Saturday, 31 December 2011

132 - Gold Coast December 2011

The view from our lounge room on the Goldie

Thursday 29th December 2011
Todays Weather: Windy with showers

I have taken a leaf out of the way Frank G does his blog, and seeing I have a lot more time on my hands now, I will try to continue to do a daily entry. This way I can report on the days’ happenings, without having to do a whole lot in one go. No doubt there will be days where nothing is happening, so I will just take it as it comes.

The back of the house from the canal

Okay, here we are at our temporary home on the Gold Coast. Still trying to come to terms with not having phones ringing and dealing with the daily grind of 12 to 18 hour days of hospitality management, but I will admit, and although I am having the odd whinge, about retirement, each day gets easier.

The bride in the kitchen again!!!!!!!

As the bride has got her work cut out for her with her caring; five days a week another carer comes in for 4 hours per day; Monday to Friday. That gives us a chance to get out, and go to the beach, go for a walk, do lunch. Me personally I am a free agent, and I can work on the Val (car), have a Poppy Pause (some call it a Nanny Nap), get lost somewhere, so for the next three to four weeks anything can happen, so most of my blogging may be a little mundane, however it has got to better than motel / caravan park management.

The view from the lounge room

So today, apart from the duties that the bride has to perform, we just did the mundane things at the local shopping centre, however that should only be a once a week experience. The rest of the day was a non event apart from me annoying the bride……..that’s my job!!!!!!

Hey looking good for a retired old fart @ 64 and 11 months (he he!!!)

Looking east down the canal

Friday 30th december 2011
Todays Weather: Windy with Showers

Not another good day weather wise, so apart from the normal, did a little work on the Val, and during the afternoon Fraser, his wife Sophie and their brand new bub Arabella, dropped in to say hi to Ann. Fraser is the only boy and the youngest of the children of Anns', and although now living in Melbourne, were up on the coast for the news years break, and to see Ann of course.

The bride as in prevoius posts has been associated with Ann and the children (now adults of coures) for more than four decades, and basically an unofficial "Aunty". On many occasions she has spent long periods of time with the kids when they were little, hence there has always been a close relationship with the family for all this time. Hence when the call came to care for Ann, the bride jumped at it.....with no hesitation. That is what family is all about I guess. 

Sophie, Fraser and Arabella

Saturday 31st December 2011
Todays Weather: Windy, cloudy, few showers.

Gee we are not having much luck with the weather. Today was fairly un eventful, apart from me giving the Val (car) a good scrub. I will polish section by section of the car over the next week.

Well toniight is NYE, and will we be going out with he cast of thousands..........noooooooooo!!!!!! We will just stay home like a couple of good old Geriatric Gypsies. Actually this is the first Christmas / New Year period, we haven't been incaserated within the confins of a motel somewhere. Nice change.

Anyway after dinner or tea, depending which state you live in, we settled down to a couple of reds, punctuated by the odd port, with all intentsions of seeing in the new year. Guess what, I did my usual trick, and fell asleep by 10pm, with the bride not long after at 11pm. Geeeezus we are a couple of boring old farts. Also the bride was fired up earlier in the night about the 31 million dollar lotto, and how she was going to spend it. Yeah...yeah heard it all before, and sure as eggs, the results........squiddly, dat as per normal.

So we checked out the kids fireworks at Paradise Point where we could see a bit from the patio, which was all over and done with, in two mouth fulls of port.

A'h well another year bites the dust.

Well bring on the fire works!!!!!!!!

Is that it????????

O'h well Happy New Year!!!!!!!!

Stay toooooooned!!!!!!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

131 - Byron Bay 2011

Our retreat at Byron Bay

Friday 23rd December 2011
After 8 months at the Mapleton Cabins and Caravan Park, I made my escape at 8am, and also officially retired on this day. So I booted up the Val, minus the RetroLiner, may I add, and headed straight to the Goldie to pick up the bride, then to head off to the holiday house in Byron Bay. Some of our readers will know, that this isn’t our house…I wish...however this will be the very last time we can have the house for our leisure time, as it has been sold with settlement sometime in January 2012.

Back to the story……..the drive down from Mapleton to the Goldie was with out any incidents, with the traffic, although heavy was moving quite freely. After picking up the bride, that’s when the traffic became very heavy and the rain started to pelt down. So all the way from the northern end of the Goldie to the southern end, it rained so hard, one couldn’t see a couple of meters in front of the Val; hence the going was tough and slow, with stop start heavy traffic, and extremely heavy rain.

Once over the border the traffic eased, as well as the rain, and the trip to Byron was pretty crooooozy. Once we got into the house, a couple of coldies was in order, and as it was fairly late in the day, we didn’t venture to our favorite free beach of Tyagarah. Just rustled up some grub, a few more dinkies, and retired for an early night.

The views from one of the balconies

Can you see the ocean eh!!! eh!!!!

Saturday 24th December 2011

Christmas Eve day, saw a much better day. Sun was shinning, a little bit of wind, not much cloud to speak of, looks like a good one! So what does one do when in Byron, go to the beach of course, however not the well know beaches of Byron Bay where they are awash with a skillion people, we head to the other well known beach Tyagarah, which is a legal free beach. You know…..if you forget your swim wear….tough titties.

We figured a long walk and a couple of swims were the order of the day. Arriving at the entrance we use to Tyagarah Beach is the southern end entrance, or just north of Belongil Creek. The reason we use this entrance, it is initially easy to get to, easy to park and not a lot of people know of this entry. All one has to do is walk across a disused golf course, and bingo you are on the beach. Tyagarah is a very long beach, reaching to the north as far as Brunswick Heads. Hence the southern end, as well as about half way along at the national park entrance and nearly to Brunswick Heads, are a mixture of folks who wear swim wear, and others that don’t, more the latter is the case. No one really cares.

We headed off on our walk from the southern entrance, to the national park entrance, which is about three kilometers, each way. Had the wind on backs on the way up, and the tide was just right for a beach walk. Once arriving at our destination we hit the water and had a body surf, returning to the southern end for another swim and surf. The temperature of the water was just magnificent. We hung around for a while catching a bit of sun, and then wandered off. However brewing out to sea was a monster swell that hit the coast between Fraser Island and the far north coast of NSW, with vengeance on Christmas Day. We knew all about the ex-tropical cyclone that was well out to sea, but didn’t really expect to seas like we saw on Chrissie day.

Merry Xmas from the the kitchen again

Sunday 25th December 2011

Upon waking on this day and seeing we didn’t have family around us this year, we decided what a better way to experience Christmas day, than the great Ozzie tradition of going to the beach. We arrived at south Tyagarah, parked with ease, and as usual made our way across the golf course……four!!!!!!!!!!! The grass is so long one is always on the look out for the “WEREDAFAKARI TRIBE.” So with great expectations of repeating yesterday’s events, boy did we get a shock!!!!!!!! Apart from a king incoming tide, the waves were huge, leaving absolutely no beach to walk on, let alone have as swim. How disappointing! So we canned that idea and headed into Byron Bay itself, and as we wanted to get our walk in, we assumed the main Beach at Byron may be protected from these huge swells……WRONG AGAIN……..Geeeeeezus there was hardly any beach at Byron also, and again the surf was humungous. So we tried to get a bit of a walk in, but really all we did was battle with an incoming tide. Not one of our better beach days. So we gave that the flick and headed back to the house for a few coldies and a lazy afternoon.

Water everywhere

Where's the sand lady?

Pretty rough for Byron

Big surf was the order of the day

Monday 26th December 2011

Boxing Day, let’s try again! Na! The tide was wrong with a late morning high king tide, and the swells were still huge, although the day was bright and shinny, as it has been since we got here on the 23rd. So the beach idea was out, so it was off to the monthly markets at Bangalow. Now Bangalow is not to far at all from the house we stay at, so 15 minutes later we were all parked up, at the show grounds. Blimey half of NSW must have been there. Now I am not one for markets, they are all the same to me, however I just wandered along with the bride, checked out all the girlies of all ages….I’m a boy that’s my job… well as keeping a very firm hand on the wallet, with the continual reminder to the bride, that we are both retired, and still not quite yet working for the government. So with the usual whine from me…..”Where is that going to fit in caravan for goodness sake!!!!!!!!!!!?” we departed Bangalow markets, less $2.00 for parking, pheeew!!!!!!!!!, and headed for Mulumbimby.

Bangalow Markets

Some kool dudes

Why Mulum…….as the locals call it…. just for the sake of a drive. Everything was shut as expected, so we then headed into Brunswick Heads for a lemon squash at the pub. After that exciting interlude, the bride said we should check out Tyagarah beach again, but this time, from the national park access, which was on its way back to the house anyway. Yeah why not!!!!!!! So we turned down Grays Lane, which is the road that leads into the national park and the entrance to the beach. We used this road a couple of years ago, and the road was a shocker then. This time it is absolutely disgraceful, and I guarantee the road hasn’t seen a grader since the Broncos won the last league premiership. Mate what a disaster, however we pushed on across the corrugations, the huge pot holes, and the dust nearly chocked us to death. On all reports the Gibb River Road is better than this mess.

Now the Grays Lane entrance to Tyagarah is the most popular for the beach goers that forget their swim wear. So as expected when we got there, apart from not being able to park, and as expected there was a cast of thousands present. Not on the beach proper as it was the same as this entire story, king tides, huge seas, blah, blah, blah. So what I could see of most of the cast of thousands they were perched up along the dunes, as far as the eye could see, but at least the sun was shinning. So we gave that the flick, and headed back to the house for more drinkies and tucker. That was the end of our second day in a row of trying to have some time on the beach.

Tuesday 27th of December 2011.

Now of course we are running out of time as we need to be back on the Goldie for the bride to continue with her caring duties on Wednesday afternoon. So this morning, lets hit the beach again. We knew the tide was coming in, and also hoped the seas had abated, as there was no wind, although quite cloudy…………mmmmmmmmm!

So off we went again, to our usual entry spot to the beach, and you guess it, totally useless. Apart from a full king tide, there was no beach to speak of, and huge waves again. Bugger!!!!!!!! It was fairly over cast as well….so even though we hung around for a short time on what was left of the beach, we decided to give the day the miss again, and wander back to the house to sulk………again. But how about we try again this arvo I said to the bride. The tide will be on its way out, the clouds seem to be lifting, the sun peaking through the clouds, could be a goer.

Damn!!!!! king tides, huge seas and blowing a gale

HA! HA! Funny man was the catch cry. By 2pm. a thunder storm had reached the bay from the west, and the rest is history, when it comes to thunder storms. By this time the bride has settled into Turner Classic Movies on Austar, and I am writing this blog. So another day has passed us by. But I shouldn’t stress too much about not getting to the beach, as I am now RETIRED!!!!!! I can go to the beach when ever I want!!!!
The bride heading into the Chinese restaurant

So we decided a good old fashion Chinese meal was the go. Over the years we have been going to Byron, we always went to this Chinese restaurant that was part of the Byron Bay Bowling Club. Always a good meal and the host Jimmy was a barrel of laughs. However Jimmy has sold to another operator, and although the meal was substantial, the cooks definitely went into overdrive on the MSG. Anyway, filled our bellies, and again we headed back to the house for another evening of relaxing. As a foot note here, after four days of being retired, I am over it already.

Wednesday 28th of December 2011

I said to the bride before retiring the night before, lets get another walk in down the beach early, before we pack up and head back to the Goldie. Come sunrise on this day, wind, showers and storms….so guess what, we stayed in bed. As the morning progressed we did the packing thing, and of course the bride detailed the house, as she does, and I packed the car, and then off out of Byron with destination Gold Coast.

The last photos of the house at Byron

Guess who's back in the kitchen again

Spent a lot of time on that couch I did
The Val in the drive way

I dislike the Gold Coast with a passion, however we are staying at the northern end, which is way out of the hurdy gurdy of Surfers Paradise. The house here is nice and homely and on a canal, which will be our home in the short term.

Of course the bride has the caring duties, so I will be getting stuck into the Val, and getting it back into ship shape. It has been neglected for a long time, so seeing I will have heaps of time on my hands, this will be the best opportunity I have had for years, to work on the beast.

The tavern at Tumbugun

Back to the story! Coming up the super highway, we decided that we would deviate off the highway, to a little place called Tumbulgum for lunch. It has a great pub on the Tweed River. A nice part of the north coast of NSW. We had a bite to eat, and may I add the sun is shinning and the wind has abated….damn!!!!!!!!

Over looking the Tweed River northern NSW

After the munchies we then ventured further north to our destination of Runaway Bay. Now there are two ways to access our destination, either continue on the super highway from Tweed Heads, or take the stop start scenic tour up the coast road past the beaches etc. We decided to take the latter, and even though we have done this trip a gazillion times before, it is always good to see the development (the few that have been completed, and the millions that are now derelict building sites.) The good old Gold Coast has crashed and burned big time. Not a good place to be.

Just before our destination nothing would be complete on the Gold Coast without the good old Cops and robbers event. Yep sure enough on the highway, was 5 cops’ cars, a million cops, and some dudes in hand cuffs lying on the ground. Welcome to the crime capital of Queensland.

Arrived at our destination, unloaded the car, and here I am finishing off the blog.

Stay toooooooned.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

130 - SOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mapleton Cabins and Caravan Park, which has been our home for the last eight months

Yep folks, after 8 months of huffing and puffing, offers, counter offers, some players falling over, new players on the scene, finally as of Toooooosday 12th December 2011, contracts have been signed by both parties.

"But wait there's more." It could still fall over as the contracts at this stage are conditional. However everybody is fairly confident that it is a goer. I hope for the owner of the park, who has endured a pretty rocky ride in trying to sell this place, that all goes ahead.

For me and the bride, it doesn't affect either of us. She has already gone to the Goldie, and I finish on the 23rd of December 2011. So all going well the blog will again be alive with fun and frivolity, and all the crazy things we get up to on our travels.

The RetroLiner is all but finished, so maybe some photies soon.

I was going to do a history of 2011, like last year, but being here since April 2011, not much to report.

In the meantime, trust you all have a very happy and safe Chrissie and a prosperous 2012. Our goal is to win Lotto....(he he!!!!) yeah and pigs fly!!!!!!!!!

Stay tooooooned

Cheers & beers