Sometimes nature blows me away with its beauty. Like this magnificent gum tree, whose subtle colours were given a vibrant makeover by summer rain (actually a summer downpour that turned our walking track in a mini riverbed). Rain gives the bush a welcome spring clean, sluicing away the dust and highlighting things you might otherwise miss, like delicate cobwebs strung between branches and abstract patterns on tree trunks. I came across this tree in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, on the Cowan to Brooklyn track, part of Sydney’s Great North Walk, which I did last year (read about how you can do it here). I love the gutsy way Australian gum trees tenaciously grip the rocky ground, draping their trunks over sandstone boulders or, like this one, stretching out across rock platforms in search of soil. Parks Week from 5-13 March is an ideal time to get out and admire nature’s beauty in park near you. See www.parks-week.org.
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Instagram - BriarsTravelBeatLoved meeting the inspiring women getting their hands dirty and doing what they love for my story on Passionate Producers for @greatersydneyliving mag. Organic flowers, cheese and vegetables, many delivered to your home. Grab a copy Greater Sydney Living mag when you do your next shop. #passionateproducers #greatersydneyliving #freshproduceTurn the volume up and listen to the awesome sound of Vanuatu’s water music. These are the women and girls from Leweton Cultural village in Vanuatu. Using just their hands in the water, these girls evoked the sounds of a waterfall, boiling water, a big swell hitting a stone wall in a cyclone and landing a big fish ashore. The sound was hypnotic! I could have listened all afternoon, but it is exhausting work for them. Wow, what a privilege to watch this. @vanuatuislands @mindfoodmag #vanuatumoments #watermusicFierce young warriors in full ceremonial dress ‘captured’ us on arrival at Leweton Cultural Village in Vanuatu, escorting us into the meeting ground where we were able to convey we had come in friendship. Then we were welcomed with cultural lessons, ceremonial dances and their amazing ‘water music’ (more on the latter in next post). Vanuatu @vanuatuislands #mindfoodmag #vanuatuculture #vanuatumomentsCheck out my digs at @ratuaislandresortandspa made up of two vintage teak cottages transported from Java and Sumatra, one for the bedroom and one for the bathroom, linked by a patio. The worn and weathered timber evokes years of stories and the simple, rustic furnishings work perfectly. Swipe left to see the views from each room. The last photo is the view from my bathroom!!! #spoilt #vanuatumoments #mindfoodmag #ratuaislandresortandspaSwimming with horses is a thrilling experience! 🐎 From @ratuaislandresortandspa we rode bareback out along a sandbank, slowly sinking deeper and deeper into the water, then we turned and the horses swam through the deep water back to shore as we held their manes and floated above them. Amazing! (Only the horses who like swimming do this activity.) Check out the clarity of the water!!! #vanuatumoments #swimmingwithhorses #ratuaislandresortA cooking class may not be top of mind on a holiday in Vanuatu, but spending a few hours at @papayalococookingschool you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time learning to cook some island dishes for lunch, served with delicious sangria. The effervescent Marcus kept us entertained with endless stories (while partner Stoney tried valiantly to keep us on schedule) as we grated cassava for local dish tuluk, wrapped dolmades, and made tortellini. This energetic pair also offer a couple of rooms if you fancy getting off the grid, staying by the beach and enjoying their amazing food. Scroll through the images to see their ‘swimming pool’ and add a cooking class to your Island holiday. @vanuatuislands ##vanuatumoments #cookingclass
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