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One Week On The Road

Bargara

With the restrictions lifted and a little bit of normality getting back to day to day living, Heidi managed to get away for a week. We had four nights in the lovely Bargara and two nights at Kandanga in the Mary Valley.

Bargara is a little coastal destination out from Bundaberg, 3 ½ hours north of Brisbane.

Bargara is a perfect place for young families or the more mature adults.

We stayed at the northern end of town, Nielson Park in the beautiful Bargara Beach Caravan Park. Nestled under the tall trees and soft green grass.

We wondered over to the beach at sunrise and watched the surfers hoping to catch a big wave. It is peaceful at first then as the sun rises so do the joggers, walkers and dogs out for some daily exercise.

Unfortunately, the mornings started of a little bit rainy but cleared up to the sunny days typical of a Queensland winter. Perfect walking temperature. Heidi made the most of the 12km walking path from Kellys Beach through to Burnett Heads right along the coastline. Easy walking, nice and flat.

One day, Heidi hired a bicycle from the caravan park to enjoy the path more quickly. Hay – Heidi, are you hitching a ride.

Heidi had a round of golf at the Bargara Golf Course. They hire clubs and buggies but she did assist on walking.

There is an extensive coastline with rocky beaches but Kellys Beach has sandy beaches and calm ocean waves.

The best beach for a quiet dip, or building sandcastles on the shore. It’s fairly sheltered there but at one end is a rock pool and the other end is an inlet, either one is perfectly safe for the little ones.

Just a little bit further north is the Mon Repos Turtle Centre and Conservation Park which is home to the largest population of nesting Loggerhead Turtles in the South Pacific. Every year, from November to late March, you can join the Rangers at Mon Repos Turtle Centre on a guided Turtle Encounters tour, to watch the big turtles make their way up to the dunes to lay their eggs. Later in the season you can catch all of the little guys hatching out and scrambling back to sea. Although, it was the wrong time of year this trip, Heidi has seen the laying on a previous visit. A fascinating site to be seen.

What Bargara has to offer is simple and pleasant. With accommodation that ranges from cabins to luxury apartments, numerous dining choices, plenty of playgrounds and pristine picnic and BBQ areas, it suits Heidi and me right down to the ground.

We hooked up the caravan again and drove to the quaint little township of Kandanga in the Mary Valley. We stayed in a camp, right in town and all that they were asking for was a donation.

This became our base for exploring the valley. In other words, we had a drive in the country. We meandered down past the Borumba Dam, Imbil and stopped at Kenilworth for a delicious lunch. Kenilworth is most famous for the Dairy & Cheese Factory and 1kg Donuts from the Bakery. Yum !!

A section of The Mary Valley Rail Trail runs between Imbil to Brooloo. Very popular with the Mountain Bike community.  We walked along a section (again with the walking-Really Heidi) A great way to enjoy the Australian Bush.

Home again for now but planning the next trip north for the winter.

Happy Sewing

Heidi Ho

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Looking Back On My Trip On The Road

Looking back on my trip, as short as it was, we still covered a lot of ground from one side of the country to the other. This has left me pondering – Do Australians live up to the reputation that we have developed over the years from overseas visitors??

We are known for our true heroes like Steve Irwin and fictional characters like Crocodile Dundee. Products like Vegemite and the fact that kangaroos are boxing our streets. Our coast line consists of beautiful sandy beaches like Bondi and Bells and high rocky cliffs like The Great Ocean Road in the south and the Kimberley Cliffs in the north. This surrounds the vast, dry, harsh dessert of the Simpson, Gibson, Great Sandy, Great Victoria and the Chanel Country. These deserts makes up the majority of our land.

The answer is simply “Yes”.

I’m not saying that we don’t have heroes in our cities, you only have to visit somewhere like a hospital, a police station or a school and you’ll find plenty. I’m talking about the iconic true blue, dinky di, she’ll be right mate kind of Australia that the foreigners love. It became more apparent the further into the outback we drove. The harsher the land, the tougher it is to survive.

We drove through a lot of little towns. Each little town tells its own story. You often get a clue as to the character of the town by their Welcome signs.

Other signs will tell you exactly where you are or the population of the town.

Nowhere else in the world will you find an enormous Kangaroo with Vegemite or a giant Cockatoo.

The architecture can vary from the grand to the humble but all made by hand. The stonemasons and timber workers must have worked long, enduring hours.

You will find a pub in every town. Sometimes it is the only building in town.

In just a few days we drove through a contrast of conditions that all require the determination and hard work to survive. At first there were drought-stricken regions where the ground had turned to dust and there was little life left. We then drove through an unrelenting downpour causing flooding. This too can come with dire consequences by washing the soil away, damaging crops and the destruction of the livestock’s well-being.

We continued to drive through lush green pastures where just the right amount of rain had brought it back to life but around the corner, we saw the bush that had been ravaged by a bush fire, destroying everything in its path then slowly coming back to life.

It was quite the adventure and reinforced that the Outback Aussies are bred tough, hard working and can survive when mother nature throws all that she’s got at them. They have that larrikin sense of humour and dry wit that keeps us laughing and the strong bond of comradery that holds us together when the chips are down.

I am proud to be Australian and feel very lucky to live in this great country.

Keep Smiling and Happy Sewing

Heidi Ho

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One Month On The Road

Camp

Heidi started out in a blaze of glory and travelled down from Queensland to the centre of New South Wales, cut across South Australia then across the famous Nullarbor Plain to Western Australia. We drove big miles per day so we could start our adventure in the west.

First extended stop along the way was Broken Hill, NSW. It was a fascinating town. Known for the huge mines and where BHP started and grew to the multi nation company it is today. It is amazing to see the evidence of the sheer hard work and endurance of the old-time miners that still continues today. Pro Hart was one of those such miners before his love of painting raised him to great heights. Broken Hill and surrounding areas with it’s raw and rugged landscape make for a perfect movie backdrop. In which many great Aussie films have been made. Among the many, Priscilla, Last Cab Out Of Darwin and Mad Max 2, the Mad Max Museum is well worth a visit.

As we flew across South Australia, we drove passed many country towns. Each with remnants of days gone by and great stories to be told.

The Nullarbor lived up to the reputation it has gained. It’s long and straight and not much to see on either side. Fortunately for us, we love the sun burnt Australian countryside so it suited us fine. The country is harsh and the people are survivors. True Blue Aussies, as we are well known. Heidi thought she had found some playmates at the Nullarbor Roadhouse but it is frowned upon to be playing with the wild Dingo’s that stroll around looking for a scrap of a pie or burger left from the many tourists or truckies stopping in. We found a little gem of a campsite along the way, Bunda Cliffs. It was on top of a cliff on the edge of the Great Australian Bite

Finally made it to Western Australia. Meandered down to Esperance and along the beautiful coastline of the Southern Ocean, before heading back up the long way through Bruce Rock to Kalgoorlie. Kalgoorlie is another place that is rich with history and many stories to tell. Unfortunately, we were unable to hear them.

That’s when our journey ended as it was. Covid 19 had closed the country and we were to head home. Our eight-month holiday around Australia was to be a one-month 9000km marathon to the west and back.

Needless to say that Heidi didn’t get much sewing done but is quite excited with the way it is starting out.

Hopefully we will all be able to be On The Road again soon.

Heidi wishes you all to keep safe, keep well and keep Sewing

Heidi Ho

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Getting Ready To Hit The Road

Heidi getting ready

Heidi Ho is about to get out there, on the road. Traveling around Australia in a caravan is a dream that is about to come true. Leaving in a few days’ time and will probably return home sometime in November.

There is so much to see in this amazing country. Such diverse landscapes from flat baron desserts to high snow-capped mountains surrounded by rivers rushing then onto the most spectacular beaches in the world. Along the way, Heidi will share with you all of the interesting and beautiful scenery, the quirky little idiosyncrasies of the townships and the lovely fabric and patchwork shops with their own little personalities.

Heidi couldn’t go that long without sewing so she has been planning a new project to keep her hand in. A project that will be perfect for her fellow travelers as well as those to sew from home. It will be a set of twelve applique blocks. This photo shows some of the backgrounds Heidi has prepared already.  They will be constructed into a lap quilt using the Quilt As You Go method. For the free camper, you can sew around the appliques by hand or you can sew it all on the machine if you’re lucky enough to have packed one. Both techniques are perfect for the nomad in their downtime. It will be a work in progress so follow Heidi on her travels to watch it all unfold.

Happy Sewing

Heidi Ho