163. Sunday 21st November 2010. Another quiet sort of week but still, some drama….

Monday 15th November

Up early and after the usual walk and breakfast started to pack everything away in preparation of the long move of 300 metres.

By mid-morning I was moved, set up with power and was setting out the additional shade awnings. One neighbour helped me with the awning on the fridge side while another neighbour helped me with the other side.

Later I borrowed a battery drill and finally installed the two clothes lines on the awning arms. I have been planning to do that since Mitchell and have only recently been able to buy the parts. Should have waited until I got here and bought everything I needed at one shop – Bunnings. I also glued the two windscreen washer direction thingys onto the wiper blades.

Tuesday 16th November

As I was preparing breakfast, the kettle would not turn on. Checked the electrics panel. No power. I walked to the power pole and yep, sure enough, only my power was turned off. I checked with neighbour Adam. About 1.15 am there was a power failure but it came back on during the night. That does not explain why my power switch was off.

I did a drive around and bought a carry case for the GPS so it will not get scratched or damaged. Also found the correct fittings for the roof rails so we can install roof racks if required. The man at Auto Barn was going out of his way to be helpful. Also discovered a long Hayman Reece tow hitch for the Terios. We will need the extra long towbar so we can fit the bike outside the spare wheel.

Wednesday 17th November

WTF…I woke early this morning, around 5.30 and as the sun was up and shining, went on my walk. Whilst walking I was looking at the parked cars and those that drove past to see how they had their GoVia toll tags fitted. Amazingly very few had tags.

On my return I noticed nothing amiss, although there must have been. It was not until an hour later when I decided to cycle over to the bathroom that I noticed the bike is missing, presumed stolen. No! It was not padlocked. I have the padlock but never bought a chain. I looked around the vicinity without luck. Then I realised the car was unlocked but a quick look I could see nothing missing.

Geez.

So it was I trudged the few blocks to the Police station to report the missing bike. On my trudge I passed the Redcliffe Bay High School which has buildings on both sides of the road. Careful, a rant is coming on. To quote that media tart politician, “I was gobsmacked”. A million dollar plus bridge has been built from one school building, spiralling up and over the road to the other building. This bridge can only be used by students during school hours after which it is locked up. WTF. This building is paid for by state taxes just so the dear little teenage students do not have to walk out the school gates, walk 50 metres and wait to cross at the lights like the rest of us. That million dollars plus could have been used to help repair the roads in the west of the state. Here is another case where the people of the southeast of the state have money thrown at them while the rest of the state can go jump.

End of rant.

The Police were not interested as I expected would be the case. My details were written on a scrap piece of paper and I was told to go checkout Cash Converters. As if.

But I did. Went to Cash Converters that is. Yep same model bike except it was in a mens version. Just as dirty as our bike and the price tag was $245!

No way Jose.

Went to the local bike shop and was told the same bike is near enough to $400 whilst they can sell me another version, out of the same factory, under a different badge, on special for $240.

No! That is still too expensive.

I cruised to the local Kmart and found a bike with the same gears, brake system but in basic steel, no alloy rims, on special until 24/12/10 for $99. Mens or ladies version. All we need is a bike for convenience not for serious off road mountain biking although the stolen bike was a mountain bike. The $99 speciasl are also mountain bikes with the knobbly tyres. Mmmm. Might put off that decision until 24/12/10. Could be a nice Christmas surprise for Donnis.

Thursday 18th November.

Donnis flies into Brisbane this afternoon.

On my morning walk I usually pass by Humpybong Creek which meanders through Humpybong Park and part of it is on Humpybong Street. Doncha just love that name? It will rattle around inside my head all day. Obviously the locals loved the name too.

Humpybong Creek. Worth spending a bit more time here.

Humpybong, Humpybong, Humpybong.

Today I took the path along the creek and found an historical marker to say that a timber weir was constructed here in 1826 to ensure fresh water supplies for the planned settlement. As things turned out the main port ended up being a bit southwest at what is now called Brisbane. Redcliffe is now relegated to 2nd position. Or at least a position below number one.

Also whilst walking along the creek I met a number of ducks, of various colours and styles, sitting on the path. As I approached they waddled off the path just enough to allow me to pass.

Further on still I was stopped in my tracks and cursing myself for not bringing a camera. A family of Dusky Moorhens were building a nest out of the large lilly pads and the root system of those same lilies. The lillies are also in bloom a rich deep magenta. Mum and Dad were collecting pads and roots and building what appears to be a floating nest. The three chicks were also trying to help and would bring dad bits n pieces to add to the nest. Now, how do I know it was a mum n dad and not a mom n mom or a dad n dad? Apart from the fact they need both to create the chicks! Males n Females are of a different colour. That was how I identified them from our bird book. I was entranced and watched the family for at least a half hour. Darn drat etc for not bringing the camera. Besides the lilly pads were worthwhile photographing in their own right.

A storm was threatening all day. I collected Donnis from the airport and the heavens opened up along with hordes of traffic on the motorway. By the time we arrived back at WWWGO it was almost dark and I had forgotten to get something out of the freezer for dinner. Sizzlers is just a short walk down the road but in the heavy rain we drove. Between the carpark and the front door I got soaked and the air con was cool so I shivered during the meal. Once upon a time I could get the salad bar  for $6.95. Now it is $21.95 and I was a bit disappointed that the hot soup and hot spaghetti were not.

Friday 19th November.

We have agreed to stay another two days as Donnis has obtained approval to spend a day with grandson Chris on Saturday. We need today to dry out as yesterdays rain came with wind so the rain blew under the awning and wet the shoes and chairs which were stored under there.

Saturday 20th November.

Another cool, windy and wet day.

The ****ing new GPS is not working correctly. The voice directions seem to be OK but the map is frozen on the first turn. It is also running very hot. I cannot call Navman until Monday.

Grrr!

We picked up Chris just after 10am and had morning tea/coffee with his mum Regelyn.

Happy Snap. Chris, Grandma Donnis n Regelyn

She has to leave for work at Hans Smallgoods by 11am and will not be home until after 8pm. Sooo. We braved the GPS and drove into South Bank. We found the underground carpark. Along the way we passed other carparks, all with a sign out front saying carpark full. However the Southbank carpark did not have such a sign and I found a spot on the first try.

Bougainvilla Arbor at South Bank entrance.

At South Bank there is free entertainment, free “beach” and water fountains and such like for kids to play in. It was wall to wall humanity and the place to be seen if you are young and have an individual hair style or colour. What was particularly noticeable were the gangs of girls in the 13 to 15 age bracket. Usually in groups of five. Of course there were boys wandering around but they were outnumbered by the girls.

Apart from somewhere to swim and cool off I really cannot see what the attraction is about this place. I must be getting old. There are lots of choices of eating places. There are lots of market stalls with everybody pretty much selling the same sort of stuff. However I have never liked markets so it all seems the same to me. Ho Hum. Chris loved it at the “beach” and the water features.

Chris enjoying the cold water at South Bank.

We stayed a few hours until the threatening rain got closer then drove back to Regelyns unit. The ****ing GPS is still playing up. I tried the re-set button several times. Another problem is that when I turn it off it stays on!

Grrr!

We made a roast lamb and veggies for dinner and Regelyn arrived home about 8pm so we headed off home. Chris was upset that we were leaving him behind. He had a good day with us and Donnis has promised she will see him again next month.

Sunday 21st November

After breakfast and packing up started, Donnis mentioned the markets/car boot sale were on again this morning. As she is not feeling well with stuffed nose, headache and sore throat she decided to rest up before we left. (now if Donnis ever passes up an opportunity to go to the markets she is sick) I went looking for a wire lumbar support one of the other campers bought last week. I found the lumbar supports but something else caught my eye in the distance. A man selling bikes! He had several bikes and one was similar design and features as the stolen bike but it had a sticker which clearly said “Made in China”. It was obvious the man had spent a little time on the bikes as they were all clean, covered in a thin film of WD40 or similar and parts had been painted silver, probably to cover rust. At a price of $50 I thought we would never get a better deal. I called Donnis to come over. She took a test ride, so did I and the man agreed to sell for $45. Sold!

Oops! How we gunna carry this thing? The brackets which held a carry bar on the old bike were still attached to the stolen bike. I hotfooted up the road to Kmart but alas they do not sell the carry bars. The nearby bike shop was closed. Sooo, the bike is in the rack, on an angle and we are good to go.

I turned on the GPS but within a kilometre the map was stuck. At the first major turn to take us to the Sunshine Coast, as I was exiting the roundabout, the GPS voice was saying “in 500 metres, at the roundabout, take the third exit”. This is not good. I turned it off, then on and turned off the map option and used the turn by turn option and it seemed to work well and did not heat up. However without the map I cannot tell where we are and all the speed advisory information is not available. It did not get hot during this part of the trip.

We stopped at Ettomogah Pub for a wee break and had lunch of grilled barramundi and a Beez Kneez beer. We arrived at Sue n Kens house at Noosaville about 2.30. After a welcoming cuppa tea we went off to the Noosa National Park for a walk. This is a lovely, wonderful, great walk. It follows the coastline from Noosa Beach and eventually ends at Sunshine Beach. In fact there are 5 walks in all but I love the Coastal Walk. We walked past wonderful features such as Boiling Pot where we saw a pod of dolphins. Then we continued on to Hells Gates and chose not to continue the walk to Devils Kitchen as it was getting late and the wind was picking up. An extra good feature of this walk is the surfers all along the way. Some of them carry their surfboard all the way from the carpark and have to climb down steep cliffs to get to their surf spot.

I FORGOT MY CAMERA.

Again!

By the time we got back to the carpark we all had tired wobbly legs and my left knee was protesting but what a walk. Love it.

Might do it again this week as we will stay until at least Wednesday night to allow Donnis to rest up and recover. We also have arranged to have coffee with Dom and Guy at their property on Wednesday morning.

Perhaps I can get the GPS sorted out this week as well.

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