Cairns or Cannes, how would you say it?

8 February 2014

Well it is pronounced Cannes, just like the town on the French Rivera, but the spelling is completely different.  I guess they just want to be different here in the land down under.

Our original plan, since it was just over a 120km to Cairns was to drive thru the Tablelands.  However once we got on the main highway the rain was coming down so hard we could barely see out the windshield we decided taking a detour might mean we couldn’t get into Cairns if the roads started to flood. We had already heard that the roads south of Mission Beach were closed in sections due to the rain, so we knew we were already tempting fate just getting on the road.  Plus when you couldn’t see out the window a hike to the waterfalls would not be too enjoyable nor could we see any of the scenic rolling foothills of the Tablelands. As we did get close to the Tablelands the rain had let up a bit so you could see some of the rolling foothills but moments later the downpour began. As we continued along the highway we could see side roads were completely under water, so we were happy we decided not to take the long way around.

Once we arrived in Cairns we made our way to Rusty’s market which was kind of a permanent farmers market with a bunch of food vendors for lunch and enjoyed an hour or so of no rain with some good Vietnamese food!

We then made our way to the hotel and no more than one minute after getting into the car did another torrential downpour begin.

Our room wasn’t ready yet so to kill some time we made our way out to the Barron Gorge to see where the water from the tablelands made its way down towards the coast. There were waterfalls on the road to the power plant at the end of the road that were quite spectacular and made us feel better about skipping the waterfall loop at the Tablelands. But when we made it out to see the very large waterfall dropping down amidst a downpour it was a beautiful site. Without umbrella’s we didn’t stay out too long so after a quick look we made our way back to the car park to take shelter under the cover of by some picnic tables to dry off a bit and take in some of the smaller falls without getting soaked.  On our drive back we noticed that in the rivers that were slowly flooding out onto open fields, locals with blow up pool loungers were just floating down the street.

We then made it back to the hotel to do laundry and pack up as in the morning we are off to Bali. And in a very unusual way neither one of us is really nervous/anxious about traveling to another country. I guess we are starting to get into a traveling groove. But it does feel like this will be the start of more challenging travel as we are leaving an English speaking country and it will be quite some time before we return English speaking countries. Hopefully I don’t have to figure out how to turn on hot water in showers with and sort of additional instruction outside of on or off.

Today’s Travel:  Mission Beach to Cairns

Accommodations: Palm Royale Cove.  Nothing to write home about here; for the price and what it was it should have been much cheaper so I would say we got ripped off in this tourist town.  Oh, well it was just one night and tomorrow we will be in Bali!!

Enjoying the rain

7 February 2014 

Since the rain really never let up today, we spent the entire day lounging around our room with the exception we made to head into town to pick up cereal and with TimTam’s snack packs still on sale we of course had to try a few more flavors.

Our view from our room which was pretty much our view for our stay in MB

Our view from our room which was pretty much our view for our stay in MB

 

Some of the other 'guests' and we were told this is a smaller one!

Some of the other ‘guests’ and we were told this is a smaller one!

We enjoyed the sounds of the downpour and relaxation that the weather brought.  While it would have been nice to head out to the reef again, I got to indulge my guilty pleasure of bumming around.

Watching the opening ceremonies from a different countries perspective was a new experience.  I had never heard of any of the athletes were nor did I think there would be that many Aussie’s in the winter Olympics.

Today’s Travel:  Wongaling Beach to Woolworth’s for cereal and TimTam’s (pretty much life essentials)

Accommodations: Mission Beach EcoVillage

Bumming around Mission Beach

6 February 2014

We made the long 3km trek to Wongaling Beach to grab lunch at a Thai restaurant.  Adam ordered his lunch ‘damn hot’ to which the girl behind the counter laughed a bit and in here tone really wanted to make sure he wanted his meal hot.  I on the other hand decided to go with a moderate.  Well I should have known better as my meal had no heat and ‘damn hot’ here equals a two made three spice level at restaurants back home.  It’s funny because regardless of how hot you tell them you want the food they all assume you have the spice tolerance of Australians who it seems would think black pepper is too spicy.

The rains continued for most of the morning and early afternoon which made our attempt to FaceTime with the family a slight challenge.  Whenever the rain really starts to come down the already weak wifi becomes non-existent.  So while we didn’t get to catch up for too long it was fun to see the fam!

The rain had stopped for more than an hour so we ventured out on a walk to town.  As we made our way off the property we ventured thru the tropical forest and saw a handful of spiders that you would not want to anger.  With our umbrellas up and out in front of us to make sure we didn’t walk into any webs we probably looked like two lunatics.  So with no walking into spider webs, but seeing lots of cool trees and plants, many only found here in this region of QLD, we made our way onto the beach.  It was soon obvious that there were lots of crabs that lived on this beach.  There were tiny balls of sand all over the beach that the crabs create.  We only caught a glimpse of a few of this crabs as most quickly scurried down their holes once they heard us approach.

Since we didn’t really know where the ‘town’ was we just decided to walk to the stinger nets.  In this region from Oct-May there are just too many things out in the water that can sing you so if you want to hop in the water you either swim in a stinger net or wear a stinger suit. DSC_3285-001

And if you get stung here is your emergency kit

And if you get stung here is your emergency kit

At the surf rescue stand, there was a sign about the now endangered cassowary and learned that there are only about 1200 birds left in Australia.  So we felt pretty luck that on our drive in we were actually able to see one.  As we walked off the beach and up the street we soon realized that we had passed the ‘town.’  We had just walked about 100m past so soon enough we were in the ‘beachtown’ shopping area.  There were a few gift shops, bars/restaurants/coffee shops, a post, a hairdresser, a realtor and a laundry mat.  As it was three most things were closed, but we were just there to check out the area and stop in the post for postcards for the grandma’s.

After our big afternoon out, it was back to the resort to lounge around and make dinner.  And hopefully Adam learned his lesson that when walking thru a tropical forest pants and/or insect repellent is a must.  Since I am allergic to some random plants and bugs love me I made sure I was wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt, but a few bugs found my hands as I noticed three bites on my hands a few hours later.

Today’s Travel:  Walking around Mission Beach

Accommodations: Mission Beach EcoVillage

If you like getting caught in the rain

5 February 2014 

Another day and seven hours on the road!  And being sore on a long car ride doesn’t really feel all that great.  At one point I took over the drive so Adam could just let all the water run out of his sinuses from all the fun we had on the boat.  Oh and the story about Brangelina being in town was true and they were spotted out on the town at Shipwreck Bar and Grill just about 10 meters from the all you can eat chili restaurants.  I guess we shouldn’t have been so cheap and gone with the Rice Bubbles. So there goes my chance of meeting those two, ha!

On our drive into Mission Beach, we were greeted with signs telling us to slow down for cassowaries, one included a car hitting a cassowary and both the vehicle and bird looked like they were flipping backwards, oh the dramatic signs.  And after the a few km on the side of the road, walking thru the tall grassy we saw the elusive cassowary.  It was a big, kinda ugly looking bird, its face looked a bit like a rooster and it’s body similar to that of an emu, but much larger.  And if it was our little yellow car that hit a cassowary, those signs would be quite accurate.DSC_3293-001

For reference, the beauty that we called sunshine

For reference, the beauty that we called sunshine

Cyclone Fletcher was downgraded to a tropical low, so throughout the late afternoon night we were treated to lots of rain.  When we drove into the next town over, about 4km away to grab food and drinks, we thought we would be tough and not take our umbrella’s into the store since it was just a steady rain and not too heavy.  When we finished up our shopping it was now a downpour, with people in rain jackets, so we made a run for the car and in the few seconds we were running we immediately turned into wet dogs.  I think I can safely say that in the last two weeks alone, I have seen more rain than I have seen in the last twelve years.

It was after the drive and maybe one or two glasses of wine that we decided we are going to open a health spa and it will just be a rope swing over the ocean so you can get a good workout plus clear the sinuses.

Today’s Drive: Airlie Beach to Mission Beach along the Bruce Hwy

Accommodations: Mission Beach EcoVillage. When we arrived the rain had once again picked up, but with the tropical setting of the resort in made it feel just right.  Since there was just one other couple staying at the resort, we were given a tour to decide which type of room we wanted and lucky for us all rooms were the same rate.  We decided to go with the room with a bush view, with the ocean just behind it, which included a kitchen, spa bath and deck to enjoy the view and sounds of waves crashing.  Oh, and the bed is just dreamy.  After feeling springs in my back the night before and very firm mattress in most of the places we have been, it almost reminded us of our own bed.  But truth be told, we really have been sleeping on crap mattress so we just might be delusional at this point.

And the sun comes out!

4 February 2014

When we walked off the pier we were greet by a sign stating ‘Koala Adventure’ only to learn from one of the crew that there were no Koala’s on this island at all.  But we were told there were drop bears.  And from the grin on people’s faces when I raised my hand to say I had never heard of a drop bear, I knew something was up.  While on our hike one of the girls told me that is was a fake, but someone made it up that it is purportedly a vicious koala.  Because clearly there are not enough animals that could hurt or kill you in Australia that they needed to create a fake one.

The views along the hike were spectacular.  It was a clear morning so we could see many of the islands that comprise the Whitsunday’s.  Plus this section of the island was untouched as it is a park so combined with the views of the water and islands we were surrounded by tall grasses that when the wind picked up looked just like small rolling waves.DSC_3210-001DSC_3215-001DSC_3216

If we don't move the humans will never know we are here!

If we don’t move the humans will never know we are here!

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It's our pirate ship

It’s our pirate ship

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Looking out at Solway Lass from the dock at South Molle Island

Looking out at Solway Lass from the dock at South Molle Island

After our hike, I got back on the boat and was the first one with my stinger suit on ready to try the rope swing.  Since Adam was now a professional he reminded to not just use my arms, but my core to keep me from dropping down on the rope and losing my grip too soon.  So I quickly grabbed the rope and my now third attempted ended with the same results as my last two, straight into the water after about two seconds.  It was the fourth time that was the charm!  I wanted to go out on top, but since it was some much fun and I wanted my success captured I made time for two more jumps.  But when you compare it to the 20 or so successful jumps that Adam had, it doesn’t seem as impressive.  After a bit of jumping, it was time for lunch, and then sailing back to Airlie Beach.

Success!

Success!

 

Adam jumping off the from of the ship

Adam jumping off the from of the boat

 

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Some history on the ol' Lass

Some history on the ol’ Lass

Once back in town, we went to run some errands and while we were at the gas station the attendant gave us the heads up that Brangelina were in Airlie Beach.  We had a good laugh that maybe we should change our dinner plans, from cereal at the cabin to $10 all you can eat chili since it might be a place to spot the two!  But since we were well overfeed on the boat trip we decided on Rice Bubbles (that is what Kellogg’s calls Rice Krispies here) at our cabin.

Today’s Travel: The Whitsundays- South Molle Island sailing back to Airlie Beach and driving back to Jubilee Pocket for the eveningDSC_3271DSC_3272DSC_3273

Accommodations: Kipara Tropical Rainforest Retreat.  Back here for the night before another long drive.

Snorkeling in the reef

3 February 2014

As we are located in one of the outer reefs of the Great Barrier Reef it was only appropriate that we spend the day snorkeling.

Relaxing before we head out  Photo Courtesy: Amy Qualls

Relaxing before we head out                                                            Photo Courtesy: Amy Qualls

Our first snorkeling stop was at Blue Pearl Bay.  We all grabbed our super stunning stinger suits and snorkel gear to then jump into the Zodiac and were brought to our first snorkeling spot of the day.  With the water still fairly churned up this spot, which the giant fish called ‘Elvis’ usually hangs out, didn’t have too many fish and ‘Elvis’ must have gone into hiding.  Even with the crew throwing out fish food to try to bring in some fish there weren’t too many.  But to me it was great to just be out in the water swimming around.  Soon we were all back on the ship and picking up anchor to make our way to the second snorkel spot of the day Caves Cove.  Once in the water this place revealed itself to be a filled with endless types of coral.  As we swam along it was just one stunning type of coral after another, with large rock with endless looking maze like patterns, so many colors (although they were a bit muted since the water was still churned up so I can only image what they would look like on a clear day), ones that looked like small trees with intricate patterns that look so fragile to the corals that look like Nemo’s home.  It was just endless.  At one point, Adam called me over and I quickly swam over, thinking he had found a cool fish, but it was just another patch of unbelievable coral.  It was just crazy that such a small area, you could swim around in about 30 minutes, had so many varieties of corals. DSC_3170DSC_3173DSC_3174DSC_3193-001

Back on the boat, most people decided to sunbath, I decided I should take a shot at the rope swing while there wasn’t a crowd watching.  Carefully climbing over the front of the boat onto the unforgiving rope netting off the front of the boat was the biggest challenge.  Once slightly settled, I made an attempt to grab where I was told and then leaped off.  Using just my arms, I didn’t make it too far and crashed straight into the water almost immediately for a not so pleasant nasal rinse.  Not wanting to let the rope win, I gave it another go, but with the same result.  I decided it would be best, just to wait until tomorrow to give it another go.

This is the official, "What the hell is Adam saying to me look." Photo Courtesy: Amy Qualls

This is the official, “What the hell is Adam saying to me look.”                                              Photo Courtesy: Amy Qualls

Photo Courtesy: Amy Qualls

Photo Courtesy: Amy Qualls

Adam, the rope swing professional Photo Courtesy: Amy Qualls

Adam, the rope swing professional                                                 Photo Courtesy: Amy Qualls

DSC_3186-001Today’s Travel: The Whitsundays – Stonehaven to snorkel at Blue Pearl Bay and Caves Cove to South Molle Island where we set up anchor for the evening

Accommodations: Solway Lass.DSC_3200DSC_3202

No one ever gets to see Whitehaven like this

2 February 2014

After breakfast we set out for Whitehaven Beach.  The weather wasn’t the best, with a mix of rain and wind, but we were just glad that our trip didn’t get cancelled and we were crossing our fingers for some good weather.  It wasn’t long before we were setting up anchor in a cove on the backside of the beach, putting on our stinger suits and jumping in the dingy to make it to shore.

Umm, yes I am posting this on the internets.  I have no shame.

Umm, yes I am posting this on the internets. I have no shame.

When we had our morning overview and distribution of stinger suits, I had to smirk (as I think most did) as we were told there are small iridescent jellies about the size of your thumb nail that you cannot see that if they sting you will send you directly on a helicopter to the ICU.  But those stinger suits they were handing out didn’t cover your hands and there were just stirrup straps on your feet.  I think the best thing was when they were describing the stingers and they say you cannot see them, but just be aware.  How can you be aware of something you can’t see?

When we made it to the lookout point over Whitehaven Beach, I think to make us feel better, as this beach is normally ribbons of white silica for a far as you can see and is constantly rated as one of the best beaches in the world, we were told how lucky we were to see this spot just after a King tide with water all the way up the inlet with rain clouds and drizzle coming down.

Now go google, Whitehaven beach and you probably will not believe this is the same place.

Now go Google, Whitehaven beach, and you probably will not believe this is the same place.

After taking in this very “rare” view, we made our way down to the beach where were once again given instruction on where the stingers and lemon sharks hang out (on the sand bar) and the spot about (just on the other side) where there was some good body surfing.

We made our way over to the sand bar first to spot stingers.  And these guys did blend into the sand really well, so well that Adam stepped on one, but lucky for him the stinger just decided to swim off.

I swear we really were here!

I swear we really were here!

Since the beach was made of almost pure silica we took advantage of its exfoliating and cleaning properties.  My ring got a nice shine and my face finally feels soft.  It was pretty comical though to see a group of 20ish people rubbing sand all over to exfoliate.  After that it we spent the hour or so body surfing/jumping around in the waves, before it was time to head back to the boat.  As we made our way back to the boat we once again saw Petter and Stine, clearly all tourist take the same loop here!  It really is a small world of travelers!

Back on the boat we enjoyed a big lunch and then headed out to the open ocean.  After we made it to the turnaround point the sails were hoisted and we began our sailing journey back towards the protected coves where we would be spending the night.DSC_3149

With the King tides and more storms on their way, the seas were a bit rough.  Many boats had actually been cancelled, but since we were on an old ship she could handle the seas.  My stomach on the other hand was doing somersaults.  I guess I should have listened when the captain said, about 30 minutes earlier, if you have sea sick pills you should take them now.  Sitting in silence, I found a spot near the front of the boat trying to find focal point, but with the ship moving up and down and side to side it was a challenge.  At that point we went below to take our sea sick pills, which for me definitely saved my lunch from going overboard.  I did make an attempt to walk to the back of the boat to look out on the horizon, but seeing the huge wake we were creating did not help.  And when one of the crew went to grab his camera to take a picture, all I could think was this needs to be over soon. When I handed Adam the water bottle which I had been holding, he was definitely grossed out by how much sweat was on the outside.  As it turns out, the sailing portion was pretty miserable and I could only focus on not getting sick.

Once we made it into a protected cove the rain let up a bit and we saw the biggest rainbow ever.  We didn’t have the camera to capture any pictures and at that point you could not have paid me enough money to go walk into the galley to grab the camera.  But it was a nice distraction and shortly after that I think I regained my normal coloring. Thankfully though someone else on the boat was taking pictures and posted them online.

Photo Courtesy: Amy Qualls

Photo Courtesy: Amy Qualls

Finally we made it to a protected area

Finally we made it to a protected area

DSC_3162-001DSC_3168Later that evening once we all felt better, we were chatting with our roommates and we all felt like we wanted to puke while sailing but none of us wanted to be the first so, kudos to all of us in pretending to be tough while really we were all just sitting there in pain.

After we reached our protected cove for the evening, we put down our anchor and shortly after it was time for the group of adults to act like kids and the rope swing was untied.  The crew has a rope tied up high in one of the masts and you can swing out from the front of the ship to a height of about 15 feet before dropping in.  It was a ton of fun once you got the hang of it and was one of the highlights of our boat as it’s I think the only one that has this setup.   Of course I had just changed so I did not partake, but Adam was quickly in line waiting for his turn.

Today’s Travel: The Whitsundays – Macona Inlet to Tongue Bay (Whitehaven Beach) while a sail (that made you want to puke to Stonehaven

Accommodations: Solway Lass.

I think we landed on a pirate ship

1 February 2014

With eight hours to kill before our sailing departure, we took that time to fully explore Airlie beach.  As you can imagine in a town with a main street about 1km long, it didn’t take more than about 15 minutes to see everything, which resulted in us doing many laps up and down the road.  On one of our laps, we ran into Petter and Stine, whom we met at the farmstay.  I guess the tour de the East Coast of Australia is a popular as the tour books claim.

With the humidity becoming a bit much and growing tired of walking around the town, we decided to hop in the car.  We first headed out toward Jubilee Pocket to see if there were other towns to see, it turns out there is nothing but a few homes for sale.  So we headed back toward Cannovale.  Seeing the sign for the laundromat we thought we should at least be somewhat productive and used the time to get everything clean.

With departure time at hand we headed down to our ship the Solway Lass.  At a young 112 years old this tall ship was by far the best looking boat in the harbour.  With so much history and beauty I was really happy with this boat.  We opted to save some cash and went with the shared cabin.  As it turns out that was a great decision since we were really only in our room to sleep and change and with a two minute shower rule there was no need to pay the extra for your own bath.

Our roommates were a young couple from Dublin, Ireland who were super friendly and were going to be traveling off to South America, which kinda made us jealous (if only we had two years!).  We also hit it off with a few other couples and some solo travelers on the boat.  Most people were on two to six month trips, which really made me jealous of the amount of time Europeans get off every year especially Norwegians!

Today’s Travel: Walking around Airlie Beach and out to Macona Inlet in the Whitsundays

Accommodations: Solway Lass. This 112 year old tall ship is a nice place to call home for the next few days.  At this age, having traveled many seas she is pretty much a tank and with some expected rough waters due to the recently passed and impending storms, those who were on newer boats had their trips cancelled and placed on Solway Lass.  Our room has two sets of bunk beds, which we are sharing with another couple.  We did opt for the shared rooms since we probably will only be in our rooms to sleep.  During our ship ‘orientation,’ one of the first things we learned about on the ship was only a daily two minute shower is allowed, I guess showers really are for land anyway.

Time flies when you are having fun

31 January 2014

It was just a short stay and if we didn’t have our boat trip already booked, it would have been great to spend another day on the farm.  But alas it was time to head out and we made it on the road about 9:45 thinking we would be on the road for about five and a half to six hours.   With time not on our side, we made just a quick stop, at one of the very few places along the road, at a gas station for a lunch of champions which included: Snickers, Doritos, Twix and a sarsaparilla for me and an iced coffee drink for the Mr.

There was some serious conversation over the merits of cool ranch and nacho cheese (or cheese supreme)

There was some serious conversation over the merits of cool ranch vs. nacho cheese (or cheese supreme)

And seven hours later we made it to Airlie Beach at 4:45pm and we had to check in for our sailing trip by 5pm.  Thankfully the main street in town is about 100km so there was no getting lost and we found a parking spot just outside the shop where we needed to check in.  However there were about three sailing places all next to one another and at first I walked into the wrong one, but they kindly directed me to the right place.  So I guess you can really get lost in a super small town.

The longer than expected drive was due to a detour and crazy downpours.  As a truck would pass in the opposite direction you just hoped nothing was going to cross your path as it took three to four wipes of the windshield before you could once again see the road.  With all the signs on the roads noting that we were driving thru flood areas and to take note of the markers on the road, we were very lucky that we did not encounter any flooded roads, but did come across one detour as the road over Mt. Morgan was closed.  As we approached Airlie Beach we did see a handful of locals taking advantage of the high tides/floods as they were fishing in the fields off the side of the road.  And we now know why this is the off season.

Today’s Drive: Kokotungo to Jubilee Pocket (a small shire just past Airlie Beach)

Accommodations: Kipara Tropical Rainforest Retreat. A cabin campsite for the $70 price tag this place did the trick.  The room had its own shower and bath plus a mini fridge and since we were simple there to sleep I can’t complain.

You don’t know much about farming, do you?

30 January 2014

With an early start to the day to avoid the heat, we picked out our sweet shirts and boots and were off to the stables.  P1020993P1020994Before we started our ride we had to make sure everyone had breakfast, so we made a served breakfast to the horses.

Such a sweet outfit

Such a sweet outfit

Look at that teamwork

Look at that teamwork

Since I said I wanted a gentle ride, Shane our guide said “you can have Bandit, I usually give him to kids and people with disabilities.” Great, just my type of horse.

Good old Bandit

Good old Bandit

Adam and Bob, as in Bob the builder.  I guess this is what happens when you let kids name horses.

Adam and Bob, as in Bob the builder. I guess this is what happens when you let kids name horses.

Now I am really ready to ride

Now I am really ready to ride

Once we were all ready to go we made our way out to the paddocks (or field) to move the cattle from one paddock to another.

Even the kangaroo's are wondering what the hell we are doing

Even the kangaroo’s are wondering what the hell we are doing

While herding cattle seems like a good time, I really wasn’t sure what we were doing.  At one point I ended up riding next to the cow and was yelled at by our guide, woopsie! What can you expect I have no clue what the hell I am doing and with his accent I am not really sure what he wants us to do.

Pretty much sums it up

Pretty much sums it up

Apparently our horses enjoyed eating more than working

Apparently our horses enjoyed eating more than working

After getting the cattle into their new paddock, we then took a tour around the property by horseback.  P1030022

Look at these cowboys

Look at these cowboys, seriously Bandit would not stop eating

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Maybe we will start our own dude ranch

Maybe we will start our own dude ranch

It was an interesting perspective to be riding around on a horse and seeing groups of kangaroos hanging out.  After spending about two hours on the horse, both Adam and I were ecstatic to see the farm in the distance signaling the end of the ride.  Not having ridden a horse since we were little kids we were becoming incredibly sore from the ride and were happy to hop off and give our joints a reprieve.  And here I was thinking running made your knee’s hurt, well horseback riding takes the cake and then some!

There was some time to kill in between activities so I found the hammock and took a nice nap while Adam picked up his book.

It was then time for another first for the both of us, riding motorbikes.  Since I have no clue about motorbikes, this was farm motorbike meaning you only had to use the clutch for starting and stopping.  For me it was a bit nerve racking as I had absolutely no clue how to drive a manual and when he talked about shifting gears and knowing the feel of the bike, my eyes pretty much glazed over.  I started out on the wrong foot using too much gas and almost riding into the grass.  Lucky for me the instructor could run fast to grab the bike as I was stepping on the break and opening up the gas at the same time.  I could tell he was a little unsure of my abilities but after a bit more coaching I was on my way.  After my second lap I hit some gravel which resulted in my kinda freaking out and kicking out my legs (I have no clue what I was thinking) only to quickly recover unscathed.  At that point I was reading to give up and say I tried, but with a bit more coaching and a ride on the back of the instructors bike to get the whole concept of turning and what shifting gears was like, I was back on my bike and taking laps.  Adam as per usual was a natural and while I was left to my own devices on the kiddie track the instructor led him around the property.  Since I was a bit dizzy from doing circles and Adam got the green light to go on the full property ride, I hopped back on the instructor’s bike and we were off to tour the property.  I also had the super important job of opening and closing all the farm gates.

We didn't take out the camera, but here are the sweet bikes after our ride.

We didn’t take out the camera, but here are the sweet bikes after our ride.

With the clouds rolling in with some rain as cyclone Dylan was beginning to make landfall at the coast and the outer bands were making their way inland, we didn’t get a second chance to enjoy the sunset or stargaze in the evening.

But we did have time to make another attempt at milking the cows.  I still don’t stand a chance with a career in the dairy business, but maybe there is hope for Adam.  He was even crazy enough to drink straight from the tin bucket.  I was much more refined and waited for Lyn to pour the milk over a strainer and then into a cup.  While it was room temperature it did taste very good.  Much better than any milk I have ever tasted, it had a creamy and sweet flavor.  And even for this lactose intolerant girl, I survived.  So the moral of the story is if Adam wants to continue to drink real milk at home, we need to buy a cow. That or we just by separate milk.

Farmer Adam

Farmer Adam

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Drinking milk almost straight from the cow

Drinking milk almost straight from the cow

When making dinner, the owner’s daughter, Lyn, popped out to ask Adam a few questions on how to make a Mexican inspired marinate for the steaks.  When she started asking a series of questions like, ‘do you use coconut milk?,’ ‘do you use curry powder?’ both which inspired an awkward, ‘no,’ Neil suggested that Adam just make his way into the kitchen to help with dinner.  Shortly after I popped in to bring Adam some homemade whiskey, made by none other than Uncle Harry, (clearly this is what you do on the farm) and saw the recipe book was open to a recipe called ‘Mexican Beef Casserole.’  When reading ingredients like Worchester sauce, red wine, potatoes and other random ingredients, I was glad Adam was taking over the marinade.  But we all had a good laugh as the recipe looked like a bad game of telephone of people adding their own mix as to what they thought would be Mexican food.

While eating, most of us (those willing to try as a few flat out refused since it was made with peppers), thought the flavor of the marinade was great and wasn’t very strong.  However Lyn thought it was a bit much and after one bit yelled out ‘oh, that is hot’ and got up to dump sour cream on her steak to take out the heat.  It was a priceless reaction! With a small group, it was fun to share stories and have some good laughs around the dinner table.

Today’s Travel: Around the farm

Accommodations: Myella.