Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In and around Caloundra

After three days staying in the parking spot we thought we'd better move on. We had a fair bit of washing to do - so off to the laundromat and then to a camp spot 10 kilometres away, where we could hang our washing between some trees. (We didn't think we could do that in our carpark spot!)

We were right near a rainforest walk, which we did - it was very nice for being just next to the highway. There were lots of mangy looking bush turkeys there wandering around. Apparently they are protected here.
We decided we would head up to Eumundi the next day to check out the Wednesday markets. We stopped overnight about 7km south ofEumundi at  a camp spot just off the road. There were quite a few people there, and some semi permanents as well. It was funny watching a 'domestic' while sitting having our morning coffee!
Randall can't believe how many people don't get their rig level when stopped for the night. We carry levelling blocks and use them regularly. We are very rarely anything but level!
As we drove off, Randall said "They're not level" as we passed each set up.
At Eumundi there are parking Nazis everywhere! We wanted to dump the toilet, but to get to the dump spot, you had to drive into a designated parking area for the markets - through a manned boom gate. We managed to talk our way in, then were guided on our way by three of four people in high vis vests. After that, we scooted off and parked in the back street about 500 metres away - no charge, no people telling us where to park, and a nice walk to the markets!
We stopped and had breakfast at a cafe, with a bit of an argument about getting Randall's coffee hot enough. He likes it at literally 100 degrees, but the coffee 'snobs' as Randall refers to them, roll their eyes and say they'll 'try'. He managed to get an ok one in the end.
I loved wandering around looking at all the stalls. It was good going on a Wednesday, I'm sure there would have been lots more people in the weekend!
I bought a few things then we wandered back to our van and headed back to Caloundra for farewell drinks and tea with our friends Mark and Marlene. On the drive back we saw signs for a display home raffle. We were reminded of a visit to 'Bella Rosa' display home in Surfers Paradise about 20 years ago and taking photos of ourselves and the girls outside and imagining how good it would be to win.
We stopped to look and bought some tickets. Who knows.........
Back to our original parking spot in Caloundra - people watching while we sat inside. A beach sweeper cleaned the beach each morning and watched the driver checking his phone as he drove along. We were rudely awoken by the rubbish truck the next morning, so we moved to another spot by the boat ramp.

One night Randall observed that a boat had not come back after it was launched about lunchtime that day. The car with trailer was still there. He called the police after it got dark, and they came and took some details. Fortunately the boat did come back, but the owners were not that grateful that Randall was concerned. We thought they must have been up to something dodgy!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Still Heading North

Our next stop was Millmerran – another quaint little country town. We are members of the CMCA  and they have an app called Geowiki which tell us the RV(recreational vehicle) friendly towns. An RV friendly town has water, a dump point for the toilet, and free or cheap camping areas. The place where we stayed was quite pleasant and we wandered along to the township to check out the shops and get a feel for the place.
We cooked tea on our Biji barbequeue   a great idea we found at one of the caravan shows. It is a pan with legs which can sit over a little gas cooker or a fire. We had steak, sliced potato, tomato and onions – it was delicious!

Our next stop was going to be Kilcoy, about 300km away. We passed through Toowoomba, and as we were travelling along we saw a sign for a Cuckoo Clock shop. We pulled in to check it out. It was very quaint, with hundreds of cuckoo clocks. The outside of the shop even looked like a cuckoo shop!

No room in the van for one, so had a lovely look around and then kept going along quite windy roads, more like Tassie, until we got to Kilcoy.
We went for a walk up and around the town, then a short track leaving from our camp area – not sure what would happen if more than 3 people were on the bridge – it felt quite stable!

The last stint of our trip up was only short, about 80 kilometres, and we hit the Sunshine Coast at Caloundra. We had heard that the council don’t mind if you park overnight so we found a place to stay at King’s Beach, with a view of the ocean, level and next to a water tap and tables and seats.
We caught up with our friends, Mark and Marlene, who have been up here for a month, and they were a mine of information about where to stay, places to eat, good cafes etc.

We stayed 3 nights in our carpark, with no complaints from anyone, and did lots of walking along the walkways by the water and watched lots of big boats go by in the distance. We enjoyed breakfasts and dinners with friends, and we felt very relaxed.. It was just nice lying on the bed reading, or having an afternoon doze on the bed.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Leaving Melbourne

We left Melbourne to head north after a lovely day celebrating our younger daughter Nicola's 30th birthday. We got up very early and left at 6am. It was quite misty as we drove along for the first hour or so, but then it cleared away to a beautiful blue sky day.
Our first stop was Shepparton for a much needed coffee and breakfast, then a quick stop at Tocumwal to change drivers, before stopping at West Wyalong for lunch, and for Randall to buy and sell some shares. It is a lovely old town with old fashioned shops with verandahs all along the main road, marred by one modern facade of The Reject Shop! (We are shareholders!! ).
We finally stopped at Forbes, in a camping spot by the river. We sat outside and soaked up the sun. It was beautiful and still with lovely reflections on the river.

The next day we were up early again to continue our trip up the Newell Highway. There's no getting away from roadworks on our trips. All the way along there were stops. It was interesting to see that most of the traffic was trucks and caravans! I expect a lot a travellers were heading south after an escape from the winter.
We arrived at Moree by mid afternoon, and went to soak in the hot artesian thermal pool there. We had been there 20 years ago and wanted to experience it again. It has been done up since then and was very pleasant. We soaked in the 40 degrees pool. (There were 4 to choose from, gradually going cooler.) It is so good having the motor home to get changed in! No worries about change rooms etc.
After a quick visit to the shops for supplies we stayed at a camp spot not far out of town and settled in for the night.
I cooked eggs and bacon for tea on our Cobb. Delicious!!
The nights are still cool so it was nice to sit inside with the diesel heater going and watch some TV, before retiring for the night. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Trip to the Mainland.

We left home for a bit of a jaunt on the mainland, to see the children and grandchildren and escape what's left of the winter in Tasmania.
We left home and headed for our first stop - Oatlands. It was very crisp when we arrived in the late afternoon, so we rugged up for a walk around the lake.
It was very still and quite pretty at the campsite by Lake Dulverton. It got down to -1 degree overnight but we were toasty warm in our motorhome - thank goodness for our diesel heater!
We went for a walk around the town in the morning. 

They were having a demonstration of bullocks pulling some hay bales in the main street. We came across them on our walk. It is really nice spending time in the country towns. You get to see so much more when you walk around the township, rather than bypassing or just driving through. 

Our next stop was Devonport - to catch the ferry to Melbourne. It was a day sailing, so we got ourselves organised with food and supplies to keep us going for the 91/2 hour trip. We were very glad to arrive in Melbourne after a quite reasonable sailing.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Introducing our Avan Applause

Randall and I live in beautiful Hobart, Tasmania, and have purchased a motor home initially to use when we visit our children and grandchildren in Melbourne.
We have since realised the versatility of our motorhome, an Avan Applause, and how compact and convenient it is when travelling.
We have hot and cold running water, a toilet and shower, a good sized fridge, comfortable seating and plenty of storage space in cupboards all around and also under the bed.

We have a holiday place at The Fisheries, Coles Bay, and our motorhome is just perfect for that situation. Most summers you will find us there, before we head off to the mainland to visit family and further travels.

Another favourite place to go is the Bay of Fires, Swimcart Beach in particular. We can park on the sand dunes and look out over the water. We can hear the sound of the waves at night - it really is a beautiful place.