Friday, July 30, 2010

sky writing.

This reminds me of a boney arm and fingers making an O sign. What do you see?
Another great Picton sky scene.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Townsville, last few days, the final installment!
Back in Townsville again with a very much happier Daphne, Erle’s sister, the holiday has done us all good.
Daphne bounced out bright and early as I prepared again the huge bowl of tropical fruit salad for our breakfasts, she said “right folks what are we going to do today? Where would you like to go, is there somewhere in Townsville you haven’t seen yet?”
The empty rock pools,

After a bit of discussion we decided we should go for a swim in the rock pools on the Strand beach. The rock pools are not quite natural, they have a concrete base and lots of rocks all around the sides but the sea still flows in and out tidally keeping the water nice and fresh but warmed by the shallow water over concrete, sounds a great idea to us, but first we all decide to take a nice walk to the nearest shopping centre to pick up a few supplies for lunch.
After lunch we were away to the rock pools, and some disappointment, as the pools were completely empty, for maintenance. However there is an area with a stinger net around on the main Strand Beach, not nearly as warm or calm but we thought we should still give it a go.
Erle walked first down the beach and stopped to ask a man coming from the ocean whether it was cold in the water. The man said “no mate its just fine and hey are you a Kiwi, so am I.” So the two of them stood there chatting a few moments and discovered that the man’s parent lived next door to us at our last house, and are good friends with us! It’s a small world isn’t it!
We had a nice swim. It was not particularly warm, bracing in fact, but we still enjoyed swimming in the ocean. Then quickly home again to shower off the sea water.
Decided we would go out to the big Townsville RSL for a meal tonight, it is about 2 kms from Daphne’s house and we thought of taking the car, but Daphne said no we shall walk, it will do us all good, we can all enjoy ourselves and have a drink, then get a taxi home. Such a long walk certainly developed a good thirst and a hunger, we did plenty of window shopping along the way so the walk went quite fast.
Because I have had such a good run of luck, I decided to try my luck again with the poker machines, and quickly won over $100! Hard to believe! I drew out all the winning very quickly, I am not really much of a gambler, and went off together to the restaurant.
So after we had a particularly lovely meal, as its our last night together, I sneaked out without Erle or Daphne seeing and paid for the meals again. I do believe my run of luck has been for doing just this, not for keeping for myself. However I did let Daphne pay for the taxi, I am more used to receiving not handing out money in a taxi!
Next morning, we packed all our luggage and Daphne drove us to the airport, it could have been a real sad parting, but Daphne parked in a not stopping lane to let us out, so we quickly gave each other a big hug and said very quick goodbye and promised to do it all again soon, and a happy Daphne drove home while we happily boarded the plane for home. What a great holiday!
Thank you all for being interested enough to read of our hoilday, we are about to embark on another one in Rarotonga, cook Islands!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The return journey to Townsville

The return journey, back to Townsville.
We are heading back to Townsville today, but, we are in no hurry to leave this pretty place, and so take our time packing up and driving back through the township.
I had heard people speak of a town nearby by the name of Proserpine, a sugar producing town, every time I heard this towns name mentioned, the word "prosperity" sort of lit up in my mind, I just knew I had to go there, so I suggested that we make a small detour to visit this town, everyone agreed it might be nice so the detour was made. The town Proserpine is nothing special really there is a giant smokestack where the sugar cane is refined and lots of fields of sugar cane growing all around, plus lots of other fruits. We stopped in the main street, and Daphne remembered she knew someone here and dashed into a shop to see the person, while I dashed into a hotel and quickly dropped a coin into a machine, which turned out to be a 20 cent machine not a 1 cent machine and I got the feature immediately but also I heard the jackpot music being played and realized that I had won the Jackpot as well! I quickly cashed in all my loot and was out on the street feeling very prosperous, just as I knew I would be! Met up with Erle and Daphne and we all decided to buy a lottery ticket for the big draw tonight that with a prize of about 8 million dollars, just in case! The lady selling the tickets told us that the town had been named after the Greek Goddess of Prosperity and fruit, aptly named we thought.
We didn’t linger long before we were away and on the road to Townsville again, Erle drove again as he is most happy to do so, being an old taxi driver, and we could relax and know the car was in safe hands. As we traveled along we passed the time away dreaming of what we would do if we should win the lottery tonight. We had many suggestions but with the best will in the world we realized that we just could not spend that much money in our lifetimes and so don’t really want to win the main prize, however a small win would be lovely and welcome. Only so much money is really needed, it is not the be all and end all, nor does it bring happiness.

Decided to make another side trip to the city of Ayr another intriguing name really. This was quite a big city with wide streets and lots of trees and a wonderful unusual bridge that I couldn’t resist photographing as we drove on to it. We decided to stop for a late lunch at a nice pub, I like old pubs they have lots of character and characters in them. While our meal was being prepared I, ofcause, went and played the machines again, and had another lovely win, which I used to pay for all our meals and there is still plenty left over. I just seem to be so lucky at the moment.
After a nice meal we leisurely drove on toward Townsville, saw some signs advertising fresh fish and decided it would be just the thing for dinner, so Daphne directed us to a Seafood Supermarket down in the docks where the fishing boats come in, I used the remainder of my winnings to buy up masses of giant Prawns and Scallops to have a real feast of them tonight.
I can tell you that seafood meal was truly delicious and something we can’t do at home, prawns are all frozen and small back home, scallops are plentiful though and we like them.
Sadly I must report that even our hopes for a small win in the lottery were dashed, in fact the big prize was not struck and will jackpot to next week, we had fun checking off our tickets in the hope.

Monday, July 05, 2010

More Magic in the Whitsundays.

My World for this week, Whitsundays, Australia.

More Magic in the Whitsundays.
The reef Jet Catamaran roared off again around another big island to the next wonderful feature of this trip; the bush walk to the top of Hill Inlet to the lookout viewing point. This time the shore is very rocky so the reef Jet can not go very close in, which means all 68 of us must be transferred to the shore in the inflatable, quite a time consuming job but it was all handled very professionally and we landed each group with a crew member who led us up the bush walk track.

The track started off gently then became much harder, steeper with giant rock steps to negotiate, which us unfit oldies found rather hard on the knees, Daphne found a nice shady seat and said, we were to go on without her she would just rest there and wait for us. So we did leave her and made our way up many more giant rock steps and steep bits, puffing and panting we suddenly arrived at the top and in front of us was the most magnificent view over the Inlet, all snow white sands and azure waters with small boats and people sparkling in the sunshine, a long way down. We and everyone else were enthralled and took lots of photos.

After some time we were amazed to see Daphne come up over the top to join us. A young crew man had stopped with her and encouraged her to give the walk another try, he gave her his arm and at times nearly carried her but he got her up to the top, her enthusiastic thanks and big smile were all the payment he needed, a lovely young man. So all of us were able to get the full enjoyment from this beautiful sight.

Going back down was so much easier, we even looked for the wildlife that was supposed to abound in the area, but the 68 noisy tourist laughing and chatting plus 3 oldies puffing and panting, had driven the wildlife to the ground for the day.

Slowly, we were all transported back to the Reef Jet, but not without incident as the tide had dropped while we were walking and even the inflatable dinghy had a hard job negotiating its way through the rough heads of coral sticking up out of the water and worse the coral just below the surface, the bottom could have been torn out very easily, but all was well and we soon found another cup of coffee awaiting us along with a huge fruit platter with lots of fresh pineapple and many other fruits too.
While we enjoyed all that yummy pineapple the Jet powered its way home around the many Islands of the Whitsunday’s.
I went up to the top deck and chatted with the Captain, who was scouring the horizon with his binoculars for Whales that apparently journey regularly through the Whitsunday Passage, his plan was to take us Whale watching to finish the day. Wow, now that would have been something! But no Whales blew or lifted their tails or what ever Captain was looking for, unfortunately.

I noticed the sun was starting to go down over the island peaks and suggested that maybe we might still be out on the water when the sun actually went down so I could catch some sunset photos. He replied that it could be arranged, and as a driver myself I heard the engine being throttled back to much slower revs, and I knew we would indeed still be out there for the sunset. I gave him my best big smile and raced out onto the front deck to wait for the big moment, several others joined me and we snapped that golden sun all the way down complete with sun path across the calm ocean waters! More magic!
This little slow down did make us very late back into port, but I didn’t hear anyone complain that we had been on board for more than 12 hours!

I captured my favourite sunset picture here at the marina, through the masts of many yachts and a palm tree, looks like a peacock sunset to me!
By the time we had been bussed back to the camping ground we were very tyred but exhilarated as well, not wanting the evening to end we decided we were all too tyred to cook and went out for a takeaway meal, a huge Chicken and plum sauce Pizza with a basket of chips was wolfed down very quickly with a small splash of wine!
What a great day we have all enjoyed, we will sleep well tonight.