Part five of trip North and warmth

Cannonvale near Airlie Beach was to be our next destination to visit Mavis’s Nephew Russel, partner Jannine and gorgeous Jayden their little boy that has a red cordial intravenous drip to maintain his buzz saw tear a.se lifestyle.

We arrived at Cannonvale on Friday the third of August and set up camp behind their house for a great two day stay,which included a visit to the markets at Airlie Beach and a lot of site seeing.

Sunday we headed off for an overnight at the Funny Dunny camp which turned into two nights. This is a great stop over and pretty quiet. There were a couple of camps there that looked pretty permanent. We met a couple of lovely people that were in the van next to ours. They come from Esk and I think we talked them into going to the Millmerran camp oven festival this year,they had never been even though they live so close to the venue.

They also bought a wind break off Mavis and put in an order for two more in specific foot ball colours.

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Louie the next door neighbour was an amateur Astronomer and he had a 6” telescope set up every night. He showed us Saturn. It was incredible you could see the planet and the rings very clearly. Apparently he had six telescopes the biggest was 12”, but as he said, he would have to leave the wife at home to be able to carry it in the car.

Monday the sixth we toured Ayr, Home Hill and went out to a great van park at Groper Creek. This park has to be the ideal fishing destination with its own boat ramp into the most fish laden water that you can imagine.

We left Funny Dunny Park on Tuesday and checked in to the Magnetic Gateway Caravan Park that Grandson Lachlan had booked us into. Lachlan is posted in Townsville with the Army. It was great to see him and he stayed with us for a home cooked meal at the van. The view of the highway was superb grin.

Wednesday was a tad boring with washing to be done. We squeezed in a run out to the Burdekin Dam, It was a fairly long hall for a day trip but we wanted to see if it was suitable to camp there and do some fishing. Unfortunately the camping is a couple of kilometres from the water so the kayak would have to be set up then re packed on to the roof of the car every day. Decision was made to not go there to camp. The view was spectacular to say the least. The water flowing over the spill way looked like snow.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burdekin_Dam 

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We managed to collect a kangaroo dead centre of the bull bar at 100kmph on the way back to Townsville. It was a first for us. We went back to make sure that the roo was dead and it was. A quick look at the front of the car did not show any damage. We returned back to the van and that night Lachlan took us out to dinner on the Strand. Food was ok but service, they totally forgot us which did not go down too well.

Thursday we did the retail therapy thing then went to the Reef HQ Aquarium in town. This place is not to be missed if you go to Townsville it is awesome. Massive variety of fish and a turtle hospital that we did the tour

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After the Aquarium visit we went back to the van park and I washed the car. A close look at the front of the car revealed that the grill was smashed but still in tact thanks to the encounter with the roo. Never mind just another scar on the car to be fixed when we return.

Saturday was reserved for a trip to Magnetic Island. We left the booking of the ferry, car and accommodation to Lachlan our Grandson.  Lachlan picked us up from the van park Saturday morning and took us to the ferry, the three of us had a great run over to the Island.

Off the ferry and we wandered over to the car hire place to pick up the wheels to be used for today and tomorrow.IMG_9518IMG_9433

Mavis and I had packed an overnight bag with change of clothes and toiletries bags,thinking that we would be in a motel. Wrong. Backpackers was the go Confused smile . Nice bungalow with a double mattress on the floor and a bar fridge. Should have bought towels and a few more civilised niceties. Mavis was heard mumbling about not letting Grandchildren make accommodation bookings for us in future Winking smile

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After dumping our gear we started the tour of the Island. Beautiful place to say the least. Great beaches and views to be had, loved it.

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Mavis had a nostalgia trip as she had been there about 100 years ago when she was a young girl and seeing familiar landmarks was a buzz for her.

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A beautiful place for sure. Saturday night we spent in the bar eating great pizza and having more than a few cleansing ales wines and cheap spirits.

Coffee was taken at Horseshoe Beach where we saw a young girl and her dog parading up and down the foot path.

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You had to be there to appreciate it. She would tell the dog to hang on and pull the skate board over the gutter and the dog would lean back as he held on over the drop, it was a hoot.

Sunday was more touring before the ferry ride back to Townsville. This touring included the “Fort walk”. An easy stroll as stated by the Info centre, yea right. It took us about an hour and a half to return after negotiating at least 100,000 steps Sarcastic smile. We did get to see a couple of Koala’s that the walk is famous for and the views were spectacular at the top and we did survive (Just).

All up we spent nearly 10 day’s in Townsville with Lachlan and it was great. Managed to change the oil in the tug and Mavis bought a heap of fabric and a sewing machine (to cart in the van) to make more wind breaks, they are turning out to be very popular.

Left Townsville on Wednesday the 15th of August  heading to elsewhere.

More soon!

Part four trip to the North and warmth 2012

Life at Theresa was not too good. Cold winds and no crayfish did not help the enthusiasm. Luckily it was a magic place where you can just kick back and enjoy the serenity and that is just what we managed to do.

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A plentiful supply of some of the best fire wood that we have ever found made life better. The battery operated reciprocating saw that replaced our ever faithful Still chainsaw did us proud, supplying us with great firewood for the pig.

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Saturday the 21st was a monumental day in the twenty first century calendar. Mavis’s birthday!. Needless to say I booked the best restaurant at Theresa Creek Dam for the festivities. I really lashed out with no expense spared for the evenings celebration.

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Before the big night out we had booked to do some metal detecting in Claremont. This place is a major gold fossicking area and they have a mob in town that sell gold detectors and take trips into the fossicking areas.

We chose to go with a lady that lived in the caravan park for our detecting experience. Margie took us out and showed us how to use a detector and what to look for in areas that were designated for public fossicking. It was a great day and our guide Margie was great value. We will be mounting the nail and the bit of kerosene tin that we detected on a souvenir display for all to see as soon as we return to Brissie

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Rod had been having thoughties about buying a detector but the Scottish in him could not think of parting with the nearly $7000 that was required. But having said that the nail was quite pretty and the bit of kerosene tin had an historic significance  after allSmile. Oh for effluent children pardon the spelling I mean affluent.Smile

A huge outlay was parted with as a deposit on the celebration for the birthday evening. $10 per head was the sum which supplied us both with a sumptuous repast of hamburger and chips. Entertainment was supplied by Vic and his wife Karen and we both must say they were fantastic,performing great country songs for nearly three hours while we mere mortals sang along to the best of our ability around fires that were stoked by the managers of the park and those that were freezing, god it was cold!. Great night and it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg how good is that! grin, Happy birthday dear. Gotta love camping.

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We pulled the cray pots on Sunday (nothing in them) and on Monday packed and went into Clermont show ground to do our washing and pick up some good water in the tanks. Woh is us the washing machine decided to sh.t itself (please pardon the profanity) after several loads but the majority was luckily completed before the break down. Big decision, fix or buy new.

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How do you cope with a broken washing machine. Well the decision was made to head to Lake Elfingstone to stress over  the next move.

We set up camp beside the most beautiful lake that we had seen. There were toilets and hot showers that required the lighting of a donkey boiler to supply the hot water.

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Birdlife in abundance and a view that you could not buy. The birds were obviously well fed as can be seen by the feeding frenzy in the pics below.

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Hobie (kayak) off the roof after set up of camp and into the water, cray pots enthusiastically set with the local baits of vegetables citrus and sunlight soap and back to camp for a feet up relax.

Alas it was not to be. Two familiar figures were walking up to our camp with huge grins on their dials. Clive and Shirley two great friends had driven in to the Elfingstone camp area stopped to look for a camp site and found us. Needless to say they set up camp behind our site and we managed to have a ball for the next week.

Shirley is a great camp oven cook and is cooking at Millmerran festival with some blokes that she cooked with two years ago. She wanted to try a recipe that was required to be done by the festival cooks that she had not done before, whole chicken cooked in bread.

Mavis and I went to Glenden a short trip from the dam and managed to pick up a fresh chicken from IGA along with some fresh wine supplies (thank goodness).

Back home the plans were brewing for the Chicken in bread in the camp oven. I/Rod volunteered to make the bread while Shirley took the chicken under her wing (forgive the pun). Shirley made the stuffing and prepared the chook. When the bread dough was ready she did a great job of wrapping the freshly stuffed bird completely in the freshly made bread dough. How good did this look, you can only imagine if you were not there,it was superb! Into the camp oven but sadly the oven was too small. The decision was made to put a second identical oven inverted on top of the first to make room for the chook. Two hours later we looked at the result and deciding that another30 minutes was required.

Look at the result on the following pic, It was superb to say the least. We had baked some vegies in the camp ovens steamed some asparagus and made the gravy all was magnificent. Even the bread crust was great.

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The nights with Clive and Shirley were great, a couple of excessive evenings but generally great around the camp fires (pig’s) that kept us warm ( more great wood was found).

Cray’s well what can you say. Only about a dozen small critters caught that we managed to consume on Tuesday night after marinating them and flashing them on the BBQ. Shirley was not a lover of some sea food but loved the marinated cray’s. One lot were done in sweet chilli and the other were done in garlic and soy sauce,yumo. It was another great fivesies all round although an early night was had by all.

Thursday we packed and left our beautiful friends and made out for Mackay to get the broken washing machine repaired. How good is this. We found the repair mob that we had booked into and drove the van into their parking area.

Into the office and spoke to a bloke that told us that it would be a week before they could look at the machine. Sh.t what could we do. The young fella asked what the problem was and if we were on the road. We told him the problem and yes we were travelling through and he went out the back to get a techo to have a look at the machine. Rod went out and turned on the inverter (to supply power) and the water pump to supply water,then hit the on button. Ya gotta know the blo.dy thing worked as  if nothing had happened,Yahooo no dramas all is good,off to the Andergrove caravan park at Mackay for the pre booked two nights to get the washing done and re stock the larder and bar again.

Again lots of well fed birdlife here in the van park.

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We leave tomorrow the 3rd of August and start the next phase of our trip.

Stay tuned for more ramblings soon.