Friday 25th May 2012, Beerwah.
Linda is back with me and I am once again enjoying her home cooked meals, not that I wasn’t eating home cooked while she was away, they weren’t hers. We are a little rained in at the moment so I guess the order for today may be to do some shopping for some new chairs that are badly needed.
Friends we have come to know at the caravan park at Maroochydore are now starting to arrive so we will have plenty of visiting to do in the future to occupy a lot of our time. We were in there yesterday for Linda to do her shopping and while waiting I went to the park and had a chat with a couple that have already arrived.
Thursday 17th May 2012. Beerwah.
I just about have everything organised that I need to for our stay here for this year. I have given all details of what I intend doing to Centrelink and everything is finalised with them at this stage, and it turned out there were no dramas at all in moving up here for the colder months, as I thought there wouldn’t be. Voluntary work has been organised, in fact I have put in a day there already, and have had a key issued to me already so I can go in any day I wish, they only work on Wednesdays at this museum, so when I work out exactly what is required of me I can now go in whenever I want. I must come up with a little better travel arrangements to the museum though as on Wednesday return trip home I found that the busses were very unreliable which is extremely unsatisfactory, as catching the right train home is imperative. I also had a doctor’s visit to organise a couple of things like Flu-vac, blood tests and a script renewal, so overall I think I can say I am now organised. Now that I have had a couple of trips to Maroochydore it seems a little closer than it originally did so it is not going to be a drama going in there whenever we want, and that will please Linda.
Monday 14th May 2012, Beerwah.
I had a day visit to Maroochydore today to do some business and the instant feeling I had was that of being back home again. This feeling has been experienced before both here and elsewhere, but nowhere as strong as I felt it today. It is a pity I have ill feelings about the caravan park, and their prices, that we used to stay at because it really is the ideal place to stay in the area, with the exception that I have chosen to do my voluntary work in Brisbane and transport would be very inconvenient.
A very ill feeling with some information given to me at Centrelink today, when they informed me that if I had chosen to move to an area with a less chance of getting work that my previous location my payment would be ceased for 16 weeks, but fortunately this was not the case in my situation. This leaves me with the thought that why didn’t they make me aware of this before I moved up here so I could have satisfied myself before I made the move, instead of finding out afterward. I am fully aware of it now though, and doubt if I will ever forget it.
Friday 11th May 2012, Beerwah QLD.
As short as it was, that is the end of my travels, as I can see, until the end of the year. I have arrived at Beerwah, half way between Caboolture and Maroochydore on Steve Erwin Way only a couple of kilometres from the Australia Zoo. The caravan park here is on, and part of, a farm, as in the name ‘Gowinta Farm’ that grows pineapple and strawberry as far as I can see at this early stage. I had another rather long leg today of 440K and am glad this past week is over, I have come from Melbourne to here in four of these long legs and I have no idea how some people even older than I make the similar trip with only one overnight stop. Whenever I do make the trip in future it will definitely be no quicker than I did do it this week, I guess the main thing was that I did have a day break between trips. I now have until Wednesday to set up fully and familiarise myself with the district and the rail system that I intend using to travel to my place of voluntary work in Brisbane.
Thursday 10th May 2012, Goondiwindi.
Almost 10:00 AM and I am washed, fed and cleaned up, sitting back wondering what I am going to do with myself for the rest of the day. My first thought other than that was “Why am I sitting here for the day doing nothing?” when the long trip yesterday hasn’t played too much havoc with me and my tiredness and such. Then I think, “That’s what the days rest is for!”, and has obviously done its job so far on this trip as I have not had any two days consecutive travel and my wellbeing is telling me it has worked, so that is the answer to that earlier question. All I have to do now is refuel the car, go into town and have a walk around, and then just sit and relax. I have put my sign out the back advertising help with TV so that may give me something to do later, but I won’t count any chickens.
Wednesday 9th May 2012, Goondiwindi, QLD.
I am now at Goondiwindi in Queensland and the trip today would make me seriously think about ever doing that long a trip again. Dubbo to Goondiwindi is a bit over 500K which would have to be one of the longest one day trips I have done since our travels commenced. I am not feeling too bad for it, but it was a long day. I had intended to stop at Narrabri, but it would then have made these two legs rather short so I decided to combine them into one trip. I only have one leg to go now to get to Caboolture, my destination, then I will be able to set up and settle in for the duration.
Monday 7th May 2012, Dubbo.
Another long trip today, by my standards, takes me to Dubbo, another 400K north. I also intend being here for two days, what I am going to do with myself is to be seen, but there will always be something to fill in my time.
The old adage of “What a small world it is” rang true today. Back in Heathcote Junction, not far from Narrelle’s place, over the past few months there has quite often been a caravan parked on a nature strip that I had noticed due to its oddly shaped front. It had a wedge shape, vertical, to act as a wind break. Today, just north of Parkes, I stopped at a rest area to have some lunch and not long behind me pulled in a van that looked identical and after asking it was revealed that it was in fact the same caravan, he parks it on the nature strip between trips because he can’t get it up the driveway. Would you believe we swapped ID cards and such, but I never did note the brand of the van, I do know it is American. The funniest part of the story is that they were parked opposite me at Narrandera last night and I didn’t recognise it because I didn’t see the front of it, spoke to them on occasions, but did not know them.
Saturday 5th May 2012, Narrandera NSW.
The first day of travel for the year is over. I have arrived at Narrandera, about 400K from Melbourne, and will be here for 2 days. On the way I considered why I would want to stop for two days at each place I do stop, and came up with the thought that at Narrandera at least I had better stay at least two days and get myself settled into the van considering I am on my own.
I have a couple of maintenance things to do tomorrow that got overlooked when repairs to the Emu damage was made to the van last year. A new pole carrying pipe was fitted to the back bumper of the van, one a bit larger than the old one, and now the satellite dish will not fit on the back of the van. All that will be necessary will be to slide the rear bumper out an inch or so and problem should be solved.
Friday 4th May 2012, Heathcote Junction.
Here we are packed and ready to get on the road again, and the pack up seemed a little harder than usual this time I guess because we have been sitting for six months, about the longest we have stayed in one place since we headed off eleven and a half years ago. It was almost as if we had settled in for good, well it almost felt that way anyway. Our travels will be of a different nature this time as we are only going to the Sunshine Coast for about six months and then return to Melbourne. It will be a reasonably quick trip north this time as well, Linda will stay here for a further few weeks to do a couple of things she is committed to, so I will be looking at taking about eight days to get there. This may seem to be rather slow to the average person but it is much quicker than we would prefer as we would normally look at six weeks or so. I am sort of committed to get there rather quickly to meet the requirements of Centrelink if I wish to continue receiving payment.
Tuesday 1st May 2012, Heathcote Junction.
Only a couple of days now till I leave for the Sunshine Coast, hopefully! One of the first things for preparation to leave was to put water in the tank, and all went wrong: I forgot it was filling and it overflowed, quite a lot, and when this happens pressure builds up in the system as the mains is forcing water into the tank, and the filler on the side of the caravan decided it had put up with enough and separated itself. The obvious result of this was to flood the caravan, so we are now going through the process of drying out for departure. I did go to purchase another filler fitting but the only unit available was different than the original so I decided to leave the replacement until I get to Queensland so the problems that may occur fitting the new device will be more easily overcome. It will be my last day of volunteer work at the museum tomorrow for the next six months so now it will be getting accepted at the museum at Brisbane when I get there.
My choice of route of travel is still a little debatable as I had originally chosen to go via the coast, but then there was a chance of meeting up with K and A if I went inland so I changed my mind, now I will miss them so I am thinking of the coast route again, although I reckon the inland route will win. It is a little shorter inland, and the towns are more familiar, and it will be cheaper inland.