Archive for the ‘Road Trip’ Category

Another trip to the Tablelands and more

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

We have something new in mind, something we cannot tell you about yet. The “thing” involved another trip the the Atherton Tablelands, which we enjoyed, in spite of the rain. Besides, it was Nico’s first long trip and I’m sure he really enjoyed it, since he was asleep most of the day. Surprisingly, it was even difficult to wake him up for a feed. But he made our day extremely easy. And it was my first time in Steve’s new Mercedes van. What a day!

We visited the Yungaburra markets, which happen the last Saturday of each month. We will have to go back, since by the time we got there they were already closing. They are very good, with lots of homemade and local produce, food stalls, etc. Really worth a visit if you are in the area the right day.

Our next stop was Mungalli Creek Byo-Dynamic Dairy. They produce their own milk, cream, yogurt and cheese and all I can say is that everything we have tried there is absolutely delicious. Even though we can get their products in the supermarket, it is always very interesting and exciting stopping at their farm in the Tablelands. I went for the carrot and ginger cake, Steve tried their fantastic cheese soufle and little Nico decided not to risk it and have his usual. As you can see, he didn’t regret his choice.

And after roaming the roads enjoying the scenery, very green after so much rain, we had to go back home to take care of our digital underwater camera rental business.

We all enjoyed a day out!!!

Around Tropical North Queensland

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

No that I can do a lot in my condition, with only three more weeks to go before our life changes completely and forever, but we’re trying to show my parents as much of the region as we can. They are loving it!

We have always loved Port Douglas on a Sunday, when the markets are on. So one morning, after doing our weekly shopping in Rustys and making sure the rain was going to give us a break, we headed for this fantastic destination. First thing, as we always do when we get to Port Douglas, we went for a coffee and a muffin in our favourite cafe in town (I’m afraid we never remember the name of the place, but the muffins there are absolutely delicious). And then to the markets. This time there weren’t as many stalls as usual, still we managed to see a few unusual things, at least for the Spanish eye: the bike producing cane sugar juice, funny faces made out of coconuts, a whole stall selling macadamia nuts with different flavours, exotic fruits, etc. It’s always very interesting to wander through markets, since you never know what you can find.

Next stop, Four Mile Beach, where there were quite a few people enjoying the tropical waters. We didn’t have a swimm, can you believe we had forgotten our swimming apparels at home? Lucky we have a swimming pool at home. Yes, I know, it isn’t the same, is it?.

Another area we have taken my parents too is Steve’s all time favourite: the Atherton Tablelands. The weather wasn’t the best, so we had to give Granite Gorge a miss this time, which is where I really wanted to take them so they could hand feed wallabies. I don’t think there are too many wallabies in Spain. However, we had plenty of time to do other things. First we visited one of the many tropical wineries in the area, where my parents bought coffee liqueur (by the way it is disappearing from the frigde, I have the feeling that it’s very good, not that I have tried it). After that, a stop to drink a very tasty coffee, since the area is also well known for its coffee plantations. Being Spanish, they’re a bit particular about their coffee and it seems the one we had at Skybury met their standards.

My mum was very surprised by the size of the termite mounds that we saw all the way along the road, so we took her to see the massive mounds that have been put together to create a very impressive avenue in the area. As you can see, some of them can be the size of a grown up person.

Another thing they are finding interesting is the amount of “Big Things” that you can find in Australia. So far, we have seen the Big Pineapple in the Sunshine Coast, the Big Captain Cook in Cairns, and the Big Fish and the Big Peanut, both in the Tablelands. There are still a few around the Cairns area we haven’t seen, hopefully we will before they leave Australia. It’s something we don’t have in Spain and they seem to be very interested in.

We also had time to show them what Australian food tastes like at The Falls Teahouse, in Millaa Millaa, one of our favourite restaurants in the Cairns region. I’m not a very big fan of meat, in fact, I’m really struggling with the amount of meat that I have to eat during the pregnancy, but I always look forward to their meat pies, the best ones I have ever tried. I probably haven’t been around too much to be able to talk about meat pies, but if the same afirmation comes from Steve, a meat lover, then it must be true. And since the Falls Teahouse restaurant is so close to some of the falls that belong to the very well known Falls Circuit, we also visited Millaa Millaa Falls, the best known of all of them, but definetely not the only one around. There are about 7 or 8 waterfalls, all of them beautiful and worth a visit. So if you have the time, go for it, 100% recommended.

And our last visit so far has been to Green Island, off the coast of Cairns. Finally I got to visit Melanesia Marineland, where Cassius lives, the biggest croc in cautivity. The sweet little thing measures only 5.5 metres and has such a kind face… I find crocs and snakes fascinating, so I never get tired of seeing them, although when they find a comfortable position they can remain quite for a very long time. It wasn’t the case in one of the enclosures we saw. There were at least 9 small crocs in a few different ponds. The one that seemed like the boss run from one pond to another, where there was a smaller croc. This one jumped out of the pond towards us at a very high speed, and the three of us run away from the fence at the same speed. At the time, we didn’t ever remember there was a fence between the crocodile and ourselves.

We also did a couple of tours on the island: one of them on a semi submersible and another one on a glass bottom boat. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, a semi submersible is a boat partly underwater with glass windows on both sides, so as the boat moves you see the different corals and marine life. And the glass bottom boat is somehow similar, but this time is the bottom of the boat what it’s made of glass.

Thanks to both boats, we saw lots of different fish species, being our favourite ones the Clown Fish, best known these days as Nemo. I just love the anemonies moving and the Nemos coming in and out of them. We also saw a couple of massive turtles, giant trevallies and many other species, including a manta ray. This time we didn’t see any sharks, unfortunately.

We’re already planning a few things for the next few days, such a basketball game in Cairns or a visit to Paronella Park, but right now, we never know what we will be able to do. Junior is not here yet, not because I don’t want to, but it seems he’s very happy where he is right now. I hope he decides to meet us all soon, we’re definetely getting “unpatient”, as our lovely Flynn, Steve’s nephew, says. I’m sure nobody is more impatient than I am right now.

Breakfast at Lake Morris

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Last Sunday I was feeling very lazy, so lazy that I was planning to stay in bed for as long as my back could take it, which is a lot, I must admit. But for Steve, as soon as the sun is up it’s time to get up and do things. Even if it’s only go downstairs and lay down on the sofa. But on Sunday he knew he had to come up with something more interesting that just that, so he offered a “mystery ride”. Usually I would have said no, I don’t like getting in the car and drive for hours without a proper destination. For me, a drive is a way of getting to a place and once there, get out of the car and enjoy at least a few hours there. But Steve loves getting in the car, driving for an hour, stopping for a coffee, getting back in the car again, next town or destination, checking the beach this time for a few minutes, and so on. So, as you can see, we’re extremely different regarding this. Don’t worry, in these cases, he always wins.

Anyway, I still said yes to the mystery drive and got in the car. We ended up in Lake Morris, where a dam to supply Cairns with water has been built. The area is beautiful, peaceful and the drive, although full of my hated corners, is amazing. All the way you drive under hundreds of trees of all types and descriptions and it couldn’t get any¬†greener that that. Absolutely beautiful.

We got there having had no breakfast at all, so first stop was the kiosk. After a hot chocolate (the early morning was a bit chilly, don’t forget we’re in winter) and a blueberry muffin, we went for a walk around the area. There’s not a lot really there, but it has wonderful views of the dam and the mountains surrounding it. And it also has public barbies and picnic tables, so don’t be surprise if we go back there very soon to enjoy a meal in the area. We’re having visitors very soon, and this place I’m sure they will love.