Monday 17th October 2011
The day dawned bright and sunny but soon changed to overcast and a strong wind warning was issued for coastal regions from Cooktown to the Qld/NSW Border…about 2,800 Klms.
We left Finch Hatton Showgrounds knowing this week begins the countdown of our last weeks here in the Tropical North and a new campsite, perhaps until we leave.
Today we set up camp in the backyard of Donnis son Errol, rental property at North Mackay.
The house is now tenant less but in need of a huge clean-up of the rubbish she left behind, cut out overgrown plants, restore gardens to the gardens and make the house presentable for rental or potential sale.
But first… we had to get into the yard. The road slopes sharply to the driveway and the driveway slopes steeply the opposite way. Any attempt to drive in will result in the rear end of WWWGO scraping on the roadway. The gates to the yard are just wide enough for us to fit through so we cannot approach from an angle. The other problem is a tree has grown above the gates and the branches would drag over the front and roof of WWWGO. Thank goodness for handyman Francy who has done work for Errol in the past. He arrived before us, trimmed the tree branches, opened the gates as wide as possible and placed timber in the gutter to reduce the sharp approach. We still scraped the lowest part of WWWGO on the road but not badly. Francy and I spent another hour cutting out overgrown plants and preparing a load of green waste for the Council Transfer Station.
The wind picked up during the afternoon and early in the evening there was a wind driven shower for about 10 minutes. Tomorrow comes the sad work of getting the house in order.
Tuesday 18th October.
Donnis went to work and I stayed at the house to work with Francy. We filled a ute load and a trailer load with junk.
It was a wild windy day with on and off showers so after Francy left for the day, I just lazed around in the afternoon. Once the wind and rain eases I will be able to get out and about with the camera.
Wednesday 19th October
It was almost a repeat of yesterday. The same windy weather and while Francy worked on repairing some floor boards I began pulling out the sliding windows in preparation to clean all the window rollers, clean the tracks and wash the windows (which appear as though they have not been cleaned in the last 4 years) and measure each window opening to replace the flyscreen in the security mesh.
Thursday 20th October
Same weather, same work.
When Donnis returned from work I suggested we go to the North Mackay Bowls Club for a cheap meal.
Hmmm! Cheap meals seem to be a thing of the past. $15.90 each for stuff which is kept hot waiting for the masses. The club is undergoing huge renovations so we had a look at the undercover, all weather synthetic turf, bowling greens. They are absolutely huge being about the size of a football field.
The highlight of our evening was bumping into Mick from the Bucasia Beach Caravan Park who was our next door neighbour in May and June this year. He and wife Maria have been living there for 2 years. Perhaps in our travels we can find a job for 3 or 6 months and stay in a caravan park beside the sea.
Before going to bed the strong winds gave way in favour of a few showers of rain.
Friday 21st October
Boo Hoo Hoo Hoo Sob Sob.
This morning while reaching for a folder in the overhead cupboard I accidentally knocked out a paperback book called the Wanderers Mate, a compilation published by the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia. It is a valuable guide to campsites and dump points. I digress. The book fell, landing with its pointy end on the open laptop which happened to be on line at that moment. Instantly the laptop shutdown and reverted to “safe mode” and went through the process of re-booting. Which it did, except, it could not find a WiFi source. Anywhere! Despite my WiFi being turned on and broadcasting a high signal only 2 metres away. I spent the day researching and turning programmes on and off and rebooting, not only the laptop but also the WiFi modem. The laptop was telling me the WiFi receiver was turned on but could not find a signal within a bulls roar. By 4pm I had given up and packed the laptop in its carry bag ready to take it to the computer doctor when Donnis arrived home. She arrived home after 5pm so I cannot go to the doctor until Monday.
Just when I was feeling miserable and things could not get any worse, things got worse. Our TV turned itself off during the 6pm news. Despite changing power outlets and checking that other devices work on those outlets, we are resigned to the fact our TV has stopped working, or at least the PSU has and we may need a new TV.
During the day I took myself for a walk to The Gooseponds, one block from where we are camped and photographed the Geese,
Ducks, Waterfowl, Grebes and whatever else held still long enough.
The Gooseponds is a delightful natural freshwater course running through North Mackay.
It has been enhanced and tidied up over the years and is a popular walking, cycling and picnic spot. Even one of the streets is called The Goosewalk.
By making improvements, council inadvertently created a fish breeding habitat so went the next step and built a fishway. See http://www.ausfish.com.au/vforum/showthread.php?72209-Gooseponds-Get-Fishway
It was a miserable windy and overcast day.
Saturday 22nd October.
This morning I decided to turn on the laptop and plug a cable into the modem so I at least have online facilities over the weekend. What The??? Magically, the WiFi has returned.
YeeHar. Yee har Yee har.
I checked the full TV power cable from the 240 volt three pins to where it joins the inverter and found the culprit. A loose connection at the inverter. We now have TV again.
YeeHarHarhar and a yip pip hooray!
Life is good again.
Sunday 23rd October
The sun arrived and it was a nice day with a constant breeze. Not hot, not cold.
Did lots of small jobs around the house and did the housework in WWWGO (that takes 6 minutes) I also rode the treadly (bicycle) around the Gooseponds bikeway to visit daughter Averyl. Alas, nobody was home. My Glutimus Maximus muscles were complaining after two days riding around the Gooseponds.
For dinner tonight I did Pork Spare Ribs in the Turbo Oven. One set of ribs with plum sauce another set with chilli sauce. The ribs were accompanied by wok toss fried asparagus and lots of garlic then topped with parmesan cheese.
Another week closer to getting on the road but no firm date set.
It is not far away.