21st June 2016

 

Home again after “There and Back” we are tired but full of gratitude for these last six weeks on the road; happy to have a few days to catch up with family and friends; full of anticipation for the next three weeks in Alaska and looking forward to sharing this next venture with you all through our photos and stories.

Our trip “Back” was amazing. We spent our few days off in Kiama, a part of the country we have never spent time in before. It is so beautiful. We enjoyed the “Blow-hole” and other sights, explored Camper Van possibilities, and generally enjoyed a few days rest before the drive north.

St Albans is a tiny town in the Hawkesbury Valley, deep in the forest, on a long winding dirt road – country which one would normally only see on foot, with rivers, lakes and rock formations to rival any where. It was a mistake really – that our GPS took us on this road, missing the main sealed road - but one we are very glad to have made. There in the middle of nowhere we performed at a house concert for a family who are caretakers of 800 acres of land owned by Franciscan Chinese Monks - a rare opportunity afforded them through a chance camping trip. We had morning tea with local farmers who graze their horses and cattle on the only surviving “Common” in Australia, on the day of their twice-yearly muster. We enjoyed the company of this musical family who commute to Sydney for work, teach Ballet in Wiseman’s Ferry, home school their children and generally live the good country life Australia affords us – totally inspirational.

It was a long drive to the Gold Coast – 11 hours I think. A lot of road works but very few towns to drive through – the journey gets shorter every time we do it. And on the Gold Coast – more amazing people to meet. An indigenous couple runs a small but very alive church in Nerang. Here we did a concert (organized by our friend Rex who we met up with at a house concert in Brisbane at the beginning of the year) before driving home via Brackenridge to have dinner with Stevie and Bec.

 

Coming up:

 

Since 1996 a World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People has been held. Birthed in New Zealand it has been to Israel, The Philippines, Australia, South Dakota, and Hawaii. At the same time a small group of people started meeting in New Zealand to reach out to the Maori people through their own native culture, under the name of Te Haerenga. We have been privileged to be involved in these two organisations over the years, learning so much from what they bring to the table. We now find ourselves ready to board a plane to Alaska, to sing and tell our stories to the indigenous people there. We feel very honoured to have been invited and excited to be going to this land, which for us has always held such mystery. On Saturday the 2nd July we fly to LA, Seattle and Fairbanks; will take part in a family camp, then tour Alaska for two weeks before flying home on the 25th, landing in Brisbane on the 27th July.

 

More dates this year:

 

Maroochy Surf Club: 1st August, 14th September, 5th October, 2nd November, 7th December.

17th – 23rd August: Rarotonga – family wedding

15th September – 4th October: New Zealand Tour – East Coast Band tour with Dave White from Incedo. Dates TBC

16th November – 6th December: New Zealand Tour – Christchurch to Auckland. Dates TBC

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