Monday 30th April
Today was a lay day.
We unpacked more stuff from WWWGO.
We walked about 3klms to collect a new modem from the post office.
I visited a doctor for an annual check-up.
We drove to Miranda Fair Shopping Centre. When it was time to leave we could not find the exit to where we were parked on the roof.
Hmmm! Note to self. No more short cuts when looking for the car in a huge shopping centre. Retrace your steps exactly as you came in.
Tuesday 1st May
We drove to Corrimal to visit Nicole and Amelia. Errol was flying a plane to Canberra. The CO-PILOT and I both agree it is a pleasant drive along this section of the Princes Highway. The wilderness of the Illawarra Range with the tree and shrub covered hills marching off into the distance gives the feeling you are hundreds of Kms away from a city. Suddenly the road emerged beside the escarpment overlooking Wollongong city. Today we drove via the Bulli Pass, a steep and winding drive along the original track down the escarpment face. The Bulli Pass remained the only road to Wollongong for many years until the highway was built via Mount Ousley in the early 60’s. The Mt Ousley road opened up Wollongong and the south coast like never before. We drove back to Sydney after dinner.
Wednesday 2nd May
We took WWWGO to be repaired this morning. It involved a 38 Klm trip across the suburbs to North Rocks. We left just after what is supposedly “peak hour” and it took us a little over an hour. We elected not to hitch TERIOS, instead the CO-PILOT drove it, following in my wake. After months of planning we had expected to drop off WWWGO and they would start work that day or the next. Not so! We were informed they would inspect what work is to be done over the next few days, then call us with a quote. Only after the quote is accepted would they arrange a start date for the work!!!
I was expecting, at worst, the work would take 10 days and we would have our “home” returned all spick n span and working by the 12th May. We may be lucky if work starts by 7th or 8th May. Grrr! That could interfere with other plans which I will talk about tomorrow.
Afterwards we drove to Maroubra to show the CO-PILOT where I lived during most of my teenage years and started my surfing. We drove up to the cliffs above the beach overlooking Lurline Bay
and the Mahon Rock Pool.
Gee that sure brought back pleasant memories. Strangely as we drove along my old street, Donnis asked how I felt. I honestly felt claustrophobic as the narrow street, large blocks of flats and trees growing over the road all added to the feeling of crowding in on me. Later at the beach and on the rocks, with the salt laden wind blowing in my face and hair did I feel alive and open once more. All too soon it was time to head back to Gymea and do battle with the pre-peak hour traffic.
The attached photo shows a pill box on the rocky point at the south of Maroubra. You will need to double click on the photo to see the full size image.
Malabar Battery was a coastal defence battery built in 1943 during World War II at Malabar Headland. The battery is also known as Boora Point Battery. The battery was constructed to complement the existing coastal defence batteries at nearby Henry Battery, Banks Battery and Bare Island Fort. Two 6 inch Mark XII guns in gun emplacements on mountings were constructed at the battery. An underground counter bombardment facility, with gun crew ready rooms, ammunition supply and engine room together with a narrow-gauge tramway which was cut into the sandstone and lined with sandstone and a large battery observation post were also constructed at the battery. The tramway was a single track of 560mm (22in) and was to transport the 6″ projectile munitions to the shell expense stores/magazines in the base of each gun emplacement. The tramway traverses through a deep continuous cutting lined with sandstone leads from the ammunition drop off point to the basement of the ammunition supply room and up to the two gun emplacements. Before reaching the gun emplacements, the line enters a rectangular section concrete tunnel which is 94m (310ft) long. Also constructed as part of the battery were northern and southern searchlight blockhouses with associated engine rooms and the battery barracks and toilet blocks. Following decommissioning of the gun emplacements after the war, the site fell into disrepair. More information about the gun emplacements along the coast and Sydney Harbour can be found here.
Thursday 3rd May
Today we drove back to Corrimal, near Wollongong. The CO-PILOT had anticipated Nicole will need lots of help over the next few days while Errol is at work. She packed food and clothes for the duration. I on the other hand thought we would only be gone for the day and overnight.
Tonight we had dinner with Greg and Anne, a couple who are travelling for three months in their motorhome. We have agreed to a house sit and look after their two elderly dogs at their Horsely home (near Dapto a few Klms south of Wollongong) for the period. During the course of the dinner it was agreed we should aim for us to arrive on the 16th May so they can get an early start on 17th. Darn! WWWGO may not be ready in time and we may have to move into the house and arrange to collect our home afterwards.
Friday 4th May
A sort of lazy day around the house in Corrimal, keeping toddler Amelia busy and taking some of the pressure off Nicole. We all drove to Windang to inspect a few villas which are for sale in an over 55’s resort. The views are spectacular looking across Lake Illawarra towards the Great Diving Range. Most of the villa’s have lake views. The property is an old caravan park site and is now being developed as an over 55’s resort. The problem is they cannot kick out the tenants who have paid to have their caravan on site for many years. The resort is a hodge podge mish mash of old and new, quality purpose built homes, some relocatable homes, some old park cabins and private old on-site vans. There seems to be no overall plan and old amenities blocks have been retained as club rooms but looking rather poor. The unheated pool was closed for the winter. Our first impression was of wonderful views but this was soon overridden by the piecemeal approach to building the resort.
My mobile phone battery died during the day and the charger was still in Gymea.
Saturday 5th May.
After lunch I drove to Gymea to get more clothes and a battery charger as well as spend an evening with Bev n Pete.
Sunday 6th May… Edited 8th May. Somehow ALL the information for today has disappeared along with the photographs.
This edit is a quick recollection.
Drove back to Corrimal and after negotiating my way down the steep, winding and as testified by all the speed warning signs and concrete barriers, treacherous Bulli Pass. Accidents have happened here in the past and still happen despite the barriers. As I was driving down, following at a respectable distance from the car in front, both of us doing the posted speed limit, a car passed us both on the left hand side before breaking heavily for the next corner. The “P” plate in the car rear window explained everything. I call them temporary Australians.
At the bottom of the pass I turned off the road to visit Sandon Point one of my favourite left hand surf breaks.
Today the wind and swell were from a different direction creating a fast right hand break.
I sat on the rocks for 15 minutes enjoying the surfers and recalling my days in the surf at this same location.