Monday, 23 March 2009

Canberra, Australia

Dear Ethel, Family and friends,

This week after leaving Corrimal we headed to Kiama, an equally nice spot where we stayed for two days. Louise has a cousin there who we visited for dinner one night. The camp ground was on a headland one bay from the town centre and an excellent walk.

After Kiama we stayed in Batemans Bay overnight before heading inland to Canberra. The drive to Canberra is through beautiful National Park and up through the Great Dividing Range. It’s a gentle slope at first, building up to a 5km very steep ridge. The constant road works didn’t help at all and it was all a bit much for our old girl (the bus) and she over heated at the pass. We had to stop for a couple of hours to allow the engine to cool down but seemingly nothing damaged so were able to proceed to Canberra without any problems.

We stayed in Canberra for the weekend with Louise’s Brother Ian and wife Sally, Louise’s Mum, her Brother and his wife came from Bathurst as well so it was a big family get together as Ian and Sal’s kids all live in Canberra as well. The occasion was the Canberra Fireworks display over the lake in front of parliament house. It was a truly spectacular display.

It’s always fun visiting the Canberra Rellies as there are usually games of darts, pool, croquet, cards, not that anyone is competitive. We also did the rounds of flea markets, shopping centres and took in a car show on the grounds of Old Parliament house, so it was a fun weekend.

This week we will be heading towards Bathurst arriving on Friday.

So all the best till next time

Ric & Louise

Monday, 16 March 2009

Corrimal, NSW Australia

Dear Ethel, Family and friends,
It’s been a big week catching up with family and friends but we started the week in Forster then on to Nelson Bay, Newcastle, Toowoon Bay on the Central Coast, an old favourite of ours, then on to Sydney for the weekend.

We caught up with Louise’s nephew Arron for a few days in New castle. Aaron and his partner Tegan and son Trent own and run a pet shop in Mayfield and seem to do a thriving business but work hard for it, spending 10 hour days at the shop. We also caught up with long time friends Mary Anne and Wendy as well. It’s always great catching up with folks.

We arrived in Sydney on Saturday afternoon and decided to stay at Narrabeen. Nice enough Caravan Park but very expensive at $45 a night for a powered site. There was a big storm that night so we spent most of our time in the van. Sunday we went into town and found parking outside the art gallery, so went in to see the Archibald Exhibition. After a wander around the Botanical Gardens we visited Wendy and ended up staying at the Ramsgate Caravan Park. It’s a bit weird, rundown and way overpriced at $43 a night. Today we have headed south through the Royal National Park and now staying at Corrimal.
So all the best till next time
Ric & Louise

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Forster, Australia

Dear Ethel, Family and friends,
Just a quick email to report that nothing has happened in the last week... except Louise’s Birthday and another few hundred kilometres of scenic coastline. However we stayed 3 nights in Iluka followed by Wooli, Sawtell, Nambucca Heads, South West Rocks and Port Macquarie and today we are at Forster. We are on a nice site here overlooking Cape Hawke Harbour with the bridge and fish markets opposite. The boat ramp is within sight of here with 20 or 30 Pelicans permanently parked on the grass waiting for the fisherman to return. Some of them look way too fat to fly.

We are quite settled into our van now and don’t mind the routine of packing and making the bed everyday. We have an annex for the side of the van and a second to move around depending on where the sun is. The weather is cooling down fast now with the evenings cool enough for blankets. We are enjoying the cooler temperatures as we have been chasing the heat for the last 12 months or so.

We have changed our plans slightly and are now heading towards Canberra for fireworks night on 21 March, so we now have 2 weeks to get there and will pass through Newcastle to Sydney and down to Batesman’s bay before turning in towards Canberra.

So all the best till next timeRic & Louise

Sunday, 1 March 2009

On the Road Again - Iluka, Australia

Dear Ethel, Family and friends,

After a busy 2 weeks work back on the Sunshine Coast fixing up our unit, we are now free again to pursue our wanderings as our house is still rented out until November. We bought ourselves a campervan and are now travelling the east coast of Australia, heading towards Bathurst, where Louises’s Mother lives. It is a 1000km of coastline and we have covered about 300km in our first week. We have been staying in caravan and campgrounds along the way. We figure that after 10 months out of a suitcase, the campervan is sheer luxury.

We didn’t stay on the Gold Coast as it is too expensive and started our new trip in Fingal Head, just across the New South Wales border. We are still amazed at the cost of everything since we have arrived back and are fitting the Grey Nomad profile very well, studying the price of everything in great detail and driving slowly on the highway to conserve fuel and save money. Still a very pleasant existence, stopping at every small bay and headland along the way.

All the best for now and we will let you know if anything interesting happens.
Ric & Louise