Seda: It’s really necessary to have a car when living so far out of town. Since we were paying for it, we thought we’d go out and about and discover the area a bit. As well as going for nice long drives in the countryside, we sometimes went to nearby towns to check out the local life.
John mentioned some local markets in the area so we decided to check out the Eumandi Market that Saturday. We were already warned about parking around the market. The good news is parking is pretty much always free. The bad news is their duration is all different, some are for two hours and some are for a quarter. So we went round and round to find a free 2 hour space and on the 3rd circuit a car left from across the road, so Andy very skilfully moved the car that way and parallel parked it with a beautiful single manoeuvre.
Eumandi market was nice but expensive. What we enjoyed the most was the guy playing country music and the nice chats we had with a few locals. The market is so large that it has stalls on both sides of the main road so when we had enough of the first bit, we walked to the other side. I was still complimenting Andy on his brilliant parking earlier when we saw a ticket on the windscreen. Parallel parking on reverse direction! Really? We now know that it is illegal to park in opposite direction in Australia. A knowledge that cost us a hundred dollars to acquire! Ouch…!
As soon as we noticed there is a Kenilworth nearby, we knew we had to go and visit it. Our home town Warwick is 5 miles from the English Kenilworth so it’s only fair to take a drive there we thought. After taking loads of silly selfies in front of the Kenilworth sign…
…we made our way to this pub looking bar at the entrance to the town. It was full of character. I mean a gun cleaning kit right above the proudly displayed rifle. Is that how that bison head ended up there?!
On Andy’s suggestion, we blurted out to the girl at the bar that we were from Kenilworth England. Unfortunately that didn’t get us any free drinks as Andy was hoping but we certainly got many free looks from the locals.
Andy: The first weekend we were staying at John’s, his youngest daughter, her mother, her English husband and their children came over for a BBQ. It was a beautifully sunny day, as most seem to be on the Sunshine Coast. Hard to believe it’s still technically spring!
John excelled on the BBQ and we had a lovely meal. After eating, the children all went for a swim and kayak in John’s lake, or dam as they call it. It seems most farms need some sort of water source like that. John’s is beautiful and a view we never got tired of sitting on the veranda and watch.
This is the Australian life…families get together for a BBQ, not for a Sunday roast and they celebrate Christmas on the beach not by the fireplace! This is going to take a bit of getting used to.
As the family were packing up the car after their swim and kayak the wind was picking up and it looked like a storm was coming. Bear in mind there had been no rain in this area since May. They left in a hurry trying to beat the bad weather and by all accounts made it home just in time apparently. The rain came down so heavily along with deafening thunder and lightening. John mentioned to us that he’d never had a power cut for more than 10 minutes in the 5 years he’d lived on this farm which is amazing considering the rural location.
After about an hour of an end-of-the-world-style downpour, the rains finally stopped. Gardens watered beautifully. However, there was now a new problem. John’s daughter Rachel had left their dog, but he’d gone missing during the storm. It took the 3 of us about half an hour to find him hiding under John’s productive lime bush rather dirty and wet, but otherwise fine. A few days later, we heard reports of hailstones the size of golf balls writing cars off all over the area! Crazy weather indeed.
Seda: Amamoor is a nearby village with a national park surrounding it. We mainly wanted a nice walk but was also intrigued by the possibility of viewing duck billed platypus in the area. Although that possibility never materialised, we did see this rather interesting friend that allowed us get close enough for a picture. I reckon it wouldn’t mind if I tickled under it’s chin a bit.
Andy: After our little walk in the forests outside Amamoor, we headed back to town and stopped at the tiny general store to pick up a few things. When we went to the till we noticed they had a huge menu of sandwiches, pizzas and burgers to name but a few, and very reasonably priced too. We were hungry, so decided to eat there. This proved to be a very good decision!
Seda: Another one of our countryside drives took us to Lake Borumba. Other than being a famous fishing spot, this lake is is a dam supporting irrigation and local supply. Andy spent the majority of our time there dreaming about having a boat and catching a metre long bass!
Andy is greeting everyone with a proud “Hello, how do you do” but I’m all over the local lingo. “G’day” and “how you going?” are my new greetings, just like locals. John has told me to emphasise the words to make it sound correct.
So, continuing with our impressions of Australia…
- Koalas are not hanging around, catching a glimpse seems impossible.
- Pubs don’t really exist in Australia, they are mostly hotels with a bar.
- Very good quality coffee shops are everywhere.
- Turkish bread and rolls seem very popular.
- Beetroot on burgers is a thing here