from Kamloops to Canberra

Published: February 23rd 2010
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The Aboriginal EmbassyThe Aboriginal EmbassyThe Aboriginal Embassy

Yes we are not joking, this is the Aboriginal Embassy in Camberra
DAY 470

Today I dedicate to my favourite pair of Hiking Boots after 13 years of intrepid service hiking the varied grounds of many a country, including Canada, Australia, Zimbabwe and Austria, it is time to pension them off, well ok, maybe not pension them off, they are not going to get a peaceful retirement lounging around the swimming pool in the Whitsunday’s or anything, they are simply going in the bin, probably to some not so far flung rubbish tip to be buried until they rot back into the land.

After a fairly crazy night last night, I was awake surprisingly early and then remembering of course that it is Saturday, oh bliss a little extra longer in bed. Andy jumped out to get the kettle on, he asked if I wanted a cup to which I responded “yes please!” “oh!” came the reply, only to find out that the reason for his disappointed was that he wanted to borrow my mug as he was fed up having a small cup of tea from the visitors mug which he has been assigned to all week since his second tea mug which was also his Kalgoorlie Super Pit
The old & The NewThe old & The NewThe old & The New

Two pairs of Carolines boots, her oldBrown pair is being pensioned off whilst here new Colunbia ones are ready for action
Mug, from this trip finally gave up the ghost. I think the fact that he has gone through 2 mugs already tells a story that Andy drinketh too much tea!

Happy to have the visitor’s mug I got up, showered and made some breakfast. This morning I have a date at 9.00am sharp so I need to be ready, it is some time since I was able to hook up with some of my girlfriends over Skype, in fact I think it was when we were in Cairns, way back in September.

At 9.00 the call came up, and in no time at all I could hear shrieks of laughter and delight and then before I knew it I could see almost 8 happy faces grinning at me from the other side of the world. Poor Andy the next half hour degenerated as everyone tried to speak at once and for me to try and make myself heard over the other end.

Keeley was hosting a Hollywood Movie Night, it is Doris’ birthday and she had gone all out on the VIP treatment, including a red carpet up to the doorway and her very own star for
All the TroubleAll the TroubleAll the Trouble

Caroline thinks she needed new boots, just becasue of a little rip
the Hollywood walk of fame, it tugs at the heart strings somewhat to know that I am not there with them, but it is so great to be able to speak and see them.

I am now under a significant amount of pressure to get back to England, especially for a particular birthday later on this year, even Doris is now trying to emotionally blackmail me, no pressure then girls!

After 45 minutes and a short conversation with each of the girls personally, it is time to let them get on with the movies, I can even see that the movie is going to be projected onto a wall in Keeley’s living room I wonder if I can keep the Skype connection open and watch the film with them, however we have things to do and it looks like I might have to apologise to the rest of campsite for the noise emanating from our tent!

Everyone is in good spirits, especially as it is 10.00pm and a few glasses of wine have been drunk compared to my second cup of tea of the morning. We all say goodbye, it is a struggle for either one of us to hit the big red “End Call” button, but one of us had to do it before we all degenerated into floods of tears.

I have had my fix, it was great to catch up with them all and a good reminder of what I am missing back home, Sue even reveals that she may even be able to come out and see us, but I do issue a warning to chose her time as we are heading into winter, but maybe that means I can have a holiday too and head up to better weather in Far North Queensland.

Andy and I continue to tidy up and have a sort out after our mammoth task of the last couple of evenings and while the washing was busy in the washing machine we had our swim, we have missed out on the last couple of nights, the water was cold but we swam our 30 lengths, blew out the cobwebs and finally when we are on top of things we headed out.

It was just after lunch and we headed out to the DFO with the intention of picking up some more clothes for work, the DFO is just on the South side of Canberra in the district of Fyshwick, it is huge, much larger than the one I went to when we were in Cairns so I am hopeful.

Anyway an hour or so later we were back in the truck and I was holding a nice Columbia bag with a great new pair of hiking boots and nothing for work.

My Hi Tec hiking boots have been amazing, but finally they wore out at the back heel meaning that they were starting to rub for the first time ever, I have never had a single blister from wearing these boots, probably the most comfortable item of footwear I have ever owned, but the good news is that my new ones may actually help someway towards keeping the leeches out!

We had a bit of a reccy around the area, but it was time to head back to camp after a very big grocery visit to Woolworths, were we indulged in an electric kettle, a much needed addition to help make things easier for us while we are in the one place and thus avoiding the need to use the gas, speaking of which we find that our new Coleman cooker has developed a gas leak!

While we have a cup of tea and a rest the phone rings and we find that a friend of Andy’s from England has rocked up in Canberra for a few days, we have been expecting their call, so we arrange to pick them up and go out for a meal.

Andy met Keith while dirt biking in England, Keith and his wife Merry live in Amesbury on the edge of Salisbury Plain they decided to have a year out and do some travelling, popping home occasionally, they have been in Australia for around 7 weeks, we have kept in touch with them on their journey round and today we finally hook up and not to mention that they are our first official visitors from England!

So after a drive round the area, we show Keith and Merry around the parliamentary area of Canberra and more importantly the Aboriginal Embassy, which they were most impressed with.

Then we headed back onto Commonwealth Avenue and over the bridge to park in the city centre. After a short wander we find a suitable Indian eating establishment and the four of us head in, we are lucky enough to get a table, but choosing from the menu was difficult because we were constantly talking! Our waitress was very patient with us though!

It was a great Indian restaurant, but I cannot remember the name of it, it is in the Melbourne Building in the city centre but we had a great meal.

After dinner we jumped back in the truck and then Andy had a great idea, why not head up to Mount Ainslie and see how Canberra is lit up. So off we went only to find that it is a very busy haven up there in the evenings, no doubt a popular spot for young romantics who were just sat staring out over the city.

It was late but it did not stop us from having a quick drink with Keith and Merry at their hotel, but by midnight we were heading back across town and to our own little haven of the Wendy House where we straight away jumped into bed and snuggled down for a good nights sleep after a long and hectic day.


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