261. Sunday 8th July 2012. Life in the Illawarra continues as we Fly to Fall…

Monday 2nd July

Including Tuesday 3rd July.

Not much happening. The sun is shining and the wind is blowing. Who left the refrigerator door open? If you can find a place in the sun without the wind it is very warm. Once in the shade and the breeze is very chilly.

Nicole and Amelia have both been ill with a cold and the CO-PILOT has been helping each day. Tonight, Tuesday, she is staying overnight as Errol is on duty overnight in Canberra.

As mentioned in my last post I have started to scrub and polish a small section of fibreglass on WWWGO every day. I have to do the work in the shade and with the wind blowing I become numbingly cold and can only tolerate the cold for less than an hour.

The wind is also drying the polish as I apply it. After several days I now have a polishing routine.

Polish is applied to the compound pad on the machine. This is then applied to small section of GRP. Usually it starts to dry out so I mist spray water on the work and continue to polish.

I then clean off any residue and overspray with a damp cloth.

When the section dries I remove the compound head and attach the lambs-wool buffer head and polish until it shines. A 2 square metre section takes about an hour.

Earlier this year we picked up an ant problem when at Culcairn or more precisely when travelling to Puckapunyal. At the time I sprayed all the ants I could see and thought the problem was solved. Later, back at Culcairn I was moving some items in the sub floor storage and found huge numbers of ants. Once again I sprayed them and probably eliminated them but failed to notice the smaller ants were still in residence. While travelling I gradually placed poison in their tracks and thought they were gone for good as we had not seen them up until we left WWWGO for repairs. Monday I noticed ants again and have been placing poison in their tracks over the last two days.

A big moon crept into the early evening. Viewed across the fields it was a dominating prescence.

This view of the moon is almost a convincing argument to prove the moon is made out of cheese.

Wednesday 4th July

Hmmm! We still have ants but in lesser numbers. I may have to pull everything out of WWWGO and inspect all boxes, nooks, crannies and crevices to find the nest. The poison is working as I am finding lots of little dead ants on the floor each morning. Meanwhile the poisoning will continue.

With a little free time while the CO-PILOT is helping Nicole each day I have been baking with the bread maker. The Sourdough Rye loaves are a wonderful texture but like all bread is difficult to cut especially as it is a crusty loaf and my eye does not line up the slices all that well. An electric knife has helped and I now have slices which look like umm, err, slices. I have also made a couple of Light Rye loaves. Although the name is light rye, the finished loaf is a deep brown colour and has good texture and flavour. I have also made a couple of Devils Food cakes and today was a Banana and Walnut cake.

Tonight we joined long time friend and past workmate Bob T at Dapto Leagues Club for dinner. Sharyn was sick. Bob brought along his brother Phil who was once a squash player and I have not seen him for many years. They also brought their brother John who is blind. He is a wiz with remembering dates and names and places and can give the exact time date and location when he gave up smoking 20 something years ago. I can vaguely recall when I gave up smoking but can only remember roughly how old I was. I also recall it was my birthday and I quit smoking as a birthday gift to myself. It was a great gift which I still have to this day.

We watched the State of Origin between NSW and Queensland. Queensland won by a point, giving them a seven year winning streak. Of course it would not be a State of Origin without NSW supporters whinging they were robbed. Even when the won the second game of the series three weeks ago they whinged that they would have won by a bigger margin because the refs allowed tries or disallowed tries or sin binned or not sin binned. Being gracious in defeat, or in victory does not seem to be a strong suit of the NSW team OR their supporters.

Thursday 5th July

State of Origin and the NSW post game excuses were wheeled out in the media.


Friday 6th July

Although the day was spent around the house and I continued with the polishing of WWWGO the highlights came to us.

Our granddaughter Shelby-Rose accompanied by her mum, my daughter Averyl, competed in the karate world championships in Lithuania. After two days of training to shake off jet lag and a further three days of intense competition, Shelby won a bronze medal in one division of the sport and placed fourth in another.

Congratulations Shelby- Rose for entering and being successful in your first International Competition. May there be many more successes in your life. We are so proud of you.

Shelby Rose with her bonze medal.

The other excitement also came to us and was additional excitement for Averyl and Paul.  Son Beau and his partner Emma had a baby boy.  He weighed in at 8 pound 4 ounces in the old internationally recognised baby weight scale. He has been named Malakye.  A good strong name albeit with an unusual spelling.

Sheesh that makes me feel old! Technically I am a great grandfather.  Averyl is a grandmother and our grandchildren, Shelby-Rose and Anakin are now an Aunt and an Uncle at 11 & 9 respectively.  Of course Paul is a grandfather, a title which sits comfortably and proudly on his shoulders.

Tonight I drank the final drams of the cumquat liqueur we made 12 months ago. It has been a good drop, maintaining flavour and aroma to the last drop.

Saturday 7th July

It was a busy day for both of us. My sister Bev and hubby Peter had phoned to say they would drive from Gymea for a visit. We asked they stay for dinner. As well we invited Errol n Nicole to join us with the children. We spent the day preparing for dinner by baking a fresh rye loaf, a fruit cake and a chocolate cake, split and filled with crushed preserved cherries. The main meal was Beef Stroganoff slow cooked in our Dutch Oven for most of the afternoon. The stroganoff was served with egg pasta Porcini Mushroom Tagliatelle and a mix of steamed cauliflower and broccoli. I also suggested they might like to soak up the sauce with slices of fresh baked rye loaf. That suggestion achieved unanimous approval. The evening was a gastronomic success although there were comments about instantly putting on weight.

Sunday 8th July

Wow! Today was a day that made up for a quiet week.

We joined Wayne n Narelle M at church then they very kindly took us on a drive to Jamberoo, then Jamberoo Valley Pass. Near the top of the pass not far from Barren Ground National Park is the Jamberoo Lookout.

View of the coast from Jamberoo Lookout. This is a composite photo and therefore best viewed by double clicking to see full size.

and now for something completely different. By looking at this sign and the composite photo you can see the places shown on the sign.

From here there are distant views of Lake Illawarra and north to Corrimal and as far south as Kiama and Saddleback Mountain. After leaving a cosy warm car it was a bit of a shock to feel the cold breeze on the edge of the Great Dividing Range Escarpment. Time to put on our winter jackets!

From the lookout we travelled on to the Illawarra Fly

These signs are in several places along the pathway to the beginning of the fly. Given the fallen tree debris I can imagine it would be a popular place for red bellied black snakes.

http://www.illawarrafly.com/    (it is owned by the same people who own the Ottway Fly in Victoria but in our opinion the Illawarra Fly is far superior as it is built on the edge of the escarpment and gives stunning views of the coast.)

Donnis and Narelle at one of two suspended cantilevered viewing arms.

Illawarra Fly Treetop Walkway.

The average height above the forest floor is 25 metres and the huge observation tower is 45 metres above the forest floor.

Fly Observation Tower.

Access to the tower is via a circular stairway

Circular staircase to the top of the tower a further 20metres above the walkway.

which for those who have fear of heights, even a mild fear, is a bit of a challenge. The views are worth the challenge. So is the feeling of reaching the top and overcoming that fear. The fly is a series of connected walkways high in the treetops. At the two furthest ends of the walks are cantilevered walkways ending in a platform.

One of two cantilvered platforms as seen from the top of the observation tower.

The structure does not have any upright supports and is only supported by cable. They do swing in the breeze and as people walk on them. The sway and bounce does make clear photographs difficult. The structure has been designed to remain stable (stable???huh?) in winds up to 280 KPH. If the wind was much stronger than today it is doubtful many people would be walking on the structure. We also stopped here for lunch with the crowds of people taking advantage of the clear mostly sunny conditions.

From the Fly we continue along the Jamberoo Valley Road to the intersection of the Illawarra Highway where the famous Robertson Pie Shop is located. This is a famous shop and the car-park was totally packed as were both sides of the highway for 100 metres in both directions. People love their pies especially good pies and with crowds like this it proves they are still a good pie shop.

From there we turned left and drove the Illawarra Highway through Robertson which is also famous as a potato growing district. The town has many old businesses and houses and like Berry on the coast below, has re-invented itself as a town of interesting shops. We continued through Robertson and on to Fitzroy Falls, one of several falls along the nearby escarpment. The falls are part of the Morton National Park

Fitzroy Falls, Morton National Park Visitor Centre. Enlarge the photo by clicking twice and you can see the wonderful faced sandstone building blocks.

which stretches almost as far as Goulburn another 60 klms to the south and linking up with the Bungonia National Park. The park visitor centre has been re-modelled and enlarged and is built out of face dressed local sandstone. Wildes Meadow Creek which feeds the falls runs under the highway and rushes to the sheer drop into Upper Kangaroo Valley below.

Wildes Meadow Creek as it cascades over Fitzroy Falls.

The sunlight on the sheer sandstone cliffs was just staggering in bright colour.

From above the wester side of the falls looking towards Upper Kangaroo Valley.

If you have ever visited Katoomba and the three sisters and looked into the Megalong and Jamiesons Valley’s would give you an idea of the vast views.

From the eastern side of the falls looking into Upper Kangaroo Valley.

We did a short 800 m walk to another vantage

Frank N Donnis from the western escarpment wall looking back to Fitzroy Falls.

point but shadows were beginning to lengthen and the cool of early evening was enough to send us back to the car park and head home via Macquarie Pass to Albion Park and then home.

We had an enjoyable day with good company and spectacular views. Thank you Wayne and Narelle.


6 Responses to “261. Sunday 8th July 2012. Life in the Illawarra continues as we Fly to Fall…”

  1. shan Says:

    good to hear your news


  2. RedRoadDiaries Says:

    enjoyed the day as well, great photos and lovely scenery. Those walkways in the trees look like fun.


    • frankeeg Says:

      Hello RRD, yes the treetops walk by itself is a beautiful walk. Walking out onto the cantilever is a challenge for some people as there is a distinct sway. Of course the real challenge is climbing the circular staircase to the observation tower. Many people are already challenged just getting to the base. I must comment that I did feel a little nervous and the railing was my friend.


  3. Eni Gilling Says:

    Hi Frankeeg – don’t fall over with shock at hearing from me on this post! Just had to check out the barn that you are living in! Thinking of you and admire your adventurous spirit and willingness to adapt to whatever environment you find yourself ‘working’ in….for example at present living in a barn and caring for geese!
    Hugs and love from Eni


    • frankeeg Says:

      I am pleased rather than shocked. Yeah, its all part of the deal when looking for adventure, you have to adapt and be prepared to try something new and dare I say it, a certain measure of loneliness and uncertainty. Cheers


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