Mackay & NZ- February 2016

Ooops missed doing a January Blog!  Bit of catching up to do!

Tui & Thong

 

The week before Christmas we had a great day at Steve & Dee’s. Steve said entry was to wear a Thong!  The one in the photo is what he meant!! LOL!

 

 

 

 

Christmas Day was the quietest were have ever had, just the two of us for Champagne Breakfast. Didn’t even drink much and still have a bottle of Bubbly in the fridge!! Lovely gifts from Tui and NZ with the kids writing a lovely letter. Ham & Salad for tea.

Kids Christmas LetterChristmas Cheers

Boxing Day, Tui finished putting the reconditioned Steering box in Tiki Tourer then it was off for a test run and to dump our tanks then onto our friends Dee & Steve’s. Dee had her work mates there and they were a fun bunch.  After introducing ourselves they all decided that Jude should be called One(y), as in One(y) & Tui.  A real laugh! Stayed in Tiki Tourer on the road frontage, nice to be away from our usual spot.  Ran out of LPG so no cuppa in the morning so we left pretty early.

Early in January we decided to “bite the bullet” and buy 2 new air con units.  We mentioned in previous blogs the Drama’s we had with trying to get 2nd hand ones after the original ones “gave up the ghost!”  So hot and humid here, it is bliss to have them. While Tiki Tourer was in the shed Tui decided to replace the lights around the outside as they were becoming brittle.  Another night away!  Whoop! Whoop! We had to get an electrician in to change the wiring from 110v to 240v.  Another expense!

Air con newAir Con off with old

In our December Blog we mentioned our awning was wrecked with a sudden down pour in November, well the saga continues!

Broken awning 2Broken awning

After ringing  Mackay Auto & Marine Trimming 3 times, they finally came out to measure up early January & said they couldn’t do it, rang Pacific RV and they came straight out to measure and said no problem it would be ready by the time we got back from our NZ trip (more about that later).  When we returned we went to see them.  We were first told that they had Internet problems and the quote hadn’t gone through to the Insurance Company. Got a phone call later in the day and were told that it was a specialised job and they couldn’t do it!!  They did however get another Company, Custom Unique Trimming, to contact us.  They have been and measured.  Apparently the awning was 50mm out, no wonder it never worked that well! We are now waiting to hear back.  Fingers crossed.

Tui had been doing a mix of working and finishing off the trailer, also getting geared up for our NZ trip. These photos were taken when Tui was taking it to the Mill to weigh it. Unfortunately he didn’t secure the battery so re-wiring required plus another battery.

Almost done 3Almost done Back & side

Jude went over to the house around 5.30am one morning to pay a visit to the ladies room and noticed Tui’s bag wasn’t in it’s normal place.  This was no ordinary bag!  It had his whole world in it!!  Wallet with credit cards and cash, all of his keys, expensive leather man, safety gear, USB sticks with all his music, charges, torches etc.etc. Someone had come in during the night and stolen it! With only a week and a half till we flew out to NZ it was panic stations to get new cards in time.  We changed the lock on Tiki Tourer and had to get another Car Key with re-programming ($355) Not happy!!

Flew out to NZ on Australia Day (26th January) getting to Auckland around midnight.  As we were getting in so late and picking up a Campervan the next morning, we decided to get a Motel.  Auckland Airport Lodge Motel, reasonably priced, clean nice rooms and friendly staff with a free shuttle from the Airport.  Arriving at 2.30am after a budget flight with no food we were starving.  Luckily there was a Service Station within walking distance, so got some chicken!

Mighty CamperUp fairly early next morning, left our baggage at the Motel and walked down to get our Mighty Camper! Bit of a rigmarole of paper work etc. but we were soon on our way.

Quite a bit smaller than we are used to but we went for the Budget model with Toilet & shower and soon got used to it.  After picking up our bags we went straight down to Jude’s sisters as she had some bits and pieces we could use instead of buying stuff.  We were going to head straight down to Taupo but were feeling a bit jaded so ended up staying there the night, leaving before Janine & Bob got up in the morning.

So many roads have changed since we were there last!  We missed the first turn off for the Hamilton Bypass so ended up getting some food from the bakery at Ngarawahia and sat by the Waikato River to eat it. For those of you who don’t know, the Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand, running for 425 kilometres through the North Island. It rises in the eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu, joining the Tongariro River system and emptying into Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, then flows northwest, through the Waikato Plains. It empties into the Tasman Sea south of Auckland, at Port Waikato.

Breakfast by Waikato River Ngarawahia 2Our Camper

We decided to do a bit of a Tiki Tour on the way to Taupo.  First stop was Lake Karapiro at Cambridge.  Lake Karapiro is an artificial reservoir lake on the Waikato River, 30 kilometres  south-east of the city of Hamilton. The lake was formed in 1947 by damming the Waikato River to store water for the 96-megawatt Karapiro hydroelectric power station.

Lake Karapiro 2Lake Karapiro

The lake, regarded as one of New Zealand’s best rowing venues, hosted the World Rowing Championships in 1978 and 2010, as well as the rowing events for the 1950 British Empire Games.

Instead of driving down the main highway we drove along side the Waikato River, then onto the Old Taupo Road, rejoining the main road at Tokoroa. Arrived at Taupo to sort out Tui’s Hire Suit for the wedding then off to buy Black shoes, very lucky as we managed a great bargain for the shoes, now donated to Bob as Tui reckons he won’t wear them again.  After a night in the Camper Tui decided to buy a Duvet (Dooner) to put underneath us for a bit more padding! Worked pretty good. Now donated to Brian & Trish! We parked up at a Free camp right on the edge of the Lake and headed to the “Pub & Grub” for a very late lunch.

Lake Taupo 2Lake Taupo

Taupo was extremely busy, long weekend with lots of events on.  Spent quite a few hours trying to set up an adapter for power for the Camper to plug into a normal power point as it only had a connection for Caravan Parks.  A mission but Tui was on the Job!  Another item donated to Bob!!

Off to see Tui’s daughter and Grand Children, Jax & Aleigha.

AleighJaxon

Friday already and off we went to Turangi.  Parked up the Camper just 1km from where the wedding was being held the next day, at Shaun & Shontelle’s Mum’s place. Two Pop top Caravans, a regular caravan and our Camper.  Lovely spot!

Dinner at the Turangi Tavern with the Bride & Groom to be, plus a few others.  Jude had Venison Salad & it was beautiful, just melted in your mouth. Next day it was all hands on deck to set up at the River Vineyard & Restaurant for the wedding. Back to the Camper to get ready, just got back to the venue and it started to rain.

Us 2The Boys

Shaun rang Nicole and said to wait another 10mins.  By the time she got there it had stopped raining.  Perfect!!  Lovely wedding, small, intimate and beautiful food! Danced the night away!

Shaun & NicoleHenare Shonie & Jax

The happy couple!

 

 

Tui’s daughter, Shonie, Henare & Jax

 

 

Next day the other campers left for home and we helped pack up the Pop Top Caravans etc. then all went to the Lake, a couple of kms down the road.  Determined to have a swim,  it was a bit chilly for us.  Lake Taupo has a perimeter of approximately 193 kilometres and a deepest point of 186 metres. Shaun was very creative and made a raft for the kids.

Swimmimg Lake TaupoShaun making raft

Monday it was back to Taupo to return Tui’s Hire Suit and meet Shaun & Nicole for lunch and to say goodbye to Shonie & kids. We decided to head around the Western Access of the Lake to Taumarunui and catch up with Tui’s Mum and some friends.

Kinloch Lake Taupo coldCalled into Kinloch and Tui had another swim.  We thought Jude’s niece, Annette, who lives there, would be at work so didn’t find out her address.  We found out later she was home! Buggar.

Unfortunately some of our friends weren’t home in Taumarunui and time was running out to see everyone.  Spent the night at Tui’s Mum’s and his sister came around, didn’t get to bed until 2am.

Did a bit of reminiscing in Taumarunui next day, pretty tired, so late in the day we headed to Te Kuiti just on an hours drive away and stayed at Mangaokewa Gorge Scenic Reserve, a free camp, right by a river.

Beautiful spot! It was great just to chill out. Tui had a plunge in the river.

Free Camp Te KuitiFree Camp Te Kuiti 2

Also time to do a spot of washing as Jude was running out of clothes.

Washing DayFree Camp Te Awamutu

Then onto Te Awamutu to empty tanks and chill out at Lake Ngaroto.  Only problem, Blue Algae, so no swimming. Chooks and a Rooster to feed!! Lake Ngaroto, home to a range of water-loving plants and animals, is one of the best places in the Waikato to experience natural wetland. A 90-minute walk around the lake includes regular signs with information and illustrations about the local ecology. However we opted to just relax. Duck shooting season operates in May and June and we could clearly see hunters maimais doted around the waters edge. A couple of yachts & rowers practicing early morning.

The plan was to head to Pukekawa to visit Jude’s son, daughter in law and Grandkids.  However that didn’t work out so as Janine & Bob (Jude’s sister) were going to Free camp at Kaiaua in their Bus we decided to join them.  As kids, Jude & her family used to go there all the time and there are photos of her at 2 years old playing in the Garden Bar of the Pub.  Seabird Coast, Kaiaua and Miranda with its world renowned Chenier shell banks, is the summer home to a variety of migratory Arctic wading birds including the Wrybil which is found here all year round.

Garden Bar KaiauaFree Camp Kaiaua 2

We went to the Pub for Dinner, lovely food!

Dinner Kaiaua

 

Jude had chops out for tea so back in the fridge they went till the next night.

 

 

More reminiscing and it was off to Cooks Cooks Beach & Lonely Bay 2Beach where Jude spent many holidays even after her parents passing. They had retired there. This long sandy beach which caught Capt Cook’s eye is an ideal place to unwind and explore beautiful Mercury Bay.  Cooks Beach is flanked by Shakespeare Cliff to the west and sheltered and picturesque Purangi Estuary to the east. This photo was taken from Shakespear Cliff. It was still pretty early in the day to Camp up so after Brunch of Tui’s favourite, Eggs Benedict, we headed down the coast to Whangamata.  The weather wasn’t the best and we couldn’t find anywhere good to camp so further down the road we went to Waihi Beach.

Waihi BeachNice free camp spot but the weather was pretty shitty.  A Fish & Chip shop 2 mins walk away caught our eye so Tui suggested we get takeaways.  Chops stayed in the fridge!  Really great decision!  Tui had his 100% Paua Fritter.  Paua is like Abalone, the best Snapper we have tasted in ages & NZ scollopes! Yummmm!

A bit of a lazy late start next day and off further down the coast to check out Tauranga.  Man has that place grown!  Still raining so didn’t do any walking around.  Had Tui’s hit of Burger King then off to Jude’s niece, Sandra, at Matamata. Finally cooked those chops, had a barbie for tea.  Lesley (another niece) & kids came around plus Janine & Bob and we had a few drinkies.  Always good fun those girls!!  The next day most of Jude’s family arrived for a bit of a reunion.  So good to see everyone.  Pity Jude’s other son couldn’t make it from Perth but we did a video and sent it to him. Sandra’s ex Mike had given her home killed Mutton which she roasted for the Pot Luck Lunch.  OMG! We had forgotten how good it tasted!!  Not a scrap left!

Otto's Day Jeff & kidsOtto's Day 2

Kai TimeOtto's Day 3

Les, sandra Jude

A very slow day the next day and Lesley, Darryl and kids came around for lunch to eat the left overs and Sandra cooked Tui some venison that her boys had hunted,  Yum! Thanks Sandra for hosting the day, it was awesome!

 

Wine from jan

 

Jude’s Sister in Law gave her a very appropriate bottle of Wine! Thanks Jan!! It was delicious!!

Off to Jeff & Amie’s in the afternoon.  Jeff had got Whitebait especially for Jude so we had Whitebait Fritters and salad for tea.  There is nothing quite like NZ Whitebait!! Another Yum moment!  Thanks Jeff! Max & Ella were super excited to have us there and were busy showing us their Fort, as Max calls it, or Castle.  Pity I never got a photo of it or Amie as she was behind the camera!

 

Tea Jeff'sWith Ella

Fun timeSam

Called in and had coffee with Robyn & Murray the next day, then to Autobahn at Bombay for Tui’s Eggs Benedict before cruising the main of Pukekohe, reminiscing again. Had a hour or so chill out time at Tuakau by the Waikato River.

Waikato River Tuakau 2Waikato River Tuakau

Back to Jeff’s for a Barbie and stay the night.  Beaut Barbie and those potatoes were to die for Amie.  Tui wants you to tell me how to do them!!  All too soon our last night was looming!  Parked at Bob & Janine’s so we could clean out the,Camper and had a Pizza night at Brian & Trish’s.  A great trip, fantastic to see you all and it was a great decision to hire the Camper.  Cost us a bit but it meant we didn’t feel like we were putting anyone out and if we needed time out we could.

A fairly tiring trip back to Mackay.  Dropped off the Camper, free shuttle to the Airport, checked in then a 2hr wait till our flight boarded.  Landed in Brisbane and another 3hr wait for our flight to Mackay.  The lawns were all neat & tidy when we left and Jude nearly cried when she saw them!  They looked like a paddock as there was a lot of rain while we were away.  A very busy few days, catching up on washing, although Jude did do a load at Janine’s, Tiki Tourer needed a good clean & vacuum, then there were those dreaded lawns!  Jude had to have the mower up 2 notches and it still took well over 4hrs!!

Tui hasn’t had any work since we have been back but has practically finished the trailer and packed most of our stuff into it. This last weekend we spent at the shed.  Servicing Tiki Tourer, sorting out a short in the tail lights and adjusting the steering!

We have made quite a few phone calls re work opportunities but it appears to be pretty quiet everywhere.  Where to from here?  Who knows!  Will keep you posted.

Until then “Laugh more, live longer!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mackay – December 2015

It is that time of year when we reflect on the year that has been! A rather challenging one!

January saw us in Mossman with Tui continuing with his flying lessons and working for Oakdare on the Forestry Roads in the Tablelands.  It all got too much when they had to clean out all the culverts by hand, getting attacked by leeches, he decided it was time for a break.

Cleaning Culverts  Microlight airborne

Jude had her maiden flight in the Microlight but hasn’t managed to get up in it again, not yet anyway!

Jude's maiden voyage 2Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas

It was then time to leave our friends in Mossman.  Loaded up the Microlight on the trailer with Jude following in the car.  It was really strange not traveling in Tiki Tourer, Tui reckons it was peaceful!!

Side view 1Coast camp spot 2

First stop was only a few kms along the Port Douglas/Cairns road, where Tui had to fix the trailer lights. We decided to stay the night and headed up to Mareeba Rodeo grounds the next day to say our farewells to our friends there. Lots of rain & flooding. A massive leak in our side window so Tui fixed that as soon as we had a break in the weather.

Mareeba BridgeFinding the leak

Off to Mackay where Tui had the use of Fellows shed to widen & lengthen the trailer so we could fit the Microlight & Car on it. Had a couple of nights at Bluewater Free Camp just out of Townsville, a welcome break! Parked up at the shed for 5 months.

Bluewater CampParking Spot Fellows

Man oh man the midges ate Jude alive and had to resort to taking Telfast tablets to ease the itching!! We were really blessed to have some great friends call in and stay a night or two. Carolyn, Charlie and our mate Joe the dog were the first. Staying for Tui’s birthday. Then Lil & Rob, Marg & Greg.

Eimeo PubUnderside painted white

Great progress on the trailer to start with but then Tui had to fit it in between working.  We then got the sad news that our BEST tenants had bought their own house. Happy for them but did not want to lose them! Also had some hassles with a job we had done in Perth which cost us dearly and resulted in a trip to Perth!.  Around this time both our air con units decided to give up the ghost. Tui found some 110v units in Melbourne but unfortunately the courier put a fork lift through them! Still using a borrowed portable one! Purchased a new toilet as well!

A trip to Brisbane with Brett (Tui’s Boss) & Tam in the Fellows Ute. Exhausting!

Brisbane City HopperBrisbane the new

A hairy moment when Tui had a blow out in his front steer Tyre on the Truck! Moved from the shed to the house that Fellows rent for the drivers.  Tui would have preferred to stay at the shed! Had more friends visit, Gavin & Vanessa then Sandra & Nev.  Great to see you guys!

Tui's TyreCamp site

Jude had an awesome birthday in August and we had an addition to the family! Samantha (Sam) Morgan was born on the 29th August!  Such a treasure!

290815 1 hr approxResized my sister

Picnic TimeJude & Sydnie managed a few coffee outings and one picnic! Not as many as last time. Now that the Cane Season is over everyone is leaving and going their own ways. Miss you Sydnie!!

 

 

 

Last month was an extremely difficult one for Jude! She had to make a rush trip to New Zealand as her brother John (JOTTO) passed away suddenly after a massive stroke. A huge shock to all the family.  Miss you Bro!

John

OTTO, John. Suddenly on 5th November 2015. Loved brother of Janine, Judy and the late Elaine. Brother in law of Bob, Tui and the late Jack and all their families. A special man who’s smile and unique laughter will be so missed.

 

 

 

On a positive note, it really did help being with family & friends! Although it was hard leaving Tui in Mackay!

Another mishap while Jude was away!  A sudden downpour which broke the main roller of the awning, ripping a hole in the side wall!!! Grrrr!! Photos on Tui’s Phone which Jude hasn’t managed to download!

Now that Tui’s work has finished he is spending every spare moment on the trailer and has made huge progress.  Hurt his back a couple of days ago but is being stubborn and won’t rest!! He has had a young guy giving him a hand, unfortunately over the last couple of days he has made some pretty bad muck ups causing frustration!!  Quite hard to get good photos but Tui is nearly ready to put the outside cladding on.  He has even put a drop down bench in for Jude’s washing machine, slide out for Pizza Oven & massive shelving.  A special place for everything. A massive job, very proud!!! We have now been in Mackay 10 months, 5 at the shed and 5 at the house!

Shelving in trailerTail gate

Pretty hard to get into the Christmas spirit this year but Jude has the little Christmas Tree out, decorated Tiki Tourer and put our flashing lights out in the Patio of the house. The lights look impressive from Tiki Tourer. Not bad for a $7 investment 4 years ago!

We would like to wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and an awesome 2016!

Until next year “Laugh more, live longer!”Emu Christmas

Christmas Dec

 

 

 

 

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Mackay – November 2015

Well our blogs are getting further & further apart!!  As you can imagine there is not a lot happening!

Sydnie and Jude did manage one day out that didn’t involve grocery shopping!  Out to Bucasia Beach for a picnic. It was a hot day so it was nice to have a little paddle!

Picnic TimeCooling off

Lovely spot but boy oh boy the midge bites afterward were not so good!

Bucasia Beach 2Bucasia Beach

Bucasia Beach is one of the beautiful northern beaches of Mackay, 4 km wide, an east-north-east facing bay nestled behind the Eimeo Headland. There is a beautiful park with barbecue facilities and a playground; on the other side, a boat ramp into the Eimeo creek. The decision was made to have a coffee at the Cafe by the park, unfortunately the quality of the coffee left a lot to be desired and after a couple of mouthfuls the cups were left on the table.

Dolphin Heads Eimeo AreaEimeo Beach Trees

After leaving Bucasia a bit of a Tiki Tour around the other beaches. Taking in Eimeo, Blacks Beach & Dolphin Heads. The Eimeo beach stretches from the mouth of Eimeo Creek in the west, to a rocky outcrop, which forms the northern boundary of Blacks Beach.

Blacks Beach 2Blacks Beach 3

Blacks Beach is located just 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of Mackay. It’s the longest of Mackay’s northern beaches.  Boasting six kilometres of sparkling sand and gentle waters, this palm-lined beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing and relaxing with a good book.

Tui has been carting cane from Finch Hatton to a farm several kms away to feed starving stock.  So sad to see no grass! Most days we are up at 4am and he doesn’t get home until after 8pm. Normally 6 days a week.  Too tired on his day off to work on the trailer! Long days! Lovely people, both where he is carting from and where he is carting to.  Down to earth Outback folk.

Loading Stockfeed

We did have a break last weekend and headed up to Tui’s brothers place at Finch Hatton.  They had a Hangi and we stayed up to watch the Rugby World Cup.  Awesome job Allblacks!!! One of their boys has a birthday in December but normally they are flooded in then so the kids made him a cake! Fantastic job they did too! The last time we had a Hangi was for Tui’s brother’s birthday 2 years ago. Tasted awesome!

The cakeTui at Furlyns

Tui's BroThe boys

We slept in a tent,leaving early next morning, back to Tiki Tourer and back to bed, exhausted but happy!!

Jude has planted a therapy garden of Mint, parsley, Marigolds and Rosemary and has continued to do her soft toys. Sent the Grandies one each to NZ, Kangaroo for Max, Shaun the sheep for Ella & a Pig for Sam. The  latest made being a Lion.

Therapy GardenJude's Lion

Tui made a couple of purchases which were a real hoot!  A new mask to keep out the Bagasse & a mask to get rid of blackheads.  A bit of a laugh when we both put a blackhead mask on! Luckily no photo of Jude!!

Tui's maskBlackhead Mask

Well things are winding down at the Mills and we have had 2 of the housemates leave.  Macca’s 4 wheel drive is still here so we are picking that he will return and take it back in a trailer when the trucks have to go south to cart Almonds.

The weather has started to get really humid here and as we still haven’t got our Air Cons fixed Jude is very grateful for the portable one Brett has lent us. It also looks as though Don & Sydnie are going to be heading off in a couple of weeks!  Jude won’t be happy as she will lose her company!!!

The positive of the work slowing is Tui will get a chance to work on the trailer, however it will be hard with no income coming in! Who knows when we will finally have a different place as our heading! Oh to get those wheels rolling again!!

Until next time “Laugh more, live longer!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mackay – September 2015

 

Well we missed doing an August Blog! It is getting quite difficult to be creative on what to write about when we have been here for over 6 months! Wow! Half a year gone!!

We have settled in to a routine at the house. Jude has been cooking tea 5 nights a week with the house mates contributing to the cost of food. The hardest part is thinking of something different to cook each day! Even though the weather has warmed up we still have our fire pit for ambiance. It must look strange, people sitting around a fire in shorts and singlet tops!!

Fire Pit glowing

The Sugar Mills continue to be a start/stop affair so some of the boys, including Tui, have been carting wood chips from a little place called Dingo, approx 350kms southwest of Mackay. Only one trip a shift can be achieved with Tui being on a 3.30am start.  Quite tiring for both of us.

Dingo is a small town located just across the railway line from the Capricorn Highway. The origin of the town’s name is shrouded in mystery – some say a railway surveyor saw a dingo on the creek bank and gave the town its name whilst others say that Moses Wafer, an early pioneer, heard dingo’s howling at night and named the town after his camp site. A bronze statue of a Dingo is in the town commemorating the town’s name.

dingostatue_atdw

Thanks to capricornholidays.com.au for the photo

This busy town sits on two major highways that service the beef, mining and coal industries. Up to 1,000 vehicles pass through in one day. The Township consists of a School Complex (The Dingo School was first opened way back in 1877), 2 x Saw Mills, a Post Office & General Store, QCWA Building, a Hotel/Motel, Caravan Park, Community Hall, Tennis Courts, Roadhouse, Church, Race Course (Bauman Park), a Pony Club and a Rodeo Club.

1.DINGOHOTELROADTRAINS1.DINGOROADHOUSESemi2

Thanks to the Dingo Roadhouse for the above 2 photos.
The house where we are camped behind is close by the Mackay Goose Ponds, which is a network of freshwater catchments, home to turtles as well as many different types of birds and fish. Lots of geese, ducks, and even the odd pelican on the banks and in the water, and if you stay still at the edge of the water or on the bridges for long enough, you will see curious turtles stick their heads out of the water, almost as if to say hello. Other than animals, the Goose Ponds have a range of big, shady trees, lush green grass and small hills and slopes that lead visitors over and under different bridges. The walkway is really well laid out and is an initiative of the Mackay Regional Council’s 10,000 steps program. You will recall when we were here in 2013 we wrote about the other walkways around Mackay. There are also a number of exercise stations along the walk giving fitness fanatics a varied workout.

Goose ponds 1Goose ponds 2

Jude had a birthday in August!  Not counting them anymore!!!  A really nice day!  Parcels from NZ arrived the day before, exciting!!  Beautiful jacket from Tui, with the help of Tam & Sydnie!!  It was off to Muffin Break for Jude & Sydnie for Coffee & a muffin for brunch, a spot of shopping, relaxing afternoon, then about 12 of us headed to the Mt Pleasant tavern for tea.  Fantastic night, food was great, lots of laughs and Jude was very spoilt! In case you were wondering the 64 on the table was just our table number, no reflection on age!!!

Jude's Birthday

Gavin & Vanessa paid us a visit in their 5th Wheeler on their way to their newly purchased block, just outside Maryborough Qld, 1st time in a house after being on the road for 8 years!  All the best guys! They ended up staying 3 nights.  One of those nights just happened to be Bledisloe Cup night where the All Blacks smashed the Wallabies!  Gavin is also a Kiwi so you can imagine the noise when a Try was scored!  Great night!!

Gav & VanessaGavin & Vanessa House We also had our mates Sandra & Nev visit us on their was south from Mareeba.  They never camped at the house as with a low Caravan, Nev thought he might bend something getting in the driveway.  They camped 2 nights just down the road at a Caravan Park, joining us for a Sunday Roast at the house, then Sandra, Nev joined us for a late lunch At “Sails” at the Marina. Jude also took Sandra & Nev for a drive along the newly reopened Breakwater.  The popular wall was regularly used by anglers, runners, walkers and sightseers alike until it was closed due to cyclone damage in November 2013.

View from SailsCyclone Damage Breakwater

Breakwater from airThanks to the Daily Mercury & Sea-seek for photos.

 

 

 

We have also had a new addition to the family! Jeff & Amie have had a gorgeous little girl! Well not so little as she weighed 8lb 8ozs and was born on the 29th August.

Resized my sister290815 1 hr approx

Congratulations Amie, Jeff, Max & Ella!

Well that is about it for now! Until next time “Laugh more, live longer”.

 

 

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Mackay – July 2015

Wow! Nearly the end of the Month! Only just getting this Blog done in time!!

It has been a really strange Cane season this year, although the work has picked up, the Mills have been really start/stop.  Brett managed to get work for the boys at the Proserpine Mill which has been a saving grace. One of these trips where they had to cart from Proserpine to past Bowen Tui had a left hand front steer Tyre blow out!  Almost change the underwear moment!  He was driving with cruise control on up the main highway when it blew.  Lots of comments that he did well to keep it on the road.

Tui's TyreStuffed Headlight

Cracked Bonnet

 

Quite a bit of damage apart from the Tyre! Cracked Bonnet, missing headlight, guard damage!!

 

 

 

 

Brett has had a birthday since the last Blog and we all went to the Mount Pleasant Tavern.  Lovely food and nice atmosphere. With over 29 toppers to choose from, they have schnitzels well and truly covered. You can select your preferred serving size and favourite topping. Like MOO-HA-HA (beef chilli, sour cream, guacamole and salsa), Crooked Crab (crab meat, calamari, asparagus & béchamel) or Tony Pepperoni (Napoli sauce & pepperoni)! Tui had to work late so called in on the way home and finished off what Tam & I couldn’t eat from our Seafood Plates. Jude of course did her usual and made a Banana Birthday Cake.

mt Pleasant TavernBrett's Birthday 2

Thanks to the Mt Pleasant Tavern Web site for the Photo!

Tui has made some progress on the Trailer and much to Jude’s delight he has designed a slide out with a purposely purchased hatch door for the Pizza Oven as well as a frame underneath it for the Gas Bottle. This will make for real easy access!  Jude will just have to open the hatch, slide out the Pizza Oven, turn the Gas Bottle on and hey presto hot scones in no time at all!

Pizza Oven slideoutPizza Oven inside trailer 2

A few people have said that the Blog outlines what Tui is up to but what does Jude do?  Well while parked at the shed the Pizza Oven got a work out with the occasional Hot Scones, Pizza Bread etc. for anyone that was working there.  She hasn’t tried cakes in the Pizza Oven yet but those were cooked in the Tiki Tourer Oven.

Pizza Bread

Of course she still does her headset sales for MIS Communications, thanks to her loyal customers and has now started to do some crochet projects. A variety of Cushion covers, soft toys etc.  A couple of examples below:

Cushion 2Cushion

Bride & Groom KittensShaun the sheep

Jude & Sydnie have had a couple of shopping outings but as soon as they organise something one of the boys have a day off!

We have finally moved away from the shed and are now parked at the house that Fellows Bulk rents for the Drivers.  Tui was very hesitant to leave his trailer as it was really convenient when not working to get up in the morning and go straight out to the shed.  Jude however, is much happier.  No midgies and Tiki Tourer stays clean a lot longer!! We have quite a good spot although the ground was a bit soft when we backed in and we thought Tiki Torer was going to get bogged!

Tiki Tourer marksCamp site

Quite a well designed house, with quiet bedrooms, enabling everyone to get a good sleep! Well equipped kitchen with dishwasher but high benches.

High BenchesA disgusting photo but shows Jude on her step from out of Tiki Tourer turning the roast vegies! We all get on well and have had several joint meals.

We have set up a Barbie area with the Fellows Barbie and of course the Pizza Oven!

Barbie area

 

 

 

Looking out to road

 

View from Awning 2

 

 

 

 

Yesterday Tam pulled apart an old washing machine that was in the shed and made a fire pit!  Had to christen it last night!

Fire Pit all goFire Pit glowing

Entertainment area complete!!

We are not far away from the Goose Ponds and the intention was to walk down and take photos for this blog.  However on reading through it has been decided to leave that for the next one!

Until then “Laugh more, live longer!”

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Mackay- June 2015

The Cane harvest as usual has had a start/stop beginning to the season.  Tui had a few days driving, then we had 2 weeks of rain.  Luckily he has been able to assist in the workshop occasionally. Maintenance and cleaning of the trucks being the top priority.

Fixing TrucksTam Mudguards

Karen PolishingTam Beating the heat

Tam’s answer to beating the heat on the odd hot day we have had!!

Not much progress on the trailer either, however the platform for the bike has been made.  No side ramp this time but a ramp toward the back of the trailer with the exit being the back door.  Tui has designed it so that it fits over the back wheel of the Microlight.

Bike ramp 1Bike Ramp 5

Bike ramp 3Bike ramp 4

Wednesday the 13th May we headed down to Brisbane, in the work Ute, to the Truck Show with Brett & Tam. Left Tiki Tourer at 6am and after making a few stops, finally arrived at our unit at 8pm that night!  We stayed at the Oaks on Felix, a lovely place.  Two bedrooms & two bathrooms self contained kitchen & lounge area. A bit of a change to being in Tiki Tourer! We were all pretty tired so had a few drinks then Brett went out and brought us all Pizza for tea.

Brisbane DiningBrisbane Lounge

We were on the 25th floor with a balcony that had an awesome view of the Story Bridge. The Story Bridge is a heritage-listed steel cantilever bridge spanning the Brisbane River  that carries vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the northern and the southern suburbs of Brisbane. It is the longest cantilever bridge in Australia and is a lovely sight when it is lit up at night.

Brisbane Day viewBrisbane Night view

A short walk to the Eagle Street Pier the following morning for breakfast then onto the “City Hopper” to the Truck Show. The City Hopper service allows you to rediscover Brisbane for free with ferries running every 30 minutes between 6am and midnight, seven days a week. It travels along the Brisbane River, stopping at North Quay, South Bank 3, Maritime Museum, Thornton Street, Eagle Street Pier, Holman Street, Dockside and Sydney Street terminals. All you need to do is hop on and hop off and enjoy taking in the Brisbane River and city sights. A great service!

Brisbane CAT catching upBrisbane City Hopper

 

 

 

 

 

It was then a couple of blocks walk to the Convention Centre, passing the Brisbane Lagoon on the way, named Streets Beach.  A major feature within the Southbank Parkland is this man-made beach, which is 2,000 square metres of free-formed concrete surrounded by 4,000 cubic metres of sand. The sand surrounding the beach is sourced from the Rous Channel in Moreton Bay and every year the beach is topped up with an additional 70 tonnes to ensure that it is kept in pristine condition. Almost half of the lagoon area sits on reclaimed land that was once the Brisbane River.

Brisbane Lagoon

There are lots of other attractions at Southbank but unfortunately we didn’t have the time to check them out.  They include The Arbour, consisting of 443 curling steel columns  an open-air amphitheater,  60-metre tall Ferris wheel, The Young Designers Market,  The Nepal Peace Pagoda, some lovely walkways & heaps of Cafes & Restaurants.

 

 

The Brisbane Truck Show (formerly the Queensland Truck and Machinery Show) is Australia’s premier event for the transport industry showcasing the latest in heavy vehicles, technology, engineering and innovation. It is the largest event of its type in the southern hemisphere and is held every 2 years. A lot of walking! The Brisbane Truck Show occupies Halls 1-4, the Great Hall and the Concourse on the Foyer level of the BCEC (approximately 27,000m2 of space), all the Mezzanine level (approximately 3,000m2 of space) and all the Plaza level including the Plaza Foyer on Grey Street (approximately 5,500m2 of space)!

Brisbane the newBrisbane the old

Brisbane Tui's Mate

 

 

Tui had to have a photo with his best mate!! Pete (one of the Drivers for Fellows) arrived by plane that afternoon and when we got back after a couple of drinks we decided to go to a Pub around the corner for tea. Can’t remember the name but good food!

 

 

Day 2, Tam & Jude decided one day was enough at the Truck Show so the 3 boys set off after being shouted breakfast by Don from Volvo. Jude & Tam chilled out for a few hours, had brunch at the Coffee Club,  then decided to check out the closest shopping mall.  Well that was a bit of a shock!  The receptionist told us to just head up to Queen Street.  We thought it was just a street of shops, how wrong we were!!! It is Australia’s most popular pedestrian mall, playing host to more than 26 million visitors a year.  More than 700 retailers, not merely the state’s shopping hotspot, it is also Brisbane’s heart.  More than 1,000 events take place throughout the mall each year, buskers take over the streets on a daily basis and The City Sounds fills the air with music on Friday nights and weekends. In addition, there is an  Event Cinema, countless eateries, a farmers market , beauty salons, the Treasury Casino & hotel, a Hilton Hotel and NEXT Hotel.  Wall to wall people were overwhelming so after a stop off for Tam to have a massage we headed back to the unit to chill once again.

Queen Stree Mall

Thanks to “Visit Brisbane” web site for the photo

 

 

When the boys got back once again we had a couple of drinks then off to the “Pig & Whistle” for tea.  Amazing meals!!

Brisbane Pig n WhistleSaturday morning it was pack up, down to Coffee Club at the Eagle St Pier for breakfast, out to the airport to drop Pete off then onto Proston to Brett’s parents place.  Brett had bought his Mum a mobility Scooter that we had to drop off.  Proston is a small town in the south-east 280 kilometres from Brisbane and 50 kilometres northwest of the South Burnett regions commercial centre, Kingaroy.  We stayed the night there and man what a beautiful meal Brett’s Mum put on!!  Roast Pork with a massive Pavlova for desert!  Lovely people, great hospitality!  Sunday it was off back to MacKay which was just under 800kms!  Jude & Tam decided that traveling that distance in the work Ute was not the most comfortable and very tiring!  Might fly next time!!

Great Northern Man

 

 

During a clean up in the shed Tui found a “Great Northern” hat (the beer he drinks) so a photo was a must!

 

 

Jude was delighted to hear that one of her best mates, Sydnie, was coming back  to MacKay & Don was to be working with Tui! Looking forward to some girlie days! Also great to catch up with our Mate Jen, who has flown up from Tassie to be with her daughter, who is due to have her baby in a week or so. Pete Hatton (another Mate from last time we were here)  joined us for a couple of drinks while Jen was visiting. Great to see you too Pete!

Tui has just done a couple of days carting wood chips for the Mill, just over a 3hr drive one way. No rain for the last 2 days so hopefully the Mills will get up and running steadily soon.

Well guys & gals that is about it for now.  Until next time “Laugh more, live longer!”

 

 

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Mackay – May 2015

Well missed writing a Blog last Month so we thought we had better update you all.

Another standstill for the trailer as we had to fly back to Perth for 2 weeks to sort some things out.  We were so busy while we were there we didn’t get a chance to catch up with many people, great to see the ones we did and great to catch up with family.  We were astounded at the amount of building that has been going on in the three years we have been away. Suburbs all the way to Yanchep now.

Earthworks AlkimosAlkimos Buildings 2

Jude’s son lives in Alkimos, one of the most northern suburbs, that was our base while we were there. Alkimos, a coastal suburb located 42 kilometres north-northwest of Perth’s central business district, is named after the shipwreck of the Greek freighter Alkimos  which ran aground on the coast nearby in 1963.  Only a small section of the shipwreck is now visible. The foreshore has been developed with terracing, large grassy areas and showers on the beach.  Very impressive!

Foreshore AlkimosForeshore Alkimos 2

Foreshore Alkimos 3Alkimos Beach

While we were in Perth we had to drive down to Scarborough to meet with our Property Manager, new tenants required in our house! Such a lovely day we decided to have lunch over looking the sea. Beaut spot!!  Scarborough Beach is an entertainment precinct with restaurants, bars and a nightclub. Since 1999, the local council has developed a strategy for issues including traffic, parking, zoning, coastal landscape and recreation.  One of the issues was whether or not to allow further high-rise development on Scarborough Beach. The 24-level Observation City hotel development (now Rendezvous) had been very controversial in the 1980s and proceeded despite a long and intense public campaign against high-rise beachfront development. Perth businessman Alan Bond, who built Observation City, had ambitious plans to convert the entire Scarborough Beach “strip”. After securing most of the real estate his plans failed to proceed due to an inability to purchase the family owned fast food restaurant Peter’s by the Sea (great Kebabs!). The restaurant, still present today, refused to sell despite Bond making inflated offers on the property, and has taken on historical significance with the locals ever since.  Subsequent amendments by the City of Stirling have specified a height limit of eight storeys.

ScarboroughScarborough 2

As mentioned in our last Blog our air con units gave up the ghost.  Tui managed to find some American ones in Victoria which would not need extra wiring.  The plan was to get them delivered to Deniliquin, Fellows Bulk Transport yard, as there are 2 trucks coming up to MacKay for the Cane season.  Unfortunately StarTrack, the courier Jude’s work uses managed to put a Fork Lift through one, dropping the second one, then refused to pay for them!!  Tui got straight on the phone to see if they had any more but unfortunately not!  Not happy!!!

We had forgotten how beautiful the sunsets are in WA.  Fish & chips on the beach at Quinns Beach one night (no camera) then the following evening we went to “The Boat” in Mindarie for dinner with our lovely friends and now ex tenants “The Snowdon’s)

Sunset MindarieSnowdon's

Bit disappointed that more photo’s weren’t taken while over there!  Bit of a stressful trip! Not even photos of the family except Blair and his scooter!  Hayden, we had to pinch one of Cam off your facebook!

BlairCam

Since we have been back work has started on the trailer again, however Tui has had a few days helping in the shed and we have had some lovely surprise visitors!  Anzac Day Dot & Rob (Mossman) arrived after lunch then we had just got into the swing of happy Hour when Rob, Lil & Bec (Mareeba) pulled in for the night!  Greg & Marg (Walkamin, Tablelands) arrived a few days later and stayed 2 nights.  As Gavin & Vanessa (Mossman) had also arrived in town we had a nice night out to dinner at the Astral Hotel with Gavin, Vanessa, Dot, Rob, Greg & Marg plus Gavin’s ex boss who is now in MacKay. So GREAT to see you all!  Friends forever!!

Tui has cut out the floor of the trailer and laid it down so that we could do the “big check” to see if the Microlight & Car fit!  Phew!  They do! However it is a tight squeeze to get out of the car once it is on the trailer.  We may move the side door!

The TestThe test 2The test 4

Big decisions on the best way to do tie down points for the vehicles!  The floor hasn’t been fully installed yet as Tui wants to weld his inside cupboards first.  Still a lot to be done!!

Think that is about it for now.  Until next time “Laugh more, live longer!”

 

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Mackay – March 2015

Really late doing our Blog this month!  We are still parked at the shed and Tui has been working hard on the trailer.  We are extremely fortunate to have all of the equipment on hand to make the work much easier.  Thanks Brett, really appreciate it! Fellows Bulk Transport now has a full time mechanic, Andrew, his quick whit and humour brings a smile to your face!

BrettAndrew the Mechanic

Following on from last month with the progress of the trailer, Tui completely stripped it out with only the chassis left.  Off with Tui’s tool cupboard! Then measure, measure and re-measure!

Off with the Tool cupboardMeasure time

Floor off!

Floor off

Then came the length & width extensions.

Back extensionSide extension 2

With the assistance of the Gantry we were able to turn the trailer over and paint the underside with ease. First with Iron Oxide to prevent rust and then with a white top coat.

Underside painted 2Underside painted white

Time to start the framing!  This was going really well until there were problems with a twist in the wall at the front.  A lot of frustration and re-cutting & re-welding done!!

1st frame 2Framing

Wow!  It looks massive!!  Tui decided that the original Mud Guards were a bit light so we had some steel cut and bent and he built new ones.

New MudguardMud Guard & Framing

While we were progressing with the trailer, the guys were cleaning up a couple of the trucks ready for them to head south to cart Almonds.  Tam thought it was a good idea to use the Gantry to get to the high parts.  They sure looked great when finished.

Tam trying to reach high placesTruck washed and ready

On a Sunday night the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel in Walkerston have a $5.95 Steak, which is served with a baked potato and coleslaw so a group of us went out there a couple of weeks in a row.  Low & behold the 2nd night we won the meat raffle!  That was a first!!  Free meat for a few nights!!  Walkerston is a small town 14kms south west of MacKay on the Peak Downs Highway.

As Pete (the Pom) one of the drivers for Fellows was off to Perth & then NZ for a break we also had dinner at The Shamrock in MacKay.  Beautiful meals and it has been re-vamped since we were here last.

The ShamrockThanks to their web site for the photo.  Didn’t take the camera!!

 

 

Then came Tui’s big 50! Our very good friends Carolyn, Charlie & their dog Joe came down from Mossman in their Motorhome a few days before.  It was fantastic to have them here although not long enough!!  Had a Tiki Tour in the Suzuki around MacKay one day ending up at one of Jude’s favourite place, the Eimeo Tavern for lunch.  Fantastic scenery, great food and awesome company, what more could you want!

Eimeo PubView from Pub 3

Carolyn & Jude managed to get one girlie day shopping with Carolyn ending up with the bargain of the century, material for new curtains in their Motorhome for only $24!!!

A few of the Fellows workers came around to the shed the night of Tui’s 50th, so Jude cooked roast Beef, pork and lamb in the Pizza oven served with fresh rolls and salad bits.  Of course there was also the Chocolate Mud Cake and as it was Andrew’s birthday the following Monday Jude made him a Banana Cake.

The Gang2 badges

Candle timeTam & Cad

Unfortunately the photography wasn’t the best!!

It has also been a stressful, upsetting and expensive month.  Apart from the trailer, our “Best tenants in the world” have bought their own home.  Really excited and pleased for them but we will really miss you Justine & Tony!!  The Hot water cylinder in our house decided to pack it in, a new one was the only solution!  We have had hassles with a job we did, as a favour, 4 years ago in Bindi Bindi, 2 hours north of Perth, which we won’t bore you with.

Tiki Tourer is starting to show her age (1986 model) and after 4 years of travel we have had a couple of things break down.  Purchased a new toilet as the old one was leaking and Tui was unable to fix it, then both the air con units have decided they don’t want to go anymore.  Once again thanks to Brett who has lent us a portable one to tide us over. Two sad loses in our extended family!  Our heartfelt sympathy Amie “Never rains but it pours” so they say!  Can only get better!

Tui has had to go up to Bowen to drive for Fellows for a week or so, Jude is holding the fort at the shed.  Mind you we really can do with the cash injection right now! This means the trailer has come to a stand still for a bit!

Well that’s about it for this month!  Until next time!

As always “Laugh more, live longer”

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Mackay – February 2015

Yep, you have read the Title of this Blog correctly!  After 5 months in Mossman we have moved on and yes, we are back in MacKay!!! Why? Some of you may ask! Well the Trailer needs to be altered so that we can fit the Suzuki and Tui’s Microlight on board so Jude doesn’t have to follow behind! We have the use of a shed here to carry out the work, hence the decision to come to MacKay.

Now to back track a little to let you know what we have been up to in the last month. As mentioned in the last Blog, Tui was cleaning out Culverts until he hurt his back.  Then it was goodbye to the job. There was a bit of hilarity with a headline in the local paper.

Paper Headline0002It was actually an article about a Dog that ran away and was found near a Butchers or something!!

Lots of last minute flying!!  Had a great night at the Exchange Hotel the week before we left!  Just 6 of us left of the group.  Dinner, live music and stayed till closing, dancing the night away!  Quiet day next day!

The day before packing up the Microlight to transport it on the Trailer we shouted Andrew (Tui’s Flying Instructor) Maria (his wife) & Mark (another Pilot) to dinner at “On The Inlet” in Port Douglas, a multi-award winning restaurant that specialises in Seafood. Andrew said the Whole Coral Trout was to die for, so we selected “Crispy Whole Fried Fish of the Day w/ thai caramel, asian slaw & fresh lime”  He wasn’t wrong!!

On the Inlet

Time to pack up the Microlight!  Beautiful weather, not!  First off, a hole had to be cut in the roof! Then the rearrangement of everything.  About 4 hrs all up.  Mark made Tui a couple of personalised singlets.  Great job Mark!

Hole in roofTying off in rain

Side view 1Mark's Singlet

Back to Mossman for last drinks with our mates.  Going to miss you guys.  Poor Joe (Carolyn & Charlie’s Dog) couldn’t work out what was happening as Tiki Tourer was his 2nd home!!

Saturday we headed off, deciding to stay on the coast for a night before heading up to Mareeba.  Lots of rain so all we could do was chill out, not a bad thing!  Must have taken the photos at a rare moment when there was no rain.

Coast camp spot 2Coast camp spot

The trailer break lights weren’t working so off came the Pizza Oven so that Tui could get to the control box.  New home was beside the Microlight!

Fixing trailer brakes

A trip to Bunnings, then up the Kuranda range to Mareeba!  Lots of rain and lots of flooding!

Mareeba BridgeMareeba flood

Parked up at the Mareeba Rodeo Grounds so that we could catch up with our Mates there and also pick up our side walls for the awning at long last!  We had ordered the awning and side walls back in June last year and after the first set of side walls not fitting we finally have them on board.  Haven’t had a chance to set them up yet so fingers crossed they are all good this time!  With all the rain we had a massive leak in our side window, another job for Tui.

Finding the leakIt was then time to hit the road again!  It was really strange with the Suzuki following behind in convoy!  Stopped at Cardwell for lunch then onto Bluewater where we stayed for a couple of nights.  The plan was to stay until Friday night as that is the only night they have live music, Burgers etc and cheap drinks at the Community Centre across the Sports field from the Free Camp.  However after spending a day in Townsville, having lunch and visiting Tui’s favourite store, Tui was a bit bored so we hit the road.

Bluewater CampTui's shop

Good weather until we were nearly at MacKay, very heavy rain at times.  Pulled in just before 5pm, Friday night! During our travels we got an email from our BEST tenants, that are renting our home, to say that they had sold their house in the UK and were going to look to buy a place. Big decisions for us to make now!!  Great news for them and we are really happy for them but not so good for us!!!

Parking Spot FellowsInside shed

Our time here didn’t start off too well!  Got the keys for the shed Saturday afternoon, which was all good.  Took the trailer off Tiki Tourer and put it in the shed with Suzi, had to pump up the air bags!!  Then Tui went to shut one of the big doors of the shed, which is in two sections, and the wind caught one side, jamming his hand in between them.  Jude was in Tiki Tourer and heard Tui scream out.  First thought was the trailer had come off the Jockey wheel and landed on him! He was so lucky really as it could have ended in a broken hand! A bit of a mess but it is coming right now!

Washing machine and Pizza Oven all set up in the shed and Tui has set up a clothes line in the shed as well.  Things that really make Jude’s life a lot easier.  Roast Pork on the Menu last night!!

Pizza Oven Washing machineWashing Line Fellows

Sunday was spent emptying the trailer!  Man oh Man what a lot of stuff!! Then off with the roof!

Trailer nearly stripped outRoof off 1

Well that has brought you all right up to date!  Guess we will be here for awhile!

Until next time “Laugh more, live longer”!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Mossman – January 2015

Welcome to 2015 everyone.  Bit late doing the Blog this month but here goes!  We hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Years break and that 2015 will be full of fun, laughter & prosperity!

Christmas celebrations began with Tui’s work Dinner.  Jude went up to Atherton for the night and we had a quiet Dinner at Nicks at Yungaburra. Tui was called up to do a load to Cow Bay the day after he was suppose to finish.  A very narrow windy road for a big truck! As he had to go past the park Jude raced out and got a photo.

Oakdare Christmas DoCow Bay Load

Christmas Day for us was a real fun Day!  11 of us got together on a spare concrete slab at the Park and had our traditional Champagne Breakfast. The day started off with heavy rain so we thought we would have to go to Plan B, but it soon cleared up enabling us to stick to our outside partying.

Christmas rainHei

Gang 1Gang 2

Tui bought Joe (Carolyn & Charlies Dog) a blow up swimming pool which made for a great ice bucket! Bacon, eggs tomatoes etc being cooked by the 3 amigos.  Don’t know who did the cooking and who did the watching!

Joe's poolCooks

As the day wore on it got hotter.  Hei decided Jude needed cooling down! The water bombs came out and it was all on!

Cooling JudeWater bombs

DrownedCarolyn & Charlie

Glove blowing

Not to mention the “Glove Blowing” challenge!! Wonder whose idea that was?

 

 

 

Carolyn & Charlie gave us awesome hand painted mugs, love them. Jude’s has her in the drivers seat and Tui’s has him in the drivers seat. Of course both have Joe on the reverse side.

Jude's cup frontJude's cup back

Desert Boxing Day

All in all a great day!  Of course as usual the Ham, Christmas Pudding, Trifle etc was eaten Boxing Day!

New Years Eve on the other hand was really quiet!  Celebrated mid night NZ time (i.e. 9pm) and not long afterward Jude was off to bed!!

As mentioned in the last Blog, Tui had 2 weeks off, but we never went anywhere as he was focused on getting as much flying in as he could while we are still here.  We did however go up to Julatten to the Highlander Tavern for lunch with Carolyn & Charlie.  Lovely spot, great food & a nice atmosphere.  Julatten is a vibrant rural community situated on the northern end of the Atherton Tablelands approximately 25kms from Mossman.  It has cooler temperatures during hot humid summer months, making sitting outdoors a more pleasant experience than on the coast.

Highlander 1Highlander 3

They are off

With the Sugar Cane season coming to an end it was time to say goodbye to more friends!  Vanessa & Gavin are “on the road again”, at least until next season! The Van Park is getting really quiet!!

 

Jude has finally taken the plunge and been flying with Tui! Too focused on hanging on and didn’t take the camera! Bit scary but good, fantastic views! Thanks to Janine for the aerial photos!

Jude's maiden voyage 2Aerial Port Douglas

Sheraton Mirage Port DouglasPrawn Farm

Aerial view of Port Douglas and the Sheraton Mirage. Approximately 15kms by road from Mossman but just over the hill by air!  Permanent population is approximately 1287, however the population often quadruples with the influx of tourist as it is a popular gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree, Cape Tribulation & Mossman Gorge.

The Prawn Farm, Australia’s northernmost farm, when it was in full swing. With the season over the ponds are now dry and it looks very different. Prawn farming is the largest aquaculture sector in Queensland, followed by Barramundi. Aquaculture was estimated by the Queensland Farmers Federation to be worth about $103 million per annum, about 14 per cent higher than the average over the last five years.

Carolyn is currently in Victoria for a wedding so Saturday night Jude, Tui & Charlie decided to go to the Bowling Club for a few quiet ones!!  Got as far as the Mossman Hotel, very hot, sticky and thirsty so called in for a drink!

Mossman HotelDecision was made to do a Pub crawl and send Carolyn photos of each one!  Next stop “The Post Office Hotel”.  No photo as they all came out blurry!  Then to the “Exchange Hotel”  finally making it to the Bowling Club for drinks and dinner! Where Charlie got told to take his cap off!!

 

 

Exchange HotelBowling Club

As usual, lots of laughs but miss you Carolyn!

Tui is back at work, cleaning out Culverts!  Tiring & dirty work so he was not very enthusiastic! Some nice scenery!

Cleaning CulvertsWork views

Well that is about it for now!

As always “Laugh more, live longer”  See you next Month!!

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