Monday 4th June
The sun made a welcome appearance today so we took the opportunity to open up and air out WWWGO. Fibreglass dust had found its way into all parts of the motorhome. It means a slow process of emptying out cupboards, vacuuming the dust and washing items where required.
A year ago this week we were camped at Bucasia Beach in Tropical North Queensland. Winter there meant putting on a light jacket in the evening when I went for a walk on the beach wearing my shorts. I have been in the habit here at Horsley of wearing long johns under my trackie pants, singlet, long sleeve t-shirt, tuke, (The Canadian phrase for beanie )hoodie and woollen gloves when I go for my early morning walk.
A severe weather warning has been issued for tomorrow with strong winds and heavy rain.
The strong winds began about 6pm tonight.
Tuesday 5th June.
Errol had to fly to Canberra overnight so Donnis agreed to stay with Nicole. I drove to Corrimal and after lunch noticed the wind was picking up and a light rain beginning to fall. Time to go. Within 10 minutes of leaving Corrimal the wind was whipping trees and the rain was heavier. Spray from vehicles in front was making visibility a bit of a haze. At a roundabout in Dapto I watched an oncoming car slide sideways with the driver fighting for control. My thoughts were that it would be good to be safe indoors and to stay off the roads tonight. The wind and rain continued all night.
Wednesday 6th June.
Woke to news reports of overnight wind damage, flooding and huge seas from Victoria through the NSW south coast and Sydney. Apart from a drive to Corrimal to collect the CO-PILOT and have a drive to the beach to look at the huge swells pounding the coast it was just a good afternoon to stay indoors and relax.
Thursday 7th June.
Today we planned to visit friends Geoff & Margaret C in Bomaderry about 70 Klm south of Dapto. Just for coffee I said. Geoff called to say a friend, Terry C, known as T1, (several years ago I went to a motorhome gathering at Maleny in Qld. Of the 50 or so attendees, four had the first name of Terry. To avoid confusion we decided each Terry would have a nickname. Each was given the abbreviated name of T followed by the number according to his arrival. Thus T1 was the first Terry to arrive and has been known as T1 ever since) wanted to catch up and drive from Lake Illawarra to join us.
Hmmm! Perhaps we should plan to have lunch. T1 called to say he was bringing another friend, Brian, whom I have not seen since that Maleny gathering. Hmmm! Lunch is beginning to look like a good idea. Errol called. He and Nicole were planning to go for a drive and the CO-PILOT suggested they drive to Bomaderry to join us. We stopped at Berry, the delightful town which re-invented itself some 20 or so years ago by going back in time. We bought three cooked chickens and a wood fired sourdough rye loaf. Many years ago I remember Berry as a quiet little town, looking old and worn out .It was a place to drive through on our way south. Since those days Berry has attracted the artistic people, the craft people, the retired, the artisans and many food, craft, hobby, antique and handmade furniture stores have opened. Parking in the main street is difficult to find at any time of day and traffic is constant. We were on a food finding mission and did not take the time to photograph the delightful restored old buildings which are now modern shops. We were last in Berry in March 2009 on our way to Tasmania.
Margaret made a salad of fresh grown items from their garden and Geoff brought out bottles of home-made ale and stout.
The short visit turned into a party.
We all had a wonderful afternoon of good food, good brew and good company.
On the television news tonight there was footage of surfers riding waves in Sydney Harbour beside the Opera House. The footage is obviously fake but is an impressive bit of digital video manipulation. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8480127/hoax-video-of-surfers-at-opera-house
There was also a report of surf riders at Clifton Gardens, also within Sydney Harbour but there was not any footage. I recall, several times in the sixties when big swells wiped out any chance of a surf at any of the coastal beaches, given the right conditions, we surfed inside Sydney Harbour at Nielson Park. Of course at the time I was not aware the location was called Shark Bay!
Friday 8th June
Despite earlier comments we traipsed to Shellharbour Square Shopping Centre. Although not such a mad crush of people as on our first visit we nonetheless had to drive to the roof top parking to find a spot. On reflection today is the beginning of the long weekend and there were more cars on the road heading south than usual. We returned along the highway via NSW second worst road for driver frustration and accidents. See http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/05/28/3512189.htm
The good thing about our drive was we were going in the opposite direction to the holiday traffic. Cars were two lanes wide, bumper to bumper as far south as we could see. Cars were bumper to bumper all the way through Albion Park Rail and as far along the freeway north that we could see. According to the evening news much traffic was heading to the ski fields in the Snowy Mountains for the opening of the ski season. Good falls of snow have been recorded all this week. The mountains are also another good place to stay away from this weekend. Apart from all the traffic there will the cold temperatures and impatient humanity to avoid.
Saturday 9th June
The CO-PILOT has been researching Over 55’s Resorts. There is a resort at Fairy Meadow beach which she wants to see. As we joined the freeway to drive north we were astounded to see the traffic was still two lanes bumper to bumper heading south.
Arriving at the resort we took a look around as there are several places for sale. The resort was once an old caravan park and there are still permanent caravans on site intermixed with what are called relocatable homes. These are smaller, older and over the last 10 years rust has started on any exposed steel. The newer, classy looking and more exclusive area are manufactured homes. The price even for the smaller rusty one bedroom caravan type dwelling started at $265,000. A bit pricy but I guess within a stones throw of the beach it is a case of “location, location, location”.
Sunday 10th June.
Not much to report today.
It was cold. The clouds brought rain which was heavy at times. Errol, Nicole and the children arrived for dinner
We watched some TV.