Day 310 of retirement

April 22, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 16thApril:

Another wild day today. At least the rain has eased but still pretty windy and cold.

We went for a drive to Robe for lunch and checked out the Limestone Coast along the way (120km round trip).

As Robe is known as the crayfish capital of Australia we had to have an appropriate lunch. So a crayfish omelette for Guy and smashed avocado and crayfish for me. Awesome food.

Back to Beachport and followed the scenic drive for a 16km round trip. The ocean was wild but still some spectacular views.

Tuesday 17thApril:

Left Beachport for Meningie/Tailem Bend but decided to drive all the way through to Port Willunga to my sister’s beach house. (450km & 7 hours).

We had a few stops along the way especially my brush with the law. I was pulled over for my first speeding infringement today. Doing 110 in a 100 zone. After the lovely policewoman checked my license, checked car rego, breath tested me and informed me it was a $450 fine, she let me off with a warning. Awesome service SA Police.

Also detoured to Coonalpyn to see the silo art. The huge grain silos have been painted with some of the local kids pictures spanning the full length of the silos. Pretty impressive.

Wednesday 18thApril:

As we are a day early to Port Will we had a nice leisurely day. I spent a couple of hours cleaning the mighty Mazda inside and out. She was pretty dirty but all good now.

We also planned out the next couple of weeks as we cross the Nullarbor to WA. We booked our accommodation at the motels along the way, as we don’t fancy having to sleeping in the car, as the stretches between roadhouses are considerable.

Lunch was at the iconic Victory Hotel. Awesome food there as we have been there a couple of times previously.

Thursday 19thApril:
From our visit to the Cube today at the D’arenberg winery ( which is 20 minutes away from Port Willunga. We enjoyed an eight-course degustation lunch (which was awesome) before exploring the very unique Cube at this winery.

The Cube consists of 4 floors of a very unique building inside and out. It has wine tasting, a restaurant, gallery and function area.

Back to the beach tonight to watch the sunset. Not as vivid as last night but still pretty special.

Friday 20thApril:

Off to the big smoke today. Caught up with Deb (cousin) and Pam (friend) for lunch at a Filipino restaurant in downtown Adelaide.

Then off to the iconic Adelaide Central Market. Guy  is cooking up a Filipino feast tomorrow for the Kloeden gathering so needed some supplies. Managed to get it all at the market along with a few supplies for the road next week when we head for WA.

Saturday 21stApril:

After a busy morning, a huge Filipino feast was prepared for the family gathering. The masses arrived at midday and a great afternoon of fun and food prevailed.

And doggie bags were issued to all, as there was plenty of food to go round twice. A great family gathering was had by all.

Sunday 22ndApril:

A leisurely day where we all relaxed with walks (and swims) at the beach. Awesome weather.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy



Day 303 of retirement

April 15, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 9thApril:

Awesome customer service today at the Naracoorte Mazda service centre (Wickham Flower & Co). The mighty Mazda needed a regular service so I called them to see if they could fit me in some time in the next few days.
I got same day service. Dropped the car in at 10:30am and ready by midday.
And they even washed the Mazda. Pity the car washer as it was caked with bug / grasshopper guts on the front and very dirty.

After the service we made our way to the Naracoorte Caves and took a tour of the Fossil Cave. They have been excavating 50,000-year-old fossils for the last 45 years and they reckon that at this pace they need another 300 hundred years to clear the chamber.

After a very yummy dinner cooked by Deb we went through her pics of the Philippines (Marinduque) when she, Pam and Mike visited us some 6.5 years ago. Guy and I felt homesick.

Tuesday 10thApril:

Rest day today as we relaxed round Deb’s deck. Midday trip into Naracoorte for some supplies for Guy to make up a big pot of pork adobo for dinner.

Had a great dinner with Deb, Mike (Deb’s partner), Mick (local) and Mark (visiting from Oregon in the USA). A very interesting group of people from all different background.

Mick has climbed in Nepal and turns out we have both climb in the same area. And Mark is a keen mountain biker with Mike being a motorcycle racer. All things from my past life (before retirement).

Wednesday 11thApril:

Left Naracoorte for Halls Gap and had a good smooth run with no traffic (350km & 4 hours).

Settled into our luxurious cabin then went for a bit of a drive round the town for a look see and get a few groceries.

Thursday 12thApril:

Off exploring the northern Grampians today (120km loop). We visited:

~ Reed Lookout (lookout west of the Grampians).

~ The Balconies (stunning rock formation).

~ Mackenzie Falls (awesome waterfalls).

~ Broken Falls (smaller waterfalls).

~ Gulgurn Manja Shelter (Aboriginal rock art).

Lots to see and some spectacular rock formations.

Friday 13thApril:

Off exploring the southern Grampians today (130km round trip). We visited:

~ Wonderland carpark (was going for a hike but carpark full. Try tomorrow).

~ Venus Baths (bath holes in the granite rock that water flows through).

~ Lake Bellfield (reservoir).

~ Mount William Highest point in the Grampians).

~ Bunjil Shelter (Aboriginal rock art).

~ Red Rock Olive Farm (yummy olives).

Had the best Indian lunch at The Punjab Indian restaurant, Halls Gap. We both agree that it is some of the best Indian we have ever had.

Saturday 14thApril:

Rained and blew all night and all day so a sleep in till 11:00am was the order of the day.

Then off to the Halls Gap Hotel and their open fireplace along with a damn good steak lunch. On the way home called into the bakery for some afternoon tea treats. Vanilla slice for me (not as good as Cummins) and fudge for Guy.

Wild, wet and windy all day so relaxed at the cabin catching up on the blog, photo editing, device updates and backups..

Sunday 15thApril:

Left a very wild, wet and windy Halls Gap for Beachport across the border in SA which was a little better (350km & 4 hours). It rained and blew on and off during the whole trip. Fining up tomorrow, fingers crossed.

Outside Hamilton VIC, we took a slight detour to the Nigretta and Wannon waterfalls. Not much water flowing over the falls at the moment but still very beautiful places with the rock formations. Settled into our luxury apartment right on the beach for the next two nights.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 297 of retirement

April 9, 2018

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Hi All

Tuesday 3rdApril:

Left Anita’s in Narre Warren for Anglesea (170km). Arrived midday ish so visited Torquay for a wander.

We visited the National Surf Museum. What an awesome place on the history of surfing. There was some great video of monster big wave surfing along with the history of surfing in Hawaii.

Had an awesome lunch and discovered that Bells Beach was hosting the Rip Curl Pro Easter Classic surf event. We bypassed the Bells due to all the traffic but might visit tomorrow.

Quick stop over at the Great Ocean Road Chocolate & Ice Creamery for afternoon tea and a few chocolates. Arrived at our cabin late afternoon and settled in.

Wednesday 4rdApril:

Off exploring the Great Ocean Road between Anglesea and Apollo Bay (180km).

We visited a number of lookouts, local attractions and the Erskine Water Falls. Had an awesome seafood lunch at the Lorne Pier restaurant. Arrived back at our cabin in Anglesea in need of a cup of tea and a lay down.

Thursday 5thApril:

Spent the day exploring The Great Ocean Road between Anglesea & Warrnambool (280km).

Found some awesome highlights:

~ Wooden sculptures by the sea in Apollo Bay.

~ Cape Otway Light House.

~ The 12 Apostles.

~ Loch Ard Gorge.

~ The London Bridge.

~ The Arch.

Staying in a cabin in Warrnambool Big4 for the night.

Friday 6thApril:

Off to explore the remainder of the Great Ocean Road (180km). We dropped into the Grotto, the Bay of Islands and the Bay of Martyrs. It absolutely bucketed down (rainstorm) as we drove to the Grotto but cleared up to a nice sunny day.

On the way back we called into the Warrnambool Cheese factory and sampled some very yummy cheese. Purchased a few varieties as well.

Then went for a drive to Port Fairy and a picnic lunch at the port.

Back to Warrnambool and off to the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. This is a replica maritime village consisting of some of the original buildings along with some old ones transported to the site. Lots of old gear there as well.

Finished the day at Pippies Restaurant for an awesome dinner.

Saturday 7thApril:

Left Warrnambool VIC for Naracoorte SA where we are staying with my cousin Deb for a few days (280km). On the way out of town we visited Thunder Point and Point Ritchie for a look-see.

Had a great leisurely drive with a picnic lunch along the way. Great to catch up with Deb once again. She visited us (along with Pam and Mike) in the Philippines (7 years ago) when we were there. They got stuck on the island for a few extra days due to a typhoon.

Sunday 8thApril:

Off to Mount Gambier for the day (200km round trip).

While there, we visited:

~ Blue Lake. Extinct volcano full of bright blue water.

~ Valley Lake. Extinct volcano full of water.

~ Sink Hole garden in the centre of town.

~ The Umpherston Sinkhole Gardens.

~ Father Woods Park. Full sized people carvings of pioneers of the district.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 290 of retirement

April 2, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 26thMarch:

Had a very nice sleep-in watching the world go by from our 10thfloor window.

Then off to the Federation Square Information Centre to plan out some activities for the next three days.

Wandered down to Chinatown for a very yummy lunch.

Now in the Melbourne CBD, ALL the trams are free. Awesome concept. We caught the ring route tram and did a circumnavigation of the city listening to all the highlights of the city.

For dinner we caught up with Desiree (old high school friend who lives in Melbourne) for dinner at the Crown Casino. Great to see her again.

Tuesday 27thMarch:

Off exploring Melbourne CDB today. We visited:

~ Yarra River cruise. The ticket lady gave us the wrong directions so we missed the boat. Rebooked for tomorrow.

~ Federation Square.

~ Hosier Lane street art (all the street art covers all the walls).

~ Chinatown for lunch. Very yummy food.

~ State Library with several exhibitions. Super impressive building.

~ The Old Melbourne Goal. We both got arrested and put in the holding cells. Also saw where Ned Kelly and many other criminals were executed.

Back home exhausted.

Wednesday 28thMarch:

Another beautiful day in sunny Melbourne.

Well, we finally got to have our Yarra River cruise after all the drama. And it was worth it. Cruised down to Williamstown and back along the Yarra River, see all the sights and our captain gave a great commentary.

Back for lunch in Southbank and then up to the Skydeck which is the highest viewing platform in the southern hemisphere (88 floors high). Great 360 views of Melbourne and the surrounding area.

Next stop was Federation Square for a wander and then across the road to St Paul’s Cathedral which is a pretty impressive building inside and out.

A quick detour to a camera shop to get another battery for my Leica camera as I have worn one out over the last couple of years.

Caught up with Desiree and her husband Don for dinner at their 34thfloor apartment in Docklands. Had a great night all round.

Thursday 29thMarch:

Left our great apartment in Melbourne and made our way to Anita’s “farm” (12 acres) in Narre Warren East some 50km out of Melbourne. Dani her sister is also here.

Anita has an awesome property with a great view from the patio. She has a menagerie of animals and is into horses, so has the big barn and horse training area.

Friday 30thMarch:

Off to see Desiree at her country house today in Cranbourne, just 20 minutes away from Anita’s house. Had a very nicely prepared lunch by her.

Also Desiree had invited over her cousin (Tet) and hubby (Albert) as well. Guy knew Tet from growing up back in Manila.

Back to Anita’s for a light dinner. We also got to meet Anita’s new partner Brad. Great guy and we chatted into the evening solving problems about life, love and the universe.

Saturday 31stMarch:

Went for a drive today up into the Dandenong Ranges NP looking for a couple of waterfalls. Couldn’t find the first one as Google tried to get us to drive into the forest where no road existed.

Better luck with the second waterfall. Found it okay but there wasn’t much water running so a bit of a disappointment.

Back to Anita’s where Brad and I spent a couple of hours trying to clear a block septic system. Found the tank and the inlet and after a lot of messing around managed to get it flowing, sort of. Needs the man to come in and clean out the tank.

Anita fired up the wood fired pizza oven and we had some very nice pizzas for dinner with the neighbors who dropped by.

Sunday 1stApril:

Quiet rest day today. We went for a drive to the local veggie shop and Guy got all the ingredients for a big pot of Sinigang and we cooked it up for dinner.

A very relaxing day all round.

Monday 2ndApril:

Quiet day at the “farm”. Guy and I went for a long walk and then I helped Brad with some trenching work for lights by the horse arena.

Nice relaxed day chilling out ready for back on the road tomorrow.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy