Travelling Australia with the help of caffeine! 149



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Travel diary

Honestly, I must be crazy! I tell myself this as I plan our current six week caravan trip to central Australia at the same time as I tentatively organise a trip to the UK next year. Yes, crazy indeed.

Now, this is nothing new for me as I found evidence of it when I was cleaning up my computer room a few weeks ago. There was a notebook which had writing blazoned on the front in permanent ink: ‘TRAVEL’. I recognised my own handwriting but I had totally forgotten that this book existed.

As I opened the notebook, the organisation of our trip to Europe in 2008 lay before me, as did a cruise to Hawaii in 2009. It was like finding treasure. I had written such comments as “found a cruise to Turkey, Croatia and Greece leaving from Venice.” And then: “Cruise to Hawaii cancelled again! “ Yes, we did do both these cruises… eventually!

Another said “get on the internet to find shows in London”. Yes, we did that too when we saw the Lion King in the West End. However, as jet lag caught up with us, we napped a lot throughout the show waking with a jolt whenever the lion roared … but no one can say we didn’t go there, can they?

Oh, how organised I was with all our travel! I really impressed myself with what I found in this notebook.

So with a new resolve I took the notebook marked ‘Travel’ and began to put pen to paper with regard to our latest travels to Uluru. It sure felt good. What interesting memories will be stored in this little cheap notebook I wondered?

However, not all my notebooks are cheap and nasty. When I travel, I go to great lengths to find a really nice journal to write in. It must be well-bound and with good quality paper. No junk for my travel writing dear friends!

Now, writing this article prompted me to get out one of my journals marked: ‘Travel Diary, Queensland 2005’ to see what lay within.

Oh, there were tales of wonderful caravan parks and the joy of finding someone welcoming to greet you at the end of a long day; but not always. I wrote about one stop: “Maybe it is Mrs Grumblebum having a bad day who just wants the day to end and all those ‘grey nomads’ in their ‘nana-vans’ to go away and never come back!” How could I forget Mrs Grumblebum?

However, there were jottings about beautiful scenery, of mountain ranges, of interesting little towns, of meeting wonderful people and swopping stories. It was all there and I revelled in it.

But my biggest surprise was finding the number of times I wrote about our coffee experiences throughout Queensland. Obviously, highly important for those of us who are very particular about our coffee. I like mine strong and hot!

However, in outback Queensland in 2005, it was hard to find good coffee. According to my journal, one day we walked into a “delightfully decorated Coffee Shop thinking we had found a good place, and proceeded to ask pleasantly for a nice strong HOT coffee.”

The response quickly went from friendly to downright hostile. I did try to apologise (remind me why I was apologising again?) but to no avail. It did not end well as the owner continued to insult, not just us, but our friend’s dog, who did nothing but sit next to us on the pavement area outside! We did manage to laugh however, as we drank our ‘cold weak coffee’.

On the other hand, we were surprised with brilliant coffee and homemade cake in a place where we held out no hope for such a thing. All kudos to the homeware store in Longreach. A lovely surprise!

Now dear friends, you can see where I’m going with this can’t you? Yep, I think I will have to write about my travels and inject it with a little caffeine! Therefore, as I prepare to go on the road complete with husband and caravan, I promise you some coffee stories along the way to keep you awake.


Have you kept a record of your travels? Where did you go? Tell us something interesting you wrote… Share your memories in the comments below… 

Theresa Ross

Theresa is now in her late sixties, married to a rather ‘interesting’ man called Geoffrey who gives her much fodder for writing. She is now retired after a career in the Federal Government but with four grandchildren, studying Shakespeare, going to her monthly Book Club and trying to edit some books since she got her Diploma of Editing, she doesn’t have enough hours in the day! Of course, there is also a need to keep up with her blog Life with Tess ( whose readers expect to be entertained at least three times a week. Yes, it’s a good life in retirement!

  1. 20 years ago we bought a small campervan and that began our wonderful years of travel round this marvellous country Just spent our 20th winter of 10 weeks each year travelling and have the diaries of all of them including itinerary, costs of fuel and caravan parks etc.I also have thousands of photos on CDs and videos on DVDs At 80 and 81 we hope we still have several years more travel and when we have to give it away will have hours of reading and viewing to remind us of all the sights and the lovely people we have met.

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