Driving to Miss Betty.

4 October 2013

Miss Betty, or Mrs Betty, as she would probably prefer, resides in Farnorha RSL Aged Care Facility in further north FNQ.  She's my 87 year old mum. The carers refer to her as Betty Boo.  I refer to her as Mother Duck and she, to me, as Daughter Duck ... Well , at least she does when her memory allows. My siblings and I are ever grateful for the quality of care and attention Farnorha provide her.

While temporarily living in FNQ, driving to Miss Betty is a regular occurrence .  My trusty PT Cruiser could probably complete this drive on auto-pilot; it is so practised at this route.  I looovvveeee my PT Cruiser, despite some saying it's the ugliest car they've ever seen. Thanks Steve! My love is visible to all who follow me; my muffler heart frou-frou says it all - a present from pineapple-loving friend Linda and her wonderful Neal.

My PT.

This time I'm staying for a week as I have two missions to complete and MLP is flying home in a couple of days.  Well ... that was our plan until MLP's flight was cancelled (Oh, yeh!) and he had to take the PT to drive home.  No problem, I'll use my nephew's car and just hire a car on Friday to drive home.  (I can't fly as I have all the necessities for my second mission and I would be waaayyy over weight limits.) BUT, it's school holidays and not one single hire car company has one single car left to hire on Friday! (Oh, yeh!) Luckily, I can hire a car for the Saturday so MLP does not have to drive back up to further FNQ to get me and then back to our FNQ to get us home. What a debacle!  I thought I had figured it out so well ... but it seems the forces conspired against me.

So, as MLP is driving me to Miss Betty, I thought I'd take you on the journey with me. I can snap away with my trusty iPhone. It's a lengthy journey so settle in, but it is also a journey full of beauty and history.  

The road is fringed by dry eucalypt forests which slowly change to dense rain forests as we move from the dry tropics to the wet tropics. We see lots of this …

road works, but generally the road is good and, when the roadworks are finished, even better.  Half way, or close enough to warrant a coffee stop, is Cardwell, famous for Cyclone Yasi.  There are still vestiges of Yasi damage: snapped trees, destroyed farm outbuildings and Yasi promotion on the local businesses.

But there is beauty: Hinchinbrook Island, the jetty and the reconstruction of the foreshore.

And, the best thing about Cardwell is great coffee at Vivia and their …

Mmmm, mmmmm! 

There's also a great little dress shop called Ob La Di (She even has a Facebook page, if you're interested.) But, today it's getting late and I'm heading to my missions ... so no dress shop visit. If you head down the side road to the Coral Sea Memorial, you'll come across this nostalgic stall, honesty box included, tempting you with a range on scrumptious home grown and made goodies. Yuuummmm!

You'll also be reminded that you've reached the Cassowary Coast … 

No, it's not a real one, but there are plenty around, especially in the early morning and evening. 

Cardwell is a small town with a special feel.

And there's sugar cane, operating sugar mills and sad remnants of outdated sugar mills. (My father was a sugar cane farmer so these sights and smells pull at my heart strings.)

But, as we come within reach of our destination and my missions, it is the beauty of the mountains which takes my breath away. The two highest mountains in Queensland …

 against the setting sun …

And the one they call the Pyramid which crazy lycra-wearing people race up one day each year!! INSANE! ( The Great Pyramid Race has a Facebook page too if you're into lycra-wearing and running insane races.)

And then we reach the flood plains of the Mulgrave River and we are near our destination.  

My first mission: to look after …

for the upcoming week.  Some one failed to tell me that the chickens DEMAND rice and sunflower seeds IMMEDIATELY they sense you even wiggle your little toe in the morning.  If you don't comply, they take over the back deck making raucous chook noises to wake the dead and the neighbourhood. 

My other mission is to transform two great-nieces bedrooms. (When did I become old enough to be a great-aunt? It's all my sister's fault; she went forth and multiplied very early in life and her children have followed suit.) The bedroom transformations are special surprises after a first ever holiday in the snow. I hope two little girls are soooo happy. 

Keep posted to see the new bedrooms.

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