It has been quite a full on couple of weeks since I last updated the Blog – so here goes.
We started off back in Sydney because of a couple of necessary Doctor’s Appointments and so we were delighted to have the opportunity of an Extended Family Get-Together at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. You might remember that a couple of weeks ago we went to Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo so it was interesting to see more of the collection in the iconic Sydney location.
So it was that on Sunday July 16 we took off to Taronga to meet up with Ayshea, Phil and Isabel plus Phil’s Mum and Dad Laura and Malcolm plus our own Christopher too. Again the weather was kind to us with Blue Sky and pleasant temperatures.
After Taronga we got on our way again on Thursday July 20 – we were going to go for a walk on the Moon but someone beat us to it 48 years earlier so instead we headed off to Tamworth to meet up with Dawn’s long-time friend Heather. It was cold and frosty through the night but beautiful weather during the day. For those readers not from Australia, Tamworth is known as the Country Music Capital of Australia being home to a massive Country Music Festival every January. There are Country Music buskers on the streets all year round – a really pleasant inland city.
On Saturday, we were invited to 2 functions – a double treat. Heather works in her son’s Sports Store and the Manager is a coach to a football team. I love watching kids play football and so around 12 o’clock I was on the side line watching the action. For the record the team won 4-1 and as 12 year olds it was good to see them exercising their football brains and not just hoofing the ball anywhere.
Every year in the nearby township of Kootingal there is a charity rugby league game and this year the game was against Walcha and we were invited to the match. This was very much a one-sided affair with Kootingal running out winners by a mammoth 72-4. What was even more staggering was the aftermath at the Kootingal pub where the commemorative jerseys worn by the team are auctioned off. A staggering $10,345 was raised which is a phenomenal effort for such a relatively small community… So impressed.
Tamworth wasn’t finished with us yet. On Sunday morning Dawn and I went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and spent a couple of hours working our way through the exhibits. In the picture below is an early mixing desk, the work of which could probably be done on a mobile phone app these days but in the 1960s this would be the ultimate technology…
But there was a special event on Sunday evening that had captured our imagination. On July 9 1986, Dawn and I, together with my sister Janet and nephew Garry were fortunate to have tickets to go to St James’ Park in Newcastle Upon Tyne and be a part of the last but one (ever) Queen Concert – A Kinda Magic Tour. Being in the same vicinity as the iconic Freddie Mercury was awesome. When we first arrived in Tamworth, there on TV was an advert for a Queen Tribute Concert based on that very tour and what’s more it was going to be performed on that Sunday night at the Tamworth Entertainment Centre. It was simply too good to miss…
Wow – it was such a thrill and so good to see. We were on our feet just about the whole concert.
We were due to head off on Monday Morning July 24 so said a sad goodbye to Heather and set off for Bonny Hills on the coast just to the South of Port Macquarie. What a beautiful place and an absolutely magnificent Caravan Park – Bonny Hills – North Coast Holiday Park Bonny Hills). Our site was on the cliff top overlooking the ocean and once more we were treated to a steady stream of dolphins and whales close to the shore and easily visible to anyone patient enough to take the time and watch
Australia is renowned for its wildlife, some of which you don’t really want to stumble across. In the unseasonably warm weather some of those creatures may well be waking up early. There was a plethora of warning signs….
Every day we went onto the beach at Bonny Hills and looked in the rock pools as the tide dropped. I had said to Dawn that we should be careful as The Blue Ringed Octopus lives in such rock pools but they are very very dangerous. Lo and behold the next rock pool I came to was resplendent with a resident octopus – fortunately not the blue ringed type. These are fascinating creatures to watch going about their business and suddenly our 1 octopus disturbed a second under a rock ledge!! Wow, now it was on for young and old – Dawn took some video footage which she has posted on Facebook…
The next day we went to the beach again and this time in a very shallow rockpool I came across a Wobbegong (or Carpet Shark) which was struggling in the shallow water. I didn’t realise that these docile sharks were more than capable of looking after themselves and that my “encouragement” of moving him to deeper water could have led to my receiving a rather nasty bite. But all ended well….
All too soon it was time to farewell Bonny Hills and move up to Nambucca Heads. They were different as chalk and cheese where the Bonny Hills site was sensational, Nambucca Heads was OK. The beaches are nice and we saw our requisite pod of dolphins whenever we went to the beach but all the same Bonny Hills is in a league of its own….
And so that is it for this fun filled 2 weeks. The weather has been record-breaking – awesome leaps to mind. Alas I have been a victim of influenza over the last 3 days which have really been a drag but we have now moved on from Nambucca and are resident at Mylestom North Beach
Then its on to Coffs Harbour and Red Rock – stay tuned for the next instalment….