Travelling around Australia in a motorhome. A story of our travels starting from NSW then through Queensland, across to Northern Territory and Western Australia, then to South Australia, Victoria and finally across the seas to Tasmania. We have enjoyed everywhere we have visited and look forward to setting off again in our motorhome.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Brisbane 17 September 2010

Got in early in the morning in record time and checked up on Nell. There had been a delay in having an operation, so after getting some repairs to the electrics, we decided to drive straight home, rather then hang around in Queensland. It was a very hectic trip home as Jimmy doesn’t go too fast but we made it back by Saturday night in time for Nell’s operation. We found a campsite in Wollongong and stayed there for a few nights. When we got home on Tuesday, we found there had been a very strong storm and a number of trees had come down. Peter took a few days to clean up the mess but by the end of the week, the garden was looking good.

The Future World Chessman

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sanur 11 – 16 September 2010

Said goodbye to the wonderful staff at Agung Kahila and set off for Sanur and the Sanur Beach Villa. The villa was a bit run down but everything was working and it had A/C so we were glad to settle in for a swim. We meet Ron (an ex Aussie) who owned the place and gave us some local drum. Even though the weather was quite hot, we decided to go for a walk along the beach and look at the sights. At first glance, the beach is not as nice as Jimbaran and quite a lot dirtier. Peter got up early the next morning to catch the sunrise over the water, which was very scenic. After a refreshing swim, we wandered up to the local markets and the girls took part in their favourite sport – shopping! Laura was going that night, so we settled for a quiet evening around the pool, catching up with the other guests. On Monday morning, we went up to the north of Sanur Beach and had a relaxing time on the beach – seems a nicer area than the southern part. As it was very hot, we headed back to our villa for a refreshing swim in the pool.
Wednesday morning we got up early and decided on a smorgasbord breakfast on the beach with lots of the ‘wrong’ food we had been craving! Had some bad news from home – Nell had fallen and broken her hip. She had been taken to Wollongong Hospital and Michael and Sandra were looking after her. We were heading off that night so did a last minute round of bargaining for trinkets and back to the villa for another swim. That evening we walked up the road and had a drink in one of the fancy hotels and a meal in a local café. Said goodbye to Katie, Carl and Xavier and headed for the airport and a very straightforward trip to Brisbane.

The Idea of North?

Sanur Beach

Sanur Sunrise

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Harvesting the Rice Fields

Friday, September 10, 2010

Farewell to our Villa

Ubud Villa

Ceremony at Ubud Market

Ubud (Bali) 5 – 10 September 2010

On Sunday, we woke up early (curtesy of Xavier) and went off to explore the beach. It was such a gorgeous morning, so we decided to stay for something to eat and have breakfast right on the beach. After catching up with Wyang and his family, we were picked up and taken on a pretty drive to our villa in Ubud. This was planned as the highlight of our trip and we were not disappointed. The villa was enormous and looked onto an aqua pool. All around us were vivid green rice paddies with the local farmers tending their crops. On Tuesday Katie, Carl and Peter went into Ubud. Peter explored some of the art museums and admired the traditional Balinese paintings. On Tuesday evening Peter, Heather and Laura went to the Ubud jazz Club to hear Jim Larkin backed by some fantastic local musicians. He sang funky R and B songs that everybody enjoyed. We got up early on Wednesday with Katie, Carl, Xavier and Peter going to see the monkeys at the Monkey Forest while Heather and Laura went off to a live drawing class. Xavier loved the monkeys, especially the little ones clinging onto their mothers. Coming home, we stopped at the markets and saw a local ceremony, with the men and women dressed up in their finest clothes. Although it has been unusually wet, we still enjoyed ourselves staying at the villa. On Friday, we went for a walk down to the village and we were lucky enough to see the farmers harvesting rice in the fields then laying it out to dry. That night we had an enjoyable last dinner on the terrace overlooking the pool.

Ubud Markets

Barong Ceremony

When the Boats Come In

Jimbaran (Bali) 1 – 4 September 2010

After a long but uneventful flight, we arrived in Bali in the afternoon and set off for Jimbaran. The beach was a surprise and much prettier than Kuta. We enjoyed getting up early and watching the men haul the fishing boats up the beach. As Jimbaran had limited facilities, we went into Kuta to get some supplies and change some money. From our view, Kuta has deteriorated into a down-market Surfers Paradise. Aside from a local supermarket and department store, the rest of the shops consisted of expensive upmarket brands or tourist ticky tack. So, for the rest of the week we hang around Jimbaran and enjoyed the local ambiance – including a great massage.
While we were wandering around the village on Saturday, we found the villagers preparing for their local ceremony and we met Wyang, who offered to fit us out with the right clothes so we could see it. In the afternoon, we went to his home (a family compound) and got dressed up. The ceremony was fascinating, with the women dressed in colourful skirts and the men dressed in white. They had people dressed up as a Barong (lion) who were opposing the evil spirits. The Balinese seem a very spiritual people, who make offerings to the spirits many times a day. This is reflected in the way they treat each other and even the numerous tourists (who must often try their patience).
Went out to dinner to a resort on the beach on Saturday and watched the sunset while having a drink. Late Saturday night, Katie, Carl and Xavier arrived and Laura was meant to arrive after midnight but her plane was delayed and didn’t get in til 2am – much to the relief of her worried parents.

Peter, Wyang and Heather

Sunset Dinner on Jimbaran Beach

Coffee on the Beach

Redcliffe 29 – 31 August 2010

Camped at Redcliffe Showground, a place were we had stayed before and prepared for our trip to Bali. While it may seem strange to be going to Bali from Brisbane, we had won a holiday prize last year while touring around the Murray River and decided to take Katie, Carl, Xavier and Laura to Bali with us. (Yes, we know what you are thinking and you are right!)

A Campsite

The Big Concert

Gympie Muster 26 – 28 August 2010

While we were enjoying our time by the water, we decided to make a run for Gympie to catch up with Kerrie and Di at the muster. For us it was a long drive, (the last 20km along a rough, dusty track), but when we found the festival site, they wouldn’t let us go into the campground until the next morning – we were not impressed!! Luckily, we were able to turn around and we headed back along the track until we found a campsite in a forest reserve. This was the area where Jim would have been involved in timber cutting. Early Friday morning, we bought our tickets and drove in to look for a campsite. There were thousands of people with all sorts of weird and wonderful campsites. Luckily, we were able to squash in next to Kerrie and Di as we wouldn’t have found a spot otherwise. The Gympie Muster is predominately a country music festival and we were not sure what to expect once we got inside. The organisers had set up about 10 stages in the middle of a forest reserve and there was plenty of variety in the music. While there weren’t many Dry-as-a-bones, there were lots of 10-gallon hats and young blokes in blue singlets, with a XXXX in one hand and a Bundy in the other! However, in spite of the mountain of empty cans, everyone seemed in good humour and ready to enjoy the music. One of our early highlights was hearing Harry Manx, a Canadian blues singer who we had caught up with on a previous tour. He has a voice half way between Dylan and Cohen and the most soulful lyrics and an insightful quote on the blues - “We’re not happy til you’re not happy!” We enjoyed wandering around, listening to the music and ended our night in the blues tent with Glenn Cardiner. The next day we wandering around again and caught up with John Williams and ended up listening to Jimmy Barnes from our campsite! After a Sunday morning catch-up with Kerrie and Di, we set off for Redcliffe.

Side Show Girls

Harry Manx