Day 500 of retirement

October 28, 2018

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Hi All

Wednesday 17thOctober 2018:

Picked up my new MacBook Pro laptop yesterday. I have spent two days now copying across all the data and applications from the old machine.

Got it all backed up and all my main applications now licensed and working.

I now have all my data on the one laptop and no more external drives required apart from my Time Machine Backups.

Friday 19thOctober 2018:

Well our tickets to return to the Philippines have been booked. Leaving on Sunday 11thNovember. Spending a few days in Manila then back to our island paradise Marinduque and find a place to live while we build our house.

Got a few things to tidy up before we leave, but all good.

Starting to get a little excited now.

Tuesday 23rdOctober 2018:

Out of 18 major tasks we have to complete before moving back to the Philippines (leave 11th Nov), we only have 5 to go.
This includes such things as notifying agencies (Electoral Commission, banks, super providers, etc) of our non-residency in AUS.
It has been a very productive week with some long phone calls and very helpful customer service people (and a few not so helpful).
The best customer service award goes to the RMS office (car & driver’s license stuff) in Queanbeyan (Canberra). Awesome customer service whereby they were able to close off 4 of our tasks in one go.
Looking forward to some relaxing island life sooooon.

Wednesday 24thOctober 2019:
My first trial pack today for our Qantas Sydney to Manila flight. We are allowed 30kg each of checked in baggage. Currently have about 85kg in total. More culling required.

Friday 26thOctober 2018:

Today (Friday) we visited the National Museum displaying a collection showcasing the mighty Roman Empire on loan from England. Awesome exhibition with some extraordinary artefacts.

A monumental marble statue of a Roman magistrate, a frieze featuring a rare depiction of female gladiators, and a fragment of a gilded wall painting from Emperor Nero’s Golden House are among the treasures in the collection.

Sunday 28thOctober 2018:

Quick overnight trip to Sydney. Guy caught up with the girls and of course a game of mah-jong last night. She had a win, so all good.

I visited our storage locker (1.5m by 1.5m locker) to check on our last few worldly possessions. They will be spending the next 12 months in the locker. We will be back in AUS in October 2019 and will sort (throw the junk out) and pack up the remaining contents and send to our new home in Marinduque.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

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Day 487 of retirement

October 15, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 8thOctober 2018:

Left Port Willunga SA for Hay NSW (690km & 8 hours). Had a nice smooth run.

Now I have travelled the world sampling Vanilla Slices. And up till now the Bakery in Cummins SA has been the champion Vanilla Slice maker.
Today the Cummins Bakery met its match at the Ouyen NSW Mallee bakery. Their Vanilla Slice is a tie with the Cummins one. Man it was good.
So both bakeries can claim the best Vanilla Slice in the world.

Tuesday 9thOctober 2018:

Left Hay for Canberra (490km & 6 hours). Had a nice smooth run once again.

Arrived into Canberra to a couple of very excited grandkids.

Wednesday 10thOctober 2018:

Up and off to the Apple Centre in Canberra. Time for some technology updates.

Got a new 15” MacBook Pro with 32GB and 2TB SSD.

Guy got a new 64GB iPhone 8 Plus.

Also purchased 3 x 4TB USB drives for backups of the new MacBook Pro, a cover for the MacBook and various cables.

Should see us out for a few years to come.

Friday 12thOctober 2018:

Loaded up the kids and headed for the Floriade spring flower festival in Canberra. Flowers everywhere and they were in full Bloom.

Floriade is Australia’s biggest celebration of spring.

Monday 15thOctober 2018:

Just been hanging with the grandkids for the last few days.

Guy and Jo caught the bus to Sydney this morning for a couple of days and are staying in an Airbnb near Darling Harbour. Jordan is joining them for some mother, son and daughter time.

Dave and I are baby sitting Zali and Aria.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 469 of retirement

October 7, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 1stOctober 2018:

Left Ceduna for Port Augusta (470km & 5 hours). Nice smooth run but there was more traffic on the road because it was a long weekend and the start of the school holidays.

Tuesday 2ndOctober 2018:

Left Port Augusta for Port Willunga (360km and 5 hours).

On the way we had a bit of a scare. Driving south of Port Augusta when I got a call from Jo who had some mail from our old Dee Why address in Sydney. There was a letter saying that my Drivers License has been cancelled and to get it back I have to pay $160.
So I rang the Revenue NSW IMMEDIATELY to see what was going on. The very lovely lady informed me that I had failed to vote in a NSW Local Government election back in September 2017 hence the fine and as I hadn’t’ paid it they suspended my license.
Driving without a license is not a good thing to get caught with.

When the lady realised that I was on a round Australia trip and out of the state she waved the fine and reinstated my license.
A quick check of Guy’s license highlighted she was about to get the same letter and fine. So the lovely lady fixed Guy’s license as well.
Better buy a Lotto ticket I think.

Also passed a car/trailer on fire south of Port Augusta. We passed just as the car trailer caught fire. Looked like it had packed cardboard boxes on board. We heard later that the highway was closed for an hour in both directions (Bad luck Mikey).

Wednesday 3rdOctober 2018:

After a bit of a sleep-in we made our way to downtown Adelaide.

Fist stop was our lawyer’s offices to make some minor changes to our wills. Need to take into account our moving overseas to live. Got to go back on Friday to sign our revised documents.

Next stop was our superannuation fund. Same deal, as we had to clear up a couple of things to take into account living overseas. Also got to drop off some documents to them on Friday and we are then all sorted.

At 5:30pm we made our way up to my brother and sister in-law’s (Craig & Rae) for a family gathering. Finished up with 11 of our clan enjoying pizza and cheesecake for dinner.

Thursday 4thOctober 2018:

After another very nice sleep-in we just hang out at Port Willunga with Sandy and Brian for the morning. They left at midday and we had a relaxing afternoon. I did treat the Klever Kluger to a wash and clean. Red outback dirt is still oozing from nooks and crannies.

Friday 5thOctober 2018:

Back into the city to drop off some paperwork to our superannuation provider and sign our new wills.

Our superannuation provider is just round the corner from the Adelaide Central Market (the best market ever) so just had to get a few gourmet supplies.

Saturday 6thOctober 2018:

Went for a wander out to Mt Magnificent, back to Willunga, then the Victory Hotel for lunch and lastly the local Buddhist monastery.

Finished off the day with a walk on the beach after a siesta.

Sunday 7thOctober 2018:

Back into the city and caught up with Rik, Jas and Mike for a long lunch. Great food and chat (about all our worldly travels) with the boys.

Back to Port Will and loaded up the Klever Kluger as we hit the road again tomorrow for Canberra.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.

 


Day 472 of retirement

September 30, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 24thSeptember 2018:

Left Port Augusta for Ceduna (470km & 4.5 hours).

Nice clear run to Ceduna. On arrival, caught up with cousins Kevin and Sue. My dad grew up in the Ceduna area so Kevin and Sue are taking us round the area tomorrow to all the old places of significance re: the Kloeden’s. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday 25thSeptember 2018:
Huge thanks to Kevin (cousin) and Sue (wife) for showing us round the Ceduna district today where my Dad and Kevin’s Mum (dad’s sister) grew up. We visited places my Dad used to talk about and places I haven’t been back to in 50 years. Awesome day.

Wednesday 26thSeptember 2018:

Left Ceduna for the Nullarbor Roadhouse to stay 2 nights (370km with a few detours).

First detour was to Fowlers Bay to see the whales but none there today. Next stop was the Head of Bight lookout. It was very rough and windy when we arrived as a cold front had come through.

We did mange to see a couple of whales but they were a long way off. The rough seas didn’t help either trying to see them.

Hopefully the front will blow through tonight and be okay for whale watching tomorrow.

Thursday 27thSeptember 2018:

Back to the Head of Bight lookout to see some whales (30km round trip).

The weather was cool and slightly windy (perfect to keep the flies away) and there were LOTS of whales (mothers and babies). This place is the best place for the whales to nurse their newborn and the mums to rest before the long trip back to the Arctic. Awesome day out.

Friday 28thSeptember 2018:
Left Nullarbor for Ceduna today (320km) with a quick last visit to the Head of Bight to see the whales. Very windy and rough so only a few whales today. Awesome day yesterday spoilt us.

Back in Ceduna and more oysters for lunch.

Saturday 29thSeptember 2018:

Wandered round the Ceduna Oyster Fest today. Watched the parade then have a dozen oysters or two cooked various ways.

So so so yummy.

Also caught up with an old school friend Bonnie from my Concordia College days. Haven’t seen her in some 50 years. Was great to catch up and hear what some of the other classmates are up to along with her.

We had a knock at our cabin door this morning and it was a friend (my old hairdresser) from Cummins, Anne S. Via our posts on facebook she discovered that her and her hubby were in the same caravan park just a few vans up from our cabin.

I haven’t seen Anne in 20 odd years so great to catch up with her.

Sunday 30thSeptember 2018:

First stop this morning was to see my Aunty Una who is in the Ceduna hospital. See isn’t very well and sadly didn’t really know I was there. It still great to see her and say hi.

Back to the Oyster Fest for more oysters. Watched a cooking demo by Callum (from Masterchef) and another guy. And we were luckily enough to taste the dishes. Awesome food.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy

 


Day 465 of retirement

September 23, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 17thSeptember 2018:

Our last day at the magical Uluru. After a sleep-in we had a nice brunch then off to Uluru for a drive round.

The rock climb has been closed the last few days due to wind but was open today. It was packed with all the “ants” climbing the rock.

A lazy afternoon with a siesta before dinner.

Tuesday 18thSeptember 2018:

Sadly we left Uluru for Erldunda today (290km and 3.5 hours). Before we left for Erldunda we did a lap round the rock one last time.

Uluru is one of our all time favourite places we have visited. Just a magical place.

The Erldunda Roadhouse Motel is quite roomy so settled in for the afternoon and a siesta. We have a big day tomorrow with a 500km drive to Coober Pedy and our underground motel.

Wednesday 19thSeptember 2018:

Left Urldunda for Coober Pedy (480km & 5.5 hours). Had a nice smooth run. Just set cruise control and kicked back and enjoyed the ride in the Klever Kluger.

Arrived at The Lookout Cave Underground Motel. Got a room right up the back deep inside the hill. It’s very dark with all the lights out. But on the plus side the temperature is a constant 24-26C regardless of the outside temperature.

Thursday 20thSeptember 2018:

Today we visited Crocodile Harry’s old underground digs in Coober Pedy. (He died many years ago). Harry was the original Crocodile Dundee and he was known for the parties he used to throw at his dugout.

It is now a museum and a very interesting one at that.

Friday 21stSeptember 2018:

Left Coober Pedy for Woomera (380km & 4 hours). Nice smooth trip to the deserted township of Woomera.

Saturday 22ndSeptember 2018:

Left Woomera for Port Augusta (180km & 2 hours).

Before leaving Woomera we explored the old RAAF Base town, which is an old missile/rocket testing range. Its heyday was 1949–71.

Fascinating place Woomera. Very nicely kept town but hardly anybody lives there. You get the feeling of a deserted town, as there isn’t anybody about.

Definitely worth a visit if you’re passing by. Both museums are very well presented with the history of the place.

Sunday 23rdSeptember 2018:

All my life I have driven past Port Germein and Port Pirie and never been through them. So today we took the plunge and explored them.

Port Germein is a little seaside village with one of the longest wooden jetties in Australia (1,680m long).

They had a Sunday market at the jetty and we picked up some very nice home produce. For lunch we had a good old-fashioned Sunday lamb roast complete with roast vegies and real homemade gravy. This was followed by a truffle (custard, cake and fruit). All for $15 per person. Awesome lunch.

Next was Port Pirie. We did a drive round, as it was pretty quiet for a Sunday. Port Pirie is known for its lead smelting plant and grain silos.  After a leisurely look round it was back to Port Augusta for afternoon tea with our produce and a siesta.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 458 of retirement

September 16, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 10thSeptember 2018:

Quick stop at the mechanics as the mighty Mazda has a bit of a rough engine cough. Central Motors in Katherine fitted me in and has us back on the road by midday. Awesome service.

Left Katherine for Daly Waters Roadhouse (280km & 3 hours).

After checking into our cabin we made our way back to the old Daly Waters Pub. A year ago we signed and left an old pair of thongs there and they were still there. Awesome.

Tuesday 11thSeptember 2018:

Left Daly Waters for Devils Marbles Hotel (540km & 6 hours). Not much at Devils Marbles including mobile or WiFi coverage.

Cabin was clean, air-conditioned and had TV.

Wednesday 12thSeptember 2018:

Left Devils Marbles for Alice Springs (380km & 4.5 hours).

The last hurray for the Mighty Mazda.

RIP the Mighty Mazda.

The mighty Mazda has finally passed on in Alice Springs. She has been a bit sick the last while and has finally succumbed to her ailments, a worn out engine.

She has served us very well (for the 5.5 years we had her) over her 266,000km/15 years life. 56,000km of that was on our round AUS adventure. She saw extreme heat and cold, smooth and very rough rocky dirt roads and taken us into and back out of some very remote areas all in her stride.

Thanks Mighty Mazda. It has been an epic adventure with you and it is with very heavy hearts that we leave you.

Where to from here as we still need a vehicle for 2 months till we leave for the Philippines in November? We have checked out used cars and hiring a car. Used cars are very expensive in the NT. We found Hertz would give us a long term hire (2 months) and waive the relocation fee as we are picking the car up in Alice Springs and dropping it off at Sydney Airport.

So we continue our travels in a “Klever Kluger (The KK))”. Lots of room and very comfortable.

Once we had the KK the Mighty Mazda was de-number plated and dropped off at the wreckers in Alice Springs. We then had to go to the MVR (Motor Vehicle Registry) to hand in the number plates for a receipt so when we get back to NSW we will get our refund.

We will miss the mighty Mazda!

Thursday 13thSeptember 2018:

Left Alice Springs for Uluru (450km & 4.5 hours). Had a great smooth drive in the new Klever Kluger. Feels like a limo compared to the Mazda.

Great to see Uluru and Kata Tjuta appear on the horizon as we approached.

Checked in, had a light lunch and time for a siesta.

Went for a walk and enjoyed a yummy dinner. Out to the rock tomorrow.

First world luxury.
I drove 56,000km in the Mighty Mazda without cruise control.
Just drove 450km in the Klever Kluger with cruise control. Bliss….

Friday 14thSeptember 2018:

Went exploring round Uluru & Kata Tjuta today by car as we are walking round the rock tomorrow.

Such an awesome place. Photos just don’t do it justice. And you could spend all day just driving round and round the rock. As the sun moves the colors and patterns change with it, creating many different canvases of grandeur. Mother nature is awesome.

Saturday 15thSeptember 2018:
Awesome walk round Uluru today (10.6km in 2h 45m with lots of stops). Started nice and early as it was quite cool with enough breeze to keep the flies away. Wore our jumpers the whole time. Awesome hiking weather.

The north and south face of Uluru is very different from each other. The North face has a lot of Honeycomb erosion structures, whereby the south face is more cracks and holes (caves).

Awesome viewing as the sun lights them up in the early morning.

Sunday 16thSeptember 2018:

Huge happy anniversary to my beautiful wife Guy. 13 years ago today we meet in that coffee shop in Chatswood. And as they say the rest is history. Been an awesome 13 years and looking forward to many many more.

Off to Kata Tjuta today for a couple of hikes. It was 14C when we arrived and blowing a gale.

First stop was Valley of the Winds and boy was it windy. We hiked up to the first lookout but turned around as the wind was just too strong and cold.

Back to Walpa Gorge which was still windy but not gale force so we hiked into the end and back.

The temperature was a balmy 17C when we left so still rather cool.

After an afternoon siesta we caught a bus to take us to the Sounds of Silence gourmet dinner under the stars. We were welcomed by glasses of sparklings, beer and wine and coke, canapés of about 6 varieties plus sunset looking at Uluru and Kata Tjuta.  Then off to the dining tables with a didgeridoo player and a buffet with a vast selection of salad, chicken, kangaroo, barramundi and lamb followed by another array desserts, our fave was the warm apple strudel. Between the main meal and desserts, we were treated to a journey to the stars, there being only a quarter moon and no clouds, the constellations and Milky Way were just twinkling right above us. We also got lucky to be seated with a group of Americans and Canadians who were very cheerful dinner companions.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy.


Day 451 of retirement

September 9, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 3rdSeptember 2018:

Quiet morning in Halls Creek. Very quiet in fact as there isn’t much in Halls Creek.

We did go for a drive to China Wall (15km round trip on the dirt), which is a rock formation a bit like the Great Wall of China. It is made up of white quartz and stands out in the red desert.

It is hot up here so spent the afternoon under the aircon planning our return to the Philippines as in looking at budgeting options for our house (playing with costs and size). Scary stuff given that we will be back in the Philippines in 2 months.

Tuesday 4thSeptember 2018:

Left Halls Creek for Kununurra via Turkey Creek. (360km).

Turkey Creek is halfway and it was here that we took a 45 minute helicopter ride over the Bungle Bungles NP.

The view was stunningly awesome. BUT it was a bit bumpy so we both were glad to get our feet back on hard ground after 45 minutes. Would I do it again? No. It felt like a boat ride in the sky and you all know I LOVE boat rides.

Arrived in Kununurra and got our “beach side” cabin right on the lake. Awesome spot for the next 5 days.

Wednesday 5thSeptember 2018:

Today we did a tour of Lake Argyle (a boat ride) which is classified as an inland sea due to its size. The water was like glass so all good for the boat ride.

Lake Argyle is Western Australia’s largest and Australia’s second largest freshwater man-made reservoir by volume. The reservoir is part of the Ord River Irrigation Scheme and is located near the East Kimberley town of Kununurra. It covers an area of 1,000 km square.
When full it holds 19 Sydney Harbours of water. At the moment capacity is at 17 Sydney Harbours.
All that water to spare. If only we could pipe it south.

Thursday 6thSeptember 2018:

Did a tour today on the Ord River (also known as Lake Kununurra). We caught the boat in front of our cabin and did the up and back trip (Kununurra to Lake Argyle Dam & back (110km round trip)). Awesome tour and Dylan our skipper/guide was fantastic on his history of the area as he grew up in Kununurra.

Friday 7thSeptember 2018:

Got up early ish today and did 3 short walks in the Mirima NP (Hidden Valley). No birds Lyn Alcock as just too hot.
Awesome little gorge right on the edge of town.

Back home by 11:00 am as it is just too hot in the midday sun.

Saturday 8thSeptember 2018:

Rest day today. Guy got the washing done and I washed and cleaned the mighty Mazda. Mel Browne no matter how much I jet blasted, red dust just keeps seeping out from everywhere.
5 days driving in front of us to get to Uluru (2,200km). Staying for 5 nights and exploring the rock.

Sunday 9thSeptember 2018:

Left Kununurra for Katherine (520km & 6 hours). Arriving in Katherine today completed our round Australia tour as the green line on the map joins here. Departed WA and now in the NT. Oohhh got to put clocks forward by 1.5hours as well.

The mighty Mazda gave us a scare today. I fueled up at the Timber Creek Roadhouse and for the last 280km she started to run very rough. Thought it mighty be some dirty fuel so refueled in Katherine. No change.

Will go see a mechanic tomorrow morning and see what’s going on.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy