Yorkeys Knob…An interesting visit provided a wide array of experiences…A few new favorite photos…

After leaving the beach we drove to a high point in the area with this expansive view.

The Cairns area of Queensland has so much to offer. It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever run out of places to explore during our remaining few months in Trinity Beach. Sure, at some point we’ll drive further away. For now, we’re soaking in everything we can in the wide-area surrounding us that is jammed packed with interesting spots to visit.

We walked past a grove of palm trees and evergreens as we made our way to the beach.

Yesterday’s outing after my workout was no exception. Having heard about Yorkeys Knob as a community rich in history and diversity, we decided to check it out and by no means were we disappointed.

As we walked toward this crest which after crossing dipped down to the beach, wondering if any cross may be lying in wait. 

We found an enormous stretch of beach that was pure paradise. We met people along the beach with whom we talked for some time, we drove along the many streets and beach boulevard enjoying the differences of other beach roads we’d seen thus far. We gathered shells on the beach which we’ll share in photos soon. 

Yorkeys Beach was serene and pristine.

And, much to our delight, we purchased fish and seafood at a fabulous wholesale fish warehouse on the remote drive back to Trinity Beach. We timed the return drive from the fish market to our house to discover it’s a mere five minutes away. Of course, we’ll return in the future.

At certain points, it felt more like the desert than the beach with various vegetation shooting up through the sand.

That five-minute drive confirmed how close we actually are to getting away from the more populated, somewhat traffic-congested areas in the popular Trinity Beach. 

This view was to our left as we faced the ocean.

It’s the unexpected experiences that we stumble upon that make our travels all the more exciting, those we’d never know about had we not driven to an area that may not particularly be on “tourist’s radar.” Visiting many of the typical tourist venues may not appeal to us due to the commercialism, impatient crowds, excess fees for entry, and of course, the long lines. 

To our right, this was the view we stumbled upon.

Nothing about yesterday’s outing reminded us of the above. Quiet, uncrowded, vast expanses of unspoiled beaches brought us the kind of joy that makes our travels meaningful and memorable.

We spoke with this woman who is from Sydney and travels throughout the continent with her husband in their “caravan.” She, like us, was enthralled with the number of shells on the beach, not often found on many beaches that we’ve walked throughout the world.

Today, we’re quoting from a book on Yorkeys Know written by Mary T. Williams which was published in 1960 entitled, “The Know, A History of Yorkeys Knob” as follows:

“Behind the naming of any village, township, city, state or country lies a story. Some names are bland, negating any curiosity to pursue the derivation. Conversely, names can be provocative instantly stirring the imagination.
Yorkeys Knob on the eastern coast of Australia in the northern part of the State of Queensland is such a name. Westing from the Coral Sea – approaching land from the east, Yorkeys Knob sits very prettily on the hem of the Great Barrier Reef. To further enhance a natural beauty it edges into rich coastal flatland running from the foot of a marvelous range straight into the illimitable sea.

The Knob itself is the first headland north of the Harbour of Cairns, a cheeky headland layered in rock with a fuzz of timber. Its boulders tumble into the sea in arrow fashion forming a calm bay on its northern side and giving the surf full play to the south. The bay is called Half Moon Bay because of its crescent-shaped white beach and cradles a tidal river running up to and fed by the massive range. On earth level at any angle or off-shore, the lumpy and picturesque Knob invites an explanation why a man nicknamed Yorkey gave to this Knob a meaning.

It might be assumed that amongst the cosmopolitan insurgence of gold-diggers into Northern Australia during the mid-1800’s was a Yorkshireman called George Lawson. There is no factual information to support this assumption. It was only in the 1880’s that an adventurous hard-living beche-de-mer fisherman nicknamed `Yorkie’ was, by a series of incidents emerging as an identity in the northern waters off the harbour of Cairns.

On 10th May 1883 issued the first copy of a newspaper “The Cairns Post”. Thereafter this newspaper was published weekly until 1888 then bi-weekly until 1893. Despite disruptions, changes and upheavals to this date, the newspaper flourishes on a daily circulation. But it is to its romantic and uncertain first decade that we owe a faithful recording of time, date and incident relevant to the man George Lawson nicknamed Yorkie.

In early records Yorkey is referred to as `Yorkie’ or ‘Yorky’ and in one instance as being a Norwegian fisherman who lived on the ‘hill’ called the Knob. However, in all traceable registers the man Yorkey and the headland Yorkeys Knob rise unmistakably and territorially rock-like from misty legends of an extensive region strongly linked to the sea. The same registers disclose the man Yorkey’s great respect for life in a time of lust and survival, more impressive when human life weighed little in value.”

Today, we’re sharing some of our photos from yesterday’s visit to Yorkeys Knob and more will follow in days to come.  And tomorrow, we’ll be back with photos and the “steal” we got on the seafood we purchased. 

Another view of the barren beach.

A few days ago, when we posted photos of the pier in Palm Cove and the limitations on fishing for the popular local fish, Barramundi, we were intrigued by this fish. 

We drove up the hills toward this resort, a distance from which we shot today’s main photo, looking back down at the beach.

As it turned out, we were able to purchase a fresh-caught over .5 kilo, 1.1 pounds, Barramundi filet which we’re having for tonight’s dinner, dipped in egg and dusted in almond flour to be sautéed in grass-fed butter and locally made extra virgin olive oil. 

We met this sweet puppy , Abby, on the beach as her parents took her for a walk without a leash. She playfully jumped up and down in the sand.

Of course, we’ll take photos of tonight’s dinner and share them tomorrow with our opinion on the firm fleshy fish. Even Tom, who doesn’t usually eat fish, agreed to give it a try.

Tiny wildflower growing on the beach.

Thanks for stopping by! We always appreciate your readership.

                                                Photo from one year ago today, June 30, 2014:

Unsure of why the village of Campanario was decorated and with the language barrier we could only guess at the purpose of the hoopla that many residents were busy preparing. As it turned out, it was a church festival that lit up the village that night. For more details from that date, please click here.

The Australian people…What’s the diversity? History to share of the growth of this nation…More photos of Palm Cove Beach…

A pretty restaurant on a corner.

Today, we include more of our photos from the Palm Cove Beach area as we explain a little information about the Australian continent.

The sidewalk along the beach in Palm Cove.

As we read more and more about Australia, we discover that it is one of the most ethnically diverse societies in the world. Not unlike many countries, many of its people were born outside the country. 

Many of the restaurants offer Italian cuisine.

According to recent records, one in four Australian residents were born outside the continent with many more being first or second generation many of which are the children and grandchildren of immigrants who arrived in the past several decades.

Prices at many of these resorts are surprisingly reasonable, such as at Mantra Amphora, as low as AUD $179, USD $136.47 for each of a three-night stay.

With diverse backgrounds and culture of indigenous Australians who have lived on the continent for more than 50,000 years have been highly instrumental in developing a unique Australian spirit.

There were diners enjoying an early lunch as we explored the area.

In 1778, before the arrival and onset of the British colonies, Australia was inhabited by its indigenous people, the Aboriginal people. The Torres Strait Islanders inhabited the island between Australia and Papua New Guinea, now named the Torres Strait.

Casual, affordable dining establishments line the boulevard.

At one time there were over 500 varying clans or nations throughout the continent encompassing many unique and distinct cultures, languages, and beliefs. Indigenous people make up 2.4% of the total of Australia which is approximately 460,000 out of a total of 22 million people.

Another exquisite resort in Palm Cove Beach, Oasis. If we were coming to this area for a typical two-week vacation, this particular area would be an excellent place to stay especially at any of these resorts.

The state of New South Wales was originally settled as a penal colony where Britain sent convicted criminals with their own prisons overpopulated. Many were sent to the faraway prison for minor offenses but the conditions in the new colony were improved over that in Britain although disease and malnutrition were widespread during the first decades of the settlement.

Pizza restaurants are never at a shortage in most countries we visit. 

The first migrants to choose to settle in Australia included men of certain financial status who were interested in the colony’s agricultural opportunities with the availability of convict labor. 

There are apartments and condos atop some of the shops and restaurants.

Also, the mid 19th century brought the gold rush which eventually changed the boundaries of new settlements by the end of the 1850s. At that point, there were six separate Australian colonies which remain today:

  1. New South Wales
  2. Tasmania (originally settled in 1803 but later separated from New South Wales in 1825)
  3. Western Australia (1829)
  4. South Australia, including the Northern Territory (1834)
  5. Victoria (separated from New South Wales in 1851)
  6. Queensland (separated from New South Wales in 1859)
Alamanda at Palm Cove, a resort along Williams Esplanade.

Those settlers in Australia in the 19th century lived at the forefront of a new society in their new land.

There’s never a shortage of pharmacies wherever we may travel. They are often referred to as “chemists” in many countries.

Our experiences on the recent cruise with 1400 Australians who excitedly share their history and their opinions on the politics, growth, and diversity of their country gave us an inside perspective of the general views of many of the people of Australia. 

A small grocer and “take away” food in this strip of shops.

Also, each day, during our quiet time, we have an opportunity to watch Australian news from many parts of the continent. One aspect rings true for us in our experience, however short and limited, that the Australian people have a commitment and love of their country and a willingness to share their thoughts and opinions on the future growth and development of their country in a manner we’ve found to be both dedicated and far-reaching into the future.

Palm Cove Holiday Park is across the street from the beach.

We’ll be sharing more on the history and diversity of Australia and its people in future posts. It’s easy for us to enter an entirely new country with our preconceived notions as to its history and its people. It’s especially meaningful to discover otherwise.

Today, we’re off to the fitness center and then exploring more of this fabulous area in Queensland.

Have a fabulous new day of your life!

                                                Photo from one year ago today, June 29, 2014:

Ironically, it was one year ago today that we booked our current location in Trinity Beach, Australia, and posted the photos and information. We couldn’t be more pleased with this property, the views, and the thoughtful owners. For more details, please click here.

Finding vacation homes…Not so easy…Holes to fill in our itinerary…

This was one of our favorite spots located on William Esplanade in Palm Cove Beach due to the colors reminding us of the village in Placencia, Belize from so long ago.

With a 65 day gap to fill one year from today, we’re chomping at the bit to fill this spot with somewhere we’d love to visit. It isn’t as simple as it may seem.

Our proximity at the time is a huge factor. We’ll be at the fabulous house in Bali located in a lovely area for 59 days (visa restrictions) to be returning two months later for two more months. We were provided an excellent price for our two separate stays and loved the property so much, we couldn’t resist the two separate visits.

The Palm Cove Beach Club. In Australia, many accommodations and parking spots are made available for disabled visitors as shown in this parking spot.

At the time when we checked flights and vacation rentals in and out of Bali, we didn’t think we’d have trouble finding a place to stay. Per our previous philosophy of advance planning as much as two years out, we now realize that waiting may have been to our detriment.

With the slow wifi here in the house, which Tom uses, and the cost of the SIM card I’m using, searching is costly and time-consuming. My connection is excellent with the SIM card but I can easily use one gigabyte a day at a cost of AUD $8.74, USD $6.69 per day. 

Spas and beauty shops also were readily available in the area.

This amount is less than our monthly cable bill in our old lives, less than a flavored coffee at Starbucks or a single cocktail in a bar compared to the daily use of one gig. In this context, it doesn’t seem like so much after all, especially when we have so few other expenses; car, fuel, rent, food, health club, and occasional entertainment.

Today, we’ll continue the search which now over the past year will have changed in a very important manner; locations we may have considered in the past are now less safe to visit for obvious reasons we see daily in the world news. Of course, we all know that there is no country or island in the world that is exempt from these horrific possibilities. 

The Palm Cove area wasn’t developed until 1986, making most of these venues less than 30 years old.

Caution will always prevail in our lives, but our sense of adventure and desire to see many parts of the world will also play a big role in where we decide to go. After all, we’ve already been to many of the areas that we wouldn’t visit now as war and strife have escalated in the past few years. We continue to review warnings from the US Department of State Travel information that we take seriously.

There were some apartments and permanent residences along the esplanade.

Let’s face it.  We’ll always make mistakes in our planning. In essence, we probably shouldn’t have booked the second stay in Bali. But, now we’re committed after paying a substantial deposit which we’d forfeit if we canceled. 

There were a number of resorts and hotels interspersed among the row of restaurants along the beach boulevard.

Did we learn a lesson? Of course, we did. It’s the same lesson we learned in staying in Kauai for over four months. Did we have a great time? Yes! Better than ever expected. 

But, without a doubt, it was too long. Ironically, we booked Bali for this extended period over a year ago. We’ve learned a lot in this past year and we continue to discover more and more as to what works for us as we continue on. 

The restaurants were varied in their ethnicity and styles of food.

At no point will we ever say we have it all figured out. With the world changing around us, we continually adapt and change accordingly. Also, with more and more experience we discover circumstances that appeal to our wants and needs.

These two side-by-side restaurants have thick vinyl windows to protect the diners on windy and rainy days and nights.

We aren’t putting ourselves in a position of urgency in selecting how we’ll choose to fill this gap. In looking at a map, the options are plentiful. In considering our budget, the options dramatically change.  We accept the possibility that filling this gap may ultimately cost more than we’d hoped.

Once we fill this spot, we’ll certainly share the details and costs here, not hesitating for a moment to share the reality of having to spend more than we intended. It’s all a part of the reality of our lives. 

The Williams Esplanade in Palm Cove has one restaurant after another.

We have certain criteria and expectations which include a quality place to live, in a good neighborhood, a living room with a good sofa, with interesting views, wifi (if possible), a full kitchen, and on-site laundry facilities. We don’t like typical apartments in a big city which if we can avoid we will. Don’t hold us to this. We may have to change our minds as time marches on.

A number of shops occupied this small shopping center along the boulevard.

It’s Sunday here in sunny Australia. We plan to stay “home” today, spend time on the veranda, make a nice Sunday dinner, and get back to work on the search to fill the gap. 

We hope your day is filled with sunshine!

                                            Photo from one year ago today, June 28, 2014:

Veranda view from our upcoming home in Fiji where we’ll be living in a little over two months. We’d booked Fiji a year ago today. For more details, please click here.

We hit the road and found another fabulous area…The scenery never ends in Australia…

One of many quaint outdoor/indoor restaurants along Williams Esplanade In Palm Cove beach. More photos of the boulevard will follow tomorrow.

Midday yesterday after my stint at the fitness center, we decided to drive until we found more amazing scenery we’d yet to see. It wasn’t a difficult task to accomplish as we headed north on the Captain Cook Highway, beyond a point which we’d driven in the past.

A boat launch near the Palm Cove pier.
The beach with a few adventurous sunbathers.

At a long distance from our area, we’d seen a pier that piqued our curiosity. After asking Sylvie and Andy about it, they suggested it was definitely worth a visit.

When the sun peeked through the clouds, the views were especially appealing.

We couldn’t have been more pleased after we turned east down the road we’d guessed it might be to find the beautiful Palm Cove, a fabulous beach and resort area with restaurant-lined streets, shops, and tourist attractions.

The pier had been designed with various levels to allow those fishing to be out of the way of the walking visitors.

Surprisingly, on a busy Friday, we managed to snag a parking spot and were able to walk up and down the beach along Williams Esplanade soaking in all the quaint and interesting buildings. 

The view of Palm Cove beach from the pier.

Too close to the buildings and with the street crowded with tourists, it was difficult to take good photos from the sidewalk. After our walk, we slowly drove along the boulevard enabling us to get some decent shots to share here over the next few days.

Notice the white plastic holders on the posts. These holders are for the purpose of holding the fishing rods while those fishing can take a break from holding their rods.

The walk on the pier was pleasant on a sunny day and we were able to watch fishing enthusiasts avidly perusing a fine catch of the day. In our old lives, we enjoyed fishing but now without equipment of our own and prohibitive costs to buy or rent equipment, it’s not something we need to do. 

The long, fairly wide pier is a commonly visited spot for tourists.

The pier was packed with tourists armed with cameras, like us, along with families and kids enjoying the beautiful, albeit windy day. There were a few sunbathers lounging on the beach and a few in the water, oblivious to the danger signs posted everywhere in regard to the stingers and crocodiles.

A brave kayaker in the ocean with sharks, stingers, and crocs in these waters.

Palm Cove has numerous hotels and resorts and interesting history:

“The history of Palm Cove dates back to over 60,000 years ago when the Aborigines became the first settlers. The most famous landing at Palm Cove happened in 1873 when G.E. Dalrymple’s Northeast Coast Expedition landed to explore the beach. The expedition was met with hostility by the indigenous people and they opened a violent assault on the exploring crew which led to one of the largest beachfront invasions in Australian history. Shortly before World War I in 1918, the land that is today Palm Cove was bought by Albert Veivers from Archdeacon Campbell. Archdeacon Campbell had been known as a priest at Cairns church who experimented with bringing different agricultural crops to the Cairns region. Veivers was important in the advancement of Palm Cove by having the first road built. The creation of the road led property values in Palm Cove to increase dramatically, leading to more prosperity for the community. Shortly after World War II, in which Palm Cove was used as a training base for Australian soldiers, the number of people traveling to Palm Cove greatly increased. The opening of the Ramada Reef Resort in 1986 marked the first international hotel chain to be located in Palm Cove and the town has continued to increase in national and international recognition ever since.

Palm Cove is located in Far North Queensland and is on the coast of Australia. It is guarded against the South Pacific Ocean by the Great Barrier Reef. Palm Cove is completely surrounded by the Daintree Tropical Rainforest and is close to Daintree National Park. Since Palm Cove is located in a tropical climate, the average summer temperature is between 24 and 33 degrees Celsius; the average winter temperature is between 14 and 26 degrees Celsius.

On our walk back to the beach.

Palm Cove proved to be an interesting and enjoyable spot for us to visit. Later, on our return drive to Trinity Beach, we discussed how different our lives may be then for those of tourists. Most tourists visiting this area would have stopped for a meal and/or drinks in one of the many dining establishments along the way. 

Catching Tom off guard on the Palm Cove pier.

Instead, we read and take photos of the posted menus for the restaurants we may return to down the road when the mood hits us. Dining out is less enjoyable for us when my restricted way of eating makes doing so complicated at many restaurants. But, we’re not complaining.  

The sand on the beach in Palm Cove is known not to be as fine sand as other beaches in the area.

Checking out the various locations is satisfying enough for us. It’s just not worth my ordering a steak for AUD $35, USD $26.80 when it’s being cooked on a grill where foods with gluten, starch, or sugar may have been cooked. We can easily purchase and cook fabulous grass-fed steaks for AUD $15, USD $11.49 each, with side dished we know I can have.

The sixth fish down in the left column on this list is the popular local Barramundi Cod, often found on menus in local restaurants. Apparently, according to this list (see photo below), the sign says, “No take,” perhaps indicating they cannot be kept if caught.

 Barramundi Cod as indicated on the fish identification sign in the above photo.

Neither of us feels any resentment even in the slightest manner by the virtue of the fact that “Hey…we’re traveling the world and we’re healthy. What more could we ask for?  Nothing, absolutely nothing!”

                                                Photo from one year ago today, June 27, 2014:

Ironically, it was one year ago that we booked our next location in our travels in Savusavu, Fiji as shown on the map of the smaller island in Fiji.  For more details, please click here.

Figuring out the most simple things is often challenging…Feedback from our readers, please…How often do you go to a doctor when feeling well?

Double Island is often shown in many of our ocean view photos.

At times, we find figuring out the seemingly simplest things becomes tricky while outside of our home country.  It’s not due to any difficulty generated by any other country in particular. It’s simply the fact that everything is different in each country.

Recently, I began searching online to order a year’s supply of my contact lenses. Should be relatively easy.  Unfortunately, my prescription is three years old and the familiar brand that I’ve used for years has been discontinued.

Trees and vegetation are often seen growing along the beaches.

In order to make a new purchase, I’d have to pay for a new eye exam here in Australia and start all over again.  I don’t feel like doing this nor do I want to purchase a brand that may not be readily available as we continue on our travels. Also, my prescription hasn’t changed. I can still see perfectly with my current prescription.

Scout Island doesn’t look too inviting and isn’t occupied.

I only have common age-related far-sightedness, resulting in difficulty in reading small print, corrected with bifocal contacts, a different prescription in each eye. It works great for me and has done so for the past 25 years without difficulty.

In the US, an eye exam prescription is good for two years and the same applies in Australia. Sticking my neck out, I asked my old optician in Minnesota to send me a year’s supply of a new brand with me taking the risk that they’ll work. 

A handmade swing at the beach.

Finally, they agreed and as of a call I made to them this morning, they’ve agreed to send me only a one year supply of a new brand that should work well when it matches my prescription. Rather than have them send them directly to me in Australia and in order to make it simple, I asked them to send them to our mailing service in Nevada.

Before we leave Trinity Beach, we’ll order a new box of supplies and have them mailed to us. In Australia, if the contents of a package shipped from outside the country into the country has a value of less than AUD $1000, US $773, no taxes or customs fees are required. We’ll keep close tabs on the value of the contents as we add to the items we’ll eventually have shipped to us.

Sandy beach on a cloudy day.

Once again, we must address the teeth cleaning issue after canceling our appointments in Maui when Tom didn’t feel comfortable with the odd scenario of the location and office setup of the makeshift dentist’s office. We’ll check with our landlords and also check online for reviews.

Recently, we’ve decided it may be time to make doctor appointments for both of us for a general check-up and blood tests which neither of us are excited to do when we’re both feeling so well. Our insurance doesn’t pay for office visits or tests and this could easily run into quite a bill. Its been almost three years since either of us had a physical exam. 

Double Island is privately owned.

We’d love feedback from our readers and you may do so anonymously at the end of this post by clicking on the “comment” link. How often do you see the dentist when you’re teeth feel clean and without problems? How often do you see a doctor when you’re feeling well?

Today, we’re off to the fitness center and for another exploratory drive in the area. There’s so much to see in our immediate surroundings as we continue to post photos. 

There are plenty of condo and apartment complexes in Trinity Beach and the surrounding areas.

One day soon, we’ll head out of town. For now, we’re so content that its difficult to become motivated to take a road trip especially when its been cloudy and rainy most days. We’re hoping that by next week we’ll be ready to take off for a day.

Soon, we’ll be leaving for the fitness center and another drive exploring this amazing area. Have a fabulous day!

Photo from one year ago today, June 26, 2014:

The small island of Madeira had many points of interest to explore within a short distance of our home. We certainly enjoyed our time on the beautiful, historical island. For more details, please click here.

Sitting too much?…How about walking in the mall on a rainy day?…More photos from exploring…

We spotted this beautiful cove at the end of the boulevard in Trinity Beach.

Tom says he never planned to include walking as a part of his retirement. What did he plan to do? Sit in a chair waiting to grow old for the anticipated eventuality? That’s what some retirees choose to do when health-wise when they could be more mobile. 

Unfortunately, many seniors have health conditions, making mobility unlikely if not impossible and my heart breaks for them. Having the ability to freely move about has a tremendous bearing on our general good health and state of mind. We commend the many people we know and love who aren’t able to be mobile and yet maintain a positive attitude.

Sitting puts a fast end to our mobility and our mortality. The maximum amount of sitting I allow myself most days is during the time it takes for me to write and post here each day and to handle the necessary aspects of our travels online.  For the remainder of the daylight hours, I try to stay on the move as much as possible. 

A long stretch of unoccupied sandy beach.

Although after dinner, during which we sit, we do gravitate toward the sofa to watch a recorded program or two on my laptop using the HDMI hooked to the flat-screen TV. I can’t imagine having the inclination to be running about the house each evening after dinner. After watching for two hours, we lay down in bed for seven or eight more hours.

Ouch! Writing this down makes me realize how much time we actually do spend not on our feet. Long ago, I read that standing and moving around once an hour is helpful which I desperately try to do. But, even then, it’s easy to get lost in the distraction of the moment while seated.

Harvard Medical School issued this report on the dangers of sitting for people of all ages including those in the workplace. Oh, that I recall sitting at a desk most of my working life, sitting in the car, sitting watching a movie. 

This dome-type vacation rental reminded us of dome homes from decades ago. 

Aside from a large faction of the working population that busted their “you-know-whats” engaged in a career of hard working manual labor, most of us sat in a chair at work or spent the better part of each day gravitating back to a spot where there was a place to sit.

If we look back at early man/woman, they seldom sat, instead, spending most of their time on their feet working for shelter, warmth, safety, food, and water. Perhaps humans weren’t intended to sit other than around the fire at night for dining and warmth.

A lone explorer on the secluded beach.

However, when we see animals in the wild most of them sit from time to time, to relax, nap, and scour their surroundings. So, let’s assume that sitting to some degree must be acceptable for the health and well-being of humans as well. As we’ve observed wildlife these past years of travel, we’ve seen that they are like us in many ways or…we’re like them. They were here before us.

After all, most of us have an adequate built-in cushion for sitting which seems to shrink as we age for some odd reason. Who knows? Maybe it shrinks as a reminder that we need to get up and move around instead of sitting in an attempt to maintain a certain degree of health and fitness.

I’m no expert. All I know is that when I’m active I feel better, my muscles move more freely, my sense of health and well-being escalates and my spirits rise beyond my usual “overly bubbly,” if that’s at all possible.

The beaches are seldom populated this time of year with the risk of stingers and crocs.

Tom, on the other hand, loves sitting. He always says he spent enough time outside moving about in 20 degrees below zero to last a lifetime. I’m not so sure about that.

Yesterday, after two weeks of clouds and rain, we needed to walk some more, although in the past week we’ve done quite a bit of walking at beaches and parks in the area. But, being moderately active one day doesn’t necessarily carry over to the next day.

The Lime Tree restaurant in Trinity Beach is rated as #2 or 16 restaurants on TripAdvisor. Soon, we’ll make a reservation and give it a try.

As much as I know Tom doesn’t like to go for walks, I suggested that we return to the local Smithfield Mall for a few items to supplement our grocery shopping of a few days ago. We needed to buy lettuce and coffee and, I wanted to try the low carb, sugar-free, goat’s milk yogurt I heard was readily available in the market (which, by the way, is fabulous!)

Instead of telling Tom, we should walk in the mall, he gladly agreed to take me to the store for the few grocery items and to stop at a vitamin store for some B1 which is known to help some against getting sandfly bites. (Oh, we won’t get into that. No complaining on my part over the 50 bites on my knees for which no natural non-DEET repellent works. Why they bit my knees, I’ll never know).

Kangaroos are accepted as a part of everyday life in Australia, not unlike our former reaction to squirrels and geese when we lived in Minnesota.

To accomplish both of these tasks, it made sense to walk through the very long mall which when walking up and back requires a good 30 minutes of brisk walking. Tom brought along his phone with his Kindle books so he could “sit” while I meandered a few shops along the way. 

Walking in our new neighborhood is unlikely. The hugely steep driveway is impossible to safely navigate on foot for anyone over 30 years old. It’s a knee injury waiting to happen. 

Tom is highly adept at driving a stick shift with his left hand and yet he surprises me each time we go up and down as he easily maneuvers the underpowered little red car that chugs along especially going up the hill. 

Even active kangaroos take time to sit in the shade when the sun peeked out for a few hours.

The hill is so steep, I’d have hesitated to drive it even with an automatic transmission if I’d had to.  (With no parking allowed on the street at the end of the driveway, we’ve had to drive to take walks, which we’ve done each day this week).

“Good on you, Tom Lyman,” I say, using a common Australian expression that we hear everywhere we go, which apparently means “good for you!” Easily, I could repeat this adorable expression for his willingness to walk with me as we wander about the world, attempting to get off our butts as often as possible, hopefully lengthening our time on this planet with a certain level of good health and fitness.

Photo from one year ago today,  June 25, 2014:

This worm on the organic lettuce in Madeira, Portugal practically picked up his head to look at me before I tossed the leaf over the veranda into the vegetation below. For more details, please click here.

Out and about…Always discover something new and interesting…Joined Coast Fitness…

This pretty restaurant, L’únigo (misspelled in TripAdvisor as L’Unico) is rated #3 of 16 restaurants in Trinity Beach. We’ll try this one also. The sun peeked out for a few hours yesterday!

With dense fog and pouring rain impeding the view of the ocean and the horizon, we’ve decided not to go on the road trip along the ocean that we’d tentatively planned for today. 

With the intent of taking photos of the scenery along the coastline to share here, we’ve decided to wait until the next sunny weekday. We prefer not to travel on busy weekends fighting traffic and crowds when we can just as easily travel on weekdays.

I stepped out of the car to take this shot. Tom reminded me that passengers on the ship had told him that the ocean is murky at most beaches in Australia, as opposed to the clear crisp blue waters of Hawaii and other islands. Here’s an article about the murky waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef.

However, yesterday when we took off for me to join a fitness center, we took a drive and stumbled upon a fabulous area with photo ops we look forward to sharing here over the next few days. With wifi limitations and the overall poor signal, we can’t post as many photos as we had in some past locations when we had free unlimited wifi.

Coast Fitness is the closest health club and although modest, it certainly will do the trick. I’ve always found that a health club must be conveniently located in one’s place of residence. It’s hard enough to make oneself workout on a regular basis, let alone having a long distance to drive. 

View of the mountains from Trinity Beach.

Working out, although obviously beneficial, requires a degree of self-discipline that I’ve always found to be challenging. Once I’m there and warmed up, it’s all good. 

Unfortunately, Tom has to drive me wherever I’d like to go. The car rental required an extra USD $23.22, AUD $30 per day to add me to the agreement. It just wasn’t worth spending an extra USD $2066.58, AUD $2670.36 for me to drive myself to the grocery store and fitness center during the 89 days. 

There are warning signs along all the beaches in this area in regard to stingers and crocodiles. We’ve seldom seen anyone in the water or lounging on the beach.

It’s not like Tom has a lot to do to prevent him from having time to drive me around. He brings his phone loaded with books he’s reading staying entertained while he waits. Also, driving a stick shift left-handed and on the opposite side of the road wouldn’t have been ideal for me. In essence, I’m happy I wasn’t included in the agreement.  It would not have been pretty.

As we exited the car at Vasay Esplanade, we were excited to see restaurants along the street. Trinity Beach Beachfront Bar and Grill which we particularly liked for their menu is rated #4 of 16 in TripAdvisor. We’ll try this one soon.

It took no more than 10 minutes to pay the required US $177, AUD $230, for the next two months and get my membership card. Not wanting to pay for the third month, my membership will end two weeks before we leave Trinity Beach on September 8th. During that final two weeks, I’ll do the workout at home.

This morning’s view at 10 am.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a facility on the tiny island we’ll be living on in Fiji after we leave here. I’ve already begun searching, contacting various resorts for possibilities, hoping to hear back before too long.

We can’t see beyond the yard.

I hadn’t realized that I’d feel so out of shape when I started yesterday’s routine. I can only attribute it to the fact that I was sick during the final month in Kauai, never working out, and then did a less than stellar attempt on the ship when we were busy socializing each day. 

Now I’m totally committed to go to the fitness center frequently and give it everything I have. It’s amazing how energized and strong I’ll feel after a few weeks. 

The modest entrance to Coast Fitness.  Although unassuming, it has excellent equipment, everything I can possibly use.

As we left the fitness center, Tom, with his keen sense of direction, decided to take us on another drive toward the ocean. Little did we know we’d stumble upon a quaint oceanfront area of Trinity Beach we hadn’t yet discovered. I practically squealed with delight as we parked the car.

The pool at Coast Fitness wasn’t particularly appealing. With the pool here at the house which we’ve yet to use with the mostly cloudy weather these past few weeks, we won’t be using this pool.

Even Tom, who doesn’t get quite as excited as I do, couldn’t get out of the car quick enough so we could wander along the ocean boulevard, Vasay Esplanade, checking out the scenery and the various restaurants and their menus. We found enough restaurants in that one location to satisfy us for weeks to come.

The equipment is up-to-date and adequate.

However, we’ve yet to dine out since we arrived. What can I say? We’ve so enjoyed making our meals and, with Tom losing weight like crazy, it’s pointless to dine out and spoil the momentum. Perhaps soon, we’ll visit one of these appealing options.

We’re content, feeling settled in, enjoying the area. We’ve begun looking ahead to the future when we still have holes in our itinerary that we need to fill. We’ve waited long enough and currently are considering several options. Once, we’ve booked the next round, we’ll certainly be sharing the news here.

Have a warm and wonderful day filled with sunshine in your life, if not in the skies.

                                              Photo from one year ago today, June  24, 2014:

This was the first time we’d seen these Angel’s Trumpet flowers as we drove in the mountains of Madeira. Later, I saw these in Kauai when I toured the Princeville Botanical Gardens to discover that these flowers are used as a hallucinogenic by certain cultures. For more details, please click here.

Challenge at the grocery store…Adapting to food differences presents challenges…How much did we spend?

Aussies we met on the ship suggested we try kangaroo meat.  I haven’t convinced myself to try this yet.  Tom is definitely not interested.

For those of our readers who have little interest in food, the cost of food, the availability of food, and our ability to find foods appropriate to our way of eating, this post is not for you. Tomorrow, we’ll be back with more non-food related conversation.

Let’s face it, food is a big part of all of our lives. We may find pleasure in what we chose to eat. Food has the ability to provide us with good health. Some revel in the shopping and preparation of food. Food may accompany certain recreational occasions. Food and wine (or other drink of choice) may represent romance and celebrations.

We can’t escape from food, even if we want to. We have to eat to survive. We may choose to enjoy the process of figuring out our next meal or we can struggle with guilt and angst (or not) over a stop for fast food or other less than healthy pre-made and restaurant food. 

Ground beef is referred to as mince in Australia as we found in some other parts of the world such as in Africa, Italy and Portugal.

Some who prefer not to cook may have found excellent sources of pre-made or pre-cooked meals that fit both their survival and goal of good health. There are many who may choose ways of eating that have no rhyme or reason or may prefer a wide array of eating options to include: low carb, low fat, paleo, low carb, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegetarian, vegan, and many more that have brought them to a point of good health. 

Wouldn’t all of us choose to eat in a manner that brings us good health, longevity and also a level of enjoyment in eating our chosen type of diet? For many younger people (and older as well), little thought is given to what they eat or the long-term consequences of their choices. That, too, becomes a choice in itself.

I’m not here to preach any particular manner of eating. If I’ve seemed to do so, as we’ve traveled the world, striving to maintain a level of health that will allow us to continue on for years to come, I apologize for “stuffing” you with our choices and opinions. The bottom line, what works for each of us?

You can easily enlarge this receipt to read the details of yesterday’s grocery shopping at Woolie’s. The AUD $227.57 for Woolie’s translates to US $175.86.  This total didn’t include the veggies at US $32.77, AUD $42.41, and Italian sausage at US $13.45, AUD  $17.40.

In the past few weeks, Tom has returned to my way of eating beginning back on the ship on the last few days when he’d had his fill of bread, sweets and starchy foods.  He’s since lost 15 pounds of belly fat. His shorts and pants now button easily. 

I look at him several times of day, in awe of the reduction in the size of his waistband, surely an indicator of future good health. Extreme amounts of belly fat has been proven, over and over again to have a bearing on health, well being and life span. 

I wouldn’t care about the appearance of a big belly if it was an indicator of good health. But, unfortunately, it is not. And nothing gives us both more joy than knowing that our continued good health is the primary reason we’ll have the opportunity to continue on our journey long into the future. It is only poor health or serious injury that will put an end to this life we live.

Fallen coconuts sprouting into what will eventually be coconut trees.

Yesterday, we headed to Woolie’s, a popular supermarket in Australia. Having visited a few other markets, we found that overall Woolie’s has the best selections. 

Over the past week, I’d made a list of several items we’d needed to purchase for meals that we particularly enjoy befitting our chosen diet that we’ve mentioned many times in these posts; one, our grain, starch, and sugar-free sausage, mushroom, onion, and olive pizza made with a cheese and egg crust and two, a staple for us, our “unwich,” a bread-free sandwich wrapped in parchment paper using large romaine lettuce leaves to hold it together. 

Here’s the link to our gluten-free pizza recipe.

Here’s the link to instructions and recipes for making our bread-less sandwiches.

We hadn’t had either of these meals in over a month and were looking forward to having them again, leaving leftovers for a few more meals. As I mentioned in the past, we have little room in the small fridge and freezer making it challenging to stock up for a week or more.

With metered wifi, we won’t be able to spend time online looking for names of plants and flowers. We saw this particular bloom in Hawaii but can’t recall the name of it. Any suggestions?

On our menu for the upcoming week, we’d planned for the following meals:
1.  3 nights:  Unwich, made fresh each night. The fresh deli meats only last four days before spoiling and thus it makes sense to have this for three nights
2.  3 nights:  Homemade pizza
3.  2 nights:  Homemade coconut chicken tenders
All of the above includes a side of vegetables and a salad, made fresh each day. This menu plan allows for eight dinners and few, if any, trips back to the market except for a few fresh veggies.

As I wandered through the market while Tom sat on a bench nearby ready to help me when I was done, I found myself at a loss when I couldn’t find many of the items necessary to make the above meals befitting my way of eating.

All of the pasta sauces necessary for making the pizza were loaded with sugar, starch, wheat and chemicals. At the deli, all but one type of the deli meats (a bland-looking ham) we typically use in making the sandwiches; roast beef, turkey, ham and salami had massive amounts of sugar, gluten and chemicals. 

Tropical flowers proliferate in tropical climates such as here in Trinity Beach in the northern part of Australia which is warmer year-round than many other parts of the continent. This is a bottle brush flower which we’d also seen in Kauai at the Princeville Botanical Gardens.

Deli meats should have no added sugar and less than one gram of carbohydrates per serving. Many of the meats were 5 carb grams per serving indicating large amounts of additives. Plain beef, pork, chicken, turkey have zero grams of carbs per serving.

After driving the deli guy crazy asking him to look up the ingredients in the meats, which appeared to be freshly-sliced meat, we discovered that the meats were filled with grains and sugars of varying types, none of which I could or would be willing to eat other than the bland ham. 

Since Tom doesn’t react to small amounts of sugar or gluten, I purchased the usual items for him. Would I not be able to have an unwich, one of my favorite items, while we live in Australia?

The only solution that would work for me was to make my sandwiches with cooked uncured streaky bacon, avocado, natural Jarlsburg cheese without additives, the gluten, the bland ham, spinach, lettuce, tomato and onion, an alternative that proved to be delicious.

We’d never seen anything quite like these growing fruit or pods as in this tree in the yard.  Any ideas?

As for the pizza that we’ll make in a few days, I will forgo the sauce, instead spreading a bit of our homemade ketchup (I made this the first few days we arrived), seasoned with Italian spices. This will ensure I won’t be consuming gluten, additives, or sugar. Luckily, I found free-range organic chicken without added hormones and won’t have any trouble making our coconut chicken tenders. 

I must admit I scoured the market attempting to find more appropriate items. We use a few pre-made products. A few nights ago, I used a bottle of what was referred to as “American” mustard that I’d purchased, never thinking to read the label. American mustard is usually made with mustard seeds, vinegar, salt, and water. 

When I squeezed a glob of the mustard onto my plate and dipped my gluten-free sausage into it, taking a bite I was shocked by the sweet taste. It was loaded with sugar, one portion including four grams of sugar compared to a teaspoon of sugar. I wiped the mustard off my plate, later tossing the squeeze bottle into the trash.

We’ve yet to use the pool when its been cloudy or raining most days since we arrived, including today.

In all, my disappointment is over the long list of ingredients in many foods which includes chemicals, grains, starches, and sugar that are entirely unnecessary in our diets. This is not an Australian thing. It is universal in many countries throughout the world many of which we visited over these past few years.

As a result, I’ll stick to my usual “food in its natural state” as best as I can while avoiding items loaded with ingredients unsuitable for my way of eating. I’m certainly looking forward to a repeat of last night’s unwich. Of course, Tom was content with his giant bread-free sandwich.

Otherwise, I was thrilled over the mostly organic vegetables we purchased at the indoor farmers market which when I washed at home, made me smile over the worms and bugs I encountered. The uneven sizes of the produce and the bugs assured me that few if any, chemicals were used in the growing process.

These lovely gladiolas are growing in the yard.

Finally, when I wasn’t able to find Italian sausage of any type in the market, I was ready to give up the idea of pizza entirely. Tom doesn’t care for pepperoni or other meats on pizza. After we paid for the veggies at the farmers market and Woolies, I headed to the nearby meat market in the mall. 

They not only had the Italian sausage but it was gluten and sugar-free. The butcher explained that a small amount of rice flour was used in the preparation to hold it together which is a very small amount, won’t have a negative impact on me especially with the small portion I’ll eat. Also, this meat market had all the grass-fed meat, both beef, and lamb, that we could possibly want during our three months in Trinity Beach. 

Included today are photos of the receipts for the meat market, Woolie’s, and the farmer’s market. Overall, we spent US $238.66, AUD $308.88, an amount with which we’re pleasantly surprised. That averages at US $29.83, AUD $38.61, keeping in mind this included paper products and a few non-food items as well.

Today, we’re off to the fitness center where I’ll sign up for a membership and do my first workout while Tom waits for me, reading his book. Later, we’ll take a drive to check out more scenery in the area. Tomorrow, weather providing, a road trip may be in order. It’s raining today.

Have a day filled with wonderful surprises!

                                              Photo from one year ago today, June 23, 2014:

The soccer world cup was in full swing and the citizens of Madeira were excited and engaged in the process.  For details for this date, please click here.

Happy Father’s Day to those where it’s Sunday, June 21st…The shortest day of the year here in Australia…The longest for others…

View from our veranda. 

It’s a weird phenomenon for us. Today is June 22nd here in Australia, June 21st in many other parts of the world. For those for which it is June 21st, it is the longest day of the year.

For us, yesterday on June 21st, it was the shortest day of the year with the least amount of daylight. It’s now winter here. The longest day of the year in Australia will be December 21st when summer begins.

Colorful plants surround the yard,

In our old lives, we never gave any of this a thought. We lived our lives with a calendar commensurate with what we saw when we looked out the window; all four seasons with June being the beginning of the short Minnesota summer months.

By late August the leaves began to fall, the temperatures quickly began to change and less than two months later, we would turn on the furnaces and prepare for the long winter months.  

On occasion it snowed on Halloween with the trick or treaters wearing coats over their costumes, the house becoming chilled each time we opened the door to hand out the candy. That was our old life. This is our new life.

The high humidity is a perfect climate for mushrooms.

It’s Monday morning here.  Sunday afternoon, we took a drive looking for the fitness club that I plan to join in a few days. I’ve put this off since we arrived 10 days ago and the time has come for me to face the music. 

It’s so easy to lose the momentum for working out. I worked out on the ship but most likely lost a certain amount of my fitness level by missing over a week. With the high-intensity interval training I do once every six days as recommended by scientific research, with lots of walking and activity, I am not as far behind as I may have been in my old style of working out five times a week, an hour and a half each time. Those days are long gone.

Wildflowers in the yard.

It was tricky finding the fitness center which was closed by the time we arrived. Like typical seniors, we like to scope out where what we’re looking for in the area. We’ve already noticed that driving directions may be off in this area when using online maps. After navigating a few roundabouts (common in Australia), we finally found it and hope to return tomorrow so I can join and do my first workout.

Now as we reflect, we don’t think we had jet lag. In reality, we were off an entire day after crossing the International Dateline plus a few hours. Not enough to cause jet lag. The entire day time difference wouldn’t result in jet lag. It’s just a different day on the calendar. In any case, we’re back to our “old” selves, cheerful, feeling great, and anxious to see more of our immediate surroundings.

We spotted these White Ibis on the front lawn of a house near the fitness center.

Australia is considered one of the most expensive areas to live and visit in the world. As we’ve investigated what we hope to do we’ve decided it makes sense to stay within a day’s drive of our current location. 

Investigating trains to other larger cities, the cost for a round trip 24 hours train ride with a modest reclining sleeper was US $1165, AUD $1500 (for two, round trip).  By adding the cost of accommodations, other transportation, dining out, and various tourist venues a three-day visit could easily cost US $2500, AUD $3216.

The beak on White Ibis is long and hooked, ideal for catching fish.

Driving the same distance would take six days round trip plus the cost of gas, accommodations, meals, and venues and result in our being gone for nine days. Paying rent for our house in Trinity Beach makes no sense for us to be gone for nine days. Our budgetary concerns must always prevail.

Instead, we’ve booked several cruises that travel around the continent allowing us to “live” on the ships with no other rents paid at that time and to see the majority of the larger Australian cities on tours. For us, this is an economical and logical alternative. 

In the interim, there’s an abundance of sights to see within a one day drive in this amazing area with beautiful weather during its winter months. Today we awoke to exquisite sunshine and ideal temperatures.

A kangaroo posing for us. They aren’t a friendly as warthogs in South Africa or birds in Kauai so I won’t go overboard with kangaroo photos. I can’t wait to see a “joey” in a pouch.

As soon as I upload today’s post, we’re off to Woolie’s and the farmer’s market. We’re literally out of any options for tonight’s dinner. The last time we shopped was six days ago and with the tiny freezer stocking up for longer periods isn’t possible. Tomorrow, we’ll post a photo of our receipts.

However, we have no concerns that this will be an issue for us. We try to make each planned meal last for no less than two nights, made fresh each day. When we enjoy our meal as much we do we actually look forward to repeats.

Again, Father’s Day to all the dads out there on the opposite side of the International Dateline including our two sons, both of whom are great dads and to whom we send our utmost love and affection.     

                                              Photo from one year ago today, June 22, 2014:

Water in the creek in Campanario, Madeira after a night’s heavy rains. For more details of our life in Madeira, one year ago, please click here.

How did we get so lucky?…A thoughtful purchase and a new friendship that means so much…Photos of last night’s dinner…

This morning we were excited to have our first cups of homemade coffee in almost a month. It was perfect! Some habits never die and why should they, when a solution such as this was generously provided by our thoughtful hosts?

Yesterday, Saturday here in Australia, was a very good day. That’s not to say that generally speaking, most days aren’t good. They are. But, some days have a special quality that leaves us with a smile on our faces for those unexpected little treasures in life. Yesterday was such a day.

In the morning, our hosts and property owners, Sylvie and Andy sent us a message saying they were coming to clean the house at 8:30. Early birds that we are, the time was no problem for us. We’d be up since 6 am.

Our landlords, neighbors, and new friends, Sylvie and Andy. Sylvie is from France and Andy is from the UK and has lived in Australia for over 20 years.

They offered to wash and dry the sheets, remake the bed, wash the towels, and clean every inch of space.  Wow! That was an amazing offer. However, we’d already done the sheets on Thursday, one week after the day we arrived, all the towels were already in the wash and, the prior day I’d swept the floors and dusted the shelves.

The bathroom and kitchen were already spotless since we clean as we go. When we arrived, we’d inquired as to a cleaning person coming once a week to do the entire place for which we’d pay the cost, if it wasn’t too much. 

With Sylvie and Andy busy working all week, we didn’t want to pester them about a cleaning person, instead, doing everything we could with the cleaning products we’d purchased; bathroom and toilet cleaner and Windex along with a broom and dustpan we found here.

Tom’s dinner last night, included one pork chop, three gluten-free cheese sausages, one gluten-free knockwurst on a bed of sautéed onions and mushrooms, a side salad, and a muffin with New Zealand grass-fed organic butter (muffin not shown).

Tidy folks that we are, on any day of the week, there are few areas that require cleaning. The only area of concern was the floors which we’d swept almost daily. 

After over a week of cooking and then eating in the dining room, even after we’d swept the floor several times, it could easily do with a good washing. Plus, the area rug was covered in bits of white lint that I’d tried to sweep to no avail. I hesitantly asked that they only do the floors and the rug. 

At 8:30 sharp they both showed at the door with vacuum and mops in hand. We felt awkward letting them do the work but, they insisted. They explained that any other guests renting the property didn’t have to clean when they stayed for shorter periods.

Tom and I moved outside to the veranda while they worked. About 30 minutes later Andy stepped outside, done with the work, to join us for a lively and animated conversation that we thoroughly enjoyed. Going forward, they’ll do the floors and we’ll do the rest, a fair and easy compromise for all of us.

My dinner last night included two lamb chops, two gluten-free cheese sausage, one gluten free knockwurst on a bed of sautéed onions and mushrooms, a salad, and a low carb muffin with grass fed New Zealand butter (muffin not shown in this photo).

A short period after Andy left, he excitedly joined us outside again, holding his tablet anxious to show us an online photo.  He’d found a coffee pot, an actual drip coffee pot! And above all, he was driving to Cairns to buy it for us to use.

Although we hesitated for a moment, not wanting them to spend the money, Tom and I looked at each other, both agreeing it would be greatly appreciated. It made no sense for us to buy a coffee pot that we’d have to leave behind. However, it could be a valuable item for them to include for future renters.

As Tom and I busied ourselves during the day with our usual this and that, the day flew by. While I was in the kitchen making my usual 4 pm mug of hot tea, Sylvie and Andy showed at the door inviting us to their home above us. 

They’d purchased the coffee pot and wanted us to bring our bottle of “thickened cream” to give it a try at their house and then we could bring it downstairs for our use during our remaining time in their lovely property.

The sunrise from our veranda yesterday morning.

We’d yet to see their exquisite modern home and couldn’t help but ooh and aah over their beautifully designed, decorated, and appointed home. The view, one story up, was all the more enchanting. 

Sitting on their veranda we thoroughly enjoyed “happy hour” together, until finally, we had to leave when the mozzies came out in full force and it was time for us to go back downstairs to make our dinner, all of which I’d set up earlier in the day for quick final cooking. I prefer to prepare as much of a meal earlier in the day so that when hunger hits us, the final prep is quick and easy.

As we were about to leave Sylvie handed me a bucket filled with cleaning supplies, a bird book, and a set of measuring spoons for baking the few low carb muffins we make from time to time. Check out the photos below.

This is the bucket of cleaning supplies Sylvie and Andy gave us for our use and also measuring spoons and a bird book.

After the excellent dinner for which we’ve included the above photos, we settled in for the night watching an episode of America’s Got Talent, a highly smile-worthy show that we’ve watched for years.   

Using the HDMI cable daughter Tammy had given us at Christmas which we plugged into the high def TV we enjoyed almost two hours of light-hearted pleasure.

We are grateful to our lovely property owners, Sylvie and Andy, for adding so much to our experience in Trinity Beach, for their kindness and friendship which surely we’ll treasure now and well into the future.

Happy Father’s Day to those dads who are in our current time zone where it’s Sunday!

                                             Photo from one year ago today, June 21, 2014:

This Bottle Brush plant and its unusual colors particularly appealed to us as we drove through the mountains of Madeira. For more details, please click here.