Sunday, April 18, 2010

Arrival of the Grey Nomads!

There are two seasons up here. The wet season and the dry season. The dry season starts on April the 1st and it is also the day the "grey nomads" officially start rolling into town. The grey nomads is a term referring to all the retired people who hitch their caravan to their 4WD and drive in search of warmer temperatures. And look who rolled into our driveway yesterday! My Mum and Dad on their Around Australia Adventure.

After hello's, it was the task of backing the caravan in!

Daz was across the road to watch out for any cars zooming around the corner.

And then the best part, letting the girls go in the caravan to play and chat! Grace asked Mum how long she was staying. Mum replied, "How long would you like me to stay?" Grace answered "10 weeks!" Matilda answered "10 days!" So we shall see.......

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Washing Charlie.

Washing the dog Kununurra style. Flea wash, a sprinkling of flea powder and a dob of Frontline.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy 7th Birthday Grace!

Grace turned 7 today! She woke at 5.37, I managed to stretch the first present unwrapping not till 6am..... She seems content, new lego, new pj's, new necklace, new stuffed lizard and that's just the presents in the above photo!

We had her best friend over for cupcakes and lemonade. And to play with all the new toys.

I still remember bringing you home from hospital and wondering what to do with you. I'll admit there are still days that I wonder that! You make us smile and fill our house with love. You are learning to love reading and you adore colouring in, art and maths and swimming. You didn't want to start school up here and now you have a party next week with 17 class mates coming! Happy Birthday Gracie!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

El Questro.

We have just come back from two days at El Questro Wilderness Park. I took 179 photos. So sit back with a drink as there are heaps of photos in the post! I am trying to do justice to the beauty of what we have seen and experienced in the last 48 hours. This was my view at the start out of the front window leaving town.

Some 60kms up the Victorian Highway, we reached the turn off, the start of the famous Gibb River Road.

The Gibb River Road is mostly ungraded, it is gravel and rocks all the way with water crossings. And spectacular views of the Cockburn Ranges.

We arrived at the Emma George Resort and winding through through the tented cabins we were pleasantly surprised to find ours at the end!

Here we are unpacking the car at our tent. I regret I didn't get any shots inside the tent to show how cool it was, it had a little en suite at the end, a queen size bed for Daz and I and two singles for the girls, perfect. No air con, just fans and plenty of zips on the window flaps to let the breeze in, but keep the insects out.

This was the view from our front step. You can't see it in this photo, but there was a little creek bubbling past which was flowing from Emma Gorge itself.

We packed a backpack with lots of water and some snacks and started the trek up the Emma Gorge. It is a 1.6km one way, so 3.2kms return. They say to allow 2 hours to do it in, that's without a swim once you get up there, with kids and a swim, 3 hours. We didn't have a watch, but we think it took us about 3 to 4 hours. Not bad going. I expected the kids to whinge and moan but the blue arrows leading the way kept them amused, seeing who could find the next one and which was the right way to go.

We walked along the creek bed at the start.

And then amongst ferns.

Nearly there, this pool was just a few meters, it was referred to as Turquoise Pool on our little A4 map we had.

Yes, nearly there. Can you see the pool of water in the distance? We were so surprised and pleased to find that we were the only ones there! On the walk up about a dozen people passed us going back. We thought there would be someone up there but we were so lucky to have the place to our selves while we were there.

We made it! We put the camera on a rock and used the auto timer for this shot.


The girls being mountain goats again. They like to float leaves down the stream and hunt for tadpoles.

Walking back. This was just before Grace's shoe broke and Milly got a prickle in her toe and screamed blue murder at us as we tried to get it out. Grace is tickling me on my back here, so I was trying to distract her by making bunny ears.

No television or internet here, so we played a few games of Connect Four, a favourite in our house. Milly always beats me. Then at 6 on the dot, we were off to dinner. Was starving!

Matilda about to tackle her fish and chip dinner. The poor child was so tired she couldn't eat all her ice cream after this.

Checking out the next morning I snapped this shot of reception. I loved how the veranda was built to include the magnificent boab tree. We loved staying here. The staff where so friendly, nothing was too much trouble, the food was great, the grounds immaculately kept, we'd love to come back. I think we will too. You have to buy a pass to get into the park, we got one for the rest of the season.

And so by 8 we were back on the Gibb River Road heading for Zebedee Springs. Zebedee Springs is a bit further into El Questro. They are a natural thermal springs. Only open from 6am till noon, as the guests staying in the fancy Homestead get exclusive access then. So we had to beat the crowds!

Over the bridge.

Across the stepping stones...

Just a 10 minute walk up a track and here we are! Once again we were pleasantly suprised to find we were the only ones there! We passed a couple coming out as we were walking in and that was it! How lucky were we?


Our little poser Matilda.

Isn't this a great shot? It was like a giant spa jet coming down on our head, felt great!

Matilda not impressed with having to leave.

Daz crossing the Pentecost River. We went up to the Station Township Resort for an icey pole and then back in the car.

And then it was time for the trip back home. A great 48 hours had by all.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Molly Springs.

It is school holidays here. Yahhhhh!!! We all survived first term! So we have two weeks stretched out in front of us and more importantly, we have a 4WD to explore with! Sure it hasn't got air conditioning and its a bit scratched but see that gap between the top of the wheel and the white bit of the car? That is apparently "high clearance" and that is a very important thing! And it is ours for the next two weeks!

So yesterday we strapped the girls in, picked up two fellow teacher friends and decided to go check out Molly Springs. The claim to fame for this place is that Nicole Kidman swam here along with 3 other members of the crew while filming Australia and they all got pregnant. Fertility waters supposedly, we'll see! We got there, walked through grass as tall as us on a little path to turn the final corner to this......

A little pool and waterfalls cascading down. The girls have no fear, they are climbing over the rocks like goats. I've got them some proper trekking sandles which are an improvement on their croc slips on. Daz and I have some too now.

I went for a walk up the side. This was the view looking back down, note Milly trying to follow me.

The view from the top.

A lone ghost gum tree.

So if you come up to visit, this is your view on the way home from the back seat.

Expect lots of photos in my next post as we are going here tomorrow for a few days.