Saturday, 30 June 2018

Day 34

A mostly wet day but not cold. I did a bit more work on my gas locker and it's now quite stable plus I gave away the heavy draft shield as I don't use it.

I spent a bit of time working out my route and distances and from that how much time I'd need for each section to arrive in Denmark for our ACC National Muster mid October. The map shows roughly the route I'll travel although I'll go inland from Port Hedland to Geraldton. 

  Brian and Chris Medcraft are members from the Tassie Travellers Branch of the ACC and are here for two weeks. 

 They were at a muster in Tassie that I visited a few weeks ago celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the branch and this is a pic of them with me taken the other night.

I bought some bacon the other day that was quite ridiculous - paper thin slices that broke up into small bits and were hard to turn so today I made an egg and bacon pie with onion and cheese! I've had  a slice and it was nice but there was a birthday party in the shed tonight and lots of tasty food so the rest is saved for tomorrow. There's another birthday party for lunch tomorrow and I've been invited to that so I won't go hungry!

Too wet to walk far today although I did walk to the shop and bought a paw paw or you may know it as a papaya. Just 1,878 steps and 1.3km.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Day 33

What a great way to start the day - one of the two gas bottles I filled two days ago ran out! Yes - you guessed right - a huge gas leak. I didn't have any thread tape when I fitted the new regulator and thought it would be OK. Checking today saw the tell tale bubbles so refitted - this time with tape. No more leaks. Paul was kind enough to run me in to Mitre 10 again for yet another refill. I also bought some thread tape and some nuts and bolts to make the door of the gas locker more secure.

I also did some shopping while we were in Mareeba - it should last well into next week. Paul and Coral leave here next Friday so I'll have to dismantle Yemmy's awning etc and go shopping under my own steam. It's not a real problem as I leave everything on the ground till I get back. It takes about five minutes to get ready to roll and similar time to set up again..

It was pancake morning in the shed today - $2 for as many pancakes as you could eat and the money goes to a local charity.

Lots of things happen in the shed including a soup night next week to celebrate the opening of the park back in 2005.

I discovered this picture the other day of the days when a man used to bring a blow up picture screen and sound system to this park once a week. One time we saw 'Man from Snowy River' one week and next week the sequel.

Too busy to go walking today but still managed 2,839 steps and 2km. It was bbq night tonight and the shed was full - it's such a friendly place.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Day 32

It's very hard to find something interesting to say when you are staying in the same place for weeks on end. I mean how interested could you be to know that I did some washing this morning and put the clothes in the dryer? Or that I'd made some kind of dish with the remains of the chicken, a tin of sweetcorn kernels, an onion and some herbs? Oh yes I nearly forgot the Parmesan I tipped in!

Perhaps more interesting would be that when I woke up and looked out the window I was surprised to see the awning bulging downwards with many gallons of water in it! I hadn't even heard it raining in the night. Nothing was damaged and after I'd got the water out I put in the central stay that I hadn't bothered with before. That and some pegs in the bottom of the upright supports has made it much more stable.

Despite what I thought to be a good walk I came up a little short of my target and only did 2,714 steps and 1.9km but during the walk I did find some interesting information about the Rail Trail that runs along the back boundary of the caravan park and stretches from Walkamin to Atherton.

There was even a picture of a horse team from long ago.

At happy hour tonight was a Tasmanian couple who said I looked familiar. It turned out they were members of the Tassie Travellers branch of the Australian Caravan Club and I had been to their 5th Anniversary Muster just a few weeks ago. They made me pose with them while someone took a photo of us that they are going to send to our mutual Tasmanian friend Bernie who is currently in the UK.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Day 31

Murphy played a lovely trick this morning - one gas cylinder ran out and the one I had thought had plenty in it ran out as well! Paul took me into Mareeba where I got the two 4kg cylinders filled at Mitre 10 for $22 - very reasonable I thought.

If you turn left as you come out of the caravan park office you come to a dead end but the sign helps!

I was at the office putting in my order for fish and chips - every Wednesday people put in their orders from the menu and these are phoned through to the shop in Tolga. Then the food is delivered  to the Post Office/ shop, picked up and given out at Happy Hour. Great idea and my order had two pieces of fish - I've saved one for breakfast.

Playing computer games is so much easier now that I have a mouse. I managed a first place for Word Power today and followed up with a first for Tasty Trivia - a food and drink quiz.

I failed miserably when I tackled Quizzard of Oz!

It's been cloudy most of the day today but I still managed my target steps - 3,012 steps and 2.2km

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Day 30

Wow - I've been on the road 30 days already! In about another 120 days I'll be nearly home all being well.

My big achievement today was finding out how to delete the stuff recorded on a usb stick that records programmes from my TV. Searching Kogan's help sites and guides did nothing to help because they all said to press the 'Delete' button - only there was NO 'Delete' button! Somehow I found a file gubbins that had the names of the recorded programmes and it HAD a DELETE button that in fact deleted programmes I'd already watched. Bingo!

All I have to do now is to remember how I got the file thing open. It saves taking the stick out and deleting recordings using the laptop.

It was a lazy day for walking today as I went out for a ride on my scooter. I'm not sure how far it was but it would have been shorter if I hadn't  explored Old Post Office Lane. It was a dead end so I had to turn around and ride back over the rough unsealed surface. Then I went a fair way to the Uncle Distillery and took a couple of pics that show the height of the Lady Fingers banana plants - if that's what you call them because the original plant/tree is cut down each year and another grows in its place.

Then tonight after happy hour I looked out and saw this magnificent sky 

 What a lovely sight to end today's blog.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Day 29

It's early days but I hope I've fixed my hot water problems. The HWS has been hard to light and after a few days not lit it was reluctant to stay lit. My gas fitter friend Derek last year took the unit out and adjusted the gap between the temperature sensor and the flame. This did fix it for a while but this year it started to play up again.

A call to Atherton Camping and Gas was very helpful and they suggested that it could be a faulty regulator and mentioned a particular regulator that was known for causing problems.  

Of course that's what Yemmy had fitted. That's it on the right.

Paul took me to the shop and a new unit was only $59. The man said that even if my regulator was still working it was only a matter of time before it packed up. There was a bit of fiddling fitting the new one as the mounting plate was different but I carry a cordless drill and used that to drill a few holes for self-tappers.

It seems to working better but I'll know for sure after a few days of use. 

The Rocky Creek Memorial Park near Tolga has always been crowded in past years but today there were only about nine RVs there. A new set of conditions have been adopted that include a maximum stay of 72 hours, no grey water to go on the ground, all units to be self sufficient, no camping in tents, cars or small motor homes and a donation of $5/night.

I made a lovely stew today with lamb kidneys, steak, potatoes, carrots, onions, a tin of four-bean mix, mushrooms and tomatoes. Tonight's helping was yum and there's enough left for tomorrow's dinner.

A walk to the shop to buy some ginger beer helped get my steps up - today 3,095 steps and 2.1km.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Day 28

It doesn't seem possible but I've been here a week - eight days if you count the day I arrived. The weather has been cloudy most of the day and it tried to rain when I went for my walk this afternoon - I still managed 3,166 steps and 2.3km though.

It's State of Origin Rugby match tonight and they put on a special feed in the shed - hot dogs in bread rolls and choice of onion, bacon and/or cheese topping. There were lots of lovely sweets but I was a good boy and didn't have any. My scales tell me that I'm keeping my weight down OK.

With no interest in football I retired to Yemmy when the Telecast came on!

Jim was getting into the spirit of the match long before it had even started.

The ladies had done a wonderful job of the catering and then hopped in with the washing up.

.....and there were plenty of sweets to follow!

It's the French Grand Prix tonight but I don't believe it will be live on the telly so I'll wait till the morning and watch the live commentary as if it were live!

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Day 27

I was going to give Yemmy a run to the shops today but my friend Paul from next door offered to take me.

Before that I ran out of gas for the barby just as I was all set to cook breakfast. A bottle swap fixed that and the bacon was soon sizzling. We took the cylinder to Mareeba and they filled it for just $5.60 - it was a 2kg bottle and I call that cheap

The shopping should last me the week although Paul say's he will take me at any time I like. There are some good people around.

This picture is the one I have on my computer screen at the moment and is one I took from the helicopter two years ago. It is just along the road from Walkamin.

My TV used to record programmes on a memory stick but yesterday it kept asking for a memory stick to be inserted even though there was one in the slot. I eventually found and fixed the trouble - when I had cleared the sticks ready for more recording the computer had formatted them to a Mac only format. I eventually worked it out and reformatted. Tonight the stick worked fine and I was able to watch recorded programmes. Riveting information I'm sure!

My friend Chris showed me today how to put all your cards on the iphone to they can scan the phone without you having to find the card, That will save a bit of fiddling at the check out.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Day 26

Finally, this afternoon the new battery arrived for this computer. I'd walked to the Post Office this morning to be told that the Post Office counter is only open from 9am till 10am and then reopens at 2pm until 4pm. It was about 10.15 so I walked back to the park and went back on my scooter after lunch. Hooray it was there and so my friend and computer guru Chris was able to take the back off the computer and fit the new battery.

It works! It did give me a bit of a right when I got back to Yemmy and it wouldn't turn on.. It needed the charger connecting and then it was fine. I charged it to 100% and now am testing to see how long it lasts before it needs another charge.

Tonight was barbeque night and a good crowd gathered in the 'shed' for dinner.
There were other tables but this gives an idea of how many were there. Sunday is the State of Origin and I have absolutely NO interest  but there's a feed of a hot dog and trimmings before the match so I'll go over for that. It is expensive - just $4!

I've got a mouse! No not a little rodent but a computer mouse. I left mine at home by mistake and using the trackpad was driving me insane. OK - I know that wasn't very far!

I've borrowed one until the one I ordered today comes in and oh what a difference a mouse makes! 

Steps to day 3,340 and 2.3km

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Day 25

I forgot to mention yesterday that we'd had music last night. A lady breezed into happy hour and asked if we'd like some music?  We said yes and next thing her husband is setting up all his gear including a rack with his CDs on sale for $10 each. He was quite good and even though I went back to Yemmy for dinner I could still hear the music and his singing.

Still no computer battery today but I did buy some things from the shop/Post Office including a large bottle of Ginger Beer and 2 litres of milk. The bag was getting heavy by the time I got back to Yemmy.

Mid-afternoon I went for a walk to the far end of the property and suddenly heard a helicopter very low and in fact it landed on the verge of the road that runs along the back of the park. I  was going to turn around and walk back but I couldn't resist walking along the road to the chopper and having a yarn with the crewman.

It turns out they are in contract with the electricity people and their job is spraying the conductors to clean them and stop shorting. There's a wind farm under construction in the area and they spray there to keep the dust down. A most interesting chat with the crewman and the driver of the support truck that rolled up soon after touch down.

On the way back to Yemmy I spotted a van with a funny sign painted on the back

In case you can't read it, it says:
'Old Fart  Tired Tart  & Spare Part'
All that walking today brought my steps up to 4,707 and 3.4km

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Day 24

I'm still reaching my self-set target of 3,000 steps a day and today I walked to the Post Office first and still no battery. At the end of the day it was up to 3,338 steps and 2.4km so I was happy.

On the way back I spotted this sign -
This park is certainly very busy at the moment and more friends from past years made themselves known today. At happy hour one fellow was showing off the cushion he had made using the aerial shot I took from a helicopter two years ago. The pic is from when he got the cushion made two years ago. There have been lots of copies of the picture made  - but only the one cushion!
I'm on the same site this year as I was two years ago when he showed me the cushion.

Keeping track on how much data you have used is always a bit of a worry so this mornings data usage report was particularly pleasing.

It seems you can order fish and chips etc on Wednesdays and they are delivered to the shed. I didn't know about that so I made a large stew using some pork that had been tough when I'd barbecued some a couple of days ago. 

I put in a tin of 4 bean mix, a tin of tomatoes, some potatoes, the chopped up pork and some stock plus herbs and it was quite nice. There's plenty for tomorrow - and maybe Friday as well.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Day 23

Not too much to report today. The new battery for the computer hadn't arrived yet when I rang this morning - maybe tomorrow.

I took two Osteo tablets before bed last night and it helped me get a good night's rest so I'll try the same again tonight.

It was getting near the time I send my column to GoRV so I spent most of the morning writing - I guess it's still writing when you bash it out on the computer. Having the blog to look back on is a great help and of course the pictures for the blog double for the column.

I did use the scooter today to take my toilet cassette to the dump point - it's quite a long way so the scooter makes it much easier.

Here's a picture of the fire in the 'shed' - I took it last year but it still is a cheery sight.

I didn't go to happy hour in the shed tonight - my friend Paul next door has his own little happy hour and when I went across to show him something on the computer he offered me some port. Of course I said no thanks but it tasted lovely! The other people were all friends from other years here.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Days 21 & 22

I've been a bit busy these past two days and didn't get the blog updated last night. So many old friends and acquaintances to catch up with plus setting up a bit more permanently as I'll be here for six weeks.

Today - Monday - for instance I've done the washing that had been building up for the past three weeks.

Yesterday after deciding to leave Henrietta Creek I drove through beautiful scenery to get to Atherton where I did some shopping including buying some shorts because that seems to have been the only things forgotten for the trip.

Sunday night is quiz night where everyone brings two questions and answers and Lynne, the Manager, reads them out. Quite hilarious fun! I haven't been drinking during the trip but I'd carried a bottle of sparkling red in the fridge from home so last night I drank the whole bottle for happy hour and sitting by the lovely fire afterwards. I staggered home a little tipsy and a lot happy.

Unfortunately my back has been aching in bed and that does break up my sleep a bit.

Today I walked up to the Post Office to get some milk and check if my computer battery had arrived. An email later told me it would be here in the morning. During the walk I spotted a wind farm under construction and took some video.

I suggest you watch in full screen

This afternoon I put up the shade cloth that fits to the awning and that will give shade in the afternoon and makes a bit more privacy. I've also got the antenna up and good TV reception.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Day 20

The day started early for me – I was on the road by 7am and Tom led me around an intricate pattern of byways. It was all sugar country and there were lots of loaded trucks and one train hauling a lot of full wagons.

I eventually came out on the Bruce Highway just after Home Hill and there was the Burdekin Bridge in all it's glory. I managed a quick stop for a few pictures but couldn't linger on the bridge too long because of traffic.

It was a lovely scenic drive and I remembered so much from the many other times we visited up here. Plus some since I've been on my own.

They have changed the road and you have to turn off to get to the lookout to see Hinchingbrook Island and I missed it! I got one of it from Cardwell to make up!

When I got to Henrietta Creek Campground I found that the site I booked was a very shady one and there wasn't much solar happening. I think I'll leave in the morning – I'm sure there will be a spot somewhere at Walkamin if I arrive a day early!

I took a few pics of the creek and of a bit of info about it. A walk to the creek crossing and another to the platypus pool took my steps to 2,685 and 1.9 km. Not too shabby.

Prawns and bug tails for dinner – much better that the KFC I had for lunch. I had the selection box and everything was thickly coated - it was hard to get off to reveal the chicken underneath. KFC used to be my favorite but not any more!

I walked along to the platypus pool but they were not out to play! I was very watchful along the way.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Day 19

I'd written quite a lot of today's happened but when I went to check something else I'd lost the lot! I thought it automatically saved but it seems to have all departed.

I'll see if I can remember what I said.

I left the Lake before nine and wondered what a little triangle with an ! in the middle meant. I stopped and turned the engine off and the triangle didn't reappear. It stayed in my head though so I eventually stopped and looked in the  Manual. It was the ATC - Automatic Traction Control - and it comes on if one of the rear wheels spins. I'd been on sand leaving the camp and that was what did it.

Left meant gravel but quicker - right meant sealed but slower - I went right!

The new free RV Campground at Collinsville is great and I used it to refill my water tanks
(Sorry I clipped the edge)

After that I did some shopping because I was out of nearly everything including milk. Having done that I felt hungry and as it was lunchtime I had a Curried Chicken Pie, a Custard Tart and a coffee at the Bakery.

Yemmy was getting done on fuel and there didn't seem to be anywhere to fill  up until I found a little shop with pumps on the way out of town. The gauge showed a quarter full but I didn't want to stretch it too far although I'm sure it would have made Bowen alright.

Bowen means nostalgia to me because Vi and I used to spend a lot of time there so I took a bit of a "down memory lane" tour while there today,
The park we stayed in most

The Club where we played Bingo
The Men's Shed used to be the Band Hall where I used to play with the Bowen Brass Band
This is the view from the top of Flagstaff Hill and the big island is Gloucester Island

Before leaving Bowen I visited the wharf where I bought some lovely fresh prawns and a couple of Morton Bay Bugs. Yummo!

I finally got back on the road and decided to find a quiet spot somewhere for the night. I stopped first at a siding where trucks were busy bringing loaded wagons of sugar cane and taking away empty ones. I was deciding if I'd stay there when a chap on a quad bike came to tell me that big trucks started coming there at about 3am and turned right where I was parked! That made up my mind and I 
found a spot on a quiet road verge where so far only 3 vehicles have passed by . The benefit was a lovely sunset and the down side I can't get Telly although I could at the siding,
The Siding
......and that was the end of a great day. I rang Walkamin and yes there is a place reserved  for me on Monday. I think I may stay in a National Park out from Ingham tomorrow but it's really a wait and see.

Day 19

Well this was a different day alright! Packed up and on the road before 9am but what's that triangle with an exclamation mark in the middle? It came on as I left the Lake and stayed on until I stopped and turned the ignition off. The triangle disappeared but stayed in my mind until I stopped again and looked in the book. If all else fails.......etc! It was the ATC - in other words Automatic Traction Control and it was reacting because Yemmy tended to spin his wheels in the sandy track.

After that it was a lovely run to Collinsville where I refilled my water tank at the free RV camp.
Sorry I cropped the sign a bit!

After that I went to a Foodland and replenished my groceries. etc. I was out of milk as well as a lot of other things. Talking of food I went to a bakery and had a coffee and a Chicken Curry Pie (Yum!) and a Custard Tart, Then I went looking for a servo but only found one that was closed up. I probably could have made it to Bowen OK but I was relieved to find some diesel at a little show as I was heading out of town.
 Left meant gravel and was shorter - right meant sealed and safer - I went right!

Bowen holds a lot of memories - Vi and I used to stay there a lot and so I did a bit of a nostalgia tour as the photos will show.
The van park where we used to stay after we found others were too dear.
The Bowls Club where we used to play Bingo
The Band Hall where I used to play with the Bowen Brass Band is now a Men's Shed
This is the view from Flagstaff Hill and there's a lookout and info place at the top of the hill
I moved on from Bowen heading for a night stop at Home Hill but before I got there I changed my mind 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Day 18

My last day at this lovely spot started off a bit cloudy but as the day progressed the sun broke through and my solar panels were putting a good charge into the battery.

Yesterday it was chainsaw disturbing the peace but today it was wipper-snippers (?) - some council workers came and did some tidying up around the place.

Tomorrow I'm heading off - picking up water in Collinsville and maybe do some shopping there or later in the day at Bowen. I'm just about out of most things as I haven't been shopping for quite a while. 

I've made a few friends here this week - Ken and Kay, Dave and Kay and Phillip and not Kay. There are others who I've chatted to while out for my walks - 3,336 steps and 2.3km today.

The computer is checked by a remote techie once a month or so and today was the day. It took a while as they go though everything and fix whatever needs fixing. After they finished they send a report on what they have found and fixed.

I knew the battery was on it's last legs and ordered a new one yesterday - they picked up on the battery needing renewing in their report.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Day 17

Nothing very exciting happened today - except the police arrived during the morning. Nothing serious as another car came with him and they chatted for a while before driving off.
My next door neighbor on my left went off somewhere in his 4x4 and came back dragging a large limb from a tree and then went back for another. He finally got his chainsaw going and chopped them up into logs. I guess they must be staying awhile to need all that wood.

I took a couple of videos while out walking today. They may give a better idea of this lovely place.

Slipped a bit with the walking today - just 2,574 steps and 1.8km

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Day 16

Another lovely day for walking and sitting and talking. I've spent a bit of time with Ken and Kay and have been able to help them with a few web sites including this one so I'd better watch what I say as they will probably read it!

One thing about staying here at this lovely spot is that I'm not spending money - for the first 7 days of the trip I was burning more than $100 a day on diesel. No shops here either so I'm using stuff I brought with me. Tonight was Butter Chicken but heated in a saucepan this time.

I cryo packed some ham off the bone and that's been handy for lunch - there's quite a bit left in the freezer so I'll last till I next go shopping. My quick showers are eking out the water and I've got a jerrycan full if the tank runs dry. During the day I'm using the camp toilet and that is a help.

A few ducks came visiting looking for scraps. This one was very tame and came quite close - he looked to understand what I was saying to him and then went to sleep in the sun.

The dog went kayaking again today - the water looked beautiful and I was a bit envious

The water birds silhouetted at dusk

I'm keeping up the walking - 4,252 steps and 3km today. The scooter is tempting but riding it doesn't improve my health.