After what seemed like a couple of days, but was almost 2 weeks, we found ourselves at Launceston airport heading back to the warm climate to resume where we left off. We found our car and van in good condition, apart from a few bird droppings - we left it at Sunshine Coast Caravan Storage at Didillibah, about 20 minutes from the Sunshine Coast Airport. Brett, the caretaker, offered to collect us from the airport, so we thought that would be easier than trying to explain to a cabbie where to go. It was good to know that our precious home had been behind locked gates while we were away.
We did have lots of fun in Tassie, looking after the kids - and them looking after us! It's the best way to get to know our grandchildren, spending a couple of weeks with the parents absent. It was fun catching up with friends and family, and we found it easier for them to come to us, rather than packing the twins into the car. We got ourselves into a routine in the mornings, making sure we were ready for the school run and the twins weren't late for school.
We were lucky to see all the family, except Ella who was busy graduating with a Degree in Paramedics. The little ones are all growing like mushrooms, the girls all becoming young ladies - scary really! The weather was superb - snow on the mountains, frosty mornings and beautiful sunny days. Joe kept the fire stoked up and the house was toasty warm. We spent our time between the car, the supermarket, the kitchen and the laundry, looking after the needs of 4 hungry kids. We all survived, and Lou and Scotty came back refreshed and looking great.
Joe and I both had hairdo's at the salon, and caught up with the staff.....they have suggested that they should all come up this way next year, which would be fantastic. Let's see what we can organise!
So after one night back at Rocky Creek, where we were greeted with a HUGE bowl of fresh strawberries, it was time to hit the road again towards our next destination, Ellis Beach. After a night spent around the campfire with our friends, sharing tales of the past couple of weeks, we dragged ourselves away and yelled the customary "yeeha!!" as we pulled out onto the road.
We headed straight to Childers, to spend a night with Graham and Jan, parking the van on the road outside their place. Graham, once again, produced a delicious meal with what appears to be little effort. There was a moment of angst, when we heard a crash from the kitchen, followed by a "what the f*&k", to realise he had the oven too hot and the baking dish had smashed into a hundred pieces in the oven. Very funny (at the time), but all was well with the delicious roast lamb and veg. So good to see these two and know that everything is OK with them.
Realising that our friends, Robyn and Geoff Pask from Launceston, were still at Bargara Beach, we joined them for 2 boozy nights at a lovely caravan park just over the road from the beach. Nice town, just 1km walk to shops and restaurants, big grassy sites and friendly folk. We'll go back there sometime and stay longer.
So to find some free camps on the 1660 km up the coast to Cairns, Wiki Camps helps us choose the best spots. Calliope for 2 nights, with about 100 other vans around us, but lots of grassy space. Then to St Lawrence, where there were also about 100 vans - dry and dusty, but lots of room, free toilets and water, and hot showers for $1. Onwards towards Bushy Parker Park at Rollingstone, where our dear friends, Penny and Reece were waiting for us. So 3 more days and evenings of fun and laughs, hearing each others stories. And then time to head for Ellis, where we have a spot in the second row.....the front row, where we were last year, is absolute beachfront.....however you almost need to wait for someone to die before you get a spot there. We can hear the waves, we have glimpses of the water, and we are sussing out which palm trees would be best to hang the hammock between.
We've cleaned the van inside and out until it sparkles, washing's all done, Joe's worked his magic on the black car and we will relax and enjoy this gorgeous place. We've had to set up the satellite dish so we can watch Hawthorn and Geelong fight it out tomorrow night.....the bloke in the van next door is also a Hawks supporter, so we may put the TV outside for the match.
We have received news from my cousin, Alastair, in England that his father Robert, my Dad's brother and my Uncle, died on 30th August. Robert was the last of that generation of 5 Fraser boys - the end of an era. He had been unwell with declining health for quite some time, so is now resting peacefully. We are constantly thinking of our family in England at this time.