Map of Trip-2006.
Map of Trip-2008.
Map of Trip-2009.
Map of Trip-2010.
As I said in the
November update we finished heaps of jobs in Bundy, had a few weeks in
Brisbane and we then headed for the Sunshine Coast and back to one of
our favorite caravan parks, Cotton Tree. We again had a month there
which bought us up to the very beginning of the new year. The
usual crowd were there (which is most of the reason we keep going back)
and it was good to catch up on what they have all been up to over the
Wet, wet, wet is probably the best way to describe December 2010. I
think by now we can safely say the drought has broken. This has been by
far our wettest month at Cotton Tree in over 10 years. No complaints
from us, we certainly needed it, but it was a bit painful at times.
The worst part of that much rain is the dirt and rubbish that is
flushed out the river and into the ocean. For most of our stay the
too revolting to swim in, with the ocean not much better. Besides the
fact it didn't look appealing,
there was then the risk of sewerage (there were reports of sewerage
systems overflowing and possibly ending up in the waterways) and other
muck in the water plus the increased risk of bull sharks that love to
hang around the murky foreshores. So beach cricket became the new
number one pastime. We all got involved and there was some fierce
competition. The fast pace certainly took it's toll on Chris and me.
Making 30 runs in the sand is tough work. Chris wanted to employ a
runner, but we decided that was against the rules. She was not happy!!!!
The constant and at times very heavy rain caused a huge number of
issues for a lot of campers. Gazebos fell like flies; Jim has proven
they can hold a lot of water. That ball of water (below) had actually
to his number plate before he stabbed a hole in it). Nearly everyday
there was a gazebo twisted and broken at the bins. Vans leaked, pegs
constantly pulled out and gear got wet. Even the mighty Grandtourer
sprung a leak through the airconditioner that I smartly fixed.
Unfortunately for some it all became too hard and many left before
time, with others not coming at all. There were more empty sites this
year than we have ever seen before. This year really sorted out the men
from the boys. I am not sure how I would have coped had we been in a
tent, so I do take my hat off to all of them who survived and continued
to enjoy their holiday. It certainly would have tested their resilience.
more rain - Oops, what is that thing Jim??
It seemed that the first few weeks were dominated by shopping
course setting up all the lights. Unfortunately as it
rained so much there were only a handful of nights that we were
able to turn them on. Park numbers also seemed down so the number of
walk-by sightseers was very low. Never-the-less we all had fun getting
them all up, again with Harry the master light technican directing the
proceedings. Again ours was the 'stand out' street in the park. It's
great that everyone around us makes such an effort. Bruce grumbled
constantly that this would be the last year for their lights, but we
know who wears the pants in that family, don't we Michelle, so I know
for sure the lights will be back.
I continued to potter along getting a few more jobs
caravan and had a few things done to the car. A new straight-through
exhaust, inlet manifold removed and cleaned and some changes to the
turbo, all of which have combined to make the car run even better, with
power and lower exhaust temperatures. Chris continued to get the
inside of the van in order. Because we have been spending most of our
time in the camper over the past few years and only a few weeks a year
in the caravan, it really has been a bit neglected. Now was the time to
get it all sorted as it will be our home for close on 6 months this
year. Being back in the van touring again is very exciting. As much as
we love the camper, the van is so much easier and has an added level of
comfort that will be great in Tassie where the temperature can be
slightly unpredictable. It takes us back to 2006 where the whole
adventure began. Oh the memories!
Back to December. My family all got together the week before Christmas
and this year both my brothers were able to make it. Grant did a
surprise flight up from Adelaide which was great, as we have not all
been together at the one time for many years. Mum was over the moon. We
also had all of Shane's kids there (they always make the effort) and
Kirsty's new baby, Harry. The last photo below is big and little Harry.
That makes my youngest brother a grandfather.
This year instead of having our lunch at mum's place we went to the
Maroochydore Surf Club. Great venue, good food and no dishes. It was a
really nice day and hopefully one that will be repeated in the future.
Chris's mother was having Christmas down in Tassie this year
Chris's sister, Anne, her husband, Tony and youngest son, Nic) so
Christmas day was just us and my mum who came up for lunch. Later that
our nephew Zac and his girlfriend Laana came and stayed a few nights.
was great having them and the boys had a ball with their big cousin.
Christmas day was excellent. A fairly early awakening by Harry had us
all up and opening presents when one should still be asleep.
Christmas and kids has to one of the best times of the year.
I had the bright idea of getting something completely different for
Alex this year. In 2008 he got a skateboard (4 wheels), in 2009 a
Ripstik (2 wheels)
so this year, a unicycle - clearly with one wheel. What will he get
year?? I am sure the poor boy thinks I am completely mad, but if anyone
will be able to master it, it will be Alex.
Now he has a unicycle, juggling balls, devil sticks and a diablo. He
thinks we are grooming him for a travelling circus. Maybe he could make
some money at the markets as we travel around??? Now I'm thinking!!!!
What has my crazy father bought me now???
As with Cotton Tree tradition we spent a lot of time sitting in
street telling tales and discussing any number of world changing
issues. These street parties are always fun, noisy and usually end up
with me doing something embarrassing. Why is that??
I have a great deal of trouble working out where
went it did and before we knew it, it was New Year's Eve. I sat back as
I do each year and reflected on the year that was. No New Year's
resolution except to enjoy and live life to its fullest, to be a
family and to take time every day to 'smell the roses' and to remember
what living is really all about.
An intellectual gathering.
2010 has been yet another fun-filled year, most of which was again
spent in the Kimberleys, and of course our trip to Vietnam, the trip
back to Qld and Daydream Island. At this stage we think that will
pretty much be it for the Kimberleys as we have so many other places
to explore. The 2 years we spent up there was all new and exciting and
we have seen some amazing places. Ones that stand out are Mitchell
Falls, Kalumburu, the Horizontal Waterfall, The Gibb River Road and
all there is to see along the way, and of course one of our favourites,
Arm Point and the entire Dampier Penninsular. Not many can say they
that amount of time exploring one of the great wilderness areas of this
country. We have made some great friends along the way, people I am
sure we will continue to be in touch with.
In true New Year's Eve tradition, I was in bed by 10-00pm and only woke
briefly to hear the fireworks. Chris was feeling unwell with a
gut-ache, so it was a real hoot in our household.
December update, short and sweet. January will have us back to Bundy,
down to Burrum Heads and then off to Melbourne, hopefully with an
overnight hike at Wilson's Prom and to South Point, the most southern
point of mainland Australia, (weather permitting) with us arriving in
Tasmania on the last day of January. Bring it on!
We hope you all had a great Christmas and an even better new year. We
have been very slack this year and have not sent out one Christmas
Card. Where does the time go. We might try and get one out for Easter.
We hope 2011 brings to you everything you dream of. If you make the
effort, dreams do come true. Ours sure have.
Until next month
their big cousin.
question was posed to the Dalai Lama: “What
about humanity surprises you the most?” His response
Because he sacrifices his health to make money
Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health
And then he is so anxious about the future that he doesn’t enjoy the
And as a result he doesn’t live in the present or the future
And he lives as if he’s never going to die, and then dies having never
really lived ...