The Travels of Mouse: Full day, full belly

Well, we certainly packed in the activities today.

And, as Mum has pointed out, we also filled our tummies to the point of needing a bit of a lie-down. Today was the day we went back to Mungalli Creek Biodynamic Dairy. After a sad experience last time, Mum had been having some email conversations with Michelle, the marketing lady at the Dairy. So we went back this morning and the Staff had an absolutely delicious morning tea of scones, rainforest jam and thick lactose free cream. And naturally I had my usual! So yummy was it all that the Staff bought takeaways: LF heavy cream, creme fraîche, banana choc chip ice cream and espresso ice cream. I can’t help noticing that none of these delights appear to be designed with Me in mind…

We took a fairly scenic route home, across the Tableland via Mareeba, and took the curly-wurly Gillies range down the mountain, one of Dad’s favourite motorbike rides. It’s not my favourite mainly because of all the bends, which I find unsettling, and the Staff were lucky I didn’t make my displeasure smelt felt.

We took a short break from zooming around so that I could snooze and the Staff could have a drink and catch up with a few things. And then Mum said why didn’t we go up to Copperlode Dam? This is one of the main water-storages for the city of Cairns, and is a natural bowl in the mountains above the city which has been converted into a dam, or reservoir. It’s also known as Lake Morris.

Mum also saw a sign about the gigantic electricity towers on the mountain.

At 75m (250ft) high, they were built extra tall to keep the wires clear of the rainforest canopy with minimal environmental impact and placed so that they can be serviced without disturbance to the local ecology. Where this is not possible due to location, the towers have a landing pad built into the top of them so that the repair crew can be flown in by helicopter without touching the ground. Isn’t that good?

The views from the 16km (10 mile) road up the mountain are amazing, says Mum. You can see all of Cairns laid out below, surrounded by rainforest which sweeps on up the side of the mountain. I didn’t like the road much, too much sliding about in the back of the car. Would this wiggly road torture never end…? I’m talking to you, Dad!

The last part of the day was all about Me. And about time too. We went to Goomboora Park, which is a large mixed leisure space, combining rainforest, creek and open grassland where families and children and Staff with their doggos can all go to have fun.

There are barbecue areas, a shallow creek where children can swim and doggos can join in and paddle, open grass where doggos can run about, socialise with their friends, chase balls and retrieve things, and Staffs can stand about and chat or sit at tables. It’s wonderful, and the only downside is that it isn’t fenced, so the Staff are concerned about letting me off the leash in case I get over excited and disappear into the distance before they can call me back. I think I may be able to persuade them to start small and work up to longer periods off leash. It all looks too much fun to miss out on…

Blue Quandong (Elaeocarpus angustifolius). The fruit were lying around everywhere. They look artificial, don’t they? You can eat them, but they’re a bit tart, so best made into jam or pickles, etc, apparently.

Mum says she hasn’t retouched the colour of this image at all, that’s the true colour.

There was curry for dinner for Mum and Dad. It smelt interesting but not altogether enticing, something a bit too exotic there for me, although the humans woofed it all down like they were worried about where the next meal was coming from. Also, it was not photogenic, according to Mum, so no, there won’t be a photo of that.

All in all, it was a great day, but very busy and I’m rather glad we don’t have so much planned for tomorrow.

I’m tolly, tolly zorsted.


Miz Lizzie Adventures: Crackling, Copperlode and Caution!

Another day of mixed gastronomy and sightseeing.

Well, aren’t the best holidays like that? Yesterday we went into Cairns city to try and get a few errands done. Things on order which we couldn’t get at home, a fruitless attempt to get some clip-on sunglasses for me (nuh-uh, frames too large. The search continues…), some groceries, a book and of course, lunch.

Apologies in advance to the vegetarians, who may wish to cover their eyes and ears and sing lalalalala while I wax lyrical about the lavish and luscious roast pork, crackling, gravy and apple sauce subs with a side of sweet potato fries dusted with smoked paprika, salt and oregano.

Moaning noises ensued. They were really thickly stuffed, fresh, hot and delicious.

OK, it’s safe to look again.

After our shopping and nosh-fest, we decided a bit of scenery and fresh air was called for, so we headed out of the city northwards, and turned off up towards Copperlode Dam. They’re still carrying Natural Disaster Repairs up there after the last cyclone, so we couldn’t go all the way to the top and the dam itself (Lake Morris), but did manage to capture some good photos of the view southeast over Cairns and out to sea from the various lookout spots on the way up. It was hazy so you don’t get a tremendous amount of detail, but the city lies in a bowl of rainforested mountains, and the forest really does stretch all the way down to the sea except at the city centre.

Some obligatory nature shots. Well, it is beautiful round here… I love how the fig fruits grow directly out of the trunk of the tree in this species.





And finally, confirmation that Australia has some of the grumpiest trees in the world, never mind the snakes, spiders, sharks crocodiles, jellyfish and cone shells. Click on the photo for more detail…

Welcome to Australia. The country’s beaut, if you can survive the flora and fauna!