After a wonderful first night together the kids continued to enjoy their time together. With them occupied, Ken and I got on with the packing up the van, the flushing out of the water tanks and packing the few items we were taking to Perth and possibly onward to Scotland.
Not much of what we have to wear is really suitable or decent enough. It’s amazing how your standards relax when there is no one around to keep them up for. As we approach Cooktown and even coming here to Meg and Andrews I suddenly become conscious of how grotty our clothes had become and how scruffy the kids looked. Although those three gorgeous girls carry off the rugged, unkept look so well.
Meg and Andrew agreed to store the van for us which was brilliant. With Cairns only an hour and a half away, it was going to work out beautifully to leave the van here at Brooklyn, drive down Cairns, leaving the car in long term parking, before flying to Perth for a few days and onwards to Scotland.
The country is just so beautiful up here and I feel we have not yet finished seeing all we wish to see. So the thought of just picking up where we left off, when we get back from Europe sounds super. However Goldilocks has taken a bit of a beating up the Cape and is in need to of a little TLC back in the Zone RV factory in Coolum. Ken is keen to have her sent down while we are away, to be all spic-n-span for when we return. A case of watch this space for how this one will play out.
In the afternoon Andrew took us for a tour of the property and up to a spectacular lookout right across Mt Carbine to the Mitchell Ranges. We all piled in the dual cab ute and crossed the Mary creek as Andrew explain the management of the land. It’s totally fascinating and Andrew is a great orator, backed up with lifetimes worth of knowledge and experience.
The grasses and eucaltipus trees make for a beautiful setting along with all the hues of the Australian bush, it certainly etches an unforgettable picture and feeling upon you. And for the kids riding in the back of the Ute with Jack, screaming and laughing their heads off will be unforgettable for them.
Sadly, next day was to be our last here but before heading to Cairns the boys were going to get Andrews boat in the water and try and catch us a feed. It’s was going to be an early start for them so after sharing another delicious meal we retired early.
The girls, Jack and the dogs played all day and Lulu and Meg were new bestfriends so I was able to clear out the fridge and freezer and finalize the packing. Meg also insisted upon play fairy godmother (just one of her many hats), and mopped up what was left of the defrosting freezer and insisted on washing the sheets while we were away. So grateful and blessed to have such wonderful family.
The boys fishing trip had been a top day out, with the weather being spot on and the reef looking spectacular as always. The fish were biting, if only for Kenny but Andrew knew how to find them. Ken caught a coral trout.
And unfortunately while on the line a shark ate probably the best catch of the day. Suddenly the struggle to haul the catch in end and all that made it on the boat was a good sized head.
Even the trip up and down the Daintree River proved eventful with three croc spottings, and one sinking asylum seeker boat. Ken and Andrew had thought the abandoned, sinking, long boat to be curious and the news that night revealed the full story. What a river to land in! Not too many folk can claim to have taken a swim in the Daintree River.
A wonderful stay and chance to reconnect with family and it was amazing to see the kids enjoy playing together too. They really did hit it off well, must be a family thing. So grateful to have had to opportunity to stop in albeit brief and already looking forward to coming back.
So we loaded up the car, bid farewell to Meg, Andrew, Jack, Dozer and Doughnut and drove off, without Goldilocks. Love that van but also excited about the prospects of a bigger bathroom, bed and all the adventure of a different kind to come.
I suppose that is a wrap for Part One of HallingAround.