Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 7 ~ HAHNDORF IN THE MIST ~

Today we didn't have to travel too far and we ate a quick breakfast of cereal, I guts out on cold KFC too! Then we left Gawler and drove in to the city centre of Adelaide. A quick look around and we fled to the Eastern suburbs where we looked at a garage sale and the shops.

I was still grooving on down to ABBA (a bit sad I know)and we slowly drove out of the city and followed the main road through Bridgewater on to Hahndorf. Back roads were our preference and it was amazing the number of times the Freeway kept popping back in to view!

Stopping at a small wayside shop, we purchased 3kg of Pink Lady Apples and two bunches of bright colored daffodils. Then it was on to our intended destination, the small historic German town of Hahndorf. A small, trendy village, it was shrouded in mist today and reminded me a bit of 'Hogsmeade', the small settlement in the Harry Potter books.

This town had small boutique shops, art displays, museums, bakeries, magic shops, candlemakers, and German beer houses lining the main thoroughfare. We happily explored the shops for several hours and I bought some chilli sauce, raspberry and rhubarb jam and, finally, my prized desire, a big piece of creamy Black Forest cake - Yum!

I got a postcard of the town for my former landlady in Toowoomba, Mrs Condoleon. Went to the loo and finally back to the car, where the rain was starting to close in again.

The directions back to Gawler were not that clear and we ambled through many towns, such as Balhannah, Woodside, Gumeracha, Kersbrook, Williamstown, and finally back to Gawler.

After a bit of grocery shopping, I put up one of my website posters on the supermarket noticeboard, we made our way back to our friend's house. I read 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone' and was enraptured by the magical storyline and adventures.

While dinner was being made, I surfed the net at Trafficera.com and slowly made my way to the #1 position on my team, TruPartners, for the second week running! Was I excited about this!

Lisa had gone to pick up her parents from the city, they had been on a bus trip to go whale watching, and didn't know that we were staying. They walked in to a big surprise and were really thrilled to see us again!

Dinner was hot shepherd's pie, followed by warm choc-orange christmas log, strawberries, rockmelon, cream and icecream. Yum! Then we sat around the table and chatted on about the old times etc.

I forgot to take my daily tablet and so didn't get much sleep that night, never mind, I surfed more on the computer and climbed my member ranking higher and higher, page 3 now! I changed my avatar to Harry Potter and Hedwig the owl and, Finally, got some sleep!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Day 6 ~ GIMMEE, GIMMEE, GIMMEE A MAN AFTER MIDNIGHT! ~

No, I haven't turned all Mardi Gras (not that there's anything wrong with that! - To borrow a line from Seinfeld!) A big 'Hello' to all my gay and lesbian readers out there, More power to You! :-)

After a rushed breakfast of bacon and egg, we finally left by 10:00 am. We ambled down through Gladstone (where we had stayed once before), and stopped at many arts and crafts shops along the way. I put up my website posters at several shops.

The countryside was very green and lush and there were many paddocks filled with yellow canola flowers - very Brilliant! Onwards through many small villages until we reached the town of Clare.

I was eager to do some shopping and bought the 'Mamma Mia' soundtrack, a pair of jeans for $15 and a couple of pens. We stopped for lunch at a park just out of town and I had a salami and salad sandwich and an apricot jam sandwich. As we drove away from the lunch stop I sang loudly and spiritedly, 'Gimmee, Gimmee, Gimmee a man after midnight ....' courtesy of the ABBA soundtrack .... Poor Clare! ;-)

Then we continued on to the outskirts of Adelaide, South Autralia's largest city. We got to Gawler and I found a quaint little bookshop where I got three Harry Potter books for about $20 - Bargain!

After much searching and exploring, we found our friend's house and after happy greetings, had a great time talking with them, Mum, Dad, and two daughters. After many hours of chatting we tucked into a feast of K.F.C., chicken, nuggets, salads, chips and Pepsi!

More talk and much laughter before we tumbled in to bed for the night, after a hot shower of course!

... and That's Your daily bread! ...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Day 5 ~ CLIMBING THE ROCK ('n' ROLL) & EMU DREAMING! ~

After a breakfast of cereal, yoghurt and fruit, we bade farewell to Ceduna. We drove through several little towns, such as Wirrulla and Cungena before stopping at Poochera; (for some reason, the name of this town reminds me of that silly Simpsons cartoon dog character, 'Poochie'!)

When we got to Minnipa, we took a detour to Pildappa Rock, and spent 45 minutes climbing and exploring here; the view over farmlands was great! After some peppermint chip chocolate and a drink, we headed off again.

Another hour or so and it was time for lunch. Pokedinny Park, near Kyancutta was where we stopped for a feed of Danish salami, carrot, chilli sauce, and cracked pepper, garlic, chilli, and salt sandwich. I had a cheese and pepper sandwich to follow and a drink. Shinook mooched around.

I drove for a few hours next and we passed through Koongawa. A Father emu and His 6 young crossed the highway and I slowed down to let the family pass safely; what a site!

Kimba was where we got some petrol and then it was on to Iron Knob where we took a detour near the mines to explore this tiny town.

Then it was on to Port Augusta; all the way I was singing Elvis Presley songs in my head ....... don't You step on my Blue suede shoes, Return to sender, address unknown, Love me tender, love me true, Wooden heart... and so on and so on.. I even have the lip curl down pat! (Anyone who wants a Karaoke Elvis for their next birthday party, give me a call!)

We stopped at Port Augusta and did a bit of grocery shopping. I wanted to buy a Harry Potter book and ABBA C.D. but was unable to! Drats and double drats! After another fuel stop, I bought a Cappuccino Colombian Chocolate Magnum Ice-cream; Heaven!! :-)

We headed off for the Flinders Ranges; they were green with grass, which is very unusual! Lambs frolicked on the slopes as we headed into the mountains. Now I had ABBA's 'S.O.S.' on my mind and I sang heartily! (I'd seen the film 'Mamma Mia' not too long ago; Loved it!) 'Can You hear me darling, can You hear me? S.O.S.... the love You gave me nothing else can save me, S.O.S... When You're gone, how can I even try to go on, when You're gone....... ' Move over ABBA!!

We got to Wilmington, a small village in a sea of green paddocks and drove to the Beautiful Valley Caravan Park. 'No Onsite Vans', said the owner, but I pointed out that their website said '$25 per night, plus $5 for each extra person' so the very nice owner let us have a Cabin for this price! Excellent!

Next we walked Shinook through the forest and saw a cute bunny hopping past; Shinook wanted to make it Her dinner! Back to the cabin, where I had an email waiting for me from the A.B.C. (Television station), that stated they were willing to help me find my Father, Michael Gibson. I was very excited about this!

After a dinner of sausages, salad, and bread, I had a hot shower and surfed my heart out at Trafficera.com. My ranking of #4 needed to be improved upon and I was hoping to win some bonus tokens this week for finishing in the Top 500 surfers! My team is called TruPartners, they are a Grand bunch! :-)

.. and That's Your daily bread!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 4 ~ NEW AGE WHALE WATCHING! ~

Rise and shine! I didn't have a morning shower as there was a $2 charge for each one! Water problems in this part of the world!

After a breakfast of fried eggs, bacon and toast, I took the key back and got my $5 deposit. Then it was on the road again!

I continued reading 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' and nearly missed seeing some vintage cars passing us on the Highway! The story was very gripping, J.K. Rowling has put a spell on me and I now Have to read the rest of the series! So, Harry and Hermione saved Buckbeak from execution, much to Hagrid's delight! Then they saved Sirius Black from the tower and were dismayed to see Peter Pettigrew run off in to the Forbidden Forest!

The final scene where Harry waived the permission to go to Hogsmeade form, signed by His godfather, Sirius Black, under his mean Uncle Vernon's nose gave me a laugh! 'He's (Sirius) an escaped mass-murderer who will be keeping an eye on me!', Harry exclaimed with delight!

So, back to reality, we drove past the Nullarbor Roadhouse and continued on to the cliffs of the Great Australian Bight; $10 got me entry to the lookouts where I watched several Southern Right Whales frolicking in the ocean, with young! Absolutely spectacular!If You ever get the chance, make sure to come and see the whales at play in the Southern Ocean!

The Nullarbor National Park gave way to Yalata Aboriginal Land and we stopped at a rest area for a lunch of cold hamburgers and salad sandwiches. I got a hair-cut and we talked to a couple from Cairns, Queensland, who had traveled right over the top of the country and were on their way around the southern half of Australia! Shinook had a drink and we were off on our travels again.

I began reading a book by Deepak Chopra, a new age thesis on 'stopping the aging process' - Interesting, if a little left-wing! Stopping at the Nundroo Roadhouse where we filled up with petrol, then on to Penong and an extra 73 kms to our destination for the night, the seaside tourist town of Ceduna. We had made it across the Nullarbor; What a trip!

After scouting around the caravan parks, we decided to stay, once again, at the Airport Caravan Park. Only $45 for the night which is quite reasonable really!

We drove in to town and walked along the foreshore beach, then a quick stroll down the jetty at sunset; cold winds blew fiercely!

Dinner was crumbed snapper, chips and a chicko roll (which is an Australian institution - Veges, mainly cabbage, surrounded in golden fried batter - Delicious!)

After family 'phone calls it was back to the caravan park for a desert of boysenberry yoghurt and cling peaches, Yum! After some computer work and a hot shower I tumbled in to bed; Good Night!

... and That's Your daily bread!



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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

~ THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING SIERRA CARD AND EROTIC HARRY POTTER ROAD-KILLS!! (Days 2 and 3). ~

On the morning of Day 2, I did the dishes and watched all the Olympics 'wash-up' on T.V. The question being posed: Was the Beijing Olympics better than the Sydney Olympics!? Of Course not Sillies or otherwise Jacques Rogge (is that how to spell it, looks like 'Rogue' to me ..... Hmmmmm) would have said so! D'oh!! (Of course, I am a proud Aussie too!)... he winks...

We drove in to town and did some shopping at the I.G.A. store (Independent Grocers of Australia). I put up one of my website advertisements with the tear-off URL tabs.


Then we were on our way! First town was Coolgardie and we zipped through without looking too much! Somebody had piles of sculptures made out of junk off-cuts in their front yard - very clever, only in Oztralia! :-)


I read 'The Prisoner of Azkaban' and listened to my walkman CD player .... Mariah Carey droned on... (I know, I'm scared too but she is one Luscious Lass!!)

We stopped for lunch, salami and salad sandwich and some chocolate, and drink. Half an hour later we were on the road again, and that's when the real dramas began! About 20 kms up the road, I suddenly discovered that I had lost my Sierra Broadband Wireless card from my computer! Panic stations!!

A quick U-turn and a frantic 20km drive back to the lunch spot, I was sweating tonnes I can tell You! I jumped out of the Suzuki with a bound and rummaged on the ground, looking earnestly! Eureka! Card found and blogging reputation remained intact!

The next town we came to was Norseman, the beginning of the Nullarbor. A bit more grocery shopping, and I put up another website sign in the shops. We filled up with fuel and the Service Station owner said, 'Mind You look out for the Naked Nymph who runs along the road of the Nullarbor'! He fixed me with his beady eye and waggled a finger of warning! I couldn't tell if he was joking or not but was excited about the prospect of seeing the Nullarbor Nymph in the flesh! Whooaaahh Daddy! :-) The myth of the nymph rivals legends such as the Loch Ness Monster and the Abonimable Snowman! Even the B.B.C. did a story on it!

Onwards we traveled, determined to stop by nightfall! No nymph did I espy.... D*mn!! ;-) I drove for two hours until we reached the Balladonia Roadhouse and Motel. $110 for one night, we stayed in a room called a 'Donga', funny little bedrooms with ensuites, set up for the workers on the Nullarbor Highway many years ago; couldn't believe the expense, Outrageous!!

We decided not to cook and went to the Roadhouse for a budget lamb roast and veges, $11.95 per serve! While at the roadhouse, I rummaged through the C.D.'s on sale, and to my delighted surprise, found an album by 'The Beautiful Girls', my cousin's band from Sydney! Their album is called 'Ziggurats', Very hip and funky sounding!!

Back to the Donga and off to bed. I lay awake until after midnight listening to the next-door neighbors singing Queen songs at the top of their lungs! Shinook stayed in the car and kept watch..... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............


DAY 3

After a breakfast of cereal and fruit we were on the road again. I read my 'Harry Potter' book and we drove to Caiguna, got some petrol and then kept on traveling. I couldn't believe the amount of roadkill on the highway! Dead kangaroos lay here and there, dead as doornails after being struck by trucks and big 4WD's! Sad indeed! I wish that I had brought a hunting knife to cut off chunks of roo meat for Shinook!

Onwards to Cocklebiddy, I nearly missed it as I was thoroughly lost in Hogwart's happenings! I grooved on down to the strains of Madonna's greatest hits! Singing along with 'Erotica' halfway across the Nullarbor is just a bit surreal I think! Harry Potter, Madonna ... two of the biggest Pop Culture Icons filling my head! I decided then and there that I would make up the Trinity of Pop Culture 'God/desses'! Except I'd have to fight off the Simpsons I guess!

'The Fatherspirit Show'.... visions of interviews with 'Harper's Bazaar', 'Vanity Fair' ... and 'Aussie Pig Shooters' (I woke back to reality there!) magazines filled my ambitious head! .... 'Fatherspirit thrills the world with his sexy travel blogging!'... well I can dream can't I!? .... get back in the glam game Honey!!

We passed through Madura, a tiny settlement where we had stayed in the past; a Very grotty motel here! Yuck! I was driving now so Harry and friends had to be put on hold!

Stopping at Mundrabilla, where fuel was 'cheap' apparently, $1.80 per litre! Ouch! The journey continued and we reached Eucla, where we hoped to stay the night! 'All rooms booked out, sorry Love!', the Motel Lady said.

So, we had no other choice but to keep traveling, across the Western Australia/ South Australia border and on to Border Town! I was really pleased that I could pick up a signal for my computer here and grinned like a Cheshire Cat who had just got the cream! My ranking at Trafficera, with the Amazing TruPartners team, had slipped from #1 to #7! Yikes!

I bought a C.D. at Border Town, 'Absolute Garbage', Garbages' Greatest Hits! You gotta Love Butch Vigg and Shirley Manson right! So, humming 'I'm Only Happy When It Rains', I paid $60 for a room for the night and we unpacked and let Shinook out for a stroll.

Dinner was hamburgers cooked in the camp kitchen and an ice-cream at the petrol station shop! Then a hot shower and off to bed!

Thanks to everyone who is reading my travel blog and a special 'Hi!' to Matt and Donna... and JoAnn too! You all rock guys!

..... and That's Your daily bread! :-) x

Monday, August 25, 2008

On The Nullarbor.

No Signal.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

~ THE END OF THE OLYMPICS AND THE BEGINNING OF OUR JOURNEY ACROSS AUSTRALIA! ~

Today we set off from Australind, Western Australia (south of Perth), at 10:30 a.m.; dog Shinook was in the back with the luggage!

We filled the Suzuki up with fuel and drove to Collie, where we shopped at the local markets for apples, and I bought a second-hand copy of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" for a measley $3! I also bought the Sunday Paper and read all about the Beijing Olympics!

We drove for a couple of hours and had lunch of a cheese and tomato sandwich and doritos at a wayside stop.

Then I carried on with the driving duties for the next couple of hours and we stopped for the night at a nice town called Southern Cross (Located 357 m above sea level and 368 km east of Perth on the Great Eastern Highway, Southern Cross can be seen as either the last town on the edge of the wheatbelt or the first town on the Eastern Goldfields.) The caravan park had an onsite van for $55 per night, so we took it. Dogs were even allowed in the van!



Next, we walked the dog part way into town and returned for a dinner of lamb chops and salad. I worked on the computer and watched the Closing Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics; Spectacular!! Roll on London in 2012; I am planning to attend and go to Wimbledon too!


GOODBYE BEIJING! ★





Tomorrow we shall driving across the Nullabor Plains! .... and that's Your daily bread!




The Perth Mint Australia

Saturday, August 23, 2008

• MATTHEW MITCHAM WINS GOLD IN MEN'S 10 METER PLATFORM DIVING! •


(BEIJING, August 23) -- China's quest for a sweep of Diving gold ended in shocking fashion, as Matthew Mitcham of Australia performed a spectacular 112.10-point final dive that overcame a 32.50-point gap and rocketed him into first place in the Men's 10m Platform. Zhou Luxin, the leader in the round through five dives, earned just 74.80 on his final dive to fall short of gold by 4.80 points.

China was hoping to earn the first Olympic Diving gold medal sweep in more than fifty years and a victory in the Men's 10m Platform would have given the host nation its 50th gold medal of the Beijing Olympic Games.

But on a rare off night for China's divers, an ascendant Mitcham, ranked No. 3 in the world, was brilliant. A 97.35-point second dive put him in contention for gold and the perfectly executed final dive, which had a degree of difficulty of 3.8, gave the 20-year-old diver the perfect ending to his Olympic debut.

Gleb Galperin of Russia, the reigning world champion in the event, scored 102.60 on his final dive, and 525.80 points overall, to earn his second bronze medal of the Beijing Olympics. He and partner Dmitriy Dobroskok finished in third place in the Synchronized Platform event.

Zhou's teammate Huo Liang was the leader after the morning's semifinal leader but in the final was unable to find his form. He was in third place after his first dive but scored only one 90-plus point dive in the round and finished in fourth place. Zhou won gold in the Synchronized event with his partner Lin Yue earlier in the Games.

Men's 10m Platform, final standings

1. Australia -- Matthew Mitcham, 537.95 points

2. China -- Zhou Luxin, 533.15

3. Russia -- Gleb Galperin, 525.80

4. China -- Huo Liang, 508.40

5. Cuba -- Jose Antonio Guerra Oliva, 507.15

6. Australia -- Mathew Helm, 467.70

7. Great Britain -- Thomas Daley, 463.55

8. Mexico -- Rommel Pacheco, 460.20

9. Germany -- Patrick Hausding, 448.30

10. United States -- David Boudia, 441.45

11. Colombia -- Juan Guillermo Uran, 414.80

12. United States -- Thomas Finchum, 412.65

+ KEN WALLACE WINS GOLD IN FLATWATER (K1) FINAL! +


(BEIJING, August 23) -- Australia's Ken Wallace pulled ahead at end of the course to win the Canoe/Kayak Flatwater Kayak Single (K1) 500 meter final on Saturday, August 23.

Wallace took a bronze medal in Friday's K1 1000m final. The 25-year-old has been performing well in recent years, but few believed he would take gold in this 500m competition with so many world class paddlers competing.

The most famous of the Wallace's opponents is defending champion Adam van Koeverden of Canada, who took three K1 500m gold medals in the 2008 ICF World Cup series. He was unstoppable before going into this tournament, but his winning run came to an abrupt end, finishing eighth in the K1 1000m final on Friday.


Friday, August 22, 2008

~ STEVE HOOKER WINS POLE VAULT GOLD MEDAL! ~


Steve Hooker from Australia claimed the Men's Pole Vault title with the result of 5.96 meters at the Beijing Olympics on Friday night.

Evqeny Lukyanenko from Russia took the silver with 5.85 meters, and Denys Yurchenko from Ukraine got the bronze with 5.70 meters.

Monday, August 18, 2008

★ AUSTRALIA WINS DUAL GOLD IN SAILING AND A THIRD GOLD IN WOMEN'S TRIATHLON! ★



Congratulations goes to Malcolm Page and Nathan Wilmot - Sailing (Two Person Dinghy 470) (Aug 18)

Australian duo Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson claimed the gold of the Women's Two Person Dinghy at the Olympic Sailing Regatta on Monday.

Emma Snowsill - Triathlon (Aug 18)


Saturday, August 16, 2008

♥ AUSTRALIA WINS GOLD IN WOMEN'S 4 x 100m MEDLEY RELAY! ♥



(BEIJING, August 17) -- The Australian team of Emily Seebohm, Leisel Jones, Jessicah Schipper and Lisbeth Trickett defended their Olympic title and broke their own world record time (3:55.74) in the Women's 4 x 100m Medley Relay, clocking 3:52.69.

The silver-medalist US team of Natalie Coughlin, Rebecca Soni, Christine Magnuson and Dara Torres also broke the previous world record swimming 3:53.30.

The Chinese team of Zhao Jing, Sun Ye, Zhou Yafei and Pang Jiaying took the bronze at 3:56.11.

★ AUSTRALIA WINS TWO GOLDS IN THE ROWING! ★



BEIXIAOYING TOWN, China (AP)—David Crawshay and Scott Brennan of Australia have won the gold medal in men’s double sculls rowing, leading all the way to win in 6 minutes, 27.77 seconds.

Crawshay and Brennan led at every 500-meter mark Saturday to win a six-boat field that had no strong favorite. They weren’t very well known coming into the event, but now they have Olympic gold.

Tonu Endrekson and Juri Jaanson of Estonia won the silver medal in 6:29.05. Britain’s Matthew Wells and Stephen Rowbotham are the bronze medalists, crossing the line in 6:29.10.




Australian pair Drew Ginn and Duncan Free have won the country's sixth gold medal of the Beijing Olympics, taking out the men's pairs in the rowing.

Ginn and Free crossed the finish line in 6:37.44, just ahead of Canadian duo David Calder and Scott Frandsen, who clocked 6:39.55.

The Australian and Canadian boats were level pegging throughout the first half of the race but it was once they had passed the 1,000m mark that Free and Ginn pulled clear.

New Zealand's Nathan Twaddle and George Bridgewater finished third in 6:44.19.

It is Ginn's third rowing gold medal from as many Olympic Games, putting him on par with James Tomkins for the most gold medals by an Australian rower.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

♥ AUSTRALIAN WOMEN WIN FREESTYLE RELAY GOLD MEDAL!! ♥


(BEIJING, August 14) -- The Australian team of Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt, Kylie Palmer and Linda Mackenzie took gold in Women's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay Final with a record breaking time of 7:44.31. The Chinese team of Yang Yu, Zhu Qianwei, Tan Miao and Pang Jiaying took the silver medal in 7:45.93. Taking the bronze medal, the United States team of Allison Schmitt, Natalie Coughlin, Caroline Burckle and Katie Hoff also came in under the world record at 7:46.33.

The former world record of 7:50.09 was set by the United States in Melbourne, Australia on March 29, 2007.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

♥ STEPHANIE RICE WINS HER SECOND OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL! ♥


(BEIJING, August 13) -- Stephanie Rice of Australia underlined her dominance in the Medley events when she broke her own world record to win the Olympic Women's 200m Individual Medley gold medal in a new mark of 2:08.45.

Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry took silver and American Natalie Coughlin the bronze.
Women's 200m Individual Medley: Rice crowned best all-rounder!

Monday, August 11, 2008

LEISEL WINS GOLD!


(BEIJING, August 12) -- Event world record holder Leisel Jones of Australia took the gold medal in the Women's 100m Breaststroke final, clocking 1:05.17.

American Rebecca Soni (1:06.73) won the silver medal with Mirna Jukic of Austria taking bronze at 1:07.34.

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