New South Wales

The Buddha Walk at the Crystal Castle…

In my previous post I’d been looking down at the organic vegetable garden as we had lunch, so before going along the Buddha Walk I went to look at where the delicious salad had come from.

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The raised beds were home to a variety of salad veggies, herbs, flowers a glorious array of healthy goodness. The sign invites volunteers to feel free to come and help and learn the skills of organic garden. Now if I lived closer I would love to help out.

Now onto the walk…

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Before the Buddha Walk the labyrinth is waiting for you to walk around. This is not a maze as there is only one way in and the reverse way out.

 “A labyrinth is a walking meditation… a spiritual tool for reconnecting with your inner voice. Walking these single path designs assists us in bringing together the analytical/rational part of our consciousness with the intuitive/spiritual level of consciousness. An exercise for the mind and the body” (so says Sig Lonegren)

In a maze we lose ourselves, but in a labyrinth we find ourselves. (Michael Stevens)

Well that’s enough of the quotes lets head through the beautiful towering amethyst geodes and discover the Buddha walk.

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Flanked by the sparkling amethyst geodes is the first deity the chubby, gentle, wise, elephant-headed Ganesh, or Ganesha, is one of Hinduisms most popular deities.

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A short way along the path from Ganesh is Lakshmi.

“Goddess Lakshmi means Good Luck to Hindus. The word ‘Lakshmi’ is derived from the Sanskrit word “Laksya”, meaning ‘aim’ or ‘goal’, and she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual. Lakshmi is the household goddess of most Hindu families, and a favourite of women.”

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Nandi

Nandi

The statues and deities are  incredible works of art and for some will add a spiritual dimension to the walk, but for me it is the gardens and the overall serenity of the surrounding rainforest that takes my breath away.

Then I turn a corner….

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And discover the bamboo glade…

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I listened, entranced by the soft whispering of the bamboo canes as they rubbed together. They seemed to be speaking to each other.

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These children ran exuberantly down the steps and down the end I see another statue.

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Everywhere these bold purple signs inform us of what we are looking at. Giving brief descriptions and explanations. I appreciate that as I only know the very basic facts about Eastern philosophy.

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“Damanhur” now this is a place I have never heard of and later I looked it up in Google and this is what Wikipedia said…

The Federation of Damanhur, often called simply Damanhur, is a commune, ecovillage, and spiritual community situated in the Piedmont region of northern Italy about 30 miles (50 km) north of the city of Turin. It is located in the foothills of the Alps in the Chiusella Valley, bordering on the Gran Paradiso National Park. The community has its own constitution and currency, the Credito.

Damanhur is named after the Egyptian city of Damanhur which was the site of a temple dedicated to Horus.

It was founded in 1975 by Oberto Airaudi with around 24 followers, and by 2000 the number had grown to 800. The group holds a mix of New Age and neopagan beliefs. They gained fame in 1992 through the disclosure of their secret excavation of an extensive underground temple, the Temples of Humankind, which was begun in 1978 under complete secrecy. The Italian authorities ordered construction work to stop because it had been constructed without planning approval, although artwork could continue. Retroactive permission was subsequently granted.[1] 

It seems to be quite a controversial place and some say it is bordering on a cult status.

There is starting to appear many different levels of meaning in this Crystal Castle and I am having difficulty to absorb all the different messages I am starting to perceive here.

Take a look at this link. A virtual tour of this underground temple.

http://www.thetemples.org/tour/

Be careful you may get dizzy. Tell me what you think…

Back to the walk…

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This is the Damanhur Spiral with the young boy taking a photo. The sign requests that only one person at a time enter the spiral. When I passed it again a short time later the boy had gone and this time I could see the woman had connected with the spirit of the large central crystal.

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Finally I reach the spiritual heart of the Crystal Castle and gaze at the Blessing Buddha and I am about to listen to the singing plants…

To be continued in the next post…

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I am joining Restless Jo and her band of trampers from around the world with this part 2 of my Crystal Castle experience.

 

Categories: Crystal Castle, Jo's Monday walks, New South Wales, photos | 28 Comments

The magic of a dream come true

 This story starts in 1985. Naren King was invited to a New Years Eve party at the home of Mal Cooper who had employed  Edwin Kingsbury an eccentric architect to design a unique and magnificent building. The building was positioned right on the point where the earths energy lines, or ley lines intersect. It was a magical place, radiating harmony and peace and Naren fell in love with it.  When the Mal Cooper went broke due to only demanding the very best materials for his “harmonious architecture” it became a dream and an obsession for Naren to own it.

After a number of set backs the property became his and he and his wife began a life long project of creating a place of magic. Naren was Australia’s first direct importer of quality natural crystals from around the world and this was to be the ideal place for him to showcase their beauty.

In 1986 the land had been cleared for grazing and banana growing so now the work began to transform it into a garden, a tropical wonderland.

Jump forward to 2015 and we are house sitting only a 30 minute car ride from this extraordinary place so of course we had to visit it.

But where do I start to show you the captivating, overwhelming beauty of the gardens with magnificent statues of the deities at every corner. The tranquil Buddha and the magnificent stupor that was blessed by the Dalai Lama.

I will start as we walk in and follow the track to the Stupor…

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A rustic path meanders through the beds densely planted with tropical vegetation. Prayer flags are waving in a slight breeze as we round the corner.

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The first of the many serene statues  we are to see, stands guard over the large koi fish.

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Passing the Tibetan prayer wheels the path leads down to the Stupor.

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Beautiful eastern music floats through the air surrounding me as I recorded this short video as I sit and watch all ages walk reverently around this symbol of peace.

Crystals were Naren’s passion and they are to be found all round the gardens. A short way past the Stupor “Rosie”, a 4 tonne mini-mountain of rose quartz is one of the largest ever found in the world with such a large “crystalized face”.

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I spent quite a while in this area absorbing the feeling of calm and beauty that pervaded the atmosphere.

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Going back past the other side of the pond the track now winds through the tropical gardens back to the house that Narin fell in love with.

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After wandering through the Botanical Shambhala Gardens admiring the variety of sub-tropical and tropical plants we spotted the café through a screen of red kangaroo paws. But first we looked around the courtyard outside the café. This is where we saw this amazing trompe l’oeil.

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This extraordinary water feature dominates the courtyard. Using rose quartz it was crafted by highly skilled fountain makers from Germany. The base is granite from Switzerland. The 310 kilogram sphere rotates on a mere 0.3 millimetres of water. It glows as it catches the sun and according to mystic lore, rose quartz emanates the qualities of love and compassion and this is the spinning heart of the Crystal Castle.

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There is so much to see in this courtyard. The ground is embedded with 20,000 pieces of rose quartz

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This seat is made from Sodalite’ this is what I found about it on the internet.

“Sodalite is the stone of athletics, as it stimulates endurance. It is said sodalite will harmonize the inner being or the conscious and subconscious mind. Sodalite promotes peace and harmony. Sodalite is extra lucky for writers.” (I sat there for a while!)

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Magnificent clusters of crystals were everywhere, sparkling and glistening giving off so much energy. Almost overwhelming.

Time for lunch.

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We were there during school holiday time so it was busy. But the service was friendly and quick and the food delicious. Most of the salads and vegetables are grown in their own organic vegie garden.

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This was an Indian Plate and delicious. But look what we followed it with…

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As we waited for lunch we had a lovely view down into the gardens, and across to the distant Border Ranges.

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There is still more to see but for now I will leave you as we eat our lunch and take you on the Buddha walk in the next episode.

Going through to the Buddha Walk...

Going through to the Buddha Walk…

(To be continued)

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I’m joining with Restless Jo’s cyber walking group this week. Bloggers sharing walks all over the world.

 

Categories: Crystal Castle, Jo's Monday walks, New South Wales, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , | 32 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Boundaries…

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Can you see where the reality ends and the creation starts?

This is a boundary with a difference. It is a boundary of what the mind conceives as reality.

From a distance I thought I could walk through the archway into a magical kingdom. But as I came closer it transformed into a “Tromp L’oeil” 

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This incredible work of art was in the court-yard of an enchanting and extraordinary world of the Crystal Castle. It is in the hinterland, surrounded by lush green hills, near that alternative life style village of Mullumbimby that I visited recently. I will be showing you more, much more of this amazing place, but I am still sorting the 300+ photos I took on the day.

This is just a preview of what is to come. 

(Here’s another bench for the October “Bench Series” that Jude hosts)

Categories: bench series, boundaries, Crystal Castle, Mullumbimby, New South Wales, photos, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 32 Comments

Bangalow, a country gem.

Bangalow is one of those country gems: a picturesque, heritage listed village, largely nineteenth-century streetscape of tall verandahed buildings, shady trees and quiet parks.

The Pacific Highway is the major transport route along the central east coast of Australia, with the majority of it being part of Australia’s national route 1, and it used to run right through the centre of town bringing hustle and bustle 24 hours a day. But in the 1990’s in a major upgrade, the road bypassed Bangalow and the town, with a population of just under 2000, regained its peace and quiet. But it didn’t slowly die, as many towns do in those circumstances, instead it became a hub for artists and talented craft people. These artistic people found the tranquillity and beauty of an area where they could settle and create works of art and things of beauty. They displayed their crafts in the old style buildings along the one main street, and word spread. And the visitors came to look and to buy.

It is now a vibrant, bustling community. No empty shops and no big multi-nationals have moved in.

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Bangalow is only 20 kilometres from our housesit, so we drove over to look around and have lunch. It was Monday and I thought it would be a quiet day to visit. Wrong, it is school holidays and the weather was fine. It was crowded and the first challenge was finding a place to park the car. 15 minutes later we are parked and ready to wander around.

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This looked interesting with the Jolly Roger flying and a name like that it invited us in.

It was an Aladdin’s cave of colour and goodies. Then I spotted this sign and to me it says what this town is about.

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I have never, ever seen a shop saying they will pay for breakages. I walked out with a smile on my face.

Then a door, narrow passage way and a sign saying creative glass pointed up some stairs. So up we went and I stopped at the entrance and gazed in awe at the display.

This is how these stunning works of art are described in the web page of Zakay Glass Creations.

“Unique and timeless, these stunning three dimensional art works are resplendent of sparkling gemstones: facets and symmetries shimmer as colours of the rainbow bounce off their bevelled edges when they are touched by natural and artificial light. Adding majesty to any space in which they are displayed, a Zakay keepsake regularly decorates homes, balconies, corporate foyers and hotels around the world. Founding artist Asaf Zakay’s pursuit of creative and aesthetic excellence has resulted in three dimensional glass designs that capture the essence of nature. Using the stained glass technique (a process Asaf studied whilst in his native Israel) each magnificent creation is a sacred symbol, evolving from natural geometric patterns. “

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As well as the glass sculptures these Escher like wood sculptures adorned the walls and other stunning glass vase sculptures were displayed.

Asaf Zakay this talented artisan was in the studio and Jack took his photo. (To see more of his work follow the link.)

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Back on the street I spotted this door. How intriguing, what is behind it?

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Entering the shop, or I should call it a boutique, it had very expensive Italian fashion wear. Leather jackets and boots, fine cotton shirts and very exclusive hats. But the draw card for me was to go out through a side door and find this court-yard.

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Like stepping into a Spanish hacienda.

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Mmm, very tempting Jack. But time to find some lunch. So many to choose from Trip Advisor lists 17.

I chose Town Café. It was awarded a Chef’s Hat for 2012.

I chose a chicken, bacon, mushroom and leek pie. The filling was tasty, but unfortunately the pastry was like leather…

No worries, the salad was fresh and the coffee was good…

Time to browse around a few more shops. An art gallery ticked all the boxes for me. Local artists and world-class paintings. “Windhorse Gallery”

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A book shop called “Poet” with a large choice of philosophical and new age books. A news agent who stocked a large display of art materials and art books. An antique shop full of memorabilia and a junk shop tucked away down the back, behind the pub. What a load of junk it stocked and I couldn’t believe he was serious about the prices. For example an ancient old paint brush, stiff with dried paint $10. This business was for sale and closing down in a weeks time. (I should’ve taken a photo)

Time to go home along the back roads.

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Across a rather rickety old bridge

Across a rather rickety old bridge

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Parking the car we wander around taking photos.

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Passing through the small village of Federal (712 population) with a store and café that seemed to be popular we decided to stop for a coffee.

Finally home by 3-30pm and Mitch was patiently waiting for his 4-30pm walk.

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 Another walk Jo, this is almost the last one. I have one other but it was so overwhelming that I am struggling to sort through the almost 300 photos.

Restless Jo leads a diverse of group of walkers from all over the world. To join them click here.

 

Categories: Bangalow, Jo's Monday walks, New South Wales, photos | Tags: , , , , | 38 Comments

Evening Glory…

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This is the small courtyard at the front of the house where Mitch has his evening dinner. It is a private, tropical looking space and I like to sit on a bench and watch the evening settle in as Mitch chews on his bones.

Most of this week it has been showery, overcast days, with the sun just making intermittent appearances. The rain has created a lush, green environment and today the sun came back out.

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Looking over the back fence I noticed the setting sun creating a misty, aerial perspective. I had to rush in and grab the camera.

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It caught The tips of the azalea on the corner of the neighbour’s garden.

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And turned the bottle brush into tiny torches.

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The grand, old tree across the road slowly sinks into the shadows.

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This will be an apartment dwelling to thousands of insects and other creatures and I picture them all settling down for the night, or maybe just waking up to spend the night foraging.

We have been here 2 weeks now and only another 3 days before we go back home. How quickly the time has passed.

Categories: Australia, house sitting, New South Wales, Ocean Shores, photos, sunsets | Tags: , , , , | 24 Comments

A walk along the river.

The Fisherman’s co-op at Brunswick is renowned for the best fish and chips in the area. It is an institution and its reputation has spread by word of mouth and people come from far and near to sample the  tastiest and most ideal meals of fish and chips around.

Time for us to check it out. It is only a 10 minute drive, so with Mitch, the dog, as back seat passenger we go for lunch.

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It is the first day of the school holidays and they are busy. They sell both fresh fish caught that day and cooked meals. I order 2 Orange Roughy and one portion of chips. It is a 20 minute wait.

The jetty is just across the road so while waiting I wander over to watch the action.

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Or should I say inaction! Of course you can catch your own…

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With school out what better way to spend the day than sitting in the sun, with your mates, waiting for the fish to bite. 

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The pelicans are showing a lot of interest as well.

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This is no flash, up-market dining venue, it is strictly take away. But what better way to eat your fish and chips, wrapped in paper, than on a rustic, rather scruffy picnic bench. Shared with your Mates.

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We tear away the paper and tuck in to fish that is white and delicate and melts in your mouth. The chips are crunchy and cooked to perfection, and what they call one serving of chips is more than enough for both of us. Yes the reputation of best fish and chips is well deserved.

Across the road the fishing boats are moored. So after lunch we take Mitch for a walk along the river.

Pelicans are everywhere.

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There are also a number of boats with people living on them. This little dog got all excited when Mitch walked by.

Maybe you would like to hire a pirates boat and cruise along the river. At those prices you would need a bunch of mates to sail with you.

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Round the corner the river side track goes past the caravan park and it is bursting at the seams. Families set up in rather sophisticated arrangement of tents, with annexes and awnings, comfy, canvas chairs. BBQ’s , chilly bins and fridges, portable washing lines. Today the weather is perfect and the families will be so pleased to make the most of this glorious day.

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The water is crystal clear and a safe environment for all types of water sports. I think I see more fishing on the spit.

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It is about a 20 minute walk (allowing for photo stops) into the centre of Brunswick Heads.( click here to see more of Brunswick Heads, a very quaint country town) So time to have a coffee before heading home.

It turns out that this coffee shop is the one that Sue and Norm (the home owners we are sitting for) come to regularly and the owner knows Mitch by name.

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Of course the end of a perfect day needs celebrating with a special cup cake. Chocolate and Grand Marnier for me and Mango and pineapple for Jack. Yummy….

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Meanwhile Mitch chats to a passing friend.

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Here’s another walk Jo. No worries if you can’t fit it in, I know how busy you are with your travels at the moment.

Categories: Australia, Brunswick Heads, Fisherman's coo-op, Jo's Monday walks, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , | 28 Comments

Market Day at Mullumbimby.

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The third Saturday of each month is market day in Mullumbimby. Called Mullum by the locals. It has been the centre for alternative or counter-culture since the 1970’s and to wander around town and visit the markets it is like stepping back into that era, the time of the flower children, communal living and the hippies still survives in this vibrant and colourful “biggest, little town in Australia”.

 

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These 2 had come down in their camper van, from Brisbane, the big smoke, to spend the weekend here. Picking a handful of flowers from the hedgerow to put in her hair she is a new age flower child.

It was interesting to look at the houses and gardens as we walked along to the markets.

Definitely my style of place. Small, rustic, lots of picket fences, some overgrown and wild, others neat and cottagey. Loved to see the swing hanging from the tree in the middle of the street for all children to play on.

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Before we even arrived at the markets we passed locals that had spread their wares out behind their vehicles. Is there anything there you would like Jack?

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As we entered the market we could feel the love, so many greeting each other with hugs, the atmosphere was happy and care-free, and a great place for people watching.

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Grey flowing locks and bare feet, long skirts, caftans and happy pants were the predominant fashion. The young woman in the modern “jeggings” looks to be from another world.

The market is in the Historical Park and an old cedar shed looks its age next to the 50+ market stalls.

Weaving being demonstrated

Weaving being demonstrated

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Do you remember macramé? A craft from the 70’s. Well this stall was full of it and I thought this is an example of a “grid” created with string, (the weekly photo challenge)

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Look how tall this bloke is!!!

There were plenty of food and coffee  stalls all under the large shady trees, but it was an overcast sort of day with showers threatening, so we decided to walk back to the main street for lunch.

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One last channelling of the 70’s as we passed this old truck devoted to shiatsu massage. But he is all modern age with his phone in hand.  Incidentally I did not see too many people on their phones…

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As we passed these two friendly characters Jack had to stop for a chat. Bushy and the Pirate were very laid back and a distinct aroma of the 70’s floated on the air around them. Back in the day, this town grew weed so potent it was known as Mullum Madness!

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This was originally the Bank of New South Wales but now houses a very comprehensive collection of organic produce and supplies. Mullum is the service town for the area and has a good range of shops and services. Lots of craft shops to wander around. But we were looking for lunch. I had checked on “Trip Advisor” before I left home and from 21 choices they named “Rock & Roll Coffee Company” as number one. It is tucked away down a little lane in the heart of town, just round the corner from the organic emporium.

But just a minute, we could hear music, a jazz  blues band. This we had to check out.

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This group of local musicians were belting out “Mustang Sally”. Lunch forgotten we stayed, along with quite a crowd, to listen. Finally we dropped a donation in the guitar case and left with a smile on our faces to find lunch.

So down the lane we went. Most of the diners looked like locals and it was a small, sort of hole in the wall type of place. But the food was delicious, (I forgot to take a photo!).

Did you notice the entrance to the left of the café?

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Must have a look in here…

Lots of good quality arts and crafts and a relaxing courtyard with that amazing mural on the back wall.

Feeling refreshed, fuelled and caffeinated we went for a walk around the streets. But time to head back home…

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I don’t think the cats even missed us… 

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I will join in with Restless Jo’s intrepid walkers this week. Come over and join them.

Categories: Australia, grid, Jo's Monday walks, markets, Mullumbimby, New South Wales, travel, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Time for walkies…

One of the main things I have to do on a house sit is “walk the dog”. All dogs love going for “walkies” and Mitch is no exception. It is also a good way to explore the new area.

So would you like to come with me for the afternoon walk?

The house is on a spur high above the surrounding bush, and it is hilly. Just across the road is where Mitch is taken for his morning walk, before breakfast!!! Then again at precisely 4-30pm…

That hill is very steep, it feels almost vertical and it certainly got my heart pumping.

I had to stop, catch my breath, and, of course, take a photo. I think Mitch was quite pleased to sit down and wait for me.

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Almost to the top. This is my second stop, (puff, puff, puff) another photo of the view looking back down the hill. Are you still with me?

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There is a picnic area with free BBQs and these lovely gum trees were casting elongated shadows, pointing the way through an avenue of trees

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Finally we reach the summit and find a bench (this is for you Jude) and look at the view. It is late afternoon and you can see my long shadow.

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But the walk isn’t over yet. What goes up must come down. So now I head down the other side of the hill.

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This is not so steep, it has a path that winds gently down through the bush and steps make the descent easier.

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It is an attractive and well maintained piece of bush and plantings of bottle brush, Grevillea and various other species line the track. I had to stop to photograph this unusual white bottle brush.

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Mitch looks back “come on” he seems to be saying, “we are supposed to be walking”…

We finally reach the end of the track where it comes out onto a road, so now we turn round and go back up the track and the steps to the summit. It is still quite steep and a challenge going in the opposite direction. But here we are back at the summit.

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This is the view inland over the Border Ranges. More areas to explore.

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Just as we reach the bottom of the hill this fit young thing swished by.

That was my first walk with the dog, the day we arrived. It is now 3 days later and I have scaled the hill five times. I am very pleased to report that this morning I made it to the top without a stop…

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Restless jo is an avid walker and her latest ramble was on the Algarve border. She has inspired a cyber group of walkers from around the world to take us along on their walks. You may like to join them.

Categories: Australia, house sitting, Jo's Monday walks, Ocean Shores, photos | Tags: , , , , , | 36 Comments

Welcome to my new house sit family…

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This is Lenny, a Burmese cat and he has a brother.

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Rainey is the cat closest to the camera. How do I know? Well because they are like peas in a pod Sue has put a dot of red colour on Rainey’s tail. But, though they look so alike, they have quite different characters.

Rainey is the extrovert, he winds around your legs, talks to you all the time and loves sitting on your knee. Can you see the red blob on his tail?

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Where as Lenny is more aloof. He likes a pat and attention, but prefers to sit on his bed up in the top of the cupboard.

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Then there is adorable Mitch. He is a real gentleman. Polite and well-behaved. We have bonded and he follows me around, padding along 2 inches behind me.

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Here he is waiting for me as I check the messages on the computer.

But they are not the only members of our new family. Sue and Norm (the home owners) love all wild life and they have an adopted clan of wild birds that they feed.

So the birds are also part of the extended family that we care for.

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Jack is feeding a pied butcherbird, just one of many that arrive through the day and tap on the windows or sing out for their food. They form a constant source of enjoyment.

Meanwhile Mitch waits patiently for any meat to be dropped for him to vacuum up.

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So we have settled in to our new home and I’m sure you will be seeing more of our surrogate pets over the next couple of weeks.

Categories: house sitting, Ocean Shores, pets, photos | Tags: , , , | 17 Comments

The Natural Wonderland of the Scenic Rim

Do you like shopping, casinos the glitz and glamour of the Gold Coast? If so I will leave you with the Icons of the Gold Coast.  https://pommepal.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/gold-coast-icons/

But if you love the beauty of nature, rainforests, rivers and stunning scenery, come with me today. I am going south, over the border into New South Wales.

Millions of years ago this was an area of volcanic activity. The ground shook and volcanoes spewed forth the molten lava from the bowels of the earth. Mountains were formed and rivers of lava flowed through the valleys leaving behind a layer of rich volcanic ash. The earth cooled and rivers flowed were once the lava created the valleys. Mighty rainforest trees thrived in this rich soil and vines and creepers twisted and tangled into every spare gap. It was a land of abundance. For thousands of years the Aborigine Bundjalung people cherished this land, it gave them all they needed for survival. Their name for the mountain is “Wollumbin”; meaning, “cloud-catcher”. 

 Captain Cook passed by in 1770 and called this mighty mountain “Mt Warning”. A mere 200 years ago pioneers (and convicts) arrived looking for a better place. In awe they looked at this land of abundance and settled here. The mighty Red Cedar trees were cut down and used to build their houses, make furniture and send overseas to an insatiable market. The land was cleared to plant crops and create farms. Slowly the mighty rainforests were raped and plundered and the Aborigines were denied access to their ancestral home land.

Fortunately the park was reserved for public recreation in 1928 and dedicated as a national park in 1966. The Park is part of the Shield Volcano Group of the World Heritage Site Gondwana Rainforests of Australia inscribed in 1986 and added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2007.

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Now the mighty “Wollumbin” slumbers on the horizon. Its work has been done. At times shrouded in mist.

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At the foot of the range the Tweed River winds through the fertile farm land.

Today I will take you to Tumbulgum, a small historic village nestled on the banks of the Tweed River.

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Looking across to Wollumbin/Mt Warning from the junction of the Tweed and Rous Rivers, Tumbulgum was one of the first villages established in northern NSW in around 1840. For many years, it was the Tweed Valley’s main hub of activity, with shops and services springing up to cater to the timber trade and cedar cutters. At one stage it vied with nearby Murwillumbah for commercial supremacy – until Murwillumbah scored the railway in 1897 and a bridge in 1901, guaranteeing its status as the Tweed Valley’s economic centre. In Tumbulgum today it is the tourists who generate the buzz, coming to enjoy the picturesque setting and admire the historic buildings which now house a range of art galleries, gift shops and cafés. murwillumbah-4 One of the most popular reminders of the past is undoubtedly the old Tumbulgum Tavern. Established in 1887, it was the region’s first unlicensed pub (otherwise known as a ‘grog shanty’) and over 120 years later, it is still going strong. The food here is excellent – as are the sunsets that illuminate the river and Wollumbin/Mt Warning. It is too early for lunch. I think I will make a note to come here for dinner one evening. A boat cruises from nearby Tweed along the river and after dinner will take you back again.

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As we drive away this interesting old tree calls to my camera. As we reach Murwillumbah another old tree “talks” to me.

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Jack has an interesting post about the museum and art gallery in Murwillumbah. Go to this link.  https://jacksjottings.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/tranquil-trip/

To see more artists impressions of this beautiful area this is the link to the art gallery http://calderaart.org.au/

Now it is lunchtime and we drive out-of-town and toward the Mt Warning Road. To the Rainforest Café that has been recommended by the lady in the tourist information centre.

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We are not disappointed it is set in an idyllic setting on the banks of a small meandering creek. The tables are well spread out and you can choose to sit in the sun or the shade from the large, mature trees and palms. We choose to sit on the veranda. Can you see Jack?

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The food is delicious.

There is so much to see in this area. Next time I will take you for a walk in the rainforest.

Categories: aboriginal history, Australia, New South Wales, Tumbulgum, Wollumbin/Mt Warning | Tags: , , , , | 50 Comments

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