Monday, December 30, 2013

More storms at Cotton Tree

Cotton Tree

Sunday night and another light show.  During the storm two men, staying in the Cotton Tree caravan park, were taken by ambulance to Nambour hospital with heart related issues.  Hope my Dora was OK out at Diddillibah.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Cotton Tree

I finally bought a Stand Up Paddle board.  I went to Ocean Addicts and they told me about an inflatable model that comes with a bag and pump and you can carry on your back, ideal to fit into Dora's bins.  Went on line and checked that it was for real and then got my very own.  I love it.  It takes about 10~15 mins to inflate but went really firm and rigid and rides the water really well.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Mt Coolum

Cotton Tree
Climbed Mt Coolum with Robyn early on Monday morning whilst a steady breeze kept the temperature down.  It was just another climb for me but for Robyn it was her first time and she was a bit tentative going up but not so on the way down.  We maintained a steady pace with just a stop or two for a breather reaching the top in 20 mins, not bad for a first time.  Should be the first of many climbs.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cotton Tree - Pelicans

Cotton Tree
Piss off Mac no space here!
Time for a snooze

click on an image to enlarge
Our jetty is a favorite snoozing spot after a busy night of fishing but landing space can be at a premium.  Another fantastic weather day at Cotton Tree its the start of the school holidays and things are ramping up..

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Storm Season on the Sunshine Coast

Cotton Tree
After the damage to my motorhome I am more aware of storms and the warnings given by BOM.  But there is little I can do about them other than take a photo or two.  I took this snap about an hour after the storm passed over having dropped lots of rain.  Could be a large canvas print on my lounge room wall?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dora and the Hail Storm

Cotton Tree
Mid November a hail storm struck Cotton Tree as you can see it trashed the awning but worse it trashed the roof with water cascading inside via the air conditioning outlets. The hail was as big as cricket balls.  Had a lot of trouble finding a repairer prepared to quote the job.  Eventually with the help of Chook and Deb got a mob who will replace the fibreglass lining with a rubber membrane also replacing the hatches and awning.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Point Vernon Hervey Bay

Point Vernon for 16 nights. I parked the MH out front in the driveway as there is no access to the back yard, overhead clearance an issue. This time it's a nice residential house in suburbia and my charge is an overweight dog called Tiger. Poor Tiger hardly ever gets to go out for a walk, well that's up until I arrived. Day one his lead broke so I had to make a temp one till I could buy a new one. Hope it gets used when I'm gone. Each morning rain hail or shine we walked The Point usually about 5km around the coastal path. Then I would ride my bike into town or around the really good bike tracks here. An easy assignment in a nice part of Hervey Bay. 

Keith called last night they'll be home this arvo. I will head off tonight. Last walk with the doggy, 5km around the point. Keith and Shirley arrived home mid arvo and I headed off after bring Shirley up to date with a few things. Decided to overnight at Tiaro.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cotton Tree - Hervey Bay house sit

Cotton Tree
Stopped at the Maroochy Primary School for the last few days of the school holidays and then back to Cotton Tree CP for about a week till I'm due to do the house sit in Hervey Bay.
Did all the normal stuff I do at Cotton Tree.  Just cooling my heels waiting to do the house sit.
Decided to stay here at CTCP one more night then overnight tomorrow in Maryborough at the Marina and catch up with Neville. Then its an easy drive to Hervey Bay Wednesday morning.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Maryborough Marina - Photos

An overnighter in Maryborough to provision then back to the farm.

Up before the sun. Did the provisioning got the gas bottle filled and booked in overnight at the Marina only a handful of powered site but with lovely views of the river and close to town. Had a long chat with Neville the owner here at the Marina. Two major floods this year have had a major affect on his health, but he goes on, I admire that!  I updated WikiCamps and created an entry on caravan caravan site for the park, least I could do. Took some nice photos whilst here and emailed him a copy.

Mixed night here at the Marina mostly quiet until the night club up the road closed at 3am. But a good place to stop. Dumped at the showgrounds, brought some wine and headed back to Bauple.
The Marina

Early Morning

The Marina

The campsite at the Marina

Friday, October 4, 2013

Bauple - Macadamia Farm Sit

Cotton Tree - Bauple
Headed north at about 10am stopping for lunch and a snooze at Chatsworth rest area, just north of Gympie, at noon. Stopped at this really nice camp spot, for a cuppa a km or two on the south end of the Bauple Drive Rd. Good for an overnighter in the future. Big storms up north just a few km away. Arrived at Barenuts and met Cameron and Tracy the kids and my charges for the next two weeks, the animals. Toured the property. About two thousand macadamia trees, 20 cattle, a dozen or so chocks, two ducks and a dog.

I spent the next two weeks trimming the lower limbs of some of the trees, helping myself to a basket full of nuts and walking the dog around the property. I picked the nuts from the trees and then run them through the de-shelling machine. Tracy also gave me some of her commercial products like macadamia butter, flavoured roast nuts and oil.

Overnighted in Maryborough on the weekend so I could provision.

After a relaxing 2 weeks I left about 8am and headed to Cooroy to visit Chook and Deb for a cuppa, met Lola Deb's mum, dead spit for each other. Then on to Maroochy Primary School for the next three nights. Rang and booked Dora in for rego inspection on Wednesday next week.

Bauple Macadamia Farm - misty morning

More established trees

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cooktown - Cotton Tree

Mt Molloy - Bramston Beach.Stopped to provision at woollies in Cairns, then dump at Babinda and on to Bramston Beach for a couple of nights. Took a photo of Ray (HW) fishing, nice.

Stopped at Innisfail River Drive CP for a week and rode around town and along the river down the south bank and out Coquette Rd via the Moresby Range National Park to Coquette Point. Some steep hills here but a nice ride with some good views.  Did some maintenance on the MH. Then moved on to Kurrimine Beach where I came across Ken and Carroll last seen in Chillagoe, small world. Stayed a week then on to Cardwell CP. Time to do the laundry and housework.

Bluewater then Home Hill. Stayed a couple of nights and fixed more minor maintenance issues with the MH riding back and forth to the hardware in town. Decided to stay one more night. Go for a ride watch the NRL then head south tomorrow. So rode to Inkerman Hill a 12km ride before pushing up (walking) the very steep 1km long a 200m high hill. Coming down was smoking the brakes, 24km return a nice workout.

Headed off about 9am. Dumped. Stopped at Proserpine for lunch then on to OConnell River ~50km south of Proserpine and about 2 km off the Bruce highway right on the river, nice just me here. I think it is part of the Eungella National Park but not sure. A smouldering fire rekindled for tonight, nice.

Anna on HW Facebook page says she is looking for a house sitter in Hervey Bay, I agreed. Mid October fits nicely with Bauple. I have previously agreed to do a farm sit at a macadamia farm in Bauple.

St Lawrence. Decided I will stay another night and look around town. Rode 10 km into and around town, not a lot to see. Mid arvo walked around the dry wetlands and then to the pub for a schooner.

Headed of early. Stopped for fuel in Rockhampton and lunch somewhere south of there. Drove a bit over 230 km but it was worth it as Calliope stop is really nice. Grass and shade. Might stay another night. Rode the 20 km return to town via the old bridge and almost disused highway just to see how big it was, surprisingly large and busy town. And they have bats.

On to Gin Gin and Bauple where I checked out the farm by bike. Should be OK for two weeks.

On to Cotton Tree booked into the the Cotton Tree CP, back on my site for a bit. Do the mail catch up with people all the normal stuff I do here then its back to Bauple to eat macadamia nuts for two weeks.
Innisfail looking from Coquette Point
Ray fishing at Bramston Beach
Inkerman Hill near Home Hill

Calliope free camp
Bats near the town at Calliope

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mareeba and Cooktown

Arrived at Mareeba mid morning, did the provisioning before joining all the CMCA at the rally. Maintenance time for the MH, leaky plumbing. Rode to a caravan spares place twice once to get plumbing bits and then a second to get a new gas strut for a bin lid. Met up with Chook and Deb again and a few others.  Watched the entertainment at the main tent, over 300 motor homes here.

Xmas in July lunch today, sorry NOT me, bah hum bug! Drizzled most the day and all night so I expect the gods had the same opinion. Rode around town between the showers.

Walked around the market set up here at the rally, interesting, not very. Still full of head cold so lazed around most of the arvo. Went to happy hour talk about Cooktown, sounds good so might spend a week there and do the show.

Headed off toward Cooktown at about 1030am after topping water and dumping. Easy drive to Rifle Creek camp spot at Mt Molloy. Headed off very early next morning as I did not sleep to well. Showered about 100km down the road.

Arrived at Cooktown, disappointed in both the new $5 camp and the showgrounds so headed 10km back out of town and stayed roadside, a much better option. Named it Chook's Gravel Pit and entered it in WikiCamps.

Good night by the highway at Chook's Gravel Pit. Drove into town and rode the bike up Captain Cook's lookout, hard work, but great view.

Next day back to town to Mt Cook National Park, about 930am. Climbed the mountain 440m (according to my smartphone GPS) and 6 km return. A tough climb best done in the cool of the morning as it can be stifling climbing through the thick undergrowth and under the tropical canopy.  The path is marked with tree tags but is hard to ID in places.  The best view is about 50m south of the transmitter equipment shed on a rocky outcrop.  Took some nice photos.

When staying at CGP I met a lady I've been sharing the gravel pit campsite with most nights and had a few drinks with her each afternoon exchanging travel stories.  Heading south tomorrow after a week here.
click an image to enlarge
 View from the Top of Mt Cook
There is a logbook at the top of the mountain and I entered several world records in  the book for the date 1/8/2013: First to the top that day. Fastest in my age group for the day (to be confirmed) 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ravenswood - Fletchers Creek - Chillagoe - Dimbulah

Decided to go to Mareeba MH rally via the Gregory Dev Hwy rather than the coast like everyone else.

Easy drive to Ravenswood. Nice spot, nice showgrounds, booked for two nights. Laundry day, doing it by hand, this is new. It all smells better than when a machine does it!  Went for a ride around town, cemetery of course, pubs and other old buildings including the gold mine, very interesting place.

On to Fletchers Creek, nice. Got a spot right by the river, lucky! Lots here! Easy drive to Greenvale booked into the Caravan park $18/n and had a few beers at the Three Rivers Hotel, nice. 75 houses in town, no cell phone service, no free to air TV and just one small shop, pub and servo.

Archer Creek (Ravenshoe) for lunch and the night. Drizzled and wind blew all afternoon, cold! Next day stocked up with veggies before driving to Almaden in time to see the Savannahlander train arrive at lunch time. Met the stationmaster Dennis who told me all about the town and rail in its heyday. Set up camp out front of the pub for the night. Had a few beers with the local station owner and roustabouts. A friendly bunch, working on getting pissed ASAP, usual thing for Saturday night I suppose. Wayne ex jockey, Brad cattle station owner, his missus and about 10 others, good time had by all.

Arrived Chillagoe about 9am dumped and payed $6/n for the next 7 nights and set up at the showgrounds, basic but good enough. Met Ken and Carroll. Turns out Ken and Carroll are from Meandarra, go figure. Rode around town, the water hole, the weir, the cemetery, a really good town for tourist as all the streets are named for where they go. Weir St, Hospital St, Hill st, etc. Not showing much imagination but... Stopped off to check out the general store, veggies come in Wednesday, nice. Went for a beer at 4pm to the other pub, I was the only customer for nearly an hour. It is Monday.

Went out to the Balance Rock and the Chillagoe Caves and got some good photos. Then rode over to the smelter, very interesting! Got some good shots here too. State of Origin tonight. Queensland victorious again!

Left early Sunday stopped at a campsite at Eureka Creek for lunch, nice, but no internet or phone. Headed off at about 4 pm just in time to get the last powered site at Dimbulah CP. Met Ferrell Erroll a Highway Wanderer staying at the CP, came over for happy hour, gunna have to hide from him from now on.  Don't think he is likely to read my blog.
click on an image to enlarge
 The Savannahlander at Almaden 
 Balance Rock - (camera may not have been  level)
The smelter

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Townsville Dam Fine Rally

Home Hill - Townsville DFR
Left Home Hill just after 8am provisioned in Ayr and booked into the DFR in the early arvo and was allocated a shady site, not good. Chook and Deb are here, must catch up. Went for a 10km ride and felt better for it. My neighbour for the next week is Chris and his dog Diesel.

Over the next 7 days I rode the bike tracks into town along the Ross River.  The first 9km are ordinary but further downstream its very picturesque the path weaving across the river and along the banks with some very nice views. Some rides were as much as 33km. Caught up with Chook and Deb, nice.  Other days I caught the bus into town and walked around. Fantastic weather, clear still days.

I also checked out the entertainment here at the rally. Some daytime seminar type sessions were interesting and the trade day and public open day with market stalls was good. Checked out the night time entertainment but it did not appeal, might when I'm ten years older, but I hope not!

Spent some time with Chook and Deb. Moved into the sun and parked next to Vianna and Robert who I previously met in Home Hill. Had some interesting discussions with John and Cheryl and 3 others around the fire at night. Then the talk turns to CMCA and the caravan park overlords, I got sucked in, may have alienated people, oops. The argument put is always the same all caravan park owners are evil and are lobbying government to stamp out free camping. I don't believe you can or should use the broad brush with that argument as in things are different from the coast to the outback or country towns.

Went for a ride with Chook and Deb along the river, 30+ km, nice day out.

Not sure that I'm a rally type but it was interesting at times.
Click an image to enlarge
 The Rally site
Love to see a biplane in action

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dalbeg, Deep Creek and back to Home Hill.

Home Hill
Fog and mist early but looks like it will clear to a nice day. Rode around town, stopped at the cemetery, as you do, lots of graves mostly older people here. The streets are numbered 1 to 10 and crossed with avenues 1 to 17, not much thought went into that forefathers!

Provisioned at Ayr woollies after dumping and taking on water. Whilst driving to Dalbeg came across the tag-along-tour group headed to the DFR stopped at Deep Creek veterans retreat. Had a quick look at Dalbeg and it didn't look inviting so turned around and went back and stopped with the tour group. Met BJ the organizer of the tour. Met Reta and David HW we had met before at Maroochy Primary School. Also met Phillis, Tony and Pat all solos and Nobby turned up as well. Stayed a couple of nights, quiet not much to do other than sit around the fire at night.

Packed up, dumped, provisioned at Ayr and headed to Giru. Giru a quiet sugarcane town with not a lot other than a mill and an interesting hotel. Rode around town in 5 km. One night here was enough.

Drove to Woodstock short trip, easy. Rode around town 10 mins, nothing to see. Walked to the shop and back, done it all now! Played some basketball and then cooked dinner. Quite a few MHs turned up today for the trivia tomorrow night. Lots of dog people as well, could be a big weekend, wow! Checked out a military auction and had a look at the dog agility trials, smart dogs! And went to the trivia night. Food was very average. PA was loud and at 8pm I left to watch the Wallabies go down after a poor showing.

Back to Home Hill for 4 nights before going on to the Dam Fine Rally in Townsville. Stopped back at the showgrounds and it has grown near out of control motorhomes everywhere. Managed to catch up with a few people and made new friends but gave happy hour a miss as it was out of control.
Click on an image to enlarge
 Home Hill cemetery
 The Burdekin River Deep Creek 
Cane Fires Home Hill

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cotton Tree to Home Hill

Well I'm doing the annual trek north like so many others do and are doing this year. Expecting to get as far as Cooktown via MH rallies at Townsville and Mareeba.
Left Cotton Tree early and drove to the rest stop just north of Gympie, Chatsworth Park, OK for the night. Gayndah next night Stopped at Ban Ban Springs for lunch then Kilkivan for coffee.

At Gayndah checked out the Weir rest area but it was full of pickers and smelt bad, bat shit apparently. So stopped at Zonhoven park at the other end of town. Met Keith and Doreen neighbours for the night. Walked 2 km into town for some provisions and took a shot of the recent flood then 2 km home before a happy hour with Keith and Doreen, nice. Eidsvold, nothing much to see, then went on to the camp just 11km north at Ceratodus a nice rest area on the Burnett river. Met Bob and Joe new neighbours just for tonight, they have a fire ready to go so no need to collect wood.

Stopped at Monto caught up with Heather, she has been there the since I left, says it's not very professional like it used to be. She's leaving tomorrow and the site will close in about three weeks. Drove on to Lawgi Park rest stop about 25km short of Biloela, nice enough got a sunny spot will do for tonight.

Baralaba a couple of vans moved on and I managed to get the best spot (sunniest) here before about 5 others, the advantage of a motorhome! Met Keith and Ann, she's ok but he is a talk-a-lot. This is a very good camp spot, quiet and sheltered, toilet, water and a great view of the river and not far from town with nice pub and general store carrying a bit of everything, will be back, if I ever leave. Stayed 3 nights then on to Duaringa. Easy drive on sealed road to Woorabinda then north to Duaringa. Really nice rest area at Duaringa hot showers as well as plenty of space clear of the highway. Riding around town, stopped for a look at the cemetery. Met Iris and Ann HW headed to a house sit at Rockie. Had arvo tea with them and then met Ian and Margaret the owners of Dora's sister and had a happy hour drink with them. They are also headed to Townsville Dam Fine Rally. Ian told of all the trouble he has had with his explorer. Nice couple, Margaret is 84 but full of spirit enjoyed a few laughs.

Bedford Weir. Stopped a Blackwater but the supermarket was closed so on to Bedford Weir a really nice place but very popular. Will only be able to stop one night as I have eaten most everything in the fridge and have nothing fresh left. Met Kevin and Sue in a C-class Winnie. Went for a walk around the lake.
Emerald then Sapphire for one night. Met Keith neighbour for tonight. Rang the Tieri hotel regarding the State of Origin telecast and was told good reception in the bar and welcome to stay in the car park. Walk around Sapphire, interesting, reminds me of White Cliffs but just a bit more refined. Lots of activity, lots of old retired people in dirty cloths mostly just sitting around talking.
Tieri one night. Bundoora Dam (German Creek) one night.

Elphinstone Lake stayed several nights nice spot. Waited for the sun to burn the cloud away before walking up the hill behind the campsite. Climbed to about 450m only 150m above the campsite but a good view. Met John when I arrived here the other day. He saw me go off walking yesterday and was interested in joining me when I told him I climbed the hill behind the camp. He said he was fit before we headed off but I soon found he was hanging back and breathing hard. When he got his breath he said he was on all sorts of medication for high cholesterol and other heart issues and bragged he was adjusting the medication as he felt best. And here we were up a steep rocky hillside where there are no tracks and no places for the rescue chopper to land. Anyway we got down ok. Must have been my prayers that did it.

Collinsville, did some provisioning and walked around town. Good for one night in the showgrounds. In Bowen I did the laundry and had lunch with a bay view then stopped for the night 45km toward Townsville. Bowen is not Motorhome friendly. On to Guthalungra nice spot but it's a bit close to the highway. Checking the map I noticed a very obscure pub in a town called Dalbeg, thinking I will need to go there.

Home Hill. This town specializes in free overnight stay, nice, but lots of whizz bangers. Met Paul and Lyn neighbours for the night. Met Steve and Lorraine HW here as well.

It's about 4 weeks since leaving Cotton Tree I'm making reasonable progress and will have time for a detour.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Boomi to Cotton Tree - new batteries

Boomi - Talwood sports ground overnight.  Then Meandarra by lunch next day.  A bike ride to the tip to get a container for Dora's old oil. Tom Fender here again.  Went to the pub for a beer or two and read the Sunday paper. I was the only customer drinking there for about 2 hours and Eric the publican talked my ear off. Eventually telling me just how disillusioned he is with the locals, the turnover, and life in general. Next time I will go to the bowling club when I want a quiet beer.
Camp fees are $5 for 3 nights then $5/night, clever marketing. It appears most stop for 3 nights rather than waste money, tight arse old bastards we are.
Grease and oil change for Dora at 154157km.  Took all morning to service Dora but done till 162150km, nice. Usual lunch then a walk down the main street took 5 mins. Nana nap then took the old oil to the tip.  Quiet day as Tom went for a drive with his buddy. Nice guy but has a lot to say and is an authority, it seems anyway, on everything.  
On to Cecil plains. Stopped at Tara to provision then on to Cecil plains. Cleaned the cattle shit off Dora's nose, thanks to an overtaking truck. The free camp here is nice the road not overly noisy. Walked around town then had a couple at the pub.
Marburg arriving for lunch, looks like a nice place, showgrounds a good place to stop @$15/night with power, ok by me. Races this weekend, sorry I can't stay. Neighbours for tonight Noel and Dot and Jim and ? 

Back to Cotton Tree for some much needed maintenance on the motorhome. Two of the deep cycle batteries have failed, after six years that not bad.  Tossed all four and brought 2 Fullriver AGM batteries from Alco Batteries Maroochydore, $360 each.
Booked into Cotton Tree Caravan Park for a week, back on site 91. Climbed Mt Coolum a couple of times as well as walking and bike riding the coastal paths.
Click on an image to enlarge
 Meandarra creek beside the camp spot
 Marburg Pub classic Queensland
Atop Coolum looking to Maroochydore

Friday, May 3, 2013

Yarrie Lake and the Hot Springs at Pilliga and Boomi

On to Arian Park lunch at Coolamon. Met Ian and Susan neighbours for the night.  Then an easy 125km lunch at Tullibigeal, quiet afternoon, nice. Power tonight, staying warm, nice. Met Joe and his wife neighbours for the night.  Easy drive to Fifield, stopped at the showgrounds with a lot of horses doing endurance buggy trials, interesting. Met Peter, June and Casey competitors and Gay one of the judges. Went to the Fifield pub for 2up, saved my money, had a few beers with my new horsey friends then home to watch NRL.

Stopped for coffee and lunch at Trangie then Met Colin and Catherine at a free camp just Sth of Warren. Then David and Marlene arrived, busy place.On to Albert and the Rat Trap hotel.  Lunch at Coonamble and then on to Pilliga hot springs.  A regular here says Barren Junction bore has been restricted and is now only 32°.
Provisioning in Wee Waa. Lunch at the Australian Telescope, interesting. Stopped for the night at Yarrie Lake, nice. Met Pat and Susan and Kevin and Kaye.  So nice here gunna stay 2 more days. Laundry day jocks and socks etc.
Time to leave one of the best camp spots I have been to $20/night with power but really relaxing. May not be the same on weekends or holidays!  Narrabri for provisions and lunch then on to Boomi.  Bathed in the artesian bore then went down the pub for a schooner to check it out, interesting.  The hot spa certainly gets you ready for bed, nice.
Click an image to enlarge
Australian Telescope
 Yarrie Lake

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

South to Wagga - quarterly health check

Provisioning and on the road by 9:30 don't want to be on the Bruce Hwy during morning rush. Stopped at the truck stop at Caboolture for lunch about 1030am as brekkie was so early. Stopped again at Warrill View for a coffee break then on to Maryvale for a few beers at the pub, with Denis the publican, where I met two ladies travelling in their separate motor homes headed to Adelaide, Val and Beth each travelling with a dog.

Navigated the usual path to Narrandera via the Newell Hwy. North Star rest at Boggabilla. Mendooran camped by the river. Wanda Wandong camping ground in the Goobang National Park just north of Peak Hill and Mirrool Hotel where I had a few beers with Ben at the pub. Seems he has an offer or two for the sale of the pub. Hope it works out for him. Then Narrandera for just two nights on the blocks.

Spent a very pleasant week camped on the mighty Murray River at Cottadidda Reserve at Murray Valley National Park, Mulwala and Tocumwal before heading to Wagga and Wilks Park.

Caught up with Margaret at her new coffee shop. Good looking business and she's looking good as well. Took several days but had the various tests done and got mostly good results. Now free to move on again.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cotton Tree till Easter

Booked into the Cotton Tree CP and got a good site till Easter when they are all booked out.  But that suits me it will be toooo crowded, busy and noisy.  Bloody holiday makers!

Recent storms here have taken the beach away at both Maroochy Surf Club and the Alex Headland Club.  The Maroochy club had to cart sand in so they could put on their annual carnival.

Did all the usual stuff I do when here.  Some motorhome maintenance and cleaning and the usual riding walking swimming etc.  Moved up the Maroochy Primary School during school holidays for the last couple of days before heading off again.  South this time I think.

 This rock is normal under several feet of sand.
Trucking sand up the beach.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Back to Cotton Tree

Left Monto after two weeks work heading north to Biloela then west and south to Theodore. Next day stopped at Taroom for coffee, Miles for lunch and then The Gums and on to Meandarra for the night.  A nice spot at $5 for power for 3 nights and close to the pub overlooking a river.  Did the laundry and met Tom Fender of the Fender guitar fame, well some relative or other anyway. Swapped some music on USB and some movies. There is a good war museum in town well worth the visit.

After a couple of days headed to Dalby fuelling up and on to swinging bridge Park at Cooyar. Stopped here on the way north to Monto a couple of weeks ago. Nice place to stop well of the road, quiet, but no internet or phone, damn. Headed off early, lots of mist and some heavy rain. Stopped at Moore for breakfast then on to Cotton Tree arriving about 10am. Booked in for a week, can only stay till the 29th Easter, but that's OK.

Click an image to enlarge
 The creek at Meandarra
The war museum at Meandarra

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monto Blaze Aid for 2 weeks

Each morning at 7am we had a muster meeting to decide where the teams were going that day.  We usually had 6 teams.  A team usually amounted to 5 or 6 people, mostly men but not only, who once allocated a job drove to the property, up to 50km out of town, and work from 8:30am to about 4pm usually clearing and standing up fences but sometime stick picking paddocks or other work as required by the farmer. The farmers family usually provided morning tea and lunch, nice. The days were long and the work could be strenuous and at the end of the day a beer was really appreciated. We worked 7 days a week but individuals were encouraged to have a day off in every 7 worked. Back at camp each afternoon we had a few drinks before dinner was served. The local town ladies and some of the wives prepared the meals. I prepared my own because their usual menu was not my normal fare.

Whilst there a second flood came through and isolated the town again, cutting the roads north and south, undoing some work we had already done.
 Clearing fences
Standing fences up again

Corrimal to Monto and Blaze Aid

Got a call from the Highway Wanderers Motorhome club, El Pres Dave, asking to help out at Monto with flood damage from all the rain in the region in the last couple of weeks. Sounds like a worthwhile thing to do. About 1300km to Monto, better get started.

Corrimal. Had a good run through Sydney even though it was drizzling most of the time, then stopped for lunch at Mooney Mooney still drizzle. Refuelled at Gosford and stayed overnight in a rest area at Cessnock stopped drizzling but still overcast.

Showers overnight clearing in the morning. Headed off at 8am via Broke Rd, the very worst sealed rode I have driven on and in such a rich area! The Hunter Valley. Stopped at Muswellbrook for breakfast and Vinnie's for work clothes. Stop for lunch at Tamworth and found another Vinnie's and got a shirt this time. On to Armadale and Dumaresq Dam, nice.

Hot shower breakie and headed off at 8am. Cold outside. Stopped at Glen Innes for a cuppa and fuel. Tenterfield at 1230pm for lunch. Lost an hour crossing the border to QLD. Stopped for the night at Dalveen a small community just into QLD, nice. Quiet camp considering the numbers here, mostly backpackers in wiz bangers. Coffee at Hampton then lunch at Cooyar. Nice spot but no internet or phone, can't have that! Drove on to Ban Ban Springs for the night, nice, actual spring water coming out the ground and talked to a local who drinks it and swears by it.

Stopped for coffee and a walk in Gayndah, a lot of water passed this way recently. Mulgildie for lunch, just short of Monto. Arrived at the Blaze aid camp about 12:30. Got fitted out with all the gear, pants, shirt and gloves. BBQ dinner tonight then off to work tomorrow clearing fences. Met Col the caretaker at the showgrounds, nice old bloke.

 The spring at Ban Ban Springs
Gayndah behind the pub in the main street

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bethungra - Wollongong

Coolamon - Bethungra Dam.  Overcast windy cool.  Stopped at Junee for provisions and wine then on to the dam for the night. Only 100km today but that's ok a I'm delaying getting to the coast, waiting for the end of school holidays and better weather.  Walked up the hill to overlook the dam.  Stopped yet another day here waiting for the weather to improve on the coast, lots of rain.  Les called to check I was ok re the weather on the coast.

Bethungra - Shellharbour.  Still, cool, clear after a windy night. Very low on water last fill was Avoca. Stopped at Yass for coffee lunch at Marulan truck stop, 98km to go.  Booked in to ShellHarbour Beach CP for a week.  Saw Brad on the way here, just below The Pass, he was on the way up to work at Mossvale going the other way.

Whilst here I walked the beach and rode the really nice bike paths and had dinner with Brad Kelly and her parents, nice.  A bit of maintenance on the water tanks and other misc routine stuff. 

Moved to Corrimal Beach CP, nice grassy out of the wind, quiet.  

Decided a long ride along the coast would be good.  Rode to the station and put the bike on the train to Otford.  After 10 stations I'm starting to worry it could be too far but its just 25km south on the coast road, back home.  From the Otford station at about 1030am a steep 1.5km hill probably the worst of many to Bald Hill lookout.  Along Sea Cliff Bridge again.  Interested to see all the padlocks had been removed from the rails since last time. Then lunch at 11am Austinmer beach then on on home to Corrimal Beach CP by 1230pm.  Nice ride.

Scattered cloud still warm.  Went swimming with the boogie board then did some laundry. Read most of the day.
Click on an image to enlarge
Sea Cliff Bridge when it had locks

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cottadidda Res - Wagga for Doctor BGL check

Avoca - Barooga. Cloudy still warm.   Dumped and headed for Bendigo for provisioning and lunch.  Hot high 30s.  Decided not to stop at Aysons Res and drove on to Cottadidda Res at Barooga.  Still hot but the swim helps, nice.  Rang the Doctor in Wagga to checked the nurse will be in on Monday and available to take a blood sample and made an appointment for Wednesday to get the results.

Some cloud light wind cool.
Spent the day at Cottadidda swimming reading and lazing about.

Barooga - Wagga
Clear still cool.  Warmed up low 30s dry.  Provisioning in Wagga couple of beers in the pub then stayed at Wilks Park.  Met Margaret in the C-class Winnie here again.  Been seeing her most times I've been stopping here I suppose that won't happen anymore.  She tells me she is about to settle on a coffee shop business on Monday and will be moving into a house.

Wagga.  Some cloud still warm night.  Fasting for blood test.  First in no wait at the clinic, nice. Did some tech shopping then lunch at Wagga beach, nice.  Got some movies out of the library then back to Wilks for the night.  Hot again mid high 30s.  Happy Hour with Margaret.

Wagga.  Clear still warm night.  Spent the day mostly in Wagga library reading.  Back to Wilks for the night.  Interesting place Wilks Park at the moment, interesting people in various states of crisis, yelling pointing arm waving more yelling foul language, I'm mixing with the wrong crowd! Margaret suggested its drugs and I think she is right.  More cars coming and going more discussions through the window more pointing more cars leaving together.  About midnight there is a physical fight sounds like mum dad and the son going at it, crazy, I'm off tomorrow.

Wagga - Narrandera.  Clear sky no breeze cool.  Dr appointment first thing.  No waiting and a great report everything including blood glucose 
on target, good, nice.  Did some provisioning and then booked Narrandera Caravan Park for 2 nights. 

Narrandera.  Clear still warm.  Drove around and saw Rocco about the Fishing Club we decided I needed to get Des on side.  Called and arranged to be at the pub for the raffle.  Lounged in the pool read my book quiet day, nice.  Des picked me up for the pub.  Good night sorted the admin problem, probably.  Lots of beer, lots of fat food.  Lucky I don't live here full time as it does my BGL no good at all.  But nice to catch up.

Narrandera - Coolamon.  Light cloud light breeze warm.  Caught up with Marilyn and Alan at Coolamon CP in Cowobbie St. 

Off tomorrow.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Toora to Avoca - without stopping in Melbourne

Toora - Avoca.  Overcast cool.  Drove through Melbourne non stop had lunch on the west side. Stopped at Ballan for provisions and wine then on to Avoca arriving about 2.30 pm. Enjoyed pasta and wine with Les, watched some cricket and read some book before bed.

Avoca CP.  Clear still cool.  Had three quiet and relaxing days catching up on laundry and a few maintenance issues with Dora.  Did some bike riding and Les and I visited the Blue Pyrenees winery brought some red and then lunch at the Avoca hotel, fish chips and salad, nice.  Very warm afternoon high 30s.  Dora's AC doing ok.  Hot day and slow to cool down at night.  Off tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The High Country - Southern NSW Coast

Adalong - Bemboka
Clear still cool. Stopped at Tumut for provisions then drove on to Adaminaby for lunch.  From Talbingo there is a steep climb from 400m to 1000m in about 6km, hard work but no problem for Dora, even on a hot day in the 30s.  The drive across the high country is one that must be done, nice.  At its peak the road is 1500m above sea level.  A step descent into Bemboka mostly in 1st gear was slow but safe, Dora did good!  Stopped for the night at the showgrounds at Bemboka, ok but nothing special, but quiet.

Bemboka - Yellow Pinch Dam.
Clear still cool, nice.  Stopped at Tathra for coffee a swim then lunch and to plan which way I would go.  Met Susan and Pete kiwi travellers.  Decided south looks good, yellow pinch dam for tonight?  Met Richard, Rose and Deb at YPD.  Had a drink with the fellow travellers and then cooked salmon and veg for dinner, nice.

Yellow pinch dam - Bellbird hotel.  Clear still cool.  Went for a walk to the dam wall down the road and up the bush track, just 1.3km but nice then walked to the top of Yurammie State Park, about 2.5km.   Stopped in Eden for coffee and veggies then lunch at the wharf before heading to Bellbird Hotel.  At 4pm had a couple of schooners with Jergen the publican and back later for dinner, nice.

Bellbird Hotel - Heyfield FC.  Clear still cool.  Headed of early stopped for breakie at a rest stop along the way, made Lakes Entrance for lunch and walk about.  Provisioned and drove on to Heyfield.  Turned very windy, south westerly late in the day.  Heyfield free camp very nice, toilets dump point water mown grass. 

Heyfield.  Cold wet windy overnight, nice change.  Windy and somewhat overcast in the morning.  Looks like a showery day on the way.  Toured around town and the lake, the place has moved along, nice place to live, pride shows in the town.  Late in the arvo all these horse floats arrived, a Jane Mcgrath charity ride from here to Locola, starting tomorrow.

Heyfield - Woodside.  Clear still cool.  Called Chris French and then drove to Woodside beach CP to stay the night with them in the CP. Chris and I walked about 10km along the beach, nice. Went fishing in the arvo Chris caught a nice flathead we all shared at drinks, nice. 

Woodside - Port Albert.  Overcast still some drizzle overnight.  Provisioned in Yarram then stopped in Port Albert for lunch and overnight.  Met some fellow travellers at the free camp, nice.  Called James Vs office re letter Sue will forward it on via email.  Had happy hour with Cathy from Cairns.

Port Albert - Toora.  Clear still warm.  Drove to Toora rest area for lunch and decided to stay the night.  Walked back into Toora for the exercise 9km return.  Brought a bottle of wine as the reward.  Quiet night at a really nice rest stop well of the road just me and one other vehicle. 

Melbourne tomorrow gunna cross, east to west in one day, non stop.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Narrandera Mowing Grass

Clear still crisp, nice.  Did some provisioning in town then booked into the Narrandera Caravan Park as it was going to be hot and I wanted to catch up with Ken and Brab. Did some mowing for Ken.  Swam in the pool and cooked chicken on the bbq for dinner.

The Park looks pretty much back to normal, pre flood, but Ken and Barb are a bit jaded.  Ken says its there weakest December in ten years and they are doing their own cleaning.  David, their son, had moved to town as his house moved on the foundations, Ken is turning it into a bedroom unit for rent.  He is also spending 40k on the leevy banks lifting them to 950 and compacting.  Met Colin and Gary free flight enthusiasts camping here at NCP.

Caught up with the Fishing Club, met the Hanlons and co at the lake for swim etc.  Headed off to Wagga. Picked up my mail from Ged (my brother) then headed to Adelong, booked in for one night at the CP.  Hot weather, gunna head higher up the range to escape the heat.