Too much travel and missing home 22nd and 23rd November 2011


I’m glad to be leaving this Motel in Rockingham, even though it means getting up at 4.30 and walking for half an hour though the crepuscular damp following last night’s rain. The Greyhound, taking us on the next leg of our journey, is full of sleeping 18-26 year olds. They have already comsumed all the air, making nests of comfort in towels, cushions and sweet wrappers. The coach rocks empty water bottles and dangling legs in the dark, curtains closed against the muted dawn.

I’m trying to prettify it with my words, but it was not romantic: it was chaotic, grim and awkward climbing of sleeping bodies in the dark, nudging slumbering people to sit upland stop taking up two seats- this Greyhound is full to capacity. And it smelt!

John and I edge our way down the coach and face the prospect of sitting separately for 7 hours.

Luckily at 1770, a small surfing town, many of them rouse themselves and leave, tumbling out blinking. It’s got to be a good surf school, I can’t see much else to recommend the place, judging solely from the Greyhound stop. Blond girls take up a few of the spare places but we can now sit together and I begin to feel more comfortable. We watch ‘Marmaduke’ a film about a Great Dane; quite mindless.

We get off at Hervey Bay. It’s a big shopping centre and bus station. Our luck changes as the only bus is just leaving and it’s going our way. Better still they drop us directly outside our new apartment, which is lovely. A real flat with rooms, well equipped and a large balcony.

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The beach is just at the end of the road and is great for swimming. It is the strangest thing for me to swim in water that is hotter than the air temperature. I shower in water that is colder than this! But it is free from stingers and from sharks which infest the water on the other side of Fraser Island.

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But food shopping is a great disappointment. There is very little fresh vegetable to be had nearby, meat is all frozen or cured in some way and I am left uninspired for our meal tonight. We have rarely taken the restaurant option because we need to live within our means. I’m tired of not having a few staples in my kitchen, herbs, spices, even flour and eggs. When traveling we need to start from scratch each time.

Exhausted from two days of 7 hour coach travel we sleep well and enjoy another lazy day in paradise. But I am missing my home, my friends, my cats, my daughters. As I sleep I almost feel my thee moggies snuggle against my form in their usual positions before John turfs them out and down to the kitchen for the night.

News from home is too headline. I know they are safe and doing well but I miss the in-depth conversations putting the world to rights over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. People we meet on the road are wonderful, but we never get past the superficial level of conversation, the ‘getting-to-know-you’ phase before it is time to move on.

Facebook comments are quips, emails tell me that our life is easier to write about than that at home because “nothing unusual is happening”.

I’m tired!

A rest and a great leap South 21st and 22nd November 2011


Brian has been a wonderful host. He recounted the preparations required when they announced the cyclone. Each year, everything to be battened down, external shelves cleared: it takes a week, but that’s all you’ve got before it comes. All along the coast we have heard’ and seen evidence of the chaos and damage a cyclone can cause from the one that hit Australia in February. It took Brian a week to clear up, despite his precautions.

That unusual sound we heard at Magnetic, did indeed come from Flying Foxes, or Fruit Bats. But what an idiot I am! The name tells you they don’t need ultrasound for locating insects. They don’t eat insects! They eat fruit! The constant chatter, a cross between Punch and Judy and Mickey mouse voices,is them arguing about who should eat the best fruit.

We have so loved Coral Point Lodge, at Shute harbour, that we spend a whole day doing nothing but relaxing there and admiring the beautiful views.

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But the time has come to make a move South. Suddenly we being to feel a deadline! We want to be in Melbourne by early December to meet with a friend’s parents and be handed over a house for a month! So we sit for 7 hours in a Greyhound which takes us to Rockingham.

Movies in Greyhounds are sporadic and at the whim of the driver. Luckily, our driver picks a good one to pass the time, The Bourne Identity. To our amusement the Greyhound gets sick and needs two new batteries. Sure enough a van with “dog doctor” turns up to oblige.

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It was an half hour walk to our motel in Rockingham. Although along main roads, the pavements often gave out and, pulling our cases was hard work. The motel was out of the movies! Crinkled up dirty carpet, lack of any plates but a microwave provided, and a plastic shower curtain that Psycho would be proud of. Still the sheets were clean and we arrived at 7.45 and had to leave by 5 next morning. Making breakfast in mugs was a hoot!

Onwards South, we are actually making some movement along our map of Australia. Hooray!