Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 292, 293, & 294. Fraser Island to Brisbane

Catching up with friends....

This morning we were up and packed early. I had to wash the Pajero (to try and get all the sand and salt out of the chassis), clean all the sand out from inside the car, pump up the tyres, load up the car, and all before 10am! That's not to mention checking out at reception, and a quick dip in the pool for Scarlett before the barge departed at 10:30am. It was hectic, but we managed it in the end, and reluctantly boarded the barge in time to head back to the mainland. Fraser Island has certainly been a highlight of our trip, and I think it's touched us all a little more than we expected.

After reaching the mainland, we headed straight back to Hervey Bay where we topped up the diesel, took the car to a 4x4 under body car wash, and hooked up the van. Again this was all done in record time, and we were on the road south within half an hour of driving off the barge. Scarlett was buggered, and so were Bec and I, so we opted for an easy lunch and stopped at McDonald's. It was a less than satisfying feed, and we once again hit the Bruce Hwy.

Tony, Katherine, and Shane
4.5 hours later (and a driver change at Nambour), we pulled into Redcliffe on the northern outskirts of Brisbane. We are stopping at Katherine, Tony, Shane and Michaela's house, who we promised to visit on our way back through into Brisbane. Katherine and Tony were there to lend a hand when we were hit with the Brisbane floods back in January. Tony even ended up taking our ruined dining table home to try and repair and refurbish for us (even though we were prepared to throw it out as a lost cause). Well when we arrived, Tony took us out the back to show the finished product, where Bec and I were totally blown away. Tony and some mates from his work had spent some serious time stripping the whole table back, and rebuilding it from the ground up! And now it looks absolutely fantastic! Thanks guys you have done a fabulous job and Bec and I will be forever grateful.

Michaela, Shane, and Scarlett
We spent the night having a few drinks and a BBQ, before finally saying goodnight at almost midnight. We were shattered! After such an early start and long drive, we slept like logs and didn't wake until about 6:30am. Scarlett was up and wanting to go back outside to play with the kids. Tony ended up cooking up a huge stack of pancakes for breakfast, and we all enjoyed them while the kids played. We eventually had to say goodbye, and poor Michaela cried, and cried, as she didn't want Scarlett to leave. We had to promise we would return 'one day', and stay for at least three sleeps!

It was then south again to a little place southwest of Helensvale, where we stopped at our mates house Damion and Kristy, with their three little ones MacKenzie, Reilly and Harper. It was great to catch up again, and it ended up turning out to be Reilly's 4th birthday party. We had a great time catching up over some birthday cake with everyone! But after the party, we all sipped on a very nice port while reminiscing about our travels.

Kristy, with her mum Sue, and baby Harper

Sue and Bec

Reilly blowing out his candles on his spiderman cake

We woke to another hot morning, so after a great BBQ breakfast cooked by Damion, we all cooled off in their new inground pool, where we spent a good deal of the morning playing with the kids! During this time we also spoke about our recent travels, as well as the amazing work that Damion and Kristy have done to their house since we last saw it. Bec was very inspired, and now has a million ideas for decorating our next house (wherever that may be), when we finally find one down in Sydney in the new year. Eventually we sadly said our goodbyes, and climbed back in the Pajero where we then headed west out towards Boonah.
About another hour and a half's drive found us out at Kalbar, a beautiful little country town in the scenic rim area of South East QLD. Here we found Stuart, Hailey and Luke all waiting for us! Sarah was out shopping, so we took the opportunity to set up the van (as well as the satellite dish), as we'll be spending most of the week camped here while I finish work up the road at Amberly. Scarlett disappeared; playing with Hailey and Luke running around the huge acreage that they have out here! They have a couple of beautiful horses, that Scarlett made a beeline to as soon as she saw them! It's like another world - away from all the hustle and bustle of suburbia.

Bec with Carpet Python; and Shane ready with bag....
 During the afternoon, Stuart asked us to identify a snake skin that he found up in his gutter. Both Bec I identified it as a 'Carpet Python'. No sooner had we put the skin away, Bec was calling us over to the house. As she walked up the front steps to Stuart and Sarah's house, she caught a glimpse of colour out of the corner of her eye. She had found the snake as it was basking in the late afternoon sun! As Stuart and Sarah aren't as fond of our scaly friends as Bec and I are, they asked if we could catch and relocate the snake for him - which we ended up doing to Bec's delight!

Bec was straight in there grabbing the snake by it's tail, while I found a Hessian bag to put it in. With a little bit of persuasion, we finally bagged the python, but not after it had tried to bite Bec a number of times first! Luckily I was able to place the bag between her and the snake each time it struck, preventing Bec from being on the nasty end of what probably would of been a pretty painful bite. Stuart and I ended up taking the snake to a nearby gully where we released it back into a grove of trees and fallen timber.

One thing we are slowly realising is that both Bec and I are not coping so well with reintegrating back into suburbia at the moment! It's not any one particular thing, but a combination of everything; the traffic, the large number of people, the concrete jungle, and even the dirty smelling air! Give us the wide open spaces of outback Australia any day!

Tonight, I am preparing myself for a return back to work tomorrow morning! It's been two weeks short of twelve months since I last left this place, and I can honestly say that I'm not looking forward to it! It's not that I'm unwilling to work again - its the knowing that I might once again get caught up in the rut of living for work and feeling trapped or tied down! At least I have now experienced what is really out there, and now that I know, I'm no longer afraid to 'chuck it all in' and live on the road for a while (or return to the huge employment opportunities that I've seen in Western Australia).

There is definitely more to the old saying "work to live, not live to work". I now just have to find that balance or niche, that will allow Bec, Scarlett and I to escape the life that we are now returning to every now and then....

PS: OUR JOURNEY IS FAR FROM OVER! Please continue watching this space.... Although we might not blog daily, we still have a few more chapters of this exciting 12 months to share with you! I still have to 'survive' work for one week, before doing a removal down to Sydney (where we left on this mammoth journey from), we still have more friends to see between here and Sydney, as we head back to New South Wales. I have to get through Christmas with the In-Laws, find a new house, and Scarlett has to find a school. This will all be part of our integration back into society after spending a life as nomads on the road for the last year. And by the end of it, we will be compiling a list of 'the best things and places we have experienced in Australia', and how much did it really cost!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely awesome guys! Its been great following you in your travels and so sad that it has to come to an end for now. Hope the move goes well and that you all settle in down in Sydney. If you are ever in Newcastle, look us up. Cheers Val Lawson