Thursday, July 19, 2018

Enjoying what Caloundra offers

We are enjoying many things in Caloundra.  Firstly, the weather.  While our Canberra friends are shivering in the cold we are running around mostly in shorts and tee shirts.  The locals are usually more clad but we enjoy wearing lighter clothes in mid-July - not something we are used to on the eastern parts.

Then, the beaches are great.  White sand as far as the eye can see.  We started this walk at Kings Beach on the other side of town from where we are based at Golden Beach.  Golden Beach is along the inlet between Caloundra and Bribie Island.  The beaches on the other side of town like Kings Beach are ocean beaches.

Andrew walking along with the three dogs - Zulu, Penny and Maxi.

Overlooking the beautiful pancake style rocks along the beach.

This is the next beach along, Bulcock Beach.  Bulcock Street is the main street in the town.  There are many wonderful op shops along this street.  Looking in the distance towards Golden Beach are the Glasshouse Mountains on the horizon.

One of those bubbling water spouts that Queensland towns have along the esplanades.  They are very attractive.  I think the water recedes if you step on it.  They are probably very cooling in the middle of the hot humid summer season.  I would rather be here during the Qld winter though.

We are playing bridge regularly as there is little else to occupy us apart from nice walks with the dogs.  Unlike bridge in Canberra, where the standard is so high, we shine here.  We try not to let it go to our heads :-)

Decorated car at the Caloundra Street Market which is held every Sunday morning rain or shine.

The off leash dog park at the end of the Esplanade where dog owners of mainly small dogs gather in the afternoon.

We got there early this day.  Zulu likes to hop on the table to survey the scene.

Today we drove around to another nice little beach, Moffat Beach.  Dogs are allowed off leash on most of the beaches from 4:00pm to 8:00am.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Caloundra house sit

I am afraid our adventures on this trip are not going to be very exciting from now on.  We have started our three week house sit at Golden Beach in Caloundra, looking after two fox terriers, Penny and Zulu.  Golden Beach may sound exciting but it is fairly humdrum really although the walk along the esplanade with the dogs each day is very nice.  And of course the weather is so much more pleasant here than it would be back home in Canberra in July.

Maxi has had to get used to a new pack of dogs and I must say, it has all gone well.  She has settled in and gets on quite well with the two residents.  Penny tends to be a little like Maxi and growls at other dogs to start with but they agreed to co-exist.  Zulu is extra friendly to man and beast, he just loves everyone.

The Caloundra Bridge Club is a big one with a large membership.  One of the reasons we agreed to this house sit was due the existence of a decent bridge club nearby.  Imagine our annoyance when we found out just recently that the club was closing for two weeks of renovations.  At first, arrangements were that Caloundra members attend the Sunshine Coast Bridge Club at Buderim which did not suit us at all.  Travelling the distance to and from to Buderim in the motor home did not appeal all that much.  Thankfully, the club came to an arrangement with the Caloundra RSL for bridge to continue there for the period of closure.  The RSL is very near our house sit so we are happy, once again.  We can get our fix of bridge regularly while we are here.  After our hectic farm sit at Moolloolah Valley it is nice to have the time to relax, chill out and play bridge regularly.

When this house sit ends on 10 August we will be hot footing back to Canberra to organise our luggage and get ready for a mid-August departure from Sydney overseas.

We went to the weekly Kawana Farmers Market on Saturday.  All sorts of lovely fresh markety stuff to buy.

We also visited the Funky Op Shop just down the road from the market.  We saw it on the way into Caloundra last week and made a note to visit it at the same time as the market.  I managed to buy myself a decent watch for $22 to replace the one that keeps chewing up batteries and stopping.  It is surprising how many watches there are at op shops.

Penny and Zulu having a great time chasing a stick at the Currimundi dog off-leash beach.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

On our way back to the Sunshine Coast

On this trip, due to a house sitting commitment in Caloundra, we only went as far north as Hervey Bay and then we turned around to get back to the Sunshine Coast.  We stopped off at one of the rest stops with which we are familiar, at the small town of Tiaro on the banks of the Mary River.  It was a lovely sunny day and we sat along the river bank all afternoon and read our books.  In the evening we shared a camp fire with caraveners from Port Macquarie.

To add a small dose of excitement, Andrew crawled out along a big tree trunk that had fallen into the river.  He did not want to fall in as there was a sign that a crocodile had once been sighted in the river.

Here he is crawling back to the shore.  He is getting older and less steady on his feet than he once was.  It was safer to crawl than to risk being temptation for a stray crocodile.  One would think this was too far south for a croc but with floods, some do end up further south than one would think.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

RV Homebase Marybrough

Before I go on to describe this interesting over 55s lifestyle at Maryborough I want to say something to readers of our blog.  Do not just go by the date at the head of a post.  If the date stays the same it does not mean the blog is static.  As we add to an existing post, rather than creating a new post for another location or another topic, the new stuff we add to each post comes in at the bottom of the post rather than at the top.  We have been adding new info to the post about the farm at Mooloolah Valley rather than creating a new post.  We have now moved on and this needs a new posting.

On the way to Maryborough, we had a brief stopover at the Yandina Ginger Factory which used to be at Buderim but moved here a few years ago.

There are hundreds of products made from ginger, mostly of the sweet variety.  My favourite is the chocolate covered crystallised ginger which is lovely with a little dram of Jack Daniels for me after dinner and a port for Andrew.

The little train that winds itself around the factory.  I was too slow to capture the little engine at the front.

We played bridge at Maryborough where, upon seeing our motor home, one of the players asked if we had heard of the RV Homebase village.

This is an over 55s lifestyle development, very similar to the one at Fullerton Cove in Newcastle, where we bought a house but gave it away as not to our liking.   Here the concept has been extended further in that each villa has a very large and tall garage where people can house their RV under cover, with electricity plug in and water readily available.

Here is a photo of the verendah of one villa

and the garage.

The RV and car wash which operates of a $2 coin.

This arrangement would have suited us much better than the one in Newcastle. Had we discovered this village earlier, we may well have bought in here and stayed in Maryborough for the winter or used the location to travel from here to other parts of OZ.  Once you are this far up the coast of Qld, you are always on your way somewhere up further north or west.  And you can leave the RV parked in the garage over the summer.  We met a couple from Kaleen, Canberra who have chosen to do exactly what we had hoped to do in Newcastle.  They bought in here and they keep their RV here in summer but spend the winter in Canberra each year where they still have family.  They are much younger than us and have many more years of motor home travel than we do.

The other aspect is that what you have in common with all the residents here is that they all like and are interested in travel.  And another plus is that at least four bridge players live here.  The mix of people here seemed more varied than what we found in Newcastle.  Who knows if we would have been happier here or not?

One further and very important plus is that there is no stamp duty, solicitors or exit fee here.  Residents buy and sell and keep the capital gains.  Because of the lack of these fees, there is quite a bit of movement in people buying and selling but staying in the village as new opportunities come up for a better location or a different style or size house within the village.

We met Lesley and Erich, originally from Switzerland, at the Friday 5:00pm happy hour and had a further chat to them in their villa over a cup of coffee.  They too have travelled widely and gave us a good contact for a possible Vietnam tour operator which I plan to follow up.  They too have a blog which I will now have a look at.  Erich's great passion is photography, so I expect to be impressed.