Sunday 17th February 2019

Travel Tales. #LifeThisWeek 42/52. 2017.119.

Travel Tales. #LifeThisWeek 42/52. 2017.119.

I have enjoyed travel a lot.

In fact, I am considering some travel next year but my surgical team and my ability  to eat properly will determine that. However, I can still plan. High on my list in 2018 is a visit to Canberra around Autumn to capture the leaves and to maybe visit with some blogging friends who live there! Yes, I am thinking of you Leanne and you too Claire and Lauren of course.

My favourite form of travel is SOLO.

Yes, organised by me (with help from a travel agent as necessary) and enjoyed by me!! Look, honestly, I spent all those years on holidays with the family and then with the spouse and half the time is spent negotiating who wants to do what and where and when and by my 50s I was O V E R that. And I am not afraid to travel solo and I actually enjoy experiences of meeting other people when and if I choose. Seriously. Have you tried it?

Where is this travel tale set?

It took me a bit of tossing up and it was between my OS (only one!) trip to the U.S. West Coast, Las Vegas and Hawaii OR this area: Far North Queensland. I know this is not its name now but it is how I refer to it!! Three Travel Tales To The Magical Tropics of Far North Queensland. 2002, 2003 and 2010.

Regular readers know that I left my role as a school principal due to ill-health. That was in September 2002 but in October 2002 I had already planned to attend a conference in Palm Cove and was being supported by my employer to attend. Work cover was fine about that so I went. It could not have happened at a better time as I needed both distraction and enjoyment back in my life. Here is what I found I loved about this first trip:

  • the warm air and water – it was not quite stinger time so I ventured in once I think to the actual sea, but the rest of time was the resort pool.
  • the ambience and the beauty of the surroundings.
  • the colours.
  • the part of the reef I ventured to was Green Island.
  • the hinterland.
  • so much to take in and enjoy it was hard to come home!

Mid-year 2003 when I was indeed now fully retired from the role of principal and my husband was about to finally stop his part-time teaching role, we wanted to mark the occasion with a special place to celebrate. I chose Port Douglas this time and B was happy to agree. Until the plane trip up. I am fine travelling economy (well, fine enough) but my poor  guy with spinal pain and well over 6’2″ was NOT. At all. He could barely express how hard it was to travel well over 3 hours like that: add in the airport trip from home, even though we did use a hire car, the waiting at the airport, the disembarking and the drive from Cairns to Port Douglas: So that put a LARGE dampener on the trip at the start, and if I tell the truth, most of the stay. I had selected a one bedroom apartment with air con and all comforts but did not know there was no lift and it meant up around 4 flights to our room. There were days, B did not leave the room.

He actually said “I cannot go home like that” and I agreed. We then changed our tickets home to business class at a cost of (back then) $1500 to enable him to have some comfort. When we did go to fly home we were delayed at Cairns due to the late incoming Qantas flight which was bringing up a tiger for a local zoo. By the time we embarked on the same plane we were ready to enjoy every part of the $1500 worth and yes, it was awesome travelling that way. At the Sydney end on the June evening, our then son-in-law was picking us up and the huge storm that we encountered out of Sydney and on landing did slow down our going home as the luggage handlers could not go out on the tarmac in the storms. We eventually got our ride home…and that, dear readers, is the last time I have travelled on a plane with my husband!

The Next Time I Retired. September 2010. My dear spouse had not been well for the past year or so and even though we found out some two years later due to HIS investigations and proactive work and seeing a new GP that he did NOT have Parkinsons Disease, it was timely for me to have a little break. Where else did I choose? Far North Queensland. From the drop off to the airport to arrival in Cairns and picking up my rental car for the trip to Palm Cove I was fine. In fact, it was a bit sad to be away from B because we thought he was unwell. Yes he was but not from what the Drs said. Grrrr. Story for another time maybe.

I had picked a one bedroom studio overlooking the water. And the resort had one of those magical beach type pools. It was great. Except, again, for the long walk UP 3 flights of stairs to my room. Why, resorts, why do you not put in lifts?? I made the most of the spa on the verandah and swam in the pool. Ordered some room service but mostly walked along the wonderful Williams Esplanade to a cafe for breakfast. I did some day trips in the car to my much loved Mossman Gorge and went on a day bus trip to the Tablelands. I LOVED up there too. I could get on a plane right now and be back there. I feel an affinity spiritually and physically to the area. I am adding some poor image quality photos to this post as a memory of what it was for me then.

Do you have a special place that forms part of your travel tales? Denyse. Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather and here with Kell for Mummy Mondays.

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