Canberra Day Twenty Four

Tuesday 4th October, 2016

Aaahh! Another satisfying day. A bit of a different day today. I wanted to do the early bird walk around Floriade with the Heart Foundation. It’s a free thing where you get early entry into Floriade at 8am for a group brisk walk around the gardens while they’re free of all the other tourists. Photos optional, to be taken after the walk; it’s meant to be a heart healthy exercise not just gawping. The weather was meant to be windy but dry so it seemed like a good plan. I’m trying to get back into my routine of early morning starts so this was going to be good. I just forgot to plan for it! No alarm, no wakey wakey! Luckily hubby got back from his 5am bike ride in time to wake me up, but obviously you need to get there early because when I turned up at 8.02am there was no sign of them!

Hubby had said go for a walk anyway, good plan, but it was feeling very early to me so instead I headed home and went back to bed for a couple of hours. Felt brilliant when I woke up! So off I went to the other walk that I’ve had in the back of my mind for a week or so: Mulligan’s Flat. A very deceptive name; it’s not very flat and no one seems to know exactly who Mulligan is! But anyway, they have a fabulous nature reserve, some of it contained in kangaroo fencing and so I’d planned to have a look around. I wanted to do a walk for myself and to please hubby, and I wanted to see some exciting birds, but I was feeling sluggish. But after 500m or so I perked up when I entered the gate and picked up my bird walk map from the mailbox and off I went. I did realise it was 6km from the map, and didn’t really think I’d do it all, but I did! It turned out that it was a loop so after a certain point you kind of have to keep on going! I was dressed for it which helped, and the birds were fantastic! And the echidnas, and the kangaroos, and the landscapes, and the numbered points along the track describing different birds and habitats and interesting facts! All of that kept me going but still it was 4.5hours later when I stumbled back to the car!! Far out, that has to be a record!! I don’t think I’ll be able to move tomorrow! But it’s all very exciting because the last time hubby and I inadvertently did 7km it was very difficult. Of course at different points I wanted to sit down, stop for a bit etc but I got through it well, the incessant wind, the rain showers becoming plain rain at the end, the huge big male red kangaroo standing guard, and the flooded pathways requiring shoes and socks to come off and bare feet to tackle the inundated mud, grass, gravel paths under an ankle to mid calf height of water. I did it all! I really am going well, and its so satisfying!!!

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Today I got 3 lifers [5th October: correction 4 maybe 5 lifers!!!] (birds that I’ve never seen before in my life)!!! Rufous Whistler, Superb Parrot, Speckled Warbler!!! Amazing! This is what I hoped for when we came to Canberra; new species of birds in new types of habitat. And I’m getting it, fantastic! I realise that this may not be half as interesting to you as it is for me, but try to supplement whatever excites you in place of my birds.

Then I went and got a large Coke and slurped the whole thing, went back to my current house and after trying to remain awake, gave up and went and had another nap before dinner. A delicious dinner of chicken parmas with mash and vegies, looking through my 700 photos of the day and finally this! After midnight. How’s tomorrow’s early bird walk looking?

Canberra Day Fourteen

Today was so satisfying.

We were planning to go away for the ACT long weekend. Ever since we first found out that we were coming up here we’re planned to explore the area around Canberra and into NSW while we’re nearby. So, first long weekend, what to do? Unfortunately the week just flew by and it was Friday night before we knew it and we hadn’t organized anything. Don’t panic, all is not lost. As it turns out hubby wanted to do a morning bunch ride which would get him back home by 9.30am, and I really wanted to attend the Government House open day at 11am because I had heard that these days don’t come around often, and it’s something I’ve never done. So we happily “compromised”. Read: not really, we just changed our thinking from what we “should do” i.e. leave Friday night after work, to what we wanted to do and what worked much better for us. A victory over the “should”s.)

Hubby did a ride, and then another ride; very excited to be out riding and out riding with a group of like-minded people who wanted to push themselves, and I’m thrilled that he’s back out because he really needs his riding to keep everything else in balance. No riding for hubby=no joy for wife. I went to Government House and was blown away by the sheer crowds of other people wanting to do the same thing! Seriously, it was incredible! And the whole Government House experience was worth it, for sure. The old English style very much prevailing in old fashioned buildings. Hubby feels sorry for the Queen who never gets to say in upscale modern buildings with all the mod cons. But there’s something so familiar about these old places; or maybe that from my grandparents-in-law’s sitting room…the exact same floor rugs and carpets, tea settings, sofa chairs; the list goes on! Even a cushion in the EXACT same fabric. Sadly you couldn’t take photos inside.

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So mission accomplished for both of us. Then time to chill and check out accommodation without rushing, and set off on our holiday, still with two days ahead of us. We might do it this way again; it really worked for us. A gorgeous drive over through the dramatic and scenic Kangaroo Valley and surrounding mountains which should be worth visiting on the way back, and arriving just in time for a walk along the bay/river at Shoalhaven Heads where we’re staying at the hotel. A yummy dinner in the hotel restaurant watching Bulldogs reign supreme over GWS in the proper football code on the big screen, then a baffling time trying to figure out what the Raiders and Storm were doing; and don’t dare barrack for Melbourne in that room!! So much to look forward to, so much enjoyed already. Life is good.