Three weeks ago I had photodynamic therapy on my face and arms to remove lurking sunspots and skin cancers. During the 1st week, I was unable to step outside the house because of the gruesome reactions taking place, particularly on my face. Direct sunlight also dramatically increased pain levels. Week 2 and 3 saw me shedding dead skin at a rate of knots. I'm delighted with the end result. Previously I have used the efidex cream, a process which leaves one in discomfort for 6 weeks. PDT is more expensive, but definitely more successful and only 1 week of discomfort.
This week I am looking forward to hitting the great outdoors again. This week's post however, is retelling the completely unexpected excitement of the Coombabah Wetlands on the fringe of the Gold Coast. It was my 1st walk after returning from my son's wedding on PEI last year and I have been waiting to find the time to share.
27 August 2014
It was a crisp wintery morning, with dark clouds teasing and being pushed away by billowy formations and blue sky. Opposite the parking lot was a sunny open field, where we spread our picnic blanket to enjoy warm sunshine with our coffee. We were delighted to spot a number of kangaroos resting under trees, across the way.
We were joined by 2 cheeky magpies.
A lovely start to a day of constantly being surprised. Number one surprise was, that this area of 1200 hectares of wetland, eucalypt forest, salt marsh, mangrove and swamp habitat and home to migratory birds, and an amazing range of plant and animal life, is so unknown. A definite destination for our visitors in future, especially if they are from overseas.
We covered 12 kms before lunch, at which time, the heavens opened and we had to seek shelter. Later we covered a couple more before the showers really set in. There are still a myriad of trails to return to.
The track then took us through a drier area and we almost missed the kangaroos relaxing in the shadows. How many can you spot?
The Goshawk track bordered a drainage canal to Coombabah Creek.
Boundary Track then connected us with Koala Track, but no matter how often we searched the tree tops, not one koala was spotted. BUT every new, open, grassy space was abundant with wallabies and kangaroos happily grazing.
In this field alone, we did a rough count of 80.
Soon after we passed by here, the dark clouds rushed in and a hasty retreat was made to the car.
We eventually found shelter to eat our lunch. At this time I realised that I had left my hat lying on the ground, when I had put my poncho on. I was not at all happy with myself, as it had been an expensive purchase. Looking at the map, we realised that the shelter we were at, was near the back entrance to the reserve and reasonably close to the spot where I had left the hat. Once the rain had passed we hit the Boundary Track again, but from its western point.
Not only was the hat found, but we were excited to spot an echidna, nuzzling the soil for ants. He wasn't at all alarmed by our presence.
I had some amazing experiences on my travels in eastern, North America, but 'hiking down under with friends,' is hard to beat! [Photo - Laurel Scott]