We Go Caravanning While We Can

Always keen to get out and about and as we all know this has been the worst year ever in our memory.

A group of us decided it would be fun to go off to Imbil Queensland. Just a small village inland from our homes with a very nice camp to stay at. We have decided in view of all that is happening these days it would be wise to have a bit of fun not too far from home.

If you are wondering it is called Imbil Camping Retreat. Reasonable prices and clean facilities. The town has all you would need to support life eg coffee, wine and grocery. Everything for a simple life.

For ages I have wanted to try out a Rail Trail and glory be they have one, a perfect length for folk who enjoy an hour or so on the bike. I am sure if one was fitter or read younger a much longer harder ride would be the ticket. We found it perfect and are thrilled to hear they will be extending it for another 15Ks or so.

After all that exercise it was time to celebrate a couple of birthdays. What a great place to have a little party without annoying your neighbors. I did warn the camp office lady we could be up till at least nine at night. As it happened the chilly night had us in bed by eight so how good was that. A party and in bed early.

In summing up it’s all changed since our big lap days. We have settled into a fun way of traveling with a group of friends and it’s nice. The little doggie was a highlight. He has never had an adventure out in the wilds of a campground and fell in love with the whole idea on the spot. His mother tells us he yearns to travel again and get the freedom of the road. He is part human I understand.

Over Excited No Need To Calm Down.

Here are a few of my favourite things. Imagine off key singing if you will.

Don’t you just love the flying bus that enables us to live a little dream for a few weeks. My God the guilt about the carbon is hard to bear but the things will fly with or without my guilt so hey ho.

We just love a little Luxury Escape as a change from the Outback caravan. So much fun to mix it up don’t you think

We started off our little adventure at a hotel called The Haven in Khao Lak. We were delighted they remembered us from our previous trip.

With great courtesy we were escorted to our spacious room….with a sea view! Once again more delight and so our long awaited Thai break commenced only to be reminded early the next morning we had forgotten it was the Monsoon season.

How had we forgotten this? Long term memory loss for it was not the first time we had enjoyed the monsoon in Thailand. It is very fortunate we always carry our Kindles well loaded with good books. Many years ago I was fortunate to work for a large publishing company and always had a supply of the latest books to read. Imagine the suitcase full of delicious books and some nice clothes as well. In this age of strict airline rules the clothes would have been left behind. Swimwear only plus the travelling clothes.

This time we had the idea that backpacks would be a good idea. The fact we had 30kgs luggage allowance did not matter, we were going to travel light no matter what.

The thing is we love to shop really love it. Our small house is full but there will always be room for an overseas treasure. Fearing the worst in that we would not be able to bring any tourist tatt oops treasures I mean we got out the mothership and popped the backpacks in . Now we were all good for treasures and unexpected finds.

Would you believe we will be home in a day or two and for the first time ever no shops. Not a single basket,statue or TShirt have we bought.

It turns out our hotels both of them are beautifully secluded and it’s all a bother to shop. First time ever we have done that.

As happens the sun did make a small appearance in Khao Lak once in a while. It mattered not there were books to read and our lovely girl and her lovely husband to pass the time with. We enjoyed drinks and meals and talked a lot . There was a day we took out the hotel bikes and explored a little. All I can say is the bikes needed a bit of love. Then we found our paradise. No words can describe the perfection.

You know when you plan your holiday and try not to be too extravagant because after all you know money and all that. Can you imagine the pleasure we had to find we had struck gold. OMG it is sweet heaven here at the Pullman Arcadia. I have to remind myself it’s a long way from a free camp on the highway somewhere in Oz.

I could boor you to tears but will try to refrain. So all I will say is it’s a long way from our usual holiday and you must be told about the sweet staff and amazing manager.

Roxanne you are a star and I just hope the company knows what a treasure they have in you. We spotted some rings in the store and as you do fell in love with them. Now as old big fingered westerners there was no chance we could get them on our very big fingers. I asked the charming Roxanne if there was a chance of ordering some in our size and away she went. We can only say how thrilled we are with the trouble the girls have gone to. Such a pleasure to have people determined to make you happy and go to so much trouble for us.

Families enjoying the gorgeous pool here.

We had not realised it was school hols in Europe and Asia either so there is plenty of amusement around the pool to be had. Influencers draped all over the place,it’s enough to make you shy about your sensible swimwear. Hard on all the Dads as well trying to keep looking the other way. Lots of little boys desperately trying to quietly drown little sisters while Mama is occupied with her phone.

The beach here was a pleasant surprise .I had read reviews that were really scathing about it and was troubled to read about all the rubbish. Now there is a bit up on the timeline that needs to be picked up but nothing horrendous. Far worse in other parts of Asia I have seen.

This lovely part of the world has been a joy to visit and this beautiful hotel with its yummy food and good cocktails is just brilliant.

We have been plant eaters only for some time and I was concerned it would be an issue but no. The morning buffet is a thing of wonder and all you would ever need. It is a shame to see huge plates of food left to waste and you would wonder at the reasons people waste so much. As a former mother of a large family waste just drives me crazy but as my girl tells me…not your problem Ma. Shut Up about it, but still.A pretty cool beach .

We are already plotting a return so must put financial plan into place and buy a lotto ticket at home. Phuket I love you!

The Quiet Little Adventure That Grew.

Feeling Like Fish Tonight at Elliot Heads.

We have the utmost affection for a nice visit to Elliot Heads .

It never takes much to encourage a visit to Elliot Heads at anytime.

As my sister and her hubby had arrived on their first long haul camping trip we thought it would be nice to take them on a small adventure to our favourite places.

As it had been a while since Hervey Bay it was chosen as the first camp of the trip. It’s a good place to stock up the caravan and settle in for a few days. I had to admit the last visit had left us a little flat and not too impressed with the sights. The town had grown a lot since the first trip and a sea of housing development ….mainly for retirees was a little underwhelming.

All was forgiven this trip as we discovered the fabulous cycle way along the water front enabling a great day on the bike. In all honesty it has become rather nerve wracking in Noosa in spite of the cycle paths on the roads. I always feel uneasy with the busy traffic there. So it was a game changer as far as future visits go.

Sadly very few photos because clever me left my charger behind. I intend to get another to leave in the van at all times so there will be no more huffing about forgetfulness.

In our house the catch cry for lost gadgets is always house or van where the heck did YOU leave it.

The Famous 1770 Sunset.

Another pleasant surprise to find 1770 is connected to Agnes Waters by a very good path that makes it an easy ride

Agnes Waters is a charming little seaside village. Rather expensive camp that seems to booked ahead for many life times by the couples who settle in for the winter months.

Happily we can all share the beach and what a great wee beach it is. Us? We settled at the 1770 camp that was quite good enough for the likes of us. One would imagine the place gets busy in the holiday periods but winter time it’s gorgeous.

We thought it would be nice to show our Victorian family Yeppoon. Good memories of the first visit. Lovely long beach to walk on. It’s a beauty for a walk , hard sand, flat and long. Hard to beat really and best of all very few people.

The saddest thing was the coffee bar we had such fond memories of had changed hands. No more excellent strong brew. Just that annoying milky mess in large cups. Thank heavens we found Bargara and it’s hip little cafe in the walkway.

That was still to come.

It’s funny how you hold fond memories of places and return only to find they are not as remembered.

We had memories of long hot calm days relaxing by the seaside. Even finding fresh coconuts and using the flesh to make the best coconut cake ever. Except for the most divine moist delicious cake in the world. Sage cafe in Ubud Bali, it is worth a trip to Bali, a pilgrimage even to the best vegan restaurant we have ever found.

Drifting off subject I often say nah Bali….over it. Too noisy, too polluted and my god the horror of the traffic. Then Sage and it’s cake drifts into focus and a misty veil is drawn over the aforementioned .

Who knew at our age we would be dreaming of cool and trendy Ubud. Not a dreadlock or tattoo between us, not even an Eat Pray Love type annoying bike ride through the village.

Anyway back on track to tripping Australia’s east coast.

I cannot honestly say where I took this but it’s a cheerful photo that may not be Yeppoon at all.

We finished our trip at our most favourite little place in Queensland. So favourite in fact there has been talk of moving there to live.

The only thing is the distance to BNE and the hassle to get there. As soon as Bundaberg gets an international airport we will be there.

The joys of a peaceful week at most favourite place. How many are there?

It has a lovely beach unpopulated by half dressed young girls. User friendly for generously sized ladies. No unpleasant compares to endure you see. Just user friendly Mums and Grans.

The food in the area is so good. I love the joy of buying from a roadside stall for a pittance. The local market is a stunner. Amazing fruit and vegetables run by cheerful stall holders. The Asian ladies there are a joy to talk too and very impressed to hear you eat Vegetarian. No rolling eyes just encouragement to buy more of their delicious stock. The thing is it’s interesting how long this fresh stuff lasts compared to supermarket greens.

I see in the media things are looking up for the area and the food trail will become a thing no doubt. Being so fond the place one can only wish them all the best of luck.

All that aside I guess the distance from the big cities is the reason behind the rustic charm of the place. Only us intrepid nomads make the effort to go there.

Now we are home and planning another Queensland trip and looking forward to the next adventure. It’s Phuket for a change, no caravans there but more good food and coconuts to be enjoyed.

Getting It Together Again

There is nothing more shameful than driving past the storage depot and spotting your much loved caravan. Neglected and gathering an unpleasant layer of dirt from passing traffic.

There was a chance to get out on the road again and have a bit of fun. Just hitch her up and go where ever the latest whim popped up. I love planning a short outing in the van, you know lists and preparing food. Baking the traditional fruit cake we always take just in case we need a nibble on the way.

The cake tradition came about when we realised what a handy thing it is to have on hand. Apart from the fact we are both greedy people and have an inordinate love for fruit cake it is really good if the planning has let one down and there is a shortage of bread or rolls. We can drive for ages on a mere morsel.

This is what she was born to do…..adventures and exploration.

So as it happened younger sister and hubby turned up in Queensland enjoying a wee trip up to our fair state.

As keen experts we were keen to share the love and hopefully a little knowledge we have gleaned along the way so what a great reason to hitch her up. After a fair bit of sorting out clothes and all the bits and pieces you think you may need and forgetting things you really need like your camera charger we were set to go.

It was an unusual experience to have others to consider as we have always done it alone. What we would do before messaging was invented can only be imagined. Funnily enough the departures were coordinated and off we set. Being creatures of habit it was not long before the lure of coffee was felt.

We were thrilled to find a great coffee cart along the road just out of Tiaro. All sorts of veges to buy along with some very nice honey so all in all a successful stop off.

The first stop was Hervey Bay and what a fine bike track they boast. It is all very impressive and the local council is doing a terrific job of improving the waterfront . On the strength of the bike track we will return for sure at some stage.

We could not resist a visit to our old favourite camp.

Elliot Heads maybe one of my favourite places to stay in all of Oz. The exquisite peace and quiet is just total bliss. One car an hour passing by as you walk, it’s just heaven on earth. So much so if the Mr had agreed I for one would be moving there today. So many issues to consider when these ideas arise.

If Only We Were Fishing Types Like These Folk.

Yes indeed one could catch fresh fish, grow food in the garden and just live a terribly healthy life.

Just down the road in dear old Bundaberg they run a market that makes it easy to live in a super healthy way. My goodness the variety of fabulous fresh food it just out of this world. We loved the little Asian ladies running their stalls. When we announced our vege status they were just piling beautiful produce into our arms thrilled to have found appreciative vege eaters.

After an all to short time in my favorite place we ventured off to Agnes Waters and settled in at 1770 just down the road. Another fine cycle track to be ridden to the beach. Ride it we did straight to a good coffee at the beach. It is a lovely little place and had a not unlike “Golden Pond “ feel about it as does most of Queensland at this time of the year. Not that I am complaining as a full member of the sun chasing age group who love the warmth.

They have such good sunsets at 1770 it was an excellent excuse to grab the wine and hit the park to watch it. As often is the case there was a good ole boy from the town all ready for a good informative chat about the joy of living in the area. Always pays to listen and learn from the locals.

Do you have so many sunset photos they all become as one?

We had the wind beneath our sails by now and decided to head to Yeppoon a town we had fond memories of from our first big round the block. Oh how the wind blew upon our site. We were only grateful a few other campers had grabbed the beachside sites so at least we has a little wind break.

Funny how you can have fond memories and then when you return it’s all changed. The coffee place we had loved had changed and not for the better either. Such a first world problem but when you live in the first world one demands what one is used to. Don’t you?

It was a pleasure to walk the beach for miles with hardly another soul to be seen. Not too bad for the fitness either, the body well I have given up worrying about that old thing.

By now the weeks were rolling by and it was time for our Victorian rellies to turn south again. It had only been a tiny taste of the coastline beyond Noosa but we had enjoyed the chance to show off a little more of the coast. Also to inspire them to make full use of the new van they are excitedly awaiting. So another trip into Elliot Heads and one more shop at the awesome market and we were home again. Planning to do far more in the next few months even to serious talks about heading up to the far North as summer approaches. It should be less crowded and with any luck not too wet and not too humid. If it is and I do not believe it can be that bad we will simply turn south to the cooler climes of the Sunshine Coast .

Revisiting Favorites.

Here at the Royal Villa Jepun which sounds very smart but it’s fairly humble really they do have a lovely bunch of folk working here.

One of them is Micki who just loves a big day out for a very reasonable price. We asked him to run us around the Tegallalang Terraces. Positively a shrine to commerce these days, more swings than you could ever sit on and photogenic frames to pose on.

Being rather clumsy these days I decided not to attempt the stairs as they were terribly slippery from all the heavy rain. So embarrassing to be the only Granny ever to go from top to bottom in an instant. It was bad enough last year when half a dozen young men had to manhandle me into a tour boat.

Oh goodness it just gets better and better as you turn into the mature adventurers.

Murf liked this frog so all cudos goes to him.

We were recalling the old terraces again and still cannot believe the changes and still wonder why they are not declared a national treasure and treasured by the nation.

We still love them.

When I was here last with my dear neighbor we also had come for a visit and then our driver kindly took us to the old coffee plantation. I knew straight away Murf would just love to see it and enjoy some of the samples they do.

Terribly generous and served with such grace.

Here’s one of their old workers enjoying every moment, no doubt he will be hatching plans to roast a little coffee in our little yard.

It’s great to see the plants they grow even a huge curry tree, yep a tree no bushes here. I am very keen on the cocoa, oh my goodness it’s just the best in a chocolate cake. I will come back to cake later as again OMG the cake we have eaten today.

Just a wee bit of coffee.

Along from the plantation there is the most interesting street. Sadly for us it’s a day most the shops were closed. However we did find a rather cool birdcage shop and got one to start a collection. No we have no pet birds and never intend to. Our streets are full of the most noisy parrots ever, they are enough.

We have a cafe in Pomona and the garden area is full of old cages. We love them and hope to achieve a similar look. Cage by cage. Let’s hope we can carry the fragile thing home on a crowded aircraft.

The best part of the day was lunch at Sage. My most favorite place ever. The food is brilliant, all vegan. The customers are all amazingly cool and spend their meal doing digital nomad type posts. If not that they all earnestly discuss things like how stressed they are and how wonderful the last yoga class was. Obviously we fit in perfectly.

Too sad I was not brave enough to get out the camera and photograph all the delicious food we ate.

The Coconut Cake is just to die for, so moist, so delicately flavored and best of all reasonably good for you. Then as we were sadly leaving out came a Chocolate Cake.

Dear reader never has such a cake passed by me. It was instant attraction so once more we will have to come back.

I took Murf to look at the Bali Spirit Hotel a Hotel so perfectly placed to reach Sage the Gods must have been consulted.

Such a nice place and when I was there last year the staff were telling us just how long they had all been employed there. Not a soul under twenty years service which could have explained the beautiful atmosphere around the place.

Next time we will go there.

Eat,Walk,Eat. What Else to Do.

Well golly gee we find our selves in Bali again. I find the internet terribly tempting and when ennui strikes and our little paradise becomes a bit ground hog day well what do you do.

Open up the booking sites and find a cheap fare and what else but agree it would be good to have a change of pace.

Somewhere with fresh places to go for a walk and lots of excitement dodging motorbikes. Somewhere you can buy a fresh coconut to rehydrate. So important in the heat and humidity.

In all fairness this March here in Bali seems to be cooler and more pleasant. A summer in Queensland will get one accustomed to heat and humidity. So much in that you go outside at your peril. Funny thing these days, all the happy hours on the beach gone.

Instead we scuttle down in the hours of safety and park under a roomy umbrella clinging grimly on to avoid the wind snatching it away. Or is it just the golden days of youth we fondly remember with its endless summers.

Oh Ubud the tiny peaceful village we just cannot remember from our first visit way back then. The only memory is two monkeys making wild sweet love on the roadside and women screaming at you to buy a sarong . All changed in those long ago times we do remember beautiful terraces of rice everywhere. Scenery to die for and it was the

island of the gods.

The fabulous food now available is among our favorite excuses to visit. This time last year we came up here and it was the start of a whole new way of life. The beautiful vegan and vegetarian meals caused a huge shift in our thinking and a new life developed in the kitchen. Far too many brilliant cookbooks have been purchased. Most of them discovered online through some of the many blogs.

We have found it pays not to be too chatty about ones food choices as you all know it is often taken as a critical judgement. Evangelical gushing about awesome Tempe and Tofu recipes does not endear you to others at all. Such a pity as it’s all meant to be helpful and direct the unenlightened to the path of clean eats and good health. We just quietly judge and dash off home to have a good criticism of choices made in privacy.

As if we would.

This good looking boy is safe from us and our old love of sate chicken.

Luckily we live within reach of many farmers markets on the Sunshine Coast and love to explore each weekend. So far Yandina and Pomona are favorites. Pomona for its small village appeal and sweet cafes, Yandina for its glorious country town appeal and huge selection.

Oh I have drifted off Bali back to Bali.

At the moment we are planning to return to the quieter less touristy areas and hope to go driving tomorrow and have a look at some new places. Sidemen has come to my attention as a peaceful place with a more traditional feel. High hopes for future trips.

It’s Nypei Day today. The day of silence and a day that could well be adopted the world over. Here we are in busy Ubud and the only sounds are frogs and insects. Such a change from the incessant traffic and tooting horns.

The excitement of the local people is just like the day before Christmas. Maybe the only day a year they have to avoid tourists such as ourselves. It seems a lot of the day is spent resting and being one with family.

Traditionally the quiet day is to fool the evil spirits into believing Bali is not worth dropping into. No one home. Hard to believe even the internet is turned off nationwide. I am concerned the influencers may not be able to sent numerous photos of their bottoms in tiny bikinis out, no girls drifting through rice paddies in floaty dresses. How will the rest of the world cope without them or is it a blessing, I think it is.

On this blessed day of silence it is wonderful to be as the people and be one with peace and quiet and on that mellow note I shall drift away to read my book.

It’s Been A While and A Busy Few Years.z

It has really been far too long since I have applied myself to the story. I started writing about our big trip around Australia in the trusty Jayco Outback who certainly has been extremely trust worthy and has carried us far and wide. It proved difficult to write a blog in many parts of the country and sadly I lost my way as a writer and chronicler of our adventures.

So let’s try again I said firmly to myself and if nothing else it will be a good reminder of the excellent adventures we have had and hope to continue.

It’s Been A Year Since We Started Housesitting.

Up and Down the Coast We Go.

This year of 2016 and a wee part of 2015 has been a most interesting time. Possibly one of the most varied years of our life so far. We went to The United States for a month and fell in love with the country and the politest folk we have ever come across. There was a lot of walking around Newport Rhode Island and that was excellent as it ment we had a good close look at all that was interesting to us. Gardens and amazing homes mainly. 

There was swimming on a beach in the Bahamas included as well, the benefits of a surprise cruise taken on the spur of the moment. Now there was proof it pays not to overplan too much and let serendipity take its course with a little help from the internet. God bless those last minute cruise sites. Who knew a small girl would be the best traveling companion one could wish for as she danced and twirled around the cruise ship.

Of all the holidays we have enjoyed the cruise always holds special memory’s and this was number three of the wonderful times.
In between these great experiences was the house sitting which to be honest made it possible to enjoy the travel by enabling us to save a bit on the cost of our beloved caravanning. 

The trip to the mainland and the cruise went by so fast and before long we were off to Hawaii for a bit of sun and swimming cause above all else that’s our favorite happy place in the world. Time after time Hawaii hits the spot and even though it was a shock to see how busy the island has become and see its highways choked with traffic we still love it.

The way the flights worked out created a few days in Los Angeles much to my delight and once again so easily seduced I felt a whole lot of affection for this huge city. We guess what ended up going for long walks along the beachfront of the rather seedy Venice Beach and ended up in Santa Monica deeply mourning the fact the glorious shopping was not for us. Darn it hurts not to be a gorgeous teenager anymore.

Along the walks we discovered the most beautiful place to live and it’s still out there to the gods of Housesitting wherever they are. I am totally up for a few months feeding a treasured cat and gardening if required on the Venice Canals. The only concern would be carrying all the little bits one needs to housesit in comfort. Whilst we have enjoyed some lovely places and loved the pets it’s interesting to find not everybody keeps a fully equipped kitchen. One or two of our lovely homeowners had a kitchen to love and sadly a few did not. A sharp knife and often a working oven are harder to find than you could ever imagine. In fact it stuns me one could live and eat without good equipment on hand. It raises the question are some of us just spoilt or do some just have no enjoyment of the art of food so consequently do not care. To avoid horrid surprises in the kitchen I am developing a list of handy things to keep on hand. Imagine the horror of a home with no oven, no sharp knives, not even a cheese grater and this is what I found at my latest sit.

To avoid such horrors it would be a good idea for the keen house sitter to invest in a suitable container to be taken along on every housesit containing the following.

  1. A pair of good sharp knives.
  2. A cheese grater of your choice. I prefer the modern flat ones
  3. A small Webber BBQ
  4. Salt and Pepper
  5. A small blender of some sort for drinks and smoothies.
  6. A good cast iron frying pan, a good saucepan or two as well.
  7. Nice soap and shampoo if they are important to you.
  8. A Scented Candle or two not necessarily expensive ones.
  9. Your own pillow.
  10. We also carry our dog leads and car harnesses in case we want to go out with pets to a park or beach.

A cozy rug if you are going to a cool area for your bed.
That may sound over the top but if you are in it for a long term commitment believe me there will be many things more you will find make life a little more comfy. My husband includes a deck chair for outside comfort to read in as well. Lucky for us we drive a large Ute with plenty of room in it.

It has been a busy time and so far we have just about covered the eastern seaboard of Australia and had some gorgeous pets to look after. Some stand out for all sorts of reasons mainly personality including the big brown boy we met last month. Wonder Dog we called him for his intelligence and lovely nature.
Just throw the stick will you!

The latter part of the year was pretty dam amazing as well, it included another wonder trip to Asia. Singapore, Bali and Malaysia who could complain. We revisited the food courts of Singapore and renewed our vow of love for the city. Once again we were stunned at the rate of renewal and amazing buildings and gardens they had developed. Ooh How I Love You Singapore and all the things you offer.

So there we were four days of bliss in Singapore and could have made it eight. The food and the amazing city along with the incredible gardens just make it another go to for a fantastic break. For a large city we were thrilled to find once again the locals were really friendly and we both were amused to meet a most charming young doctor who directed us to the best nightclub in town. That would have been a sight to see and flattered as we were to believe we may be cool enough for nightclubs the night spent watching the crowds was enough for us.

Then there was Bali.

Dear Old Bali 

What we would do without the kindness of friends I do not know. Viv sharing her housesit with us as she looked after the little rescue dogs of Bali .

Our dear friends who offered us their beautiful Gypsy Villa in the heart of Seminyak all came together to make it a memorable few weeks. 

There is no denying Bali can test your patience and it seems so sad it has been loved to the point of destruction of all that once made it so beautiful but still it grabs you . We were enchanted to find all the gorgeousness in the local stores and guess what our new place will be full of . Yep even though I swore we would not succumb to the temptations of the design shops of Seminyak the bags were packed to maximum capacity and we still had Malaysia to get through.

The First Bus Tour We Ever Did 

Oh my goodness we did enjoy this part of the trip. The most excellent Majestic Hotel where we thought we were royalty for a bit. The bus tour was very good and we travelled up hill and down dale through the tea plantations along the highways to places we had only read of. The fellow passengers turned out to be all good sorts of all ages which was not a bad thing. Will do it again in another country for sure and we were very pleased with ourselves for choosing to take a chance on it.

It was all thanks to the wonderful people who entrusted us with there homes and pets and we are grateful for the year more than we can say. 

It did not end there either as on arrival back in Oz we have travelled to Cooktown (far north) to Melbourne in the south a huge journey. Everyday I thank the travel gods and bless the company that made me redundant because if not one would still be at work and who would want that instead of travel. Not Me!


.The sweetness of kids wherever you go.

A Drive To Home.

They say you can never go home and it’s true. The photo of home is not my own I must admit, it’s borrowed off a post but I love it so whoever took it has my thanks as it’s lovely.

So here’s the thing you go back to find all has changed, the cafe you loved has been renamed. The streets bear hardly a resemblance to memories you hold and strangers walk the paths you once called your own. Even the home you grew up in has been demolished and renovated to within an inch of its of its life.

We had taken a trip to the Mount to visit my elderly mother who has lived to a great age old enough to make you hope you never live so long. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. 

Along the way we followed the route over the hills from Thames a town that once held the prospect of much grief every time duty called. A long story from a previous life and best forgotten really otherwise the nightmares may return. Oh but it is still a great drive and the visas are just as awesome as they ever were. I decided to revisit all the beaches along the way just to torment myself with indecision as to where live forever. Australia or New Zealand who knows love them both and then as a lightbulb dimly came on inside our heads we realised no need to to fret we can have it all. One day we will come back and buy a summer home for NZ and the gypsy life can continue in Australia with the caravan until we are marched off protesting to the oldies final abode. Thing is the memories will be good and pray we still can recall them.

Note the soft light and evidence of rain a lot of rain and how gentle the landscape looks. The shades of green too many to count brightened by the flash of colour from the spring blossoms lift ones heart.

That evening we spent at Whangamata with old friends and inspirational friends at that. Our long time friend is a picture of health showing the advantage of a lifetime vegetarian diet and has an enviable trimness to boot. Right I firmly told my man that’s it the meat goes. He blanched a little and pointed out it has been gone for quite some time and has become a bit of a rare treat. No matter I said and resolved to collect my old vegetarian cookbooks and take them home to create more weight and clutter in the van and possibly even cook from them. Our vege friend is blessed with a garden full of gorgeous fruit trees and a magnificent vegetable garden he has worked in for a lifetime. Gosh I hope the developers never get hold of his land and bulldoze it as happens so much. We were rather saddened when we made a visit to Omokoroa a wee village close to Tauranga and one of those beautiful spots one wishes to live in to find it in the process of being ripped to pieces for yet more development. All the orchards torn up and trees removed is heartbreaking to see.

Waihi Beach still grabs us and will always be the dream I think, long beach ideal to walk on and we were rather thrilled to see all the older folks out bike riding and strolling the beach. If the temperatures could be jacked up a little it would give Queensland a run for their money. 

Once we reached the Mount on a beautiful day it was a joy to see the beautiful harbour and the iconic Mount we all love so much. Home always grabs your heart until you see the changes but what the heart holds is truely the home you love.

The tickets have been brought to return to Australia this weekend and pick up the van and it seems to be our real home these days. Who would have thought one would be looking forward to a small space again. Hopefully we can spend a bit of time on the Gold Coast before we head to Victoria and more Housesitting and the three fat Labradors again. 

So at the end of it all home is wherever we go as long as we keep moving.

We Are On Our Way To Cairns

Hello Possums here we are again on the road again this time enjoying a long drive to our next house sit. Our next house sit came to us via an email requesting our presence to look after much loved dogs and why not? The couple live in Cairns and it seemed to us accepting the offer would get us moving north and tear us away from the Sunshine Coast for a change. Good heavens we seem to have been there for ages and now we have brought the wee apartment it will figure large in the future so needed to drive away for a few months.
It was a wonderful excuse to head up to TNQ a place we hold dear in our hearts. We seem to be developing an unhealthy attraction to the tropics and fear we may end up swatting mosquitos for some time to come except for the call of Noosa and the glorious swimming beaches so dear to our hearts.

When we arrived home from our lovely trip our dear friends collected us from the airport and whisked us back to their home for a good sleep. Funnily enough we did not have any jet lag at all and yet previously after similar flights back to NZ we would be drifting in a haze for simply days and days. So this brightness was put to good use as they had sold their home and the next time we look after the dogs will be down Melbourne way and as we have promised it all makes a good reason to hitch up and go south for summer.

So after a few days saying farewell for now we found ourselves back on the road with old faithful right behind as is our way. You know it is fantastic to be traveling again with your own things and best of all our own bed. It really is hard to beat as a lifestyle and our hearts were light as we set off.

First evening found us at our most favorite wee place Kandanga and it felt like a homecoming in a small way.

Next day early in the morning we hit the highway again and several hours later and just shy of Gladstone we found a small free camp and made the vow this trip we would freedom camp as much as possible and it gives me a lot of pleasure to count the savings by avoiding commercial camps which are thieves and rogues  far too expensive coming in at nearly fifty dollars a night these days.

Next day we made it to St Laurence and the very nice camp by the wetlands and then onto Airlie Beach where we did succumb to the lure of a paid camp. Heaven to get the washing done in the machine though and we had a lovely dinner with old friends. Who may become neighbors in Noosa so who knew what life can turn up.

Speeding along we hit Townsville and carried on to a lovely wee spot called Toomulla complete with crocodiles in the river, we had heard a peculiar tok tok noise and it turned out to be crocs on the riverbank. I knew it was not comfortable walking through the mangroves alone!

The very next day a very nice couple turned up who shared our love of a good coffee and had come from NZ a few years ago, in fact they are Aussies now but we forgave them for that and had a really nice few days with people on our wave length. Funny how the two countries have developed strong differences and even though you love your new home it’s a comfort to meet your own tribe again. It was good to have a few days just resting and reading as it really has been a while since we stopped properly. A new author hit my radar so I have plowed through five of her books and are just enjoying them so much I cannot say. 

Elizabeth Buchan and she has written several rather good stories which if you were cruel you would say Aga sagas . However they are very good and I started with Revenge of the Middle-Aged woman and promptly got the the rest of her titles. Love it when you find a new author and they resonate with you. Toomulla was ideal to kick back and read until your eyes give up.

Today finds us in Ingham at a peaceful camp run by the CMCA for its members and guess what it’s free all free. It just gets better and better. We did find it unusual that even though it’s Sunday all the shops were shut. I am not sure if the town should be admired for hanging on to its day off or castigated for closing down while many fellow caravaners just drove away taking their money with them. On reflection nah good on them enjoying a day off.

Plenty of time tomorrow to shop and I do believe an outing to see the local sights may be in order.