Beginning The Day With Great Coffee

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.

Vietnamese Coffee
Ca phe Sua Da

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.

Friendly ServiceThis 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…

Keith Watts Do you deliver???

 Old Salt Coffee I wish I could 😜  You’re already doing the better option to me delivering an iced coffee… you’ve got a bag of it at home 😀

Keith Watts

Old Salt Roast
Rhian Sells her roast in convenient sized, take home bags

What you say may have merit, a home bag is best

I asked to deliver … but only in jest

There is, as I see it, …a much better way

To take in a brew at beginning of day

Old Salt Coffee Shop
Old Salt Coffee Shop at Pier 17 where you can grab a coffee before hiring a kayak or boat for a day’s fishing

One needs to rise early,  ..fore the dark turns to light

And the sun’s early rays speak the end of the night

For down by the river, …     at the old orange shed

Another has stirred, ….     she has long left her bed

Coffee at The Old SaltShe lays out the cups,…       fires up the machine

Puts the beans in the grinder, this is her daily scene

It is here that I speak …..     of that much better way

Rhian’s Old Salt Coffee for beginning your day

A Travel Destination At My Back Door

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.

noosa-national-park-walking-tracks
Courtesy QLD NAT PARKS

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.

An hours walk from the nearest car park ensures this pristine beach is free from the crowds.
Alexandria Bay.  Just an hours walk from the nearest car park, this pristine beach is free from the crowds.

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.

From the Noosa Headland back to Sunshine Beach A Bay is a desrted paradise.
Looking back from the Hell’s Gate back to Sunshine Beach, A Bay is a deserted paradise.

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.

Pete opened his mouth and offered to be a part of the pictuer with these four lasses from Switzerland. Was shocked when I took him up on the offer and put it to the girls...
Pete opened his mouth and offered to be a part of the picture with these four lasses from Switzerland. Was shocked when I took him up on the offer and put it to the girls…

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 rocky headland at Alexandra Bay.
The rocky headland at Alexandria Bay.

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.

Coral Spore drifts before the wind along the headland
Coral Spore drifts before the wind along the headland

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.

Halfway between Noosa Heads and A Bay lies Granite Bay. Popular with surfers catching waves from the point
Halfway between Noosa Heads and A Bay lies Granite Bay. Popular with surfers catching waves from the point

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.

The path along the seafront cters for wlkers, runners and cyclists. There are plenty of places where you can rest and take in the expansive views as in this lookout just east of Granite Bay
The path along the seafront caters for walkers, runners, and cyclists. There are plenty of places where you can rest and take in the expansive views as in this lookout just east of Granite Bay

There are some extraordinary views to be had all along the track with stunning sea views going back into the hinterland behind the coast.

Apaddleboarder waits for a wave to take him back to Noosa Beach
A paddle boarder waits for a wave to take him back to Noosa Beach

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

 

 

A New Beginning

Since beginning my photographic journey I have progressed from…..

Crow's Nest
Crow’s Nest

After several false starts at this Blogging business I have turned to WordPress to support my blog. With it comes a change of Domain and henceforth I can be found at street2stream.com.  The change is subtle, but I have to agree with my mentors, cleaner.  I have transferred all of the material I have put out there to this site and so I am now happy that this will take me long into the future.

It all started when a fellow asked me if I had a business card so that he could look up my site when he got home. This set me to thinking that I should get serious with this and produce something that would help get me known out there.

As I began to design what I wanted, I realised that I had no solid contact details that I could take forward.  I had a website which didn’t really allow me much freedom in design and it didn’t seem to want to connect with my WordPress page.  I spent a day trying to sort that out before remembering that the niece of a friend knew a little about  how it all works.  A quick message on messenger and Malliree was on the case.  Although I was only seeking some pointers she spent some serious time trying to sort it all out. When she sleeps, I do not know, as she was sending me questions all through the night.  Thank you Mal for all your efforts, I really do appreciate them.

I follow a great travel blog called “Goats On The Road”, and decided to follow their advice and hook up with the web hosting site, SiteGround. After speaking with their sales team I decided that I would take the plunge and change horses.  I secured the site and so have spent the day sorting out a new and hopefully improved website and page

This means a new email address keith@street2stream.com along with a new URL for the blog.  It can now be found at street2stream.com 

 

The sun dips low on the horizon near Siem Reap, Cambodia
The sun dips low on the horizon near Siem Reap, Cambodia

Since beginning my photographic journey I have progressed from an early Pentax Film camera to the world of digital. My first digital was a Fuji Finepix s100fs, which was a bridge camera with a large zoom range but a fixed lens. Was a brilliant camera at the time but technology moves on and I have progressed through a Canon 450D to my current Canon 70D model.

 

I started out taking almost exclusively nature shots, mainly of birdlife but anything I could see that took my fancy. After a time I ventured into other genres as I learned a little about the art. Now-a-days my focus is more on Street shots as I enjoy capturing the things that people do in their everyday lives.

Sadly people often see a camera pointing at them and take it as a slight against their personal space. For me it is always a catch 22 as to whether to take the candid shot or wait to ask permission first. Of course, waiting looses all the spontaneity that a candid shot provides and it is often these shots that are the best. What the answer is, I don’t know but I hope that we don’t all become so precious about privacy that we forget to live.

I hope to bring my world of ideas to light through these pages over the coming months and years, portraying the world as I see it through the stories my lens tells.

Please feel free to comment on anything that takes your interest.