Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Bathurst re-visited

Note: photos will follow later as internet 'on the road' is crappy and I can't get them to save in dropbox... ;-(

In April last year I had just bought my motorhome and made my first trip to Bathurst to visit old friend and colleague Vivienne.  We were to make a trip together at the end of last year, but it wasn’t to be as she became seriously ill.  It has taken her considerable time to get well again and now I am on my way to pay her another visit.  Unfortunately it will always be a one-way hosting as Vivienne is no longer allowed to fly and so is not able to come to Bribie.

Monday August 14, 2017

I left early Monday morning, although not as early as I had wanted, because I hadn’t done any cleaning up after my modest birthday party on Sunday and I had yet to pack the camper.  However, by 10 am it was all done and I was ready to leave.

The trip doesn’t promise to be an adventurous one, but hopefully uneventful and I will just simply post where I have been and a picture here and there. 

As I had had an early breakfast my first coffee stop was close to home, at the BP Service Centre on the Bruce Highway.  I didn’t linger as I had yet to travel through Brisbane and wanted to leave the city behind as soon as I could.  I could have probably taken the D’Aguilar Highway via Caboolture and Esk, but I had travelled that road so often of late, I’d rather take the route through Brisbane. 

I stopped for lunch at James Hedges Park - #564 (S27 33 04, E152 07 09) near Helidon, where I arrived rather late for lunch as my watch had stopped yet again.  Time for the watchmaker!  Fortunately I came prepared and had my old watch tucked away in my bag, so that won’t happen again.

(Photo James Hedges Park) photo to follow.....

Next a quick stop a Withcott for fuel and then on to the rest stop for the night, which I had planned close to Goondiwindi.  I didn’t quite make it that far, but Millmerran was close enough and so I stopped at Yarramalong Weir - #660 (S27 50 07, E151 27 02) at approx. 4 pm.  

This was a nice spot on the river.  I was parked close to a caravan and walked across to have a chat with the owners.  They were on their way home to Tasmania after a three month trip to north Queensland and the Red Centre to get away from the winter cold.  On my way back another traveller said hello and when I mentioned that my plan was to stretch my legs another couple overheard me and invited me to walk with them.  They were from Melbourne and were going to meet friends at Agnes Waters.  We walked north across the river up till the farm and back.  A nice stretch and a chat and that was enough to give me enough appetite to make dinner. I had picked up some kale on Sunday and a kookwurst had been waiting in the fridge so I had a nice Dutch winter’s dish!

Note to self: follow up the phone call from the bank.

Tuesday August 15, 2017

This morning it was quite a bit cooler at waking up than at home, but still okay.  I got away after breakfast at 8.30 am, a bit later than planned, but still early enough. Just. 

I forgot to take a picture of the rest area, but the google earth map shows the site clearly if you want to have a go at it. I stopped briefly at Millmerran to take a picture of, what I think was a water tank, which had a nice picture painted on it.

(Photo Millmerran water tank)

I have coffee at a simple rest area somewhere along the highway and lunch at Tycannah Rest Area near Moree (see Google Earth) and stop later past Narrabri for fuel.

It’s quite a drive today, rather five hours instead of the average four I like to do in one day, but I need to get the extra hour in that I lost because of my late departure yesterday.  Bathurst is approx. a 12 hr drive and if I average 4 hours a day than I am fine.  So hopefully I will arrive tomorrow late afternoon.

For the night I stop at a very simple rest area along the highway.  Nothing special and not too busy with road trains, although there were plenty during the day.  I also noticed I had arrived in ‘prickly pear country’ again and also saw more dead kangaroos along the roadside, a few wild pigs, an emu and an echidna.  No live wildlife save for one wild pig.

The overnight stop is at Gown Rest Area - #818 (S31 13 05, E149 19 34)

Note to self (again): another call from the bank to follow up. 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

A weekend at Dunethin Rock

Friday, 4 August 2017

Today is Stephen's birthday, so first thing of course is to ring him and wish him a happy birthday.  We also discuss a present for him which will take the form of dinner and a movie together sometime later this year at a time that will suit us both.

Next it's time to pack the camper as I will be going away for the weekend.  Dianne and Heather will be coming in Heather's car with the two kayaks and we will meet at Maccas on the motorway near Caboolture.  I have had the power on to cool the fridge and freezer and fill up the tank with drinking water.  Then I'm ready to go.  It's early, just after twelve noon, so I take the camper to Red Beach (just around the block) and park there to have lunch away from home and in peaceful surroundings.

Then I am on my way to Maccas where, after arrival, I receive a phone call from Dianne.  They've missed the turn-off at Caboolture and will be waiting at the next exict, Pumicestone Road.

From there it's plain sailing and we make good time to Dunethin Rock.  Heather has me on my toes, however, as she is really doing the allowed 110 km/hr on the motorway and I need to keep up.  The coaster has no problem with the speed, but the traffic is heavy and I don't particularly like weaving in and out of the lanes.  On my own I'd prefer a more leisurely speed, but we get there without problems.  That's the main thing.

Upon arrival at the scouts campe we're greeted by Ken, who points out where we are to park and after levelling the camper we can sit back and relax.  More people arrive slowly, but the actual event doesn't start until Saturday afternoon, so we take it easy.  Dianne has cooked a nice curry, which we have for dinner and the evening we spend together in the big hall with coffee and some stronger stuff.  Both Dianne and Heather sleep in the camper.  Three years ago Heather and I spent a few very cold nights in a borrowed tent, but not so this year.  No tent, no cold nights either!


On Saturday Colin, Patricia's son, arrives as well and in his mother's new camper, which we finally get to see.  A big step-up from her VW transporter: a Toyota hiace.  She's done well.

Heather, Colin and others are going for a paddle on the river, while Dianne and I, not having the strong muscles the others have, decide to go for a walk and look for a few caches in the area.  No new ones for me, as I have already found them, but it's Dianne's first year here, so she'll have a few smileys for her efforts.

The actual event starts a 2 pm and by that time we have gathered quite a group together.  It's Jenny's birthday and we celebrate with a big birthday cake after a BBQ lunch.  The rest of the afternoon is spend chatting and receiving 'lucky draw' gifts and there is also a FTF for a winner.  I am not keen to win that one as it's on the water and I am not planning on going paddling...

You won't think it's winter.  The days are quite warm and we don't walk too far, because it's very hilly.
The night is pleasantly spent around a big campfire and we are actually hot!  Not the cold winter nights that you can expect around this time of the year.  Even during the day the temperature climbs to 26 degrees!


On Sunday the others take their kayaks out again and Heather gives us the keys to her car, so that Dianne and I can go a bit further afield to find some more caches.  We have a good morning.  We've found a 'power trail' nearby and come home with 17 finds.  So, the weekend total for us is 18 as it is a geocaching event and we get a smiley for logging the event as well.

When we come back it's lunch time and then packing up time.  Dianne leaves with Heather and I drive home by myself.  By the time I get home the sky is dark and ominous and just after I have unpacked the camper the thunder comes rolling in.  Before the night has started the rain comes down by the bucket load, but it's the right time of the day.  I am inside, unpacked and the rain will do the garden a lot of good.

Following are a few pictures of the caches and that's all for this weekend.

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe (cache) 

Crazy Flying Machines (power trail caches)