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Published: December 13th 2015
With what began as a short period of work for Tab back with the Sugarloaf Animal Hospital in Newcastle, we ended up spending about 5 months in total in & around NSW, oh and a quick trip over the South Pacific to Fiji!
Tab was welcomed back with open arms to her old role as Receptionist, a full 10 years after we departed from Newcastle! It was awesome to see some old faces, in both clients & staff, but to work with the new team was fantastic too. They kindly looked after our boys when we headed off to Fiji too – can’t thank you all enough.
Speaking of our boys, Oscar celebrated his 15th
) birthday on 11/11, while Bailey just turned 14 (72nd
) so happy birthday rangas! They are both doing well, Oscar has injections for arthritis given to him by his mum, and they have made a huge difference – so far him and Tab are still on speaking terms!
During our time in Newie we had a little road trip down the coast to see Jeff’s brother Dave, his wife Anita and their fur-kid “Bob” Cat. We had
such a relaxing week with them, the boys pulling in fish after fish (Aussie Salmon) every day, so we ate lots of fish-themed meals and just chatted in general about our respective lives on-the-road (they too were in their caravan, having started a roadie from QLD earlier in the year). We left with a freezer well stocked with salmon that's for sure! On the way back up we also managed to catch up with Tab’s Uncle Rusty & Aunty Pat, which was great.
We also squeezed in a few rather enjoyable housesits while we were there, via the Aussie Housesitters website, looking after a myriad of animals, from 8 cats/3 dogs, through to a greyhound and others in between. Its great to meet people who welcome you into their homes, share their beautiful pets with you, and its always a great change of scenery for us too.
So after Tab’s work stint was finished, we hightailed it to Sydney for an exciting adventure in Fiji, where we had organised to meet up with our great mates Suzz & Jase, and their little boy Fraser. The Naviti Resort where we stayed was bloody awesome! Upon
arrival, you got branded with a coloured wrist band, that essentially entailed “GO NUTS”!!! It was an all inclusive package, so with two bars, three restaurants and room service at our disposal for 5 days solid, we tended to meander to the pool bar by midday-ish (OK, so it was 10am but it was midday somewhere!), flowing on through to the burger/pizza bar for lunch, then further flowage either to the bistro lounge, or chilling on the villas verandah until it was dinner time. No need to every leave the room with a wallet or purse, all inclusive meant JUST that! So stressful….. After many years of not catching up (in fact Fraser was less than 1, he’s now 4) we just spent it as quality time, no hurry, no worry – we were on Fiji Time.
After we farewelled Suzz & Jase, we headed back up to Nadi & Denarau Marina where we boarded our transfer to Tropica Island Resort, a 2 hour boat trip to an “adults only” retreat, situated on it’s own private island, and only a stones throw from where they shot the movie Castaway. Here we spent more time eating amazing food,
drinking cold Fiji bitter in the hammock, or on our verandah swing, wandering up for mealtimes at the call of a drum. True paradise (even the hole burning through your wallet seems another world away when you are on Fiji Time).
After 3 days on the island we headed back into Nadi and picked up a hire car to circumnavigate (anti-clockwise) the whole of Fiji, first stop Suva. A modern, bustling city, it was a rude awakening after so much relaxation, but we got out & explored the local markets, waterfront and restaurants. The weather was mainly raining, so we didn’t get to do some of the national park hikes that were nearby.
On through the mountainous terrain of the east-side, through villages of smiling faces, up to the very north coast, where suburbia again took hold, with last two nights in Nadi before flying back to Sydney. We were away 10 nights in all, and it was beautiful. Thanks Suzz, Jase & Fraser for catching up with us over there, beyond enjoyable!
So back to Newcastle to bid farewell to the SAH team, and a short camping trip with the
Kelly’s up to Gloucester, and it was time to say a proper goodbye to our home for the past 5 months. From there we headed over to a little town called Wingham where we caught up with Tab’s parents, their dog Molly & cat Dougal, and it also happened to be Melbourne Cup Day. Needless to say we found the local TAB venue, booked ourselves a table for lunch (Mum & Dads’ shout – thanks guys!!) and proceeded to not do very well at winning on the gee gees! Overall a very relaxing day out though.
The weather in Wingham was atrocious, but we still managed to get out and see some touristy things, all while free camping near the lake. At the camp was a colony of Flying Foxes that went on a daily dusk pilgrimage in search of tucker, the noise was amazing as the sky pretty much turned black with bodies, quite a sight.
After farewelling them, we continued up the coast through Nambucca (a fave spot), Coffs, Grafton, Glen Innes, Tenterfield, until we FINALLY crossed the border into QLD for the first time in Boris! 10 years in the making.
So here we sit in Stanthorpe, rain sprinkling on the awning (a nice change from tennis/golf sized hail we got a week or so ago!) thinking that we might just go and taste some wine…..yep it’s true, once more we are shacked up in a wine region! We know all our readers will find this terribly hard to believe...
Jeff is working full time as a vineyard hand and Tab has two separate jobs, one as a short order cook in a café in town, the other in a restaurant attached to a nearby winery. We’ve landed on our feet in a very friendly country town, with prospects of more housesitting, one in particular that starts in Feb 2016, and goes for 9 months. Poor old Boris will once more go into retirement, while we save up for the next leg of the journey.
Wishing you all a relaxing Christmas, fab New Years and will keep on blogging in 2016! XO
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