The Back Roads Tour is in full swing, beginning yesterday on the beautiful northern beaches of Auckland. The sun is shining with not too much heat, the air is cool and fresh and its nice to be back in the land of the long white cloud. 

 

The Round Australia Tour ended in late July and we were home for about a month before heading south to Sydney and Melbourne. We were determined to get to Melbourne to see Molly and Reuben and when we saw the opportunity to duck down there between 
two weekends of gigs in Sydney we jumped at the chance. It was such a great road trip, even in our tired old van - which seems to just go on and on forever - and very satisfying to see where our two youngest have started their new life. This life on the road is addictive and we envisage many more trips to come. This is an amazing country and the adventures out
there are enticing. Meanwhile we have the next few months based at home, with just short trips to Brisbane dotted throughout. We are looking forward to spending extra time with my Dad and sisters, with our children and grandchildren, with our Sunshine Coast friends and looking forward to having time to work on our house and garden, getting things up to scratch after a great deal of
neglect over the last two years. Our recent tour has opened our eyes to new possibilities and we have realised that we enjoy the
small venues as much as the large - house concerts, caravan parks, car parks, churches, community halls, cafe's - we are happy to do whatever we can in small and large communities to help out where we can. If any of you would like to make a booking with us
for a house concert or any sort of concert we are open for invitations: Please get in touch. We now work almost always as a duo.
We are enjoying this a great deal, and find it to be most effective. We feel that together we make a good team - sometimes Steve is the main man and I am in the background, sometimes that is reversed and sometimes we front it together. This flexibility seems to be working well. In the next six months we have several local engagements, a couple of short trips to New Zealand but plenty of room for more possibilities. Please get in touch if you can see us fitting in to your plans in some way.

I have started this blog several times and have been unable to finish. This time, the tour is well and truly over so I must complete it.

And now we are back in our Turtle heading south to Daley Waters and I am reminiscing. We left Warburton and our new friends Des and Shona with a strange feeling - almost melancholic. We’d done what we came to do, we’d fulfilled the purpose of this mission and now we were headed home. It was almost an anti climax - a “what now” kind of feeling. Maybe we should just “be” home now. How can what lies before us even come close to what we have just experienced. And yet at the same time we are travelling through some of the most beautiful places on earth, sleeping under huge skies filled with stars, and enjoying the wonders of this outback land and its people.

 

...................It was an exciting day the day we picked up our new Turtle shell: a Mercedes Benz 6 berth motor home(not 3 as I had booked). When we returned our camper the girls at Travellers Autobarn were thrilled with the smell of tea tree oil we had used to clean it – anything out of order paled into insignificance to them: they were happy and so were we. And after our camper the motor home was luxury - toilet and shower on board, table and chairs we could leave set up, head room throughout and plenty of space above the second bed - pure luxury................

Melbourne to Adelaide to WA

Tuesday the 21st April: We are heading for Ceduna, lined up in the front seat of our camper like obedient school children. I love this open, endlessly flat land dotted with stumpy trees and grey and khaki bushes growing out of deep red soil, stretching for miles in every direction as far as the eye can see. It is daunting and exciting all at the same time crossing this country from the east, where everything is familiar, to the west, which for us is unchartered land. Our bellies are full but we are looking forward to a stop for coffee when we buy fuel. The road still has a few bends and it is surprising how many cars and trucks are about. Iron knob is out of fuel but we are directed to the home of CTM – Christian Truck Ministries. A man and woman in their sixties (I’m guessing) are about to get into their car to leave when we pull up. We are too late this week – they have given away all their extra supply to others caught like us. Half an hour later we are on our way to Kimba just 86ks west with another interesting encounter under our belts. (We decided to risk it and head for Kimba and not drive back to Port Augusta).

 

 

The start of the tour - getting used to our camper; busy times with lots of travel and many concerts - a good start. I am so enjoying the people we meet – an old man on a motorised scooter who stops to chat, a young girl whose husband is in the army, who made us the best coffee we have had on the road, so far (feel so much better for a good flat white to start my day). Country Australians are so friendly. Singleton is in the middle of a major facelift, which could be crippling to the businesses in its path, but the people don’t seem stressed by it at all – just friendly and happy. Makes me proud to call this country home.

Any one for coffee?

Two weeks in Portugal: its warm, the sun shines bright, the night skies are filled with stars, there is time to relax, sleep in, walk to the shops, go to the beach; time to breathe; and we all feel so much better for it.

The Apirana’s Tour the World:

AUTUMN: The Netherlands, Eastern Europe and across to Portugal:

What a journey: exhausting but exhilarating at the same time; amazing people, a continuous flow of good food and coffee, comfortable beds and many laughs to relieve the few tense moments when the pressure was too much.

For a few days we tried using the internet on my phone to get directions on Google maps – a welcome relief but a drain on the finances as it chewed up our credit at the rate of knots. We are en route to Lisbon. Our gig has been cancelled for tomorrow night so we are no longer in a hurry and can relax a bit even though we do still have a twelve-hour drive ahead of us. Today we will be trying the non-toll roads. Yesterday we spent over a hundred Euros on tolls and we are told the non-toll roads in Spain are just as good so we are giving it a go.

Looking back over these last weeks:

 

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