Friday, December 20, 2013


Gosh, it is hot today.

Got some nice beans from the "bean bed".

Monday, December 16, 2013

Canoeing on the Woronora River

I hired a canoe from here and had a lovely couple of hours. I ended up with sunburnt ankles and stiff shoulders but it was worth it. I could get into this.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Canoeing at Audley

We drove to Audley in the Royal National Park and hired a canoe from the boat-shed there. We were out for two hours and once we had worked out a chain of command progressed very nicely. We had the river to ourselves and I have to say that boating through the bush is better than hiking. There are no hills on gentle inland waters. A lovely morning!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Kayaking at Tea Gardens

On thre second day of our camping trip we decided to try our hand at kayaking. It was a lovely spot on the Myall river at Tea Gardens and the people who took us on the tour were great. Unfortunately I had major problems in fitting into the kayak. As the picture show I was leaning back and couldn't get myself upright. The shooting pains in my thighs detracted rather from the pleasures of the trip!

However I liked the concept so I shall investigate to see if kayaks come in larger sizes; I shall never be able to emulate a swivel hipped Inuit!

The pelicans were not that impressed either.

I was rather taken with this houseboat.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Raised Garden Beds

I had always regarded Aldi as a food supermarket. I was alerted by friends to their special purchases on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I bought six raised garden beds that they had at a very nice price and I have put up three of them.

 This one has lettuces and a couple of cucumbers at the back. The bed is in a shady position (to suit the lettuces which bolt at the drop of a hat if put out in the open) and it has been favoured with a brick plinth
 The second bed has been planted with perennial basil, parsley, french beans and leeks. I fear that I might have been a little bit optimistic about my plant spacing.
 The beans are forming nicely.
An indulgence - a mass planting of petunias with a couple of geraniums. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rainbow Lorikeets

The Lilly Pilly trees in out garden have been flowering - the flowers which are white and fluffy grow out of lovely red flower buds. They attract Rainbow Lorikeets which are very noisy as they go about their business. The subspecies that visits us is Swainson's Lorikeet  (Trichoglossus haematodus moluccanus).

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sydney Bushfires

I took these pictures from our garden during the bush fires. My asthma played up something rotten but the sky was dramatic and a kookaburra (I think) paid a visit.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Paella at Patonga

We went camping at Patonga. I am sure that we did lots of interesting things but for me it was all overshadowed by this paella.

Virginia and Ann helped with the preparation, Mike cooked it and served it.

The result was this...

and the end result was this which is where I helped.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Six Foot Track Preparation

I am now in the final stages of my preparation for being the support crew for the Six Foot Track walk that Virginia, Ann and Mike are going to do. I feel much happier now that I have a comprehensive equipment list, a menu and a clipboard. Nothing can go wrong once one has a list on a clipboard!

One concern has been the amount of rain that we have been having in Sydney over the last couple of days. Wet weather might fill the creeks that I have to cross to get to the Cox's River campsite  I was pleased to read today that "Little rain has fallen further inland, with the Warragamba catchment area, for example, getting 10mm or less." which is good as our walk is slap bang in the middle of this area.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Knorrit's Flats

Over the weekend we went on another camping trip. this time to Caffreys Flat which is in the the Manning Valley west of Taree. The camping site stayed at is called Knorrit's Flat Riverside Retreat. It is a lovely site situated on a broad grassy terrace beside the Nowendoc River ( in which one can swim) We drove up from Sydney on Friday (five hours) and a met up with Ann and Mike at the site.

Our camp was very neat and organised with two gazebo's pitched side by side.

On the Saturday Virginia, Ann and Mike went for a bush walk on which they got attacked by leeches. I stayed behind, drank cups of tea, listened to Mahler, twizzled  the fringe of a scarf and watched a Kookaburra. Very pleasant!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Six Foot Track Reconnaissance

For some time now we (Martin and Virginia) and our friends (Ann and Mike) have been planning to walk the six foot track. The track is 44 long bridleway between Katoomba and Jenolan Caves and is normally walked in 3 days with two overnight camps.

Now Ann, Mike and Virginia have been training for this walk but I, have not. The consequences of this became apparent when we all went camping for a night at Umina and went on a couple of bush walks,,one of 8.6 k and one of 6 k. The others had packs with stuff, I just had me and that was enough; I did the walks but I was buggered! The scenery was lovely, we saw some wild life, everyone was happy but I was a bit on the slow side.

So we reverted to the original plan (that I had initially indignantly rejected) that I would be the support crew, getting all the gear to the camping sites and setting everything up ready for the arrival of the unencumbered walkers.

The purpose of this reconnaissance for Virginia and I to see that we could drive to the camp sites and to test our camping abilities. There are two campsites, Cox's River and Black Ridge. There were no problems with the latter; access is well documented. The Cox's river site was more problematic in that I couldn't find any authoritative information as how to get there.

Information from George at the Lands Department and close study of topographical maps and Google Earth produced what seemed to be a viable route from Katoomba to the Cox's River Camp - and by golly it was a viable route. We have a Subaru Forester which is AWD with a special low gear ratio for special occasions and this was a special occasion. The last ten kilometers really grabbed our attention and it needed a combined effort (I drive and Virginia anticipates and focuses) to get through. We didn't take any photos; the picture below is that last bit of the journey to the camp site - courtesy of Google Earth.

Before we set up camp we went for a little walk, up one side of the river, across a suspension bridge (not as dodgy as it feels), back down the other side of the river and then across a ford back to the camp site.

Virginia had a particularly interesting time at the ford  but she did chose a very scenic location. I crossed elsewhere and only went in to my calves. Our camp once set up was a great source of comfort and cups of tea.

We had Irish Stew for supper and Bacon & Beans for breakfast the next morning. Virginia slept well apart from when I disturbed her. I didn't sleep so well; I am still coming to terms with blow up mattresses and small tents.

We spent day two of our recce checking out the Black Ridge Camp,having a look at Jenolan caves and getting slightly lost. It doesn't help that they close one of the roads out of Jenolan Caves for three hours As we drove out of the Cox's river camp we came across a some sprightly looking kangaroos and as we nearly got lost we were able to admire the views across to the Blue Mountains from the western side.

The trip was a great success. I may have to rethink our sleeping arrangement but logistically the Six Foot track walk is a goer and I am all set to be the support posse.