Birdwalk, Buffet Breakfast with the birds, Animal encounter, The Lost World Spa, and Python Rock
If you’re an early bird O’Rielly’s offers a bird walk at 6:30 a.m. It takes an excellent guide to introduce ten noisy tourists to native birds. Our guide on Thursday was amazing, he was a bird whisperer. The wild birds came to him. He kept some food in a covered container, and only handed it out to specific birds for certain behaviors.
The bush turkeys and parrots are everywhere looking for a handout. The bush turkey make makes a large compost mound to attract a female mate she lays the eggs in the nest, and the male stays and takes care of them. This sounded like an excellent arrangement to my friend and me.
Our guide pointed out a little bird hopping around and told us fascinating details about its ability to mimic other birds.
He also took us to the secret nest of the Satin Bower Bird. At first there was just a pile of leaves with plastic bits, but then he appeared, a sleek lovely bird dressed in shiny blue-black satin like the treasures in his nest.
The bird didn’t stay long, but the guide mesmerized us moving his head back and forth while saying, “He stands in his nest holding a treasure in his mouth and moves rhythmically from left to right, left to right, left to right, left to right and when the female is suitably mesmerized, staying perfectly still, he mounts and does his impregnation, hops off, all very quickly. Then she jumps out of the nest and with a bewildered look on her face says ‘what was that?’ But if he moves too fast she flies away and he misses out.”
The morning after my fall walking was difficult. I stuffed an ice pack in my belt and extended it down to my injured tailbone. I shuffle walked barely keeping up. After the bird walk, we went back to the Guesthouse for a buffet breakfast. The food was excellent but the highlight was breakfast with a female Regent Bower bird eating right outside our window:
At 10:00 we went to an animal encounter. We sat waiting in the Guesthouse entryway and almost missed the group. We caught up with them down by the small pool. I got to hold a beautiful female carpet snake:.
She was shorter and fatter than the male carpet snake that lives in the horse stable at Long Timber. Her skin felt cool and smooth, as her powerful muscles contracted around my neck. I was glad she wasn’t hungry, even if I was too big for her to eat, the male snake at Long Timber had tried to eat a duck, and ended up having to upchuck already dead it because it was too big, I would hate to be wasted food.
After the Animal Encounter Lizzie and I parted ways. She was going on a 12 km walk to see the ancient Antarctic Beech Trees, and I was going to the Lost World Spa to relax and hopefully get some help for my tailbone. I usually don’t treat myself to such things, but with an injured tailbone, and a birthday coming up I decided I was worth it. Reception helped me to get an appointment after lunch and gave me a ride over there. Ir was a short ride to the other side of the resort, the setting was beautiful. The spa Manager Tanya Leibinger greeted me as I walked in the door.
As I laid on my back Tanya gently used oil and her hands to relax my tense muscles. My neck calmed under her touch. I worried about how my tailbone would react to a massage, but I needn’t have done so, she was very careful and aware of my injury. After my maasage I could have fallen asleep, but I got up ready to enjoy a steam bath and take a swim in the infinity pool. The steam bath had a beautiful door that seemed like it was made of leaves. As I stared at the door I imagined I was among the ferns along the trail
with Lizzie. The heat stopped my pain and the steam cleared my lungs. I was ready to try the pool. I walked downstairs and out to the beautiful pool that appeared to be a mountain lake. The view was spectacular.
While I was swimming the swallows flew by dipping carefully into the water, and the warm breeze filled me with fresh energy. It was 4:00, and I went back to our room but Lizzie wasn’t there. Was she still on her walk I wondered?
I went to the office to check where she had signed out and ran into her. She had come back early from her marvelous walk. I was jealous as she described the incredible ancient Antarctic Beech Trees covered in moss and the view through mystical mist on top of the mountain.
We only had one night and a little time in the morning left. We went to dinner and fell asleep early anxious for another bird walk and one more hike in the morning. Our last hike was to check out the trail to Python Rock. It was 3.4 km and was advertised as suitable for wheelchairs, so we thought I could manage it OK. It started out paved and wide. The birds sang. Sarah Evenson, in America, had requested a video of birdsong and I obliged videotaping the sounds that reverberated that morning as I walked:
The trail turned to gravel and narrowed a bit, passing though more gigantic trees. I especially enjoyed the Black Booyong it formed huge buttresses on the forest floor:
As the tree ascended into the forest canopy its buttresses seemed to twist dancing towards the sunlight:
For my injured tailbone, the trail seemed long, although it sloped gently. I would hate to have been trying to push a wheelchair on that trail, and a motorized wheelchair would have needed very good brakes because at one point the trail went downhill and turned at a drop-off. Signed warned of a dangerous cliff, but the view from the end of the Python Rock trail was well worth the walk:
We quickened our pace on the return walk and hurried to our car. We had packed a lunch to eat when we finished the hour drive down the mountain negotiating the often single lane road. We wanted to get through Brisbane before the evening rush hour. Because it was Friday, we didn’t miss the traffic and ended up crawling around the city, but eventually we made it back home, happy to have spent four days at O’Reilly’s.
Visit O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat online for more information about this wonderful place.