The Tip – Senior citizen style

Back in June, my Mum and Step Dad came to visit Joey and I in Weipa. We took them camping up to the tip. Mum wanted to tick the tip of Australia off her list and it didn’t take much convincing of Joey.

We packed up our car and headed off on the familiar dirt roads. We stuck to the PDR and by passed the old Tele track for the start. I don’t think the oldies really objected.

There was quite a line up for the Jardine River ferry. There were lots of tourists out and about early in the season, all heading to the same spot.

Our first few nights were spent at Punsand Bay. Joey and I had our roof top tent and the backseat seniors got a little cabin.

We explored the area, walked to the tip and got the obligatory photos. There were a few people around up at the tip, one couple got photos of them both hitting some golf balls into the water!

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My Mum loves her iPad and taking lots  of photos, but I actually didn’t manage to get any shots of all of us at the sign. If you are my mum’s friend on Facebook check all her photos out there.

The next stop was Sam Creek. This was a real test for the family. We free camped here, so no toilets or showers as they are more accustomed to. Last time Joey and I visited here we said we’d like to come back to stay. It was a lovely spot – but so many flies! We cooled off in the creek and used the time to relax. There was a bit of a cold that was so kindly passed around everyone 😳. Lucky we had stocked up on cold & flu tablets and tissues before we left Bamaga.

We also visited the other waterfalls in the area. Joey and I enjoying the chance to swim without the worry of crocs! We spent time at Fruit Bat falls and Elliot falls.

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We visited earlier than last years trip. And I was amazed at how much more water there was this early in the season. You could really hear the difference too.

Joey did some of his best cooking on the fire while we camped out. Cooking is one of his specialties. The baked potatoes were amazing. And of course, our favourite feature of our car, the little oven did not let us down. It heats up a mean meat pie 😋.

We detoured to have a look at the well known 4WD’ing spot of Gunshot creek. It was like a ghost town. We were the only car there, so we didn’t get to see anybody taking the brave plunge down the entry. It was so quiet compared to the crazy 15 plus cars we saw there on our trip last year.

From there it was a straight drive home to Weipa. Hopefully Joey and I get back to this area this year before the wet season starts again. I know as it’s heating up more and more during the day, a swim would be fabulous.

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Fishing comp

A few weeks back it was the Weipa fishing competition. The Weipa fishing classic is held in early June, each year and 2018 was its 13th year.

There is a big competition to catch different types of fish (obviously) that is held over two days. Each night over the weekend there is entertainment and on the spot prize draws as well as raffles raising money for local charities and draws for the top 30 prizes.

To be eligible to be a part of the top 30 you need to have a ticket, or in this case you get a souvenir key ring each year. We paid our $60 or so to have a chance at winning a prize. There were two boats, and a multitude of other prizes including fishing rods, esky’s, a dog cage, diamonds, holiday vouchers, a quad bike, one year there was even a voucher for concrete 🙄 all donated from the various sponsors.

There are stalls ranging from sausage sizzle, kebabs, face painting, a photo booth, a bar, and entertainment each night of the fishing comp. It is a highlight of the year for locals and apparently thousands of visitors come from across the country to join in the competition.

We were not personally lucky enough to win any prizes but our friend Andrew’s name was chosen in the top 30. He said he was happy to win anything, he came with nothing and he will walk away with something.

So on the final night of the competition they get the top 30 winners up on stage and they draw out the prizes. It is very exciting, Andrew made it to number 16 and his name was called for a reversing camera and car stereo package.

Andrew is in the green shirt (our friend we went to Bali with). Look out on gumtree or eBay if you are in need of a stereo or reversing camera as he can’t install them in his company car 😂.

It is a fun weekend that most people look forward to each year. This year was even more fun knowing our friend was in with the chance of winning something. Weipa even gets its own public holiday on the Monday after the comp – unlike the rest of Queensland. Most of the town needs it to rest their sore heads after what is always a big weekend.

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Cheap, Cheap.

Joey & I have just returned from a fantastic week in Bali, celebrating a friends 50th Birthday. It was all a surprise for our friend Leesa, organised by her husband Andrew.

Leesa actually gave us a lift to the airport on Thursday thinking we were going to Sydney, they left Weipa on Friday afternoon, Andrew told Leesa that morning that they were going to Bali.

We surprised Leesa on Saturday morning when we walked into the enclosed outdoor area of their Villa, soon after her two daughters arrived. Her brother in law and SIL surprised them when they arrived at their villa. How we all managed to keep it quiet for so long is amazing.

The week involved lots & lots of food and cocktails as well as scooter rides, swimming and many many laughs.

Joey and I stayed in a lovely villa with private pool, at Jas Green Villas, if you need somewhere to stay in Seminyak I can highly recommend this place, so central to everything. We will definitely be returning there on any more trips to Bali.

We enjoyed the huge variety of restaurants and cafes – such a nice change from quiet Weipa. We watched the sunset at a beach bar on beanbags, while being hassled (in a nice way) by all the people selling their wares.

Everything was so cheap, and I finally got my head around the ridiculous thousands and hundred thousands IDR, most of the time anyway! We hired scooters for about $6 a day and filled up at roadside petrol places that had the petrol in 1 Litre absolute vodka bottles for so cheap. Dinners cost us about $20 or $30 dollars for the two of us including drinks.

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It was my second visit and Joey’s first time here. We will definitely be back. And we will definitely be visiting Rock Bar again, we went on our last night, and it was amazing by night, but I’d love to see it in the day.

All the girls had a pamper session for Leesa’s birthday, where we all went to “Blow Bar” a really cool blow dry bar, owned by an Aussie lady. Joey & I enjoyed a return visit a few days later, drinks while getting your hair done = such fun.

It is safe to say……………………………………………

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The year of travel Part 2

Continuing on from my last post. The next location of my euro working holiday trip was Spain. A small port in the south west called Cadiz. This place had quite a middle eastern look to many of the buildings mixed in with the normal grand cathedrals and small narrow streets so common in Europe. The sunsets were amazing, very late in the night but soo beautiful. I’d forgotten about the whole siesta part of the Spanish culture but when the sun doesn’t set until around 9pm and dinner isn’t served until 8.30pm. You definitely need a snooze to make it through. 8.30 dinner was a struggle for the children.

Next stop was London – a city I am very familiar with after spending a year there in my early twenties. After living in a remote town for over a year now. London was extremely busy. I never noticed the amount of traffic before and these observations were while I was walking down the footpath, to actually having to sit in the traffic. I got to visit my absolute favourite sandwich shop chain “Pret”. It had been 13 years since my last visit to London but I’d had reports that my favourite shop was still there during that time. It was better than I remembered. With fresh fruit pieces and clean, simple and delicious snacks available.

Staying at the Ritz on Piccadilly was out of this world. Definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity. One opportunity that I will be forever grateful that I got to experience. This hotel exudes such grandeur and absolute luxury. From the monogrammed butter, the fine china used for room service meals to the chivalry and utter helpfulness of the staff. Apparently there are 2 staff members per guest. No wonder room service was delivered so quickly.

There is even a dress code at the hotel (just in the restaurants). No jeans or sneakers 🙄 which actually made me quite anxious as the two items that you weren’t allowed to wear, were pretty much most of the contents of my suitcase. I rebelled and wore my black jeans to breakfast one morning. No one said anything to me, thankfully, because I would have been mortified- but there was no way I was missing out on the ritz buffet. A buffet breakfast is my all time absolute favourite thing. And it did not disappoint- there is one word that I have chosen to describe the ritz – GRAND. And the buffet breakfast was as grand as the high tea. Everything at this hotel was amazing.

I was excited to be in London just before the upcoming Royal wedding this Saturday. I love the royal family and now have a commemorative wedding tea towel to add to my ever growing tea towel collection. I could have spent all day in the souvenir shops looking at all the different commemorative wedding items. But there were too many other things I wanted to see or revisit.

M&M’s world where there are 5 levels of M&M’s everything you can think of. From socks to t-shirts, pyjamas, hats and you could even get your own photo printed onto M&M’s.

I could not miss this opportunity as Joey loves M&M’s. I also got to see a show on the west end. This was a very last minute adventure, where I got tickets to see the Book of Mormon. It was a hilarious show and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys musicals.

I worked out once I got back to Weipa after 2 days in Sydney on my return, I had caught 14 different flights in 4 weeks. It is so nice to be back to the peace and quite of remote town living. Oh and to be back with my husband 😍

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2018 – the year of travel ✈️

If you follow my personal Facebook or Instagram accounts you will have seen a few shots from my latest “working holiday”. I am currently on another OS trip with the lovely family that I traveled to Canada and Hawaii with at Christmas.

This time it has been a European adventure……………. First stop Venice – with all its confusing small streets and canals – it made me wonder how I ever traveled before google maps.

We then continued on to Paris, I had a bit of a food poisoning bug and was then quite dehydrated. The staff at our new hotel were so kind – but unfortunately there was a slight case of misunderstanding when my lovely family explained that I was unwell and asked if some “plain crackers” loosely translated into French could be delivered to me. I received some saline nasal spray – not so useful for a vomiting bug – but kind all the same 😂.

After the best part of two days in bed after a horrendous flight 🤢🤮, I finally got out to explore some of the city with the baby. We walked all over visiting some key attractions……………. selfie stick in hand!

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The next stop was Disneyland Paris…………. the two girls, who are 8 & 5 years old had no idea about this stop. When the eldest saw posters at the airport when we arrived she was quite dirty with her parents saying “I can’t believe there is a Disneyland here”, “I didn’t know there was a Disney in Paris” – throughout our 4 day stay in Paris it was asked several times if we could visit. The parents kept telling the girls there wasn’t enough time and they had to get to the wedding in Spain. Seeing the girls faces when we arrived at the Disney hotel was priceless- excited was an understatement! The next two days were full on, massive days of walking for the girls. Did you know you can buy a VIP pass to Disneyland Paris? The family bought this service and it was well worth every cent as they got to jump the que at most of the rides – the longest they waited was less than 10 minutes for one of the most popular rides – Peter Pan – the youngest boy who is 15 months old and I joined the rest of the family in between his sleeps. And yes as my brother pointed out I got paid to go to Disneyland 😮🤩.

The two girls had a wonderful time dressing up as their favourite princesses………

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I got to spend one evening exploring by myself visiting a few of my favourite rides. I say favourite rides as if I know them and are familiar with them – space mountain which is called “Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain” was nothing like I remembered  this one had two very surprising inverted loops and a corkscrew – that poor lady sitting next to me in the second photo below had to listen to my screams 🗣

It was a busy first half of the trip – Part two stories of the trip will follow………….

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Hotel Landcruiser

As a follow on from my last post, I thought I would write about our recent honeymoon adventures.

We flew to Cairns to collect our new car. We had been watching the heights of the rivers closely before our trip. Another option was to pop the new car on a barge and get it delivered to Weipa – the only problem with this option was there was a 2-3 month backlog of freight and cars apparently weren’t a priority. So a driving adventure was decided on.

The lovely couple that we bought the car from even collected us from the airport and once our transaction was complete we madly dashed around K-mart and grabbed a few things on our shopping list. Some new pillows and sheets, just in case we needed to use the roof top tent were included in our purchases!

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We then found ourselves booking into a fantastic hotel for the night, complete with a few upgrades and bonuses after we told them it was our honeymoon 🥂 🍾

It was the next day that the true adventure started. We started the now quite well known drive back to Weipa. The PDR – which is the road that has long sections of dirt and gravel roads was treacherous. Huge washouts from the rains of wet season. We checked the levels of the rivers whenever we had reception and contacted interested family and Joey’s boss (he was due to be back at work on Monday morning) to give update some of our trip.

The above pictures are the actual road, the reflectors have been put in to alert drivers to the gaping big holes in the road. As we continued driving any rain we got however light the shower was made one of us say “this isn’t good” or “we don’t need this”.

On a good day the drive from Cairns back to Weipa takes about 10 hours. This trip took me two and a half days and Joey four and a half days and the car took an extra day and a half.

We arrived at Archer river early on the Monday morning after arriving at the previous town late the night before, it was raining, everywhere was closed so we decided to sleep in the back of the car. Putting up the tent got scrapped due to the rain and Joey thought he’d start driving again once he’d woken up, which I pointed out he couldn’t do with me in the tent still asleep 🙄  We went from a 5 star hotel the night before to the hotel landcruiser!

Archer river was just under 1 metre above the road when we arrived early in the morning. We sat there with two other people also trying to get back to Weipa for the next 12 hours. We would move from the edge of  the floodwaters back up to the roadhouse that is there. The roadhouse was closed due to it not being tourist season, but the owners were so helpful, selling us some frozen foods that they had stockpiled for the wet. And checking on us and coming down to the water for a few chats throughout the day. Thankfully their toilets were also accessible for our stay

I kept thinking of that phrase “a watched pot, never boils”. It seemed the more we sat there staring at the marker nothing happened.

There were two truckies that were on the other side of the river, who had come from Weipa the previous day. They turned around and headed back at about 10.30 saying that they’d been there for almost 24hours and watched it hardly move, possibly even just rise slightly.

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It got to about 3.30 and we could see it was definitely dropping. And just after 6 we decided it was time to make a move, while it was still light.

All 3 of our cars got through, one car stalled and we towed that one to a cattle station up the road where it was left and the owner got a lift to our next stop.

I held my breath as we crossed, not because I didn’t feel safe, I knew Joey was confident. I think it was just the unknown and having just watched the girl ahead of us stall and evacuate her car by climbing out the drivers window, I was a little bit anxious 😟  and the river was flowing pretty quickly!

Next stop was Myall creek which was also flooded, this one was well over 2 metres over the bridge. Our new friend Kass, who’s car stalled and was left back at the cattle station had gotten a message to her husband via the roadhouse owners to meet her at Myall. He had brought their boat and came across and collected Kass. As she left she gave us her leftover supplies and said she’d be back with more and to check on us the following day. True to her word, Kass and her friend turned up and brought their boat back over to our side.

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Joey convinced me I should go back with the girls on the boat. I didn’t want to leave my new husband but I really wanted a shower. So off I went, leaving Joey for two more days. No way to contact him again a there is no phone reception there.

It was early Thursday evening that I finally head from Joey telling me he was leaving the car at the nearby cattle station and heading home. I was so glad to have him home.

Early on the Saturday morning we got news the creek was down so we raced back across – the creek is about an hour out of town. We crossed over and collected the new car which also meant I then needed to drive one car back across the creek to get us all back home 😱.

The picture above of us crossing over in the red car shows the reflectors that were along the side of the little bridge and you can actually see the marker today. Earlier in the week this was nowhere to be seen.

We got our car from the kind people at York Downs who let us leave it on their property for a few days. Unfortunately we had gotten their phone number wrong so when we tried calling to offer to grab them some supplies from Woolworths we weren’t able to contact them.

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We made it back home and are absolutely loving the new car. Now as I write this post we are waiting for Cyclone Nora to possibly hit. Weipa is now at a warning level. Stay tuned for updates………..

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Weipa Wedding

So much has happened in the last week or so, with a wedding and quite an adventure to collect a new car

On the 2nd March, Joey and myself plus our two friends, Andrew and Leesa as our witnesses arrived at the local courthouse. There is no marriage celebrant in Weipa, you need to organise for someone to fly in. Or another option is a Courthouse wedding. This is what Joey and I chose as neither of us wanted to make a big fuss and we did not want to be spending huge amounts of money either. To be totally honest, the courthouse method was more expensive than I thought! A few locals reactions when I said we got married at the courthouse have been along the lines of “oh………….. you didn’t?” 🙄

We had a quick ceremony with the lovely lady that works at the courthouse. There was some construction work going on inside with lots of banging and crashing. So Margret took us outside in the garden. Which turned out to be so nice – although in true Weipa style it was pretty warm!

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Joey’s work friends stitched him up in the morning. Putting posters on his Ute. He wondered why everyone was smiling at him went he stopped in at woolies on his way home.

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We actually ended up with more video of the occasion than photos. Which is funny because Joey and I have since both said how much we dislike video of ourselves. But for those of you who feel like they have missed out here is a quick rundown of the ceremony 👰🤵🏻

We celebrated with Andrew and Leesa with a really lovely dinner at Weipa’s most fancy restaurant. The staff did a wonderful job of spoiling us – even setting the table with a tablecloth 🤗 and a free bottle of bubbly 🥂  it was such a lovely evening with our two friends. We even created our own wedding cake

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And a family photo with the dogs…………

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Part two with stories of our honeymoon and the drive home from Cairns in the middle of the wet will follow…………

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1 year on

The 9th of February, marked one year since I followed my heart and joined Joey in Weipa. I still miss family and friends but there are so many more things that I do not miss about Sydney. Weipa is definitely a slower paced life, which I love. There is no traffic and while some things took a while to get used to, I certainly feel very content and happy here. It is great to be with the man that I love and we have enjoyed the last year living together with our dogs and the many adventures we have shared in that time.

One thing I don’t think I will ever get used to or like is these horrid things…………………………………

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Cane toads are just so gross, this one seems to have taken up residency in a drain right near where we park the car.

It seems to have a friend with it too. And since they both scared me this morning while I was mowing the lawn, I actually let out a shriek – thank goodness no one could hear me over the mower #lol. My mind is now in overdrive thinking, if there are two, chances are they have already been breeding and creating even more grossness in our yard. I don’t really care for football, but I know I will never cheer for Queensland – just for the fact that their mascot is revolting.

I will now be googling ways to get rid of cane toads………… surely there is some spray you can use so they don’t want to live in our drain.

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W😲W……. So much rain

I can’t believe the amount of rain that is falling. As I begin to write this, the current downpour has already been heavy and constant for the last 25+ minutes. Maybe it’s the tin roof that makes it seem heavier but looking at the weather app on my phone, shows me there is a fair chance of rain for all of today.

I wish I had one of those old school rain gauges in my yard to see exactly how much falls. But judging from the noise on the roof it would need to be very large!

I still think of rain as a bit of an annoyance especially if I have something to do that involves being outside. This must be the city girl in me.

Here’s a short video I put on instagram last week to show how heavy the rain was. It’s even heavier today ☔️ ☔️ ☔️

I saw some local high schoolers last week absolutely loving the rain as they walked home from school. Splashing in puddles and dancing along as they walked, arms outstretched taking it all in. I need to find their attitude!

It has been reported that it will be a good end to the wet season with lots of rain expected, mixed in with monsoon type rains for a few days thanks to a cyclone that was brewing off the coast over the weekend. Cyclone season runs until the end of April.

And a quick edit to add two screen shots taken from the local Facebook page that I’ve just seen – circular way is one of the streets here  – I wish I had gotten photos of wheelie bins floating down the road 😂

Fingers crossed there is no cyclones! And hopefully a short break in the rain this morning so my dogs can go out for a 🚽 break!

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From Weipa to Whistler ☀️❄️ Continued……..

 

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen a few snaps I put up about my recent “working” holiday. I put the word working in brackets because I’m using the term quite loosely.

I have been to Canada and Hawaii with a family I have nannied and babysat for, for almost 5 years now. I was paid to be there and to help look after the now 3 children. The youngest, whom I’d never met,  turned one while we were away 🎂

I am so grateful at how accomodating and generous this family are. Yes I was there to work, but I also got a lot of time to myself and got to enjoy a bit of skiing in Whistler. Along with many other wonderful experiences – some where shared across my social media accounts.

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It had been 13 years since my last visit and I was so excited to get to ski here again especially because my skiing has improved so much since my last visit. Whistler was better than I remembered!

We had spent a few days in Vancouver on our arrival into Canada before a week in Whistler and then we journeyed onto Hawaii.

Again I got lots of time to myself to enjoy all the wonderful shopping – I ended up having to buy an extra bag on my return to Sydney to get everything back to Weipa. And I especially enjoyed a few swims at the beach with the two girls who are 8 and 5. No worry about Crocs here! Floating around in the blow up rings was such fun.

I wished Joey could have been with me and it’s gotten me thinking about planning another trip for this year. Joey is worried how I will cope in economy class now that I’ve experienced business class 😂.

We are thinking of a wedding in Vegas. Anyone want to be our witness? 😉. If you didn’t know Joey and I got engaged just before I left Weipa. So as wonderful as this trip was, it was also very hard to be away for 4 weeks at such an exciting time 💍.

I finished off my trip in Sydney spending some quality time with family and friends – the best was saved til last – spending time with another newly engaged friend, such fun.

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It will certainly be an exciting year ahead for us here with many more adventures to share

#happy2018toall

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