Saturday, July 25, 2009

Part 2 of "Emerald is a Diamond"

Hello again (time for Part 2). I apologise for messing up, but 'sumthin' happened to my photos. I thought they were particularly important to include because I feature, with everyone adoring me!!

Our new friends also like me very much, they say, and I am really a very gracious host, inasmuch as I don't pee on their chairs.

Notice the stables in the background (that's my dad I'm standing with - I have to be careful to share myself around) - do you know that sometimes big trucks come in and unload all these horses and put them into the stables for the night and then the next morning they load them onto the trucks again and disappear. I'm glad I'm not a horse.

That's all for now.......we will be in Emerald until early in I'm not sure how many new things I'll be showing you, but photos of me are always fascinating, I know. Hadehaha! Love from Colin Harries xx

Emerald is a Diamond

Hello everyone! I thought I would start the day by saying that the town of Emerald in Central Queensland is fast becoming a favourite place to stay, and stay, and stay. WHY? Because my dad has taken a "JOB" here. I get confused 'cos I thought my mum said that he didn't have a job any more after we went on the road. But here's the proof - the uniform he wears looks smart, doesn't it? It's got "Emerald Coaches" on the front and my dad is a bus driver again. He told me he thought it would be a fun for five or six weeks. So, we've set up camp in the Emerald Showgrounds...and made new friends as the photos below will show you.

I don't mind, as I get lots and lots of time with my mum and dad who have nothing better to do than focus on me and my happiness. Each morning, my dad and I have breakfast in the sunshine in the annexe attached to our caravan. (Actually, I've already had my breakfast - not a bad idea to be cute and loving and hope for something else though).

Here's our glorious isolation, even though there are probably 30 other vans that stay and come and go in the Showgrounds. The local Council owns the grounds and it's where they can hold rodeos and flower shows and gymkhanas and there are stables and cattle pens for people travelling who have to rest themselves and their animals. There are no marked van sites - just put your van wherever it suits you and hook up to the water and electricity. It costs $15 a night to stay here.

And best of all, there is a five acre fully fenced car park where I run every morning....birds by the thousands and thousands to chase (they're mostly galahs and they're not very brave and fly off, but a couple of pee-wees dive bombed me the other day when I was in the middle of a four-wheel-drift turn to run back to my mum and dad - and I fell over!) Embarrassing, but nobody really noticed, I'm sure, as I leapt to my feet almost without missing stride (but after tumble-turning twice) - my mum made me put this bit in about the tumble-turns 'cos she said I wasn't really being truthful otherwise.

See our set-up. My fence wouldn't stop a fly from getting over it, and I don't even bother trying, but it makes my mum feel better that I am 'somewhat contained' (her words) and won't get run over or kidnapped.

My dad took this photo to show the main oval which is the view from the front window of our van.

And here are our new friends who came by for lunch at our van. We visited with them last week for lunch and have such a nice time together.
In this photo there's Rosemary and Anna and Graham and Alex and John (another John, not my dad) sitting to hook into his steak. The 'boys' are all bus drivers at Emerald Coaches and they also have vans in the Showgrounds. Like us, they are 'on the road', and like us, they thought it would be fun to stay a while and do a bit of work that is different. They are from Western Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales.

I have to do another post...I dunno what I did wrong, but one of my most important photos disappeared, so I'll see ya in just a from Colin Harriesxxx

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On the Road Again

"On the road again...I can't wait to get on the road again..." (hey, somebody should write a song about being on the road). My last photos for you were taken in Brisbane, Queensland where we stayed for two weeks at Auntie Barbara's house. THEN, we drove a long way on the day we left (about 300 kms/180 miles) and met Dawson Coop and his mum and dad in a town called Miles. Dawson's family live near us in the Blue Mountains and were holidaying for a month so we made arrangements to catch up with them for a couple of nights. Here's out campsite by the river in Miles.

Dawsie's cousin, Coco, was also travelling with them. You can see that Coco's mum really likes me best (or is it because I was the tallest of them all and could reach her cereal bowl before them). We had a campfire that night but my camera ran out of batteries so you'll just have to imagine us all around the fire, with all of us sitting on either our mum or our dad's laps with blankets over us, because it was quite cold

The next night was also a "free-camp"...not quite as salubrious because it was just outside of a town called BANANA and we think it was a turnaround for a gravel pit. Anyway, we all fitted in there and it was rather good fun to be really in the middle of nowhere.
This is really "doing Australia"

We had to say goodbye to Dawson and Coco after two nights because they were heading east to the coast and back south to the Blue Mountains and their homes. My mum and dad and I headed west and stopped for lunch in a little town called Duaringa, which is getting into CQ (Central Queensland). Two days later we were still in Duaringa. This photo is taken in another freecamp park and it was great. Typically Australian red dirt out there and you should see the colour of my paws. I adored the warmth and the dust and just fell down asleep in the sun.

Then my dad found my trailer tyre had a puncture - oh no!! We studied it together and I said to him "yep - it's flat".

And then it all got too much for me - ho-hum - so I thought it best to leave him to his own devices. It's good for him to learn to do things for himself, anyway.
I DO eventually wake up and move....but you'll have to wait until next time to see where to and how and when....
Love from Colin Harries xx

Friday, July 10, 2009

Movin' Right Along

We're still heading north into Queensland (heading to my Aunty Barbara's in Brisbane), and had an overnight freecamp at a rest stop just outside of the town of Texas! My mum and dad like "freecamping" not only because it's free (of course) but it's NOT a van park and therefore less civilised and therefore less rules. Lots of people pull into these rest spots for a night or two. We stayed two nights because it was so beautiful by the Dumaresq River. Our van is in the background, second from left.

Nobody believed there's a place called TEXAS in Australia...but here's the proof. We stopped here because my mum's grandmother was born here and we thought it would be a nice memory of her. There were a lot of Chinese people who lived and worked in this area in the late 1890's-early 1900's, but we couldn't find any historical data on Nanny.

Here's my dad doing the hard yards. Our camp site was about 2 kms from the town so "we" did a lot of pushbike riding. Note the typical Australian bush dirt track that runs between the farm properties. Look into the distance and I think it's possible to see the caravans parked.

Here's another beautiful freecamp site - now just an hour out of Brisbane city. This is our third night "freecamping". That's our van behind us. It's interesting that three other vans came into the area after we parked. I guess they feel there's safety in numbers - lucky I'm not "Colin the Chain Saw Murderer" (but they don't know that, do they?)

And I can run fast back to my dad because he was getting the van ready to move out. I was also excited because we were going to visit with my Aunty Barbara and her son, Langdon, and his wife, Annie.

Can you see why I was so excited to be going to visit...Lang and Annie LUV me (like everyone does, of course)...and I was s-o-o tired after all the excitement of the trip into Brisbane.

We took a day trip to Queensland's Gold Coast, an hour or so south of Brisbane. We called in to check on our unit at Burleigh Heads (my dad says we might live there after we finish caravanning, but my mum says the Blue Mountains are home and better to just spend winters in Burleigh Heads...who cares...I'm good with wherever they decide to go). Our apartment is top floor on the right of the photo. We didn't bother the tenants mum said they would love me but it wasn't polite to just walk in on them.

We took a walk to the beach (only a block away) and this photo shows the Surfers Paradise skyline in the background, looking north from Burleigh Heads.

Some crazy dudes were swimming - but it's winter and quite cold.

That's about it for now...more to come when I get the photos downloaded. We're on the move again so time to blog is limited, but I'll keep trying to keep updated.

Until next time - love from Colin Harries xx

Monday, June 29, 2009

Kangaroos and Australiana

Here we are at a State Recreation Park called Copeton Dam which is in the central-but-eastward-tending (like that one?) part of New South Wales. The area is very drought affected and where these kangaroos are grazing would ideally be water-filled. We meandered for miles and saw hundreds and hundreds of 'roos who live close to the bit of water there is.

I most certainly would NOT frighten them...they're b-i-g-g-e-r than I looked at them and they looked at me and I think we all agreed to leave well enough alone!

The State Park is 2000 acres, so I think we figured there's room enough for us all.

My mum doesn't really like this photo, with the trousers rolled up for pushbike riding (we took the bikes and my trailer out for the afternoon). We're on the Park's golf course, which is pretty rough, even by Australian standards. Perhaps you overseas golfers can think about whether you could bonk a 'roo on the head with a golf ball from this distance.

After leaving Copeton Dam we drove a whole 60 kilometres into Inverell which is a great little country town. From the lookout above town we got an idea of the vast flat landscape.

Lookit me! Inverell has miles of leash-free walks. This one along the river (my mum called it a creek and one of the locals was a bit offended) was great. I was very well-behaved off my lead and it was in this town that I was called, variously - "obedient", "intelligent", "handsome", and "cute".
Just as a little aside, we browsed at the 'Sunday Markets' and spoke to a lady called Helena South who is a "pastel artist". She was selling dog drawings at her stall and said she hadn't seen such a "beautiful Fox Terrier" for years. She didn't have her camera with her, so asked my mum to mail her a photo of me so she could draw me!! (if that was alright with them, of course). How do you spell "R-O-Y-A-L-T-I-E-S". Haha!

I became a bit intrepid and decided to cross this footbridge - but then turned and found myself alone! Gosh! And then I came back because I thought 'they' might get frightened on their own.

And finally, we visited the Inverell Australiana Pioneer village. The lady in charge let me come in with my mum and dad because I looked as though I was a good boy...(so I was special AGAIN). Ho-hum (again). Stardom sits lightly on me.
Hope you enjoyed this little bit of our travels. Of course there's gonna be more, so stay tuned.
Love from Colin Harries xx

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Come along on my adventure

What a step-down! After five great days in the Toowoon Bay Van Park, we had our next overnight "free-camping" in a truck stop! WOW! Only the best for us. My mum and dad said this is part of the adventure and our caravan really is set up so we don't need electricity or bathrooms or anything. I'm on my morning walk with my dad before breakfast. It was kind of fun cooking our dinner in the parking area though, and when we woke this morning there were lots more people parked around us.

After a day on the road, we had another overnight "free-camp" near Uralla on the New England Tablelands. We slept in the parking area at Thunderbolt's Rock. Captain Thunderbolt (aka Fred Ward) was a bushranger in the area in the 1800's and the "rock" was where he holed up to fight it out with the local coppers...who finished him off there, I think.

I don't know why nasty people have to deface everything. I thought this would make a great photo, and I finally got my dad to stand still on a boulder...but look at the graffiti! I wouldn't do anything like that.

I took this photo from my boulder, as my dad continued to stand still as I told him to. I wanted to show you the barren-looking paddocks in the area, but somehow the cows manage to live there. It was very cold on top of the New England Tableland, but I was OK because I have my very own doonah.

Aha! Did you know that cows run when you bark at them?! My mum said it's because they think it's a cattle dog rounding them up - but it was only me from the window of our car! I don't understand who the man was who was waving his fist at me tho.

Our morning tea stop on that day was in a little town called Bundarra. The pub in the background is pretty typical of Australian country hotels...

From Bundarra we drove 45 kms to a place called Copeton Dam. The locals call this "good dirt" road and the car heading towards us was the only one we saw during the entire drive...a bit dry and dusty out there at the moment.
I hope you're enjoying my little travelogue (or is it traveldog) as much as I'm enjoying bringing it to from Colin Harries xx

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finally on the way

We are in Toowoon Bay, about an hour's drive NORTH of Sydney....yes, we are driving in the right direction for the very first time - north is where the warmth is, and that's for us! See me having to wait for my dad who is waiting for my mum to catch up...c'mon...c'MON...I wanna go to the beach.

My mum is so happy to be in a northerly-heading caravan park that she's hugging me hard in this photo - ho hum - I get so many of those hugs that I could possibly share them around if needed.

And I can RUN, RUN, RUN...because this is Shelley Beach (our van park overlooks this beach) and it's leash-free for miles and miles. But notice the sand erosion? We've had lots of rain this winter which is quite unusual and the winds and rains have eaten away so much sand that in some of the coastal towns houses are teetering on their stumps.

I'm acting more responsibly here...didn't want to run myself into he ground on the first day. My mum also told me that my dad is a pretty old bloke now that he's "retired" and I don't want to make him chase me 'cos it might finish him off before we even start the trip.

AH! the end of another day in hell! I had a little snooze in my caravan bed while I let my dad talk to his friends on my 'puter...I was just soooo tired that I couldn't even do my blog. They make me stay in this bed all through the night...but I am allowed to come into the big bed providing it's daylight...and THEN my day can start again!
Love from Colin Harriesxx

Almost On The Road

I say we're "almost" on the road because although we ARE, we don't seem to be getting very far. This is us visiting with my Nanna and Poppy for a few days. They live in Lithgow (in New South Wales, Australia) which is only about a half hour's drive west of our real home, but we did want to spend time with them - particularly me, because they love me so much (well, Nanna does, and I'm still working on Poppy who loves me underneath it all, I'm sure). My dad did a great job of backing the caravan into their back yard through gates that left him only 3 inches on either side. My mum stands behind the van and has a walkie-talkie and she tells him if he's about to get too close to anything, and I sit behind him and kiss his ears because he's too busy to push me away.

Here's us in their back garden. Nanna Ruth was just about to go and be an umpire for lawn bowls. I think it was a pretty big-time game because she had her new outfit on. Poppy doesn't much like photos, but I stand near him and I know that cheers him up.

One day we went for a drive to a place called Hassan's Walls (near Lithgow). My dad had to hold me tight because it was VERY high where we were...but it was so beautiful looking back east towards the Blue Mountains, which is where our real home is.

And then it was my mum's turn to hold me tight because we were still at Hassan's Walls looking to the west this time...which is just as vast. Behind those mountains the land flattens out into farming and sheep and cattle country. There'll be more photos of that sort of country as we travel along, I know.

Back to the east again...and they still wouldn't let me run from rock to rock - I dunno why!!

So, this is today's mini-adventure. I'm working hard to get you up to where we are, but I keep finding interesting photos of myself, and can't resist showing you.
Until next from Colin Harries xx

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So Many Adventures

Before actually going "on the road" properly, we went to Shellharbour, about an hour's drive south of Sydney (yep, the place we went last Christmas) for a weekend with 26 of our family. This little guy thinks he's going to put a leash on ME...not a chance, big boy! His name is Campbell and he's my dad's brother's daughter's son. He's only 2 years, so I wanted to be nice to him....better to walk away than do something that's NOT nice, isn't it?

I just KNEW we'd finally have a meeting of the minds and he'd go his way and I'd go mine.

Do you remember this beautiful beach from last year's photo of Shellharbour? It was mid-May and fairly coolish, but who can resist a walk with their dad?

And then there was this dude who thought he could "outplay" me (they will all learn once I hit my stride!)
Back in the van for a rest (who was I trying to kid) - pardon the pun! The kids just adore me...there's my dad's eldest son's daughter whose name is Georgie and she is just lovely to me...and Sam and Ben
who are my dad's cousin's daughter's sons. They also revere me. Haha! I only give you these little family-link descriptions to keep your heads on the hop!

This was just a mini-adventure so everyone could give me hugs and kisses before we headed out into the big world for the rest of this year.
I'm starting to get the hang of this 'blogging' thing again...more coming from Colin Harries xx