Monday 30th September, (Brisbane).

Linda, Mat, Lou and family went into the city for a look today, I believe they drove a short way and then caught a train, then returned the same way.

In their absence I took the opportunity to do some maintenance. The water pump for tank water has been failing, with the switch playing up, so I dismantled and repaired it, it will now do until next time it plays up and then I will replace it.

If not mentioned earlier, I have had a car radio aerial for several weeks now from when I almost fitted a car radio. I decided to fit it to the caravan and see if it would be as effective as the TV aerial that I normally use. It turns out that the aerial seems to be much more effective and efficient, but camping in a remote area will be the true test to see what reception is like. The other benefit will be the lack of having to erect an aerial every time we set up camp.

I also set out to find a mechanic to do a service on the car and decided to find if reception had one to recommend. Their response was to get a mobile mechanic to come here and do it. This seemed like a great idea as normally leaving the car with a mechanic result in my having to find somewhere to go, and something to do while the work is done. This way I will be at home and there will be no waiting; what a great idea, I will have to wait to find out the cost to see if it is really beneficial.


Sunday 29th September, (Brisbane).

The past couple of days have been a little of a worry to Linda as Matthew and family have been travelling up from Melbourne by car. She tends to worry about anybody travelling on anything other than a short trip, so a trip from Melbourne to Brisbane in two days is a big worry. They arrived here ok last night, all seemed in rather good health and temperament considering the long trip.

As one can imagine then, since we have been here a lot of our time has been spent preparing for Matt and Lou’s visit, although when they turned up last night one wouldn’t think we were anything like prepared for them. It is very nice to see them again. I was a little disappointed though, as when they pulled up the first out of the car was Elly and she ran toward me, then straight passed me and headed for Linda. She did after a little while come around and gave me a hug. Jay, not surprisingly, didn’t take to me right away, but has come around this morning and is acting like I’m his best mate.

Apart from area familiarisation and shopping not much else has happened over the last couple of days, with the exception that we went to visit Deris and Danny yesterday. We didn’t think before we arrived there that it was VFL grand final day so when we arrived we joined in with their friends in a footy and barby day. All enjoyed and had a good time.

I guess for the next week we will have a noisy and interrupted time with the family, but I reckon we will be able to put up with it and then look forward to continuing our travels.


Chapter 16

Brisbane family visit, to home for Christmas.

Wednesday 25th September 2002, (Brisbane).

We have arrived at Brisbane, and just as well we left early this morning. With all the kids running around and the crows with their early morning calls one did not get much of a chance to sleep past 5:30 to 6:00. Anyway arriving early in Brisbane found us on a site that was quite unsuitable to our needs. The reason I booked early was to ensure we would get a site suitable for erecting the tent on the same site as the caravan, for Matt and family to sleep in. The site they allocated was quite narrow so, as per their suggestion, the only place to erect the tent would either be in front of, or behind the caravan. The site was so sloped at the rear that it would have been at too much of an angle for the tent to expect anybody to sleep in, so it was decided to park the van to the rear and erect the tent to the front, as it was more level there. The main problem with this idea was the van being so high off the ground at the front that apart from the awning poles being too short to support it, I was not at all happy with the security of having the van situated in that pose.

I sent Linda to the office to originally enquire about whether they had some decent supports, and when they came to see what the problem was I had decided that the site next door would be a better one if we could move. A few booking changes and the site next door was freed up for us, so we moved lock, stock and barrel next door.

If you hadn’t gathered already, arriving early gave us more time for all the mucking around with management and moving. I’ll add as well that the temperature here today would have to be the hottest we have experienced for a fair while, in the low 30’s, and that did not help the temperament at all!

With the extra time we were going to have we had planned to go to the chocolate shop we favour near the airport, as my supplies are very low, but that will now have to wait.

Even with the heat I decided it would be better to erect the tent today as well, because I could foresee that if I left it until the weekend when it was needed somebody could move into the site we were originally on in our absence. If this were to happen the chances are they would encroach on to our site, that one being so narrow, and we would then not have enough room to erect the tent. Either that or I could see me making a proper prick of myself asking them to move over, being something I would prefer not doing.

I now consider that all has worked out well in the end and my frustration demonstrated with management not considering my booking with more seriousness proved to be futile.

Sunshine Coast/Coolum

Monday 23rd September, (Sunshine Coast/Coolum Beach).

A very relaxing day was spent yesterday doing absolutely nothing, and it was enjoyed very much.

Today we ventured back up to Noosa Heads and walked about 10k around the National Park. Some of the scenery was quite spectacular, especially the rugged coastline. Linda made a comment on how blue the ocean water was, so below are a couple of pics to try to demonstrate not only the water but the rugged coast as well.

A call from Matthew yesterday revealed that they would in fact be coming to Brisbane later this week. Linda is now thrilled to find out that she will meet them after all, I am too.

We have noticed another spectacular aspect of the Sunshine coast today, thunderstorms, we had one the other night that Linda said only lasted about half an hour; I didn’t notice being asleep, and this afternoon we experienced another. One minute it was sunny and warm, the next it was pouring and a thunder storm, it lasted about 30 minutes, and then if it wasn’t for getting dark it would have been sunny and warm again.

We have now decided that we will put up with the holidaymakers and stay here until Wednesday as planned. Well we decided before the thunderstorm arrived, which would have convinced us anyway, with everything getting wet. If we had planned to move tomorrow we would have wanted to pack up tonight and the storm would have prevented that.

Not much planned for tomorrow, so this could be an ideal time to close this chapter and start another from arriving in Brisbane on our way to our going home for Christmas.

Sunshine Coast/Coolum

Saturday 21st September, (Sunshine Coast/Coolum Beach).

The Hinterlands is an area to the west of the coast and along the Blackall mountain range and is an area that offers great views of the coastline. Unfortunately I am not showing any photos as the total coastline was very misty and they were not 100% clear. The area also offered several small interesting towns, if one is inclined to stop and investigate them, and several waterfalls. Again it was unfortunate that not much water flow resulted in disappointing shots, although we did get an appreciation of what they would be like in full flow. Overall though the drive in the Hinterlands is one I would recommend to all in the district.

Linda has been making comment lately about how she is not going to enjoy our visit to the Sunshine Coast this time because of the school holidays. I now know what she meant, because as of today all the holidaymakers have made camp in the caravan park and at present the park is full of noisy small kids, and big kids. This tends to detract from the peacefulness we have grown accustomed to in parks up until now.