This summer I am lucky enough to be spending a fair bit of time in Northern Australia to catch up with family. Although it is winter in Oz, it will be around 25C and fairly dry. The wet season (summer) begins around November and has got up to 38C in the past two years, so it’s really the perfect time now to visit Cairns and Port Douglas.
Strangely enough the sea water is roughly the same temperature year around as the air temperature – a little too warm for my liking. It feels more like bath water…. and it’s been known for crocs to lurk around the beach, especially in the evenings, so we are going to stick to the pool.
Before we left, we needed to organise a sitter for our pets, Toesen and Pepita (both female dogs) and Sooty our aging cat.
Laura Non C’e as she likes to be called, is from America and came to help us out. Originally she was to be minding our house and animals for 9 weeks but due to unforeseen events, the holiday had to be put on hold. Laura was left twiddling her thumbs, wondering why she ever flew out to be with us, I am sure.
We had high hopes of still getting to Australia but we weren’t sure how soon it could be achieved.
So, what to do? We sent Laura packing! Off to Cappadocia she went. One of those truly amazing places that should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list. A landscape straight off the moon, with craters covering a vast area created around 50 million years ago by volcanic eruptions.
These craters were carved out from the inside and later used as shelters by Christians hiding from persecution by the Romans. They also dug down deep and created a vast hidden underground city boasting 18 levels and inhabited there for many years.
Anyway, I digress. Not intended, but I do get very carried away by the wonderful Cappadocia.
Upon her return, Laura and I took up some serious exercising. Henrik my husband had injured his back badly and it was now up to me to lift everything for an extended period.
Laura and I made a daily plan which began with planking. At 7am. Then we would walk the pups down to the beach.
We then leave the dogs playing onshore whilst we swim out and around a near island, all before 8am as the heat is really rising.
After our morning swim, we always have a çay or two (glass of tea) with Mehmet who looks after the one and only restaurant on the beach.
I then walk back home, gorging mulberries from my very favourite tree.
Meanwhile, Laura plays a game or two of cards with Mehmet and sometimes Yuksel the nearby farmer. (None of them sharing a word – all sign language).
Laura would take the river walk back and feed a neighbour’s cat on the way and find more summer fruit – nectarines from another friend’s tree.
We would catch up later for lunch and do yoga together in the afternoon and then repeat the walk/swim routine around 7.30pm as the sun was going down. Any earlier and the furry kids would run a protest and refuse to walk with us.
On our way down to the beach for our evening swim, we always met our neighbours bringing their charges back home.
After swimming, another tea always goes down well and then just soaking up the beauty is a must. We can’t help ourselves. Most nights are just like this.
Not a soul around. The faint putt-putting noise of the little fisherman’s engine and the gentle swishing of the waves on the shore. Some nights, there is no sunset at all. But that’s rare and it means dinner is that little bit earlier as we don’t hang around waiting for the last moments of bliss.
Sometimes, you just need to pinch yourself!