Monday, 31 March 2014

Hawk's Nest - 31 March 2014

We met up with Vicky and Murray this morning and went for a long walk. Murray had a swim at the end. We met up for morning tea at the café at the bottom of their complex before they headed back home to Gosford.

Bruce went to Tea Gardens where there is a Coles, to do the shopping and I cooked a Lime Yoghurt Cake for afternoon tea this afternoon. My Mum and sister, Margie, are arriving for a few days, staying at the same place as Vicky and Murray.

Mum and Margie arrived about 2 o'clock and checked in. Bruce and I went over for afternoon tea before we all headed over to the van. Bruce and Margie then drove over to Tea Gardens to pick up a wheelchair and shower chair they had ordered for Mum for while they are here just to make it easier for Mum.

On arriving back at the van Margie took out of her car 3 medium size crates of patchwork fabric she no longer needed. She had brought them up to me to share with Katrina. I had forgotten she was bringing them. It will be good to go through them with Katrina. She will be happy; Matthew will probably tear his hair out wondering where they will fit!

Margie and I had a good walk after that, the second for the day for both of us.

Bruce and I cooked dinner at the van for the 4 of us. After washing up we went over to Mum and Margie's unit to play Rumikub. Margie won 2 games and I won 1. Bruce and I haven't played since the boys were much younger. Mum plays on a regular basis with the oldies and Margie has played recently I think. It was a good night.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Hawk's Nest - 29 - 30 March 2014

Saturday, 29 March

We woke to some sunshine and some cloud, but no rain. Hopefully, that will be the end of it. I think there was only one day when we didn't have any rain.

We got a walk in after breakfast and then I got my oven out and made a slice, and did some washing. About lunch time long time friends of ours arrived for a couple of days. After I did my secretarial training in 1969 I started work at the Department of Housing in Sydney. Vicky started the next year in 1970. I started going out with Bruce in 1971 and he worked at Housing as well. Vicky started going out with Murray soon after that, so we have known each other for over 40 years. We usually catch up about once a year, and this is our catch up for this year. Vicky and Murray are staying at units over the road from the caravan park and will go home on Monday.

We had lunch at the van and talked for a while before heading over the road. There is a restaurant and bar under the units they are staying in, so they checked in and we retired to the garden lounge for a drink and talk before heading into the restaurant for dinner. We had a lovely meal. Their room is at the front of the unit complex and has a view of the water.

Sunday, 30 March

Bruce and I did a good walk this morning after brekkie. Murray was going to have a swim in the surf and Vicky intended reading the paper. They came over for morning tea about 10 and afterwards we went for a drive to Jimmy's Beach, which is on the other side of point and faces across to Nelson Bay. There is a caravan park there and it looks really nice and we would probably stay there if we came back. The one we are at suits us for this trip as it is closer to the units Vicky and Murray are staying at. Mum and Margie are coming up tomorrow for 3 nights and are also staying at the same units.

We drove through the caravan park at Jimmy's Beach and saw the same van as the one we have. We stopped to talk to the guy and asked if he had any leakage. He said he hadn't, and had had the van for 3 years. When we got back to our van Murray and Bruce started looking to see where the leak was originating from. They think they have found it - a couple of holes in the track where the water runs, and the holes go right through to inside the van so the water seeps in. Why on earth they didn't see it when we had it in last time, I don't know.

Vicky and Murray picked up a brochure at their units advertising a Jazz afternoon at the Golf Club on the last Sunday afternoon of the month - today. We headed over there. No jazz we could hear, so we asked the lady behind the bar about it. She said they stopped them about 3 years ago as they weren't getting the numbers. Bruce and Murray watched the football while we had a drink/cuppa before heading back to the van park to organise a barbecue for dinner.

The BBQ facilities at the van park were very good, although some people would miss the lack of a jug or the instant boiling water some parks have. We were the only ones taking advantage of the BBQ area so we had it to ourselves. We even had a magpie and butcher bird come in close to investigate.

After dinner, we each went our separate ways - Vicky and Murray to watch The Block and we went in to watch last week's episode of Midsomer Murders on IView.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Hawk's Nest - 28 March 2014

Today we were meeting up with very good friends of ours, Win and Ken, who live in Sydney. We have known them for 39 years. They were going to drive up for the day to have lunch with us. Bruce thought it would be a good idea to meet them part way and thought the Hunter Valley was a good option. We settled on the Lovedale area, which we both know quite well. After consulting Trip Adviser, we settled on Emma's Restaurant, which was No. 3 restaurant in the area.

What a great meal we had. Ken and I had a great Lamb Rump dish and Bruce and Win settled on a Chorizo and Prawn Rigatoni dish, which they thoroughly enjoyed. We were the only ones there today, the weather that we have been having no doubt keeping quite a few people away. The weather behaved while we were there so they missed out on a great experience. We would definitely go back there. We spent about 4 hours there having a good talk, and surprisingly we didn't lose our voices! It was great to see them.

They headed back to Sydney and we headed back to Hawk's Nest, driving through a bit of rain. When we got back to the van I went for a walk. Bruce had to put his footy tips on so he stayed behind. About 8pm the skies opened and we had torrential rain for quite some time. And our van leaked in the usual spot. Luckily we were still up and were able to save Bruce's bed from getting wet, but what a hassle and a pain. We certainly don't want to have to worry about this happening so something will have to be done.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Scott's Head, NSW - 21-27 March 2014

We had a lovely, relaxing 6 days at Scott's Head. The first 2 days we relaxed, doing a good walk each day, and spending the rest of the day reading, and in my case, sewing. We only had spasmodic internet reception and for my phone calls, I had to walk up the track to the beach which took you on to the top of the sand bank.


Scott's Head is just south of Macksville and about 12kms off the highway. Neither Bruce nor I have been here before. The caravan park is separated from the ocean by a large sandbank, covered in trees, shrubs and grasses. It gives good protection from the onshore winds, good shade and plenty of bird life. We even had a huge goanna – about 2 metres long – crawl along behind our site. Apparently there is quite a few around but he was the only one we saw. We also saw a wallaby with a joey in her pouch, on the sandbank just behind us as well.

There are a couple of great mosaics at the park at the entrance to the headland and there is also a table covered in mosaics in the shape of a whale. Very creative.

The caravan park is clean and tidy. Over the weekend it was quite full, but you didn’t get the feeling that there were lots of people there, even though it is quite a large park. There are a few toilet/shower blocks throughout the park, with the main one across from us newer than the others and containing the laundry. We didn’t find it a very friendly caravan park. You would go to say hello to people as they walked past and they wouldn’t look you in the eye. We haven’t come across that before. We did have one couple parked next to us for 2 nights and they spoke to us the morning they left. We had been out the day they were there. They had spent 6 months travelling over to Perth and back and were heading home to the Sunshine Coast

 There are quite a few houses in Scott's Head, with a Bowls Club, butcher, bakery, pharmacy, supermarket, real estate, cafe and tavern/restaurant (Greek). There is also a primary school. There are a few headlands, with Scott's Head the main one, and Elephant Head another one. The main beach is in a protected little corner of the bay and it attracted a few surfers on the weekend.

 Scott's Head is good for walking as there are a few hills here to help give you a good workout.  It is quite a good size town and it looks like it has grown in the last 10-20 years looking at the style of houses, with a few fibro cottages as well still remaining from years ago. There are quite a few holiday homes overlooking the ocean. The town is still expanding with building still going on. In our time here, we would have walked around the whole of Scott's Head as well as out along the beach and back through the bush.
On Monday we went for a drive. Just down the coast from Scott's Head is Grassy Head and Stuarts Point so we had a look at them. Stuarts Point has a nice looking caravan park which we might stay at on another trip.

 From there, we drove to Macksville. We have stopped here many times on our travels, usually to use the toilets and have a cuppa from our thermos. We parked the car and had a good walk round town. We had morning tea before Bruce went to buy a few groceries and I went to the patchwork shop where I bought a great earthmoving tractor and truck panel.

On Tuesday, we drove to Nambucca Heads, about 30kms north of us. We went to the movies and saw Monuments Men, which we thoroughly enjoyed. After that we drove out to the main part of Nambucca Heads, which is off the highway, and had a wander through town, stopping off at the Red Cross Cafe for a lovely toasted sandwich for lunch.

 There are a few empty shops in town, but the town supports an RSL Club and a pub. The police station is reasonably big and probably covers the whole of the Nambucca Valley, from Nambucca to where Kempsey takes over. Outside the police station along the footpath is another mosaic featuring the shape of the waves and sharks and fish and other sea life. Very well done, using broken tiles, broken cups and all manner of odds and ends.

We had fish and chips for dinner last night at the Takeaway just across the road from the van park. We were talking to the fellow who owns it and he was saying he had nearly halved his weight in the last few years. His heaviest weight was 198kg and he is now 102kg. He wants to get down to 80-90kg. He runs most days and swims 1 km in the surf every second day. He has done well considering he runs a takeaway food place.

The weather has been overcast, and showers most days, the whole time we have been here except for the first day, last Friday, which was sunny. On Monday, we had a very heavy downpour in the afternoon and Tuesday night it rained the whole night. The rain has been a good test for the van. We have found we still have a small leak. The water is not getting as far as Bruce’s bed, so that’s good, at least he is staying dry. It is just in the top cupboard above his bed. We are getting our 12 month service at the end of April so will mention it to them.

We were able to pack up the van this morning without getting wet, which made it easier. We got a reasonably early start and made it to Hawk’s Nest by about 1.30. We had showers during the day, but it was dry when we stopped at the Old Bar Crematorium, where my Dad is buried, to see if his site needed a clean-up. It was weed free and well looked after.

It didn’t start raining till we had nearly finished setting up the van with Bruce finishing it off in a light drizzle. We are staying at the Hawk’s Nest Caravan Park and it is quite a big park. It seems to be clean and well looked after. It is not too crowded today but no doubt over the weekend, it will fill up a bit.