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Go Hawks!!

Hawthorn / Swannies Grand Final Day

sunny 30 °C

Starting our GF day with a coffee, a swim in the ocean then off to Yorkey's Knob for breakfast - oysters kilpatrick, ($12 a dozen on Saturdays) washed down with a Crownie or two! Good start to the day, eh!

TV set up outside under the awning, speakers on, flag flying, home made pies for lunch, beer chilled, footy franks and sauce .......loads of other campers in the park are going for Hawks, too, so it will be a fun day! Joe's very excited. Can you picture it?

We've already played the Hawks song a couple of times to get in the mood. Hopefully we will be playing it with pride later today.

Let the game begin!!! GO YOU HAWKERS πŸ‰πŸ‰πŸ‰πŸ‰πŸ‰πŸ‰πŸ‰πŸ»πŸ»πŸ»πŸ»πŸ»πŸ»πŸ»πŸ£πŸ£πŸ£πŸ£πŸ£πŸ£πŸ£πŸΊπŸΊπŸΊπŸΊπŸΊπŸΊπŸΊπŸ·πŸ·πŸ·πŸ·πŸ·πŸ·πŸ·πŸ·πŸ·πŸŽ³

Posted by Crazy Poupes 26.9.14 15:02 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

Stuck here on this beautiful beach!

Perfect weather, perfect beach, relaxing in FNQ

sunny 30 °C

Here we are, still lazing around at Ellis Beach. We have only a couple of days left, and are loving the warm days, balmy nights, early morning swims and company of some new friends. We are on the Coral Sea in Tropical North Queensland, where the heritage listed rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. Two stunning worlds in one! The 5 km strip of Ellis Beach is 20 km north of Cairns on the Captain Cook Highway. The sea is deliciously warm for swimming, but not yet warm enough for the marine stingers. Theres nothing here except a small restaurant and bar, a Surf Club and the caravan park

Cooktown via the Bloomfield track was good fun - Lynda and Trevor from Coffs Harbour joined us, in their car. The Barra and Chips at the Top Pub was just as we remembered, and not much has changed at Cooktown. It's a small town at the mouth of The Endeavour River, with lots of historical sights, a port and a few shops - also some very expensive restaurants and accommodation

The track was in good condition as it hasn't rained up here for a long time. River crossings were mostly dry on the way up, and Joe was hoping for a huge downpour overnight to get the mud running - not to be! The Bloomfield Track, otherwise know as The Coast Road is a 30km 4 wheel drive road between Cape Tribulation and Cooktown It passes through beautiful wilderness, past swimming holes and lovely beaches, and has some very steep, winding patches. We passed through Wujal Wujal, an aboriginal community on the way.

We spent a fun night in a safari tent at The Lion's Den at Helenvale......a tent on stilts with a fridge, kettle and toaster, queen size bed, a couple of chairs on the balcony and not much else for $80. By far the cheapest accommodation in the area, and Lynda and Trevor enjoyed this alternative type of hotel room! Lots of laughs with a few drinks on the balcony before falling into bed.....the only disturbance in the night was from a herd of cattle rustling around the tent. The whole area has suffered lots from Cyclone Ita, earlier this year - trees uprooted, river bed completely changed and roofs off. The pub's for sale for $2.4 million if anyone's interested.

We had an up close and personal experience with some huge crocs at Hartley's Croc Farm, seeing these huge creatures in their own habitat. We were surprised to learn that a full grown croc only needs half a chicken a fortnight to survive - other than that they are solar powered! The boat trip up the lagoon certainly allowed us to appreciate the capabilities of the crocs, and how they interact with each other.

It's been great to see Mark and Maxine again, in their home and at our camp - we've had a couple of evenings with them, always good to see what they're up to. Tonight they're bringing fish n chips to our camp to enjoy with a cold drink or two.

Claire and Peter from Hobart spent 3 weeks on the unpowered area in the sand in their motorhome.....lots of knitting ideas exchanged, and chat about mutual acquaintances. They've gone now and I've lost my knitting buddy. We had Dirk and Barbara for dinner last night.....we were given some Spanish Mackerel which I crumbed and had with home made tartar sauce and roast veg. Absolutely delicious! Dirk and Barbara are spending a sabbatical year in Australia, and six months of that year is at Ellis Beach. They have been coming to Australia from Germany every year for their annual holidays for the last 17 years! They love this country and know it better than we do.

So from here we are heeding just 5 minutes south to Palm Cove - finding it hard to drag ourselves away from this gorgeous coastline, so we are delaying our inland travel for a bit. We have a week booked on an unpowered site, overlooking the water. Looking forward to being able to walk along to the pub, surf club or restaurants, and of course watching all the beautiful people. And maybe a little retail therapy will be on the cards!

Looking forward to seeing everyone in our 3 weeks in Tassie in November.......till then, stay safe and happy xxx

Posted by Crazy Poupes 25.9.14 17:48 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

One of our favourite spots - Ellis Beach

The mountains to the west, the ocean to the east

sunny 28 °C

Wow! This place is exactly as we remember - going to sleep and waking up to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach is just perfect. Someone put a comment on Wiki Camps, complaining that he couldn't sleep at Ellis Beach for the noise of the waves - we think he needs to move on, perhaps park on the side of the highway. The only thing that wakes us in the night is the cry of the Curlew Birds.....they sound as if they are being murdered, calling to each other across the park. We wake in the morning to the beautiful sunrise across the water.

We are on the second row this year, not the front row as we were last year......seems there's a bit of competition for the front row, in fact they call it "death row" - if someone's budgie dies at home and they have to cancel, there's a chance we might get in! Next year we will be up there in Front Row.

Palm Cove is just a 5 minute drive down the coast - we popped across on Friday for a walk along the Esplanade and had a scrummy lunch in a beachfront cafe. It's a charming place, everyone relaxed and happy, holidaying! It's a unique, quiet and relaxing village by the sea where centuries old β€œpaperbark” Melaleuca trees line the esplanade - it's a tropical paradise with an atmosphere of relaxed sophistication.

Fathers' Day.....so even though Joe's not my father (!!!) I took him to the Port Douglas market where we whiled away a couple of hours. Fathers' Day lunch was a kilo of prawns fresh from the trawler, eaten out of the plastic bag, and washed down with a bottle of sauv blanc under a big tree in the park. With calls from all Joe's girls, we had a beautiful day, a beer at the pub, a walk along MacCrossan St, a look at the shops......then back along the beautiful coast to our camp for roast lamb dinner at our place!

We've just been for a walk on the beach.....it's a huge full moon tonight, and the tide is very high. Sometimes it might be a good thing not to be on the front row! We've bowed 7 times to the moon, and made a wish - something Joe's Mum always did, and Marion reminds us to do it each time there's a full moon.

We've broken the hydraulic struts on our bed .....no, not what you're thinking. Joe was searching high and low for the Hawthorn Flag, and thinking he might have hidden it under the bed, he lifted it too high and too fast, breaking both struts. Anyway, didn't matter, Hawks won and now we have to get 2 new struts.

Planning the next sector of our trip is something we need to do - thinking we will probably head south to Townsville, then west a wee bit, to Charters Towers, Winton, Longreach and Barcaldine. Places we haven't been, and are keen to see at least once. It will be hard to leave this beautiful coast, but we will enjoy the contrast. And we have another 3 glorious weeks here at Ellis Beach before we head to the outback.

Posted by Crazy Poupes 8.9.14 02:38 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Up the Beautiful Coast to Ellis Beach

Tour of Duty Over, Holiday Resumed!

sunny 26 °C

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.

Posted by Crazy Poupes 3.9.14 18:18 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Back on the coast, and heading for Tas

Bracing ourselves for the cold!

sunny 24 °C

In preparation for our trip to Tassie we are at Mooloolaba.....dropped the van and car off at a nice secure storage place at Didillibah , just 20 minutes by taxi from here. So tomorrow we bus to Brisbane, and have a direct flight to Launceston. Arriving late afternoon, so we can get our instructions from Lou on how to care for 11 year old Hannah and Will, 19 year old Millsie, 17 year old Angus, half a dozen chooks and Charlie and Willy, the dogs.
Looking forward to all this, but I have to say we are dreading the cold......it's 24Β° here today so it will be a shock. However, it will be fantastic to see the family, share some time with friends, daughters and grandchildren and rug up by the fire. Our first night will be with dear Ros and Paul.....always so much to catch up on there over a glass of red or two!

Yesterday we popped in to the Mooloolaba Surf Club, as we do, for a beer. I recognised the couple at the next table......Tony and Kathryn, a lovely couple we met and had a fun evening with at Barkly Homestead, 2000 km away, just over a year ago. So here we all are in Mooloolaba where they live. We're just about to pop down to their dental practice for their lunch break to catch up again. So good to hear their news, we seem to have lots in common and lots to talk about. They sure live in a beautiful place. Small world, eh!

It was sad leaving Rocky Creek, Margaret and John, Elle and Paul, Lorraine and Noel.......we made some great friends there, and had fun around the campfire each night. We've promised to return for a night when we get back from Tas., hoping the strawberries are still plentiful by then.

Posted by Crazy Poupes 6.8.14 19:35 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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