Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday 13th March 2016......three for one!!!!!!

Sorry there was no internet available at where I stayed the last two nights so this blog will be posted when I get a connection somewhere on the road maybe on Sunday morning!!!

FRIDAY
This was taken from the deck at 7am this morning just love the way the mist hovers over the valley.



I had breakfast and thanked Jennifer so much for such a completely different and memorable stay and was on the road just before 9 am.
Only had to travel 25 minutes to these wonderful falls...




Sadly there was no way to get any closer to them.
The beauty for me of taking the roads less travelled is the sights along the way and today was no exception going through a small town I saw this lady and horse
I asked if I could take a photo and she was more than happy and also told me that this breed of horse is very famous it is the Australian version of the US Mustang!!!

I had then planned to do the first of two hikes today the first here at Cathedral Rocks.



This was not a rain forest and the vegetation was different the other thing that was different was the forest was very quiet...just the very occasional chirp of a bird.....really the track was uneventful until the turn off to go up hill to the rocks.




 I always enjoy seeing arrows on my hikes reminds me of my Camino days!!


Lots of scrambling and I had to fasten my pole onto my back pack as on some of the rocks I needed both hands.

Here is a chain to help up over this large rock!!


The reward at the top was quite spectacular and I did sit on the throne and have a sandwich although I do not think a real Prince would have liked my offering of a bread and jam sandwich!!!
Great views from the summit!!




The day was a bit overcast but perfect for hiking.

As usual for me going down is always harder than coming up


......and the loop about 6 km took me just over two hours.

The next hike was to here



sounds really inviting doesn't it??

My first shadow of doubt came when there was a lack of signs to the track..I made one wrong turn before I did find the sign indicating the start of the track....another indicator to me was the very small car park available and the fact there were no other cars parked.....I had a funny feeling about this hike.

This was rain forest but again no bird or animal sounds and the deeper I got into the forest another bell went off in my head when there was also no water sounds either.

The hike was not easy at all a lot of steep steps going down and when I got to the stream the surrounding rocks were very slippy and moss laden.

I know it is the dry season right now but there was very little water flowing down the stream.
From here the track lost all signs and I had to follow a hard to see track which was covered in moss and ferns by the side of the stream so it meant you could not see where you were putting your feet and with all the slippery rocks not a good plan.

My boots got soaked from the ferns and to be honest I was not enjoying this hike at all.

The only shot worth taking was this one...


Then I started to feel really tired I think I hit the wall!!!

I was in the middle of now where no one around and I sat down had something to eat and drink but really felted exhausted and I knew I had a good few km to go and most of it would be uphill.

My options were zero I just had to get going take it really easy on the rocks and work my way out...which is what I did and I was back at the car about 3 hours later and I was very happy to see Silver Streak.

I cannot imagine how that write up in the brochure was right..... this was the worst hike I have been on in a long time and would not recommend it to anyone!!

It was now gone 4 pm and I had about 80 km to drive to my accommodation for the night but after driving about 15 km I was nodding off......I soon pulled off the road into a quarry park and levered my seat back and was soon asleep......
I slept for 40 minutes something I never do!!!
I washed my face got a drink and back on the road and arrived at my destination after stopping in the town of Armidale to get a pizza to go at around 6pm.
This is another stay with a family and Cheryl and Gary were happy to greet me and we all sat around with tea and I had my pizza and they had their meal and we talked for a while, nice people.
I have a big bedroom



the grounds are lovely with pool and tennis court



I have my own bathroom with a tub which I immediately made use of and now it is 9 pm and I feel still a little out of sorts so going to get an early night read my book and sleep.

Saturday.

There is no problem not having Internet except I did not have plans for where I was to stay tonight so after Cheryl made me a wonderful hot cooked breakfast I was on the road by 8.30am and the next big town I went through I went into the library and used their Internet.....I was looking for a place to stay and worked out my route and time and decided to go onto the airbnb network and look for a place....normally I do this in advance with lots of research but today I did not have the time.....the system works like this...as a guest I choose a place I want to go fill in the dates and then search through the listings that come up more often than not you find a place make a request to stay and then wait till the owners reply they have 24 hours to do this.....as I was looking for a place for tonight and no internet I used the other option they have which is called instant booking same procedure except instead of waiting for a reply you instantly get a confirmed booking so I found a place with instant booking in the area I wanted to go it sounded nice a small apartment and hit request......straight away I got a confirmation and an address so I now had a place for two nights.....
The area around this part of the country is extremely dry and they so badly need rain as it is a farming community you can tell by the color of the ground.






I took a short detour to see this lovely and unusual church




and bridge



and then back on the highway the first little while was good roads like this


then about 70 km of really narrow twisty roads.


There were a number of waterfalls on this route but I had been told by the gentleman in the Visitors Information centre where I stopped that all of them were dry but there was one worth seeing even though there was no water flowing.

So I did stop here




The gorge was quite stunning and I could only imagine how lovely it would be to see water cascading over the top into the canyon below.

I felt better today and the drive was around 250km, a long driving day for me these days!!

I found the small town where I am staying called Camden Heads and the home....I knocked on the door and the lady came and it was obvious she had not checked her e mail because she was not expecting me....she was profusely apologizing to me and said she just had a busy day and did not check and that this was a good lesson for her...she showed me the apartment which looked great but asked if I would mind to giver her 45 minutes to get it ready for me and this fine with me as I went into the town looked around and bought some groceries and came back.....
I have the lower half of the house and it has all I need to cook and relax




it has a washer so I put a load of clothes on and went for a walk and about 200 yards from the house is a path down to this gorgeous spit...


that is the headland I shall hike to tomorrow


the breakwater is to calm the waters going into the river's mouth


a lovely sunset!!


I came back and cooked myself a nice chicken dinner which I really enjoyed and enough for leftovers tomorrow...had a long hot shower and felt good.

There is no Internet here but there is TV and I watched a good English detective show.

SUNDAY!!

Had a really good sleep and today was going to be a day of rest for me....took my time over breakfast and then sat in the front yard with the sun shining on me and read yesterday's newspaper.
Then found a soccer game on the big screen TV.

I then tried to activate my Internet stick which I could not do last night and it worked so now I am connected.
Around 1 pm I got packed up and went hiking on the headland



It was a nice hike with good views and then I sat down on these rocks and had lunch some of the waves were huge and the pounding and crashing no wonder after thousands of years those rocks get shaped and molded.



On the way back it was time for a swim and I sat down and relaxed and then a pleasure to swim in these calm waters!!!


Back home took a time out and read out in the back garden, had my delicious dinner and now a long blog post.

I move closer to Sydney tomorrow and it will be my last stay before Tuesday morning when I move to the apartment where I am house and cat sitting for ten days!!!

Hope you enjoyed my musings and catching up with me!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

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