391. Sunday 27th October 2014. Blackhawks and a long drive…

Monday 20th October

As is usually the case, the week begins slowly as we have not yet made any plans.

In the morning I sat around the park at the bottom of our street and wandered up to our clubhouse and pool to take photos.

 Local Biggera Duck. No the ducks are not known as Biggera Ducks but rather this is a local duck from Biggera Creek.

Local Biggera Duck. No the ducks are not known as Biggera Ducks but rather this is a local duck from Biggera Creek.

This is our heated pool.

This is our heated pool.

Today we took WWWGO for a 100,000Klm service. A timing chain or belt is usually required at this service so they needed WWWGO for two days to obtain the parts and carry out the full service.

After delivering WWWGO to the Iveco Service Centre we drove to Robina where Donnis had another round of acupuncture. Now here is something unusual which should be mentioned. Acupunture is not normally part of mainstream medicine. It is usually considered a complimentary or an adjunct to traditional medicine. Therefore it does not normally come under the control of Medicare. Where possible, Donnis and I choose doctors who provide a bulk billing service. For our overseas visitors, Medicare is the universal health care system in Australia which everybody pays for. Bulk Billing is the practice of the doctor accepting the Medicare Scheduled Fee in full payment of a consultation. They do not charge an additional fee to bring their fees up to the Australian Medical Association Scheduled fee which could be $20 or more than the Medicare scheduled fee. The unusual part is the doctor Donnis saw provides acupuncture as part of a bulk billing process. From a financial point of view that is good value. But… the practice is 21 Klms from home. Somehow we need to find a doctor who does, bulk billing to include acupuncture and osteopathy and naturapothy as well as traditional medicine. and is closer to home. Given there is about one million people living in this area I am sure we can find anything we want.

In the afternoon we had a measure and quote to have ceiling insulation and whirly birds installed. (Whirly birds are a roof mounted wind powered turbine ventilator which extracts hot air from the roof/ceiling cavity, along with R.30 insulation batts it should help to keep our house cooler in summer and warmer in winter).    It was interesting to note the man doing the measuring used a laser measuring device. Not only does it measure, without need of a tape or second person, it saves all the measurements and calculates the square metreage of an area. It can also calculate volume of an area.

For most of the afternoon and until around 9.30 PM, there were four Blackhawk Helicopters flying in formation between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. They passed over our home at least a dozen times. Strangely the night flights seemed to be at a lower altitude. The choppers are training for security reasons for the G20 Conference to be held in Brisbane the third week of November. The national leaders of USA, China, Russia, India, Japan, England, France and Canada to name a few will be in Brisbane and the biggest security operation ever in Australia will be in full swing.

Blackhawks getting closer.

Blackhawks getting closer.

Blackhawk helicopters flying in formation towards the Gold Coast.

Blackhawk helicopters flying in formation towards the Gold Coast.

...and closer.

…and closer.

...overhead.

…overhead.

Thursday 23rd October

We had another two quotes for roofing insulation. One told us he had been in business for 23 years and everybody else is a shyster. He also claimed whirly birds are useless. He measured up using a laser device. In the afternoon another insulation person showed up to give a quote he used a traditional tape measure and needed an offside to assist. He claims whirly birds are essential.

Sheesh!

Later we collected WWWGO and battled Gold Coast traffic in both directions to bring it home.

Friday 24th October

In the morning we started cleaning WWWGO and emptying our bits and pieces accumulated over the last 5 years.

We had lunch at Dublin Docks an Irish style pub on a canal near home. We met up with Val and Sue R. Val and I had been members of a motorhome forum for several years and we met at a forum rally at Maleny several years ago and have kept in touch off and on ever since. In the afternoon Val helped me to discover my 32Gb micro card in my dash camera is stuffed. We tested one of his micro cards and installed it in my dash camera.

Saturday 25th October

More cleaning and tidying of WWWGO today. It looks quite good especially now it is almost empty. Late in the aftern0on I gave RALLYE a bath as I am driving to Armidale tomorrow and it is a good feeling to drive a clean car.

Sunday 26th October

After my ritualistic mid -morning coffee I left for the big drive to Armidale. I am once again required to appear in court as a character witness. I was there a month ago and did not get called so heres hoping I get called early tomorrow and can come home in the afternoon or on Tuesday morning. It is a seven hour drive and involves a double transit ( that is up over the range, down into a valley, up a another range, down into a valley and final ascent to the top of the range) of the Great Dividing Range exiting at Tenterfield which is around 1,100 metres above sea level. After Tenterfield I stopped for fuel at Glen Innes and just as I was leaving town, the sky turned black, the wind increased in intensity and big fat drops of rain bashed against the windscreen. The rain became heavier and visibility less. What the??? This storm felt like Déjà Vu as I had encountered a similar storm in this same town on at the same time of day on 3rd December 2012 as I was leaving town. The only difference between then and now was lots of lightning then.

Twenty Klms down the highway the sun appeared and the roads were dry. No rain has fallen here for many weeks.

I arrived in Armidale late in the evening. In this case later than shown on my dashboard clock as this city is in NSW and therefore is on Daylight Savings time and hour ahead. I just had enough time to book into the motel and head over to the Thai restaurant before they closed.

One thing I did notice however. The nice clean shiny car I left the Gold Coast in is now covered in road grime from the storm earlier in the day.

Sigh!!!

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