Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Day Roving the Mid North Coast

My good friend Raphael recently visited me in Port Macquarie from Queenland’s Sunshine Coast.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Raph (pictured at right) is one of Mike and Bernadette McGowan’s seven children. I first got to know the McGowan family in Goulburn, N.S.W., where Mike was the principal of the primary school at which I taught from 1988-1993. Before relocating to the U.S. in 1994, I taught two of the McGowan children - Jeremiah (in 1989) and Tess (in 1992).

I’ve stayed friends with all the members of the family ever since our shared time in Goulburn, and I always try to catch up with as many of them as I can each time I visit Australia from the U.S. (See, for example, the previous Wild Reed posts: Travelin’ South, Return to Wagga, Travelin’ North, Newtown, Return to Ellenborough Falls, and, most recently, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.)

In 2004, Raph came and stayed with me in the Twin Cities for four months. It was a great time. We visited Minnesota’s North Shore; took a train trip to Washington, D.C; and flew out to San Francisco.

I share today some images from yesterday - Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - when Raph and I spent the day roving the Mid North Coast, enjoying the sun and sea, climbing rocky headlands, walking through lush rainforests, photographing every little thing that we found of interest, and chilling out to King Britt and Sister Gertrude Morgan! “Hallelujah!”



Above: The headland at the north end of Grant’s Beach. Yes, it was just crying out to be climbed. And climb it we did! And in bare feet, I might add.



Right: But first, a walk along Grant’s Beach.









Above: Raph snapped this one. As he said later: “Nothing like a brush with death at 9:00 a.m.”



Above: The spectacular view looking south from the headland we climbed at Grant’s Beach. That’s North Brother Mountain - our next destination - in the background.



Above: Another image by Raph - one capturing my ascension!



Above and below: Continuing south from Grant’s Beach we came to Laurieton and the rainforest covered (and leech invested) slopes of North Brother Mountain.








Above: Looking south from the summit of North Brother Mountain to South Brother Mountain.



Above: A great photo by Raph.



Above: ’Ere, what’s he up to, then?



Above: Ah, capturing this little fella! Yes, siree, Raph sure does have a good eye (and the patience) for a great picture.



Above and below: At the summit of North Brother Mountain we watched a group of para-gliders take flight.




Above and below: Back in Port Macquarie we visited Flynns Beach and Nobby’s Beach. Oh, yeah, and we climbed that headland behind Raph!




Above: Another beautiful photo by Raphael.



Above: Raph, demonstrating his skills from the Home and Away School of Acting!



Ah, now he’s getting serious.



Sol invictus!





Right: Tanned and not a little tired from our day of roving, Raph and I at the Waterfront Restaurant last night - celebrating my two nieces’ birthdays.


Above (from left): My brother Tim, sister-in-law Ros, Raph, Mum, Dad, me, Sami, and Layne.







Thanks, Raph, for a great day of roving
- and for your boundless enthusiasm for life,
your generous spirit, and
your steadfast friendship!


Images: Michael Bayly and Raphael McGowan.

3 comments:

Raphael said...

Mick, what can i say...just trying to give back some of what you have given me since i was a wee Goulburn boy, THANK YOU!

Raphael said...

Only a few of the total pictures used, but the perfect amount to give those and us a view of the day. A mix of both eyes...

Mareczku said...

Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. Sounds like a great day. I am snowed in here and need to get out and shovel snow. Parts of my state are breaking all kinds of records for snowfall. So greeting from a winter wonderland of sorts.