Canberra Bound – 1st February 2019

Momentous day for a number of reasons. Alex, six year old son of Belinda and Dom started school today. Lots of excitement in the household. He was all dressed up in his school uniform and very proud. It is great here how all children must wear uniforms to school. Makes kids look tidy, identifiable and easy on the parents pocket books. They also have very large brimmed hats to protect them from the sun. They are very aware of protecting their skin – wonder why. Also, Alex’s lunch box was not allowed to have any wrapping that would require the use of a rubbish bin. They are wanting to get kids use to not using plastics etc. We suggested using biodegradable dog poo bags as they are fine for the environment. Oddly, they didn’t take us up on this suggestion.

Transition for him to school went well as he had two of his kinder mates there also. We reckon it went well for mum and dad to. Alex is the last of the kids, so think mum and dad are ready to move on.

It was also time for us to start on our next phase of this holiday which was to head up north. We had 650k to drive to Canberra where we have another couch surfing establishment to stay at. We didn’t leave until 11.30am as Di’s spots are substantially worse and required some attention. It appears she has Urticaria which in 80% of cases they have no idea what causes it. She is looking a little scary, so try to keep her out of public viewing. Hopefully some Cortisone pills and cream will help her along with enough histamine for her to sleep the time away.

So the road north to Canberra is called the Hume Highway and is now dual carriageway and bat shit boring. It certainly wasn’t dual carriage way when we last drove it. You would think that they would put in a high speed train on a designated track between Melbourne and Sydney with a spur line to Canberra as you would be connecting two cities of 5 million people and growing. It is very frustrating to see the short sightedness of politicians.

We stopped very briefly a couple of times to eat and change drivers. They are very good at providing shade now at the laybys and today we certainly needed it. Di was working on the iPad in the front passenger seat and suddenly this large warning with the word EMERGENCY appeared and it said her iPad was going to stop working as it was too hot. Can’t say we have seen that message before in Canada.

As we got closer to the Victorian/New South Wales border it became increasingly drier. NSW is officially in drought and it looks like it. Hay and barley are being shipped in from around the country to help the farmers. Many farmers are downsizing herds as there isn’t enough feed around. It is also having a profound affect on the wild life. Driving up we saw many a native and farmed animal trying to shelter under the trees for a bit of shade. In Melbourne, there has not been much rain and the magnificent plane trees throughout the city are in severe distress. Their leaves are all dried up and you would think it was autumn with so many falling on the ground.

January has been a month of breaking emperature records throughout Australia and at present there are some of the states in very sever drought status.

At present there are multiple bush fires in Tasmania causing large evacuations plus providing New Zealand with spectacular red sunsets. Townsville in Northern Queensland as been declared a disaster area because of severe flooding and then of course we have the record breaking heatwaves and drought.

You know that polar vortex they are carrying on about in central Canada and US, well bring it on DownUnder!!!

One place we always stop at is The Dog on the Tucker Box on the edge of Gundagai. This is an Australian Historical monument. The statue was inspired by a bullock drover’s poem, “Bullocky Bill”, which humorously describes a series of misfortunes faced by the drover, culminating in his food being spoiled by his dog who sits either in or on his tuckerbox (an Australian colloquialism for a box that holds food, similar to a lunchbox, but larger).

We finally got into Canberra to our friends Olivia and Mark at 7.30pm and just in time for the BBQ to be put on. We haven’t seen these guys as a couple since Christmas of 2009 and that was when Olivia was having severe hip and knee issues. She is now a bionic woman with two new hips, a new knee and probably a new knee coming in the near future. She has very successfully lost a lot of the weight she was carrying as her hips were making her so immobile. Fraser went through high school with Mark and is part of a group of close friends who still keep in contact with one another even up to today.

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