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Monday 1st February
The day began as overcast and hot. By 9am it was already 27° and humidity was 82%. As the day progressed, both crept up the scale. I started some garden trimming but within a half hour the sun was biting into my skin and perspiration was dripping from my brow. Time to stop.
Shortly after lunch the expected storm raced in. Big black fierce looking clouds accompanied by strong winds, thunder, lightning and rain.
Donnis started her last minute mad rush packing. Now that I am legally covered as far as my licence is concerned I can drive her to the airport tomorrow morning. She is flying to Sydney to spend a week with the granddaughters.
Tuesday 2nd February
The drive to the airport was uneventful and Donnis was there in plenty of time for her flight. I drove the M1 both ways as I consider it is quicker than driving through all the beachside suburbs and all the traffic lights.
In the afternoon there was a traffic accident on the M1. A truck hit a guard rail and jack-knifed across all three southbound lanes on a bridge over the Nerang Rivert, rolling in the process. It also knocked down a light pole onto one lane of the northbound lanes. The driver suffered a broken leg and had trouble getting out of the sideways turned cabin. The truck caught on fire. Getting out was now urgent. A good Samaritan climbed on the truck, pulling the driver through the cabin window and slowly lowering him to the waiting hands of other helpers. It was not a moment too soon. The truck exploded into a fireball. Have a look at the video footage http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/m1-truck-crash-man-hailed-hero-after-pulling-driver-free-20160202-gmk7gf.html
Traffic backed up for about twenty Klms and the bitumen began to melt. The road was closed and traffic diverted. Motorway engineers inspected the damage as it was feared there may have been structural damage to the bridge. Late in the night the all clear was given to open the main arterial motorway again.
In the afternoon I enjoyed a splashy walk along the Broadwater.
Thursday 4th February
I collected Errol n Nicole from the Coolangatta Airport. It is their 10th Wedding Anniversary. Errol surprised Nicole (that was the reason Donnis flew to Wollongong) with three days at Couran Cove on South Stradbroke Island. He borrowed friend Steve boat and scooted across the Broadwater in a strong southerly wind but making shelter on the Stradbroke shore and followed this to Couran Cove.
Friday 5th February
The southerly wind has brought drops in temperature and some rain. Although temps have dropped it is still a comfortable 27°.
Looking back over the blog I thought it was about time I did a review.
This time in 2006 we still had the Toyota Coaster bus converted to a motorhome. Donnis was working so I drove to Marion Creek south of Mackay to enjoy a weekend camped with the Mackay Sugarloafers. For some reason this camp spot was popular with a few of the men who love fishing. The campsite is basically on a floodplain and tidal marsh surrounded by mangroves.It is mosquito and sand fly heaven. It is not popular with non fishermen.
February 2008 was a not a time for travelling in the motorhome. The first week a freak storm blew into Airlie Beach and surrounding areas. Sixty six boats were sunk and many houses unroofed. A week later 400mm of rain was dumped in a 24 hour period. There was simply nowhere within a 200 Klm radius where the ground was not waterlogged and a sea of mud.
February 2009 was another month we went nowhere. Tropical cyclone ELLIE crossed the coast up near Cairns and dumped a crazy amount of rain on Airlie Beach. Our guttering and rear driveway simply could not cope with the sheer volume of water. Parts of our gravel driveway washed away.
Donnis and I were married on Cannonvale Beach at the end of the month.
February 2010 continued with the rain and humidity experienced at the same time every year. We celebrated our wedding anniversary a few weeks early before Donnis flew to Canada for a month.
February 2011 saw us having begun our full time travels in September 2010 but stopped for a three month housesit at Traveston on the Sunshine Coast. As usual for this time of year there was lots of rain, including the disastrous flooding along the Brisbane River. Donnis flew to Canada for a month.
2012 found us staying in a caravan park in Culcairn south west NSW while Donnis worked at a hospital at a town called Henty about 30 Klms away. On her days off we explored the major towns of Wagga Wagga and Albury on the NSW Victoria border. I was having laptop problems (the same laptop on which I am compiling this post). I was having multiple issues. The hard drive needed replacing under warranty.
This week in 2013 we were still housesitting in Guyra NSW. Donnis was in Wollongong and I was taking a tour of the many waterfalls in the area. As usual at this time of year there had been heavy rain and the waterfalls were pumping.
I had computer issues again, requiring a complete re-format which, in turn, required all my old files had to be restored via backup files and install all my programs again.
For a complete change of pace in 2014 we were back in our house at Airlie Beach, I was working at my old job and Donnis was working at a hospital at Collarenebri in western NSW. Surprise, surprise, surprise! It has been raining. Heavy rain, light rain, intermittent rain. It must be February.
Finally in 2015 we are in our house on the Gold Coast. A cyclone up north had given us a legacy of rain and big swells for the experienced surfer. Donnis arrived home from her contract nursing at Lightning Ridge and I had computer issues. I needed a new keyboard and a re-install of Windows.
The common theme through all of this review is that it usually rains in February and I have computer problems. Not this month. Touch wood.
Saturday 6th February
I woke to the sound of heavy rain on the roof. Then after a few minutes it stopped. Then started again and then stopped. Most of the morning was like this…on and off rain.
Mid- morning I filled a backpack, drove to Southport SLS Club, determined to walk along the beach as far as possible. In reality it was not far, 7.6 Klms return. Given the strong wind, burning sunlight followed by dark clouds and rain squalls I think I did pretty good. I stopped for lunch at McDonalds Surfers Paradise.
The main thourofare through SP is The Esplanade and the main pedestrian street is Cavill Avenue. The beachfront is the place to see and be seen. On all the toilet blocks and other prominent places are iconic photographs from the 40s, 50s and 60s depicting life at this exciting beachside area. The photos are a great time warp view about life as it was. I have attached a selection of some of those photos. Mostly they are in a rough chronological order of the years depicted.
By the time I was back at the car I was exhausted. With all the walking and looking around and taking photos I spent three hours at the beach. My sunburned arms and face are a legacy of the walk.
Perhaps next time I will get away earlier and try to reach Broadbeach.
Sunday 7th February
Collected Errol & Nicole from their break at Couran Cove and drove them to the airport. The rest of the day was lazy…apart from editing the many photos for this post.
Tags: Airlie Beach, Albury NSW, Broadbeach, Cannonvale Beach, Cavill Avenue, Couran Cove, Culcairn NSW, Guyra NSW, Henty NSW, Kite Surfing, Lightning Ridge, M1 Truck Crash, Mackay Sugarloafers, Marion Creek, South Stradbroke Island, Southport SLS Club, Surf O Plane, Surfers Paradise, Toyota Coaster, Traveston, Tropical Cyclone ELLIE, Wagga WAgga NSW