Settler’s Track Namadgi

Miss Bee was intrigued by the grasslands, kangaroos, parrots, wrens and bush setting for these historic huts. It was already only 3 degree when we headed home, I don’t know how the original settlers survived the cold!

Lighting was a combination and glare and shadow which made for disappointing photos.

Nevertheless we had fun sharing our love for exploration with Miss Bee.

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Miss Bee loved exploring the Historic Hut. Especially helping to sweep it.

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The windows were just a little grimy.

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Autumn Bushwalking in the Capital

We took our chances after some rain this morning to take a short bushwalk right in the middle of the city. Telstra Tower loom large over Canberra yet this walk around the summit is surprisingly quiet and secluded. We didn’t see another soul. For those who haven’t been to Australia let me assure the best time to walk in the bush is after rain as the smell of the eucalypts is just wonderful and the soft muted palette of the bush is brought to life by fresh green accent plants glistening with life.

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Miss Bee went free range walking and we took things slowly so she could explore at will. Well… mostly at will as we did require her to stay ON the track as the drop off the track was a little steep in some areas. She picked up sticks, rocks, touched plants and grasses. It was interesting seeing her smell her hand as I have been teaching her that foliage can have scent. She even found the eternal favourite of every child- a stick!  She made it almost half way which was very impressive for one so young. Taking it slow really allowed her to absorb the experience at her own pace. Encouraging us to stop and really look at small details.

Lichen on a boulder was appealing and attractive to gently touch.

I estimate she walked around 1km. Then she sat down on the track. I asked “Do you want to walk or Poco? Say YES or Poco” She said “poc”. So off she went the rest of the way in  Poco.

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We are always SO glad we bought the top of the range as she seems expert at needing a nappy change when out bushwalking and the model we chose has a change mat in the baby carrier. The built in sunshade was also VERY useful to diffuse the extremely high winds which whipped in on the North face of the walk. When I say extreme I mean extreme. The wind literally ripped her dummy out of her mouth- twice!

All in all it was a great walk. Except we both forgot our DSLRs AGAIN, so the photos are dodgy Samsung phone camera ones.

 

Jerrabomberra Wetlands

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Sunday was a delightfully sunny 26 degrees.  Typically it’s jumper weather come April but this year we’ve recorded the second highest ever temperature for April in Canberra at a dizzy 32 degrees.  Typically it would be late teens early twenties.  We took the opportunity for another bushwalk… This time we stayed in Canberra as they were burning off down in the Namadgi National Park end of the ACT.
Jerrabomberra Wetlands is down on the old Dairy Flat Road.  Contrary to its name it’s not in the Jerrabomberra region.
Poco got a work out with Miss Bee even having a short nap. We explored with a friend joining us. The loop starts with the Kelly Loop. Of the three loops the Kelly Loop is the best one and it seems very wheel friendly. ..wheelchair or most prams would be okay.

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Bird watching hides make it interesting and we saw many bird varieties.  There are posters in the hides to help you name them.  Miss Bee knew “duck” quack quack quack which meant she was happy with her viewing.

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The further Billabong Loop which extends off the Kelly Loop seems fairly deteriorated but some areas were captivating with tall reeds and bullrushes.

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Woodland Loop was worthwhile except in one section there was a quantity of litter spoiling it.

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Woodland bird watching hide

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Miss Bee has almost mastered the bite down Camel back water storage in Poco.

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Note to self: take your SLR with you if you want the photos to look better…

Today we used some of the leaves collected to make a collage on a crayon and watercolour wash background painted this morning.  I laminated it as she is currently at the age where she is likely to rip them all off again.  This was an opportunity to recall the walk and view the leaves close up.

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Alpine Adventures

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We’re going on an adventure!

When I told Miss Bee that we were going to go out with Poco on an adventure she literally grinned and jumped around. She loves our adventures and so do we.

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Miss Kitty accompanied us THANK GOODNESS as she shared the carrying of Miss Bee in Poco. Plus Miss Bee walked some of it uphill all by herself. Yeah for energetic toddlers.

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Today we did the return hike to Blue Lakes Walk in the Kosciuszko National Park. This blogger really helped us get a feel for the walk before we went. I totally agree with her thoughts and if you plan on doing this walk her post is very useful.

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It is quite a hilly walk with lots of up up up sections and seemingly fewer down down down sections…but going back it reversed thankfully. Except the last hill up to the top is a killer as it’s long and steep. Luckily the weather was perfect and we were easily coerced into pausing to look at a flock of robin red breast birds frolicking in the low Alpine foliage. Alpine weather can change quickly. We all went from thin tops to jumpers and beanies back to thin tops in the one walk.

The most annoying part was driving there as we had inadvertently coincided with some major trialthlon cycling leg… lots of dodging bikes and runners. Parking at the top was crazy as they had put up “NO PARKING! TOW AWAY ZONE” signs everywhere. But we were hardly going to not park and turn around and drive home having communed from Canberra. Apparently lots of other walkers held the same sentiment as there were cars everywhere. Funny enough we weren’t towed away.

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The walk was spectacular. But I confess I was petrified crossing the stepping stone boulders in the swiftly flowing river. Luckily Anthony is very sure footed and carried Miss Bee in Poco safely while I trembled and stumbled cautiously over. FYI- no a pram wouldn’t be suited. Unless you have some sort of ninja pram that walks or something.

10410498_10204551825354118_8986617268579502892_nIn places the track is pristine and paved like a public park. In other places the pavers are scattered like dominoes and quite difficult to negotiate.  Generally I’d say that the access was reasonable though.

We were excited to see some tents in the last little valley before the climb up to Blue Lake. If you look closely in the photo below you can see them! This lead to much discussion about camping. Hmm sounds divine.. or DOES IT with a toddler? Right near a creek? In the cold with a start of -2?

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Our lunch of cheese and vegemite sandwiches and a banana muffin really hit the spot. I was pleased that even with a generous lunch break the walk only took 4hrs 40minutes. Not bad going for a 10km walk with a small child on hills.

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Conquering Kosciuszko

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I’m currently trying to work out if I’m dead.

We started our day at 6am and drove to Thredbo to climb the 13km to the Mt Kosciuszko summit the highest mountain in Australia. What were we thinking? I’ve had a knee reconstruction, we’re were sharing carrying a heavy 18 month old in Poco and we needed to be back by 4.30pm for the last chair lift ride or risk an additional 2.5hr walk!

As the alarm went I asked Anthony to check the BOM weather before we committed. Yes the gear was ready but not much point if it’s a washout. Plus dangerous with thunderstorms- especially with a toddler. Saturday morning the chance of rain was 20% but at 6am the chance was 50%! Hmm to go or not? We decided that even of it was a washout we would survive so off we went.

Brunch in Cooma was a treat. We went with what was open, but the 123 Café on the main street was ideal. Miss Bee had the obligatory Babychino while Anthony and I had a cooked breakfast. Mine was 2 poached eggs on sourdough with salmon and avocado all for a modest $13.

After initially finding the chairlift terrifying Miss Bee (who rode free) settled down in Poco for the ride. Our worries about “HOW does a toddler ride safely?” were all quashed as they slowed it to a near stop and the wonderful workers helped put her on and off. They said the carriers fit on the seat perfectly and indeed she was snuggly settled into Poco with us holding Poco with the vice grip of protective parents on the 15 minute ride up. She loved waving to people on other chairs as we passed.

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The walk was at least not too hot around 21 degrees where Canberra today was 34!!! We let her run but soon realised this was madness as timewise we’d end up reaching the summit around midnight. LOL

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Carrying a toddler on a 13km round trip UP A MOUNTAIN was rather “ambitious”. She was heavy and Anthony did the Lion’s share of the carrying. My knee started playing up going up the last gravel part to the summit… less than half way. But in the end WE DID IT. We were MORE than Good Enough. It was hard but we were champions. I nearly cried as we finished the walk. After my knee reconstruction I was doubting my ability to ever bush walk again and I remember telling the physio that I guess climbing Mt Kozi was a dream lost now. Yet here I was. I had not only done it with my bad knee but I had carried Miss Bee for around 4km of the walk WITH my bad knee! Plus I was fatter after all my fertility and pregnancy dramas.  I achieved a HUGE GOAL!!!!

Now… to the romantic part. Aussies will know the famous poem the Man from Snowy River which is set in the Kosciuszko area. It is an iconic poem by Banjo Patterson. I have read this poem to Miss Bee many times (usually trying to get her to sleep). Today I reworded part of the first verse to suit changing (((2))) poopy nappies on the alpine walk. Here is my ode and nod to Banjo:

There was movement in the nappy, for the word had passed around
That the poop of old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush poops- it weighed a thousand pound,
And all the flies had gathered for the day.

Would I do it again? NO. Would I recommend it for other parents with a heavy toddler? NO. Were we in pain and praying a llama or camel or helicopter would appear and carry US? YES!!!!  Did we get sunburn? NO!!! lathered sunscreen on. Will we do the Blue Lakes walk? Hmm will need to review that walk regarding difficulty and length, then IF that meets the muster PLUS we rope Kitty in to help with the carrying of Miss Bee… maybe. Was is spectacular and a wonderful day with long held goals realised?… well YES.

This is the summit:

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Oh and as you can see it was sunny, BUT as we got the chairlift down we felt a few rain drops. Within 10 minutes of reaching Thredbo it poured with rain and the temperature had dropped to 16. Alpine weather is notorious for sudden change.

February: Delving into Twelving

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The Albion As I have just started blogging I will do a ‘catch up post’ from January to now. Lots in one post but not much detail.

I had spent the last weekend of January setting up our calendars with all the ‘events’. Got to say I love our shared Google calendars as I can make recurring events, one off events and invite my hubby to whatever I want him to come to.

The very first weekend we jumped onto getting a major task completed. To bushwalk with a toddler you need a backpack child carrier. We had walked in Cradle Mountain with a sling but she’s just too heavy for long walks in the sling now. After much research we bought an Osprey Poco Premium with removable day pack which means we are now equipped to explore at will!

Lunch in Braddon at the hipster Paleo café Elemental. I confess we are heathen as we didn’t know it was paleo or particularly care. I am happy to report that the food was delicious- it was definitely a new experience eating nachos with sweet potato chips instead of corn chips. Our toddler gobbled it all up.

Bushwalk #1 Sunday 7th we Christened Poco with a short Bushwalk to De Salis cemetery which was a nice short walk given it was very hot and we had the new carrier. It worked a treat though it was hot a sweaty with the weather being so warm.

Brunch #1 Saturday 13th  Had some mum friends over for some coffee, pikelets and the all important chat.

BBQ #1 and Fire pit #1– Kept it simple and combined  International dinner #2 with BBQ night with lemon and garlic marinated lamb kebabs, Greek salad after a starter of olives, sourdough bread and homemade Tzatziki. Relaxed with marshmallows by the fire with the kids.(International dinner #1 was our Australia Day BBQ! That was genius as it was Good Enough!)

Local explorations: Poco got another workout as we explored the Multicultural Festival. in Canberra delighting in Weiss beer, Gozleme, paella… yummy. It was much easier to navigate the crowds by (a) going in the morning and (b) taking Poco instead of a pram.

Bike ride #1 Sunday 20th Rode around Lake Tuggeranong with the Weehoo bike trailer attached (now known as the Big Red Car to our Wiggles mad Miss Bee).

Made time to create– Scrapbooking! I did a rather dodgy job but finally finished the 9 pages I had been trying to do for the last year. They may not be what I would like in my dream life.. ie not perfect… but they are OK, they are Good Enough!

We rounded out February with Friday Pizza night #1 with my friend Dani then an outing to Rose Cottage with a gang of us listening to our favourite local Band 5150. Barry and Brian rocked it as usual!  Miss Bee burned up the dance floor until we had to retire her for the night. It was good to stick with our plan to connect with family and friends.

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Saturday we hit the Royal Canberra Show. Miss Bee loved the animals and we loved checking out the giant metal art Alien in one of the pavilions (yeah that’s not a photo we took but that’s what it looked like. It was life size and scary!). The Bengal kittens were rather adorable too half asleep in a cat cage.

Sunday we decided to escape Canberra and had a delicious #2 Brunch at The Albion in Braidwood then drove through to Malua Beach just South of Bateman’s Bay so Miss Bee could experience the beach now that she’s well and truly walking (ok more like running). We found this beach using an AWESOME free App called Beachsafe. Uses GPS to find beaches close by and tells you if they will be patrolled.

It’s been a busy month. But I feel like we have really got out and had fun! This next month will be just as fun I’m sure.

 

 

Twelvetimes

Capture.PNGThe years whiz by. They wait for nobody. This year I am fighting against my busy life. I am making a stand to make my life the life I want. The life I want to look back on and be satisfied with. I want to live a wonderful life with my hubby Anthony and kids (three young adults and a toddler).  I am putting together a plan.  I am making sure that when the next new year’s eve rocks around I can look back and celebrate achieving my dreams big and small.  I am starting my year with a new idea that I call Twelvetimes.

This is how it works. I made a list of all the things I love doing, all the things that I value or look forward to and all the things I need to do. All those ‘one day’ things.

Then I decided that if I do things just once a month then by the end of the year I would hopefully have done all the things that bring me happiness and fulfillment at least Twelvetimes this year! 

Then there are the one off goals /seasonal type outings and ongoing projects (they have been added as a prompt to keep my focus on what matters instead of wasting my nights chillaxing by the TV when I would prefer to chillax by the TV with my knitting needles or crochet hook in hand!).

This is my massive goal list:

  • Go to the snow
  • Blue Lakes walk (buy a hiking baby pack)
  • Mt Kosciusko walk
  • go to Berry and look at maybe getting a cuckoo clock
  • monthly dinner with each set of parents
  • monthly bike ride
  • monthly bush walk
  • monthly gardening
  • monthly brunch of the month with mum friends
  • monthly dinner out as a couple
  • monthly Kids park- prefer with picnic lunch or snacks
  • monthly games night
  • monthly International dinner night
  • monthly meet up with friends
  • monthly breakfast or lunch out
  • Fire pit evenings 8
  • BBQs 10
  • craft on Tuesdays
  • beach at least 4 times
  • Taronga
  • live music -like 5150
  • Canberra Show
  • Multicultural festival
  • weekend away 4
  • train to Bungendore
  • Canberra Festival events
  • Botanic gardens
  • National Gallery
  • plan and book another big holiday… Great Barrier Reef? Fiji?
  • Knit 4 garments for Miss Bee
  • Knit my own cardigan
  • Scrapbooking
  • crochet rug

It looks kind of overwhelming but once I sat back and scheduled them into our calendars I started to get really excited about my year. There is a brisk pace but there is room to relax too. Part of my goal is to keep things achievable. It might mean that things are done in simplistic ways. Pared down to “tick the box” at times when life is break neck speed. After all, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with doing things simply. I tend to be the type who wants to overachieve and do things to an extreme. Enough is often not good enough. But this year it will be a change of pace. I will let ‘good enough’ be determined by the time available. Time is in short supply with a toddler. Plus, if I miss something one month well eleven times in a year is ‘good enough’ right?

I’m going to start this blog by doing a ‘rewind’ post to January. Which is good enough as I have been busy.