On the road again, part 1

So, Day 1 was 410kms/255 miles of solid highway riding with a few breaks to unkink.

That night, we rolled into our campsite at 5pm and were set up by 6pm, just in time to sit down to a well-deserved drink.

townsville-camp

Next day, we’d arranged to meet up in the morning with another Kate, of Manic Mumdays blogging fame. I really enjoy meeting fellow bloggers, and Kate was no exception. She’s the 5th blogging friend I’ve met in person, and I find the experience is just as rewarding each time. Half the fun is in meeting people life would never turn up¬†otherwise ūüôā

with-manic-mum-kate

Townsville was scorching hot that day, as you can see from the photos below. The first is an image I’ve stitched together from two photos. Townsville is on Rose Bay, and the city is dominated by Castle Hill, a volcanic plug nearly 300m/984ft high. You reach it by a winding road which is bliss to all motorbike riders, and the view from the top is spectacular. Out there in the bay is Magnetic Island, so called because it sends all compasses wild; they point to it, instead of magnetic north.

magnetic-island-from-castle-hill

After Castle Hill, we headed out of town to Mt Stuart, another mini mountain 0f nearly 600m/1,960ft high, reached by a wonderful winding road. This one has TV and radio transmitters on the top, and provides very much the same view as Castle Hill, but higher, wilder and further inland. In the foreground, you see Laverack Barracks, then the Bruce Highway heading north, then the city, then Castle Hill and finally, Rose Bay and Magnetic Island.

rose-bay-from-mt-stuart

The next morning, we were up early, packed up and were away by 9am. But that’s a story for another day!

Beyond the Blog

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE fan of blogging.
What, you’d noticed…?

But friends we make on blogs are at arm’s length. For many people, that’s the ideal distance. Blogging friends appear and disappear as they¬†switch on or off the¬†device of choice, and they are safely insulated from each other. That’s not enough for me, though. I like contact.

For some time now, I’ve been Skyping with friends I’ve made on this blog. Living where I do, in the north of Queensland, remote from the rest of Australia and indeed the rest of the world, it has been a lifeline. It’s so much more fun to exchange ideas, thoughts, jokes and suggestions in real time, face to face. Last year, I took the plunge and proposed a meeting in person with a blogging friend who lives¬†en route when we were visiting friends and family in New South Wales. She was agreeable, despite the foreboding and dreadful warnings of her friends, who thought I might be a dangerous loony. As it turns out, neither of us is either dangerous or (more than average) lunatic, and we enjoyed our visit so much that it’s become a regular feature of our journeys south. I’ll be seeing her in a couple of days – Hi, Nanette!

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 6.50.39 am Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 6.09.54 pm

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 6.09.41 pmOver the past half year, I’ve become friendly with another fellow blogger, this time someone who has a part-time home relatively close to where my sister¬†lives. By lucky chance, we were both going to be in the same part of the world at the same time, so of course, a meeting had to be arranged! In a beautiful and peaceful corner of New South Wales, we drank coffee, ate cake, talked, took¬†in fabulous views and in my case, suffered a bad¬†case of verandah envy… ¬†The Husbands bonded over home renovation and motor-bikes, and we talked about food, life, the tree-change lifestyle and places in the surrounding countryside we¬†might¬†visit together some time in the future. One day… when we’re both in the area for longer than a few days at a time ‚Äď probably when the Husband and I have retired. It was a hugely enjoyable¬†day, and I hope we’ll be able to catch up again some time soon. Thanks, Ella Dee, I had a wonderful time…

Neither of these nice people has been scary, weird, obsessive or a mistake to know better. I’m pretty sure the world is full of more like them. So I’m going to continue to look for friends Beyond the Blog.