Here’s our first travel blog of 2020. It’s been just over a month since our last proper travel blog and as you have probably come to realise, a lot happens the Walligans in a month. At the end of the last blog we left South Golden Beach and drove to Coolum Beach camp site, home for a week.
We’ve done Coolum Beach camping quite a few times before so won’t go into it again, it was a stopping point on the way to our next adventures. Except we were visited by this shiny little fella.
On our last evening we went for dinner in one of our favourite places, Castro’s. On the walk back to the camp site we heard some amazing live music leaking out through the open windows of this small bar we were passing. Intrigued we went for a look, it was $10 cover and the girl at the door said all proceeds went to the artists. We of course went in. The bar was called Foxy’s. The bar was the size of a small living room, the music was coming from three musicians on a tight stage in the corner, one guitarist and singer, one on piano and singing and another on trombone. They were riffing and playing all original music. They were amazing. The guitarist singer was Dave Flower and we found out he was playing at Woodford Folk festival. We told him we’d see him there.
We flew to Sydney from Brisbane after staying in an Airbnb with a city view, if you stood on a chair, on the balcony, and held the camera above your head really high that is.
We almost cancelled the trip as the bush fires were getting out of hand and the smoke in Sydney was outrageous. In the end we didn’t cancel and decided to go anyway.
The smoke cleared in the first couple of days we were there. We took the opportunity to visit a few clients while we were in Sydney. We stayed in a cracking little place in Allendale, Bet’s B&B. Highly recommended. It was a converted barn and done up to the highest standard I have seen. The owner told us when they were gutting it they found lots of old ham radio equipment, it was used by the Sydney Ham Radio society many years ago.
Our Sydney trip was also to catch up with family and friends and go to Carol and Greg’s Christmas bar-b-que. The food was delicious, the deserts especially so.
There’s a rule we have that says, “When in Sydney you must have dinner in the Merton Hotel” So, Jenni and I, Carol and Greg and Kathy did this very thing before we left. It was, as always, amazing.
We flew back to Brisbane, picked up our car and drove to Hervey Bay.
Jenni’s has family in Hervey Bay and we had planned to spend Christmas there.
On Christmas Eve Tonya and Kemp and Jenni and I went on a kayaking/fishing tour of a nearby river.
After the excellent lunch we went to see the new Star Wars movie, the Rise of Skywalker.
In prep for this one, in the last few days, I re-watched the previous 2 episodes and the “chronologically” first movie. When it came out in 1977 I was 17 and watched it 21 times in the local movie theatre. I’ve been a massive fan since.
We had Christmas Dinner with Jenni’s folks and it was beautiful. Again the deserts were a highlight.
On Christmas Day, all along the shore front in Hervey Bay were families enjoying the sunshine and having their Christmas celebrations outdoors.
All too soon it was time to leave Hervey Bay. We’d be spending the last part of 2020 at Woodford Folk Festival and it could be some months before we returned to Queensland. We said our farewells and left Hervey Bay very early on the day after Christmas to try and get to Woodford in time to get a decent camping spot. We really should have left 24 hours earlier.
Woodford Folk Festival
We got to Woodford and checked in around 10am on the morning of the day before it was due to start. Even then the massive camping ground was 90% full. People had got there on Christmas day and snagged all the good flat spots, leaving tarps pinned to all the other good spots around them for their friends who would be arriving later. Eventually we found a good spot, reasonably level and in a bit of shade. We didn’t realise we were surrounded by tribes of families with a million kids each. I’ll say no more on that except we will do Woodford differently next year. They opened the gates to the grounds at 5pm so we went for an explore and to get something to eat.
I could fill two blogs on Woodford Folk Festival, the sights, acts, food, characters, everything. Instead I have picked a fewsmallreasonablequite a large huge number from the hundreds I took. To keep this blog as short as possible.
Woodford at Night
Woodford is beautiful at night, here are some images I captured to try and show this.
We saw dozens of great acts, here are a few that stood out.
Big hats and people
Often at concerts you get someone standing in front of you, Woodford was no exception. Here are three times a perfect seat, with a perfect view, was spoiled, suddenly.
Wandering the streets of Woodford
Here are some sights you see while wandering around Woodford.
The Beautiful People
We started Woodford in 2019 and left in 2020. We begun the slow drive down through Queensland and New South Wales to Victoria. A journey of 1,700 kilometres, to catch the ferry back to Tasmania where we would be staying and exploring for the next 3 months.
We plotted a route that would avoid all of the bush fires that were destroying the country between Woodford and Melbourne. We made it safely but saw the evidence of some of the carnage on the way through.
The trip took us 8 days and we had some unique experiences along the way. You’ll have to wait till the next blog to find out about them.