Month: July 2017

563. Sunday 23rd July 2017. A quiet week apart from building a small garden deck…

Donnis is still on Prince Edward island in the Province of the same name, Prince Edward island, eastern Canada. She has lots of photos to share but they will not be available until she returns next month.

I have been doing whatever I need to do around the house to keep busy. I would like to say the deck I was building is complete. The deck is, the plants are mostly in their pots in place on the deck and I just need to complete the water trickle system, paint the black pots a clay colour and it is all done. It was a wonderul project and now that it is 95% complete I am looking around for a new project.

20170723_144734
Taken with my trusty Samsung Galaxy A3. Those black pots on the bench seats have clumping bamboo planted in them. They will clump and give us a nice outdoor garden view from the bedroom window, The rest of the plants are various part shade herbs.
20170723_144806
I might even have morning coffee here when spring arrives.

I am planning an outback adventure in the coming week so I should have some interesting places and photos for next Sunday.

If you like photos I have been contributing to two photo Facebook pages.

Have a look at Australian Outback Photography and Amatuer Photography.

Its a short report this week, but expect a big report next week.

Advertisements

562. Sunday 16th July 2016… Let’s talk about a road trip across the Trans Canada Highway…

Sunday 16th July

Last week we left Donnis when she arrived at Thunder Bay in the Province of Ontario on the shore of Lake Superior. This lake is shared by the USA and by coincidence they also have a town, called Thunder Bay on the shore of Lake Huron in the State of Michigan.

The next day following Lake Superior and the Trans Canada Highway they arrived at Sault St Marie on the US border but still within the Province of Ontario. It was at the motel here that Alecia was bitten several times by bed bugs. Hmmm!

Another long long day of travel they arrived at Ottowa, which is still in the Province of Ontario. Remember as they travel east they are moving into an earlier time zone so their travel days had to be planned so they could arrive at accommodation and restaurants at a reasonable hour and to get to bed and a good nights sleep to start it all again the next day with another time zone change.

The last two days has been through a small part of the land of a thousand lakes. In fact there are around 35,000 lakes. I am still unsure if all the lakes have a name.

Next day was much shorter, only a few hours drive to the city of Montreal, the most populous city in the Province of Quebec. Now they are in the heartland of the French speaking part of the nation. It is strange to note that Canada, a bi-lingual nation, has legislated that all public signs, labels, notices, warnings etc be printed in French and English, nation- wide. Quebec seems to thumb its nose at this legislation as very few directional signs are shown in both languages. Driving around this city you need French as your second language.

Another short drive to Quebec City capital of the Province of Quebec and definitely pro French. In 1655 there were 550 people living there in 70 houses. Hmmm! Sounds a bit crowded to me. That’s about 8 people per household but of course that was around 350 years ago so big families meant survival.

The final long day of travel brought Donnis and Alecia across the Federation Bridge spanning 12.9 Klms across the Northumberland Strait to the Province of New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island their final destination for the next week or so.

I am looking forward to seeing the photos.

On another matter, for those of you who have a Facebook account may I suggest you have a look at Australian Outback Photography. I have been posting a daily photo of our outback travels.

 

561. Sunday 9th July 2017. RACQ Motofest and travels in Canada…

Sunday 9th July

Along with friends Graham and Wencke we drove to the famous Eagle Farm Racecourse in Brisbane. The Queensland Motoring organisation, Royal Automobile Club of Queensland – RACQ – held a motorfest. Pretty much all things to do with motor cars, motorcycles, racing, camping etc.

090717 breakdown
These motorcycles with sidecars provided the first RACQ Roadside Service.

The amazing thing about the fest was the entrance fee. A gold coin donation, $2 per person. There were food vendors and importantly real coffee barista’s. There were roving entertainers. We interacted with a pair of roving “Policemen” who must have had good memories because they remembered the cheek, especially Wencke gave them on arrival.

090717 cops
Fake Cops.

They gave back the cheek on our second meeting. It was all in good fun. A couple of young ladies on stilts must have had their smiles frozen on earlier in the day. They never stopped smiling as they moved among the crowd saying hello.

090717 stilts
Very pretty, always smiling, girls on stilts.

The sun shone as we wandered among the 380 motor vehicles and cycles on display.

I really wanted to see a Ford Mustang Convertible. On my bucket list is a trip across Australia, or Route 66 in the USA or the Trans Canada Hwy in a Mustang.

090717 yes
This is a Mustang Convertible and one which I would love to do a long driving trip…in the summer of course.

I also saw a Shelby Cobra which would be a fine vehicle for the trip as well.090717 maybe

090717 no
Thios is definately not on my drive across a nation bucket list. Apart from being a gas guzzler it barely has any ground clearance.

I also got a chance to see the new Hyundai i30. Even the base model was impressive along with a base price. The new top of the range comes in at double the price of the base model.

I also enjoyed seeing a Willys Knight.

090717 willys
This was a luxury Willys. Our family had a Coupe. It was always breaking down giving Dad The Willys.

When I was a young boy my dad had a Willys Coupe which had a dickie seat. My Nana sat in the dickie seat.

One of the disappointments was the much lauded Poo Car.

090717 poo
The Poo car. Rather dissappointingly it does not really run on Poo as the name suggests. It runs on a battery motor and the battery is charged by the process of gasses given off by Poo and coberted to electricty.

The way it was promoted in the news was it was the first car to run on, well. Poo. In fact it does not. How this one prototype works is this. Normal sewerage gives off a gas. The gas is used to create electricity most of which is put back into the grid. Some is syphoned off and storage batteries in the car are charged. Basically it is an electric car but so far can only be charged via the Poo created electricity.

Some other electric cars were also on display but they were a disappointment in that they can only be charged by plugging into a mains power source so basically you are limited to only being able to travel as far as a fully charged battery system will allow. The last southerly charging station from Brisbane is at Byron Bay in northern NSW. Most of the electric cars would need to charge once before arriving at BB. The next charging station in NSW is Sydney some 800 Klms further south. The battery cars are only good as a local area means of transport. They are expensive to buy, the batteries are expensive and only have a limited range.

On the other hand the Toyota range of electric cars were not on display. They are a hybrid of electric and a regular motor. When driving the alternator charges the battery as does the inertia when putting a foot on the brake pedal. Even the rotating wheels generates electricity to charge the batteries. Even so, the batteries are still very expensive as is the purchase price. If I was entertaining buying an electric car it would have to be one of the Hybrids.

The vehicle which I spent most time looking at was the privately owned ex Army Ferret Scout Car.

090717 ferret
This Ferret Scout carb brought back memories from my Armoured Corps days.

When I was in the Australian Armoured Corps I started my career driving and or crew commanding one of these. Crew commander sounds impressive but really there is only a driver and a commander who handles radio, macjing gun, grenade launchers, navigator and telling the driver where to go.

Across the Globe Donnis and her daughter Alecia are driving cross country on the Trans Canada Highway. Starting point was Calgary in the Province of Alberta. At the end of a long day they arrived at Regina the capital of Saskatchewan. Interestingly Canada has their Census years the same as Australia. Regina the capital had a population of 214,000 in 2016 whereas the Province had a population of 1,098,000. On the drive they passed through towns with interesting names. Medicine Hat, Swift Current, Moose Jaw to name a few. Day two was a a long drive through the Province of Saskatchewan and equally long drive through the next Province, Manitoba and the capital, Winnipeg, population 705,000. Another long long day where they arrived late at the city of Thunder Bay which is smack in the middle of the Great Lakes. Great Lakes! There must be thousands of them. In fact Wikipedia tells me there are 35,000 lakes. If you took all the lakes out of the Canadian land mass it would be 25% smaller.

560. Sunday 2nd July 2017. At home…

It has been a quiet week. My bad back has restricted me somewhat but getting out and going for a walk is good therapy.

With that in mind I thought I would show a little of the northern end of The Gold Coast near where I live.

I went to Paradise Point for a walk along The Broadwater foreshore. It is school holidays and family groups were everywhere and every barbecue was occupied and the smell of sausages and rissoles wafting in the breeze along the path was enough to make me weak in the knees.

260617 paradise
Looking south over The Broadwater from Paradise Point. Southern end of Ephraim Island can be seen.
260617 ephraim
Ephraim Island
260617 club
Paradise Point sailing Club.

I also drove over the Ephraim Island Bridge to umm err Ephraim Island. It is a bit exclusive and has a gate controlled by security staff.

260617 bridge
The bridge to exclusive Ephraim Island.

Two days after visiting the island a 78 year old mother and her 54 and 53 year old daughters committed suicide in their exclusive suite.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/three-women-found-dead-on-gold-coast/news-story/17be47da502fc8f865c2c472ba99ed10

Sad.

260617 sovereign
To the north is the equally exclusive Sovereign Island (which is a half dozen islands connected by small bridges and connected to the mainland by a long bridge.

Later in the week I walked around our village in bright warm winter sunshine. I mention the sunshine as all night a soft gentle rain fell, lulling me to sleep. By mid morning the clouds disappeared and a beautiful day followed. We live beside Biggera Creek.

300617 duck
The bird life loves living around our village.
300617 duck1
Note how you can see right through the ducks breathing slits in its bill. (Ducks have bills not beaks.
300617 trees
I am fascinated by this old Royal Palm stump. Seeds dropped by birds have sprouted within the stump and we have a Ficus Ficus (Fig) and a species of Yukka fighting for root space but seem healthy enough.
300617 trees1
Biggera Creek with rain drops still on the Yukka leaves.

The rest of the week was spent doing very little and avoiding annoying my back.

Next week promises to be better.