14 April, 2015

Our nine-day adventure

Our journey. We visited all the named places,
but only slept in Toowoomba, Lake Cania,
Bundaberg and Sippy Downs. 
So, we've been away since the 3rd of April. Here's what we've been up to.

This map reckons we've driven 18 hrs, and over 1,300 km. Feels about that. I'm happy to be staying home most of this week!

We started out on my birthday. We attended church, the Good Friday service, at our home church then came home to pack the car for our journey.

Our stop for that night was Toowoomba, but we made a significant detour and spent the afternoon with friends at Lake Moogerah playing. Even though the weather was a bit inclement, it was fun. Our friends had adult-toys. Kayaks and a jet ski that towed a tube. Oh, they also produced a decadent mud-cake for my birthday, which pleased everyone!

I definitely felt my age after going out on the jet ski and getting stuck in weed. David and one of our sons found us and I borrowed a paddle to get us out of the weed. Jet skis are heavy!
I'm in the magenta board shorts.

That's me and my son just before we took off on the tube.
Then I jumped onto the tube with my oldest son and got towed around. I was not prepared for how difficult it would be to hang on. My hands and forearms grew tired quickly, to the point where I was flopping around like a dead fish. I should have just let go, but my stubborn nature rose to the surface again. In the end my son signalled to the driver and they stopped and allowed me to get on the jet ski.

We all had a lot of fun, though.

Then we drove to Toowoomba and had a party with my parents. Mum had bought a chocolate cheesecake for a cake. It was quite a day of celebration.

A table for sale. Yep, we're moving into the transition back to
Japan. This table I bought on lay-by when I first began
working as an OT. It is a bit small for us now. We're thankful
someone leant us a much bigger table for the year. But we've
also decided not to store the table anymore.
Anyone interested?
We caught up with several friends (couples and families) while in Toowoomba over Easter. On Tuesday we headed north to Cania Dam to meet David's sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, along with his mum and a friend of hers. We camped for three nights on a private property adjoining the dam.

The drive to Cania Dam took us through some lovely
bush on fairly quiet roads. 
This was near the dam wall, we paddled nearly 5kms
in canoes to get here. Thankfully my mother-in-law
drove with her friend and met us there. They brought the
lunch we'd prepared back at camp.
Lush grass at the dam. Yep, wrestling was
on the cards...

I took time to lie down before we paddled
back to camp. 
Relaxing after our mega paddle. Our camp fire was
situated in the yards and had a fantastic A-frame over it.
We enjoyed nearly four days of continuous camp fire! 
Here's another angle, over breakfast.
On our second full day camping we went walking in the
Cania Gorge National Park. Not hard walks,
but the destinations were intriguing rock formations.
The largest figure in this photo is my brother-in-law.
He's a farmer and it is rare for him to take four
days off for a holiday. It was great to see him relax
and enjoy being with family.
Large spider perched way above the walking
track. Would have been the size of my hand.
Mack the dog. 4 month old dog of our brother-in-law's.
He had as good a time as the people!
Closer photo of the camp fire.
This was the end of the last evening of
camping. We loved sitting around the fire.
The weather was cool enough at night for
the heat from the fire to be welcome.
I can't remember which of our journeys this was taken on,
but sometime between Bundaberg and Brisbane!
From camp, we drove to Bundaberg to spend 22hrs with friends who used to be missionaries in Japan. Their children are similar ages to our boys. It was a good catch-up time and a time of reminiscing.

Then we turned for home. Stopping near Buderim for the night so that we could get to Bribie Island for church on Sunday. At the church we did our usual spiel and David preached (which hasn't been such a usual event this time). Then we had lunch with some prayer supporters, ending up spending about six hours on the island. 

We packed ourselves into our 8-seater van for the last time on Bribie and drove straight home from there.

Three camping trips in our year in Australia. That's not bad for a family who only own a tent and no other camping equipment. We're very thankful to the three families who've lent us equipment over the year.

And, as usual, we're starting to think about our next camping trip. We're thinking about going away at the end of July in Japan before school starts, maybe to the west coast of the island.

The obvious question is: are we getting tired of all this "catching up with people" and travel? The answer is yes. It's been great to get around to see so many friends, family and supporters, but we are getting tired. We'll be glad to get back to Japan and retire to a less-social life!

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