Friday, 19 August 2011

The End of Our Year Out - Time for Home

Today is 20 August 2011 - we’ve been away from home some 355 days Singapore/ Australia …not quite a full year - and this is the day we fly home - so I’m guessing this will be my last blog - (or maybe I might just squeeze one more in about the flights and our home reunions!)
We fly out from Brisbane tonight at 11.45 pm to Singapore, 3 hours stop over there before we fly to London, landing in Heathrow about 3pm Sunday afternoon.  Another 3 hour wait before we fly to Newcastle where Mark will be waiting to bring us home!  Bearing in mind the 9 hours time difference, that means almost 30 hours for the whole journey…..  Can’t say I’m looking forward to that!
Geoff’s outside soaking up the last of the Ozzy sunshine - and trying to top up his tan before we come home.  We’re just about packed and hopefully not over our luggage limit. 

The last few weeks have been a mixture of ups and downs.  Basically because we’ve been trying to sell the car and caravan - we had three very close calls with the van; people who really wanted it but for various reasons just couldn’t take her.  Anyway she finally went on Monday morning - a lovely couple who are looking forward to spending time away and I know they will just love it.  So once the van was sold - that was a huge weight off our minds - but everything then seemed so final.  We held a garage sale and sold lots of ‘stuff’ we’d accumulated over the year and the car went to one of the neighbours.  So all the boring stuff out of the way, we just had the last couple of weeks to enjoy ourselves!

Chris and Keith (from Atherton) have been staying at Geoff and Janelle’s too this week, departing to New Zealand today for a skiing holiday, so it’s been lovely to catch up with them again too.  We’ve been to the ‘Ekka’ which is the Royal Queensland  Show, with Geoff, Janelle, Keith and Chris - that was a fantastic day out.  Lots of animals to look at, horse jumping etc in the show ground, crafts, variety of stalls and side shows, displays etc.  It was really good.
 We all went up to the Gold Coast to meet up with John and Judy over from Perth and had a lovely meal out with them.  I’m not enjoying the goodbyes - but am so looking forward to seeing friends and family back home.

Last night the six of us went to The Outback Spectacular - a lovely meal and show about the history of Australia.  A great way to finish our time in Oz. 
So final thoughts about our time in Oz …..
Geoff keeps telling me I use the word “Amazing” too much …. but sorry - that’s how this year has been - totally amazing! 
We’ve visited fantastic places; have travelled almost 38,000 kms, invested some $8,600 in the Australian petroleum industry!!!.
Enjoyed the wildlife, the beaches, the outback and so much more!   People keep asking us what our favourite place has been - well there hasn’t been one ‘cause it’s all been so good.  You just think you’ve seen the best view ever, and then go around a corner and see something else just as breathtaking.  We’ve seen a lot - but there’s still so much more to see. (Maybe another trip might be necessary!!)

We’ve spent time together, talking, laughing, just ‘doing’ which has been really great for us.  Some comments before we came away were along the lines of  …“you two in a caravan together for 12 months??!! … you’ll kill each other!”  Well, maybe it was a bit of a concern (lol) but it didn’t work like that.

Have got to say that the best thing about our trip has been the people!  The places we’ve enjoyed the most have tended to be the places where we’ve met wonderful people, both family and new friends.  We’ve met some fantastic people - too many to mention - but you know who you are and we really hope to see you in England sometime in the not too distant future.  We’ve got to know family so much better which has been great - thank you for looking after us so well - we look forward to returning the favour when you come over to visit us!

You are a nation who strive to protect your rich and beautiful land and heritage.
We wish you well for the future and would consider it a privilege to return one day.

Australia …
You can travel around it or across it - but you will never get over it!   We have memories to last us a life time!

Geoff & Ruth xx
Cya Again Oz - We'll be back!

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