Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Walking in the Northern Rivers: Ballina to Lennox Heads

I've been so active and busy doing nice things that there has hardly been time to blog about them. One of the things I've been doing is walking, training for the upcoming walking marathon from Ballina to Byron (38 km along the coastal headlands and beaches).

Last weekend several family members joined in a walk from Ballina to Lennox Head (10 km). John, Claudia, Ian (Claudia's partner), our Briony, and myself, accompanied by our super-excited young dog (Radha). The latter was maybe not a brilliant idea (managing her bouncy energy was a bit exhausting in itself).  Briony is one of Claudia's two lovely daughters; and at the same time she is one of my step-daughters. (Yes yes, I know, we have a complicated family.  At least we all get on very well! )
John, Claudia and Ian
The day was sunny (UV!) and required sunscreen. In the photo below John is tending to Bri.

Slip slop slap: Briony being tended by her Dad, and flanked by Radha
We could see that recent storms and heavy tides had taken their toll on the dunes and beaches. Here, a pandanus palm has lost grip ...

Pandanus having lost grip on reality, has a lie-down on the sand.

Briony was great, dealing with Radha's indefatigable energy ...

Being bounced on by a Radha in full flight is like being hit by a B57 bomber.

Boundless joy of a young dog :-) Four-paw drive, covering at least six times what us paltry humans do!

Radha the Rocket Dog
The advantage of walking with a plant biologist (Dr Claudia, PhD) is that one's attention is drawn to the wonderful biodiversity of the area. Claudia told me the name of these lovely native coastal wildflowers, and explained how they developed resistance to the salty air and exposed conditions. It would be even nicer if I had a better memory and could actually *remember* the name ... but there you go. Sorry!
Pretty yellow native

Pretty purple non-native
And the pretty purple flower above is actually an invasive species. Sad that some of the pretty ones are actually unwelcome.

It was a very pleasant walk and we ambled into Lennox Head about two hours after setting off. Having taken *heaps* of photos of the view of the headlands on previous walks, I didn't this time (but you can see some of those photos here).  A yummy (but slightly greasy) lunch of fish and chips followed, and then back to base.

Thanks Catterall / McAdam family for a lovely walk!  Oh, and Radha wasn't tired after all that. Sheesh!

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