I have finally got around to adding photos to some of the old posts that were lacking, basically most since we got back to Australia from NZ. So if you are interested and have time, go scroll through posts since June.
We have now been away for over a year! Phone calls are expensive, I know that, but we would really appreciate knowing what everyone has been up to and even who is reading this and seeing what we have been doing. There are many ways to do this - email, facebook or use the comment facility on this blogspot (you don't need any kind of account).
Only a few months until were back home - 14th December.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
We have been revisiting Frog Buttress (an hour out of Brisbane), enjoying the fantastic crack climbs and practicing for the crack climbing in the States. The climbers here are such a friendly bunch, one example - waking up one wednesday morning we discovered some loacals were having an aid climbing day. When I showed interest (we are off the the aid climbing capital of the world in a few weeks - Yosemite) we were swiftly invited along. At the crag after a chat and how to aid discussion another local saw we had no aid gear and handed over a brand new spare set of aiders, daisys etc. We both had fun aidding up the cracks with the biggest rack we've ever used.
We also bumped into 'Crazy' John (met in China, seen in Tazmania and Arapilies) and Glenn (met in China, seen at Frog and visited on the Gold Coast) and met a guy called Gareth who knows and climbed with all the Melbourne climbing crowd. Small world!
On our way back to Brisbane we planned to stop of a night or two at Noosa. We ended up staying five days - enjoying some sunny weather, relaxing in the riverside campsite and reverting back to my childhood and going fishing.
We booked ourselves on a fishing charter out in the open sea, seeing at Dad was not in town Jo came along, but like a couple of others on the boat did not catch fish worth a photo. I did...
Big fish one - colourful but apparently not bid enough to kill to eat
Fish two - the biggest of the day and below - fish 3 hiding in 2s mouth
(I was not using 3 as bait but must have been a started for the dinner on my hook)
On the way south we made some stops that the rainy weather prohibited us from doing on our way to Port Douglas. First we followed the long road into the hinterland past lots of waterfalls. Too cold to stop and swim though.
That led us to Mission Beach which is really beautiful because it is under developed. A proper tropical paradise. Would have stayed longer but the camping was $35 per night (our most expensive). Another chance to spot wild Cassawary but I think they were all hiding away for the winter.
Further south and time for a days climbing at Mount Stewart near Townsville. It was great to be back on the rock after such a long break even though we both felt a little weak. The day was only hindered by not being able to find the routes from the topo description and Frankie deciding he hadn't seen an RAC man for a while. We couldn't start the car so had to pay $130 for the RAC man to put the car in neutral, not park as is normal, and start it immediately.
Diving the Yongala a day later was a highlight of the trip. After a quick test at 28m depth we explored the wreck of SS Yongala, seeing the toilets, the masts, the engine room and the `A' of Yongala. But what was most impressive was the fish life. We saw a deadly 3m Bull Shark, a Nurse Shark, got scared by inquisitive sea snakes (6th most poisonous snake in Aus), 2 Eagle rays, flirted with turtles and saw masses of huge fish and corals. Really amazing and the best way to finishing our scuba diving in Australia.
A Kookaburra at Ayre Beach
In the ongoing quest to save money we followed Australia's Grey Nomads and stopped overnight in free rest stops along the Bruce Highway. Some stops were amazing with free hot showers and barbeque's. The Grey Nomads were really friendly too, even offering to make us tea in their caravans in the cool evenings. However being British we said we were fine outside the car in the cold - Yeah right!