Monday, 18 February 2019
Today I'm not feeling all that well. So I'm at home with cat supervision..
I've been up Cathedral Rock quite a few times in the past 10 years. Yesterday was the first time in about 18 months though, since I did the Montague Thumbs circuit and resolved to never go out without a proper map and spare phone battery! This time Clare and I jog-hiked just to the top and back.
What was noticable this time was how dead the vegetation on top of Cathedral Rock was. I guess this was from the run of hot days and little rain that we have had over summer. I wonder how long it will take to recover - if it ever will..
Above - Vegetation at the top this time..
Below - Vegetation at the top last time..
Despite that, the hike was fun. It was a beautiful morning.
Yesterday Clare, Jett and I went to pick blackberries in a public reserve just 15 minutes from home. We partook in traditional fruit pickers activities such as actual picking..
and chatting, and gazing. Then some sitting.
But despite this we got a reasonable haul. Apple and Blackberry crumble here we come!
Saturday, 16 February 2019
I can't believe I haven't posted this lovely photo earlier!
There was perfect weather for the Huon show (and my annual dagwood dog) this year (well it's last year now). The crowds were good, the flowers and cakes were good..
and of course the animals-made-from-vegetables competition never lets us down!
Pinto had a strange relationship with the Christmas Tree this year. I think she was half expecting a bird to hop out of it, so she needed to be ready. I also think she was enjoying the convenience of her day job being brought inside..
This is a very belated post, but Zali and I spent many hours making (and eating) mini gingerbread houses before Christmas this year...
We also made the regular gingerbread houses..
and did some other gingerbread baking. It was all delicious but I'm glad there's now a good 10 month break before I see gingerbread again!
I think "More Haste, Less Speed" is a dumb saying. But there is probably one which covers not putting catfood into the clothes washing machine. I'm really glad I caught myself before I hit the start button as the results would not have been pretty.
Here's a wedding cake masquerading as an engagement cake until the bride and groom reveal they are the bride and groom and not just engagement party hosts..
Tuesday, 22 January 2019
Zali has spent the last 2 weeks alternating between pyjamas and my red painting overalls as she set into action her plan to makeover Jett's bedroom.
It's been a while since his room got a makeover - I remember doing it while Jett was at childcare way back when we first moved in... I never really got any proper before photos, the before shown below is his old room in Sydney.
This time around it was goodbye to the blue stripes and colourful spots..
and hello to a bold new colour scheme that Jett chose and Zali refined, as well as a bit of new furniture.
And it looks pretty fantastic! Zali did a great job with the painting which took almost all of the first week to prep and execute. I did a good job of coping with having to buy 7 different coloured tins of paint and a whole lot of new paint rollers. I was very concerned about the beautiful new carpet but it survived without a drip of paint falling on it (that I know of!). Anyway - it looks awesome and Jett loves the result. Well done Zali!
Our last few days in Sydney were a blur.
There were more walks..including reminders of why I don't miss the Sydney spiders that would string their ultra strong, ultra sticky webs from one side of the running trail to the other. Then they hang their creepy selves right in the middle at nose height.
There were more beaches..
more time with friends..
and kids ..
Friday, 4 January 2019
I rolled my ankle on a short run with Paul on Wednesday morning so I've been walking my usual ridge run here at Hardy's Bay. This morning the water looked like this as I left the shack..
The day before it was more like this:
Up on top of the ridge it wasn't possible to see down to the water at all, in contrast to the day before:
The foresty parts were still lovely though..
Despite the hazy start, it's turned into a hot day. We've already swum at two beaches, with a bit of a clifftop walk in between. I suspect we'll be back at a third beach later in the day when the sun retreats a bit.
Thursday, 3 January 2019
We've had a whirlwind of a time so far in Sydney, jam packed with friends, family, walks, beaches and fireworks. It's been awesome.
We started with an orienteering event at Sydney University - a campus I've never been on before so it was great to run all around it, right through the famous quadrangle as well as in and out of grafitti ridden tunnels and around the new and old buildings. The heat was a bit tough (particularly for the kids), but it was superfun.
That evening we were lucky enough to get to go to an apartment in Kings Cross with Jon's sister's family and a fantastic view of the bridge.
As it turned out we didn't get a great view of the 9pm fireworks as we were busy trying to unlock the door of the apartment, but that just made the 12pm version more anticipated! They didn't let us down.
The next day was Zali's birthday (she'd been at a sleepover party the night before with Sydney friends so she had her own great view from Pyrmont), her wish was for ikea breakfast and to checkout another giant store called Decathalon right opposite it. While she lived her dream I raced off with Tracy to get our friend Belinda from the bus station, then Tracy took us on a tour of Middle Head. I'm squinting as I haven't seen my sunglasses since NYE!
It's too complicated to describe the rest of our activities but it culminated in us all being back together at Fairlight Beach near Manly, a great place to snorkel and swim and enjoy the views.
After a few hours we headed back to Lane Cove and granted Zali's other birthday wish which was Dominos Pizza for dinner! It was a great day (and wouldn't have been possible without Paul and Tracy's great ideas and logistical support)!
We're now at Hardy's bay, enjoying the beaches and the shack. As we drove up the windy road that leads towards the shack we came across this sign..
which was pretty cool, as I'd just noticed another one that someone had stuck up on the previous bend welcoming some people back to Hardy's Bay for Christmas which I thought was really cool, then sure enough, on the next bend there was one for Zali! Nice effort Tim & Shirl!
We've since had 3 beach trips with more planned tomorrow before we head back to the big smoke on Saturday.
We've only been here a few days, but I think we've already packed in a week's worth of activities. Looking forward to the rest of the week!
Sunday, 30 December 2018
After a day of travelling the very much beaten tracks, we decided to investigate a circuit that was no longer marked on the standard issue day walk map. I've always been curious about it and two years ago we had heard that the route was quite overgrown but there were plans to clear it, so I held out hope that it wouldn't be a bush-bash all the way around!
The track started from near our cabin and went up the broad gully through open heath and pandani oasis..
The track was muddy in parts, but generally pretty good.
After the broad gully the track turned uphill and climbed to the top of the ridge directly behind where all the Waldheim cabins are. Up on top it was very open and quite windy.
Then we had a steep descent through mossy King Billy Pine back down to the old chalet and our cabin. The loop was about 6.5k long and took us just over 2 hours. Well worth the trip!
In the afternoon we caught the shuttle out to the visitor's centre so we could buy icecreams, then we walked from the ranger station back to Romy Creek on the boardwalk which was just over 6km and delightful as always.
By the time we got home we were pretty tired and happy to spend the rest of our time at Cradle Mountain playing boardgames and continuing to work our way through our Christmas leftovers. It was a really lovely trip and we'll be back in the not too distant future.
Saturday, 29 December 2018
Our mission on day 2 was to climb Cradle Mountain. Zali and I had been up it in 2016, but Jon and Jett still hadn't made it. We had tried a year earlier, but the snow and tricky route forced us to turn around.
The weather was looking good as we left Waldheim and made our way towards Marion's Lookout
By the time we got to Marion's lookout the short steep climb had made me too puffy to take any photos. After a quick rest we continued on to the base of Cradle..
The climb itself is much harder than the average tourist is expecting, it's physically strenuous and there are a few tricky scrambles up the piles of rocks near the summit. On our way up the mountain we passed groups in various states of despair. Luckily we knew what to expect and Jett is signifcantly taller than last time we tried, so we had no problems.
After the summit we headed around the Face Track, which gave us some fantastic views and terrain.
Then we went down the track through the ballroom forest to edge of Dove Lake..
From Dove Lake it was an easy 3k jaunt home. I think we were out for about 8 hours all up, including a leisurely lunch atop Cradle Mountain.
All in all it was a great day. The pictures don't show it, but it was pretty hot and despite our best efforts we all had a few patches of sunburn. The pictures also don't really show how busy it was with other hikers in the park - there were lots of people everywhere. I'm glad all the non-locals got a day with good views!
On Boxing day we packed and headed off to Cradle Mountain - an escape I booked on a whim about a year ago. I'm so glad I did! We were staying at Waldheim Cabins - the only accommodation available right in the park, and by far the cheapest (they are very cosy and quite basic though).
As we didn't leave that early, by the time we got there it was late afternoon, so Jon and I went for a run on the boardwalk while the kids went wombat spotting..
The summer flowers are out and the place looks and smells beautiful.
There were plenty of wombats to be found. Near where we are staying you can pretty much guarantee wombat sightings after 4pm each day.