A Last Word on Australia…

The plane climbs through the sky… The last of nine plane journeys  in the last month… Out of my window I see a full moon in the sky. Watch the meandering route of lights below. Veering to the right, the plane turns, Scotland bound… Finally heading home after a very busy six weeks, granted a minute all to myself, I reflected on my travels since leaving Georgetown and following Australia’s eastern bounds.

First Townsville with its beautiful coast, funky chairs, foaming fountains, turtles and Reef HQ, learning about coral spawning, clownfish sex changes and being back in the big city after two months of outback Queensland. The slightly disappointing Magnetic Island. Though perhaps a hire car would have been more efficient than our choice of the public bus service for exploration of this island… Stumbling across the big mango ;-). For if it’s big, one has to stop and a picture has to be made :-). Sailing around the beautiful whitsunday islands. Circumnavigating the biggest of the 72 islands that comprise the whitsunday archipelago, we saw the only two that Captain Cook decided to name. With jellyfish in season, stinger suits were an addition to our swim to the shore of Whitehaven beach! Very colourful ;-). Relaxing in the beautiful Airlie Beach lagoon; exploring the quirky Mackay, we enjoyed a very tasty breakfast in a café belonging to ‘Oscar’.

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To then driving the beautiful Capricorn Coast. Horses and dogs enjoying the water, I stood on the beach and got sandy feet :-). The town of Yepoon’s quirky shops and sandy edges drew us in for lunch and a wander. Very nice spot :-). On through Rockhampton, we diverged from the plan to see Agnes Water and the town of 1770, the second mainland point of Australia Captain Cook found. Beautiful sunset it was. Onto Bundaberg, the beautiful Botanical gardens were where we found turtles and dragons :-). Its rum distillery our next stop, a little more of the wise of the process, some tastings were enjoyed. A bottle of Royal Liquer rum may have left with me as well ;-).

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Hervey Bay keeping us only for one night, there was not much time to explore… Over 40 degrees in the tent at 7am, it was one of the earliest rises of the road trip! Then with a change of height, it was onto Rainbow Beach for a bit of skydiving! 😉 Absolutely amazing. A beautiful return from 14,000ft :-). One of my favourite days in Australia without a doubt :-). To then day tripping the beautiful world heritage listed Fraser Island. A very tasty rainbow breakfast, a few hours stop in Noosa, then Cotton Tree caravan park hosting us for the last night of the road trip. Right by the beach, loved this camping spot. One of my favourites. A great last night of the roadtrip though my last time on a beach in Australia was a little bit emotional… I will really really miss my happy place. Onward bound, the road finding us Nambour’s big pineapple, the pretty glasshouse mountains (also named by Captain Cook) took us to our journey’s end in Brisbane, before heading onto Thailand for two weeks.

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It has been an absolutely unbelievable adventure in Australia :-). The so many different experiences that I was able to learn from. The diversity of places and scenery I was able to appreciate. The amazingly diverse collection of people I met. How so many of them opened my eyes or helped me let go. Each helping on various stages of the journey. The travel bug it has now infected me with and this new longing to see a new place placed inside of me. An embracing of having choices and being able to make changes and of how to create your own happiness. It is so cliché but it’s true. I am so thankful that I decided to go. Even more so for all the help I had from many in making choices along the way. A few that led to amazing times after the not so good times… Contributing to an awesome journey full of life lessons and so many happy memories. Blogging for sure a big part of this, at times a very tumultuous task and not always so easy, it has been quite a journey in itself. One I’m glad I persisted with and am sure I will look back on with fondness. The support and continued readership much appreciated, I have loved sharing my thoughts and journey with you and hopefully shown you a little bit of Australia ;-).

Now back in Scotland with the weather making me miss Australia a lot, a globe that I bought spins on its base and makes a comforting, noise as it does. It reassuringly feels like it is ticking down to my next adventure… Back to another juncture in life, I am going to take a little bit of time to plan the next steps and make sure it is what is right. Perhaps bloggable, perhaps not, I may not post for quite a while. Perhaps the next will have a new tab on the page next to ‘Australia’. Can’t wait 😉 xx

For now, some pictures from adventuring in Thailand:

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Rolling Back Onto The Farm

We have just spent a week on a farm near a city called Roma in Queensland. The soil a bit redder than New South Wales' brown, Ben and I have been driving tractors, mustering cattle, making cattle feed (most dusty a process!) and enjoying not being in a tent! Ben, familiar with most tasks having been there previously, it was a bit of a new experience for me. Many machines needing a little bit of help getting started, I've learnt how to effectively jump and pull start a variety of items. I am now most confident I could do this all by myself ;-). I've also started my first generator by pull. Then repeated the act. Many times. A bit sceptical at first that I had the power, with some help from Ben and some focused energy, I was more than a little bit surprised (and most proud of myself) when it burst into life!

Helping to dig out a dam, Ben doing solid work moving pretty wet sludge by tractor, I've been rolling and compacting soil on the dam wall to strengthen it. Think of any song about rolling… I've had it in my head… 😉 Pretty hard work for little legs, after the first day I felt completely off balance with a hard worked left leg and right arm! By day three I had mastered reversing and learnt to let the tractor do most of the work! Laying water pipes requiring the use of concrete making skills, it served as a reminder of doing the same on the farm in Batchelor :-).

Back on farm time, managing quite a few sunsets and a sunrise, on the 'new things' list I have eaten kangaroo sausages, feral pig pork chops and been to my first spit roast. Beside a pretty lake with a jetty, the kids good subjects for pictures, enjoying a relaxed afternoon with good chat, it pretty cooly ended watching the stars from a kayak in the middle of the lake… 🙂

The stars so amazing, on our last night we decided to do some open air camping. It was the only night there were clouds… Carting half a kilo of rump steak, pumpkin and red wine, Ben took me to his favourite spot on the farm. By a cliff edge, with a pretty impressive view, I showed Ben how good barbecued pumpkin is and convinced my wine was evaporating on me, decided to drink it quicker…! Yes the resulting effect of this was that I got a little bit drunk… ! I swear it evaporated ;-). The sky clearing, from a significant only star to many and waking as sunrise appeared, it was a pretty awesome way to say goodbye to the farm.

Adding some new favourite moments to the Australia scrapbook including ducks and bacon, spotting bush lions on lime trees; finding out how sneaky badgers can be; feeding potty calves by hand; learning that there are maps which you can scratch off the countries you've been to (I really want one!) and the amazing blue sky with white fluffy clouds, my favourite moment by far was driving the property. So big, with many paddocks and open space, cows, emu's and kangaroos aplenty, there really is something quite liberating about rural, outback Australia. Much land; much landscape, it truly reminds what an awesome 'Aussie' experience I've had… What I've appreciated the most and can't imagine not doing… I now can't imagine not having seen a kangaroo in the wild… To not have woken up to wildlife starting their day around me as the sun rises, missing the middle of outback Australia or not having learnt of its story. To not have had the Northern Territory stars envelope me in a world of light down to the horizon, making me feel at the centre of the universe. To not have driven through the 'middle' land between all the cities and appreciated Australia's size. To not have seen the different cities and colours and times of the seasons. To not having learnt that the wet season is not the best time to go swimming in Crocodile inhabited waters but is the best time to see waterfalls Australia wide ;-). To not have met all the amazing people that I did. Not learning of their stories… Imagining how different my life would have been if I hadn't left Scotland… Amazing :-).