Wednesday, 27 July 2011


We arrived in Camoweal, and after a quick walk up and down the main street decided that the only thing left to do was have a cold beer in the pub! We had pulled the camper up into the sites behind the pub and once we were set up ventured over to the pub for a few quiet ales. Well it was definitely a few quiet ones as we were the only ones in the pub! The next day we set off again to Mt Isa, the kids are so sight seeed out that we just drove straight to the caravan park and kicked back for the next two days, we restocked the pantry, recharged all our electrical devices and continued on the ‘Overlander Way’ the next two days were spent driving and sightseeing across to the coast.  We stopped at some great little outback towns for lunch, a quick stretch and to curb the kid’s addiction to icecream for another day or so. We had a great time checking out all the fossils and dinosaurs in Richmond and Hughendon, it was great to see Oscar actually interested in one of our ‘touristy things’. I think we have national parked, gorged, tourist attracted our kids to boredom and they are in need of the simple pleasure of a playground and lego!.

After a couple of long days driving and free camping we arrived at Townsville! We treated ourselves to the luxury of a BIG 4, and as they had no powered sites left had to get one with an ensuite (woo hoo!!!!) The kids had free reign over the playground and jumping pillow and mum and dad could relax for five minutes and enjoyed the company of some great neighbours. They had kids the same age as Oscar and Scarlett so our kids were very happy to have some new friends to play with!
On the Sunday I happily had a day to myself and lo and behold I chanced upon a market!!! I had a great time wandering around and having some time to myself, soaking up the rays and having a little shop (I think I was having ‘shopping’ cravings!). The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the wait for a trolley to do some groceries! It was that busy at woolies that I had to wait in queue to get a trolley before I could even start my shopping, and when I finally got to the registers it was another 45 minute wait! Thank god the kids weren’t with me (and even worse Mike, he hates doing the groceries at the best of times!)

In Ballarat we have in house joke about Ted, our friendly check out chick at the Eastwood st complex. He is so slow that he now makes Mike and I nearly cry with laughter, once he was so slow that he would pick up an item, really look at it, as if he was trying to memorise what it was, then he would slowly scan it, look at it again, and then put it in your bag…..once he took so long that I kept giving the kids money to put in the spinning wheel. Then good old Ted actually stopped scanning my groceries and watched the coin spin all the way to the bottom!  The lady behind me was so annoyed and I just laughed and laughed. Poor Ted must have no idea why we find him so humorous!  (Ted recently moved to the Deli section and man you should see him cut it up with the meat slicer!!)

Anyways, after reading the latest new idea and women’s weekly I finally got to leave the supermarket  (mental note to self, never do shopping in Townsville again!)

The next day we went to the Aquarium and The Strand, it was a great day, the kids loved playing at the water playground and Mike and I loved paying over $40 for some over priced fish n chips (NOT!) lucky they were bloody beautiful! After a big long walk on the beach and a bit of climbing of trees in the gardens we headed back to the car to see we had a bloody fine. I thought it was because we were over the limit, but noooo it was for not reverse parking! So now we have our first holiday fine and let me tell you I am not paying it!!! There is not one sign saying that you have to reverse park into the parking bay. I have already emailed the Townsville council advising them this and sent through photos of the signs regarding parking…lets see if they can get the $20 out of me!!!!

So the next day we packed up and headed up towards Cairns, again we had no idea where we were going as we hadn’t planned very well. We ended up in a little town, Caldwell. Although there wasn’t much to do here it has been amazing to wander around this area and see the damage that cyclone yassi did earlier this year. You can see where houses have been torn from their stumps, roofs and sheds blown over and the trees that are still standing are all on a lean. After having a chat to the people at the caravan park and looking through their photos you really feel for these people. The cyclone has caused heart ache and so much damage but the amount of work these communities are doing is so commendable. A lot of the drives and walks in the mountains are still closed due to the effects of the cyclone, you see big metal steel things (or ‘acro props’ which  Mike has advised is the correct technical term) holding up the roofs in some of the shops and some house still have tarps over them. The trees are broken and bent, but the regeneration is wonderful to see. Today we went for a drive to Murray Falls and the Tully Gorge, the debris that is still everywhere in the national forests is amazing, the fallen trees, broken limbs are everywhere. It was an amazing day spent in the national park, we went for a walk to the waterfall, swam in a beautiful watering hole, took a drive up to the tully gorge. The scenery was amazing in the rain forest, but I was more excited that we spotted a Cassowary! Mike didn’t believe me about these native flightless birds and I finally got some proof! There is nothing better than proving my husband wrong! (in my head I sing the ‘I WIN, YOU LOSE, I WIN YOU LOSE’ song over and over…..)

After an amazing day playing with the kids, we saw the obligatory ‘big thing’ the golden gumboot in Tully and made our way home. Tomorrow we are heading to mission beach for a few more days of relaxing and frolicking by the sea! What a hard life we lead!

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