Posted by: glenswatman | September 4, 2010

20100811-31 AUSTRALIA Queensland

WEDNESDAY 11 AUGUST – We’ve had over 3” of rain during the night and many areas of Queensland record downpours.  The news shows a few boats have got into difficulties with a big barge running aground.  So glad we are not still sailing.  I doing morning exercises with Babs then in the afternoon we join Ron & Wendy (from Perth) for a ride out.  Cedar Creek falls are just a short walk from the car park and after the rain they are spectacular with a lovely pool below.  We also check out Wilson and Conway Beach where the sign listing the many hazardous marine creatures is enough to put you off ever wanting to go in the water.  If the numerous types of jelly fish don’t get you there are always the crocs but at least there is a croc free swimming enclosure.

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THURSDAY 12 AUGUST – It is a really hot sunny day so we can accept the cold night that came before it.  Our neighbour “woofa” Steve leaves and gives us lots of his leftover food stuff.  At this rate we may have to stay here longer to eat it all up!

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FRIDAY 13 AUGUST – Val & David have recently bought a Telstra dongle and offer me use of it.  We must leave Australia by 19th November or pay $250 (£150) each to extend our visa.  When I see a Royal Caribbean International cruise out of Sydney on 8th November reduced to a total of US$1860 (£1300) for the 2 of us we book it.  It sails for 12 days to the South Pacific with day stops at 7 different places so should be a good sampling.  In the evening they hold a “fright night” to celebrate Friday 13th.  We all take our meat up to BBQ at the recreation room and many people dress up in costume.

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SATURDAY 14 AUGUST – Today is the Bowen races and Steve has a lift with Babs and Alan leaving at 9am whilst I have a lift at 11am.  I help Val & David with a cruise booking. Inspired by my story they have decided to join us on our trip from Sydney.  At 11am I join Pat for a lift with Alan and Lorna.  Racecourse admission costs $5 pensioners and $10 (£6) for me.  We commandeer a table and set ourselves up beside the track.  Everyone arrives before the start of the races and we all stand by the track.  Steve gets a first whilst I waste my each way bet, this continues for the next couple of races after which I give up betting.  Steve’s luck has also run out but overall we are about $20 (£12) up on the day as his winnings have covered everything else. 

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SUNDAY 15 AUGUST – As Babs and Alan won’t accept any petrol money I offer Babs a facial.  Lying out in the sun (totally the wrong thing of course) she really enjoys the treatment.  Babs tells me she will give me a foot massage one of the days.  Wendy has seen me doing the facial and takes up my offer of one for her.  This leads to Ngaire asking how much I charge and can she have one and I tell her she can have one and they are free.  The spin off from this is that she returns the compliment and gives me a back massage.  Pat has been watching the back massage and I end up giving her one later for which she offers Steve & me a roast dinner at their place.  So a good time was had by all.

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MONDAY 16 AUGUST – Could get used to this leisurely lifestyle, swimming pool in the morning, cards afternoon and then we catch a move on TV in the evening – how tough is that?  Evening entertainment is provided when our neighbour Wendy calls us out to watch the possum playing outside their cabin.

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TUESDAY 17 AUGUST – Air Asia have 3 days of special offer flights so I get up early to get on line before they sell out.  After a couple of hours I have our flights booked from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur (£156) at the end of January then on to Cochin (£50) in India.  The next leg in is May flying form Delhi back to KL (£83) then the bargain of the day from KL to London Stanstead for just £101 each.    I’m on a roll so also book a Jet Star flight from Proserpine to Brisbane for September at $49 (£30) each, just a tad better than going by bus at over $200 (£120) each.  It’s a busy day on site with Val & Dave heading south and 4 new vans coming in so new people to talk to at happy hour.

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WEDNESDAY 18 AUGUST – It’s a dull day so time to catch up on some reading.  In the evening they show the movie “The Weatherman” in the rec room on the big screen and I supply us all with popcorn.

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THURSDAY 19 AUGUST – Steve has been having some trouble with his left wrist swelling and it has now gone on for almost a week and was worse last night.  When he gets up he feels quite faint then comes over in a hot sweat.  The tropical disease “Ross river virus” has been mentioned so we decide now is the time to get it checked out.  Ron lends us the Taylorwood car to drive to Proserpine hospital where we have reciprocal medical arrangements.  We are seen within minutes and immediately they are mystified.  The initial nurse calls in a doctor who mentions he may have a compartment which means a clot trapped in his arm.  To cover themselves they give Steve a warfarin injection in his stomach and talk of us having to go 150km to Mackay to have the clot cut out.  Meanwhile they do blood tests and an x-ray to eliminate other things.  The doctor thinks the clot may be from all the flying we have done over the last few months.  More people come to look at him and offer suggestions and it gets a bit like a scene out of “House”.  Answering all the questions we finally remember Steve helping George sanding the boat over 2 weeks ago which would mean that the wrist problem took 10 days to surface.  The final conclusion is that it will be treated as tendonitis but they will send more blood off for test of tropical diseases.  Steve is given a wrist support to use and told not to try and move it but to put on an ice pack a few times a day.  He must also take ibuprofen for the inflammation.  Take the opportunity to do some shopping before returning to Taylorwood.  Word has gone around camp and many people want to know how he is so we have lots of explaining to do, in the end Steve opts out of “happy hour” as he can’t face any more questions!

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FRIDAY 20 AUGUST – On our morning walk we meet newcomers Terry & Deb.  They are a similar age to us and we seem to have a lot in common.  End up spending the whole afternoon playing a version of canasta called hand and foot with them.  Our friend Keith from Tewantin calls us.  We had plans to stay with them next month but he calls to say his neighbour has been rushed into hospital and wants people to house sit and look after their cat so instead of staying with Keith & Di we will be house sitting next door for a few weeks.  Steve gets a call from the hospital to say all his blood tests are clear so with luck he will soon get better.  The only thing we can possibly put it down to was the day he helped George on the sanding board but that was 10 days before the problem occurred.

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SATURDAY 21 AUGUST – Neighbours Ron & Wendy fly back to Perth today but before leaving donate all their leftover food – at this rate we will have to stay longer to use it all up.  We join them for a cooked breakfast before they leave.  Pat has bought a hair highlight kit and asks me to put it on and we are both so pleased with the results that I will look out for one for myself.  It was a “Garnier” kit with a mini comb to put the paste on and a doddle to use.  The afternoon goes quickly with 6 of us playing Chinese patience (a new game we have learnt which we are sure Daniel and Natasha will love).  Cabin neighbours Eddie & Freda call us back, they have just spotted a huge tree snake on the table outside our cabin, by the time we get there it is slithering off but we will be sure to keep our door closed in future.  In the evening we gather at the rec room to watch “The best of the two Ronnie’s” which has more than stood the test of time and has many of us laughing out loud.  Amazing when you see that some of the clips are from 1974. 

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SUNDAY 22 AUGUST – I spend the morning doing onward research on the computer.  In the afternoon Steve plays pool whilst I play cards then we both while away the evening playing cards.

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MONDAY 23 AUGUST – In the morning I give Pat a facial and head massage.  After playing cards in the afternoon I find I have a bad back and the “what goes around comes around” comes into play when Sandy comes down and gives me a massage.

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TUESDAY 24 AUGUST – My back is still bad, is it too much sitting around playing cards or lying out sunbathing?  Steve goes out with Terry to do a spot of fishing up the river, they return with a couple of good sized crabs and a mackerel.  In the evening we join them by the fire for a feed and it is all delicious.

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WEDNESDAY 25 AUGUST – We have to move to another cabin and someone has specifically requested cabin 4 (strange when everyone thinks cabin 5 is the nicest).  Pat gives us a hand as we are like a pair of cripples, me with my bad back and Steve with his wrist still in a support strap.  Some things in Cabin 2 are nicer than 4 but others not so.  I certainly spend plenty of time checking out the bed as my back is worse than ever.  Try a game of cards late morning sat upright in a chair packed out with cushions but spend the rest of the day flat out.  Beginning to wonder if being around all these older people is rubbing off as we are like a pair of old crocks ourselves now!

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THURSDAY 26 AUGUST – It’s a bit of a drizzly morning but I do manage a walk out and invite Deb & Terry for lunch.  I’m finding that walking on the flat is not too bad but the pain at the top of my left hip makes up and downhill difficult.  Terry gets a terrific fire going so we sit up there eating the pasta lunch that I prepare and then playing cards.  We are having such good games of “samba” that we end up playing until happy hour then again afterwards.

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FRIDAY 27 AUGUST – I join Pat for a drive into Proserpine in the morning.  The afternoon goes quickly whilst I play cards and Steve festers in the room.  Casserole evening goes down really well again with great choices of food.

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SATURDAY 28 AUGUST –   Finally my back is starting to feel much better although Steve’s wrist is not getting the prescribed rest due to all our card playing!  We sit by the fire again and teach Terry & Deb to play “arsehole”.  Must say we are not getting the best of weather at the moment. Tony from New Zealand is an artists and he has been doing a special Taylorwood coat of arms painting.  In the afternoon there is the unveliling including drinks and nibbles.  The picture is very hurmorous with a kiwi thrown in for good measure. In the evening Terry & Deb invite us to join them for a really delicious roast beef dinner that he has cooked in a camp oven in the fire.  Later I call round to Pats to borrow her computer for the Internet.  It is very dark and on the way back I have forgotten that they have a fence around their site.  I walk straight into it and get tangled up then end up really twisting my back reaching out to put the computer on the ground before falling headfirst – ouch. 

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SUNDAY 29 AUGUST – My back is really bad but I rally round enough to sit by the fire with Deb & Terry playing cards.  The weather gets worse with lots of rain during the night.

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MONDAY 30 AUGUST – I join Ted & Kristi for a drive to Airlie Beach.  Kristi doesn’t cope well with car journeys so she is going to take the ferry to Hamilton Island then fly from there back to Melbourne whilst Ted drives back.  This morning she needs to buy her ferry ticket.  The marina area is really busy as there is a cruise ship in port.  In town the market stalls are set up and tourists are taking the camel rides along the beach.  In the afternoon we begin sorting out our luggage.  When we fly from here to Brisbane we have booked for only hand luggage but still have a few items we would like to hang on to so we pack them up and give them to Deb & Terry to take ahead for us.  Afternoon cards and evening rain.

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TUESDAY 31 AUGUST – Feel really sorry for our neighbours Paul and Genny as they have only come up here for 4 days and had almost all bad weather.  It’s cool again today.  We go down to see Deb & Terry off and end up joining in a coffee morning with Kath & Neville.  Its great being in the cabin but there seems to be more socialising in the camping area.  We do get a few sunny spells in the afternoon enabling us to sit by the pool.  My back is just about better but now I have toothache in the tooth that was filled in Hungary.  The funny thing is that it hurts to touch but I can eat ice cream. 

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