A Travellerspoint blog

Day 35: Sunday 7th April 2013

A Simple Day

sunny 30 °C

Today, with daylight saving (we are just in NSW here) kicking in over night we managed to sleep in until 10. This meant we were going to have to run in the heat...not good....our training plan that we are loosely following also required that we ran for 90 minutes...definitely not good! Venturing outside the bush turkeys had also had a go at our bin so we had that to sort out too.

We started off well, running down the beach, further than yesterday thanks to the tide, we went back onto the Main Street, past the campsite and up the hill towards the lighthouse, following the signs for said lighthouse we ended up climbing steep slopes, stairs and along ridges in the now midday sun before it was time to turn around. By the time we got back to camp I was exhausted!

We upped our cod intake today so we are having it for lunch and tea: we had it with sweet potato mash and the wondered into the town, via the beach, we checked out some of the shops and then returned to the beach to laze in the afternoon sun...this is the life!

Back at the campsite we booked in until Thursday and returned to the camp kitchen to cook up green Thai curry....with cod: scrumptious.

Posted by Jolley-Jarvis 18:07 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 34: Saturday 6th April 2013

U Turns & A Change of Plan

sunny 28 °C

We woke up reasonably early and headed to a local McDonald's to use the toilets. The weather, whilst better than yesterday was dry, but still quite cold. We decided to give the water park a miss as we were shivering in t shirts and shorts let alone swimmers! The large RM Williams 'outdoor spectacular' we had earmarked on our way up to Noosa was not an outdoor shop as we had hoped: no it was a large theatre restaurant...today was not going to plan at all!

We decided to move onto our next planned destination: Surfers Paradise. As we exited the main highway we saw some designer brands discount shops and decided to check them out: we managed to find a couple of much needed t-shirts for $20 each: what a bargain, and then got back on the road to surfers paradise.

As we made our way through the towns suburbs, noticing adverts for 'gentleman's clubs' a shop called condom kingdom and other trashy sights we decided to consult the LP which is now used more as a foot rest than it is as a guidebook. On this occasion is eloquently describes our surroundings as...better surfing elsewhere and a far cry from paradise! We decided to do a u turn, venturing no further into this party town and instead made our way straight to Byron bay. En route we stopped at a Bunnings to pick up some ant killer: the small ant issue the van had when we picked it up has now grown into a very large problem with at least 2 nests. When we left the shop we felt a bit hungry so set up our chairs by the kitchen area of the van and had our lunch...right there in the carpark (like true travellers)

On arrival in Byron we were greeted by a busy town, full of people and cars bout with a good atmosphere...thank goodness for that! We went in search of a campsite and found a lovely park just 10 minutes walk from town... The only catch: a pitch is $72 per night (thanks to school holidays!) which leaves us with $3 per day if we are to stick to budget, we decided to just be over budget...we wanted to see Byron, we need a shower and have just over a week left in Australia, we book in for 3 nights. Organise ourselves in our little pitch in the trees and then take the 10 minute walk along the beach to town where we get a few bits of supplies from Aldi to accompany our cod.

We did a training run and then spent the evening relaxing, eating the cod sweet and sour style....very tasty, only 4 more cod meals to go!

Posted by Jolley-Jarvis 18:04 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 33: Friday 5th April 2013

Zoo Time

storm 25 °C

We woke with the intention of going for a training run, but the drumming of the train on our roof had kept us awake on and off all night and was still persisting at 7, the thought of another run on our already aching legs ahead of a day of walking miles around the zoo put us off, instead we dozed and while longer and then got breakfast and packed up, thankfully as the rain began to stop.

We arrived at the zoo a couple of minutes past nine: the entrance fee is expensive so we wanted to make a day of it, from the appearance of the carpark others shared the same thought: it was already really busy despite being overcast with the odd heavy shower.

First stop: just inside the gate we posed with a baby crocodile, it felt a lot softer than I was expecting I wasn't convinced...which was evident by the face that I was pulling in the picture! On the way to the adult crocodiles we looked at some lizards, whilst viewing the crocs, we overheard the presentation for the giant tortoises and so went straight over, the commentator was really good, she obviously adored the animals. After the presentation we wondered around the kangaroos, koalas and wetland animal areas. Although there were fewer species on display than at other zoos it was alot more hands on: we were down in the koala pen, walking between the trees. We were allowed to stroke one too and pose for our own photos.
At the wombat enclosure we watched a mum with a baby in her pouch; it was wriggling around as she lay on her side and at first just had its leg poking out, then just before it left it poked its head out, it was so cute.

Next was the snakes: we managed to confirm, we had definitely seen a brown snake when we had been walking in manly, but with a number of types to choose from we are still unsure which one we saw: they look so similar!

By this time it was just before 12 and almost time for the main show of the day in the 'crocoseum' it was a fabulous show with native birds coming in and flying free around the open air theatre, snakes and of course a crocodile. It was by far the most impressive show I have ever seen at a zoo; fast moving, interactive yet informative it was a spectacle to watch.

After the show we returned to the carpark for lunch, we got our chairs out and sat at the kitchen end and enjoyed our lunch. Once finished we went to the wildlife hospital as we had paid for a 'sneaky peak' of the hospital and its residents. We were able to see some of the koalas in for treatment, as well as the theatre facilities which were unfortunately not in use; if they had been the full glass wall would have provided excellent viewing but we probably would have never got back to the zoo!
Once we looked around the displays we headed back to the zoo, in time for the second croc feeding of the day: a crocodile called casper who due to a genetic mutation lacked the dark pigment in his skin so he was sandy in colour: as a baby in the wild he would have been quickly eaten if he hadn't been rescued, that feeding display was also really well presented, we spent the rest of the day looking around the other enclosures including the rhino and elephant area where people, again in the hands-on sentiment of the zoo, were feeding the elephants their afternoon tea.

Around 4 pm we decided we had seen everything and with tired legs we returned to the van: the area the zoo is on is massive, again in keeping with Australia, away from the coast everything is so spread out because there is so much space!

We returned to the picnic area of the campsite we had stayed in last night (the free one) to use the benches and shelter to prepare and eat tea. We then got on our way, via a few McDonald's, to try and use their wifi but failed to get a consistent connection, we were aiming for the gold coast and more specifically wet and wild in the hope tomorrow's weather would be nice enough for a day at a water park.
We found a nice little spot to park up, just away from road and a couple of minutes drive to the water park, tucked out of the way it was perfect....until we got out to get the bed ready and stepped into quite literally a cloud of Mosquitos.

We quickly sorted the bed and then got into the van. We spent the next half an hour killing the 30+ mosquitos that had managed to get in and then the rest of the evening putting cream on our bites!

Posted by Jolley-Jarvis 18:01 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 32: Thursday 4th April 2013

Running In The Rain

storm 23 °C

We woke up today later than normal having enjoyed a lay in till 7.30am. It was beautiful and sunny when we got up and so we decided to put a clothes wash on and go for a run whilst it drys... Not as exciting as yesterday but needs must!

Once the washing was done and hung out to dry we started running, getting 20mins away the heavens opened and we ran in rain like never before, being totally soaked to the bone. Arriving back the sun came out again.

Or washing now totally soaked we put it in the tumble dryer which helped but it was still wet, so we hung it out again and went to town so we could get some more money for the tumble dryer and Sarah could buy a funky ice cream which was made with liquid nitrogen, very cool. On route to noosa, guess what.... The havens opened again. We sheltered in noosa for a few hours before heading back and starting to wash our clothes. We had been told by the campsite we could stay as long as we wanted and 4 20 minute cycles later our washing was dry. Plus we had enjoyed another cod supper. Happy days.

We said a very warm fair well to our generous hosts and went on our way to the late steve irwins, infamous Australia zoo. An hour or so later, we had arrived. Wondering where to park like any like minded traveller with a caper we tried the zoo car park. Within two minutes of us pulling up security was there and moved us on. Very efficient. They were actually really nice about it and suggested a free site 10mins down the road which we checked out to find lovely individual camping spots, a perfect place to bed down for the night.

Posted by Jolley-Jarvis 17:54 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 31: Wednesday 3rd April 2013

A Perfect Day In Paradise: Fishes and horses

sunny 26 °C

Another early morning with a 5am wake up call. After a quick breakfast in the dark, we watched the sun come out and met with the guy from the caravan park, who is friends with the trip organisers. It was a beautiful sunny day and Darren (caravan park guy) drove us to the boat and was really helpful. We soon got fishing. I true Aussie fashion the boat man asked if anyone had not fished before, which was Sarah and a couple of other people on board. His response was you put your line in, let it sink, then when you get a bite lift the rod really quick...sorted. Within an hour I had only managed to catch a small but edible sweet lips fish and then Sarah got some small stuff, which was used form bait or put back. Then bang, I got a bite and it was a big one. It's was so heavy bringing it in my arms were aching, slowly minute by minute it came to the surface. As it appeared out of the deep blue it showed that the weight was an indication of size. I had basically caught a massive 15ish kg (30-40lb) cod. Happy days. I was and still am delighted. Very shocked after, the adrenaline rush was pretty intense.

We had a lot of fun after that but never caught anything like that big fish. Best of all we get to keep what we caught. Darren turned out to be the owner of the caravan park, and was really nice as he knew we had to shoot off horseriding. so he said he was going to bring the fish back later (as he went fishing again in the afternoon with his daughter). He also found us a spot on the site, with power, for the evening. Really pleasant genuine Aussie who loves his fishing. We offered him some of the cod, but he smiled and said his freezer was so full of fish he doesn't know what to do with it all.

So onto the afternoon, we went to northern beaches were top attraction on trip advisor is a beach ride. We had a private 2 hour horse ride along the beach and national park. I had a skewbold, much like Sarah's horse Dante at home named moose, and Sarah was on a chestnut named scout. They were very well schooled horses and it was a pleasure. I was a bit rusty at first having not ridden for 6 months. But found my feet, and thanks to moose, quickly as he was so well behaved and responsive.

For the last half an hour we were allowed to a play in the sea and gallop up and down the totally secluded beach. It was amazing, we had our water proof camera and took some photos and video. We went so deep the horses were swimming, that was lovely, and they played in the waves, but were a little scared with big waves, which was understandable. We were both soaking wet and thrilled to bits at the end of it.

When we got back we had just enough time for me to do my usual work out, whilst Sarah did some blog writing and then met up with Darren to help fillet the cod. We got so much fish off him it was incredible. We have a campsite fridge full of fresh cod. Apparently if we were to buy the fish from a fish market it would probably cost us about $400-$450. He was also very happy with his afternoon catch, as he had bought home a giant mackrill and small shark.

He invited us in for drinks and we sat and had a few rum and cokes whilst chatting, time flew buy and we had to rush off to cook our dinner in the camp kitchen before closing time. Dinner of course was cod, a giant fillet. We baked it in foil, with lemon and butter. It was delicious, wonderfully sweet and fleshy. That went with a simple sweet potato mash. Finishing off what was a great day.

Posted by Jolley-Jarvis 17:49 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

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