A Travellerspoint blog

A new twist on Nomadic Life - babysitting in Sydney!

What every grand parent should do to keep them young!

sunny 24 °C

It is such a long time since I have blogged, I am finding it difficult to remember where we've been and what we've done. We had a fabulous time back in Noosa with Steve and Wendy, lots of laughs of course, and they have promised to come and see us next year in Noosa. Their accommodation was just around the corner from us, and Joe passed their balcony each morning on his board. Sad to see them go home.

We caught up again with our French friends, Anabel and Ben and they shared a meal with us at the van. Ben made the most delicious crepes for dessert, and has promised me the recipe.....just hope he writes it in English. I did enjoy practising a bit of French with them, but of course haven't done it since. We may see them somewhere again in their travels.

Ben and Anabelle

Ben and Anabelle

Such a social time we had in Noosa, with Chris and Paul coming from Kawana Waters for breakfast one Sunday.....loads more laughs and stories shared. They were keen to see the van, with a view to perhaps buying a motorhome one day.

From Noosa we headed to Cooloola Cove, to camp on Irene's block, where we were welcomed by Gordon and Bev next door.....once again Gordon plugged us into his power and water, and he had even mowed the grass for our van to sit on! We had happy hour every night with them, sitting on their verandah, and caught up on the news from the past 12 months.

Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach

Just a short drive to Childers for lunch with our dear friends, Jan and Graham, who are living in a gorgeous unit overlooking lush sugar cane and fields of vegetables. Such a change from their Kedron and Cruiser, but it was good to see them both happy and looking so well.

So we need to go to Hervey Bay to catch our flight to Sydney......I think we chose the worst caravan park in Hervey Bay, Absolute Beachfront, but we were alongside the busy road, jammed in between other vans with not enough room to put our awning out, and the car parked almost on the step of the van!! Not to be recommended, and we weren't all that impressed with Hervey Bay. The bay is lovely, but that's about all.

We found the caravan storage place, just a 30 minute drive away, and were pleased to find an undercover spot for the van. Just $80 for the 2 weeks isn't bad, and it was nice and safe. So off to the airport and boarded our flight to Sydney. Ollie picked us up,with a very excited Will and Ruby, who, along with their little sister, Poppy, were to be left in our charge for the next 2 weeks while Ollie and Amelia went to a wedding in Sweden and then to swan around in the South of France. What a privilege to be asked to look after them, to be in charge of them for 2 whole weeks. They gave us masses of laughs, 14 sleepless nights, plenty of gooey sticky fingers, instructions on how to do everything, practice at Lego building, and perpetually aching backs.....we left after 2 weeks exhausted, but knowing those little mites so well, and satisfied that we could still do it! To our delight, Paul and Ros came and helped us for the first few days.....I tell you, it is a 4 person job......they had us all running in circles. We have more respect than ever for busy mums and dads, it really is a huge job. The 4 of us would wait for the children to go to bed, and by 8.30pm we were all snoring our heads of!! Once again, a great time with the Hogans, and we can't thank them enough. And, most importantly, Ollie and Meals had a wonderful holiday, and came home rested and more in love than ever xx

Back to Hervey Bay to collect our car and van......all safe, just in need of a bit of a wash. Joe and I were both coughing, sneezing and sniffing, so we opted for a small village on the ocean called Poona. There is a caravan park and not much else.....but it was just what we wanted to recover from our sniffles. Most travellers are there crabbing and fishing, but we just sat and rested. Rocket and Ally put on a show every night, playing and singing (!!!) and entertaining the tenants - they've been doing the same thing for 12 weeks a year for the last 12 years! Telling the same jokes, crooning the same old songs!! There was bad internet access at Poona, so it was hard to play words, email and google......I felt as though my best friend had gone

We're now back at Rocky Creek Scout Camp, near Landsborough. As luck would have it some of our Tasmanian friends, Dee and Barry and Ron and Shaz are housesitting very close by.....so we all had lunch yesterday, right here at our camp, on the lawn under the paper bark trees. So lucky to be here and to have friends to join us - we had a ball! Sue and Stew came and spent a night at the camp on the way home from their travels up north......we shared stories, had camp oven dinner, washed it down with a couple of reds, and sat out under the awning while it poured with rain and watched The Hawks beat Sydney. Too soon they had to head off to Brisbane to see more friends.

This will be our home for the next couple of weeks.....until we fly to Launceston to look after Will and Hannah for a couple of weeks while Lou and Scotty take a much needed, hard earned rest. NO we are not taking bookings for babysitting. we'll need to get some winter woolies from somewhere - we said we wouldn't have any more winters! We're looking forward to seeing family and friends while we are home, and of course to taking care of Will and Hannah, although I think they're probably big enough to take care of us!!

We are nicely set up here, our neighbours are strawberry picking, and Joe's going to find out if he can get a job for a few days......maybe they don't want short term pickers, but worth a try. And we'll have more chance to check out this stunning part of Queensland.

Hope everyones well and happy, and we'll see you all soon

Posted by Crazy Poupes 27.7.14 22:39 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

Rocky Creek Scout Camp

Taking me back to my Girl Guide days!

sunny 21 °C

This has to be one of our shortest trips ever..... just 17 minutes after hitching up we landed in this heavenly camp in the Beerwah forest. We are so happy we could stay here for another week, another month, or even longer. This pocket of paradise, just a little way from Maleny, is shared by nomads, backpackers, families, kangaroos, possums, scouts and guides. Apparently there are koalas, but we haven't spotted one yet.

We've had a camp fire every night, Joe has cut sticks and logs with his little Husky chainsaw from the many fallen trees around here. This often brings neighbours around when they see a fire going.

Getting the Camp Fire Ready for the Chilly Night

Getting the Camp Fire Ready for the Chilly Night

This Big Boy Hopped Right Up to Our Van

This Big Boy Hopped Right Up to Our Van

It's been quite chilly at night again with skies full of stars, but the days have been just gorgeous,; sunny and still. Not a breath of wind. There was just a short interlude of disturbance, when about 30 little boys arrived on Friday night for their weekend Joey camp......no way they were going to appreciate the serenity and solitude, they just wanted to play, eat and have fun. And we had loads of fun watching them, and watching the leaders attempts at discipline.

Beautiful Forest Camp

Beautiful Forest Camp

We've been parked close by Margaret and John from WA.....they too are loving their travels, and are working just 10 minutes away at the strawberry farm....Monday to Friday they leave at 6.30 am, when it's still cold and very damp, and they work 8 hours travelling up and down the rows of strawberries in self propelled carts picking the biggest strawberries I have ever seen. They did bring us a few the other day, and they were warm and sweet and scrumptious! We've seen a few come and go in the 8 days we've been here. Joe's done quite a few hair cuts.....lots of much needed old fellas, and a couple of young backpackers

Much Needed Trim

Much Needed Trim

Today I took off to Maroochydore to the Sunshine Plaza for a bit of retail therapy........Joe stayed at the camp and watched a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones which he is loving. I took my time in the Myer sale, and ventured into a few of the other lovely shops at the Plaza. Looking forward to getting in to bed tonight - on our delicious new mattress topper.

So tomorrow we head back to Noosa River Caravan Park, to have a couple of little warranty jobs done on the van, and then to catch up with Steve and Wendy.....it will be so good to see them, and to show them some of our favourite spots.

Posted by Crazy Poupes 22.6.14 03:27 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Sunshine Coast Hinterland - So Beautiful!

Charming historical towns, and lush countryside

overcast 14 °C

Sitting under the awning, enjoying a Nespresso Ciocattino, watching the rain and the goings-on at the Maleny Showgrounds. Interestingly, there is no caravan park at Maleny - the site that used to be the caravan park has been bought and built on. It is now a Retirement Village. Does this indicate that some nomads are getting too old for caravanning, and wanting to settle in a village, I wonder? So the show ground is open for us folks - $15 a night, lovely grassy sites, clean showers and toilets, power and water and just a short walk through the rainforest to town. Perfect!

Maleny Showgrounds

Maleny Showgrounds

Maleny is an interesting little place. There are no chain stores, every little shop is independent. Except Woolworths which has been boycotted by the locals, as there is a fabulous IGA in the main street, locally owned and stocking fresh, local, seasonal produce. Really makes a joke of "The Fresh Food People". Gorgeous second hand book shops, quirky fabric shops, Happy Herbs (!!!), interesting cafes and restaurants and Watson's Garage in the middle of town - that is the only place to fill up! We had a beer at the Hotel Maleny last night, the walls were bursting with locals and visitors, and a great atmosphere. There is an eclectic mix of farmers, ferrals and retirees in this town, all of whom seem to blend into a very satisfying population. The area is rich with skilled artisans and vibrant businesses, all passionate about their community and environment.

We came here after having a few days in a freebie camp (which was actually FREE) just half an hour away, near Kenilworth. We were almost the first to arrive, and by the next morning the place was full. We had secured a lovely spot, near the river, with an enormous Moreton Bay fig tree just in front.

Little Yabba Creek Reserve

Little Yabba Creek Reserve


Top Spot at Little Yabba Creek

Top Spot at Little Yabba Creek

We were able to light a camp fire each night, which enticed our neighbours to join us. Our new camp oven was a great source of conversation as we prepared delicious, mouth watering roast chicken and veg, and the following night a damper that fed all 10 of us! 6 cups of plain flour, a tablespoon of baking powder and some warm milk. Mix to a soft dough, shape into a loaf and pop it in the midst of hot coals for about 30 minutes. It was light and airy and absolutely delicious. Some Yackandandah Strawberry jam and Kenilworth butter topped it off beautifully.

Our First Camp Oven Dinner

Our First Camp Oven Dinner

Allan and Kaye from Narrabine brought their chairs and bottle of Scotch over, Paul and Robyn introduced us to their new puppy, Jack, Gary and his crowd brought bananas filled with chocolate and wrapped in foil to put on the hot coals. Left in for about 10 minutes, opened and scooped out with a spoon, this delicious, creamy, bananaey, chocolatey goo. We will definitely repeat this one. And we met Suzie and Digby who have just started their long term travels. We were able to give them some hot tips on places to go and I'm sure we'll catch up with them again somewhere soon. Some people you just know you want to meet again!

Hot Chocolate Bananas

Hot Chocolate Bananas

Such beautiful countryside in this Sunshine Coast hinterland.......everything is so green the cows are happy, with grass touching their bellies. There's an abundance of fresh avocados, passionfruit, honey, eggs, mandarins, limes, lemons and oranges to be bought at the many roadside stalls. We have walked in the rainforest every day, constantly amazed by the enormous trees and the variety of birds we see and hear. We often stop and say "Ssshhhh Listen", astounded by the exquisite tranquility. We've explored the winding roads through the Blackall Range, the 23 million year old Glasshouse Mountains, Kondalilla and Mapleton National Parks and our favourite walk, through the lush rainforest of Mary Cairncross Reserve. Yesterday we lunched at Key, an African restaurant at Cairncross.....deliciously spicy, authentic food, cooked by Simone who is from Ghana.

Beautiful Rainforest

Beautiful Rainforest

Strangling Fig Tree

Strangling Fig Tree

Last night we had to set up the satellite dish to watch Hawthorn beat Carlton! Without the dish we can only get ABC and SBS. We are quite used to not having TV and it doesn't bother us at all. We read, chat and make new friends when there's no TV, internet or mobile coverage.

When we leave here tomorrow we will head to another bush camp somewhere not too far away. Then back to Noosa where Steve and Wendy are coming to visit for a few days, which we are very excited about. Then heading up towards Hervey Bay, and hopefully somewhere a little warmer. It's been quite chilly at night, but lovely and sunny during the day.....until today, and I have a rug over my knees!

Posted by Crazy Poupes 13.6.14 19:22 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Sensational At Noosa

With good friends

overcast 25 °C

Woo Hoo...a beautiful sunny day. Washing dry, calm water, 25 degrees and so far no rain. This is what we want, and loads more of it. Joe's out on his board and I've been sitting in the sun trying to do my Aged Care Learning. Unfortunately I can't do it on my MacBook......I need a PC which I don't have now. They need to get with the times......they say it will be towards the end of the year before it's available for a Mac. So I'll have to find a library to do my study in the meantime.

Well, that was 2 weeks ago, and it's raining again today. We have had the most stunning weather, which Ros and Paul swear they brought from Tassie?!?!

We have had so much fun this last couple of weeks with Ros and Paul, and our friends from WA, Penny and Reece. We've shared meals, drinks, walks and loads of laughs - and as far as we know we haven't kept anyone awake with our loud voices. Joe and Paul have paddled up and down the river, keeping their six packs supple.

We took the Hogans on a tiki tour up to Mary Cairncross, where it poured with rain - we had 3 big umbrellas, so we did the walk through the rainforest and managed to keep dry. Beautiful picnic lunch, then a scenic tour back to Noosa, via the beautiful hinterland towns and countryside.

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Paul and Ros are staying in an apartment just behind the Caravan Park......so close that they can see us wandering over to the loo first thing in the morning. We collected them from the airport and went straight to the surf club, followed by free entry into the Food and Wine Fest to enjoy some delicious wines and more food samples. The rain had made it terribly muddy underfoot, and some people had their gumboots on - a bit like Agfest! We spotted Matt Preston at the Surf Club, without his cravat, and not looking his best!

Ros' birthday came and went.....we had the most delicious lunch at Bistro C, on a perfect day, with a window seat looking straight out onto the Noosa Main Beach. It doesn't get much better. We shared their signature Calamari which is just as good as we remember, and delicious fish and chips for entree. Then we gorged ourselves on main courses to die for, all washed down with bubbles, and reds and whites. The staff then brought a banana and white chocolate pudding with hot fudge sauce to Ros, studded with sparklers, and everyone sang Happy Birthday - much to her disgust and our delight. From there we headed to the Surf Club for a beer (apparently!) and then back to the van for a rest.
With Ros and paul at Embassy XO a wonderful asian restaurant at Sunshine Beach

With Ros and paul at Embassy XO a wonderful asian restaurant at Sunshine Beach


Next day was Chris' birthday and he came and spent a day and a night with us......we hired a BBQ boat and Chris skippered us up and down the river while we cooked lunch and took in the sights. Threw a line in but didn't even get a nibble. Never mind, we had fun.

We've had another big disaster with our beautiful van - had to call an electrician in as we had no power, only to find that the wiring had been shonkily done and the van had never been earthed. A very dangerous situation, and one which should never have happened. We are now about to have yet another battle with Crusader.

OK, so it's Sunday, Paul and Ros left this morning and have left a big void in our lives. Penny and Reece have headed outback towards Longreach, so it's just us. We've been to the Farmers' Market and stocked up and are having a quiet day before the Hawks play at 4.40. Not looking good for the Hawks, Joe says.

We'll leave here on Thursday, have the van serviced in Noosaville, then head to a bush camp in the hinterland, near Yandina. Hopefully we can find a spot by a river where Joe can paddle. We have about 4 weeks before we have to be in Hervey Bay, where we'll leave the car and van and fly to Sydney to babysit Will, Ruby and Poppy for a couple of weeks. We are looking forward to that, and hope that the children haven't seen Nanny McPhie so we can watch it with them! Little Poppy is walking at 10 1/2 months, so I am sure she will keep us on our toes!

Posted by Crazy Poupes 31.5.14 20:59 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Sunshine Coast - where the sun don't shine!

My attempt at inserting photos! Hope it's OK

all seasons in one day 20 °C

We're still loving being here in Noosa, of course, but just wish it was a wee bit warmer and less wet. Joe's just gone for a paddle between showers, and I have attempted a walk twice but have got caught.

The wet weather has meant we stay home a bit, and there are heaps of people in the Noosa caravan park sporting very smart haircuts - the barbers' pole attracts a few customers, and of course it is so cheap. We had a look in a salon in Gympie Terrace, a men's haircut is $55 or you can get a buzz cut for $40! Of course this means that I have had to cut Joe's hair, buzz cut, free - maybe I should stick to nursing, eh!

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Lots of Europeans travelling in their little vans, some with children. They are good hairdressing clients, loving anything cheap.

My morning walk is usually along towards Tewantin.....it's amazing how many people are up early and walking, although it is probably the most beautiful time of day on the river.

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Last night we went to the opening of the Noosa International food and Wine Festival.....just $20 to get in and you buy tickets for $8 each.....this ticket gets you either a glass of wine, a beer, or a sample of food. It's a great idea buying the tickets, means you don't have to worry about change, and everything is the same price. We sampled some delicious wines from around Australia, and although the food stalls were sparse, being the first night, what we had was delicious.

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Joe is absolutely loving his SUP board and gets out every chance he has. When we leave here (sadly in 3 weeks) we will head into the hinterland and try a find a free camp by a river where Joe can paddle. No crocs here which is a bonus! The rain has meant the waterfalls and rivers are absolutely stunning.

While we had Chris to stay Joe gave him a lesson on the board - he is a natural and loved the solitude out on the river. Hoping he will come up and spend some more time with us, and have more time paddling.

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I have to get my sewing machine out today and alter a couple of hems on Joe's shorts.....I have used the sewing machine a few times, much to the amusement of others in the park.

We are very excited about Ros and Paul coming up for 2 weeks.....they arrive on Sunday, and boy have we got some plans for them! We'll pick them up from the airport at 12.35 and the fun will begin. Joe found Crownies for $41 a carton at Uncle Dan's this morning......that's a good buy and a good start to a fortnight with Paul! The boys will paddle and chew the fat while us girls catch up, shop and just enjoy the company. Can't wait xxx

Posted by Crazy Poupes 15.5.14 18:07 Archived in Australia Comments (4)

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