Thursday, December 1, 2011

1 Dec 11 – Day 7 (Noosa Avalon Cottages, Nutworks and The Chocolate Factory, Ginger Factory)

Got up about 7+am coz it was very bright and I did not have really good sleep the night before. Remembered that before I fell asleep, heard BIL on the phone with his sister asking her to help check out some apartments elsewhere. The sleep came on and off coz my side did not have ceiling fan and I depended on the row of netted windows for air circulation and wind. So when I felt cold, I put my legs under the blanket; when it got hot, I had to get my legs out from under the blanket. I did this quite often during the night coz the cool air was not consistent. Sis was up early and was reading book when I came out to the living room.

Ate bread with peanut butter as breakfast and sat in the living room to chat with sis.. She said she was ok with the cottage and the cold water since she showers in cold water back home, though she got to admit that the water from the cold water tap was icy cold. We could both hear the chirping and cattle mooing early in the morning, something similar to Cedar Lake Country Resort. Half way through our conversation, BIL walked out into the living room. Sis and I were surprised coz it was the first time during the trip that he got up without having my sis to wake him up.

He crashed into the sofa beside my sis and said that he couldn't sleep during the night coz the door that leads to the front porch in his room could not be locked. I said that Lyn managed to lock it the day before and he replied that though it was locked, it felt flimsy. He felt insecure coz anyone could break the door down easily even though it could be locked. Then he informed us that his sister had already helped him make a reservation for another apartment in Noosaville and that we would check out of Noosa Avalon Cottages today to move into the apartment. Sis told him that she thought he would at least wait till this morning to decide if a shift was necessary but little did she expect him to have already made the booking.

Just then, I saw a car stopped some distance away from our cottage, the yellow dog and a lady with a broad brim hat appeared and walked towards the cottage. Told BIL and sis and BIL said she maybe Linda, the owner. He quickly went to wash up and told sis to entertain Linda first. The dog came into the cottage and started being friendly. Patted the dog while chatting with Linda and learnt that the dog was called Rocky even though it was a she and she was 7 years old. Sis told Linda about the hot water problem and she said that her girl was supposed to inform us that the heater was spoilt and that we could go to another cottage to take shower.

BIL came out into the living room and went out of the cottage to talk to Linda while sis went to wake the kids up to greet the owner. The kids walked sleepily out and were fully awake when they saw Rocky. The kids and I played with Rocky while the adults talked to Linda who later got an electrician to look at the faulty water heater. She said that it might take a day or two to fix the heater and tried to get BIL to change his mind. However, BIL said that the apartment was already paid for and he was seriously not used to the cottage style of living. Finally Linda asked what our plan was for the day and BIL told her that most likely we would be going to the UnderWater World. She then told BIL to at least explore the area a little before leaving. Rocky felt so comfortable with all the patting and stroking that she laid down on the floor with eyes closed. But once Linda moved away, Rocky would follow immediately and hence Linda said Rocky was her shadow.

After Linda left with the electrician and Rocky, BIL started cooking the sausages, cutting the mangoes and pouring out mango juice to eat and drink as breakfast coz we needed to clear the food for the shift. Sis suggested that instead of doing UnderWater World, we could do some shopping instead coz with the shift to the apartment; we could afford to buy food stuff and leave them there without having to worry about them melting. So it was decided that the plan for the day was to tour around the area on car according to Linda’s direction of the different places before going to Nutworks and The Chocolate Factory, the Ginger Factory and the apartment in Noosaville.

After we were done eating, we quickly packed up and took some photos before moving off. Saw Linda’s living quarter on the other side of the hill and we alighted. She brought us down to the lake where she and her family used to swim in and told us that it was 25 feet deep. She then pointed out Amber, her pet horse who was grazing on the opposite bank amongst the trees, to us. She had Amber since her grandmother’s time and so Amber was really old with only a couple of back teeth left. Linda told us that we could walk round the lake, along the bank past the cattle to see Amber and other wild kangaroos, if we are lucky. So we did as she suggested and hesitated when we reached the bank where the cattle were standing. BIL walk ahead with the rest of us following closely behind and praying hard not to get push into the lake by the cattle or get any unexpected “presents” from them when we past them by at the rear.

Made it past the cattle, walked up the slop and saw Amber standing there. She was very tame and allowed us to get close to pat her. We could see that she was really old coz there were lots of wrinkles around her mouth. Snapped some photos of her before continuing with our walk round the lake where we saw a few wild kangaroos with baby joeys. Took some more photos and then we reached where we had started. Said goodbye to Linda and Rocky and made our way to Nutworks and The Chocolate Factory in Yandina.

Some photos around the area of Noosa Avalon Cottages :

Got to the place, browsed around the shop to see what they have and thinking what to buy before we settled down in the cafe to eat some light lunch. BIL bought three sets of sandwiches and two bottles of soft drinks to share. BIL ate the roast beef sandwich on his own; the kids shared the chicken and lettuce sandwich while sis and I shared the chicken and cheese sandwich. Then the kids and I went to get desserts where the Ry had chocolate mint ice cream; Lyn had cookie & cream ice cream and I bought a cherry covered in dark chocolate and a strawberry covered in dark chocolate. Done eating, we went into the shop and started shopping for nuts and chocolates. Bought a lot and I think this is one place that I spent the most so far.

While in Nutworks and The Chocolate Factory :

Crossed the road to get to the Ginger Factory and after some discussion, we decided not to purchase the tickets for the tour and just walked around on our own. Browsed the gift shops but did not get anything coz most of my friends and colleagues do not really eat ginger products so do BIL’s friends and colleagues. Other than ginger products, there were also cooking stuff and a small section on Super Bee Honeyworld products. BIL went to check out the price of the manuka honey and found that it was more expensive here than back in Gold Coast.

After we were done with the gift shop, walked further into the compound and saw a Chocolate Factory, a cooking school, a heritage centre and a working train that could only be ride upon purchase of the tour tickets. As sis was feeling tired and drained, we did not explore those places. Then we saw a row of gift shops in the form of cottages each selling different things such as one on things related to gardening and plants, another on dolls, another on soft toys and so on. Ry bought a soft toy dog named “Starsky” from one of the gift shops before we left for Noosaville.

Couple of shots from the Ginger Factory :

The sky was gloomy as we near Noosaville and from what I gathered during the conversation during the journey; it seemed that there was no refund for the other three nights that we have paid for the cottage stay. Reached the apartment and everyone was happy. The area nearby had many eating places and along the shore were kiosk for people to hire boats and rent jet skis. The apartment was big, nice, and comfy and windows were all netted. There were three bedrooms on the second floor.

The master bedroom has its own toilet cum shower room, tv, dressing table and a big cupboard. The other two bedrooms have similar design, two single beds separated with a small table with table lamp and a cupboard. There was a common toilet and a common shower room. So the arrangement was for BIL and sis to occupy the master bedroom, the kids share one of the two other rooms and I get a room for myself. It was windy outside and so we opened the windows to let the wind in. The natural aircon was really cooling but as time passed, it got colder and started drizzling.

Some photos of the Noosa Outrigger apartment :



Put on our windbreaker and went out later the evening to walk the area as well as to look for dinner. Most of the eating places were full, just then we saw Red Rooster and everyone agreed unanimously to buy that as takeaway for dinner. The kids and I even asked for desserts such as raspberry cheesecake, chocolate mousse and chocolate pudding. The drizzling got slightly heavier when we were walking back and everyone was grateful when we finally reached the dry and warm apartment to eat dinner. Dinner was good even though simple. I went for shower, then watch CSI in sis’s room with her and the kids before sleeping.

The kids wanted extra pillows so they took the one on the extra bed and a couple from sis’s room. Found out that the brown blanket was furry and so I rolled the blanket on the extra bed to form a bolster so I could hug while sleeping. Did not close the door to my room, on the ceiling fan on low speed and close the windows in my room. The same for the kids and only the windows in sis’s room were opened for air circulation and wind.

Thoughts: Like I said earlier, we could probably endure the lack of entertainment if we had stayed in Noosa Avalon Cottages but the lack of hot water was the final straw. BIL actually told us that he felt cheated coz the website showed pictures of nice views and said there would be farm animals around but the view and animals were actually over the hill on the other end of the land. In addition, he felt that Linda should have gotten the heater fixed before we arrived or made arrangement for us to stay in another cottage. But it was really the insecurity that made him wanted to shift.

As for me, I felt guilty coz when we were discussing where to stay before the trip, he asked me for opinions on the few farm stay that he had found out and I chose this. He was considering doing farm stay for two days and then moved to an apartment till the end of the trip but I suggested staying in the cottage throughout. I felt even guiltier when I found out that there was not going to be any refund for the unutilised nights. I have to admit that I was very, very happy when I found out that we would be moving to an apartment this morning and even happier when I saw the apartment.

As for Nutworks and The Chocolate Factory, there were many types of nuts in many different flavours and macadamia nuts being the most prominent ones. The number of chocolate products were also quite a lot but still could not be compared to The Margaret River Chocolate Factory in Perth. I could still remember the amount of chocolate I bought back then. Could not really comment about Ginger Factory coz we did not really explore much of it but from the map, it should be fun to explore and if there was time, the cooking school should be interesting.

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