A Travelin’ We Shall Go-Part 5

Who Says Work Can’t Be Entertaining?


Chris Ambrose

A new adventure awaits me so I’m off to Cairns Australia, which is considered to be the gateway to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and where you’ll find some of the most exciting finds under the sea, of anywhere I had been in the world. Cairns, is a transitional town whose beginning is from an old shanty town to a modern city. It is located in the far northern part of Queensland and is considered to be a tropical area. 

If you are wondering what an adventure has to do with work, read on as it comes later!

Stories of the indigenous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are told at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park where you will find music and dance and listening to dreamtime stories which will steep you in the mysteries and magic of ancient Australia.


You will have the opportunity to witness performances, participate in interactive activities and learn more about the traditions, customs and culture of the Tjapukai people.

But, I did not have a lot of time to explore this beautiful area with exception of the Reef where I took a glass bottom boat out to the Reef for a scuba diving adventure!

The glass bottom boats are easy to locate and you depart from Cairns. You board a boat and take one of the most magical experiences under the sun. Here, you will have stunning views of the coral reef location where the water and coral clarity is at it’s best, and view a wide diversity of marine life. You can either enjoy it from the boat or in the water.

There are thirty species of whales, dolphins and porpoises have been recorded in the Great Barrier Reef, including the dwarf minke whale, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, and the humpback whale. The Reef is also home to more than 1,500 species of fish, 411 types of hard coral, one-third of the world’s soft corals, 134 species of sharks including the great white and rays, six of the world’s seven species of threatened marine turtles, and more than 30 species of marine mammals, including the vulnerable dugong. (The dugong is a medium-sized marine mammal. It is one of four living species of the order Sirenia, which also includes three species of manatees.)

The coral however, where the scabbing divers swim, provides shelter for many animals in this complex habitat, including sponges, fish (like Blacktip Reef Sharks, groupers, clown fish, eels, parrotfish, snapper, and scorpion fish), jellyfish, anemones, sea stars (including the destructive Crown of Thorns), crustaceans (like crabs, shrimp, and lobsters), turtles, sea snakes, snails, and mollusks (like octopuses, nautilus, and clams).

Now, the views you see from the boat would be the choice of many others if they had known of the deadly life that awaits the diver or casual wader on reefs, and where humans may encounter the deadly blacktip shark and have their legs bitten, presumably because they were mistaken for prey.

But by now, you know that I am fearless and will take on about any challenge and have been considered to be something of a dare devil. I would however, really encourage you to see the marine life, viewing it from the boat, as the waters are pristine making it easy to enjoy the beauty of this experience! What could possibly happen is my attitude. If I can swim in the Murray River with Tiger snakes (unbeknown to me) then what’s a blacktop shark or sea snake! 

Next? A job? Yes, it is time to work so I can earn enough money to play for a while. Cairns for moving houses, of course! I was already there and in need of a job and this one appealed to the adventurer in me! And I do not mean as in flipping houses but physically moving houses from one location to another. Now, of all the jobs, this one was a grueling experience, complete with danger, excitement, sweat equity and even a bit of defiance that could get you either dismissed from work or give you room for a bit of rebellious behavior. Which do you think, it was for me?

This is not exactly how it’s done! (illustration above) But, you get the idea and it is labor intensive. 

Moving houses is indeed a work of skill…no funny business is intended and it can be  dangerous if you are careless.

The photograph is courtesy of: https://goo.gl/Aa7wsb

I have included an illustration for you to see how it is done and a little information of what I did at this job. 

Well, you might think this is an exciting job and it is! However, can you guess where I might have been, with regards to my position, as the house travels down the road? Yes you’re right! That would be me standing on the roof, the daredevil that I am. After all, who do you think has the best view of all? 

Yes, I see the telephone wires and that’s my job…to make sure we don’t hit them…that is if I remind myself that I better not reach up and grab it for stability. That would not have worked out too well. Or you maybe wondering how the house could possibly balance itself on the backside of the semi trailer bed? I have to admit I did wonder that myself? But, game as I am to try something new, I really did pay attention. I didn’t figure it was a good time for a new hair style generated by electricity! Also, with a balancing act like this is, you have the complete attention of any oncoming traffic.

So, all kidding aside, let me share with you the exciting parts of house moving other than backaches and fear. Actually, if the job is done properly there’re not a lot of risk, provided everything down to the very last detail is executed in the proper fashion. It is a lot of work and very tiring. Of course, responsibility lies in getting the house there in one piece and not shattered in sections!

Actually, literally moving a home from one place to another can be an excellent way to build equity in an investment portfolio inexpensive and be adventurous at the same time. And a great way to build cheaply. It makes it simpler if moving a short distance but it can be done to about anywhere if you have all of the permits needed to transport across highways and streets with power lines. It is quite fascinating, especially if on a two lane, one-way street with traffic lights and automobiles buzzing about you! It is a very time consuming job as everything moves at a turtles pace. The power company has to work with you closely and they are constantly removing and replacing wires above while you are monitoring width clearances at every inch along the street. It can be an all day evolution even if it’s a close by move.

If a property owner can buy a house cheaply enough that’s set for demolition due to redevelopment…and then pay to have it moved, an investment home or otherwise can be done at a huge savings. 

The owner of the house saved the costs of demolition and removal, and the new owner saved the costs of building a new home from scratch. Add a foundation, hook up to all utilities, landscape and remodel the interior and it is like a brand new facility or home in less time and money, than to build from scratch.

So, now that you have purchased the house, you need to hire a professional house moving company unless you have the equipment and knowledge to do it yourself. The company will come out and jack it up, put I-beams under it, set them on a system of hydraulic dollies that hitch to a truck. The movers take care of every detail from the best route where there is the least traffic and power lines, acquire road permits from each town, (if moving it out of the original town), your house would move through, and make arrangements with the electric companies to move any power lines. The moving company will take care of every detail from start to finish, including the insurance; taking responsibility for all the liability; road permits; make arrangements with the electric companies to move power lines and being sure any bank mortgages are approved before moving can take place. You may need a contractor at each end to disconnect and reconnect the infrastructure. 

Do you now feel as though you could move a home? Although, I do, my senior life is far too comfortable to relive the days of a 26 year old fresh out of college. I remember exactly how it felt to do the jobs described above, to include labor…and they were mine to do! Believe me, I will not forget the amount of work this was, nor the date of the move. Now, you are most likely thinking, how on earth could I possibly remember the date from 1969.

And do not forget what has to happen once it reaches it’s destination…there are likely no interior walls or insulation or kitchens or anything. Yes, that is correct…more hard labor…but guess what? Do you remember what I told you about it being 1969? My traveling buddy through Australia and I had decided we were  too tired and wanted to watch television on that date in history. It was on July 16, 1969. We did not want to work as scheduled that day because we felt it more important to watch a piece of history…the Apollo 11 Launch! Why would I ever go to work when I could sit around and watch the first Lunar landing mission, with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin at 9:32 a.m. EDT, be launched into space from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center? Not us!


Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first two humans on the Moon. Mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin, both American, landed the lunar module Eagle on July 20, 1969. Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida, on July 16 at 9:32 am EDT (13:32 UTC) and was the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program. The Apollo spacecraft had three parts: a command module (CM) with a cabin for the three astronauts, and the only part that returned to Earth; a service module (SM), which supported the command module with propulsion, electrical power, oxygen, and water; and a lunar module (LM) that had two stages – a descent stage for landing on the Moon, and an ascent stage to place the astronauts back into lunar orbit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_11

Now wouldn’t you rather be watching this event than standing atop of a house traveling down a city block?

The result: We were not invited back to work the following day but we had earned what we  needed and had felt the history of a launch was far more important than a job that would wear us out!

It had all sounded so easy when the others who had worked at this job, were telling us about this golden opportunity! But, I now have a clear picture in my mind, of exactly what needs to be done should I ever decide to leave the comforts of my sofa to move a house, at my tender age of 70 plus!!

Be sure if you see a house on the back of a semi truck trailer on a country road, you give it  lots of room for travelin’.

So, you see, A Travelin’ We Shall Go, literally means travelin’ anywhere at anytime.

Photograph from Build Direct


Next Stop…Simpson Desert

Be sure to return in two weeks to read about the Simpson Desert

Until We Meet Again!,


Chris Ambrose, Author 

70 is the new 50`


No matter what Life throws at you, 

it’s where Giving Up, is Never an Option!



You are also welcome to write to me for a signed copy of my book




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