Some places we've been and some places we're going.

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Dunnies of Oz

This is in response to a post by Lindsey on itchingforhitching.

Campers come across some weird and wonderful constructions including, “Amenities Blocks” but sometimes that name is totally inappropriate, like calling a beach shack a mansion.

These constructions have real character, they’re not amenities, bathrooms or even toilets they’re simply dunnies.

Click on an image to see a larger view with captions.



After about 5 hours sleep this afternoon I now feel capable of writng a post. During the overnight 13 hour flight from Adelaide to Dubai Alex managed a few hours of sleep but I struggled to get a couple so my eyes have been sore and my brain hasn’t been sharp all day. When the plane flew into Dubai it was raining and that continued as the taxi brought us to the hotel. Apparently everyone is stunned by the amount of rain they’ve had here this month, there have been floodings and even some drownings. Water is still lying in places and we’ve had to choose our paths carefully. I’m not sure how substantial my sandals are.
We’ve walked along “the creek”, travelled across to Bur Dubai on a water taxi and strolled through lots of bazaars. Alex has been singled out for attention because of the moustcahe he’s cultivated over the last month or so. Vendors tried to get his attention with calls of “Moustache” and “Professor” but my favourite was the guy who grabbed him and insisted on fitting him with a keffiyeh while marvelling, “You have Sheik’s skin but GOOD moustache”.

Scarborough – Day 8

Yeah! We fished out our warm weather clothes from under the bed because the forecast was for 24 deg.

South Bank was our destination for today and because we didn’t want to deal with traffic and car parking we decided to use public transport again. The bus we used to go into the city last time doesn’t run on the weekend so this time we had to get a bus to Sandgate and then the train. We left at 8:20 and arrived in Brisbane at 9:46 – the way back seemed much longer!

We walked from the station down to the river and over the Victoria Bridge to the South Bank. We meandered along until we came to the Sunday Market where we tasted a couple of things then continued past the City Beach, then under the arbor all the way to the Maritime Museum. The Museum is situated at the site of the old city Dry Dock. Alex went into the Museum and I went back and wandered through the market stalls.

Our legs were very tired as we made our way back to the station via the Friendship Bridge and Botanic Gardens. (20 070 steps today!)

Stanley to Cradle Mountain

I think we had the best site in the whole caravan park last night, in the shower block women were complaining about the wind buffeting their caravans but we were fine nestled behind the amenities block and between trees. The camper was difficult to pack down though and we later discovered that the front canvas awning had again blown up over the top of the camper. I think we’ve had the best amenities ever at Stanley, they even supplied a stack of towelling bathmats so everyone had a fresh one. As I relished a nice long, hot shower I thought of the insane golfer out in the cold, blustering winds. He arrived back just when I finished my morning fruit juice insisting that he’d enjoyed the round.

There was only 1 U turn today because I was driving but it was because the Geriatric Geezer and the cyborg between them were sending us back to Devonport. Luckily the Geriatric Geezer realised we were going the wrong way before very long. We stopped in Burnie for a hot drink and supplies. I think we must have missed the best parts of the town.

The road to Cradle Mountain was much easier than the ones we travelled on yesterday and we were here about 2 o’clock, started setting up camp and were immediately visited by a Pademelon with a baby in her pouch.  When she realized we weren’t going to give her anything other than the bits of apple she’d already eaten she left us. We went to get our shuttle bus tickets and I found a nice warm jacket at a very good price. We took the shuttle bus to Dove Lake and walked to the Glacier Rock and Boat House. There is nothing wrong with the Geriatric Geezers glasses because he spotted a wombat just ambling its way out of some bushes. We’d seen wombat poo everywhere but I was thrilled to see one. When we were waiting for the shuttle bus to take us back to the Visitors Centre I saw a wallaby with joey in the carpark.

The facilities here are excellent, nothing like any Big4 parks we’ve stayed in before. This one has secluded individual sites, no bouncy castle or swimming pool but a terrific eating are built of stone. I lit the fire, Alex FED and stoked it and other campers are now very happy with the result.

Once again we have no internet access so you’ll be reading this when we’ve already moved on.

Stanley to Corinna and Back

Back to old school, finding Internet Access at the local Library!

Today we moved from a cabin to a powered site, you can have too much luxury. We went to the Brown Dog for a coffee, hot chocolate and lemon cake for breakfast because someone had moved onto our sheltered site and wouldn’t be off until 10:00. The Brown Dog is a wonderful shop, selling everything from coffee etc to shaving brushes, genuine Swiss army knives, hedgehog shoe scrapers to French organic toiletries.

After moving the camper we left for Corinna an old gold mining town, we took the Western Highway which was a good dirt road and very, very quiet. We went through a wide range of vegetation, some parts looked very like the Dava Moor in Scotland,a big area of low scrubby bushes spreading over mostly flat ground. Other parts were lush temperate rainforest or big areas of plantation timber. There were incredible Cypress Pine hedges and having felt the winds it’s easy to see that it was sensible people who planted the hedges many years ago.

After stopping several times to admire beautiful rivers we became quite blasé about them. We were looking forward to some tasty, filling lunch at Corinna but all that was on offer were some hot chips which we did enjoy. The manager of the Hotel/Lodge was Ewan, from Forres, a town not far from where we lived in Scotland. After our chips and drink we walked a little way along a boardwalk which was marked with interesting information boards. Huon Pines were harvested in the area and floated down the river.

We came back to Stanley along faster roads but it still seemed to take ages. Everyone says that you need to be prepared for the time it takes to travel fairly short distances but I don’t understand why it took so long. We didn’t see any logging trucks because it’s a holiday here and very little traffic, but it was a long day.

Tonight we went down to the beach and saw baby penguins coming out of their burrows, impatient to be fed by their parents which were taking too long to come back after fishing all day. I didn’t see the Tasmanian Devil which apparently appears near the Caravan Manager’s garden every night but we saw plenty dead beside the roads today.

The “geriatric geezer” did 9 twirls or U turns today, I suspect he’ll do a few tomorrow which I won’t know about because he’s booked in to play golf early in the morning when I plan to be snug in bed.

The Past -Distant and Recent

Today started with another beautiful sunny morning but by 9am the dark clouds had rolled in again. Because we had plans for dinner at 6:00 we decided to make today’s jaunt a shorter one. We went west again but this time not up north Bostadh Iron Age Village. After a severe storm in 1992 features of an Iron Age village became visible where sand had been blown away. Five houses were excavated and another left untouched but they had to be reburied to protect them from weather damage. A house has been replicated using the techniques of the day and is safe above the water line. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to see inside it, the entrance has been blocked and there is no notice explaining when it will be reopened but I did manage to get a photo of the inside and you can see the central fireplace. The house is an impressive construction.

The village is on the shore of a stunning bay and there is a “Tide Bell” visible. I have no idea how it works, it seems to me that by the time the bell rang anyone on the beach would already be in a dire situation. Maybe I’ll be able to find more information when I have access to the net.

Coming back from the Iron Age village we saw a sheep with devilish horns, there are far more interesting sheep around here than I’ve ever seen in Australia. For such a cold place I’d expect the sheep to have thick, strong fleeces but these sheep lose their wool if they’re not shorn and we’ve seen sheep which have already lost most of their wool and the weather definitely isn’t warm. Today did however turn into the nicest, sunniest day we’ve had.

We crossed the Bernera Bridge which is the only reason the island of Bernera is inhabited now. It was built in 1953, prior to that there was a ferry on demand and small boats were also used to transport people and goods. The first truck on Bernera was a 5ton Bedford lorry taken across on wooden planks laid across a fishing boat. Many islands around Lewis are uninhabited because crossing to facilities has become too difficult without a bridge to the mainland.

Lena has been searching for family graves and it’s been interesting seeing the different headstones and layouts. One thing I have found interesting is that a many headstones include the croft number.

One resource which would seem to be inexhaustible here is stone so it’s no wonder most memorials are constructed using the available stone. Creative designs are everywhere and not only in memorials but also buildings eg Visitors Centres, fences, shelters, marker cairns and of course houses.

For dinner we met up with just a few of Alex’s cousins, people he hasn’t seen for 39 years. The last time we saw them we were touring around on Trail Bikes and sleeping in a tent but Uncle Iain insisted we stayed at their house. I remember the young lad, Murdo, taking us out in the fishing boat to check the net and finding a salmon that had a big bite taken out of it by a seal. That young lad is now the father of seven, the youngest is 15!

El Questro

This was a lovely campsite for us, “Osprey”.  It was a private site, away from the facilities but we did have a toilet, shared with one other site but not at all close. We were beside a river in a lovely natural environment.

A peaceful, secluded site.

A peaceful, secluded site.