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Been North

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We've been to Queensland since my last blog entry.  I'll get some posts up soon.  I was going to do it tonight, but spent the *entire* evening sorting out photos (from the trip and beforehand).  I couldn't geotag stuff though because Geosetter just freezes up whenever I try to do anything with it.  Super frustrating.

You'd think that direct flights from Canberra to Brisbane and back would more or less be along the same line.  You'd be wrong.

Queensland Flight Track

And I don't think I ever blogged this .. this was a holding pattern we got put in on our trip in 2012.

Holding pattern

Airgaps in the flights are because A380s walls are so thick it's hard for the GPS to pick up the signal.

Europe 2016

Europe 2016

Europe 2016

Europe 2016

The Sydney Trip

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On Friday night I left work a bit early and drove up to Sydney.  I drove past a fire at the airfield at Marulan, which turned out to be not from natural causes, but because of a plane crash!  (the dude walked away - must have been a good landing!).  We went and fed the Macaulay's cat, visited Aunty Di and Graham, then had an early night.

On Saturday we spent the morning looking at photos (we played Dad's funeral slide show which was a bit emotional) and food preparation.  We did a big roast pork and my epic potato bake as well as some other veggies and lots of nibblies.  We also whipped some cream and decorated a pavlova.  Graham and Pam and Ken and Jeanine came over and we had a lovely afternoon.

Mum and the table

Nibblies

Epic pork roast

Epic potato bake

Christmas cake

Pavlova

Family photo

In the evening we went and fed Macaulay's cat again, and watched The Princess Diaries (which Chris and I had been talking about only just the other day).

On Sunday I caught a train into the city to go see a couple of Lego exhibitions (which I'll save for separate posts).

At Central I was all set to walk around to Harris Street when I noticed the end of the Devonshire Street tunnel didn't *end* anymore - it kept on going - with a sign to the Powerhouse Museum.  So I walked down through it.  They've converted that whole little area between Central and the museum from the old goods lines into a park called The Goods Line.  Totally spun me out because that area of the city has always been a dead zone and it was a real pain trying to get around because you couldn't just walk across town because of all the railway lines in the way.

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Powerhouse Museum (bottom entrance).

Powerhouse Museum

After seeing Art of the Brick, I headed back to Central to catch the train to Circular Quay (it was super hot and I didn't want to get hot and sweaty walking all the way, and as it turned out, Sunday is currently $2.50 all day on the trains so it didn't cost anything).

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

The Goods Line

Then there was the second Lego exhibition of the day - the Sydney Harbour Icons at the Museum of Sydney.

Museum of Sydney

Then up to Martin Place to train it back to mum's.  I walked straight onto a train which was pretty cool.

Picked up all my stuff, then a flying visit to Luc and Lizzi's to do a donut photo of Ryan, then drove home.

I was expecting when I got home to have a quiet night of getting myself organised, but instead I came home to a pool full of people, in varying states of intoxication.  Which was rather unexpected (and made me feel somewhat left out! heh).  So didn't get anything done at home that night.  Oh well.  

Sunday

Arrival at Chay and David's.  Thanks David for picking me up!  Did pretty much nothing all day.

The sweetie arrived late in the afternoon yayyyy!  Was good to see him.

Chay cooked a nice moussaka for dinner.

I can't actually remember if we did any Singstar that night, but I know we all had a very early night.

Monday

Was working on some photo stuff in the morning, when Chay remembered she had a jigsaw for me to do, so that kept me happily occupied whenever I had any down time.

We all went out to have sushi for lunch, then we went and saw The Equalizer.  I liked it, except that it was overly violent for my tastes.

Did a bit of shopping afterwards, and had bbq chicken and salad for dinner.

After dinner Storm and Jamie and Sam came over.  We played Cards Against Humanity which was fun, although I didn't manage to win a single round, which was somewhat demoralising.  Played a bit of Singstar as well.

Tuesday

Had a quite morning mostly doing the jigsaw.

Then we packed a picnic lunch and headed out to White Rock for a decent walk.  It was good, but I found the heat getting to me quite a bit.  Had lunch on top of the rock.

Had pizza for dinner.

Sam came over again, and we played some Buzz and Singstar.

Wednesday

Another quiet morning doing jigsaw.

Went out to sushi again for lunch.  Also went and got a coffee from Kailyn.

David cooked roast pork for dinner yumm.

Played some Trivial Pursuit, then Buzz and Singstar.

Thursday

Sadly said goodbye to Chay and David (thanks guys, it was a lovely few days, as always).

Then hit the road and drove and drove.

Stopped to get coffee near the Gold Coast, then had some lunch at the Scottish Restaurant in Ballina. 

Ducked into Grafton to see if the jacarandas were out yet (they weren't - too early for them).

There was quite a bit of road works going on to duplicate the Pacific Highway (*finally* - at least thirty years overdue), so we were a little late getting to South West Rocks. 

Ruth cooked a very nice roast chicken for dinner.

Then we collapsed into bed.

Friday

Another long day of driving.  

Got some petrol and some coffee outside of Port Macquarie.

Lunch was KFC at Heatherbrae.

Slow slow slow along Pennant Hills Road (are they *ever* going to join the M1 to the M2??).

The straight through to Canberra.  

Between petrol stops at the Gold Coast, Port Macquarie and Canberra was 1158 kilometres.  We put 75.06 litres of petrol in.  So 6.48 litres per 100 kilometres.

So the final dinner went a bit late last night so didn't get to bed til 10:30pm *shock*

Then I woke up at 5:30am needing to go to the loo. So pretty tired today.

Breakfast today was decent enough, but I was kinda of over it.

After breakfast we headed off and drove around Toowoomba for a while, but most of the good stuff was on the other side of the coach. Went up to Picnic Point to see the lookout and some of the flowers there.

Then down into Marburg where I said goodbye to everyone and got picked up by David. We did a bit of shopping then headed "home".

I've done a whole lot of *nothing* this afternoon which was been wonderful after such a go-go-go trip.

Another long driving day today.

Slept ok last night, pillow was definitely better.

Breakfast was pretty much the same as yesterday.

Then off we went.

Had morning tea at Injune.

Got to Roma and went through the Big Rig museum. Ok if you're into mining and stuff but I wasn't hugely interested.

Lunch (pies!) at Roma outside the museum.

As we were driving through Yuleba, someone shouted "camels!" Then there was actually a real life camel train walking down the road. This couple from Gympie were just walking around the country with their caravan of camels. Super cool.

Toily stop at Chinchilla.

Then finally into Toowoomba early evening.

Just had time to dump our stuff and go hack a few portals for dinner.

Dinner was nice enough, but I was feeling a bit blah and pretty anxious to be with friends, so didn't enjoy dinner as much as I could have.

Also, super tired now.

Think I slept fairly well last night. Although I finally remembered to run sleep cycle which indicated I was somewhat restless till quite late (but that's pretty normal). The pillow was a bit thick for my liking, but then I realised this morning there's another one that's squishy so will use that tonight.

Breakfast was ok this morning.

After breakfast we headed up into Carnarvon Gorge.

We walked up with the rest of the group and the guide for a while, but mum wanted to show me the Amphitheatre, so we made a break with one of the other guys and walked up to it. It was quite spectacular and well worth the hour's extra walk.

Then we met up with others back at the Moss Garden.

So we ended up walking for over three hours, which is the healthiest day we've had so far.

Lunch was back at the lodge area. I had battered bassa and chips and that was quite nice.

After lunch we went on a helicopter ride!! I'd never actually been on a helicopter before (neither had Cutie, so she came with me). So it was pretty awesome. We went up to Moolayember Gorge and was appropriately spectacular. Shameless plug to Heli-Central :)

Came back to the room via kangaroos and echidnas and did photo stuff for a while.

Then out again to the sunset at Bandana (sp?) which is a cattle property near the gorge which run evening sunset drinks and nibbles. I thought it was a *tad* overpriced (they're only allowed to serve two drinks without a liquor licence) but after one of mum's glasses of wine I felt better and enjoyed the old farmer's stories and song.

Then back for dinner (I had steak tonight which was a little tough on the ends but nice in the middle, and chocolate pudding which was very nice) and suddenly it's 9pm ..

Had some trouble getting to sleep last night. After getting back to our room quite late, the airconditioning didn't work very well, so the room was very warm and I had the itchies.

We got to breakfast fifteen minutes earlier than yesterday, so that worked a lot better.

Then we headed off. Very long driving day today - 668 kilometres.

Morning tea stop was at Barcaldine. Saw the remains of the "Tree of Knowledge" - an old Ghost Gum that stood as a silent witness to shearer's strikes, formation of the labour union movement and establishment of the Australian Labor Party. Sadly it was poisoned by some bu++plug in 2006.

Had a toilet pitstop in Alpha, which had a series of nice murals a local artist had painted.

Lunch was at Emerald. Quite a large town with the world's largest artwork on an easel.

Had another toilet pitstop at Rolleston before losing Optus.

The countryside resembled New South Wales much more closely around here. It probably helped that they'd just had some rain, so the place was looking a lot greener than the tour guide and driver had ever seen it.

Finally arrived in Carnarvon in time for dinner. We have these super cute little cabins, that are part cabin, part tent, but they have ensuites. No locks on the doors though (but then, anyone with a knife could break in if they wanted to heh).

Dinner was quite delicious. I had "porkbelly bites" for entree, then slow cooked lamb rump, then apple crumble. Yum!

Wow, full on day today. 9:30pm and only just got back to our room..

So started with breakfast. It was pretty good, but a bit of a shamozzle. Another big tour group is staying here too, and they'd descended on the place just before us, which meant quite a few things had run out by the time we got there. They did eventually replenish things but it was a bit annoying.

Our first stop was the Longreach School of Distance Education (aka, school of the air). Radios are really not used anymore these days - everything is done over the internet or phone (or in print). Apparently 95% of station kids have access to the internet. It was school holidays so couldn't see any remote classes going on. They have a pretty good setup there and our tours help fund it.

Next up was the Stockman's Hall of Fame. You could easily spend all day there reading all the information that's there. We had an hour, because we're on a tour and all. There was also the horse/dog/sheep demo out the back which was a lot of fun. And I finally got to pat a brahman bull (after seeing them in the outback for the past week and a half). His name was Jigsaw and the dude rode in on him. So cool :)

Then a quick lunch in the park, and I submitted a few portals.

Then onto the whole (well, main) reason I came on this trip - the Qantas Founders Museum. We all did the plane tour, but sadly just the basic one, not the full "wing walk" and avionics tour the little brother did a few years ago. Oh well, I might just have to come back one day :) Then we had a nice chunk of time in the museum. Again you could easily spend a lot more time there if you read through all the info boards. I read some of them, but took photos of most of them to read later, since we were running out of time.

Raced back to the motel to do our hair, go to the loo etc, then out again. Our evening was a series of events put on by some locals (Kinnon & Co) to try and make ends meet. On account of farming being somewhat of a disaster at the moment, with the drought going on.

So there was a cruise in a paddle boat up and down the Thompson River for a while, with nibbles on board. And a possum and her baby in the toilet sink. Because that's where possums like to hang out apparently. Took entirely too many photos of the sunset. Because it was super pretty.

Then up for some hearty beef stew for dinner and entertainment provided by "Scottie" who recited some funny poems and told some jokes. It was all quite a lot of fun.

Then onto the river bank to watch a "sound and light" show (a dramatisation of Harry Readford and his infamous theft of some cattle).

And finally back up for some damper and billy tea (I didn't have any tea).

It was a fun night, and was good to support some of the locals who are doing it pretty tough here at the moment. They're probably making a lot more money out of us tourists than they would be on the land!

Had a pretty good night's sleep last night. Woke up about five past six and debated for about thirty seconds whether or not I should get up for the sunrise. In the end decided I would, and it was quite pretty.

Breakfast was pretty decent, but I restrained myself from eating too much of it.

After breakfast we headed south-west to the Dinosaur Stampede National Monument. Had a little walk around the place before going in for the 10am "tour". It's actually just a big shed protecting a large bed of dinosaur footprints. Very very cool thing to see.

Then back into town for lunch (it's an hour and half drive each way out to the stampede).

After lunch went to the Age of Dinosaurs museum. This is a "working" museum where they not only have some super cool original dinosaur bones, but also people working to extract the bones from the rock. Our guide, Kathrine, was super enthusiastic about the work going on there (and life in general actually).

Then onto Longreach. On the way we had another round of Bobs and Dollys, which we won rather convincingly. Also saw lots of emus.

Arrived at the motel in Longreach, raced to get our laundry put on, then went across the road to see the PLANES!! I might have squeed a lot. Seeing the planes was my main reason for even coming on this trip.

Back to the motel for a very yummy dinner of roast pork and lamb and veggies.

Then across to see the planes by night. Well, the 747 anyway.

And finally back to download everything and type this up.

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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