I will let the photos talk for themselves.
Archive for March, 2013
Monday 18th March
Since we arrived at Coledale last week we watched a house across the road being systematically dismantled by protective clothing garbed workers. The reason? Asbestos! Once the suspect parts were safely removed the demolishing crew moved in. Today I watched as the house became rubble.
A lovely sunny day but Donnis was still not well so decided to visit a doctor. Of course we knew she had a heavy cold and were afraid it was moving into her chest and thought she may get some antibiotics. She also had a painful shoulder and could not raise her arm and had trouble dressing herself. Pretty simple stuff really. Somewhere, somehow, the doctor found something else that may be wrong and wrote a referral for her to visit the Emergency Ward at Wollongong Hospital. Whoa!!! What is this all about? After presenting at the Emergency Ward Donnis had X-Rays taken of her chest and then we waited amongst a horde of suffering humanity. One woman collapsed in the waiting room and started hemorrhaging. Lots of staff came rushing out for her. I tell you there were a lot of sick and sicko people in that waiting room and the cavalcade went on for 4 hours. Ambulances arrived and unloaded people on stretchers all afternoon. When we finally saw a doctor she said, “so, why are you here?” Of course our reply was “we were hoping you could tell us as the referring doctor did not say.” After some blood samples were taken and a further wait we were allowed to leave. After talking with the lovely doctor it seems the referring doctor saw Donnis, noted the flu like symptoms, the sore arm and her answers to his questions and thought she may be having a STROKE. I suppose it was better to be sure but we both feel an afternoon on the beach would have been more fun.
Afterwards we drove back to Corrimal for dinner with Errol n Nicole.
Tuesday 19th March
The rubble makers were back again today creating a feeling of waste in my mind. For example those good bricks were wasted. The aluminium window frames and the glass sliding doors, the glass safety panels on the deck, the timber framework, all destroyed, all wasted.
Nicole has now succumbed to the cold symptoms raging through their household and was up most of the night looking after sick babies. Errol went to work, himself still not 100% healthy. Donnis was press ganged into looking after the babies while Nicole caught up on her sleep. I elected to stay at Coledale and explore around the beach and the rocks.
Aaah! I could spend all day wandering the beach and rocks and headland, with sand between my toes, wind in my face and hair, salt water lapping around my legs and breathing salt laden air. At night just hearing the sound of the waves breaking is a restful lullaby I never get tired of.
We have been at Coledale just over a week and have another three days before we move again. I have been using the camp kitchen to wash our dishes as it is a great place to meet other campers, especially the overseas visitors in their little campervans. I have met couples from USA, Belgium, Switzerland and The Netherlands (they agreed it used to be called Holland). What impressed me about the visitors from non English speaking countries was their enthusiasm. They all have excellent English, able to speak clearly and I can understand them, as well they can understand me. They all researched Australia and where they would go and for how long. In fact in our travels over the years, particularly the last 30 months, we have met many delightful young people from Europe. On reflection I consider that English speaking people seem to have a certain arrogance when visiting overseas. We rarely bother to learn another language and I suspect do not put in the same research about the places we go.
Tonight in the tiny camp kitchen there were two overseas couples, a lady camped in an old caravan while she renovates an old house at Port Kembla and myself. We were all talking at once when two girls arrived with different accents and they started talking as well. The scene was one of a crowded noisy room with lots of laughter.
Wednesday 20th March.
Another glorious sunny day on the Leisure Coast of NSW under the lee of the Illawarra Escarpment. Early this morning I took a walk along the beach, three laps in fact and was disappointed to see that more and more kelp has washed up on the beach clogging the water to the first line of breakers. This kelp, torn off the reef by the two big storms three weeks ago will continue to roll up on the beach forming a greenish/yellow/brown lump of decaying plant matter. Over the next week or so the kelp and other weed will turn dry and black and start to break down and being covered by sand by successive tides. The decaying matter will contribute to nutrients which in turn will be a source of nourishment to crabs, worms and those microscopic animals which live beneath the sand tidal zone. Nicole, Errol and the grandchildren arrived for a late morning coffee and left at midday.
Donnis and I drove along Lawrence Hargrave Drive through the tiny suburbs of Wombarra, Scarborough, Clifton, the wonderful Sea Cliff Bridge, Coalcliffe and Stanwell Park where we stopped for lunch and a wander along the beach. The beach sits under the brow of a large, steep, mostly grassed hill – Bald Hill to be precise. It is from Bald Hill that hundreds of thousands of people have taken their first flight in a hang glider. The landing zone is on Stanwell Park Beach way below.
Most people are not aware that the first stable human flight was made here by Lawrence Hargrave in 1894 in what is best described as a box kite.
We drove around the suburb and marveled at the houses perched on the cliff top, one in particular had a long narrow road, without a safety fence to its front driveway. The road skirts the cliff edge which has a sheer drop to the rocks at least 100m below. It made for a bit of nervous driving I can assure you.
Thursday 21st March
Another fine sunny morning so I went for a brisk walk along the beach and edge of the water almost as far as Sharkey’s Beach. Just love it.
In fact I walked along the main road to Sharkey’s Beach and late in the day another walk along the beach. By evening the sky was overcast and the unrelenting strong north easterly wind was becoming just a little too much.
At midday I heard an Ambulance blast along the road above our campsite. A helicopter had crashed at Panorama House at the top of Bulli Pass on the escarpment above our campsite. Four people died in the fiery crash.
Donnis spent the day with Nicole and the Grandchildren attending an Easter Bonnet parade in the morning.
Friday 22nd March
While I packed WWWGO, Donnis drove to Corrimal to do some final baking and washing. Once WWWGO was ready I drove the long distance – about 500metres – to Sharkey’s Beach and parked beside the beach.
I then took a walk around the meandering clifftop pathway to Brickyard Point and the old Headlands Hotel perched on the cliffs above Austinmer Beach.
This iconic pub closed in 2011 and has been for sale ever since. Plans by potential buyers run into trouble when asking for plans to be approved by Council. All plans submitted by all developers have been rejected by Council. Based on that information it could be many years before it is sold and re-development takes place. The current building will continue to deteriorate and will only be worth bulldozing. (www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-12/council-considers-headlands-hotel-site/4065842 )
We then drove to Gymea Bay via Lawrence Hargrave Drive which faithfully follows the coastline until it reaches Stanwell Tops. From there we turned left to Helensburgh and then on to the F6 Freeway to Sydney. It was while climbing the steep section of road through Stanwell Park to Stanwell Tops our low fuel warning light turned on and I noticed our fuel gauge which was showing a little under quarter full was now showing empty! I became nervous about running out of fuel before we reached the top of the steep, narrow, winding road. WWWGO performed well and we continued another 20 klms before stopping for fuel at Heathcote.
We prepared dinner and dined with Bev n Pete.
We travelled the grand distance of 41 klms today.
Saturday 23rd March
A little rain fell overnight but it was glorious sunny day. In fact it was like a summers day.
Bev n Pete left just after lunch. They have a wedding to attend in Manly on Sydney’s northern beaches, a good 2 hour drive from Gymea.
Donnis and I joined traffic going into Sydney to visit Chinatown in the Haymarket area.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinatown,_Sydney The intention was to wander around for an hour or so until 6pm. We wandered the famous Dixon street which was alive and bustling with people from around the globe. It was noisy, busy, vibrant and pulsing with energy and sounds. Donnis was in a queue to a small window where Emperors Puffs were being sold.
These are small pastries filled with creamy custard, served piping hot. The price was 4 for $1 and so the queue was constantly growing. In fact even at 10pm there were more people lined up for these tasty little puffs than there were at 5pm! http://www.empowernetwork.com/prischew/blog/scrumptious-cream-puffs-in-sydney-emperor-puffs-chinatown-australia/ While waiting for Donnis I felt a hand clamp itself to my shoulder. It was my sister Sandra with boyfriend Dave. We had planned to meet them at a nearby pub at 6pm. Although we were early we had a beer at the hotel until our other sister Enid arrived. We then went for dinner in a Chinese Restaurant nearby. The restaurant was huge with hundreds of people already enjoying dinner. We all ate cooked Jellyfish except none of us knew what it was until afterwards. It is not something I would order for myself but the experience was worthwhile. It was wonderful to catch up and spend time with Sandra especially as it was her birthday. She and Dave had just completed the Harbour Bridge Climb an hour earlier. http://www.bridgeclimb.com/
After dinner we walked through the Dixon Street crowds,
enjoyed an ice cream and squeezed all 5 of us plus luggage into WWWGO and drove back to Gymea Bay. We all had a wonderful night and would do it again in a heartbeat.
Sunday 24th March
We woke to a clear sunny hot day which stayed with us all day. It was also a big day.
Bev was ill with a migraine headache but asked us to continue with our plans. We first drove to Kurnell where Captain James Cook first stepped ashore on Australian soil in April 1770. Dave has never been to Sydney before so we tried to give him as much of a tour in one day as we could.
From there we drove to Bald Hill at Stanwell Tops.
Normally the area is buzzing with hang gliders but not today. We then drove down the escarpment to Stanwell Park where we had lunch.
By coincidence Errol and Nicole were in Cronulla in the morning and were on their way home so joined us for a late lunch. Afterwards Enid joined Donnis and I for a walk along the cliff-tops at Coalcliff then on the Sea Cliff Bridge.
We took a leisurely drive back to Gymea via the Sutherland Royal National Park. The weather was kind to us all day with a picture perfect summer day in the midst of Autumn.
It was wonderful to catch up with Enid, Bev and Sandra again. It is a shame brother Allan was travelling in his motorhome and was unable to be with us.
Back at Post 288 at the beginning of December 2012 I introduced photos of DOORS. While we have been on the road I have often taken a photo of a door as it appealed to me. It seems I am not alone with this doortography as I have seen many photo collections and calendars and even paintings of doors.
So, here we go once more with another collection of 10 doors in random order.
Appropriately these doors made from Western Red Cedar in a barn like building made out of Western Red Cedar are located at Mt.Beauty in Victoria just below the snow line in the Victorian Alps. I lived here for six weeks in August and September 2012 when I house sat for Peter and Lorna B. Although large and rambling it was a comfortable home with a wonderful wood fireplace which kept it all nice and cosy.
While on a visit to Tumbarumba NSW I found these solid timber doors begging to be photographed. I know there were many fine examples of interesting doors in the town but I was too busy being a rubber necked tourist to think too much about taking photos.
I visited the town of Inverell NSW and one of my plans was to locate the Commercial Bank of Australia premises but I saw many doors walking the streets (more photos in future posts) and still did not find the CBA bank building. I did however, find the CBC bank building.
The Courthouse at Armidale was built 1859-1860. A new courthouse is being built nearby. The courthouse is still business as usual and staff were a little uncomfortable with photographs being taken inside the building. These Red Cedar doors leading to courtroom 2 are typical of the ornate timber work throughout the building.
About 15 Klms from the historic
town City of Armidale is the equally historic town of Uralla. The old buildings provided many doortography opportunities. Although strictly speaking this is not a door but is was eye catching anyway.
Way out in western NSW on the edge of the desert in the beginning of the red sand country is the old historic town of Bourke. There are so many old buildings with intriguing doors that I wandered around the main streets but had forgotten my camera. Duh! This photo of an old “dunny” ( Dunny or dunny can is Australian slang for toilet, either the room or the specific fixture, especially an outhouse or other outdoor toilets.) was taken at the Kidman Bush Camp Camp Ground where we were staying. The old dunny is now used as a a public phone booth.
St.Mary of the Angel Catholic Church at Guyra is built from bricks made from clay found only at a site near Armidale Airport. The clay is no longer available but many buildings, particularly churches and public buildings in Armidale, Guyra, Glen Innes and Uralla were made from the “Armidale Blue” bricks. Oh, and the church doors are solid wood.
While doing our December 2012, walking tour around The Rocks, original settlement of Australia, there were so many interesting doors I thought I would never stop taking photos. Reason prevailed and only one is shown here today. This door opens to a doctors surgery in one of the original heritage listed buildings at 37 George St Sydney.
Taylors Arm is a small community west of Kempsey NSW. The town pushes the theory that this was the location of the original Pub With No Beer. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Pub_with_No_Beer ) This distinction is challenged by the town of Ingham in north Queensland but numbers seem to favour Taylors Arm as the original. At the back of the Pub With No Beer is a small historical museum which itself is of some interest. The building is an old church and was rescued from demolition by the publican and carted to its present location. The museum houses all sorts of memorabillia about the area and the PWNB.
The words to the famous song are…
By the campfire at night we’ll hear the wild dingoes call
But there’s-a nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear
Than to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer
Now the publican’s anxious for the quota to come
And there’s a far away look on the face of the bum
The maid’s gone all cranky and the cook’s acting queer
Oh what a terrible place is a pub with no beer
Then the stockman rides up with his dry dusty throat
He breasts up to the bar and pulls a wad from his coat
But the smile on his face quickly turns to a sneer
As the barman says sadly the pub’s got no beer
Then the swaggie comes in smothered in dust and flies
He throws down his roll and rubs the sweat from his eyes
But when he is told, he says what’s this I hear
I’ve trudged fifty flamin’ miles to a pub with no beer
Now there’s a dog on the v’randa, for his master he waits
But the boss is inside drinking wine with his mates
He hurries for cover and he cringes in fear
It’s no place for a dog ’round a pub with no beer
And old Billy the blacksmith, the first time in his life
Why he’s gone home cold sober to his darling wife
He walks in the kitchen, she says you’re early Bill dear
But then he breaks down and tells her the pub’s got no beer
Oh it’s hard to believe that there’s customers still
But the money’s still tinkling in the old ancient till
The wine buffs are happy and I know they’re sincere
When they say they don’t care if the pub’s got no beer
So it’s-a lonesome away from your kindred and all
By the campfire at night we’ll hear the wild dingoes call
But there’s-a nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear-
The final selection is another toilet door located at Coolamon in south west NSW. Strictly speaking this is not a dunny door. Dunny usually refers to pit or dunny can style toilets without flushing facilities. This dunny is still in use, has flushing facilities and is called a dunny by the locals. Therefore this is a dunny door.
Oh, by the way, in Oz slang we often hear a description of a large solidily built man OR woman referred to as being “built like brick dunny”. As you can see, it is a solid building.
Cheers until Sunday.
Monday 11th March
Coledale Beach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coledale,_New_South_Wales and
It must be very peaceful being camped beside the sea. Last week at Dalmeny and Potato Point I slept in past 7.15 on several occasions. Here, we are camped at Coledale Beach and I slept in until 7.45am!
The day dawned bright and sunny with calm to occasional breezes.
The day was hot but late in the afternoon clouds began to roll in although the day remained hot. Yahoo! That is why we are here on the coast. Errol Nicole and the grandchildren arrived for breakfast and spent most of the morning enjoying the laid back beach lifestyle.
At night we can see up to a dozen ships with lights ablaze anchored offshore waiting their turn to enter Port Kembla Harbour.
Tuesday 12th March
Early morning cloud and a storm at sea greeted me as I woke this morning.
Then the sun won the right to brighten our day yet again. I took a walk along the beach and around the cliff face to the nearby rock pool. We took a drive to North Mackay, did some grocery shopping, back to Errol & Nicole’s for lunch then back to Coledale for the rest of the wonderful afternoon weather.
Wednesday 13th March
It was another beautiful sunny day more akin to mid-summer than to autumn but hey, who’s complaining. In the morning the light wind was coming directly off the Illawarra Escarpment (part of the Great Dividing Range) providing a westerly offshore breeze which held up the waves perfectly. As the morning wore on the breeze shifted further until it became a north easterly which chopped up the surf. No matter as we enjoyed the sunny conditions anyway. Errol n Nicole and the children visited us again for a late breakfast then we sat around doing as little as possible. Good friends Geoff and Margaret C called in to see us on their way home from Sydney to their home at Bomaderry on the south coast. In the afternoon we received a call from Canada to advise Donnis’ friend since primary school had suffered a stroke while holidaying in Hawaii. She was on life support but the outcome was not looking good. Around midnight we were woken by a strong wind trying to rip our awning off the side of WWWGO. Working as quietly as we could the awning was safely rolled in and we escaped back to bed.
Thursday 14th March
We woke to a strong southerly breeze and overcast skies and the CO-PILOT has a heavy cold. Darn!
I took a walk over to the next headland, Wombarra and marveled at some of the houses perched on the cliff top.
Also on the headland was a memorial Winged Ship in memory of Michael Dwyer a local renowned for his community passion.
Errol, Nicole and the children called around for another breakfast by the beach. They also joined us at dinner time for an Indian Curry take away meal at our campsite.
Donnis cold got worse during the morning and she kept rugged up to avoid getting a chill.
During the morning two busloads of high school students from Camden over the mountain range arrived with high spirits, rampant hormones and changing boys voices brought new sounds to our quiet campground. The students broke into groups. Volleyball, touch football, surfboards, body surfing and spectators. Mostly the surfing group and body surfing group were beginners and the teachers and lifeguard were kept busy.
This afternoon we received the devastating news. Donnis’ lifetime friend did not make it through the night. Donnis takes solace in that she saw her friend only a few months ago when they attended a wedding in Mexico and spent a few days together. Surprisingly Donnis received an early birthday card from Darlene yesterday. The card contained a long glowing thank you to Donnis for being such a wonderful friend for more than 40 years.
Friday 15th March
Light rain fell overnight. This morning was overcast and a stead south easterly wind kept temperatures cool but not so cool that I needed to wear anything other than shorts and T-shirt. The cooler weather and increasing swell size meant the surfers have been kept busy.
In the morning I walked to the Coledale railway station just to have a look.
While Donnis was sleeping after lunch I drove to Wombarra and Scarborough (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarborough,_New_South_Wales ) to enjoy a walk around those suburbs. Scarborough is a small suburb nestled between the clifftops and the Illawarra Escarpment. The western edge of the suburb is halted by the south coast railway line. It was interesting to see old miners cottages little changed since they were built, rubbing shoulders with newer multi-million dollar houses. Most of the new houses are close to the cliffs and have 180° views.
The sun made a welcome appearance in the afternoon and the waves got bigger and lots of campers arrived. This place will be busy over the weekend.
Saturday 16th March
We woke to big seas pounding the beach and the camping area totally full with tent campers. Lots of family camping and all the picnic tables and electric barbeques in use all day. While Donnis rested to recover from a heavy cold I drove to Wollongong to have an LPG tank re-filled and as seems to be the case recently, relaxed.
Sunday 17th March
This morning we woke to a strong cold southerly wind blow and huge confused seas. Conditions were so rough no board riders risked going out.
We met up with old friends Wayne & Narelle M at their church in Calderwood near Albion Park and afterwards had lunch at Corrimal Leagues Club. The club seems to be on a downward spiral with the building and interior in need of serious maintenance. After lunch Wayne drove us in one of his wonderful tours over the escarpment to Appin and on to the Cataract Dam which was built in 1907.
Much of the crenelations atop the dam wall are made from locally quarried sandstone.
From there we drove to Winton, Douglas Park and then crossed the Nepean River below the huge Hume Freeway bridge
and on to the Picton Road and Cordeaux Dam. http://www.sca.nsw.gov.au/dams-and-water/major-sca-dams/upper-nepean-dams/cordeaux-dam
This dam was built around 1924 and differs from Cataract Dam in many respects one of which was having huge sandstone blocks in the dam wall fill.
Thanks Wayne and Narelle for once again giving us a guided tour through another part of the Illawarra.
303. Sunday 10th March 2010. Dalmeny, Central Tilba, Bermagui, Potato Point, Coledale, Boxing Kangaroos and mud wallowing Emu’s…10/03/2013
Monday 4th March
Woke to an overcast sky gradually being burned off by the sun. The surf has been reduced overnight but the sea has taken on a new clean and glassy appearance. It is so nice to be back in shorts and T-shirt again. Some of the day was spent sitting around with the rest of our group, chin wagging. About midday Donnis and I went to Narooma for a bit of essential shopping.
In the afternoon we waded across the inlet to the beach and walked and ran along the beach splashing in the shallow waves of the shorebreak.
My goodness what an invigorating tonic of wind in the hair, toes in the sand and water lapping around ankles then knees, fighting against the pull of the wash of the wave returning to the ocean. All this while the sun was keeping us comfortably warm. We have waited so long for this to happen.
One of our group, Marian, has a spinning wheel and while sitting around, uses it to spin Merino Wool into woolen yarn. I had just taken photographs of her
when I heard a big airplane flying low above our campsite.
The plane was a lumbering PBY Catalina built somewhere around WWII. The plane has been lovingly restored by HARS from Albion Park Rail about 300 Klms to the north. See details below.
Tuesday 5th March
Our group of ten decided on a day trip. Our group includes Ron & Eileen from Paynesville in Victoria in a converted Hino bus. Ken & Kym from Bomaderry NSW towing a caravan, Geoff and Margaret also from Bomaderry towing a caravan and Martin and Marian from the Bilpin NSW apple growing area and a huge Allegro motorhome made in the USofA. The final couple need no introduction Ta Da, Frank & Donnis from wherever we are at the moment in our motorhome, WWWGO (Where Will We GO). We first drove to Narooma and the breakwater area to view Australia Rock which is basically a hole in the rock and vaguely looks like Australia. I have written about this before, including photographs in blog posts 267 and Page 045 so I will not repeat them here. I showed our group around the area and we were fortunate to find four male Australian Fur Seals sunning themselves on the rocks. We then drove to Central Tilba, see post 267, so I will not repeat it again today.
We split up and wandered around town according to our tastes and inclinations and by midday re-joined forces at the Dromaderry Hotel but after seeing their meal prices decided to drive another 20 Klms to Bermagui on the coast and have Fish n Chips at the marina park.
Each night we have had a fire and sit around in our warm clothes and talk about…anything. Although the days have been delightful the north easterly wind becomes cool at night hence the need for warm clothes.
Wednesday 6th March
Another day of beach walks or sitting around and enjoying the sunshine. In then afternoon Donnis and I visited friends Judy & Ilya.
Thursday 7th March.
Boo Hoo! Our last day at Dalmeny Campground.
On the subject of Dalmeny Campground I want to make some comments.
First the negatives.
No level sites.
No concrete pads.
No drain points for grey water.
Now the positives.
NO SWIMMING POOL.
NO JUMPING PILLOW.
(In other words we are not paying for facilities we do not need or want)
Overlooks the ocean and inlet to Mumunga lake.
Shopping centre across the street.
In the off season the nightly rate is $23 and $20 for pensioners. Pay for 6 nights and the seventh night is free.
Did I mention the views?
Only 8 Klm to Narooma along the scenic coastal road.
Showers all have a glass hinged door.
We are lullabied to sleep each night by the sound of the surf.
Today I went for a long walk along the clifftop path and later drove to Narooma.
On the way back I stopped at a small beach with a lookout on the cliffs. Just as I arrived I saw a pod of large dolphins herding salmon and leaping out of the water and surfing the waves. It was such an exciting event and I had left the camera at WWWGO. The sun was hot and just delightful calm balmy weather stayed with us all day. It sure beats the cold days I complained about all the time I was at Guyra.
In the afternoon Donnis and I walked across the street and splashed around in the surf until we were exhausted.
In the evening, as a group, we had a courtesy bus collect the ten of us and take us to the nearby sports club where we had dinner and bought tickets in the raffles. Judy and Ilya joined us for the evening. Four of the 6 couples won a meat tray. Our meat tray was four porterhouse steaks.
It was a lovely day and a fitting end to our delight stay here at Dalmeny. Ken and Kym have decided to stay another day and have booked to come back for another week after Easter. Already there is talk of doing this again next year.
Friday 8th March
Today, Ron and Eileen, Geoff and Margaret and We, drove the incredibly long distance of 22 Klms from Dalmeny to our favourite freedom campsite at Potato Point. (Martin and Marian left for their home at Bilpin while Kenny and Kym decided to stay longer) The sun was shining,a gentle nor’ easter was blowing and a nice swell was rolling into the beach. We all set up camp beside the creek where we heard the surf rolling into the beach 200 metres away. We took walks along the beach,
Geoff and Ron fished, Geoff reeled in a good sized flathead which Margaret enjoyed for dinner and we all had happy hour under the stars and watched the local kangaroo population arrive for dinner on the green. We sat up late talking and drinking port.
A happy finish to a delightful day.
Saturday 9th March
Ron and Eileen left this morning on their way home to Paynesville in Victoria.
The remaining four of us walked the beach again then unhooked TERIOS and drove to a nearby headland and viewed an Eco camp ground. On our way back we disturbed a father Emu and chick in a mud wallow.
We then drove to a National Park via 4WD track on the other side of Potato Point to visit Lake Tarourga. In the afternoon we just relaxed and enjoyed our lovely warm day.
Lots of Kangaroos visit the camp site morning and evening.
Sunday 10th March.
Umm Err Hmmm!
Since I woke this morning it thought it was MONDAY!!!
We left delightful Potato Point and drove north to Coledale, a suburb of Wollongong. We are camped beside the ocean and had dinner with Errol, Nicole and grandchildren Amelia and Hannah. Nicole brought a spaghetti bolognaise sauce she prepared earlier. It was while eating I realised today is Sunday.
Tonight we have another night being lullabied by the waves.
Monday 25th February
We left Noraville and drove to North Rocks, an outer suburb of Sydney. We had WWWGO booked in to I&D Industries to find the leak in the roof hatch. Despite mid- morning traffic we had a dream run and the trip only took 90 minutes. We unhitched TERIOS and went for coffee and lunch at a nearby shopping mall while the guys checked out WWWGO for the leak. When we returned they showed us a photo of the leak entry point. It was hard to find and explains why I never found it. A tiny piece of a twig had fallen into the sealant when they were sealing the hatch last year. The twig rotted and the hole became a wick point for any moisture. They sealed the hole and we were ready to go. The drive to Bev and Pete’s house at Gymea Bay only took another hour so we parked in their driveway and I had a sleep until Bev arrived home. I was amazed at how smooth both legs of our journey were. Considering we were driving through densely populated parts of the Sydney suburbs in the middle of the day, we had an easy trip.
After dinner we replaced a clothes hoist in the yard. The old Hills Hoist was damaged by a falling tree branch in a heavy storm a few weeks ago. We also determined the cause of a sticking sliding door.
Tuesday 26th February
We woke to sunny skies which were not destined to last. Although it did not rain it was one of those typically hot overcast Sydney days with a north easterly wind blowing which felt full of grit and humidity. This morning Optus arrived to replace Bev’s faulty modem and she and I climbed onto the roof to check the TV antenna as all the Channel 10 stations have disappeared. We determined that in another storm on the weekend the antenna was swivvled on its access and now points in the wrong direction. An antenna man arrived in a short while and agreed with our findings and corrected the antenna direction. The CO-PILOT and I drove to a Camec store at Caringbah and found the items we wanted (a Wineguard antenna crank handle for WWWGO and some new BioPak Sanitiser Sachets for our on-board toilet)and at a reasonable cost. It was then on to Cronulla Beach where Donnis wanted to look for work shoes.
I parked near the beach, noting there was a 4 hour limit and we walked to the mall. 90 minutes later we were back at TERIOS and found an envelope under the wiper blade. It was a $99 fine for…wait for it…parking nose in and not tail in in the parking space. YIKES!!! What would it have cost if we had parked more than 4 hours?
P.S. Donnis did not buy any shoes.
Gymea Bay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymea_Bay,_New_South_Wales) is a leafy suburb in the Sutherland Shire usually referred to as The Shire, much as the Hobbits refer to The Shire in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books. Many locals still think it is the centre of the known universe and many have not ventured far from the area. Even driving all the way to the bay itself the suburb is well endowed with trees and bushland patches. Should a bushfire in the National Park ever get out of contract, this idyllic setting could be a fire disaster.
Wednesday 27th February
We left Gymea Bay about 10am and joined the Princess Highway on our way to Wollongong. On this occasion we decided to skip travelling via the usual long steep Mt.Ousley Road on which we need to be in 3rd or 4th gear and braking to maintain the required 80Kph down the steep road and instead travel through Helensburgh, Stanwell Park and the small coastal communities such as Coalcliff,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalcliff,_New_South_Wales Clifton, Scarborough and Wombarra. Although the road is steep with some tight corners it is only a short road with spectacular views across the ocean as the road hugs the cliff line and the spectacular Sea Cliff Bridge. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Cliff_Bridge
Prior to 2005 when the bridge was opened, the original road was often closed and vehicles damaged as heavy rains weakened the land above and large chunks of cliff would fall and or slide onto the road. Sometimes sections of the road would collapse into the sea below. In fact after a particularly bad landslide in 2003 the road was closed permanently until the Sea Cliff Bridge was built.
Not far below the original roadway and just above the high tide mark are the remnants of the original coal mine at Clifton.
An interesting aside to the above story is that the First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove in 1788 and by 1796 it was still only a fledgling and struggling settlement. Imagine then, a ship runs aground on 90 Mile Beach and crew members trek north overland towards Sydney Cove. There are no towns or communities between the grounding and the nearest aid. After travelling for nearly 700Klms they found coal still have to find their way another 100 Klms to Sydney. The journey took around 12 months. They must have been a self -sufficient bunch! As a result of the coal being found the rich coal seams of the Illawarra were also discovered opening the district to coal mining which goes on to this day along many places in the Illawarra area.
We camped for the night at Errol and Nicoles at Corrimal. Heavy rain was predicted overnight.
Thursday 28th February
The predicted bad weather did not eventuate overnight but the time we were ready to hit the road at midday heavy rain and strong wind made driving a bit of a challenge but we continued along the Princes Highway as far as Gerringong where we took the coastal route through Gerroa and Coolangatta as far as Nowra and re-joined the highway there. Around Gerroa and Coolangatta we saw the destruction from the violent storms which ripped through the area on Saturday night. The same storm which rocked WWWGO while at Norah Head. We arrived at one of our favourite freedom campsites, Potato Point, late in the afternoon and set up camp beside the tidal creek. A walk along the beach in the strong and quite cold wind was invigorating. The daytime temperature had dropped 10 degrees since yesterday.
Friday 1st March
We drove another 18 Klms and arrived at Dalmeny Campground.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmeny,_New_South_Wales ) The grounds are still quite boggy from all the recent rains but if weather predictions hold true the rain and wind should start to ease tomorrow. We caught up with long- time friends Judy & Ilya, while late in the afternoon other members of our group began to arrive. Although the wind was very blustery and cold it was quite snug inside WWWGO and we only needed a sheet on the bed.
Saturday 2nd March
Gradually the sun made more frequent appearances although the strong wind continued all day. Donnis and I took a beach walk to the next beach. Aaah it was wonderful breathing the salt laden air. More of our group arrived during the day and contributed wishes that the weather will start to clear overnight.
In the evening we attended a 60th birthday party for friend Judy N. Among the 62 guests were her 4 sons and the catering was carried out by husband Ilya. It was a theme dress up party and we were asked to come as sixties style hippies. Ilya made the comment that I came as a 2013 style hippie.
We had a very nice night and I enjoyed catching up with her family. Jude’s sister Gloria’s husband John is a professional musician and he set up a disco on his laptop and kept the night bopping along with music, games and music trivia competitions.
Light rain started at bedtime.
Sunday 3rd March
The morning started with the sun pushing the cloud across the sky and giving us a wonderful day with just a light southerly breeze.
After a couple of walks along the beach we linked up with our group and vegged out by sitting around and chewing the fat.