Map of Trip-2006.
Map of Trip-2008.
Map of Trip-2009.
Map of Trip-2010.
2009 in Review
They say the years go by faster the
older you get. Boy I must be
getting old as this one seems to have ended just as it began.
Could it really be a year ago that we set off for what we thought was
going to be 6 months back at Yulara only to end up in the Kimberleys
for 6 months instead. It seems like only yesterday that we traveled for
the first time along the Gibb River Road and then up that goat's track
to Kalumburu. We have done so much, but the year seems so short.
2009 has been an outrageously good year for us. While the world's
financial market was in disarray and with so many doing it so tough, we
occassionaly felt a little guilty as we soldiered on, most of the time
completely unaware of what was taking place around us. With no
newspapers, no radios and no interest in watching TV it was amazing how
insulated and ignorant we were to the unfortunate events that have have
been unfolding around us. Let me assure you - "Ignorance is bliss".
In 2009 we have traveled a total of 32,544 kms, much of it
on dirt roads. We have visited every state and territory in mainland
Australia and visited the most Westerly and the most Easterly points of
this country. Next year we will get to CapeYork and to the most
Northerly point and are making plans to get down to Wilson's
Promitory for the overnight hike to the most Southern point of
mainland Australia. Our goal is to visit all four extremities. This
year we have lived in 3 different aboriginal communities, two being in
the Kimberley. They have all been a brilliant experience, and we have
been welcomed and accepted by the locals. We have never felt safer than
we have in these communities.
Plans for 2010 are well in place. We have been offered an 8 week
placement at Warmun (Turkey Creek) in WA which is close to the Bungle
Bungles (and only a couple of hours from Kununurra), starting early
February which we are looking forward to.
Although it is in the middle of nowhere there is a lot to see and do,
including hopefully getting into the bungles while there is
plenty of water around. That would be spectacular. We will then head to
Darwin and put the car and camper into storage and head to Vietnam for
Plans after that are 'we will see what happens' but will include Arnhem
Land and Cape York, but in which order we are not sure yet. We do not
plan on doing as many klms in 2010, but then we didn't plan to do so
many this year either.
We have all stayed very well this year, only suffering the odd common
cold. The car and camper have handled the abuse well with only a few
minor mechanical issues. We snapped a leaf in one of the trailer
springs (most likely due to my lack of maintenance) and cracked the
chassis on the Patrol that has been repaired and the coil towers
strengthened while in Melbourne. We have been very happy with the
Patrol as it has not let us down or left us stranded at all over our
past 3 years of travel. There are not many vehicles out there that can
stand up to this type of torture, year in, year out.
So what has been happening since the November update. In short, very
little. When we arrived back in Bundaberg, we uncovered the van and
spent a few days cleaning, swapping gear over and restocking. I was
kept a bit busy down at our house at the beach with pool and septic
problems, but finally got them sorted.
Cotton Tree Crew
We then made our way down to the Sunshine Coast for the
December, staying on our usual site at Cotton Tree Caravan Park. We are
unsure exactly what we have done to fill in the month other than a
little shopping and going to the beach and generally stuffing around.
Our light display again this year looked great, as did all those camped
around us and we are certainly
the most colourful street in the caravan park. Everyone around us puts
in a huge effort and the combined result brings a lot of joy to those
who come to see it. Harry is already planning how we will do it next
year. The usual crowd that camped around us were again great company.
night we had a street party and watch out anyone who tries to drive
down our street during 'party time'. We generally just sit there and
they eventually back out and go another way. We had our street
'secret santa Christmas party' that was one of the best yet (although I
think we say that every year). It was a bit noisy and went a bit late,
and I did cop it from a couple of old ducks in the van beside us. Oh
well. And the good news was that finally after many, many years of
secret Santa, I finally got a decent gift, unlike all the crap I have
got in past years.
The boys went to Australia Zoo as 'Zoo keepers for the day' in the
first week of the holidays. They had a great time washing the animals
and making up the food for the otters, feeding the elephants and a pile
of other zoo type stuff. Harry was particularly excited as his Distant
Ed teacher, Shane also works there. We all met Shane which was great.
It is so nice to be able to put a face to a voice. We are hoping Harry
will have Shane again in 2010.
We had a lovely Christmas with my mum and Chris's
mother sharing a
cabin in the caravan park, just a few vans down the road from us. It
was so much better having them in the park, so they could come and go
as they pleased. It is a very expensive week but well worth it, for us
anyway. Santa again found us with the boys up nice and early. Chris
insisted on a hot cooked lunch this year, despite my objections. A lot
of work for her ends up being a lot of work for me. We did have the
usual Christmas day disasters, which we have grown to love and look
forward to. This year we ran out of gas for the weber, Harry fell off
his new scooter and ripped skin off one hand and both legs, and Alex
fell off his new Ripstik, falling through the tent of friends on the
site behind us, snapping every pole in the tent in half. This all
happened with a space of 10 minutes. Instead of the traditional
Christmas afternoon sleep, I spent it trying to fix the tent so
it would stay up, just for one night until I could get new poles the
next day. It poured with rain, but luckily it made it through the
night. (Note from Ed: the hot roast meal was delicious and there
was stress aplenty - but not in the kitchen!! Ha!)
New Year's Eve saw me in bed by 11-00pm, a pretty good
effort for me.
Chris made it through like she usually does, with great fireworks down
at the beach apparently. What a team!!!
So that is it. Short and sweet. We have no New Year Resolution as there
is nothing in our lives at present that we would like to change. How
nice is that.
We hope you had a great Christmas and have a happy and healthy 2010.
Stay tuned in 2010 as we continue our adventures around Oz.
Brett, Chris, Alex and Harry.
Pleasure is not within
things, it is within ourselves