimmers, they have loads of great facilities outdoors and swimming lessons for kids seems to be a part of the curriculum.
Most ofAustraliagoes to campgrounds on the coast for their summer holidays including the Christmas period which means prices double and children start being turfed out of tents at dawn which wakes the rest of the campsite up. Our solution to this is to head inland, first to the Blue Mountains then ontoCanberraand we have booked a site inMelbournefor Christmas. In theBlue Mountainswe walked a trail down a rocky plateau into the rainforest below. The descent involved a giant staircase of some 900 steps many of which had been hand carved into the rock. Getting back up at the other side had nearly as many again and we both have sore legs to show for it. An absence of Gin and Cider looks like a serious error at the moment, however the views and the sounds of the rainforest (and it was raining) were well worth the effort.
Christmas looks like being hot, circa 31 forMelbourneand we are planning a trip to see the Aussies playIndiaat cricket
on Boxing Day; we will be having Christmas lunch somewhere inMelbourneprovided we can get booked in. It’s all a bit different from home and to be honest it just doesn’t feel like Christmas as the weather isn’t cold and wet, it’s not dark at 5pm and everyone here is on “summer holidays”.
Anyway Happy Christmas to all our families and friends
Alan & Liz
There are more photos below