Day 319 of retirement

May 1, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 23rdApril:

Time to repack our gear and load it into the car. Off to Port Augusta tomorrow then the Nullarbor on Wednesday. Got some long kilometres to travel over the next week.

Tuesday 24thApril:

Left Port Willunga for Port Augusta (360km & 4 hours). Rained quite heavily as we passed through Adelaide but fined up as we headed north.

Nice smooth trip and arrived mid afternoon. Grabbed some late lunch and a few supplies then back to our cabin for an afternoon nap.

Wednesday 25thApril:

Left Port Augusta for Ceduna (480km & 6 hours with a few stops). Had a good smooth run with little traffic. In Ceduna for two nights and catching up with cousins tomorrow as my Dad was from this area.

Thursday 26thApril:

Went for a bit of a drive today exploring the surrounds of Ceduna.

For dinner we caught up with my cousin Kevin and his wife Sue. Caught up on 40+ years of family history. Been that long since I was last in Ceduna. Had a really really great night with them.

Also ran into Peter Treloar the local Member of Parliament. Peter is from Cummins (where I grew up) and the last time I saw him he was knee high to a grasshopper. I also worked with his dad Brian when he was a councillor in the local council and I worked there. Small world.

Friday 27thApril:

Left Ceduna for Border Village on the SA/WA border (550km & 8 hours (lots of stops).

First stop was The Church on the Hill outside Denial Bay. This old Lutheran Church has been restored by the locals but more importantly it is where my Dad grew up. Standing in the old church I could just see him in the pews.

Also visited the graves of my Grandma Ross (nee Kloeden) who I can still remember. I visited “Uncle Wally” as well. Uncle Wally is actually my cousin but we always knew him as Uncle Wally. Uncle Wally and my Dad used to get up to a bit of mischief in their day.

The old church grounds felt good knowing the history of my Dad growing up there.

Found Kloeden Road and stopped for a pic.

Next stop was Penong and the windmill display. Windmills of all shapes and sizes are on display including one of the biggest in Australia. Very impressive.

We drive into the Head of Bight where the whale watching happens from the cliff tops when in season. No whales at the moment.

Stopped at Nullarbor for lunch and checked out the Nullarbor Links the world’s longest golf course.

Nullarbor Links is an 18-hole par 73 golf course, said to be “the World’s Longest Golf course”, situated along 1,365 kilometres of the Eyre Highway along the southern coast of Australia in two states notably crossing the Nullarbor Plain at the head of the Great Australian Bight.

Nullarbor Roadhouse is a Par 5 – 538m long. The whole course stretches from Kalgoorlie in WA over the Nullarbor to Ceduna in SA.

Also had three stops at lookouts along the Bight.

Saturday 28thApril:

Left Border Village (SA) for Cocklebiddy (WA) (290km & 4 hours).

When you leave SA and enter WA you have go through quarantine, as you can’t bring fresh produce into WA because of fruit fly in SA and other eastern states. We ate all our fruits and thought we were okay with what we had left.

As it turned out our commercially dried bananas (from the Adelaide Central Market) were a no go so we gave up 2.5 packets of dried bananas. Damn.

Made a couple of stops along the way and cruised into Cocklebiddy early afternoon for a great good old country lunch.

Sunday 29thApril:

Left Cocklebiddy for Fraser Range station (320km & 4 hours). This is an old sheep station which is now a cattle station and is set back off the highway.

Had a couple of stops for local attractions and a nice smooth run through.

We settled into the “Overseer’s Cottage” and loved it so much we booked another night.

Enjoyed a home cooked meal (fish & chips + desserts) by the station folk.

Monday 30thApril:

Off on a nice long hike this morning before it gets too hot this afternoon.

We hiked up to the summit of the local “mountain” range then looped back round behind the ridgeline. Stunning country and had perfect hiking conditions. Not too hot and a nice wind blowing to keep the flies away.

Back for a shower, light lunch, siesta and another station home cooked meal for dinner.

Tuesday 1stMay:

Left Fraser Range Station for Kalgoorlie (300km & 3.5hours) via Norseman. Nice easy run with no traffic.

Our cabin was ready when we arrived at midday so were able to unload the car. Then off downtown to the Kalgoorlie Boulder Information Centre. We booked two tours being for the gold mine and the town tour.

Got some supplies and back to the room where Guy cooked up a very nice Sinigang veggie / chicken broth.

Spent the afternoon resting and catching up on blog stuff as we now have 4G internet at last. Only 3G across the Nullarbor.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


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


Day 282 of retirement

March 25, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 19th March:

Left St Helens for Launceston (170km & 2.5 hours) in some wild and woolly weather. The car was getting buffered but I did feel for a group on motorcycles who were being blown all over the road.

Once we hit Launceston the rain eased and the wind dropped out so managed a stroll round Launceston.

I haven’t had a haircut for 5 months so I was looking a little rough round the edges. Found a very nice hairdresser who was on her third year apprenticeship and asked if it was okay for her to cut my hair. She did a great job and I am now looking normal once again.

Tuesday 20th March:

Off to Beauty Point and Beaconsfield today (120km round trip).

First stop was Beauty Point where we visited the Platypus House, which also included Echidna. Across the road was the Seahorse World. All together we learnt about the life, love and goings on of all these animals and got to meet them up close and personal. Great place and definitely worth a visit.

We had the best seafood lunch at The River Café in Beauty Point.

Next stop was Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre. This gold mine has operated (on and off) from 1889 to 2012. Since 2014 it has been open to the public as a part of the Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Centre.

In 2006 Todd Russell & Brant Webb spent almost 14 days trapped underground in a cage measuring 1.45m x 1.25m x 60cm.
They were both rescued and survived. They had a replica of this cage that you could get in. Absolutely scared the crap out of us both.

Wednesday 21st March:

Exploring Launceston today. First stop was the Cataract Gorge

This gorge is 10 minutes from central Launceston although you wouldn’t know it. We caught the chairlift across the gorge to the restaurant for lunch. After a long and yummy lunch (more seafood….) we wandered round some of the walking trails and lookouts.

Then off to downtown where we visited the old umbrella shop. They had old umbrellas going back 100 years. The one thing that hasn’t changed much over time is an umbrella.

Dropped into the Kings Park and guess what we found?

We travelled all round Queensland looking for a Bunya Nut. Even went to Bunya Mountain NP looking for one. No luck.
Then we find one in Kings Park in Launceston. Brought down from a huge Bunya tree in the last few days by the wind.

While in the park we watched the Macaque monkeys in their enclosure. It is sad to see these animals in a cage.

Thursday 22nd March:

Had a day to kill as our ferry doesn’t leave Devonport till 7:30pm. So did a road trip to the Stanley Nut National Park and Sheffield (400km round trip).

At Stanley it was blowing a gale with the odd shower of rain. We passed on the chairlift to the Nut top. But did have another awesome seafood lunch at the hotel.

Then headed inland to the township of Sheffield which is famous for its mural on the walls of the town buildings. Very impressive.

Back to Devonport, loaded onto the ferry and off to Melbourne.

Friday 23rd March:

We had an 11 hour ferry crossing of Bass Straight and the first 5 hours were not very pleasant at all. Quite a swell running. Luckily we had a cabin so I could lay down which helps heaps with my motion sickness. Even Guy felt the swell and had to stop reading and lay down.

The last 6 hours weren’t too bad as it flattened off and we both managed to get some sleep. Made it into Melbourne at 6:30am.

Once we unloaded, we headed out of the city to the Yarra Valley (1 hour away). As we arrived in Healesville at 9:00am, we found a coffee shop and had some breakfast.

Now checking time was 2:00pm so we had a lot of time to kill. But at 10:00am we received a text to say our room was ready. So off we went and unpacked. Did a bit of a drive by on a couple of local attractions then back to the cabin to wait for Jo, Dave and the kids as they arrived later in the afternoon.

Saturday 24th March:

Rained most of the day so we were cabin bound. All good though as the kids loved all the attention. Jo and Dave were off to a wedding at 4:00pm so babysitting duties prevailed. The kids were actually pretty good (didn’t push us too far) so had a great time with them.

Sunday 25th March:

Gloomy morning but the rain held off for the day. The kids left for Albury, then Canberra at 10:00am and we had some time to kill before we could check into our Melbourne Airbnb apartment.

We decided to visit the local Healesville Sanctuary. Quite a unique place focusing on assisting injured Australian wildlife. They even had a large hospital there where you can watch and see how they treat animals. Sadly they only manage to save about 15% the animals that are brought in. But they said that that 15% makes it all worthwhile.

Guy has always wanted to get up close and personal with a wombat and today her wish came true. She got to meet Jen, a rescued Wombat who is now doing extremely well. We got to pat her and found that her hair is very course, not all soft and fluffily.

Left for Melbourne at 3:00pm and 1.5 hours later we arrived at our Airbnb apartment (on the 10th floor) overlooking Federation Square. Here for the next four nights.

As we are now back in the land of good Internet it was time to update our iPhones and Apps.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy


Day 275 of retirement

March 18, 2018

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Hi All

Monday 12th March:

Back to Port Arthur to complete our tour. All done and dusted by late morning so off to see the Remarkable Cave 5km away. A really impressive cave/hole in the rock that extends out to sea.

For lunch we went to the Lavender farm. The food was awesome. And the rain set in for the afternoon so perfect timing.

After lunch we ventured to the old coalmine 30km north of Port Arthur. This was a coal mine operated by the convicts from Port Arthur. It’s 30km north of Port Arthur. The rain broke just longer enough to see the site. Back to our cabin for a cup of tea and a lay down.

Tuesday 13th March:

Google Maps took us on an adventure today. When planning today’s trip from White Beach to Swansea Google Maps gave a trip itinerary of 152km and 2h 17m. The trip time sounded a bit high but Google Maps can be a bit off.
So off we went and to cut a long story short we ended up doing 35km on dirt road and 25km of that on a logging forestry road. At times we were down to walking speed as we negotiated wash aways, big potholes, steep hills and tennis ball sized gravel sections.
And we weren’t the only ones caught out by Google. We passed 6 others doing the same road following Google. We passed one couple in a camper van crawling along. Felt sorry for them in their “truck” rocking and rolling all over the place.
But all good and the mighty Mazda got us through to Swansea. At least Google got the roads correct so we made it out of the forest. And the view was awesome.

Wednesday 14th March:

Off to explore the Wineglass Bay area today (150km). First stop was the hiking trail into the lookout of Wineglass Bay. An awesome place and so so impressive.

Also checked out Sleepy Bay and Cape Tourville. Stopped for lunch at the Freycinet Marine Farm. We had a dozen Kilpatrick oysters and then another half dozen oysters with smoked salmon and Brie cheese. So so yummy.

Thursday 15th March:

Off exploring the Swansea area today (150km round trip).

We visited 9 Mile Beach, Moulting Lagoon, Freycinet Marine Farm (awesome seafood lunch again), the roadside Pondering Frog Café for afternoon tea and the Swansea foreshore area for a wander.

Very stunning, peaceful, and quiet part of the world.

Friday 16th March:

Left Swansea for St Helens (150km & 3.5 hours) with a few stops along the way exploring, Bicheno among them.

Made it to St Helens by 1:30pm and down came the rain. It poured for most of the afternoon so we curled up in our cabin with a nice hot cup of tea.

Saturday 17th March:

Off exploring today (150km) along the coast and back into the foothills.

We visited:

~ Binalong Bay and Bay of Fires

~ The Gardens

~ Sloop Rock

~ St Columba Falls

~ Pub in the paddock (meet Pricilla the beer drinking pig)

~ Pyengana Cheese Factory

~ St Helens Point conservation park

On the way back home from St Columba Falls we came across an accident. Two cars hit each side on a sharp corner. The airbags in both cars activated so all people were okay.

Sunday 18th March:

Foul weather today (cold, wet & windy) so went for a drive to the Mount Elephant Pancake Barn (140km round trip). Now this place is a bit out of the way but well worth the trip as their pancakes are awesome.

And thanks Ben for the tip that XPD 2018 Tasmania “Bay of Fires” was starting in St Helens today. We missed the start but swung by the MTB to Kayak transition point in Scamander.

The rain did clear late afternoon so the racers just have to put up with the cold and wind. Glad I’m a spectator.

Life is good.

Trevor & Guy