A trip to Tully and back

Monday, the last day of school holidays, saw Mum, Jack and myself get in the car and go out for the day. We took off at around 9am, and got back nearly 8 hours later.

We had an absolutely awesome run to Tull, about 1.5 hours south. Tully is known for having the highest annual rainfall on record in Australia, 7.9 metres of rain (7900mm, or about 311 inches). So, I guess the next thing is, what is there?  Well, here’s a few things.

Jack Tully april 19

This is the Golden Gumboot, complete with it’s Giant Green Tree Frog,  a major draw card for Tully. It is also a lookout, where you can get a good view of the Tully Sugar Mill. Below is the plaque in front of it.

Golden Gumboot Tully

Then, dotted around the main street are these, very decorated rubbish bins………..

Gumboot Bin 2

The red gumboots were Jack’s favourite, I preferred the below one…..

Gumboot Bin Tully 2019

So this is the view from the top of the Golden Gumboot. Tully Sugar Mill, with a diorama in the foreground. It looks like the sugar mill will probably be going full tilt soon, as the sugar cane is nearly ready, and it looks like they have got the place ready to go now.

Tully Sugar Mill

Here are a couple of the little Cane Train Locomotives, Tully 12, and Tully 15. The may be small, but they cart 100’s of tonnes of cane each time they go to the mill.

Tully Sugar Mill with Cane Locos

This is the close up of the diorama, the first image is hauling the cane, in the days before the Locomotives, it was all horse drawn tramways then.

037

This is the cane cutters loading the carriage………..

036

and finally, the farmer with his dog and horse in the cane fields.

035

After we left Tully, we headed on over to Mission Beach. It is a lovely beach, where you can look over the water to Dunk Island, a popular resort. Mission Beach was hit by a pretty nasty cyclone a few years back, and it appears to be struggling to recover. It is pretty run down, when I was there 9 years ago, it was an upmarket holiday destination, now it is a bit overgrown, and needs a real bit of elbow grease. I declined to take any photo’s there, as I was a bit shocked, but below is a common road sign in this area. This is the home of the Southern Cassowary.

038

Next, we headed west toward Silkwood, where we had some lunch at the Roadhouse, and then drove up the Valley behind Mission Beach and Innisfail. This takes you to Mena Creek, but before we got there, Jack and I took a dip in a swimming hole I knew about from when I lived here a decade ago. The water was just so nice.

At Mena Creek is Paronella Park. It’s recently been the location of a new Australian movie, don’t ask me the name, not quite sure, but Paronella Park was built by a love struck man, and he wanted to build a castle in the jungle. Below is the main bit you can see from the front, a pretty impressive tower. The site also includes a hydro power station, built by the chap who built the park.

042048

Below this very wobbly suspension bridge is Mena Creek Falls, and Jack was a bit nervy to be on it, but we just had to get the shot !!!

049

After leaving Paronella Park, we drove on up to Innisfail, where we ended the day with these very colourful banana’s in pajamas. Innisfail is a huge sugar cane and banana growing area, it’s also where Jack was conceived all those years ago.

053054

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little bit of a travel story, it’s nice to have something nice to write about !!!

Andy.

Advertisements

Appalled

I started writing this days ago. Even now, I am determined to finish it, but am really still lost for words. Friday last week, an appalling piece of human detritus decided to murder 50 people in the peaceful nation of New Zealand. This complete bag of shit came from my own country, Australia. I still feel physically ill even writing that.

In the days since, I have seen an amazing political leader, well, lead, and another try and hide his complicity in this madness. Jacinda Ardern is the leader EVERY nation needs. Australia’s Prime Minister is a hypocritical dirtbag.

Why, you ask, would I say that about the Prime Minister of my own country? Well, for more than a decade he has actively demonised people who weren’t white and rich. He blames them for every ill in society, just like that other impostor that calls himself POTUS. He calls them terrorists and rapists and murderers. He claims they steal everyone’s jobs.  He claims they steal our hospital beds, cause all the congestion in our overcrowded cities, absolutely anything wrong, is due to minorities and migrants. He’s been doing this all his political career, which is a lot longer than Trump’s.

So, this week he has been insincerely saying how horrible it all was, pretending that he cares. He is a narcissist and a liar, as they all seem to be. He has no compassion for anyone or anything. Oh, did I mention he is an extremist Christian? Oh Hillsong Church………

So, here he is, in denial, that his own rhetoric has created this monster who went on to murder all these men, women and children in one of the most peaceful nations in the world, one of our neighbours.  Every time he opens his mouth it is denial and hypocrisy. Not a thing is changing here in Australia, he talks the talk, but white supremacists are running rampant, and nobody is doing a thing to stop them. They even get protected by the Police from those extreme radical lefties who might force them to eat some tofu, the most dangerous thing a lefty can do.

I am now really ashamed to be Australian. I really hope, that come May, when we have our federal election, this phoney Prime Minister is voted out, along with the vast majority of his party’s other members in parliament. Total electoral annihilation would be good. We have had this political party (the misnamed Liberal Party of Australia, who are actually right wing extremist conservatives) in power the the best part of two and a half decades, with only a small break from them from 2008 to 2013. They have ripped the country to bits, pitting neighbour against neighbour, man against woman, poor against rich, white against black, Christian against everyone else for all this time. They have acted corruptly and looted the public purse and all it’s assets. They have destroyed the country I love. This horrifying act in New Zealand is just a symptom of the disease that is right wing conservative Christian extremism which has infected Australia.

I am so, so sorry to all those who have been affected by this tragedy. Not all Australians are like this piece of shit who did this terrible thing. I hope, come our election, that we can show you that the majority of us aren’t like that, I hope my country can show ME that the majority isn’t like that.

Love and peace to all,

Andy.

Lighten up.

Although I am not much different to recent previous days, I just wanted to lighten up things, as reading what I have written in the past week or so must be full on. It’s raw and true, and really how things are. But I just wanted show you some photo’s I have taken recently.

Gordonvale and FNQ feb 2019 001

This was a shot from a couple of nights ago, straight out the front of our place. I took about 10 shots, this the only one that lit up from the lightning going on deep inside the storm. These storms are mammoth, those “hills” at the bottom are actually 1km tall mountains. Gives you a bit of perspective as to how high into the sky those storms go.

Gordonvale and FNQ feb 2019 002

This is from yesterday, beautiful and sunny, this is the Palmerston Gorge, west of Innisfail.

Gordonvale and FNQ feb 2019 008

This was our little haul from yesterdays outing. Tomatoes and tomato plants, Cucumelon plants, sweet potato, capsicum, avocado, Pawpaw, Pineapple and Spanish Onions.

nqjan2019 001

And just one last one, from about 2 weeks ago, the male Cassowary and his chick at Etty Bay. Not the best of shots, we pulled over and I had to shoot across the car from the drivers side. The males raise the chicks, and these birds are pretty dangerous if they get upset with you. Absolutely stunning animals though.

Cheers for now.

Andy.

Monsoon.

The monsoon has really hit us over the last week. Since last Thursday, we have had over 1000mm (3.28ft) of rain. Yep, that’s wet.

To our south, Townsville copped a hammering yesterday, which has continued today, leading to a Natural Disaster being declared. It’s local water supply, the Ross River Dam, went from near 50% capacity a few weeks ago, and is currently overflowing at 140% capacity. The highway between here and Townsville, and south of Townsville is cut due to major flooding.

The weather system, which moved quickly over us that has caused all this is now starting to march back towards us, and today, we have so far got 100mm of rain, and it’s not over yet. At one stage, we got about 40mm in about 20 minutes.

This evening we got an impressive, if only brief thunderstorm, only lasted about 15 minutes, but was nice to watch from the safety, and dry, of the verandah. I love thunderstorms, it’s my thing.

Jack has been going well at school, there is an app where the teacher makes notes during the day, and he is doing good. I can check it from home. The teacher and I can also send each other messages if need be. It’s a great idea.

Our tiler has been making good progress tiling the house, we have been in a state of disorganisation during the process, but it is starting to come together now. Our tiler only has 1 arm, but he is doing a sweet job, much better than any fully able bodied tiler. He has laid about a third of the tiles now, and grouted a huge area today, so now we have half the lounge room back to normal. He’s been laying the tiles in a way that means we can still live in the house and get around. Honestly, he has been awesome. Tomorrow is the kitchen, so take-away dinner is on the cards, seeing we won’t be able to use the kitchen again until Saturday.

Talking about Saturday, the local markets are on on Saturday, and hopefully, by the time we have had a wander around down there, we will have some farm fresh veges, and fingers crossed, some more food producing plants to plant in the garden. Tomorrow, I am thinking, even if it’s raining, that I will get out and plant some seeds for beans and peas, and do a bit around the garden. At least in this climate, working outside in the rain is enjoyable, as it isn’t freezing cold.

Anyhow, I must go now, I need sleep, I need to be up early to get Jack ready for school, and I have to move the refrigerator out of the kitchen before I drop Jack to school so it’s out of the way when the tiler arrives.

Goodnight.

Andy.

Outing to Yarrabah

Today, we went off on a pure “just drive and see where we end up” outing. Just Jack and myself. My Mum is unwell, so I figured that if we went out for a little bit, she could have some peace and quiet to rest.

After a breakfast of bacon and eggs, we headed off to Yarrabah, an Indigenous Community to the East of Cairns, on the other side of Trinity Inlet. It is a bit of a drive, I thought it was closer, but was so well worth it. The drive had us meandering through the sugarcane fields, and after the downpour we had yesterday from Tropical Cyclone Owen, a lot of the streams were flowing. This was the first time we went to Yarrabah, so didn’t know what to expect, and it was also Jack’s first time going to an Indigenous Community. There are certain things you need to observe when entering Indigenous communities, and you must have the utmost respect for the place and it’s people.

The drive took us up over the mountains, which was quite a climb up and over the range, but the whole thing was worth it. Below, is a photo overlooking the bay that fringes Yarrabah, who wouldn’t want to live in this slice of paradise ??

DSC_0005

We wandered on down from this amazing vantage point into the community below, and as we pulled up at the beachside, a lovely old Aboriginal lady in a wheelchair was having her morning wander around, and we had a little chat. She was an amazingly friendly and warm woman.

We then wandered onto the beach, where we discovered that 2 shipwrecks also inhabited the waters just off the beach. It was a popular photographic subject with both myself and Jack.

DSC_0012DSC_0010

Jack was trying to get the best angle.

DSC_0009

The western headland of the bay also was quite interesting and picturesque.

DSC_0014

We then decided to head back home, but took a detour before getting home to have lunch, which included a feast of Lychees we got at a roadside stall on our travels. Below, is the Western flank of Walsh’s Pyramid, with water streaming down some ephemeral waterfalls due to the heavy rain yesterday.

DSC_0032

We also happened across this colony of Fruit Bats, or Flying Foxes, which just so happens to be not far from our new home. I have been itching for a bit of an explore, but due to all the work we have needed to do, this has been the first proper opportunity.

DSC_0035DSC_0036

All the usual crap with fibromyalgia is happening still, and we still have tonnes more work to do, but it was nice to just kick back for a few hours, and start to explore our new home.

Andy.

We have finally moved !!!!

It is a warm, balmy night as I write this from the tropical north of Queensland !! We have now been living in Gordonvale, just south of Cairns, for just over a week. I am loving it here !!!

Finally, we don’t have to worry about running into Jack’s deranged mother when we go down the street, which is still sinking in for me, as are the realities that we are now living in such a magnificent part of Australia. Jack was conceived only 40 minutes down the road from where we now live, we passed through there last Tuesday, just before we set eyes on our new home, which, is just fantastic.

Dad has his own little granny flat, which since about 2pm today, is all renovated to the point of satisfaction, I helped him fit his new shower curtain rail and put up the last of his curtain rods. The electricians were in there yesterday, as the oven and stove weren’t wired, and a light needed to be shifted, the bill hasn’t come yet for that, so that should be fun to see !!!

We’ve replaced door locks, hung curtains, fitted doors to the linen closet, acquired furniture, some of which was flat pack stuff, which took hours to assemble due to the quantity we bought, unpacked a tonne of boxes, flattened the boxes and taken them to the recycling centre, done about half a dozen trips to Bunnings for supplies to renovate, and it’s just been go, go, go. At 6am tomorrow, the solar panel installers are coming to start that off, we will have the last of our things from the last house delivered on Friday, as they were delayed by the fires and heat wave Queensland has been experiencing, on Tuesday next week we have air-conditioning being fitted to 3 bedrooms along with Window Tint on all the front windows, and then on Wednesday, the built in wardrobes will arrive and be installed in both Jack and my rooms.

It feels like we are getting back to some semblance of normality, although there is a heap more to do, both Mum and myself have done the bulk of what has been needed to be done, and hopefully by the end of next week, we will have most of the urgent tasks done. We are taking a day off on Saturday to go up the Atherton Tablelands to go to some markets, and to just have a break from it all.

The fibromyalgia has been a bit crazy, it’s been kicking in with pain for weeks, and the last few days both Mum and myself have been battling a huge amount of fatigue. We are pushing ourselves beyond our limits to get things sorted out, so we can just fall in a heap as soon as possible once it is all done.

I finally got out and mowed the grass today, this place has been neglected both inside and out for a long time, luckily it’s dry right now, so everything is not growing, but it still needed a tidy. We have 2 compost bins, both have a lot of grass clippings in them after today’s effort, but they should start to rot down pretty quickly in this climate. There is also a lot of other junk that needs to be sorted out, like a pile of rotten timber, steel stakes and bricks that need sorting through to see what is of use and what needs to go to the dump. Down beside the shed are some dilapidated shade cloth screens that have usable stuff in them, but are no longer good for their original purpose, so when I get a chance, I will go out, pull them apart, and reuse what can be reused. There is also an old chicken run and coop, which need to be pulled down, the fence will be reused for another project, the coop itself has a concrete floor, and the roof needs repair, but we are thinking of using it as an undercover storage space once it is repaired.

So as you can see, there is a lot to do, but we are getting it done. Jack won’t be back to school this year, there is only just over 2 weeks of the school year left, so we will enroll him for next year, and he gets an extended Christmas break. He will be repeating grade 2 next year anyhow, as his literacy isn’t up to scratch, which is letting him down when it is required in other learning areas. He seems to be relishing the nice warm climate, and is really enjoying himself. Because we are so busy, he is not getting as much attention from us as we would like, but he understands, and when he sees things getting better in the house every day, he knows that it won’t be long before we will be able to give him as much attention as he desires.

It’s very pleasant with the new living arrangements, Jack, Mum and myself having our own lives in the big house, and Dad doing his own thing in his own space. The house is so much more settled without the constant bickering and rude behaviour from him. It’s like we are all free.

Anyhow, I am rambling away, there is so much to tell, but for now, I must retire to my bed, I am barely awake, and it is now nearly 10pm, with 6am not too far away. Goodight all.