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Stuff of Dreams

Welcome to Stuff of Dreams. Here is where we will be keeping a record of our travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for us. If we have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people we will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Location: Gold and Sunshine Coast, Australia

Dear All

Hope you like our photos from this part of Oz.

We would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to log on, view our pictures and leave messages.

We will be spending Christmas in Hervey Bay, we've hired a cabin for three nights, really spoiling ourselves and will be eating prawns on Christmas day!

Enjoy the turkey and love to you all.

David & Allison xxx

Sunday, 07 December 2008

Location: Sydney, Australia

Dear Diary

Where do I start with Sydney?

If you remember we'd booked our accommodation above an Irish bar on the Rocks, George Street - well it was awesome! just 100yds from the Harbour bridge, a live band every night and a short walk to everything in the Harbour area.

Allison says the Sydney Opera House is the best building in the world and there is a different aspect every time you see it. we did the backstage tour and also went to see Handals Messiah - I even put my best flip flops on!

We visited the zoo, Darling Harbour, Rose Harbour, but best of all we did a seaplane trip which gave us another view of SOH! Allison says its the best thing shes ever done!

Sydney also has fab beaches with Manly to the north and ones we visited in the south, Bondi and Coogee.

They also have an excellent hop on hop off service, which even takes you to Sydney Cricket Ground, even though it was closed and no amount of begging and pleading would persuade them to let me in.

The restaurants and bars in the Circular Quay are lively with pretty good food too.

There is a street market on George St at the weekend and Allison helped herself to more jewellery! George Street is the oldest street in Australia. Many of the buildings are constructed from sandstone and is very similar to Newcastle.

Next we move onto the Blue Mountains and a camper van - heaven help us!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Location: Soren Larsen, New Caledonia

Thanks for being patient, but our amazing South Pacific Tall Ship adventure is over after an emotional farewell in Auckland this morning.

First of all we must thank the crew of the Soren Larsen for their professionalism and alcoholic abilities! Skipper Darren, Engineers Gavin and Andrew, Matt, Gareth, Katy, Ali, Karsen, Cat, Gemma, Mike, Daz, Laura, Dave and last but no means least Maho.

Also, the making of any voyage is the people you share it with and our fellow voyage crew were amazing too, old but amazing!!

Rolf, Ken, Bruce, Carl, Spyeros, Tracy, Janet, Peter and Janet, Ian, and Marcia and Jeremy.

We had problems before we left New Caledonia, which is by the way a little part of France in the South Pacific. The French used to send their convicts there, we had Australia, they had New Caledonia - what does that say about our respective countries??!! Anyway, Poor Rolf was in New Cal, but his baggage was in Sidney, and Spyeros was somewhere else in the South Pacific without a flight! However, this meant we were able to enjoy some day sailing around the beautiful coral islands of New Cal, before finally setting sail for Norfolk Island.

We each had to work, yes work when we were at sea, we drew the 4 to 8 shift which meant we saw the sun go down and then come back up again. The skies are so clear in the southern hemisphere with the milky way and southern cross visible most evenings. We also had to steer, be on watch, do safety rounds and haul sails up and down. It could also be a bit boring and cold when on standby, hey but thats all part of the adventure.

Norfolk Island is an Aussie island that Capt Cook found on his second circumnavigation (I think thats the word I mean). Its covered in Pine trees which Cook thought might be useful for ship repairs. The people are so friendly, they stop and give you a lift to wherever you want! The Islanders are either from Norfolk or Pitcairn and many of the historic graves are Christian, Adams and Evans - See Mutiny on the Bounty for full details! Bronze tipped sharks and Stingrays roam the bay and according to locals all the kids swim in the waters with them, they're only sharks!

The Soren Larsen isn't your five star accommodation, our cabin was the size of a double bed, which meant only one person at once in the room, even then it was crowded! And if you didn't bang your head at least three times a day there was something wrong. The novelty of using a head wore off after the third use - just give me a toilet that flushes!! But its a brilliant tub and I wouldn't have swapped her for any other vessel. On at least one occasion when we were on duty we reached 10 knots! which is not bad for a square rigger (thats a technical term) weighing over 300t. Its awesome traveling at that speed, the wind blowing a hoolie and the sea breaking the sides of the ship - I only ended up on my ass once!

After Norfolk we headed for the Bay of Islands, yes the Bay of Islands again! we didn't mind at all, except in rained, the whole time - still the Duke of Marlborough has SKY so for two afternoons i watched sport, the rugby league world cup final, cricket and a premiership game, brilliant!

Our journey towards Auckland began with a trip to Great Barrier island, at the mouth of the Hauraki Gulf, such a beautiful, tranquil spot. The big Kauri tree used to grow here until white man arrived and chopped most of them down to build ships and houses. In the late 19th century and early 20th we cut down 95 million feet of trees. The whole island is now protected as they attempt to regenerate. The axemen would build a dam up stream, cut the trees down and wait two years for the water to build up and then pull the plug and all the trees ended up in the bay - along with anything that got in the way! The dam is now a monument.

The Hauraki Gulf is such a massive stretch of water that its easy to understand why Aucklanders love their sailing, watersports and fishing. The water is pretty safe, even when its a bit blowy.

The last stop was Kawau, where the Mansion House for Auckland was once situated. It is now a museum and the island has been cleared of predators and allowed the roaming of the Weka bird. A Kiwi type of creature which wondered the beautiful gardens which we took over and played football, not with the Weka bird though, well not all the time.

The last night meant fancy dress with Advent calendars as the theme, although most of the male members of the crew thought this just an excuse to dress up as women! It was a great evening, Allison went as one of the three kings (not sure which) and in tribute to NUFC I went as a bar code! they're on every advent calendar.

It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning when we sailed in Auckland and our birth on Princes Wharf - we were even bombarded with water bombs by Soren Larsen crew aboard a yacht on arrival. But it was very emotional, it seemed that everyone on board had bonded, no idiots, not even me and the end of the most exciting, backside twitching adventure we've ever done.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Location: Burnt Pines, Norfolk

Just to let you know we are safe and well after our first week at sea on Norfolk Island. This is a former convict island and where the occupants of Pitcairn moved to when they outgrew their island.

Its hard work at times, but were having a great time.

D+A xx

Friday, 07 November 2008

Location: Northland, New Zealand

Our visit to NZ wouldn't be complete without a visit to Northland.

Allison took a bus up to Cape Reianga, the northern most point where the Tasman sea meets the Pacific ocean and 90 mile beach, where the beach is the highway.

Here's a question for Chris and Kevin, guess where we stayed in Russell? go on have a guess. you do know it - yes The Duke of Marlborough! They had a spring special on 95 dollars! And it is just as beautiful as when we first visited, we really saved the best til last. Allison has even said I can get a job here!

On Saturday we move onto New Caledonia ready for our tall ship challenge, how difficult can it be!!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Location: Back to the North Island, New Zealand

It was with very heavy hearts we said goodbye to the South Island and returned to Wellington.

After all our action we opted for a few days r+r in the nations capital. This involved visiting a Cricket Museum at Basin Reserve and watching the final of the Air New Zealand provincial rugby cup final between Wellington and Canterbury. Even Allison found the museum interesting, although she was watching clips of Ian Botham! Did you know that Sir Don Bradmans batting average against South Africa is 201? I like to bore you with useless information! The rugby wasn't much better. It was marred by infrequent bouts of entertainment, like the captain of the All Blacks dropping the ball on his own 22 and getting trampled on by the opposition! It was great to be there and part of the occasion.

We moved up to National Parks, where you may emember we skied earlier on. Mt Ngauruhoe looked amazing in the late afternoon sun, but it was bloody cold!

Monday saw us in Waitomo (wai meaning water and tomo meaning big hole!) We had to get into wet suits and with the aid of rubber rings floated through an underground labyrinth. The water was bloody freezing, but it was great fun. We went over waterfalls and saw Glow worms (really glow maggots with shiny arses). I managed to upset the guide by implying she had a large backside, so during the trip she managed to up end me twice! Showers and hot soup were ready for us at the end.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Location: Nelson and Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Our last stop on the South island is Nelson and Abel Tasman.

We decided to visit Nelson winerys rather than Marlborough and, as Allison put in "I didn't taste one I didn't like all day!" Our favourite was Rimu Grove, a very passionate American who has a small winery. So small that this year he only produced 45 cases of Reisling. Needless to say we purchased this one and it was outstanding. but then so was the Pinot Noir 2005. Please visit his website I know Kevin will.

Next up was something Allison and I had wanted to do since 2005 when we cam here with Kevin and Chris. To kayak the Abel Tasman. Three days and two nights, no hot water, no showers and very hard ground, not quite your five star! It was though great fun. We started at Onetahuti Marine reserve where we paddled(!) to an Island where seals hangout and they even joined us in the water. Our first night was bark bay where Chris and Kevin you should remember thats where we srated our walk from in 05. and remember the swing bridge? well thats called Falls river in Sandfly bay and we paddled up the river too. The first two days the weather was glorious, but the third day it poured all day as we paddled to Split Apple Rock to capture illusive photos of the Rock. We've never been so cold or wet and the shower that was waiting for us couldn't come soon enough!

Next stop back to Wellington and with a bit of luck the Rugby cup final between Wellington and Cantebury!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Location: Fox Glacier, New Zealand

We opted for the all day walk at Fox and we neither saw a fox or a bear! It was a long day though, first walking through a rain forest and then five hours walking around a glacier, we were both well and truly knackered by the end!

But it is an awesome experience and as Allison says the most frightening thing she has ever done. (apart from white water rafting....). Did you know that ice is blue? Also Fox glacier is expanding and has grown 1.5km in 10 years.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Location: Fiordland, New Zealand

Ok, whats the difference between a Fiord and a Sound? answers on a postcard.
After Queenstown we travelled further south to Te Anau to be close to the Sounds. First up was Milford. They have 7m of rain a year in Fiordland, but as you can see from the photos we were blessed with a lovely sunny day. First we took a coach through the Edlinton valley, past beatiful lakes, rivers and mountains to the Homer tunnel. This is the only access by land and construction started in the 1930's but wasn't completed until the 50's. On the western side the valley is also known as the valley of waterfalls, because there are supposed to be over a thousand waterfalls, especially in spring as the snow begins to melt.
The Sound itself is majestic, haunting (Allisons word) and just how it was formed millions of years ago. It could be the most beautiful place in the world.
Next question - How did Doubtful Sound get its name? Use the same postcard.
To get to Doubtful, you need two coaches and a lake crossing, yes it is a bit remote. The journey is amazing though crossing NZ's second largest lake, Manapouri. Past the countries only Hydro electric power station. (recently survived a 7.1 earthquake!). Then you can travel up the Sound. The weather wasn't as good, but the mountains are covered in rainforest so they appear rounder but still as majestic. The water is different, its black from the vegetation. Its also a much larger Sound, Milford would fit it ten times.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Location: Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is so stunning it deserves a page of its own! Just when you think NZ can't suprise you anymore up pops Queenstown. The scenery is amazing. The town sits at the foot of the Remarkables and is also surrounded by other snow capped mountains and lakes.

Its an outdoor activity centre where you can do almost anything, as long as it involves mountains and water.

First we tried white water rafting on the aptley named Shotover river. The river had been shut for two days because it was too fierce, so when we went it was 4+! Allison has never been so scared, but hey she did it, nearly drowned a couple of times but she lived to tell the tale. There are several rapids to go through on a 16km course and it is a bit scary.

Then I went for a Bungy jump, all 134m of it. First of all though, you have to ride out to the pod which hangs suspended on wires, stand on the edge and jump, easy! Adrenalin is brown you know!

Both were fantastic, easy to say after surviving.

We also went up in a gondola where we took many pictures of the amazing scenery which surrounds Quennstown and, visited a Kiwi sanctuary - they're big buggers, bigger than a chicken, but like me still very cute!

Today we head for Te Anau and the Sounds.


Friday, 10 October 2008

Location: Ferry to South Island, New Zealand

We'd both lokked forward to this crossing since we last here three years ago, and we were not disapointed. It takes three hours + to cross, leaving Wellington, heading out into the Cook Straights before turning into the Queen Charlotte Sounds. Its an amazing trip, with views out into the pacific and channels so narrow we didn't think our ferry would fit through!

We landed in Picton, nothing like Hartlepool, its pretty and inviting and were booked into a backpackers called Tombstone where the guarentee you rest in peace!


Friday, 10 October 2008

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington. capital of NZ, pop 375,000.

Its a very pretty city, built around a harbour with lovely walks, shops etc. We visited the Te Papa museum specifically to see a piece of art by Allisons friend Liz. The exhibition was about Scots who came to settle in NZ from the 1850's to the present.

We followed the Billy Connolly trail, if you remember from his series. There are poems written in tablets of stone along the harbour walk.

We also took the cable car up above the city for lovely views and walked back down through the botanical gardens. remembering of course, that its spring here and everything is starting to bloom.

After Wellington we head for the South Islands, Queen Charlotte Sounds and the Tranzs Coastal railway from Picton to Christchurch.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Location: North Island, New Zealand

Coming back to NZ is like visiting an old friend and we both feel very comfortable here. We did actually see old friends too. We stayed with Brian and Jay in Auckland - the finest B+B in the world should anyone be visiting. Also, Allison met Liz whom she used to work with in Sunderland half a lifetime ago. It was lovely to meet her and her daughter Rhona.
Auckland was sunny but cool, just going into spring here, which is fab especially as you are going into winter! Liz showed us the sights of Auckland and we had a lovely couple of days before moving onto Waihi beach (site of NZ largerst goldmine), Pukehina Beach and then to Ohope beach. We visited White Island, NZ only active marine volcano where you can go through the crater - see photo of Allison geared up!
We then drove through the Waioeka Gorge to Gisborne, the most easterly city in the world, the first place in NZ to see the sun and where Captain Cook landed in 1769. So lots of Cook stuff here and also earthquakes, although Allison says she is yet to feel the earth move.
Napier is an art deco town, after being destroyed in the 1930's by an earthquake. More importantly, its a wine producing area and we did a winery tour on bikes - perfectly legal, apparently, but great fun. The tour includes The Mission which is the oldest winery in NZ.
We then had a bit of a departure and drove off to Mt Ruapehu, a place we visted previously in 2005 with Chris and Kevin. Only this time it was covered in snow! So we had a ski lesson, on the Happy Valley beginners slope! But it was great fun. Allison hurt her arm when I crashed into her exiting a ski lift and I fell over at least five times!
But not bad for oldies and we may even try again on the south island!

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Recent Messages

From frank pomar
hi guys

Hope you are having a fantastic time wish I was there, very envious. If you get any electrical jobs out there pass them our way no job to small for project ha ha ha…. Did you know Everton are now in the relegation zone now odds on they will go down.


All the best take care

Mr pomar - how are you?

were back home now, you're a bit late! you can get hold of me at
From jack & jan
Hi Great photos
we are back home to the damp and cold Bali was wonderful loads of temples but
weather was not very good it rained most of the time.
We liked Cairns we also did the reef, jan was terribly sea sick but we still enjoyed it.
We are looking at booking New Zealand next year taking longer as to miss the winter.
Hope the rest of your trip goes well and we will keep up
with your travel news. beat wishes jack & janette xxx
Response: Hi Guys
Lovely to hear from you. Shame about Bali - were in Cairns, which we like and Port Douglas which was lovely too. We also enjoyed our trip to the Reef, fortunately we weren't seasick!
Take care
D+A xx
From Rappers
If you look behind you will see i am following you.
I wish!
Hope you are having a wonderful time. Ironic that i have demolished your brothers house!! You know me i'm sure i'll fix it !.
All that walking you should be doing might make you loose your MOOBS.
Good luck and keep in touch when you get back. All the very best.
Happy Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Birthday, Happy Easter, Happy Bank Holiday Monday etc.

Mark, Karen and family.
Response: Hi Rapper
Mark said you were f**king up his nice house! Great to hear from you, i'll be in touch when I get home.
From A: Doreen
Your Dad got your text but I passed on more greetings anyway. I've just told your Mom that their mail about their holiday wasn't on here - so then I find it! No blogs frLots of loveom you since Dec23rd ???
Response: Thanks alot
Take care Allison
From Ash & Gill
Life very soon gets back to normal! Out tonight to the annual flood event to the Dyvels. Sounds as tho' your new years eve was wonderful and hope the camper van wasn't too hard work! Decided that rather than getting fit for Cuba I should just learn to salsa dance and impress everyone that way. Enjoy the next leg of your adventure
gill xx
Response: Hi there,
This getting fit sounds like hard work, Gill you will need a very big, soft saddle for the trip cycling always kills my bum! Take care.xx
From Martin and Lynda
Happy New Year guys,
Hope you enjoyed your prawns on the beach on Christmas day! We had a great time. It was lovely having all the family home together and the baby made it all the more special! Spent a super New Years eve with a large group of friends in the village so not too far to walk home. It's been really nice catching up with folk. Hope 2009 takes you to even more exoticand interesting places which we look forward to reading about on your blog. Lots of love, Lynda and Martin xx
Response: Hi guys

It sounds like you had a lovely xmas especially spending time with you new grand daughter, very special!
Happy new year,xx
From Mum and Dad
Miracle happened! 3 boys waiting for us in Geneva! Had such a fabulous time, each day David marked the map where they wd be and we took the bus and cable car and met them. Hotel fabulous..and champion swimmer was MUM!
Cant compete with your holiday bu wdnt have missed it for the world. Such a different Christmas and absolutely spoilt by the boys. Great speaking to you on xmas day. Boys tricked Grampa into enjoying a prawn and a scallop!..but he cdnt be tricked into caviar! Glad to be back for the fish n chips BUT the boys already want to know where we're going next year?! Euro dropped rapidly so expensive,£6 a pint!but all worth it. Lots of love love Mum n Dad
PS. We ARE still at the top of the league!
Response: Great to hear from you, happy new year to you both, have just left an email with Auntie Doreen trying to catch up with you and find out how you all got on in the snow.
Sounds like you all had such a great time I am so pleased you enjoyed it all, it must have been great to see an Alpine resort in the winter!
Lots of love allison xx
From Leighton ( from Can
David and Allison,

Hello you world travelers. Stacy and I were just talking about our trip and we thought of you. I looked in my passport and found your website address. Looks like you guys are having an awesome time How much longer do you have left on your trip? Are you still planning a las vegas trip?

hope to here from you soon.

Response: Hi Leighton, great to hear from you. We are having a fab time as you can imagine. It was great to met you and your family and the pictures look great on the website.
As soon as I'm home I'll be planning Las Vegas, its amazing how many of the Club mention it!
Take care
D&A xx
From Carolyn and Johm
Phew ! Have managed to escape at last to the wonderful world you two are visiting. A few minutes of escapism. It all looks so wonderful. We have been entertaining the masses. 18 at the most for 3 days and mum and dad are still here! Still it's been good but exhausting.Everyone goes tomoro so will seem very quiet then. Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year wherever you spend it. Love reading your blog. Photos are amazing. Take care lots of love xxx
Response: Happy New Year!
We celebrated on Fraser Island on the beach, gazing at the Southern Cross and paddling in the sea!
Take care xx
From Jill & Nick
Hi Guys,
A very Happy New Year to you & the best of fun in your travels in 2009.
Hope your Hervey Bay xmas went well & the cabin lived up to expectation. Tim loved Hevey Bay when he was there & says watch out for dingos on Fraser Island!
A group of us had a great N. Year's Eve at A & I's here in the village, plenty of booze flowing as usual & a quiz that was done in conjunction with another group of pals at a different dinner party which was quite fun but needless to say became quite competitive! Xmas was great fun with June & Nig here, plenty of fireside games especially the Wii sports, lovely walks up at Hadrian's Wall & had to hit the January sales! Amazing bargains to be had.
We'll all be missing you of course for the ceilidh coming up soon but we'll think of you when we're doing the 'basket' & as stiff as a board the next day! We're trying to avoid any injuries this year!
Have managed to avoid all the bugs going round up 'til now but ache like hell & have lost my voice now.......some say there is a god after all!
Look forward to your next instalment. Enjoy...!
J & N x
Response: Happy New year!
Sounds as mad as ever in Corbridge!
Will miss the ceilidh this year, but have a good time.
From David
Hope you had a fab time. I was dancing in Watford... not quite the same!!! Snowboarding was great fun with the boys although they are still struggling to keep up with their Uncle David ;o) It really was a lovely week spending time with Mum and Dad and the boys. M&D loved the Alpine experience. We met them every day at the top of a gondola for drinks and took them exploring a little bit. Dad was very keen to go further up the slopes but couldn't without skis!!! The Euro was bit of a shock cost like 10 quid for 3 chocolat chaud on the mountain. Boys are very keen for G&G to finance a trip to the Caribbean next Christmas ;oP
I will be uploading all photos on Facebook so you will need to log on and take a look. Keep well and keep exploring Love davidxx
Response: Happy new year David, we celebrated on Fraser island and saw the new year in on the beach looking at the amazing stars and paddling in the sea.
So pleased you all had such a great time skiing, I can imagine dad wanting to go further up the mountain. Amazing for mom and dad to experience an Alpine resort at xmas time. Thanks for organising everything.
I will need your facebook address to see the photos.
Take care.xx
From Matthias
Back from Germany we just wanted to wish you a happy new year and hope you had merry xMas.

Hope you still enjoy your tour and the very best for the 2nd half to come with the kindest regards from Spain, take care

Matthias & Ilona
Response: Happy New Year! Great to hear from you, hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. We celebrated the New Year on Fraser Island, Australia.
Thanks for the message.
Take care
From Jack & Catherine
Thanks for our Christmas cards and money. Jack says he'll get his own back for the card! Miss you. xxx
Response: Hope you all had a lovely time. Apologies for the card, but it was July!
Miss u too
From Ash & Gill
Merry Xmas.
Have a great time in Hervey Bay!!
We've had a lovely time here and Gill has just gone on a cycle ride with Lucy after drinks at the Chessers to start getting fit for Cuba!! Cold wet sponges ready for her return! You know the New Year story from Chris' instalment. Have fun (or even more fun).
Response: Happy New Year! Hope you had a lovely time. We haven't heard from Chris yet, but can imagine!
Take care
From Kim, Anth and the ki
Merry Christmas to you both. Enjoy your few days in Hervey Bay. Lots of love xxx.
Response: Thanks Kim
it was lovely to speak to u on Christmas day, hope you had a lovely day.
From chris and kevin
Happy Christmas to you both at Hervey Bay! Have a fab New Year as well on Fraser Island! Katie loved it there!
All is manic here, but wonderful, as Christmas always is! For once, we have all 5 kids for Xmas Day, so that will be fab! We then have a family invasion of 45 on Boxing Day, so think of us in your tent on your beach whilst we slave over a hot stove, catering for the hoards!!!!!
I had an absolutely amazing time in Oman with Barbara and Dave! What a place and how well B nd D planned our trip. The compound where they live is great, especially the pool - 25 metres - overlooking the mountains! We had an unforgettable day in the desert, met a local bedouin tribe and rode camels! They are very settled there with some lovely friends and a fab house. We are already planning our return - Kevin and I - next November - with camping in the desert on the agenda! B and D are staying in a lovely house swap house near Rothbury and we are looking forward to going up there with Ash and Gill on the 27th for an overnight stay. We are going to Ash and Gill's tonight for a Xmas Eve Nosh and may pick up some drunken waifs and strays on our way back through Hexham!!!! New Year is a do here, which ties in with B and D's last night before they head back to Oman on New Year's Day.
Have fun!
Lots of love
Chris and Kevin

Response: Hi guys
You sound very busy but Chris you wouldn't have it any other way, enjoy.
I am sure you will all have a great time.
Oman trip sounds great I wish I could have flown in and joined you.
Very stranger without the boys around but I spoke to the whole family on christmas morning which was lovely. Love to all.xx
From Auntie Doreen
Just read your message dated tomorrow ..............?
I'd love some of those prawns - Happy Christmas and what a wonderful New Year you've got to look forward to.
Lots of love
Response: Hi Auntie Doreen
Hope you had a lovely day and a happy new year.
Had a lovely xmas day swimming in the sea and walking on the beach,but quite strange to think of all my family together in the snow. I did manage to speak to them all on christmas morning which was great.xx
From elizabeth

Great to hear that OZ is meeting all your expectations !... as they say, 'throw another prawn on the barbie for me ! '

Happy Christmas and..... 'a ra best at Hogmany 'ana.......thinking of you - love
elizabeth and Rhona xxx : - )

Response: Hi Liz
Hope you had a lovely day and a happy new year to you both.
Swimming and walking on the beach in the very hot sun was great but very strange to think all my family spent christmas sking in the snow. I did manage to speak to them all on christmas morning which was lovely. xx
From Max
Thanks for the christmas postcard guys. Have to ask, did you do the walk by the 3 sisters and if so, which did you brave - all the steps or the train? lol!! And isnt the view of Sydney amazing from the giraffe house in the zoo!!! Have a great christmas and speak soon. Max xxx
Response: Hi Max
We 'aint walking! its the train down and a cable car back up!
From Robbo
Now then you two....

Just a quick note to say that we're all thinking about you here and wishing you all the best, it sounds like you've got the Christmas we all dream about - 11,000 miles away from the Metro Centre!! - Paulas been given a season ticket!

And then theres the Christmas games - how easy is it going to be playing charades and pointing out to sea (Jaws!!)

Seriously though, have a great time and as much as you've been through and done some fantastic things you still have 'many many mini holidays left!'. Take care and keep smiling!

Don't forget you see Santa before us so give him that list I gave you!

(Yeah yeah! pies, pies and pies!) Beat you!

Response: Hi robbo
A totally different xmas here, a swim in the sea and a walk in the hot sun followed by prawns for our lunch - probably never do anything like that again! Hope you all had a lovely day and haven't murdered each other yet!
From Lizzy
Have a great Christmas wherever you are! x
Response: Hi Lizzy
Merry Christmas to you to. Were going to be spending Christmas at Hervey Bay - hope you have a great time wherever you are.
From Lynda and Martin
Hello campers, How's the driving going? are you cooking a turkey in the van?! Hope you both have a wonderful Christmas wherever you are and that you spend it with fun people like yourselves. We're looking forward to having all of ours here and to our baby granddaughter's first Christmas.Happy Christmas and all the best for 2009. Love Lynda and Martin x
Response: Merry Christmas!
We'll be in Hervey Bay, heading there tomorrow. Hope you have a great Christmas grandpa and grandma! Luch will be prawns - what else!!

From Jill & Nick
Hi guys,
Thinking of you over the festive season - sunning yourselves on a long sandy beach somewhere on the gold coast no doubt? While we're all sitting round an open fire toasting marshmallows & watching strictly! Had some bright crisp sunny days here so some great walks. Plenty of do's to be able to dance the night away & our fill of mulled wine & mince pies already! Does the hangover get any easier on a beach in Oz? Love all the cooking but not the wrapping & can hear the washing machine groaning at the thought of the boys arriving home today! Big sis etc flying up from Dorset & Nick's brother from the coast, so at least the pubs in Corbridge will benefit!!
Wishing you a FAB xmas & watch out for sharks!
with love
J & N x
Response: Merry Christmas - you're quite right we will be spending Christmas on a beach, but up at Hervey Bay - bet you can't wait for the kids to arrive!
have a good one.
From Jonathan & Wendy
It is always great to update ourselves on your travels and wish we could do the same Hope you both have a great Christmas and New Year We will be thinking of you and following your adventures XX
Response: Hi Jonathan
Thanks, please could you email yours and Jerry's address then I can send you some cards.
Merry Xmas

D+A xx
From Gary and Elizabeth
Dear David and Allison, hope you enjoy your Christmas in my home country, and hope the sods look after you properly and give you a Christmas to remember. Remember the typical Christmas activities like playing cricket on the beach. Take care, Gary & Elizabeth
Response: Merry Christmas - all the aussies we've met so far on our travels have been fab - don't know about cricket but swimming definately!
Have a good one