This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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1998 Travels September 4

FRIDAY 4 SEPTEMBER     WONGA BEACH

I did a couple of loads of washing.

In the afternoon, we drove to Mossman. I posted letters to various people, that I have written over the past few days.

We looked in real estate agents windows – a favourite pastime of ours. We do find the lush green-ness of this area really attractive, but are aware that living here would not be so pleasant in the summer, wet season. Or when there was a cyclone!

Used public phone to call GW re our tax stuff. Bought a few groceries.

Back at Wonga, a fellow resident had caught a huge golden trevalley, off the beach. It was nearly 30lbs. They cooked it on the BBQ and we were all invited to help ourselves. It was very nice too. I cooked some chips to go with it.

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That is a big fish!

The bad smell we noticed when up the beach yesterday has reached down here. It seems almost like some sort of chemical and makes me feel a little sick. We wonder if there has been some sort of spill from a passing ship?


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1998 Travels September 3

THURSDAY 3 SEPTEMBER     WONGA BEACH

We had a fairly early lunch, because we wanted to go for a ride on the beach when it was low tide.

We rode as far as the mouth of the Daintree River. The sand was firm, as we thought it would be, but it was still hard work, needing constant pedalling. It was a “different” cycling experience – a bit of a Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid one. Most enjoyable and sure beats the hell out of working!

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Lovely wide beach at low tide

However, there was quite a nasty smell on the beach – kind of a strong, soapy odour.

We saw a big mob of migrating frigate birds fly over. They have distinctive long tail feathers.

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In the mouth of the Daintree River

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Hard work cycling, but what a glorious place for it

We actually cycled 12kms on the beach!

Late in the afternoon, went for a drive around some of the back roads, through the farm lands between the coast and the mountains that rise up so steeply from the relatively narrow coastal section. It was all very lush and green – such a fertile area.

Tea was a sausage and tomato stew.

We phoned K on the mobile – to tell him we have it. The signal and sound was very patchy, but at least we managed to make it work.

My mouth has been rather tender, still, today, but God it is good to be free of that acute ache!


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1998 Travels September 2

WEDNESDAY 2 SEPTEMBER     WONGA BEACH

We drove to Cairns.

Went to Lake Placid Caravan Park and booked us in from 10th. We were impressed by this park when we visited H and M here. So, the commitment is made, now. I have tried my best to change John’s mind – even invoking the more pleasant weather at Wonga, with the sea breeze – but to no avail.

Checked out mobile phones and bought one. This is a first for us. It cost $50. Now we just have to figure out how to work it – and be very careful about using it. At least with public phones and phone cards, we knew exactly what we were spending each time on phone calls. And when one has to walk or drive to a phone box, it means the call is fairly necessary.

Found out that we can do an absentee vote in Cairns, ahead of the election day. Another problem solved.

Shouted ourselves to the luxury of a coffee and John had a cake. I chose not to eat.

Went to Landrover – Trinity Motors – to make them aware of issues with Truck, while it is still in warranty. Mostly – the slightly “popped” rivets in the roof. Not sure whether this is from the weight of the roof rack, with the spare wheel and jerry cans of fuel up there, as they were on the Cape trip, or from general flexing in extreme situations, like some of the creek crossings, and the bog at Ussher Point. Whatever, it will need fixing.

Then it was off to the dentist. He did the main part of a root canal filling on an upper left molar. It took a lot of anaesthetic and then he had to put some directly into the nerve. It was badly inflamed – that was not news to me! It took an hour to do – a time of great tension for me. I had pins and needles and numbness in my arms and hands, and legs/feet, but tried to relax. Kept telling myself that I had no option, and that anything was preferable to the pain of a few days ago. That session with the dentist cost $330 – more than a month of caravan park fees!

John went shopping while I was suffering and bought himself a computer atlas program on CD – only $6. He stocked up on beer and wine.

It was dark by the time we got back to Wonga. On the way, the anaesthetic began to wear off and my mouth was sore.

Tea was sausages and eggs for John. I did not want to eat!


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1998 Travels September 1

TUESDAY 1 SEPTEMBER     WONGA BEACH

It is the first day of spring – not that it makes any difference up here. There are not the flowering bulbs and wattles of a southern spring.

We relaxed at Wonga for much of the day. Read. Walked on the beach.

My face is definitely swollen from the problem tooth. Still need Panadol sometimes, but clearly the penicillin has eased the acute problem.

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The face is rather lopsided!

Drove into Mossman and bought groceries – $111 – and a book each from the bookshop there. That was a treat for us that cost $40.

Tea was a haricot bean stew, that I thought was quite tasty.


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1998 Travels August 31

MONDAY 31 AUGUST     WONGA BEACH

We relaxed around Wonga. Walked on the beach. John drove up to the bottle shop at the nearby  hotel to get beer.

John has decided that we will move to Cairns before the Commonwealth Games start, and stay until after the AFL Grand Final. Although our TV reception is now better here, John thinks it will be better still in Cairns – and he will have good bowls, for when he gets sick of watching sport on TV. I would prefer to linger here, where at least I can walk on the beach instead of not having much to do around the van, in a caravan park away from the sea. Here is nice and cheap, too.

Tea was pasta with mushrooms and garlic sauce.


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1998 Travels August 30

SUNDAY 30 AUGUST     WONGA BEACH

I am feeling much better, though still with some tooth pangs. I think I am reacting somewhat to the codeine  and have a bit of a gut ache during the day.

It was a lovely day, today. The sea looked all silvery and beautiful. This is so idyllic – sitting outside, watching the sea through the palms, listening to the sound of the waves at night (at least, when the tide is in). There is a cooling sea breeze most of the time. The sea water is warm – but only for walking in the very shallow edge of the sea! Too many nasties are possible, further out.

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Snapper Island on a hazy, silvery day at Wonga Beach

John did some ironing in the morning – yes, we are being neat and civilized tidy again! He then went off to bowls again in the afternoon.

I cleaned up the van and repacked the books and maps, that we keep in a crate in Truck, to put away the Cape material, and keep out what might be relevant to the Cairns and Tablelands areas.

John phoned daughter R at lunch time – she is interested in flying up and joining us and seeing some “outback”. She is pleased to hear that we are thinking about getting a mobile phone! So, while John was at bowls, I roughed out some possible travel plans, in case she does join us: options for one, two or three weeks.

The federal election has been declared for 3 October. We will have to investigate our options for casting our votes.

John enjoyed his bowls, but the triples team is not now going to eventuate. Good – one less reason to go to Cairns!

John’s 58th birthday is coming up soon. I am still considering buying him a flight with the mail plane, up the Cape.

Some new people who have come in and are camped near us say they were at Mission Beach three days ago – they got 18 inches of rain, IN ONE NIGHT!. The water around their campervan was knee deep. I wonder if they ever have issues with floating vans there!

I still do not have much of an appetite. Tea was french toast and bacon.


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1998 Travels August 29

29 AUGUST     WONGA BEACH

I felt a bit better again today, but still a bit feeble and needing regular rests and naps.

John went to the local shops and bought milk and papers.

John went to bowls at Mossman in the afternoon.

I did some putting of photos into the album, which was about the extent of the activity I felt like.

It rained really heavily, for half an hour, late in the afternoon.

The two men John played with have agreed to enter a Triples competition with him, in Cairns, in mid-September. Now that John’s aerial repairs have improved his TV pictures, he is happier about staying on here; as it is such a beautiful place to be, I would like to stay much longer. However, John thinks the Mossman Bowls Club is pretty poor – he reckons Cairns is much better for bowls. As you would expect it to be, given their relative sizes!

So – I do not like my chances of persuading him to linger here as long as I’d like to. I found Cairns uninteresting, earlier in the year. I love having the beach here, to go for long walks on, and we do not have to go far to visit some great spots.

Tea was apricot chicken and rice.