Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2009

On a sunny day We went fishing off the beach as apparently the storm was bringing in lots of fish. At the beach we found Chook one of the hostel owners who loves to fish. He gave us an expert class in what to do and we all managed to catch a Brim. Jo and a girl from the hostel managed to catch ones big enough to be legal but the rest had to go back.

A master class with Chook

A master class with Chook

We then took our rods and tried it on our own using prawns for bate. Again we all managed to catch one on our own but they were all too small but one of the locals caught a huge one which they reckoned was a kilo! It was great fun to feel for the fish taking the bait and pulling it in. Chook cooked the ones he caught (about 20) and we all had it for dinner, it was delicious.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

When we arrived back in Yamba we were greeted warmly and then instructed that we had to remain until the following Friday as it was Kellie’s (one of the hostel owners) birthday. We considered our options and decided it would be rude not to. Justin, Kellie’s husband, had planned to hire a boat for to go out for on the day followed by a meal for the girlies with Kellie’s friends. Unfortunately in the days leading up to her birthday a cyclone hit and Yamba was flooded in. None of Kellie’s friends  could get to Yamba and nobody could leave.

Justin decided that it was to sharky and rough to go out on the boat but that he, the family and some of the backpackers could come aboard the boat for some food, drinks and poker. We spent about 3 hours on the boat doing exactly that. Jo and Justin were on the Bundy rum, Kellie and Ruth were on the Malibu. The boat was amazing and very top of the range with all the latest 3-d imaging on the water below. It was mind blowing how anyone could ever afford such a big boat.

Bundy Jo, Malibu Kelly and Rummy Jan

Bundy Jo, Malibu Kelly and Rummy Jan

While sat on the boat we were watching the already swollen river rise with the incoming tide. In the end when our plank started to go under the water we decided that it was time to leave and we all hopped off and waded to the shore. The drive back to the hostel was interesting as the road had flooded again whilst we had been aboard. The police had stopped all traffic coming through but let us off the jetty as otherwise we would be completely stranded. Jo had to get out and walk through the water to find the shallowest bit to take the car through. We were so glad that it wasn’t our car!

After getting back to the hostel safe and sound the festivities continued and we made our way up the pub. It was a great night and the flood just added to the atmosphere. The hangovers the next day were very amusing, especially to Jo who was fine despite him & Justin putting away stupid amounts of rum.

Read Full Post »

So apparently we brought the weather with us… Just a few days after we got back to Yamba it started to bucket down with rain.  The news said that Brisbane and the Gold Coast (where we had just driven through) was getting hit hard and likely to get flash floods.  They weren’t wrong and then it started moving towards us.  For several days we had non-stop bad weather which caused floods for the the north New South Wales coast.  Luckily for us Yamba didn’t flood at all but we got cut off from the mainland as the roads out of Yamba were  underwater.

Aussie house in Flood

Aussie house in Flood

In between the storms we took a few rides out in the hostel van to look at the water levels and the damage so far.  It was quite impressive.  We couldn’t drive for more than 10 minutes before we had to stop due to the water.  Lots of houses and garden were starting to flood and there were a couple of cars that were sticking out of water at least a few feet deep.  On our way back the emergency services blocked off the road.

As the rain carried on coming, the storms picked up and rivers started to rise.  The beaches got covered in foam and even a few dead farm animals got washed ashore. The winds started tearing up the landscape.  The pub that I worked in over Chrissy got put on alert as it was at risk of falling down the cliff into the sea, that didn’t stop the locals on a Friday night though.

Luckily the levee walls near us didn’t break (but it was very close). 

A stormy beach walk

A stormy beach walk

Yamba was getting supplies helicoptered in as the shops were starting to sell out but we didn’t really notice the shortage too much.  Everyone in Yamba was fairly relaxed about the situation but by the end of it some of the backpackers were itching to get out.  The day the roads opened, the hostel nearly emptied!

Things are starting to get back to normal now but the weather is still very unpredictable.  We’ve taken a tour round the area and a lot of the beaches are slightly different shapes with new rocks now uncovered.  All around the area are snapped telegraph poles and uprooted trees.  We’re just grateful that we hadn’t started camping when all this hit.

Read Full Post »

During a drunken conversation with Justin (the Yamba hostel manager) we agreed to go wake boarding with his friend the next morning. After about 4 hours sleep we got up (easier said than done) with some of the other backpackers and went to give it a go. His friend lives in a beautiful house at a great spot on the banks of the Clarence River just out of Yamba.

When we turned up they wanted us to try “Bare Footing” which is basically water skiing with no skis! We had not seen this before so we let Justin go first. The boat disappeared around the corner while they were doing it so we didn’t get to see but as the boat was approaching we did hear Justin shouting “Slow down!” just before he fell off on to his bum and skidded down the river.

Ruth Barefooting

Ruth Barefooting

When it came to our turn we still hadn’t seen anyone so weren’t sure what to do but we wanted to give it a try. I went first as I had water skied once before. I swam out to the end of the pole sticking out of the side of the boat and followed my instructions. The idea was to lift yourself out of the water until you are going fast enough for the water tension to be able to hold you up when you drop your feet and stand up. If you let go and hit the water, it hurts. I managed to get up and it was great fun. I slipped a couple times but held on and got back up. Then, I’m not sure what happened, I face planted into the water which really hurt and I lost a contact lens! Next was Jo’s turn. He got up then lost his grip. The boys tried to make him start a harder way than me and then thought it’d be fun to drag him up the river for a bit. Jo saw the funny side but was exhausted and limping afterwards.

Jo chilling on the boat

Jo chilling on the boat

After a break we tried wake boarding. Some of the people we were with were awesome and doing flips and jumps. I took about 8 attempts to get up and then finally managed it for about 30 seconds. Jo was too tired to give a fair go and couldn’t get up but kept trying until his leg cramped up. After this we spent time chilling on the boat and watching the others. It was very relaxing being on the boat and cruising up and down. There were mangroves either side of the river and it was a typical sunny Australian winter’s day with ospreys over head.

Just before we got off the boat the driver miss-timed a wake wave when we turned around and the bow went into the wave spilling water over the front, up the windscreen and into the main compartment. Everyone in the main compartment got wet. Unfortunately for us we were sat in front of the windscreen on the bow wearing our warm, dry clothes. We were completely soaked but it was very funny!

 

The next day, everyone was in agony. It was hilarious watching everone struggle to do anything and moan every time they moved.

Read Full Post »

The day after we bought the car, we checked out of the Brisbane hostel and got on the road to Yamba.  We decided to take the risk of not booking a room as we wanted to surprise them.  The surprise worked and everyone was ecstatic to see us.  Luckily, they had room to put us up and even upgraded us to an en-suite room!  Just goes to show it’s down to who you know.

It’s great being back in Yamba but also a little odd.  Not a huge amount has changed, but the little things are noticeable, especially as we are now ‘out of season’.  The backpackers is still fairly busy though and it’s great catching up with everyone.  We’ve already been offered work by our old bosses but this time we’re here to just chill out and have fun.

Read Full Post »

This time around we have decided to take the no messing approach and get straight on the road, so we needed to buy a car. We knew that buying a car was different depending on which state the car was from but we never realised just how complicated it was. It took a lot to get our heads round each state’s rules about selling, buying, registering as well as all of the safety and roadworthy certificates. We are now experts on how to register, buy and sell a car in most states in Australia!

We viewed a lot of cars and nearly bought a couple, but didn’t as the owners were trying to do it illegally or go back on the deal for a higher price (insert your choice of expletive here – Jo).  After a week and half we saw a car we liked that was legal and within the budget. The guy was really nice and allowed us to get a mechanic to check the car. She came back with a near clean bill of health (about $60 worth of repairs). We were happy and so was the seller so we bought her.

She is a Ford Falcon station wagon (estate to all us Poms) built in ’92 and has a fair few Ks on the clock but is in good condition mechanically. We went with a Ford Falcon as all the taxi drivers swear buy them and the parts are easily available and cheap even in remote areas. A station wagon also allows us to sleep in the back (Jo fits even when stretched out!) to save some $$$. The engine is big (4 litres) and it has an automatic gearbox which is taking a bit of getting used to but we are absolutly loving the freedom that it gives us and are very excited about taking her on a road trip.

Read Full Post »

Brisbane Take 2

Brisbane is known for being a quite, sleepy, country city. Although clearly still a city it is easy to understand why this is the case. There are lots of people but they are not rushing around like maniacs. The landscaping of the city is excellent and there are lots of areas that are very green, peaceful and relaxing. In the heart of the city runs the river and commuters can choose to commute to work on the ferry rather than being stuck in traffic. We explored the river this way one day which was heaps cheaper than a river cruise and covered the same area, it was a lovely was to explore. Different areas of the city and completely different to one another and some don’t feel like a city at all. One day we went shopping with our friends in the vintage/ antique area of Paddington and it was like being in a rural country town. Each area has its own market from farmers markets to bric a braq which makes for a positive community spirit. There are lots of trendy relaxed cafe type areas however they don’t seem stuck up and the people are very relaxed.

Streets beach

Streets beach

We enjoyed escaping the shopping area and business district and relaxing in many of the parks and gardens that surround Brissie from Roma street, South bank, Streets beach and the botanical gardens. Wildlife is abundant in these parks and we continually saw lizards, bats, birds and heard the rustling of possums. We even saw our first possum walk straight across our friends’ balcony when we were staying with them for a few days.

As well as the gardens Brisbane also offers lots of cultural experiences for free, from the museum of Queensland which has some amazing exhibits and numerous art galleries displaying Australian, Aboriginal and European art works. We’re looking forward to checking these out.

We are not that keen on cities but for a city Brissbane was very green, cultural and pretty. Our favourite part so far is the Roma Street Parkland. For some reason it is not in our guide book but looked nice as we walked past so we took a look. It turned out to be the only urban rainforest area in the world and was a beautiful area. It consisted of the small rainforest area, a lake, some formal gardens and other grassy areas. It was being used by all locals and was a real tranquil spot in the heart of the CBD (Central Business District). We spent a while in there just relaxing as well as wastching watching the people and wildlife. It was a really beautiful area and such a surprise.

Ruth visiting the natives in Roma Street Parkland

Ruth visiting the natives in Roma Street Parkland

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »