Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Saying Goodbye

                                                                       Tuesday, 4 am, saw us at Brisbane airport check in with our son Stuart. He was about to make the 40 hour journey to Canada's Prince Edward Island to reunite with his fiancee, whom he had met in Banff 5 years ago. During the week he had realised it would be exactly 6 years to the day since his overseas adventures had begun. It has been wonderful to have had him with us the last 8 months. We just wished that things had worked out better for Kim, but they arrived to a very unstable work market and her visa was quite limiting.
On our 1st walk together, Stuart introduced me to the beauty of Springbrook National Park, so it was fitting that on our last walk we retraced our steps.

On completion of our walk we drove to Currumbin Creek and met up with family for a late picnic lunch in the warm winter sunshine. At about 4pm the men of the family allowed me a special hour on the Currumbin Beach just a short distance away.

Unfortunately the view to the east, of these clouds, told me what I didn't want to know - no 'super moon' viewing tonight. Oh well, the best laid plans......

I still spent a relaxed hour enjoying the beauty of the sunset colours, watching the avid surfers trying to catch the swells and listening to the gentle ebb and flow of the waves.

The previous evening we had also sat outside to watch moon rise. The sky was still so light that the moon was actually up for 10 mins before we spotted it.

On the morning of our walk, I was out and about at 6am with Laurel [dear friend and neighbour] to capture the moon set. Again we thought the clouds would win their game with us, but at the last moment they relented and we oohed and aahed as our cameras snapped again and again.

So glad I had these special days, as Walking Wednesday had to be cancelled because I've been slowed down with a nasty stomach bug. Roll on next Wednesday!

Happiness is ............
                               a visiting butterfly.

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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Lennox Heads to Ballina - Coastal Walk.


Walking Tuesday has now become Walking Wednesday [work related,] so yesterday saw us setting off south from my home at 7am for the 150 k drive to our coastal walk between Lennox Heads and Ballina in Northern New South Wales. Travelling 40 mins on an 8 lane highway and the remainder on 4 lane highway made the journey far more pleasant than last week's commuter crawl.

We pulled into the Pat Morton Lookout car park at nine, to be greeted by this grand vista. The headland to the north is Byron Bay, the most easterly point in Australia. 

After a cup of 'lemon ginger' coffee, we headed up the slope to the crest of the headland and entered a leafy grove.

On exiting we were greeted by more spectacular coast line. Point no 5 [centre, horizon] was where we were headed.

The sun's rays shimmered across the ocean, but I was unable to fully capture its dance, with my small camera.

Much of our coastline is either bush or suburbia. We were thrilled to be walking these grassy slopes with an uninterrupted view of the breakers forming and surging towards the shoreline. 

I've been fortunate enough to walk this trail on 2 previous occasions and each on a sunshine plus day. As I viewed the above scene, I was stunned to realise that the devastating storms from earlier this year, had actually managed to topple 2 massive basalt outcrops.

June 2013
                                                        May 2012                                     
On dropping down to our 1st beach, we made the decision to continue on grass rather than on the rounded basalt boulders and stones. The blue of the sea, black of the wet boulders and green of the shore edge were begging to be photographed. 

Looking back from where we had come from.

About to climb another headland.

From here we descended to the 1st of 2 beach walks. The 2nd being less protected,
was where all the erosion of the shoreline took place.

12 k's saw us reaching the  Richmond River breakwater where I love to spot dolphins, but on this occasion we were being buffeted by a freezing southerly and so kept walking to find a sheltered spot for lunch. This unnamed bird kept watch. Possibly an egret. Further research to be done.

We crossed the bridge over the impressive North Creek to make our way to the bank of the 'mighty'
 [ in my late Father's words], Richmond River.

 Looking back to it's mouth and upstream.

Time was wasted watching the pelicans.

We arrived in Central Ballina with just a 20 min wait to catch a bus back 2/3 of the way to our car. Standing waiting, I happened to look to the south and and was confronted with a rapidly changing sky.

 Court House clock tower.

Our final leg was along Boulder beach and up the headland again to Pat Morton Lookout.  The weather had changed, but  we delighted in the different moods it cast on the seas surface.

We became aware of a loud rumbling noise and were unable to work out what was causing it. We  
finally realised the tide was full and the wave surge was tumbling the boulders over and over. The sound in this video is not wind, but the rocks tumbling.

As we crested the headland we took a final look at it's spectacular view. Turning to continue, we gasped at the heart stopping scene before us. Police, ambulance, winches - with relief, we learnt that this was a practise exercise.


As we reached the car, the sky ahead was still quite clear, but we'd hardly sat down when the 1st raindrops fell. Tired but dry, we reflected on our rewarding 18ks  and how yet again the weather Gods were looking out for us. Unknown to us then, they had one more surprise for us. During the last 20 mins of the return journey, we had been observing the cloud patterns changing in the west. Suddenly the sun sank in  a brilliant red glory. A more than fitting climax to another walk down under with friends.

Happiness is.........
                             spotting a dragonfly.

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