Travelling Australia
with
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

THE DAILY JOURNAL
Tuesday 10th October 2006 to Thursday 12th October 2006

Tuesday 10th October 2006
The Crocodile Show in Australia Zoo
The Crocodile Show in Australia Zoo
One of many Alligators in the zoo
One of many Alligators in the zoo
It's been a hard day....
It's been a hard day....

Yesterday ended quite late after an extended Happy Hour that became a BBQ then just a chat session through to around 10:30p.m. which is fairly late for oldies like us (well we felt old this morning!)

The morning appeared with an improvement in the weather as yesterday was overcast and quite windy (In fact we thought Queenslanders told fibs about this place called the 'Sunshine Coast'!) but the sun did lift up and peer through a few white clouds remaining, with the promise of a better day to come.

The decision was made that our activities for today should include a visit to Australia Zoo so, after setting up the two rear seats in the Patrol, the four of us drove out of the caravan park at about 9:30a.m. and headed off toward Beerwah and the zoo. This was about a twenty minute drive and we had arrived, parked in the very large car park and walked to the entry by about 10:a.m. but then stood in a huge queue of people lined up to get in through the gates. This would have taken another 15 minutes or more to negotiate but in that time a lot of people went through. This was quite amazing considering it was a Tuesday and it was not school holidays in Queensland. It appears a lot of the visitors were from New South Wales and other parts of Australia, some of which did have school holidays still on at this time.

Once inside the zoo grounds the girls had a quick check of the souvenir shop before starting the walk around the grounds. The first to be seen were some American Alligators that looked like they were sleeping off a good feed. Next we walked past Cootha the 'logodile' with children taming it from all ends. This is a long log that has been carved to resemble (very slightly) a crocodile and is in the children's playground area. Then we walked around a Koala display where there were several koalas doing what they do best... sleeping while perched in a tree.

At this time we found ourselves close to the Crocoseum where there was a show due to start at about 11:15a.m. which wasn't too far away so the girls found another souvenir shop to browse for a short time whilst the fellows kept their distance and their wallets in their pockets. To ensure we had reasonable seating for the croc show, we entered the Crocoseum early and were entertained by a large screen video and a compare for about twenty minutes until the show started. By this time the Crocoseum was almost full of people.

Once the show started the first twenty minutes consisted of some light comedy entertainment and free flying birds from cockatoos to Macaws that worked the crowd (with the assistance of their trainers) and were quite spectacular considering they were not restrained in any way. The next part of the show was the snakes (fortunately not venomous ones) that did what snakes do. The handlers were very informative on snake behaviour and what to do when anyone encounters a snake. This included a comedy scenario that had the crowd laughing.

Next came the bit that most people had come to see, that was the crocodile feeding display. This was done with one crocodile that was enticed out into the pool by about three handlers and then fed on several occasions on the edge of the pool. This demonstration was extremely well done and the commentary was very informative, dispelling a few myths that most people have about them. One myth in particular that was exposed was the belief that crocodiles can chase people fast out of the water and you need to zig zag to avoid them. The fact is that crocodiles can not run fast and will not chase anyone far out of the water at all, meaning if you don't swim in their water and don't stand close to the edge (about 5 metres) of the water they are in, you are quite safe. We felt very safe half way up the stands in the Crocoseum!

Once the show was over we made our way passed the camels, foxes and more koalas to the Dingo Food Hall where we managed to find a round of sandwiches (chicken and mayo) each and a bucket of chips for the sum of $14.75. With out tanks topped up we then continued our walk around the zoo, calling in on Cassowaries, Dingos and fresh water crocodiles before watching a couple of otters being fed. From there we walked passed some more crocodiles on our way back near the entrance area where we caught the shuttle out to Tiger Temple where we viewed elephants, Tigers playing with their keepers and an ice cream stall. Yes the girls did take the time to observe the animals, but wouldn't leave the area without an ice cream.

We then started our walk back to the zoo entrance via a walk through area that contained koalas that people could pat, then kangaroos that were tame and could be patted and fed before entering a walk through bird enclosure that housed a large variety of colourful birds. Next came wombats, then birds of prey before the most dangerous area of all, the last souvenir shop. 'One of Us' found her way into that cage and the 'Other One' was bitten quite severely before he could rescue her.

Feeling quite damaged after this it was time to make our way out of Australia Zoo, pick up the Patrol and head back to the caravan park. We returned the same way we had gone out there and arrived back at the caravan at about 4:p.m. after a great day out. This zoo is a must for anyone passing this way and is a real credit to Steve and his team. Once back in the park it was an all out effort to get the web page completed before Happy Hour with Graham and Sue.

A fierce Logodile tamed by children
A fierce Logodile tamed by children

A well fed dingo
A well fed dingo

Even the everyday species are here - The roo of course..
Even the everyday species are here
- The kangaroo of course..


One of many Wombats
One of many Wombats


Wednesday 11th October 2006

Market day in Eumundi
Market day in Eumundi
The Musicman and his instuments
The Musicman and his instuments
Woodchopper in the main street
Woodchopper in the main street

The clouds were very dark in the sky this morning when Graham and Sue first emerged, well that is what Graham said, but by the time we took a look it was mostly blue.... Maybe they were up really early... that's the story we are sticking to anyway.

With all our morning preparations out of the way and the decision made as to what we were going to do for the day, we drove out of the caravan park not long after 9:30a.m. With Graham at the wheel of his Pajero we drove up through Bli Bli and out toward Nambour where we entered the Bruce Highway and made our way north, bypassing Kandina and then exiting the motorway at Eumundi where we came to a very crowded car park where we had to wait in line for a while before finding our way into a spot not far from the entrance to the markets. During our wait to get into the car park, Graham very kindly and generously gave some of the drivers in front of us a little advice as to how they could get in the gate of the car park a little faster.... He is an extremely thoughtful man!

Once out of the pajero, the girls made a very fast transition into the market place itself and the 'boys' just tagged along behind carrying the wallets and whatever was purchased. To be fair, the girls didn't buy everything they looked at, no one could buy that much! The boys were given a little freedom at one stage, and after walking up in to the town to withdraw some more money from the teller machines, they managed to buy a couple of things each, like a super chamois and a fish hook tying device. It should be noted that the things the boys bought were working tools, now they will have to clean even more then they used to and they will be expected to provide food for the table now they can tie fish hooks onto the end of their fishing lines.

After wandering.... sorry, examining opportunities up and down the market alleys for about an hour and a half, the girls suggested it must be time to sit and consider more food so guess where we ended up? Yes, in a hotel where the boys sat in there for over two hours drinking lemon squash whilst the girls consumed alcoholic beverages! During that time there was also an order of burgers and chips consumed, although 'One of Us' saw fish and chips on the menu and had to have them instead. While we were there Sue's sister arrived and we met and had a chat with her before returning to the markets to find they had closed and were all being packed up. The boys did sympathize with the girls whilst at the same time, put their wallets firmly back in their pockets.

It was then time to return to Maroochydore and the caravan park so we headed back the same way we came, with the exception of a brief extra circuit around a roundabout which Graham explained was to show us the sights that we may have missed if we went straight through. Like we said before,he is an extremely thoughtful man!

On arrival back at the caravan park the boys surrendered the Pajero to Sue and Pammy and they went off to find a local Coles store to round off their day of therapy. This must have worked quite well as Pammy returned a little later with a smile on her face and bags in her hands. In the meantime the boys had more serious business to attend to and although it was a little too early for Happy Hour, at least the web site was completed and we were all ready to relax by the time that magic hour arrived.

There will need to be time taken tonight to discuss the activities for tomorrow, however the suggestion so far is for a drive through some of the countryside close by and some general sight seeing.

Back into the market stalls
Back into the market stalls

The girls having a very long lunch
The girls having a very long lunch
Note: Graham is wearing pink for Pammy


Thursday 12th October 2006

View from Montville - Part 1
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A visit to Montville, a place with views from the hinterland to the coast

Today we made a visit to the little town of Montville the centre of our days activities. We managed to drive our of the caravan park in Graham and Sue's Pajero by about 9:30a.m. and with the guidance of their Miss Bossy (That is their Navman, not Sue...) we found our way from Maroochydore to the Hinterland and then wound our way up through some really beautiful country into the mountains, stopping along the way at times to take a photograph or two.

Montville sits at an altitude of 1640 feet (above sea level) up in the mountains, and has spectacular views over the coast from Noosa in the north, down to Caloundra and Morton Bay, can be seen from the various lookouts located in the region. It is known as the creative heart of the Sunshine Coast and has the charm of a cosmopolitan village. There are a huge range of shops there that cater for the visitor or tourist, and as we found out, they did a very good job of ensuring the economy was boosted from our visit.

We had only just arrived and found a parking spot in the main street when the girls bolted for the nearest shops with the boys trying to keep up. With guidance and some football type tackles, the boys ensured 'One of Us' didn't get a chance to break the bank or credit cards in the first couple of shops that we visited and this must have lulled them in to a false sense of security. The next shop we came to the girls pretended they were walking past without taking much notice, however there was suddenly a scream, a yell and all these other sounds coming from 'One of Us' and she was in there before the boys could apply that preventive tackle. Well for those who have read the web site before, you will know what happened next as it only took a few seconds and she came out with a little brother and sister for Chelsea and Elizabeth (Settlers Teddy Bears). Yes... Remington and Stella are now part of the family and the 'Other One' was told that he just had to grin and 'bear' it!

With the promise that that was all she would want from Montville, we continued with our stroll around the shops in the main street, calling in to every shop in sight and browsing through every kind of paraphanalia available, some absolutely essential to have, some just needed to be cool, and even items that are really not required in any way but fun to have. As you can imagine, it was a difficult task to steer 'One of Us' around these items without the credit card coming out, although this was not completed successfully. At one location the girls found Nanna May's 'Magic Hands' which they tried out and decided they really liked that, in fact they roped the boys down and even they ended up with it all over their hands. "Remington and Stella are all I want" she said, but she forgot to add "except Nanna May's Magic Hands!" so $60 later we moved on with a jar of this 'essential' beauty treatment in the back pack.

By this time all this shopping had left the girls rather famished so they lead the way to a little cafe where we all enjoyed some toasted sandwiches and coffee (or tea) very kindly purchased by Graham. Whilst the 'Other One' was sitting there minding his own business, Graham was talking about the old days when he was in the Royal Australian Navy (including a stint in Vietnam on the ship 'HMAS Perth', but that is another story). The stories were accompanied by a lot of hand gestures and animation (well he is of Italian heritage) until suddenly he planted a big sloppy kiss in the middle of the 'Other One's bald patch, much to the amusement of the girls. The moral to the story is that the 'Other One' should not have sat under a mistletoe (even if it was artificial) when he was in the company of an old sailor!

After recovering from lunch, we continued our stroll through the street and the 'Other One' found another friend laying in the doorway of a shop. This friend was in the form a dog with the name Princess who was paying no attention to anyone stepping over her to get into the shop, that was until we arrived on the scene. She took one look at 'One of Us' as he was about to take a photograph of her and decided there was a good scratch and rub required in return for the photograph so she was up and out to him for payment very promptly.

The girls then popped into another shop without the boys. The 'Other One' took a photograph of a shop and then the girls came out feeling really great but the boys didn't really make any adverse comments, that would have been a monster mistake!

The next shop we all entered was actually quite amazing, the boys lost the girls inside, or was it that they couldn't make them out among the items on display. After a comment to that effect, the 'Other One' was penalized severely and he ended up purchasing a likeness doll (don't tell her he said that!) that was riding a broom stick, had flashing red eyes and a cackling laugh every time she was touched or a loud sound was made.

With the wallet and credit card feeling quite battered and not even at the end of the street, we had to increase the pace through the remaining shops and then return along the other side of the street up toward the Pajero. Fortunately there were not as many shops on that side, although the street had a charm about it that would be hard to find anywhere else. Montville is like a little local village with a kind of market place feel about it. A visit to Montville is a must for anyone, whether passing by or a resident in the area. Our visit was made that much more enjoyable with the company of Graham and Sue and their local knowledge.

After finally browsing our way back up the street and reaching the Pajero, we commenced our journey back down the mountain and on our way back to the caravan. Along the way Graham kindly took us on a little sightseeing deviation once more, that is what he said so why wouldn't we believe him? Then the girls felt it was a bit far to go without a little more therapy, it was necessary to call in to the Woolworths Store in Nambour where a pork toast was purchased, along with some additional vegetables that were destined for our dinner tonight.

We finally arrived back at the caravan sometime after 4:p.m. and then there was a rush to get ready for Happy Hour and get the web site completed. Unfortunately the web site program decided to go on holiday and needed to be re-loaded so the day's activities had to wait until next morning before they were able to be uploaded for viewing. Couldn't let anything like that get in the way of Happy Hour and dinner with great friends.

The girls after beautifying themselves
The girls and a beautifying shop

A beautiful little town in the mountains
A beautiful little town in the mountains

Payment required for photographs taken
Payment required for photographs taken

Pammy with her likeness
Pammy likeness - eh, liked this

WOW!! More shops...
WOW!! More shops...
The girls were happy - now its lunch time
The girls were happy - now its lunch time
My fwend Graham the sailor
My fwend Gwaham - He used to be a thailor

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