Title Picture

The Story Bridge, Brisbane.

Monday, May 25, 2015


On the last day of our reunion in Ballina we visited the Maritime Museum. I thought the most exciting exhibit was the raft  from the Las Balsas Expedition in 1973. This expedition was made up of three rafts named Guayaquil, Mooloolaba  and Aztlan lead by Vital Alsar a Spaniard who wanted to prove that it was possible that early South American peoples could have sailed across the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean to Australia.
This is a model of one of the rafts.

The three rafts left Guayaquil, Ecuador in May 1973 and after a gruelling adventure they arrived in Ballina in November 1973. They were supposed to make landfall in Maloolaba on the Queensland
coast but a strong current pushed them down the coast to Ballina in NSW. One raft was too waterlogged to get over the bar into the river and it was let go. The other two were salvaged and the one in the museum was recreated with original timbers of the remaining two rafts. The rafts were made from all natural materials. There were no nails or screws.

 The cabin quarters behind the sail.

 Then it was time for our last lunch together until next year. It was a fun 3 days.

On a different note. I will probably not be blogging for the next two weeks as I am flying over the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean to LA on Wednesday to spend two weeks with my two little grandsons and their parents. It will take me 13 hours while it took La Balsas 178 days.
Looking forward to seeing you again Fox and Banjo. I hope I get lots of hugs and kisses.

Friday, May 22, 2015


While my reunion friends were having drinks on the deck, I took my camera for a relaxing walk to the beach. I'm still trying to learn everything this little Sony HX60V can do. Still not as good as a DSLR but much easier to travel with.

 I walked along the Richmond River groin wall for about 20 minutes. I climbed down the wall and onto the beach instead of walking  to where the wall protrudes out into the sea.

 The beach was littered with driftwood making arty sculptures on the sand.

 Others had a more romantic companion than a camera.

 Found it hard to capture the waves in the low light. Very grainy and not sharp.

 A driftwood frame

 It was getting dark so I headed back to the wall, where I saw silhouettes of cyclists and walkers on the path on top of the wall.

As I walked back along the wall towards the Holiday Park the sun disappeared and 

the sky put on a show.

 Mr Pelican was coming home after a day out too.

It was a relaxing evening walk. Soon I joined my friends for tea on the deck.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


While we were at our reunion on the NSW north coast we visited Byron Bay.
On the way we had to stop to check out this huge motor bike. I'm a bit too old and fat to be a pin up girl but I tried.

 Byron Bay on the most easterly point of the Australian mainland. It was named by Captain Cook after Naval Officer John Byron, circumnavigator of the world and grandfather of the poet, Lord Byron. The lighthouse was built in 1901. The original industry of the area was logging, then gold mining. Primary industries developed, especially dairy, fishing and whaling (stopped in 1963). Now the biggest industry is tourism as the town has become a mecca for happy, hippy, arty, alternative people and tourists.
 We walked from the old lighthouse keepers house around the cliff edge stopping at lookouts and gasping at the drop to the sea and rocks below.

 The path wound around the headland and then descended down many steps to the furtherest eastern point. Can you see the path out to the point. Del and Martin our fit bike riding friends galloped off down to the point, while the rest of us lazed in the sun on a grassy knoll.

 Now we have been to the most easterly point, the most southerly point, the most northerly point and almost to  the most westerly point of the Australian mainland.

 Our little reunion group. We all (except Bill) belonged to the Judo Club of Pt Moresby, PNG back in the sixties.
L to R. me, Bill, Del, Charles, Martin and Penny.

We walked back up to the lighthouse and the car park, which overlooked this beautiful beach. There are many beaches in this area.