Debbie & Geoff's

Australian Safari


Travel Blog     -     February 2019

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Saturday 2nd – Thursday 14th February 2019

Back in our usual place at Ballina, we had finally got our new house contract and had an appointment with Don from Metricon to go over everything with a fine tooth comb. We did find some errors and a few over charges. We also added a few additional changes so the final costing can be done and our contract signed, sealed and delivered. Now we still have the waiting game for the land grrrrrr .
With two weeks here we did a few different things. First off we watched the model boats down on the lake and had a chat to a few very nice locals. One of them was Jim whom befriended us and invited us down to have a look at the Maritime Museum which is across the road from where we stay but we had never been over there. We ventured over in the afternoon and wandered around the museum, chatting to Jim and his partner Monica. They had lots of interesting things for us to explore and we literally ran out of time before the museum closed so we joined Jim and Monica at the local RSL for a few drinks, a chat and laugh. Jim and Monica live around the corner from where we will build so I can see we will be catching up quite often as we enjoyed their company.

 Jake and Bunny    Model boats      Salvador Dalí painted the sail of Las Balsas
Jake and Bunny               Model boats                     Salvador Dalí painted the sail of Las Balsas

Of course a trip to Ballina includes catching up with Geoff’s family and we had a fun few visits to their place and them to ours. Jake also got to meet our local pets, well they aren’t really our pets but as they keep visiting us every day we decided to adopt them. So we have Puff the magic water dragon and his little buddy bunny which we called Cottontail. Of course these two captivated us daily when they visited for lettuce or in the case of Puff a grape or two. It was a novelty as we sit outside the van to have them visit and just look, knowing we weren’t any threat. One day Geoff was working under the van with the wheel off and Puff decided to climb onto the blower and settle himself on the wheel to watch. He made a very conscientious site supervisor. Another time I was on the phone and Puff kept coming closer that I was worried he might decide to climb up my legs.

 The supervisors     Friends drop in afternoon drinks      Ballina RSL
The supervisors               Friends drop in, afternoon drinks                     Ballina RSL

We took a day trip up to Brunswick Heads as it had been a long time since Geoff had been there and I can’t remember if I had ever been. We were going to stay there but being an extra $30 per night and only 40klm away we decided to stay put and just do a day trip to explore. Brunswick was different and very hippyfied with lots of backpackers and quite a few homeless. Though this was only a brief snapshot of the area it did have a beautiful river and an amazing river mouth that was only narrow and I don’t think I would like to tackle it in a small boat. Watching the entrance reminded me of the Horizontal Falls we saw in the Northern Territory. The ferocity of the water as it made its way into the river caused the same effect of a wall pushing through the narrow opening.

 Byron Sculpture     Brunswick Heads      Brunswick Heads
Byron Sculpture               Brunswick Heads                     Brunswick Heads

Our trip back to Ballina saw us detour through Byron Bay and I must say that they do have a very interesting sculpture at the roundabout into town. It has been called many things, from a Giant Dildo wrapped in barbed wire , the Disco Donga and Sea Side Shaft for its glimmering phallic majesty. It is supposed to represent the light house, and a lot of people are not happy about the $55,000 sculpture. Just got to love Byron!

Friday 15th – Thursday 28th February 2019

Time to head up to Cabarita for fun and games at our timeshare with Shelley and Stephen. It was great timing as today was Stephens birthday and we celebrated in style at dinner with our other friends Peta and Alistair. It was a fun night and great catch up with more planned for our week here. Every morning we would start with a beautiful walk, some days to the headland, others along the beach. Steve and Geoff would take a dip in the ocean which both said it was lovely and warm before heading back to the apartment for breakfast.

 Ex Mariners Cove Team     Cabarita Beach      Cabarita Beach
Ex. Mariners Cove Team               Cabarita Beach                     The team @ Cabarita Beach

Our adventures were numerous with a trip to the ‘Salt’ Markets, a lunch at Murwillumbah at the pub on banks of the Tweed River, and a lunch on the actual river on a ferry that took us for a leisurely lunch cruise on the Tweed River.This was certainly a highlight for the week with a wonderful lunch and birds galore for Geoff to photograph.

 Tweed River Cruise     Geoff shooting birds      Brahminy Kite
Tweed River Cruise               Geoff shooting birds                     Brahminy Kite

 Sea-Eagle     Sea-Eagle incoming      Sea-Eagle
Sea-Eagle               Sea-Eagle incoming                     Sea-Eagle

The week with our friends went too quick and with Cyclone Uma on the way we decided to play it safe with bricks and mortar to stay another week. Well good old Uma was a bit of a fizzle which really is a good thing, but with a fair bit of high winds and a very big tide it made good day trips to the beach to watch the waves and the surfers brave enough (or stupid enough) to catch a wave or two. We did a trip to Kirra beach and sat with the hundreds of others watching the spectacular waves.

 Cyclone surf     Cyclone surf      Cyclone surf
Cyclone surf at Kirra

Another road trip was to Tyalgum as it was market day. This small country town in the foothills of Mount Warning was again a little gem of paradise in the hinterland. We strolled around the few shops and explored the markets which were alternative and organic and we had a peek in the café Flutterbies which was so sweet and pretty with old world charm. It would probably be a great place for a girls lunch, meeting for morning or afternoon tea, baby showers and bridal showers. Lucky they had a more basic rustic area out the back so the men didn’t feel too out of place. Oh and they had the most beautiful, cuddly teddy bears that really took my fancy. After Tyalgum we headed to the river for lunch at the town where we left on the ferry. Tumbulgum is another treasure and the river was encroaching onto the road due to the massive tide and pushed along be cyclone Uma.

 Debbie at Tumbulgum     Debbie riding a horse      Bush-stone Curlew
Debbie at Tumbulgum               Debbie riding a horse                     Cabarita Local - Bush-stone Curlew

The time has come and we start the trip south to Sydney as a big project awaits Geoff with EagleCAM refurbishment prior to this year’s breeding season.