189. Sunday 8th May 2011. Working week, moved into a caravan park and unexpected angst…

Monday 2nd May

Hmmm! What did we do today?

Donnis went to work.

Frank stayed home.

There are some benefits to having WWWGO break down outside your daughter’s house. I get to spend some time with her and the grandchildren, Shelby-Rose and Anakin. Last year Averyl, Shelby-Rose and Anakin flew to Melbourne to take part in a national Tae Kwon Do competition. Shelby-Rose picked up two silver medals

Shelby-Rose and her medals.

while Anakin picked up a trophy for his outstanding first year.

Anakin with his trophy.

Showing off.

Tuesday 3rd May

Frank started work today. It was a training session held at Clarion Hotel Mackay Harbour. It was a full-on day including lots of paperwork so we can get paid and have money put into a Super Fund. Most of the day was taken up with an explanation of the three stages of the survey and how the forms are to be completed and the complex recording of information for each household we visit.

Caution! Rant approaching.

Lunch was supplied. It was a smorgasbord of some sort of fancy pizza, perhaps? Plus some half baguettes with ham n salad or apparently, (I say apparently cause I did not see any) smoked salmon n salad. A bite of the first pizza type concoction was yuk. I tried the second which seemed to have bacon as a topping. Yuk! At least by removing the bacon pieces something tasted OK. I noticed other classmates doing the same. The baguettes were, ummm, err yuk. This is a fancy hotel and dining room we are talking about here. A full kitchen with a qualified chef. I guess the chef must have received his training at Macdonalds. Apart from the little piece of ham which was artfully arranged to poke out the top of the baguette to give the impression of being part of lots of ham it was filled with….drum roll…that crappy mayo that Macdonalds and Hungry Jacks and KFC and Red Rooster use. As well, the arty chef squirted lots of mayo type insipid American Mustard into the mix. Once you take a bite of the baguette, the sloppy mayo and equally sloppy mustard squirted and the baguette fell apart in your hands disclosing not much else, apart from the aforementioned small piece of ham. I noticed other classmates doing the same thing as me. That is, using several paper napkins to wipe the mayo gunk off their hands. Why oh why do we need so much mayo in our foods these days? Surely it would be nicer to taste the ham inside a ham baguette instead of tasting the mayo n mustard inside the ham baguette!

I rarely eat at Macdonalds or their other look alikes but when I do (include Subway in this list) I have to say, NO SAUCES AT ALL.

Their sauces are either high in salt or sugar or fat or all three and we can do without them.

End of rant.

At five I got a call from the Iveco man while I was still in the classroom lining up to have my pay paperwork checked. Long story short. There was nothing wrong with any of the on-board computers or the Camshaft Timing Sensor. He found the error by chance. A leg and foot from a tiny field mouse was caught up in the timing mechanism slot and was registering as a fault. Luckily, the body was not caught in the timing belt, otherwise the belt could have been thrown off the pulleys and the motor destroyed. Once the leg was removed and the original CTS re-installed, the motor started first try and ran smoothly.

Yeehar!

Ummm! How much is that gunna cost?

Wednesday 4th May

Donnis went to work.

Frank went to work delivering 45 pre-addressed letters.

Simple!

Nahhh!

The pre-addressed letters must be delivered to randomly selected, homes. As well, each address had to be confirmed it was a real address, there were people living there and a description of the house recorded for the next person who came along to deliver the survey packs. It involves a lot of walking and if an address was a vacant lot or an empty house, replacement envelopes, addressed to different houses were used. The procedure, on the surface seems a little anal, with lots of checks n balances. However as the survey is being conducted and paid for by Department of Motor Transport and Main Roads, they want to know the random sampling was carried out according to a certain formula.

At a guess I would say I walked about 6klms today.

I was tired n sweaty and ready for a cold beer by the end of the day.

Thursday 5th May

It is moving day.

Donnis left for work at 6.30 while Frank started to pack WWWGO ready for departure. I had aimed for 10am but that was a loose time frame and it did not matter if I left at lunchtime. As things turned out I did leave after 10 and was at the Bucasia Beach Caravan Resort a little after 11am. The “resort”, looks little different to when I lived around the corner 15 years ago. Perhaps there are a few more coats of paint on the amenities block but they are the same ancient amenities blocks I remember. Everything has reached and passed its use by date. Mostly the “resort” is occupied by semi-permanent residents in a variety of camping styles, motorhomes, caravans, camper trailers, tents. The sites with ocean views are reserved for tourists who may only be here a few days. Those who stay longer are given the back sites, usually with little or no view. For pemanents the rates are cheaper by about $30 a month. There is no discount for staying a week or a month or longer. Despite the aged worn out amenities, the location is ideal. It is the only campsite on the beach within 100 klms, north or south, of Mackay. For us it is only a 20 minute drive to work. Our campsite is temporary until other people move out in a few days then we can get one of the semi-permanent sites. At the moment we are close to amenities and have a view over the ocean through the palm and casuarina trees.

Bucasia Beach at low tide and looking north to Shoal Point. Our house is near Shoal Point in the distance.

We have ideal digital TV signal, full five bars of 3G signal which means we have excellent telephone and internet signal. It was 27° during the day with 46% humidity and a refreshing breeze off the ocean.

Friday 6th May

Donnis left for work shortly after 6am.

While warming up the Terios, a flock of Plumed Whistling Ducks came in to land behind us. The sound of their wings in reverse mode was loud in the still, morning air. The ducks then began their daily walk through the resort looking for breakfast. A woman in a tent was feeding them scraps.

Part of the Plumed Whistling Ducks being given a handout by a camper.

Ducks are more polite eaters than seagulls who fight and squark and run around making all sorts of noises and the more noise they make the more seagulls keep joining them. The ducks on the other hand stay together and make few sounds.

While on my first beach walk

Eimeo Creek mouth at low tide.

One of several catamarans in Eimeo Creek.

I could see big black clouds building up on the ocean horizon and the nearest island, St.Bees, was almost obscured.

St.Bees Island behind storm clouds.

Hmmm! It looks like rain coming sometime today. Maybe it will just blow on by at sea.

Yeah. Right.

It did not take long for the rain to arrive. Slowly at first.

Back at WWWGO I used our handy little compressor to inflate the tyres. They appeared low when I arrived yesterday. As usual, the rear dual outside tyres are almost impossible to attach a nozzle to the valve stem. I know there are attachments which can make the job easier (in fact I have extension valves for the inner rear wheels and they work a treat and are permanently in place) and they are easy to find on US websites. A complete kit costs around US$90 and even chrome wheel covers cost around the same. I have not been able to find an Oz website which sells extension valve stems. I know they are available in the US but even asking at tyre repair shops and places like Supa Cheap only gets a blank look in reply. Inflating tyres on this dual rear wheel vehicle is fraught with frustration. Even other dual wheel vehicle owners report the same problem.

Hello vehicle manufacturers, this problem has gone on, long enough. Surely you have the technology to solve this problem.

Iveco called late today to ask where to send the bill and when I will pay it. When told the amount I asked if it was all labour. The reply was, labour, call out fee, travelling time, computer connection and computer time. Mail the bill and I will pay it when I see the itemisation.

Gulp! This will have to go on the credit card. Drat! We had no choice on this and if I ever get my hands on that three legged mouse who caused all this trouble he (or she) better watch out.

Grrr!

Saturday 7th May

It was raining this morning. Heavy rain. It continued to rain all morning until I arrived at the workplace. Strangely it stopped when I arrived and stayed stopped all day.

Donnis had the day off and spent it sitting inside WWWGO doing studies on-line so she can amass enough points to maintain her nursing license.

Frank went to work delivering survey packs to pre-selected homes. I wore a pedimeter today and amassed 11 plus klms in my walking. That means I must have walked at least 12klms on Wednesday, not the 6klms I estimated.

Sunday 8th May.

We moved to one of the sites allocated for permanent or semi- permanent sites. Not without a bit of angst it seems from a couple of other campers who reminded us another permanent wanted the same site. I spoke with the manager who confirmed the site was given to us as we had asked for it. The other camper, it seems he has never asked to move to site 26. Donnis wanted us to drive straight into the site rather than the more traditional reverse in. The neighbour who had told us we had no right to site 26 came over to tell us we had to reverse in. Then his wife chimed in. “it’s so you can leave quickly in an emergency”, she said.

Hmmm! I pondered aloud. “I note that your rig is permanently set up with fences and additional awnings, annexe and other tie downs. How long do you take to pack up and leave in an emergency?” I do not think my question was very popular.

Anyway… We are in site 26 with management blessing.

Donnis spent another day inside WWWGO with her on-line studies.

Frank went to work today continuing to deliver survey packs. According to the pedimeter, I covered another 7 plus klms today. My shorts and trousers are beginning to fall off me.

WooHoo. I am loosing weight AND girth.

Hmmm! Methinks another few weeks of the low carbs diet and all this walking and I will need a new wardrobe.

At dinner Donnis confessed that although we are only 50 metres from the beach she has still not been to the beach.

After dinner we walked onto the beach under a starless cloudy night.

WWWGO is reversed into the campsite. Fifty metres behind us is the car park at the boat launch facility on Eimeo Creek. Terios is parked in the boat car park behind WWWGO. At night we can see the street and house lights of Eimeo across the mangrove lined Eimeo Creek.

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