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Keeping up with Di and Robin

We are on the road on a 5 month caravan adventure. Check in to see where we are and what we are doing. Please feel free to leave a message.

Diary Entries

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Greetings

We are home.

Thanks for checking on us and following our journey. This has been a great and easy way to keep in touch. Much easier than group emails and texts. We have had 900 visits to our page.

The home phone will be back on in the next few days with the same number, until then just call the mobile.

We look forward to catching up

Love Di and Robin

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Oh No - the last day!!!

We enjoyed our stay with Polly and Dick in Gunnedah. The country is beautiful at present and cattle prices are very good but as Polly said they have waited 29 years for a year like this.

We helped with activities around the farm - tending horses, fixing fences and machinery and general rouse about stuff. They have 2 farms so plenty to do.

Next stop Tamworth. Our slackest day all holiday - 75km. The reason for our Tamworth stopover was to see Marianne Gaul. She is a retired colleague who now has MS. However, nothing will stop Marainne. She is involved with multiple groups and charity organisations and has commeced a PHD.

Whilst in Tamworth I also caught up with a colleague from the 80s in Sydney. Marianne had told me where she worked so I walked into her shop to say Hullo - I hadnt seen her for 25years. We headed to the Tamworth Hotel for a catch up and a good laugh.

Next stop Tenterfield for complete R and R before returning home. In fact that means golf every day trying to find some form.

Breakfast is over, time to get up, pack up and head down the range.

SEE YOU SOON!11

Sunday, 06 September 2015

Hi all

We enjoyed our few days in Port Augusta with Kevin and Caroline. They came up from Adelaide and met us there. Port Augusta is not exactly a must see place but a convenient meeting place.

We enjoyed a walk through the arid gardens, a drive out to Quorn for a pub lunch and a drive to check out the beach shacks on the waterfront. The weather was a bit breezy for a picnic so we had our picnic in the cabin at the caravan park. At least it wasnt far to go for an afternoon siesta.

We are now back in NSW. We didnt need any sign to tell us as it was evident by the sudden deterioration of the road quality. How they can be so much worse than any other state is unbelievable.

From Port Augusta, next stop Broken Hill, then Cobar, now Gilgandra. All just overnighters - we stay hitched ready for take off the next day. We dont take off too early though.

Next stop Gunnedah for a few days. We are staying out on a farm to catch up with the first person I met when I moved to Sydney in 1979 to do nursing - Polly. We are looking forward to that. I am sure a few laughs will be had.

From there onto Tamworth to see some friends, then Tenterfield for a day or two to rest up prior to returning home. Maybe a game or two of golf to get my eye back in and get rid of any rusty bits!!

Home soon
Love Di and Robin

Monday, 31 August 2015

PS
I just added a photo to the Albany etc page.

We had great weather across the Nullarbor. The first two days were picture perfect - not a cloud to be seen with great sun and moon rises plus great sunsets. The wind wasn't in our favour. My new best friend Tom said he put his vehicle in neutral and hardly used any fuel with a tail wind. In comparison we needed 4wd - haven't calculated the mileage yet. It wasn't too bad to drive in - last time we had a tail wind.

Overall we cannot complain we have had near perfect weather our whole trip. Could count the days we have had rain. Talked to a lady today who had been on the road 7 weeks and had 5 weeks of rain - quite heavy. We have had a few showers only - not bad for 6 months. Only two weeks to go.

It's nice and warm here but looks like we are heading to cooler days for the trip home
Cheers Di

Monday, 31 August 2015

Hi all

We enjoyed the last of our time in southern WA. The drive through the farm land was picturesque. Beautiful countryside, home to dairy, sheep and canola as far as the eye can see at times.

Right turn at Norseman toward the Nullar NOT bor ing at all. Love that drive. There is a roadhouse less than every 200km.

First stop Fraser Range station - a working sheep station. Enjoyed time around the camp fire with other travellers.

Next day Fraser Range to Cocklebiddy.
Cocklebiddy to Nullarbor roadhouse - visited Head of the Bight to see the southern right whales - saw 16.
Nullarbor roadhouse to Penong. A little village with lots of windmills. The last shop for 1000km if heading west. A tiny general store.

Penong to Wudinna today. A delayed start as the man next door was ill. He had had recent heart surgery so that was a concern. After getting a phone order from his GP to give him some medication, he improved but was not well enough to travel in a car so an ambulance was called. We waited till it arrived in case things went pear shaped. Think that was a reminder of my impending return to work.

Mission accomplished we departed late. First pit stop enroute was the oyster bar at Ceduna. I remember last time the oysters had only been out of the water 20 minutes when they were shucked for us. Not sure how long they were out today but they were just as good. 18 down and 2 dozen to go - Yumo!!!

Off to Port Augusta tomorrow to meet up with friends.
Plan to head to Broken Hill on Friday.

Bye for now
Regards Di and Robin

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Hi all

We continue on the road, Robin has improved. No marathons but able to manage with walking small distances.

From Albany we headed to Esperance. Not sure how far we would get. Stopped for lunch in Jerramungup, the rain got worse, the wind was up to 50km/hr and the battery for the breakaway system alarmed and was low. Good enough reason to stay. What a pleasant surprise the caravan park was.

The kangaroos were very friendly. They approached as I went outside, then when I returned they sat and scratched on the door like a cat wanting to come in.

Next morrning with great weather, a charged battery we moved onto Esperance.

We have enjoyed our stay here. The national parks are stunning, this is the home of some of Australia's best beaches. Yes we were sceptical on that claim but they are stunning. Le Grand National Park is the home to Australia's whitest beach. The sand is also very fine and quite compacted on the beach. there was a fair bit of weed too. I have attached some photos. Next time in warmer weather we will stay out in the national parks.

We leave Esperance tomorrow, head to Norseman then turn right towards the
Nullabor. We plan to arrive in Port Augusta next Tuesday and meet some friends there for a few days.

Update when next in service

Cheerrs Di aand robin

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Hi folks
I have uploaded a few photos from the last month.

We are still in Albany. Visited the ANZAC memorial that was opened November last year - impressive. What a waste of life war is!

Weather a bit dodgy - rain for 10 mins then sun, then rain then sun etc etc. Visited the Sandalwood factory yesterday. Enjoyed a tour and then got gonged - yes very Byron. A bit like the meditation session at the Crystal Castle with the bowls.

Next stop the wind farm. 18 turbines provide Albany with 80% of its power.

Forgot to mention in my last entry some wine info. To my mates that are stocking up on those 2013 reds from vineyards with low yields over east - watch out for 2015 reds from Margaret River. Yields have been low due to the dry season so keep our eyes peeled for some bargains and good reds.

Robin continues to improve. Walking small distaces but needs to be cautious.

Weather depending - may go to the Sterling Ranges tomorrow, then head towards Esperance on Saturday. After that we head for home - will probably take about 2 weeks to get home.

Cheers Di and Robin

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Hi all

Firstly apologies for the lack of entries. The reception over the past 5 weeks has been poor at best so internet access has been limited. In fact for the last 4 weeks we have had only 3 analogue TV channels, no radio, phone or internet in the van. Outside you could get some service but continually drops out. Not good for Robin given she has been caravan bound with her back.

On that note she had a CT guided injection into her back last week. She has been slowly improving since. After 4 days we decided she was improving enough to move on toward home. The alternative is to fly home. We will make our final decision on that next week, but so far it is looking promising to head across the Nullabor.

Our delay in the Margaret River wasnt all bad - I enjoyed it there. I was starting to feel like a local. You know you have been around for a while when:
1. The caravan park owners ask you to look after the place for a day whilst they go out.
2. You go to Woolies and get recognised by the locals and BEST of ALL
3. you go to a winery and they charge you staff prices (maybe I went there once or twice??)

Many of the locals over here say that Margaret River and Byron Bay are very similar. Really the similarity is that tourism is the major industry. Residental rents are much much cheaper here and there are no nightclubs or late night venues. When I told some locals that there are security gaurds on the taxi rank after 10pm on weekends - their response was you would be lucky to find a taxi at 10pm in Margaret River. I have really enjoyed it here and have left plenty of things to do next time.

Back on the road, we moved onto Denmark where once again we had picture perfect weather for 2 days. In fact shorts and t shirt weather. We rushed around to all the beaches, rocks and lookouts. We can see why people rave about the coastline. We also went back to Walpole to the Valley of the Giants Tree top walk. Robin was unable to do the walk but a least could get a good perspective on it. It is great that she is now mobile enough to go out to lunch. We both enjoyd The Lake House and the Boston Brewery. We kept the brewery outing for a day of not so perfect weather and enjoyed all they had to offer in front of a great fire.

On the road again and next stop Albany - big day 50km! Needed to arrive here today to have something replaced on the van. A pressure valve in the hot water system needed changing - warranty job of course. All done and now in a park on the beach. We are never too far from the water! We will be here for at least 4 days.

I am getting dizzy the speed of the internet is so fast here - hooray!! I will upload some photos later now that we have good service.

Bye for now
Cheers Di and Robin x x



Saturday, 08 August 2015

We are now into our third week on the sheep farm at Margaret River. Ken and Jean stayed for a week and have mow headed north.

We are still here as Robin still unable to walk. She is having an injection into her spine on Monday. We are hoping that will give her some mobility. She has been out for a couple of drives but just cant walk anywhere.

We enjoyed a picture perfect day at Augusta and Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. We didnt know they got such good weather in winter. It can be very wild where the oceans meet but we saw it at its calm best. Amazing!

I have made the most mot being able to move on. I have been to more wineries than planned. Free freight made some better than others. I have been surprised how most cellar doors are cheaper than the bottle shops. For example, some quaffers were $8 at the cellar door and $15 at BWS. Even more expensive wines were cheaper at the cellar door. That is not the trend over east in my experience. Will head off exploring and checking out some recommendations tomorrow, weather depending. It has been a bit wet and windy the last 2 days, plus some hail.

Rest day today for both of us. Hoping Robin will be up for an outing tomorrow.
Will keep you posted
Cheers Di and Robin

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Hi all

A week in Margaret River has passed and we have booked in for another week. Robin has been caravan bound for the week, resting with her back. She is improving, the test will be how far she can walk. Lying and sitting doesn't cause her any pain, walking is the problem.

Michelle's parents have left and headed further south. Ken and Jean Wright from Byron have arrived - they are heading north. Marjorie and Bill from golf have been over here playing bridge and golf and I caught up with them for lunch yesterday. So all in all its pretty social.

Although Robin hasnt been able to go out, I have managed to find plenty of wineries and providores to tempt my taste buds.

We are still here on the sheep farm - it is very relaxing and central to everything.

Weather mild. A bit grey at times but no rain. Sun great when its out. Our annex is like a sun room. It was 35 in the annex the other day which was great as it can be cool and damp outside.

Till next update

Love Di and Robin


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Greetings
Yes OK time for an update.
We enjoyed the rest of our time in Perth. Enjoyed some nice sunsets. Caught up with Sue our neighbour and her daughter Kelly and the family. Had a bit of a win at the Casino so gotta be happy with that.

From Perth we headed to Mandurah, about 90km south of Perth. We stayed five nights. Robin has had a bad back so needed a couple of physio treatments and a doctor visit. Her progress is very slow. She is comfortable with everything except walking. Time will tell, resting as much as pssible at present.

Mandurah has lots of waterways with housing developments. Quite amazing how many housing developments on waterways are under construction from Mandurah down to Dawesville. Dawesville has the golf course called The Cut - it looked great but I didnt get to play it - should have checked it out earlier. It was cold, windy and a bit wet so I gave it a miss. I did play Meadow Springs which was good. In fact it was very warm when I played which made it even better.

You wouldnt believe it but the people checking in behind us at Mandurah were Michelle's (from work) parents from Ballina. We had not met them before but I did know they were on the road over here somewhere. New friends for happy hour.

Next stop Busselton for a couple of days. We stopped off at Bunbury on the way - we didnt realise it was such a big port. From the road it looked like wheat and woodchip being exported. Bunbury has a black and white checkered lighthouse - not sure of the significance of that.

We stayed down on the waterfont at Busselton near the jetty. The jetty is 1.8km long. It has significant history back to early days and the war years. The underwater observatory was closed due to poor visibilty in the water after the rain. We took the train ride out as there was no way Robin could walk it, the weather was nice at the time. I walked it at sunset and it was blowing a gale.
We took a drive to Cape Nautralise and around a foodie trail at the top end of the Margaret River. The lighthouse at the Cape was nothing to speak of. The guy in the shop asked did I really want to bother given we regularly visit the Byron lighthouse, so he didnt charge me full price. At the base of the lighthouse you only see glimpes of water as you have to look over 2m of heath. Not quite the panorama of Byron. We had lunch at Eagle Bay Brewery and visited some wineries as we did the round trip out through Dunsborough and Yallingup.

We are now at Big Valley Campground in the Margaret River and we will stay at least a week. It is a working sheep farm. We have caught up with Michelles parents again - so more happy hours. In fact I am sitting with my new best friend Lacey (their dog) in their motor home. They have gone for a drive. Better internet on their site than ours. We dont get any phone or internet in our van and we are about 30 metres away. Interesting that you only get analogue TV here and only 3 stations and minimal radio. We are about 10km from the town of Margaret River.

We had heavy rain last night - the heaviest we have had since we left home. We have been blessed with the weather. It seems to rain in places after we leave and we have had minimal rain whilst on the road and after we get set up before it closes in. Can't ask for better than that. There hasnt been enough rain to make us change our plans at all so you gotta be happy with that.

Sorry no photos to add at present - havent taken many. Weather not the best at Bunbury and construction on the foreshore at Busselton obscured a good jetty shot. Internet too slow to try with what photos I have at present.

Sun is out so must go and enjoy it. Having a quiet day today.

Love Di and Robin


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Recent Messages

From Caroline
Happy travelling you two. Enjoy the last day of your great adventure.
Response: Thanks - touch down - we are home
From Caroline
Glad it sounds as if all is going well. I am still sick - so pleased that it didnt spoil my time with you both in Port Augusta
Response: All the best for a speedy recovery
From Kev
Hi Di & Robin. You have certainly had a great adventure. I have been keeping an eye on your progress and all the great photos. Enjoy the rest of your trip and we will see you at the golf day I guess. Cheers Kev
Response: Yes reality next week - back to work!! Michael mentioned the golf day - will be in touch re playing cheers Di
From Caroline
Not long now.
Response: See you tomorrow
From Caroline
Only a couple of days to go.
Response: See you tomorrow. We have fresh oysters and prawns. Sampled 18 to make sure they were ok. They will be lucky to get there. Hope I don't get the midnight munchies tonight!
From caroline
What a beautiful country we live in. Good to see Mt Nameless - we re-christened it Mt Endless when we climbed to the top one hot morning. The view was worth it (I think).
Let us know the Mt Gambier date when you work it out. Look forward to seeing you there.
Response: Mt Gambier?????? What about Port Augusta?
From jane
Hi Di & Rob,
not sure that i pressed send on my last message :(
your trip sounds awesome ! but sorry to hear about Rob's back, bloody nursing!!
I hope it's all improving every day after that injection. So glad to hear that you have been diligent taste testing in the wild western vinyards Di.I hope the Nullabor is smooth sailing for you & that you'll have a stay here on your way home.
lots of love from us
xxj
Response: Hi jane thanks for message. Sorry we were not home for your visit to Byron. We will be heading home from the west so not passing your way. Robin improving slowly cheers Di
From marg flesser
Hi guys,this is the 2nd message as we have just gone on line at work and discovered that it hadnt gone!
If Robyn needs a private nurse please call me as lots of exciting politics to discuss to while away the hrs of bedrest!
Response: Impressive Marj - didnt think you would check again so soon. She would love you as her private nurse!! Not sure that the political discussion would be good for her recovery
From marj
hello i have finally found you.shit i am getting clever.does robin need a nurse to talk current affairs with if so i will be straight over.i am yet to read all your trip .just being on the move so good.xx
Response: Marj I am impressed - I sent you a text
From Anne-Maree
Saw Anne recently & she told me you were in the Margaret River area. Glad to get your text...so now I can keep up with your travels! hope you're a bit more mobile now Robin. Di, I expect your wine recommendations when we next get together!
Response: I an tell you about dozens of reds and a couple of whites lol cheers di
From Margaret Whyatt
Hi Di and Robin,
Just been going over all of your emails. You seem to be having a great time. Sorry to hear about Robin's back do hope she is feeling a lot better, please give her our love.
We miss you guys but it's nice to know that you are having a great time.
Take care all our love
Margaret & Tom xxxxxx
Response: Hi Margaret and Tom, thanks for checking in. Trust you are all settled with commuting to Coffs and relaxing in your new home. We will be home mid Sept - robin improving slowly cheers Di
From Michael and Kerry
Hi Byron Chicks...just checking in to see how the trips going. Sorry to hear Robin is having problems with her back hopefully she will be on the mend soon. All good here in Lennox new grand daughter now 8 weeks old will be heading back down next week. Seems like you guys have been away forever....miss you! Keep travelling safe xxoo
Response: Great to hear from you. It usually you guys that are away!! Happy grandparenting - see you in about 6 weeks cheers Di
From Manda
Hi gals
Just been catching up on all your adventures and photos! Brings back lovely memories of my trip around Aussie 30 yrs ago! That infinity pool at lake Argyle certainly wasn't there then!
Delighted to hear all is going well and that the weather has been fine,even though it will be cooling now over there in WA. You will have heard all about the cold spell here,can't believe the amount of coverage it's getting on the news,just cause a bit of snow falls up on the hills! Great for ski fields though and loving the fire lit at night time! Keep on trucking and having fun xxxx manda and rob x
Response: Hi guys great to hear from you. Yes it is cool but the days are glorious in the sun. Heading further south today toward the Margaret River, Catching up with some mates from Byron down there. Bye for now luv Di and Robin xx
From Sue and Al McOhail
My goodness your so right regarding the Footy game last wed can you imagine Al he was so digusted thinks he could play better than all the Blues hee hee I made him leave it on ( just in case ) !!! Do you think Bird would have made any difference ?glad to hear all is going well I have the flu at the moment and can't talk Alan has gone to see the game tonight lets hope the Titan's can do something right Take care Love S&A
Response: I suppose Alan now will be lining up to play with the Titans too! Not sure if Bird woud have made a difference - team skill may have helped. A shocker. All going well . Had dinner with Sue, Kelly and family last night. Leaving Perth today to wander south. Hope your health improves love Di and Robin
From Jules
Glad you watched the State of Origin?? NOT...shocking result!!!! You shoulda stayed somewhere with no TV or radio reception so you didn't have to put yourself thru that lol. Keep enjoying that holiday...I am still envious xoxo
Response: At least the tennis has been enjoyable
From Jean Wright
You mention getting out your warmer clothes and putting away the shorts - we are still putting on layers although Ken usually in shorts through the day. Still in Adelaide, stone guard been repaired, oil change on car. So many walks from the Brighton C/Park, great spot. Did Hahndorf the other day - a bit too touristy for us but of course I went in and out of every shop. Loved Hans Heysons, studio house etc. I remember that awful water at Coral Bay, must remember to stock up before we get there. I agree that your website the best thing to do. Keep it up, love reading it and looking at photos. xxx Jean n Ken
Response: Well we are in Newman and have got the summer gear back out - quite hot. We plan to arrive in Perth Wed July 8th in time for state or origin. Staying in Perth 1 week then head south. The weather report last night predeicted a mild July so we are hoping that is so. All the WA folk say we are mad going south but that is the time we have so it will happen rain hail or shine cheers Di and Robin
From Rae
Really enjoying your travels and so glad you have been able to get some photos going again-they are great! Keep up the good work. The blog turns into a good travel diary and record at the end of the trip.
Love Rae
Response: Hi Rae good to hear rom you. There are plenty of places in Aus that are still remote without technology. We should be OK for a while now. We are not big into diaries or photography - this is probably are best effort ever. Update coming soon cheers Di and Robin
From Sally Symons
Oops 😳! Late Sept?? Better start thinking of costumes starting with the letter S...!! Hope the weather holds a little longer for you, enjoy!! xx
Response: S ?? I usually just get told what I am wearing. Donkey!! Dress up is not my speciality but hope i will rise to the occasion. Now in Tom Price - weather great cheers Di
From wendy
Good morning from cloudy drizzly Lennox. Played golf yesterday but very damp underfoot with only 6 groups playing. We loved the horizontal falls if you can get there at the right time of the year. We didn't fly in but boated in. Our youngest Brett is working at Roy hill the Gina Reinhart mine about 200 km east of Newman in wa. Continue posting and enjoying from an envious onlooker. Cheers wendy w
Response: Hi Wendy
Glad the rain is East and not west. I think our faultless weather may be coming to an end. We are heading to Tom Price and Newman next then inland to Perth cheers Di and Robin
From Maureen Bell
Hi Di &Robin,
So envious of your trip...sounds great!
Loved your story of the faulty fridge -aren't people terrifically! Travel safely, enjoy the Pilbara, look forward to the next update.
Cheers, Maureen
Response: Hi Maureen well as for the fridge I want my beer back!!! The problem is back. I think I am closer to identifying the problem. It's only off when we are driving so can manage with that. It's all part of the journey love Di and Robin
From Sue charles
Hi to you both! Majorie has just given us your travel deets so no doubt we are all perusing your trip diary and feeling a little jealous! Coolingatta tweed won the pennant..
Missing u at golf, hurry up and get back! Xx
Response: Hi Sue I had given our address for the newsletter when we left but it obviously didn't make it. Glad pennant went well. I have been getting a bit of practice in -don't want to be too rusty when I get back. See you late September maybe cheers Di and Robin
From Jean
Reading your last post and you are swimming. We are at Fleurieu Peninsula and nearly got blown away last night. It's so green everywhere. Arrived McLaren Vale today to try and escape wind which we did but got rain. So inside van, wine and cozy. Will check wineries tomorrow. Ken can drive and I will taste. Just joking. Keep posting. x Jean and Ken
Response: Hi Jean and Ken cool and windy but still in shorts and t shirts. Rapidly coming to an end though. Got out some warmer clothes yesterday in preparation speak soon cheers Di and Robin
From Sal Symons
Hey Di and Rob...!!
Finally checked out this website and have read about your amazing adventures... Awesome!! Glad you're both safe and sound and having a wonderful time. Will keep an eye on your travels more often now. Last day of Pennant today - yeeha! Smashed Mullum 5/0 which pushed us into 2nd place. Oh well, there's always next year..! Apart from that... All much the same here, winter is upon us, working my butt off and playing as hard as usual. Travel safely and keep having a wonderful time! Big hug to you both, Sal xx
Response: Well done with pennant. Who won? Played golf at Alice Springs, Derby and Broome. hope to get some games in in Perth and the Margaret River. Not going to bother with the Nullabor course. Home in about 3 months cheers Di and Robin
From Sue D
Hi Di and Robin,

Just read your blog. Still enjoying your travels I see. Just to let you know a letter came from the RTA (RMS), but it's for Robin.

Shame we can't get to see your photos. Wonder why? Yes, it would be good to get together in Perth. Fingers crossed.

Sue D
Response: Thanks Sue. I am going to try and upload the photos again. Slow internet is the problem - it freezes before they all upload. Service is a bit better here in WA so will see how we go. Good chance we will see you in Perth. Bring your winter woolies cheers Di and Robin
From Michael and Kerry
Hi 'Byron Chicks'

Have enjoyed reading your blog and checking out places you are visiting on the map. You are certainly covering some ground...a very exciting venture. Cool here in Lennox today so decided to have a long breaky...eggs etc. Stay safe and continue to enjoy your journey
love
'Lennox Leisures' xxoo
Response: Hi folks thanks for the message. Trust you are recovering after your grandparenting time cheers Di and Robin