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Friday, November 19, 2010

Mary Cairncross Park

For years we've driven past Mary Cairncross Park, but haven't had the time to stop. With our marking finished and nothing else pressing on the agenda, we packed a picnic lunch and set off to explore. We started off with just the camera, but went back for the tripod. After a few hundred metres and we decided there really were a lot of birds (like the lady at the information desk had said) and went back for binoculars and bird book. It took over two hours to walk less than 2kms through this lovely patch of rainforest. Our patient looking was rewarded as we saw a Wompoo Fruit Dove, Catbird, Noisy Pitta (the first time we've seen one of these) and a Black Faced Monarch feeding her baby... oh, and a stiff neck from looking up at the canopy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Taj

We've finally done it! There is now no need to be embarrassed if you hear we're coming to park our van outside your house. Property prices will no long plummet with our arrival. We have upgraded. While we were in Turkey we'd been looking online and the best one we'd found was at the Sunshine Coast (where we just happened to be going). The day after we arrived back in Australia the fridge in the old van let out all its gas (thankfully we were out at the time - we could barely breathe when we opened the door and it took hours to air out), so the hunt was on in earnest. When we went to see the Bushtracker it lived up to, and even exceeded, our expectations from what we'd seen online. It was a done deal. We were the talk of the caravan park when we moved our old van off to the side and arrived back with the new one. And then the rest of that day was spent ferrying goods and chattels from old to new, arranging and rearranging cupboards and finding the best spot for everything. Of course, this was all a major distraction from the marking that needed to be taking place... but we did eventually get to that (which is why it's taken two weeks to blog this momentous occasion). Every van worth its salt needs a name, and this one seemed to name itself - the Taj (as in Mahal). We have almost doubled our internal area and now have a bathroom (rather than a porta-loo in the kitchen) - it certainly feels luxurious. There are lots of big windows (which just happen to be looking out at the beach at our current location) so it's bright and open. Even though it feels massive inside, it's still smaller than a lot of the other vans in the park at the moment. We've had a revolving door of visitors to the Taj, and even a number of skype tours. Apart from one nephew who has many great memories of camping in the old van, we've had thumbs up from everyone - especially the Queen of the Taj. Now where is my tiara...