UMINA BEACH, NSW, AUSTRALIA: SEPTEMBER 2nd-13th 2017

In the words of Alan Carr, chatty man. “WHAT A WEEK ITS BEEN!!”

We arrived home to Sydney Australia to beautiful blue skies and temperatures of around 24 degrees. Sunday Father’s Day went up to 29 degrees. 

Though the wind during the week did give some concern and at 3:30 am one night we made the decision to get out of bed and take the awning down.

The awning down, I hear you saying. Yes we are in our caravan for these eleven days at the beautiful Oceanbeach caravan park. 

What a great place for families and I have to say during the weekend when there have been plenty of families in, we’ve been impressed with how quiet the kids are in the morning. Expecting to be woken by 6 am by happy kids laughter it’s been closer to nine before we hear chirpy little voices. 

It was a long day that first day, off the ship on the first list to disembark and by noon we had been shuttled back to Umina where we said a quick hello to James daughter Jackie and her partner Adam, picked up the truck and picked up our caravan from storage at Wyong.

It all went very smoothly and by 4 pm we were set up, had had our first burger and chips from the surf club and were snoozing away for an afternoon rest before heading to stock the fridge early in the evening.

SUNDAY bought those beautiful 29 degrees but not till late morning and after tidying up our little home we were ready to welcome our first visitors David and Janine. Not too long after they arrived my son Scott and the lovely miss Tina joined the party and we headed to the surf club for another of those ginormous burgers.

We walked along the beach a little way and back through the village, saying goodbye to Scott and Tina and having a beer at the local pub before calling it a day.

MONDAY ONWARDS: This is when the foot hit the pedal to the metal and we began in earnest making headway into our long list of “needs to get done” before the 13th.

Doctors,dentists,accountants, real estate agents, travel agents, renew drivers licences, pay bills, car services, hairdressers and so much more.
Catching up with family and friends has also been high on our list and we made dates with as many as we could fit in. It’s always sad to not get the chance to see everyone but our time constraints and what we needed to get done only allowed so much. As it was I was hit by severe laryngitis and a heavy cold within two days of arriving back in Australia and it curbed my ability to even attempt to fit more in. 

Hopefully we will get visits from some people when we’re overseas. Hint hint.

Pleased we got to see the three children whom were in Australia at least once (Chris) twice (Scott) and Frequently (Jackie).
PACKING:

We emptied our suitcases and began the hard and ruthless decision of what to take on our next trip and what stayed behind.

We have a criteria of ” this goes with that goes with everything “.

Toiletries are kept to the total barest minimum as you can buy these anywhere in the world.
As we will be going from Asian hot climates to a European winter we have had to be even more careful about what we take as we need to have enough warm clothing to get us comfortably to the first shopping centre in Germany where we will purchase some warmer pants for our 5 weeks in Europe. 

It’s all about the layers. I have three thermal tops. One which is a polo or turtle neck, one silky thin layer and one Marino. These will also be my long sleeve tops to wear any where needed.

I have two layers of thermal pants, one silky thin and one Marino. Again this gives me the option of wearing them as leggings under skirts and dresses.

I have a buff, gloves and wool beret also packed along with thick wool socks to wear with my apris winter boots which I am also taking with me. And we each have our puffer jackets which roll up to minimal space and a long plastic raincoat which took us ages to find.

I’m taking a few items I’ll ditch once we head up to cooler climes and we can continue to do this as we travel around adding and leaving behind as we find we need to. 
We do hit Australia for two days next February so will be able to do a reshuffle then with clothes we have in storage.

DIGITAL TOOLS:

I’m using TripIt to log our trip details as it gives me the easy option of listing addresses, phone numbers, flight details etc and it instantly logs the flight details once you put in the date and flight number. 

We also photograph lots of details as well as carrying paper copies of necessary items. 

Digitally we both have our I phones (James has also bought an old one for putting in local SIM cards when we feel that’s the best way to go) we paid a $60 yearly prepaid which kept our numbers and gives that amount of credit when needed.
We also have our iPads and James has his kindle, we have a great charger that will take us round the world with all the different connections required for power points.
AND AWAY WE GO:

Before we knew it time had zoomed by and it was time to clean the caravan, and put it into storage till next time we’re home for a proper stay.

We spent our last night at our friend Cathryn’s home with her and Miffy the dog and tearfully waved goodbye on the Wednesday morning of September 13th 2017 as we made final preparations and took the train to the airport after also waving off Jackie and Adam whom had given us a lift to station.
NEXT STOP SANUR, BALI, INDONESIA:

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