Saturday 15th June, (Rollingstone).

The stay at Balgal was very enjoyable, but we may not return because of the sand flies. A great many people left the area because of the flies, they didn’t seem to bother us much, I do spray repellent when we are in unknown areas so maybe this had a large effect.

We have now moved north about 10k to Rollingstone, another camp area here would have to be the pick of the bunch of the camp areas in the district. It is still run by the same council on the same basis, but this one is not by a beach and is a very large grassed area among many large trees. It is obviously very popular judging by the amount of vans camped on the grounds.

It is raining at present; a change though, and surprisingly has not put much of a damper on our camping out. One must expect whatever weather is thrown at us and accept it.

We will be looking forward to returning to this camp area on our return to Townsville. As Linda commented our stay here is made more enjoyable by the friendliness of the other campers, but consider they are all here for the same reason as us.

Balgal Beach

Thursday 13th June, (Balgal Beach).

An incident has occurred that I am not sure how to take: Linda has convinced me to discard my shoes and socks, not my shoes and socks! She has finally won and had me walking not only on the beach barefoot, but in the water as well. I guess this should do my feet some good though, as I do have a problem at the moment with something I more than likely picked up in an amenities block somewhere, but we are working on clearing it up.

We are at the moment regretting that other areas and states do not have more camping areas like they do here. The camping is so peaceful and easy going that we could, and are talking about, doing as much of this style camping as possible. The cost saving would be of great benefit as well.

We have now moved on to Balgal Beach, about 30k odd north, as we can only stay at each camp area for two nights. This spot is as good as one would hope for, right on the beach, a shop next door, plenty of sun to charge the batteries and warm weather, what else would one want. We will get a bit of this camping in over the next few weeks.

What looks like a good fishing spot close by could end up seeing me extracting the fishing rod from the car at last, but we will have to see. I did notice several fishermen with lines in, but there didn’t seem to be much action, so I will have another look tomorrow and you never know what will happen.

Saunders Beach

Chapter Fourteen.

Filling it time round Townsville.

Tuesday 11th June 2002, (Saunders Beach).

After spending a couple of weeks in Townsville we have decided that it is time to move on and check out these camp areas between there and Ingham.

We are at present at Saunders Beach, the first of the camp areas set up by the local council basically for travellers to stay at, for a maximum of 48 hours and only one stay per week. So we figure that if we slowly make our way to Ingham staying at these areas, then at Ingham and its surrounds for a week or two and then make our way back down the coast to Townsville we should kill just about enough time before Linda has to fly out on her trip home.

One could very easily get used to this style of camping, being free, right next to an enormous beach and we get to do exactly what we want whenever we want. We also have all the time we need to just relax as much as we want. We are now really looking forward to the next couple of weeks.

A possible fortunate break this morning; while Linda was at the shops I was waiting fully packed and ready to move on when I noticed one van tyre looked a little deflated. I decided to check them and both were down a little so I thought while I had time I would pump them up. While inflating one of them I noticed an out of shape area on the tread and upon investigation it was noted to be bulging in the centre of the tread almost all the way round the tyre. A replacement at this stage possibly prevented a blowout while travelling, I dread even thinking about that. A check with a Dunlop centre when I find one may give me a warranty claim on it as it was less than half worn, otherwise I will just have to purchase another as it was one of the originals and I am not going down to Melbourne just to replace it under warranty.


Monday 10th June, (Townsville).

We did have a couple of very cold nights, well we think nowadays that anything below 10 or 11 degrees is cold, one night Linda even turned on her blanket. It didn’t last all night though as she overheated half way through the night and had to turn it off.

Otherwise we have enjoyed our stay at Townsville. And we found plenty to do to occupy our time. We decided to cut and shut our green-shade awning to make it easier to erect and take down. Our original plan was to cut the old shade cloth and fit edging to support press-studs, but it was old, weakened and stretched out of shape, which resulted in it hanging very drably. We found a piece of heavier duty, and grey, shade cloth at Hardware House in a remnant bin that we decided to use as a ground sheet where it will be unsuitable to use the carpet. This cloth was a lot easier to work with so we purchased some more, had to pay full price as none left in remnant bin, and use it for the end pieces. The piece of the old cloth used for the long outer face was still in reasonable condition so it was decided to use this. This meant we were now using tho different colours, but we are not out to impress people, so if we find it doesn’t work we at least now have a little experience and we can, with a little more confidence, make a new piece using the same colour, grey, as the ends.

I have also been looking at mobile phones with the hope of finding one that has USB connectivity, and ask questions about other terms I have been coming across, and I did find one brand that is what I have been looking for. It would be a pity if I were to buy the new mobile as my old trusty LG, ha ha, would become defunct. I have almost decided to give Linda my new laptop and mobile when she goes home in July for Matthew to attempt to get it to work with a serial to USB converter, but after finding more info about the other model I am very nearly convinced to buy it anyway. Web surfing apparently revealed that I might have been ripped off buying the LG, as it seems that it may be only capable of data speeds of 9,600, the same as the old digital, not at 14,400 as was led to believe. The other brand does, according to what we found on the net, work at 14,400 and comes with software which gives one a lot of PC usability with the mobile such as phone book, sending SMS etc. I think I would be a lot happier with the new one, but one would only know after purchasing unfortunately.

We will be moving off tomorrow, after staying for two weeks rather than one, and will be visiting several camp spots on the coast between here and Ingham. A stay at Ingham and maybe somewhere further north and then we will return to Townsville, on the way staying at the camp spots again, this should kill some time before Linda goes home.

We will be killing this time in the next chapter.


Tuesday 4th June, (Townsville).

One job we are now half way through and I think we are both regretting even starting it. We have began rearranging and reshaping the green shade awning cover for the annexe. The problems were that we used the old green shade that we have had hanging since day one, which was a little twisted out of shape, and we used the wrong material to line the edges. The lining was a little stretchy, along with the freshly cut end of the green shade, and when we sewed them together the lengths were all out of proportion. Well if nothing else our ingenuity will be tested trying to come up with a fix.

Linda has had her glasses and eyes checked again, which has resulted in a new pair of lenses in her glasses. This time she has had variable lenses fitted with the idea of wearing them continuously. She is, at this stage, happy with them with the exception that it is going to take some time to get used to them. Positioning her book in the right place and looking at it at the correct angle is the main problem at this stage.

We are at this stage wondering how we are going to fully enact our previous statement about never being cold ever again. It seems that wherever we go there are always some evenings that are cold, we are even talking at the moment about turning on the electric blanket. I guess we had the misconception that the temperatures at Townsville are always warm, but they are far from it at the moment of an evening. The days are still warm enough to wear shorts, but southerly winds certainly cool the night air enough to get dressed up a little more. Oh well, that’s life: If that’s all we have to complain about things can’t be too bad.