Journey 3 – Oz and Newcastle
When you are weary after a long haul flight and your mouth feels gritty and rancid as if you’ve been sucking gorgonzola cheese through a sweaty sock, your eyes are stinging with fatigue and your body has a strange, unreal hum, there is nothing better than finally getting through customs and out into the foyer to find the beaming face of a friend waiting to give you the biggest bear-hug in the world
Welcome to Oz. The temperature is hot – like pressing 40 – but the fizzy is on ice and the pool is cool. What could be better. We’ve only been going three days and the cold and drizzle are already a fading memory.
Unfortunately the heat was such that camping in the outback would have been a misery. Plans were altered. Instead we spent time soaking up rays, covered in more sunscreen than is present in most nuclear shelters, and lurking in the pool with bubbly, food and cockatoos!
When it was too hot we visited the cool of the local jail where they locked up the desperate,
and drowned our sorrows with shakes. We visited the bay of caves and crawled through tunnels as the surf pounded in.
We visited Art galleries.
There were cool walks by the lake as the sunsets and ice-creams dripped into the water – one leaving stains of orange and red and the other splashes of chocolate,
as roosting Corellas chattered in the trees and we consumed unknown fish and necked wine.
We sought the magnificent cuckoo, tracked down the huge mighty owl, marvelled at the splendour of lorikeets, saw the fruit bats hanging and hunted the water dragons.
We walked the cliffs and stood on rocks while mighty rollers crashed into the rock and sprayed us.
We rose early to walk along beaches laden with friendly dog walkers or breakfasted at the boogie hole with friends, swimming and laughing while the populace slept around us and a pair of kestels watched from the top of a lamppost.
We walked through shaded woods, observed by kookaburras and noisy mynahs.
We ate oysters, drank more wine and had a big music jamboree on the porch with frogmouths looking on.
We saw a giant huntsman the size of a house whose feet were in the front room while his body was in the hall, who could run like lightning but who was eventually caught and expelled.
We circuited the lake and watched the black swans, pelicans and plovers while two heron performed a mating dance for us.
We danced all evening to the Red Hot Potatoes who blasted out their brass reggae, jazz and soul. We listened to the mighty performance of Emma Rugg.
New friends, lots of music and frolics. We put the world right again.
No time was left unfilled, no seconds wasted. No senses unsated. No sensation unfulfilled.
The hot scent and dust of Australia seeped into us. At dusk we watched the Cockatoos noisily go to roost like a mobile wrecking crew and the fruit bats took to the sky. The possums tail protruded from his nest in the heat and the scent of flowers and gum tree filled the hot air.
Learning to snorkel in the pool as we drank more fizz and ate delicious barbies. Visiting an old cinema to sit with a glass of wine and an ice-cream in a vintage seat.
What could be nicer!!
We are well and crazy in Newcastle Australia! The music thumps. The new friends grin a lot. The country is wonderful. The wildlife is colourful and plentiful (though becoming scarcer by the day). Pete and Trudie are keeping us busy!!
The wildlife sanctuary with wombats, wallabys, koalas and lorikeets.
The Wetlands with the nesting ibis and egrets, parrots, swallows and geese.
We have not been bitten by sharks, spiders, crocodiles, scorpions, snakes, box jellyfish, rabid dogs or sting rays. We have had the odd mossy bite though. We can cope.
We’ve been swimming, snorkelling, walking, climbing and seeing an array of amazing things! It has been hot – 45 degrees. But now it is cooler. We are heading off for the outback!