Worrall Travel R's

Worrall Travel R's
Roz and Russ

Worrall Travel R's - Kicking the Bucket List

My photo

We are the Worrall Travel R's Roz and Russ Worrall. Our goal before we "kick the bucket" is to see as much of the world as we are able, learn about world cultures, experience making friends around the world, and share goodwill and what we learn with others. WE HOPE YOU JOIN US VIA THE BLOG ON OUR TRAVELS.

We started our world travels in 1969 in VW camper van in the USA, Canada, and Europe, but didn't actively blog about our travels until 2009 aboard our sailing vessel SV Worrall Wind, a 44 ft Nauticat Ketch.  On September 5, 2009 we left San Francisco and took a left at the Golden Gate to Explore the World.

From to Sea to Land
After almost 4 years of cruising Mexico and the South Pacific, we sold our beloved boat in Australia, 2013. The Worrall Travel R's are continuing our travels around by many other means of conveyance -boats,trains, planes, sometimes camels, elephants, rickshaws, and hot air balloons.. 

Russ is a retired engineer, optometrist, professor from U.C. Berkeley. Roz is a retired computer programmer/analyst, educator, (teacher, administrator, professional developer). 

Our Mantra:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

Friday, February 24, 2012

Matilda Finds a Dance Partner

Pick me!  Pick me!  I want to dance!
The 2 Travel/Sail R's returned from our one week shakedown road trip north and spent the night on Worrall Wind while we did laundry, changed oil, patched some leaks on van window stripping, dropped of stuff we decided we wouldn't need, and picked up stuff we thought we might.

A Dozen Highlights of this past week's road trip since our last blog were:

  1. Our visit with friend Ken on Trim in Bundaberg, 
  2. Mon Repos Turtle Reserve, 
  3. Just opened R.J. Williams Learning Center in Eidsvold, 
  4. Most horrific thunder and lightening storm we've ever been in, 
  5. Out racing a storm cell that looked like it could turn into a tornado, 
  6. Bunyas National Park
  7. Awaltzing with the wallabies
  8. Awalking in the rainforest,
  9. Adodging killer pine cones
  10. Making new friends in Kilcoy
  11. Delighting in the Birds
  12. Seeing our first wild Koala

Mon Repos Turtle Reserve was only a couple of kilometers from our campground outside of Bundaberg.  We plan to come back early in the season in November to see possibly three different types of turtles (green, loggerhead, and flatbacks lay their eggs.)  Out of the 7 species of turtles that have evolved out of the last 100 million years, 6 of those species can be found in Australia, Queensland.

A new learning center dedicated to an Aussie Outdoorsman and lover of nature and indigenous culture has recently opened in Eidsvold.  When fully functional it will be a wonderful asset not only to Eidsvold, but to Australia.

R. J. Williams

We spent one night in Eidsvold and according to the locals, experienced one of the worst thunder and lightening storms in their collective memories.  You know when the lightening and crack of thunder are simultaneous, that it's waaaaay toooo close!  For over and hour, we huddled in a bar-b-que picnic shelter as the lightning flashed and cracked all around us.  The water cascaded from the sky as a waterfall.  Within minutes, the gully behind our van was a river.

The following day, started off nice enough, but late in the afternoon while we were in the flatlands, a storm cell started bearing down on us.  Black tentacles were touching down to the ground and the wind was whipping up.  It looked like it could become a tornado.  Russ stepped on the gas and we fortunately got out of the way and changed direction to miss it.
Go Russ!  Go!

We decided to get out of the flat lands and head for the hills.  We got to the Bunyas National Park about dusk.  It rained all night and when we awoke the following morning, we had two dozen wallabies in the meadow with us.  What a treat!

We waited for the mist to lift, left the wide open meadow, and entered the Bunyas Pine Rain Forest.

There were posted signs to be cautious of the Bunyas Pine cones that are the size of bowling balls and weigh in at 20 lbs, much bigger and heavier than coconuts.  They fall from the trees in the fall.....yep this is fall in Australia.

We could hear them thumping and crashing occasionally as we walked quickly without lingering under the huge Bunyas trees that stick up far above the canopy of the rain forest.

Our walk was stunningly beautiful.  The rain drops twinkled on the ferns and the forest smelled fresh and earthy.

After our 4 kilometer walkabout in the forest, we ate lunch and headed back to Brisbane via a stop over in Kilcoy.  Friends Carol and Jim Barry of Colfax referred us to some of their good friends in Kilcoy who gave us an open invitation to stop by.  We did and enjoyed a lovely evening and morning with them at their home in the Queensland country side.

We were treated to a wonderful breakfast bird show and a glimpse of our first Koala in the wild.

We are just about ready to leave on the next step of our adventure.  More rain is due here in Queensland, so we are heading south where the weather looks a little drier.  We have reservations in a week from now on the ferry from Melbourne to Tasmania where we will spend the month of March.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Matilda Waltzes North

After two weeks of searching and readying Matilda, she was ready to leave by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, February 17.  We could have spent another night on Worrall Wind, but decided Matilda was ready to go to the ball, and she didn't want to wait any longer....and neither did we.   Our first leg north was pretty short, and we reached the campground near Glass House Mountains by 6:30 p.m.  We spent the first night in our cozy little pop top.  We were pretty worried about mozzies, so we slept with the van closed up and it was a little too warm.

Glass House Mountains are these lava plugs that were once under the sea where the land was flat.  Once  the sea receded, the flat seabed eroded away leaving the exposed plugs sticking up.  As mountains, they are not very high.  What makes them interesting is they just seem to popup in the middle of flat, rolling lands.

Sidewalk Mosaic
On Friday morning, we explore the Glass House Mountains.  Later in the afternoon, we took a 3 kilometer hike through a national park from the town of Landsborough to Maloolah on a deserted railroad bed through a bat filled tunnel.  The nice part about the tunnel was it was cool and provided some relief from the heat.

Dazzling White Bark Gum Trees
We were really looking forward to seeing some wildlife outside of the zoo.  But no, we didn't see any koalas or kangaroos.  The bush however was noisy with cicadas and birds, quite a contrast from the quiet bush in New Zealand.  It was a nice walk and felt good to be out and moving.

We made our way up to Maroochydore on Friday night and stayed in a lovely campground by the Maroochy River.  We got there early enough to play with our mosquito netting before the mozzies make their late afternoon appearance.

Room with a view
There really weren't very many bugs in this highly civilized campground, but now we know how to open the back hatch and let the breeze blow through the van while we keep the mosquitoes and flies out.

Saturday morning, we traveled further up the coast to Noosa Head taking in the coastal beauty and then headed inland to the little town of Gympie where the Australian Gold Rush started in the 1860's.

Gympie reminds us of Sonora.  On our way to Gympie, we ate lunch in a park where several boys were skate boarding.  Every one of the little towns we have driven through have lovely parks with public restrooms, and many have skate board parks to attract young people who enjoy this sport.  We chatted with one young man who looked to be about 15 who was eating his lunch as well (two large chocolate bars).  I would have preferred that too!

We told him in California, that the public parks require helmets, knee and elbow guards.  He thought that was pretty funny.  The kids in these parks were wearing nothing but shorts and shoes.  He took a cigarette from behind his ear and lit up when one of his friends came over to eat some chocolate.  The boys talked about their plans for the evening and were excited to go somewhere there was going to be a party with girls and drinks.  The boys waved goodbye, put their skate boards under their arms and walked along the public path.

Russ and I reached our campground late in the afternoon, and just enough time to do some grocery shopping for dinner for two nights.  The grocery and other stores are closed on Sundays.  We bought ourselves a roasted chicken and made a green salad for dinner.

Today is Sunday, and we had a fun day on the Rattler, an old steam engine driven train that took us through the countryside to a a little town of Imbil,

 It was serendipitous that we chose this day to ride because every 3rd Sunday, the docent/actors reenact a train robbery at the end of the line.

Officer will soon die in gun battle
Our ascent into Imbil seemed to be going more slowly than our itinerary indicated, but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery as we gazed through the open windows of the old train.

The actors reenacted the train robbery which was quite entertaining. 

Cryer call for justice

After the train robbery, we were to go to the front the train to watch the engine be turned around on the turntable.  Sadly, the engine wasn't moving.  The poor thing died.
Ran Out of Steam!
Apparently, our slow ascent was due to a steam tube that had burst and was watering down the coal fire.  By the time we got to our destination, the fire was too cool to move the train any further.  While we waited for  air conditioned rescue busses to take us back to Gympie, we ate our picnic in the shade, watched the trial and flogging of the train robbers, and browsed the tourist shops in Imbil.

By 2:45, the passengers on the ill fated Rattler boarded our busses and returned to Gympie making a scheduled stop for wine and cheese tasting.  We arrived back in Gympie ahead of schedule after a very enjoyable day where we met and talked with lots of nice folks.  One of the ladies we met is a retired middle school teacher who has invited us to visit and stay with her a few days in her home near Morton Island.  She enjoys visitors and is signed up with a website called Global Freeloaders.  Haven't heard of it, but plan to look it up.

Tomorrow we are headed up to Bundaberg where we will visit our friend Ken on Trim and hopeful get a taste of Bundaberg Rum.  Russ has made reservations on the ferry to Tasmania out of Melbourne in two weeks, so we will need to start Awaltzing Matilda southward in a couple of days.  We're having fun and both feel great.

All is well with the 2 Travel R's on Awaltzing Matilda.