Time to hit the road ~ October 2014

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein

Wednesday 1st October 2014

We went for our annual blood tests before heading to the café for a late breakfast. We then spent the rest of the day in Rocky, shopping. It was a long, tiring day. Pete Mate dropped me off at Robyn and Ray’s for me to say goodbye as they are off on a big trip tomorrow with their caravan. Once home I had a lie down instead of going to happy hour.

Thursday 2nd October 2014

I awoke feeling refreshed and - more importantly - without pain. After yesterday's marathon walking session I thought I would be in some pain but, no, none at all. I drove the car for the first time in over twelve months and managed very well.

Pam driving Billy
I'm waiting for the day she washes it!
It was card making this morning and I enjoyed it very much. I then met Pete Mate for lunch before doing the supermarket shopping and heading home for a rest.

Friday 3rd October 2014

I enjoyed a lovely morning tea with the ladies from the Tai Chi group to which I belong. I haven’t been able to do it this year and have missed these lovely people. We had our annual conference call with our financial advisor and all is good there. Pete Mate was very busy cleaning and packing things away ready for our move. In the evening we went to the Bowls Club for tea and bumped into Adele, whom I know from Mah Jong, and her friend, John. We shared a table and it was interesting to talk to new people, especially as Adele had lived all her life in this area and knows the history well.

Saturday 4th October 2014

We are now getting into the cleaning and packing away mode. I enjoyed morning tea with Sue and Diane, it was very pleasant indeed. Later I went on Skype with my brother and sisters and had never laughed so much in ages. All at my brother’s expense, I might add.

Sunday 5th October 2014

A few more jobs were done but overall it was a nice relaxing day. Happy Hour is very small in numbers now but we did meet a lovely American couple from Colorado.

Monday 6th October 2014

We did a few chores in the morning ready for Sunday. I did some book work for the park and then in the afternoon we walked into the village for afternoon tea. It is the first time I have walked that far and felt very pleased with myself by the time I got home.

We met Loye and her husband Merv for afternoon tea. We first met Loye and her sister, Avonil, on the cargo boat from Cairns to Cape York. We had no idea she was now living in Emu Park until I met her at Mah Jong. Since then we have seen them around the village a few times. We enjoyed a lovely time with two very nice people.

Pete Mate and I went to Happy Hour, but as it was just the two of us we gave up in the end and went home to the comfort of the caravan.

Tuesday 7th October 2014

Pete Mate did some more cleaning and packing away as did I. In the afternoon I went for a hair cut and colour and I have to say I am very pleased with the result.


Later I went to happy hour; not many of us again.

Wednesday 8th October 2014

We both had to visit the doctor to get our blood test results. All is well. We had our last cuppa in the café for this year and received a lovely hug and good bye from Kylie. We then returned home to do the various things on our ‘to do’ lists.

Thursday 9th October 2014

I went to card making in the morning. After lunch I went for my last visit to the physio. That went well and he is pleased with my progress. We then went into Yeppoon to do a few things before doing a big supermarket shop to keep us fed whilst on the road. By the time we got home I was absolutely exhausted so I did the bare minimum before I poured a drink and put my feet up.

Friday 10th October 2014

It was a busy day for both of us doing chores ready for the move. Then I helped Sue with the accounts whilst Pete Mate sorted out a television problem in one of the cabins. He also had our television in pieces; it did not go well and we may have to buy a new one. Happy hour was pleasant and a few more people attended.

Saturday 11th October 2014

Another busy day for both of us but we are finally packed and ready for ‘D Day’. In the evening we had dinner at the Kinka Kippa with a few friends who live in Emu Park. It was a lovely evening with lovely people.

Sunday 12th October 2014

We were all ready to leave about 9.30am which is a pretty good time for us. We enjoyed a really good run through to Banana where we spent the night. The caravan park here has not improved beyond the basic but was pretty busy. Our usual routine of eating in the pub was cancelled as we ate out last night.

Monday 13th October 2014

Once again we enjoyed a good trip and arrived at Possum Park in time for lunch and a huge thunder storm. As we had booked an en suite site we didn’t have to go far in the rain when the need arose. Pete Mate’s face lit up when he saw the plane that is being renovated for accommodation. Last time we were here it hadn’t been painted and I have to agree it is looking really good.

Not many people have a view like this from their kitchen window.
Some people braved happy hour in this inclement weather but we didn’t, opting for our own quiet one in the caravan.

Tuesday 14th October 2014

We awoke to a beautiful sunny day with the birds chirping in the trees. No other sound, not a car, a bat or the ocean. Peace, perfect peace. I had a walk around in the morning taking photos with my big Canon and was very happy with the results. The park has lots of little nooks where Julie has planted shrubs in, or placed a pond as my photos will show you.

Flowers After having hot sticky weather in Emu Park it is nice to relax in the cooler weather here. We went to happy hour which was very pleasant; it is always nice to meet new people. John lit a fire to keep us all warm as the temperature had dropped considerably.

Wednesday 15th October 2014

We enjoyed a good run through to Mundubbera. On arrival we were met by very friendly and helpful staff. The caravan park is very nice and well maintained. We shall explore the area tomorrow.

Thursday 16th October 2014

We drove into Mundubbera for a look around, it was a nice friendly country town. We visited the art gallery and enjoyed seeing so many lovely paintings. We particularly liked one painting very much and would have bought it if we didn’t live in a caravan. We took the tourist drive into Gayndah. Thank goodness we didn’t have the caravan on the back as the road was very rough in parts. We turned off to climb high to McConnell Lookout. The road once again was not the best but we persevered because we went back to our way of thinking in that ‘we started so we will finish’ and ‘it is a road so it has to lead somewhere’. Eventually we did get to the top and it was worth it, the views were wonderful. We took our photos and then had our lunch sitting on top of the world. We then drove into the town of Gayndah for a look around.

Debatable Bridge
The bridge which carries the 'civilised' section of Debatable Road over the Burnett River.
The town clock was listed as a ‘must see’ - it is in the shape of a citrus tree with stained glass. It sounded interesting to me and worth a photo. We searched and searched for it in the main street then I realised the odd uninteresting thing we kept passing was indeed this clock, hence no photo was taken. We filled up with fuel and when I went into pay I noticed it was also a fresh fruit and vegetable shop. The cauliflowers were $1.90; who could walk past that bargain? Pete Mate thought it very amusing that I went into pay for fuel and came out carrying a cauliflower. We drove out to Ideraway to look at its upside down bridge. Pete Mate will no doubt explain why it is called an upside down bridge. We took our photos and then I walked back to the car. When I looked back, there was Pete Mate walking across the bridge. After my stomach had stopped flipping about I took the opportunity to capture it on camera. We then returned home.

I suppose he thinks he's immortal.
For me it was a joyful day as I was able to walk where I wanted with ease and without the aid of a walking stick.

Friday 17th October 2014

Pete Mate worked on the web site which he tells me needs a lot of work as he has neglected it while we were in Emu Park. I did the washing and cleaning. The washing lines once more were a little too high but I did manage. The lady who was about to start cleaning the amenities saw me and asked, did I need her help? That is an example of the way the staff here are very friendly and helpful. I declined as if I couldn’t manage someone would be leaving his computer for a few minutes. I had a lovely chat with a lady who was originally from Sydney but she and her husband have been grey nomads for seventeen years and still loving it. She told me that there was a new regulation in caravan parks; all washing lines have to be high so that tall people do not hurt themselves if they walk into them. Another way society has discriminated against altitudinally challenged people.

I finished the cleaning and then did some knitting. Later we had a lovely conversation with my oldest brother and his wife on Skype. It was so lovely to catch up and feel like we were in the same room.

Saturday 18th October 2014

Once more we were on the road, this time heading to Goomboorian. The caravan park there had been recommended to us by friends who were staying at Emu Park. We arrived around lunchtime and received a warm welcome from Leonie and Ian who are looking after the park for the owners. We were soon set up on a site that overlooks the lake. The place is very green with lots trees and has a really peaceful feel about it. It was originally a retreat for Vietnam Veterans but for the last few years it has been open to all travellers. Happy Hour was very different with a few permanent VV’s telling their stories. We met some other travellers and all in all it was a good couple of hours.

Sunday 19th October 2014

After I read my journal of a couple of years ago I discovered we had actually done this area quite thoroughly so we decided to stay hitched up and just relax. You would have to look hard to find a better place to do just that. It is lovely here, so peaceful, just the sound of the birds. There are two resident ducks waddling about with eight little ducklings in tow. Once again we enjoyed a very nice happy hour.

This helicopter outline was illuminated at night with hundreds of twinkling lights.
In the daytime it made a convenient perch for a kookaburra looking for prey.

Monday 20th October 2014

We enjoyed a lovely relaxing day in beautiful surroundings. I walked around taking lots of photos and getting some exercise. We once again enjoyed a very nice happy hour.

Tuesday 21st October 2014

We left Standown around 8.30am to drive over to Rainbow Beach to have a new aerial fitted. We were stressed when we arrived because we had to back the ‘van up the road and we were hopeless at it, we are completely out of practice. Then a half hour job turned into two hours because we also bought a new television and they insisted we had a cup of coffee. I then went to pay and our credit card declined anything over $500, so in the end I had to write a cheque for the balance. All very stressful because I am thinking, what is wrong with our card?

Finally we got back on the road; we then had to drive back the way we had come and continue on to Bribie Island. It was a long journey and intermittent rain did not help. In hindsight we should have gone back to Standown for the night and set off fresh next morning. We arrived at Bribie tired, hungry and generally fed up. I went to book in and received a very unfriendly but polite welcome. We found our site which was a tight squeeze to get into and we had so much trouble we entertained the audience that had appeared.

Eventually we were in and we set up camp for the week. The big moment arrived to try out a new aerial and television. It worked just enough to give us a broken picture and sound - absolutely hopeless. We sunk further down into the abyss of misery. I went back to the office for some tourist information only to be greeted by the same bored unhelpful girl. On a good note, however, when I rang the bank I was told there wasn’t anything wrong with our card it was the supplier’s machine. Thank goodness for wine.

Wednesday 22nd October 2014

After doing a few chores I walked to the shops which are not far from the caravan park. I wasn’t overly impressed with any of them really. In the afternoon I sat outside reading and knitting.

Thursday 23rd October 2014

We had a drive around Bribie which didn’t take too long. We found the shops and did some shopping and had a coffee. That was about it for the day other than reading. After some delicate fiddling with the aerial's position and height we were able to watch the ABC for the first time in weeks, so that was a bonus.

Friday 24th October 2014

Pete Mate went off to have a look at an aircraft museum whilst I stayed at home and did a few things on my to do list. In the afternoon I sat outside to do some knitting but didn’t get a lot done as our neighbour came over for a chat. She is a lovely lady and we chatted for ages about everything. When Pete Mate arrived home it was time for happy hour and we poured ourselves a glass. Our neighbours joined us for a short while.

Saturday 25th October 2014

It was a relaxing sort of day. I finished the book I was reading and Pete Mate sat at the computer all day. We were invited to a happy hour in the barbecue area which was organised by the winners of a competition called 'Follow The Sun'. The food and wine were free and there were some giveaways. We left early as we had arranged to meet our friends Jan and Ross, their daughter Terri and her partner Steve. It was a lovely evening with good food and wine but best of all excellent company.

Sunday 26th October 2014

We enjoyed a cup of coffee at Jan and Ross’s before going to Michele and Alan’s for lunch. We had a lovely time in both homes with lovely people. We were so relaxed and the time went quickly; I was surprised when I looked at my watch how late it was. It was a very enjoyable day.

Monday 27th October 2014


Ross and Jan collected us from the caravan park gates and took us out for the day. They showed us all the beauty spots of Bribie Island and we even discovered Matt Flinders had been here. We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the RSL club and then went back to Jan and Ross’s house for coffee. They then dropped us back at the caravan park where we once again said our goodbyes. It was a really lovely day.

Ross was unable to read this illegible sign.

Tuesday 28th October 2014

We were on the road at 8.55am which is very good for us. It was a stressful journey because the traffic was heavy and we were always unsure what lane we should be in. Alice time and again remained silent when she should have been giving instructions. It was a case of two pairs of eyes were better than one so I kept a sharp lookout for any signs telling where we should go. We arrived at the caravan park which to us seems to be in the middle of nowhere but we will know better when we have had chance to explore. We received a warm welcome from Trudy and Gary, and whilst I chatted to Trudy, Gary helped Pete Mate put the ‘van on our site. The whole operation seemed to go very smoothly, not like B.I. We went to anther 'Follow The Sun' happy hour which we enjoyed very much as the people were lovely we had lots of drinks and nibbles plus we came home with prizes. I think we are going to enjoy our stay here.

Wednesday 29th October 2014

We enjoyed a rest day today after the stresses of yesterday. Pete Mate worked on both web sites and I did some washing and then knitting. Our happy hour was spent watching some baby Willie Wagtails being fed by their parents. The tree with the nest in it is just outside our ‘van.

Willie Wagtail and baby
It's difficult to know how many chicks are in the nest without alarming the parents.
Two, I first thought but later we saw three.

Thursday 30th October 2014

Queen Mary Falls

We enjoyed a lovely day out exploring this beautiful area. The scenery was magnificent and you could understand why the Irish settlers were reminded of Ireland. The town of Killarney was quaint but small. We travelled Spring Creek Road where some beautiful waterfalls are to be seen and our first stop was at Daggs Falls. We couldn’t walk onto the lookout platform as it had just been painted so it was hard to see the falls. Our next stop was ...

Queen Mary Falls - complete with its own rainbow.

The guide book said it was a 400 metre walk on a well defined track which sounded easy enough to me. We set off and discovered this well defined track was very rough in parts but we eventually arrived at the falls lookout. We then decided to continue and do the full circuit - another 2kms. It was hard going for two very unfit people, it was hot and I didn’t take any water. It was worth it though, as we saw the magnificent falls from the top and then the bottom. To get back to the car park we had to climb dozens of steps and boy, we had had enough by the time we staggered to the car.

Once in the car with the air conditioner blowing and cold drinks in hands I was demoted from Tour Director to Tour Director 3rd class. I had wanted to do another walk to the Moss Gardens but when we saw the track we decided to save that for another day.

Our last tourist attraction on this road was Carr’s Lookout. The views from this lookout were amazing. It truly is beautiful scenery around here. We decided to go back the way we had come as the brochure said we go home via Legume. We arrived at a crossroads and home was to the right and Legume was to the left. We thought, what the heck, and turned left and had a look at Legume. It was a very small country town with a general store/post office. I posted a card and we bought cool drinks and chatted to the lovely lady who ran the shop. Country people are so friendly and never rush you at all.

View from Carrs Lookout
The magnificent view from Carrs Lookout.
Once home we rested before eating dinner and having an early night. It was a good day but tiring. Now how do I get back my first class rating as Tour Director? Mmmmm.

Friday 31st October 2014

We enjoyed a rest day today but did have to do some work as we had to pack up ready for tomorrow. We leave lovely Killarney to travel to Glen Innes for the night. We will definitely return.

And so ended October.

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