Friday 23rd September
Well, today we did something we thought we would never do.
We became members of Jupiters Casino at Broadbeach. Our friend Glenda is a Pearl Member and advised that today the Casino is having a special luncheon for $15 which normally costs $39.90. It was only available to members. We joined a queue to become members. Part of the deal includes $10 worth of credit. More on that later. After getting our membership cards we joined another queue to actually pay our $15 and gain entry to the dining room. With Glenda waving her Pearl Card we got on the short queue and were given a buzzer as the dining room was full. Eventually we were given a table and spent the next 45 minutes trying the food which was laid out much like a cruise ship only on a smaller scale. When we left the queue was still out the dining room door and down a hallway. The Pearl card got us in quickly.
After full bellies we felt like using the $10 credit given to us. So, Poker Machines here we come. I am not a fan of gambling but do occasionally buy a scratch ticket or a lotto ticket.
Occassionally is the operative word.
I used up the credit and continued to play, finally leaving with $11.25 in winnings. Woo Hoo! Big deal. I might buy Tasmania. Total boredom. I guess we have to wait another year before the lunch special comes around again.
After lunch Donnis and I went for a walk along main beach. What a lovely sunny day. We saw a wedding to our left.
Hmmm. The bride and some of the guests look somehow familiar. TV actors and so forth. Is that Steve Bisley I see?
Is that Jennifer Hawkins?
Looking right we saw three Asian weddings all taking place at once.
Tonight our Rugby League team, the North Queensland Cowboys, played a semi -final match against the Cronulla Sharks at the Sharks home ground. Last week the Cowboys played a hard fought game against the Broncos and won. All commentators pointed out the hard grind of last week’s game would leave the Cowboys totally physically drained for this week. Deep down I had to agree with them. The final score of 32-20 does not reflect the hard game. The cowboys were defeated but not defeated. We are proud of them.
Let’s have a look at what we did this time in…
We had a converted Toyota Coaster bus and went for our first weekend bush camp with a Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia local Chapter, the Mackay Sugarloafers. We camped at Boulder Creek in the hills to the north of Mackay. We discovered this as a delightful and very popular campsite and visited many times in the future. At the time I described it as a “tranquil place”.
Our friends Geoff and Margaret had been staying with us in Airlie Beach and they were ready to start a slow trip home to Bomaderry in NSW. They agreed to join us as we planned to go to Wandoo Station with the Mackay Sugarloafers. This location is in the mountains west of Sarina Qld and is a working cattle station. We were camped on Funnel Creek. (Funnel Creek is unusual in that it flows west away from the coast. It eventually flows south into the Fitzroy River which does eventuall flow into the ocean near Rockhampton) Regrettably, ownership of the station changed hands a few years later and due to a few incidents with some hoons who camped without permission, the campsite was closed off permanently.
We had traded our Coaster bus on a Winnebago a few months earlier. This weekend I travelled alone to a beautiful campsite at Pinevale on the upper reaches of the Pioneer River. Donnis was at home as she had to work over the weekend. This is another wonderful quiet, peaceful bush camp site. It is a site on private property which has a gazetted road running through it. The property owner must allow cars to use the road but has the right to decline access to his land anywhere else. Each year we would seek permission from the owner to camp on his land. We always ensure the grounds are cleaned before we leave so the owner will always agree to allow us to return. Some people use the site without permission and often leave their rubbish behind. This selfish behaviour will see access restricted in the future.
We had packed our furniture into the garage in Airlie Beach and started on the road full time. First stop was Pinevale (see 2009) then off to visit my daughter Melissa and husband Steve on their property at Finch Hatton. The intention was to stay just long enough for the rain to stop. It rained for another week and the ground was becoming boggy. Too boggy to safely get out of the tractor shed where we were camped. This was the beginning of what we had planned to be a trip around Australia.
The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men…
A week later we managed to get on the road and arrived at Theresa Creek where we encountered more rain and the first of several floods in several districts right into the New Year.
We are back in Finch Hatton, farm sitting and getting ready to get on the road again. But first we agreed to move to Mackay and help Errol clean up, repair and paint his house ready to put on the market or rent…whichever comes first.
I am in Mt Beauty in the Kiewa Valley in the Victorian Alps. I am house and animal sitting and Donnis is in Canada. There is snow on the mountains all around me and a log fire needs to be fed all day just to keep the cabin above freezing. I am looking after a Mareema, an Italian Sheep Dog and three Geese. All have personalities. One goose is clucky, one is almost friendly, timidly eating out of my hand and the third is a male and very aggressive. (There is an old adage…walk softly and carry a big stick. I always carried a big stick when the male Goose was nearby) The dog just wants to be my friend but he weighs more than I do and has twice thumped into me and hyper extended my knee. I had to be careful as he was too friendly and accidentally caused pain.
We had just finished house sitting in Brisbane and moved to a campground at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast. Alecia arrived from Canada for a few days and we got to see the SWELL Festival at Currumbin for the first time. While house sitting in Brisbane we visited the Gold Coast several times. It was during these visits we first started to seriously consider moving to the Gold Coast. Nothing was immediately available and we first had to sell our Mackay home to finance a purchase. We were ready to head north again as we had decided to move into our house in Airlie Beach for a few months and get it ready to sell or prepare it for rental before we move on again.
I went back to work for almost 12 months while we also prepared the house. Our Mackay house sold and we had funds to buy. A villa became available on the Gold Coast and this week in 2014 we were in our new house and the task of settling in got underway.