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Outback

Pilliga, Australia


I didn’t quite finish at Coonabarabran as the Librarian was giving me the wind up. After a lovely break in the State Forest of 2 nights we headed to Coonabarabran. On the way we stopped at Siding Creek Observatory which was the home of the AAT (Anglo Australian Telescope) This is run by ANU and provides an insight into the Southern Sky for Astronomers who come from around the world. We were able to go up to the telescope and there are also a number of other telescopes there also. This was a good aside as Riley is studying Astronomy as part of his distance education.

We left Coonabarabran after updating the website, doing a load of washing and doing a big shop. We travelled from there to Pilliga which was about 60 km off on dirt, sandy, corrugated roads, a real challenge for the vehicle but it proved its worth. It took us a long time and many bumps to get there but once we were there we went straight to the Pub. Actually there wasn’t much else around and the Pub always has cool drinks and more importantly Toilets. We had a drink and asked some of the locals where the best place would be to camp for the night. They advised us that there was a hot bore Spring just back down the road with Toilets and it was possible to camp. It was a lovely spot and we set up camp there. It was crowded at the Spring, Saturday night it was obviously the place to be, and people had their tents, swags etc. and were cooking up dinner around the bath. We thought it was prudent not to impose ourselves at this stage but it did not stop some Road Train fellows who parked their trains near our vehicle and went in for a bath before hitting the hot dusty road again. I would imagine that this is a pleasant stop for them every trip.


permalink written by  michelle62 on May 13, 2007 from Pilliga, Australia
from the travel blog: Travelling around Australia
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Walgett

Walgett, Australia


When everyone left in the morning the family was able to have a hot bath on their own before breakfast it was really refreshing and most pleasant. And then it was off for more dirt driving to Walgett for Mothers Day. We arrived at Walgett for Mothers day lunch yesterday where we had a lovely lunch buffet with sweets and coffee. The sporting club put on a special lunch with with pink serviettes, pink balloons etc. I enjoyed it especially the free glass of champagne. I was totally pampered and we stayed in Walgett over night at the Roadside 'Rotary' Park - Rotary has certainly looked after his trip with lots of road side parks with toilets and cooking facilities. Only three more sleeps to Caitlins birthday and it cant come soon enough. She is counting the days and begging us for a Riley 'Early present opening' but we will not cave. Her choice of a dinner venue for her birthday is McDonalds which Glenn is really excited about as you can well imagine. Tonight we are off to Lightning Ridge where we hope to strike it rich and retire on the proceeds. Alas I think this is unlikely and we will just be eating cheese and tomato sandwiches for the rest of the six months.

Must go. I have added some photos for your benefit of the various places we have been.

Michelle

permalink written by  michelle62 on May 13, 2007 from Walgett, Australia
from the travel blog: Travelling around Australia
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Lightning Ridge

Lightning Ridge, Australia


We arrived at Lightning Ridge yesterday and have stayed here for two nights. The home of the black opal which we have not actually found apart from the ones under the counters at all the galleries and shops. I thought we may have struck it rich but unfortunately not. There is a pool here and we have been doing lots of swimming. The pool guy was quite surprised we were swimming and he had to remove the creepy crawly but when we explained that we were from Ballarat and in fact this 'warm' weather as he described it was hot in comparison to what we were used to he understood. We just found another DVD which I didnt realise that we had that has Gayle (Caitlin's Distance Ed. teacher) reading books and showing the pictures. Caitlin has not stopped watching this and I am not sure how many times Glenn can cope with 'Green Eggs and Ham' - we shall see. She loves it and keeps telling me how beautiful her rings are as apart from the book the only other thing we can see are her fingers. Riley has been practicing his snorkeling in the pool for when we face the serious water and fish life up North. We seem to be getting into a nomadic routine - I could get used to this - but ask me in three months my enthusiasm may be waning.


permalink written by  michelle62 on May 14, 2007 from Lightning Ridge, Australia
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In the library

Saint George, Australia


We left Lightning Ridge and have now made away over the Queensland border heading for Goondawindi. This will be a long hot drive today approximately 5 hours and Glenn has to really concentrate with the driving as there is no fencing on the farms. The stock wander to the roads as do the emus and also huge Wedge Tail eagles swoop down to road kill carcasses. It makes for a interesting drive but I think Glenn more than any of us is really enjoying moving into new territory and covering areas where we have not been before. Tonight we will stay at Goondawindi and prepare ourselves for the big day.

permalink written by  michelle62 on May 16, 2007 from Saint George, Australia
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The Princess' Birthday

Goondiwindi, Australia


Well the day has eventually come. We stayed overnight at an oval (actually a concrete cricket pitch, heaps of dust, toilets and lots of Horse manure) at a place called Weengallon on our way to Goondiwindi. We woke early and wore our 'brats' party hats for breakfast and sang happy birthday. Presents were opened in the Master bedroom with all four of us squashed in. She received a lovely card and money (she cant wait to spend it) from Grandpa Bryn and Granny Sue, three great books from Gran, a Teddy Bear, CD Player, Personalised CD from Glenn and Michelle and a Simpsons Comic and Sponge Bobs Square Pants First Season DVD from Riley. Quite spoilt I would say. We went to Goondiwindi McDonalds for lunch ( her request) and she wanted a proper McDonalds birthday party. I asked the manager and she kindly set us up with a Quasi McDonalds Party with party games, party hats and helium filled balloons. So again we were sitting around the McDonalds table in party hats. And it continues. It is currently 3.00pm and we are now going to organise the evening party which will be in the truck at some truck stop out of Goondiwindi and again we will don the party hats. There are photos and I hope to get them on the site soon. Happy Birthday Caitlin. I forgot to mention that on the way to Weengallon we passed the biggest snake that I have ever seen across the road, I would say five feet long and as thick as my arm- it certainly scared me and I was much more tentative when I wandered across to the toilet after that.



permalink written by  michelle62 on May 17, 2007 from Goondiwindi, Australia
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Ingle

Inglewood, Australia


We are now surfing the net at the Inglewood Library, they have proved a great resource and while I type away Glenn reads to Caitlin, Caitlin reads to Glenn and Riley nags me for the internet so that he can use up some of my time at my expense. We have recovered from Goodiwindi by travelling a short distance and concentrating on school work. Caitlin has finished her course work for the week but Riley has a bit more to do as his work load is greater than Caitlins . He had a French lesson over the phone yesterday from a Public Phone Box with Road Trains constantly driving past - enough to say that he was saying Pardonne (spelling??) alot. We wont be going far from Inglewood today as we are going to take a leisurely pace to get to the Gold Coast. We will attempt the theme parks on Monday

Enough for now

Michelle

permalink written by  michelle62 on May 17, 2007 from Inglewood, Australia
from the travel blog: Travelling around Australia
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Hollywood on the Gold Coast

Surfers Paradise, Australia


Well we made it to Kids Heaven and are staying at a Caravan park close to Movie World. We went to Moveworld yesterday and are off to Dreamworld tomorrow with a rest day in between. It was great and Riley went on all the scary rides and he was smiling in between screaming. Caitlin rode her first roller coaster with apprehension and then got off and said that she was terrified but 'lets do it again' and that was basically the theme of the day with Caitlin, Glenn, Riley and Myself going on every conceivable ride and only stopping for Caitlin to have photos taken with the stars and off course to see the Police Academy show.
This morning I did 2 loads of washing and had my first disaster. I put Glenns PJ's (Jacinta the ones he bought in India) in a load and they ran - badly. Everything was pink, Riley's whites socks, Riley's 'Green Shirt' and also Glenns cream jeans. I tried to act cool as I removed the washing from the machine and secretly slide them into my Ikea wash bag ( Im glad it is not see through!). To understand my unease you have to understand that there is a counter culture of grey nomad women who flock to laundry facitlies to discuss spot stain removal, which machines work best etc. and while ironing all there clothes including their undies. I have observed this at every laundromat and camping ground which we have stayed at, I guess it is a symptom of having too much time on your hands over a long period of time. It makes for an embarassing situation when you are a hopeless housekeeper (or is it mobile home keeper) and the washing chore is one that should be completed in the shortest possible time. To add insult to injury I then had to hang up my pink load and quite obviously this was a poor washing sorter rather than someone who has sorted her clothing into color lots ie. pink.
I survived and they all quietly laughed behind their hands about my disaster and it will make good conversation for the 4.00 happy hour this evening.
We will concentrate on school work today so that we are reenergised for the Dream World onslaught.


permalink written by  michelle62 on May 22, 2007 from Surfers Paradise, Australia
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Dream World

Coomera, Australia


We had a little trouble finding the Biggera Waters Post office to get our mail which Jacinta had kindly forwarded to us. We found no Post office in Biggera Waters and were directed to Runaway Bay as this was where the Biggera Waters Post Office is ( I was starting to get worried). This was not the Biggera Waters Post office and instead we had to go to the next suburb which was where the Biggera Waters Post office, so an hour later we had the mail (Thanks Cinta) and were off to Dreamworld. The park was very quiet which made it easier to get to all the rides and we certainly did this and we also attended Brynley's Church and bought him some souvenirs. It was a good day and we were tired by 4.00pm when we left. We were going to travel post Brisbane and camp but unfortunately hit peak hour and were caught in the wrong lanes, couldnt change lanes, and we did a U turn and tried to retrace our steps. We eventually left Brisbane and I was tired and cross(you get the picture) and it was 8.00pm when I gratefully saw a Truck Food Stop and we drove in. We camped there for the night and it was a good facility with bbq, toilets, showers and laundry facilities and McDonalds, KFC etc. what more could you ask for. We woke after a noisy sleep and had breakfast at McDonalds. I met my second cousin Tony Baker who now lives on the Sunshine Coast and carts fruit between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. After Breakfast we travelled to Caloundra and stopped at the beach for a solid school session. When all the work was completed we headed to Noosa.

permalink written by  michelle62 on May 24, 2007 from Coomera, Australia
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Traffic Jam

Maroochydore, Australia


We didnt make it to Noosa, on the M1 we encountered a horrendous traffic jam due to an accident and we spent ours waiting in the traffic. First available opportunity we headed off and thought we were being clever by taking a back way. Alas, this was the diversion by the road authorities and it had resulted in a second accident further down the line so the traffic wasnt moving anywhere. We pulled off at a lovely beach setting in Maroochydore and thought we would have dinner while we waited for the traffic subside. A number of people joined us waiting out the jam and we had a chat with them and shared coffee with Rodger. The traffic still hadnt subsided by 8.00pm so we decided to stay there the night. It was a gorgeous setting with water, hills, pelicans, fish jumping etc. and quite enjoyable to have our breakfast watching. Off early for Eumundi (do you remember Janine and Julie?)

permalink written by  michelle62 on May 27, 2007 from Maroochydore, Australia
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Beautiful Eumundi

Eumundi, Australia


We found our way to Eumundi which is a beautiful market set amongst heritage listed fig trees. There is heaps of good food and lovely crafts and it weaves amongst the trees and timber buildings. I loved it and Glenn was in heaven as there was lots of healthy (vegetarian) food which he sampled extensively. We bought Riley a new hat which should feature in some of the upcoming photographs as it appears that he cant take it off his head unless to go to bed. It is a cute akubra and he looks like 'Joey Jeremiah'. From Eumundi we headed to the state forest at Noosa Heads to camp but alas after driving there it was a no camping zone so we kept going. I found a state forest not far away 20km south west of Gympie so we headed for there. We arrived at Amamoor State Forest about 2.00pm and set up camp. Caitilin immediately found a family across from us which she joined. That meant she dragged her chair over and ate her meals and played there the whole time. I was a struggle to get her back to our site but I guess they had more attractions as they had 2 young girls and a young son and they played chasie, fairy games and off course brats.

permalink written by  michelle62 on May 26, 2007 from Eumundi, Australia
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