This blog will, for obvious reasons, start to describe some less exotic adventures now we are back but we will continue to update it every now and then with sailing stories once we are reunited with Maunie (see later). In the meantime, here are the last few photos from the land of sunshine and the latest update on the boat's voyage towards us.
|A coastal hike at the Noosa National Park|
|Just to remind us what sunshine looks like!|
As luck would have it, our arrival in town coincided with the Special Olympics, a food expo and a big tourism conference so we couldn't find a hotel in the city for love nor money. Instead we were offered a room in a pub / hotel in Stirling, 30 minutes' drive out in the Adelaide Hills, which is a wine region. Wine region, you say? That'll be fine!
|Stirling main street - the autumnal colours are arriving|
|Some relevant street sculptures|
|The hotel was once a stage-coach stop, with stables behind it, and is one of the oldest buildings in town|
|The hotel today - very comfy rooms|
|Old and new University buildings|
By now, dear readers, you'll know that our sailing trip has given us wonderful friendships and connections all around the world so you won't be surprised to hear that we had friends to meet in Adelaide, even though we'd never been there before. Peter and Catherine are lovely people whom we met on the SSB radio a couple of years ago. They have just completed their circumnavigation on their catamaran The Southern Cross, finishing in style with an epic anti-clockwise trip around Australia from Bundaberg, so we had a great meal with them. Meanwhile Harry, who joined us on Maunie with his dad Karl in January, is doing a year at Adelaide University so we met him for a drink too.
So, we're back home and, whilst we're sorry that this amazing adventure is over (for the moment at least), we are looking forward to the next chapter. Graham is spending a few days at Thatchers to get back up to speed with the amazing pace of change there before we head north to visit family (Graham's Mum's 80th birthday party and niece Amy's wedding being highlights of a busy and social week). We then dash south to meet Maunie as she's unloaded in Southampton and will have a couple of weeks aboard her to sail her back to Dartmouth. We won't regain access to our house until the 11th June so the ability to live back aboard the boat is good!
In the meantime we've just spent a busy couple of days searching for a 'workhorse' car for Di, a process which sadly reinforced the worst stereotypes of used-car salespeople until we found a genuinely refreshing owner-operator business in West Sussex and bought a very tidy 7 year old Subaru estate. Thanks to Zoe, an ex-colleague of Graham's and now marketing manager for a holiday business called Darwin Escapes, we are currently residing in a holiday park lodge near Cheddar and enjoying the freedom to cook our own meals, wash laundry and use the gym. Almost normal life.
|The new car and our latest temporary residence|