This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2013 Travels July 31

WEDNESDAY 31 JULY     FORREST BEACH

Couey woke me before 7am, by whining and nudging at me. This was unusual behaviour, so I got up and took her out. She had certainly needed to be out of Bus – upset stomach, big time! I presumed she took on too much sea water on yesterday’s  walk. Either that, or the tick collar had affected her.

Because it was so early, we went for a long walk along the foreshore paths and through the park areas – about 3kms. There would be no beach walk for her today.

Again, it was a superb day, about 26 degrees, blue sky, no wind, gentle sea. This was what we’d ordered!

Beautiful day at Forrest Beach

After his breakfast, John decided to check the pressures in the vehicle tyres. Actually, he wanted to do the Terios, but decided to do Bus too, since he had the gear out. Terios tyres, at 31, were higher than the recommended 26, but he wanted to leave them at that. He discovered that he didn’t have the right gear for checking the inside rear bus tyres – would have to rectify that at some stage. We really didn’t know what pressures the Bus tyres should be running at anyway. Just had to hope the Toyota service centre at home had them right. Still on a learning curve with this Bus thing, us.

Later, we all walked up to the shops, to buy some vegies  for tea and to post mail. There was a post office agency at the newsagent. Or was the Post Office also a newsagent? Either way, the postal location is Allingham, not Forrest Beach, just to confuse everyone. We both had cards and letters to post.

John had ordered, online, a dashboard camera, that he had delivered to M, for forwarding. That parcel was now there for him.

Back at Bus, he fiddled about with the dashcam for a while, then went for a drive in Terios to get it going.

I read, knitted, wrote up the diary, spent some time on the laptop.

We had steak for tea, with sides of broccoli and mushrooms. I used a packet of green peppercorn sauce with the steak – not the sort of thing I usually bought, at home. John loved it and wants it again, next time we have steaks.


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2013 Travels July 30

TUESDAY 30 JULY     FORREST BEACH

It was a lovely sunny day, with no wind at all.

Usual morning activities, then walked Couey on the beach, right on low tide. So there was a wide expanse of firm sand, with occasional small sea channels and pools of water. For me, this is just the best sort of beach walking there is.

Low tide at Forrest Beach

Dog was very bold with the water. She seemed to have realized that sploshing around in the water was great fun.

Now that dog was venturing into water, we had to take off her tick collar before going to the beach, then replace it when she was dry.

Just having a rest…..

We walked to beyond the south houses. My ankle was much happier with the flatter, firmer going, but John’s legs were sore and he said he wouldn’t walk tomorrow.

Had my hair cut by neighbour A. She took a lot of care with it and only charged me $15. I was very pleased with the outcome. Wished  she lived near me at home.

I drove up to the local SPAR supermarket, leaving John and dog napping. The supermarket wasn’t great, and was not going to be a substitute for regular trips to Ingham, unfortunately. I was able to get the milk and jar of apple sauce I wanted, but couldn’t get any decent fruit.

Had soaked Couey’s bedding, which was starting to smell distinctly doggy, in a bucket, this morning. After lunch, went along to the laundry and washed it out in one of the troughs. Hung out on a nearby clothesline, it didn’t take long to dry.

I read for a while, then finished a letter to M, begun back in Charleville. Wrote some postcards. Started the next lot of knitting – another dog coat.

There were lovely blue winged  kookburras about. We’d heard them making their raucous calling, periodically, resembling a chainsaw more than laughter! That sound still amused me, even after years of encountering these birds in many places across northern Australia.  One perched for a while on a nearby flag pole, so I tried to photograph it, not very successfully. Should have used John’s camera with its big zoom lens.

Blue-winged kookaburra

There were also some thick knees calling at nights, making their scary screaming noise. I sometimes saw one, when taking Couey out at night. She acted like she’d like to chase them, but that was definitely on our forbidden list of dog activities.

Since the wind stopped, there were now some mozzies about, at dusk. Only to be expected with the swampy areas  on the inland side of the park.

When I unwrapped the pork steaks destined for tea – use by date 31st – I didn’t like their smell. John said he would eat the meat, regardless, so he had pork, but I threw out my serve and just had the accompanying vegetables. John survived the night, so the meat must have been alright, after all. Sometimes vaccuum packed meat does have a distinct smell when opened: maybe Queensland pork smells different to the Victorian product?


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2013 Travels July 29

MONDAY 29 JULY     FORREST BEACH

Mornings had begun to settle into a routine. I would get up by 8am, take dog off for a walk and her morning toileting, give her breakfast, get my breakfast and sit outside with it. Then I would read and maybe give dog some ball chasing down on the grassy hollow, until John eventually got up.

Today was pleasant weather. Very good for sitting outside and not too hot for walking.

We managed to almost crack low tide for today’s beach walk, meaning the sand was firm to walk on, and there was a fair expanse of it between the water and the start of the soft sand beach.

The palm Islands Group in the distance

Couey was getting bolder. The waves, without the wind blowing, were fairly low. She started running into the water and trying to chase the waves. Seemed like she had stopped being a wimpy dog and learned to love the beach.

Keeping away from those unpredictable waves!

I kept a pretty careful eye out, as we walked along the beach. We had been told there was a fairly large croc that sometimes cruised along between the creeks to our north and south, a distance of several kms. It had taken several crab pots recently. Crocs love to eat dogs and I didn’t want ours to become a meal for one.

We walked as far as the houses to the south. We didn’t speed walk, so took about two hours, out and back. My problem ankle was sore from the previous soft sand walks.

South of Forrest Beach

Back at Bus, after lunch, I knitted and finished a dog coat that would be put aside to go to the animal refuge back at home. I’d finished all the e-books borrowed from my local library; John didn’t want me to download any more until the end of our data month. He was not sure how much of our allowance we were using, yet. God forbid that he should run out of data capacity for accessing WOW! So I decided to try to finish the biography of John Howard that I’d begun over a year ago, and brought along in case I needed hard copy books. Even though my days of teaching Political Studies were well past, I retained an interest in that subject.

Late in the day, we gained a new neighbouring rig, the previous one having departed this morning, presumably to chase the next community markets. The new ones put out a sign saying haircuts were available. Now, that I could relate to. I went next door and booked to have mine done, tomorrow.

Used a bottled sauce on fettucine, for tea – pretty ordinary.


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2013 Travels July 28

SUNDAY 28 JULY     FORREST BEACH

The sky was still cloudy in the morning, so again there was that moody light on the sea.

It was not as windy today – a hopeful sign – so we were comfortable sitting outside for some of the time.

After breakfast, we took the walking path that goes from near the hotel, along behind the foreshore, to the lawned area near the surf lifesaving club, where the monthly markets were set up. Wandered around the rather small number of stalls. Bought a pineapple and some bananas. The neighbour from the rig that came in yesterday was selling massages at the market.

Took our purchases back to Bus, then walked Couey on the beach. We got as far as the southernmost group of houses – Cassady Beach. The water was high, the sand soft, and the walking hard work. The sea was still a bit rough. Couey began to play with the waves – following them out then dancing back away as they came in. She was a bit of a hazard to us as she bounded back away from them.

Back at Bus, I looked up the tide times, finally, and found we were definitely trying to walk at about high tide times. So, hopefully, the walking will get better, with time.

Below our site level is a large grassy hollow, behind the sandy low hills at the back of the beach. At one end of that was a set up of some large tents, and a couple of boats. We were amused to see, our first night here, that these tents were draped with coloured flashing lights. They had obviously been here for some time. Clearly, the minds of some people work differently to mine – it would never even enter my head to carry strings of flashing lights to decorate our camp. Guess that makes me pedestrian and unimaginative.

Unpowered camp area below the row of vans. Bus just visible, dwarfed by large neighbour

I packed John’s doona away under the bed too.

Read for a while, then got out my hardanger embroidery and tried to work out what I had intended to do, when I started it, nearly a year ago. Finally decided to make up a new pattern as I went. Thought I’d intended for it to be a place mat? Anyway, that was what it would eventually become.

For tea, made up a chicken stir fry, with Singapore noodles.

Since I’d put up the solar screens, the dog didn’t seem to want to sleep in my front seat at night, but stayed  sleeping on a mat by the door. Wonder why?


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2013 Travels July 27

SATURDAY 27 JULY     FORREST BEACH

I got up just before 8am. Couey had continued to be good in the mornings, not getting out of her front seat “nest” and coming down the back of Bus to try to wake us up. She just waited quietly and patiently until I was ready to take her for her morning walk.

The day was still windy and cloudy.

I walked up to the shop to collect the papers, with dog. She was a bit reluctant to leave, without John, who was still asleep, but once we’d left the park, was happy enough. She didn’t object to being tied outside the shop, this morning. I bought a couple of postcards, too.

John left, in the car, before midday, for bowls, bearing a cut lunch.

I enjoyed my own space, for the afternoon. Packed my doona away under the bed. The nights now were warm enough for just the sheet and a light fleece throw.

Couey and I went for a walk on the beach – my first time on the beach since we arrived!

There were not the wide, firm expanses of sand to walk on, that I remembered from last time. I wondered if cyclones since had changed the shape of the beach drastically. Then decided it was probably towards high tide and that might explain it. I would have to do some research and find out the tide times.

High tide at Forrest Beach

Walking on the soft sand was hard work, but we got almost as far as the row of beach front houses, a distance along the beach, an area called Cassadys Beach.

The sea was quite rough, due to the wind.

Couey free-ranged on the sand, but kept well away from the waves.

Back at Bus, I read the papers – inside, as it was still too windy to sit out. If this pattern of weather was the norm, at this time of year, the stay here would not be as pleasant as hoped.

There was much in the papers about the Prime Minister’s recently announced Manus Island policy for asylum seekers arriving illegally by boat, and about the upsurge in numbers trying to reach here before that policy came into effect. It seemed the people smugglers were trying every trick.

A rig came in next to us this afternoon – neighbours on both sides, now.

John enjoyed his bowls at Macknade. Last time here, he’d preferred the atmosphere at that club more than at the Ingham one.

Made a salad for tea, inventing it as I went along – potatoes, beans, olives, capers, capsicum, with a balsamic dressing. Put some prawns on lettuce, with sliced avocado, and my salad beside that. It all worked out quite well.

Again, football was on TV at night. Keeps the man of the establishment happy. Except when Carlton loses!