A Travellerspoint blog

Home At Last

It's a really long way

Well it's done!!!! Approximately 14,535km in 6 weeks and 4 days and I think I've deserved a rest :)
A few thoughts on the travel over the last couple of days:

  • Over the past two and a half days, we have spent 36 hours driving, a couple more exploring and general stops for filling up, the rest has been spent trying to work out the best way to get comfortable in the car and still get some semblance of sleep - not easy
  • Coober Pedy is a very interesting place, you should check the Opal Mine and Museum out. There is also a place on the outskirts of town where you can do a bit of fossicking for opals. To Leah's disappointment, she didn't find anything but we think that Micah may have, will need to get her little rock checked out
  • Didn't follow the note to self and filled up at Caiguna instead of Cocklebiddie - stupid!!
  • Some random WA place names not mentioned the first time but got the reminder again today - Ghooli, Boondi Rock and Doodlakine
  • Have to now work out whether the beard is staying or going, if Leah has her way, it's off tonight hahaha

Would I do this again - I would say definitely not but the memories we have are going to be with us forever. Maybe when I'm retired, the kids are out of the house and I have a nice customised RV / Winnebago where sleeping isn't an issue, I might consider it. It definitely would take longer than 6.5 weeks that's for sure.

Thank you to all the people who have taken the time out to read mine and the kids blogs. I'm amazed at the number of views we have been getting each time.

Finally a big big big thank you to our wonderful families who have looked after us, helped us out when we needed it, we could not have done this without you. Much hugs and kisses

Posted by JacquesFamily 02:08 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 43

The Rock

This morning was spent doing some last minute packing before we headed out to breakfast with Ruth, Rodney and the kids. We are so blessed to have wonderful siblings who have looked after us over the past couple of weeks and it was certainly sad to leave Ruth, Rodney and the kids today. Before we left, Rodney took us on a tour of his workplace at the RFDS, fortunately for him there were no planes awaiting maintenance when we got there.
We left Alice Springs and made our way to Ayers Rock or should I say Uluru. I can tell you now that pictures do not do it justice. It is an awe inspiring place and you can see why the indigenous people of the area hold it as a sacred place.
Did I climb it?
When you get there, there are signs asking you not to climb along with a number of reasons why it is often closed to climbers but today the climb was open, so yes I gave it a go with Joshua. Noah went part of the way up, but the first section can be a bit tricky, so he decided that he would rather turn around and stay on the ground.
Joshua went all the way up and thoroughly enjoyed himself. As for me, I got about halfway up and started to develop some breathing problems. I stopped there while Joshua continued on and I had time to contemplate life while I waited for him. All I can say, is that my journey up the rock pretty much mirrors my life at the moment - all a bit of a struggle, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Physically, I've lost about 5 kilos on this trip which is great, but with shoulder and back problems along with the now constant cough brought about by my climb, I'm certainly feeling it a bit
Emotionally, I have had my ups and downs along the way and have found myself questioning whether I'm a good enough husband and father and whether it was selfish of me, thinking that we would be ablest fit so much into such a small amount of time.
Spiritually, I have found myself in constant prayer but somehow still feeling disconnected even as I look at all the things He has put here on earth for me to enjoy.
I'm looking forward to getting home which will take a few days so my next blog update will be when we arrive home.

Posted by JacquesFamily 03:40 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

Jive Talking

Part 8

Well our time in Alice Springs is just about over but what a wonderful time it's been!! It's just like I remember but just a bit different! Well when we first got there (unpacked all the bits and pieces first) we automatically went and played with all the kiddies out and about the place! For the next couple of days it was relaxing days but on Thursday I think it was, we went to the reptile centre (I went there before) it was such a cool experience (again hahaha) except this time I got to hold a very large blue tongue lizard and I also got to have a bearded dragon on my back and I also got to hold a quite big olive python!!! (Not at the same time of course!!) at one point cause I moved a bit to much it started constricting around my leg!!! I got to see my main man terry (saltwater croc) I don't think he was so happy to see me because his mouth was wide open when we saw him!!! The gecko cave was new and quite interesting. Well on Friday it was a good day because we got to catch up with our metaphorical Aunty, uncle and cousins, the Howard's (Uncle Kerry, Aunty Linda, Levi, Rachel, Joshua Isaac and Priscilla) it was really good to catch up with them all and have a great time seeing each other again! I was so thankful to Joshua because he offered to fix my iPod screen...For Free!!!!! I honestly can't thank him enough! Well what nearly topped seeing all our 'cousins' and Aunty and Uncle was a absolutely DELICIOUS BBQ dinner which was Sooooo Gooood! Well Saturday came and this day was especially a special day because I was in and participating in Alice Springs biggest parade...The Henley on Todd I was part of the Royal Flying Doctors float and my job was handing out lollies to all the kids. It was really special when I threw a lollie to a kid and there face just brightens up and just sitting there and smiling and saying thank you really made me smile! Especially when I saw a disabled child I automatically went up to them and handed them a lollie it just made me so happy just to see them smile :D it was a really special day! Well we ended up getting babysat by Rachel (Howard, not Moyle hahahaha) while the parentals went out for dinner! Later on in the evening and all the little kids where in bed we stayed up and watched Australia's got talent!! If anyone didn't see it all of you must look up Australia's got Talent Tommy Franklin (on YouTube) it's such an amazing act!!! Well today we had church which was different to Basso but I liked it quite a bit. Turns out Isaac was on sound and he said I could stay there and he showed me how all of the sound worked and boy it was confusing but I sorta got it....Sorta! Well after church we said our goodbyes to the Howard's and we just went to the markets which smelt good but unfortunately which dad said 'No Food For You' which was disappointing but oh well. Well tomorrow we will be leaving for Uluru only a short drive but oh well plenty of time to climb the rock 'hopefully'! And the good news is hopefully we will be able to see Aunty Ruth, Uncle Rocket, Rachel, Sarah and Samuel again at Christmas!!!! Oh well until next time :)

Posted by JacquesFamily 23:31 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 41 & 42

The last weekend

The last two days are the last official weekend for our trip and they certainly have been busy. Glad to be able to relax (sort of) this afternoon before starting to get stuff washed, packed etc ready for departure tomorrow.
Not long before we arrived in Alice, we found out through Leah's sister, Ruth, that the Henley on Todd regatta was going to be held while we were in town. Ruth's husband, Rodney, works for the Royal Flying Doctor Service as an engineer, servicing and maintaining the aircraft and he informed us during the week that the RFDS would be participating in the parade on Saturday morning and asked if the kids would like to take part. Naturally Joshua and Noah were quick to say yes, though there was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing from Noah when he found out that people throw lollies to the kids and he thought he would miss out on getting any. Eventually he took part in the parade.
We didn't attend the regatta as we were told it would be a very long day and we had a bit of stuff to do in the afternoon anyways. The parade though was pretty good value and the kids scored a heap of lollies to share.
At night, Ruth and Rodney took us out to dinner, the first night in the whole trip that we have been without the kids. They had talked up this restaurant and especially it's entree of trumpet mushrooms, and it certainly didn't disappoint. A nice night to have a bit of a catchup and bit of relaxing.
Today we headed off to church at Alice Springs Baptist and then went on to the Alice Springs markets in the Todd Street mall.
Stocked up on some provisions for the rest of our trip and now doing a bit of resting as I said before.
Tomorrow off to the Rock and the making our way home after 6 long and sometimes hectic weeks.

Posted by JacquesFamily 22:45 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 40

Reptiles and Old Friends

We went to the Reptile centre in town today which is a hands on experience for the kids, so more skinks and lizards and pythons to touch and feel. Also who should walk through the centre as we were looking around but Steve Moneghetti who is in town for a running festival.
For dinner we had a BBQ and saw some old friends of Leah's from Esperance who we haven't seen for close to 5 years - the Howard's. it was nice to catch up with them again, we spent time comparing how much all the kids have grown.

Posted by JacquesFamily 00:51 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 39

Shoo flies, don't bother me

We trekked today out to Trephina Gorge, 75kms out from Alice, looking to see a bit more of the McDonnell ranges which dominates the Alice Springs landscape.
We did the ridge top walk around the gorge which then lead down into the gorge itself, the walk itself took about 50 minutes. We were hoping that there might be some waterhole around but everything is very dry. Once thing we have really noticed which we haven't missed on the other parts of our trip is the flies. The flies are into everything and no amount of shooing away is going to get rid of them. We had a nice picnic lunch and then headed back towards Alice.
Before getting back into town, we stopped at a couple of spots called Jessie Gap and Emily Gap which are basically small gaps between the ranges, why they are named that I'm not sure but overall some nice scenery.
One other thing we have noticed since leaving Townsville is that the fuel efficiency has decreased to the extent that you're looking at probably 50 to 100kms less per tankful. This is a result of an unleaded fuel called Opal which I found out was brought about to try and alleviate one of the issues affecting the indigenous people of Central Australia. Looks like premium unleaded will have to be the way to go for the next part of our trip to at least Port Augusta.

Posted by JacquesFamily 04:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 38

Desert Park

I took Micah and Jemimah to Desert Park this morning as it was one of the places that Leah said we should see. She stayed behind with the boys as they had already seen it.
It was really nice to actually see what the countryside looks like rather than the blur it is when we are driving past at 130kmh. The girls loved looking at the different birds around, especially the kites which are very prevalent around Alice. Jemimah of course wanted to see the wiggaroos (kangaroos) so we had a nice walk through of a section of the park where they are and we managed to see one with a joey in its pouch.
Tonight after dinner, we headed out to hand feed some wobblies (wallabies) and then headed back to Anzac Hill to see Alice at night.

Posted by JacquesFamily 03:51 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 37

What to do in a town like Alice

Today, after a slow start we went for a picnic out at the old Telegraph station. It was amazing to see all the various bird life around from kites to galahs to magpies plus a couple of others. Near the telegraph station is the now dry waterhole from which Alice Springs got its name, named after Alice Todd who was the wife of the postmaster general of the time.
After our nice picnic, we went up to Anzac Hill which overlooks the whole town and you get a real idea of just how small Alice Springs really is. It is supposed to look really good at night time which we will do on another night.
This afternoon I must have been really tired as I had my first "nanna nap" of our whole trip - maybe the whole "see the whole country in 7 weeks" is catching up with me after all and I've still got a week and a half to go!

Posted by JacquesFamily 03:24 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Jive Talking

Part 7

Well sorry to all those 'Jive Talking' fans out there who where expecting a new blog on Friday I'm so sorry we where all just too busy! Well it was a quite an amazing week we had up in Townsville/Magnetic Island. It was so good to see Aunty Syahn and Uncle Adrian and Eric again and also seeing the cheeky Cydnee for the first time (In person this time instead of on the computer screen) it was a good first afternoon with us just chilling as a family with a little surprise from Ash and Naomi dropping in for 2 days!! We went to the 'lagoon for a nice swim which was well needed :) and oh I forgot when we got there Aunty Syahn had just made some DELICIOUS coffee and date scrolls I just could not get enough of them they where so good :) I was glad we got to sleep in a bed for the first time but unfortunately I think Noah was rolling around a bit to much and the bed deflated during the middle of the night! The rest of the days where a bit of a lazy couple of days except for an awesome 2 games of bowling and a visit to the RAAF base and seeing some wicked choppers eg Blackhawks, chinooks which where amazing! Ok then along came MAGNETIC ISLAND which was amazing first was the boring unpacking then an awesome swim down at Geoffery bay which was like 45 metres or less away from our apartments and I got to have my first ever snorkelling experience on the amazing GREAT BARRIER REEF it was honestly breath taking no really it seriously took my breath away from me hahaha all the coral and the fish was amazing and the dreaded sharks and rays didn't come (thank goodness!!!) well the day after. That was so cool cause I got to hold the apex predator of the world aka the salt water croc (only 1.2 metres with its mouth taped up though hahaha) then my first experience of holding a carpet python who felt surprisingly weird with all its muscles moving around my neck then mum got to hold a d-bear which I wanted to hold but mum just had to hold it and have the fun of holding a d-bear but I didn't :( but i did get to hold a blue young lizard a bobtail and have a frilled necked lizard on my head :) and then there was the grand finale with the rainbow lorikeet feeding which was truly amazing all we had to do was grab a handful of this gross muesli type bird food then hold your hand out and wallah they where swarming like bees at one point I had 6 on my hand and 2 one my head and may I say they are quite heavy :) and poor Jemimah or should I say poor bird cause Jemimah got some feed and held her arm out but then unfortunately for the bird it landed on her arm and Jemimah FREAKED she screamed and tried to pull the bird back towards her!! Then Erick was asleep and he got pooped on his head, poor guy :/ then the nights where amazing because all the possums came out along with the wallabies and as possums do they climbed up onto our verandah and us kids where suddenly out there and when Cydnee came she screamed and then arm stretched out ran after the possum as if saying 'YOUR MINE'!! Well we finished off our magnetic island trip with some fish and chips which was delish :) oh I forgot to mention that Uncle Adrian took us fishing twice with no luck but we still got quite a few mini ones :) well anyway by the next time I do my blog ill be talking about Alice springs!

Posted by JacquesFamily 03:04 Archived in Estonia Comments (0)

Day 36

A town called Alice

Well I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting from Alice Springs but it certainly is a lot smaller than I thought it would be.
Leah, Joshua and Noah have all been to Alice Springs before so for myself and the girls this is our first experience of life in the Alice.
I have been pretty tired and starting to get a bit sore so I think this week is going to be fairly light on in terms of going places.
Anyways, we walked down Todd Mall and had a bit of browse around town this morning and then back to Leah's sister's place so the kids could do a bit of a catch up on homework that they haven't been able to do whilst in the car.
A nice dinner and a quiet night to finish up.

Posted by JacquesFamily 02:51 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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