Oldies at Large – Remember When…

We’ve been enjoying Cairns these last few days, and will be here for a month to get our fill of Tropic North Queensland. As I look around I see a bustling and growing tropical metropolis that is now a tourist mecca, I see so much that has changed. I first set foot in this region 30 years ago on our first adventure north of the Capricorn. We had two vegemiters in tow and I was barely pregnant with number three.

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Oldies at Large – Freecamping and The Rules

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 7.06.44 amOK … It is freezing here! The Aussie winter is something again… beautiful blue skies, sun-a-rising and if you can find a spot out of the wind, sitting in the sun, life could not get better but the mornings they are cutting! We seriously need to head north.

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Oldies at Large – Travelling with Fur Kids

The MerooHaving just spent a month ratting around the NW USA we were welcomed home with fan fare and dance by our two little fur kids. I have mentioned our escapades in travelling with pups before but it was such a nice greeting our two terrors gave us that I feel its time to draw them back into the picture.

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Back Home Amongst the Gum Trees

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 4.23.58 pmWe are back, returned from our sojourn in the NW Pacific coast of the USA and the Rockies of Canada and it is always nice to be home.

For those first few precious weeks in returning you see things through different eyes. The skies in Aus. are so blue here, the nights so dark with a spray of a million brilliant and familiar stars overhead. The air is so crisp, a welcome and familiar crispness given that it is now mid winter, even if it is similar to the summers of the NW in America.

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Oldies at Large – On the Oregon Trail West

reblogging 🙂 wordpress stuffed up the publication somehow … thanks guys

Jan Hawkins Author

Climbed out of bed this morning at some hideous hour… if I was back in Aus I could have said I slept in but here on the other side of the world 6am is a hideous hour. I think it has something to do with the sun not setting until 10pm and taking so damn long to sink. Nothing seems to stir beyond 8:30am here so our hour of rising is considered hideous.  

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Oldies at Large – Intermission

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 9.23.11 amCamped in the Backyard again … It’s nice to combine both of our worlds, the past and the future and this has found us camped up in the back yard yet again after several weeks on the wallaby. When we decided many years ago to travel the country in our retirement as a lifestyle, not merely a holiday, we also decided that we didn’t want to sell the home block to follow our dream. This had some major ramifications of course. It meant that we had to do some serious saving to equip ourselves for our travels, a slow course for two slow horses.

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Oldies at Large – A Change of Pace

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 9.59.34 amIt is time to check into the main block (home) for catchup and repairs. Yep we are due some timely TLC on our Grampie Flat otherwise known as the caravan, with a major job coming up because The Man can’t back the damn thing in the dark…! and he managed to leave an untimely reminder of our visit on the roof of a picnic shelter. Not that I can back it at all either mind you.

We usually try to be settled and set up by no later than 4pm preferably 2ish… this isn’t hard when you don’t like travelling more than 200ks in a day. Yep… it is life in the slow lane for us. Mind you those travel days usually come only once a week, it isn’t as though we tow the home from pillar to post and back. On this particular day we were running later than usual and The Man was gamer than usual… hence the consequence. Life just has it’s moments at time so you just learn to roll with the slopes and fly with the winds.

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Oldies at Large – Housekeeping and Holidays

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 7.06.44 amWe are once more turning our noses to the sun, heading north as autumn sneaks around the corner and I must admit it has been an adventure travelling with the flow of the weather. For winter, a time of hibernation usually, we have planned a spruce up for our little mobile home. It is time for some serious housekeeping before we take the Grampie Flat deep into the northern rainforest’s and then out across the Outback along the Savannah Way with a side trip down into the heart of Aus., into the western arm of the Macdonnell Ranges where I can do some research for a book and these are our plans for 2014.

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You have Mail – Born on a Nugget of Gold

Sofala NSW - The Turon River Gold Fields

Sofala NSW – The Turon River Gold Fields

We have been camped on the Turon River, near Sofala NSW, which is an old gold town of the colonial era of early Australia. Settled amongst the she-oak trees it is wonderfully peaceful and you can’t help but think of the golden era, where men panned here for the wealth of the earth in their thousands and history was etched into the banks of these rivers.

Roos on TuronThe wallabies and roo’s pass us by each day and the birds move between the trees. The song of the bush is beautiful. There are wild blackberries here and wild tobacco, a remnant of the gold mining days. Plants that the diggers often nurtured to provide the sweet things in life that were difficult to live without. Wild goats roam the bush and goanna’s stalk quietly like a visitor from pre-history. Continue reading

The Journey – Adapting to Freecamping

Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 7.06.44 amThe journey in freecamping has some wonderful adventures. The people on a whole are great and we often find ourselves chatting merrily away as unawares one hour… then two… then sometimes three slip by before you look up and realise you were going to be moving on today but once more … the pleasure of swapping stories with like travellers caught up with you once again. It is a good thing we don’t have a tight timeline.

There are also other joys … slipping along a waterway in the unsinkable ship .. our trusty kayak and simply just enjoying the view and experience. You can find water monitors along the way and the odd snake, as with yesterday, who we disturbed making a meal of a frog. The ducks, water birds and even wild geese can be wonderfully entertaining and I have discovered a new interest in birdlife. Even the pups have learnt not to chase the wildlife unless it gets just that smidge too close to them. The wildlife can be spectacular and the campfires memorable, memories which stay with you to be recalled at later times.

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