Sun 27th June
We all got away to a fairly early start in the morning and reached blowing Bowen by about 12 o'clock where we stopped for lunch. By about 3.30pm and about 350ks later we pulled into a cane farm owned by friends of Paul & Jenny. After introductions all round we hooked our vans up to power & water, the boys went off with Paul for the grand tour of the farm (around 300 acres) and the girls had afternoon tea over at the house. Judy and Paul who own the farm cooked us a meal that night fit for a king. They would be the nicest most accommodating people we have ever met, nothing was too much trouble for them it was like dining in a five star restaurant, we were served fresh oysters in their shells with smoked salmon & camenber cheese (a special recipe of Pauls, just beautiful), oysters kilpatrick, fresh prawns, king fish, salads, salami, cheeses, wine, & finally to finish the night off, dirty cowboy shooters (I had three I think). Such a fabulous night, everyone enjoyed themselves so much we will never forget it, it will be one of the highlights of our trip. That's country hospitality for you.
Mon 28th june
The day was spent just catching up on washing and cleaning (all those mundane things) & Bob helped me with my computer (I was still having trouble accessing the blog at that stage). We spent quite a few hours fiddling arond with it which was very frustrating but finally had some joy in the end thanks to Bob. In the arvo Sue Warren & I drove into Home Hill to pick up a few groceries and I finally got to post the jumper & beanie off that I had knitted for my darling little Will. That night Paul & Judy insisted once again to feed us and they treated us to a BBQ of marinated porterhouse steak with wine garlic and herbed mushrooms (another one of Pauls recipes) and all the other trimmings, what a beautiful meal it was, and what graceous hosts Paul and Judy are.
Tues 29th June
Everyone was up early as Paul and Judy were taking us down to their beach shack at Wunjuna Beach just south of Home Hill. Well no wonder the locals have kept it a secret for so long, the beach and the bay is just beautiful. Paul and Judy have owned a bungalo there for a few years now, it's only one street from the beach and has the most spectacular views. There is a free camp for travellers called Funny Dunny, the number of o/n stays is limited but as usual some campers take advantage of a good thing and have been staying for several months (those damn mexicans again). While Jenny, H and Bob went out in the boad with Paul, the rest of us went for a long walk on the beach. Down on the beach are several shacks built right on the rocks, one of the shacks (I was talking to the owner) has been there since 1981 and they only have squatters rights, so if the council ask them to move they will have to pull it down. Several of the older shacks were washed away in the 1989 cyclone. Lunch once again was delicious (Judy made a lovely lasagne) and we just lounged around the house reading and some of us napping while waiting for Paul and his crew to return, as the other two boys wanted to get out there and do a bit of fishing as well, but Jenny, H and Bob were having such a good time and were catching a few fish and did not want to come back in. They finally returned around 3 o'clock so Paul and Warren only got to go out to retrieve the crab pots. In all we had a fab day and Jenny onece again caught the most and the biggest fish (jeo Jenny), H caught a few fish as well and Bob let his side down dreadfully with a zero score. We ended up with 5 crabs and a good feed of fish, not bad for a days fishing hey. We finally got back to the farm by 5.30 and everyone dressed and were ready by 6.30 to go out for a chinese meal in Ayr. Paul & Jenny had arranged to met up with two work colligues who were passing through town, Judy & Paul were our guests for the night, and a nice night was had by all with a good meal and wine to top the night off. Thank you Paul & Judy for everything, we had a wonderful time while staying with you, & you are the most graceous hosts
Wed 30th June
We did not get away from Home Hill until about 11 o'clock this morning. The boys decided to wash the cars and vans as they were so dirty from all the cane trash (yes they still burn the cane up here) and dust form the cane trucks that were buzzing by all day & night, also the roof of Pauls van was thick with grub droppings from Cape Hillsborough. We stopped for lunch just south of Townsville at the info centre & made jummy crab sandwiches (we did not realize until the next day that we had left our step & mat behind when we drove off, buggar). Bob & Sue decided to head off & find a van park for the night as Paul & Jenny were going into the city to visit Pauls brother, and we were going north to Hallifax to visit our good friends Pam & Jim. We made good time and arrived about 3.30 and were greeted by the family, James and Murray who we haven't seen since they were teenages were home to visit Mum & Dad along with Murrays wife Gael & children, what a lovely family Murray had got. It was great to catch up with everyone again, Pam & Jim as always are wonderful hosts & they made us feel so welcome. We had a lovely night and a good feed of fish that Jim & his boys had caught the day before. Warren had to pull the water tank out of the van as we discovered a leak in it, so he worked on that most of the time we were there.
Thurs 1st July
Pam works as a volunteer at the towns Museum, so we visited her down there in the morning before we left. Pam is a member of the Progress Association and she works very hard for the little township of Hallifax, I hope that they appreciate her. Thank you Pam & Jim we had a lovely stay with you and your family, all the best to you Jimmy, hope the tests go well, keep in touch. We had arranged to meet the mad mob at Cardwell at 12 o'clock and so everyone rocked in at about the same time, had a bite to eat and hit the road once again destination Kurrimine Beach north of Tully. On the way through we went into Tully to pick up a few bits & pieces, so while we were there we had a quick look around, nothing has changed since the last time we were there, the mill was in full swing smoke billowing out of the stacks and cane trucks lined up for miles. Arrived at the Kurrimine Beach Van Park around 3 o'clock, the site we were given was suck a tight squeeze that the owner had to push us in with his tractor. It is quite a nice park though, I would give it a 6 out of 10. The weather has been glorious so far, we have been so lucky. We start happy hour a little earlier because in winter time the sun goes down earlier (thats our excuse and we are sticking to it) so we started happy hour about 4.30 followed on by fish for dinner (caught by Jenny & H) chips & salad and a finished off with coffee & port. One wouldn't be dead for quids hey. Life couldn't be any better at the moment.
Fri 2nd July
Woke up to the alarm going off to remind me that it was Hugh's and Gael's birthday today, so happy birthday you two, you will have to wait for your presents (they are in the maIl, ha, ha). It rained last night and has been miserable all day so we all dicided to go into Innisfail to have a look see. We were all surprised at how big a town it is, it has just about everything one would have in a big city. We did a bit of shopping, went looking for a new foot stool for the van (no go), Paul needed to get a good polish for his car as somebody keyed the back of his new VW when he went shopping in Townsville. We are hoping that tomorrow will be a better day as the boys want to go for a game of golf and the girls want to go fishing. We move out of here on Sunday morning and our next stop will be Yungaburra on the Atherton Tablelands, heading for Undara Volcanic Nat Park. So until next time folks, keep well and keep up with us on our travels. Love to you all.