Shepparton – day 333

Happy Father’s Day to all the Aussie Dad’s. With enough adverts being on tv for the coming weeks, it was hard to be believe that it was finally here. So what does one do… very little until going around to Tracey’s parents house, where her dad will cook us dinner on the BBQ. 
Enjoying several cups of coffee and easing in to the day, I whisked up a batch of pancakes and we ate a stack with some fresh lemon and sugar. The two Ninjas went off to KMart and Coles for shopping and browsing and I plonked myself in front of the beloved and missed tv to watch a film. But, still tired from two months on the go and not sure when the other two would be back I put on a film that I would be happy to turn off. Of course, I could have watched two by the time they came back with bits and pieces and food for the evening. 
Preparing some salads and jacket potatoes to bring with us, Katherine was all excited at the idea of being able to try the Eski scooter. When we arrived I got to see the famous Chevvie and Eski scooter (a scooter made from an ice box). With an offer that couldn’t be refused we zoomed off down the backroads in the vintage blue Chevrolet. The speed and power were incredible and apparently it does better when the engine is warmer. BETTER??? Pure power, motoring down the road with plum trees blooming. I think Katherine has found a close second to the VW Campervan if she ever wins the lotto. Back at base, without even asking, clearly telepathy being one of Kat’s new gifts, John went about powering up the Eski. The engine is inside the ice box and the battery is flat, so needed a boost start from another. The result… a tiny little scooter that revved to life in the back garden from the creativity of a mechanical genius. Showing Kat the controls and telling her the safety briefing, she did a few lengths of the gravel. With toys aplenty, there was an electric scooter to try (more up my alley) and obligatory photos with daredevil poses. So, we (that would be John and I) started the BBQ in the dark. Florrie was busy setting tables and plating salads and other assortments. Ninjas… Sat on their asses and drank. So, a bit of ridicule that we all did something for Father’s Day except Tracey (she did get a present, just slagging her), we had a fabulous evening before heading off. A perfect way to end the weekend. Sunday 4th September 2016

Cairns – day 309

An easy start to the day, having previously decided that to rent a car and drive up to Cape Tribulation might prove a bit too stressful what with all the other bits and pieces we needed to get done. So, we got up and enjoyed more free pancakes and maple syrup while still in pyjamas. We didn’t have phones on us to take a photo, just the room key swipe card. 
Finally bracing the real world, our first stop was the camera shop in the mall. Basically, the magnificent Canon SX40, which was a present from my father-in-law, capturing so many memories over our travels- iconic landmarks (Taj Mahal, Sigiriya, Sydney Opera House) impressive scenery (Mount Everest, Bagan) cultures, wildlife (tiger, whales, rhinos, elephants, koalas, birds) and foods – only to find out that the salt water, however minuscule, has been the kiss of death to my LBD. Not wanting to rush into an expensive (and unexpected) purchase, we got the specifications printed off about the bridge cameras they had in stock so we could look over them to make a decision later on. 
We browsed the bookshop, again not realising how much we both love spending time perusing new titles and flicking through titles on a shelf to find something new and exciting. Down to KMart for a painful bit of shopping, replacing a few clothes and toiletries. A weird little discount store selling loads of Japanese items was my limit and I left Katherine to walk the narrow aisles while I sat outside and ‘people-watched’. We spent far too long in Gloria Jeans abusing their amazing free wifi that when we returned to the hostel the kitchen was closed for afternoon clean up. The state that people leave the kitchen in is appalling. I don’t think they even realise what they are doing or how much mess they’re making. After a late lunch I purchased some premium wifi in the hope of getting some more work done on the beauty clinic website and I sent Katherine off to treat herself to a pedicure. She returned with pretty blue nails and I had almost thrown the netbook across the hostel for not coping with the demands of the website I needed to use. Having now spent an extraordinary amount of time rebooting the computer, cursing the air and having mini fits we couldn’t believe the time. We Skype’d my Mam in Ireland and tried FaceTime’ing Kat’s Dad and Step-Mum in France. All this before Katherine was all set to kick back and do blog work while I enjoyed the Movie Night. Except, it was Harry Potter and I relinquished Katherine from her tasks and I spent even more time with iPads and laptops trying to get blogs back in order. 
The occasional bit of free popcorn we managed to get (greedy girl at our table) was washed down nicely with the fruity dry white wine goon. There was an elderly gentleman who clearly had never seen any HP before, asking others around for explanations and laughing really loudly at parts. There was also a mum and daughter reciting the lines to the film as it played. All in all it was an enjoyable setting to get some work done and proved a bit de-stressing. Plus, the taco dinner Katherine did afterwards was amazing and I didn’t have to lift a finger. The new guy in the dorm room was a bit miffed that we came back so late, but I was after drinking over two glasses of wine so only Katherine heard him tutting… I just passed out. 

Thursday 11th August 2016