Whitsunday holiday snaps

Flying high on our way to Hamilton Island

flying-away

Where you land on a teeny tiny little short runway surrounded by water. As soon as that plane hit the ground those brakes were working.

Hamilton-runway

We stayed at Peppers at Airlie Beach which is up on quite a hill. To walk from the road to our room involved two steep hills and 250 steps. The last hill is so steep they have a rail to hold on to otherwise you’d topple over backwards.

Peppers

Nice view though. I was wondering if people who live up there ever get sick of waking up and just seeing blue sky every day.

Peppers-view

We went out to Whitehaven Beach which always makes the top 10 beaches in the world list (judged by who knows). But it was beautiful and I haven’t used any filters on these next shots, it really was that clear and pristine. Special sand this beach has that doesn’t get hot so you can walk on it and not have to leap about like usual – something to do with a high level of silica which also makes it extra white. Except that if we saw anyone topple overboard we were to call out man overboard. Not that anyone would have heard it due to all the noisy chit chat and yelling going on.

Whitehaven-arrival

Whitehaven-beach

The black splotches here are butterflies; there were thousands of them floating about. I was trying to learn about them on the boat ride back but there was a large tour group of elderly very loud Greek ladies who did not shut up the whole trip so I didn’t hear much of what the Captain had to say.

Whitehaven-butterflies

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Visiting The Whitsundays

I’ve been away in the tropics. We stayed in Airlie beach then did a bit of Island hopping around the Whitsundays.

AirlieWhitehaven

Wow, was it hot up there. It was strange actually because the temperature has been hotter here in Newcastle but the sun up there seems to have a real bite. I could feel my skin ageing years by the second so spent a lot of time lurking about in the shade.

When we flew out it was starting to rain here and we later discovered that it had turned into a little cyclone with torrential rain. My daughter sent me a text at 3am that night saying – It’s really windy here, I’ve never been in weather like this before. And I thought – well ok, nice to let me know that in the middle of the night but I wasn’t too worried as she is a bit of a drama queen. Then she sent me another one about an hour later saying – The side fence just blew down into the lane-way, I went out to have a look but I feared for my life so left it. So then I thought, I’d better have a look at the news back home.

It was crazy. So much flooding and damage has occurred in a large area of the region. People have died, washed away in their houses, some in cars or car accidents, towns were isolated and main highways closed due to flooding. So many trees and electricity poles down on houses and cars I can’t believe more people weren’t injured. People here are still without power almost ten days later which must be very inconvenient.

We didn’t have any damage to our house. We bought it just after the last big floods they had here so when we were looking at places you could easily see which ones had suffered water damage so we avoided them.

So I was sitting up there in paradise sipping on cocktails complaining about the heat and it all seemed like another world away. When we arrived home we flew back into another storm which was a bit hairy. It was night-time as well and I don’t like flying at night at the best of times. My husband asked me at one point if all the jolting was the wheels hitting the runway but it was just us buffeting about in the air. I always wonder why people drink on one hour plane flights, like why they can’t just sit there for an hour without alcohol but maybe turbulence is the reason.

Anyway we arrived home and I was sorry I’d complained about the heat because it was freezing here and the first thing we did was drag out the gas heater. I always think I’m going to like winter much more than I actually do.

Going troppo

I’m thinking of heading up to The Whitsundays for a week next month. It seems a strange decision even to myself as I’ve spent all summer complaining about the heat and humidity but now seem to have the urge to head to a very hot and humid place. The worst of it should be over by then and if not it can’t be much worse than the humidity we’ve had here this summer.

We went up to Daydream Island years ago when the kids were small and when I told my husband yesterday that I thought we should head back that way he said – didn’t someone try and steal something from us last time – like a bag? and I said – actually it was our children, I think they’re one rung up the ladder from the bag.

The airline did lose our bag though which led to the alleged stealing of the kids. I only ever took one bag when we travelled that the five of us shared. It was big and blue and so I appropriately called him Big Bluey and I painted a big smiley face on him so he was easy to pick out in the crowd.

We were waiting at Brisbane airport for our flight back to Sydney and I was gazing out the window when I saw a tractor pulling a trailer full of suitcases drive by and there was Big Bluey sitting on top. I wonder where Bluey is going I wondered.

Melbourne it turned out. We discovered this when we got back to Sydney and they said if we could wait an hour or so he’d be back on the next flight or we could come back the next day but as we still had a three-hour drive ahead of us to get home we decided to wait.

My husband set of to get the car which we’d left in a parking station about a bazillion miles away so I was waiting with three bored kids all under the age of eight. They asked me if they could go play on a luggage carousel and I said it was ok as they were well in sight but when I looked over they were all there talking to a man. I got up and started running over there and he saw me and took off out the door. I asked them what they were talking about and they said he wanted to know if they were alone and where their Mummy was. Creepy. Now I would be willing to consider that he was just concerned about their welfare if he hadn’t of run out the door when he saw me on my way.

These days I travel without children or checked baggage so there shouldn’t be any dramas although it’s still a bit of a hike that involves a car, two planes a boat then a short bus ride. Australia – it’s just so damn big but what the hell, we didn’t get away last year so it’ll be nice to just lay around a pool sipping cocktails and maybe head out to the reef; see it before it disappears.

Daily Prompt: Close Call

Tell us about a bullet you’re glad you dodged — when something awful almost happened, but didn’t.

Well, we were having this christmas party with a few friends and we’d cooked this huge ham on the BBQ and I was standing there with a platter to put it on and I was just holding it with one hand because I had something in my other hand and I was just sort of handing over the platter but my husband thumped the ham down on the platter and the weight of it was enormous and the platter started tilting way down but I used the super human strength of my tiny wrist and fingers and all my will power and possibly a large amount of pissed off vibes and managed to hold it up.

So it was good it didn’t end up on the grass because everyone was outside and I couldn’t have pretended it didn’t happen and with all that glaze it might have been hard anyway because all bits of grass would have stuck to it and I’m pretty sure Betty would have made a dash for it as well.

Bullet dodged for my husband as well.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/daily-prompt-close/

Surfers Paradise

Last stop was Surfers; funny name for the place considering I didn’t see a single surfer while I was there.

What you do see is a lot of blue water and white sand, just mile after mile of uninterrupted nature – well besides all the tourists. It’s a coastal town of high rises and we were on the 27th floor with a good view over the beach.

view

It’s beautiful but a bit boring really. Where I live there’s always something to look at on the horizon; ships, surfers, dolphins, whales sometimes, ferries, tug boats, hang gliders, kite surfers, here there was just a lot of water.

I figured the balcony we had was probably the sort you see those poor drunk people falling from every summer when they were trying to climb from one to the next.

balcony

Trouble with having a whole lot of tall buildings lining the beach is that come 3pm the whole area is covered in shade, which I guess is ok in the middle of summer.

beach-shadows

Big difference in room rates up there so if you plan on visiting – ring around. I walked into one place and asked how much for a room and was told $325 PER NIGHT so I walked acorss the road and said how much and he said $110 and I said – why whats wrong with it?

Nothing as it turned out although I did have to wake up in the mornings looking at this wall art which was always kind of surprising.

good-morning-art

and I had to be able to perform the limbo when I wanted to shower – as you can see it was designed for the very short as I fall into the short category and it was hitting my shoulders.

shower-for-short-people

The promenade there is lovely though, wide and clean with plenty of places over the road to sit and have a few bevvies and watch the world go by.

refreshments

promenade

Before going for a walk along the beach.

beach-tunes

beach

hello-spring

hello-spring-2

Have to hand the weather award to Queensland, it was spectacular and the sand was very, very clean. Even driving an hour or so back into NSW to Byron you really notice a difference in the weather.

 

 

Hello Yamba

I hadn’t been to Yamba before so we stopped on our way up to Surfers. There are so many little coastal towns along the Pacific Highway and I’m sure they’re all worth a look but I’d definitely add Yamba to my highly recommended list. It’s a small place but it had a really nice vibe to it and it had a comfortable bed and hot coffee which helps.

It’s another town that is surrounded by the river and the sea and it’s a river that you can use, we have a river here but you sort of see it when you’re driving into town but then it disappears off somewhere and you never see it again.

We stayed in a cabin in the caravan park in town that’s right on the river.

cabins-by-the-river

You can sit on your verandah and watch the river life go by

cabin-view

Or walk along the path

boats

to the breakwall where the river meets the sea

breakwall

Not sure how many beaches they have but this one has the lighthouse and there were a few people swimming even though the water must have been freezing. (Don’t let that blue sky deceive you).

beach

lighthouse

Back on the river near Pelican Perch

pelican-perch

there is a restaurant called Gorman’s that’s well worth a visit. Nice ambience, friendly wait staff and according to my husband, great oysters. He always eats oysters when we go out as they’re not something I’d bother to prepare at home. Here he had a mixed plate of 21.

gormans

oysters

So if you’re driving up or down the highway and need a break, stop in and check out Yamba.

Road Trip

Went on a bit of a road trip to test out my new car – about 2000km to be exact, up to Surfers Paradise and back. The good old Pacific Highway, hard to remember it really is one of our main highways sometimes – there are some very dodgy patches of bad, dangerous road. In fact a couple of years ago just before school holidays they aired a show on TV called – How to survive the Pacific Highway – which gives you an idea of the state it’s in. Anyway they’re doing lots of roadworks at the moment so hopefully it’ll all come good in the end. (Even though it meant I had to drive 40 and 60 km for way too long).

We stopped at Nambucca Heads on the way and I can’t say I was a huge fan, it was nice but I guess the trouble with living where I do, where we have miles of beautiful beaches, is that you get a bit fussy about your beaches. Also it’s one of those places where you can only get a meal between 12 and 2pm or 6 – 9pm, cafes aren’t just serving up meals all day and night.

We found a motel to stay at and it was in a good spot and we had a nice view of the river from our room.

room-with-a-view

We took the path down to the boardwalk, we took the long way

path-to-the-river

But you could take the short cut.

shortcut

There is a boardwalk that runs along the river to the sea and thats where I found my jumping pelican

pelican

Then you get to the point where the river meets the sea, river on the right, sea on the left. I quite like places that have rivers and oceans. We have that here but the lake is miles away, we sort of have the ocean side of town and the lake side and we don’t mix much.

river-meets-the-sea

Once you get to the beach they have this boardwalk lined with rocks and boulders that you are allowed to paint and decorate and I thought it looked a bit ugly (sorry). There were some individual rocks that looked interesting and artistic but as a whole I just didn’t think it looked very nice against the natural beauty there. No need to mess with nature people.

river-and-v-wall

beach-and-v-wall

v-wall

They like their street art though and this was kind of interesting. It was in the main street, a mosaic wall made with coffee and tea cups and plates. I’m not sure what it’s about because I couldn’t see any signs explaining it.

mosaic-wall

wall-face

It’s one of those places that has a massive influx of tourists over the summer months and school holidays and I don’t think I’d be happy living somewhere like that, I just like people to stay away mainly. I definitely liked the river side better than the sea side, it was quite peaceful and really lovely at sunset.

Nambucca-river

Day 13: Three confessions of your choice

I’m not really big on disclosure. Mine or others.

The absolute worst thing about going back to school (besides gaining five kilo) was going to a class for the first time, or meeting a new teacher and they’d want you to – tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do,why are you here, what do you hope to gain.

Why? Why does everyone or anyone in this room need to know one single thing about me? how is it going to make me learn anything about the subject. My friend used to laugh and say I was like a KGB operative I was so shady about myself.

Had to laugh at one girl though – she loved that disclosing shit. I can tell you every single drama and tragedy and bad experience that girl has ever experienced if you’re interested. Actually its hard to believe that her self-esteem was ever low enough for her to end up in some of the situations she did because she certainly had the confidence to get up in a room full of strangers and talk about herself. A lot.

Also I’m not about to confess any of the stupid (yet slightly thrilling) things I did as a teenager that could lead to the criminal record I have thus far avoided. The internet’s memory travels far far away into strange places people so it’s best to  just keep your lips zipped about anything you may feel the urge to blurt no matter how long ago they happened. It’s ok, I’m not dangerous or anything, no one was harmed.

Okay, so, let me think.

I ate the last three Oreos then lay in bed and listened to my husband and daughter accuse each other of eating them. I never eat sweet things so they’d never even suspect me of eating them but I was just walking past and saw them so I ate them and then I listened to them call each other fat liars.

Once I ripped the plastic cover off a library book so I could run my fingers over the raised pattern on the front and when I returned the book I suggested that they might need to cover their books a bit better because the cover had just fallen off. (It was a werewolf and he had big fangs and blood was dripping from them and I really needed to feel it – one of my favourite parts of reading a new book is running my fingers over the cover if its interesting.)

One time I was cooking fish for dinner and I thought it was a bit off, a bit smelly, so I served it up to everyone but I didn’t have any. They all survived.

Oh and I don’t celebrate Australia Day – never have. I don’t like to sound like an old fuddy duddy but it’s a really good day to stay at home because if you go out all you’re going to see is a lot of drunk wankers roaming about wearing flags and yelling Aussie Aussie Aussie. My son used to work at Subway and he always said that Australia Day and Anzac day were the two days that you never wanted to be working there because you had to deal with so many drunk idiots.