Today we walked upon Alexandra Headland here on the Sunshine Coast to go beach combing and happened upon this piece of wood which was growing out of the beach but which reminded me of The Old Man of The Sea.
Today we walked upon Alexandra Headland here on the Sunshine Coast to go beach combing and happened upon this piece of wood which was growing out of the beach but which reminded me of The Old Man of The Sea.
We decided on a little road trip the other day, to a place here on the Sunshine Coast called Currimundi Lake. Since the cyclone which was forecast to hit, was a no-show in this part of the world, we felt safe to take a trip to the beach again. Once we had mastered the industrial estate and the housing estate courtesy of the Sat Nav, we ended up in the right place and found a lovely cafe with the warmest welcome and bought some cool drinks to quench our thirst after a walk along the beach. There is a lake there when you get out of the car and you might be forgiven for thinking that you have only come to a lake. But it is like the starter course for a main course which is about to unfold before your eyes. As we walked around a small part of the tidal lake, which was absolutely beautiful by the way and a haven for wildlife. We came to a gap in the landscape. Turning the corner it opened up onto a blue skyline and an almost deserted beach, beautiful reddish and white sands stretched for miles. But that was not what I found so captivating. we were met with the sight of waves, so high that the sea spray covered the beach and all the passers by, at a guess I would have to say that they could have been 40 feet high as they rolled in and I bathed in their awesomeness and beauty. I could have watched them for hours.
It took our breath away as we stood watching the waves, the colours were magnificent, the sun was shining, there was hardly anyone around and we walked for what seemed like miles with my feet in soft sand, looking for sea shells. We had hoped that the storms had washed up some good finds, but most of the shells were broken, we found a few small ones which had remained intact along with some rather lovely stones. As surfing is the norm in this part of the world, despite the fierce weather warnings we half expected to see a few crazy surfers out there, but they seemed to have listened or gone taken a look and decided that it wasn’t worth the risk. The beach was almost deserted, but for a few dog walkers and puppies of all ages bounding along the beach. Another beautiful place here on my adventure.
As I stood there gazing out in wonder at the beautiful scenery once again, only this time it wasn’t raining and we could see for miles. The views were astounding. We had arrived at the Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World. A place we had been anticipating for a couple of weeks since I arrived and where my hosts were understandably keen to show me.
I was firstly struck by the greenery which surrounded us all, drinking in its delights. There are sixteen acres there, but before you even get to look at them, you are met by a team of tame birds at the door, who greet you with varying levels of Hello and attempts to play with buttons, hair ties, jewellery. Some are sitting there saying nothing, others will happily begin a conversation, they all have differing characters.
We walked around the gardens, they are absolutely stunning and carefully planned and thought out with artwork, galleys for watering the numerous species. Spectacular views and areas of garden which encourage you to look further and investigate. Many of the blooms I have never seen, neither do I know the names of them but you cannot deny that these are magnificent gardens and the perfect place to spend the day walking around with the family. We took a picnic and enjoyed momentary escape from the heat of the sun under one of the many gazebo with seating provided.
Having just reviewed this visit on TripAdvisor, I felt that I could not tell everything about our visit on there as I wanted to save my favourite moments for here. We went there for the birds, the chance to have beautiful parrots flying around my head was too good to miss, I thought that I might get a few nice photos too. I was pleased with some of the results.
We took the aviary tour. It was well worth it, the first aviary contained small finches in a plethora of colours. They are all too shy to come and sit upon your shoulder.
The second section was a whole different matter, there were three beautiful blue macaws, young cheeky birds with a penchant for clambering and kisses. They were adorable and just so playful and noisy. But I stood in awe feeling like a small child looking up as they flew around my head. An abundance of Budgerigars in most available colours all perched together up one end in a quiet corner.
At one point, just before I left that aviary, there was a cockatoo trying to remove my flip flops (known as thongs in these parts) A rather cute green parrot jumping up and down on my head, whilst a beautiful pink and grey was preening me and trying to remove my camera strap. Then to top it all, two of the young blue macaws came and landed on the same arm fighting over kisses and cuddles and playing with my bracelet and necklace. I have to say that I was in my element and could happily have stayed there for a while, but my friend took a rather comical photograph with them all for me to remember them by.
The last enclosure contained the larger parrots, some black and white cockatoos and the grumpiest parrot of them all, he did not want to share his bird seed with anyone , nor did he wish to be given any but he did make us laugh. His only concession was to eye up the Lorikeets with suspicion and give them a piece of his mind as they came to drink from his bowl and fluff up his feathers when they came anywhere near him. There were also a selection of other beautiful macaws and green parrots along with another whose party trick was to follow us around nipping our toes and trying to undo shoelaces.
We were encouraged to take photographs and collect feathers from the enclosure, so came out with a very pretty selection of them. I just hope that I will be able to keep them and take them back with me when I return home. Meanwhile today is a memory that I will cherish for some considerable time and because of all the excitement and fresh air I’m sure that we will all sleep well tonight.
I just love that title!
I have a wide reaching smile at the mere mention of it.
You see part of me wondered if I would even get here and the other part of me hoped that I wouldn’t be too old to enjoy it if I did. And he knew that, read me like a book and did this most wonderful thing, for me!
So here I am writing this a week after my arrival on the Sunshine Coast and posting it a little later since I have been exploring with my friends.
No pressure has been put in me this week whatsoever. My hosts have been amazing. There for me on every level trying to find things that didn’t wipe me out completely since the jet lag and a travellers cold kicked in. I missed a couple of days wiped out by sleep and total lack of energy.
I thought that by travelling in March I would arrive before the rainy season, but we had only two days of sun before five days of rain. So much rain it’s like a monsoon. Then if it breaks there is beauty and butterflies and all the birds come out and celebrate and us along with them.
Every morning, my friend feeds the birds on her porch. They all come to visit and she has names for the regulars whom they recognise. They eat a lot of cheese! There is a lovely sweet butcher bird called Frank who will take cheese from your hand if you offer it to him. He will also hop around on the verandah to get your attention. He has a son who is more timid, whom they have named Ricky and when they sing, it brings the whole garden alive.
There are Mr & Mrs Blue. Mr also loves cheese but you have to put it down for him. Mrs loves cake so clearly has a sweet tooth.
A family of Cookaburra also come to visit every day. But Frank came and sat nicely with me whilst I was writing yesterday, just came up and sat on the table next to me whilst I was there for about five minutes then flew away.
I slept really well on the first night, for 14 hours in fact and awoke to be met by a small puppy who was visiting overnight, lots of puppy play when you are away from home and missing your hound is a good thing, this little one was a darling. I was comforted by the sound of trains passing by at the bottom of the garden and all the wonderful birds. On the first day, a steam train passed the end of the garden on a special 125th Anniversary celebration. As it stopped in the station, we all raced outside for a look and for me to take photographs.
When it was sunny, the second day we went out to Coloundra. We met up with her Mum and Stepdad it has been several years and felt as though no time had passed at all. We went through the market, found interesting food, in my case falafels and salad in a wrap followed by coconut ice cream.
There is a beautiful beach there. I was met by white sand and blue sea, I don’t think that I have ever been on a beach that blue. It was stunning. My friend showed me the pier where he used to fish in the mornings, when he first arrived in Australia. There were lots of tiny fishes underneath just peeking out and avoiding capture. The anglers said they hadn’t caught much, just a few sea bream. As we walked on the sand the heat hit me squarely between the eyes and thankfully my friend was watching over me. She soaked my shirt in water and I wore that with a hat and my factor 50 sunscreen. Apprehensive since I did not know how my skin would react to the sun after last summer and the rash I had for months. I was relieved to note no ill effects of wandering around for a couple of hours just a bit of a headache which an early night sorted out.
I was so tired. This is the longest time I have travelled so had no idea how it would wipe me out, I just knew that it would. I’ve walked around in a daze fighting for breath for most of the week, wheezing as I tried to get used to the changes in atmosphere. Then my cold hit. But we won’t dwell on that as I’ve turned the corner now.
On Monday my friends father arrived from Thailand to visit for a week. I haven’t seen him since I was fifteen and my friend hasn’t seen him for a few years, they had a lot of catching up to do. It was the day when I felt really rough and had taken myself off to bed after we picked the boys up from school. They all went out for dinner later that night, I couldn’t join them so just went to sleep until the morning.
On Tuesday, where he was staying in Mooloolaba there is a lovely marina which we went to explore. We all met up for a fabulous Sushi lunch there. It was spot on and her Dad bought us swordfish steaks for dinner that night from the fish market. The grey of the day made the beach look a little less inviting so we stuck to a quick browse in the galleries we passed on the way to the sushi restaurant.
Wednesday because of the rain, my friend couldn’t work. He works outside which meant that he was able to take us out to places instead. We went out to meet up with her father and see a lovely place called Montville. Apparently the views from up there are absolutely wonderful. But we couldn’t see them as it was raining so hard and cloud drifted past us as we had cake and coffee together. It is a tourist spot, but a lot of Art Nouveau design features so of course I fell in love with the place and its quirky buildings.
It was a visit for exclamations of “You don’t see that every day do you?” As I wandered around bring a tourist and photographing things that caught my eye, Beautiful glimpses of sky through trees. Curious buildings and a delightful lily pond with multi coloured lilies and a bridge where you reach a clock shop.
I walked into the shop and was met with a wall of cuckoo clocks, which took me back to my childhood since my grandparents had one. I took a snapshot and sent it to my aunt, so she could share in the memory. I was mesmerised by the beautiful and intricate engraving on the pendulums hanging in the grandfather clocks. They were serious collectors pieces and you would need a second mortgage for most of them.
Art abounds on Montville, almost every shop appears to have something artsy. There are lots of inset paving depicting local wild animals, history of the area, the local school. Sections with tiles, brasses, pottery all number of things. As we walked back up the hill, I saw a lovely chapel. A nouveau styled building with curves called Poets Cafe and made a mental note that should we venture back there in the sunshine, that would definitely require further investigation.
There is something that I can not explain. But it is reassuring when you walk into an unexpected place and see a curled up dog especially a Husky or Malamute having a sleep. It makes me think, this is a nice place.
That evening we’d been invited to a party, yes even me. We all headed out to the restaurant. Normally I struggle with nights out in general, tending to overthink the whole process and make mistakes in my attire which worry me coming over all indecisive and getting in a flap. But once we all got there I met a lovely family and the lady who owned the little dog who came to stay at the weekend. She also has horses and other animals. But she is the mother of two lovely friendly and polite children and also has a crazy best friend from school, (just like my ones)
We talked and laughed so much throughout the night, that I woke up hoarse but had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Thursday we are taking it easy kicking back and relaxing after the kids have all gone to school, trying to get the washing dry. It is so humid between rain showers and torrents that everything feels damp. I resorted to boots and socks as I couldn’t get warm then realised it was 22C so I must have adjusted to it here to a degree.
We met the boys from school and came up the hill to see the longest freight train I have ever seen we couldn’t see the end of it and waited and waited for about 5 minutes. There must have been close to a hundred containers on it and I was amazed that the one diesel loco could actually pull it all. The wonders of engineering…
We all went out again last night, Ricks Cafe is a wonderful place nearby in Palmwoods. It is a working garage and the restaurant at the front has so much to take in, so much character vintage pieces and artefacts, artwork all presented in a great package.
They also do great food and since it was Thursday it was Open Mic night with live local musicians. They also serve my friends favourite alcoholic ginger beer on tap there and one taste and that was my drink of choice for the evening.
Another great night and a slightly mad moment where we investigated a curious tree on the corner of a road on the way home where there are chickens and geese living wild in the park. It must have looked rather odd to passers by with me and the three kiddies jumping up and down trying to reach the seed pods which hung down from this tree in the dark and the rain running back to the car laughing with our stash of Sausage tree pods.
So Today as I write this, I’ve now been here for a week already. Although I am missing my Bears like mad I am having fun with my friends. As of yesterday my sense of fun has crept out from where it was hiding or so long. I wonder if my friend knows what to expect when his Mrs and I get together. Full on nonsense, let the games begin.
For more in depth reviews of some of the places we have visited, why not take a look under “IndiaBlue-Writer” on TripAdvisor.com
I am relieved to have some sleep on the second part of this journey.
We passed by Bengalaru and Goa and Colombo and have been crossing the sea. As we travel I am thinking of these places, wondering what some of them are like. I never studied geography at school, I foolishly thought that I would never get to see the world. Dreams and ambitions were not to be encouraged and neither were flights of fancy. Curious as to what I would see and experience at ground level. I make a mental note to look such places up later and find out more about the wonders of the world in which we live. We have Drawn level with places named Nikitin Seamount and Investigator Ridge which are on our right whereas to the left of us are Phuket and Singapore A short while ago we crossed the equator and suddenly the blue hue that has been with us for many hours changed.
I ventured along the plane to see what the outside looked like. A wonderful skyscape there before me, like icebergs silently moving by amidst the blue waters below. But here we are above the clouds. It plays tricks upon the mind, as though you have seen something entirely different. I take photographs not only to savour the memories and moments but to paint such things later on.
I knew that I would be making memories on this trip. I am visiting beloved friends who I dared not hope to see so soon, after all they emigrated to the other side of the world. Normal people don’t get to go and visit.
I wanted to show my Mum and my Dad these pictures. I took video as well. It reminds me of a very early memory I have as a child, when my father showed us slides on a projector of his flight to Italy in an aeroplane, there were a lot of photographs of clouds. At the time I did not understand the magic of being above the clouds. But as I have grown up, it is something that I have grown to love. I have no fear of flying just anticipation and joy at the new things I get to see along the way.
As I did on the other flight at what looked like sunrise to me. I am utterly confused and have just witnessed the most beautiful sunset and have been basking in its glory. As I glanced out the window It looked just like God’s feet are sticking out from the heavens reminding us that he is higher still than we can even imagine. It is about 7.30pm wherever we are currently travelling past. Touched by it’s beauty I am overcome with emotion as this part of the world our sky is plunged into darkness. I feel totally alive. I hope that I never forget the feeling of being up here travelling at 37000 feet and cruising at almost 600 miles per hour. The sun as it breaks through some hours from now and the clouds again look like a swirling seascape of surf underneath us. Looking as though we are barely moving but being transported on cloud nine, my new experience has definitely begun. What a wonderful way to experience a rebirth, to recognise that the future is going to be different and better and fun and I will embrace whatever energy I have to experience whatever I am able to.
This is such a gift for which I will be forever grateful and indebted to he who loves me and decided that I should go now whilst I am still young enough to enjoy it.
In the words of Nina Simone which ring around my head “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good.”
We have reached the halfway point on this leg of the journey as we head onward past Jakarta and towards Australia and all the treasure that it holds.
There is something quite surreal to be looking out of the window of an aeroplane at 4.30am local time cruising at 41000 feet past Baghdad and seeing a beautiful full moon out of the window. Lights of an unknown landscape are scattered below me.
At times, it looks like we have somehow come to a halt in the sky, so it’s difficult to believe that we are actually travelling at almost 600 miles per hour.
I didn’t think for a minute when we booked the flight about the countries it would pass over on the way around the world. Bizarrely it didn’t even cross my mind, but as I look at the flight path and it takes me past so many areas that have appeared in the news over the past few years and months, it does get me thinking. But I am not worried, just thinking…
En route we have passed Germany, Belgrade, Budapest, Istanbul.
The awesomeness of this trip of a lifetime suddenly kicks in and I am feeling such gratitude for the opportunity that has been given to me.
I remembered that I thoroughly enjoy flying. The take off, being in the air, the views from the window. Where we I travel once I am on the plane all of the stress that I have felt in preparing for the trip, after the meltdown of finding the airline had cut the luggage allowance, once I had arrived at the airport is gone and but a memory.
As I continue to write we are flying on past Basrah. I don’t know what I expected to see through the clouds it looks just like any other area at night.
The world feels such a small place when you view things on the map and you remember people you have met and the places that they come from. I find myself thinking “ So I know someone from Tehran, as though they live just up the road and I could pop in to see them.
Many years ago I had a boyfriend whose family were from Kuwait. Although I have never visited these places before, there is something that links me to them as I travel on this journey.
The hostess has just handed me a hot tortilla wrap. It was unexpectedly delicious. It is 2am at home and I wouldn’t normally eat a chickpea curry wrap at that time of the morning, or even anything similar to it but extenuating circumstances apply. Like that occasional naughty kebab on the way home after night outs in my youth.
So although I might body is starting to tire, I didn’t sleep much last night either due to last minute packing and excitement. But I dozed earlier and have awoken with renewed energy and enthusiasm at what else I will see on the next leg of the journey.
Between the snatched sleep I have been listening to Jazz and relaxing chill out tunes. Since my eyes are tired and dry I didn’t want to try and keep track of a fast moving screen with a movie if I was to have any hope of sleep.
I took a little walk around this level of the airbus earlier, since nice my hips were threatening cramp and realised that there were lots of empty seats, people camped out with legs sticking out of blankets everywhere and the poor tired baby who cried for the first two hours has finally gone to sleep. Alas I spoke too soon and the little one has started up again. It always makes me want to give them a cuddle and see if I can help. Sometimes I miss that connection from a past life as a babysitter and honorary auntie.
We have Dammam and Bahrain left on our way to Abu Dhabi and will arrive in about an hour from now. So far it’s been a lovely flight as it is just getting light and the scenery changes again we are blessed with the sunrise from the tail camera on the plane and a new day in this time zone at least. Welcome to March.
Such excitement I can hardly breathe.
If you wish hard enough and do believe.
Then all the bad luck we’ll rearrange.
And things at last are going to change.
That it really will come right in the end.
Thanks to my dearest on whom I depend.
He’ll embrace my heart to follow my dreams,
To make things happen and set the scenes.
Of adventures to happen in this life,
After all the trouble and strife.
The trip of a lifetime, a far off place.
He’s there in my heart and back I’ll race.
To tell him of the places I’ve been,
And all of the wonders I have seen.
To share with my love my stories and cheer
Of all the new things that I hold dear.
Things that he pushed me to achieve
At times my aching heart will heave.
To not have him there right my my side
My hand to hold my journey to guide.
But even though he’s there at the start.
We’ll never feel we’re really apart.
To head off alone can fill me with dread,
But I’ll always hear his voice in my head.
To leave him here I do feel mean,
But he’s sending me off to fulfil a dream.
So when time is done and this Earth I leave.
My life lived and travelled I do believe.