Reciprocal invitation and exchange ideas between O'Reillys Guesthouse in Canungra Queensland Australia and L'Etoile Guesthouse in La Bastide-Puylaurent Lozere France

奥莱利旅店——大家庭,大生意

O'Reilly's Guesthouse Big family & big business

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Our last visit is "O' Reilly's Guesthouse". A well known "resort" by many innkeepers of the region of New South Wales and Queensland. Situated near Brisbane at the top of a mountain in the "rain forest". It will be necessary for us to travel 2 days to get there. Driving from the area of Young and Wagga-Wagga and travelling 1300 km to the north and at the end of our route taking a small sinuous road which pushes us into this primeval and tropical forest of Lamington National Park.

The O'Reilly's are a prestigious family in the region, having arrived in the twenties as pioneering farmers and who by their diligence and their efforts have built up one of the most famous guesthouses in Australia.

The history of this family is rich in events; the clearing of the rainforest and the  planting of pasture for the cows; the building of fences and primitive buildings from the forest trees; the long trips down the mountainside with horses to carry the cream cans to the Butter factory; the epic of the Stinson, the small plane that crashed in the thirties in full remote primaeval forest. The late Bernard O'Reilly used his knowledge of the bush and his intuition to search, solo, for 5 days before finding the wreck of the plane and three survivors and the bodies of the two who had died. The epic search and 3 day incredible rescue of the survivors, led by the O'Reillys, made world news at the time. Nowadays, the Guesthouse is more comfortable and the spirit of adventure is still there for the many guests from around the world who relive the famous Stinson saga and explore the well marked tracks and experience the beauty of nature on the Lamington Plateau. Shane the boss welcomes us like friends and makes us feel at home.

My room is spacious and comfortable with a view of the mountain peaks and the towering eucalypt forest.

Activities succeed one another here and everything is very organized. The staff are numerous and very professional, maybe too much for my taste. Each of O' Reilly's family has a job of responsibility. Michael, who is nearly sixty, is a bird guide and brings guests to a meeting place of birds. He knows them as well as the back of his hand and knows how to speak about them for many hours. He is very sensible, of a very kind nature, he gives the best of himself all the time.

In the course of the afternoon, we participate in a 7 km walk through Lamington National Park together with our guide Murray and some customers of the Guesthouse.

We begin a friendship very quickly with an American couple, Gordon and Murray from San Francisco. Gordon talks to me about Yosemite National Park and Harley Davidson motorbikes which give me a taste to return to the States again rather than Europe. Gordon is passionate about motorcycles and the big "trucks " that he drives regularly. He has the beard of the motorcyclist and the Harley T-shirt.

A grand piano dating from 1896 is in the lounge on show but nobody plays it. Discreetly, I close the door behind me and I can not refrain myself from sliding my fingers along the piano. I would prefer to have the piano in the big dining room. Unfortunately, a lot of people who own pianos do not play them often and it becomes a piece of furniture of decoration which, in time, eventually lose it's tune.

The bell rings at 4pm for teatime and muffins. This moment is pleasant and privileged. The atmosphere is not formal at the table, there are no big discussions, one relaxes with the working atmosphere that one hears from the kitchen. This is a good time to write and to have a little chat with the staff who are always very friendly and who always remain professional.

An important person in the company is Rob the "chef" and I have gratefully taken a photo of him in his big kitchen. The "pastry chef" who prepared us a really delicious coffee cake for the afternoon tea  and as well the waitresses who I am slowly getting to know.

Trudy and Michelle who are waitresses are always smiling and pleasant. They are small, smiling and dynamic. Trudy tells me of her experience at Orpheus Island Bed and Breakfast Resort between Cairns and Townsville. She misses this place near the sea with her reefs of coral and her multicoloured fishes. She says it is to be sold. Too expensive for her but she dreams of owning her own Bed and Breakfast. The forefathers of Michelle are native of Scandinavia and landed in Australia about 10 generations ago.

Shane O' Reilly has had the honour of welcoming various important people including the 1st Minister of Singapore.

The O'Reillys also ownvineyards and a luxurious restaurant in the Canungra Valley. The famous Cabernet Sauvignon and the Merlot wine, is always kept in the cellar at a temperature of 17 degrees Celsius.

Elizabeth welcomes us in this small paradise which only the Australian could succeed in creating in the middle of nowhere. The vineyards are only 4 years old but there are lots of magnificent grapes.
The wine here is very good, it is made with a lot of care.

O'Reilly's Rain forest Guesthouse, Shane, Michael and Tim O'Reilly, Canungra, QLD, Australia

 

L'Etoile Guest House
L'Etoile Guest House

L'Etoile Guesthouse between Cevennes, Ardeche and Lozere in the South of France

Old romantic Hotel, L'Etoile Guest-House is a mountain retreat in the South of France. With a beautiful park along the Allier River, L'Etoile Guesthouse is located in La Bastide-Puylaurent between Lozere, Ardeche and Cevennes. Many hiking trails like GR7, GR70 Stevenson trail, GR72, GR700 Regordane way, Cevenol, Allier river, Margeride, Gevaudan. Many hiking loops around L'Etoile Guesthouse. The right place to relax.