Pam's Journal for June 2006

Thursday 1st June 06
Lay day to do the washing, cleaning and generally get ready for tomorrow.

Friday 2nd June 06
We had a relatively short 187 km. journey to 1770, so arrived in plenty of time to set up before lunch after which we had a rest and then a wander around the camp. Peter found our friends Cindy and David who by chance arrived here at the same time as us. They have been following us up the coast and just missing us time and again, so it was good to catch up. We went for a short walk with Jan and Ross which somehow ended up in the pub . . . funny that. Once back at camp we settled down for Happy Hour and Cindy and David joined us. It was a very long Happy Hour but very pleasurable.

Saturday 3rd June 06
We like the place 1770 but reckon the caravan park is over priced. Today it was Pete Mate’s turn to be the tour guide. We covered 1770 and Agnes Water in a morning, so that gives you some idea of the size of the place. What we saw was spectacular scenery from a couple of lookouts, a cairn to mark the landing of Captain Cook, a restored anchor as a memorial to a sunken ship, a lovely park and a couple of very old graves. Lunchtime saw us in the pub for refreshments and a flutter on the horses. After lunch we went to a very good museum in Agnes Water. The museum housed all the information you could imagine relating to ship wrecks, the history of the place, James Cook and our old friend Matt Flinders. We all spent ages in there as there was so much to read. There were lots of stories of life in the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Some really old dolls and a few relics but it was mainly reading material. Once we left there it was late afternoon so it was a quick call in at the shops and then home for a nap before Happy Hour. Happy Hour today was followed by a barbecue cooked by the men, of course. Cindy and David joined us again and the six of us had a very enjoyable evening. Eventually it got so cold we called it a night and retreated to our own caravans to get warm.

Sunday 4th June 06

Lay day today as we are moving on tomorrow. Just before sunset we walked over to the beach, taking our chairs and drinks. It was a lovely sunset but nothing spectacular. We had a short Happy Hour as it was quite cold and we had to be up early in the morning.

Monday 5th June 06
We left the caravan park quite early and, as it wasn't a long journey, we arrived around 10.30 a.m. at our new destination. Just lately I have taken over reversing Billy on to Bessie, and when we arrive at our new place I reverse Bessie into our allocated bay. This works very well as Peter is better at giving instructions than I am. Today though, it was a tight spot and I had to shunt forwards and backwards a few times. Of course, as happens on these occasions, we eventually gained an audience which stressed me a bit. Once the caravan was parked, however, I received heaps of praise and even a round of applause. After lunch we went into Gladstone for a look around and check out tours at the information centre. It was then home for Happy Hour. We have decided we really like it here at Tannum Sands, the place is nice, the park is lovely and the people are friendly.

Tuesday 6th June 06
We went for a walk in the morning and later drove out to Lake Awoonga. It was a pleasant drive apart from Pete Mate deciding to go 'off road' down a dirt track. Billy’s wheels got all muddy. On the way home we decided to check out the pub. Today is the first anniversary of meeting Jan and Ross at Daly Waters and we decided to celebrate with a meal at the pub on Saturday evening. We also met Liz, Nev, Dawn and Phil at the same time.

Wednesday 7th June 06
We were booked on a tour of the harbour so had to be away from the caravan park by 9.30 a.m. The boat trip was really good and very interesting. We also had cake and coffee provided. Gladstone has so much industry you would imagine it to be a dirty old town but it isn’t. It is clean, has lots of gardens and is beautifully maintained. After the boat tour we had a quick lunch and were ready and waiting for our next tour which was of the Port of Gladstone. This time it was by bus which arrived very late. The tour commentator was very boring and we couldn’t wait to get off the bus. Thank goodness it was free. On the way home we stopped at a lookout which gave spectacular views of Gladstone.

Thursday 8th June 06
The weather was pretty cold and wet all day, so it was a lay day. In the afternoon we did some shopping.

Friday 9th June 06
On the today's agenda was the Botanical Gardens and The Museum and Art Gallery. The gardens were very pleasant, mainly rainforests from different areas. We ate an excellent lunch at the park restaurant before proceeding to the museum and art gallery. The art gallery? Well, that old saying 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' comes to mind. One or two pieces were good but on the whole it wasn’t our taste. I mean, I could put together a stack of cotton reels and hang them on the wall, and I didn’t go to art school! The museum was quite good, all about William Gladstone, the English Prime Minister. The best part about the day was that, apart from lunch, it didn’t cost us anything. We called at another lookout on the way home.

Saturday 10th June 06
It absolutely poured with rain today but we managed a walk in the morning without getting too wet. We went to the pub in the afternoon as there was a big horse race on. We had decided to have tea there as well as we were celebrating the first anniversary of the day we met Ross and Jan. Whilst there it absolutely poured down and poor Jan had gone to the shops next to the pub. She came back soaked to the skin. Did she ever need a drink! It was a very pleasant afternoon with nice meals to follow. Then it was home to bed!

Sunday 11th June 06
A walk in the morning and then the rest of the day was taken up with getting ready for our four day trip to Cairns. I hope it will be warmer there.

Monday 12th June 06

We set off fairly early on the first leg of the journey north. Tonight’s destination is a free camp at St Lawrence. The journey was uneventful until we arrived at Ingham where Alice decided to play up. Once that was sorted it was plain sailing apart from frayed tempers. We arrived at St Lawrence in the afternoon, set up camp and had a walk around. It is a very nice free camp with good toilets and showers. The showers took a dollar coin and you got three minutes of hot water. After Jan and Ross arrived we walked into town and somehow ended up at the pub. Funny that.

Tuesday 13th June 06
After a good night's sleep we headed off for our next destination, another free camp. The day was pretty uneventful and we arrived in the afternoon. It was a roadside camp and I didn’t like there but as it was for only one night it didn’t matter too much.

Wednesday 14th June 06
We were all up early as none of us slept too well due to noise from the road. In addition, a refrigeration truck had parked just up the road and ran its motor for most of the night. Back on the road again for the next stage of our journey. We arrived at the 'town' of Rollingstone early in the afternoon. Alice decided to take us down a road that had a low bridge so we had to reverse out round a corner and across a narrow bridge. To be precise, Pete Mate did the backing and I directed the traffic. One man said I could have been a policeman I was so good. Anyway we did a lot of too and fro-ing until we found the right road. We didn’t quite make it back to the Gateway Bridge but it was close. Once camp was set up we went for a walk and found the pub as tonight we are all going there to watch the rugby. We walked through a track to get there and as it was dark we had to use torches. We enjoyed a very pleasant evening there.

Thursday 15th June 06
We set off fairly early from Rollingstone. The trip was quite uneventful as Alice couldn’t possibly get a straight road wrong. Or could she??? We travelled though towns where Cyclones Larry and Monica had hit earlier this year and they are still recovering. We saw plenty of roofs with tarps on them and broken down trees and banana plants. It was, and still is, terrible for those people. We arrived in Cairns early afternoon and received a warm welcome from Sue and Dwayne. It was really nice to be back. We entertained the residents whilst parking our caravan. Forwards, backwards, forwards, backwards, you get the idea! Anyway once set up we had a walk around and fed the fish and turtles and then it was time for Happy Hour.

Friday 16th June 06
Lay day after all the travelling of the previous days. Also I had heaps of washing to do. The weather is not the best so the dryer did some overtime. Peter spent all day and night trying to update Ross’s GPS. Eventually he managed it.

Saturday 17th June 06
We went for our morning walk, the same circuit we used to do last year. The hill is steeper than I remember. The rest of the day was spent doing chores and I updated my photo gallery in the caravan. Peter spent most of the day on the computer.

Sunday 18th June 06
The weather is still not the best with showers but some sunny periods. We managed our morning walk again without getting wet. In the afternoon we decided to have a drive out to Lake Placid and Barron Gorge. It was really nice, very picturesque and we saw plenty of water. We were talking to a local at Lake Placid and she showed us where the water rose to after Cyclone Monica. It was quite impressive. Once home again it was Happy Hour and we invited a couple from the motor home next door to join us. They were both 'characters' so Happy Hour was extended and we had a lot of laughs.

Monday 19th June 06
After our morning walk we attended a morning tea here in the park. You made a donation to the Camp Quality charity and then you could eat as many lovely scones with jam and cream as you wanted. After morning tea Peter and I went off to do a couple of errands and ended up finding a Gloria Jean’s (coffee shop). We haven’t been to a GJ’s for weeks so it was a real treat. Then it was home again for a rest before H.H.

Tuesday 20th June 06
Yesterday afternoon Ross and Jan had gone for a bike ride. When they came back Ross declared he had found a walk that we could do this morning. "It is not too far", were his words. Never believe a bike riding ex-butcher! We seemed to have walked for ages - which was actually only an hour - when we arrived at our destination, the Freshwater Station. The Rainforest Train to Kuranda stops here but the station also houses a museum depicting the history of how this amazing railway was built. One of Ross’s relatives was one of many killed whilst constructing the railway, hence the expedition. We didn’t find out any personal information on this chap but we did see two trains leave - an extra bonus for Pete Mate. After a cup of coffee we decided to get a move on back to camp as we had to get ready to meet Ross’s cousin and his wife for lunch. We decided to come home a different way which was even longer and by the time we got home I had had it. A quick shower and then it was off to Gazaly's for lunch. Gazaly's is one of these clubs that have poker machines which subsidise food and drinks so we joined up and straight away got our money back on the saving we made on the lunch price. Well, they were busy and we had to wait and wait for our meals. Peter and I got ours when everyone else had finished. After the meal we had a few more drinks and then went home. Very pleasant way to spend a few hours. Once back at camp Pete Mate and I had a dip in the pool. It was very c-c-c-c-cold so it was a very short dip! Then it was time for H.H.

Wednesday 21st June 06
I didn’t go for a walk in the morning as my foot was hurting again. Later that morning we went to do some shopping but once in the car Pete Mate wanted to divert to get some kind of polish for the caravan. This diversion meant going completely the opposite way and driving around and around the wharf area looking for this place. Eventually we found it (without going over the Gateway Bridge!). Once that transaction was complete we headed into the centre of Cairns to . . . yes, you’ve guessed, Gloria Jean’s. After we were refreshed, we went to do the grocery shopping, fill up with diesel, and then head home. Not long to go before H.H.

Thursday 22nd June 06
We were booked on a tour of the tablelands today. A bus was picking us up from the office at 8:00 a.m. for a full day out. It was a really excellent day. Our first stop was Paronella Park. It was built by a Spaniard in the early 1900’s as a place of entertainment. He had long dreamt of building a castle in Australia and he achieved it. In its heyday it would have been spectacular but it is in ruins now. It was very interesting and our guide told us the history of the place as we walked around it. We then saw lots of the beautiful countryside, waterfalls, rivers and wildlife. We had lunch by some magnificent water falls. Our tour guide, Rolly, was a mine of information. He talked for most of the time he was driving and told us so much. In the afternoon we were admiring a giant fig tree that had grown like a curtain when a wildlife expert came by and asked us if we'd like to see a Green Ringtailed Possum, which is quite rare. Did we ever! He set up this really powerful spyglass and let us all look. It was the highlight of the trip. From there we went to a lake where we had a 45 minute cruise around looking at turtles, eels and snakes. Once back on dry land we were fed again, this time Devonshire Teas. Scrumptious. Those scales are going to groan in the morning. After a short walk to view some very old trees we made our way back on to the bus for the return journey. Once home, tired but happy, we had a short H.H. before retiring for the night.

Friday 23rd June 06
Lay day today.

Saturday 24th June 06
When Pete Mate and I got on the scales this morning the screams could be heard on the Gateway Bridge! We quickly got dressed and set a good pace walking up the hillside chanting ‘burn that fat’. Once back it was a quick breakfast and shower to get ready for our day out with Jan and Ross. Our first stop was Trinity Beach where we had a walk along the beachfront. It was nice apart from being very windy. Next on the itinerary was Palm Cove. Heaps of building going on here, mainly apartments. We had a look around and then went for a cup of coffee. Then it was on to Port Douglas. We had a good look around and went up to the lookout before retiring to a suitable place for lunch and a drink. After lunch we had a walk around and then went to the beachfront for a look. Plenty of people on the beach including a topless lady. Once back in the car we set off for our final destination of the day, Yorkeys Knob. Yes folks, that is the name of the suburb. We have been to the Yacht Club there a few times and it is very pleasant to sit and have a drink and watch the boating fraternity do their thing. We then proceeded home for HH, very tired but happy having had a very nice day out.

Sunday 25th June 06
We had a lay day today. Went for our usual morning walk up the hill - that certainly gets the heart pumping. In the evening the caravan park owners, Dwayne and Sue, put on a pizza night with entertainment. We all paid $5 each and ate as much as we wanted. It was a very good night until I drank a 'bad' glass of wine and had to come home. Naughty wine.

Monday 26th June 06
It absolutely poured down during the night and we thought our walk would be cancelled but just before 8.00 a.m. it stopped raining and the sun shone. A round of dentists, doctors and X-rays today. Thank God for Gloria Jean’s to revive us. Before going to GJ’s I had purchased some new knickers, then . . . I left them in the coffee shop.

Tuesday 27th June 06
No walk this morning as we had to be off early on the medical rounds again. Pete Mate had to have a blood test and I had to have some more X-rays. We then decided a visit to Gloria Jean’s was in order and, yes, my knickers had been handed in! Once home again I did some major washing, everything in sight. Then we had our walk before H.H.

Wednesday 28th June 06
It seemed to have rained all night and when we awoke there was water everywhere. The rain was too heavy for us to do our usual walk. We went for morning tea over at the camp kitchen. Pete Mate didn’t go as it was scones with jam and cream and he knew he would eat too much. It was one of those days where curling up with a good book was the order of the day. So that’s what I did. In the afternoon we went shopping as we have to eat. Then it was home for H.H.

Thursday 29th June 06
Rain again today but we braved it for a walk. Apart from that we didn’t do much.

Friday 30th June 06
Rain again today - this is beginning to get boring. It didn’t really matter too much to me in the morning as I found myself sitting yet again in the dentist’s chair, this time for two teeth out, which believe me was not a pleasant experience. I felt a little unwell when we got home but by lunchtime was ‘over it’. So in the afternoon we decided to have a look at Barron Falls. After all the rain we expected them to be overflowing, but we were disappointed. We then had a quick look around Kuranda and enjoyed an ice cream. Kuranda was shutting up shop for the day and it was only 3.00pm! We are going back there when we go on the train and skyrail. Home again for H.H.

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