(and sometimes the beast!)




Prior to retiring earlier this year, I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life really when I became an Old Age Pensioner (OAP). Then one day as I headed to Brisbane for visit family, I passed a small motor-home which gave me the romantic notion that I could travel like that, cat in tow.  My wise daughter suggested I hire something similar before committing hard earned savings to my (possibly hair brained) idea. Surely a camper van would be not much different to a motor home I thought? How wrong I was...

Things I discovered on the journey:
1. Camper vans are for young agile backpackers with strong bladders, not aging romantics who need to visit the loo a couple of times during the night.
2. I apparently had never forgotten my training as a graduate of my ex-husband's School of Holiday Driving; his motto was "Why stop when you can keep driving?" and was a strong believer in "time stopped was time wasted."
3. I really need to prepare and plan before I make important life choices.  Duh...
4. I don't enjoy my own company for long stretches.    
5. If I think there's a chance I may have strayed onto a toll road I should pay up front just in case, after all, OAP's can't afford unpaid toll fines...  Idiot!

You can read the full story of my recent trip to Melbourne here.  Posts on this blog are more a fuller photographic journey of that trip.
First stop Chinderah for fish and chip lunch. The many seagulls spoilt it a bit by crowding me and screaming for a chip.  I soon set off for Ballina where I didn't even get my camera out and ended up in Valla Beach where I stayed with a friend for 3 nights. Not in the camper van... phew!  
Valla Beach is a beautiful spot and I enjoy my visits there. This is Deep Creek near my friend's house. Fish and rays lurk beneath the surface but I couldn't get any shots of them jumping out of the water. 
A selection of the many birds around the Valla Beach area. 
Looking from the seaward side of the bridge over the creek, to the right is a bird sanctuary.
View of Sawtell Beach. 
Panoramic shot of the beach at Urunga. 
A rainy day visit to the Coffs Harbour lookout was a little disappointing, would be fabulous on a clear day.
Muttonbird Island adjacent to Coffs Harbour.
Gratuitous (and timely) shot of the Easter Bunny to brighten up an otherwise dull photographic collection thanks to the weather.
Last time I saw paddle boarders at Valla Beach, this time just the gulls...
The clouds were never far away that week and this sunrise on my last morning at Valla Beach was dulled by their cover although if you squint you can just see the moon...
I found myself thinking of opal for some reason. Better was to come the further south I went.

Part 2 to follow...

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