Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday 9 October 2010

As it has been raining all night our plan to go home still stands.  After breakfast we wait for a fairly dry moment to unplug the power and start the van.  Not that we get very far!!! We're bogged!!!  40 Mm of rain during the night hasn't done a lot of good to the grassy area we're on so with the help of 5 pairs of muscled arms we're pushed onto the road and then we can make a move. 

I had a look at Google Earth last night to determine the camping site we had been looking for yesterday.  Fortunately we returned when we did, because without the coordinates we would've never been able to find the spot.  It was on the side road off the road we were travelling, but the name was completely different from the one mentioned in the book.  So, we were glad we hadn't taken our chances in this kind of weather.

Anyway, we were heading for Toowoomba and made for our favorite rest area past Toowoomba on the Warrigo Highway for morning tea.  We stayed inside as it was still wet outside.  As we had plenty of time and weren't in a hurry to get home we decided to take a scenic route through the Brisbane Valley.  Not that we saw a lot, with the top of Mt Glorious and Mt Mee shrouded in clouds, but it still was a beautiful drive.

Very hilly and it really tested our skills with the ten gears and the power brake, but worth its while.  A few of the climbs and descents were 15%, but the van made it to the top, albeit very, very slow. But hey, we're on holidays.  No hurry!  We stopped for lunch alongside one of the fast running creeks (no wonder Wivenhoe dam is 100% full) in beautiful rainforest.  Our next stop in the afternoon was in Mt Mee State Forest.  Again beautiful surroundings, but still wet, wet, wet!  Misty didn't mind.  She enjoyed the view from behind the glass:

After the last stop at Mt Mee it didn't take us long to get home.  From Mt Mee it's a short distance to Caboolture and from there to Bribie Island is roughly 20 minutes.  A bit longer in wet weather probably.  At home it was dry, and appeared to have been dry all day, so we were lucky to be able to unload the van in record time and have a bit of quiet time before dinner.  I still have a picture of our stay at the caravan park near Stanthorpe (from Frank's camera, which I could download on my pc), so that's the last bit for this short break:

Marion updating the blog on the laptop
And that's it folks.  Thanks for your company.  Till next time.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday 8 October 2010

This morning we woke up under a leaden sky heavy with clouds, a cold wind and the start of light rain. It didn’t look promising, so we stayed in bed a lot longer than usual. Even Misty didn’t mind. ;-) We had a late breakfast and went to the camp kitchen to prepare our evening meal in the Dreampot so we wouldn’t have to worry about it later in the day. The Dreampot, if you’re not familiar with it, is a sort of huge, insulated thermos cook pot which contains two inner pans in which you can prepare your meal. You do some brief preparation cooking on the stove and further cooking will be automatically completed inside the pot during the day, so that your evening meal is ready when you reach your destination. Often it’s lovely that you can sit down and relax after a day of driving, without having to worry about cooking a meal.

On a different note, I have edited yesterday’s posting about the caravan park where we were staying. All in all I had been a bit harsh with my comments. What we didn’t know yesterday, and found out today while talking to the owner during our cooking, is that they mainly cater for seasonal workers. The area around Stanthorpe is renowned for its fruit and vegies and a lot of people (by the end of this month probably a hundred or so) stay at the caravan park while working in the field or in the orchards around the area. That’s why the caravans and tents are mainly permanent and look a bit dilapidated. However, it was a bit pricy for what we got and since the weather had turned so drastically we decided to leave and travel on. After a nice hot shower and morning tea we said goodbye.

By then the rain was coming down a bit more heavily and we changed our plan to go to Girraween National Park for a bushwalk. Girraween is supposed to be beautiful in spring with all the wildflowers out, but a walk in the rain isn’t what we’d come for and we’d been lucky enough to see plenty of wildflowers along the roadside and in the fields. We discovered a lovely country road while driving in the direction of Texas and enjoyed the drive as best as we could, although in many places water started to flow across the flood ways in the lower lying areas, which was not a good sign.

We stopped briefly for lunch in a very wet Texas at an Apex park and were soon on the road again. Our next stop was planned at a weir off the Gore Highway to Toowoomba, but without a GPS with coordinates it was very difficult to find. When we finally were going to end up on a long and wet gravel road we decided to turn back onto the highway and keep going to Pittsworth where we knew we could find a caravan park a lot easier.

In the meantime it was pouring with rain. We were lucky to get the last spot at an otherwise fully booked park (nr. 725, Pittsworth Shade Rest Caravan Park; 27 43 02S, 151 37 44E) and enjoyed a hot cuppa in a warmer change of clothes.

No pictures today. They would have been very boring indeed. I have a feeling we’ll be heading home tomorrow. It’s useless to spend so much money on fuel and camping grounds if you have to hover inside around a stove to keep a bit warm. Perhaps we’ll go for another trip later this year or early next year if the weather improves. At least we had a splendid day yesterday, so we won’t complain. We might enjoy a double dose of The Tudors tonight and turn in early. If you’re reading the blog, thanks for keeping us company…

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday 7 October 2010

Today was a better day. The weather was as beautiful as it was yesterday, so no complaints. The sun was out when we got up (rather late, we really felt like sleeping in) and we left again shortly after breakfast. The surroundings were beautiful. It’s spring and all the wildflowers are out and after the recent rains (we had a particularly wet September) everything looked fresh, green and colourful. Look at the purple carpet in the first picture and the yellow one in the next:

Since we were heading towards Warwick we decided to go and see Queen Mary Falls near Killarney. Since we didn’t have the use of the GPS and the maps weren’t detailed enough to find our way around we had to rely on the road signs, which aren’t always the best. However, driving off the beaten track is always a pleasure and eventually we saw the sign for the falls:

We took plenty of pictures at the designated stops and found the waterfalls without a problem. First Daggs Falls on the roadside:

Then some scenic views:

Further up (it was a steep climb and winding road at that) Queen Mary Falls. Here we had to park the van and we went for a mere 2km walk to view the falls. Not only did we see the falls:

but also a few water dragons, warming themselves in the sunshine on the rocks:

and a wealth of wildflowers:

I had heaps more of pictures, but unfortunately I forgot to use my macro setting a few times and the pictures didn’t come out sharp enough.

The walk lead us all the way down to the bottom of the falls and all the way back up again to the top where the falls were fed by a fast flowing little creek:

At the end of our hour long walk it was time for lunch (morning tea we’d had before the walk) and since the weather was still beautiful we had our lunch at one of the picnic tables close by.

After lunch we headed for Warwick, back via Killarney again, because I wanted to look for an Aldi store to buy a slip cover for my laptop, which I new were on sale today. After a short look around we found one and together with some groceries we needed we were on our merry way again.

We were heading for Stanthorpe this time, because I thought I had discovered a nice little camping with an actual address instead of coordinates (remember the GPS problem!) and we would arrive in time for afternoon tea and a bit of relaxation until dinner time. The name did sound pretty enough: The Happy Apple Resort (nr. 751; 28 32 57S, 151 56 50E), but it didn't quite come up to our expectations, particularly for what we had to pay for one night.  Never mind, we’ve got power, a spot for the night and tomorrow is the start of the rest of our holiday. :-)
See you then…

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday 6 October 2010

When you read this we’ve left on another trip again. I got up quite early this morning and from the moment I stepped out of bed I should have know that it wasn’t going to be plain sailing today…

We’d packed most of our things yesterday. Only the cold stuff was left to be put into the fridge and freezer and I wanted to quickly finish some jobs early in the morning. One of them was printing out a form to be handed in later in the morning at the Woodies, because I had a few items for a competition that I wanted to be judged (in the novice section I haste to say), get some books from the library, do some banking and that was just about it.

Well, first of all I found out that only the items for the competition were to be handed in today. The form should have been submitted last Friday! Never mind, I was going to try anyway. Next was the banking. Since we are planning an overseas holiday next year and the exchange rates were in our favour, I wanted to get some money into our Dutch bank account. However, my local bank didn’t like the fact that I wanted to transfer money to an overseas bank account which had an Australian address attached to it, so that was the end of that. Took us a while too before we had all the appropriate details like the IBAN and BIC numbers, but at least I know how it works, albeit we weren’t successful.

Eventually we were ready to leave, so first stop was the library where I was lucky enough to get a loan extended for the second time. I’m not usually such a slow reader, but sometimes other things get in the way. Next stop: the Woodies. Again luck was on my side and my entry was accepted. Some more business was finished in no time and we were nearly on our way. Just a bit of grocery shopping and topping up of fuel and we could hit the road. To top it all of, Frank had forgotten to bring his GPS, which was a nuisance, because my expensive GPS doesn’t work with coordinates, which is also a nuisance! So, hit the road we did (finally at 11.30am), but without the use of our trusty ‘bible’, the book with the 3500 or so campsites in it… We just had to go about this trip a bit differently.

We had a smooth ride towards Brisbane, once we had decided where we were going, because we generally don’t put much effort into planning when we are just going away to relax. We had lunch at a service station along the road, since we had skipped morning tea and kept going into the direction of Ipswich with the general idea of ending up somewhere in northern New South Wales.

And that’s where our plain sailing came to a halt for a while. Before the Gateway Bridge the traffic was banked up because of an accident, so it was slow going. After having cleared the bridge, but before Mt. Gravatt the traffic started banking up again, but not only that, we also heard a big bang and all the warning lights in the van lit up. Frank checked the book, but couldn’t find straight away why that was so and we also thought that a rock had hit the van. Anyway, after taking off from the emergency bay the indicator for the cooling showed an extreme high temperature, so we stopped again and this time Frank realised that the big bang had been the snapping of the V-belt. The clever man he is he carries a spare, so the problem was fixed in no time. We had a cool drink and were soon on our way again, with Misty unperturbed sleeping in the back. She doesn’t have a care in the world…

When we got past the road works the traffic flow improved and we were on our way again. While Frank was driving I planned our stop for the night. It was going to be at the Maryvale Crown Hotel, just south of Warwick, which we reached at about four in the afternoon (site nr. 786; 28 04 18S, 152 14 22E). Not bad for a day like this. I also started working on this posting, since we worked out that we could save battery life if I would use the laptop during our driving time. Just before Cunningham’s Gap I took over for the last bit of the trip so Frank could enjoy the views. As you may be aware by now, every time you go west, away from the coast, you have to cross the Great Dividing Range. I never tire of the beauty of the range, wherever you cross. Cunningham’s Gap is in my opinion one of the nicest crossings I know in the proximity of Brisbane. A long sloping road with beautiful views, particularly in the late afternoon sunshine. Although I have also been on this road at sunrise when the sun casts its first rays on the hills of the Gap. However, that’s probably more then 20 years ago now and I don’t think I have even travelled this road during the last 15 years. So, we enjoyed it at our leisure, because the van doesn’t have a lot of power going up hill…

I don’t have a lot of pictures of this first day, but will try and do better during the rest of our trip. Frank took a few pictures with his camera, but had also forgotten to bring his card reader, so I can’t download them. The few I have taken are of the campsite with a storm brewing in the distance, although this didn’t eventuate.

We’re going to stay the night here, of course. We’ve paid for power so we’ve been able to cook a quick and easy meal in the microwave and will probably watch part of the next series of The Tudors tonight, which Kevin so kindly provided.

So, see you tomorrow…

Sunday, September 12, 2010

10 september 2010

Als we vertrekken regent het nog steeds en we hebben geen zin om bij het auto museum in de modder rond te gaan lopen, dus laten we het maar voor wat het is. Als we willen kunnen we altijd nog een keertje terug gaan op een andere tocht. We rijden via één van de binnenwegen naar Dalby. We stoppen ergens voor koffie en later in Dalby voor de lunch. De lucht is wel erg betrokken geweest, maar veel regen hebben we al rijdend gelukkig niet gehad.

We gaan door richting Toowoomba. Altijd een mooie rit als je de stad door bent en van de top van de range weer omloog moet, maar niet zonder gevaar. Doch, voordat we in Toowoomba zijn valt het water alweer bij stromen uit de lucht en we bellen Gerben om te vertellen dat we met zulk weer eigenlijk geen zin hebben om de volgende dag naar hem toe te komen. Als het regent is het geen pleziertje, maar ook zonder doen we het deze keer niet graag. We zitten nog met nat beddegoed dat met dit weer niet droogt en voor Frans is het ook geen grapje om de nacht weer door te brengen met een emmer boven zijn hoofd... Daarbij komt dat het na zulke regenbuien bij Gerben nog best modderig kan zijn en ik heb ook geen schoenen bij me voor zoiets.

Gerben vindt het geen ramp en we beloven hem weer een weekend te komen helpen als het beter weer is. We rijden dus door na eerst nog even een koffiestop te maken voorbij Toowoomba bij rustplaats James Hedges Park (nr. 615, S27 33 04, E152 07 09). Vlakbij Ipswich komen we in file terecht vanwege een ongeluk. Niet onverwacht met zulk slecht weer. Je kunt merken dat je weer in de beschaving terug bent!

Vandaar nemen we de tolwegen naar Bribie Island, want we willen niet al te laat aankomen en het rijdt makkelijker. Om half 7 zijn we thuis, maken ons avondmaaltje klaar en na het hoognodige uit de camper te hebben gehaald vallen we in een gemakkelijke stoel neer. Toch een fijne vakantie gehad, ook al viel het laatste gedeelte een beetje in het water.

English version

It's still raining when we leave and we don't feel like walking around in the mud at the car museum, so we give it a miss. There's always another time if we want to go and have a look. We travel via one of the country roads towards Dalby. We stop somewhere for morning tea and later in Dalby for lunch. It's still rather overcast, but fortunately we didn't get much rain while driving.

We push on towards Toowoomba. It's always a scenic drive when you come through town and drive down from the top of the range to the valley. However, long before we even reach Toowoomba it's bucketing down again, so we ring Kevin and tell him that we don't really feel like visiting next day in weather like this. It's no fun when it rains, but even then, we don't feel like it this time, because our bedding is still wet and Frank doesn't like the idea of sleeping under a bucket again... And then, in rain like this Kevin's land still gets quite muddy and we don't really have the right clothing or shoes for it either.

Kevin doesn't mind and we promise him to come another weekend to lend him a hand when the weather isn't so bad. So, we keep going after stopping for coffee just past Toowoomba at rest area James Hedges Park (nr. 615, S27 33 04, E152 07 09). Near Ipswich the traffic is backed up and it's very slow going because of an accident. Of course, this is to be expected in weather like this. It's nice to know you're back in civilisation!

From then on we take the toll roads to Bribie Island, because we don't want to arrive home too late and the travelling is a lot easier. We're home at 6:30pm, prepare dinner and after having collected the bare necessaties from the campervan we slump into a few easy chairs. It's been a terrific holiday after all even if it ended up a bit wet.

9 september 2010

We zijn weer vroeg wakker en worden begroet door de butcherbirds, die al in volop in aktie zijn. Na douche, ontbijt en een paar stukjes wasgoed weggewerkt te hebben zijn we klaar. Precies om 8u staat Don klaar en gaat ons voor naar zijn museum, dat als prive museum zijn weerga niet kent, geloof ik. Wij zijn met een ietwat grotere groep vandaag, want drie echtparen van de nieuwkomers hebben zich ook bij ons aangesloten, evenals Wendy, Judy en Darryl. Nog nooit heb ik zo’n persoonlijke rondleiding in een museum ervaren. Wat fantastisch. Er is een heleboel lokale geschiedenis, maar ook algemene en Don vertelt ons er alles over. Ik zal een apart label aan maken voor dit museum net zoals voor het verhaal over de andere homestead en noem het: The Meadowbank Museum.

Opnieuw zijn we de hele ochtend zoet. Er is zo veel om in je op te nemen. Ik wilde maar dat de geschiedenislessen op school net zo interessant waren geweest, dan zou ik nooit zo’n slechte punten hebben gehaald. Maar goed, het werd tijd om op te stappen en dus zijn we na een kopje koffie maar eens in gaan pakken. De nieuw gearriveerden, waarmee we verder eigenlijk niet veel opgetrokken hebben, vertrokken voor ons met slechts een armzwaai, maar de overigen kwamen zelf naar ons toe om ons goedendag te zeggen en uit te zwaaien, gepaard gaande met een omhelzing en met een ‘hopelijk zien we elkaar nog eens terug’. Daarna vertrokken we echt en we zijn er zeker van dat we hier nog eens terug zullen komen en dan misschien wel voor een week, maar ik twijfel of we weer zo’n gezellige groep kampeerders tegen zullen komen. We kunnen er alleen maar op hopen.

Dan is het intussen al lang 11 uur geweest en we moeten nog terug naar Roma, want we hoorden dat we de winkel waar we eerst naar toe hadden gewild gemist hebben. Er waren twee dezelfde winkels en die met het briefje van “we zijn deze week gesloten” is al 4 jaar dicht! Deze keer vinden we het zonder problemen en mensenlief het is zowat ook een museum. Stadslui zouden haast jaloers worden op de bewoners van Roma. Ik geloof niet dat er iets is dat ze niet verkopen en we hadden echt een paar uur nodig om door alle gangpaden heen te komen. De ene helft van de winkel is alleen maar bevoorraad met stoffen. Je moest dit kunnen zien. Nou ja, ik heb een foto genomen en die is nog slechts van de helft van een van de gangpaden:

Je zou niet graag willen proberen een rol stof onder uit de stapel te moeten halen…. De tweede helft van de zaak is op zijn zachtst uitgedrukt heel interessant. Uiteindelijk komen we bij de kassa aan (ook voor een groot gedeelte verborgen onder stapels en stapels spullen en bonnetjes) waar ik afreken en je wilt niet graag weten wat me dat kostte. :-)  Het meeste heb ik besteed aan stof met kleine ruitjes, allerlei soorten metalen kralen en ander klein spul voor mijn miniaturen en een paar handige huishoudelijk artikelen. En oh, wat krijg je een honger van dat winkelen. Tijd voor lunch en dan gaan we weer op pad. Deze keer nemen we dat een beetje meer serieus. We rijden in de richting van Glenmorgan voor een korte trip en de belofte van een auto museum. We weten nog niet of we echt wel geinteresseerd zijn in nog meer musea, maar we zullen we zien hoe we daar morgenvroeg over denken.

Tegen het eind van de middag komen we aan en vinden een plaatsje vlak bij het vroegere station (nr 593, S27 14 55, E149 40 34), dat gerestaureerd is en dienst doet als een toeristeninformatie centrum. Behalve de gewone informatie hangen er ook wat regels die vroeger golden voor de onderwijzers. Tjonge, ze wisten niet beter, maar wij zouden het er niet gemakkelijk mee hebben met zulke regels. Ik heb er foto's van genomen, maar de regels zijn dus wel in het Engels.  Ze dateren uit resp. 1879 en 1915 (klik op de plaatjes om ze te vergroten):

We wandelen nog een eindje en komen net aan bij het auto museum als het begint te regenen.  We keren dus maar om en zijn net weer terug bij de campervan als het water met bakken uit de hemel valt. Binnen de kortste keren is de ruimte rondom ons verandered in een modderbad.  Jammergenoeg hebben we het lek niet kunnen vinden en repareren, dus Frans slaapt gedurende de nacht met een emmertje boven zijn bed.  Ook mijn beddegoed is gedeeltelijk doornat geregend, omdat ik te laat was met het sluiten van de ramen.  Nou ja, er zijn erger dingen in de wereld.  Slapen doen we toch wel.

English version

We’re up again bright and early, greeted by the song of the butcherbirds. After a shower, breakfast and some work in the laundry we were ready. At 8am sharp Don is ready to take us on a tour of the museum. What an eye opener that is. We’re with a bigger group than usual, because 3 of the 4 couples that had arrived yesterday have joined us, as well as Wendy, Judy and Darryl. I have never experienced such a personal guided tour through a museum before. It’s just marvellous. There is a lot of local history as well as a large number of general items and Don tells us all about it. As for the story about the other homestead I will have captioned pictures under another label: The Meadowbank Museum.

Again it takes us nearly all morning to look at everything and there is so much to be taken in. I wish history lessons at school had been this interesting. I would never have nearly failed my exams!!! Anyway, we needed to be on our way so we had morning tea and then started packing up. The newcomers, with whom we hadn’t really acquainted ourselves, left before us with a wave of their arms, but the others came to say goodbye to us and with hugs and a ‘hope to see you again’ we hit the road. We’re sure we will be back one day, probably for a longer stay, but I doubt we’ll ever meet such nice bunch of people again. One can only hope…

By then it’s already past 11am and we still want to go back to Roma, because we heard that we had missed the shop we were after. There were two similar shops and the one with the note to say “we’re closed this week” has been closed for the past 4 years! This time we find it without a problem and oh boy, it’s nearly a museum in itself. City slickers would envy the people of Roma with such a store at hand. I don’t think there is anything they don’t sell, but it took us a good few hours to go through all the isles. One half of the shop was dedicated to fabric alone. You should have seen this. Oh well, this picture will give you an idea. It’s only half of one of the isles.

One wonders what one would do if one would want a roll of fabric all the way at the bottom… The second half of the shop is interesting to say the least. Eventually we reach the check out (snowed under with piles and piles of junk and dockets) where I pay my dues and you don’t want to know what I spent.  Mostly on small checked fabric, metal beads of all sorts, and other small stuff for my miniatures, and a few handy household items. My oh my, how hungry one can get from shopping. Time for lunch, and then we hit the road again. This time in a more serious mood. We are heading for Glenmorgan. A short trip and the promise of a car museum. We don’t know if we are really interested in more museums, but we’ll see how we feel about it tomorrow morning.

Towards the end of the afternoon we arrive in Glenmorgan and find a spot near the Old Railway Station (nr 593, S27 14 55, E149 40 34), which has been restored and now functions as a tourist information centre.  Besides the local information it shows some rules and regulations of the past for teachers amongst others.  You wouldn't want to have been a teacher in those times, although they didn't know any different.  I have taken a few pictures of some of the rules from resp. 1879 and 1915.

We go for a further walk and just get to the car museum when it starts to rain. We turn around and arrive back at the campervan just in time, because it starts pouring down and in no time the area around us is all muddy. Unfortunately we haven't been able to find or repair the leak, so Frank sleeps with a little bucket over his head during the night. My bedding is partially soaked as well, because I was too late closing the windows. Ah well, there are worse things in the world. We have a good sleep anyway.

8 september 2010

Vandaag zijn we, zoals gepland, de andere homestead wezen bezoeken. Het draagt de naam: Mt Abundance Homestead. Ik heb heel veel foto’s gemaakt en geprobeerd zoveel mogelijk van de geschiedenis ervan te onthouden zoals die werd verhaald door Don en Pat Tite, de eigenaars van de homestead sinds 1994. Ik wijd hier een apart hoofdstuk aan en houd dit als ons reisjournaal. Kijk naar de label: Mt Abundance.

We vertrokken vanmorgen om 8.30u met enkele mede kampeerders en keerden pas terug om een uur of 11. We hebben er dus een goede twee uur doorgebracht, gebonden door de geschiedenis ervan. Aangezien we toch slechts 7km buiten Roma waren besloten we om nog maar even de stad in te gaan en wat rond te kijken. Eerst snel even een kop koffie, dat we wel konden gebruiken na een hele ochtend luisteren. :-) Daarna zochten we de hoofdstraat op en hoopten de grote ‘general store’ te vinden waarvan we mochten verwachten, zoals men zei, van alles en nog wat te koop te vinden. Helaas, we vonden de winkel wel, maar er zat een briefje op de deur dat ons meedeelde dat de winkel voor de rest van de week gesloten zou zijn. Het zou me niets verwonderen dat dat nodig was om ruimte te vinden voor de nieuwe voorraad die gearriveerd was en in dozen die overvloeiden met allerhande artikelen in de, toch al nauwe, gangpaden stonden. Nou, dat was dat en nadat we nog wat boodschappen gedaan hadden zijn we maar een korte wandeling door de stad gaan maken. Er waren verscheidene straten met rijen flessebomen met daaronder een naamplaat voor iedere soldaat die tijdens de eerste Wereldoorlog gesneuveld was.

Nadat we onze wandeling beeindigd hadden zijn we naar onze camping bij de homestead teruggegaan en hadden wel trek in een hapje eten, waarna we een rustige middag doorbrachten in het zonnetje. Frans had zin in nog een wandeling langs de kreek om eens te gaan kijken of hij de oude spullen kon vinden waar men het eerder over had gehad. Niets bizonders, gewoon een reden voor een wandeling. Intussen heb ik aan mijn verhaal voor vandaag gewerkt en nog even een tukje gedaan. Nadat Frans weergekeerd was begon er weer wat leven te komen onder de mensen. Ian en Phyllis waren inmiddels vertrokken en ook arriveerden er weer nieuwe kampeerders. Peter gooide nog wat hout op het vuur, want zijn vrouw Jenny was van plan ‘damper’ en ‘scones’ te maken.

Wij waren ook uitgenodigd en genoten van de beboterde ‘damper’ en de ‘scones’ met slagroom en jam en natuurlijk ook het aangename gezelschap. Elaine en haar man Neville, die samen reizen met Peter en Jenny, waren natuurlijk ook van de partij. Zoals gewoonlijk werden er druk reiservaringen uitgewisseld en leerden we nog het een en ander. Tegen dat we klaar waren met onze maaltijd kwamen Wendy en Judy met zijn drieen terug. Ze hadden een echtgenoot achtergelaten in Roma. Het bleek dat Peter zich onwel voelde tijdens een wandeling door de stad en was in het ziekenhuis terecht gekomen. Enige tijd later hoorde Wendy dat hij naar Toowoomba gebracht zou worden door de Flying Doctor Service, want ze konden hier niet genoeg voor hem doen. Niemand was er zeker van wat hij mankeerde, maar men vermoedde hartproblemen. Zo kan een fijne vakantie plotseling omdraaien in heel wat anders en we hopen maar het beste voor hun.

Na de maaltijd en nadat Wendy vertrokken was om haar man van het nodige te voorzien kwam Don terug met een lading brandhout. Alle mannen hielpen hem bij het afladen en zo was de klus snel geklaard. Daarna rekenden wij af met Don en boekten nog een rondleiding in zijn museum voor morgenvroeg. Aangezien Frans zich tegen de avond ook niet zo erg lekker voelde (waarschijnlijk een kou die dwars zit) heben we de avond doorgebracht met het kijken naar ‘De Tudors’ en zijn op tijd naar bed gegaan na weer een heerlijke dag.

English version

We went to see the other homestead today as planned. The name of it is Mt Abundance Homestead. I have taken lots of pictures and have tried to remember as much as I could of the history as told by Don and Pat Tite, the owners of the homestead since 1994. I will prepare a separate posting about it and keep this the main travel journal. Just look for the label: Mt Abundance.

We left at 8.30am this morning with some fellow campers and didn’t return until approx 11am. So we spend a good 2 hours at the homestead, quite intrigued by its history. Then, as we were only 7km from Roma, we decided to go into town and have a look around. We first had a cup of coffee, much needed after listing all morning.  Then we looked for the main street, expecting to go to a huge general store, where we were told they sold everything you could think of and then some. Alas, we found it alright, but there was a note on the door saying that they were closed for the rest of the week. I wouldn't be surprised if they needed to make more room for the new supplies that had come in, because rows and rows of cartons overflowing with goods were lining the already narrow isles. Well, that was the end of that and after shopping for groceries we went for a short walk through town. Some of the streets were lined with bottle trees all with a name on a plague for every soldier that had died during WWI.

After we finished our walk we returned to the campsite at the homestead and were ready for lunch after which we spent a quiet afternoon outside under the sun. Frank went for a long walk along the creek in search of a few old things that people had been talking about. Nothing special, just a reason to go for a walk. In the meantime I worked on today’s story and had a bit of a nap. After Frank returned the campsite started to stir. Ian and Phyllis had left and we saw a few new arrivals. Peter was putting more logs on the fire, because his wife Jenny was going to cook damper and scones for afternoon tea.

We were invited and enjoyed the buttered damper and the scones with jam and cream and also the good company. Elaine and husband Neville, who travel with Peter and Jenny, were of course also at the table. Of course we spend the time regaling stories of our travels and again learned a few more things. By the time we were finishing our meal Wendy and Judy came home minus one husband. It appeared that Peter, Wendy’s husband, had been feeling unwell while walking around in Roma and was taken to hospital. Some time later Wendy learned that he would be flown to Toowoomba by the Flying Doctor Service, because they couldn’t do enough for him here. Nobody was sure what was wrong with him, but heart problems were suspected. A joyous holiday can take a nasty turn unexpectedly and we are hoping for the best for this couple.

The meal over and Wendy seen off to bring her husband some personal belongings that he needed, Don came back with a load of timber for the various fire places. All men helped unload and the job was done in no time. After that we settled our dues with Don and booked a tour to his museum as well for tomorrow morning. As Frank wasn’t feeling to good (probably a cold coming on) we spent a quiet evening watching ‘The Tudors’ again and had an early night after another day well spent.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

7 september 2010

We hadden weer een heel gezellige dag. We hadden een goede nachtrust genoten ook al stonden we langs de highway met passerende roadtrains gedurende de nacht en een spoorlijn dichtbij. De stopplaats had o.a. toiletten en heet water om te douchen dus begonnen we de ochtend met een verfrissende douche. Tijdens het ontbijt bespraken we onze plannen voor de rest van de week en besloten dat we geen haast hadden om naar huis te gaan. We hadden niet veel zin om op de huidige stopplaats te blijven staan, maar op de weg hierheen had ik een ‘farm stay’ gezien waar we mogelijk voor 1 of 2 nachten konden kamperen. We maakten de 30km terugtocht richting Roma and sloegen af naar de ‘homestead’. (Meadowbank ‘Museum’ Farm Stay, nr 648, S26 34 53, E148 40 44) Dat bleek een goede keuze te zijn geweest. Er waren al enkele caravans toen we aankwamen en we werden begroet door een al aanwezige kampeerder die ons zei maar een plekje te zoeken en het ons gemakkelijk te maken.

Er was stroom zowel als toiletten en douches voorhanden. Verder was alles zoals je op een farm kan verwachten. De heetwater ‘donkey’ voor de douches werd de hele dag voorzien van hout om het vuur gaande te houden. We hadden een heerlijk rustige morgen, want alle kampeerders waren naar de stad. Het was zo stil dat je niet alleen de vogels kon horen, maar je kon zelfs jezelf horen denken!

Misty zat gezellig naast ons in haar ren, maar werd op een gegeven moment belaagd door een vlucht brutale apostel vogels, die zo genoemd worden omdat ze vaak in groepen van ongeveer 12 te zien zijn.

Rond lunchtijd kwam iedereen weer opdagen en ook konden we nog een paar nieuwkomers begroeten. Het stel naast ons (Ian en Phillis uit Goondiwindi) verzamelden mooie stenen en Ian nam Frans mee naar de kreek om hem enkele mooie te tonen. Terwijl ik buiten wat zat te breien kwamen er twee dames (gezusters Wendy en Judy) gezellig even een praatje maken en bewonderden mijn handwerk. Aangezien we een paar dagen terug een lek hadden in de campervan waren mijn kantkloswerk en de beide kussens kletsnat geworden, dus die had ik buiten in de zon te drogen gelegd.

Toen ze dat zagen hadden we helemaal een gezamelijk onderwerp om over te praten, want zij waren ook echte knutselaarsters die van quilten en schilderen hielden. Later in de middag toen Frans en ik nog een wandeling gingen maken langs de kreek kwamen we in gesprek met nog andere kampeerders en die vertelden ons dat ze die ochtend naar een andere homestead waren geweest en daar een heel interessante paar uur hadden doorgebracht. Ze zeiden dat we dat beslist ook moesten doen, dus belde ik de eigenaar en arrangeerde een toer voor de volgende morgen. Don, de eigenaar, kwam trouwens ook nog even gezellig langs tijdens ‘happy hour’ toen we allemaal bij elkaar zaten voor een praatje. Hij had ook wat verhalen te vertellen en we hadden dus een gezellige afsluiting van de middag. Toen de zon onder ging en het weer behoorlijk koud begon te worden zijn we naar het kampvuur verhuisd. Ian roosterde marshmallows en na het eten (we hebben gewoon wat kliekjes opgewarmd vandaag omdat we toch het gebruik van de magnetron hadden) had iedereen wel een leuk verhaal of een grap te vertellen en uiteraard waren we allemaal nieuwsgierig waar iedereen vandaan kwam en naar toe ging. Zo rond het kampvuur hoor je de meest interessante dingen en leer je nogal eens wat over het rondtrekken door het land.

Al te snel was het al weer negen uur, de gebruikelijke tijd van kampeerders om een eindje aan de dag te breien, dus zijn we ook huiswaards gekeerd: Frans naar bed en ik nog even aan de laptop om mijn journaal voor vandaag bij te werken.

English version

Another pleasant day today. We slept fitfully, even though we were on the highway with road trains passing through all night and being close to the railway line. The rest stop had toilets and hot showers amongst other facilities, so we had a nice refreshing shower first up. While having breakfast we talked about our plans for the rest of the week and decided we weren’t in a hurry to go home. We didn’t want to stay at this place either, but I had seen a farm stay just before the current stop, where we possibly could stay for a night or two. We decided to make the 30km trip back towards Roma and turned into the road towards the homestead. (Meadowbank ‘Museum’ Farm Stay, nr 648, S26 34 53, E148 40 44)

This was to be an excellent choice. There were a few caravans parked on the grass near the homestead and we were greeted by a fellow camper who told us to find a spot and settle in. Power was also available, as were toilets and showers. Everything like it is to be expected on a farm. The hot water ‘donkey’ for the showers was fed all day with wood to keep the fire going. We had a pleasant and very quiet morning while all campers had gone to town. So quiet, you could hear the birds and most strange, you could hear yourself thinking!

Misty kept us company outside in her pen, but was suddenly threatened by a flight of apostle birds, aptly named because they travel mostly in groups of about 12.

Around lunch time everybody arrived back home and we also greeted a few new arrivals. The couple next to us, (Ian and Phillis from Goondiwindi) collected rocks and Ian took Frank to the creek nearby to show him the different rocks. When I was sitting outside doing some knitting two women (sisters Judy and Wendy) came over for a chat and admired my handiwork with the knitting needles. As we had had this leak in the camper the other day my bobbin lace work and both cushions had become soaking wet, so I had them out to dry. When they saw that too we really got into chatting about crafts, because they were real crafters too, quilting and painting they did. Later in the afternoon Frank and I went for a walk along the creek where we met up with other campers who had been to a nearby homestead this morning and had spent there an interesting two hours. Told us we should go and have a look too. So, I rang the owner of the property to arranged a tour for tomorrow morning. The owner, Don, came by later on during ‘happy hour’ when we were all sitting together and chatting. He had some stories to tell, which was quite pleasant.

When it got colder we all moved to the campfire. Ian brought out marshmallows to toast and after dinner (we had some quick and easy leftovers now we had the use of the microwave again) everybody had some interesting story, or a joke or two and most talk was where everyone came from and where they all were going to. The best time to learn some interesting things about travelling around the country. All too soon it was nine pm, the regular time it seems for campers to call it a day. So we turned homewards: Frank to bed and I finishing my journal for today.