Tuesday, November 21, 2017


 18 November 2017

Today, I had a hike at to Rileys Bay.

It was an undulating hike that pasted through areas of mangroves, pockets of narrow and slender trees and large tree growth. 

There were spider holes where the pine needles of the trees formed a spongy ground cover. My guess was funnel web spiders. The ground was also quite bouncy to walk upon.

At the northern end there was the remains of an old sandstone house. Apparently, the owners collected shells for the making of lime. It would have been a hard life, especially, the mosquitoes. The place was swarming with them

There were a number of wildflowers in bloom and the bird songs were abundant, especially the bell birds.

Later, I had coffee with Jacinta at Terrgal Haven.

In the evening we had dinner at an Indian restaurant in Wamberal.

19 November 2017

A surf  check at North Avoca Beach was a no-go.

I drove to Bouddi National Park for a mountain bike ride on the Rocky Point Tracks. The tracks were challenging and fun.

The flannel flowers were in bloom and the view from Strom Lookout was amazing as per usual.

I tried a very steep and loose track that would lead to Rileys Bay but about half way down I just went over the handlebars, walloped my knee on a rock and got all tangled up in the bike. All good but I was very sore. I decided to skip this track until next time.

Another track took me to a waterfall which was only mildly flowing. A large culvert drain lead under the road so I played in the drain for awhile. It was fun.

I chatted to a few other bikers at the end of the ride who pointed out a new track along Maitland Bay Road.

After the ride, I drove to Terrigal Haven for an ocean swim hand coffee with Jacinta. The water was  icy cold. We ran into Ken, who had heart problems but over them now.

20 November 2017

An early morning surf check at Wamberal Beach. Maybe better later.

I drove to Ourimbah for a mountain bike ride along the challenging tracks. Well, some tracks I reckoned looked potential fatal to me; some other sections I could do with difficulty; and the rest were fun and challenging. I liked the graveyard and rollercoaster tracks the most.

I met a fellow rider at the end of the ride - Ian - and we chatted about retirement and mountain bikes.

I drove back to Wamberal Beach and had a really enjoyable surf with good waves with Mark, Glenn, and Rob then coffee at Point Cafe, Wamberal.

21 November 2017

An early surf check lead to a mountain bike ride at Kincumba Mountain.

I parked at the top of the mountain and spent 15 minutes cleaning up the rubbish strewn all over the place. As I was cleaning, I met the local council ranger, who told me there was a mob of Potteroos in the reserve.

A potoroo is a kangaroo-like marsupial about the size of a rabbit. It is a macropod. All three species are threatened The main threats are predation by introduced species (especially foxes) and habitat loss.

It was a fun easy ride along a number of tracks.

I tried riding today concentrating on body positioning. I found that a bit more tiring but the flow and control of the ride was heaps better.

I had some extra fun riding down a series of steps at the start of the Glasson Trail.

Afterwards, I drove to Wamberal beach for a surf. The current as pretty strong and the waves so-so. I lasted about forty minutes.

Over to the Haven for a coffee, sit in the sun and a read.

I'm currently reading a series of books on my kindle - The Dresden Files by Jm Butcher - I'm really enjoying them. They are about a modern day wizard doing his thing to protect humans from the perils of the magical world.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


14 November 2017

Surf check at North Avoca Beach. No one out but that isn't surprising as there was a shark attack on the beach yesterday.

Next stop, Wamberal Beach. The waves looked okay so out I paddled. The current was very strong and the crowd though small was aggressive. I got a few waves then paddled down to the next sand bank. The current wasn't as strong but the waves were very bumpy. I caught a few waves then came in.

Jeckle and his son Bryce were at the viewing platform. We chatted for awhile.

The waves seemed to improved and the crowd had dropped to two. I paddled back out and had a great surf on good waves. The current was not as strong and the waves were better. I surfed until the wind started to change.

15 November 2017

A morning surf check at Wamberal Beach - a bit small and not as good looking as the last two days. I had a chat with Mark and Brank, then headed over to Toowoon Bay for a snorkel.

The wind was a blowing ripples across the water and some small waves were breaking on the outer rocks. The water was a little turbulent and so visibility was only okay. There were a few fish and it was nice watching the seaweed swap with the water motion.

I was a bit chilled so I had a wander around the beach then a coffee at the surf club.

Back home to a number of inside chores then up to the local mall with Kara to buy a few things, then back home to the chores.

16 November 2017

I checked the a number of beaches for surf - Wamberal and North Avoca Beach were messy and Copacabana Beach was protected from the wind but the surf was flat.

Next stop was Bouddi National Park. I parked at the top of Wards Hill and rode along the informal tracks to Stroms Lookout. There were a lot of wildflowers in bloom near the carpark.

It was a fun two kilometre ride with a narrow track, small drop offs, sloping sandstone boulders and sharp burrawangs (a plant). The view from the lookout over Hardys Bay and other parts of Brisbane Water was panoramic. I always enjoy this view. It's nice to have a ride with a reward like a view, waterfall, etc.

Afterwards, I drove to Killcare Beach for a coffee and sit in the sun before heading home.

The rest of the day was frantic and busy. My daughter has chronic fatigue and its associated problems. She is currently on a new treatment. The treatments are sort of like one step back and two steps forward. Today was the definitely the step back. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017


12 November 2017

Jacinta and I drove to Reeves Street in Narara for the start of a hike to the old railway dams.

The start of the hike was a bit tricky. It is next to a power pole but one need to climb up the small embankment to see the track itself.

The track was a bit difficult to follow as it sometimes became obscured with fallen leaves and branches.

After a short distance, there were two steep downhill climbs. One goes under a large overhanging sandstone boulder.

Once at the base, the hike is easy but thick with vegetation. There was definitely a snaky feel to the area. Jacinta saw a red bellied black snake slither away from her as she was walking down the track.

Not long after that, we came to the first dam. We walked across the dam along the top of the narrow wall - water one side a big drop on the other. I climbed down one edge of the wall and waqlked around its base.

We continued along the track and met a few young guys who had camped overnight under a large stone overhang. One of them told me that the track on the other side of the creek lead to a much larger dam and that there was a track from Lower Reeves Street to upper Reeves Street - two diversions next time I do this hike.

We reached the second dam which had a large wall, then there as a further drop off after that. The area at the base looked very dangerous and fatal if you fell.

We backed tracked and then drove to Terrigal Haven where I had a short ocean swim.

13 November 2017

I surf check this morning at North Avoca beach then to a surf check at Wamberal Beach. Bingo. It looked okay so I paddled out and had heaps of fun right waves with mainly one other guy. It lasted about an hour before the tide started to kill it.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


10 November 2017

I started the morning with a surf check of North Avoca and Wamberal beaches. The tide was low and the waves had poor shape but it was a beautiful day.

At Wamberal Beach, I ran into Simon and we had coffee at the Point Cafe. Rob turned up a little later. Rob, who was South African told me a lot of information on travelling through the south of Africa. Sounds like a great trip in the future.

At the end of the coffee/chat session the surf started to look a little better at Wamberal Beach. I decided on a surf and had a fun time surfing on some nice right and left waves in warm sunshine.

Later, Kara, Mr Archibald and I went to Terrigal Haven for a chat and sit in the sun. I also had a quick ocean swim.

11 November 2017

Jacinta and I drove to Ocean Beach, Umina for a bike ride along the beach. We parked at Umina surf club, walked the biked over the soft sand and had a fun time riding on the sand.

At the half way point, we stopped for coffee at Ettalong on foreshore. It was so pretty and we were joined by a few friendly pigeons and seagulls.

We finished the ride along the cycle foreshore path back to the van.

Later, Kara, Mr Archibald and I drove to the Haven for a sun sit. Kara and Mr A sat while I had a snorkel.  The visibility was okay but the sea as a pick rough and there wasn't much to look at. Still, the water was nice.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


I started the day with a surf check.

North Avoca Beach

Shelly Beach

And Soldiers Beach

They were all not too good.

I drove a short distance to Wyrrabalong National Park and rode my mountain bike along the Red Gum and Burrawang tracks.

The red gum track was wide and sandy with a number of short steep up and down sections. The sand in parts was deep and the front wheel tended to wobble out of control sometimes. The red gums looked magnificent as they gnarled and twisted in all sorts of directions.

The Burrawang track as narrow and enclosed with sharp edge burrawangs and low overhanging trees. It was a challenge riding along this track. At one point the trees were too close bringing me to a stop. The burrawangs are an ancient plant that can bear a large long fruit. The fruit was poisonous but can be eaten if prepared correctly.

At the end of the ride, I met and chatted with to lots of people. The first was a disabled guy and his wife and daughter. They had been riding the cycle path. He was using his motorized scooter - it was an awesome looking machine. The second, was an elderly couple who were about to embark on a hike on the tracks I had just ridden. They had a campervan similar to mine so we chatted a lot a about the pros and cons of our vans. I picked up a few good ideas.

Back home, and Kara and I went down to Terrigal Haven for a coffee and swim. It was nice sitting in the sunshine and chatting.

Just before sunset, I decided to try a night kayak. It was great. I paddled around Avoca lagoon starting just before sunset. It got more exciting as it got darker and darker. Just before last light, the fruit bats in the nearby colony took off on mass. There was an endless display of the creatures for about 15 minutes. Some of them flew quite close.

I turned on my head torch and my mini lantern and paddled onward close to the shoreline. It was amazing watching trees slowly come into view and then vanish in the darkness. A few birds were startled by the lights or just slowly moved away from my direction.

Such a fun paddle. I will need to plan a few more.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


7 November 2017

A late afternoon bike ride at Bouddi National Park along the Turkey, NW Ridge and Strom tracks. A fast ride as I did not have a camera with me. :)

8 November 2017

A late start check of the surf at Wamberal Beach. The surf was messy.

I continued on to Toowoon Bay but the wind was too strong. And damn the coffee cafe was closed.

Plan C was a hike. so I detoured over to Strickland State Forest. The GPS took me a different way than I normally go from home. It was an interesting drive past farms and crossing two bridges over the main freeway between Sydney and Newcastle.

I parked at the top carpark. there was a guy there and his dog there. We started chatting and he had just returned from working in the bush (out in the far west)).

I hiked along two tracks - the Cabbage Tree track and the Strickland Falls track. They were both great hikes passing between huge boulders and through rainforest. As their names implied, the first track passed heaps of Cabbage Trees and the second lead to Strickland Waterfall.

The falls were flowing lightly but it's the general quietness that is the main attraction to me. Silence that was so profound that it's overpoweringly loud. It seems funny to write it that way but it seemed the best way to describe it.


 18 November 2017 Today, I had a hike at to Rileys Bay. It was an undulating hike that pasted through areas of mangroves, pockets ...