Archive for December, 2008

Emerald Christmas 2008 Message

With apologies to all good movie makers, but we are only using a 4 year old Sony 3.2M digital camera. We had a go at making a Christmas message this morning. The movie is 5.1Meg in size, which is the smallest I could do and get a reasonable result.If you double-click the following link you should get to see our first attempt at making a movie.


For us, 2008 has been a year of massive change. We are enjoying our new lifestyle and are slowly getting used to the heat here in Emerald. We are both slowly learning to “chill out” which can only be a good thing. The lack of daylight saving means the sun is up well before 5am at present and we are getting used to that. No we are not getting up then, but we are doing more things in the morning before the heat sets in.

So, to all our family and friends, we wish you a happy Christmas and a great 2009. We will have a drink (or three) for you on Christmas Day. We will be thinking of you all !

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Emerald, pre Christmas

For us ex southerners, the heat since our arrival in Emerald has been testing. Most days have been in the high 30’s, with a small respite last weekend when low 30’s were a welcome “cool’ change. David has adjusted a bit better than Jan so far, but the aircon in the caravan has been running continuously. We have been swimming a few times in the town pool which is conveniently located right next door to our caravan park.

On our arrival we spent a bit of time finding things around town and seeing what the work prospects are like. We have been battling through the system since – computer-based testing and all. So far so good, we got a call today setting up an interview for Jan 5th with a local telecommunications outfit.

Lots of businesses close tomorrow till Jan 5th, so it is a bit slow in the recruitment businesses at present. The job losses in the mining industry is a bit of a worry also. So we have been doing a bit of sightseeing.

Last week we went west out to the gem fields around Anakie, Sapphire and Rubyvale. Didn’t run into Dennis but if he is still selling soft drinks he should be doing well (Thorpdalites will understand this line.) We went east earlier in the week and had a poke around Blackwater, the so-called centre of the coal fields. Today we headed north and spent time in Capella and Clermont. Both towns are service centres for coal mines. We both liked the Clermont area.

Couple of grey nomads hoping the delay timer is going to work - Theresa Creek Dam, Clermont

Just up the road from the dam, I took the following photo. This dump truck is only a baby compared to some we have seen either on the road or in yards in the industrial areas of the towns we have visited.

The Suzi driver has set a goal to drive a bigger version of this type of dump truck - somewhere, sometime

The Suzi driver has set a goal to drive a bigger version of this type of dump truck - somewhere, sometime

We haven’t made any plans for Christmas yet but we are planning to go over to the coast for a few days and have a look around the Rockhampton area. Rocky is about 300km east of here. Suzi is going well, as long as I remember to keep filling the petrol tank. Its range is only about 350km and I have managed to run out of petrol twice in recent weeks. The truck has a range of 1200km and our previous vehicle was good for 900km per tank. Well that’s my excuse for running out!        Our Christmas message will be our next post.

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videos part 3

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Busting out of NSW (will the last one out please turn off the lights)


We spent five nights in Moree. Had a bit of office work to catch up on. The internet access thingie worked fine so I got to update this blog. Also had a bit of government crap to sort out, but we got that done in the end. For the technophiles, I love the blue-tooth mouse, so much easier to use than the laptop touchpad and it frees up a USB port.

David's Moree office

And, thanks to Yvonne & Geoff Greneger’s suggestion we tried the hot artesian baths. They seemed to soak away some of my lingering aches and pains, so I am now a fan. Jan even got to go in her new boardshorts and rashie – getting a photo will be almost impossible, but I’ll try.

In windy spots, where there is plenty of room, the truck becomes a great help in blocking the prevailing winds, so as in the next photo, a trend in the site photos is developing.

Our site Moree Mehi River Caravan Park

Our site Moree Mehi River Caravan Park

Across the border

After a bit of prepacking the night before ie. putting Suzi into the truck and packing up the awning and stuff under it, we hit the road north. Managed to get away just before 9am. Northwest to Mungindi, the only town in the southern hemisphere that is dissected by a state border. (Good trivia question there). South of the rickety bridge there is a NSW Police Station and just over the bridge there is a Qld Police Station. We headed to St George, refueled the truck and had what turned out to be an early lunch (no daylight saving in Qld).

Fuel Economy

This was our first refuel since leaving Canberra. It was nice to see diesel at $1.31 as in Moree it was still $1.49. We got just on 3.3km/L . Truck on its own has averaged about 4.3 in recent years. Caravan will be close to 4t and the truck is probably somewhere between 7 and 8t with the back full of our gear. I might get into the habit of emptying our water tank, thereby saving 820kg, if we are going to continue to stay in caravan parks with good water supplies.

A big day out (on the road)

With an extra hour on our hands and a cool airconned cab to travel in (St George was expecting 38c), we decided to press on and try to break the back of the 836km trip from Moree to our next destination of Emerald. We travelled up through Roma and Injune and got as far as Rolleston before calling it quits for the day at about 5pm local time. Our Queensland welcome committee was soon greeting us – see next 2 photos.

We must be in Qld - green frog, Rolleston caravan park

We must be in Qld - green frog, Rolleston caravan park

Yes, we have hit cane toad country

Yes, we have hit cane toad country

Cane toads sure are ugly critters close up. Just on dusk they come crawling out from under just about any cool dark place. We have a few living under the slab beside our van here in Emerald.

Emerald on a hot Wednesday,  3 Dec 08

We had just a 140km run from Rolleston into Emerald via Springsure. Luckily we were able to get a long-term site in the Emerald Cabin & Caravan Village, less than 1km to the centre of town. The park is almost full and the shady sites are at a premium. We set up the van then went for a wander down town and I started checking out the jobs situation. There are a few prospects I am following up.

Emerald has certainly laid on a warm welcome – 37, 38, 38, 39 with 40 today. The van aircon has been going flat-out since we arrived, I have bought 2 silver tarps and have mounted them on the awning shademesh wall to try to deflect some of the scorching afternoon heat and I have bought a gazebo to provide some shade for Suzi.

Hot Emerald (40c when photo taken), Suzi now has her own carport

Hot Emerald (40c when photo taken), Suzi now has her own carport

We had tea at the local Bowlo on Friday night. Couldn’t believe it is not airconditioned – meal was OK but it was too sweaty to stay for the raffles so we went on to the Golfie. Whilst I think it is airconned, it was just as sweaty as the Bowlo so after one drink we headed back to the cool of our van. All readers back in Moruya should treasure the Cubs there, the equivalent 2 here in Emerald aren’t in the same league. I understand the Emerald Bowlo has just reopened after a fire but it sure seems to need a shake up. Their AGM was today and I stayed right away……..

From what we have seen so far we both like the town – there is another Club for us to try. We are going to stay here for a few weeks to fully check out the job situation.       Now where is that cool drink?

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