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.

 

On the road again, part 3

It’s sad, but true. We’re homeward bound.

No, I’m not going to inflict another ear worm on you all by adding the Simon & Garfunkel video, it’s bad enough I have the sound track playing in my own head.

Here’s our camp setup, complete with yours truly slobbing about with feet up and laptop in play. You can blame the Husband for this one – I didn’t authorise an official portrait… You can see how dull the weather is compared with the previous couple of days. On the upside, it was much easier to sleep at night!

img_4411

As the day was wet and cool, we were trussed up in our wet weather gear most of the time, all hi-vis and reflective bits. And hot! It had rained overnight and there were some distinctly damp patches in the tent, but no disasters. As a result of the poor weather, the things we had planned to do were put aside for another visit – no point going somewhere with a magnificent view if all you can see is thick grey cloud! We did manage to catch up with Ben, a fellow ST1300 owner, who works at Mareeba airfield as an aircraft mechanic.

But for me, the highlight of the day was a visit to Mungalli Creek Dairy, a biodynamic dairy which produces lightly pasteurised, non-homogenised milk, cream and yoghurt, some of which is also lactose free, hurray! They have a café, and as well as serving a mean Devonshire tea and a flourless chocolate cake with massive dollops of Jersey clotted cream, the café has viewing windows into the dairy itself, where you can see cheese and yoghurt being made and packaged. The Jersey herd is grazed on biodynamic pasture, and the cows are treated homeopathically for any problems. All I can say is, the happiness of the herd is quite apparent in the quality of the product… We did also indulge in a bit lots of wiggly-road riding, of course.

So now we’re on our way home. Tonight we won’t be camping, as it’s a one night stop, which means the trailer stays packed and only the bike panniers need to be excavated for a stay in a cabin or motel room. For now, the plan is to stop in Townsville again unless my back holds out well, in which case, we might try to get a bit further on and get home sooner on day 2.

One souvenir of the visit: lots of hexies!  I didn’t even open my Kindle or listen to the radio, so if the world has come to an end while I was away, it’ll have to wait till I get home. But of course, there will always be handwork… These are big hexies, 2 inches to a side, so whatever this is going to be will happen quite quickly. I’m going to make the flowers and then decide how it all needs to be joined together. Maybe more black, with brightly coloured single hexies in the centre.

hexies

Signing off for the rest of the trip. It’s not going to be very interesting to read about, and I hope to have some interesting squishies to investigate and share once I get home; I’ll keep you posted.

See you in 1080km/671 miles.