Thursday, August 9, 2012

Wednesday, 01 August 2012
Day 4 riding

It was such a gorgeous night last night!  I walked along Byron Bay.  The full moon made the water sparkle and the waves were quietly lapping against the sand.  Perfect!  None of the pictures came out though.  Bummer!

This morning I rode up to Cape Byron Lighthouse.  It's the most powerful light in Australia, visible for 27 nautical miles (50 km).  I'm kind of glad I didn't know the Assistant Light House Keeper's cottages were available to rent.  I would have been tempted to stay a very long time.   Every day there's more picture-perfect weather and views.

I tore myself away from Cape Byron to ride north and a little inland.  I spied a sign for Tweed River Art Gallery in Murwillumbah and decided to stop in.  I met and spoke with two very nice guys who's names I neglected to note. (Sorry, fellas!)  They were riders, too and we spoke at length about bikes (of course), the local sites, etc.  Since time was short, they went off to lunch and I toured the gallery.

There was a special exhibit titled “Beauty from Nature – Art of the Scott Sisters.”  On display were notebooks, sketches and watercolors drawn in exquisitely detail by Hattie and Nellie Scott.  It seems like the stunningly beautiful butterflies were everyone's favorite.  No photos of the exhibit was permitted.  (You can look on-line, though.)  I did get to take pictures of the butterflies drawn by guests pasted on the windows.

There were doors out to a lovely distant view of Border Ranges National Park (left), Lamington National Park (center) and Springbrook Plateau (right).

 The two rock sheep on the lawn made me laugh.

I'd dawdled way too long at the museum and at the lighthouse.  And I still wanted to get to the natural bridge in Springbrook Preserve that Bill told me was not to be missed.  The roads were amazing: scenic, well paved and with light traffic.

Once I got to the preserve, I met and talked with a bunch of folks including two evangelist ministers.  They were filming a series for a Texas-based TV ministry.  I guess I looked I was in need of divine intervention of one sort or another because they offered to pray with / for me.  I figured I could use all the help I could get!  Thanks, guys.  I hope your new venture is a great success! 

I took the short loop trail down to the bridge & falls.  It's places like this that really make my heart sing!  Tranquil, beautiful, awesome!!

This was the view from the top.

and a little further upriver

I wished I could stay at the preserve to see the gondwana glow worms.  But they aren't visible until after dark.  It was getting late and I still needed to find a room or campsite for the night.  I was lucky that the YHA hostels I’d been staying at had a location in Maroochydore (not far from where Ian and I are supposed to meet tomorrow).  One bed available.  Whew!  Glad my luck is still holding.

I ended up riding in the dark and made a wrong turn.  That’s how I found this bike dealer.  They sell everything - Suzuki, Triumph, MV Agusta, Vespa, Piaggio, and more!

I found the hostel with the help of a very friendly cab driver and settled in for the night. 

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