Pam's Journal For September 2005

  Thursday 1st September  
  We had a lovely day out. We took a picnic lunch and visited a couple of beauty spots. Driving to these places the roads are steep and winding with really beautiful scenery. We had a look at Barron Falls which were quite spectacular, then went into Kuranda. We, of course, had to check out the train and chairlift station. The village of Kuranda was very ‘touristy’ but pretty. We then decided to wend our way towards home but call at another beauty spot on the way. Well, we took the wrong road and ended up in the city so whilst there we checked the Post Office for mail, but in vain. NP has such faith in Australia Post, he was told it takes two days for the express mail; I reckon it is more like a week. We had a wander around the city and a cup of tea then went in search of Bunnings, as you do. All those people who know we are looking for a particular type of ladder, well you can get them in Bunnings, Cairns. We then headed for home as Peter’s leg was hurting. Editor's Note: We've been looking for an aluminium ladder that folds into four so will fit into the caravan boot. It opens out into various configurations including a 3.5 metre straight ladder. We need it for access to the caravan roof for cleaning or maintenance. At $170 we decided to think about it for a while. Bunnings isn't going anywhere in a hurry.  
  Friday 2nd September  
  I think we have forgotten what it is like to have a decent night's sleep. Peter is up I don't know how many times in the night heating up wheat packs for his back and last night I decide he was having too much fun so joined him with a back problem. Luckily mine isn't that bad. Today we decided to take it easy as Peter was in some pain and we are both feeling really tired. I hope the doctor has some answers on Monday!  
  Saturday 3rd September  

We went in search of the beauty spots we missed last Thursday. Lake Placid was one and it wasn't only placid, it was beautiful. So picturesque and even though heaps of people were milling about it was very peaceful. We spent quite a bit of time there, just sitting, drinking coffee and soaking up the surroundings. Then we went to the Hydroelectric Power Station but found they were doing some construction work so the visitors centre was closed. We walked along the river and again it was a lovely place to be. We had been told to go to Mareeba so we went. It was by now afternoon and all the shops were closed. We looked for an Aviation Museum that is supposed to be there but couldn't find it. We did, however, go to the Coffee Works. Coffee is grown in Australia. Now, until we started this trip we had no idea of this. Mareeba is the only area in Australia where coffee is grown. The Coffee Works has tours explaining the process of coffee from beginning to end but we arrived too late. We had a drink and realised we could have gone to a coffee plantation to learn more about coffee but by now it was too late for that also. Maybe another day if we haven't anything else to do we could go back to the coffee plantation as I would like to know more about coffee growing.

  Sunday 4th September  
  We went up to Lake Morris again, for lunch. As it was another beautiful day we thought we might get better photographs than we did last time. We had a very nice time - it really is a lovely spot.  
  Monday 5th September  
  Apart from a doctor's appointment, collecting the mail and doing some shopping, we didn't do much. The doctor is excellent and we have a lot of confidence in her.  
  Tuesday 6th September  

We were up and out early as Peter had to go for an X-ray and I had a pressing engagement with Spotlight. (For those people that don't know, Spotlight is a store that sells craft materials and wool). We were both finished early so decided to make a day of it and ride the Skyrail to Kuranda and return on the Scenic Railway train. I quite liked the Skyrail as long as I didn't look straight down; the scenery was superb. We had a wander around Kuranda, very touristy and full of Japanese. We had a very nice lunch with a couple of wines. We fell into conversation with another couple. I have read what Pete Mate wrote about me. Totally untrue that I did all the talking, as the couple told us about their business that they have just sold, their lives, and where they lived and that this was the first holiday in 18 years, they had hired a motorhome and had travelled around the top end of Queensland. After a little shopping and a lot of browsing we returned home on the train. It was a really good trip but very often the beautiful scenery was blocked out by the embankment. We had an excellent day and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

  Wednesday 7th September  
  Not much to say. We spent hours in Cairns Private Hospital whilst Peter had a MRI. (They found a brain, much to our relief!!) Apart from that we didn't do much at all.  
  Thursday 8th September  
  We now have permanent squatting rights in the doctor's waiting room. The results of Peter's X-ray, CT scan and MRI scan were through and it was my turn to start the tests merry-go-round. Mine is just a check up on the status of my heart complaint. The cause of Peter's pain is a bulging disc and if it gets worse he will have to have an operation. The brain scan didn't show up anything serious, just a typical aging brain. Probably pickled with red wine. Anyway we will be in Cairns for a while now while I wait for a cardiologist to see me. It is a very nice place to 'have to stay' in.  
  Friday 9th September  
  Weather not the best today but as we just had medical appointments it didn't matter too much. I think we are turning into two crocks, one old and one young!! (Ed: Hah!)  
  Saturday 10th September  
  Lay day.  
  Sunday 11th September  

We caught the boat across to Green Island, a very smooth crossing. When we arrived we boarded a glass bottom boat for a tour of the coral reef. It was amazing, so many different species of coral and fish. I thoroughly enjoyed it and that is saying a lot coming from me as boats and I don't usually mix. After that we had a wander around the island resort and found ourselves at the bar, as you do. We enjoyed a drink and then wandered over for our sumptuous buffet lunch. Sumptuous it was not! More like disgusting. It was so disappointing as we had looked forward to it. (I did lodge a complaint the next day).

After lunch we went to watch the feeding of the crocodiles and turtles at a marine park. I held a little baby crocodile! It was so cute but it had needle-like teeth. We saw a lot of crocs of all different ages, and one very huge one. After that we wandered around, looked at the beach and the shops then we treated ourselves to a huge ice-cream sundae; it was lovely. Then it was time to catch the boat back to Cairns. All in all, an excellent day - only marred by the lunch.

  Monday 12th September
  We didn't do very much today apart from me going to the hairdressers.  
  Tuesday 13th September  

I went for my CT scan today, it was not overly exciting. Please, can't someone design a better gown? You are for ever trying to hold the back together so you don't frighten people with large expanses of white flesh.

We then went into the city and did a few errands. In the evening the caravan park put on a sausage sizzle and entertainment. It was a really good night. You had to pay for the sausages with a gold coin and the proceeds went to Leukaemia research.

  Wednesday 14th September
  Oh dear, woe are we! With the ice cream sundaes, sausages and whatever else, our weight has crept up a little. Well actually, a lot. So it is a few strict days for us. Peter had to rest today because he said so, therefore I took the car and went off to do a little 'retail therapy'.  
  Thursday 15th September
  Result day today, so off we went to the doctors. All my results came back clear and I am - according to the doctor - very healthy. I just have to wait until October to see the cardiologist. We were so happy we decided to celebrate so drove to Port Douglas for lunch. We had a really lovely time and liked Port Douglas very much. Since we have been travelling we have seen lots of beaches but never seen one as full as the one in P.D. There is a lot more to see in that area so we going back another day. We enjoyed a nice happy hour or two with our neighbours from Adelaide, Greg and Marilyn.  
  Friday 16th September
  We had a full day out exploring the Tablelands. We saw two spectacular fig trees, beautiful lakes, a small but pretty stream, a lookout where, upon arriving at the top, you could see nothing! We were just leaving the 'lookout' when I noticed something on Peter's toe. A closer inspection revealed a leech sucking his blood. Yuck! We think he picked it up when we were at the stream. However, wherever we drove today we saw the loveliest scenery. We arrived home very tired and Peter had some pain so tomorrow we will rest.  
  Saturday 17th September
  We heard on the radio about a new 'seniors village' opening. As it is not far from where we are staying we decided to go along to their 'open day'. It was appalling! It wasn't even clean - not at all what we expected. We did, however, get a free cup of coffee, a shopping bag and some sunscreen lotion. So not a total waste of time. This village, intended for old people, had a notice by the swimming pool prohibiting running, jumping in and 'bombing' - just who were they expecting?

After shopping we went home to rest before the big semi-final football match. The West Coast Eagles (a Perth team) were playing the Adelaide Crows for a place in next week's final. We watched until half time then our neighbours (Adelaide supporters) came for happy hour so we sat outside but every now and then we would pop inside to see the score. We didn't need to really, as our neighbours on the other side are from Bunbury and they roared every time the Eagles scored. It was a very pleasant afternoon/evening. Of course the Eagles won so the final next Saturday will be 'huge'.
  Sunday 18th September  
  Lay day - this life can be very tiring.  
  Monday 19th September
  We did a couple of errands and then went to Lake Placid for lunch. It is really nice out there and we enjoyed a nice lunch. We then sat a while, had a short walk and then returned to the café for an ice cream We are very naughty as we are going out for dinner tonight so tomorrow the scales will be groaning, never mind us. We had a lovely evening at The Brothers Club for very little expense. The meals and drinks are subsidised by the 'pokie' machines. We enjoyed Marilyn and Greg's company and the food was good and plentiful. Yummy desserts.  
  Tuesday 20th September
  Lay day.  
  Wednesday 21st September  
  We went to the Butterfly Sanctuary at Karunda. What a lovely time we had. The most beautiful, colourful butterflies we had ever seen. They fluttered around us, sometimes landing on us. There were a couple of young ladies telling everyone the facts about butterflies which was very interesting. One of the nice things about the time we spent there was the delight on the young children's faces when the butterflies landed on them. Pure pleasure.

After that we went to a coffee plantation just outside Mareeba. It was a little disappointing - I expected a full tour of the plantation but the actual plantation was a few miles away. Anyway the chap there explained everything to us and we enjoyed a cup of coffee. It was very interesting as, until we started travelling, we didn't even realise that coffee was grown in Australia. Or, for that matter, tobacco. The things you discover when you are travelling! It was a really pleasant day.
  Thursday 22nd September  
  Lay day apart from updating the emails and website, shopping and happy hour with Greg and Marilyn.  
  Friday 23rd September  
  We had a lovely day out with our neighbours, Marilyn and Greg. We went to the Botanic Gardens and a board walk to Centenary Lakes. We took a picnic lunch and had afternoon tea at the tea-rooms in the gardens. The gardens were spectacular, many blooms we didn't know. There will be lots of pics on the website. The weather was excellent, not too hot, just right for walking around. When we returned home we all had a barbecue, cooked by the males, of course. It was a perfect end to a very pleasant day.  
  Saturday 24th September  
  Lay day except for watching the Eagles play in the Grand Final. Anyone watching would agree that the Sydney Swans cheated, they kept taking the ball away from the Eagles. It was a very exciting match with the Eagles coming from 20 points down to take the lead, then losing by 4 points. So instead of drinking to victory we had wine to drown our sorrows. From the sound of the celebrations in the park there were more Swan supporters than we realised. Never mind, there is always next year.  
  Sunday 25th September
  Lay day. After the excitement yesterday we need a day of rest. We were joined by our neighbours for Happy Hour, very pleasant too. Someone drank too much and this time it wasn't Pete Mate!!!!!  
  Monday 26th September  
  We have decided to make a big effort and do some regular exercise. As Peter's leg is still weak, we thought a walk every morning and some swimming might help. So we set off walking and found a delightful park with heaps of birds and all sorts of trees with the added bonus of having the mountain in the background. Beautiful. We went to do a little shopping, mainly to buy me some bathers. Once purchased we hurried home to try out the pool. I feel very pleased with myself as I now take both feet off the bottom of the pool. At the same time, that is!  
  Tuesday 27th September  
  In the morning we repeated our walk of yesterday. After breakfast we then packed a picnic and went to Yorkeys Knob for lunch. Yorkeys Knob is a beach and a marina. We have no idea how it got its name and we are not game enough to ask! It was a really lovely place. We had lunch then went for a short walk. The marina is a little distance away from the beach so we took the car in search of it. Once found we realised it had a clubhouse which served a very good house red. We sat sipping our drinks watching the boats go in and out. Life is good!

When we arrived home we found a note pinned to our caravan door. A couple, Greg and Lois, had called to see us. They left their phone number and said they had been following our travels via this web site. As they live in Cairns and are thinking of doing 'the lap' themselves, they thought it would be nice to have a chat with us. After we had had our swim we phoned them and they are coming over tomorrow evening for a drink and then we are going out to tea with them.
  Wednesday 28th September  
  Lay day. We again went for our walk but skipped our swim today. Lois and Greg arrived for drinks, then we went out to a restaurant at the Hilton which is by the water in Cairns. We enjoyed their company very much, it was a very pleasant evening. The meal was also good!  
  Thursday 29th September  

No walk this morning as we wanted to get away early. We had a splendid day out at Mossman. First we went into Port Douglas as Peter wanted to take some photos. We sat and had our morning tea whilst looking at the beach and its occupants, Peter hoping to see a topless woman. Poor dear wasn't successful.

We then went to the sugar mill at Mossman and arrived in time to do a tour. Very interesting, I won't go into detail as Peter has already done that on the web page. After that we went to Mossman Gorge where we ate our picnic lunch and then set off to do the 4 km. walk. It was wonderful, we saw so many different trees, heard more birds than we saw and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was then time to head home for our swim.

  Friday 30th September  
  We did the shopping today but not much else. We again did our walk but spent so long in the park it was quite warm when we set off for our 'hill workout' . We saw a few different birds but not as many as the other day as people were exercising their dogs so the birds were avoiding landing.

We went for a swim in the afternoon and were joined by our neighbours, Marilyn and Greg. Our swim was cut short by two inconsiderate boys who kept jumping in the pool right near us. Their parents, who were looking on, obviously have never heard of consideration. One poor old lady had only just got in the pool and then had to leave. After our refreshing swim we headed back to the caravan to get ready for happy hour which continued for a lot longer than an hour!!