Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Back from Ballina

Well we are back from Ballina after a wonderful trip. the weather wasn't the best for the first few days, but you just have to take what comes and make the best of it. The drive from here to Buderim where we stopped on the way down and again coming home seems to take forever - actually 10 1/2 hours! The last part is very slow as there have been a lot of very nasty accidents on that stretch and the speed limits have been drastically reduced.
These photos were taken at Byron Bay where the partners visited on one of the side trips. We had some really super hospitality and were wined and dined for the whole time in Ballina, consequently the diet should be in full swing this week!!

I hope this photo of the banksia will enlarge for you. There were masses of these growing wild and flowering profusely wherever we went, they are just lovely.

The sun came through in glimpses here so the water was starting to show some of the glorious colours it normally has. I think there might be some dangerous rips along there though so I would not be very keen to swim except where there are lifesavers on patrol.

This is the lighthouse at Byron Bay. It is fully automated now, but is still in use, and is a very popular tourist spot. We didn't see any, but the annual migration of the humpback whales has just started, our bus driver had seen three the previous week. We walked along the path to get further to the east, but didn't have time - or the energy - to do the climb down and then back up to go right to Point Danger, the most easterly point of Australia - we did get nearly there!

On another day we visited a lookout at Maclean, the Scottish town in Australia, and this wonderful man was marching around playing the bagpipes for our benefit. he arrived there nearly an hour early to practise, then our bus was nearly an hour late! He said he could have made a fortune from tips if he had had a box out, the other tourists thought they were in heaven to find this happening in the middle of nowhere - we were about 10 km out of town! I didn't have a chance to take photos out of the bus as we drove through the town. The have painted the bottom part of all the light poles with clan tartan patterns, and they have all the street signs written in Gaelic as well as English!
I hope to post a few more photos tomorrow, but now I need to prepare for a Gardens committee meeting tonight - thank goodness we will be there and not anywhere near a radio or TV. Tonight is budget night in Australia and all we have heard for the past few days is dire warnings about how dreadful it will be and how deep in debt the country is. We can read all that in the paper, that is gloomy enough for me, or perhaps I will just ignore the lot and pretend it is not happening.........I wish!!


  1. Wonderful photos Robin. Glad you had such a good trip. I hope the budget news was not too dire.

  2. Super post Robin and glad you had such a good time. The photo of the lighthouse could have been anywhere in Britain and the splendid piper gave a British flavour too. The scenery on your trip is wonderful. As for the doom and gloom of budget news, can we take comfort from the fact that worldwide we are all in the same boat?

  3. The photos are great Robin--as for the Budget I ignore it --I have art to make not worry about things that I have no control over.
    How's that for a cynical comment:-|

  4. Your last paragraph sums up the situation here too Robin - and I do agree with your philosophy - we can't do anything about it, so best get on with life and ignore it - especially with all the scandal about MP's expenses here at present.


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