It’s been nearly 2 weeks since we arrived here at Cotton Tree so it’s about time we provided our friends and followers with a bit of an update.
First item of business was to move from our temporary site at the Cotton Tree caravan park to the site we had booked previously. The new site was only 100 metres or so away and packing up Bertha and setting up again was very quick and straight forward. Downunda lent us some of his levelling blocks to make sure we were level. Now we have “landed” we have put out the awning and the shade wall, and unpacked the tables, chairs and BBQ. This is a nice large site with only one neighbour and which receives morning sun on one side and afternoon sun on the other.
We are only a very short walk from the Cotton Tree shopping centre, which has a nice assortment of retail shops, plus a good choice of cafes and take-away places, and several more up-market restaurants. There is also a craft market every Sunday when the main street is blocked off. We feel very much at home at Cotton Tree as we have been here several times – we even flew up to Cotton Tree last year and stayed in an apartment for a fortnight when we were between ownership of ‘Normous the 5th wheeler and Bertha the motorhome.
Cotton Tree is named after the many cotton trees in the area, and there are several large examples in the caravan park. Bush turkeys also run around the park and even nest in the cotton trees. We wouldn’t want to be parked under one of those particular trees!
Living in Bertha means that we have to be a bit more reliant on our feet for transport rather than just drive everywhere, and we are both doing a pretty good job of keeping up our goal of 10,000 steps each day. Fortunately there is a very pleasant walk along the esplanade into Maroochydore and the Big Top shopping centre and Sunshine Plaza. There are other shops well within walking (and bag carrying) distance from the caravan park. Ann bought her wheeled shopping trolley with us and that certainly helps! There is a fantastic second hand book exchange in Maroochydore and we have both found several books we had been searching for without luck elsewhere. Plus we can trade them in on other books when we’re finished with them.
Much of the time, however, is spent relaxing, especially down by the river where we have joined in several happy hours and enjoyed the sights. The sunsets here are superb!
There is a nice friendly bunch of people here at the caravan park and even a short walk can take quite a while as you stop and chat along the way. There are fresh strawberries on sale here every Wednesday and the fresh prawn guy comes through several times each week. We have indulged in both strawberries and prawns!
In the interests of travelling a bit further afield than our feet alone can manage, we have rounded up a bunch of bus timetables and we each purchased a “Go Card” which is very much like the Victorian Myki card.
Yesterday we bravely headed out to face the exciting world of the Queensland public transport system, with the intention of making our way to Caloundra as we had heard that there is a great market there on Sundays. Neither of us had been on a bus for ages, but we both had a great time. The buses were clean and tidy, arrived and left according to the timetable, and the drivers were very friendly and helpful to a couple of bus system novices.
It was a very interesting journey in the bus as we had driven to Caloundra before but you certainly see a lot more when you’re a bus passenger. We arrived safe and sound at the Caloundra bus station which is only a matter of metres from the main street and arrived with the market well under way. This is a much bigger market that Cotton Tree with several streets closed off for the duration. It is a lot more diverse than Cotton Tree as other than arts and crafts it also has food stalls of all sorts and several buskers competing for your attention (and donations). Most of the shops along the shopping strip are open as well. Visitors are very well catered for in Caloundra. Ann and I both engaged in a little retail therapy (new shoes for both of us) and enjoyed a very tasty lunch in one of the many cafes.
At around 1 o’clock the marketeers started packing up so we found our way back to the bus station and boarded the 600 bus back to Cotton Tree. On the way back we stopped off at the Kawana Waters shopping centre for a look around before getting back on the bus and heading home to Bertha.
Our trip to Caloundra was a great experience and we will definitely be doing much more bus travel in the future.
Overall the weather here has been just about perfect and we have had a great time over the last week and a bit. We’re looking forward to more adventures over the coming weeks.
We’ll report back soon.
Thoroughly enjoying the motorhome experience ….