I left Wardell NSW and headed to Ballina NSW for a few days camping in Snowball. I booked in and caught up with some domestic chores - washing etc and then headed to the RSL for lunch.
I'm booked into the Caravan Park for a few days and will leave on the 12th for Brisbane. The weather was spectacular and I have to keep reminding myself that this is mid winter. I've been for lots of walks along the river and watched a bit of Netflix on my iPad. Netflix rocks.
|Out for my walk|
|Ballina - it was there one |
day but gone the next lol
|Snacks and Netflix and |
|Tracey - I've forgotten the |
budgies name lol
8 August 2017
Another beautiful day and another great walk followed by snacks and Netflix. I met Ted and Carol from Ormeau QLD and have been invited to visit on my next trip that way. Also the people across from me were cooking bacon on the BBQ while I ate my porridge. Sad Face!! Anyway - they came over with some samples for me and became my new best friends. :)
When I'm housesitting I tend to be on my way TO somewhere or on my way BACK from somewhere and I don't really get time to veg out and actually meet people so this has been nice. See more on this later.
9 August 2017
While I was out walking today I came across a small farmers market and headed back to the Park with a dozen giant oysters, some oyster chowder and a large punnet of the most delicious blueberries I ever did eat. And ...no......before you ask....the oysters didn't work!!
Some people from Tasmania moved in later in the day and we talked into the early evening about our travels.
All in all a very good day.
10 August 2017
I said that the weather was gorgeous during the day but the night time temperature has been dropping to the 2 to 5 degree Celsius mark. I've been filling my hot water bottle and nuking my wheat bags and getting in to bed early to keep warm. Generally I get up during the night to reheat everything lol.
11 August 2017
Another beautiful walk and a pub lunch. I want to be packed up so I can leave first thing for Brisbane.
12 August 2017
On the road early heading for Brisbane and stopped at McDonalds Chinderah for breakfast.
This was an education. I was the only person waiting at Maccas and asked for a sausage and egg McMuffin and a black decaf coffee. The girl typed it all in and she said "thats a cappuccino?" and I replied "No. A black decaf coffee thanks". and she said" Yes...a decaf cappuccino." When I asked her how one would make a black cappuccino the penny dropped. Doh! To add insult to injury my sausage and egg turned out to be bacon and egg. I wonder how she would have gone if there'd been a crowd.
13 August to 15 August 2017
Time spent looking after Derek while Lee goes to her new job and to help with her house moving and then off to Banyo Qld for 1 months housesit.
The weather was spectacular for the whole month and a lot of dog walking took place with Daisy and Ratty.
There's a very very basic Vietnamese restaurant at the end of the road that serves up some of the best Beef Pho I've tasted. Definitely as good as the place I became addicted to in San Francisco.
During this time I decided that buying the VW Transporter instead of a large van was definitely the right thing for me to do. It's my only vehicle and when in Brisbane I'm all over the place. I would've been totally stressed driving in peak hour and parking and reversing in the bigger van. Snowball is perfect in every way and I'm very happy to have her.
While I was walking the dogs around Banyo - a suburban residential area - I came across 2 large lizards on different days. I was quite surprised to see them there and especially as one was on the actual road. They obviously like to live dangerously!
Also during this period I became a mama. I was toying with the idea at some stage of getting a little companion to travel with me. Lee started sending through 8 million emails with different dogs for sale and I saw one that I fell in love with instantly. His name is Trevor and you'll need to get used to seeing photos of him. He's so photogenic and has the prettiest little face. He has an Instagram page called travels.with.trev so check it out and follow his journey.
|Lee with Trevor|
|Looking out the back window |
- waiting to start the trip
|Me and da dawg!|
|Such a pretty pretty boy|
11 August 2017
Trev and I hit the road and the plan was 3 x 700 km days which we did with ease. Trev is so tiny he travels in his crate with the seat belt strapping the crate in on the front seat. When he gets bigger I'll get him a proper harness and a booster seat so he can see the world. He's 3/4 Fox terrier x 1/4 Maltese and while stunningly beautiful will only grow till about 10 inches tall so I use the words "get bigger" loosely hehehe
I stopped every couple of hours to let him do his business and I'm so proud of him. No "accidents" in the van and each time we moved on he would snuggle down and sleep till the next stop.
I've never ever seen as much road kill as I did on this trip. Must have been 100 roos and a couple of wild pigs. Lots of birds too.
|Love the name of this pub. I've had |
my share of "wobbly boot" nights
|I love what they are doing to |
these ugly silos and tanks
We stopped at Coonabarrabran NSW the first night and Hay NSW the next and into Adelaide on the third day. I booked into my favourite spot at Brighton Caravan Park and the memories of cold Adelaide winters came streaming back to me. The second night I had to drop the pop top because the wind was so strong. Really rocked us to sleep lol
Another 2 weeks before Trev can go for walks - his vaccinations won't kick in till then so I'm a bit land locked at the moment.
OK so here's the serious bit. I had breast cancer 30 years ago and have relived the anguish and fear again the last few weeks. I developed another lump. All my original surgery and recovery took place in Adelaide so I rang for an appointment with Dr Parkyn but he was overseas till September 4. I made an appointment anyway but the stress got to me and his partner very kindly saw me on Friday.
2 Ultrasounds later and all is well - just a trauma related injury due to a fall/twist I had.
So far my retirement (since I returned from the States) has been driving from one end of the country to the other - housesitting.
Whilst I've enjoyed the driving and my van and helping friends out I've come to realise how precious time is and how we're guaranteed NOTHING. I lost my brother Phil 2 years ago at the age of 65 to cancer - I'm sure he expected to live long and prosper but it was not to be.
Because of this I am going to give up house sitting at the end of this year - I'll be contacting people personally who have made long term bookings so they will have time to make other arrangements.
I'm sorry for any inconvenience this will cause my friends but I'm sure they'll understand my reasoning.
I'm looking forward to driving at a leisurely pace and stopping off for periods of time along the way if I come across a place that particularly grab me.
|Derek and Trevor|
17 August 2017
I'm currently housesitting for Carmen at Salisbury SA - looking after Tess. Tess is an older version of Trevor and Trev is a little bit excited about it all. Poor Tess - she comes out for a play and then disappears to recover.
It has been bloody cold here....but only 2 weeks till spring :)
|Trevor - he stole the |
Penguin from Tess
I'm here till the 22nd and then I'll remain in Adelaide for a few days to attend some special events in the McMahon/Hemming/Savage family. Will fill you in later.
My future includes a lot more of this.......