Friday, 30 June 2017

Friday 30th June

Ho Hum...

I managed to walk to the shop and back without my shooting stick but next time I will take it as I did need a rest at times. The charger is not in yet so here's hoping it comes in on Monday,

I cooked up about eight chicken drumsticks today to save their lives and had a few for lunch. It was cool today so the oven warmth was nice.

Tonight was barbecue night and the ladies produced some lovely accompaniments to whatever meat had been cooked. I had some chicken burgers and they were very nice.  I also had a nice bottle of red wine as a  change from the 4xxxx I've been drinking recently. A great night and on Monday there's to be a pancake morning tea (or can that be coffee?)

This Kiwi machine must be Yemmy's Big Brother

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Thursday 29th June

A bit of promotion

This is what I put on my Facebook Page this morning 

There have been quite a few positive comments

Wednesday 28th June


Having little to do and all day to do it in sounds boring but I'm enjoying my relaxing time here at Walkamin so far.

I think I told you that I cooked a roast on Tuesday, well yesterday I had a roast lamb sandwich for lunch and then turned the rest of the joint into a lamb stew. Waste not........

A couple of little jobs got fixed - the sink drain was a bit blocked so I took out the strainer and cleared some stuff that was blocking the outlet and it now drains very quickly.

Another water problem was that the water pump had been pumping a bit slow for showering when I've been bush camped so I removed the B.E.S.T filter and gave it a reverse flush. All good now.

I've nearly finished the carton of XXXX Gold stubbies so I'll be back drinking wine at happy hour sometime soon. I just knew you wanted to know that!

Sorry no pics today

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Tuesday, 27th June

A good day.

Today started with a shower with no limit on how much water was used - showering while bush camping is a very frugal affair.

Then next was pancakes for morning tea - $2 a head going to the local Walkamin School. There was a choice of toppings including Maple Syrup and whipped cream.

Then came my laundry - washing and drying - $6 well spent with everything dried and put away.

Tonight I had a lamb roast - the first time I've used the oven on this trip. Roast potatoes, peas and carrots completed a lovely meal.

Harry - a Tasmanian ACC Lone Trekker - called in this morning - he's staying for a few more nights

I did a photo shoot this afternoon - I'm sure you will agree that Walkamin Caravan Park is one of the best you could find for a reasonably priced park with lots of space and no regimentation.

Here's a selection.

Four power outlets,  four taps and a dustbin and so four vans can park facing whichever way they like - and there are a lot of these four van hubs around the grassy park

This is the spot for happy hour and the map solves many questions for travelers

A peaceful little garden outside the spotlessly clean ablution blocks

There are two well appointed laundry areas

The place where all the activity takes place - it includes a well appointed camp kitchen
More views inside the spacious recreation area

There are plenty of books and magazines available plus a stack of jigsaw puzzles

Yemmy has lots of room!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Monday 26th June

The good and the very bad...

The good was the ease of packing up at the Bush Stay and then setting up here at Walkamin. My neighbour Paul came over and we had the scooter up on the carrier in no time - he's strong!

There are quite a few old Walkamin friends here and it was like old times at happy hour. I've paid for a month and I'll reassess when that runs out.

I'll do a photo shoot tomorrow so you will be able to see why I like this place so much.

Now the bad! Two bads actually. I received an email from Caravan World saying that unfortunately they are on a cost saving exercise and are dropping a number of columns including my 'On the Wallaby".

After an unbroken run of twenty years this comes hard although with the current competition for advertising revenue with new digital RV magazines it wasn't entirely unexpected .

The column won't die though because I emailed one of the digital mags run by an old friend and he will be delighted to continue my column in his magazine.

The other bad was that my normal email address - - has been black listed and I'm waiting for my IP to unblock it for me. Fortunately I have other email addresses I can use in the meantime. Incoming mail is fine.

Here's a shot I took of the Walkamin  Caravan Park from a helicopter a few years back

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Sunday 25th June

No frogs today!

The day started fine and sunny so I decided to walk down to the dams. Despite the hot water having a bad hair day I managed to get a nice hot shower before breakfast. Murphy joined me for breakfast! I'd used all my fresh milk and opened a litre of Long Life milk to put on my Special K. I won't tell you what it tasted like but the milk was OFF! The use by date was next year but it must have rubbed a hole and let air in. I had some Long Life in little containers but they were a bit suss as well.

Fresh milk is on the shopping list when I go shopping in Mareeba in the morning on my way to Walkamin.

Going down to the dams was easy but coming back up the hill was a bit taxing - perhaps I'm not as young as I once was.

Tomorrow I'll be on power so watching a bit of telly will be happening and I won't have to worry about the house battery going flat. Despite a few cloudy days my solar panels have coped well - I have been quite frugal with the use of power though.

A friend who follows this blog pointed out that there appeared to be a fly on the red claw in last night's picture. He was right but I hadn't seen it until I looked at the pic. I don't believe I ate it!

Just a few pictures of the dam I walked to this morning.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Saturday 24th June

Strange things happen....

My hot water system is one strange thing - this morning it fired up with just one click of the switch and stayed lit until I turned it off later in the day. Lovely hot shower again.

Then my neighbors borrowed a couple of nets to get some Red Claw from the dams. They were successful and came back with a bucket full of them still wriggling. Jan boiled them up and brought me a couple - pic below.

This afternoon the weather turned grey and it started to rain - definitely not Mareeba weather!

There is a gap between the awning cover and Yemmy's roof but we fixed that with strips of clear pvc before I left home. While checking that the weatherproofing was working I noticed some wet running down the back of my red chair. I checked the roof but it looked OK and then I noticed that the wet didn't go right to the top. Lifting the pad that supports your neck I discovered a little frog hiding and letting go a stream of ... was it water?  He hopped up on the top of the chair and I got his picture before asking him to leave! He did with a little help from me!

Not too much solar today - I may have to run Yemmy's engine for a bit in the morning to bring the battery back up.

Red Claw are like yabbies and here they are after being boiled.

And this is what you get to eat!  With a little vinegar and pepper plus some bread and butter they were lovely

A little froggy was discovered  - wetting my chair!
He was really quite small but I've made him look big - just because I can!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Thursday and Friday 22nd & 23rd June

A mixed bag.....

Nothing out of the ordinary until last night when I was invited to dinner at my neighbour's van. It was a lovely evening with lot's a reminiscing about different parts of Australia and caravanning/RVing in general. All helped by a few glasses of chardonnay.

Jan had cooked us a chicken and asparagus dish with mashed spuds and mixed vegies and apple tart and cream to follow.

Unfortunately after I got home I had a severe heartburn attack and had to get up and swallow some anti-acid tablets. It eventually subsided and I was able to get to sleep.

My hot water had to be relit numerous times before it was hot enough to shower but this morning it stayed lit for a couple of hours - My niece Jean suggested I should kick it so maybe the threat was enough.

It was cloudy at times yesterday but I'm getting enough solar to keep things going.

Pics? I'll just post a few of the views from various outlooks of this lovely bush camp.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Wednesday 21st June

The day started well - and then got better!

I clicked the hot water switch expecting it to play up as has these past few days, but no, it lit and stayed lit as I held my breath. I had a lovely hot shower and it was still lit four hours later ! It did turn off then but re-lit OK. I don't know if it will be the same in the morning but fingers and everything else are crossed.

Then I got a message from Perth where my new Battery Charger is coming from. He asked if I'd like to order another for Walkamin delivery and then when the first one arrives at my home to send it back and get a full refund. A great result so I thanked him and promptly ordered another - this time with the correct delivery address,

The toilets are a fair way from Yemmy's resting place but I managed to walk there today. I took the shooting stick but didn't need to use it. I'd had a sit at the loo after all.

My Hot Aussie Barby is getting used now it's not in the back and unreachable. I gave the drawer and its contents a bit of a clean today - you couldn't imagine the amount of red dust in there.

A few pics to show how much space there is here - certainly no overcrowding

My Hot Aussie Barby does a great job

And sorry - no sunset as it was too cloudy

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Tuesday, 20th June

Today's been a little frustrating!
The water heater still won't stay lit for more than a few minutes/seconds. I took the exhaust cover off and looked inside and then screwed it back on as there was nothing to see!

Then I checked the voltage getting to the unit and found it was fine so that was no help. I even looked at the price of new units but I don't really think it's anything that can't be fixed.

Yesterday I ordered a new battery charger for the scooter but realised as soon as I'd confirned the order that it had my home address on it instead of Walkamin. I immediately sent a message to ebay telling them the right destination. I got no confirmation and today a message came that it had been sent to my home!

When I queried it the seller said he hadn't received the message. Murphy again I suppose.

I managed to get everything sorted for my next column and sent it off. They couldn't open it! I sent it again and it was OK.  Was it him again?

My copy of Word is getting a bit cranky so it may have been that. I've downloaded a free copy of Open Office and sent my invoice using that and it seems fine.

By the way we passed the 1,000 page views at the weekend!

I'd better put a couple of pics of tonight's sunsets I suppose!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Sunday and Monday 18th & 19th June

Two in one today!

Not a lot happened yesterday except I was able to have nice long chats with my son and two daughters. The girls had been having fun helping ' mark' young lambs. Tagging their ears, putting rubber bands on their tails and, if boys, on their nuts, injecting them and disinfecting where the rubbers were. Great fun - at least they thought so.

Today I heard from the sparky that my charger was not repairable so I got on the net and ordered a new one from Perth. It will arrive about Wednesday after I go to Walkamin next week.

The HWS is still playing up and Murphy played another trick! I wanted to look at the lpg regulator to see if it was adjustable. I leaned on the door of the gas locker and bang - the door fell off and was hanging from the chain that limits it's travel. The piano hinge was only held by three pop rivets and they had sheared! Fortunately I carry a drill and a pop riveting tool so it was soon repaired.

I borrowed Norm's Corolla again to go to town to pick up the battery charger and do some shopping. While I was at it I decided to refill a gas cylinder to see if that would give a bit more pressure to keep the HWS alight. It didn't!

It's been a writing day - I've almost finished writing my next column for Caravan World. I've just got to sort out some pictures and then it will be ready to go.

 The pesky door that fell off - much to my surprise. Good one Murphy

 ... and of course - another Mareeba sunset

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Saturday 17th June

Not a lot to report today

The hot water service that was hard to light last year was fixed by my gas fitting friend Derek Paton and after that it lit first time every time until yesterday. It had been working fine but yesterday it started playing up and would only stay lit for a short time and then the red light would come on again. By repeating the process over and over I managed to get the water hot for my shower.

I hadn't used it  for a while as there were hot showers at Leichhart Lagoon but here I need it to work. I persevered this morning and got hot water to shower. Derek has suggested getting an airline at a servo and blowing in through the exhaust panel to see if dust is clogging it so I'll try that when I leave here.

After Walkalmin I intend going to Lake Elphinstone and then Smalleys Beach - I booked a site at Smalleys today for a couple of weeks in August and I managed to get Site 2 - one of my favourites.

The sun shone most of the time today and old Sol whacked plenty of charge into my house battery - in fact at one stage I unplugged my loose panels or I could have cooked the battery. Unlike the roof panels the loose ones are not regulated - maybe a job for when I get home.

Norm was down for a chat and renewed his offer of the Corolla whenever I need it - great to have generous friends.

Just a couple of sunset pictures today

Friday, 16 June 2017

Friday 16th June

A different day.

I didn't expect to be driving to Mareeba today but when it turned out that the battery charger for the scooter was not charging even with a generator plugged in it was time to talk to an electrician or two.

Norm, the property owner, offered me the use of his lovely little Toyota Corolla and off I went. I spoke to a few auto electricians and a couple made some phone calls but all to no avail. On the way home I stopped off at an auto electrics place that I hadn't tried and unlike the others he was willing to have a look at it and ring me with the good or bad news. He hasn't rung yet so I guess it will be Monday before I hear from him. Norm by the way is an old friend going back to the first time I stayed here.

In the meantime I had a look on ebay and there were some chargers for $20 and free postage from Hong Kong. There were some a bit dearer but it's good to know they are available. By the way for the technically minded, it's a 48 volt charger. There's a bank of four batteries connected in parallel so a 12volt car charger is no good.

Norm suggested a place in Cairns that caters for the disabled and might have one for electric wheel chairs or 'gophers' so I rang them. Yes, we have them in stock and they are $249! I won't be driving to Cairns!

I got a few pics while I was out and a couple back here. You will be pleased to see Yemmy has his new letters and number mounted on the new light bar.

Tonight's dinner was a chicken curry but I started making it before checking I had all the ingredients! No coconut milk or cream and no sultanas and no capsicum. It wasn't as nice as I had hoped and there's a heap left for tomorrow.

My loose solar panels came into play today and even though it was patchy sun the house battery is well up. I even watched a bit of telly because I could.

On with the pictures and the video of the view from the pillar.

Mango trees on the way to Mareeba

 My on- site view from the driver's side of Yemmy

A pillar and plaque commemorating one of  Mareeba's war veterans.

Yemmy's tickled pink with his new letters and number!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Thursday 15th June

It's cold! I know it's not really cold but the wind chill is shocking and it feels cold.

It was an interesting run today as I travelled through very hilly and twisty roads  through Millstream, Inot Hot Springs and eventually Atherton before reaching my destination.

I did quite a big shop in the Super IGA in Atterton and the fridge is full to overflowing. I bought a cooked chook and had half for lunch here at Mareeba Bush Stay where I intend to stay until Monday week as I've changed my Walkamin booking to then. I called in there today and apart from the booking change I filled my water tank as there's no treated water here.

The Walkamin taps have a cover over them with sharp corners. Not content with hitting my head once I did it again - and again. Three times lucky they say but I didn't realise that blood had run down my forehead and dried until someone asked where the accident had happened.

There are beautiful views here but it was dismal and grey today - not the usual Atherton Tableland weather that I love. Tomorrow should be better and I'll get some pics then.

For the last part of my journey today I passed though Mango, Avocado and other crops including bananas - it certainly is a fertile area.

It's cost me $50 for the ten days I'll be here at the Bush Stays - I can manage without power at that price.

The scooter is off the back for the first time since leaving home. The battery is flat so I got help to manhandle it of the rack. It didn't want to charge from my inverter but Jerry, the manager, is bringing a generator down in the morning so we'll see if that does the trick. It does mean I'm able to get my loose solar panels out and providing the sun shines I'll have more power to play with - I may even be able to watch the telly.

Just the one picture tonight folks

Have a banana

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Wednesday 14th June

On the move again!

After a very pleasant 7 days at Leichhart Lagoon it was time to move on so I headed east through Croydon and Georgetown to a bit past My Surprise where I found a free camp across the road from the toilets and rest area.

I stopped off at Georgetown for fuel for Yemmy and a toasted sandwich for me. Somewhere between the order and the kitchen the pineapple turned into tomato but it tasted OK anyway.

After days of pretty flat roads it came as a nice change to climb and twist over the Newcastle Range - no pics as there was no-where to stop safely.

I'm heading for Mareeba Bush Stays tomorrow and it's only about 200km to go. I packed away about 500km today without really trying. I'll need to top up my water tank somewhere on the way as there's none at the Bush Stays.

I've got phone and Internet here so I made calls to my girls while I could and I'll be able to post this after I've loaded a few pics.

Talking of which, here they are.......

Diesel for Yemmy - a sandwich for me!

I can't remember ever seeing a shower at a rest area before

That's where I'm going.......

 ...and that's where I've been.

These two pics should pinpoint where I'm overnighting

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Tuesday 13th June

The Norman river flows quite near the park but it's too far for me to walk so I was pleased this morning when I was offered a lift to go and see the dam. Fisherfolk seem to do OK and I've heard of quite a few big fish being caught. There are crocs in the river but we didn't see any today.

It had an unusual structure with a 'Fish Ladder" that lets fish swim over the dam.

This evening was another social occasion with byo for the bbq and entertainment by music and poetry. I gave them a rendition of the Texas Chile Cookoff that seemed to go down well plus my old Dad and Dave Helicoper Joke - "Fifty dollars is fifty dollars!"

Tomorrow I'm heading Eastwards - don't know how far but eventually I'll be at Mareeba Bush Stays for a couple of weeks.

I've made a few friends here and I'll definitely be back here sometime in the future.

I guess there had better be a few photos tonight.

 Warning heeded!

We assume this is where the town water supply comes from.

The Fish Ladder

The Norman river upstream from the dam

Monday, 12 June 2017

Monday, 12th June

This was such an exciting day.

I went into Normanton and did my washing! Everybody must think Monday is wash day as the five machines were  all going for their lives and people were waiting for them to finish. Anyway it's all done, washed, dried and put away.

The crocodile was attracting a lot of attention as usual and I risked putting my head in to it's huge jaws. A helpful young lady was happy to take my picture.

The famous Normanton croc! It always draws travellers to take it's picture

I wouldn't be so brave if it was a real one that's for sure!
The Purple Pub is pretty famous/infamous

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Sunday 11th June

Not a lot to write about today!

Played around with Skype and got it working OK this morning when I rang my two daughters but after that it wouldn't connect with my son. Must be a girl thing!

I did make a happy discovery though - I don't need to sit on that wretched seat near my modem as the signal reaches inside Yemmy and I can sit here in comfort and do my Internet stuff.

No photo opportunities either so - I took two more  sunsets just to have something to show you.

Thursday, August 31st

Last day of winter and I'm home! Yes - yesterday was the last day of my 2017 trip although I'm heading back to northern NSW in Oct...