On the boat

Friday 30th March, (On the boat).

We are back on the boat again returning to the mainland, enough time was spent in Tassie and we are both looking forward to returning to our touring around.

I have my camera with me this trip on the boat so I should be able to give an idea of the size of the motors on this thing, or at least the jet propulsion units, it is unbelievable the amount of water they force out the back of this boat.

As we have now had a small break from our travels I guess that I will return in the next chapter when we return to our travels.

Tassie

Tuesday 27th March, (Tassie).

We arrived safely in Tassie yesterday and successfully managed to surprise my sister Joan at George Town, but daughter in law, I think guessed we may have been coming by little slips Matthew gave over the few days. Louisa, his wife, can tell when he is not completely telling the truth. Anyway all were glad to see us and Linda was certainly glad to see Elly, granddaughter, as was I, I must admit.

I have also taken the opportunity to talk to Matt about how his business is progressing and I think we have come to some arrangement where I am to make a financial investment in the company to give it some cash flow and a chance to pick up sooner. He is to work out the details and come up with a contract, if we deem necessary, giving me a portion of the business. If this all works out successfully then I will go ahead with the investment. I find it surprising that we had a severe misunderstanding early in his setting up of the business where I understood, mistakenly, that he didn’t want assistance, when all along he wasn’t game enough to ask me if I would give assistance with an investment.

Wouldn’t you believe that it apparently has not rained in Launceston for a long while and there has been the occasional rain ever since we arrived in Tassie?

Melbourne

Sunday 25th March, (Melbourne).

We are now at Melbourne, in a cabin at a caravan park, waiting to catch the Cat at 7.00am tomorrow. The management at the caravan park in Sydney were kind enough to allow us to leave the van there, although this is something they don’t usually do, at a very minimal cost and when we return our paid stay we had already arranged will continue unchanged. We stayed at Matthew’s, son in law, parents at Albury/Wodonga for the night last night as the distance to travel to Melbourne was too great to do in one day. This worked out well, as we had been hopeful of seeing them soon as we had only met them just before the wedding, and of coarse at the wedding. Narrelle and Matt were visiting Matt’s parents this weekend so it was our chance to surprise them for a change so they weren’t told that we were arriving. They were actually out when we arrived so I hid the car and waited for their response when they came in and saw us sitting in the lounge, and it was worth it. Nobody at home have been told we are coming either, except for Matthew, our son Matthew this time, as I had to stop him forwarding on our mail, so we intend to surprise them all one at a time by visiting each individually.

I was quite surprised that I handled the long drive yesterday as I did. From Melbourne to Wodonga took about 6 hours and this would have to be the longest single stint of driving I have undertaken in my life and everybody expected me to ‘crash’, physically, when we arrived, but to everybody’s astonishment, including mine, I didn’t appear to show any signs of fatigue at all. Now that I have done the Melbourne 3 1/2 hour leg I am now feeling it so I am looking forward to a good night sleep tonight before we board the boat.

Sydney

Friday 23rd March, (Sydney).

Well we have finally reached Sydney, and it wasn’t all that hard finding my way after all. We are camped at a park at Parklea, which is a little north east of Parramatta where sister Sue lives. The main reason for picking this park is because of the closeness to Sue as we will no doubt spent quite an amount of time with her, I’m sure if she had her way she would want us to even go to work with her. This park also seemed to be the closest and most central to everything we would wish to see and do.

Yesterday was spent in the usual manner of setting up camp, finding the closest shopping centre and spending the rest of the day settling in.

Today was to be a day of finding out where transport to the city is, such as ferries that run from Parramatta, for use when we intend to travel to the city. Sue has made plans for us for the weekend sightseeing to the Blue Mountains and into the city area, but we have had to advise her that we have had to change our plans because after a discussion with Linda about her temperament lately it was concluded that her problem is homesickness and we have decided to return home for a week or two. At this moment we are waiting for the Park managers to finish a meeting so we can discuss and make arrangements for leaving the caravan on site while we are gone because it would not be worth taking it to Melbourne and back. We will then make arrangements to drive to Melbourne and catch the Cat to Tassie, so we are now waiting for them to visit us.

Kiama

Wednesday 21st March, (Kiama).

Rain again, so we have decided to stay another night at Kiama. This will give us a chance to catch up on a little computer work like make up Elly’s photo book and add a few words to this document.

Yesterday we had a trip to Minnamurra falls, about 20 kilometres west of Kiama. This is a very interesting National park and presented very well with very well constructed walkways through the park made from steel framework and flat timber surface, no steps. There is a loop walk around the rain forest area and another walk to the falls made from brick pavers, very steep in parts and again flat, no steps. The whole walk took up about 2-2 1/2 hours so it filled in the day nicely, and believe me I needed the exercise. On the way we chose to go via Saddleback Mountain to have a look at the lookout as advertised on our travel brochure only to find out that it would be a terrific place to have a lookout. The views would have a 360-degree panorama if only one could see above the trees. A local told us that there was a lookout on the south side if we could find the track, but the only track we found was unused and grown over, hence we could only imagine in our heads what the view would look like.

Kiama

Saturday 17th March, (Kiama).

Woke up about 8 o’clock and it was raining so I thought that we would be staying another day, but after having a shower and breakfast, then doing my crossword, the weather fined up and we decided to travel on. We ended up in a place called Kiama, just south of Wollongong and about 2 hour out of Sydney. The main attraction here seems to be a series of blow holes, one large and one a quite deal smaller, and I am hopeful of getting some good photos of these if I can pick the correct weather conditions. There seems to be quite a few things to do in the area so we may just decide to stay a little longer if we decide to make several day trips.

Monday 19th March, (Kiama).

Yesterday we had a good look around the town, a market and folk festival attracted quite a few people, and it is quite a nice place. The larger of the two blowholes seams to be quite spectacular, or probably would be given the right sea conditions, given that details studied reveal that it can spurt water up to 60 metres in the air. It would be nice to think I could catch those conditions but I doubt it. The smaller brother to this blowhole in itself is quite spectacular, it is very much smaller but it is consistent in its workings and constantly spurts water and air quite high.

After walking around a fair bit we were rather tired last evening, hence the lack of writing last evening.

Today we ventured up the coast to Wollongong, about 20 kilometres, having a look at Port Kembla on the way and, of coarse, Shell Harbour where we had to pick up Linda’s glasses after repair. Now she will be able to get back to reading and overcome her boredom with no option but having to watch TV.

Wollongong and Port Kembla areas didn’t impress us too much as they are too industrious to do anything for us.

I had another look at the large blowhole on the way home to no avail because it seemed the tide may have been too high to have any great effect, but hopefully I might catch it while we are here.

Batemans Bay

Friday 16th March, (Batemans Bay).

For a small township close to Batemans Bay, Mogo has quite a good Zoo with quite a range of animals. This gave us a very good opportunity to take plenty of photo’s to put in Elly’s photo book, so now we have a good deal of work to do in building the booklet. Mogo itself, as I said, is a small outback township on the highway about 8 kilometres south of Batemans Bay and the locals have taken this advantage in tempting the tourist to stop and shop. The township is presented in such a manner, as it is just too tempting not to stop, hence the large amount of parked cars in the area.

Today was mostly taken up by obtaining appropriate maps and directories to enable, hopefully, ease of travel through Sydney and suburbs when we reach there next week. We also had to decide where we would, or would like to be, at Easter as I guess we will have to book into a park because being on the coast they will probably fill up for the weekend. We have made some fundamental errors in deciding where we will be up until Easter. Originally we suggested to my sister Sue that we would more than likely to be in Sydney to visit her at Easter when we now discover that we would be in Sydney next week instead and are likely to be in Coffs Harbour at Easter. So now we have to contact Sue to inform her and find out if she is going to be there, and we have to locate and find a contact number for a friend of Linda’s who lives near Coffs Harbour to find out if she will be home over Easter so we can visit her.

So now we have packed ready to move tomorrow, but we have to wait till tomorrow to decide wether we actually move because, if you haven’t guessed by now, it is forecast for rain and wind and I have decided not to travel in bad weather again.

Batemans Bay

Wednesday 14th March, (Batemans Bay).

We have moved on again, this time to Batemans Bay. We had initially considered staying at Broulee, which is not far North of Narooma, but when we arrived there we were set back with what did not reach our expectations, and the fact that it was not very far from where we were staying, we decided to go on further. We checked out a few parks along the way and decided to stick to what we know with Big 4 and booked into the local one, with our discount the price was no more than other parks.

I am now starting to give a lot of consideration to which route to take from here so as to hopefully avoid the central area of Sydney, getting used to Melbourne was bad enough and Sydney looks worse. We will have to consider where caravan parks are in relation to where my sister Sue lives, as we intend visiting her on our way, as one close by would be very handy. I may have to purchase a Sydways, the equivalent to Melways, so it may be easier to find my way around.

I purchased a new set of tyres for the panel van today, as they were needed. Before we left Tassie for our journey I purchased a set of alloys from a friend of Paul, the brother in law, and along with them came a set of tyres that were almost worn out. These tyres and wheels are a little wider than normal and I have became accustomed to having them on the car, so I was a little particular with what I wanted to buy. I originally wanted to purchase something with a little higher profile so the rear end of the car would be higher to help with airflow over the caravan. The salesman set me straight on the formula in determining the profile rating, which is not a set dimension from rim to outside tyre as I thought but a percentage of the width of the tyre, and he explained that the size tyre on the vehicle was a standard for that size wheel, so to attain a little more height I actually purchase a larger pair for the rear, being wider with the same profile rating so therefore the tyre actually sits a little higher. My decision to do this will only prove itself when I do more towing and see if performance increases.

Before I made this large outlay in expense we visited the local Botanical Gardens, which differed to the norm. These gardens are actually about 5 kilometres out of town, which Linda found very surprising, then we found that the gardens are new and still under construction after fires went through the area several years ago, so it now made sense that they are outside town, and they are utilising land that otherwise would have been wasted. It will be interesting to visit the gardens again when back in the area to see the changes over the years.

Our visit to the gardens was cut short due to, yes you guessed it, more rain and I was going to once again make the statement that we got the opportunity to relax and do nothing, but I now realise how stupid it was to use this terminology in the first place when every day has its fare share of relaxation when you live the lifestyle we are.

We plan a trip to the local zoo tomorrow, if it doesn’t rain, as we want more pictures of animals to place in a booklet we are making up to send to the grand-daughter Elly-Rose.

Narooma

Saturday 10th March, (Narooma).

The events of yesterday were of a boat with 4 men upending in the rough weather outside the entrance to the bay, unfortunately resulting in the loss of life of one of them.

I don’t know how rough it was out there yesterday but I thought this was rough enough and today is a very still day.

A walk around the bay was today’s mission and to have a good look around the bay and the entrance to it. The locals have spent a lot of thought and effort into building rock walls on either side of the channel winding all the way from the bridge to the entrance to obviously keep it clear of sand, so I would hate to consider how bad the entrance could have been before this construction, apparently in 1976.

The whole area is very picturesque and is a fishermen’s Mecca, I keep saying that one of these days I will purchase a fishing license but I know what will happen; I won’t be bothered going fishing, because it’s not my scene, or Linda will baulk at eating anything I would catch because she is not a fish eater. So I guess I will just have to see what eventuates, it would fill in a bit of time though.

A nice long walk was had so now it’s time to sit down and relax.

Tuesday 13th March, (Narooma).

Sunday being a day for relaxation, we exercised that privilege exactly how it was meant to be.

Monday was an extra day here for the purpose of getting Linda’s eyes and glasses checked and due to the fact that it rained again most of the day that was all that was achieved for the day. It turns out that her glasses may have not been constructed properly, well they were but this Optometrist thinks that one aspect built in to the lenses could have waited until she has gotten a little more used to using them so he has taken them to fit a new lens to replace one of them. Since she has not been reading for the last few days her headaches have cleared up so hopefully the diagnosis is correct and they may not return. Anyway another day was basically spent relaxing again, which I do not mind at all.

Narooma

Friday 9th March, (Narooma).

I did some touring on my own today because Linda is suffering from headaches and we are trying to determine what is the cause. It appears that she has had the headaches since she purchased her new glasses, and coincidently when we started our travels. We visited an optometrist today to make an appointment for a check of her eyes and the glasses provided, the appointment is for Monday. The receptionist, after discussions, bought to light that it could have something to do with the fact that Linda is doing more travel in the car than she would normally, using different muscles in the neck etc. Hence my lone travel today due to Linda not reading or travelling for a few days so we can eliminate and or determine what is the cause of these headaches.

I travelled back along the route along the coast that we travelled yesterday, and further where we didn’t travel, and the area looks completely different on a clear and sunny day, which I forgot to mention that today’s weather is very fine and warm. I still think we made the right decision in travelling on to Narooma, as my reasoning yesterday seemed to be correct about Wallaga Lakes area although it is a nice area it is not what we were led to believe it to be.

I also travelled on further to Bermagui, which is a place we must stay at if we are ever back in this area because it is a place one could spend a fair amount of time having a look about the area.

I am once again surprised that the entire coastline is as rugged as it is with very nice beaches along the entire area.

I took a heap of pictures today so Linda may not miss much of the scenery.

After my return home something amiss obviously occurred off the shore near the caravan park as warning sirens sounded, ambulances roared down to the area and a rescue helicopter from Canberra was in the area and a fellow camper informed me that it must have been rather bad for the chopper to attend. I guess if it was that bad we will hear it in the news, I could have gone over to see what happened but there were obviously plenty of onlookers in the area already without me interfering.