Featured Image : Fisherman’s Village, Bophut Beach
Hello again from Cairns…..
We got back from Thailand around lunch time today, it was great to have my sister Denise pick us up, and she did a fine job of looking after our cat Chloe while we were away.
All went extremely well at the Dentist…..
The worry and stress I had invested in this Dental journey were unfounded. As all I got from that was some virus I must have picked up a few days ago🙄🙄
I have had an implant for two years now, and was thinking I would never get the two molars on it, after having two lots of bone grafting done.
Happily, our Dentist, Dr Lee did the moulds and abutment Wednesday morning, on the Island of Koh Samui, and my nice new molars arrived and were fitted on Friday morning…..
How incredible is that?? Anthony and I also had plenty of fillings done and each a deep clean in that time, amazing.
It probably sounds like our teeth are rotting away in our heads but I think we are like most people, never bother too much with your teeth till you lose a couple, or your gums start hurting real bad then all of a sudden all hell breaks loose.
We can’t say enough good things about Dr Lee at the Dental Home on Koh Samui.
He works there 3 days a week, another two days a week at his surgery in Bangkok and also teaches at the University In Bangkok…..
One very busy and Talented Dentist.
Press Play to view Stephanies Video Snipetts
Yellow vented Bulbul
A poor shot of a Brown Throated Sunbird.
A very ordinary effort photographing Birds this trip
So in between Dental visits we got out and about with our hire car.
This is our third time to the Island so we do have some favourite spots to visit.
The Hin Lat Waterfall is always good for a slow hour and a half of meandering up to the top of the Falls. You never know what you will see.
We have seen a huge array of lizards on this walk, some birds too though they are near impossible to get photos of in the thick rainforest.
Also insects, beautiful butterflies and dragonflies.
You do have to walk slow and really keep your eyes peeled.
Common Lascar Butterfly
Common Sailor Butterfly
Also little luck with Butterflies
We stayed at the Smile House at the Fisherman’s Village so could walk to a huge selection of cafes and restaurants.
The weather was fantastic too though very stormy on our arrival.
All very calm above the cloud
I did a little better with Odonata (Dragon and Damselflies)
So now it’s great to be back in our Pod.
We are a bit Jet lagged at present and not really functioning 100%.
Anthony also came down with some Bizarre BUG on the flight home.
So hopefully we can rest up tomorrow before heading back up to Yungaburra on the Tablelands on Monday, via the steep ascend up the Kuranda Range😬😬
Chloe was happy to see us again ( I think ) it’s great to know that we can go overseas for a short time and she is just fine with someone coming to feed her and open her tunnel everyday.
Well we have really enjoyed our time here in Mareeba. We did visit Kuranda which is always nice especially on a beautiful day.
There’s plenty of walks in the rainforest and along the Barron River and the boardwalk down to the Barron Falls lookout is fantastic and a great spot for birdwatching.
Press play to view Steph’s Video snippets
The last few days in Mareeba have been very windy and smokey …..there’s some reduction burns going on in the Dindin forest and with the strong south easterly winds the smoke is coming here.
Anthony has been having a great time walking around the grounds here and over to the small dam, which is almost dried up and doesn’t really look like it would have any bird visitors, but a few days ago a Jabiru flew over Anthony’s head and landed in it, and has been re-visiting it every day since. At first he seemed a bit nervous, so Anthony hid in the pump house shed next to the dam where he got some great photos.
Yesterday afternoon Anthony managed to slither on his belly right up to edge of the dam and sneakily got some amazing close ups of this gorgeous big bird. He had to slither back down so as not to disturb him…..we love getting great photos and video but hate it when we disturb them.
This Black-necked Stork (aka Jabiru) allowed me to get quite close and put on quite a show
Jabiru up close
So we are off to Cairns soon…..
It’s usually a place we avoid, because it’s just way too busy for us now. But we have to fly out to Thailand for more dental work next week.
We were hoping not to go this year but I still have a problem with my tooth implant and Anthony wants more work done and it’s just so ridiculously expensive here, we don’t have much choice.
We didn’t want to put Chloe in a Cattery, so by putting the van in Cairns my lovely sister Denise will be able to look after her, and hopefully she won’t be bothered too much that we aren’t here.
We are only going for 5 days.
There are some great birdwatching and dragonfly spotting hotspots around in Cairns as well so we will try and get out and about as much as we can till we fly out so we will keep you posted.
Cheers, Steph and Anthony.
We will miss this sight from our window in the mornings
It seems we have gone from one extreme to another…the van site we had in Cooktown was one of the hardest spots we have had to get into and here at the Trinity Plains Tourist Park we are in a huge paddock, all by ourselves.
Incredible to have so much space around us and the sky here is just enormous. We haven’t got any trees around us so no shade which makes it quite hot in the afternoons but the mornings are fantastic.
We also have the added bonus of the hot air balloons rising above the morning fog outside our dining window so it’s great to watch them while we are having our morning cappochinos.
Balloons at Dawn
With all this big sky around it’s a great spot for watching all the birds of prey.
So far we have seen numerous Black kites which are nesting here, the Black shouldered Kite, Whistling kite, Wedge tail Eagle, Brown Goshawk, Nankeen Kestrel and Little Eagle.
There seems to be a few squabbles going on too between them which is great to watch but not close enough for photos though Anthony is trying his hardest.
A nice Whistling Kite Flyby
A pair of Black Kites at Rest
The last light captured this Black-shouldered Kite
You can climb right to the top where there’s a beautiful view .
Also lots of bottlebrush flowering with heaps of Honeyeaters feasting but extremely hard to get any photos as the birds just didn’t want to show themselves. It’s still great though just to hear them and be in their presence with the sound of water in the background, blissful and it’s only about 10 kms from the van park.
This morning we revisited Granite Gorge which is always a fantastic place in nature, we just love it there.
We didn’t see too many birds but there’s plenty of Dragonfly action…..an unbelievable amount of Orange thread tails, and you have to eyeball all of them just in case it’s something different.
I took a photo of Anthony almost crawling up a rocky wall backwards, just like a Goanna …..trying to get photos of a Archtail dragonfly.
It looked quite amazing so please enjoy.
Its all about getting the shot !!!!!
Below is that shot …. I thought it was worth it.
And a few more ….
Every afternoon we walk around the back of the park grounds here where there is a
Also a huge family of Curlews hiding in a young Eucalyptus Plantation and truck loads of Double barred finches on the edge of the trees. where they can quickly hide after feasting in the paddocks surrounding the plantation.
There’s a bit of birdlife around the big trees on the edge of the property so Anthony has been getting some amazing photos as the big sun is going down.
We are here for a few more days yet so hope to see plenty more critters.
Hoping to visit Kuranda tomorrow…..we used to live there so it’s always a bit of nostalgia going back.
Please enjoy the pics, no video as yet as I’m still working on it,
Its hard to believe, but our week here in Cooktown has already gone…. We have been super busy.
We thought we might be stuck here for a while but our switch for the front legs on the van arrived today. Gave us quite a surprise as it came from Melbourne.
Anthony wired it up quick smartly and we gave it a test run and all seems to be ok.
See how it goes tomorrow when we hitch up.🤓🤓
Cooktown has been a great place to hang out, there’s a lot to see from here.
Lots of nature, waterfalls etc. and the town itself is nice and has everything you need.
We never did get to the museum…..maybe next time.
Our only disappointment was we didn’t see too many birds.
When visiting the Isabella Falls we explored and had lunch sitting on the tailgate of the truck and honestly we did not hear one peep from a bird. Apparently October to December is the best time for birds when they all decide to come back from PNG.
Luckily we had Keatings Lagoon to fall back on and even though it wasn’t teeming with birdlife, there was enough there to keep us amused.
More Falls and Camp ground Pics
Press Play to view Steph’s Snippets
We did love visiting the Endevour Falls and Tourist Park, wow what a beautiful spot they have there. So many palm trees in manicured gardens with the waterfall in their back yard. Absolutely idyllic.
I think the photos and video speak for themselves, it’s a great place to visit,
Tomorrow we will drive all the way back to Mareeba.
Its about a 3 hours drive but we will definitely be stopping at the Palmer river roadhouse for coffee on the way.🤩🤩
Cheers Steph and Anthony.
PS… As you can see….Anthony had no problem finding Dragonflies, lots of them …and he does tend to go a bit bonkers photographing them from every angle so please enjoy them too, bye.😉😉
The weather did take a turn for the worse….. cold and drizzly for about 4 days. We were starting to wonder if we would ever see the sun again. The weather report kept saying the next day would be partly cloudy and when we woke up it was dark and drizzle drizzle, horrible.
We did take the opportunity though to revamp our kitchen, after 11 years of heavy duty use the laminate bench tops were very chipped and scuffed. We decided the simplest and of course cheapest option was to just cover them with marble look a like contact paper, not the cheapie paper though, this contact came from the US as we couldn’t get it here, it’s especially for benchtops. We also did some splash backs with these amazing ….. plastic ….. Tic Tac tiles. They came from England, again, not available here. Well we think it looks amazing even though it is all plastic, so have added some pics at the end of this Blog.
Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo spotting at the Nerada Tea Factory Grounds
(Luckily we have a long lens to capture these critters high in the tree tops)
Press Play to view Tree Kangaroo Vid
Due to the cool and wet weather on the Atherton Tablelands our beloved Dragonflies are few and far between.
Male Fiery Skimmer Dragonfly
Male and Female Fiery Skimmer Dragonflies
So back to the weather, the blue skies are back and our spirits have returned with it. We have been out and about everywhere. We just love the tablelands, waterfalls, lakes, wildlife, rainforests and of course, great cafes. What more could you want.
We did live up here for 4 years in Kuranda, but realised we don’t need to live here or anywhere really. With a house on wheels you can just visit the best places at the right time of year, if your lucky of course.
No horrible wet seasons to contend with.
A showcase of stunning Rainbow Bee-eaters
Anthony has been having a feast with the bird photos lately…..we found a little birdie hotspot down by Lake Tinaroo. We can just walk there from our van which is fantastic, this afternoon we were so focused on the brown cuckoo dove eating tobacco bush berries when the echidna just ambled past us. What an amazing creature, we just love seeing these precious little animals that must really be struggling with our human impact.
Doves Galore on the Tablelands
We also drove out to the Nerada Tea Plantation which is the best place to see Tree Kangaroos. Its quite a drive but so worth it. I don’t know why but they are always around there somewhere, fantastic. They have even cordoned off their habitat with barbed wire with signs everywhere to keep us out, how cool is that?? I’d rather they didn’t use barbed wire but these amazing animals really need our help. Their habitat is rapidly disappearing so it’s great to see a big company keeping a nice place for them.
Another Peterson’s Creek Platapus
Inquisitive Turtle at Malanda Falls
A Common Jezabel feasting on Lantana Flowers
And a few other critters we stumbled across
Press play to watch Stephanie’s Snippets
We have to move on soon if we want to get up to Cooktown before the weather heats up, though it will be hard to leave here. I guess we can always come back on our way south again.
At the moment we keep putting off leaving. The joys of freedom.