Biographical Non-Fiction posted July 29, 2015 Chapters:  ...40 41 -42- 43... 

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Catch up With Long Time Friends

A chapter in the book Our Trip Book.

2012- Ettalong & Belmont Sth, NSW.

by Tootsie55

If you are just joining us on our trips around Australia it is more beneficial to start at the beginning. This way you get to know us much better, understanding why we do things the way we do.
26th March – Monday - Arising, we showered and dressed.  Following that and brekky we packed the car up and had early lunch.  Leaving home at 11.45 a.m. we arrived at Ettalong at 1.15 p.m.  We came up on the M4, M7, M2, Pennant Hills Road and the M3.  We look forward in the not all that distant future, when M2 to M3 will be a continuation, removing the Pennant Hills Road section of this trip. As we come through on a final edit, that time is getting much closer as it is being worked on as we write.

There were a lot of dumb drivers on the road.  From home to Woy Woy is 101 km and 1 hour, 23 minutes drive.
We checked into the “Mantra” Hotel at Ettalong, a tad early meaning we couldn’t get into our room.  Geoff needed to use the loo upstairs in the pool area. He was not aware of how to use the special security card in the lift (elevator). One of the staff from reception had to come and help him.

After he took care of the “necessaries,*” we went next door which was the R.S.L. Club and had afternoon tea there, until we were called up to our room.  The receptionist helped Geoff in the underground parking and brought our luggage up to the room, on the wonderful trolly contraption.
We got settled into our room, Jim and Nadia whom we have mentioned before, old friends of Geoff - came over for a cuppa, after 4 p.m.  We chatted and had our cuppa and gave Jim his 60th Birthday present.  They gave us an Anniversary present for our 25 years, which we were not expecting.  It was a 12 piece crockery set, which was lovely. 
Around 6 p.m. we all went down to the Club next door and ordered our meal.  We had a Pork Roast including baked vegetables, so tasty.  After our meal and chat some more, we left Jim and Nadia and headed back to our room for the evening.
Geoff was a little disappointed, seeing this was our second year of having the laptop computer. Mantra units are all individually, privately owned. For this reason, there was no Hotel-wide Wi-Fi system in the complex. They had a cable internet connection only provided for an enormous charge. Geoff tried it but he ended up not receiving the paid hour of use. Result: No internet at the Mantra.
27th March – Tuesday -  Geoff’s Birthday – I didn’t sleep very well last night, Geoff did.  He always sleeps well, anywhere. After getting up at 6 a.m. we had our breakfast.  Just before 9 a.m. we went out and had a look around town and checked out the ferry rides that went to Palm Beach, for next time.
We stopped at the shops to get some meat pies for lunch, takeaway coffee and cake for morning tea,  finding a picnic area to have it.  Following Morning Tea, we drove around town some more, stopped at the Warrah Lookout, the bay was lovely to look at.  On our way back, stopped at the Newsagency to pick up something.
We got back to the Mantra and went to have a look at the indoor pool area.  It looked inviting to have a swim but unfortunately, we didn’t have our swim gear with us.
Back to our room and Geoff rang up the receptionist to bring the ramps up, so I could get out onto the balcony.  There was a very high step, including the sliding window's track, between the room and the balcony.  Mantra supplied ramps for the disabled to get out onto the balcony in the wheelchair.
We heated up our meat pies in the microwave for lunch and had it out on the balcony.  It was nice and sunny, looking out on the streets and hinterland hills.  A sad truth is, that of the three disabled units in the complex - NOT ONE faces the ocean and beach at the front. All disabled units face the mountains at the back.  Not fair! Obviously worth a lot more for the view on the front. 

We rested for the remainder of the afternoon.  Geoff had his time on my laptop computer, just playing games, while I wrote up my diary.  Geoff had a nap while I put the TV on.

We went and had tea at the Club again next door, and we both had Chicken Parmigiana and a cold drink.  Back to our room for the rest of the evening and got off to bed early.
28th March – Wednesday - Up around 6 a.m., I had a better sleep the night before because we had the air conditioner on nearly all night.  We had breakfast and packed up our gear and Geoff took me down to the car and helped me in.  He went back up and got the staff to help him take our luggage down to the basement. We headed out of Ettalong at 9.30 a.m. and drove to Terrigal, stopped at Killarney Vale McDonald’s for morning tea.  Geoff drove on through the town known as The Entrance - to Doyalson, off the Freeway and onto Pacific Highway to South Belmont.
We arrived at the “Lakeview Motor Inn” South Belmont at 11.40 a.m. and got settled into our room No.1.  Woy Woy to Belmont is 81 km, 1 hour and 5 minutes, drive.  We had lunch of sandwiches and a cuppa.  We had stayed in this room before, and it hasn’t changed much except for the bathroom.
Spent the rest of the afternoon in our room.  Geoff had a go on my laptop computer and had a nap.  Sadly even though Wi-Fi for a computer was available at this place, our room was located too far back from the transmitter/receiver for an efficient signal. A side comment here is: In most motel establishments they nearly always locate the disabled room as far down the back as possible. Fortunately, we have a wheelchair to get from the restaurant to our unit.
We learned later, Geoff could have gone up to the Dining area while it was vacant in the afternoon and used the internet there as the signal was much better, naturally being right near the server. I was too tired to do anything.  We organised a room service for tea.  Geoff had Steak and vegetables and I had Lasagne and vegetables.
29th March – Thursday - Getting up early, we left motel around 9 a.m., to visit Vanessa (an old church friend of Geoff and his Mum, from Marsfield Church) at her retirement place for morning tea.  Then we all went to the Lake Macquarie 16 Footer Club for lunch and had a very nice meal of Roast Lamb and vegetables. We dropped Vanessa home then drove back to our motel and rested for the afternoon. We had our own meal for tea, “Cuppa  Soup*” and toast.
30th March – Friday - On this day we had room service breakfast with cereal and cooked sausages for me and bacon and eggs for Geoff.  We normally do this on our last day of holidays (vacations.) 

We packed the car up and left Belmont around 9.30 a.m. and arrived home just after 11 a.m. This is the only holiday where I have really missed my fully adjustable "hospital-type" bed and so glad to be home.  I enjoyed Ettalong the most, because of the accommodation. Belmont was ok.

Around about the time of this trip, probably after we had got home, we learned of a murder committed not all that far from the "Mantra" hotel we were staying in at Ettalong.

This was not really a  "sight-seeing" trip. More of an opportunity to (a) catch up with friends and (b) to get out of the house. I suffer "cabin ever" the "climbing -up-the-wall" kind of feeling if I don't get out sometimes.


For our international readers a brief explanation. We leave home on the M4 Freeway. Just down the road we leave M4, getting onto M7 Toll way, which runs between the Hume Freeway in the South and the M2 Toll way in the North West. M2 takes you to the Northern Suburbs where you currently Exit to join Pennant Hills Road which takes you to the start of the M3 Freeway taking you all the way up the North Coast of NSW to almost Newcastle, our State's second most important City, after Sydney. M2 does continue on after the Pennant Hills Rd., Exit to join up with Warringah Freeway and on into the City of Sydney.

Thanks to Jax Franklin I have purloined her expression '*necessaries.'
*Cuppa Soup, is dry soup ingredients in a pack. Comes in all sorts of flavours and varieties. Just add to a cup or Mug and pour in boiling water, stirring each cup for at least 30 seconds.

Picture Id's:Top left:Me and Geoff at 16 Footer's
Top Right: Valmai and Geoff same; 2nd Left;Second Right;
& 3rd left: Views of Lake Macquarie from the Club. 3rd Right: Our
wonderful Hospital beds. Thanks to the State Government.

Now some Links;

Woy Woy


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