Jules' pics - 2003

VIP visitor to Queensland - Jessie-Ma!
Sept-Oct 2003

This surely has turned out to be my
year of VIP visitors!

Right after I sadly waved goodbye
to Mish, Colleen, Shingi and Temba,
I begans counting down the days to
another big event.

In mid-September Townsville's un-remarkable
airport was the arrival point for the city's
MOST REMARKABLE visitor, by my calculation
anyway. How many 85-year olds are jetting
around on their own, anyway? Let alone
following through with travel plans after
undergoing a 5-month bureaucratic nightmare
to get a simple tourist visa (yes, this was
for Australia!) and last-minute medical
intervention for a minor wound that became
an ulcer needing a skin graft.

Putting all that behind her, Jessie-Ma-Granny
touched down here, late at night, after
umpteen hours in the air since leaving Cape
Town, and many more hours waiting in various
airport terminals. She was travel-weary but
smiling -- amazing! And despite her still-
worrying leg, she was soon ready for an easy
walk along the Strand waterfront (pic at right)
in between many long coffee-and-chat sessions,
both in the holiday apartment where we stayed
and on board Jeshan in the marina (pic below).

In between more coffee-and-chat we also took in the view from Castle Hill and
visited the inhabitants of a wildlife park a little way south of Townsville,
see pics below.

Other outings (without pics) included a stay at Balgal Beach and a drive up to
the Paluma Range rainforest, plus a tour of the Australian Institute of Science.
(The latter involved a little saga. We were too early so we made a short bird
watching detour into the surrounding National Park. The benign-looking road
somehow inflicted an instantaneous flatter-than-flat tire on our rental car.
Fortunately a very kind stranger helped change the wheel. But, unbeknown to me,
what car manufacturers now provide as a "spare wheel" is no normal wheel. Instead
something that looks as if it was borrowed from a wheelbarrow... it was an
embarrassingly slow journey from there on. Probably just confirms that I
really should stick with boats!)

More to come... next page.

There's more about Jessie's visit on the next page.

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