Friday, May 23, 2014

They've hatched!

Our Plymouth Rock hen hatched her chickies! Hurrah for her! Five chicks - two white and three black (they will develop the barred feathers later). I managed to sneak these photos before she offered to rip my head off and rend me limb from limb... Feisty girl ...

Nawww ... ain't they cute?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's day 2014

I am oh so very fortunate to have loving daughters. Here's a photo of my Mother's Day 'card' from Yarrow ...

The bottom right hand panel alone reads as follows:

My beautiful mother, I know this is an unconventional
card, however, we are an unconventional family, so I think it fits
You amaze me. You are always there, no matter what. I can’t understand how
you stay so strong – you are my idol. The way you do things is amazing. The amount of
effort you go to for me is incredible and I honestly don’t know to thank you so much
You are so beautiful and strong, the love I have for you is endless, never ever forget that. You taught (teach)
me the very best in life. Thank you. I couldn’t ask for a better mother. Happy mother’s day. I love you so much.
xxx Sparrow

I did particularly like the post-it (bottom left panel) in which Yarrow thanks me because she 'inherited my snort' (of laughter) :-D 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Farewell Chicco ...

I wrote this post on October 15.


Sometimes, quite suddenly, one has to make a heart-wrenching decision. Do I keep you going, for my sake? Or do I let you go?

I let you go.

Thank you for thirteen years of unfailing companionship, loyalty, and trust. Thank you for guarding us night and day. Thank you for saving Yarrow from the snake. Thank you for making me go out on walks. Thank you for being there for everyone in the family, whatever the circumstances. Thank you for taking Radha under your wing. Thank you for carrying my wallet in town. Thank you for welcoming me home, every day.

Thank you for every iota of joy you have brought us.


Rest in peace now darling girl.
— with Willa Harrison.


Chicco was a well known and much loved community dog.  These were the comments and tributes to her on my facebook post:

Jesse Matthews-Cooke: Bless
Mike N Gio:  Oh noooooo. In tears as I read this. But it has been the right decision for Chicco - hard as it is. Rest in Peace Chicco.
Julie Barber: O hard hard time in anyone's life to say goodbye to a close friend and much loved pet. Rip chicco.
Liora Lalita Claff: So sad.
Chris Topher: Really sad news, big beautiful girl R.I.P Chicco may there be an abundance of eggs for you to graze on in your new fields ...... All my love to you guys
Susan Trinder: Aww:(:(
Samia Goudie: Oh i really feel for you my girl is 13 and i know every day is special with her still with me - my heart goes out to you - si sorry - hugs and a woofff
Samia Goudi:  Bless
RoselleandPeter Morfee: Such sad news, you have made the right decision. some people leave it far too long. Have no regrets and fond memories.
Heather Russell: she goes on young and firm running again in her new life.....filled with love and happiness from her old.
Mike N Gio:

Kevin Markwell: one of the things in our power is to give our animals a good death, Mieke. It's heart wrenching but it's also the right thing to do. To exit the world though sleep is a very good way to go.
Janine Evans: Tears in my eyes for Chicco .... tears in my eyes for my own similar memories free bewdiful pwuppee
Sita Roessling Xoxo
Mark Cooper-White: Oh no! Sympathies to you all. (I must confess I was worried I was reading about John at first...)
Tanya Nolte: Can hardly see to type through the tears :'/ So beautifully said Mieke & my heart bleeds for you & John. At Chicco's stage of life it is always the right decision but the hardest one to make. You gave her a well deserved easy passage from what has been a good life to her next life!! RIP dear Chicco & huge hugs to you & John XXXXXXXX
Jennifer Mark Kuhn: xx
Peter McAdam: It's been a big year at The Grange. Blessings to all and I hope you have good ceremony team. Love to all. RIP. You Say!
Bella Pearson Chooky x
Yarrow Mol: :-(
Maddy Smith: <3 br="">
Jacqui de Roo: Noooooo!!!
Robyn Rowland: oh no I hate these moments. I feel sad for you
Emma Clark: <3 br="">
Kees Huyser: Hugs.
Christine Hahn: Nooooo!!!!
Denise Notermans: Dear all I'm soooooo sorry to hear my girlfriend is gone!! sad..... Bear hugs.....YOU SAY!!
Amanda Shoebridge: Darling chooky... Love and big warm hugs for you Mieke xxx
Trevor Gale: Well written Mieke Witsel. Sad to hear Chico is no longer with us. I remember she patrolled the perimeter when we went camping or were down by the creek. Such a good dog. She was second hand when you got her too. You say.Chico. you say....very happy memories of that wrap the rope around the post and then unwrap it again dog. Xx.
Kel J Gale: You say chookie, you say ! Thinking of you all Mieke Witsel, Tess Mol, Yarrow Mol xx
Rick Nankivell: so sorry to hear it.a beautiful soul
Ani Nielsen: Oh deary me Mieke! This has been a tough few months for you and your family. Big hugs to you xx
Willa Harrison: I think she would say -thank you for being brave enough to let me go & loving me while I left
Louise Treloar: Beautiful.
Anjes Arnouts: Owh no.. Owh no.. Owh nooooo...     Rest in peace, you were the best dog ever...
Martina Diehl: Ahw, so many lovely memories, what a brilliant dog. And always a difficult decision to take. Lots of enormous hugs from me to the whole family! Goodbye beautiful crazy wonderful dog. Xx
Marc Witsel: Well, if you believe in that sort of thing, Chicco has so much good karma, she could come back as... well anything she likes, really. Probably another dog. Not a human being - we're rather sordid creatures. But she may surprise us all - look out for the next Mahatma Gandhi.
Sarah Milo: Gecondoleerd Mieke, wat naar! Ik moet er echt niet aan denken afscheid te moeten nemen van mijn hondje... sterkte! ;(
Peter John O'Connor: I feel - big time for you - I still cry easily thinking of our GrĂ¡inne.
Matthew John Hartley: love & light
Elisabeth Ann Wright thinking of you
Ivonne van Zoest: You had a tough decision to make, it's never easy! She was a gem! Wish you all strength and love
Bertie Kaal: Aw, she was a fantastic, adventurous, brave dog. So sorry for you! She will be missed.
Kevin Kik: Mali sends her love, she has cancer, so im getting closer to that dreaded day...
Abe Le Cerf: Good on you Mieke, well said and all embracing. Here's to our canine companions here on Earth and the unbreakable bonds and affections that we share in our lives together. Lots of love.
Julie Barlow-Gale: Thank you Chicco for making us smile. xoxoxoxoxox
Myki Baillie: I've known chicco since i was pretty little too, such an awesome dog who always slept on my legs, so much character and good will! you'll be missed but it was great to have you around Chicco

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New kids on the block

Because ... well, because many things, we got two kittens from the rescue organisation. The Siamese one (very shy at present) is for Yarrow, and the silver blue one is for me :-)

Neither of them have names yet. They have yet to meet our black cat Inkling (now 3) and dog Radha (now two)... we'll have to introduce them slowly.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Guest lecture at Marymount College

Our school (faculty) at SCU offers local schools free guest lectures, as a means of engaging with the community and 'giving back' our research and learning. I've given a few guest lectures at local schools but on Monday I went further afield, to Marymount College in Burleigh Waters in Queensland, to teach a class on Business Communication Technologies.

The day dawned and did not seem to be boding well for me: the Subaru was kaputt, and due to a paralysis tick bite which made my arm swell painfully I was unable to ride my motorcycle. I took the Hilux instead and sweltered in very slow congested traffic, worried about getting lost or arriving late. When I got there the head teacher who was to meet me alas did not arrive, and I was shown to her classroom by a friendly staff member. However it appeared I was supposed to be in another classroom instead! A bit of a muddled start. However, with the arrival of the teacher Kylie, everything seemed to flow and it all started to happen.

Kylie is one of those amazing secondary school teachers who has just the right touch with teenagers. She was brilliant at addressing short attention spans as well as un-tucked shirts and distracting mobile phones, all without engendering resentment or those rolled eyes that teens can be so good at. I think I could learn a lot from just watching someone like Kylie all day.

The students were quiet at first but as the class went on became more and more engaged and interested as I showed films and clips, and took them through the slides I had made. The class finished with two breakout groups discussing the advantages and disadvantages of engaging in social media.

At the end of class they presented me with a very nice card and we took a group photo. The students suggested I put this photo and talk about the visit on my blog, so this is what I'm doing!

Thank you students of Marymount: I had a very nice time with you!

And here are the lecture slides:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ride a wild horse

I must admit I had lost a fair bit of courage when it comes to horse riding after the accident in February when I broke my ribs. What's more, young Ruby has gone to Europe for an extended holiday with her family. So, Elara has no rider, and I had less incentive to get out among the horses.  I felt I really wanted to do something about getting my courage back.

With practice comes confidence, I know, so I enlisted the help of Helen, a young backpacker from Liverpool who is a rider of considerable experience, to come and ride with me (if I commit to a riding appointment, then I *have* to go through with it you see). So now John, Helen and I are aiming to get out on the horses at least twice a week ... and yes, my confidence is coming back. These past two weeks we've had some stunning rides, very exciting, up hill and down dale, crossing creeks and making mad dashes up steep rocky gullies. Most of our rides are held in our neighbour's 60-acre wood; and a couple have been through the village. Here are some photos...

John's an amazing rider and is forging a very good bond with the beautiful mare Saturn, who he rides bareback. Look at the loose rein, and the balance .... just lovely. And to think that years ago I out-bid the dogger (horse butcher) for this mare.

And here I am, flying along on my young Brumby x Arab horse, Rascal Darius. He's gallant and willing, but being young and 'green' still a bit on the wild side. We get on well with each other though.

Helen's doing a great job schooling Elara and she's now getting much braver on creek crossings. She still puts her ears back when cantering, though! (Elara, that is, not Helen :-) ). I'm really glad Helen can put the time and energy into Elara who - also very green - needs more training, so when Ruby returns she will have a nicely schooled pony to ride.

The photo above is John on Gandhi, taking a photo of our reflection in the butcher shop window in the village... That was at the end of the day we joined the Northern Rivers Trail Riding Club ride and rode a 15 km loop. The horses were tired that day!

View RRTHC ride July in a larger map

So, here's to increasing confidence and more successful rides in the near future ...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Adventure touring on the motorcycles

John's long-time university friend Dennis hatched a great plan for another group motorcycle tour ride. This time there were seven of us: Dennis and his partner Amanda, and Amanda's brother Matthew, who all rode down from Queensland. They met up with John and myself in Casino. From there the five of us rode down the very pleasant Summerland Way to Grafton where we met Paddy who had just acquired his 'new' Triumph the night before (his 'old' Triumph is a gorgeous classic but currently undergoing some restoration). The six of us then took the old Armidale road, with its twists and turns and hair-raising hairpin bends to Tyringham to meet up with  Paddy's partner Tracie for homemade cake and cuppas and wags from cheerful dogs, a chance to cuddle the cat and feed the horses some lucerne.

Here we are pulled up at Tracie and Paddy's farm

One of Paddy and Tracie's three bonny dogs
So, what with horses, dogs, cat and people fed, the seven humans set off  -  with Tracie as Motorcycle Mama in the Astra support vehicle :-). We took the Waterfall Way which is rated as one of the best scenic roads in Australia ("on an even par with the Alpine regions during spring around southern NSW and northern Victoria"). Even though the amount of concentration required meant I couldn't gaze at the views, the steep mountain ride was sublime: good surface, lovely camber, through rainforest and right past amazing waterfalls. I'm not as fast as the boys but I think I did alright leaning my F 650 BMW into the bends - and I have only very narrow 'chicken strips' on my tyres to prove it :-)

Photo taken by Owen Wilson
This ride brought us through the sweet towns of Dorrigo and Bellingen and then to our destination Urunga where we pulled up at the Ocean View Hotel, where the innkeeper cordially allowed us to put our bikes in the garage:

You can, at a pinch, cram six bikes into a one-car garage and still close the roller door. Just.
The Ocean View Hotel is an elegant old traditional pub, which I found architecturally fascinating. The care and craftsmanship inherent in the woodwork was noteworthy. An evening of good food, wine (port!) and lovely conversation on the upstairs verandah followed.

The next day was earmarked for a ride straight down the Pacific Highway to the Nabiac Motorcycle Museum and back - about three hours each way. Tracie and Amanda opted to stay in Urunga so the four boys and myself headed off. The highway ride was a bit frustrating since I'm on my P level licence I am not permitted to exceed 90 kph (an absurd and dangerous rule ... don't get me started). The lads were great in keeping the speed within manageably legal limits though so we all arrived at Nabiac together. I was very thankful for their patience in this aspect.

For the motorcycle enthusiasts, in the photo below you can see from left to right:
John's 1050 cc Triumph Sprint, my F 650 BMW GS, Paddy's 900cc Triumph Sprint in British racing green; Matthew with his yellow 650 cc Suzuki; and Dennis' red 1050 cc Triumph Sprint (the remaining bikes are irrelevant as they belong to strangers :-) ).

John and Dennis, mates from way back

Paddy looking tres cool, even while doing business
I was really missing my brother Marc who would have loved this trip so I took heaps of photos for him of various interesting bikes. I'll keep the thumbnails small for these - but click for larger if you like. I found the 100cc bike that my dear friend Kate used to own (it was Kate who encouraged me to take up riding motorcycles first off when I was 17. Thank you Kate!!), after which I bought my first bike, a small old Yamaha 90 cc with an unusual monocoque frame. I found one of those as well. Soon after, my brother Marc purchased a 125 cc bike - I couldn't find that one Marc, but did find some almost like it.

It was interesting hearing the others' stories about their earlier bikes. John, after his leg was smashed, rode a BMW with his leg in plaster. He chose it because it had a hand-operated gear lever! Go John :-)

A row of BSAs

My Dad rode a Heinkel in his youth

John shows the hand gear lever

Kate had one like this

Nearly like the one Marc had

My first bike: 90cc Yamaha

The ride back was fine despite a rather scary front wheel-wobble moment for Matthew early on. Paddy steadily led the ride back to Urunga through the slowly ebbing afternoon sunlight and into the dusk to reach the hotel just before six pm.

There, we met up with Matthew and Amanda's aunt Julianne and her partner for a very pleasant dinner out in the 'beer garden'.

An early bed for most of us and in the morning we said goodbye to Matthew, Dennis and Amanda who were taking the main road North to Queensland. John and I opted for an easy morning stroll to the Urunga pier in the good company of Paddy and Tracie, where Tracie recalled for me interesting holidays with children in the past. It looked a superb place for lots of water fun: I thought it seemed a perfect playground for active playful humans.

Tracie looking out over the Urunga waters
This is what we could see ...

We live in a lovely land

Low tide and the remains of an older pier
Those were the last photos I took on the trip. John and I said fond farewells to Tracie and Paddy and with promises to meet up again soon (yes please Tracie and Paddy!) headed off to the Waterfall Way and its exciting curves. Alas part of the way up I got stuck behind a slow moving Renault (darn the French) but even so it was pretty exciting and I made my chicken strips even narrower. I found it took all my concentration and quite a bit of nerve. Those hairpin bends do nothing at all to reduce the hair-raising effects! Phew!!

We stopped off at Paddy and Tracie's farm for a much-needed pit stop and brain break (in my case), to pat the wildly wagging dogs, ruffle the coats of the horses and just generally relax for a short while and breathe the calm air. Then we set off again through the mountains and the old Armidale logging road - again quite a challenge, left even more rubber on the road and  narrowed those chicken strips to slivers - before reaching the comparative calm of Grafton and the slowly flowing Clarence River. The Crown Hotel there do a good line in oysters, highly recommended.

And thence to Casino and from there to Clunes, chatting companionably through our communicators along the way.

When we got home we found Yarrow had tidied and vacuumed the whole house for us as a welcome back surprise.

Thus endeth the adventure tour on our bikes. Thanks again Dennis, Amanda, Matthew, Paddy and Tracie for a truly memorable trip. Special thanks to my John for the patient coaching and support through the communicators... xxx

Monday, June 17, 2013

A bit of history of the Grange: Mike Wilson lived here 1949 - 1966

Here I am, pottering about in the kitchen with Helen late in the afternoon, and Tassie from the Nursery comes knocking at the door. He's accompanied by a tall, rather good-looking gentleman with an affable air. "Mieke, this is Michael ... he used to live here in this house, way back". The man proffers his hand "Mike, Mike Wilson. My parents lived here from 1949 till 1966. I grew up here."

Well of course, I was absolutely stunned, and delighted. I invited Mike in to show him around and hear his stories. This is what I learned.

Mike's parents were George and Doreen Wilson. When they bought the farm it was 120 acres and ranged from Bangalow Road all the way to Booyong Road. They had five children: two girls and three boys. Mike himself, born in 1946, was three when they moved to the Grange. Mike first went to Bexhill Primary school, then later to Clunes Primary before attending the Convent School in Bangalow. Finally he completed his secondary schooling in Lismore. I know Mike must have gone on to do well in his education for he worked in international oil and has travelled the world extensively since those early days. Mike's parents subdivided the land, leaving ten acres, which we have now.

Mike's family were Catholic. The only other Catholic family at the time was the baker's family across the road. I had read that there were very few Catholics in the area, and that this was a protestant stronghold, bar the bakery families (Richmond River Historical Society notes). So strange to think that religion at this level was an issue, even still in the 1950s. I wouldn't have a clue which of my neighbours are members (or not) of which church.

Protestant Orange Lodge march, Clunes, ca. 1884

Mike was happy to see the big old fig still standing. He told me he used to climb it looking for eggs for his collection. I gathered his Mum wasn't mad keen on him climbing so high!! He said that he probably was responsible for the demise of many a bird, but that was not considered an issue in those days. He was very sad though to see that the huge old River Redgum had been felled ... I told him Bert had chopped it down for unknown reasons (selling firewood maybe?) just before we bought the property. I also told him that Val Battistuzzi, who raised a family here with her husband Cec from 1970 to 2000, actually cried when she saw Bert had felled the tree (and her much-loved orchards). Mike told me that the Redgum used to be home to thousands of birds and the sky would be full of their singing, and that this sound formed part of his daily life, and he loved it. I was very moved to hear that. That tree must be the most mourned tree in the village. Drat Bert and his mercenary ways.

Mike told me he had a ginger cat - it was a stray and he kept it safe and fed it until it became tamer. It used to kill and eat rabbits, just like Sunny used to. When the cat became older though it turned to eating their hens and Mike had to shoot it, which I thought was brave. It certainly took a fair bit to kill, apparently! Must have been a very tough cat. Val also had a ginger stray turn up, which she kept for years. Must be a good place for ginger cats. Mike told me he used his gun too to shoot working dogs when they got too old... He didn't waste shot though - he had to buy the ammunition himself. They were different days then and animals had to be useful to be worth keeping. I wonder if people had a slightly more prosaic attitude to pets nowadays, we wouldn't have as many strays.

Mike told me his Dad had an old mare ('Bessie'?) over in the top paddock and he sent her off to the stallion and the ensuing foal, born not far from where Romany Ruby was foaled, was for Mike to ride. He told me its name but I can't recall it right now.

The farm under the Wilson family kept dairy cows, pigs, poultry, and they cultivated pineapples on the top paddock. There were also many orchard trees (most of which Bert cut down). There was a bull paddock down the north-east end; a pig paddock on the western side. They pulled the old dairy apart and built a newer more functional dairy on the site where the current big sheds are. In time, the Battistuzzi's pulled down the Wilsons' dairy and reused the timbers to make the big sheds that are here now to house the big machines and store fodder. There was also a buttery / creamery type shed over on the western side (the foundations are still visible), downhill from the Wilsons' dairy, so the milk could gravity feed to there ready for processing.

I gather Mike spent a good deal of time outside in his youth, far more than current teenagers and youngsters do. He also had chores to do: such as shifting rocks and bricks around the dairy water trough so the cows would not churn the earth to a morass. The rocks and bricks are still there, as is the trough but it no longer holds water.

The front of the house had a lovely picket fence and a sunken front garden (now all filled in). The verndahs had railings and decorative mouldings (if you look closely you can see the mouldings on the clip of the photo above taken in 1884. The house had a lovely old stained glass window above the front door with its name, "The Grange"... to everyone's sadness, this has gone - there's only plain glass there now.

Decorative mouldings on the verandah posts 1884. You can also see the kitchen stove chimney and housing.

Inside the house, not so much had changed, except the big addition of the verandah out the back of course. Mike walked round with me and we visited each room and he described what the room was used for, and what kind of furniture was in it. The bedroom floors had lino. John and I found some small tattered bits, very faded and cracked, in one of the rooms when we removed the layers of carpet after we moved in. The lino we found did not go from wall to wall: it was a patterned central square (or, it had once been), much in the style of a rug. Mike told me the hallway had a long single runner. The house had no major heating bar the kitchen stove (once used to be a wood stove but the Wilsons moved to a gas range), and a one-rung electric heater which Mike's father kept in front of his lounge chair in the living room. Mike said the draughts would come up through the cracks between the floorboards and that wasn't very nice. We have since had the gaps in the living room and hallway filled with expandable gapfiller, which allows the floors to expand and contract depending on the temperature. Now John and I have the big Lopi wood stove which heats the house nicely.

The room that is now John and my bedroom, off the living room, was the formal dining room in Mike's time. It had lovely dresser / cabinets against the walls. The kitchen was separate from the main house: the current wide opening between kitchen and living room did not exist. I already knew that because Cec Battistuzzi told me with great humour how sometime in the '80s he got sick of the kids sneaking from the kitchen at mealtimes to watch telly, so he took the big saw out one day and just sawed a ruddy great opening so he could keep an eye on them :-)

Mike's two sisters slept in what is now Briony's room (one of the nicer front rooms, with architraves and panelled door); and his parents in what is now Tess' room opposite (the other nice front room). They had a tallboy in their room. The two next rooms are plainer with simple plank doors and no architraves, even now. The one on the right (now Yarrow's) was Mike's own room and the one on the left was a nursery with cots. The sunroom had single beds at each short end and the central place was where Mike's mother did her sewing: apparently she was a keen seamstress in her time.

The house had an internal bathroom / washroom roughly where the old one is now, but there was an outside toilet (near the mandarin tree) and an outside laundry / washroom near the frangipani. There were several water tanks, including a very tall one just outside what was then the formal dining room window. The foundation is still there. It had a shower underneath it. It gravity fed the house. (Cec told me it fell down one stormy night and made a heck of a crashing sound). Later on, Bert removed all the remaining moveable water tanks - no idea why - so when we moved in there was no way of storing water. We took advantage of the great Rudd rebates at the time and put in some massive water tanks behind the metal shed.

Mike now lives in Perth. He and his wife have three daughters. I really enjoyed Mike's visit and am grateful for his sharing of his stories. I had the impression of a cohesive and supportive family who gave their children good education and a good upbringing and lived well on the land.  Mike seems like he had a healthy boyhood here and he revisited the house and land with affection.

Mike has since sent me this marvellous photo of the Grange in 1960, showing his mum on the front veranda and his younger sister Maureen on the front lawn.

"The Grange", 1960

"The Grange", same angle photo from 2012 (now in 2013 we have solar panels though)

Thank you so much Mike Wilson for visiting and sharing your stories!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Marathon walk 2013

Well, we did it! Actually, we blitzed it! We covered the 37 km in 8 hrs 12 mins, which is a lot faster than last years' 9 hrs 40 mins (last year's photos here and here). I was not particularly sore afterwards and felt that my training walks had well prepared my for the day. I loved it and am eager to walk again next year.

You can see our full route in zoom-able detail here (especially nice if you click on "satellite" view). And here below are a series of photos (click for larger).

The start: human being no's 888 - 891
890 Betty, 891 Mieke, 888 Kathryn and 889 Brenda set out to do the full 37 km from Ballina to Byron.

This is the cause we were supporting
Quite a crowd at the beginning
 About 1200 people took part but many stop at the 12km mark (Lennox) and 25 km (Broken Head)
Start of first headland: lovely old-world Pandanus
Looking towards Lennox
After Lennox, Seven Mile beach, the crowd well thinned
After Seven Mile Beach we headed through the serene and welcoming cool of the littoral rainforest fringing the several kilometres of Broken Head. Easy walking for me, on stones and hard-packed gravel tracks. For some reason I didn't take any photos on that stretch!

Kathryn opted for the barefoot option on the next section
We found a wee little butterfly
For Betty and myself, the Tallow's beach section was in retrospect the most tiring, with high tide driving us up into the soft sand, mulling under our feet. Kathryn wasn't looking forward to the strenuous and steep climb up Cape Byron. However, once she got there it went fine.

Tallows beach: soft sand, a hard slog!

Resting up just before climbing the Cape
I had no trouble climbing up the bush track of Cape Byron ... fairly zoomed up it. My legs like steady grip underfoot, it seems. Brenda was not far behind me and once there we waited for Betty and Kathryn.

Brenda and I wait for the others at the top
A willing tourist took a rather artistic photo of us at the top.
Woo hoo! The four of us at the top of Cape Byron. 6 km to go.
Looking down at Little Wategoe's from the Cape
Brenda on the boardwalk along the Cape Byron cliffs
Looking from Clarke's towards Byron Main Beach in the afternoon sunlight

 Around 4pm we crossed the finish line all together. Go girls!!

By then Betty's barefoot too

We did it!!!

 Thanks team. I look forward to next year!