A wise man once said....

"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new." Dalai Lama

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Gladstone to Perth 4600 km

Well we're ready to go. This posting is done after arrival in Perth. I know you are wondering why I am not doing it daily. This post will explain. :)
Saturday 08.25. Locked the house. Pressed the remote for the garage, remembering to leave the controller inside the door!
08.30. Said our goodbyes to Noel and Wendy, our very good neighbours for the last 12 months. Then it was off. Only 4600 km to go.The car was full, full and fuller.
09.30 saw us completed 30km arriving at Roses house for our first coffee break. At this rate we'll take forever. But there was a good reason for stopping. We had on departing the house emptied it of all our stuff and as you know when moving there is always some good stuff you don't want to throw out. Hence stopping at Rose's. Give it all away and God knows Wanna needed some more space in the front.
09.30 Finally on the road again. Only 4570 km to go. We set our new GPS to Charleville, a distant town in Western Queensland. Planned to head west and then down to the southern highway which goes all the way to Perth. I had discussed with Wanna that we do about 500km a day enjoy the trip. But....
We started driving. No cars. Continued driving no cars. We appeared to be on back roads but the GPS could not be wrong. On and on we continued. 500 km came and went. We looked at each other and decided to  continue. The car comes with cruise control.  So it was like just sitting watching the country unfold in front of us. It was so easy. On and on we went. 1,000km passed and it was dark. We had only stopped for petrol and a meat pie!!! No cars the whole way after dark. We counted 30 kangaroos, live ones that is and lots and lots of road kill. Can't travel in Australia with eating meat pies so another petrol fill up and carry on...
22,00 and still going. 
Sunday 02.00am Tired and low on petrol. Arrived in a place called Cobar. Slept in the car. Done 1,442km only 4,158km to go!!!
Sunday 07.00am. Sun up and off to find our morning meat pies and coffee .You may well ask where is Cobar? Good question. We bought a bumper stick with ' Where the bloody hell is Cbar? New South Wales". Got it in Cobar petrol station before heading off agian. Suspect they are a collectors item as not many are sold outside Cobar. And it is a real one horse town. Very friendly but a long way from anywhere.
Off to Broken Hill and westwards...
Well again to our surprise no cars. The roads were single not dual carriageways which I had expected. On and on with hardly anyone around. Also noted no Roos in the daytime. Again plently of dead ones.
Broken Hill came round very quickly and we pushed on through. Ended up in Nullabor on the eastern side of the Nullabor desert. It was cold and windy. Even had a couple of quick rain showers.
Monday 01.00am Nullabor Road House and sleep again in the car. We had done 1,540km so only 1,718 to go.

Monday 06.30 up and about to view a spectacular coastline. It was cold windy and wet. The Roadhouse coffee was excellent and set us up for a final drive to Perth. This incuded a straight section 145km long! Why the rush I don't know but both of us had decided we just wanted to get there and then get to Thailand. The new job in Perth will give us plenty of time to explore Western Australia in due course. Port Hedland is not the best place in the world to live but it appears to have a lot going for it and plenty of places near by. So more to follow. Enough of the future. We arrived in Perth late Monday evening, well 01.00am Tuesday morning. Now of to do some sight seeing. Sorry not to write more but I just wanted to get this posting out there!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Going Away Party

Well we have both handed in our notice and ready to depart. All seems a bit surreal in so much as nothing seems to have changed.

One thing did happen that was quite unexpected. The girls at Wanna’s place of work decided they were coming round to our place for a party. So Thursday evening saw our house once again full up. Along with Wanna’s friends I also invited a few from my office. A good time was had by all. So one more day at work and then the big trip to Perth. All 4,600 kilometers.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Gladstone To Perth

Simple really. Just jump in car, switch on the GPS (got it from Dick Smiths Electrical and used it last weekend). Fantastic bit of kit. But never shuts up. The voice directions can be male of female, set in Australian English, Brit English or American. Get fed up with one you can sway over....And drive, and drive, and drive.
All we need do to the GPS is punch in Perth and tell it to direct us there, we then follow instructions. ‘Proceed to the next roundabout, take the second exit along Dawson Road. Continue for 500 metres and turn....”. ... Blarr Blarr Blarr.... etc etc. Sounds too easy. Well I’ve been busy checking Google Maps. It will be saying more like ‘At the next roundabout take the second exit and continue for 759 kilometres....”
Gladstone to Perth is a bloody long way. About 4,600 kilometres as the roads go. About John O’Goats to Lands End 6 times or more....But why would you want to go to Lands end 6 times? Next I’ll be telling you I can equate it to several thousand London Double Deckers lined up one behind the other. Trust me it’s Just a long long way.
This has all the makings to be a fabulous journey. We’ll see a lot of Australia. Driving down through the heart of Queensland and then alongside the southern ocean is going to be a whole new experience.
Plan to update this Blog on a daily basis so you all know where we age. If no postings we are anchored up somewhere without internet.
Sunday saw us load up the car. Practice session. Went well. Two big plastic boxes full for kitchen stuff. One suitcase full of ‘more stuff’ and a new tent. Our little one is getting small for us and a new bigger one will make the travel much better. Truth is we are getting soft and the new air mattress will not fit in properly. So dump the mattress or buy bigger. No brainer...Now got a tent we can stand up in. Whole new camping experience coming up.
Last but not least we also crammed in the Bar B Q and my electric guitar and amp. Just enough room left for water, pillows and a dunna ! We finish up in Gladstone on Friday, 20th at 17.00hrs. Then early 21st April we’re off.

Watch this spot.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Easter Break And A Trip Up The Coast

Three days off and a chance to go see something different. We decided to venture up north a few hundred kilometers. Not far at all by Australian standards. Anyway packed up the 'ute' and off we ventured. Plan was simple. We had booked ourselves into a small camping site in Yeppon. 'Big 4'. It was situated on the coast north of Rockhampton. (for those of you who don't know it is only about 150 kilometers away) For those of you who don't care where it is well it's away from Gladstone:) It was packed. Seemed thousands of kids and campers. All intent on having a good time. But after 8.00pm all quiet. Seems a very polite group all intent on respecting everyone else.

We finished work on Friday round lunchtime, and set off. Quite uneventful all in all as a journey. We set up camp and almost immediately set forward to have dinner. Pork chops of course...

The rest of the weekend has gone by in a flash. Bit of fishing, some 4x4 driving in the adjacent National Park sand dunes, attended an excellent Rhythm and Blues afternoon in Byfield, took in a coulpeof pottery places, as one does on such weekends, and all in all just a very lazy time. Great fun. Planning on going away next weekend as well.

One photo I took was in the middle of absolutely nowhere, miles from anywhere, when we came across a collection of post boxes. Just looked so out of place.

Easter Egg

Easter Sunday is for Easter Eggs!!!!!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Gladstone Easter Festival

A whole year has gone by and another Gladstone harbour Festival. its fun and I was amazed again this year how many people turned up. All families and a very nice 'safe' atmosphere. We watched but did not partake in any events. Some really big spinning wheels and even a ghost train.. I am not one for heights and Wanna seemed happy enough just to observe all the goings on. Had some sausage and chips and went home.
Photos are not much good as taken on my mobile phone.

This annual event is the highlight of the Gladstone year. It is coupled with a yacht race Brisbane to Gladstone. Yachts leave Brisbane on Good Friday and make their way here arriving some on Saturday and stragglers on Sunday. They get around 50-60 yachts with 15 or so being multi cats. So the town really comes alive in Saturday night. Luckily rum is made in Bundaberg as vast quantities are consumed during this period... I've put a link to the main web page below if you're really interested!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Sunday ... Snakes and Bar B Q

What started off as a quiet morning ended up being somewhat adventurous. There we were sitting outside having a quiet coffee and suddenly Wanna exclaims “Snake”.

Sure enough on the steps up to the higher garden area was an enormous snake. Well it was about 5 foot long. Brown thing with yellow underbelly. For me a nasty thing as I have never been used to snakes. In UK we grew up with only small adders which were not really dangerous in the ‘real’ sense. My reaction was to grab the camera. .Wanna’s was to get rid of it. Back in Thailand we could easily ring someone up to come and get rid of it but here we were not sure just who to call. I do remember in Thailand Owen telling me he had a snake crawl up the underside of his car... ugh!!!!
Away after a few photos by myself from a safe distance, Wanna proceeded by spraying it with the garden hose pipe. It finally decided to get away by going back up the steps. Interestingly the magpies were suddenly all over the place and very; keen to peck away at it. Quite extraordinary. Of course after all this our coffee was cold. Made a new one and could feel the caffeine working! Good start to SundayThe afternoon saw us going out to Calliope for a Bar B Q. The ‘camping crew’ for want of a better description invited Wanna and I to a sort of fair well Bar B Q in view of our planned departure from Gladstone. Great afternoon and good fun was had by all.