Saturday, July 28, 2012

Farewell to Far North Queensland:

Well to those Canadians reading, Lynn is winging her way back to you, with a case full and lots of stories to tell, but watch out I think the travel bug has definitely caught her. But then again in such a wonderful place, what's not to like?
We have been to some great places, beautiful beaches, met some characters and eaten some wonderful foods including pies. Lynn has tried exotic fruits and eaten lots of seafood, seen some beautiful exotic flowers and some amazing Aussie animals, snorkeled on one the most fabulous reefs in the world, walked in an ancient rainforest and traveled to our wonderful red centre. In fact she has seen and done things most Australians haven't done.

Hope it was a great holiday Lynn.

I have also had a ball, I love this part of our great country and this is the time of year to be here. House sitting certainly has been good to me!

Friday, July 27, 2012

House Sit Specials:

It's not that I have favourites when I house sit, but I will admit some pets are easier to mind than others, and these 2 have to among my favourite furries.

Manni, a Curly Coated Retriever is just a delight, always happy, obedient and great company has been a pleasure to be with. He pulls a little on the lead, but off lead heels beautifully. He is always friendly and for an un-neutered male an easy dog to handle. I could just take hime home! His little quirk is that he feels the need to always have something in his mouth and carries his bowl around or his squeaky toy or his blanket, but he has been a delight.
Kedi, the moggy is also a character, she is always there to greet us when we come home, loves to come for a pat and ear rub at night and is always around wherever you are.

 I have really enjoyed these guys.

 Last Supper:

For Lynn's last dinner here in Oz tonight she has a pie, beer (xxxx that's 4X to you lot) and some lamingtons for afters, can't get much more Australian than that.
This morning after her last breakfast at Rusty's market we stopped off at Bill's pie van to buy her a good Queensland home made pie.

Bill sets up his pie van every week day morning about 7.0 am on the main road to the Northern beaches and is there till he sells out. He has all sorts of meat pies and a few other goodies as well. Lynn asked what a Devil Dog was and he told her it was "definitely out of her league", its a bloke thing!!  So she has settled for a Steak and peas (that's mushy peas) which he explained is very "Queensland"

Just as we finished our purchase up roared to great big trucks transporting 1/2 buildings. out leapt the truckies and within minutes they were on the road again with their breakfast/lunch/mid morning snacks????

Bill does a roaring trade.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cairns Show 

All the usual fun of a country show, it's year since I have been to one. But last week for three days the show was in town and off we went on Show Day

There were all the usual things -  (the only thing missing was the boxing tent)

Show bags by the dozen, but these days all produced by the one company and selling for big dollars. Whatever happened to the "sample bags" that used to display products?

In the arenas there was dressage events, woodchopping, the grand parade of all the prize winning animals and lots of other great events,
 and of course fast food by the truckload and those rides that I can't even watch any more. They are becoming more and more scarey, or maybe I am just getting older

This one looked like fun, they put the kids in the deflated ball then pump it up around them before sealing it and putting them onto a small pond of water. The kids were having a ball - literally.

 We went to see the cakes and crafts, the cattle and the dogs. I nearly lost Lynn in the dogs as there were several black spaniels - this one was named Thomas. Lynn got very homesick, for a minute.

But we managed to cure that with her very first meat pie - she bought another the very next day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

 Faces in the Mob:

When Lynn arrived she wanted to see kangaroos, as you do. We told her that contrary to popular belief, they don't hop down the street here and usually don't live within city boundaries. These guys made liars out of us. There are quite a few hundred of them live in paddocks beside the main road just outside of Trinity beach. They are wallabies and seem happy to just sit or lie around in a number of paddocks, I don't know if they move around much but they are always there. Wasn't easy to get into to take photos, but we finally found a place to get a little closer.
Lynn doesn't believe anything I tell her anymore, after the tree kangaroo and these guys, I am just glad we haven't actually seen crocodiles at the beaches.

Hope she doesn't run into a snake at Uluru!

Cairns to Uluru:

This morning I shipped Lynn off on her next adventure in the centre of out great country,to visit Uluru. She is so excited about it, but I won't be blogging those stories, but I'm sure you will all hear all about it. You had all better watch out, she has the travel bug now and is starting to plan.........

 Brunch at Palm Cove:

Sunday morning we headed up to the beautiful Palm Cove for a lovely brunch, and as you can see it wasn't too early for Lynn to enjoy a champagne with her hotcakes! Breakfast was great, although I don't know how we fitted it all in.

It was a little cool so there was no swimming, and Lynn is not at all happy about the beaches. She worries that nobody is swimming and that there have been supposed crocodile sightings at many of the northern beaches recently, although there is no official signs anywhere other than these warning of the possibility of stingers and crocodiles. Some of the beaches have supposedly been closed, but.... I am sure Lynn will have the scary stories to tell.

 And for Nicole and Richard we walked down to see the resort where you were married and Lynn has taken lots of photos. It looked lovely, I am sure it all brings back memories.

Friday, July 20, 2012

 Fitzroy Island:

Only a 45 minute ferry ride from Cairns, Fitzroy Island is a lovely
 retreat. Its coral beaches provide a great place to explore and snorkel straight from the beach, and snorkel we did!
It was one of the best days weather wise since we have been here and both Lynn and I have a touch of the sun. The reef isn't as spectacular as the outer reef, but there was still plenty to see snorkeling over it.
After lunch we had a ride over the coral in a glass bottom boat, then time for more snorkeling before heading back to Cairns.

The Island has a large hotel and campground and is a popular overnight stop for many of the yachts that sail the area. The day we were there, it was not at all crowded, and the ferry was less than half full, quite a contrast to our trip to the reef. Most of the schools are back now so there are not so many people around.
There are lots of other activities including walks, sea kayaking and diving, but there is just so much you can do and Lynn is pretty focused on snorkeling!

It was lovely to sit on a barstool at the end of the day with a cocktail in hand looking over the beautiful water just before we headed back.

A large Manta Ray greeted the ferry as we arrived at the dock at Fitzroy Island.

 Cairns to Cooktown

An incredibly long day,we were collected just after 7.00 and arrived home again about 10.30 pm, but it is a great trip. We traveled in a 4wheel drive bus up the coast to Cooktown and returned via the inland route, stopping at various sites along the way. The trip travels over the Daintree River via the vehicle ferry and into the magnificent Daintree rainforest. Here we stopped in a beautiful resort for morning tea before continuing on to Cape Tribulation and the Bloomfield track, a 4 wheel drive only track that continues towards Cooktown. Residents stopped plans tp develop the area in the 80's and wouldn't allow the road to be built through past Cape Tribulation, but the council did manage to push through the unmade section which is now the Bloomfield Track, it is maintained to a degree and some of the steeper and more dangerous  sections have been sealed, but it is still only open to 4WD vehicles, and when particularly wet or slippery, or the creeks very high, it is closed to all traffic.

 Lynn was thrilled to be fording rivers,( well small creeks at this time of year) and to be bounced over the rough dirt track with the driver using 4 wheel drive on a number of occasions on the particularly steep inclines. But to all those serious 4 wheel drivers out there, it's really just a piece of cake.
 There were some spectacular views of the coast line and it is a lovely part of the world. We were passed by many vehicles traveling back after the long journey up to the tip of Cape York - now that really is a 4 wheel drive trip!

 Lunch was at the iconic Lions Den Hotel, a typical Aussie outback pub where the walls are covered in traveler's signature and "memorabilia" covers the walls, shelves and ceilings. There is so much "junk" that you could spend days checking it all out.

 Then it was on to Cooktown, where James Cook was able to beach the Endeavour for repairs after they had hit the reef near Cape Tribulation. We went up to the lighthouse on Grassy Hill where you receive a magnificent view out over the reef and the Endeavour River and Cooktown itself.