Map of Trip-2006.
Map of Trip-2008.
Map of Trip-2009.
sMap of Trip-2010.
2008, the year that was. It seems like only yesterday that we set off
from Bundaberg, camper trailer in tow for a real unknown adventure. Who
could ever imagine that it was going to turn out to be anywhere near as
great as it was. We have seen things, done things and experienced
that we could never have imagined. It has all been so effortless and
flowed so perfectly. It always amazes me how things just fall
into place if we allow them to, as long as you have that 'go with the
flow' kind of attitude. Our wish list of places to see in the future
grows daily, with regrets currently sitting at a big fat nil. 2009 will
see us continue and add to experiences and memories that will be a part
of this family forever.
We left Yulara on Thursday 4th December after a number of going away
dinners and a few Christmas parties. Just prior to leaving we attended
a "Movember" afternoon at the Res club. It was all about raising money
for 'Men's Health' (fancy that, someone worrying about men and their
health) and was heaps of fun. The community spirit is very much
alive and well at Yulara. If things work out we will be going back to
Yulara after Christmas which will be good as we
have made many good friends out there. In saying that though, by going
back to the Rock does mean we will miss out seeing other things so
there is mixed feelings on the subject. It is Alex and Harry who really
want to return as they also have made some good friends and enjoy the
freedom that this lifestyle offers. We will leave it up to the 'God of
Travel' to see what the future holds. It will be just like every other
place we have lived in during this trip, we will be sad to leave, but
happy to move on as there is just so much still to explore.
We did 3,570 kms back to Bundaberg in 4 days which
was a bit of a feat. The kids were great and tolerated the 900km days
better than expected. A combination of the new cruise control
(sensational), the fact that the camper trailer is so easy to tow and
because Chris shared the driving we were able to do the distances we
did in comfort. Due to the late arrivals and very early
departures we did spend two of the four nights in motels and one night
at a friends house which only left us the one night in the camper at
Barkley Homestead. Why on earth we stayed there again after our last
experience is beyond me as it really is very average. I best not be
harsh as it is in the middle of absolutely nowhere and is a lot lot
better than nothing. My tip if staying there is to pay the extra and
get a powered site, even if you don't want power. The sites are much
nicer and you get a key to a much much better toilet block. The trip
across was interesting even though we have been over these same roads a
number of times before, because this time it was wet. In fact it was
very wet and a number of times we actually had to pull up as the
visibility was close to zero. To see this arid part of our country so
wet was quite exciting.
We arrived back in Bundaberg at lunchtime on Monday and spent
remainder of the day cleaning the inside of the van from top to bottom
so we could sleep in it that night. Just sitting for the year unused
really does create a mess, although I am not sure how. It was a very
busy week unpacking the camper, packing the van, getting the car
serviced, getting Alex's broken front tooth fixed and preparing for our
3 weeks at Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast. On top of that I also had
4 trips down to our house at Elliott Heads as the tenants were having
problems with the pool. Just what I needed in the middle of a busy
week. Oh well, better now than when we are on the road.
We set off for the Sunshine Coast a day early on the Friday, mainly to
see my stepfather Stuart (Pop to the boys) who has been in a nursing
home all year and who is not doing well. He was in fine form giving
cheek and reminiscing the times we have had together. While his mind is
still sharp, unfortunately his body is anything but. Old age can be a
cruel thing and something I am not looking forward to. Over the three
weeks we had on the coast we went to see him every couple of days.
Stuart is the only Pop the boys have had, and they have had many
special times with him. I am not sure how they will deal with it when
the inevitable happens. While we have tried to prepare them for it,
only time will tell how they cope.
The weather this year at Cotton Tree was sensational. Blue skies and
more blue skies with only a few short showers and hot. In fact too hot
some days. The poor air conditioner was never turned off. Last
year was so horribly wet anything would have been an improvement. The
usual gang were there, minus David and Wendy Nye as David was unable
to get any time off work. While it wasn't the same without them, they
did send one of their sons Andrew and his wife Erin instead. The boys
loved them and they were so good to the boys. They played games with
them and regularly took them to the beach. Kelvin and Ros from Bundy
were opposite again and brilliant company. They are so much fun and it
would not be the same if they were not there. Who would I go on all
shopping trips buying endless crap with?? Being so isolated for most of
the year did leave us with a long shopping list of things to both
research and buy, before heading back to the NT again.
It seems that all the regulars in our area of the caravan park have had
a good 2008 and they were all in fine form. Most nights we sat in the
middle of the road having drinks and swapping stories from the year.
Heaven forbid anybody who had the ordasity to attempt to drive down our
street. If they tried we just sat there, with them giving up, backing
out and going another way. It was a bit rude, but hey its Christmas. We
again had our 'Secret Santa' night which was full of games and bad
manners. Of course the highlight of the stay was the light display.
Harry plans this for most of the year and oversees the entire event.
Every year it gets bigger and brighter. This year Chris and Harry went
shopping for a few new lights.
They returned with 8 new rope lights, a few sets of LEDs and a Reindeer
with a moving head. I am not sending those two out again. The display
in our street was outstanding, I think the best in the park. It really
does add to the spirit of Christmas and brings so much joy to so many
people, both young and old.
Alex was excited to see his surfboard again and took every opportunity
get out there and catch a few waves. With Kelvin, Ros and Daniel around
he had some good teachers and has really come ahead. It is so nice to
see the kids so enthusiastic about outside activities. I would go crazy
if they were the type of kids to sit inside all day playing those brain
destroying computer games.
Christmas day was great. Alex woke at some ridiculous hour (0515) and
wanted to wake us all. We made him read until Harry woke, but by 0730 I
too had had enough so had to wake Harry so they could open their Santa
presents. We then had pancakes for breaky and opened our presents.
Alex scored a flash new skate board with no 7 bearings (yes, that is
important apparently) and other flash gear while Harry got a new stunt
bike. (I can see a broken arm coming on.) Chris's mother Jan was
to get up as she recently had a major back
operation, and although doing well it would have been a bit much, so
she spent the day with relatives in Brisbane, also having a great day.
We then went up to the Nambour Hospital to see Stuart (he had been
admitted a few days earlier) and then to mum's for lunch. My brother
Shane and his wife and boys came up and again mum overdid the lunch
thing with enough food to feed a football team. We were back to the van
by mid afternoon with the boys checking out their new toys, with me
having the traditional Christmas day nap in the chair and left over
prawns for dinner. How could you improve on that.
Desley and Trevor spoilt the boys, this year getting them each a little
remote control car. The boys love them and have played with them
everyday since. They are so good to the boys and great camping
I really have no idea what happened over the next week. It would seem a
combination of friends visiting, going to the beach and generally
relaxing saw the week disappear with great haste. Next thing it was New
Years Eve. We sat around as a family and reminisced the year that was,
the times we had had, and looking forward to 2009. It is hard to
imagine that it could be better, but we will sure try and see that it
In true Brett tradition I made it to 10-00pm before going off to bed.
would have to be about 30 years straight that I have failed in my
pursuit to see it in. Chris stayed up as the family representative,
doing whatever it is you do at midnight, with us all suffering the next
day because she was tired and cranky. (Totally untrue and exaggerated
as usual!! - Ed) At least I know my limitations!!!
So that is pretty much it for December 2008. Short and sweet. We
certainly hope you all had a great time over the festive break. We
often get asked how or where should people send mail to us. Our
Mailing address is the same: 31 Buss St, BUNDABERG 4670.
is then forwarded to mum who posts it onto us.
We hope 2009 is a special year for you all, with our only advice being
to 'Live your Dreams'. The web page will continue, and we will keep you
informed of our adventures.
From all the
Parfitts, we wish you a happy and healthy 2009. Take care.
"Lead a life to be followed"