New blog soon

Greetings all.

Due to difficulties with this blog we will be posting in a new site in future. This new site is yet to be determined. We will post the new details here when we have them so that you can still follow our progress.

Cheers to all from the Kyd’s.

North again in 2013 part 1

It’s that head North time of year again as Summer eases into Autumn we plan to keep in front of the Winter cold as we did last year.

We left Brisbane on Thursday the 7th of March heading for RV Home base see http://www.rvhomebase.com.au/ where we had been invited for a fivesies on Saturday evening. For those that don’t know we have put a deposit on a block in the complex and will be building our new home there next year.

IMG_0747

Excitement is building but plan “A” for this year is to head North hopefully getting to the Cape then home to Brisbane again in October or November!

The fivesies on Saturday evening in the communal happy hour area at RV Homebase was fantastic, fully catered with nibbles to start followed by a selection of mains all washed down with a great selection of wines and beers. Someone had discovered an as yet unused Karaoke set up in the recreation centre and this was put together and run by a hired DJ, a great night was had by all! Yes that is a fire pit in the middle of the Happy hour shed and BBQ’s and sinks in the fore ground. A truly great set up absolutely everything has been well thought out in the Homebase.

IMG_0754

Sunday with Rod more than a little worst for wear (too much singing)Eye rolling smile Mavis drove us out to the Teddington weir on Tinana Creek for a look. This weir is the water supply for the Maryborough area and as we found out from one of the locals that were fishing the overflow it is also a great bass fishing spot. How good is that and was only about 8kms from our almost new home.

IMG_0750IMG_0751

The rest of Sunday entailed a run to explore Hervey Bay and a nice fish lunch at the cafe at River Heads where one of the vehicular ferry’s to Frazer Island leaves from. Monday we had visitors Clive & Sandra dropped by to have a look at Homebase and the rest of the day was just for relaxin’.

Happy New Year to all

Mavis and I wish everyone a great 2013.
Ours is planned to be the best ever. We hope to be leaving in March on our next adventure and not returning until October or November.
We head home to Bris vegas from Bermagui NSW on or about the 4th of January for some minor car preparations (the van is already to roll apart from a visual and lube underneath). We spent Christmas in Bermi with Mavis’s eldest son and his family and the newest Great Grand son.

The trip from Brisbane to Bermagui was fantastic. Mavis’s Sister & Bro in-law picked up their new Spinifex caravan and camped with us at Lawnton Show ground for three days to make sure that all was well with their new baby before heading for their home at Hat Head NSW.
Monday the 10th December we left with them and free camped at Whiporie General Store ( see http://www.caravancaravan.com.au/entity/whiporie-general-store-rest-area/nsw ) so they could see how the van worked without 240 volt power. We would thoroughly recommend this free camp. The owners of the shop are great people.
We stuck to all the back roads and the Brother in law discovered how good it is to explore and take your time instead of racing from A to B.
A couple of day’s was spent at Hat Head just checking through the new van and enjoying the serenity Open-mouthed smile.

Thursday the 13th we left Hat Head heading for Copeland Reserve just west of Gloucester NSW.

We had picked up a bag full of super sweet corn on the cob from a farm after leaving Hat Head and Mavis cooked it all up after getting to Copeland Reserve. Thursday nights dinner consisted of corn on the cob smothered in butter yummmmo, all low fat lo GI and low everything else of course.

Friday was a lazy day of reading and relaxing with a nice walk thrown in just for a change of pace.

Saturday we went back into the general store in the little village of Copeland and asked how the road to Scone was. It crossed over the mountains through the Barrington Tops National Park (http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/nationalparks/parkhome.aspx?id=n0002 ). It was sign posted not suitable for caravans,but we have found in the past that with a little local knowledge some unsuitable for caravan roads are ok for our rig. This turned out to be the case on this road, we were told that it was very steep and mostly dirt and not to attempt it after rain. With this information we set off to cross the Great Dividing Range for the umpteenth time during our travels.

Steep was right, a lot of the distance was done in low range 4 wheel drive both up hill and down with a lot of down hill done in low first gear to save the brakes. There was about 50 kms of corrugated dirt road which was made most pleasurable by the superb scenery that we encountered on the way.

Passing through Scone after picking up fuel we headed to Merriwa to camp for a couple of nights in their caravan park and do some washing and pick up supplies. Merriwa is not a lucky place for us as the first visit was to repair the blown motor in our old Nissan Patrol. The second visit was with a damaged fuel pump in our current tow tug the Toyota Land cruiser. This latest visit was also to prove that the place is not a jinks and we did prove it,nothing happened 🙂

Washing done we headed off for Lithgow in the Blue Mountains to catch up with Joe McInnes the gentleman that invented and makes the McHitch (http://mchitch.com.au/ ) that we have fitted to our caravan. We camped at Lake Lyell just out of Lithgow but unfortunately it was too cold and windy to put the kayak in the lake.

While in Lithgow we put the tow tug into Toyota to have all the oils serviced, a task that would take me days was done by them before midday while we browsed the shops in town.

Wednesday we left Lake Lyell and travelled the scenic route (as usual) via Oberon &Taralga on the way to Warrie rest area just past Goulburn. Must say that the scenery was again just superb on this another mountainous part of our trip.

Thursday 20th we headed off towards Bermagui which was to be our final destination for Christmas and New Year.

After over nighting at Warrie Rest area we headed to Braidwood

( http://www.visitbraidwood.com.au/ ) a magic old historic town which is not to be missed if you are in the area.

The decision was made to take the road to Araluen then the 35km dirt road to Moruya on the coast. This road is again marked as not suitable for caravans but we had done it years ago with our old van and looked forward to the wonderful scenery along this route.

We were not disappointed, the beautiful Deua National park (http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/deua-national-park ) and river were a picture to behold.

I would not recommend this run to the faint hearted nor to those with on road vans. Four wheel drive is essential as it was also on the Barrington Tops section of our trip. This road becomes very narrow,winding and steep in places and there are a few areas that the sides have washed out leaving just enough width for the van.

After getting to Moruya we turned South on the Pacific Highway bound for Bermagui.

Millmerran Camp Oven Festival October 2012 part 1

Mavis and I had organised, via the Kedron club, a Gathering at the Millmerran camp oven festival.

http://www.australiancampovenfestival.com.au/ 

$50 pays for your camping in the Show grounds and you can stay a week. There are showers and there were also heaps of portable toilets spread around the grounds and water is available, also a toilet dump. A further $35 per person is for the two days entry to the festival itself and is payed as you come in the gate. We were told that there were to be 1700 vans and motorhomes and camps of every description in attendance.

CRW_0109CRW_0094

Mavis and I were the first to arrive (in our group) on Monday the 1st and we set up in one of the 14 spots allocated to the Kedron group (the organisers allocate 35 spots to the Kedron club at the start of bookings and in years gone by we have apparently filled this many sites). We were pretty happy with the response to the gathering and we got to meet some friends that we had not seen for quite a while and some new faces as well.  16 was the final number that attended with our group as there were two late comers that only booked the week before the event. This number was also the number that attended two years ago.

The vans were a varied lot with mostly Kedron’s for obvious reasons but some guests did have other brands of vans. Our Spinifex was not alone as I had also posted the gathering on the Spinifex site and we had another couple turn up in their near new van. The amazing thing was that there were two other Spinifex’s camped at the festival and I would venture to say that it would be the greatest number ever to have camped in the same place at the same time. Ours # 034 also present #’s 032, 066 and #076 (the newie). It is usually a big deal when you find just one other Spinifex at a camp.

CRW_0100aCRW_0088aCRW_0097aCRW_0091a

As can be seen above fivesies was held at our camp most nights. We also managed to pick up some extra Kedroners that were not with our group. Good evenings had by all.

The festival itself got under way in earnest on Saturday with the camp cooking competition under way and the entertainment also happening.

IMG_0167IMG_0168

As it was two years ago our favourite cook Shirley (also a Kedroner) is competing with a team of blokes she cooked with last year (“The Pot Scrubbers”)

IMG_0178

IMG_0131IMG_0132IMG_0129IMG_0128IMG_0127IMG_0133

Some of the baked goods produced from the camp ovens.

IMG_0176

Part two top follow.

Millmerran Camp Oven Festival October 2012 part 2

The entertainment at the festival was great. Included was a great machinery display,the old water pumps and generators from years gone by were all cranked up and running.IMG_0143 IMG_0142

Also on site there was a tractor pulling event with some heavily modified old machinery. It was great to watch and there was even a couple of very young kid’s somehow driving in the competition. I say somehow because I could not understand how on earth they could reach the peddles to drive them.

IMG_0144IMG_0147IMG_0145IMG_0148IMG_0149IMG_0151

Also on display were a few wonderfully restored vehicles.

IMG_0157IMG_0158IMG_0159IMG_0161IMG_0150IMG_0164

Sunday was the last day of the festival and  day of rest for most except the competition cooks.

Shirley and the “Pot Scrubbers” were very proud of their achievements. They came in third over all and only missed second place by 1/2 a point. The prize money for their efforts was $395 (not too bad for a bunch of scrubbers Laughing out loud). They did manage a first for their savoury damper,third for the bread loaf,second for the Saturday main meal which was whole chicken done in bread (see our blog part 4 of trip north to behold our efforts at the chicken in bread it was superb),they also achieved second for apple turnovers,second for cheese straws and finally a third for their Chelsea bun. Well done guy’s.

A lot of campers left on Sunday, guess they had to work Monday. We packed and said farewell to those remaining and headed to Rangemore Estate Winery at Maclagan at the base of the Bunya Mountains for a few days R&R after such a stressful week at Millmerran,well maybe not so stressful Laughing out loud

We do look forward to two years time. I would be nice to come along and give Shirley some support.

Cheers for now from the Kyd’s.

Part seven and final for trip North 2012

Tinaroo what can we say. We have absolutely fallen in love with the place. Birdlife is incredible, weather is perfect, we are camped right beside the water with the Kayak at the front door and we are getting crayfish.

IMG_9819

Most mornings we will peddle out to the pots and return with ten to twelve crays,most of which are a good size from our 8 pots. 41cm was the largest.

CRW_9765

We booked for a further five nights.

There was a couple camped near us. He was a professional muso on the trumpet. Every evening that they were there he would sit outside his van overlooking the dam and play three or four tunes. This bloke was great and deserved the ovations and cries for more from the whole camping area.

Birdlife is absolutely amazing. Some of our friends can be seen below.

CRW_9781CRW_9783

CRW_9830CRW_9832

IMG_9724aCRW_9853

CRW_9833IMG_9842a

IMG_9851aIMG_9854

How good is that? The reference to the scone stealing Kookaburra above came about on Sunday the 26th Aug. We had invited out Tassie friends to come visit for the day. They were staying at Mareeba Rodeo grounds.

Rod cooked up a bunch of scones and we invited our fellow campers for morning tea. The billy was boiled on the Aus pig and we were all sitting around with our scones fully loaded with yummy jams and topped with cream when a kooka zoomed in under the awning and grabbed a scone out of Margie’s  hand, did a quick turn to escape and splattered Mavis with jam and cream on it’s way out. What a crack up!

We did tear ourselves away from the dam a couple of times to re stock the larder and cellar at Atherton and visit our friends at Mareeba. Atherton has a great display of crystal and semi precious gems at the Crystal Caves right in the heart of town http://www.crystalcaves.com.au/ it is worth a visit.

IMG_9750IMG_9758IMG_9754IMG_9735

The visit to Mareeba was to our Tassie friends at the Rodeo grounds. This place is a great base to do day trips from. $15 a night with power,  water, hot showers and toilets and a toilet dump for those that are staying. From here we did a run out to Granite Gorge for a look. http://www.australiablog.com/places-to-go/granite-gorge-nature-park.html There is camping at the Gorge and walks to be done.

Sunday the 2nd was fathers day so we invited Rod & Sue (Tassie friends) out to our camp for a roast lamb lunch, it was yummo and a great relaxing day.

Left Tinaroo reluctantly on Wednesday the 5th Sept and headed for two nights at Mareeba with Rod & Sue. They had been telling us that hot air balloons were landing just behind the van parking area every morning. With digital SLR loaded with fillum I waited patiently two mornings for the landings that did not happen. Wind direction was taking them elsewhere unfortunately. Did catch a glimpse in the distance though.

CRW_9867

Friday we headed off and set the nav aids for Wonga Beach to catch up with Eric a friend of ours that stays there for about three months every winter with his lovely lady Jody. Unfortunately Jody was in England enjoying their Summer so we did not see her.

The van park was exceptional, Pinnacle Village  http://www.pinnaclevillage.com/  What a paradise. Perfect temperature at this time of year and a gorgeous setting in the rainforest and a short stroll to the beach. The birdlife, awesome although they are very hard to see in the foliage of the trees but the songs can’t be missed. A tropical paradise only a short distance to the Daintree river and a ferry ride to Cape Tribulation.

CRW_9880 CRW_9879

CRW_9878

If you look carefully at the following pics you will see a little YELLOW-BELLIED SUNBIRD

 http://rainforest-australia.com/Yellow-bellied_Sunbird.html

She is tiny and you can just see the yellow neck and head peaking out of her nest

CRW_9881

CRW_9882

Saturday was decreed to be market day in Mossman. Great morning in a great little town. The markets were wonderful with heaps of local produce. In the afternoon Mavis and Eric wet a line on the beach in front of the van park. Nothing was caught that could be kept.

Sunday we headed for the markets in Port Douglas. Again absolutely wonderful but a more up market display. We had lunch with Eric and a couple of his friends at the “Tin Shed” in Port Douglas. Would recommend this place to have a great lunch overlooking the water.

Have to say that we did not like Port Douglas. It was way too commercial, populated and up market for a couple of rough necks like us. The afternoon was dedicated to Mavis wetting a line again to no avail.

Monday we went to Cape Tribulation and as happens, a spur of the moment decision was made to head up the Bloomfield track to see if we could get the van up there next year on our return.

IMG_9889

cooktown

Not a show in the world. This track was pretty steep in places and had a few water crossings. I have no doubt that the van could be hauled up this track but the Toyota would definitely not be the vehicle to pull 3.5 tons up these grades. Would need a fairly hefty truck to climb some of the hills that we encountered. Non the less a great day was had.

Tuesday was fishing day for Rod on the Daintree river with Eric in his tinny. We had the best of fresh prawns but alas no fish were interested. What a beautiful river. Did see a couple of crocs. Mavis went into Wonga beach village for a haircut.

Wednesday we left Wonga Beach had coffee with Sue & Rod at Mareeba then headed for Innot Springs where we stayed for the night and had a great soak in the pools.

IMG_0003

IMG_0004

Next morning we had another soak in the pools before heading off again bound for Fletchers Creek about 40 ks North of Charters Towers.

As is always the case Fletchers Creek produced copious quantities of fish for the fisherwoman Mavis. Only tilapia, http://www.sweetwaterfishing.com.au/tilapia.htm  a ferrel introduced species but lots of fun on light gear. Most of the fish were 35cm long and very active. Around 6 on day one and 7 day two. A nice Grunter and an eel tailed catfish were also landed. The Black Kites loved them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Kite

IMG_0017

IMG_0031

IMG_0010IMG_0032

Lachlan our Grandson came to stay for the weekend. He is in the Army stationed in Townsville about 170kms form Fletchers Creek. A good time was had by all. We had a day in Charters Towers and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Zara Clarke Museum was a highlight.

IMG_0025

Sunday we are on the down hill run to Brisbane. We camped at Clermont van park to do some washing and on Monday we got to Mavis’s Nieces place at Gracemere near Rockhampton. Had a great two nights with Amy, Alfie and their two beautiful kids Ember and Naden.

Wednesday was a big one. We left Gracemere and headed for Tinana where we have a deposit on a block in the RV Home base,  http://www.rvhomebase.com.au/more-info/?sites-available    to check out the progress. All looked to be on schedule, so we let out for home.

Home again unfortunately but a huge year is on the books for next year. Only a few short runs left for this year including one to Victoria.

Stay tuned more will follow for sure party time (1)

Part six Trip North for warmth Left Townsville.

After packing up Wednesday 15th August and saying farewell to Lachlan (Grandson) we headed North checking out every destination on every road in to the coast.

Wednesday evening we pulled into Forest Beach, there was a van park behind the Pub and for $20 for the night we camped about 20 metres from the beach. Lovely. ttp://www.forrestbeachhotel.com.au/caravan.php

IMG_9529

A quiet night after a walk along the beach then off the next day heading North again.

As usual we travelled into all roads heading East. We came upon Lucinda which is a sugar loading facility that has to be seen to be believed. The loading jetty is 5.7kms long to allow ships to access it at any tidal condition. Nice town caravan park full of Southerners living in the warmth as usual.

IMG_9537IMG_9538

IMG_9533

Unfortunately we did drive a little too far today Thursday and decided to stop at Bilyana rest area between Ingham and Innisfail. A lovely spot between the highway and the railway. There are definitely four trains every night travelling from Cairns south at intervals that coincide with sleep intervals and one that loves to blow his extremely loud horn as he passes the camp.Disappointed smileDid I mention the trucks.

In the morning we left Bilyana yawning madly after many broken sleeps and headed for Kurrimine Beach. The van park was full so we set up outside with a dozen other vans and tents in the overflow. $15 a night got us a good spot near the beach and good water to fill the tanks. There was another Spinifex van parked there as well. John and Milliner were on their shakedown run in Spin 061. Their van was in the June Brisbane caravan show .IMG_9593 

On the way into Kurrimine we noted that the motel had a $25 sea food buffet Friday night. We decided to have dinner there and John and Milliner joined us. What a great meal it was with great company.

Saturday we did a run to Paronella park http://www.paronellapark.com.au/. Another not to be missed attraction. the place was constructed single handed by a Spanish gentleman and includes a hydro power system that still powers the facility today.

IMG_9558IMG_9565

IMG_9562IMG_9571

IMG_9582IMG_9585

The fountain above is powered from the waterfall in the previous pictures and never stops. For the price of admission if you are quick enough to book,you can stay free in their caravan park. Spots are limited and you can only stay for one night. Entry tickets last for one year and allow one stay in the van park per year.

We decided on our return to have a cleansing ale at the pub for fivesies. As it does, fivesies turned into a pub meal for dinner. There is obviously a competition between the pub and motel in Kurrimine. The pub meal was excellent and much more that any human could eat.

Sunday we did a leisurely pack and took off for Babinda to see friends Greg and Judy. We gave them a bell and said that we were going to stay at the free camp at Babinda. They were most offended that we would not stay with them, so we followed their directions to their Daughter and Son-in-law’s property on the road to the Boulders from Babinda. Greg and Judy had their van there as well and we spent three wonderful days eating too much and possibly consuming too much fermented grape. Greg and Jude also welcomed two of our friends travelling through Brian and Margie. Babinda apparently has a huge annual rainfall, we experienced a small part of it grin, what a magic part of Australia.

IMG_9603

Monday was a rest day. Tuesday we had a quick look at the Boulders park just up the road from camp. What a treasure of a site, unfortunately the camera was left at the van so it was decided to return later. We did a run towards Cairns ending up near Yarrabah on the peninsular opposite Cairns. Quite a unique area with some equally unique houses. It is mainly an Aboriginal settlement. The house below had all mod con’s except glass, the whole place was completely open affording magnificent unrestricted water views and breezes.

IMG_9600

Greg and Judy took us touring on Wednesday. We had a great seafood lunch at Flying fish point after visiting a property at Miriwinni.

This place is owned by a couple that developed it to it’s current status. Larry and Robin Butler have worked miracles with their six acre property creating a tropical paradise that has been wiped out with two cyclones but they rebuild every time. It has to be seen to be believed the whole place looks to be manicured. They have built a gazebo over the permanently flowing creek and made a small dam wall to create their swimming hole.

IMG_9606IMG_9607

IMG_9612IMG_9613IMG_9614IMG_9615IMG_9616IMG_9620IMG_9628IMG_9634

This place would make the ultimate B&B or wedding venue,it is an absolute paradise. Unfortunately Larry and Robin feel the need to call it quits and do some travelling. What a dilemma for them. How to sell?

Later on the day trip we went to Innisfail to have a look around first cassowary’s one on the road and another that must have been fed on the front lawn of a house. Huge birds and becoming rare.IMG_9637

CRW_9650CRW_9646

Returning to Babinda we settled into a cleansing ale and some nibbles, ain’t life grand!

Thursday we bid farewell to our hosts and headed to Yungaburra on the southern end of Tinaroo dam. Before we left we headed to the Boulders for a picture shoot that we missed out on a few days ago. Do not bypass this place if you are in the area, there is a small free camp there a short stroll from the swimming hole. Have a look at these pics it is beautiful.

IMG_9656 

IMG_9659IMG_9664IMG_9667IMG_9676IMG_9679IMG_9682IMG_9684IMG_9687

Before we did the big climb up to the tablelands we dropped in to a barra farm. We parted with $50 so Mavis could catch her first barra. The picture tells it all. It was disappointing to have to put it back.

 IMG_9719

Yungaburra van park was $20 a night but was a fair way from the dam so it would mean dragging the kayak about 500 meters to the water. Never mind the washing got done and we settled down for the night. Next morning the kayak came off the roof and was nearly rigged and Mavis received a call from the friends that had stayed with us at Babinda saying that they were at Kauri Creek camp on the other end of the dam and it was paradise. Without much thought the kayak went back on the roof and we headed for their camp. Kauri is a Forestry camp run by National Parks so it was $10.50 per night and we grabbed a spot right on the water and dropped the kayak in. This place is wonderful we booked on line for five nights.IMG_9819 IMG_9807IMG_9795IMG_9808

More to follow.

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.

IMG_9368IMG_9369IMG_9376IMG_9357

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 

IMG_9398IMG_9402

IMG_9407IMG_9404

IMG_9405

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

IMG_9428CRW_9427

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

IMG_9431

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.

IMG_9437IMG_9438

IMG_9439IMG_9440

IMG_9447IMG_9463

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.

 IMG_9511IMG_9478

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.

IMG_9434IMG_9444IMG_9435IMG_9441

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.

IMG_9299IMG_9301

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.

IMG_9294

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.

IMG_9292

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

IMG_9287IMG_9289

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.

IMG_9290IMG_9293

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.

IMG_9302

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.

IMG_9310IMG_9307

IMG_9304IMG_9312

IMG_9303IMG_9314

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.

IMG_9323IMG_9329

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.

IMG_9330  IMG_9333

IMG_9336IMG_9338

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.

IMG_9349IMG_9342

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

Stay tuned for more ramblings soon.