We managed painfully to get the van to a garage across the road from the campsite, we left it with them for diagnosis although it was obvious we would need a new clutch just our luck. We went back had a shower, looked around the shops for an hour and had lunch before returning. The bad news....the clutch was inevitable in addition 2 of the cylinder head valves had blown (which we had a vague idea of) a full service on top and the total was $2000! Ouch, but it needed to be fixed if we were to get any money back or else we would have had to just scrap it. So there we were homeless for a few days as it was a pretty big job as you can imagine. The people that owned the garage were from Nottingham, Jenny and Tony and they said that if we were going to have the van fixed then there was one condition, that we had to stay with them until it was ready. We protested but they were adamant and said that they had loads of backpackers stay with them while there cars were fixed. So off we went at the end of the day to a nice suburb called Ferny Grove. We met their daughter Hayley and her Husband Cory and their 2 children Blade 22 months and Ripley 10 weeks. We had dinner and shown to shown to the spare room.
When they left for work the next day they told us to eat what we wanted, do our washing, use the internet and to make ourselves at home, it was so kind of them. Hayley came round not long after as she only lived around the corner and had no milk or bread in as she had just got back from Sydney when we met her the previous night. Hayley and Sally (her sister) have their own company called babywedge, which they invented and produced and are not in the process of selling to stockist, things are hectic. We were sat chatting and we said that we both needed to head off in to town to try and find some work, when Hayley said that they needed somebody and I could help them out while we were there, great news for us, just Wayne to sort out. The van was not ready by the end of the day and when Jenny and Tony came home, they said that if I was going to be working for Hayley and Sally we may as well stay with them, which was really nice of them. I started working tasked with some data entry. It was not long before Wayne was all set out too, working for an agency at the Port of Brisbane. The job was moving all sorts of brand new cars around after they are brought in off of the container ships, he loved it. After a few days I was asked to help Jenny out at the garage with some of her filing as there was lots to do. I ended up learning the system and working in the reception on my own until we left.
Our first weekend at Tony and Jenny's and we were welcomed warmly. Cory's parents were visiting from New Zealand and we were invited with the family to meet them on a day at a local winery, Sirromet, owned by T E Morris hence the name backwards. We had a nice lunch sat out in the courtyard and then moved on to the tasting, there were a lot of nice wines but we settled to buy only two. We then made our way to the house and settled down to watch the rugby a bit passion for Cory. While there we got again in to watching the last 2 state of origin games between Queensland and New South Wales, Queensland winning he series 2-1 a good competition.
While in Brisbane we managed to take off for the day to Eumundai Markets on the Sunshine coasty. We were recommended to go there by a couple of backpackers that came in to the garage with their car. We drove up in the van and had a couple of hours looking around all of the stalls there were loads. There was lots of arts and crafts main local people selling their wares, clothes, art, jewellery, baked goods. There were a lot of nice work, but we could not buy anymore stuff or else we would never get it home and I had been to a Jewellery and handbag party the night before and spent a fortune on a gorgeous necklace. We did however buy some homemade garlic, herb and mozzarella bread. We found a stall selling hot polish bean and sausage soup and sat and had our lunch it was lovely. After being marketed out we made our way to Noosa and sat on a bench by the beach the temperature was nice so it made a nice afternoon. We decided to drive back to Brisbane via the Sunshine Coast, we stopped firstly at Sunshine beach a wide sandy beach that carried on down the coast it was practically empty and reminded me of the Gold Coast but not developed. We stopped again further down the coast for a coffee the beach was just as good. That evening a night out was planned, Hayley and Cory's friend was having a birthday party in the City so we took the train in with Jade (Cory's brother). Our first stop was in Woolongabba (by the Gabba cricket ground), the Chalk bar lots of cocktails and Jaegerbombs followed. We then moved in to the "valley" fortitude Valley the main night spot and to a bar called Ricks where we danced and sang following the Absinthe shots. We all left and jumped in to two taxis and I living up to form managed to be sick nearly all the way home. The next day was spent mainly in bed one of the worst hangovers of my life.
Towards the end of June the girls had a baby exhibition at the Brisbane convention centre, I worked with them to get a few things ready and then covered in the garage while Jenny spent the day helping the promotion with them. On the Saturday we went in to the City after showing the van to a couple of people that had called and enquired about it. We stopped at the Southbank which was where the Expo was. We had a look around the market held by the river and walked along the riverside to Streets beach a manmade lagoon and beach, it was not very busy but this was because of the season. We ad lunch and went to the expo to see if we could offer anymore help. We liked the Southbank area and came back to visit the museum of Queensland and the Art Gallery. The Museum had a exhibition on Football (Rugby League) which was interesting as we had been watching a lot of it and the history of the State of Queensland. It explained why a Queenslander house was so called, built on stilts to cool the rooms from the harsh weather and to keep termites out. The Art Gallery was also really good and I think maybe only the second I have ever been in. The baby Expo was on for 3 days and was a great success. On the Sunday it was Cory's birthday and we were invited over for a BBQ, Steaks, Sausages and lovely salads, we brought the cake.
We also returned to Woody Point as I was still curious about the area and as it was a nice day it had a nice beach to go to. We drove to Redcliffe and walked around their weekly market and out on to the pier
We had a few enquiries about the van but everyone that came to look at her was afraid of her size as she is very long. We had a run of a interest and hen nothing, we had adverts over all the hostels and on the internet. One Wednesday we had arrange for some girls to come a view it at the garage in case they had any questions etc. Just before they arrived an English couple phones me and I told them to come up as some people were on their way. The Girls were obviously looking all over and trying to find a fault picking on the door rubbers! They in the end offered $3000 Wayne said no way and they were off. The English couple from Bristol looked over Holly for ages and wanted to know all sorts of things, everything we had the answers for. They were impressed and offered us $4000, we got them to $4,300 which with the interest rate changes was what we paid, we accepted and were so relieved as we were down to two weeks before we left! We got the money and said godbye to Holly, Tony lent us a Holden (Vauxhall) Commodore and then a Ford Falcon so that Wayne could continue to get to work.
Staying with Tony and Jenny was fantastic and allowed us to have a base to do normal things like getting our hair cut, going to the shopping centres, eating out and going to the cinema, things that we found a lot harder to do in the van. Wayne helped out when he got in from work with cooking and there was always a lovely meal waiting when we got home even Roasts on Sundays. We also helped out in the house and wherever we could but we really can't thank them enough for their helping us out and letting us stay with them we were so very lucky - thank you.