Monday, 28 February 2011

102 - Clairview Tourist Park

Hi guys

Been in and out of range over the last week or so, as we make our way towards south east Queensland.

When left Cape Hillsborough and headed straight to Clairview. A natty little seaside joint, basically half way between Mackay and Marlborough. This area is one of only three times the Bruce Highway, between Brisbane and Cairns, you see the ocean. The other two are Bowen and Cardwell.

We have been here about 5 years ago, and it breaks up the most boring drive in the world between Mackay and Rocky. I always dread that drive, however we texted our friends Jo and Ron, that we first met in Bowen, who are also traveling down the coast to the sunshine coast, who were at Clairview, and being grand fisher people that they are, said the mud crabs were "on the boil". To bad I can't eat the suckers!

We arrived and set up camp just a couple of sites down from Jo and Ron. The park hasn't changed much, still has an intruiging atmosphere, with unusual characters, and as the owner commented an array of 'misfits" in a loving sort of way. All these characters and the steady stream of passing nomads, definitely makes for a great stay.

We originally were to stay only one night, however as one of the "staff" was having a birthday, on the Saturday (which was the next night), we just couldn't miss a good old birthday party, now could we!

The theme was a beach theme, and as expected most got dollied up in their best sarongs, board shorts and Havaianas.

Of course we had a ball. Rock'n and roll'n to the toones of the sixties, but we didn't over indulge, as we knew we had stage two of that boring trip to Rocky to complete the next day. Like all good Gerryatric Gypsies, we toddled off to bed at a reasonable hour, worn out, puffed and of course "stuffed"

I will also take this opportunity to thank the owners and staff of Clairview Holiday Park for their hospitality.

Enjoy the photies.

Mud Crabs Anyone

Sunset at Clairview

Feast of crabs

High tide at Clairview

The name

The birthday girl and hubby doing the "pub crawl"

The bar maid

Some elses birthday?

A very young couple "rock'n & roll'n

Ron, Jo & the bride, whooooooping it up

More crabs and till next time

Stay tooooned for Sanannah Park & Rawhide

Friday, 18 February 2011

101 - Cape Hillsborough Naturist Retreat

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, just kidd'n ya! Not a Naturist Retreat, but a Nature Retreat....damn!!!!!!! I will have to get my glassses re-toooooned

We left Bowenwood for either Cape Hillsbrough or Kitchenant Dam. Cape Hillsborough was closer so off we went. Now Cape Hillsborough is 30 or so kays north of Mackay and as a few "neato" neighbours as in Seaforth, Halliday and Ball Bays, and Smalleys Beach.

So after a fairly hectic drive down from Bowen, amidst driving rain, thunder storms, double B's and wayward pushbike riders, we arrived at Cape Hillsbourogh Nature Retreat.  Two days was our thing and two days it was. Like everywhere at the moment you could have shot a cannon through the park.

We did meet however a lovely lady named Miranda and her four boys, along with hubby, are traveling this great land in a bus. Apart from another lady in a flash looking Coromol, that was it in the whole park....again!!!!!

Been to this park about 25 years ago, and although can't remember much about it, and it was definitely a nice place this time around. Large and private sites, large swimming pool, close to the beach, friendly wild life, but the negativity....................bloody midges, sand flies, and anything else that can hang off your skin.......... to munch, piss, vomit, and what ever else is in their war chest to make you scratch like a maniac.

The rotten blighters even went to war in the RetroLiner at night, invading our slumber time with an array of arsenal that kept us slapping and scratching as wave after wave of these maniacial terrorists slipped through the defence of the insect screens, to jack hammer through our tender flesh and devour by what ever means to rape our blood filled body...........

'Nick off" was the cry heard throughout the night, and it wasn't the Bride telling me to Nick Off, which is quite normal........just these pesky invaders of the night with swords drawn, guns blazing, with a thirst of bloods and guts. Geeeeeeeeezus!!!!!!!!!!

So this invasion only happens this time of year.........thanks for telling us.

We had a poke around to some of the regions attractions.....been there done that, so here are some pikkies.

The bride on Cape Hillsborough Beach (Tide Out)

No guessing who

The bride playing in the kidz pool

Our camp site

 Night visitors

Home to bed now you "critters"

North end of Hillsborough

Odd rocks

Halliday Bay

Another "Critter"

Critters everywhere (he he!)

Stay toooooned idea!!!!

100 - Bowenwood 2 and Airlie Beach

Hi guys

Yeah been off the air a bit, due to our travels, but we are back.

Stayed in Bowenwood for 6 nights. Really enjoyed it there, and as I have said before, hardly a soul in the joint. We did however shoot down to Arlie Beach for Valentine Day.

As all the news reports keep telling us up here "Where The Bloody Hell Are Ya". No truer words were spoken. Mate Airlie Beach, that traditionally is wall to wall back scratchers, no parking every where, a million white pointers in the o"man there's no body around.

It is traditional for us to walk the main street of Airlie, why I don't know...been there a million times before, check out the lagoon and do the circumnavigation, have a feed then nick off. This time was no different, except there was a hardly a sole to be seen.

Did the walk, checked out the lagoon, had a feed at the Reef Gateway pub and returned the 70 odd kays to Bowenwood. We normally stay at Taylorwood Retreat on Conway Beach Road, but decided to keep our base at Bowen this time.

While in Airlie we again visited Michele, who runs the Camping and Outdoor Superstore. Of course that is another tradition for us when in Airlie is to visit Michelle, not because she is a bloody good looker and a honey to boot, but gives 200 percent customer service. We always leave her place much poorer that when we went in. The bride was eyeing off an "F" Truck and a fifth wheeler for a lazy 150 G. Cough...cough...splat...splat in your dreams sweet heart.

The shop is just before you get into Cannonvale, opposite the Mobil servo.  Michele along with her husband Alan has had the shop for 25 years. We only see her every couple of years, but she recognised me every time ............of course she is only human.........(he he!!!).
You can contact Michele 07 4946 1124 or email for anything camping, caravaning or trailers.
Here are a few pikkies of our last days in  Bowen and Airlie Beach.

Shute Harbour Jetty

The bride @ The Lagoon

 Shute Harbour again

The bride laz'n about in the pool at Bowenwood.

Stay tooooned for Cape Hillsborough Naturist Resort.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

99 - Bowenwood

We were trying to make a decision on which way to head  from Ayr. When it was decided we were not going to continue with the management of the Alva Beach Tourist we head north as per the original plans and head to Cairns to see the kidz?....decisions, decisions.

Well the weather made those decisions for us. No need to talk about Yasi, and the absolute destruction north of us. Apart from the road being very badly damaged, north of Townsville the weather was just so bad.
Continual storms, rain, wind, hot, steamy, all not conducive for a northern adventure.

So on Friday 11th it was decided to head south and just "suck it and see" I didn't want to go to far, so we opted for Bowen or better still Bowenwood. So we left Ayr after staying with our dear friends of 30 years plus, at the Ayr Travellers Motel for around about 10 days. A special thank you to Big Al and the Lady for looking after us, and giving us a safe haven during Queensland's nastiest storm in history. Thank you guys can't thank you enough.

Well Bowenwood has now a claim to fame as the 'Australia" movie was shot here.

Prior to the movie, Bowen was well known as the "arm pit" of Queenlsand, however it really has lifted it's game. Sure the town is the same as it has always been, a lot more uplift of the local buildings, as in painting and murals however, and because of the bucket loads of is very green.

But there is the other side of Bowenwood, it's beaches. A bit of a secret actually. We decided on the Big 4 CP which is right on the beach at Queens Beach. Now when we arrived, there was not a sole in the joint.....just perfect I said to the bride.. We were taken to our site, un-hitched and enjoyed the peace and quite. We booked for two nights, and have extended, and at the time of doing this entry have added another night.

Monday 14th February we may get away...........maybe to Airlie Beach, Cape Hillsborough, maybe Clairview, but it seems we are on a southern track. Stay toooooooned however in the meantime enjoy the photies of Bowenwood.

The view looking from our site to southern part of Queens Beach

Looking north

Our site at the Big 4

Nice to sit and have a couple of "Pure Blondes"

BBQ anybody

Hamburgers, glass of Vino, Pure Blonde.........just superb.
See no neighbours

We did get some neighbours, so what do you do, have happy hoursssssssssssss. The two ladies in the foreground are from Belgium, Rob and Jo from WA, and the bride.

Rob and Jo out catching their dinner

The bride couldn't help herself
Now a big smile for all the folks out there

That monster wasn't there on our last visit

Overlooking the northern Whitsundays
Horseshoe Bay Beach
Is the washing dry yet

Stay tooooooned for the next adventure of the Retro Roamers

Saturday, 5 February 2011

98 - We survived cyclone Yasi

Hi folks

Been a while since we posted, as we have only just come up for air after battening down for cyclone Yasi.

We left Mackay on Monday 31st August, initial the plan was to overnight Bowen, two nights in Ayr, leave the van here at a mates motel, then two weeks in Cairns to see the kidz then back to Ayr, to either take over the management of a tourist park at Alva Beach on the 15th or head somewhere south.

Well cyclone Anthony gave us a little touch up in Mackay, no big deal, although our plan to stay in Bowen on the night of the 31st was then changed. We decided to give  Bowen the flick and head straight to Ayr. For those not to sure of this part of the world, Ayr is about 100kms south of Townsville.

So straight to the motel, and then cyclone Yasi was starting to raise its ugly head. All predictions it was going to make landfall over such a huge area, very hard to make any decisions about moving on. So we bunkered down in Ayr, secured the Retroliner and the Val, and got ourselves into a real flash room. Then the waiting game started.

I am sure you have all seen, and read what happened with cyclone Yasi. No need to go there. We at  Ayr experienced I would say cat 2 strength, which was fairly unpleasant. Ayr got out of this with quite a few trees down, power off, sails on car parks ripped to shreds, but all in all, we just got the edge.

The following morning we inspected the area. The RetroIiner didn't move, and with the tarp over it...not an issue. The Val survived and all the cars parked in the parking area, all was okay as well.

We did loose power about 8pm when Yasi was heading towards Mission Beach and associated areas. However we did come out of the whole show, unharmed with no loss of property or limb. We feel for all those folks who have been decimated by this event, and although we went through cyclone Steve while we managed a property at Trinity Beach, cat 3 that went right over the top us in 2000, absolutely demolishing the old Queensland pub next to us....that was bad enough. We didn't have power for four days.....that's nothing to what all these poor buggers are going through now. Our hearts and thoughts are with you.

So here it is Sunday 6th and we are still in Ayr. Can't get through to Cairns anyway, no highway left at Cardwell. For those who have travelled that route will know, the highway in that part runs right along the shore line. Its all gone!!!!!!!!

Our son and his family copped a battering in Cairns loosing their front and back patios, and have since learned thee roof actually lifted............if you go to YouTube, search for midnight cyclone yasi smithfield, and check it out. I pick up today that they are having to move out as the house is not structurally sound. They are renters, so I pity the wroth the estate agent is going to cop from the daughter in law.

So as it stands....we aren't going to Cairns. The Tourist park is a mess, and really don't want to sit around for weeks on end to get it cleaned up, so by say mid week we may return south......stay toooooooned for that. The general buzz at the moment is there is another monster brewing in the same birthing grounds as Yasi, expecting to hit the Queensland coast next week....feeeeeeerk!!!!!. Hey Shell we are coming to Kalgoorlie!!!

Here are a few photies for you.

The RetroLiner and the Val ready for Yasi behing the Ayr Travellers motel

The tourist park we are looking at

Just a bit of tree damage (he he!!!)

The bride getting blown away the day after Yasi

Woolies car park in Ayr

Second hand cheap sails anybody

Stay tooooned for the next adventure