This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2000 Travels April 20

THURSDAY 20 APRIL     HEALESVILLE

After breakfast, we drove home and did some pruning and gardening. John took the rubbish thus produced to the tip. Refuelled Truck – 81cpl – much cheaper than Tasmania!

The dog enjoyed being around while we worked, and the tip trip – old times!

Had a phone call from friend R and arranged for him to come to tea at the van, after dropping son and friends at the Gilderoy scout camp. He would be bringing John’s new laptop.

Back at camp, I prepared steak, mushrooms, jacket potatoes, salad, fruit and cheeses.

Soon after arriving, R decided to go get H, too, so I added to the food and we ate late – about 7.30pm.

We had to sit outside, of course, and fortunately the temperature was tolerable – just. We had the electric fan heater going under the table.

It was a most enjoyable evening – they did not leave until 1am!

John received the new laptop, but there was only time for a brief demonstration of its operation. There was much software with it, too. John was happy.

The afternoon and evening saw much movement into the caravan park – for Easter. The claiming of territory was interesting to watch, especially as people rushed to set up chairs around the fireplaces, which were soon packed out.

We had decided, once we knew we were able to get a booking, to see out the Easter period at Healesville – especially after the delay with the wood. Better to be there, than battling it out on the roads with the holiday traffic. Also, John would then be able to play with his relatives in the annual Easter bowls tournament at Beaumaris!


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2000 Travels April 19

WEDNESDAY 19 APRIL     HEALESVILLE

We had a mid-morning appointment with the doctor, for check-ups and scripts. My blood pressure was way up, and she wanted to check it again next Monday. I was not surprised, as I felt very tense. John had been threatening to abandon the trip, forthwith, due to the state of the garden! He had insisted on calling in at home, on the way to the doctor, and hitching up the trailer, rather than go back for it later, so we were running very late. I could feel the pressure in my head!

John had some skin things burned off, and we got our scripts.

I posted a birthday card, and cheque, to V, Express Mail.

We drove to Yarraville, to the freight yard near the docks.

The timber consignment was huge! Instead of filling our original pack of boards with offcuts, to make it up to a cubic metre, they had sent a cubic metre of offcuts  as well – and a generous one, at that! So instead of the parcel we were expecting, that would sit on the trailer, we had all these individual pieces of timber to pack away. There was no way we could just load the pallet onto the trailer. It took us two hours to load it all into the trailer and the back of Truck.

04-19-2000 huon pine shipment yarraville.jpg

At Yarraville. The timber parcel we were expecting loaded onto the trailer. The unexpected stack of offcuts still to be loaded into Truck and trailer!

Back at home, it all had to be unloaded again, and taken, in wheelbarrow lots, up to the shed, where John had to find room to stack it. Much of the shed room was, of course, occupied by my car. The Huon pine stack in the corner of the shed looked huge. Lord only knows what John will eventually do with it all.

That took us until 8.30pm. And we hadn’t had lunch!

In amongst the unloading, met the new tenant of our unit. Don’t know what she thought of us! John fixed a faulty door in the unit, that she mentioned, and some lights, since we were there.

A very late tea was take away from the Chinese in Healesville.

We fell into bed, exhausted. On top of all the hauling around of wood, we’d driven 190kms, through city traffic, some of it towing a trailer.


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2000 Travels April 18

TUESDAY 18 APRIL     HEALESVILLE

After breakfast, drove back home again, to pick up the animals and take them to the vet. Yesterday I’d phoned and made the appointment. They were all ok. Had their annual injections. I bought worm tablets for the cats, to leave at home, and some ointment for a fly bite on the dog’s ear.

After leaving the pets at home, we went on to friend R’s place, where John ordered a new laptop from him. We had lunch there. Admired the ring H had made up from the Gemtree garnet we gave her.

Then went to the accountant and talked tax matters.

Drove to an outdoor gear shop in Ringwood and bought me some light hiking boots, but could not find any that were comfortable for John. His totally flat feet are incompatible with a lot of footwear.

Back at camp, phoned friend T and arranged lunch for Friday, and my brother ditto, for Saturday.

Tea, after all that running about, was bought pizza.


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2000 Travels April 17

MONDAY 17 APRIL     HEALESVILLE

A good night’s sleep was had!

John was planning to collect his consignment of Huon pine, from Queenstown, today. He phoned the freight yard, after breakfast. No timber for us! He phoned Queenstown and was assured it had been despatched as arranged. Then he phoned the Tasmanian Freight Centre – it sailed yesterday! So there appeared to have been a glitch there. It was worked out that we should be able to collect the wood on Wednesday, as the container “should” have been unloaded by then.

So our day’s plans changed.

We carefully checked Truck and the van for items that could be taken home and left. We did a big unload! The van would be so much lighter, too.

I made several phone calls, arranging necessary appointments for things that had to be done.

Later in the day, took the load home and deposited it in our bedroom there and John’s shed.

John was very unhappy with the state of the garden, principally the vegetable area all overgrown with blackberries. The lawns were mown, but not much else done. But it could be worse – at least the house itself was kept up well.

The animals were, as always, pleased to see us.

Steak and mushrooms for tea.


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2000 Travels April 16

SUNDAY 16 APRIL   TO HEALESVILLE   90kms

We were woken by the breakfast announcement at 3am! Very uncivilized.

The boat docked late – at 5.15am.

After the semis and coaches, we were the first vehicle off, at about 6am – excellent!

The drive through Melbourne at that early hour was easy, if rather strange with so little traffic.

We faced the dilemma of what to do at such an early hour, to fill in the time until we could go to the caravan park. Could not think of many options on a Sunday morning.

We went to the Lilydale Lake, getting there before 8am, and walked around it, taking some of the sidetracks to make the walk longer and use up more time. There were a surprising number of other people there.

Then we drove up to Healesville, went to the supermarket there, and also bought some lunch supplies.

At 9.30am, having exhausted our ideas, and feeling like we’d been up forever, phoned the caravan park. They said our site had been cleaned and we could go book in there straight away. So we booked back in to the lovely Badger Creek Caravan Park – for $20.90 a night. The price had increased!

After setting up, John drove home to take the accumulated timber and some other things back for storage. Truck returned very much lighter!

I got lunch ready – salads, cold meats, rolls, fruit, cheeses.

V arrived about 1.30. She had been to the Healesville Markets on the way to us. She brought me some scented soaps and a little, pink spotted ceramic bowl, as an advance Mothers Day present. There was much talk and we had a pleasant, grazing style of lunch. She is now permanent in her new bank call centre job, but they are still considering moving to the Bendigo area. They are going to the Grampians for Easter. It was a most enjoyable afternoon. So good to catch up with my daughter again.

When John returned, he gave V our old TV aerial and I gave her my laptop. She seemed to think she could teach herself word processing on it. I would be getting a “new” hand me down from John, shortly.

V left about 5.30pm.

Our tea was soup and leftovers from lunch.

We had a very early night – feeling weary at the end of a very long day!


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2000 Travels April 15

SATURDAY 15 APRIL     ON BASS STRAIT

We had a leisurely breakfast, then took our time packing up.

Got to the ferry terminal about 12.30pm. There were quite a lot of vehicles there already. John had to queue up with the caravans, and I went up into the terminal building to wait until I could board, which happened at 2pm.

After putting our gear in the cabin I went on deck and watched the queues and the movement down below for a while. Then I returned to the cabin and read the papers I’d brought with me, and waited for John, who was boarded at about 3.30. He was one of the vans put on the same deck as the semis.

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Our rig at the head of a line, waiting to board the Spirit of Tasmania

We went back up on deck and watched the departure from there. It was late – about 4.20pm.

We stayed out on deck as the coast receded. There was a big storm build up over Devonport, and we could see heavy rain over the coast. It seemed rather symbolic somehow!

04-15-2000 Leaving Tasmania.jpg

Goodbye Tasmania!

The evening meal on the boat seemed better this time – the cold food was fresher and the hot not as greasy, and better presented. John had roast pork, which was nice and tender and I had a very good piece of Atlantic salmon.

Back in the cabin, we read for a while and had a couple of rum and cokes, having brought the makings on board with us.

The sea was very calm and we slept well, no doubt assisted by the rums!


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2000 Travels April 14

FRIDAY 14 APRIL     DEVONPORT

After breakfast, did some final oddments of shopping. Bought John a polo shirt. Stocked up on some biscuits and crisps to take on the ship, in case we didn’t like the dinner. Bought a bottle of rum and some coke, that would be our nightcaps on the ship.

Tried to catch up with aunt and uncle a final time, but they were not home.

Back at camp, John painted the new welded section and we did some packing up.

In the afternoon, we again walked around to the ferry terminal, for some exercise, and watched a SeaRoad cargo boat loading and departing.

Tea was bought fish and chips.

Our last night in Tasmania. It had been a wonderful time. We hadn’t done everything we’d hoped, especially on the east coast, but made substantial inroads into same, so we were happy.