This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


1998 Travels December 31


Woke to a dull day, with a light misty rain that had begun falling during the night.

After breakfast, drove to the West Toowoomba Bowls Club, so John could check out what was on. Went on to Dents and picked up the repaired video machine. John later discovered that it still had no colour, unless he removed the booster lead. Maybe that was the problem all along? We have had a free head clean and re-solder of a couple of joins, for our trouble.

On to Woolworths for a few grocery needs, to chemist for a new blood pressure script for me.

Next was to Drayton’s Bowls Club, where John put his name down for tomorrow. He is loving this place with its several clubs and lots of games. I guess it is appropriate for him to see in the new Year with bowls. Not so me!

After lunch we did a long walk, up to beyond the Uni of South Qld. There were a lot of model planes having  workouts on an open area there. Apparently, the National Championships for these things are here, this coming weekend.  We walked back via the Japanese Gardens – don’t get tired of those.

John wore running shoes, without socks, and came back with sore heels.

We’d had his very good fried ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch, so had a lighter salad tea, followed by some cheeses.

We filled in the evening with John on the computer and me doing embroidery. Watched some TV.

12-25-1998 Johns xmas present.jpg

John using his 1998 Xmas present game

We phoned R and left a New Year message, P and K ditto. Phoned V and spoke to B as she was not finishing at the Casino until 8pm; they were then going out to a pub.

We had a supper of macadamia shortbread, with champagne and strawberries, at midnight, which of course was an hour later than in Vic or NSW. We celebrated at the “proper” hour! The Sydney fireworks show looked great on TV.

John and I discussed our previous New Year’s Eves together, and where we were for each one. Most memorable was the first one after we married – in a hike tent, in the cold and rain, at a place called Lake Windermere, on the Overland Track in Tasmania. No champagne then, and I think we were asleep well before 9pm!

A year ago, we were gearing up for this trip, and were busy packing.

The Wet has begun properly in the Gulf country, with two days of solid rain.

And so ends 1998. It has been a wonderful year.



Kms travelled for 1998:  29848kms

Kms towed van for year:  8220kms

Cost of diesel:  $2532.21

Average fuel consumption:  8.3kms per litre       12 litres per 100kmh

Dearest diesel: 93cpl at Seisia     Cheapest diesel 63cpl at Charters Towers

Accommodation costs:  $4845.10

Dearest accommodation: $76 – cabin at Seisia        $19 camp site Woodlands CP Atherton and Garden City CP at Toowoomba (both were en-suite sites)

Cheapest paid accommodation:  $7 unpowered in Qld National Parks;   $10 powered Rubyvale CP

Average cost of fuel and accommodation per week for 1998:  $141.87  – budget allowed for $200.

Number of different places we stayed at:  46

Longest stay in one place:  Atherton – 5 weeks

Number of times we moved camp:  53

Budget allowed for diesel: $5200 – we only used half of this.

Budget allowed for accommodation: $5200 – we were just under this amount.


Leave a comment

1998 Travels December 30


A humid day.

John woke up grumpy, with a sore shoulder. Too much computing? He went to bowls in the afternoon and was happy enough with his game.

I walked for a couple of hours – right down to the town centre and back. Then I had a swim. The pool here is big enough for swimming to provide some decent exercise.

John checked at the PO on his way to bowls – still no Xmas mail parcel from K.

Tea was ham and salads.

Leave a comment

1998 Travels December 29


The humidity is building again.

We went for a drive. Ventured down the Range – very steep. The several run out areas for trucks that lose their brakes is an indication of the nature of the Range descent!  I guess my children got very used to this road, back in the days when they were visiting their father, in these parts, at holiday times. Not sure we will ever want to tow the van down here, though.

We went to a large roadside fruit and veg stall at the bottom of the Range, and bought some produce.

Drove back to Picnic Point to have a look at where we had been, and went for a short walk there. John was listening to the cricket on his little radio and was not really wanting to walk.

Drove back into town and parked near the water gardens along the creek and walked there. Lots of ducks had congregated by the water.

I made toasted (well, electric frypanned) ham and cheese sandwiches for our late lunch. We were then too full for tea – just had a few nuts.

John played late on the computer.

Leave a comment

1998 Travels December 26


We spent a quiet Boxing Day. John was on the computer for most of it, and watching the cricket for the rest, on TV.

I phoned TB in the morning. His mother is in hospital. He may come and visit Toowoomba. Would be great to have a visitor.

I read, sewed, went swimming a couple of times – it was hot and a bit humid.

Tea was cold poultry and salads.

Leave a comment

1998 Travels December 25


Xmas Day! Our first away from home.

It rained, on and off, but was warm and rather humid feeling.

I cooked a small duck, and a chicken, for lunch, in the electric frypan, outside the van. I got a bit held up by family phone calls – spoke with John’s brothers  R and C, daughters R and V. The latter is very happy with the geode, from Atherton, that we sent her.

Our Xmas roast poultry lunch was most enjoyable, though not until 2pm.

After lunch, walked to the Japanese gardens – about a 4km walk in total. The Gardens are lovely. I have seen some small Japanese sections in gardens before, but have not been in anything of this scale. It was very interesting, wandering about through the different perspectives, and trying to work out the symbolism. Water is so integral to the design. There was even a goose swimming serenely about, but I don’t think that was part of the original design.

01-06-1999 Japanese Gardens scene.jpg

In the Japanese Gardens at Toowoomba

Tea was cold poultry and salad.

I phoned P and K after tea. They are happy with their gifts.

John played his new computer game until very late.

Leave a comment

1998 Travels December 24


It was raining when we woke up, but not cold.

Xmas Eve seems very different, without the large family gathering that has been the routine, to plan for. But it is nice to be so relaxed, instead of racing around the crowded shops buying the last minute perishables, as I would have been doing at home. Even if we were home, the group would be smaller, as V is in WA and S in Port Moresby.

I did a final, quick, shop for last minute items for the holiday period.

Checked at the Post Office – the mail we were expecting has not arrived. This may be due to the Xmas mail volume, or K may have been delayed sending it.

After lunch, we both went to bowls. There were showers and one big rain interruption, but we managed to play 18 ends. I had difficulties with length and sometimes with width – and did not enjoy the afternoon at all.

Tea was chicken cacciatore.

I tried to phone friend TB; according to his last letter, he should be at his mother’s, in northern NSW, by now, for Xmas. But there was no answer.

Leave a comment

1998 Travels December 23


I sewed and read, in the morning. John worked on bringing our fuel and accommodation records, that he keeps on spreadsheets on the computer, up to date.

He went to bowls in the afternoon.

I washed the van floors, cleaned our ensuite, then went for a walk around the streets for an hour or so.

John did not enjoy his bowls much. He was in a team that was skipped by a teenager, who became petulant and bad tempered when things did not all go his way.

Tea was steak and mushrooms.

Rain set in during the night. The lovely big shade trees that we welcomed, when we first arrived, dripped loudly on the roof, throughout the night.

Leave a comment

1998 Travels December 22


In the morning, I read and sewed. John spent time on the computer. I began work on a small tablecloth, on cheap blue fabric I bought way back in Queanbeyan. I am using a Hardanger style pattern on it – not sure how well it will work. Will use the tablecloth on our small folding table, when we have picnics.

Flohr Motors phoned and we took Truck to them. The State Manager was very nice. They will arrange for the panel work to be done, to fix the roof; they will also repair where John backed into the tree at Lake Maraboon, but we will have to pay for that! Maybe $100? They will also arrange a new roof rack, as they agree the paint should not have peeled on the one we have. They are not sure when they can fit us in for the work – will phone us. We were very satisfied with the service we are receiving, to date.

Did a big grocery shop, at Woolworths. Bought some Tattslotto tickets – live in hope! Bought ourselves a little portable chess/backgammon set, and John bought two very high quality kitchen knives – a small and larger chef’s knives. Cost $85! They are very sharp – good finger slicing implements for me, I suspect.

Drove to the edge of town, to the Woolworths fuel outlet, for cheaper diesel – 70cpl. With the Xmas holidays coming up, I think the price of fuel is elevated.

Had a late lunch, after all that.

Later in the day, went for a walk around the streets, and along a creek/drain, several blocks  to the east of us, that is being done up as a water garden. It was a good walk.

Tea was chicken maryland pieces, marinated Greek style before cooking, with salads.

The TV signals here, as one would expect, are good, so John is happy.