Pam's Journal for September 2006

Friday 1st September 06
Devonshire Tea was provided in the camp kitchen this morning so, first thing, Pete Mate and I walked six hills so we could indulge. After morning tea we headed off into Cairns to the markets. It was our intention to have a Caesar salad at our favourite place but we weren’t hungry after morning tea so we did the veggie shopping plus a couple more errands before returning home.

Saturday 2nd September 06
We did our six hills again in the morning. After lunch we went into Cairns to the Telstra Country Music Road to Fame concert. It was actually a final heat of all the north Queensland contestants. The prize was $1,000 plus a place in the Grand Final in Tamworth. It was a very good concert and we enjoyed it very much, it got us all fired up for Tamworth in January 07.

Sunday 3rd September 06
We awoke to pouring rain. Well, to be precise, the rain kept me awake for most of the night. We skipped our morning walk, had breakfast and headed into Cairns once again. We wanted to see 'Carnival on Collins Avenue'. This turned out to be more of a market day with lots of stalls that we had seen before. There was some street theatre and a brass band playing somewhere in the park. From there we went to the marina in Cairns to view the replica of the Dutch ship, the Duyfken. We decide to have lunch first and managed to time it to coincide with a torrential downpour. Once the rain had ceased we walked down the marina looking for a wooden ship. We walked and walked and then asked someone. We had gone the wrong way and we couldn't even blame Alice. Eventually we found it and had a look on board; it was quite interesting, more so to Pete Mate who immediately disappeared below deck to check out the engines. Were engines invented in 1606???? We enjoyed a good day and managed to escape getting wet or even taking our raincoats out of their pouches - they are such buggers to put back again. I nearly forgot, after we had lunch we walked through the Pier Mall looking for a toilet and saw an artist at work. Well, he said he was an artist, a very strange chap that attached himself to a harness and swung backwards and forwards from the ceiling, splodging paint here and there on the canvas . . .

Is this art?

Monday 4th September 06
Lay day. Nic rang from Perth to tell us Steve Irwin was dead. I didn't believe him at first. It is so sad as he was such a great Australian. Pete Mate and I never realised how much there was to Steve Irwin until we visited his zoo. We learnt so much about wildlife, the environment and of course the man himself. He had so much energy one would have to wonder if he knew his life was going to be short as he crammed so much into it. Pete Mate and I feel, as I am sure many others do, that we have lost a friend. That is the impact he had on you. A sad day, indeed.

Tuesday 5th September 06
The whole of Queensland, if indeed not the whole world, is in mourning for Steve Irwin. Pete Mate reckons it is similar to when Princess Diana died. We went out to the Copperlode Dam for afternoon tea. We had a walk around and saw that the water is still flowing over the spillway. It is such a lovely spot up there.

Wednesday 6th September 06
Lay day. Pete Mate went off in the afternoon to look at the Duyfken again. I decided to stay home and write letters and emails.

Thursday 7th September 06
Lay day. In the afternoon we went to see if the Baron Falls Power House visitor centre had opened. On the way there we saw a sign telling us it was still closed so we diverted to Lake Placid. We fed the ducks, saw the train cross the flimsy bridge at the top of the mountain again and then enjoyed a drink whilst looking at the million dollar view of Lake Placid. Actually, the water in the lake was murky due to heavy rainfall on the tablelands a few days ago.

Friday 8th September 06

Market day today. We went for our favourite Caesar Salad before going to the markets for our fruit and veg. Apart from that we didn't do much at all.

Saturday 9th September 06
Lay day. We went to do some shopping at Earlville. Pete Mate took his glasses back as he is having problems getting used to them. The optometrist changed them to fit a little differently on Pete Mate's face and so far they have been better.

Sunday 10th September 06
Lay day.

Monday 11th September 06
It was another beautiful sunny day so we decided to pack a picnic and go back to The Crater and Dinner Falls. Last time we went there it was raining. It is really quite a spectacular little area of the tablelands. After we left there we went to Ravenshoe. In the tourist brochures Ravenshoe's claim to fame is that it is the highest town in Queensland. It might well be, as when we stopped to look at the Windy Hill Wind Farm it was freezing cold. The wind farm looked quite impressive as you drove towards it, like giants doing aerobics. Pete Mate was enthralled by it. But the day got even better for him! When we arrived in the centre of town we went to look at a steam train and there, close by, they were loading some wind turbine blades on to a truck. So Pete Mate went over to investigate . . .

Pete Mate imparting his wealth of knowledge.

The steam train isn't running at the moment, we didn't find out why. The town council were allowing caravans to park there. It was quite a funny place. You had the old railway station which is now private property, the steam engine plus carriages dotted around the place in various states of disarray, caravans parked amongst all this, then in the middle of it all a huge truck and crane loading the wind turbine blades. We did like Ravenshoe, it is a lovely little town. It was now getting quite late and it was and hour and a half drive so we made tracks home.

Tuesday 12th September 06
Lay day. In the morning, Pete Mate took Billy to have his compass repaired. In the evening we had a very pleasant happy hour with Helene, Greg, Renee and Troy.

Wednesday 13th September 06
Morning tea of scones jam and cream, the scales will groan in the morning. In the afternoon we went into Cairns to do some shopping. Apart from that we didn't do much. It was a very windy day and we had rain overnight. The weather these last few days doesn't appear to be as hot as it was last year, it is indeed very pleasant.

Thursday 14th September 06

Lay day. It poured with rained for most of the day.

Friday 15th September 06
We went into Cairns for lunch at our favourite café and to do our fruit and veg shopping at the markets. We decided, on the way home, to make a shopping day of it and did the supermarket shopping also. Sometimes the excitement is overwhelming. At least the rain looks like it is clearing.

Saturday 16th September 06
Went to last day of Cairns Carnival, the same old market stalls were there plus some food ones. The entertainment was good; there are some really talented young people in Cairns. We went to watch the famous duck race as we had a duck racing, but alas ours did not win. Pete Mate sort of bought me a rose. A nice young lady was selling them but even so he balked at paying $10 for one rose. So I gave a donation as it was for charity and she gave me a rose anyway. So now I have to pay for my own romance. We were going to stay for the parade but we hadn't taken jackets and we were pretty cold, yes folks, it dos get cold in Cairns but not usually at this time of the year. Anyway we called it a day and returned home.

Sunday 17th September 06
We went to visit a garden that had been opened to the public to raise money for the children's ward at Cairns Base Hospital. It was really beautiful; the couple that own it must spend hours and hours working in it.

Monday 18th September 06
Pete Mate went to the eye specialist; he has some cysts in his eyes but nothing to worry about. Apart from that we didn't do much at all. We had a very pleasant happy hour with Helene (next door), Andrew and his little son, Logan (two 'vans up) and Renée and Troy (the tent the other side of Andrew's 'van). It was Renée and Troy's last night before they headed off to Cape York.

Tuesday 19th September 06
Lay day.

Wednesday 20th September 06
Went to the shops then had a drive out to Machan's Beach. Had a drink and came home. Had Happy Hour with Andrew and Logan.

Thursday 21st September 06

I went to the Periodontist today for the first of my treatments for the gum disease. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Now I have to go and see a dental surgeon to have a growth removed. I think we will be in Cairns forever. We had a pleasant Happy Hour with Helene.

Friday 22nd September 2006
Market day today so we headed off into Cairns to do some shopping plus pick up our fruit, veg and yoghurt from Rusty's. We didn't have Caesar Salad today as we are eating dinner out tonight. We had dinner at Cazaly's and then watched a show. The Wolverines are described as a country rock group. They were excellent. Very friendly guys, they met us at the door then chatted to people during the break and then at the end of the show said goodbye to everyone at the door. It was a really good night.

Saturday 23rd September 2006
Not much happening today. We went to look at the new revamped Smithfield Shopping Centre but weren't impressed. We thought Woolworths was so poor we put the shopping back, jumped in the car, and did our shopping at Redlynch.

Sunday 24th September 2006
Lay day today. I have hired a sewing machine for a week, so I spent most of the day sewing.

Monday 25th September 2006
Pete Mate cleaned the outside of the van this morning. We went to visit the dental surgeon in the afternoon and it was pizza night in the camp kitchen. No entertainment though, just eat as much pizza as you want.

Tuesday 26th September 2006
I went for my last treatment for the gum disease today. It wasn't as bad as the last time. We then went for a Gloria Jean's for coffee, as you do. Our next task was to sort out our Medicare card which we have just renewed but have received the wrong one. Yes, it is as confusing as that! You would not believe the difficulties there are for the simplest things when one is travelling. Sometime in the last few days in a waiting room somewhere in Cairns I was reading a caravan magazine. These people from Queensland are travelling around Australia but every time they need to renew the registration for their car or caravan they have to return to Queensland as the State Government will not accept a vehicle inspection from any other state. Is time that the Federal Government made things such as registrations and driving licences national. Right, I'll get off the soap box now.

Wednesday 27th September 2006
I went for a hair cut in the morning and did some shopping. In the afternoon we went for our final visit to Dr Dot. Our respective cholesterol checks were good and we seem to be in good health. I think she wanted to finish early as we felt like we had been hit by a whirl wind when we left.

Thursday 28th September 2006
I had to be at the day hospital for 12.15pm for this operation on my mouth to remove a tooth from the bone near my nasal passage. They did the operation at 1.30pm and we left there around 4.45pm. I felt very groggy but hungry as I hadn't had anything to eat since last night. Once home, Pete Mate heated some soup for me, which I ate and then promptly fell asleep. The anaesthetic always affects me like that. At least this time I didn't have a bout of vomiting.

Friday 29th September 2006
Lay day. I spent the day recovering from the operation and eating soup and mashed potatoes. I expected a huge weight loss this morning after yesterday but found I had put a heap on. The conclusion is anaesthetic is very fattening! I have managed without the pain killers so far, I will not be taking the strong ones anyway. The side effects are vomiting and they make you feel loopy. I can vomit quite easily without any outside help and I am loopy enough. Later in the day I began to feel a lot better and went for a short walk.

Saturday 30th September 2006

I was awake early so went to do the washing and a half hour walk. I am feeling much better today. In the afternoon we watched West Coast beat Sydney. Was there ever any doubt?

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