Friday 31st October 2014, Swansea.
Another move today takes us on to Swansea, a southern suburb of Newcastle, and not without incidents. It was going to be a long trip today, 360K, longer than we usually do, and the weather was rather warm as well, but I can’t at this stage come up with a reason why one of our caravan tyres should explode and de-tread itself. The tyre pressures were checked only a couple of days ago, and a feel of the temperature of the tyres was made at the previous rest area we stopped at and the ride of the tyre looked good also, so I have no explanation. The particular tyre was one I purchased in St George in 2009 when we had our tyre and brake problems, and has done about 25,000 Kilometres. Perhaps that could be the problem, tyre specialists will tell you that you shouldn’t run tyres over 5 years old, and I guess this tyre was 5 years old.
Anyway we did make it to Swansea and have setup with the roof outside, so we are a bit ‘buggered’ at the moment and have no intention to do any more until whenever. We were originally only going to stay for 4 days, but are now paid for a week to give us a chance to do the repairs. More work to be done some time is repairs to the water hose from the tank underneath as it now has a leak, more than likely caused by part of the disintegrating tyre.
Wednesday 29th October 2014, Macksville.
Amazing isn’t it: We are now at Macksville, a small town that we have passed through on numerous occasions, and seen this caravan park sign on the side of the highway, and have probably never given a second thought to stopping here because it is in the middle of nowhere and is only very small town. The caravan park actually seems to be quite a nice park, a little costly for the area, but one we would come back to in the future, so long as it’s price doesn’t go up too much more. We went into the town to do some shopping and also decided that the town isn’t really that small after all, it even has a ‘Woollies’. Tomorrow the plan is now to go back into town and have a bit of a look around, probably let Linda do her thing while I wander about taking a few photos, it will be a change getting the camera out again. I did charge all the camera batteries the other day in the event this situation might arise.
Tuesday 28th October 2014, Evans Head.
It has happened once again: It has been a situation of sitting in the one spot for too long and I forget to make a regular report. We are now in Evans Head and have been since Saturday. Situated a little south of Ballina/Byron’s Bay we have been here on a couple of occasions in the past, liked the place, hence our return. We had forgotten how windy it can be here, and this trip is no different with us nearly being blown away on Sunday night, then I believe it was the same with strong winds everywhere else as well with Sydney and Melbourne copping the same.
We went for a walk yesterday to a headland just south of town that we have done in the past, but it was unknown whether we completed the walk to the coast line. The track was a little overgrown, and I believe the temperature was extremely high last time, whatever even though the area seemed familiar I did not have any photos from the past so it must be that we called off the walk for whatever reason. There are many walking tracks around town so we have been making the most of them.
It is now time to move on tomorrow to a small town called Macksville, or at least to a caravan park just north of the town.
Tuesday 21st October 2014, Clontarf.
I have finally succumbed to the using of a ‘Smart Phone’. Linda had an old Samsung that she indicated was intermittently faulty, so I decided to try it out for a while just to see the difference between that and my old Nokia Phone. I was surprised to find out that they do in fact have quite a few extra features that were of use to me, so I purchased a new one for myself. It turns out that I don’t think there was much actually wrong with Linda’s old one except for the fact that the on/off button on the side could be activated whilst in one’s pocket or handbag if leant against something, but it was an old model and operating system, and only 3G possibly not being blue tick, so my new one overcomes all these bad features.
There was a bit of a story with my buying my new one, which in simple terms goes like this: I ordered one on-line from Telstra, after taking my money they informed me they had no stock available, this was no good to me as we were moving on, I rang up and cancelled my order, the following morning an email told me the phone was on its way, that afternoon another email tells me the order was cancelled and my money would be returned. Me now not knowing what is likely to happen decided to wait and see what did eventuate. The phone did turn up a few days later, but no money refunded yet, a phone call to the same person I was talking to originally, Telstra does provide that option now, to inform them of the situation and to cancel the cancellation. I have now fired up the new phone and up till now the money has not been refunded, surprise, surprise, all seems to have worked out with no more hassles.
Saturday 18th October 2014, Clontarf.
We are on the move again, having moved to Clontarf, on the southern end of the Redcliffe peninsula, half an hour from Beachmere. We stayed here earlier this year and said then that we must return. We are thinking that we would prefer to stay here that Beachmere, but one can only stay here for maximum of six weeks. We are planning on only being here for one week and then slowly make our way south toward Melbourne.
Tuesday 7th October 2014, Beachmere.
The final review appointment with surgeons was had today and all is ok, so now we can give serious thought to when we pack up and start moving south toward Melbourne once again. I do have another small task to be completed before we do move, but hopefully that won’t take long.
Short and sweet but this is the news we have been waiting four months for.
Monday 6th October 2014, Beachmere.
We are getting questions from management as to when we will be leaving. I am sure we are not under pressure to leave, considering we have been given permission to stay longer than the allotted 4 months due to my health issues, but the park is quite full and my guess is they would like to know so they can allocate our site for further bookings. After my appointment with the surgeon tomorrow, which should be our last required visit, we should be able to give them a fixed date of the 18th October. We still have another commitment to fulfil before we leave so if we can’t do that before that date we will move to Clontarf, as we originally wanted to do, for the duration of our visit. I will have completed my recovery period by then so packing up the van will be a possibility, which is what is holding us here until the 18th.
I have also decided not to have my toenail job done this week as this will be yet another commitment to staying here because the recovery period will prevent us moving, and we really do not want another hold up. We are committed to being back here in April for follow-up treatment for my present health issue, so I may consider having it done then depending how my toe holds out. After all I have had this problem all my life, another few months is not going to be any more of a hardship.
Wednesday 1st October 2014, Beachmere.
I had my appointment with the liver department at R.B.W.H today to get the results of tests taken when I had my operation a few weeks ago. The results were very good, in fact they couldn’t be better, with the word Cancer being removed from the table completely. The name given to my problem is “HAEMANGIOMA”, an explanation from a web site goes; a tangle of blood vessels in or on the surface of the liver. It seems that this condition does not generally cause any problems, but mine was reasonably large so had to be removed. It seems to me though, that they didn’t know the ultimate diagnosis until it was removed. I now have to undergo an ultra sound every six months, as they insisted at the hospital, so it now seems that we will have to be in Brisbane every six months for this, being April and October, and no doubt in the district in between, ahh life’s hard.
I still have a few weeks recovery from the surgery to undergo, and an appointment with the surgeons next week to get the all clear from them, so after that we should be free to recommence our travels south for Xmas.
I am also contemplating having a toenail section removal next week to overcome a long time problem. As the medical man is on holiday I am not sure that the appointment I have made will be suitable for him, I will find out next week, but if it goes ahead this itself will also keep us from leaving here for our return to Melbourne, but we should still be able to get away by the end of October.