I am still pissed me off with this computer virus.
We left Dicky Beach about 9am, mainly to try and miss the peak hour traffic over the Brisbane Gateway. As it turned out the traffic was excellent, no holdups at all. We arrived at the Broadwater Tourist Park about 11:30am, setup camp and started relaxing about 2pm. While I was setting up camp, there was a friendly "Hi" from behind me, I thought that it was one of our neighbours meeting us, but to my pleasant surprise, it was our eldest son Jason, he came during his lunch time. He was in Southport for the day, giving a training course.
I am still missing my PC and the Internet, we installed the bigpond 'Blue toaster' software on Marg's laptop and it just works, it is exceptionally slow, taking at least 2 minutes to display webpages, but it will download the Bigpond test file "Online Storage 19.8Mb" between 380 - 410 Kbs. We are at our wits end as to why it is so slow. We are both very frustrated, so we left the PC until tomorrow.
During the afternoon, we did reacquaint ourselves with all the Georges at the boat ramp. (We call the pelicans George after Cardinal George PELLican, get it.)
I hope to take photographs of George landing on the water and taking off from the water. That is my mission for our 4 week stay at Broadwater.
The temperature ranged from 6.5° to 24.1°.
Tomorrow, we have shopping to do.
George and his mates.
A battle of wits.
Happy Birthday Jason.
Mid morning, Marg decided to ring Bigpond to ask for help, regarding our slow refresh rate. As we have a VOIP phone, this would be an interesting exercise. Marg connected her PC to the internet, connected the VOIP, everything working well. Marg eventually got to talk to a human, the human asked her to open Internet Explore and view a webpage. Big Mistake. It disconnected the VOIP, end of help.
We can't ring Bigpond using our mobile, as it would cost an arm and a leg. We took this well, we went shopping instead. While away, Marg thought that we should visit our friend Johnno and use his landline. So I rang Johnno and we arranged to visit him after lunch.
At Johnnos, I setup Marg's laptop and the 'Blue Toaster' and then let Marg loose on the Bigpond Support desk. 62 minutes 50 seconds later, Marg said to the girl on the phone, that she was going to hang up as she is so frustrated and going nowhere. Marg has the 'Patience of Job'.
End result is, Marg's PC has now had nearly every option changed and we haven't connected it, since we arrived back from Johnnos, so I assume that nothing has changed. We are going to Jay and Lukes tonight for Jay birthday, so we hope that the boys can work some miracles. We left our laptop with the boys to reformat.
The temperature ranged from 11.0° to 22.6°.
About 9am as the temperature was rising, I went riding to the Gold Coast seaway. I left camp and rode along the bike path to Southport, checked out all the boats and asked whether Dorro was still living on his boat at Southport YC, he left Southport about 2 months ago. Damn, missed him.
Continuing along the Spit road, next port of call was the Fisherman's Wharf area, this is excellent, with a couple of eateries. Past Seaworld and on towards the seaway. Finally got there, it is about 11kms from camp, but an easy ride. The only problem was that I didn't take my camera with me.
Back at camp around lunchtime, made sandwiches and relaxed, later in the afternoon, we walked along the beach, up to see the Georges(pelicans).
The temperature ranged from 12.5° to 22.3°.
About 9am as the temperature was rising, I went riding to the Gold Coast seaway again, this time I was prepared, I took my camera and monopod. Yesterday there wasn't any wind, today it was 20kph with choppy seas. The ride itself was excellent, I do love my riding. When on a bike, you go where normally, you wouldn't. Eg: I rode along all the boardwalks that surround Versace Resort on Spit rd and around Seaworld.
During the afternoon, we walked upto Australia Fair about 1.5kms each way, it was a most enjoyable walk. On the way back we walked along the sand where possible.
Luke rang and told me that my laptop was a goer again, great news. So I drove around to the boys place and picked it up. I spent most of the night, re-installing my software.
The temperature ranged from 12.3° to 22.3°. Very similair to yesterday.
Southport Yacht Club.
Fisherman's Wharf tavern.
Boats for sale.
This morning, I had to pick up the Netcomm Mobile 3G Data Router, this will allow both our laptops to wirelessly connect to the modem. Marg wanted to go to Jupier's Casino so she could play the pokies. I dropped her at the casino and went to Aussie Fair to do some shopping.
Back at camp, I was using my laptop and it appears to have developed the same symptoms, so I am not happy, Jan. About mid afternoon, we did walk over to check on george and his mates, there were approx 10 pelicans.
The boys have invited themselves for dinner tonight, so we are having spagetti bolognese.
The temperature ranged from 12.4° to 22.6°. How good is this weather.
Luke rode around to our camp this morning and dropped off my laptop, he has rebuilt it and connected it to our new wireless router. All work together well. Luke will be my chauffuer today. I am going around to my mate's (Johhno) place for the afternoon to watch the Saints play the Hawks and drink. The afternoon was a ball, we sat and drank and talked crap, but it was great to see Johnno again. Luke arrived about 5pm and dropped me back at camp, I wasn't too drunk. I went to bed early, as I was a tad second rate.
The temperature ranged from 12.2° to 20.4°.
We arrived at Carrara markets about 10am, parking was easy and we walked all around the markets and bought a car pillow for Marg. On our way back to camp, we called into the boys and dropped off Marg's laptop, as it is not well either. While we were there, the boys showed us their new game on X360, it is a musical game, where you play the drums, guitar and sing. We had Jay on drums , Luke on guitar and Marg singing, I was smart enough to give it a big miss. Just in case, any of them read this, they were magnificent, but they better not give up their day jobs.
We spent the afternoon just taking it easy, Marg had a nanna nap and I played on my laptop.
The temperature ranged from 10.3° to 21.3°.
What you do for your kids.
Good old Dad. I will get up at sparrows fart and go and pick Luke up from the Holden Service dept at 7am, because I am a good Dad, he has booked his car in for a service. He has done a few things for me lately, like being my chaffuer on Satuday while I had a few chilled refreshers with Johnno or rebuilding both our laptops last week. I suppose that I can pick him up and interrupt my extremely busy schedule. That's what Dads do.
And to top it off, he is on leave for the next 3 days, so Marg, Luke and I are off to the movies, I suppose that we will pay for his ticket and feed him. Marg is going to see Harry Potter, Luke and I are going to see Johnny Depp in Public Enemies.
Well, we are home Johnny Depp was good, the movie was good, but nothing special, Marg thought that Harry was only fair. I took Luke to pick up his car and the rest of the afternoon was quiet.
The temperature ranged from 11.3° to 22.2°.
Mid morning we drove to Pacific Fair, as we haven't visited it yet. Walked around, gave it a good going over, didn't buy much as we didn't need too, only some food at Coles.
Back to camp for lunch, then while Marg played with her rocks, I rode North as far as Runaway Bay marina about 14kms from camp, with me riding up and down all the streets that went to the water, some very nice houses. Coming home I rode along their equilavent of Beach Rd and it was only 7 kms back to camp. I am still trying to capture George landing on or taking off from the water.
The temperature ranged from 10.3° to 23.1°.
Typical canal view.
Boat in the slips.
Runaway Bay Marina entrance.
The overnight minimum is slightly higher, so I went back to my blankets and left the sleeping bag in the cupboard.
About 9am, I rode to Gold Coast seaway, the weather was pleasant and windy. As I was riding along the bike path, a young lady rode past me, as I was riding behind her, I kept thinking that she must be riding to work and as we rode past each place that I expected her to work, she just kept riding the whole way to the seaway. So she must have been out just for a ride. I rode out to the end of the seaway to my rounding beacon, paused for a while to take more photos, as the sea was rougher it was interesting watching the boats enter and leave the seaway.
Back at camp, I showered and we went off to Centro Southland for a coffee and a bit of mud cake. Yumma.
We were expecting a storm to visit us this afternoon, but nothing eventuated, there were some storm activity around Brisbane, but nothing on the Gold Coast.
Later in the afternoon, I walked around to where George and his mates hang out. They were all over the other side of the creek, so I made some activity near the fish cleaning table and all the Geroges started looking at me, so I threw some twigs and stones into the water and this got their attention, a couple flew over to me, but most of the buggers paddled over to me. I am still trying to capture them in flight.
The temperature ranged from 14.9° to 22.9°.
It was rough today.
George flying in to see me. Nice one George.
What a magificent day, the temperature ranged from 14.5° to 27.1° at 2pm, just as I commenced my ride.
Shit, Life is bloody tough.
To my former work colleagues in Melbourne, I think that I may have a touch of sunburn.
Early today, Marg and I went to Harbourtown, which is the factory seconds outlets like DFOs but bigger. I wanted to buy a pair of shorts, I went to Nike, Adidas, Converse, Colorado, Fila all to no avail. I walked into New Balance to see if they had any size 15 runners on special, to my great surprise they had some on special for $30 but they were size 18. 18 can you believe it. They are getting size 15s next week, so I will probably return then. Shock, horror, they had 3XL shorts on sale for $10, so I bought 4 pairs, 2 black and 2 blue.
Back to camp for lunch, cheese rolls, then while Marg relaxed by reading on the bed, I rode to the Seaway again, the weather was just superb. When I returned, I rode up to check on George and his mates, there were about 20 there. They were sitting on the bank relaxing, everyone relaxes up here. As I moved towards the group, some of them flew away and I tried to photograph them as they took to the air. I am getting there, but I still need more practice.
Dinner tonight was Maccas.
George flys away.
So does this George.
And this one.
Today I planned to go for a ride this morning, after I dropped Marg off at the casino.
I dropped Marg off at the casino, came home and changed into my riding clothes unlocked my ride and bingo. I had a puncture, my rear tyre was soft, so my ride was abandoned. I changed the tube and then I decided to empty the 'shitter' which I did. While emptying the first tankful, I noticed that at the dump point, someone has taken the tap fitting, so I couldn't use the hose to clean up. I reported this to the office. Back at camp, as I was about fill the second tank, Geoff from the 5th Wheeler next door, came over and started talking about our 5th Wheeler, he is selling his and wants to buy a smaller one, like ours.
Eventfully, I took our second tankful to the dump point, by then the hose had been attached. Quick action by the staff. There is a guy staying at this CP, that is on the caravanners forum, so I went and introduced myself to him. It was Jay and Jackie from Luvntravln.
I picked Marg up from the casino and this time she won, so we went to Centro Southport for lunch. Back to camp and during the afternoon, I took the mighty Navara to the carwash area and gave it a thorough wash.
I went up to take photos of George and his mates, but the two faced bastards, decided to stay over the other side of the creek, where the fishermen were cleaning their fish.
Late afternoon, our new neighbour arrived, it was a Winnebago Classic a 12 meter beast and Peter the owner's parking skills were amazing.
Today's temperature ranged from 12.3° to 23.4°.
After yesterday's disappointment of not being able to ride, I was looking forward to this morning's ride. Being a Saturday morning, there was life everywhere, the boat ramps were full with trailers and the carpark at the end of Spit Rd was nearly full, mainly with surfers. I rode out to my rounding beacon at the end of the seawall, there were surfers everywhere, 3 six man canoes, like what Macka(Yeppoon) paddles, plenty of boats and jetskis. The ocean was calm with a light breeze and about 19°, another magic day.
On my return journey, as I just passed the end of Spit Rd carpark, a cyclist rode up beside me and said "Hello Dad". It was Jason, Luke, Damo and Jason had ridden out to the cafe at the end of Spit Rd and were resting, when I rode past about 20 meters away, Luke thought that it was me and sent Jason after me, as he was too buggered to ride after me. Weak.
So that was a very pleasant surprise to meet the 3 boys out cycling. They are in training for the Brisbane to Gold Coast bike ride in October.
After my ride, Luke rode his motorcycle around to see us, mainly his mum and stayed for an hour or so, when he left Marg and I drove upto Hardly Normal to buy a printer cartridge and 2 USB memory sticks and then to Centro Southport for some food shopping at Woollies.
During the afternoon, Marg continued to watch Lost Season 4 and I walked around to watch George and his mates and see if I can get photos of them taking off and/or landing.
Today's temperature ranged from 12.3° to 22.2°.
George in flight.
George in flight.
George in flight.
Up, Up .....
Up, Up .....
And away. Hooray.
I was at the GC seawall at 8:30am, but alas, no boys, they didn't ride until 2pm. It was still a magnificent day for a ride, warm and quite a light breeze.
After my ride, Marg and I walked upto Aussie Fair for a coffee, while walking we both noticed that the traffic was bumper to bumper, we were glad to be walking.
It was a beautiful walk, sunny and light breeze. Back at camp for lunch, then we drove over to Centro for some food shopping.
About 2pm, Jay rang me to say that there was a Corvette Car show on the Esplanade at Surfers and to get there and check it out. I drove to the Car show
but couldn't get a parking space as it was chockers. I did see the Vettes and they were awesome.
We arrived at the boys house a bit after 4pm, as we were all going out to Sizzlers for dinner. I drove the 5 of us (Marg, Jason, Luke, Damo and me) in
the mighty Navara, with the 3 boys in the back it was a bit tight, but they managed. Dinner was excellent, I haven't been to Sizzlers for 20 years or longer.
After dinner, we dropped the boys back home and got back to camp to watch the end of Idol. Marg likes it.
Today's temperature ranged from 11.4° to 24.2°.
Happy 32th Wedding Anniversary to my darling Marg, you have a gem of a husband.
No riding today, instead we drove upto Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast Hinterland. We had lunch at one of their quaint cafes, then walked a lap of the
main street. In the Cuckoo shop where last year, we bought a cuckoo clock for the fiver, this year we bought a special Xmas decoration. Just before
we left, we visited the Fudge shop and left with some nice fudge. The afternoon was spent relaxing, Marg reading and me watching some Law and Order
shows that I taped.
Today's temperature ranged from 15.2° to 27.1°.
After a windy night, first thing this morning, I rolled up our awning, just in case the wind increased during the day. And it did, so it was a good decision.
We went to Robina Shopping Centre, this place has been rebuilt since we were there last year and is very nice. We walked around the complete complex and
had lunch at the food atrium. During the afternoon, I caught up with some of my taped TV shows, while Marg started off reading on the bed, but as usual,
succumbed to a nanna nap. I drove around to the boys house at 7pm, to help Luke do his eTax, pretty straight forward.
Today's temperature ranged from 16.5° to 22.5°.
First thing this morning about 9am (my 'first thing' is getting later) I left camp and rode to the Gold Coast seawall. At the end of the wall where the
beacon is, I was asked by 2 girls (early 20s) to take their photo, which I did. It was another beautiful morning, sunny with a headwind from the seawall
back to the highway, but I managed.
Late morning, we went to Officeworks to buy a USB 4'n'1 port, but Marg finally found an electronic photo frame that she liked, so we bought it. Onto Bunnings to buy some bits and pieces. On the way home, we stopped in at Centro Southport for lunch at Michels and then to the Post office where Marg sent some of her sapphires, garnets, topax, and labradorite off to Thailand to be cut into 'gem shapes' so we can have them made into earrings and rings.
After sitting in the sun, reading John Grisham's The Runaway Jury (yes, I am still reading it), I fell asleep, so I had a nanna nap, then Marg and I walked
up to see George. He was there with 5 of his mates.
Today's temperature ranged from 13.4° to 21.7°.
Only 4 nights left, until we leave for home.
This morning about 9am, I left camp and rode to the Gold Coast seawall. A lone fisherman was at the end of the seawall. The ocean was flat and two
whale crusing boats past through the seaway while I was there. It was another magic day for a ride. We had lunch at camp and then in the arvo, Marg
wanted to buy some craft stuff, so we went to Spotlight in Ashmore, next door to Luke's Holden dealer. On the way, we sidetracked to Pacific Fair and
had a coffee (Donut King) and bought a leg of lamb for dinner. Our new neighbours (Ken and Barb) had moved in at the back of us, taking Brian and Roses's
George update, they were on the other side of the creek.
Just finished dinner, roast lamb and vegies in the Turbo Oven, bloody beautiful.
Today's temperature ranged from 12.4° to 22.6°.
Only 3 nights left, until we leave for home.
This morning about 9am, I left camp and rode to the Gold Coast seawall again, it was a beautiful day, yet again.
I saw 3 prawn trawlers coming back to dock. On the way back, I rode past the Gold Coast fisherman's Co-Op and watched one of the trawlers come into dock.
After I showered, I drove Marg to the casino for her pokies fix. Our son Jason had the day off today, so we arranged to have lunch with him about 1pm.
After I got back to camp, I realised that Marg didn't have her mobile and as our arrangement was that I would ring her between 12:00pm and 1:00pm, I thought
that this maybe interesting, I picked Jason up about 12:15pm and we went to the casino. I dropped Jason off at the casino to look for his mum, while I
parked around the corner, after 30 minutes searching to no avail, he rang me and said that he couldn't find her, so I assumed that she will catch the
bus back to camp. Jason and I called into Subways for lunch and then when to his house, as I left the boys' house, Marg rang me from camp, she had catch
the bus, so all ends well that ends well.
Today's temperature ranged from 13.5° to 23.5°.
My Mighty Treadley.
My rounding beacon.
The rest of the prawning fleet are coming home.
Only 2 nights left, until we leave for home.
This morning I was woken at 6:30am by my phone telling me that I had a message. I laid in bed for 15 minutes before it got the better of me and I got up and
read it. It was from Luke saying 'We are leaving at 7am.' This meant that the boys are riding to the seawall at the end of the spit, so I quickly dressed and
off I rode with my camera. I was first there and waited for the boys to arrive. It was great to see them and even better to photograph them. We said our
goodbyes and rode our separate ways back home.
Around lunchtime, Marg and I walked along the beach upto Australia Fair for lunch. On the way there and back, we walked through the new parkland that is
officially being opened tomorrow. It is great especially the path which have motion sensors and makes weird noises and flashing lights, very interesting.
At 4pm, we drove to the boys as we were going back to Sizzler for dinner, we got there spot on 5pm and the crowd had started, when we left the queue
was out the door. I had another T Bone it was ssuperb, Marg and the 3 boys (Luke, Jason and Damo) had salad bar and desert, geee, they put away the desert.
After dinner, we went back to the boys house and said our good byes, as we won't see them again until Xmas, so it was sad.
Today's temperature ranged from 17.3° to 28.7°.
the boys arriving at Seaway Koisk (end of Spit Rd).
Luke, Jason and Damo.
Damo the star.
Damo, Jason and Lukey.
Damo, Jason and Lukey.
Only 1 night left, until we leave for home.
A quiet day today, no riding, no shopping, just a quiet day around camp and slowly packing up, ready for our departure tomorrow.
Luke did ride his motorbike around and stayed for an hour as we watched the V8s, Lowndesy came 2nd.
By dinner tea, we have nearly packed everything up and walked over the road to Maccas for dinner. No mess to clean up.
Today's temperature ranged from 15.6° to 24.9°.
Tomorrow we drive to Moree (Gwydir CP) for an overnighter.
Our last day - packing up at Southport. Beautiful weather.
Our last day - packing up at Southport. Beautiful weather.
Our last day - packing up at Southport. Beautiful weather.
We left Broadwater Tourist Park about 8:30am, mainly to try and miss the peak hour traffic travelling to Brisbane. We headed towards Brisbane then veered off onto the Logan Motorway towards Ipswich then past Willowbank where yesterday V8s were held, there was still a solitary van in the carpark as we passed about 10am. We lunched at Inglewood and got diesel an Warwick and Goondiwindi. As we were about 30kms north of Inglewood, we came across 10 vans in convoy, they were sitting on about 85kph, I had been sitting on 100kph. It was too difficult to pass them all, so I sat behind them and they were chatting on ch18, so I joined in on their conversations. They are a group of friends from Brisbane that are heading bush just south of Goondiwindi. We were going to have lunch with them, but when we got to the area, there wasn't enough room, so we drove onto a rest area just outside of Inglewood. Apart from the bloody hot gusty wind, the drive was easy. We arrived at Gwydir CP at Moree just on 4pm, setup camp that was easy, we just put the legs down and connected power and water and then went to the thermal pools. As we walked into the thermal pool area, there were 5 pools, one at 35°, one at 36°, one at 37°, one at 39°, and luke warm. It was a scene from the movie Cocoon, all us old people just sitting in the pools, it really was identical to that scene. After splashing in the pools, I went looking for Steve (Cruiserman from Caravanners forum), he wasn't home and his truck was missing, probably knew that I was coming over.
The temperature ranged from 17.4° (Southport) to 35.5° (Moree).
Tomorrow, we lob in on Leighton and Pauline at Peak Hill.
Lunch stop at Inglewood Rest Area.
Happy 79th Birthday Dad
We left Gwydir CP, Moree 8:00am, as we were leaving Moree, I gave way to a B double and after about 5kms, he asked me to goto Ch18, so we could chat.
He asked me all about our rig, because he has a mate who wants something similair. It was a good drive today, the traffic was quite heavy with semis
going both ways. In a 5kms stretch, I counted about 30 semis going north. I was on the UHF frequently, talking to truckies and directing them when to pass me.
We stopped at Narrabri and Peak Hill for diesel and we stopped at Gilgandra for lunch, Marg made cheese and lettuce sandwiches. Yumma, as usual.
We arrived at Leighton's CP about 2pm, and setup camp and just relaxed until 4pm, when the scones, jam and cream arrived. You can tell that we are getting
closer to home, I had to put my jeans and trackie top on. At 4:45pm, we walked over to the Peak Hill RSL for the pokies, some beers and dinner.
Leighton tonight is absolutely chockers, we even had a rig parked in the driveway, he said he actually was turning away people.
The temperature ranged from 17.7° (Moree) to 16.3° (Peak Hill).
Tomorrow, we plan to get to Shepparton.
Leighton hung out the Full House sign.
Leighton hung out the Full House sign.
Only unpowered sites left.
Bloody hell, Leighton, What have your done. ZERO point SIX degrees. 0.6°.
That was the temperature as we woke in balmy Peak Hill at 6am this morning. We are not used to this temperature.
We left Leighton's about 7:45am, stopped at Forbes Rest Area for a break, then onto West Wyalong Roadhouse for diesel, lunch was had at Narrandera RA,
next diesel stop was at Jerilderie, our last break before Shep was at Strathmerton. We arrived at Big4 Parklands, Shepparton at 4pm.
The temperature ranged from 0.6° (Peak Hill) to 16.0° (Tocumwal).
Tomorrow, we plan to arrive at home about lunchtime.
Thanks Leighton for getting us used to the cold temperatures, it was minus 2.2° when we awoke at 6am. We didn't bugger about and left as soon as possible, after we both logged onto the internet and did our daily check. We stopped at a Service Centre just past Seymour and another just outside of Melbourne. The traffic was light until we hit Melbourne, naturally, as we proceeded along the Western Ring road towards the West Gate bridge and the roadworks, then the traffic came to a screaming halt. We eventually got home about 11am.
Overall the Navara and the Trailblazer 5th Wheeler, behaved magnificently, we could not fault either one.
A brief summary of our trip:
- Total distance travelled (including van and without van): 17,978 kms used 2,808 litres.
- Diesel highest price at Barkly Homestead $1.689 lowest price at Ingham $1.159
- Distance travelled towing the van: 13,194 kms averaged 17.6 litre per 100kms or 5.6 km per litre.
- Distance travelled without van: 4,784 kms averaged 10 litre per 100kms or 10 km per litre.
- Total Diesel Expenses: $3,265.92
- Away for 143 days staying in Caravan Parks every night.
- Total Caravan Park Expenses: $4,136.36 ave $28.93 per night.
- Total Souvenirs Expenses: $1,012.49
- Total Attractions Expenses: $1,783.70
- I took 5,207 digital photos. I fluked the odd good shot.
Between now and April 2010, we will be planning next year's trip to see our boys on the Gold Coast, going via Perth.
We have spent the past few days, emptying the van and washing etc, but gee, the weather is absolute crap, cold and damp.
Ohhh, I miss the warmth of Northern Australia.
*2009 - Index page*