Thursday, November 16, 2017

WAMBERAL BEACH SURF, TOOWOON BAY SNORKEL, BOUDDI NP MTB - 16 NOVEMBER 2017

14 November 2017

Surf check at North Avoca Beach. No one out but that isn't surprising as there was a shark attack on the beach yesterday.


Next stop, Wamberal Beach. The waves looked okay so out I paddled. The current was very strong and the crowd though small was aggressive. I got a few waves then paddled down to the next sand bank. The current wasn't as strong but the waves were very bumpy. I caught a few waves then came in.

Jeckle and his son Bryce were at the viewing platform. We chatted for awhile.

The waves seemed to improved and the crowd had dropped to two. I paddled back out and had a great surf on good waves. The current was not as strong and the waves were better. I surfed until the wind started to change.

15 November 2017

A morning surf check at Wamberal Beach - a bit small and not as good looking as the last two days. I had a chat with Mark and Brank, then headed over to Toowoon Bay for a snorkel.


The wind was a blowing ripples across the water and some small waves were breaking on the outer rocks. The water was a little turbulent and so visibility was only okay. There were a few fish and it was nice watching the seaweed swap with the water motion.





I was a bit chilled so I had a wander around the beach then a coffee at the surf club.

Back home to a number of inside chores then up to the local mall with Kara to buy a few things, then back home to the chores.

16 November 2017

I checked the a number of beaches for surf - Wamberal and North Avoca Beach were messy and Copacabana Beach was protected from the wind but the surf was flat.

Next stop was Bouddi National Park. I parked at the top of Wards Hill and rode along the informal tracks to Stroms Lookout. There were a lot of wildflowers in bloom near the carpark.



It was a fun two kilometre ride with a narrow track, small drop offs, sloping sandstone boulders and sharp burrawangs (a plant). The view from the lookout over Hardys Bay and other parts of Brisbane Water was panoramic. I always enjoy this view. It's nice to have a ride with a reward like a view, waterfall, etc.





Afterwards, I drove to Killcare Beach for a coffee and sit in the sun before heading home.



The rest of the day was frantic and busy. My daughter has chronic fatigue and its associated problems. She is currently on a new treatment. The treatments are sort of like one step back and two steps forward. Today was the definitely the step back. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

OLD RAILWAY DAMS HIKE, WAMBERAL BEACH SURF - 13 NOVEMBER 2017

12 November 2017

Jacinta and I drove to Reeves Street in Narara for the start of a hike to the old railway dams.



The start of the hike was a bit tricky. It is next to a power pole but one need to climb up the small embankment to see the track itself.



The track was a bit difficult to follow as it sometimes became obscured with fallen leaves and branches.

After a short distance, there were two steep downhill climbs. One goes under a large overhanging sandstone boulder.

Once at the base, the hike is easy but thick with vegetation. There was definitely a snaky feel to the area. Jacinta saw a red bellied black snake slither away from her as she was walking down the track.

Not long after that, we came to the first dam. We walked across the dam along the top of the narrow wall - water one side a big drop on the other. I climbed down one edge of the wall and waqlked around its base.


We continued along the track and met a few young guys who had camped overnight under a large stone overhang. One of them told me that the track on the other side of the creek lead to a much larger dam and that there was a track from Lower Reeves Street to upper Reeves Street - two diversions next time I do this hike.


We reached the second dam which had a large wall, then there as a further drop off after that. The area at the base looked very dangerous and fatal if you fell.



We backed tracked and then drove to Terrigal Haven where I had a short ocean swim.

13 November 2017

I surf check this morning at North Avoca beach then to a surf check at Wamberal Beach. Bingo. It looked okay so I paddled out and had heaps of fun right waves with mainly one other guy. It lasted about an hour before the tide started to kill it.




Saturday, November 11, 2017

WAMBERAL SURF, TERRIGAL HAVEN SWIM/SNORKEL AND OCEAN BEACH CYCLE - 11 NOVEMBER 2017

10 November 2017

I started the morning with a surf check of North Avoca and Wamberal beaches. The tide was low and the waves had poor shape but it was a beautiful day.

At Wamberal Beach, I ran into Simon and we had coffee at the Point Cafe. Rob turned up a little later. Rob, who was South African told me a lot of information on travelling through the south of Africa. Sounds like a great trip in the future.

At the end of the coffee/chat session the surf started to look a little better at Wamberal Beach. I decided on a surf and had a fun time surfing on some nice right and left waves in warm sunshine.

Later, Kara, Mr Archibald and I went to Terrigal Haven for a chat and sit in the sun. I also had a quick ocean swim.

11 November 2017



Jacinta and I drove to Ocean Beach, Umina for a bike ride along the beach. We parked at Umina surf club, walked the biked over the soft sand and had a fun time riding on the sand.




At the half way point, we stopped for coffee at Ettalong on foreshore. It was so pretty and we were joined by a few friendly pigeons and seagulls.



We finished the ride along the cycle foreshore path back to the van.


Later, Kara, Mr Archibald and I drove to the Haven for a sun sit. Kara and Mr A sat while I had a snorkel.  The visibility was okay but the sea as a pick rough and there wasn't much to look at. Still, the water was nice.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

BEACHES, WYRRABALONG NP MTB, AVOCA LAGOON NIGHT KAYAK - 9 NOVEMBER 2017

I started the day with a surf check.



North Avoca Beach


Shelly Beach


And Soldiers Beach


They were all not too good.

I drove a short distance to Wyrrabalong National Park and rode my mountain bike along the Red Gum and Burrawang tracks.

The red gum track was wide and sandy with a number of short steep up and down sections. The sand in parts was deep and the front wheel tended to wobble out of control sometimes. The red gums looked magnificent as they gnarled and twisted in all sorts of directions.




The Burrawang track as narrow and enclosed with sharp edge burrawangs and low overhanging trees. It was a challenge riding along this track. At one point the trees were too close bringing me to a stop. The burrawangs are an ancient plant that can bear a large long fruit. The fruit was poisonous but can be eaten if prepared correctly.



At the end of the ride, I met and chatted with to lots of people. The first was a disabled guy and his wife and daughter. They had been riding the cycle path. He was using his motorized scooter - it was an awesome looking machine. The second, was an elderly couple who were about to embark on a hike on the tracks I had just ridden. They had a campervan similar to mine so we chatted a lot a about the pros and cons of our vans. I picked up a few good ideas.

Back home, and Kara and I went down to Terrigal Haven for a coffee and swim. It was nice sitting in the sunshine and chatting.

Just before sunset, I decided to try a night kayak. It was great. I paddled around Avoca lagoon starting just before sunset. It got more exciting as it got darker and darker. Just before last light, the fruit bats in the nearby colony took off on mass. There was an endless display of the creatures for about 15 minutes. Some of them flew quite close.



I turned on my head torch and my mini lantern and paddled onward close to the shoreline. It was amazing watching trees slowly come into view and then vanish in the darkness. A few birds were startled by the lights or just slowly moved away from my direction.


Such a fun paddle. I will need to plan a few more.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

BEACHES, BOUDDI NP MTB, STRICKLAND SF HIKE - 8 NOVEMBER 2017

7 November 2017

A late afternoon bike ride at Bouddi National Park along the Turkey, NW Ridge and Strom tracks. A fast ride as I did not have a camera with me. :)



8 November 2017

A late start check of the surf at Wamberal Beach. The surf was messy.


I continued on to Toowoon Bay but the wind was too strong. And damn the coffee cafe was closed.


Plan C was a hike. so I detoured over to Strickland State Forest. The GPS took me a different way than I normally go from home. It was an interesting drive past farms and crossing two bridges over the main freeway between Sydney and Newcastle.



I parked at the top carpark. there was a guy there and his dog there. We started chatting and he had just returned from working in the bush (out in the far west)).




I hiked along two tracks - the Cabbage Tree track and the Strickland Falls track. They were both great hikes passing between huge boulders and through rainforest. As their names implied, the first track passed heaps of Cabbage Trees and the second lead to Strickland Waterfall.


The falls were flowing lightly but it's the general quietness that is the main attraction to me. Silence that was so profound that it's overpoweringly loud. It seems funny to write it that way but it seemed the best way to describe it.






Monday, November 6, 2017

MOUNT WONDABYNE LOOP MTB - 6 NOVEMBER 2017

Rain yesterday.

Rain early this morning. The rest of the morning was cloudy and windy but rainless.

The surf was messy so I decided on a mountain bike ride at Brisbane Water National Park.



I parked along Woy Woy Road and off I wen. I wasn't quite sure where I was exactly going to as the wetness of the tracks would decide for me.



I ended up riding to Mount Wondabyne, which is the highest point on the Central Coast. I had impressed myself by making it up all the steep sections except for the last 20 metres before the start of the track to Mount Wondabyne. Love the new bike. :)

I rode along the final track, dumped my bike in the bushes and climbed to the top of the mountain. It was such a fun hike - rock scrambling, a flat section and a nice view. The climb continue like this two more times and then I was at the summit. I love this view. Looking out towards the east was the green of the bush, the blue of Brisbane Water and pockets of  human settlement. Looking towards the west was endless green on an undulating landscape and distant clouds. Well, the clouds didn't look too distant and they looked a little dark.






Back down the mountain and I was reunited with my bike then I heard distant thunder. I continued along the track following the base of the mountain. The track was very rugged and quite eroded. I spend half the time portering and the other half riding. The air was feeling moister and the thunder was getting closer.

I eventually, reached the intersection of the Mullet Creek Trail. I followed it back towards the van. The sky was getting darker, the thunder closer and louder and there were the odd flashes of lightning.

I rode back as fast as I could. There were a few droplets of rain to urge me on and more thunder and lightning. My legs were aching and I was drenched in sweat but I got back to the car, loaded the bike and gear in and then lightning cracked close above me with nearly an instantaneous clap of deafening thunder. I got into the van and it started to bucket down with rain. I just made it.

I drove home in near monsoonal rains with thunder clapping and lightning flashing.


I got back home, the rain stopped and the sun even made a brief appearance. What a morning. :)

BUT there's more. I went down to the Haven late in the afternoon when I brushed my leg and felt a stabbing pain. It was a huge and monstrous tick embedded in my leg. Ticks are not friendly little insects as they can cause massive health problems. We drove to the chemist and bought wart freeze. The idea was that it killed the tick instantly so that they couldn't regurgitate their toxic substances into you. It seemed to work. :)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

BRISBANE WATER NP PATONGA, PEARL BEACH, NORTH AVOCA - MTB, SURF, OCEAN SWIM - 4 NOVEMBER 2017

3 November 2017

Heaps of spare time today.

First stop, Brisbane Water National Park for a mountain bike ride.



I parked along Patonga Road. Straight away there were heaps of wildflowers. After a photo session with the flora, I started on the ride.



I took a number of tracks and service roads that sort of interconnected. There were large areas of flat tessellated sandstone, narrow tracks, a very rough and soft new track, steep service roads and great views over the ocean or the surrounding bush.


It was about a 10 km ride with no accidents. :)


Afterwards, I drove down the hill to Patonga. I thought about a swim and coffee but in the end decided that Pearl Beach would be better.


I drove to Pearl Beach, order a coffee and banana muffin then sat on the beach and enjoyed the sunshine. I also had a few swims.


Much later, Jacinta and I had dinner at the Grand Pavilion in Terrigal. Excellent Indian food.

4 November 2017

We were planning to do an overnight camp but we woke to rain so that cancelled that idea.

Onto plan B. I let Jacinta sleep in and I had a surf at North Avoca Beach. There were a feww okay waves but my wrist injury was bothering me as I could put a lot of weight on my left hand. I tended to jump on the board a bit wonky and then needed to readjust. Still, it was fun.

Jacinta was awake by the time I got out of the water so we met up for coffee at 'The Cove' cafe at Terrigal Haven. It was arm inside and out of the wind and drizzle.

We decided to do a few domestic chores then head over to Patonga for a hike. Unfortunately, the rain was pouring at that end of the Central Coast so we decided to ditch all plans and head home and relax.

WAMBERAL BEACH SURF, TOOWOON BAY SNORKEL, BOUDDI NP MTB - 16 NOVEMBER 2017

14 November 2017 Surf check at North Avoca Beach. No one out but that isn't surprising as there was a shark attack on the beach yes...