Chapter 8


Sunday 13th May (Mothers day), (Brisbane).

We had a leisurely drive from Tweed Heads to Brisbane today, about 100km, and are now parked in Deris and Danny’s front yard.

It turns out that it was a pleasure to leave the caravan park we had just been staying at as it was situated right next to the local sewer treatment plant and last night in particular the breeze occasionally blew in the right direction for the aroma to travel in our direction, this accompanied by the aeroplanes taking off from the airport the other side of the sewer plant and over the park at 5.30 am convinced us that we would never stay there again.

It is a pleasure on my part to finally get to Brisbane because it has come to light that I can’t recall the last time I have met Deris’s husband Danny, I have since been informed that I have met him once in Melbourne since their wedding while I was there on an 8 ball trip about 20 years ago, but I can’t remember as I would have a hard time remembering anything from that trip, so I have now had a chance to meet him again.

Deris and Danny are off to work early in the morning so we will be on our own to find our way to wherever we decide to go sightseeing, but that shouldn’t be a problem, Danny did give me some advice about a law that applies in Brisbane where it is an offence to drive into the city and stop the vehicle to drop somebody off, which I consider is handy to know as the penalty is quite a hefty fine. The reason for this law is apparently to prevent anyone from driving into the city instead of using public transport, Welcome to Queensland!!

Gold Coast

Saturday 12th May, (Surfers Paradise).

Surfers Paradise; what can one say to sum up the beauty of the place. We have now been there, seen that and had a picnic at a park on the edge of the beach. We even felt that smug, that we sent an SMS message to Narrelle and Matthew telling them we were picnicking on the beach, which resulted in Narrelle replying with their present location and suggested we would be better off there, but I took it as sarcasm as I’m sure it was intended. We are definitely returning here and spending some time, preferably closer to the beaches so it would be within walking distance.

Well we did get in one day of looking around, so we did at least see the area, and we now know what to expect when we return.

Even though we crossed the border into Queensland today on our travels it will be on to Queensland for an extended time tomorrow so this could be an opportune time to end this chapter and start another.

Tweed Heads

Friday 11th May, (Tweed Heads).

WE have moved on and are now at Tweed Heads, close to the Queensland border, which leads me to the idea that chapter eight is about to commence when we enter Queensland, which will be on Sunday I reckon.

Our travels took us through Woolgoolga, as it is on the way, and we spotted a sign that summarises our thoughts about its name, it read ‘Welcome to Woolgoolga, a hard place to say, a great place to stay’.

We travelled further today than we had originally intended but then it would be an advantage to do this, as we are now closer to Brisbane so we will now be able to judge our entry time to Brisbane so as to miss the peak traffic.

We picked a caravan park, a big 4, to stay at in Tweed Heads but the map I was following did not show enough detail and we could not access it from the highway as we entered the township. I am still unaware as how to access it but we decided to just book into our second choice, which was much more easily accessible. It seems that it doesn’t matter how much thought we put into selecting which park we intend staying at, there is always something we overlook; this park, and the big 4 we selected, are obviously near an airport as already several planes have flown over at a very low altitude in what must be take off mode, very loud, and it is obvious that the reason that caravan parks are in the area they are is due to these setbacks. One would get used to them, I should imagine, after living here for a while. Overhead power lines and areas stuck behind hills are common problems, giving poor TV reception.

We were taking note of fuel prices as we travelled from Coffs to Tweed (Heads) and the price of gas seemed to increase slightly and petrol seemed to decrease to an extent that the crossover point of economics of using gas was crossed so I may now have to use petrol. I did notice that petrol at a station near the caravan park we booked into was over 10 cents cheaper than just down the road, so I reckon they are already charging Queensland prices even though we are not quite there. A drive around the area and into Queensland tomorrow will reveal the prices in the area and the difference between petrol and gas so as I can decide what to refuel with and where.

One thing I have noticed is it seems to be warmer here than Coffs, and I have had people tell me since we left Coffs that “there is nothing hot about the NSW coast”, and it doesn’t seem to get as cool as the sun goes down. A comment by a fellow traveller from Tassie, whom has now settled in Tweed, that this area is so much warmer than Coffs and is better all year round, I can only believe the locals.

Coff’s Harbour

Thursday 10th May, (Coff’s Harbour).

The weather has finally cleared up somewhat, considerably warmer than it has been, so we went for a drive 30 or so kilometres to visit a place the name of which has tickled our fancy, that being Woolgoolga. It wasn’t a place with anything special, but we felt that we had to visit, if nothing else we spotted a caravan park in the township that tempted us to return and stay there at a later stage.

We are now packed up and ready to move on tomorrow.

Coff’s Harbour

Monday 7th May, (Coff’s Harbour).

I am of the mind to change our plans of staying in Coff’s for as long as originally thought as it is raining at the moment, and with the accompanying wind, it is rather cold so we are thinking that at this time of year we may prefer to be further north and we may make a dash for at least Brisbane and then see what things are like, but we are not going anywhere in the rain. Unfortunately it is forecast for several days, so when it has stopped, who knows, it may warm up enough for us to change our minds again.

Linda met her friend Thuraya at church yesterday and afterward she had made arrangements to borrow a car and show us around the area, but during lunch it became clear to me that they would be better off on their own to chat about old times and I would be better off on my own doing a couple of things I wanted to do. After lunch they dropped me off at my car and they went off on their own way. The next I saw of them was at 5:30 pm when they came home for a change of clothes after they had been walking along the beach near the jetty and a large wave appeared from nowhere and swamped them. I reckon they were chinwagging and hadn’t noticed the wave appear.

Wednesday 9th April, (Coff’s Harbour).

We have decided to head for Cairns where the weather may be a little warmer; it has been windy and cold here almost for the duration of our stay and we decided that we left Tassie to get away from the cold, so it’s off to Cairns. The weather has been very disappointing as we were looking forward to spending some time at Coffs, I can see that we will definitely return here when the weather is warmer, maybe in summer. We are going to travel about 200klm per day, every second day, spending two nights wherever we do stop so we can at least get a rest instead of just travel. About two legs should see us reach Brisbane, where we will have to stay a couple of days to visit Deris, my sister, and get the panel van serviced (I should give the panel van a name as it is a large part of our life now).

We finally had a chance today to visit Sealy Lookout, just north of Coffs, a mountain with views not to be missed, I was told, so with the first decent sunshine that we have had since being here we took the opportunity to go see and take some pics. The views were good to the north and south, but not 360 degrees as I was led to believe.

An upset with plans today as I once again visited the Post Office to collect the mail that Matthew was supposed to send on Friday last. It wasn’t at the PO I had requested so I went into the PO in the city centre in case it was sent there by mistake. Still nothing, so in quite an angry tone I insisted that due to the mail being express post that he find out where it is, he calmly said “if you can give me the postal details I will find it”. I then rang Matt to get the details, and to my disgust, found out that he had not even sent the mail as yet. I will have to try to explain to Matt, so it sticks, that we can’t arrange out travels around delivery of mail, and he will have to acknowledge when he has sent the mail when I have requested it to be.