Fay had very kindly booked me into her hairdresser for a cut, so first thing Thursday morning Derick drove me to the salon and an hour later I left feeling very happy with the cut and style. Then it was off to Bunnings for some mats to cover and protect the stove and fridge tops; we found what we wanted then headed back to the caravan park to catch up with the washing, tidy and clean the van inside and out (not sure how I am going to cope with a house when we are home, the van takes all of an hour and that’s being very thorough). We met Fay and Ray at the Torrens Arms for dinner and now that we are officially seniors we took advantage of their Seniors Specials :). The Torrens Arms is a beautifully renovated old hotel with a modern extension now housing the restaurant and bar area, very nice.
Thursday night we experience some very strong winds, Derick put the awning down for the night just in case and just as well. We woke in the morning to discover the storm had caused a dead tree to fall on a caravan not far from us crushing a corner of the van, landing on a 4 wheel drive parked next to it, breaking the windscreen and damaging the roof and bonnet. Fortunately the occupant of the van was not hurt, but the park managers and we residents were all quite shaken by the experience.
Later in the morning we went for a drive our Mitcham, and found the shopping centre so we could restock the pantry. Along the way admired some beautifully maintained stone cottages with equally beautiful gardens. I think South Australians look after their heritage buildings, homes and gardens with a greater passion than we have in West Australia. Friday afternoon Fay, Ray, Derick and I walked from the caravan park to Carrick Hill which was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on the 9th March 1986 and where we admired the magnificent home and gardens which are now used for art exhibitions, weddings and functions.
By the time we arrived back at the caravan it was happy hour so the four us relaxed in the caravan annexe with an alcoholic beverage of some kind while waiting for the Baby Q to cook our lamb roast dinner.
The nest day Fay and Ray collected us late morning for a day out at the beach – Glenelg, of course. The journey there I once again admired the way the historic stone homes had been maintained or renovated to compliment the original structure with gardens to match. Fay and Ray gave us lots of information on where we were, changes that had taken place since Derick had moved away and they reminisced about and earlier time in their lives. Going to dances and concerts where they met and chatted with the Twilights, Bev Harrel, Judy Stone and a few others most of them older and grayer than we are now but great memories all the same. Ray parked the car; we stopped at a beach kiosk for coffee and cake, enjoyed the view of beach and ocean and then stepped out onto the boardwalk that would take us to the Marina.
It was a beautiful sunny day, a bit windy but not enough to spoil our walk past some stunning historical mansions, public buildings, beachside apartments and the marina fun park, shopping and restaurant precincts. We sat under shaded canopies overlooking the marina at Fish restaurant for lunch, chatted watched the passing people parade and generally soaked up the ambience of the location. Our return trip to the car was back along the boardwalk and then home.
During the night we had heard some barking type sounds and Monday morning we wondered if there may be some Koalas around and YES we found one in a tree in the caravan park not far from where we were situated. He was quite mobile searching for a comfortable sleeping spot for the day.
We had arranged to meet another cousin John for coffee at Burnside Village and while did some food shopping and I had a look at some of the boutiques. Very expensive and fortunately a dress I was interested in they didn’t have my size! Fay and Ray came over late afternoon, we checked on the Koala who was fast asleep and then enjoyed our happy hour and last dinner together (for this trip anyway).
We heard the same barking sounds again during the night, checked on the Koala to find there were now two in the tree both were fast asleep, with one looking very relaxed :). For Derick and I another item crossed off our wish list; seeing Koala Bears in their wild habitat.