Wednesday, 3 August 2011

On Our Way Back

Once again I’ve left it weeks without keeping up this blog … it just shows how busy we’ve been and/or how much we‘ve been enjoying ourselves!!  I’ve even had one or two frantic e-mails, from friends who are only keeping up to date with us via the blog, checking that we are ok!  So thought I’d best make an effort and bring things up to date.
We went to a couple of Rodeos up in Coonamble and Cobar which were certainly an experience.  Children as young at 8 riding the steers is just amazing; they have more guts and/or ‘get up and go’ than we’ll ever have.  Geoff decided that women on horses need hand brakes!….and he didn’t know ‘steak’ could run that fast!!

Ruth trying to get warm!

We spent time up in the Blue Mountains at a place called Oberon - it was freezing up there!  It was actually a bit of a difficult time as both Geoff and I caught colds and it was so cold and wet that we couldn’t really do a lot.  Apparently the day after we left it snowed.  I know it’s winter here but ????…. and somehow we really didn’t expect it to be so cold and wet in Australia.  It was beautiful up there though, the mountain ranges are just out of this world.  To think of those first pioneers crossing the mountains with nothing more than a horse and swag is mind blowing.
Blue Mountains

Ruth, Geoff, Phil & Margaret
We met up with Phil (pastor from back home) and Margaret in Sydney and had a lovely couple of days with them.  We took them back up to The Blue Mountains and they did the walk around the base of The Three Sisters - Geoff and I looked on from above!
The Three Sister

Lane Cove National Park
Phil actually managed to get us interested in the bird-life and Geoff and I spent the next day walking around Lane Cove National Park in Sydney with the camera and binos pretending to be twitchers!  Only problem was that apparently (and according to Geoff!) I made more noise than a bowl of Rice Krispies as I was walking so scared the birds away.  (My nick name for the week was Snap, Crackle and Pop!)   Must say though that Australia has got some absolutely beautiful birds and it’s great to sit and watch them.  
Sulphur Crested Cockatoos
Byron Bay
We’ve spent the last couple of month catching up with people who we’ve met on our way around and saying our goodbyes and re-visiting some of the more special beaches too.  In particular we had a week at Lennox Head again and had a lovely time with Bill and Charmaine aka Kate.  It was great to see them again and we’re hoping to see them over in England one day.  We were also able to catch up with Neville and other folk at Ballina Baptist Church which was lovely.

We arrived back in Brisbane towards the end of June and spent a couple of weeks doing jobs on the caravan and getting it ready for sale.  It’s now sat ‘gleamingly’, with road-worthy and gas safety certificates, on Geoff and Janelle’s front drive with a ‘for sale’ sign on it, and has been advertised on GumTree web site too.    We’ve had faith all through this trip and God has certainly provided for us in so many ways, so we’ve no doubt that the van will sell.  We did have one ‘interesting’ offer from a lady who was supposedly a marine biologist working off-shore.  She said she wanted to buy the van for her son in Malaysia and she would arrange and pay for shipping etc.  Payment was to be made by Paypal - all seemed reasonably believable … until she said she wanted us to pay the shipping and she would reimburse us - we even got an official looking email from Paypal saying they had the total amount ready to transfer into our Paypal account once we had paid the shipping.  Hmmm … that’s when alarm bells started to ring.  We googled ‘Gum Tree Scams’ and it seems this is a regular con;  thankfully we didn’t fall for it - but it is a bit upsetting to know that people out there are so wicked that they would go to such lengths and deviousness to cheat people out of their money.

Once we’d done all we could to the van and we still had four or five weeks left before our journey home, we decided we’d go “Aussie”…..put a mattress in the back of the car and set off back up to Cairns and Atherton Tablelands.  How adventurous was that?!  

We did a couple of nights free camping, stopped off at Clint and Sharon’s place just outside Mackay so were able to say our goodbyes there too.  

Phil, Geoff, Ruth, Kayleen & Sheree
We’ve had time with Phil, Kayleen and Sheree in Cairns - lovely meal last night at Charlies on Cairns Promanade - with the biggest prawns ever!  

View from Keith & Chris's Farm
We’ve been up at the farm with Chris and Keith in Atherton, had a lovely family Chinese meal with all the family there and were able to meet the newest addition to their family, baby Malachi,  and we also met up again with Keith’s cousin, Janine and Brian, from Canberra, who we met when we were down that way earlier this year.  We’ve had a lovely meal with Judy and Murray and were even able to see Dot and Bev yesterday back up at the farm.  I had a lovely coffee meeting with Hanna at the Chocolate and Cheese factory (so of course had to sample some chocolate!) and we’ll be seeing a few of the others at Neil and Emma’s wedding next week in Brisbane.  What a hectic few days!  But it’s lovely to see everyone again and I know I’m going to be so sad when we have to say our final goodbyes.   
Ruth, Geoff, Bev & Dot
Ruth and Hanna
Ruth and Chris

So …. Just two weeks left.  We’re heading back to Brisbane today - we should make it back to Brisbane on Saturday or Sunday - and that’s pretty much solid driving.  Australia is such a BIG place you just don’t realise how big until you’re driving 6 inches on the map and it takes you a week! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Ruth! I really enjoyed reading this this morning! You need to do a U.S journey next!