Monthly Archives: December 2013

Our Trip Time Capsule – 100th Blog Post

See you in 25 years or so time capsule!!

See you in 25 years or so time capsule!!

This is our 100th Blog Post!  I can’t believe we have written that many posts or even more amazing that you are all still reading our rubbish hehehehe!

I really enjoy writing our blog and even though I am so far behind I intend to keep going and finish the adventures of our trip off and then hopefully share our camping escapades up here in Far North Queensland, when mango/avocado packing season finishes and life settles down a little again!  We will definitely be well and truly ready for a short camping break away from the farm by then!

To mark our 100th Blog Post, I thought it would be appropriate to use this entry to tell you about our Trip Time Capsule.  We decided early on in our trip that before we finished, we would like to bury a time capsule somewhere in the great blue yonder of Oz.  There was no set plan for where it should be buried, or when, just that we wanted to plant a treasure box filled with some memories of our trip which had been so long in the planning and would hopefully be a great snapshot of a significant event in the lives of the Fealy Family in 2013.  This is how it went down ……………….

The contents of our time capsule.

The contents of our time capsule – pictures and drawings from the kid’s journals, a ‘Fealy Family Adventure’ t-shirt, a letter to Fealy Bub No 4, shells, small toys the kids enjoyed, a newspaper clipping about the farm we have now moved on to, a fuel receipt, letters from the cousies before we left on our trip, a map

All packed up - I sacrificed one of my very handy plastic kitchen containers for the cause!

All packed up – I sacrificed one of my very handy plastic kitchen containers for the cause!

There was quite a lot of discussion about where the best place to bury the time capsule would be!

There was quite a lot of discussion about where the best place to bury the time capsule would be!

Dig, Dig!

Dig, Dig!

Watching Dad do the hard work, Matt was cursing that we hadn't chosen somewhere sandy to bury our loot!

Watching Dad do the hard work, Matt was cursing that we hadn’t chosen somewhere sandy to bury our loot!

Fealy Family Adventure 2013 Time Capsule

Fealy Family Adventure 2013 Time Capsule

We're hoping that if somebody other than our family find our capsule that they will contact us to let us know!

We’re hoping that if somebody other than our family find our capsule that they will contact us to let us know!

Ok - in it goes

Ok – in it goes

Who wants to put it in?

Who wants to put it in?

Toby did!

Toby did!

Tobes having a go with the shovel to bury it!

Tobes having a go with the shovel to bury it!

It was very hot and hard work in the sun - Dad took over to finish it off!

It was very hot and hard work in the sun – Dad took over to finish it off!

We used the tape measure to help record exactly where we had buried our box!

We used the tape measure to help record exactly where we had buried our box!  That along with the GPS co-ordinates, some spray paint and a detailed note with a description has all been saved in the Fealy Family vault to help locate our capsule somewhere in the future!!

We’ve written a post in the past about ‘Why we go camping’ and we hope that even with our change to farm life, we will still continue to get away on some great family camping trips in the coming years – as you know from our previous post, camping is something that is very important to us.

So, the hope then is, that maybe in 25 years time, one of the kids might take their own family away on a camping adventure, or their boyfriend or girlfriend, a sibling adventure, or even just a solo break away, and head off towards where we buried our time capsule.  We hope they will remember that we buried it around that area somewhere and ring mum and dad and say “hey Dad, remember that time capsule we buried on our trip around Australia in 2013?  What is the exact location for it?  We want to have a go at finding it and digging it up!”.  Or it may even be that in 10 years time we get a chance to head away and do another big Fealy Family Adventure again and we go searching for it!  Or maybe Matt and I will head off as grey nomads in 25 years time when all our babies have left the nest and we will dig it up ourselves!!  Who knows, but it is something to look forward to, a little bit of a treaure hunt down the track to locate a small piece of Fealy Family history.

This is the image on one of the shirt's Matt's workmate, Hayley, made for us!  We loved the shirts Hayley - I'm bummed we never got a photo of all of us wearing them!

This is the image on one of the shirt’s Matt’s workmate, Hayley, made for us! We loved the shirts Hayley – I’m bummed we never got a photo of all of us wearing them!

Categories: About Us, Camping | 4 Comments

Gibb River Road

DSC_0201From Manning Gorge we decided to push for El Questro Station to spend the final two nights of our travels along the Gibb River Road.  That turned out to be a very long day on the road!  This section of road was the worst stretch we travelled on the Gibb.  We blew a tyre on the camper and pretty much averaged between 20 to 60km’s per hour for the whole day.  A few photos of this stretch of the road to begin;

Peter Prado on the Gibb River Road

Peter Prado on the Gibb River Road

Very dusty and lots of quite large sharp rocks and heaps of corrugations!

Very dusty and lots of quite large sharp rocks and heaps of corrugations!

Peter Prado & Karen Camper

Peter Prado & Karen Camper

Sooooo much dust

Sooooo much dust

Only about five minutes after we had done this little photo shoot we were pulled over again to change a very shredded camper tyre!!  We were running all of our tyres at about 28PSI prior to this stretch of road as the track had been recently graded, but after changing this tyre we dropped everything down to about 25PSI.  We felt very grateful to have a second spare tyre still on board after blowing this one and knowing that we still had about 200 kilometres of the Gibb River Road to travel.  We never once regretted carrying two spare tyres at all times – just eased the worry a little!

Aaaargh!

Aaaargh!

Lucky we carry two spares!

Lucky we carry two spares!

It was stinking hot work changing this tyre so we were soooo grateful when half an hour after we were back on the road we saw the sign for Ellenbrae Station.  We had heard great things about the scones at Ellenbrae so we decided to stop in for a quick scone/lunch break.DSC_0064The homestead for Ellenbrae Station was only 5km’s in off the Gibb River Road and it was a lovely cool oasis!!  There were lots of turn off’s to camp sites on the road in which we would have loved to check out but alas – only time for scones on this trip and the scones were sooooooooooo good!  The kids enjoyed exploring the bits and pieces around the gardens at the Ellenbrae Homestead and Matt and I got a chance to cool off after the hot and dusty morning changing the tyre and concentrating on the rough road.

Such a lovely green, shady and cool spot for scones and a cold drink!

Such a lovely green, shady and cool spot for scones and a cold drink!

Ellenbrae Station Scones - yum!

Ellenbrae Station Scones – yum!

The shower facilities at the homestead - neat!

The shower facilities at the homestead – neat!

A little tree snake that the kids spotted in the garden at Ellenbrae

A little tree snake that the kids spotted in the garden at Ellenbrae

From Ellenbrae Station we headed to Home Valley Station.  The scenary as we got closer to Home Valley Station was just spectacular!  By this stage of the drive though we were just hanging out for the rough road to be over!  It was really rattling the car and camper around and we were getting very worried about what damage might be happening to the camper, not to mention wondering how much dust was now onboard!

The scenary approaching Home Valley Station

The scenary approaching Home Valley Station

Hooray - we can see water!  A welcome sight after a hot and dusty day driving!

Hooray – we can see water! A welcome sight after a hot and dusty day driving!

View from the lookout before heading down to Home Valley Station

View from the lookout before heading down to Home Valley Station

We had a quick stop for a drink and to have a sticky beak at Home Valley Station campground.  We very nearly stopped and stayed the night here as it looked so nice!  There was a great bar/restaurant area, a swimming pool, a playground at the campground and lovely green grass to set up camp on!  So tempting after a week on the dry, dusty Gibb!  But we really wanted to be able to only have one pack up/set up left on the Gibb so we had a quick drink at the bar and then headed off again for the last 80km’s or so to El Questro Station.

The entrance to Home Valley Station

The entrance to Home Valley Station

Home Valley Station

Home Valley Station

Cool giant chess set on the grounds at Home Valley Station

Cool giant chess set on the grounds at Home Valley Station

The bar/restaurant area at Home Valley Station was really, really nice - would loved to have had a meal here!

The bar/restaurant area at Home Valley Station was really, really nice – would loved to have had a meal here!

Just down the road from Home Valley Station and we came to probably the most ‘iconic photo shoot’ on the whole Gibb River Road, the Pentecost River crossing.  We were sooooo excited to finally reach it although we did have to drive across to check the sign on the other side to make sure it actually was the Pentecost River!  Unfortunately there was not a lot of water at the time we crossed so we are a little disappointed with our photos but it still feels nice to say we have done it!!  We did a few trips over and back on the river crossing trying to get a perfect shot for the wall, but just couldn’t quite capture it – one to get next time!

Crossing the Pentecost River on the Gibb River Road

Crossing the Pentecost River on the Gibb River Road

Peter Prado & Karen Camper crossing the Pentecost River

Peter Prado & Karen Camper crossing the Pentecost River

Pentecost River

Pentecost River

Matt pretty happy that we got to do this crossing on our trip.  It had been something he really wanted to see when we started planning this trip two long years ago!

Matt pretty happy that we got to do this crossing on our trip. It had been something he really wanted to see when we started planning this trip two long years ago!

As you can see from the light in these photos – the sun was starting to set which made for really pretty driving in to El Questro Station.  The Cockburn Ranges looked spectacular at this time of day!

The Cockburn Ranges

The Cockburn Ranges

Photographer out the car window

Photographer out the car window

Beautiful

Beautiful

This shot was just before the turn off to El Questro Station

This shot of the Cockburn Ranges was just before the turn off to El Questro Station

A post about El Questro Station coming up next.  This stop was Matt’s favourite part of the whole trip so don’t miss reading out on what we got up to here!

Categories: Camping, WA Camping | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Manning Gorge

DSC_0006So, getting back to the Gibb River Road now – we are only about half way along it and there are some beautiful places we still want to share with you!  After stopping at Bell Gorge, we set up camp for two nights at Manning Gorge.  This was a really nice place to camp with heaps of campsites and the campground was quite big so if you didn’t mind a walk to the amenities you could find a campsite away from everybody else. The amenities were generator operated hot water showers – so you could only get hot showers for an hour or so in the morning and two hours at night.  The generator was a little noisy but the toilets and showers were nice and clean.  It was a little smelly though so I was glad we didn’t camp near the amenities.  Most of the sites were quite shady which was nice but they were all very dry and dusty when we were there.

The best thing about the manning gorge campground was the river and sandy river bed right near the campsite which you could swim in – it was lovely!  A great spot that was cool and shady and the water was so nice for swimming.

Swimming spot at Manning Gorge campground

Swimming spot at Manning Gorge campground

Trying to capture the perfect reflections on the water.

Trying to capture the perfect reflections on the water.

These photos were taken just after a pre sunset swim

These photos were taken just after a pre sunset swim

Lovely

Lovely

Reflections

Reflections

Sun set photo

Sun set photo

Matt & I having a swim

Matt & I having a swim

After arriving fairly late in the afternoon we only had time to have a quick swim and set up camp, so the next morning we headed off to tackle the walk to Manning Gorge.  This walk was probably one of the toughest we have done.  It was only about a 3km walk in (so 6km’s return) but it is a very open walk, so very hot and dusty!!  We all found this walk a pretty long one and agree we should have started earlier in the day (we headed off at about 10am).  To start the walk you must cross the swimming hole at the river and to help keep your feet dry you can use a little ‘pull -along’ tinnie.  The kids loved it and we had several creek crossing in the boat during our couple of days here!

The little 'pull-a-long' tinnie which you can use to cross the river to the other side without getting your shoes wet before your hike!

The little ‘pull-a-long’ tinnie which you can use to cross the river to the other side without getting your shoes wet before your hike!

Pulling the tinnie across the river.

Pulling the tinnie across the river.

Heading off to walk in to Manning Gorge

Heading off to walk in to Manning Gorge

The long, hot, dusty walk to Manning Gorge

The long, hot, dusty walk to Manning Gorge

Pretty nice 'Gibb River Road' scenery on our walk into the gorge

Pretty nice ‘Gibb River Road’ scenery on our walk into the gorge

We were all pretty happy to finally reach the gorge after about an hour and a half of walking!  It was worth the walk though and we were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves for some of the time we were there.  We spent a couple of hours down there and I had packed enough snack food to keep us all happy, so it was a very relaxing way to spend the hottest part of the day before we tackled the long walk back!

Hooray - Manning Gorge at last!

Hooray – Manning Gorge at last!

Manning Gorge - lots of people jump into the water off the top of the waterfall but we weren't game enough to have a go!

Manning Gorge – lots of people jump into the water off the top of the waterfall but we weren’t game enough to have a go!

Swim time!

Swim time!

The water was cold but very refreshing after the hot walk in!

The water was cold but very refreshing after the hot walk in!

Looking out from under the waterfall

Looking out from under the waterfall 

Easy way to spend the day

Easy way to spend the day

We found a nice shallow swimming spot for the kids

We found a nice shallow swimming spot for the kids

The kids wrestling in the water!

The kids wrestling in the water!

Washing the sand off our feet to get our shoes on for the long walk back

Washing the sand off our feet to get our shoes on for the long walk back

Manning Gorge is about the half way point along the Gibb River Road and we could easily have spent a few more days relaxing and swimming here if we had longer – we’d definitely recommend a couple of nights stay here and the Barnett River Roadhouse was just up the road so you could grab some essential supplies, fuel and ice creams very easily! Aaargh – I just want to go back now!DSC_0223

Categories: Camping, WA Camping | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Jack Turns Eight!

DSC_0057I don’t know how it has happened, but I am behind on the blog posts again!  Anyway – just doing a quick post today to share some photos of Jack’s 8th Birthday.  How it is possible that we can have an eight year old boy already is beyond us!!  We had a birthday party last weekend for Jack, his great grandma and his cousin Nick, who all have birthdays within a few days of each other in November.  It was a really nice afternoon, with lots of yummy afternoon tea treats and most of the extended family on both sides who we now live nice and close to!  Jack choose the theme of a ‘lego birthday party’ this year, so his birthday cake and some treats were created to look like lego as best we could!

The lego birthday cake - baked by me and decorated by Matt as per usual!

The lego birthday cake – baked by me and decorated by Matt as per usual!

Lego block biscuits, guess the lego in the jar game created by Jack, lego teaspoon holder made by Toby and Jack, and Lego '8 year old' board created by Jack and Toby

Lego block biscuits, guess the lego in the jar game created by Jack, lego teaspoon holder made by Toby and Jack, and Lego ‘8 year old’ board created by Jack and Toby

I made a frangipani pie for Jack’s great grandma (Matt’s grandma) as I thought she had grown out of her ‘lego faze’!  I did actually make two pies but proceeded to drop one on the floor while getting it out of the oven – I was sooooooo cranky!

Frangipani Pie - so yum!

Frangipani Pie – so yum!

Jack with his three great grandparents - a lucky kid to have them here to celebrate with him!

Jack with his three great grandparents – a lucky kid to have them here to celebrate with him!

It was a really nice afternoon with all the family and the rain even held off until after everybody had left in the evening.  Jack was spoilt with some great gifts; a remote controlled helicopter, some gemstones from Pa’s collection, the boxed set of the Narnia books, a lego pen case, some lego, a kite, some money and some ‘how to draw’ books.

So spoilt!  Opening his presses with the Johnson cousins.

So spoilt! Opening his presses with the Johnson cousins.

We had lots of birthday cake and even a special surprise for Matt & Ross with a bottle of home-brewed passionfruit wine from Glynis’s dad, Les.  Les had brewed the wine with some of the first passionfruit picked from the vines here at Blue Sky and Glynis’s mum was very clever and wrote a poem to go with it!  We opened the bottle so everybody could have a taste and it was quite good!!!  We’re looking forward to the mango wine next!!

Birthday cake time

Birthday cake time

Happy Birthday Jack

Happy Birthday Jack

The 8 year olds!  Jack and Nick!

The 8 year olds! Jack and Nick!

Homebrewed Passionfruit Wine from the first of the Blue Sky passionfruit

Home-brewed Passionfruit Wine from the first of the Blue Sky passionfruit

The german backpackers tasting the passion fruit wine!

The german backpackers tasting the passion fruit wine!

our new dog Patches got into the birthday party spirit!

Our new dog Patches got into the birthday party spirit!

Jerry loves this farm life stuff!

Jerry loves this farm life stuff!

We finished off the afternoon with a wander around Blue Sky to check out the hard work Glynis and Ross had done on the backpackers dorm accommodation.  Thanks to all the family that came over to help us celebrate – we felt so lucky to be home!!

Having an afternoon wander around Blue Sky.

Having an afternoon wander around Blue Sky.

Jack’s actual birthday was a couple of days later so we saved our present for him until then.  He was very surprised and excited when he unwrapped some new undies (essential hehehehe), the first book in the Harry Potter series and his very own archery set.  I know, I know – we may live to regret giving him that gift but for now he is being very safe and none of the ducks are yet to be targets!!

Having a go out in the front yard before breakfast and school

Having a go out in the front yard before breakfast and school

All the family had to go and watch!

All the family had to go and watch!

An archery set for his 8th birthday!

An archery set for his 8th birthday!

Happy 8th Birthday Jacko!  We love you lots kid and are very proud of the serious, responsible, sometimes quite funny joker that you are!!

Categories: About Us | 3 Comments

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