I have to admit that I do like my coffee. I am one of those that can drink it right before bed and still get a great nights sleep. Because of this, I have come to be just a little bit discerning about how my coffee is made. Although at a pinch, I can handle an instant, I do prefer a good roast ground to perfection and served with flare.
My recent trip to Vietnam had me raving about the coffee that is served there. Brewed at the table in a little stainless filter dripping slowly over a layer of condensed milk is about as good as it gets. I am still trying to replicate the flavor now that I am back home but feel I still have something missing. I will persevere…..
One of the downsides to gaining a better appreciation of a good coffee is that once you find a standout brew, the rest never really seem to hit the mark. If that barista is a distance away then getting a regular fix becomes a mission.
This is my current situation… While I would enjoy a brew while sitting with a paper on a Sunday morning as the sun reaches higher into the sky, it now involves a 30-kilometre drive to Noosa where Old Salt Coffee dispenses a top brew from Pier 17 on Gympie Terrace. Now lately Rhian, who brews this treat, has been extolling the temptations of an Iced Latte and so I thought it might be worth asking if she might perhaps deliver…
No luck I’m afraid, although Rhian did suggest that I had the best of both worlds because I buy my Old Salt beans from her and have them available whenever I fancy a cup. It left me to thinking about how I do appreciate a good brew and that Old Salt Coffee is just that…. It’s a great blend…. Then, as often is the case when I get to thinking, the mind rhythms got going and the words started flowing. I felt her comment about having beans at home deserved a response. This is how the conversation went…
With spring well and truly settled in here in the Southern part of the world, the days are getting warmer and the sun is in the sky longer. Today I headed north from Maroochydore on the Sunshine Motorway. The plan was to pick up a friend from Perigean Springs and take a hike in the Noosa National Park.
The park lies between Noosa Beach and Coolum and is divided into sections along the coast. The section we were visiting today was the Noosa Headland Section which has a web of walking tracks running through and around it making it suitable for almost anyone to access.
As with most National Parks one can find a diverse range of wildlife and plants here. The list includes the koala, a ground parrot, the wallum froglet and glossy black-cockatoo. I have seen Echidnas wandering the tracks here as evening falls as well.
The Coastal track is a little over 5 kilometers and takes roughly two hours walking at a steady pace. The tracks are well signed and often cross each other so it pays to take note of which one you are on.
The Coastal track runs from Sunshine Beach in the south, around the headland in finishes at Noosa Beach. Parking is easier at the Sunshine Beach end as there are several jumping off points whereas, at the Noosa end, the track starts at the day use area and there is very limited parking. There used to be a bus service from Noosa Beach to the day use area but that has been discontinued and once the small parking area is full it means a 700-metre walk in from the beach.
We opted for the Sunshine Beach end and parked at the end of Surf Street before taking Track 5 (Blue on the Map) which would bring us out on the beach at Alexandria Bay. This beach is more commonly known among the locals as A Bay and has gained some notoriety as a clothing optional beach.
The day was fine and hot and so we made sure we had hats and a good supply of drinking water. Good walking shoes are also recommended as parts of the track can be a little rough underfoot.
When we actually arrived at the beach it was quite deserted with only a few folk strolling along and the odd sunbather in the dunes. I guess it is rather isolated from the rest of the world with a one hour walk in from either end, there are plenty of beaches that are far easier to spend the day at.
Steep steps lead off the northern end of the beach as we headed up to the actual Headland. Here there are magnificent views of the coast and over the park itself.
As we approached Hells Gate, a group of young women was sitting on a rock resting and my friend, Peter, suggested that I might like to take a photo of A Bay beach, indicating that the rock would form the foreground to the photo. He laughingly offered to be in the photo as a focus point.
It was a lovely setting and so, to his horror, I asked the girls if they would mind indulging Peter’s whim. After some moments of confusion because of a language difference, Peter duly settled himself in amongst the bevy of beauties. A veritable thorn in the rose bush if ever there was one.
The four girls came from Switzerland and were studying here before heading off to see more of the country.
The headland is called Hells Gate as there is a deep cutting that channels the sea making a cauldron during rough weather. A similar outcrop at the other end of A Bay is called Devils Kitchen. From here, and indeed all along the higher points on the track, one can often spot a whale or two as they head to and fro between their winter and summer ranges. Today was not one of those days unfortunately however, we did see a lot of coral spores that had been blown down from the huge coral reefs to the north.
A Bay is around the halfway point and so we headed on around the shoreline checking out the view from the various bays along the way. There are lookout points at Dolphin Point at the end of Granite Bay and then again at Boiling Pot just beyond Tea Tree Bay.
Tea tree Bay is a popular spot and is at the end of the paved track that allows pushchair and wheelchair access to the park. Koalas can often be seen in the trees although again, it was not to be for us this day.
There are some extraordinary views to be had all along the track with stunning sea views going back into the hinterland behind the coast.
We finally made it back to civilization and Peter treated me to a burger and beer from Betty’s Burgers and Concrete which is just over the road from the surf club at Noosa Beach. This had to be one of the best burgers I have had in a very long while.
After the burger and feeling well satisfied we caught a bus back to Sunshine to pick up the car and head home. A great day’s traveling right here in my own back yard