Monday, 19 October 2015

Driving in Australia

Sorry this has got out of order, This should have gone before my last one as I have not yet told you of the return trip from the blue mountains.
I have driven in almost every part of this world and Australia is no exception there are as many crazy people here as anywhere else, though some of the rules are different lets just take Cyclists her they use the Motorway technically speaking its a Highway and restricted to 80 / 100/ 110 kph with equates to between 50 and 70 very similar to our speeds, However I would hate to be a cycelist pedling down the hard shoulder with a Road Train passing 6ft away at 70mph, not what I would regard as safe however I am told that this is because when the roads were built that was the only road from A to B then with mounting population they were improved but still being the only road fron A to B they could not impose any none use restrictions anyway it all seem to get along very well and unlike UK i did not see anyone abusing the system. Roads here have a very long run on the highway changes from three to two lanes with an alarming frequency and you really have to be aware of what's going on or you just end up running out of tarmac though give the drivers here their due they are very good at letting you in as everywhere else you get the moron who just sits there with an empty lane to his right and will not move over because "I was here first attitude " the other strange aspect is that here you are allowed to overtake on the left or the right at the begining its a bit disconcerting to have a Road train on your right and one on your left and you in the middle of becomes a 70mph vacuume .
On the return trip we encountered some rather bad weather rain that came with such force that most drivers just stop as you litrally cannot see your bonet as alwas you have mister Moron who still continues at 70mph oblivious to everything around him/ her Have way I remembered a little village we stopped at some 5 years ago it had a nice cafe so we managed to pull in there, we had a lovely  rest and walk by the river (Clarence) and then it started to rain again but this time I meen rain withing 20 minutes the road was flooded so bad that we took our shoes off to get back in the car BUT as always here in Aus 20 minutes later we were driving with the Aircon on and earing sunglasses such is the diverse weather here on the east side of Australia  
Driving is driving the world is a small place

Above before the storm

                                                                        Then the flood

Farewell to Australia

Mary ' Noreen, Jane, Nadene 

                                                          The kids writing in the sand
The thrills of power boating 

Tomorow it is farewell to Australia
This will be the last Blog form downunder, this morning at 06.00 I was out in the tinny making my farewell trip out on the water FISHING yes and I did catch in fact we are all having fish tonight as our farewell dinner.
I always find this last day the most awkward we have had such a great time, we have been royally looked after, the hospitality, freindship and Love has been second to none, I o love it here and I could willingly stay, however the other me has missed the kids Pippa and Thomas its so inportant to watch them grow up I know from my experience of being away so much when they were growing up just how fast they change, When Mat was first born he would be about 3 months when I was sent out to the Gulf for nine months when I got back he was just about walking ( I know my choice I was the one that signed up no complaints from me we all knew what the life meant even our wives knew what to expect  Though I do get annoyed when I here present Army wives Complaining and saying its an injustice'  our wives never had a voice )
Noreen and I haven't even started to pack yet "if it dos'nt go in then it stays" that's our philosophy
Whilst here we have done everything that was on our original agenda the cruise to Papa new Guinea was not on that list so that has gone down as just a learning curve. Who was it said that you can live your life in RETROSPECT  was gone is gone. the only thing you can do with the past is learn from it (I wish our politicians would take that advice)
Last night my niece organised a family get together on the beach as a farewell its great here to be able to plan that type of event and rely on the weather, these park areas by the sea are fantastic its a public place with electric BBQ you just click a switch and use it ifs its busy nobody minds sharing and the following morning its all steam cleaned ready for the next lot the kids were skate boarding, playing on the swings writing in the sand and in general just having a lovely time with Friends and Family
Noreen and I are not really looking forward to our return flight that is the only thing that needs thinking about when you book a long haul the first leg is 14 hours then we get a 2 hour rest in Dubia then a second leg of 7 hours in all 23 hours travelling thats why we stay her so long you need time to recover so dont expect to see me much before sunday.
Ok everyone thats it from Australia
God Bless you all for  listening

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Change of Plan

Hi Everyone

Now astonishing breaking news Noreen and I did not manage to get to Papua New Guinea!!! It would appear that Noreen is an undesirable alien who the PNG government would not allow into the country((  Ok who dropped us in it telling them that Noreen and I were the leaders of a coupe and Noreen had ambitions of becoming the Queen of PNG,)) The reason wasn't quite  that Bizarre but almost, Noreen only had 5months and 2weeks left on her passport and apparently the PNG rules say you must have 6 months. Anyway the outcome was,, we didn't get on the boat. As seasoned travellers we know the futility of arguing with any sort of beuocratic red tape, to retain your sanity and get on with life  just walk away and get on with the rest of the trip. My dads quote "a good soldier never looks behind him, only ahead.
It was only right that  Mary and Roger continued with the cruise, having looked after us two for the past six weeks they looked as if they needed a good rest??? luckily we had gone to the ship by car and Roger had put it in secure parking ready for the return journey he soon arranged for me to collect it and drive us back to Runaway Bay. We then had to decide  what to do  next, On one of our previous visits we attempted to get to the Blue Mountains but couldn't go because of ranging bush fires -, So that was it we have just completed a 7day, 1242 mile round trip to a town called KATOOMBA in the Blue Mountains this time it wasn't on fire just the opposite. They say to see the mountains, waterfalls, rain forest, and spectacular rock formations at their best you should do it in the rain, WE  did thats not quite true the weather was damp and the day we walked the rain forest it did rain. but to see the mist below you creeping through the valley bottom is quite awesome, We decided to go Ausie B&B as it was a long drive we did a overnight at a place we knew from previous trips and stopped at Port Macquarie great little place staying over night at the Hastings Valley Motel I can recommend it everything you need for an overnighter, our accommodation in Katoomba was just as good staying at the Blue Mountains Heritage Motel opposite Aldi and the YHA you can see by the location it was cheep However we could not have been looked after better if we had gone 5 star the breakfast was huge the rooms very comfortable also within walking distance of some of the best walks and views in the mountains. Anyone who is a camera enthusiast its such a wonderful experience three days walking 223 Pics You say WHY! I reply because I can??????? a walk stated as 2 hours would normally take us three because of my constant stopping Noreen says she is fed up of me say "look at that"" each to there own
We  had a great few days had a wonderful experience, met some great people from all over the globe including a couple from Manchester (Gorton) funny the people you meet. The visit was well worth the drive and it gets another tick on our TO DO LIST.
We return a week today just enough time to get a bit of fishing in??

God Bless to All
Buggerlugs Downunder

The Three Sisters guatding the Jameson Valley

Same as above

One of the three sisters after a one hour walk and 400ft decent


a well earned break

Cable car comming out of the mist

Katoomba falls from the rain Forest floor

 Three Sisters at Dawn

Monday, 5 October 2015

Bank Holiday Weekend

Well here in Aus its been a bank holiday weekend, something about "Labour Day" anyway this meant we have been confined to barracks only venturing out when necessary as here just as in Britain its chaos out there, The Gold Coast is like Cornwall to us back home this is where everyone comes to get the first of the sun and Surf, of the new season, I have no idea why because its not been below 26 since we arrived. Not only is it a bank holiday, all the schools are off for two weeks, So I have not even been out in the tinny fishing as the waterways are so so busy , to cast in you would be fishing in the next guys boat, and with water skiing , Boarding, Para surfing and every other conceivable type of water sport going on it really was not worth the petrol. Noreen and I did get out on thursday to Byron Bay down in New South Wales great day its a really fun place to go it has the oddest people in Australia and thats saying a lot, friday we took Noreens great niece fishing she is nine and we managed to catch her first fish I was more excited than she was.  This great holiday event coincides with some great sport, yesterday was the Ausie football rules Final (a sport I now understand and can watch and criticise???) and today is the Ausie Rugby League Final PLUS England v Australia world cup Oh Why Oh Why did I have to be here for that debacle what very bad planning that was, I have just had to remind everyone here who won the ashes this year, but even reflecting on that great achievement has not softened the  pure grieve of the disappointing  score line, still its only a game and there will be many more, That score line however now means I find myself  beginning to become a Welsh supporter.
Prior to the game I had asked everyone in the UK not to text the score or intimate the outcome as we were recording it (I am mad on my Rugby but watching at 04.00 was not on) BUT ! As we were leaving church this morning, what did the Priest do but congratulate Australia on a fantastic win. What a bloody idiot. Priest or no Priest I did tell him the church should not get involved with either sport or politics.
We are now busy getting ready for the next leg of this trip we sail for Papua New Guinee on Wednesday, having never been on a cruise before (except on our own boat) other than the  60hr cruise on the QE2 from Hamburg to Southampton which was nice but it was two short a journey to experience a Cruise ) I am a little apprehensive but to think we will not have to do a single thing for 10 days no cooking, washing up, making beds, cleaning they even clean your bloody shoes, we get to visit some exotic places we have never seen before. pleny of pics comming from there I hope.
As the bank holiday finnishes tomorrow Tue and we sail on Wed I intend to get my last days fishing in first light in the morning when we get back from the cruise we will be sorting out ready to return home, so I will not have any time for fishing ???
Love to everyone
Buggerlugs DownUnder

This is a quiet beach????

Piper with her first fish

Good Morning

05.30 on the gold coast nobody up yet just me the the ripple of the incoming tide, paracetes giving a morning cherp. Very little to tell you but a compulsion to write.
I must say just how much I like writing these blogs most people say that I just love talking, maybe that's the case But I think its more than that. I love "Correspondence" I am not one of these traditionalists that say that modern technology is killing the art of corresponding if that was the case we wouldn't have this Blog, though it does not have the expectation of that long awaited letter falling on the mat now its just junk mail falling on the mat. I believe it was the Victorians that started our great love of correspondence when you could send a letter inviting a fried to lunch recieve a reply and meet at noon for that luncheon date. rewarding those old letters they were so eliquent in their composition and style But even further back in time the letters of Pluto, Aristotle,  Confucius, and not forgetting those wonderful writers of letters and Gospels St Peter, Mark, Luke and John.
Letter writing is part of our heritage, pre the google days I remember when leaving on my first posting abroad my dad saying " son write as often as you can you will get the benefit" and he was so right it was not the fact that if you sent one you would hopefully get one in return it was the physical act of actually composing your thoughts in your head and writing them down on paper even the act of addressing the envelope and posting it was all part of the connection with whom you were writing. I did most of my courtship (what a strange word now) by mail as I spent long periods of time away before we got married Noreen still has some of them????  I wonder if any of the emails sent from Afghanistan have been saved. When I was in the Gulf we had mail call once a week and you prayed that the RAF had brought you something even a bill would do. again I trasgress
In this modern world of high technology I tend to think we do not share our Thoughts, Ideals, Hopes and dreams as we once did. We guard them as not to show any outward sign of weakness or not really being understood, afraid of being classed as soft, racist, bigot or just liar
As you have guessed I do enjoy writing and think of this blog as me writing a letter to my friends not as an information sheet to what we are up to I think its great that if you are interested you can read it if not you can delete as the composer I never know ( however by the lack of comments I sometimes wonder)
One of my favourite radio programs was Alister Cooks letters from America not because I was interested in America it was the way he made the topics so personal to him and he was not only a great writer but a wonderful orator. only if I had his skills.
Maybe I should call this blog "Letters from Buggerlugs" Maybe this has not done anything for you but it has made me feel better about the world
For those that have thanks for listening.

God Bless