JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

Monday, 30 November 2015

A weekend with friends

As everyone that reads my blog knows, we love walking at Mt. Lewis National Park and we head up there whenever we get the chance.  The last time that we got together with our friends we talked about heading up there for a hike and then coming back to our place for dinner.  It was my PNG friend's birthday and our Kuranda friend's wedding anniversary so perfect for a celebration dinner.
Everyone arrived at our place by 8.30 on Saturday morning and after packing a picnic lunch we were on our way by 9.00.  It's fortunate that since we have owned the camper we now have things like folding tables and chairs so they were also packed for the picnic.  Our plan was to drive straight to the top of Mt. Lewis, which we did,  and walk the short distance out to the escarpment.  As we are at almost 900 metres the views here are spectacular.

Our wonderful friends.

When we arrived back at our vehicles we had a very welcome cup of tea and biscuit.  The boys preferred a beer!

Smoko at the "hut"

After smoko we headed back down the mountain to Mary Creek where we waded a short distance through the beautifully cool waters of the shallow creek bed.  This is a "no shoes" walk and I'm afraid my friends found the barefoot experience fairly difficult.

These feet are not meant for "barefooting" it
They are rarely without shoes in their respective jobs so their feet are super soft.  Philip and I are bogans and walk around without shoes most of the day so our feet are very tough!
After our creek walk we made our way to Ferny Creek for our picnic lunch.  It is a beautiful spot right beside the tree-fern lined creek and the spot we lunch in is completely shaded. We lunched on chicken, coleslaw and bread rolls that went down a treat.

Philip's photo - love this macro shot of one of the many flowering shrubs at Mt. Lewis
Everyone was keen for a longer walk after lunch so it was back to the Ho Chi Min trail.  This trail can be as long or as short as you want.  If you walk the whole track through to Mt. Carbine it is about 40km.  We walked a few kilometres along the track and then made the return journey.  It was after 3.00 pm by this time so we decided to make our way home where I had a three course dinner waiting.
First course preparation......smoked salmon pate 

Cheesecake cups for dessert
We enjoyed a balmy night with plenty of flowing wine and food.  The conversation around the dinner table was stimulating, as it always is with friends and the night passed quickly.  However we were all very sensible (tired!!) and were in bed well before midnight.
The next morning we all woke early and enjoyed breakfast together before everyone headed their separate ways.  It was a lovely weekend with friends and one I hope we repeat soon.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Davies Creek National Park

Because we had taken our camper to the party at Kuranda it seemed a waste not to have at least one night camping somewhere.  A quick google had us looking at Davies Creek (Dinden) National Park.  Everything that I read about the place seemed favourable so I went to the National Park website and booked us in for a night.  
Davies Creek Road

We arrived around noon at our designated campsite only to find a mob of young folks already set up.  I went over to them with our permit in my hand and it didn't take long for me to realise that they did not have a permit.  They had just taken pot luck that there would be an available campsite. I pointed out to them that they should have vacated the camp by 11am so they said that they would be packed up within half an hour.  That was fine by us because we wanted to go to the end of Davies Creek Road and wander along the Kahlpahlim Track.
Kahlpahlim Track

Spot the leech?
This track is 12kms and we knew that we wouldn't be walking the whole distance as it was close to midday. It was drizzling on and off and the leeches were prolific.  Whenever we stopped to take a photo they were all over us.
We photographed lots of different fungi that are everywhere in tropical rainforests (Philip is loving the super macro on his new camera!)

After we had walked a few kilometres we thought we should probably head back to the car and on to the camping spot.  The young ones had vacated the spot and had kindly (???) left the campfire burning.  It astounds me that National Parks allow people to light fires when it is so dry.  We quickly setup, had a bite of lunch and then a nanny nap. Philip had only managed four hours of sleep after watching the rugby so we slept for a good hour.  After we woke we decided to explore our camping area.  We wandered downstream and came across this Willy Wagtail nest with a chick!
Tiny Willy Wagtail
The creek at the campsite was a lovely spot with shallow sandy bottom swimming holes and crystal clear water.  The sound of water tumbling over the rocks is a most beautiful sound.

Our campsite
The stream by the camp
We arrived back at our camp in time for sundowners and as the temperature was dropping we stoked the fire and moved our chairs closer to the warmth.  Is there anything more relaxing than watching dancing flames?
Sleep came easily to us with the sound of the water lulling us into dreamland and we were surprised the next morning when we looked at the clock and it showed 7.30 am. That is a sleep in for us.  We cooked up eggs for breakfast and then started to pack up the camp.  

We had talked the previous night of heading back to Davies Creek Falls and doing the short circuit track before heading home.  As it was Monday morning there was absolutely no one around.  Davies Creek seems to be a weekend retreat for most people.  
Looking down the gorge from the falls lookout.....rather a misty day...

Davies Creek Falls

Davies Creek Falls are spectacular, tumbling at least a hundred metres over the granite rocks.  There was a lot of water in the falls which was surprising given the dryness of the area.
After photographing the falls we continued along the circuit walk. We wandered through a typical Australian bush with blackboys and gumtrees.  

Australia is truly a remarkable country.  We have visited three National Parks in the past few months, from one end of Queensland to the other and every photo I took could have been taken at anyone of them. The scenery is almost identical even though the temperature differences have been vast.
As we headed back to the car we both commented on how invigorated we both felt.  It turns out that we love "glamping" more than either of us really expected.  Our little camper is a joy to stay in and just makes camping so easy.  We said goodbye to Davies Creek National Park and made our way back to the highway.

Anthill Lane on the way into Jacques Coffee
On our way home we saw the signs for Jacques Coffee.  This is another place that we said we would visit "one day" and as it was mid morning this was "the day" to have one of the best coffees I've ever had.  A wonderful way to end our long weekend.

Monday, 2 November 2015

A Fancy 60th

We were invited to our friends 60th birthday on the weekend but we had to come in fancy dress!  Now this would normally send me into a dither but as luck would have it Halloween was also on Saturday night so the shops were filled with Halloween outfits.  We visited the Reject Shop (gotta love the cheap shops) and picked up two outfits for less that $60.  Philip went as a Ghoul and I went as Morticia from the Addams Family.  We all arrived at 5.00pm in normal clothes and at around about 6.00pm our guest of honour was blind-folded and dressed in his outfit - Barney Rubble, and the rest of us quickly changed into our fancy dress.  His blind-fold was then removed and he was very much surprised, not only by his outfit but everyone else's efforts.
We had a beautiful meal...thanks Kate....and a lovely night chatting to our friends, some of whom we hadn't seen for quite awhile.  The men stayed up to watch New Zealand beat Australia in the Rugby World Cup while the rest of us where tucked up in bed by 1.00 pm.  I think Philip stumbled into the camper at about 3.30 pm!