Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Busy in Brisbane

After some initial confusion (OK, so we had to change plans about 3 times) with days and dates, we finally made it to Lake Cooroibah to spend a relaxing week with Nelly & Terry.  They are such wonderful friends and made us feel completely at home.  Rick had booked the car in with Terry’s local mechanic to get the steering issues sorted, and the relief when it was finished at such a reasonable cost (and done very well too) was quite considerable.
We took Nelly & Terry out to Sunday lunch at the nearby Noosa Waterfront Restaurant & Bar.  The restaurant is lovely, on the banks of one of the Noosa canals, and the food and service (and company of course) was just great.  All in all, a lovely way to spend a Sunday.
We were also able to catch up with a couple of other friends in the area that we had made through Nelly & Terry, so it was a laid back but busy week (does that make any sense??)
Eventually, and with great reluctance, we had to head off down the Bruce Highway to Brisbane.  We got in on Wednesday, 13 February, which gave us a day to clean up etc. before taking the van to Kedron Caravans for some work (service and brake replacement) on the Friday.
We had a lot of appointments scheduled for the following week, so we tried to make the weekend as quiet and peaceful as we could.  Between me seeing a counsellor, three doctors appointments and two dermatology appointments (all on the other side of town thank you very much), we were kept on the run.  Both of us were very relieved when the final appointment (dermatologist) was finished, and Rick was given the all clear for another four months.  More appointments for a skin check then, but that’s the way it goes.
Saturday, we did some much needed shopping.  This is not my favourite job by a long-shot, so I’d been putting it off, but eventually reached the point where there wasn’t much left to eat!!
Same day, we finally were able to catch up with Dad & my wonderful step-mother Denise.  Dad has had a pretty rough time of late with acute pain in his lumbar region as well as the chronic nerve pain left from a bad attack of Shingles.  He also had to have a bronchoscopy the previous Thursday which was a complete nightmare for both of them.  Dad doesn’t remember too much as he was given some sort of anaesthetic, but because he reacts so badly to anaesthesia he was off with the fairies for the night.  Denise was completely exhausted by the end.  Now to wait for the results!!
Sunday was packing day, and Monday time to hit the road south.  YIPPEE!!!!  It was a slowish trip because of the rain and wet roads, but we made it safely to Sommerville Valley Tourist Park (near Stanthorpe) by mid afternoon.  Here for 2 nights, then we hope to meet up with fellow Kedron owners on Wednesday in NSW, on the Gwydir River near Bingara.
Got some washing done today, but it’s still raining so had to use the park dryers.  Sad!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

What a fortnight we've had!!!!

Blue Chook - Rick's friend!!

We left Lake Eacham 2 weeks ago on 19 January.  As we wished to be at Six Mile Country Retreat near Toowoomba by Friday 25th we really had to rustle our tails and travel each day.  We also wanted to be close to Brisbane reasonably quickly for family reasons.  We had worked out that we needed to average 300kms per day in order to make the trip in a timely manner.  Doesn't sound a lot of km's each day, but doing it every day is tiring for the driver (Rick).  Due to an unfortunate slippage of days (OK, we kinda lost track of the days) we wound up at Yarraman with a couple of days spare.  Yay - we got to sleep in past 6am.  Luxury (I don't do sparrow fart very well at all!!). 
Golden Gumboot at Tully

Rest area at Tully - please note the rain!!

and yet more rain!!
On top of that, the rains started at Lake Eacham early on the morning we left, and didn't stop.  Ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald decided to follow us down the coast, raining his little heart out all the way!!!  Roads were being closed behind us, and by the time we reached Six Mile at Postman's Ridge in the Upper Lockyer Valley (scene of the devastating 2010-2011 floods) we (OK - I) were starting to get very nervous indeed.
So much of the state was flooded by this weather system, the news has once again spread world-wide.  Many areas we have visited in recent months on the Burnett River - Gayndah and Mundubbera in particular, have been hit very badly, losing up to 95% of the citrus crop, yet again.  Bundaberg was flooded very badly when the flood peak swept down upon them, and Rockhampton is now suffering as the Fitzroy River peaks.
Gatton and Laidley and many other small towns have suffered yet again as rivers and creeks in the Lockyer and Brisbane River valleys topped their banks.  There have been so many sights of utter devastation - leaving people once more overwhelmed.
In contrast, we at Six Mile were extremely lucky.  We were involved in a gathering comprising of Kedron, Bush-Tracker and Spinifex caravan owners over the Australia Day weekend.  In all, 19 vans (with associated sets of owners of course) braved the weather and turned up.


Good numbers

The creek rose

And the creek subsided!
Lake Bigbird - home to rubber duckies and gnomes
There were some who made the decision that the risks of being trapped past the weekend were too high, which, for those people who needed to be at work on Tuesday turned out to be the right move.  Whilst the grounds of Six Mile simply got soggy and muddy, and we ended up with a temporary swimming pool for gnomes, the creek at the park entrance rose rapidly, and was impassable on Sunday and early Monday.  Additionally, there were a lot of road closures due to flooding, which unfortunately prevented  people from making their way home even after the creek went down.  We finally left on the Wednesday, giving some time for the roads to open and traffic to settle a little.  We did however, err on the side of caution and headed up the Toowoomba range, and have been staying at Crows Nest Caravan Park for the last 5 days.  It's a very nice caravan park even though on the New England Highway.  The owners and managers have maintained the park very well, despite the creek and dam being overtopped during the rain.  What it's meant though is lawn mowing, and more lawn mowing and yet more lawn mowing!!!!  Nuff said!
Tomorrow the car goes to visit the RACQ guy in Crows Nest for some front end repairs.  We were going to get the work done at the Toyota dealer in Kedron, Brisbane but decided we didn't really want to get to Brisbane that early.  The van goes in for a service etc on Friday, so Thursday is plenty soon enough to hit the big smoke.