Kerribee Park, Mareeba

We had been warned the Rodeo Grounds Park was a dust bowl. It was the cheapest camping spot in Mareeba and we have stayed in dusty places before so what is a little dust between stops.

The park wasn’t large, it was massive. It would have fitted in thousands of van. We parked up on a lovely green patch of grass. I could understand people saying the spot was a dust bowl. It would have been when it was full. With that much traffic it would be hard not to be. For us, it was lovely and green.

Vans and tents were scattered all over the site, I think there would have been a good fifty or more vans. Some were permanent. The woman who ran the park took us to our spot saying it wouldn’t be long before she would have to move the permanent people to the safe area. Come the wet season half the park would flood. There were some clouds starting to from over us as we were setting up. I did wonder if we were in the safe zone and how much rain it would take to flood the area. I am getting use to the weather over in Queensland. So many times it has looked like it would rain, with the dark clouds and winds, yet nothing happened.

We stopped at the tourist information centre. We had been told there was a little museum attached to the centre with a gold coin donation. Most towns have a small museum and it gets to the stage where you think ‘oh no not another one”. This one was ‘oh yes.’ Well worth it. It was a lot bigger than we had thought. We have been in some really nice add-ons to the information centre but I think Mareeba would have to be the best.

At one spot Adrian turned to have a conversation with a manikin. It started to talk as he walked past, the manikin started to telling him about the history of the town. (A large part of the museum has been set up as a town.)

One of the curators showed us how a water operated spin drier works. Yes I did say a ‘water operated spin drier.’ It doesn’t seem possible does it? I had never seen one before. He showed us how it worked telling us, when he was young they had one and he thought everyone did. Nope, never seen one before.

Love the fire cart. The men sure did it rough back then.

The problem with going into some of the museums is that I know I have used some of the items. It always makes me feel old after all you put old thing into a museum don’t you?

Well done Mareeba.

We visited the Coffee Works. Free taste testing of coffee, chocolate and best of all the coffee liqueurs, we are there.

Ok they give you really small sample cup but that’s ok you can go back as many times as you like.

The Coffee Works had a museum attached to it. I though it would be boring.   A whole museum just on coffee, coffee pots and coffee things.   Half an hour max. At the door you can get a listening thing, (I don’t know the name of it.) You dialed in a number, then held it to your ear to listen to someone telling you about that individual item. Your own personal tour guide telling you about the item you are interest in.   Love it.

After an hour we went back to the free coffee and chocolate tasting then back into the museum. Another hour, another trip back for more chocolate and coffee then back into the museum again. Where did the time go?

So much information to read as well as your own tour guide. I found it fascinating.

Thing I have learned about coffee:

Around the 1500’s when coffee was started to become a drink it was original boiled for about thirty minutes or more. This would produce a strong dark liquid, which was used as required. To help with the bitter taste, spices were added like cinnamon and cloves.

Sheik Ansari Djerzeri Hanball Abd-al-Kaldir said in the 16th Century

‘Where coffee is served there is grace, splendor, friendship and happiness. Coffee, you are the common man’s gold and, like gold you bring to every man the feeling of luxury and nobility.’ I guess he hadn’t tasted chocolate.

Potocahontas was even mentioned. Why? John Smith claimed he was the one who brought coffee to the New World. However, if you speak to an Canadian, they are likely to tell you they already had the beans brewing long before John Smith set foot in the New World.

coffee-8

As for coffee in Australia? It wasn’t until 1870 that the first coffee plant set its roots in the soil at Kangaroo Point, Brisbane. Other plantations soon sprung up and by 1901 Australia farmers were producing 40% of the colonies coffee. Sadly it didn’t last long as by 1926 most of the plantations had been beaten by frost or cyclones, and it that was enough, cheap imports arrive and the labour cost meant the local farmer couldn’t compete so started to stop growing the beans.

Coffee is now drunk in almost every country in the world. Depending on what part of the world you come from will depend on how you have your coffee.

Around the 1700’s the size of the coffee cups depended on what was drunk in the country. Beer or Beer broth in Northern Europe, wine in Mediterranean countries and ouzo in Turkey, (Water was only drunk by presents who couldn’t afford anything else.) In Northern European countries coffee is served in much larger cups as a replacement for beer etc. and in countries like Turkey coffee replaced the ouzo, which was drunk in small glasses.

Coffee was very expensive so only the rich could afford to drink it. Coffee was originally drunk black, (as even the rich didn’t have access to fresh milk) and without sugar (sugar was also a new item and because of this it also had a high price.) so the drink was quite bitter. It is a surprising the coffee became so popular. Side note: around the year 1100, sugar was selling for it’s own weight in silver.

The French started to add milk to their coffee as it started to became easer for the general public to get and the English started to add sugar to their coffee, as it became easer for the general public to get. At about this time coffee house started to pop up in both countries.   It is said that Napoleon became addicted to coffee and would often run up large tabs at his favorite coffee house. The story goes he had to leave his hat as bond on several occasions until he could clear his debts.

A receipt on how to make coffee appeared in ‘The Penny Magazine’ in 1833. (Instant coffee wasn’t invented until 1881.)

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