Yungaburra - Platypus at last!

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August 21st 2011
Published: February 25th 2012
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A fabulous weekend in Yungaburra, complete with platypus

Took my beloved away for a belated birthday celebration weekend. Although our destination is only an hour from home, we rise pre-dawn and drink tea, giggling quietly and excitedly. I finalise our packing while Eric enagages in the now familiar ritual of cooking pasta and heating the stunning spag bol sauce he has cooked for many hours the night before, and packing it into prewarmed thermoses for a roadside breakfast, with little containers of extra virgin olive oil, grated romano cheese, chilli flakes and Maldon salt. We began this ritual onroute to the Wallaby Creek Folk Festival at Cooktown last year, eating spaghetti not long after dawn at a lookout with a view across the splendid, strange, sparse forest that covers that part of the world, looking just as it is depicted in the amazing and often frightening children's books of Percy Tresize. The lookout was well adorned with cow poo, and was therefore christened Cow Shit Point. Eating spaghetti for breakfast on the roadside was found to be Good, and has since been repeated by mountains and rivers and oceans and while fleeing Cyclone Yasi. Recently onroute to Cooktown we substituted a wonderous short soup with homemade wontons, and found it also to be perfect roadside breakfast fare. Today we pull into Ross and Locke, a little swimming spot on the Mulgrave River and eat spaghetti before the sun has reached in there. Lovely start to the day.

Yungaburra is one of our favourite places in the world, and we have stayed in several highly recommendable accommodations - most notably the perfectly wonderful Gables and the beautiful Country Church . We also adore the Yungaburra Pub and had a very fine stay at the very welcoming and easygoing On the Wallaby Backpackers .

This time we are staying for the first time at The Bushland Cottages After a quick stop at Yungaburra's excellent supermarket (which is always surprisingly well stocked with gourmet delights) to gather milk and the world's best pepperoni sausage, we head to our homestead . There are two cottages, one larger than the other. We have the "perfect for two" Kingfisher Cottage and when we open the front doors, I am immediately surprised by how spacious and light the interior is. High ceilings, gleaming polished timber floors, a wonderful open plan kitchen/ living area and the back wall almost completely taken up with floor to ceiling glass sliding doors which open onto a large deck, and a gorgeous, gleaming green restful forest. There is nothing else to be seen. We unpack what seems an immense quantity of excellent food for two people for one weekend and set the prepared firebox alight (it is a drizzling, grey cold winter day - perfect for us rain revellers).

Eric opens his belated birthday present (all celebrations are a movable feast in our family - we celebrate them at a time that is determined by finances, weather, and availability rather than strictly by date). I have bought him an amazing little machine - the Roland Mobile Cube battery powered guitar amp . He has a splendid electric guitar which he usually has to forsake when we go away for weekend because humping his large heavy guitar amp to the car for an overnight stay does not seem appealing, and I hope this little powerful box will provide the solution to this problem.When I began researching this purchase, I watched a demo video of this machine and the demonstration of the reverb setting put an end to my searching. That was the guitar tone I wanted to hear. It turns out to be everything I hoped for and more - plenty of power and a variety of excellent sounding processed effects. Incredible tone for a little radio-sized box. Yay! And BOO to the guy from Billy Hyde music in Cairns who tried to tell me that the heap-of-shit VOX amp he was trying to sell me was "exactly the same thing" as this machine.

After a bit of happy guitar noodling from the birthday boy and an extremely bad cup of Tablelands coffee (I keep wanting to believe in our locally grown coffee but it is hard when it insists on tasting so very bad) we wander out into the wet, grey windy day for a walk around this lovely little old town. When we reach The Whistlestop Cafe the rain drives us under cover. The original plan was to get a better cup of coffee, but I find I am so offput by the awfulness of the cup we have just had that I can't get any interest up in coffee. Instead we order a pot of tea and sit outside in the chill wind, watching the grey world through glasses misted with windswept rain. Heaven! We don't order any food but the items in the display cabinet look superb, and our cup of tea comes with a little complimentary square of the most wonderful chewy lemony date slice I have ever had, and which reminds me strongly of the date slices my grandma used to make. I am extremely tempted to go and buy a piece of this lovely thing, but keeping in mind the meals we have planned, I resist but make a promise to my stomach to indulge "next time".


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