Yes, we got on the road today! We drove to a property outside Cawongla with our friends the Masons with whom we’ve been sharing base camp for the past week. On the way south, we stopped for a paddle at Running Creek.

Paddling in Running Creek, September 2011
We stopped by a low bridge to explore the creek bed.

Paddling in Running Creek, September 2011
Our girls are so comfortable with the Masons after spending this time together here and in New Zealand.

The creek is shallow and rocky — perfect for a paddle without getting too wet. The main attraction for our mob was the hair algae that grows freely and holds frog spawn in the water.

Ruth Mason, September 2011
The kids liked exploring the feel of the hair algae, and Ruth spun some into a long rope.

Ruth Mason, September 2011
Ruth then tied the long strand of hair algae to her own hair — such a creative and fun thing to do!

We stopped in Kyogle for some groceries before heading taking the road that leads to Nimbin in order to reach the Masons’ friends’ property. By the time we arrived, it was pitch-black, so we greeted everyone in the dark before moving into the warmly-lit house for conversation and a delicious curry dinner.

Patting a kitten, September 2011
Aisha and Brioni were immediately captivated by a little kitten.

Aisha patting a kitten, September 2011
By the time it's Aisha's turn to hold the kitten, it's already asleep.

Gathering at Tony's Cawongla property, September 2011
The gathering is informal — a coming-together of old friends who've shared a lot of life together. We're the only newcomers.

Playing with dolls at Melissa and Han's, September 2011
When Ruth brought out the dolls for our girls to play, they eagerly sorted through the clothes and accessories to choose their favourites.

David watching TV with Delaney and Calista and friends, September 2011
David briefly watched part of a movie with Delaney and Calista.

Melissa and David, September 2011
Melissa is such a lovely hostess. She invited us to make full use of the house while we we're here and said we are welcome to return anytime! She even invited us to come and have our baby here. "I'll look after you," she said! So sweet!

The Masons have settled into a modified dairy shed on the property, and we’re sleeping in our self-contained Freedom Truck rig. We’ve started putting 21mo Delaney into the truck to share a bed with Brioni, so David and I are sleeping in the trailer alone. Sometimes we even get to sleep in!

Tomorrow it’ll be a joy to explore the property with the girls. I heard a peacock calling when we drove in, and we saw one wallaby hopping away, so I hope to photograph some of the delights of being back in the bush and among friends.