accomadation

Vintage Cars, 50’s Fashion and the art trail…

A weekend away immersed in the art trail and the incredible Phoenix Sculpture Garden made for a memorable 2 days. But that was not all.

Look what else we stumbled across…

Samford valley art trail pc 071_4000x3000

A vintage car show. Blokes drooling over relics of the past, buffed to a high sheen and sparkling chrome. (The cars, not the blokes…)

Samford valley art trail pc 086_4000x3000

Others a-flame with air-brushed beauty.

Then I spotted that icon of the flower children from the 1960’s, now the back packer’s darling for trundling around Australia. The VW in all it’s rusted glory…

Samford valley art trail pc 090_4000x3000

Covered in stickers and the memorabilia from that era.

Of course the iconic Holden FJ with bench seats made for smooching had to be there too.

Samford valley art trail pc 088_4000x3000

This young women stood out in the flamboyant style of the 50’s. But the mobile phone is a sign of these times…

Samford valley art trail pc 079_3000x4000

She is in a hurry. I wonder where she is hurrying to, so I follow along.

And I am taken on a trip down memory lane to my teenage years.

Samford valley art trail pc 103

To the background sound of rock n roll these locals strut their stuff all dolled up in the fashions from the 1950’s. Do you remember them?

Samford valley art trail pc 106_3000x4000

Samford valley art trail pc 110_3000x4000

Samford valley art trail pc 111_3000x4000

Samford valley art trail pc 112_4000x3000

It was so much fun.

Samford valley art trail pc 030_4000x3000

Samford valley art trail pc 116_4000x3000

Samford valley art trail pc 029_4000x3000

This was one of the more unusual studios. An old train carriage, surrounded by a glowing garden, converted into an art studio.

Samford valley art trail pc 036_3000x4000

So that is just a small taste of the weekend. It was varied, interesting and very inspiring.

The icing on the cake was the Airbnb accommodation we stayed in. A delightful, well-travelled couple invited us into their home surrounded by bush, warmed with a wood fire and sharing a glass of wine and good conversation. A comfortable bed lulled us to sleep and birds woke us next morning. And it only cost $50 with a light evening meal and breakfast. I LOVE Airbnb…

A perfect weekend away.

Advertisements
Categories: Airbnb, art trail, Australia, photos, Samford | Tags: , , , | 40 Comments

We’re Home…

Never one to miss an opportunity, and after all life is the journey, not the destination. So on the way home from the farm sit, I planned a mini 3 day road trip.

We travelled along the notorious Putty Road (more on this in a later post) planning to visit the Hunter Valley Gardens.

It started to rain…

So abandoned that idea and after lunch carried on to Newcastle where I had booked a 2 night stay in an Airbnb.

Newcastle art gallery pc 002_4000x3000

It was a delightfully renovated home, immaculately clean and we also had the company of 2 adorable whippets.

putty road kurri kurri pc 049_4000x3000

Newcastle is a city I have always just bypassed so this time decided to have a brief 2 day explore.

It rained…

But the museum was open, then, when the rain stopped for a short time, we took a drive around the wharf area and passed the beaches.

Newcastle PC 028_4000x3000

Newcastle PC 029_4000x3000

The ocean was whipped into a frenzy around Nobby’s Head lighthouse which has been a safety beacon for ships at sea since 1821.

Newcastle PC 033_4000x3000

Next morning it was still raining, but the Art Gallery was now open. It closed on Mondays. So after a pleasant couple of hours looking around, we pressed on North towards home.

The rain was getting heavier…

Newcastle art gallery jc 059_4000x3000

Then it became torrential…

Newcastle art gallery jc 063_4000x3000

Time to stop for lunch and wait for it to ease up. So we pulled into Bulahdelah. Fortunately we could park right outside the Tavern and dash inside. The tavern is on the banks of the Myall River. Look at it…

Newcastle art gallery jc 047_4000x3000

It is in flood and creeping closer to the township. Some out lying properties were already cut off.

Newcastle art gallery jc 051_4000x3000

Newcastle art gallery jc 056_4000x3000

The next Airbnb was at South West Rocks. (We have been here before, check it out here)Another delightful home with a friendly hostess. Jennifer is a traveller so we had many stories to swap. After a brief look around the beach and ordering a pizza for dinner we went back to Jennifer’s place and had a movie evening, watching “The Castle” a classic Aussie movie, along with Jennifer and another couple who were staying the week with Jennifer.

Next morning the skies had cleared and it was only 350 kilometres to home. We are now travelling along the Pacific Highway, Australia’s Number 1 motorway. Although some parts still had road works happening, as the Pacific Highway is in the process of a major up-grade, a large part is now open and the going was good.

And the sun was shining…

SW Rocks drive home jc 013_4000x3000

The clouds were lifting and the sky was dramatic.

SW Rocks drive home jc 024_4000x3000

SW Rocks drive home jc 042_4000x3000

We are back in sunny Queensland…

So we arrived home yesterday and I am doing this post as I wait for the loads of washing to go through.

At this point I have not made, or even thought of, where too next…

Time to relax…

Categories: Airbnb, Australia, floods, Newcastle, photos, South West Rocks, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 49 Comments

How Airbnb turned into a house sit…

For a change I chose the inland route to Sydney on our way from the Gold Coast to the farm, house sit. Mainly because I had not been this way before.

Armidale was to be our first stop over, almost a 600 kilometre journey from the Gold Coast.

Have you heard of Airbnb? (If not check it out here.) I have used it a lot and love it. Well when I contacted Clare for a 2 night Airbnb stay in Armidale, she emailed back to say she would be away on the days we wanted accommodation. BUT she noticed we did house sitting, would we like to do a deal, stay 3 nights, pay for one and feed her chooks and water pot plants? Of course I said yes…

Armidale Dam birds jc sx50 174_4000x3000

It was in an ideal location. At the end of a quiet street, almost in the country, near the University and only a 5 minute drive to the CBD. If you look carefully you can see the few pot plants. It was rustic and basic but had comfy beds and every thing we needed.

I looked in the long grass under that big old apple tree.

Armidale Dam birds jc sx50 175_4000x3000

And found a worm farm tucked away.

Armidale Dam birds jc sx50 153_3000x4000

After feeding the 5 chooks and checking for eggs. It was time to explore Armidale…

To be continued…

Categories: Airbnb, Armidale, Australia, chickens, house sitting, photos, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 34 Comments

Sydney snippets… 3 day roundup, Art, Architecture and Gardens…

We have settled in to our Airbnb accommodation in Bondi Junction, our hostess, Shona, has welcomed us like one of the family.

Our Airbnb accommodation.

Our Airbnb accommodation.

It is only a 10 minute walk to the railway station and from there, with a $2-50 senior pass, Sydney is at our beck and call.

The weather has been perfect so here is a roundup of what we have done in 3 days…

Sydney art gallery botanic gardens 035_4000x3000

First a visit to the NSW Art Gallery. Can you see Jack?

It can be very tiring being a tourist

It can be very tiring being a tourist

After a morning absorbed with the beauty of art it was time for lunch.

Across the road in the Domain is the Domain Kiosk.

A favourite place for lunch

A favourite place for lunch

Now to immerse myself in the beauty of nature.

Follow me into the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney

Follow me into the Royal Botanic Gardens of Sydney

I have over 100 photos, the light was superb for photography, so I have many more to show you at a future date.

Sydney art gallery botanic gardens 245_4000x3000

Suddenly from a blue sky a summer storm passed over. Torrential rain for 10 minutes and every one ran for cover under the huge, spreading Morton Bay Fig trees.

It past as quickly as it came.

Sydney art gallery botanic gardens 249_4000x3000

No visit to Sydney is complete with out walking past these 2 icons.

Day 2 was again perfect weather so this time we visit another favourite, the Chinese Gardens at Darling Harbour.

Chinese Gaedens Sydney 026_4000x3000

We had lunch in the garden Restaurant and then spent hours wandering around, sitting, sketching and enjoying the peace and tranquillity of these beautiful gardens.

Leaving the Chinese Gardens we walk through Darling Harbour to catch a ferry round to Circular Quay.

 On the way we pass under the “Old Coat-hanger”

Chinese Gaedens Sydney 160_4000x3000

Cruise liner in port

Cruise liner in port

In Circular Quay we see this cruise liner tied up. This is not the one we are going on but I imagine ours will also be this big.

Day 3 we take a train to Surry Hills and wander around the galleries and interesting boutique style shops.

Then catching another bus we search out the UTS (Sydney university of technology) to see the Frank Gehry designed building. I will do another post about this amazing building, but will just give you a preview of the building here.

UTS building Surry Hills 066_4000x3000

We have walked miles and our legs feel at least 6 inches shorter. We have one more day before we join our cruise to New Zealand. So this will be my last post for about 2 weeks. I will miss visiting you all and will probably have internet withdrawal symptoms.

By the way Jude, you may notice quite a number of benches scattered around…

  

 

Categories: Airbnb, Art Gallery of NSW, Darling Harbour, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney | Tags: , , , , , | 27 Comments

Friends Past and Present

Where do I start?

It has been almost 5 weeks since we hired a camper van and set out into the Great Southern area of Western Australia.

The whole purpose of this part of the trip was to reconnect with dear friends we made 4 years ago. No time to blog, and not very good internet connections, so for that time I was in cyber limbo.

I’m finding it hard to get back into the discipline of confronting the computer and sorting all the photos, and I must admit, remembering the details is not easy, I didn’t keep very many notes either…

But what I do remember is the times spent with our friends, sharing stories, telling jokes and eating meals together, very precious memories and a time I will cherish. The weather was not the best, after all it is winter down here. But the fires burnt bright and warmed our bodies and souls, and we wrapped up in thermals and winter jackets.

The last 2 days in Western Australia we spent in “Airbnb” accommodation. This is the second time we have used this type of accommodation and I am now a big fan. It is very affordable, at least half the price of a motel or hotel, and it is world-wide. Maureen, our host in Perth, gave us a warm welcome and we immediately felt at home. We came as strangers but when we left, after 2 days, we felt we were saying goodbye to a friend. Maureen was a Yorkshire Lass too, so Jack had 2 of us to keep him under control. (Actually an impossible job!!!)

  

Now we are in Canberra for another house sit.

What a sad start it was as the day we left to fly to Canberra Nicola emailed us with the sad news that her Mother, Christine, had died so suddenly and unexpectedly. I was devastated. Christine had become a close blogging friend, ( Dadirridreaming) and it was through her we had contacted her son Mitchell and daughter in law Nicola to do this house sit, and I had hoped we would also meet Christine while we were here.

Wednesday was the day of the funeral and the family have included her many blogging friends in the community by sharing a moving post of the service and photos.

Now we are settled in to this beautiful house with gas ducted heating and a cosy log fire in the lounge and Millie, the dog, to keep us company and take us for walks AND a very good internet connection. The next 3 months will fly by.

So welcome to Canberra the capital city of Australia.

But first I will sort through the photos and over the next few days show you some of the highlights of the Great Southern area of Western Australia.

Categories: Airbnb, Australia, Margaret River, Perth, photos, travel, Western Australia | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

Perth on a budget

Accommodation can be the most expensive part of the travel budget, if you do not have friends or relatives to stay with. In the past to keep this cost down we have used couch-surfing, wwoofing and of course house sitting. This time I have found a new style of budget accommodation, Airbnb. The cost varies from place to place but an average is $50 to $70 per night for 2 people, which is about half the cost of a hotel or motel.  

From a very extensive list of places available in Perth I chose a twin room in a house in Victoria Park. I am very happy with our choice, Joe and Kazumi were excellent hosts they supplied breakfast, and we felt at home in their place. The Victoria Park village was 10 minute walk away with  good selection of cafes and restaurants representing nearly every country under the sun, you can find Vietnamese, Nepalese, Thai, Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Modern Australian, Indonesian, Japanese and more, and the bus to Perth CBD was just across the road and for $4-20 we had a concession pass to travel all day on the buses, trains and ferries. 

So we hopped aboard a bus to explore.

We walked and walked and, of course, took lots of photos.

The old and the new

The old and the new

 

Government House

Government House

 

Sculpture of rocks and minerals

Sculpture of rocks and minerals

 

 

Built in 1937 London Court is one of Perth’s best loved heritage listed shopping destinations.

Captured in a setting of Tudor England and located in the heart of Perth city, the court links Hay Street Mall and St Georges Terrace.

London Court is a visual delight! Step back in time and discover copper coloured ships decorating the classically moulded ceilings at both entrances; and containers moulded with lions and unicorns lining the walkway.

Food enthusiasts can smell the freshly roasted coffee, dine at intimate cafes or enjoy a melting pot of international treats including gourmet chocolate and UK sweets.

Cooling fountains in central Perth

Cooling fountains in central Perth

It is autumn but the temperature is still 29c degrees, thank goodness it is a dry heat and I don’t suffer the sweat inducing humidity of Queensland. There has been no rain for months and we enjoyed sitting in City Square and watching young and old rushing in and out of the fountain.

It had been an interesting day refreshing our memories of this lovely city. Now it was time to catch the bus back to our home of the moment.

Tomorrow we are going for a stroll to Kings Park one of the most beautiful parks in Australia. 

Categories: accomadation, Australia, Perth, photos, Western Australia | Tags: , , , | 32 Comments

The sad story of the little black hen…

Lucky the hen

 

This little black hen was the pet of the children and the owners of Adventurers Backpacker Hostel. The hostel we have been staying in for over 2 weeks while waiting for Matilda, our van, to be repaired. The hen had the run of the place and at meal time would wander around the kitchen cleaning up any dropped scraps. (I did a post when we moved here and you can see it by clicking here)

On Monday when I went to the office to pay for the next weeks accommodation They asked me if I had seen the hen as it had not been seen since Saturday. She told me the hen’s story.

Approx 8-10 years ago they were given this young pullet. They let it roam around but suddenly heard such a commotion, squawking and flapping, when they rushed outside it was too late, the dog had savaged the chook. So they threw it in the bin. A short while later, when walking past the bin, they heard scrabbling noises, and looking inside found that the chook had “miraculously” come back to life. They nursed it back to health and called it “Lucky”. (good job they hadn’t buried it)

So back to the present: They put lost notices around the hostel and along the street, but no one replied to them.

Next day I noticed a crowd of hostellers were gathered, loud excited voices, arms waving and gesticulating, and in the centre of them a police woman was taking notes. The plot thickens…

Later when every one had dispersed and all was back to normal, being a “nosey parker”, I went to find one of the regulars who I was sure would know the full story…

She told me one of the hostellers had been at a BBQ on Saturday and another hosteller arrived with a chicken, all plucked and cut up, ready to be cooked on the BBQ. The chicken bearer was very drunk and boasting about how he had “found” this chook. The second hosteller noticed all the black stubs of feathers left in the skin but thought nothing of it till he saw the lost notices next day.

The owner and her children were very distraught, all the regular residents were very angry, but nothing could be done as it was only hear say.

What about the supposed culprit? Well he packed his bags and disappeared.

 

Categories: accomadation, Australia, australian travel, Townsville | Tags: , | 9 Comments

Matilda has gone into the specialists for her op….

Matilda on the operating table

We said goodbye to the friendly people at Bivouac Junction at 7-30am and headed for Townsville. The road was good, the weather was perfect and Matilda purred along at a steady 90kph.

Robin at Town Automatics was expecting us and he gave the keys to Lockie, a very good-looking mechanic, to take her for a drive and asess the problem. He made us a cup of coffee (to steady our nerves…) and we waited for the verdict.

Twenty minutes later Lockie came in with the gear box innards. Oh dear, what a mess, dirty oil and metal shavings scattered through it. How had poor Matilda kept going…

This is the damage, notice all the metal filings in the very dirty oil…

Yes it was going to be a major operation the gear box will need to be rebuilt. Because of her age it will take time to locate the parts needed.

I ask, “how long?” Robin puts up 2 fingers, ” 2 days?” I say. “No, 2 weeks” Robin replies. I think we will get to know Townsville quite well…

OK next step, find accommodation. Sharon, the receptionist, steps in to help. Together we find in the local telephone directory the motels, caravan parks and even back packers. Sharon shows me where they are on a map and describes the areas for me. How far from town, if they are near the beach, shops, bus services, all invaluable information. Sharon is very busy, with the phone ringing constantly so I really appreciate her help.

Then I start to ring around….

I quickly find two things:

  1. School holidays start at the end of the week, therefore the budget accommodation is all booked
  2. In general accommodation is very expensive,it makes us realize how much we save on accommodation costs having our own bed with us.

Eventually I manage to find a cabin at Rowes Bay caravan park that we can rent for a week. It is a small box of a room, but 6 times bigger than the space in Matilda (what indulgence…) with a queen bed and small kitchenette with microwave, fridge, double hot plate and sink, but no en suite, the communal shower and toilet facilities are along the end of the row of cabins. It is just across the road from a very attractive beach, looking across to Magnetic Island. I class it as basic but clean and it is priced at $105 per night. RACQ road assist insurance will pay the first 5 days, thank goodness, then, if we are still waiting, we pay the next lot of accommodation. I have already checked out the back packers and it is $240 per week for a double room and shared facilities, so I have booked in there for the second week…

Our basic little cabin

Our view of the ocean

 

The walk down to the loo…

 

What an adventure, it is adding a whole new dimension to our trip this time. It is about 10 years since we stayed in Townsville. The last few trips north we have bypassed Townsville because it has been in a state of reconstruction for years, very difficult to drive around. All the main CBD area has been rebuilt. It had become a very scruffy, tired looking city. Now it is revitalised and we are looking forward to exploring and discovering this beautiful tropical paradise.

 

 

Categories: accomadation, Australia, australian travel, Townsville, travel | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

Couch surfing hosts are very special people

Stephanie in her community garden plot

We love couch surfing. It is a great way to meet local people and really get to know an area. Cities always have quite a large number of hosts to contact. Darwin is different to other cities as it is the end of the line for back packers, or in some cases the start. They have bought an old van and travelled around Australia or just along the popular east coast and now it is time to sell the van and fly out to the next destination. What better way to end the Australian adventure than staying with a CS host. Also most of them are very “cash strapped”.

Most hosts get upward of 50 requests a week, so we considered our selves lucky to be accepted by Stephanie, her husband Regis and their adorable young daughter.

The very nature of couch surfing means a host must be a very trusting and accommodating type of person. They are opening their home and heart to complete strangers. The CS hosts we have stayed with around Australia have all been very interesting people. Most have travelled widely and have lots of interesting stories to swap. Generally they are interested in conservation and we have learnt a lot from them.

Stephanie believes passionately in recycling, re-using and conservation. She practices what she preaches in her blog www.frugaldownunder@blogspot  Visit her blog for lots of money-saving tips and ways of making every thing go further. We went to see the vegetable plot they have in the Darwin Botanic Garden, Snake Bean community garden. It is shared and run on permaculture principles by approx 29 people and was a riot of lush, edible goodies. I helped harvest tomatoes, a number of different varieties, eggplant, snake beans, cucumber, rocket, spinach and a number of herbs. All manner of things are collected by Stephanie to be recycled. It was a revelation of frugality.

We were also very lucky to have Regis as our own personal guide for an hours tour around the Darwin Museum. To be given the back ground history and stories behind the exhibits was a special privilege and brought the museum alive for us. Of special interest was the fishing exhibition which Regis had curated and personally put together. I never knew that there were so many different lures that could be used in fishing. Fishing is a passion for Regis and he has a blog on that subject  <theramblingexpat@blogspot>

We spent a week parked in the car port outside the apartment. It had a shade cloth roof that was high enough to push the roof of the van up so we could sleep in Matilda and it was cool in the evening.

Snake bean community garden

Categories: accomadation, australian travel, botanic gardens, comunity garden, couch surfing, Northern Territory | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Couch surfing again…

Inverleigh , originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

After the trip along the Great Ocean Road we had been in touch with couch surfers in Geelong. January is a difficult time both to get into camp grounds and CS people often have full house or are away on their own holiday. So we had to contact a couple of different people but we were very lucky that Keith and Christine said we could stay with them. We are 20ks west of Geelong they said, but we like to stay in the smaller country towns so we were delighted to have the invite.

What an interesting place. Keith and Christine had an acre of garden. It was a rustic blend of fruit trees, vegies, herbs, roses, sunflowers and many other flowers. Of course there was a chook pen with very healthy looking hens and a rabbit run next to where we were parked. Just outside we had a strawberry picking patch and could help our selves to strawberries to have with breakfast..

Keith and Christine also had a 6 acre block just down the road and this was to be a nursery business but first a lot of work is needed to build a house and sheds and establish a garden on the property.

All the couch surfing people we have stayed with so far have been gardening people and we get our garden fix and dirt under our nails as we stay with these welcoming people.I think there is some character connection with gardeners and generous people.

We stayed 3 days here and had the unique experience of joining in with the community breakfast to celebrate Australia day.

Categories: accomadation, couch surfing, Victoria | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

poppytump@no4

photography, sketching and ...

wordsandimages

here, there and other places

Brizzy Mays Books and Bruschetta

Books, Fun and Stuff That Comes Into My Head

The Eternal Traveller

Remembering past journeys, recording current trips and planning for the next one!

Womanseyeview's Blog

Nothing profound and a few of my photos

P.A. Moed

Creative Exploration in Words and Pictures

snippetsandsnaps

Potato Point and beyond

priorhouse blog

Photos, art - and a little bit of LIT.

Life is great

Despite its troubles

Badfish & Chips Cafe

Travel photos, memoirs & letters home...from anywhere in the world

Circadianreflections Blog

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty

The Day After

Musings, Photography, Writing, and More

Andrew's View of the Week

Andrew's view of the world in poetry, prose, and picture

musingsofafrequentflyingscientist.wordpress.com/

musings of a frequent flying scientist

Zimmerbitch

age is just a (biggish) number

%d bloggers like this: