Wednesday, 11 April 2018

OzGeoMuster 4

It's Friday and we arrive early enough to settle in before I am due for volunteering.  Robyn, another geocaching friend of ours, and I are on roster from 1 to 4 pm.  We are on duty for registering people, something I like, because you get to meet so many fellow geocachers.  We also receive a nice shirt for our efforts!

Dianne and I log the event, so that we receive our Mega souvenir and spend some time meeting up with people that we know.  There is also a meeting event, which we briefly attend, but it's too busy to stay on and we are too hungry to join the long lines for food, so we hop over to MacDonalds across the road.  Yeah, I know, not my favourite, but..... hunger is the best spice!

This is the sixth time I write my name on a Mega log: Stanthorpe, Qld; Christchurch, New Zealand; Melbourne, Vic; Hessen, Germany; LLangollen, Wales, and now Morisset, NSW!  I am happy and hope to be attending many more.

On Saturday Robyn and husband Darren take us out for the day in their car to try and find all the puzzle geocaches of which we have solved the puzzles in the weeks leading up to our trip.  70 In all and for good measure we find a few more, so that our result for the day is 74 caches.  Our second best after the Mega in Stanthorpe when we found 105 in one day.

Obviously I have not made an effort to take pictures of all of them! :-)  This is the only one:

#1882 - OZGeomuster G9

The puzzle caches were all geoart again: Cachentine (a heart) and OZGM.  No matter what I do, I don't get a complete picture, but this gives you some idea.

Cachentine (14 puzzles)

OZGM (56 puzzles)

On Sunday we attempt the lab caches, of which there are 10.  We also go on a kind of car rally with Robyn and Darren and find a few caches on the way as well.   The car rally (Geotrek) has been put together by a geocaching buddy of mine from Sydney, with whom I caught up as well and we are going to meet in Prague later this year where we will organise a small 'meeting' event.

Lake Macquarie - Eraring, NSW
Overpass Pacific Highway - Cooranbong NSW

Darren and Dianne

Walking back to the car (Robyn, Darren and Dianne)

Playing with the selfie stick we received in our registration pack

And again...

A group selfie (Marion, Dianne, Darren, Robyn)

Cooranbang lookout
The final for the weekend: fireworks

And that was the end of another Mega event.  On Monday morning we make our way back home. As there are almost no free camps along the Pacific Highway (the coast road) we forego two more visits of 5W members and head for Scone on the New England Highway.  We have lunch at the Wilson Memorial Oval at Murrurundi, NSW and keep travelling to Tamworth where we fill up with fuel.

Later in the afternoon we arrive at the Moonbi Lookout Rest Area (#155) where we stay for the night and also find a cache.

#1957 - Moonbi Outlook

Well hidden and hard to retrieve

The following morning it's another long spurt, albeit with a stop for lunch at the Mother of Ducks Lagoon at Guyra. This also is an earthcache and even though I have been here before with Patricia, I have never attempted the cache, so I can add another smiley to my list.

#1958 - Mother of Ducks (Lagoon) Nature Reserve - Guyra

Next stop is at Glen Innes where we visit the Australian Standing Stones.  As I have found the caches there already, including the earthcache, Dianne goes in search of them by herself while I make some repairs in the camper, as we had a problem with a (locked) drawer flying down the isle, the toilet cassette dislodging, (locked) cabinet doors opening, etc. The drawer could not be put back and was stored in the back, but unsecured it had hit the side of the hot water system and damaged it as well.  My suspision is that the shock absorbers are no longer doing their job and will need to be looked at when we're back home.

After this little drama I needed a cup of coffee and a treat and got myself something nice at the Crofters Cottage nearby where Patricia and I visited a few years back.

No, I couldn't lift the sword ;-)

People who have read the book, or watched the
series Outlander know what I am doing here..... ;-)

And then finally our last stop, behind hotel Jennings at Jennings.  There are a lot of kangaroos about and Dianne goes for a walk to take pictures.  I have plenty from the past, so I pass on that and have a quiet read.

The following morning we pass through scenic Cunninghams Gap and hit Brisbane where we are welcomed with rain, and lots of it.  It's not bad, because it washes most of the dirt off the vehicle. ;-)

Before we are at Dianne's place at Arana Hills it's dry again.  Dianne unpacks her gear, we have lunch and then I make my way home, where I unload the camper and park it at Maree's place, with the intend to do a thorough clean-up the following day.

Kevin arrives shortly after, because he has been studying quietly at my place now and then while I was away, and was not aware that I would be home much earlier than expected.  Probably just as well, because I hurt my back just before we go out for dinner at the RSL and I can hardly move or walk.  I make it to dinner, but boy I am hurting.  A visit to the doctor the following day is in order, and the clean-up will have to wait a little bit longer....

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

OzGeomuster 3

We left Tallawong early in the morning and planned to be in Bathurst just after lunch, but things didn't quite go to plan....

Dianne discovered that she didn't really have clothes for colder temperatures and her sister had warned that it could be cold and wet on the coast, so we decide to stop at Mudgee to top up with fuel and do some shopping.  Even wanted to find a geocache, or two....

We did our shopping and I, like Dianne, came away with a few T-shirts, which were dirt cheap at Big W.  We did look for a geocache, but there were too many DNFs on it and we were also running out of time. However, we did NOT fill up with fuel!

It was only at Ilford, at the turn-off to Sofala, that I remembered and had a look at my fuel gauge.  Oh boy!  That did not look good!  We got our mobile phones out to look on the fuel app to find out where the nearest pump was and there wasn't one near.  What to do?  We didn't have much choice and had to take the long way around to Capertree as returning to Mudgee was too far and thus out of the question.  From my fuel history I had roughly calculated that I would probably have fuel for another 12 km and that was stretching it.  Capertree was a mere 28 km away!  We prayed, crossed our fingers, and everything else we could cross, and kept going, and going, and...... finally..... arrived at the pump with a few litres to spare!  I now have a mind to make a little card that I can put on my steering wheel when I plan to get fuel so that I don't forget when I start driving!

Well, after that bit of excitement we needed a coffee!  We also had lunch (the pies were great at the shop) as we found a nice parking lot across the road and then were ready to start again into the direction of Bathurst, albeit with a bit of a detour this time as we were heading for Lithgow rather than Bathurst.

We made it to Vivienne's place mid afternoon and the lovely person she is, she had lunch waiting for us!  Of course, there is always room for more...

We stayed a few days at Viv's.  We went for a walk with her and friend Betty, we did some shopping (shoes come to mind!), Dianne visited her aunt who lives in Bathurst and of course we did some geocaching as well, with and without Viv.

The first cache again is an earth cache, found near where Viv lives.

#1862 - Rock Around the Cemetery

#1863 - 202 Howick

#1864 - Rescue Me

One that I couldn't find last year, but found it very fast this time

#1865 - BACK 'O BINC

#1866 - Ghosts of Machattie

Couldn't find this either last year, but did so this time with the help of Dianne

#1867 - Ol Skool

There were a few more that we looked for together, because I had not been able to find them on my own, but even two pairs of eyes couldn't do it.  Ah well, you can't win them all...

Machattie Park - Bathurst

All in all we had a great time, and I am not saying too much if I tell you I am going to miss Viv's cooking again!  Oh well, I'll miss Viv and the cats Hazel and Audry too..... ;-)

All good things come to an end, so way say goodbye:

And so we are making our way slowly to Morisset, but we're not there yet.  We take the Bells Line of Road through the Blue Mountains and our next stop is Richmond where we stop off at the cemetery, because Dianne wants to find a grave of one of her ancesters.

Lucky for us there is also a (multi)cache (and another one that we couldn't find).

#1868 - Lowlands#9

Since we are close to the RAAF base there are plenty or large planes coming over.

Venturing closer to the Sydney area and the east coast the free camps are few and far between.  We tried to book a spot at the Richmond caravan park, but they were fully booked out because or Easter.

So, our next camp for the night is going to be further down the road at a Student Pickup near Clarendon, opposite the RAAF base.  We also go in search of a nearby cache, but there are many DNFs on it, so we are not suprised that we can't find it.

The following morning we decide to look around at Pitt Town and will then head into the direction of Beecroft.  

In Pitt Town we find a roadside spot to have our lunch and next go in search of a cache while we have time to do so.

view on the hills in Pitt Town

#1869 - Friendship

Next stop is Beecroft, where we are going to meet one of the 5W members (Women Welcome Women World Wide), Lee and her husband Peter.  I had contacted her earlier and asked to meet for coffee or lunch, but see insisted we stay the night and have dinner with them.  It was a great meeting and I hope to repeat this kind of meeting again overseas.

view from bedroom window at Beecroft

Lee, Dianne and me

After a lovely time with Lee and Peter we drive to Gosford, where I will meet granddaughter Mady and Dianne her sister Sharon.

The plan was to stay overnight in the camper when visiting Mady, but the road is on an enormous slope and sleeping in the camper would almost mean standing on my head! As Dianne was invited by Sharon to stay the night they ask me to join them there too.

Sharon came to pick up Dianne and I went to see Mady, her boyfriend Liam and meet his mother Debbie. After coffee Debbie suggests a sightseeing tour around the Gosford area and we visit Woy Woy and Terrigal.  It is as beautiful out there as I have always imagined it to be.

On the way back we have lunch, fish and chips, at a take-away in Gosford and then Debbie goes to work and I return with Mady and Liam.  We watch a few movies to pass the time and later that night I drive to Narara, another part of Gosford, where Sharon and Bruce live.  We have a cuppa and a chat until it's time for bed.

Debbie, Mady, Liam and me (selfies are not easy without a selfie stick!)

And then the day arrives that we can make our way to Morisset and the Mega.  We fill up with fuel at Ourimba and after a short drive we arrive at the Morisset Showground where we will stay until morning morning.