Gerry & Ruth

Gerry and Ruth Travels

Gerry & Ruth

We are Gerry & Ruth, a retired couple living in Brisbane Australia. We have 2 adult sons now on their own travel/work adventures based in London.

Retirement has allowed us the opportunity travel as a means to keep the grey matter moving, stay healthy and as a periodic reminder as to how fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful country.

Without conscious planning the theme of out trips to date have been based around ancient civilisations and cultures mixed with elements of adventure and trekking.

The blog is a great way to keep family & friends informed of our travels and maybe give some insight of our experiences as well as a great reminder to us.

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Dungog November 12th 2019

Today has been a frustrating day of almost but no cigar. In hindsight we placed too much reliance on the XPT being able to run. While early on it were the last means of return to close, understandably since then we realise they will also be the last to reopen while there is any risk involved. Our next brilliant option was to check out motor home relocations from Sydney to Brisbane. We went through the whole booking process for a 6 berth camper & paid a deposit. Luckily, soon after it was cancelled along with-all other relocations due to road closures & the overall fire risk. As all exits north are closed the only way out is back but the bikes have been our main problem. We have now organised a freight contractor to pick up ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Dungog November 11th 2019

Today we should have been riding from Laurieton to Crescent Head but instead was a waiting day. Having decided the XPT was our best way our we just needed to sit it out until the service started running again. We have a tentative booking for the Wednesday morning service but that only runs to Casino & we need to transfer to a bus to Roma St while the evening service runs all the way. John’s heavy bike & trailer my be an issue. We hope to know Tuesday night if the Wednesday morning train is running & if not we may need to backtrack & try to fly out of Newcastle or Sydney. Dungog is quite a nice historic town & the enforced lay-off was good for tired bodies. Spent the morning at tourist information, a ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Dungog November 10th 2019

Our plan B was to ride to Dungog & catch the evening XPT to Brisbane. One condition was to reach the station by 2.30 to pick up bike boxes which they insist were necessary before we could book our tickets. We remarkably made the 66 km journey with a hour to spare. Fortunately the roads were very quiet but the hills were endless with 858 mtrs of ascent mostly into strong winds & some roads in very poor repair. We held up our end of the bargain & it seemed our plan was on track but soon after we were advised the evening train was initially delayed & later cancelled due to a new fire threat. We are now booked into a Dungog hotel & will re-assess tomorrow. Regardless we are safe & well away from ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Bulahdelah November 9th 2019

Day 6 Tour abandoned. Stuck in Bulahdelah today with no known way to get all the way back to Brisbane. The only option is to get to an XPT train stop station. We have a tentative booking for tomorrow night’s train from Dungog but they won’t confirm the booking because we need to have our bikes boxed which would be almost impossible to source. They are possibly able to send empty boxes on an earlier train but expect us to be able to meet the train & receive the boxes as the station Is unmanned. We cannot physically be there in time as it’s going to be a gruelling bike ride up into the hills. Regardless we have to go there as it’s our only way out but may take an extra day.... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales November 8th 2019

Day 5 After my best night sleep so far we set out for our planned longest day to date at 86 kms. The route promised to be a fantastic day of highlights. The day started with a idyllic 12 km ferry ride across the crystal clear waters of Salamander Bay & up the Myall river to Tea Gardens. Before setting out we checked out the latest fire situation with tourist information & given the all clear. Riding started with 26 kms along the Mungo Brush Trail which was a lot better than it sounds being a flat sealed road that bisects the ocean on the right & the the amazing Myall Lakes NP on the left. The track linked up with the Old Gibber Rd & Mining Road trail but when we got to the start ... read more
Bikes on top.
Endless beaches

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Nelson Bay November 7th 2019

Day 4. Was another day of 2 halves totalling 84 kms over 8.5 hrs & 700+ mtrs of ascent. The main morning ride was to Newcastle followed by an afternoon ride to Nelson Bay. After rain on day 2, hills on day 3 today was the trifecta of riders pet hates, ie hot head or side winds in excess of 40 kph. Regardless the morning route was a spectacular change from the mostly coastal scenery to date. The day started with a short Hwy ride out of Swansea alongside Lake Macquarie before branching off along the Fernleigh Track. This former rail line used to carry coal to the Newcastle port but has now been renovated into a 15 km rail trail. The trail was a beautiful corridor of trees along a smooth surface & a slight ... read more
rail trail view
rail trail tunnel entrance

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales November 6th 2019

Day 3. Was a bugg** covering 83kms split roughly into two halves over 8.25 hrs & a brutal 1156 mts of assent for the day. Yesterday’s bad weather had cleared to a brilliant cloudless blue sky. The morning stage was to The Entrance & started with some nice bike paths but soon changed to a very busy main road with some narrow shoulder that required total concentration not to wobble while ascending hills up to 13%. Terrigal was only half way to The Entrance & I was already spent. The beautiful outlook & morning tea at the surf club revived our spirits. Shelly Beach & Long Jetty were were memorable view stops. The afternoon stage was to Swansea & we seemed to get a second wind with riding mainly on cycle paths. A slight diversion to ... read more
MOrning tea Terrigal
Shelly Beach view

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Gosford November 5th 2019

After some scepticism when this idea was first raised 3 of our regular weekly riders have decided that this is a doable adventure. The first objective was to get our bikes & gear down to Sydney with a planned start from Manly to avoid the heavy Sydney traffic. Ian & I flew while John went by train so all bikes needed to be boxed then re-assembled at either Sydney airport or the CBD. Ian & I caught the airport train to Circular Quay & then a ferry to Manly for a next day meet-up. John stayed in town overnight & caught an early morning ferry to join Ian & I at near our overnight Queenscliff accommodation. The Weather was forecast to be ugly with rain & wind. Thought we had dodged a bullet at the start ... read more
Beautiful Manly at start.
Pelican island scene
Typical no stress fishing scene

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin August 31st 2019

Today was our last full day with the tour with another long but more comfortable 7 hr train journey to Berlin. After a quick check-in to the Moxy Hotel for a 2 night stay we headed straight out for an orientation walk around the huge city. We covered some of the main attractions included the Brandenburg Gate the Reichstag (parliament), remnants of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and Berlin Cathedral but to be honest not that exciting compared to some of the smaller cities we have been over the last few weeks. The city has also been under continuous reconstruction for decades. We ha a final group dinner at a Bavarian style brewery pub. Next day was hot again. Not knowing what we wanted to do & having to navigate the S Bahn & U Bahn ... read more
Old & New
Brandenburg Gate
Propaganda mural on SS Headquarters wall

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw August 29th 2019

Today was a long 14 hr travel day firstly with a 2 hr return journey to Vilnius by private bus before changing to an inter city bus & a 600 km drive for a 2 night stop at the Hit Hotel in Warsaw. Not such a big hit! After check-in we pretty much went straight to bed. Next day was forecast to be 33 deg. so commenced an early orientation walk with a local guide to see Warsaw’s “old town”. The use of this term is somewhat of a misnomer as despite appearances the old town is very new. As retribution for the Poles resistance to the Germans in WW2 they set about systematically destroying all of Warsaw. The commencement to rebuild the old town to original 18th century architectural drawings only commenced in the 1980’s ... read more
Old Town Square
Old Town Square
Side Street leaving Square

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