Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thursday 22nd February 2018


To borrow, or steal, Geoff's nephew's phrase: today the "Festival of Geoff" begins.

The first leg of our South African adventure begins; the coach to Sydney & overnighting at the Rydges Airport Hotel.
Ooo Ahhh....exciting.
Although I have been to some of the places we are going to it was over 25 years ago. For Geoff it is all new & unknown.
We are heading for South Africa, then up to Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, & across into Botswana to Chobe, Okavango, & the Kalahari Desert, then returning to South Africa for 3 of the 4 cricket tests (Geoff's birthday present) & I'll go sightseeing!

I'm not sure that I will be able to update the blog as we travel; using the tablet only might prove too hard! Anyhow, there will be photos on Facebook, & of course, a massive update once we return, if I didn't manage to continue it whilst overseas.

Tharwa River

Looking up at the underneath of
the Tharwa Bridge

A few fungi seen at Booroomba

Mating Soldier Flies (I think)

The ACT flower emblem...Royal Bluebell?


A last few things to do, then we took our first Uber trip, only to have to return to Farrer to collect someone's forgotten credit card. After that it was all plain sailing to Sydney Airport and our hotel. Though I did note once again how poorly designed the hotel room was. It is really a 3 star joint in a great location, so they charge 5 star prices. At least there is a door on the dunny, unlike some newer "designer" places.  Anyway, we are off to Africa in the morning, so our eager anticipation is almost peaking!
Wednesday 21st February 2018


Tony & I had an orchid hunt out at Booroomba Rocks in Namadgi National Park. As has been the case everywhere this past 6 months, it was very dry & the orchids were hard to find.
We did find 4 different species, nothing new for me though, but was good to get out again for a walk, spotting & chatting with Tony, who is always good for a laugh.

Autumn Magenta Orchid (Eriochilus magenteus)

A double header
Summer Greenhood (Diplodium decurvum)

Straight down

Scarlet Greenhood (Diplodium coccinum)
Looking down


I managed to pack for the trip and do my chores while Varena was out. Apart from a robust discussion with Mum after dinner, trying again to find out why she finds Donald Trump to be wonderful when I think he is a lying, mysoginistic, multiple-bankrupt, multi-divorced, barely literate egotist with delusions of grandeur, it was a quiet day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday 20th February 2018


We had an appointment first thing this morning.

After that we got the very "bug splattered" car cleaned. We went through a mass of crickets on our return to Canberra on Saturday, & some decided to attach themselves to the front of the ute....rather a mess!

I did most of my packing in the afternoon, only having a maximum of 20kg for the luggage & hand luggage is going to be interesting! For 6 weeks travelling, maybe I can learn to travel light! LOL!
Nature's artwork

Cicada carpaces stuck upside down to a tree branch


The front of the car was bedecked with grasshopper splodges. So, using a combination of bug remover spray, soap, and elbow grease, we managed to clean the outside of the ute. The inside can wait.

After lunch I headed out on a solo mission to the dump, to offload some of Mum's discards. Varena missed out on this excitement, and also missed out on coming with me to the blood bank. I think she is fine with it.
Monday 19th February 2018


Geoff dropped me at Woden, where I had some last minute things to get for the trip; he headed off for an appointment.

We met up again for lunch with one of his old school mates, John, then it was back to the house to finalise the checking of all our paperwork for the trip. I have a big file of stuff with the safari information, accommodation, car hire & sightseeing info.

For dinner we caught up with Evan & Daniel at Evan's place. He put on a couple of tasty curries & the works.

Geoff & Janus hanging out for the last time

It looks like cat bliss...

Geoff spotted this little critter on the deck - we think it is a "Cuckoo Wasp" 
or "Emerald Wasp"


Catching up day went well. We chatted with John for a couple of hours over lunch, then ploughed into a couple of curries with Evan and Dan. All good.
Sunday 18th February 2018


After sorting out the car & van the morning had just disappeared!

Then the afternoon was taken up with the Canberra sisters over for afternoon tea & a catch up. The newest addition to the family, Ernest Currie - 2 weeks old, came over to meet everyone.

After dinner it was Skype with Mum, & the day was done!

PS More photos from our day trip to Orange; there were lots of old buildings to snap!

Banjo Patterson's childhood house; rescued & moved to Orange Botanic Gardens

Orange Botanic Gardens

Art in the gardens. Geoff's thoughts were that it 
was birds....

Orange has it's very own "Stargate"!

Dinky Chapel in the rose gardens

The human sun dial

This looks like a "Hairy Ent" to me?!

The ute still needed to be unpacked, then the clothes and van sorted out. We managed to get everything where it needed to be, including Mum getting to church.
Saturday 17th February 2018


Our departure from Limekilns wasn't till after 4pm, as Diana the house owner was getting public transport from Sydney airport. It's a slow trip up the mountains, & being a weekend, there was track works on the railway lines.

Anyhow, we did the handover & headed for Canberra, via Oberon, around 4.15pm.
Our arrival back to Farrer was highlighted by a glorious sunset, just to welcome us back!

The sun just poking through the clouds & lighting up Lake George

From this dull looking sky just after Lake George....

To these beautiful colours


With everything at the house ready for Diana's return we just took it easy until she arrived. We stopped in Goulburn for dinner and picked up kebabs, which we ate in the bandstand in Belmore Park. Otherwise, the highlight of the 4 hour drive was the sunset as we arrived in Canberra.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday 16th February 2018


Our final full day here in Limekilns. We did the sorting out & packing throughout the morning, trying to get the house back to how Diana, the owner, left it.

This time next week (8pm) we should be at the BnB in!

The rest of the day I worked on the next Blog Book, getting a couple more months sorted out.
We had drinks & dinner on the deck, enjoying the view & warm weather for the last time. Even the wind had calmed right down for a change. I am very glad we weren't doing a sit in the winter, it would be icy here I think.

Orange artwork

Fernery in Cook Park

Cook Park bandstand & fountain

Orange's Rhino!

Once again it was our last day at a house sit, so, as usual, we sorted things out, packed what we could into the ute, then cleaned through.