We hit the amazing Atherton tablelands and after the best pub lunch in Mareeba we drove on to Lake Tinaroo. This idyllic setting was our home for the next 10 days. From here we explored as much of the tablelands as we could. All the small county towns had beautiful jacarandas trees coming into bloom, the beautiful purple looked so stunning against the rolling green hills and all these majestic old trees truly made for spectacular scenery. We enjoyed relaxing as a family and spent many mornings catching up on schoolwork and then the afternoons exploring the many scenic drives and destinations in the area.
We went for a beautiful rainforest walk at Lake Berrine, conjoling the kids all the way around with the possibility of ice cream at the end. We explored the many waterfalls and had a dip in as many as we could, we desperately tried to see a platypus on the platypus walk but had to 'settle' for only seeing the tree kangaroo, we visited cheese dairies, drank some great coffee at Coffee Works and watched the kids as they excitedly climbed the massive cathedral fig, I closed my eyes and didn't thinks of all the snakes and spiders that could have been lurking In the twisted boughs.
We had an awesome day at the Yungaburra festival, wandering through the market in the morning and then chilling out in the arvo, listening to lots of cool music, ukele players and cool little trios rehearsing in the rehearsal stage. The kids had a ball with their friends in the kids area, lots of crafty goodness and dress ups to amuse them all, Mike was so impressed by the amount of crafty artwork that the kids brought home to fill our campervan with crafty love! We finished the day with a beer and cider at the pub with Deb and Greg, another beautiful day to store as a memory when the doldrums of real life set in.
We were lucky to spend this time at Lake Tinaroo with our travelling friends. After exploring all day, we would enjoy many a peaceful happy hour watching the kids running around and enjoying all the space around us. It was even cold enough for a few fires at night. We stayed on a few days longer than our friends and had the whole place to ourselves. Little Lola was happily ensconced in the happy hour tradition and I found her making a great happy hour snack for Mike, salami, crackers, cheese and a beer on a platter, she surely knows the way to her dad's heart. My favourite happy hour was when she decided that we should have naked happy hour, she stripped off and happily ran around in the nuddy, coming back for a bite to eat before running off with Scarlett like a little forest elf frolicking in the gassy clearing.
The following week we packed up and made our way down from the tablelands, we meandered down slowly checking out all the amazing waterfalls and soaking in the goodness of the rain forests. Mike dropped me off in Cairns to fly to Sydney for what was meant to be Bernie's second round of chemo and went to spend a few more days with the Warrens in Innisfail.
So thinking chemo was looming on the Monday, Bernie and I made the most of the weekend, markets, shopping, movies on the Saturday and then an amazing long lunch on the Sunday for Jerusha's birthday. The weekend passed super quick with us trying to ignore the thought of chemo. Then in a world wind foggy daze, chemo treatment no2 quickly turned into organising surgery for a few weeks time. I flew back into another regional airport earlier than anticipated and found my family set up at a tiny little stop on the highway called Crystal Creek.