Archive for October, 2013

340. Sunday 27th October 2013. A dilemma, its hot in Mackay and planning our move a bit further North…

27/10/2013

Monday 21st October

We woke to another hot and windy day in our delightful camp spot at Boulder Creek then drove to Airlie Beach and met with Maria and Keith my previous employers. Long story short, we discussed my possible return to Marine Insurance.

Hmmm!

Timely. Both our rental properties are in need of TLC and perhaps even an injection of funds to jazz up each house. We have also been asked to travel to Fiji in April next year to attend Enid’s 00th birthday party.

We returned to Boulder Creek and enjoyed a good night’s sleep in cooler temperatures.

Tuesday 22nd October

We packed WWWGO then  drove back to Sandra’s house. After setting up our site I spent the rest of the afternoon pondering a possible return to the workforce.

The thought is kinda scary.

Wednesday 23rd October

More thinking, thinking, thinking.

More scary moments.

Thursday 24th October

OK. There is now a little more to the plot twist. When we first arrived I applied for work as a senior General Insurance Broker with an Insurance Brokerage in Mackay. Today I had an interview with a senior partner from Brisbane and the local office manager.

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

What if they offer me the position?

We lunched with Pam and Jerry at Hotel Whitsunday.

Afterwards we looked for some suitable Insurance Broker clothes before I got to thinking, thinking, thinking again.

Sigh!

Friday 25th October

In the morning we visited niece Kelly, her son Cooper and latest edition, only two weeks old, Oliver, at their beachside house at Bucasia only about 1 Klm from our beachside house at The Shoals.

Oliver!. Exhausted? From what?

Oliver!. Exhausted? From what?

Donnis loves holding bundles of joy and Oliver was totally exhausted.

Donnis loves holding bundles of joy and Oliver was totally exhausted.

Cooper is a bit quiet and shy but loves company when he gets used to them.

Cooper is a bit quiet and shy but loves company when he gets used to them.

In the afternoon I received a call from the Mackay Insurance Brokerage offering me the job!!!

I received an email from Maria confirming the offer for the position in Airlie Beach!

Whoops!

Donnis joined a Reclaim the Night March   http://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/walkers-recall-victim-shandee/2033954/    while I spent time with Averyl and grandchildren Shelby-Rose and Anakin.

Saturday 26th October

The day dawned hot and humid just like it would be in mid- summer. Only, it is not yet summer, it is mid spring. The day became hotter and hotter so seeking shade and a fresh breeze was paramount in our thoughts. Sigh! That’s one of the side effects of living in the tropics.

The Mackay Kart Club was having their annual club championships racing over two days at their Palmyra Kart Track.

Go Kart pit lane.

Go Kart pit lane.

One of 84 Karts taking part in the club championships.

One of 84 Karts taking part in the club championships.

Dave is normally one of the keen racers – he has three karts – but because of a broken ankle several months ago, he is still recovering. He spent the day on the sidelines doing other work behind the scenes. Donnis and I visited the track and learnt something about the karts and racing.  Today was the preliminary heats and the serious finals will be held tomorrow.

Let the racing commence.

Let the racing commence.

This corner was a tight challenge and a few karts spun out here.

This corner was a tight challenge and a few karts spun out here.

A local TV station wanted a scene with all the drivers, the oldest down to the youngest – about 7 years old -.in their racing suits and on the track in a group.

Most of the club drivers posed for a club member photo.

Most of the club drivers posed for a club member photo.

They were soon joined in the sweltering sun by a lovely young lady who sang the national anthem acapella . 261013 anthemNext the Mackay City Pipe and Drums band marched along the straight and performed two numbers and marched off. You could tell by their red faces they were keen to get off the track and into the shade and tuck into a few cold beers.

The Mackay Pipe and Drum Band coping with the heat.

The Mackay Pipe and Drum Band coping with the heat.

Racing was almost continuous, noisy, fume filled and the PA annoyingly announcing something every minute. While all this noise and fumes and confusion was going on the nearby Palmyra Drag Strip was also carrying out drag races. http://www.palmyradragway.com.au/aboutus.html

Hmmm! They are noisier!

We had a great day but were pleased to get away and take a couple of Panadol for my headache!

Sunday 27th October

We had another hotr and humid day. The kind of hot and humid where just resting a bare arm on paper or plastic and it sticks to the arm. We drove to Canelands and bought a Multiplier Fan   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bladeless_fan  The one we bought is a cheap version of the Dyson and one which was subject to a nasty international court case a few years ago when Dyson sued several Chinese companies. Basically we could never afford a Dyson but the Chinese version was cheap as chips.

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339. Sunday 20th October 2013. Mackay, looking for work and Boulder Creek with the Sugarloafers…

22/10/2013

Monday 14th October

Another blistering hot day with high humidity. Hmmm! Perhaps blisteringly hot is not an apt description. 31° is not hot compared to other places around the state but nonetheless any more than a few minutes in the direct sunlight sure makes a scant piece of shade look attractive. After three days in the tropics we have found the heat and humidity just a bit overbearing. How did we manage to live here so long?

In the early evening Donnis boarded a Greyhound bus bound for Airlie Beach.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airlie_Beach,_Queensland   She had called her friend Karen to say she would visit on Wednesday but Karen is leaving on Wednesday. So… the bus trip is to give them time to catch up.

Tuesday 15th October

I saw doctor Chris whom I have known since 1987 and who was part of my squash team way back in those days when I was an “athlete”!!! Chris re-confirmed  I have a Subconjunctival Hemorrhage of the eye  and it will gradually disappear over the next week or two. He also burned a skin cancer off my left shoulder.

Wednesday 16th October

Another hot and sweaty day. How did we put up with this humidity for so many years? Will we be able to cope as summer approaches.

I drove to Airlie Beach and met with Donnis. We then saw our tax agent and finally completed  our tax returns with two weeks before the closing date.

We stopped at a shopping centre for a coffee and within minutes of leaving the car Donnis met and stopped to talk with people she knows. While she was talking some motorhome friends, John and Lorraine S walked by.

Then we had an appointment with the real estate agent at our house. Gasp shock horror! No wonder the house has not sold! Our tenants can best be described as “hoarders” and filled all the front, back and side yards with broken down cars, boats and motorcycles. It looks like a junk yard!!! The house presentation is so disappointing I could not even stop to think about taking photos.

Grrr!

The other reason for being here was to drop off some accumulated weighty things we have been carrying around for three years and which we have never used or no longer need.

We also caught up with next door neighbour Stan W and then visited a friend from Spain, Julia and her two children. After that visit we went back to Karens house on the hill above Cannonvale. Karen has gone to Townsville and kindly offered her house for our use.

When we married on 28th February 2010 we used Karens house as a base for a reception.

Thursday 17th October

View over Pioneer Bay from Karen's house at the top of Island Drive Cannoncale.

View over Pioneer Bay from Karen’s house at the top of Island Drive Cannonvale.

We woke to a crisp morning in the beautiful Whitsundays in the house on the hill overlooking Pioneer Bay. After breakfast we locked the house and drove to Cannonvale Beach

Picnic area and stone retaining wall at Cannonvale Beach

Picnic area and stone retaining wall at Cannonvale Beach

Panorama of Pioneer Bay at Cannonvale Beach

Panorama of Pioneer Bay at Cannonvale Beach

where Donnis had decided to carry out a farewell ceremony. She has been carrying the ashes of her lifelong friend Darlene who died earlier this year. Darlene had always planned to visit Donnis in Airlie Beach but never did. We held a little farewell ceremony on the rocks overlooking the bay. By coincidence the iconic Tall Ship, the schooner Whitsunday Magic was aground on a sandbar just a few hundred metres offshore. It had run aground in a storm in May this year. http://www.whitsundaytimes.com.au/news/whitsunday-icon-loses-her-magic/1772209/  (this vessel is one which I organised insurance for in my past occupation. It is sad to see it come to such a tragic end)

I heard more of the story from staff at Oceanic Marine Risks. It seems a wealthy businessman from Brisbane bought the boat to turn it into a cruising restaurant on the Brisbane River. The boat was at the Shute Harbour jetty being prepared for the voyage when it sank during a wild storm in January. The boat was salvaged and moved to a mooring at Cannonvale because in the interim the businessman was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Once more the boat was readied and during another wild storm in May, dragged anchor and ran aground and has been there ever since. Harbours and Marine issued orders to move the vessel but the owner has other problems on his mind. The diesel and oil have been removed while negotiations about its ultimate fate are sorted. In the meantime every day and every tide and every storm are doing more and more damage.

"WHITSUNDAY MAGIC"

“WHITSUNDAY MAGIC”

Donnis chose this location to scatter Darlenes ashes into the Coral Sea because:

Darlene had always wanted to visit this area.

The beach, particularly the rocks is a special place for Donnis as she often came here to sit in peaceful solitude.

Contemplating and concentrating with prayer in preparation of casting of ashes.

Contemplating and concentrating with prayer in preparation of casting of ashes.

We were married on the beach.

The final resting place of the schooner seemed a poignant symbolism that it is also Darlenes final resting place in Oz.

The final resting place for Darlenes ashes is also the final resting place of the schooner "WHITSUNDAY MAGIC"

The final resting place for Darlenes ashes is also the final resting place of the schooner “WHITSUNDAY MAGIC”

This is a beautiful place.

After the ceremonial scattering of ashes

Casting Darlenes ashes into the Coral Sea at Cannonvale Beach.

Casting Darlenes ashes into the Coral Sea at Cannonvale Beach.

we visited Oceanic Marine Risks, my old employer where I was chuffed to have Simone squeal with delight and run across the office to give me a hug. I caught up with the remainder of the staff including Maria the managing director.

Next we visited John and Lorraine S who we bumped into yesterday then drove the nursing home at Proserpine to visit George a past aged care patient of Donnis who has been following our adventures for the past three years.

Finally we made it back to Sandra’s house tired but really happy we packed so much into the last two days.

Friday 18th October

Tonight we took grandson Anakin to the movies to see the 3D version of Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. We have seen several 3D movies and we think this one is up there with Avatar…not as good but way out in front of the others we have seen. If you get a chance, go and see it.

Saturday 19th October

We are freedom camping with our home CMCA Chapter, The Sugarloafers, at Boulder Creek, about 30 Klms north of Mackay.

Campsite at Boulder Creek

Campsite at Boulder Creek

Hmmm! This creek needs a name! What shall we name it? Hmmm! What about BOULDER CREEK? Yes! And so it came to pass...

Hmmm! This creek needs a name! What shall we name it? Hmmm! What about BOULDER CREEK?
Yes!
And so it came to pass…

Dinner was a finger food pot luck where each rig brought something to the table. There was plenty of food but old Wally and wife Joan probably went to the most trouble cooking fresh caught Mackeral and chips. As usual Donnis made too much, especially Sushi which she was surprised to find all these retired type people are not altogether culinary explorers or adventurers. (We had lots of sushi, marinated chicken wings, three banana cakes and an apple pie as leftovers for the next few days)This camp site has enough room to hold around 30 rigs. A local cane farmer has a wire haired terrier dog called Rex.  Rex greets every new arrival with a sort of whimpering impersonation of speech and hangs around camp waiting for a handout. The owner comes to camp and collects Rex to take him home. Half an hour later Rex is back in camp again. Rex greeted us when we arrived and we watched him as he greeted later arrivals. The number of campers Rex has greeted in his lifetime must be astronomical. Every camper had a Rex story to tell.

Rex, the genial camp welcoming dog.

Rex, the genial camp welcoming dog.

Sunday 20th October

It rained, heavily but briefly, during the night. I leapt out of bed to close the roof hatch and the door. It was then I noticed good ole Rex asleep on our camp recliner. During the morning the Sugarloafers had a mid morning smoko

A goanna came to visit the Sugarloafers morning smoko.

A goanna came to visit the Sugarloafers morning smoko.

followed by a meeting and by 11.30 they had all departed – except for John and Lorraine S. Although almost all the Sugarloafers are retired and have nowhere special or urgent waiting for them at home, it seems they needed to be home for some reason.

Donnis and John had another swim in the chilly fresh water of Boulder Creek

Swimming hole at Boulder Creek

Swimming hole at Boulder Creek

Donnis and John. Those two would swim in Arctic Waters.

Donnis and John. Those two would swim in Arctic Waters.

before we had a dinner of leftovers from the night before…lots of smoked salmon sushi and cold chicken wings.

This is a delightful place to camp, even if I have said so before.

PS. My bloody eye has cleared.

338. Sunday 13th October 2013. Tralalala on the road and we reach Mackay Central Coast Queensland…

13/10/2013

Monday 7th October

Today is our last day in beautiful Noosa.

Boo Hoo!

Tomorrow we hit the Bruce Highway and recommence our northward journey.

In the morning we parked at the end of The Woods a Noosa Park area at the entrance to the Noosa River. From there we walked along the path to little coves along the Noosa River foreshore until we reached Hastings Street. This is the main road through the beachside suburb and at almost any time of the day or night, it is busy.  https://www.google.com.au/search?q=hastings+street+noosa&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=GjtSUtv9Gq2uiQftloG4Bg&ved=0CIoBELAE&biw=1366&bih=643&dpr=1#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=mQ4voLx5vEG3lM%3A%3BljqeQf9UmwVtKM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.noosaeguide.com%252Finfo%252Fupload%252F_pool-ev.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.noosaeguide.com%252Finfo%252Faccommodation_info.php%253Fns%253D15%3B400%3B289

We had coffee and croissants at Seasons Restaurant overlooking the beach. http://www.seasonrestaurant.com.au/

The Season Restaurant

The Season Restaurant

We then followed the seaside path through Noosa Woods to a refurbished cove called Doggy Beach. http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/noosa-dog-beach-project-track/1217743/

Doggy Beach

Doggy Beach

On a clear day you can see ...Doggy Beach

On a clear day you can see …Doggy Beach

Once, it was a forgotten backwater filled with concrete stumps, fallen trees, rocks, debris, snags and a bit isolated and unfriendly. Now it is a wonderful family dog friendly location, sheltered from all winds except a direct northerly. A sandbar just offshore is exposed at low tide but the naturally shallow water is a great place to take young children and dogs of course. Did we wander into the water and go for a swim and splash around on the sandbar almost catching waves which reflect off the north shore of the river?

Of course we did!

For a wonderful time line potted history of the Noosa area, have a look here   http://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/library/documents/heritage/timeline_of_the_noosa_district.pdf

Tuesday 8th October

We woke early and went for our usual walk followed by my exercise routine. In my mind I calculated that worst case scenario we would be on our way by 10am. As the morning progressed I updated that departure time to 11am. Later still I gave up entirely, realising we would get away when the CO-PILOT was ready!

Hallelujah Brother! We finally got started at 12.15pm. Even then the CO-PILOT wanted to visit another Over 50’s Resort on our way out.

Grrr!

Today our destination was Yandaran about 36 Klms north of Bundaberg a 326 Klm journey for the day. We called in to see old friends Jerry and Pam R. We passed through Gympie on the Bruce Highway and noted as we travelled the countryside turned from green, healthy and lush to a dried out brown and dusty the further we drove. We by-passed the turnoff to Maryborough and left the highway for the drive into Bundaberg where we could see the devastation from three years of floods still evident along the banks of the  Burnett River. The council caravan park beside the bridge was wiped out. The locals are still struggling to recover.

Jerry and Pam commented that the little settlement of Yandaran was not affected by floods.

Wednesday 9th October

We spent a quiet day around camp.

Some essential repairs/maintenance took up about an hour of my time. Somehow the rear view camera had a dirty smudge so I climbed the rear ladder and cleaned the lens. That took all of 5 minutes. The forward view travel camera had fallen down on Tuesday so I cleaned the windscreen and re-attached the video camera. Another 5 minutes well spent. The main job was to re-attach the windscreen washer attachment. It fell off when we were driving to the Gold Coast a few weeks ago. Finally the moon, planets, stars and earth were aligned enough for me to get stuck into the task. The rest of the day was spent in umm err, rest. We just sat around talking with P&J.

Thursday 10th October

We are on the road again!

Tra la tra la la la la.

It was a big travel day all of 2 hours or 150 Klms. We saw Calliope River and decided to stop for lunch. After lunch Donnis took a vote to stay the night. On arrival there were probably less than a dozen rigs already in place along the elevated river bank.

WWWGO at Calliope River

WWWGO at Calliope River

Calliope River

Calliope River

As darkness fell we found perhaps nearer 50 rigs keeping us company.

Some of our neighbours

Some of our neighbours

In the afternoon we took a walk around the area and found a GPS Mark. Long term readers will recall that in our travels we have often found Trig Points. Not so many in the last 12 months. It was therefore a surprise to find the new version of the trig points. According to the plaque, we can expect to find more of these GPS Marks in our travels.

Trig Points have been replaced by GPS Stations

Trig Points have been replaced by GPS Stations

I have developed a “red eye” which looks terrible but is not painful or uncomfortable nor has a discharge. My eyesight seems to be unaffected. Donnis has been using saline drops but it seems to be spreading. I made an appointment to see a doctor in Mackay next Tuesday but if it worsens we will go to plan B…which we have not yet planned.

Friday 11th October

Calliope at sun rise

Calliope at sun rise

We were on the road early…6.30am to be exact. Donnis wants to travel in the cool of the mornings.

We have watched the passing scenery with interest. Yaraman was dry, dusty, brown sparse spindly trees dotted the landscape. As we travel north the countryside has changed. It is now dry, dusty, less brown more green with thick bushland and healthy looking trees. As has been the case for the last week there is a strong gusty wind and we are driving into it which is pushing our fuel consumption up…dramatically. We stopped at Rocky (Rockhampton) to fuel up, dump toilet tank and have breakfast.

We stopped at Waverley Creek Rest Area for lunch. http://www.dailymercury.com.au/news/waverley-ck-rest-area-is-upgraded/1655689/  This was once a run-down poorly equipped and maintained Main Roads Department rest area midway between Rocky and Mackay. Being midway it was a convenient stop for travellers. We often used it as an overnight stop. Main Roads have organised and refurbished the area with marked  parking bays and the entire area is sealed. The toilets and lighting are all solar powered and shaded picnic benches dot the area. A separate area is set aside for trucks. Well, hats off to Main Roads.

I thought it would be nice to stop at the seaside town of Clairview for the night as it is an easy run of around two hours to Mackay in the morning. Clairview was dry and dusty and the wind off the sea was uncomfortably hot and salty. We moved on to Carmilla by the sea. If anything it even drier, dustier and with the salt laden wind blasting away I felt it better to protect my eye. As well the only sites still available are soft sand and would be easy to become bogged especially with us towing TERIOS. Tonight we are safely tucked up in sister Sandra’s house in Mackay. Along the highway a stone hit our windscreen leaving a star shaped chip which will no doubt spread.

I managed to find a late afternoon doctors appointment to find I have a burst blood vessel in my eye…http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/subconjunctival-hemorrhage/DS00867   nothing to worry about!!! It looks rather YUK!

Here's lookin; atcha with a red eye...burst blood vessel... subjunctival haemorrhorage.

Here’s lookin’ atcha with a red eye…burst blood vessel… subjunctival haemorrhorage.

Sigh!

My lovely Subaru Liberty Rallye was waiting for me and although it started first turn of the key and sounds good, the paint finish looks terrible and the window tinting is beginning to peel. The drivers seat springs have given up providing support. There is a stone chip in its windscreen as well.

Another sigh!

Tomorrow begins the first day of …what!

Saturday 12th October

We drove to Canelands Shopping Town in Mackay. The Liberty runs well although the air con stopped some time ago. The driver’s seat is a bit uneven and the remote latches to the fuel tank and the boot no longer work. It feels strange sitting so close to the road compared to sitting high up in WWWGO. While at the shopping centre car-park I noticed the Liberty has 301,500 Klms on the clock! Hmmm! It still corners well and clings like glue to roundabouts.

Most of the day was spent resting from four days of travel. For dinner tonight we prepared a Pork Rogan Josh while Sandi prepared a Chicken Honey Soy Ginger stir fry for a combined pot luck dinner.

The @#$%&!g next door neighbours had a childrens party today. It started about 10am and some parents stayed while their children played in the small inflatable pool. About 2pm the children left and the two slushie machines had booze added to the mix and the adults got stuck into it. Their bad language and loud and often aggressive attitude to each other, combined with annoying thumpy thumpy music meant they had to shout at each other. This went on until about midnight when we turned on our air con which drowned out all the drunken noise they were making. Eventually we were able to fall into a fitful sleep.

Grrr!

Sunday 13th October

I am so tired today. The party animals next door finally called it quits in the early hours and I struggled to get back to sleep. My red eye feels gritty and has not helped my general feeling of BLAHH!

We drove Sandi to the airport at noon. She is attending a conference in Melbourne for a few days. Dave went a friends house to watch Bathurst Day on TV. For our overseas readers I will explain. It is not really Bathurst Day, that is just a popular fun name given to the biggest event on the Australian Racing Car calendar. More correctly it is the Mt,Panorama Bathurst 1000Race   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Panorama_Circuit and is probably the most difficult race circuit of its type in the world. It has become an Oz tradition to watch the race on TV from start to finish while drinking beer and eating meat pies. In other words the entire day is a write off so it is impossible to make other plans on this day. I have long been over the need to watch the entire race and am usually content to watch the start few laps and the final 10 or so laps. I missed both today.

In the afternoon we visited my daughter Avery, hubby Paul, children Shelby-Rose and Anakin. It waqs a full house this afternoon as Paul’s son Beau, his partner Emma and their child Malakai were there as were Jerry and Pam from Yandaman were also visiting. After a wonderful dinner and filling dessert we called it a night.

Tomorrow we should start a bit of local exploring.

337. Sunday 6th October 2013. Enjoying Noosa and Michael Jackson thriller…

07/10/2013

Monday 30th September

Today was hot and by midday a strong wind was blowing from the north east. We went to Sunshine Beach and with clouds beginning to roll in and combined with the heavy salt laden air made for a hazy afternoon on the coast. Of course that did not stop lots of people – mostly with children – arriving at the beach.

Life guard vehicle at Sunshine Beach

Life guard vehicle at Sunshine Beach

Misty salt laden view of young surf club members at Sunshine Beach.

Misty salt laden view of young surf club members at Sunshine Beach.

Tuesday 1st October

The second day of the week and already it has been busy.

In the morning we drove to Buderim and had coffee and croissants at a French restaurant with Glen and Gail C.    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Le-Baroque-Restaurant/333622066650414   We met this lovely couple on the RiverFire barge on Saturday night. Gail was a school teacher and started her career at Mackay. Glen was a pilot with Qantas Link and has only recently retired. They live at Buderim which is not far from Donnis acupuncture appointment this afternoon. After morning coffee we departed with hugs and handshakes  and drove to Sunshine Plaza Shopping Centre at Maroochydore   http://www.sunshineplaza.com/Information/About%20Us    where after a tiring time shopping and buying nothing we had a late lunch on a deck dining area overlooking a canal which the centre is built around.

After lunch we moved further south to Kawana Waters where Donnis had her appointment. By the time we got back to Noosa it was dusk and we were too tired to cook dinner. Hooray for frozen leftovers.

Wednesday 2nd October

Another busy tiring day.

In the morning and midday we visited an Over 50s Resort, Edgewater at Bli Bli.   http://www.edgewaterblibli.com.au/   The surroundings are quite nice and very laid back and quiet. It just seems to be lacking something and did not really grab our attention like other resorts have done. The WOW factor was not present.

After a quick lunch and coffee at the nearby Bli Bli Bakery we drove to Mt.Coolum to meet up with Lyn and Pete, friends from Mackay who now live in the area and have a shop at Mt.Coolum and Noosa Junction.   https://www.facebook.com/DragonflyDreamingNoosa    In the evening we dined at Sunrise Café at Coolum Beach.   http://www.sunrisecoolum.com.au/   Pete, Donnis and I had the Mussels in white wine and cream sauce. Yummo! Donnis and I have not had Mussels for years.

We were back home by 9.30 after another long tiring day. This catching up and meeting people for coffee, lunch or dinner is becoming a tiring pastime. Not tiresome, just tiring.

Hmmm! What have we planned for tomorrow?

Thursday 3rd October

First some information about Noosa.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shire_of_Noosa  (I am stating the following as tongue in cheek…being cheeky…joking) One of the three aboriginal tribes in the area, the Dulingbura, (true) called the area Noosa. In the local dialect, Noosa, loosely translated, means…”land of many roundabouts and speed humps”.

Roundabout at Hastings Street, Noosa Beach.

Roundabout at Hastings Street, Noosa Beach.

It is true. Noosa has more than its fair share of roundabouts…and speed humps. Of course more of the former and fewer of the latter. It seems successive local councils have refused to allow traffic lights in the district but have approved roundabouts. The small ones can be a bit of a tight turn particularly if a speed hump precedes it or it or is encountered on the exit. The larger ones also require a bit of navigational and driving skills. As 50% of the population has no idea how to approach, drive through or around a roundabout some interesting traffic situations arise. Speed humps cause problems in their own right with many cars, particularly those illegally lowered, come to a complete stop and crawl over the hump. I have heard it said that in the dialect of another of the three tribes who shared this area, Noosa means, “beach parking is always full” and the third tribe dialect Noosa meant “lots of tourists in town today”.

Today we drove, once more to Mt.Coolum where I dropped Donnis to spend time with Lyn while I continued on to Marcoola where I caught up with my pre- retirement workmate, Bill L. Oceanic Marine Solutions has a small office handling claims and it is Bill’s domain. We spent a happy hour catching up after which I collected Donnis and drove back to Noosa where Donnis had a dermatological inspection.

We also inspected a Retirement Village. It is very modern, very upmarket and we both agreed that while it is impressive we are not likely candidates.

Late in the afternoon Enid arrived home from Mackay and we went to Tewantin Marina for drinks and hot chips with her friends Leanne and Bronwyn while watching a sunset and the ferry boat coming and going.

Sigh! Another relaxing but tiring day.

Friday 4th October.

In the morning we briefly inspected an Over 50’s Resort at Tewantin. It did not register on our “interesting” scale so we did not even get out of the car.

Before lunch we visited my 87 year old uncle Bill who is in a nursing home at Noosa. He is very active…mentally… but has some difficulty walking.

Frank with uncle Bill.

Frank with uncle Bill.

He talks about his bout of lung cancer, due no doubt to his long term smoking habit especially when working for Rothmans Cigarettes where each employee was given 150 cigarettes a month. He fought and won that fight only to be in another fight with a brain tumour, a spinoff from the lung cancer. He did not know he had a tumour until he had a convulsive fit one day. Luckily his next door neighbour was nearby and called an ambulance. After he recovered from the tumour operation his wife Zahra died and he could no longer fend for himself. Hence the nursing home. As we were talking, the next door neighbour, who probably saved his life, walked into the room. He calls on Bill every week and does a shopping trip for him.

After lunch we drove to Kawana where Donnis had another acupuncture appointment then we took a walk along Noosa Beach in fading light.

Sunset at Noosa Beach with my favourite the Pandanus Tree.

Sunset at Noosa Beach with my favourite the Pandanus Tree.

Yet another sunset through the Pandanus at Noosa Beach.

Yet another sunset through the Pandanus at Noosa Beach.

The eating houses along Hastings Street and beachside were all packed and busy.

Whew! Another long, busy, tiring day.

Tomorrow is expected to be another LONG day.

Saturday 5th October

Busy busy busy!

This morning we met Dominique and Guy F from Traveston at Maison de Provence,  Cooroy, for breakfast. We first met Dom and Guy in December 2010 when we house sat for them for three months. G&D are French and of course the owners of the restaurant are French. Dom had heard through the international grapevine we were in in Noosa and called to ask us to “breakfast”. After an enjoyable catch up we headed back to Noosa and sort of relaxed for the rest of the day before our big adventure. Enid was able to join us, compliments of a ticket from Donnis son Peter who was unable to attend. We drove the 126 klms to the Brisbane Entertainment Centre to see the Circue du Soleil presentation, Michael Jackson Immortal Tour.   http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/michael-jackson-tour/show/about.aspx

Part of the crowd at the Cirque du Soleil at Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Part of the crowd at the Cirque du Soleil at Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Hmmm! MJ had lots of songs I have never heard before and I found them a bit boring but the acts accompanying the music were spectacular. It was a mixture of breath-taking acrobatics and stunts, humour and fun. The sound system was so incredibly loud that I felt a war could be won on the blast from the speakers. Although I was not familiar with the songs, a great many of the audience were, They sang and bopped and twisted and swayed and did all the things the acrobats asked of them. Not easy when sitting in a seat hemmed in by other audience members. I could not single out any one particular act which stood above all others. With so many things happening on stage at the same time it was difficult to concentrate on one. The show sped along with a 20 minute intermission. Of course once the show was over, everybody wanted to be the first to get in their car and on their way home. For the rest of us we crept along at a snail’s pace. Once away from the area a coffee stop at a motorway 24 hour service station was a welcome break but delayed our arrival home about 12.30am tired, happy and ready for bed.

Would I go again?

Probably.

You should go too.

Sunday 6th October

What the!!!

I slept in until 8.30am!!!

Hmmm! Musta been the late night and all that noise and energy at the MJ Show!

In the morning we went to the hill above Noosa Beach and walked the steep slope and a thousand stairs then along the boardwalk to Little Cove and then to the entrance to the National Park and back to the beach again where Donnis and Enid went for a swim. It was a hot day and the beach was chock a block full as were all the parking spaces. That is why we parked on the hill.

More Pandanus framed views of Noosa Beach

More Pandanus framed views of Noosa Beach

I spy with my little eye...a deaths head in the bushes, almost hidden from view in the hill above Noosa Beach.

I spy with my little eye…a deaths head in the bushes, almost hidden from view in the hill above Noosa Beach.

At dusk we went back to the beach with a roast chook, some salads, cheese, crackers and a couple of glasses of bubbly. Neighbour Dorothy joined us for a dinner overlooking Noosa Beach with the sun setting over the beach. We stayed until well after dark.

Delightful.

Dorothy, Donnis and Enid at Noosa Beach.

Dorothy, Donnis and Enid at Noosa Beach.