State borders being closed in 2021 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic meant we had to extend our ‘winter break’ in Far North Queensland. I’ve mentioned previously we spent some of that extra time visiting Mackay, learning about a small city 950km north of Brisbane but just a couple of hours (190km) south of Bowen.
Of all the many crafts I’ve tried to learn over the years there’s one I’ve never been able to master Crochet! But I do recognise and appreciate skill when I see I see it These are just a few items from another exhibition I/we went to at Artspace Mackay. Which I’m sure will appeal to many of you. (I’m sorry but I can’t locate the description plates that tell what each exhibit is) However the subject was Lichen -that ‘strange stuff’ that grows on things https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichen
Bright and cheerful…. That’s how a local described the new ‘paint job’ on the public toilet block in Marian Qld. While we were in Mackay last year we took a drive out through Marian to the Pioneer Valley and discovered they had indeed had a face lift. The pale blue Hens and Roosters decor from the last time we drove through (2009) was gone, they kept the same theme, altered the design slightly and went all green. It was certainly easier to see and access, using some of the grassy area as a parking spot.
And look what we saw in Yeppoon later that month. More decorated loos – right there just a short walk up from the beach
The screened area to the right of the ‘gents’ is the same one as to the left of the ‘ladies’ It’s a shower – get rid of the salt and sand – area And look, they both have dogs waiting patiently outside
Linking to Monday Murals – it’s a colourful world over there with lots to see.
Don’t Forget – if you want to see it best……Click/ tap or finger slide to enlarge
(Sometimes through a dirty windscreen – sometimes at about 100km an hour 😎)
We left Bowen driving south and said goodbye to cane fields at Proserpine with the little ‘cane train’ railway that runs across the road and where the mill (like others in the area) was working non stop processing the harvest.
Had what (at first glance) looked like a very ordinary curry for dinner Never doubt the talent of pub staff of Indian origin – local beef plus spices Delicious!
Drove off early the next morning, waving to the ‘bull’ on the roundabout. See ya next year!
We crossed rivers and creeks – some with water because of recent heavy rains…..some still dry….but waiting until the wet arrives further north later in the year and the water runs south when they and the nearby floodplains will fill.
And it’s that annual flooding rain (plus the flooding caused by recent La Niña events) as well as the constant heavy road transport vehicles (Road Trains) that has cause ‘pothole hazards’. Reasonably easy to see and hopefully manoeuvre safely around in daylight (not good for your car if you don’t) almost invisible at night or worse still downright dangerous when covered in water.
We found the overtaking lane round the corner where we ‘dutifully’ didn’t speed up but let others pass……
Including this big brute further down the road – not that we’d have much option where he was concerned 😟
Lots of other ‘big things’ moving along the road…..as well as….. well, we’re not sure where this one was trying to go – the shredded tyre tells the tale! (Nobody hurt and luckily no stock on board)
My last fish ‘n chip pub meal for a while I think – you can only have so much of a good thing. My water was served in a very ‘posh’ crystal looking glass 😊
Another early morning start, a goodbye wave at the Gunsynd statue in the border town of Goondiwindi – then across into NSW.
Where for most of the day it was All Change 🙁☔️
Nothing to see but rain until late in the day when we found a rainbow!
And guess what greeted us the next morning ……yes, more of the same😊
A dreary drive made better by ☕️ & 🍰 at the Tocumwal Pavilion across from the river
Then it was over the Murray and into Victoria. (I was driving so no photos – the river was the highest I’ve ever seen it) Things changed, became brighter so by lunchtime we had blue skies and fields of gold
No matter where we’ve been or how long we’ve been away I always have a little smile when this view at a roundabout near Yarra Glen appears. It means we’re nearly home! Just another 20km to go! The tv masts on the hills are those very same ones I can see from another angle – much closer to home – from my little library 2km from home 😊
For the next few days we thought Spring had arrived – the sun shone, it was pleasantly warm and a lot of the garden plants thought so too. The clocks changed – happy summer days are on their way!
Unfortunately the weather had other ideas……it’s back to wind cheaters and tracky dacks round the house plus brollies at the ready if I venture out! This was the forecast yesterday when I was putting this together. Warm clothing still needed. Come on Spring…it’s nearly November- come out come out wherever you are!
(Please don’t think my whinging about the weather here in Victoria doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about those in other states who are once again ‘living with heavy rain storms and possible flooding’. It must feel like living in a war zone with the prospect of more destruction coming their way….and – rightly or wrongly- we have been led to believe – not much help coming from governments.)
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Linked to Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse – you’ll find many interesting blogs there. Perhaps you’d like to join in as well.
“Why do you always go to the same beach?” I was asked not long ago. There are other little bays close by – why don’t you go to any of the others?
See the red dot – that’s where we are staying. Travel 2.5km east (right) and that’s where Rose Bay is. Travel east, round the corner, then north a little and you’ll get to Horseshoe Bay (which is the place that person was alluding to)
Yes it’s a lovely little bay – I can vouch for that – but to me it’s an ‘adults only’ bay. I’ve only ever seen adults there – it has a certain appeal to older adults who congregate there en masse in winter – year after year after year.
It was early morning when I took these and the ‘line up’ had already begun. By mid morning those chairs will have almost covered the sands, the car park and cafe will be chockablock. Claims have been staked – the chairs will remain there all day long!
I’ll tell you a little story:- I went there one year – one of the early years (2009) when we first started coming up here (before I’d discovered Rose Bay) – picked a spot under the trees on the left hand side, got comfortable in my chair, reading a book, enjoying the fresh air, not really looking at what was going on – after a while I realised others had set up a line of chairs beside me. A woman was walking up and down in front of me pointing to where I was sitting and I could hear the others saying (quite loudly) ‘she was here when we arrived’. Yes, you’re right – I’d placed my chair where she usually put hers….. and she was not happy at all. I came away and left them to it. (I’ve actually heard of people being asked to move – ‘you’re in my spot’ – that’s how possessive some of them are)
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So, I replied, why would I go there when I could to another place – a quiet place
WHERE…. Sometimes I have company — Sometimes not
WHERE…. Grandmas can paddle in a rockpool while keeping an eye on young charges Fishermen in wet suits stride from the water clutching a harpoon and net Young lovers have room to walk and talk. Young men do what many young men do on beaches – try to impress the girls. (the young men and the ‘girls’/women came down from the caravan park round the corner favoured by young backpackers)
WHERE…. Saturdays are family days – days for teaching children about the ocean. Mums and Aunties come down…..with paddle boards, kayaks and canoes. Dads and Uncles do their share of baby minding – taking pushers to the waterline so the youngest ones can enjoy a ‘paddle’ and appreciate the ocean in their own way
A special place indeed. (where my photos are taken from a distance) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It’s really early Monday morning, (I’m about to press publish so fingers crossed it posts) after a warmish night a second cup of tea will be very welcome. This is our last week here but I’m not sure how much time I’ll be spending at my special place…….after all those weeks of cooler than usual weather, things have changed and this was last night’s forecast for the rest of the week! I think I hear the sound of the air con at the library calling😊
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I’m linking to Wednesday’s Words & Pics hosted by Denyse – you’ll find many interesting blogs there. Perhaps you’d like to join in as well.
Big smiles all round (or rather, down the Highway) when I saw that just like last year, the ‘little yellow girls & boys’ were still working hard protecting road workers by indicating where overhead power lines were.
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From a distance I thought this was a real house gecko on the painted shed doors out the back of a Proserpine cafe – a laugh and a smile when I realised it was a decorative door handle
This is a real one! A smile when I saw it clinging on for dear life to a dusty window frame in another shop….followed by a frown. They are supposedly nocturnal so why was it out and about?
Murals are a ‘big thing’ in Bowen and this is one I hadn’t seen before. Another of those drive down an unfamiliar streets and get a surprise moments! Painted by James Ellis – the same young Brisbane street artist I mentioned last year.
Eye catching isn’t it. Well placed and visible from a distance. Playful dolphins make me smile any time I see them
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And finally a little scene from Rose Bay one morning last week Low tide, the seas were like a millpond – just right for kayak lessons on the shoreline I’m not sure who was going to have the most fun. Dad or the two littlies brandishing their paddles
Do pop over to EC’s and see what beautiful photos she has to share today. Sunday Selections– a place to share photos…..old and new
It’s been a funny old week where we had a few rainy days Mornings of heavy cloudy skies Along with some cool gusty southerly winds Followed by soft gentle stuff
One morning we thought we left it in Bowen but it followed us down The Bruce to the ’big’ shopping centre at Cannonvale and then hung around while we lunched at Sailing Club in Airlie Beach
It came and it went and there was no sign of it a couple of days later when we went to the Sunday market
Unlike the torrential monsoon rains that come earlier in the year during ’The Wet’ It had been soft gentle rain just like The Irish Descendants sing about in this song
A gentle mist all heaven kissed Like teardrops off an angel’s wing Don’t you know you’ll cleanse your soul With a walk in the Irish rain
Here it is Monday again – wonder what’s in store for this week? Life is a little unstructured at the moment. We don’t seem to have found the usual rhythm of this time away yet….Some years (a bit like at home) there is a pattern to the days……nothing is planned too far in advance – some things are marked on the calendar but can be can be removed/changed if ’a better offer turns up’
We’ll just take things as they come – hopefully it’ll be a bit warmer than it has been. I feel the cold and rug up like a local so must say it’s been strange seeing others also wrapped up in their ‘cool weather travelling up from down south clothes’ …..I smiled inwardly but didn’t say anything when I heard one camper revealing to others she was still wearing her winter pjs where by now nights would be warmer and she’d be in summer nighties
lol All must be ok in my world when my main thought is what is the weather’s going to be like…..here’s this week’s forecast.
Looks like I won’t be putting my winter jammies away anytime soon if Thursday Friday and Saturday night are anything to go by😊
Why don’t you pop over to Corinne’s blog – she’s hosting Monday Musings.
(It’s possible this will be one of my rambles where I start somewhere and finish elsewhere) ~ ~ ~ ~
There’s been a little bit of tension in the park over the past few days
Most ‘residents’ are older retirees, at the moment the majority are here for the season (May to September), although there are some travelling ‘seeing the sights’ avoiding the winter weather down south, some could be younger (with or without young families)on the road doing their lap, plus with school holidays still on there are some with youngsters hurtling round on bikes and scooters.
Apart from those like us who are using cabins everyone else is living in tents or ‘homes on wheels’ of all shapes and sizes and vintages –
motorhomes and caravans (ancient and modern designs)
camper vans …newer posh ones with pop up roofs and side awnings as well as some travelling tourists in a brightly painted hired ‘whizz bang’ one ( think of the noise the sliding door makes)😊
converted buses, big fifth wheelers and this year something that ‘looks like a fifth-wheeler’ but seemingly sits on top of the flat tray of a ute (there’s a really tiny one parked close by – I must get a snap of it sometime)
Which means it’s an outdoor lifestyle – for the majority gathering with others would be outside or in the park facilities like the pool, camp kitchen (open on three sides) laundries (also open on three sides) as well (for some) the various toilet/shower amenities blocks ( which for privacy are enclosed).
Contrary to what so many of the population think/believe Covid-19 hasn’t gone away…..it’s still out there and case numbers are on the rise again. I’m not sure why people are loathe to take precautions, there seems to be a belief that vaccination prevents them being infected rather than lessening the effect so mask wearing is scorned – when the staff are available cafes & restaurants are doing big business, theatres, ’pub nights’ and other gatherings are all the rage again.
The Golfer is a chatter….he’ll stop and say Hello to anyone….especially if there are other fellas gathered at someone’s ’door’ (men can gossip as much as women – they tend to hover out the front of other vans and motors discussing this that and the other) …..which means (whether I want to hear them or not) he often relays some of the snippets he hears here and there.
He began the other day with “you’d never guess what”……seemingly the wife of one of the other men came back from the shower block all in a tizz about something. She’d been finishing up, brushing her hair before leaving and another woman came to the next mirror so they’d begun chatting (as you do) – the chat turned to the hot topic of covid and how lucky they were to be out on the road and not in towns where it was raging and even though (rightly or wrongly) many restrictions had been lifted if you did become infected self isolation was one way of breaking the cycle. She’s about to leave and the other woman moved closer, looked her in the eye and whispered…..”I tested positive a couple of days ago, I certainly haven’t reported it and theres no way I’m isolating. I’m not staying in my van away from everyone else – no one’s going to tell me what to do” and with that walked off out the door.
So we had one previously happy camper worried sick in case she’d become infected by someone she didn’t recognise and hasn’t seen since (possibly a short stay/overnighter whose site was in another lane) – other campers also worried not knowing if they’d crossed paths with the infected unknown woman – who now (if what she said is true) is out and about infecting others.
I’m amazed no one has reported it to the office…..… there’s nothing anyone can do, there are no rules no reprisals…..’because the onus is on us to keep ourselves safe’ …..seems to be the attitude. I can’t be the only one wondering if they’re just a lonely voice pleading with others to be sensible – it’s not just about yourself, you have a responsibility to keep others safe as well.
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I nipped out after I wrote this and took these. Seemingly it’s called a Millard ’Slide – On’
Handy if you dont like towing but….according to this review not quite as simple as tossing one on the back of your old ute
Corinne hosts Monday Musings. – pop over you never know what you’ll find to read
I know there are many staterooms with their own balconies but really and truly the only place to experience the benefit of being close to the ocean is on the promenade deck of one of my favourite cruise ships
Some time or another when we feel it is safe to do so we will return
(2017 saw ex tropical cyclone Debbie pass through)
In 2017, the existing café on Flagstaff Hill was badly damaged as a result of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie. After finding the building was unsuitable for repair it was demolished in 2019 and concepts were developed for the new building.
Going through old photos (again) ….aka reliving previous travels…..
September 2004 – a great trip to Canada….
east coast for extended family time – west coast for pleasure, which included time in Calgary, a drive up to Banff for afternoon tea at The Chateau along with the obligatory photo on the terrace in front of Lake Louise.
December 2021 – retrieved from the wardrobe, in working order and used occasionally
all I need are blue jeans (in the wash) and a green screen projecting a photo of the lake and I could travel without the hassle 😊
It seemed as though no sooner were we here at the very end of June
Time had flown by and we were saying goodbye at the very end of September
We had applied with a tentative date and were finally given the ok to return
As if to prepare us for things to come ‘this’ accompanied us all the way to the NSW border. Things weren’t much different during the long drive through the state
Terms and conditions of the transit permit meant we had to move through NSW (deemed an extreme risk zone) in 24hrs. That’s no problem for those driving big tank like 4 wheel drives ‘pulling their homes behind them’ who can stop and rest when they want…..just a little more involved for those who don’t really want to be on the road in the dark in their ’normal everyday’ sedans that would come off second best in an altercation with an unpredictable big ’roo feeding on the side of the road at dawn or dusk
After deciding we wouldn’t travel straight through (about +/- 12hrs border to border plus about 4 more home) but make an allowable accomodation stop we managed to find a motel at Narrandera ….less than 2hrs from Tocumwal on the border…with late check in (just in case) ….. so opted for a long 11hr drive Goondiwindi – Narrandera (much more than we would normally do in a day) early bed for some well earned sleep and then get away at the crack of dawn to meet the deadline. There was a lovely policeman standing in the pouring rain just inside the Victorian border waiting to check our permit, welcome us home and remind us to drive carefully ( as well as ’get tested if we didn’t feel well’)
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I’m sure the weather gods have just been trying to humour me since then – there have been brilliant warm Spring days which let the daisies out front show their faces
Then this is what turned up for today – Spring in Melbourne, don’t you love it!