380. Sunday 6th July 2014. Airlie Beach to Mackay to the Gold Coast and back again…

Monday 30th June

Over the last few weeks I have felt somewhat “restrained” in mind and activities. After almost four years on the road we returned to our home to bring it back into an acceptable state for either another rental or to place it on the market. Of course we have not made a decision on either of those options. I am more focused on getting the work done.

That said, I still feel like I am marching on the spot but eager to start travelling again.  That makes me feel restrained.

Recalling our time on the road and looking at a map of our travels I can see we have not really covered much ground and there is a lot of map still to be filled in with our travels.

Sigh!

Friday 4th July

This is the day our friends in the US of A celebrate their Independence. It is also a public holiday. Like Oz when we have a public day of celebration it is also an excuse for some within the community to use the day to drink booze, get drunk and kill somebody on the road .

Sigh!

Today started off with lots of plans for things to get done around the house while we are both still here. In another week or so Donnis heads off to another 4 weeks of nursing at Coolah in western New South Wales. The day soon changed gears and we found ourselves going in a different direction entirely.

The pest control man from Amalgamated Pest Control arrived to conduct an internal house inspection – for white ants (termites) – and to carry out a full barrier soak of the ground to discourage said termites. We last had a full barrier treatment several years ago and it was time for a top up. Donnis did not want to be around chemicals and poisons so we went to the shopping centre for some essential items.

Whinge Whinge Whinge. A full morning wasted when I could have been working on a few tasks around the house.

By the time the pest control men were packed and away we arrived home for lunch. Then came the phone call we were hoping for but thought it would not happen for a month or two. Graeme G a Real Estate Agent from the Gold Coast called to say a villa at Harbourside Gardens Biggera Waters had come on the market last night and would we like to inspect it? It seems he has four inspections already booked in on Tuesday as these villas are highly sought after. We told Graeme I would be there tomorrow.

Our Telstra Gateway wireless modem has been dropping signal lately so our internet has been patchy and the new antenna delivered last week made no difference. As the signal came and went I somehow managed to book a flight out of Mackay direct to the Gold Coast – there is one flight there and back each day – Jet Star Airlines only introduced this new service last week.. I also booked car. The option to book accommodation was discarded, I said Naaah I can find a motel when I arrive.

Easy!

Famous last words.

By the time the booking was complete a new 4G Wireless modem arrived and for the better part of an hour was spent setting up and installing. This latest device is about the size of a mobile phone while the Gateway was about the size a cake mix box. The old Gateway required constant 240 volts while the new modem is battery operated and only needs charging. It also has an LCD screen to tell you state of charge, signal and how many devices are attached plus options to change settings. The speed is WOW and there were no dropouts for the rest of the day and night.

Our old Gasteway modem on thye left and the new Netgear replacement on the right. The new modem tells us signal strength, how much download we have, how much is used and how long until recharge..

Our old Gasteway modem on thye left and the new Netgear replacement on the right. The new modem tells us signal strength, how much download we have, how much is used and how long until recharge..

Hmmm! Now that I have a reliable wireless modem perhaps I should book a room.

I tried the top end of the Gold Coast and worked my way down to Tweed Heads. All the cheaper options are booked out for at least a week.

Hmmm! Start again with mid- range options.

Also booked out.

Hmmm! Maybe I should try all options. WHAT THE!!! All options are booked out. Maybe I should start looking further away. All booked out, even the $800 a night places. I called a friend who lives in Calypso Resort at Coolangatta (bottom end of the Gold Coast) 6 months of the year. He explained apart from the fact it is school holidays and most places are booked out there is also a Mega Marathon being run on the Gold Coast this weekend and some streets will be closed off and accommodation is unobtainable. Oh as well the Gold Coast Suns Aussie Rules Team has a home game this weekend and draws huge crowds and any fans would have taken any available rooms.

It suddenly seemed likely I may have to sleep in the hire car!!!

We called our friend Glenda who lives on the western fringe of the Gold Coast. She can make up a bed on the floor in her partially built house.

Done! It is my only option and far better than sleeping in the car even though as Glenda told me, there is no wall on one side of the room so nowhere to hide from the wind. That’s what blankets are for!!! By the time my flight and car bookings were complete and tickets printed and a bed organized it was 11pm and time for bed as I have to drive to Mackay in the morning.

Good night ZZZZZzzzz!

Saturday 5th July.

After a 2 hour drive to Mackay Airport I was soon on my way to the Gold Coast. As the plane came in over the sea to make landing approach I could see the high rise buildings reflected in the calm sea. After landing  I collected the hire car, a Kia Cerato and drove 50 Klms to Biggera Waters in time to meet the agent and spend an hour looking through the villa and taking photos for Donnis. The villa is sited one back from the prestige Biggera Creek but does have a creek view.

This is the villa we are interested in buying.

This is the villa we are interested in buying.

After waiting a year for villa to come on the market I suddenly feel less confident about making an offer especially as I discovered  there are at least 6 potential buyers set for viewings between now and Tuesday. The villa has not yet been advertised on the internet and already people are lining up to buy.

The complex only has 101 villas and is small compared to most Over 50’s Resorts which have a minimum of 200 units often as many as 400. One thing I noticed since our last visit in 2013 the Mens Shed has built a small cenotaph and flag pole to conduct Anzac Day ceremonies.

This is the cenotaph erected by the small group of 101 villa owners. It is erected beside a delightful gazebo with barbecue facilities overlooking Biggera Creek and looks towards the Biggera Creek Canal development.

This is the cenotaph erected by the small group of 101 villa owners. It is erected beside a delightful gazebo with barbecue facilities overlooking Biggera Creek and looks towards the Biggera Creek Canal development.

After the inspection I drove 25 Klms to Worongarry for dinner with Glenda, her mum and her brother. By 8.30 pm I was ready for bed.

Sunday 6th July

I was awake at 6am to see the blood red sunrise off the Gold Coast but the multitude of trees meant no photos.

After breakfast I drove to the coast to visit Kirra Beach

Kirra Beach

Kirra Beach

Surfers Paradise skyline seen from Kirra Beach. I am unsure why but I never seem to tire of this view.

Surfers Paradise skyline seen from Kirra Beach. I am unsure why but I never seem to tire of this view.

which I surfed many years ago when three mates and I drove from Sydney and arrived at Kirra just on dark but being young, bulletproof and ten foot tall we went straight in the water for a surf despite the dangers. Today the Beach is all tidied up with footpaths and boardwalks and gazebos and parking restrictions but it is the closest beach to Coolangatta Airport.

I was soon at the airport and then on my way home. After arriving in Mackay followed by a 2 hour drive to Airlie Beach I was ready for bed soon after dinner.

However between arriving home and dinner we discussed the villa and agreed to put in our offer but with another 4 couples yet to view I am not all that confident unless we offer what the vendors are asking.

I am frankly not keen to do that as the villa is 11 years old and is looking a little tired. I need to keep some funds in reserve to “refurbish” the villa.

I guess by this time next week I will have more to report.

Wish us good luck in our quest to buy a villa on Biggera Creek.

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