Archive | September, 2014
14 September 2014

Strawberry Fields

From Nambour we attempted a move to Brisbane but nary a park to be found in reasonable proximity to where we wanted to be. So, Beerwah it was, about half way. It was at least close to the Australia Zoo one of the places on our itinerary and it was in the middle of a strawberry patch. Well, 6 million strawberry plants to be precise, just a bit more than a patch. And it was picking time and they throw out big ones and little ones and you can help yourself to the cast offs so we are now pink.

Had to go to the zoo to see all the crocodiles we didn’t see up north. Jude said that when she visited last, Australia Zoo was inhabited by Steve Irwin and he at least added some pizazz to the place. I thought it was just a zoo, whilst nicely laid out and beautifully kept it didn’t exhibit much character. The crocs were good and I would have liked to tease one as the keepers did, but you’re kept at a considerable distance from the beasts. Oh, you can pat kangaroos and koalas and even have your photo taken with an owl on your finger but you can’t cuddle a croc. If I remember rightly it cost nearly 50 bucks each to get in and that was concession and the limited choice of food stuffs within were all relatively expensive. A day out at the zoo for $150.00 is not a small investment for these two old pensioners but we did enjoy the show in the arena showcasing the birds of prey and a couple of crocs.

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See, there’s  koala in there, a Victorian, and, if you touch me in the right place I’ll love you forever. But I wanna tease the crocs like the big boys do Mamma.

Had a great night at home with Alison Garrison and Michele and Anthony Fuge in Brisbane in their new place. A new place in the old space and beautifully done it is too….

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so I had to show off ours too…

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just like the Tardis Eh! And whilst it looks unlikely these shots were taken at the strawberry farm where they have actually built a caravan park (Gowinta Farms at Beerwah) in the midst of strawberry and pineapple plantations

Took a drive through Brisbane for old times sake and got totally lost. Boy how its grown. Roads I recognised seemed to go to different places now, and there are new roads everwhere. Pity that  doesn’t apply to outback Qld.

We drove past the Glasshouse Mountains in years passed and never stopped to look. This time we had lunch in the midst of some of the most beautiful scenery in this state. I guess this is what this trip is all about – stop and smell the strawberries (or some such cliché)

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And then back to Moogerah for Robyns birthday. Well it was  as good an excuse as any to go back there and it really was her birthday. Three really nice days of relative calm before we moved on to the Gold Coast

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but that’s another day.

4 September 2014

Where are we now?

Had to look at the map. Left Cairns, oh, I dunno, about two weeks ago. We’ed seen all of the territory between there and Townsville so we just skimmed through to Ayr. This was where I was to do some more work for Civic Guides but this proved to be a bit more involved than we had the time available. I passed the work over to someone else who had both the time and the earning requirement.

So a couple of uneventful days in Ayr, which is quite a sizeable town and then on to Bowen and then Airlie Beach. Airlie Beach is a loverly touristy seaside village which provides lagoons for the people to swim in rather than let them face stingers and sharks and crocodiles in the sea…

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See, the sea looks good but its bloody dangerous.

Main reason for stopping off in Airlie was to find the Nachtigals – Frank and Kerry, old Sprite Club members with whom we were friendly back in the 60’s and 70’s. We lost touch years ago but at a bicycle show in Sydney in 1998 Frank appeared and updated us on their then status as retirees in Airlie. Not listed in the phone book led to a search of yachting facilities and eventually contact was made. A couple of days spent in their company only served to underline the fact that we don’t change much over years – Frank and Kerry haven’t changed and are still a great couple we’re pleased to call friends…..

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but I’m pissed off cos I don’t think they’ve aged much at all –  must be the sea air.

I don’t know what happened but I failed dismally in the photo taking stakes whilst in Airlie Beach but whilst out for coffee on the shores of one of the beautiful beaches we found another good reason to steer clear of same….

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…….yep!,    a killer magpie.

Heading south we stopped in to look at McKay, toured around, found parking the truck too difficult and moved on. As we hit the highway again a couple we had first met at Coen, then Weipa then again at Pajinka pulled in beside us. A quick stop then on to a free camp for the night we again spent with Joe and Heather Stutley from Port Pirie. They had teamed up with Steve and Chris also from South Australia over preceding days so we circled the wagons that night and fought off all comers..

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Southbound yet again we stopped in to Emu Park, just south of Yeppoon and a bit north of Rockhampton to catch up with some other old friends, Lawrie & Jo Hohensee. Now we haven’t seen them since 1979 just before they moved to Rockhampton from the Gold Coast. Lawrie made and still makes surfboards. We first met in Miami in 1968 when they had the surfboard factory up the road from our shop. Time has not been kind to Jo who is now suffering from a disabling neurological condition which has rendered her totally dependent, however Lawrie is the most considerate and patient carer and is absolutely devoted to Jo. At 75 he is amazing – probably fitter than he was 50 years ago and still making boards and surfing when ever he is not looking after Jo.

We spent a couple of days with the Hohensees. coinciding with Jo’s 71st birthday and the consequently caught up with three of the Hohensee kids, Michelle, Christine and James ( James still  lives at home and helps out with Mum). Michelle lives next door and also helps out with Mum when not working. Son John was away working.

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Beachside at Yeppoon and their “Singing Ship”. Actually, quite harmonic.

Rockhampton is also a big city. I didn’t get around to looking up the population but I guess its over 100,000. Lot of history too….

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courthouses, post office, retailers, pubs dating back to 1860 – 70. Some were harder to date but the period is somewhat evident…

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but how they survive the flooding of the Fitzroy River over the years is a bit of a mystery…

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(this shows water levels about 5 feet [1.5 metres] over the towns roads)

Popped into Gladstone, a seriously industrial town with electricity and aluminium production and endless trains of coal inbound but absolutely nowhere convenient to park up the Hovel and lots of unfriendly roundabouts so back on the road to 1770. A significant detour to the water off the highway, Agnes Water and 1770 are cute villages but both are Winnie unfriendly so we overnighted in a caravan park just out of town. Next morning on one of the worst roads we made Bundaberg and experienced the Bert Hinkler Museum and home. Great facility, very interesting…

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all dedicated to a home grown hero of the 20’s and 30’s. And Bert only made 40.

Free camp overnight at Bauble a bit south of Maryborough and thence to Nambour. A few days with Alex and Anne….

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and we also managed a catch up with Phil Evett. A long time between drinks – I do wish it was more frequent but that’s the “tyranny of distance”.