Home Again Angelique

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, October 3, 2011

Yes here we are back in good old Etty Bay. Left Dubai on the Saturday morning 30th Sept and arrived in Brisbane at 6.20 am on the Sunday morning. Lost a few hours due to time zones but the flight was a 13 hour flight so you can imagine we were glad to get there. Once again Emirates looked after us very well and were happy to do so. I caught a tummy bug the day before so did not feel crash hot but the crew kept supplying me with plenty of fresh water and anything else needed.
Ingrid met us at the Brisbane International airport and drove us to the domestic airport. Brisbane realy needs to think of something better than the way they operate at the moment. It is crazy to have to catch a bus or train to get from one airport to another. Also not very easy when you are lugging suitcases with you. Wake up Brisbane and take a look at some other ideas. That is my last whinge for this blog. Got to the domestic terminal and waited for the flight time ( 3 hours ) This was easy for us as it was good to see Ingrid and chat to her. Had a nice coffee as well . THANKS INGRID
All to soon it was time to board our flight to Cairns. Before we took off Rick said " Gee that coffee is sitting on my stomach " Oh no I thought he has caught my bug and yes he did. It was a long journey back home for Rick. Our friends John and Rene picked us up from the airport and drove us home. Rene, bless her, put a food parcel together for us which was most welcome although at the time we could not eat anything. Arrived home and went straight to bed where we stayed feeling sick and sorry for ourselves for the next 24 hours. I felt a bit better yesterday but Rick has only just recovered a bit today. Finally the food parcel came in handy. Shopping tomorrow and replenish the pantry.
It has been a fantastic holiday. We were away 102 days , did so much, saw so much and managed to get ourselves through 10 countries, travelled 10,133 km or 6333 miles .Charlie used close to 1200 litres of diesel but did not use any oil or water. She was cheap transport Drove through the UK, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark,Switzerland, Lichtenstein,Austria,Italy and France. Managed to make ourselves understood in their associated languages, shopped in their local supermarkets and used their public transport with success. We stayed in 21 different caravan parks with rates varying from 15 euros to 30 euros depending on the seasonal rate. Rick did a great job driving which was not always easy and of course driving on the other side of the road from here. I was FANTASTIC navigating but mostly confirming what Basil Garmin told us to do.Could not have done it without the Garmin they are just wonderful .Charlie Helios catered for our every need and made our journey comfortable. She never missed a beat and tackled every road we came across with ease.
So now it is over, just a little sad but some wonderful moments to look back on. The highlight was Rick catching up and meeting his family at last, after all that was the whole purpose of it all in the beginning. It just grew from there.
People to thank . First and foremost Graham and Carol, thank you so much for everything. You made the whole thing possible by helping us out with Charlie and all the administration stuff that went with it. Of course you were great tourist guides, travel buddies and most of all fantastic hosts.We love you both . See you again next year.  To Rick's sisters and their partners thank you so much for your kindness and eagerness to meet Rick, we felt the same.Sometimes better late than never. It was great to get together with you. See you next year too.
To everyone that followed this blog, thanks it was so good to have you there and thanks for your comments. We read everyone of them with fondness.
Of course as far as I am concerned a big thank you to Rick for after nagging him for 35 years to
go to the UK he finally gave in, now I can't stop him travelling  of course but that is a good thing.
So this is my last blog entry, ta for staying with us and we will do it all again next year.
Take care and stay healthy

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marianne on

hi wil @ rick.welcom home .all is well here olso with mum . thank you for traveling with you .it was lovely .hope your feeling ok .not to bad i hope .have a nice rest and we wil talk soon .love john @marianne.

goonermarch on

Glad to see you have arrived home safely and hope by now you are feeling much better. If Travelpod have a blog competition yours should be submitted as I doubt there will be any better, This blog seemed to take us on the journey with you both and of course Charlie Helios, was superbly descriptive and illustrated with some great photos. Well done to you both and 25,000 points to you Willie for having the discipline to update the blog throughout. I cannot wait for next years edition!

Anne Carlin on

Hi Rick and Will

I happened to come upon your blog by accident and enjoyed reading about your experiences. My husband was born in England and we have been over to UK and Europe twice in the last 20 years. We are planning on going over next year for about three months. We hadn't actually thought about travelling with a van. I have been looking at leasing a car as it is better value than hiring for a longer period of time. I was wondering how you got Charlie. Seems like you may have purchased her as you spoke about putting her with her friends in storage until you went back next year. Would be interested in hearing how you got your van Many thanks Anne

rickandwill on

Hi Anne, Thank you for your comments, much appreciated. Yes we purchased Charlie. Found her through Pre Loved UK.com. Lots to choose from at various prices. They tend to get sold fairly quickly so selling it at the end of the trip will not be a problem. It is a fantastic way of travel as it leaves you free and not depend on hotel or B&B vacancies or dates for arrival. We found no problems finding sites in caravan parks anywhere at all. Also it is a very cheap way to travel as well.
Charlie was just the right size as she allowed us to drive on some very narrow roads, also we were very comfortable inside. Loved every minute of it.
We wish you a good trip next year , we have booked ours April to October this time. Lots of blogging to do on that one.
Safe journey and enjoy.
Regards Willie and Rick

Anne on

Thanks for the information. When I travelled through Queensland and the Northern Territory a couple of years ago I kept a blog with Blogspot. It was a bit difficult to use. I had trouble sometimes uploading pictires. I see your blog is hosted by Travelpod. How did you find that? Was it easy to manage

rickandwill on

Hi Anne, regarding Travelpod- It is one of the easiest blogs to follow. All I did was klicked on the join for free bit and followed the prompts. Voila you now have your own blog site available to you. It is a singe to use and uploading photos was very easy. Just clicked on the upload photos bit and picked out what I wanted to print. I parcticed it a few times as it is easy to edit and delete anything. At least that way you get it right when it matters and is always easiest when you know how. The best part of it all is that if you want to, travelpod will publish your travelpod in a hard cover book, complete with photos and comments. It wasn't cheap but oh so worth it.Beautifully done as well. Do try travelpod as once you know how it is so easy to use. I'm sure you'll love it.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any more queries on anything. Enjoy your trip and take care.
For us only 8 more weeks and we fly out of here again. Bring it on.

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