And deciding where to go next!
28.3.16 - 28.7.16 25 °C
So much has happened since I last wrote - I really mustn't leave it so long between blogs! We left Tassie mid March, and had another good crossing on The Spirit. . After a fun week on the Mornington Peninsula, catching up with Jacki and Jenks at Blairgowrie, we headed north, mostly free camping along the way.
We had a great fun time at Hawks Nest with Oliver and Amelia and the little (and not so little) ones. It's a bit of a hidden treasure, Hawks Nest, great weather, beautiful beaches and very affordable accommodation. We christened our new fire pot in the garden and toasted marshmallows for the children. We were amazed to find that Will and Ruby are both reading, so now they can read us a story! And Ruby lost her first tooth - another milestone. As usual many drinks and eats and laughs and lots of fun. Our huge van looked pretty funny parked in the narrow street outside the rented house.
While we were there Betty and Colin were housesitting just up the road at Nelson Bay, so we were lucky to catch up with them for lunch and a long overdue chat.
Great to stop at Lake Cathie, just south of Port Macquarie, to stay with Angus and Yas for a few days and catch up on their happenings. Angus is working as a roof tiler and Yas is busy with her paramedics course at Uni.
We've been to many beautiful places and of course spent our obligatory 8 weeks at the Noosa River Caravan Park. There was never a dull moment with visitors galore.......we had a great time with the Newmans and Millars, then the Webbs and Scotts, and Amelia sent Oliver up to give me a lovely surprise. Even Angus and Yas came up for a few days. And towards the end Ros and Paul came for their short break. SO good to see everyone and SO sad to say goodbye.
A couple of storms while we were there tested the roof of our van. At midnight one Saturday night we found ourselves with water dripping heavily on our feet, wet doona and mattress. Again! So after some heated emails and conversations with Crusader Warranty the problem has been fixed, and hopefully that is the last leak. We have had a huge storm since then and all high and dry! The whole East Coast of Australia was affected, starting with us on the Sunshine Coast and travelling down the east coast. So many homes and people copped it.
Our roof leak is a minor problem compared to poor old Launceston and Northern Tasmania. We really felt for our friends and family there, and although we weren't directly affected by the floods, our business was quiet due to clients not being able to get in to have their hair done. I'm sure the hair is not a priority when one's house is under water. Let's hope that never happens again.
We had hoped to go to WA this year, however Joe's temporarily incapacitated, waiting for a total knee replacement. When he's had that done he'll be firing on all 4 cylinders again and able to do the Gorge walks etc. So we're staying on the eastern shores, not too far from home. His op is booked for 2nd November in Launceston
I've found a website called youcamp.com which lets us know about private land camping - people who have a block or a few acres and allow us to camp on their land for a small fee. There are so many great places we'll go to, it will hardly be necessary to stay in caravan parks at all. Our solar panels, batteries, generator and water tanks let us camp unpowered for as long as we like, and there's always somewhere to fill up the water tanks. I can even do a huge load of washing using the generator for power. We had a night with Gordon and Bev at Cooloola Cove, a night with Graham and Jan at Childers, and then 4 nights at Woodgate Beach on private land - just 70 metres from the beautiful Burrum River and lovely sandy beaches. Perfect weather and a camp fire every night to cook our dinner and provide ambience.
We thought we might go out west to Longreach, Winton, etc., but knowing that lots of our friends were at Ellis Beach we decided to head on up the coast to the really warm weather, and surprise them all. We got such a wonderful welcome, and were made to feel right at home. So we stayed 7 weeks! We had an unpowered site on the beach, watched many people come and go and had a wonderfully fun time. Swimming in the ocean every day, walking on the beach (me, not Joe!!), plenty of happy hours, catching up with friends and meeting lots of new people. Katie Jo and Webby paid us a visit for a few days, which was great because, along with dear friends Colin and Scott, and Jacki and Jenks, they shared Joe's birthday lunch at Palm Cove with us on Monday. We did have some more rain while at Ellis, and our roof did leak again!
Eventually we managed to drag ourselves away from Ellis Beach Paradise on Tuesday. We've to be in Sydney next week to look after the little Heskeths, so are heading south. At the moment we're at Flaggy Rock, south of Mackay, camped on beautiful green grass with the sun shining. We'll head to Bargara to see Tasmanian friends, Geoff and Robyn, then to the Sunshine Coast to store our van while we fly to Sydney. We're noticing the drop in temperature, and had to put the doona back on the bed last night!
After Sydney, we're heading to Melbourne to take this Crusader Caravan back to the factory for them to fix the leaking roof once and for all! So we'll leave the van with them for a couple of weeks while we drive to Adelaide and visit Joe's family there. Back to Tasmania late October for a few months, to enjoy our beautiful home state over the summer months and get Joe's knee cranked up again.