Wednesday, 22 February 2012

140 - Goldie / Byron Bay / Evans Head

The bride saying goodbye to our canal house

We left the Goldie on time and on schedule. It was very hard to break the routine........a beautiful home, very tastefully furnished, great atmosphere, and the family encouraged us to stay as long as we like. However we decided it best to hit the road, as the longer we stayed in the house, the harder it was going to be to move on.

So it was decided to do the shake down cruise to Byron Bay. As I was a little tentative in towing, I hadn’t towed the RetroLiner fully loaded for some time, and with the Val also bulging at the seams, my confidence was a little bit “how’s ya muther.”

However being a super highway all the way from the Goldie to Byron, I could keep to the far left hand lane, and let all the idiots’ race by, and give the working truckies a free path to go about their business. So let’s go….and as expected the RetroLiner towed beautifully, behind the Val, and an hour or so later, we pulled into Byron Bay Holiday Village at Belongil Fields.

At this stage we are not hitting the free camps, as there is basically none between the Goldie and Byron, and the ones that are available, are really truck stops on the highway, which is not my idea of a free camp. We have been to Byron Bay Holiday Village before, and knew the layout. It was ideal for us, as we are close to our favourite beach Tyagarah, and far enough out of town to get away from the “crazies” of Byron Bay.

Just love our beaching

So we selected a good site, close to the amenities, and far enough away from the camping “back scratchers”. We decided on three nights. After our arrival we did the usual set up, and then broke out the refreshments, and the rest of the day and evening was just normal for us. Waking the next morning, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and me being me, enjoyed the sights of the lady back scratchers, moving between the camp kitchen and the camp area. That's my job...I'm a boy!!! They weren’t making ladies like that when I was 20…..bugger!!!!!!!!!!!!

But they, the back scratchers in general, although their behavior was not an issue, are an un-friendly lot. Really didn’t want to even say “gidday”. However I guess when they are....... in most cases from another country……..trying to understand “how ya goin mate” from an old fart like me, was no doubt a little overwhelming for them. Although the ones we did said “gidday” to, were always polite, but that was the end of the conversation.

Our first day we went to Tyagarah…..but we were blown away by the wind. The sun was shinning and the seas were calm, not unlike our last visit at Christmas. Unfortunately the wind was whipping the sand up and hitting us like a sand blaster. Hence the bride “was not happy Jan” so we didn’t stay very long. From there we went back the CP and just chilled out.

Our second full day the wind was still up, so a beach day was out of the question. So we just potted around the CP, went into Byron for supplies etc., and readied our selves for our next leg to Evans Head.

The Val and The Retro Liner all tucked up at the Silver Sands Tourist Park at Evans Head

We left Byron and headed to Evans Head. Now Evans Head is about an hour or so south of Byron Bay. We took the coast road into Balina, rather than the highway, and then linked up to the Pacific Highway. From that point forth to Evans Head, the road can only be deemed as a goat track.

So much for the super highway between Sydney and Brisbane, which has been promised by every politician, state and federal, for as long as I can remember. However I will say the last time we did this drive from Brisbane to Sydney a couple of years ago, there was a lot going on with the upgrade on many sections. In saying that, the far north coast of NSW, is still very ordinary in the road department.

Rear view of the rigs

We decided to stay a week at Evans Head in the Silver Sands Holiday Park. Why a week you may ask……well the Brides sister was also going to Evans Head with her hubby for her birthday. So what an apt time, to get together again. The bride’s sister organized a weekend away at Maroochydore in November for the brides’ birthday, so it has all worked out well.

The Richmond River at Evans Head

Evans Head….what a magic little place. It has kept its seaside ambience, like Byron used to be back in the sixties. When I was a younger fella in the years when Normie Rowe was ‘Shaking All Over With No Added Hormones,” the Little River Band was know as “The Twilights” and when a cartoooon of KB tins cost about five interest was chasing the girlies and surfing. But doing the trip from Sydney to the Goldie in those days, apart from it being a four day trip as long as you didn’t stop, I never went to Evans Head. What a Wally!!!!!! I say now.

The beach at Evans Head goes for miles

Now Evans Head is not on the Back Packers itinerary of places to see. No night clubs, no raging pubs, no parties. It is a town mainly of retirees, and situated at the mouth of the Richmond River. A quant little seaside township, with all the amenities one wants. The beach goes for a million miles……ooops kilometers, and perfect for that early morning walk, or early swim.

It is really great to see the morning ritual, of the more mature members of society, waddling towards the beach like a group of Fairy penguins, with the melodious sounds of creaking bones, and the oooooh’s and ahhhhhhs of the aches and pains that are consuming their senses, as they head towards the beach for their morning constitution. I should know, I am one of them!!!!!

Now the tourist park is a nice place. Amenities are clean, however like most parks, there are a lot of regulars who are in their own little clique, and don’t really want to know you. Although it is fairly quiet, there are a lot of sites, however there are a million, on site vans, that are obviously owned by individuals who come here during designated holidays. I would hate to be school holidays. At the time of writing this blog, we are five days into our 7 day stay, and apart from hitting the beach very regularly, and going for long walks, we have just chilled out, as all good Geriatric Gypsies should do.

Can you see me out there about to catch that wave

See there I go....see......see

However our stay here has not been with out incident. When we arrived on Saturday, and as the CP is basically on the beach, I had to go for a swim, however noted at the time the water was quite brown, as a result of flooding over the last several weeks.

Now all that separates the Richmond River and the beach is the rock wall which creates an entry from the river to the sea, and vice versa. So as the beach is on the northern side of the mouth, and with a southerly wind, the crapp that was coming out of the river was being blown onto the beach. Who cares!!!!!!!!!

Two days later I have the worst ear infection, I have had for a thousand years, plus sometime over the last couple of days I was attacked by an “animagator” on my left shoulder blade. This attack has left a rash on this side of my body, that even the local doctor, was quite surprised at the severity. So at this point in time I am not able to go in the sea for at least 10 days, so the ears will clear….well the rash is settling down bit by bit….time will tell on that one.

Yuko!!!!!! The result of a bite from an Animagator. Now don't get to excited girls. (he he!!!!!)

We have also experienced severe thunder storms most afternoons, which has really given us a decent touch up. But we have survived.

Brewing thunderstorms

During our stay here the Brides' sister Julie popped around and said gidday and to check out the refurbed interior of the RetroLiner.

Check out the comfy recliner chairs and the two sisters having a good old chin wag

The old fella just zzzzzz away after a hard day 

Our next stop will be either Iluka in the Caravan Park, or Woody Head camp ground. Now I pick up around the ridges it is very expensive to stay in any camp ground run by the NSW National Parks and while on the NSW coast they are as expensive if not more as a CP and the camps have very little facilities. I will have to investigate that one….so stay toooooooned.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

139- On The Road Again

This will be a short post and no photos, as we are finally packing up from our house sit on the Goldie.

So on Wednesday 15th February 2012 we will leave our fantastic house sit around mid morning and do a shake down cruise to Byron  Bay. We will have about three nights there, just to get used to the van and see what doesn't work.

From there we will slowly head down the northern NSW coast, just enjoying some sights we have not visited before. Forseeable destination is Coffs Harbour as the bride wants to see her sister and family and also my brother is also there and will catch up with him.

How long it takes us to get there is anybodys guess, and where we go from there at this stage is to Sydney to see my elderst son, his wife and the grandies, plus catch up with a couple of mates still locked into the big city. The bride also has two brothers she wants to see as well.

Depending on weather we will head to the south coast of NSW, again to see a couple of mates. Not making any plans after that at this stage. The only concret plan is to be in Darwin at one of our retreats end of May or there abouts.

Little bit of news however, the lovely people from Caravan and Motor Home magazine want to do some stories about me and the bride, our rig, our working life style in our past life style. Hey that's pretty cool.

Until next time stay toooooned.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

138 - Just Sitting Around

Working flat out doing nothing and getting fatter

Well folks, I haven't done, a day by day blow of events for the last week, cause nothing happened.

The weather finally came good, and we did bits and pieces on both the Val and the RetroLiner, but generally did nothing.

The bride flat out doing nothing

We are getting closer to when we may move on. This week in the early parts, we will do things we need to attend to, however apart from that, the road network south and west of us here on the Goldie is still pretty dodgy.

If we do get away this week, we will probably head for Byron Bay, and loiter around there for a couple of days, as we need a beach fix (weather permitting of course) and then make our way slowly to Coffs Harbour.

Bye..... I'm leaving home. Had enough of this luxury on the Goldie (he he!!!!)

Checking out all the other poor people who live on the canal

Where else would you find the bride

I can't let a post go by without the bride in the kitchen. Cya next week.