Sunday, 18 March 2018

OzGeoMuster 1

As before I never got around to fill in the last weeks of a long holiday.  If I will ever update it you will see it, if not, I can tell you that my time overseas was fabulous and I arrived home safely.

At the moment, which is the 18th of March 2018, I am already on my way on a new adventure.  Dianne and I are going the the OzGeoMuster, a geocaching Mega event in Morisset, NSW.  We take our time getting there and have left a good fortnight before the actual date.

On Friday I have packed my camper and picked up Dianne at home, after which we drove past Stephen's at Thorneside to pick up some goods and travelled on to Keven's block of land where we stayed the night as there was no suitable free camp close to Toowoomba.

On Saturday morning we visited Patricia at her home in Toowoomba and an old friend and buddy from my university years, Jennifer and her husband Scott and children at Mt. Luke, just north of Toowoomba.  They have just moved there and intend on doing some small scale pig farming.  We had a great time catching up and could camp overnight as well as they have 10 acres of land.

This morning, Sunday, we left and met Patricia on the way after which we had lunch at Jackie Howe Park (picnic grounds) along the highway near Warwick.

After Warwick, on the way to Stanthorpe, we discovered a short trail of geocaches which were manageable with two campers (think of parking) and so we already have four caches under our belts.

#1836 - It's Over Here

#1837 - Plane Spotting

#1838 - Turna Here

1839 - Overhead Power

That's all for today.  We are now camped for the night at Jim Mitchel Park (#676) just north of Stanthorpe.  The plan is to do some geocaching at Stanthorpe tomorrow.  There are a lot of caches left over from the Mega two years ago, as you can't do them all in a few days.  Our best record so far was a power trail over there and we scored 105 caches in one day!  Let's see how we go tomorrow.  Don't expect a repeat.  Don't even expect anything close.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Netherlands - Friday to Wednesday (Huizen, Vreeland, Purmerend, Oosthuizen)

On Friday I spent a quiet day at home, but on Saturday I was on the road again.  I visited a young couple, potential home exchangers, in Huizen.  As Vreeland was only half an hour from there I dropped in at Dieuwer's as well.  Arranged beforehand of course.  At Dieuwer's I had a look at her paintings (she's an artist) but they were either too expensive and between the others I couldn't quite decide, so I took a proof example home to made decisions at a later stage.

I could have travelled to Purmerend on Sunday, but wanted a quiet day at home.  It's quite a distance and I had just been on a decent ride.  The trips may not be very distant and sometimes only an hour away, but the roads in The Netherlands are many and the traffic very hectic if you're not used to it.  In fact, if I hadn't been driving here for the last few years I would probably be too scared to go behind the wheel again.  In particular the western part of the country where there are many, many lanes and lots of spaghetti roads

So, I packed my bag on Monday morning and left for my trip to Purmerend, where I was going to visit Moenie & Paula, my old friends from way back.  The afternoon we spent chatting and catching up and on Tuesday they took me out to Hoorn where we visited two museums: the Museum of the 20th Century and the Westfries Museum.  

De Jongens van Bontekoe

The first museum was very nostalgic, packed with history and many items we recognised from our childhood onwards.

A previous prison houses the museum of the 20th century

Museum of the 20th Century

We used to have this kind of set up in my childhood

The Westfries museum was housed in a beautiful collection of old buildings and displayed many local items, items from the Golden Age, and paintings.  Unfortunately a large numbers of paintings and silverware was stolen over ten years ago and only a few paintings have been retrieved from the Ukraine. 

Clothing made of banana leaves and bark

Through the day we had coffee and apple cake to sustain us. ;-)  And at the end we got to 'walk through Hoorn in the olden days' by way of virtual reality glasses.  The last was a real experience and very much like the one Wim and I had at the Waterliniemuseum Fort bij Vechten, which, I noticed, I never mentioned in my blog at the time.  And after all that we got on the train back to Purmerend for a quiet night in.

On Tuesday I spent the morning chatting with Paula and her daughter Inge who dropped in with her son Jorit.  Then it was time to say goodbye as I had agreed to visit Clasine and Jan in Oosthuizen.  I had lunch with them and we chatted away till it was time for me to go home.  I left a little later than planned and of course got caught up in the traffic.  It took me approx. 2 hours to get home, slightly longer than it would have been during the quiet of the day, so it wasn't too bad.  Just the amount of cars around you makes it a tiring trip.  I finished the day with an early night.

The Netherlands - Tuesday to Thursday (dinner, geocaching, Ikea)

Like I mentioned in my last post I headed home on New Year's Day.  As Steve had 'borrowed' some of my food items I had to find a shop that was open.  Not an easy feat on a public holiday, but I did find one and so I did the necessary shopping and then was home.

The house was dark and cold when I arrived and I discovered that the central heating wasn't working.  I went upstairs to investigate and noticed that the pressure was low and the error code told me that the water needed to be topped up.  This I did, but the only result was a leaking connection.  I rang Steve, who couldn't come out, so left it for the following day and went to bed to warm up...

The next two days were busy and interesting.

I had joined a geocaching group on facebook a while back and asked if there were group members who would join me for a day out geocaching.  I had two positive responses.  So on Tuesday I left for Sint Oedenrode where I met Ingrid de Mol and together we went in search of some caches.  She hadn't found many in the area, so we were in for a productive day.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

#1810 - Kanniewaarzijn 7 Mega bout cache (serie 2)! (cache)

#1811 - Nr. 48 (cache)

A clever puzzle

#1812 - Kanniewaarzijn 8 Spin petling* set (serie 2)! (cache)

*Petling for the Australian readers is the same as preform

#1813 - Het geheim van het Verborgen Rijk. (multi cache)

Here too was a cup of coffee ready for geocachers

#1814 - Kanniewaarzijn 11. Filmkoker!(serie 3) (cache)

#1815 - Kanniewaarzijn 12. Kakkerlak petling! (serie 3) (cache)

A wobbly little 'bridge' across the creek was
not my favourite crossing on a cold and wet day,
but we made it across safely

#1816- Kanniewaarzijn 13. Micro - Bout type 1!(serie 3) (cache)

#1817 - Kanniewaarzijn 14. Knotwilg! (serie 3) (cache)

At midday we had lunch at a lovely little restaurant in the centre of town and took our chance to warm up a little.  We stopped at about 3.30pm as I had a 'dinner-date' with my cousin Jos and wanted to be home in time. Ingrid and I said our goodbyes with the promise to keep in touch.  A great day!

The town is getting ready for carnival

The central heating was still not working of course.  Jos and Steve arrived almost simultaneously.  Both had a look at the boiler, but to no avail.  So, I decided to shout Jos dinner at a restaurant of his choice, which was De Likkepot at Rosmalen near Den Bosch.  We were early and started with a drink and a borrelgarnituur, the latter being a dish of miniature fried items like e.g. loempia's, croquettes, etc.  The main dish was carpaccio with a side dish of garlic bread.  We had a lovely meal.

As it was, Steve had been able to get the heater going (temporarily) during our absence, so the house was not too cold and Jos and I spent the rest of the evening chatting.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Wednesday shaped up as another great geocaching day.  That day I met Ria van Kuijk.  She lives in Sint Oedenrode and thus had found most of the caches in the area, but was prepared to take me to do the rounds and finish the day with a recently published series which she hadn't found yet.

It was a bitterly cold day and the weather bureau had issued code orange, meaning that everyone was advised that it was safer to stay indoors because of the storm.  It was indeed very windy, besides wet and cold, but hey, we're geocachers! We're a bit mad! ;-)  I could add the word muddy as well!

However, Ria and I set out to find a few caches and find them we did:

#1818 - De legende van het Kienehoef volk Extraatje (cache)

#1819 - The invisible cache (cache)

#1820 - Kanniewaarzijn 3, magnetische Electra plaat (cache)

#1821 - Kanniewaarzijn 2, geocaching Paal box 2.0 (cache)

#1822 - Kanniewaarzijn 6 Magneten (Serie 2) (cache)

#1823 - Eerbetoon aan Djpebe -Magic Boxen- (cache)

#1824 - Teek Away (cache)

#1825 - GSM Verbelst (cache)

#1826 - Kanniewaarzijn 16. Reflector! (serie 4) (cache)

#1827 - Kanniewaarzijn 17. Aansluitdoos-Hengelen (serie 4) (cache)

#1828 - Kanniewaarzijn 18. Kraai! (serie 4) (cache)

#1829 - Kanniewaarzijn 19. Slakkenhuis - leeg! (serie 4) (cache)

#1830 - Kanniewaarzijn 20. Paddestoel Bonus! (serie 4) (cache)

#1832 - Spiegelei (cache)

Another productive day.  For lunch we went to De Helden van Kien, a delightful restaurant with good service and great food.  We were very, very cold and wet and needed time to warm up and dry out, which I did with a bowl of an original Dutch dish of ham-and-pea soup with a side of roggebrood met katenspek (rye bread and a kind of speck).

I think the hardest part of the day was getting hoisted in our cold and wet jackets again! ;-)

When we had gathered enough caches, even one of Ria's, we said goodbye and I attempted to drive back to Liempde.  I said 'attempted' because somehow my data hadn't been topped-up automatically and my phone could not find the route without internet connection, so I had to try and make my way from memory and by using the road signs. Getting out of the built-up area was not easy, but once I hit the main road it was less complicated.

Unfortunately there was no warm house waiting for me, nor a nice hot shower, so all I could do was dry off and put on some dry clothes...  Not nice, but sometimes one doesn't have much choice.

Thursday, 4 Juanuary 2018

On  Thursday my bestie, Jose, came to visit.  Together we enjoyed a cuppa and a chat, after which we went to the nearest Ikea, where we had lunch first and then had a good look around.  As you do! :-)
Jose had a shopping list. I didn't, because my suitcase is full enough as it is, although I did fall for a couple of runners for my new table.

Once home again we had dinner and had to say goodbye after a pleasant evening together.  Luckily we didn't have to sit in the cold, because Steve had arranged for a cv repairman to come out earlier in the day and the central heating was working again. And I could have a hot shower again. Yay!