Part 5: Coonabarabran, NSW

(7Days)

Coonabarabran or Coona, as people call it over there, (so much easier to pronounce) is the “Astronomy Capital of Australia” because of its very clear dark night skies. Though we weren’t really deep into astronomy, we kind of enjoyed just looking up the sky at night when it wasn’t raining and cloudy.

Aside from the dark skies (and bright stars), I also enjoyed truck watching (if there is such a thing?haha). It was very apparent how important this town is for trucks traveling to the coast. There were so many stopping and passing by, day in and out. Some of them looked like moving Christmas lights at night. It’s also known as the gateway to the Warrumbungle National Park, “Australia’s Only Dark Sky Park”. We also stopped there for a few nights. So, I prayed hard for more days (and nights) with good weather.

Coona was just supposed to be a three-day stop for us before we head up to towns with thermal pools. But then again, due to the bad weather forecast, we decided to extend our stay there. This town was not big, which I liked. It only had a population of 2k+ (Source: Escape Tourist Magazine). The town had everything we needed. Unlike the last town we were in, Coona has Woolies, IGA, and local shops open. It has one bakery that seemed very busy. Locals apparently like to buy their bread from this bakery instead of Woolies because “Woolies don’t make their bread here”. This bakery was the place-to-be, in my opinion. 😬

Lastly, if you happen to visit Coona, don’t forget to visit the Sandstone Caves + Getaway Tourist Park has very huge powered and non-powered caravan sites and cabins, and most importantly, the owners were good people. 💚

Where did we stay?

Getaway Tourist Park: very spacious drive-through caravan park. Amenities were a bit old looking but very clean. It was a little bit more expensive than nearby parks but, the space was really big plus the owners were friendly. So far, it was bigger than most caravan parks we’ve been in. There’s a bit of truck noise at night but that’s kind of expected as it is close to the roadside. Not bad distance to the centre as well. The other park was closer, but from the outside, it looked more crowded.

Posted in australia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Part 4: Barmedman, NSW

(3days)

One and a half hours away from Junee is another small town called Barmedman. The town is popular for its large, said-to-be therapeutic mineral pool. Since T’s plan of swimming in the ocean every day didn’t happen, we settled for the next best thing, which was swimming in this mineral pool. The entrance fee /donation was just $1 per entry and the camping fee was $10 per night(3 nights max). Fees were paid in a donation box and were run by honesty or trust system.

To be honest, it was not very inviting to swim in it…but after reading about all its mineral content, well…how could I say no? 🤣

STORY TIME:

(Warning: I didn’t fact-check most information in this story. Our internet connection was very bad, and I didn’t wanna go to the library or town council to check🤣This was just for my family and friends to have an idea of how what the Aussie outback community felt like.)

Barmedman used to be a gold mining town. Here’s something from a poster by the road:  Gold was discovered here in 1872 by the wife of a wood sawyer working at  Barmedman station..her name? Mrs. Treasure. 🙂

It’s a small town with a population of 100, according to Marilyn, or 200, according to H. (Sorry if this information is wrong.) M, H, T-the-Russian (as they referred to her..nothing racist or anything), etc. were local volunteers running both the mineral pool and the ONLY coffee/second-hand shop that’s open in town. If M was right, T was thrilled to have spoken to 10% of the town population. Not bad for a self-proclaimed introvert. 🤣 They were all very welcoming. The police, Ton, stopped by and caught up with us twice. We were touched by the gesture. I jokingly told T, “You probably looked dodgy that was why.” 😂

Anyway, we asked M where could T watch his footy when she stopped by the mineral pool to do her volunteer stuff (as I’ve said, we had very poor internet connection). Thirty minutes later, we walked into the only cafe in town, and the volunteers in there asked “Are you the one looking for where to watch the footy?” Apparently, T’s question became the town’s mystery to be solved. Everyone’s looking and trying to help T find a place. One lady even invited us to her house to watch…but we were a little embarrassed to do that, so, we didn’t. We went to West Wyalong to watch it instead.

On a serious note, when I hear people say “shop local”, I just hear it, and sometimes just don’t take it too seriously. But then again, you see a town like Barmedman, and then feel guilty about not shopping locally. With almost all their shops closed (the church, commercial properties, etc being sold as residential. I heard a child screaming from the tightly closed pub, and thought it was haunted.😂), one could truly see the effects if people weren’t shopping locally….it was sad (to me). But the good thing was, the residents weren’t sad at all. Almost everyone we spoke with was happy and satisfied with the community (that feels like a family) they’ve created. I guess that’s what’s important. 😍

Where did we stay?

Barmedman Mineral Pool Campsite by $10 donation (Max 3Days): It wasn’t busy when went there. The site was very spacious. A hot shower costs $1 per 4mins. Toilet and showers were quite clean considering it was only run by volunteers. A few meters from the pool is a cafe also run by volunteers. They were all beautiful people. Amazing and welcoming community. It made Barmedman more special in my opinion.

Posted in australia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Part 3: Junee, NSW

(2Days)

Plans have changed. Why? T said, “I like swimming in the ocean, not swimming to go and get my groceries.”

The weather wasn’t very good along the coast. Some of the places we were intending to go to were flooded. We had no choice but to choose a random location with a better weather forecast. So, we decided to chase the sun….not the ocean!

Warning: The roads from Lakes Entrance to Junee weren’t very ideal for someone with motion sickness. The roads were long, winding, narrow, and definitely, scary.

“You, Me and Junee” is the town’s tourism tagline. It’s sweet and simple. These descriptions were true, too, to the town’s ambiance. It felt like I went back in time, not just because of how the town looked, it was multi-dimensional. Both the town and the tagline gave me that weird feeling of attachment or something like that.

 Junee’s a very small town, and there weren’t many tourists. Their structures and buildings were old and beautiful. It could be a very nice destination for prenuptial photoshoots. 😂

My favourite was the Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory. It’s located in an old flour mill. The old mill was a historical landmark of the town. Now, it continues to be a landmark as a chocolate factory. This place was probably the highlight of our trip to Junee. We went in twice in two days. Aside from the obvious (chocos and licorice), they also sell souvenirs and home items inside. They have a cafe inside too. The whole interior look was also worth a visit.

Residents: Lovely! Plenty of random conversations, helpful and friendly. I’ve never seen anyone apologize so many times for not knowing where the information centre was. It made me feel bad we asked her. 🙃 These things matter. Yes. I would love to stay longer or I would love to visit again.❤️ This was not because there was a lot to see. On the contrary, there weren’t many…but because of the (relaxing) ambiance the town provided + the locals were friendly. Also, the whole town can be explored by bike or on foot. 

Where did we stay?

Junee Tourist Park: an old but well-maintained caravan park. Amenities were clean. Very close to the centre. Nice staff too.

Posted in australia | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Part 2: Lakes Entrance, VIC

(5Days)

As the name implied, this is the entrance for ocean vessels to access Gippsland lakes, which is a vast network of inland waterways.

It was very apparent that this place is where people retire, or this is a place where retirees visit. I cannot blame them, Lakes Entrance was very relaxing, possibly, because of all the waters surrounding it. Residents seemed to love fishing. They were fishing even in rough waters. They seemed to love their dogs here too. I went for a run twice, and both times, I saw so many people out and about walking and playing with their fur babies. I just loved it. Also, as I ran, people walking opposite me would greet me 98% of the time, which was a good sign. Moreover, they’ve got stunning sunset views there too. Obviously, these were the reasons why I liked it there.

Sunset at Lakes Entrance

We also attempted to go for a walk around Entrance Walk, but unfortunately, it was cut short, because we saw a brown snake one km into the walk. We ran out of the trail after that. That was one of my greatest fear. I know some find snakes fascinating. They look good and all but, I am not exposed to them yet…so my fear of them is high. Oh well.

Where did we stay:

Woodbine Caravan Park: The location was good. It’s walking distance to the shops. Wifi wasn’t very good but the whole place was clean. Amenities were clean and it felt secure too. However, one staff wasn’t as friendly as the other.

Posted in australia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Part 1: Wilsons Promontory National Park,VIC

(2days)

FYI: this trip was actually to help in T’s healing. Sightseeing was just secondary. Aside from the fact that this was the longest holiday I’ve ever had in my whole life, I think. It was always, study, work, study, and work or just work for me. As we probably all know, adulthood is stressful. So, this break was actually quite good for me as well, to somehow quieten my mind for a bit. Also, this was my first time traveling and living in a caravan. It didn’t disappoint.

So, Wilsons Promontory was our first stop and it never fails to amaze me. Our first two nights there were ok. There were issues here and there, but generally, we came to the conclusion that we could actually live in the caravan. We still had a lot to learn about caravaning but this was definitely a lifestyle we could get used to.

Wilsons Promontory’s always been in my Top 10 places to visit in Victoria. Been there a couple of times now, but there were still a lot of spots to explore. Time is never enough at Wilsons Prom. It’s definitely going to awaken the adventurous spirit in you. For this trip, we ticked Norman Beach, Loo Err boardwalk track, and Mt. Oberon.

  • Norman beach was where Tim swam in the cold. The waves were pretty strong and the water was cold. I couldn’t do it.
  • Loo Err Boardwalk track was an easy walk by the river. We even saw people being pushed in a wheelchair. WP truly has activities suitable for anyone’s fitness level. 💙
  • Mount Oberon was also quite an easy walk up to the summit. The view up there was spectacular! Almost 360′ of ocean and hills. Amazing! This is a must-see weather-permitting!

Where did we stay?

Tidal River campsite: Unpowered sites were unallocated when we visited. So we could choose where we want to park. We found a good space 200m on a hilly trail away from the toilet and shower, camp 445. It was good and quiet. The sound of the ocean was calming. Loved it!

Posted in australia | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian Adventure 2022

T and I decided to go on a, possibly, once-in-a-lifetime long trip around Australia both by land and by air. We started with a quick work and leisure drive to Portland, VIC, and Mount Gambier, SA. For the main trip, we initially wanted to go along the coast and drive back to Melbourne via inland. However, the Australian weather didn’t agree with our plan, so we were forced to change it. We just decided that planning ahead wouldn’t work here. So, our final route became:

Melbourne VIC – Wilsons Promontory VIC – Lakes Entrance VIC – Junee NSW – Barmedman NSW-Coonabarabran NSW –  Warrumbungle National Park NSW – Lightning Ridge NSW – Goodooga NSW – Moree NSW – Boomi NSW – Brisbane QLD- Hervey Bay QLD – Teebar QLD – Brisbane QLD- Townsville QLD (flew)- Brisbane QLD – Ballina NSW – Nambucca Heads NSW – Forster NSW-Nelson Bay NSW- Cairns QLD (Flew via Newcastle) – Nelson Bay NSW- Goulburn NSW- Euroa VIC-Melbourne

Most of the time, we just followed the sun until we could no longer escape the rain, which was quite fun and challenging at the same time. Will tell you more about most places part by part. Hope you enjoy our stories as much as we actually did.

292059855_10161787490177802_297302819789433786_n

Posted in australia | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Queensland Holidays (Townsville & Airlie Beach)

Jan 2022: Finally, we were able to travel outside Victoria. After multiple lockdowns and flight date modifications, we were able to see T’s family, THANKFULLY! Our flights were, luckily, uneventful though the view from the plane was superb. The birds-eye-view of the endless ocean, several small islands and the desert-like sand formations underwater was a treat. I enjoyed it more than the movie I was playing. It was so good; I would say those first two flights were among the many highlights of the trip.

(Tip: Qantas Flight from Melbourne to Brisbane to Townsville: Right Side: hopefully your flight is on a non-cloudy day)

Queensland during summertime truly feels like the Philippines. It made me feel nostalgic in a way. The heat, wind on my face, and the occasional rain made me feel like napping all the time. Well, that was what we did on our first day in Townsville. Along the Strands, we just sat under a tree and napped. Our focus in Townsville was family hence, we didn’t really do anything new.

Airlie Beach is 3.5hours away from Townsville and it is also, apparently, the gateway to the 74 (wow) Whitsunday Islands. So, over in Airlie Beach, as expected, we did more adventurous activities. We joined a tour group for snorkelling. We had to, unexpectedly, climb a few uphill steps at Whitsundays Island National Park.  What for? For its awesome lookouts! The ocean view from up there was worth the sweat. Just don’t forget to carry water with you. We also went to Whitehaven Beach to experience the warm ocean water and its powdery white sand. We snorkelled at Mantaray and Butterfly Bay. I enjoyed the whole day so much. I wished we had more time. We booked a jet ski tour too, but we had to cancel it due to unpredictable weather.

We went a few times to Airlie Beach Lagoon to swim for free too. I was hoping that the trip would make me a stronger swimmer, maybe it did. I was literally in awe of all the viewing spots around Airlie Beach. I particularly loved Shute Harbour and the viewing points near it. It was more serene out there than most parts of Airlie Beach.

With T’s mum, we also joined a ‘tuktuk’ tour which brought us to some paths we’d never seen before. Unfortunately, we did it on our last day. It would have been nicer if we did it earlier, so we could walk back to the paths and points where they brought us and stayed there longer, especially because in some areas, when one’s lucky, one could see turtles. I wanted to see turtles!!!! =( So that’s another tip for you.

Overall, it was a fun trip of exploration and family bonding! It made me happier.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Annual Year-End Entry 2021

Due to the pandemic and travel restriction protocols changing all the time, we didn’t really go out much last year. Yes, we worked a lot, and in line with that, we had to freight our products to Portland and Mt Gambier. Also, we were lucky enough to be able to have a quick get-away to Gold Coast, and two times in Melbourne CBD. Nothing much, but so as people from most parts of the world. Almost everyone’s traveling lives were put on hold.

Though I was quite pleased because T and I were able to complete our last year’s resolution which was to be able to do juice fasting four times in 2021. I guess that was all we could do. As we were all locked down and unable to travel externally, we had to find something to challenge and/or discover within ourselves. As per my previous posts, T loved it and felt many benefits from it.

In 2022, we intend to travel more. We planned to embark on this new journey of taking a break from working, see more of Australia, and hopefully the world if everything re-opens. For now, I just want to wish you and your loved ones, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Last juice fast of the year

Nov 2021

Yay! I made it. I was able to fulfill my new year’s promise to T, to do 8-10days of juice fasting four times this year. So how did we go this time around? Well, aside from the obvious weight loss, I had this lingering hip/lower back pain for the past few weeks. On our sixth day, I realized it wasn’t painful anymore (after I told T’s visiting sister, I was not feeling anything!). Ok, to be honest, I also stopped running and other strenuous workouts while we were juicing, and just focused more on mild yoga with some stretch emphasis on my back and hip area. So, the pain’s possibly gone because of it?! T believes it was the juice fasting! I also want to believe, but I am not sure.

I seriously hope, someone would initiate a real scientific study with controls to see the effectiveness of juice fasting in different forms of illnesses or inflammations, so we could somehow have something more than just anecdotal evidence.

Suggested rough protocol:

Location: Hopefully in a controlled environment like the hospital. This will hopefully be done as an inpatient to eliminate external factors. Plus, for ensuring the safety of our participants too.

Participants: People with “mild” conditions, (yeah let’s start with mild stuff first) or some diseases that are immediately visible to our naked eye (say acne, eczema?)

Methodology:

Could be random or convenience sampling?

Whoever wants to do / random if possible?: Juice fast only /  Juice fast + medication / medication only

Monitor health indicators every day by doctors and/or nurses.

Monitor overall well-being (energy, happiness etc) every day

Maybe do this for at least 2 weeks??

The investigation would focus on differences in health indicators + well-being + acne appearance?

This could be replicated for other conditions too.

I sincerely want to know. Maybe this can be an option for people with idiopathic diseases (like for T., his doctors couldn’t tell him exactly where his pain was coming from. Juice and water fasting were his last option). I know some doctors + pharmaceutical companies will not like this because the only people earning from this possible solution would be our farmers, fruit vendors, and companies selling juicers.

Oh well, this entry is just to take it out there in case someone who can actually fund this is reading.

In line with juicing companies, let me promote my beautiful Kuvings’ EVO 820. This really made our juicing life easier than before. It is true that if methods are easier, people would tend to do it more. So, if you want a 5% discount, please use our unique code TIMPIA or click on the link https://www.kuvings.com.au/ref/25/. This will also give us some referral bonus. =) Thank you in advance.

Kuvings Australia

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

10 Days Juice Fast (Aug 2021)

18 – 27 Aug 2021

This juice fast felt slightly easier as I only started craving on Day 8. Aside from that, nothing much has changed. I still have a lot of questions about the effectiveness of juice fasting as I do not feel anything when I am doing it. It’s a different story for T though. I could really see the frequency of his spasms lessen during and after a juice fast.

 To slightly enlighten me on what happens to our bodies during a juice fast, I decided to measure, not only our weights but also our glucose. This is because there were people worried about our sugar spiking up during a juice fast?? Naturally, our weights would go down.

Sugar? We used an Accucheck Performa. Our fasting Glucose were always within the normal range (below 5.6mmol/L) the whole time. I also measured our sugar thirty minutes after our first juice. Now, results from this factor were slightly intriguing. For some reason, having watermelon juice seem to cause higher glucose count than pineapple juice. To be honest, I wanted to present our data in a more analytic/statistically organised method, but I am not sure what’s the best way to do it. Anyway, our next one will be in October. Maybe by then, I would know how.

We are still loving our Kuvings EVO820 that we want to share our referral link with you – https://www.kuvings.com.au/ref/25/ or you may add our unique coupon code TIMPIA at check out to avail 5% discount. Thank you!

Kuvings Australia

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment