Sunday 1st October 06
Lay day, Pete Mate and I seem to have picked up some flu bug.
In the evening we watched the NRL Final and Brisbane won. It wasn't as
exciting as the Eagles match as Brisbane seemed to have the match sewn
up very early on.
Monday 2nd October 06
We both still felt under the weather but decided a change of scenery would
do us good so we set forth and visited the local garbage tip. Well, actually
two tips as the first one wasn't the right one. I have previously mentioned
that we were running short of new places to visit. Truth is, we had the
engine oil to dispose of after Pete Mate changed the oil in Billy. Once
that was out of the way and Alice had been updated with the correct tip
location we went to Bunnings and then Earlville shopping centre. Pete
Mate needed some more tools and we needed new sheets for the caravan.
The tools Pete Mate needed he already has at home but that's a long way
to go and collect them, so we had to buy more. A bit annoying but necessary.
Anyone reading this, who is contemplating the nomadic life, do not
buy white sheets. The caravan park washing machines are adequate but your
whites never stay white, and of course you cannot soak them as you would
at home. I tried using buckets but sheets are a little big for that. Anyway
we now have beige sheets and I hope they last longer than two years. Once
home, Pete Mate attempted again to change the car's oil filter, the tool
he had bought broke so off he went to the auto shop for a stronger one.
This time it worked and we now have the old filter and some more oil to
take to the tip. Another big outing for us!
Tuesday 3rd October 06
We have befriended a little boy who is staying here with his dad. His
parents recently separated and the poor little chap has been very unhappy.
We'd see him trotting around behind his tall father, for all the world
like Bryan Brown's daughter in the movie, The Shiralee. Most
of us would say hello to him but he acted as if we were not there. A week
ago his mum arrived to spend time with him and the change in that little
boy was amazing. He is now full of life and very chatty. Today is his
fourth birthday and Pete Mate and I bought him a present. We took it over
and he had just been given a Buzz doll that did all sorts of things and
made all sorts of sounds. He was one happy chappy. He told me he is a
'cool dude'. Both his parents are so nice and seemed to get on so well,
it's an awful shame they can't make a go of it.
I had to go back to the surgeon today for a check up. Pete Mate decided
to drop off the filter and oil at the tip on the way. Alice decided she
would have a sight seeing day and took us all over the world. In the end
we had to crank up our brains and work out the route for ourselves. Bloody
Alice!!! Hence we arrived at my appointment ten minutes late but the surgeon
still kept us waiting for over an hour. Thank goodness we had taken our
books. Once I had received the okay (apart from not being allowed to blow
my nose or sneeze for another week) we went to Cairns Central to sort
out some medical bills at Medicare. The woman there was obviously having
a bad day, or maybe she is always that grumpy. Next stop was Spotlight
then on home so that Pete Mate can look underneath Billy again. We then
joined the little birthday boy, his parents and a family friend for Happy
Hour. After an hour I came home but Pete Mate stayed as he was having
a good time talking about motor bikes and car engines.
Wednesday 4th October 06
We went into Cairns to see the Al Gore movie, An Inconvenient Truth.
It made quite an impact; we came away thinking about what we, as individuals,
Thursday 5th October 2006
Lay day. Some cleaning, shopping and a general get-ready day. Peter finished
washing the caravan.
Friday 6th October 2006
A busy day today. We had a few errands to do including our last visit
to the markets. Next to the markets is a pub called Shenanigans.
It is a very old pub and we have passed it a few times and thought it
was worth a visit. The Caesar salad was good, though not the best we have
tasted. The place was very noisy as it is a backpackers pub. Once home
we did a few more chores and then it was Happy Hour.
Saturday 7th October 2006
Get-ready day to day. We were busy all day getting things ready to move.
We had Happy Hour and a barbecue with Helene, Greg Andrew and Logan. Andrew's
father arrived in the evening and joined us. It was a very good evening
but Pete Mate and I drank too much red wine and ate far too much as well.
Sunday 8th October 2006
We left Cool Waters around 10.00 a.m. having said goodbye to our new friends.
Little Logan gave us each a goodbye hug and then we set off. It was a
very uneventful journey and we arrived at Mission Beach in plenty of time.
We set up, had a rest, and then went for a walk. We found a nice little
bar to enjoy Happy Hour.
Monday 9th October 2006
We had a marvellous day out at Tully Gorge. The weather was perfect and
the scenery spectacular. We even went on dirt tracks. One of these led
down to the river to a really nice spot so we thought we might as well
have our picnic lunch there. We had just settled down when enormous march
flies descended upon us. Pete Mate said they were as big as vultures but
that is just plain exaggerating - they were only as big as my fist. Anyway,
we decided to eat our lunch in the car. We walked down to the river in
a couple more places but each time were beaten back by these damn flies.
We saw some people doing the white water rafting which looked like fun
if you like water. We arrived home in time for Happy Hour so parked Billy
and walked over to the bar. We were enjoying a glass or two when we heard
a voice say, "Fancy meeting you two here". Troy and Renae from
Cool Waters were staying overnight at Mission Beach. We enjoyed a very
pleasant evening eating, drinking and catching up with their news. They
had just got back from Cape York and were now travelling south to Airlie
Tuesday 10th October 2006
Lay day today, it is raining. In the afternoon we went for a walk along
the beach and then we found a path. On the way back we saw skydivers landing
on the beach. It looked like fun and over Happy Hour we discussed whether
we should do it or not. Maybe one day, was the conclusion.
Wednesday 11th October 2006
We didn't do very much today as the weather was not the best. I walked
up to the shops and got soaked for my trouble. Where was my raincoat?
Yep, in the caravan keeping nice and dry. Late afternoon we decided to
go for a walk and then end up at the bar for Happy Hour. We hadn't got
very far when it started to rain so what can one do in these circumstances
- b????r the walk and head for the bar.
Thursday 12th October 2006
We awoke to rain again but decided whatever the weather was doing, we
would go out. We drove over to have a good look at Innisfail; previously
we had just passed through it. Innisfail really doesn't have much to offer,
it is very pretty near the water but apart from that it is just another
town. We enjoyed a nice lunch at the RSL club and departed to check out
a winery. I know what you are thinking, here they go again, but all I
really wanted to do was check out why it had the name of Murdering Point.
I didn't like the wine so we didn't buy any but I got the run down on
the name. In the 1800's four white men landed on the beach and were murdered
and buried - hence the name. The winery is on Murdering Point Road so
took its unusual name from it. After that we headed home for Happy Hour.
Friday 13th October 2006
day started pretty much the same as the previous few days, pouring with
rain. I went to the public phone box and phoned my sister, Angie, for
a chat. I then decided that as the weather doesn't look like improving
I might as well get all the washing done and dry it in the dryers.
Our neighbours decided to move on but got stuck against a tree so a couple
of men came to help whilst we women watched and derided the male hand
signals. It is well known in caravan parks that men always criticise the
women's hand signals but here were two men doing the exact same hand signals.
I know this as their wives were alongside me saying, "Look at that, that's
what I do and he has a go at me". For those wondering where Pete Mate
was, he was at the back of the caravan hoping to stop the man hitting
the tree again. So far just a normal day in paradise. Then it all changed.
I was talking to NP on the phone when Pete Mate jumped up and said he
could hear a plane, and declared it must be the parachutists.
NP asked, "What is Dad saying?"
"He is going to the beach," I replied
NP said "I had better let you go then."
I replied, "No, Dad said he was going to the beach, I'm not going."
Anyway, phone call finished, I had started to get the lunch ready when
Pete Mate rushed back, telling me to leave it because we were going skydiving.
Okay I said, calm as anything. We hurried over to the beach where the
bus was waiting to take us to the airport. We arrived at Tully Airport
in what seemed like no time as the 'skydivers' were a jolly crowd and
kept us amused with stories of their first jumps. Once there, they explained
what we should expect and how we were to do the tandem jump, then it was
on with the equipment and off to the plane. The flight to 14,000 feet
was really good as we saw all the scenery including Dunk Island. The skydivers
kept up the banter, I think to makes us feel more relaxed. I felt quite
calm at this point; I was much more scared when I had to get on a camel
in Denham! Funny how strange thoughts pop into your head at times like
this - I kept thinking that I hadn't shaved my legs that morning. Sometimes
I think I am loopy. Then the most frightening moment of my life came.
All the others had jumped and Glenn, my skydiver, shuffled me
over until I was sitting in the plane doorway with my feet dangling in
space. Suddenly, 'Oh, My God', we sort of fell forward out of
the plane into nothing. The freefall was exhilarating but cold and the
wind was fierce. I was glad when Glenn opened the parachute. Immediately
it was calm; utterly amazing. You just felt like you were floating on
clouds. Glenn pointed out places of interest and believe me, seeing Dunk
Island from a parachute beats catching a ferry and walking on it. Then
we gently landed on the beach and it was all over.
In less than two hours I had been in a minibus, flown in a light aircraft,
and jumped out it 14,000 feet up. And now, here I was back in the caravan
making lunch. No wonder I felt in a daze for the rest of the day. Did
I, or did I not, enjoy Happy Hour today!
Saturday 14th October 2006
Get ready day today for tomorrow we are off to Townsville. Yesterday's
excitement has definitely turned Pete Mate's head. He was about to leave
the caravan and spied a camper trailer all set up. He suggested that is
what we should have. The man is mad; I would rather jump out of a plane
than go 'camping'. We walked up to our favourite bar for Happy Hour then
enjoyed a Chinese meal on the way home.
Sunday 15th October 2006
We set off for Townsville in without any hitches. (Except
the one connecting the car to the caravan. Ed.) We arrived just
about lunchtime, set up camp, had lunch and then relaxed for the rest
of the day.
Monday 16th October 2006
We went shopping, collected the mail and had a look around the centre
Tuesday 17th October 2006
Last night I broke my glasses, so this morning we had to find an optometrist.
Once that was done, we headed for The Strand to have a look around. The
weather wasn't the best and we both felt a bit grotty; the chicken salad
we had yesterday seems to have upset our stomachs. We went home, had a
sleep and did some reading.
Wednesday 18th October 2006
packed a picnic lunch and set off for Ayr. We hadn't been there before
and thought we would check it out. The weather wasn't too bad, we had
rain on the way but when we got there it was nice and sunny. The scenery
on the way there was lovely, very steep cliffs and green hills. Ayr itself
was not very interesting but we found a park for our picnic and then decided
to go a little further to the next town of Home Hill. To get there you
had to cross a huge bridge which is called the Silver Link. I took the
picture (left) through the windscreen. It is quite impressive and is supposed
to be longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Once over it and into Home
Hill we were pleasantly surprised, the town was small but a lovely little
town. It had the best 'comfort stop' we have ever seen. Toilets, showers,
a barbecue area, seats, and music playing. It also had a dancing water
fountain which, to me, seemed to be working in time to the music. After
watching it for a while we decided my imagination had run away with itself
yet again. We crossed the road to a coffee shop which served one of the
best coffees we have had in a while. Yes, I would say it even beat Gloria
Jean's. The curb was about a foot deep and I misjudged it when I stepped
off and jarred my back so we decided, after coffee of course, to go back
to the car and make the return journey home. Pete Mate wanted a photo
of the bridge so on the way back he left the road and we travelled through
cane fields and ended up parked on the river bed. All this, then when
he looked at the photos at home he deleted them all as they were 'no good'.
Thursday 19th October 2006
I collected my glasses, we did some shopping and then in the evening went
over to Gary and Jenni's for dinner. Jenni was away in Newcastle at a
conference. Gary cooked dinner for us and very nice it was too. We had
a very pleasant evening and it was really good to catch up with Gary again.
Friday 20th October 2006
We had a bit of a lazy day today, apart from going into town to collect
the mail we didn't do very much.
Saturday 21st October 2006
In the morning we packed everything away getting ready for our departure
tomorrow. In the afternoon we went to a country music festival. Our first
shock of the day was the $15.00 per head entry fee. Usually these amateur
concerts are free. The programmes were extra and the drinks were top dollar.
Fine, we thought, if the music is good. It wasn't. There were some very
good artistes and some very poor the others were mediocre. All of the
acts were winners of their particular category in concerts previously
held. Both Pete Mate and I were in agreement that the losers must have
been b????y awful. Thank goodness we had to meet Jenni and Gary for dinner
other wise we would have felt duty bound to stay to the end, just to get
our money's worth. We had a lovely evening with Jenni and Gary at an Italian
restaurant they like.
Sunday 22nd October 2006
We left Townsville around 10.00am and headed for our first stop at Home
Hill. We had a very short break there as the coffee shop we liked was
closed. Onwards we trekked towards Airlie Beach. We had one more stop
on the way for lunch and arrived at Airlie around 3.00pm. We set up camp
and then relaxed. The caravan park is really nice, clean and airy amenities.
We are surrounded by hills and greenery and it is quiet - no trucks, cars,
trains or planes to disturb the peace. The down side is we don't have
internet coverage. Ah well, we can't have everything.
Monday 23rd October 2006
We had a drive around the place, going up to Shute Harbour and back. We
then went into the town of Airlie which is about 2.5kms from the caravan
park. We liked the area, the scenery is out of this world, but the place
is full of tourists and the people are not as friendly as we have been
used to. The guy in the information centre must have been very busy with
something important as when we interrupted him as he was less than interested
in helping us. We had a wander and some lunch then decided to look at
the town of Proserpine and area of Cannonvale. Both nice little places
but that is about it. The lady in the information centre at Proserpine
was very helpful and friendly. We did some shopping and headed home and
walked up to the local pub for Happy Hour.
Tuesday 24th October 2006
Lay day today. I didn't feel the best so we relaxed at home.
Wednesday 25th October 2006
We went into Airlie to complete a couple of chores then we walked the
'Beach Walk'. Strictly speaking you don't actually walk on the beach,
it is a path that starts at Airlie and finishes at Cannonvale. We walked
for a while and then found ourselves walking alongside the road with all
the traffic so we turned back to Airlie and found a nice shady spot to
have our picnic lunch. One part of the path did give beautiful views of
Airlie and the islands. Whilst walking we were amused to see a lot of
young people hurrying along the path hauling copious amounts of alcohol.
All was revealed when we arrived at Able Point jetty as they were all
waiting to board boats to go over to one of the islands. In the afternoon
we walked around Airlie then had the customary refreshment at the backpackers
bar. Yes, there are other bars in Airlie but Pete Mate fancied
this one, I wonder why? Which reminds me, Airlie is full of 'beautiful'
young people in bathers; some are only just wearing bathers!
Thursday 26th October 2006
We packed a picnic lunch and headed off in the direction of Dingo Beach.
According to the tourist book it was well worth a visit. Well, we found
Supacheap Autos where Pete Mate made some purchases, then we found Bowen.
We will have to 'look' for Dingo Beach some other time. We were very glad
we went to Bowen as it is a lovely town. Beautiful beaches, a nice country
town with very friendly people. The information centre in Bowen is one
of the best, Jane who attended to us was excellent, not only for the Bowen
area but she helped us with Mackay (our next port of call) giving lots
of information. We had our lunch at Flagstaff Hill which is a lookout
and the views from there are spectacular. The beach at Horseshoe Bay was
also lovely. We then wandered around town looking at the murals that depicted
the history of Bowen, they were very good indeed. We called in at a very
nice hostelry for refreshments, finished our town walk and then headed
Friday 27th October 2006
We went back to Shute Harbour for another look. This time we drove up
the winding roads to look at the views. They were spectacular. We found
a little café at the top where we had lunch and were entertained by a
very mature and precocious four year old. Monique insisted that we gave
her our phone number and she gave her hers, just in case we felt like
ringing her up for a chat. Once we left there we had a walk down a couple
of the streets to see if we could see the views. What we saw were houses
with million dollar views. We left there and went into Cannonvale to do
the shopping before heading home.
Saturday 28th October 2006
Lay day, getting ready to leave tomorrow.
Sunday 29th October 2006
We set off around 9.30am to travel a short distance to Marion which is
just outside the Eungella National Park. On the way there we could not
believe our eyes. Four young men wearing hats and shoes and nothing
else jumped out of a mini bus and started running alongside the Bruce
Highway. We roared with laughter as we passed by them. The things you
see on the highways and byways of Australia! We arrived at Marion and
set up camp fairly quickly so after lunch we went to explore the Eungella
National Park. It is very beautiful and we could see why people had recommended
we visit here. We found a unique little coffee shop which Pete Mate has
covered on the net. Susanne was very friendly and allowed us to look around
her garden even though it was closed. Amazing place but the worst coffee
I have ever tasted.
Now ladies, if you are wondering what to
do with all those old shoes and handbags, here are
a couple of ideas. (The row of sneakers
in the left picture is a bit hard to see.)
I loved this peacock.
We then travelled back towards home and found nice little pub with friendly
people and nice red wine.
Monday 30th October 2006
More exploring to be done today. First we checked out Cape Hillsborough
which again had been recommended to us by a couple of people. In fact,
it is our good friend Ross's favourite place. We can see why, it is lovely
so we decided to move the caravan over there for a week. Now, their coffee
shop makes nice coffee. We then went into MacKay which is just another
town, nothing spectacular. They have kept and restored some of the old
buildings, which is always good to see. The old Town Hall is now the information
centre and that is where we headed first. Once we had the information
we wanted we then had to find a 'Ladies'. Now I thought the 'comfort stop'
at Homehill was pretty swish but MacKay beats that. Ladies, to get to
the loos you first walk through a lounge area where, if weary, you can
rest a while. It even had a fridge but I wasn't sure what that was for.
Men could also use the rest room if they had children, as it was also
a parent room for feeding and changing babies. We had lunch (not in the
toilets) and filled up with fuel then headed home. Later we again found
ourselves in our friendly little pub. When we first arrived they weren't
so friendly. Pete Mate, what did you do last night! Anyway after the first
ten or fifteen minutes the locals started chatting and they were as friendly
as the previous night. We enjoyed copious amounts of red wine and their
home-made pies would have to be the best pies I have ever tasted. (Apart
from Jim Leah's red wine and beef pie when he had the café in Kelmscott).
We enjoyed a very pleasant evening.
Tuesday 31st October 2006
We awoke around 5.00am to rain pouring down on the caravan roof. As we
didn't have the awning out, our chairs and 'stuff' were getting wet so
we had to dash out. Sorry, I had to dash out and pass all our
gear to Pete Mate. A nice way to start the day. We waited until lunchtime
to see what the weather was going to do. We then decided to skip the walk
we had planned on doing, that wasn't a hard decision as we are becoming
very lazy, and drive to Broken River to see the elusive Platypus. On the
way there we called in again at Susanne's coffee shop but this time I
had tea. I won't mention the huge slice of carrot cake we both ate. Later
we found ourselves on the bank of the creek quietly waiting for a sighting
of a platypus and we weren't disappointed. They are very quick and can
disappear again before you catch a good look. I used the binoculars at
first but found as soon as I 'zoomed' in on them all I could see were
ripples on the surface, so I gave up on them. It was quite thrilling seeing
a platypus for the first time, they are much smaller than we imagined
but beautiful little creatures. We had been there for about two hours
when the peace was shattered by some hoon on a motor bike. He was riding
to and fro past where we all were, making as much noise as he could. It
was obvious we would not get to see any more platypuses as they are very
shy creatures. So what else to do but wend our way home via the nice friendly
pub for some more red wine and one of their famous Pinnacle pies.