190819 The Bridges of Gundagai

On our way north this time, we’ve decided to stop at a few little towns we have just ‘sped through’ on past ventures. Yesterday, we decided to stop two nights in the well-known town of Gundagai. Well known (for all the overseas readers), because of the song “… where the dog sits on the tucker box, 3 miles from Gundagai”. A few short weeks ago, the dog was knocked off his ‘tucker box’ in a vandal attack on this icon of the region. Just yesterday, Sunday, there was a ‘restoring of the dog’ and various dignitaries were there to make the appropriate remarks and unveil the restored canine.

It’s obvious that the town has been a very busy town in ages gone as there are many stories posted appropriately on various buildings signifying their importance in the etchings of small towns. There’s a story of the last mail delivery on horseback in Australia.

“On the night of 24th June 1852, the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history was about to happen. Widespread rains began in June 1852 with the levels of the Murrumbidgee River rising every day leading up to that dreadful Thursday night and in to Friday Morning. The white settlers refused to heed the dire warning from the local Aborigines who told them to relocate to higher ground. The river rose, water depths of 14 feet were recorded in the highest parts of town.

People took refuge on the roofs of houses and stables and even trees. Anywhere that may assist in sparing their lives. The stranded were rescued or washed away. By Saturday, the cries of the drowning had ceased. The flooded Murrumbidgee River raged through the Gundagai township drowning 79 of the 250 inhabitants and destroying 72 buildings.”

Every town in Australia has a story to tell that rarely is told to those who come to be sheltered in its shores.

Included in today’s video is Rusconi’s Marble Masterpiece. At 15 Frank Rusconi became an apprentice to the marble trade at Verquinto, Italy, finishing his studies five years later at Neuchatel. He settled at Gundagai in 1905. Then he established a monumental masonry business. As he worked, he collected various marbles and with them he built a magnificent marble masterpiece. You can see it at the Gundagai Visitors Centre. Rusconi also built the stairway at Westminster Abbey, The Dog on the Tuckerbox base as well as many other well-known structures in the area.

Anyway, enjoy the video that shows the bridges of Gundagai as well as a little of Rusconi’s Marble Masterpiece.

190817 Seymour Free Camp & Lake Hume Village

Our first few days on the road after being in “cotton wool” for 8 months or so. Colin is still not 100% after the November accident but looking good once the arthroscopic procedure is complete. We Hope. Continue reading “190817 Seymour Free Camp & Lake Hume Village”

190706 Noojee Trestle Bridge Victoria

Isn’t it interesting that you can live near some beautiful spots for years and you only get to see them after 28 years? Well, this video will take you to an area in the Victorian highlands just 35 kms away (but not above the snow-line) to Noojee and to a wonderful old trestle bridge and some wonderful waterfalls.

190622 Torquay

The Great Life tempted us and we motored through Melbourne to Macedon back a week or so ago. We had no plan where to stay, which is normal, but wanted somewhere to show up before dark.

img_4379We could see a campground at Macedon ($35pn) on WikiCamps but the comments were not too good. Well, we tested them and they were correct with a 120% accuracy rate. The place should never have a license to accommodate humans, really. Enough said, but don’t venture there if you can help it. What made things worse was that we couldn’t get out of the place the following day due to the amount of rain falling, so we had to stay a second night.

Thursday, we moved on to Woodend for lunch and on to Daylesford to Lake Jubilee Campground ($30pn). This has been shown in an earlier video post. Was a nice campground which we would be happy to return to one day.

The next Thursday, Lyn drove Great Life down the mountain range to Torquay where we set up camp at a comfortable site with everything ($27pn). We are just along from the famous surfing shops precinct.

Friday, we walked through the surf clothing shops (wow they only cater for surfers with lots of money) and down to the main Torquay shops for lunch and some supplies for our own fridge.

Saturday has been a pleasant day with good sunshine as we took our morning walk, leaving at midday. (Well, the mornings have been cold and the bed is warmer than the atmosphere at 7:00am). The Torquay beach and coastline looked so inviting but chilly as we walked 6km around the headlands. We’re sure some of the surfers don’t have a built-in thermostat as they catch the cold winter waves.

It’s been a good 12 days of rest and relaxation which is always even better in Great Life.

190615 Lake Jubilee- Daylesford Victoria

We have taken our first week or two away since the push bike accident in November. Our motor home had never really been to the western part of Victoria so we gave it a bit of a run through the Mount Macedon Ranges for a break. I hope you enjoy this 2 minute video of where we stayed for a week near Daylesford.

I Should Be Retired, BUT ….

I’m over the known Australian retirement age and I have ceased that regular work day routine; wake up, get up, shower up, eat up, dress up, turn up. Sounds familiar? But the day’s excitement really isn’t in “turning up”. It’s BEING UP – on the top-side of the grass. If everyone’s going to ‘end up’ on the ‘other side of the grass’, why not enjoy getting there?

Some get to the ‘under side’ very young in life and before they should have. Others arrive there after their ‘use-by-date’. They become a burden to everyone, including their spouse and family, since the ‘three score years plus ten’ has been reached. So what is a good way to enjoy those “days of fade”?

I guess you couldn’t say I was employed, nor could you say I’m retired. Keeping relaxed and calm is the most beneficial lifestyle anyone could undertake. And so that’s what takes up most of my day. (No one ‘pushes’ this little duck around.) Always abide by the rules of where you are. On the outside, people might say that I am lazy. On the inside, I know I am enjoying life doing what interests me, even if it doesn’t bring in the truck loads of money my talents are worth. Ha Ha!

Many save, save, and then save some more for their retirement and for many, beyond retirement. I haven’t! I’m enjoying life now before ‘they’ provide me with a walking frame. Yes, I have seen a variety of walking aids on cruises and tours, but these poor folk have had to do the tour ‘slowly’. Keeping the walker away from the aisle and away from the busy passing traffic, can be a real chore when ‘things don’t work properly’; and I’m meaning the body AND the walker.

Travel opens up the mind. But to get to some places that will fascinate your tastes, you need to be fit and agile. That includes opening up the body by taking in some deep breaths and making a big decision to TRAVEL. I say that because, for many, the first trip is like that breath of fresh air that opens up every cell in the body and mind for those new ventures. You forget all that drags you down around where you live and work. You begin to look forward to those new and exciting “everyone else has done this, so I’m going to do it too” experiences.

Remember when friends returned from their ‘amazing’ trip? Didn’t they enthrall you with tales of what happened when they landed and how they were taken to this luxurious accommodation looking out over the magnificent blue Mediterranean Sea? You were sharing their special moment that is so indelibly entrenched in their mind. That’s what travel is all about; being able to share what you have experienced because of what someone else has experienced and extending your education at the same time. Every trip you do will be that much different to what your friends’ trip was.

Even though there are many modes of travel, each person has their own favourite mode. For me, my preferred mode is fast becoming cruising. However, I have done coach, four-wheel driving, motorhome ventures, river and ocean cruises. Each can be the best mode to do the particular tour you have chosen. Sometimes you have to ride a kayak, or a donkey, or walk a hundred kilometers; it’s up to you.

Each continent has purpose built travel modes to get around that suit the type of tours being offered. South America requires a lot of flying segments to visit the well-known icons we hear from others about. South Africa requires a 4WD truck, or Land Rover, to cover the distances and view the scenery or animals, on sometimes, very hard, rough roads. In Europe, the coach or river cruise boat is often preferred. North America uses trains, coaches and car hire. Of course, each region can be done differently to each other. But I’m sure you get the picture.

So what’s all this got to do with being retired? When you ‘retire’ you have finished work. I have mixed the two so I manage to both work and not work. It’s a hard job to do but I love it. So what is my work? As you may have become aware, I travel a lot. I write, photograph, and take high definition movies of the trips I do, and convert all that into a blog, a photo book, and a DVD. I then make short movies to be used in advertising or promoting a destination to gain an income.

I have experienced whizzing along the Amazon River before breakfast in search of the fresh-water pink dolphin. To see a lion wake up and prepare himself to meet his mate and announce his intentions with an extended period of jungle roaring is spine tingling. Having cascades of water drop straight down on you is ‘cleansing’, both outside and sometimes inside. A morning sunrise while cruising down the Danube is refreshing at the start of the day. The museums of Moscow and Saint Petersburg give a new insight on the goings on in a ‘hidden country’ such as Russia. Even following the Tour de France can be exciting as you walk the roads that soon speeding bike riders will pass without even noticing the effort you have put in to the walk, can reward that ‘child-like desire’ of riding in a big cycling event. That is a sports lover’s interest.

Can I encourage you to believe that you too can enjoy retirement by expanding your boundaries beyond the front gate? Get out there. The world is your address. See and experience it. Your decision will be your own; but ‘live’ your decision.