Blog Nine – Mackay
Wednesday 6 June 2018
A very early start this morning up about 4:00am to catch our flight back to Oz. We organised a bus to pick us up and it was a great choice. One thing that did surprise us was the traffic at 5:00am. It was thick heading to the airport and from about 4 kms out it was pretty slow and jam packed. Still we made it in heaps of time and with the Premium Economy we had a special check in area which was great and made things pretty easy. The only issue getting out the area as had to use an elevator and went to the wrong floor. Who would have thought? Still we made it back and it wasn’t long before we were boarded and tucked away in our seats and on our way for the three and half hour trip to Brisbane.
We landed in BNE pretty close to the time and had a couple hours were had to collect our bags, hop on the train and travel to the domestic terminal to catch the hour and a half flight to Mackay where we were met by Lizzie and Mike. Mackay was pretty much the same but had grown even more with Paget seeming to take up more and more of the town. Still it’s always good to come back, but it’s definitely not home any more.
After a quick trip to Dan’s to pick up some Arrogant Frog and a few other supplies we soon arrived at Glenella, unpacked and it wasn’t long before we were settled on the deck with glass in hand. We had dinner and a few more drinks but it wasn’t a long night as it had been an early start and even earlier one when considering NZ are two hours ahead. And so with the usual arrangement of Wazz in the lounge and Jo in the bedroom we were soon pushing out Zs.
Thursday 7 June 2018
We’d decided that today we were all headed up to Airlie for a drive and a looksee and soon after brekkie we were up and on the road. It’s still seems strange coming home and seeing all the places where we grew up and this road trip was no different. The men in the front and Lizzie and Jo in the back we made our way along the 100 kms or so up the Bruce to the turn off to Airlie.
Parking appears to be a bitch as the local council has restricted the timing to an hour or so at a lot of the locations but we headed through the town and straight to the markets which apparently open when a cruise ship is in port. They weren’t overly small and there was some nice stuff mixed in with other less attractive items but we purchased a couple of small items including a tooth cushion which now hangs proudly from the ceiling in Wazz’s pod.
Markets done and dusted we headed up town and eventually found a park on the street up the road a couple of minutes walk out of town. And so we wondered the streets popping into the odd shop here and there but really just taking a leisurely stroll and enjoying to fantastic weather that is the tropics in winter. Definitely not the place to be in summer.
Shopping and wondering done we headed to Mika’s for lunch upstairs and enjoyed a bite and a couple of drinks overlooking the beach and views out to the Pacific. It was a good place and Jo, Lizzie and Wazz ate here previously when we were up quite a few years ago and it was pretty much as remembered.
A quick stop at Woolies and we were headed back along the Bruce to Mackay passing all the little towns such as Bloomsbury and Calen that we are so familiar with having travelled the road so often when young. Without incident we arrived at Glenella about 4:00 and after organising a few things we again settled in for the evening with a few drinks and dinner on the deck in front of the TV and again it wasn’t a big night and we soon hit the pillows and were out to it.
Friday 8 June 2018
Today was a pretty lazy day of not doing a lot and happy about our lot. We headed over to Janelle’s after brekkie to say hi and see what was going on around the place. All was good in the household and it was good to catch up and we even got to help out the nice bloke next door who was getting the boot from his daughters place. Strange but so are families. Danny was up minding a farm around Eungella so we missed him but you can’t be everywhere.
We then headed to Mount Pleasant to do a bit of shopping but mainly for a few groceries as Wazz was cooking dinner that night. This box ticked we headed home and that was about it for the day. We did a bit of lounging and looking through the garden and helping Lizzie with a few computer issues she was having – a normal job we stay and not onerous but it does a bit time sort out what is happening on any PC as there are so many variations and applications and how they are used. This passed an easy couple of hours and then it was onto cooking dinner and relaxing for the afternoon having a few drinks before, during and after dinner before calling it a night.
Saturday 9 June 2018
Up and into brekkie and then headed to Canelands to do a bit shopping. While the place was very nice it’s very strange to see the inhabitants walk around in singlets and thongs. Something not seen Chermside or Mt Gravatt. Possibly more in tuned with the lesser burbs but there you have it. Wazz scored a pair of pants at Myers and another couple at Johnny Biggs. It’s actually a really good shopping centre and hopefully all the shops make it through the downturn – we think it’s nearly done and upturn has started.
So back to Glenella a bit of packing and lunch before a relaxing afternoon and few guests including John who has since passed away. Before too long it was time to start getting ready for the reason we were up here – Uncle Harold’s 90th. We got dropped at the North Mackay Bowls Club by Mike and Lizzie and we were soon mingling with the Dunlop side of the family. We got to catch up with Pauline and Stocky, Paul, Jane and Christian, who live about 5 kms from us in Brissie, Annette, Michael and his wife, Graham, Uncle Keith and Dawn, Tracey and Anthony, Sharon and Rod, Janelle and many others. It was a great night and great to get a chance to have a chat to all the family. We seem to only catch up for milestone birthdays and funerals. Due age of the birthday boy, who looked pretty good for 90, it wasn’t a late night and we called it a night about 10:00 with Janelle and Danny dropping us home.
Sunday 10 June 2018
The last day of our trip and another fantastic winter day in the tropics. We had brekkie and then headed out for a drive to the harbour where we stopped and walked along the boardwalk for a leisurely stroll before parking our bums at one of the local cafes for a coffee and admiring the view. We wondered back to the Ranger and then went for a drive to Slade Point and Lamberts Beach area which hadn’t changed all that much in a long time. Little bits here and there but we think it might be stuck in a time warp.
Our flight was at 2:00pm so we headed back to Glenella to finalise our packing, have a quick sanga and then off to the airport. We said our goodbyes to Lizzie and Mike, checked in (with bags slightly overweight) and caught up Jane and Christian and their young fella. Before long we were in the air for the hour and half flight where we landed, collected our bags, caught a taxi and arrived home.
It was another great trip another the North Island and had a good finish to catch up the families but of course it’s always good to come home. Luckily we had a couple of days to get things done and the house back in order before heading back to work. Yes it has to be done to pay for our next adventure in the north west Americas! Can’t wait already!