Saturday, 2 September 2017

On the way home from Bathurst via Tyalgum

Thursday August 31, 2017

Thursday was rather a taxing day, so I didn’t feel like updating the blog that night.  

I left the rest area at 9:20am and quickly took a few pictures.

As I had forgotten to get fuel at Scone Murrurundi was my first stop.


Morning tea I had at Willow Tree where I found out that the New England Highway was closed and I had to make a detour (the first of two!) via Quirindi and Werris Creek to Tamworth. From there on I was fine for a while and stopped at Bendemeer at about 12pm for lunch at the Memorial Park.  I remembered this spot from an earlier stop and knew there was a cache hidden, but there were too many people stopping in for lunch, so I didn’t go in search for it.  Just as well, because just after Bendemeer I came across the second detour, and this was quite a substantial one.  

I had wondered what the two ambulances, who passed me with sirens and blazing lights, were heading for, and I did find out at the end of the day. At this stretch, between Bendemeer and Armidale the highway was apparently closed because of a police pursuit that had gone wrong. It had started earlier in the morning at Bendemeer and the pursuant had run head-on into a truck and was killed instantly. It was quite the detour, as I said before, because we had to drive all the way out to Walcha and from there back to the highway just before Armidale.  Not only was it a long way around, but quite hilly and winding in some places.  I admire the ‘truckies’ who had to negotiate these roads, as they were not driving for their pleasure!

Just past Armidale I stop for another cuppa and a rest after the tiring drive through the hills.  The stop is at a Lions Park and I notice there is a cache hidden close by.

#1689 - Hangin' out at Lion's Rest

This was a tricky one.  If I hadn't looked up and seen the bit of yellow and black I would have missed it, because I was more or less looking for a bison tube.  Just when I saw the container I noticed the bit of wire going up and so I could retrieve the cache to sign the log.

I had to do this quite stealthily, because just when I planned to walk to the cache a lady pulled up in her car and sat down at one of the picnic tables to eat her lunch.  I 'admired' three trees before I walked into the undergrowth and could get to the cache just out of her line of sight.

The next stop was just past Glen Innes at 4:50pm. Late, because of the detours earlier in the day.  I drove past it before I realised that it was the rest area I needed as it wasn’t very well signposted.  The stop was called Beardy Creek (Heritage Park) (136) (S29 39 50, E151 46 37)

Friday September 1, 2017

My goodness, all of a sudden it’s September, and spring has arrived in the southern hemisphere!  You could have fooled me!  When I woke up it was -4 degrees and the windows were frosted over all around me.

As I had left the waste water valve open water had dripped out slowly during the night and had frozen into a stalagmite.

It was too cold to have a shower and breakfast, so I did what I have done before, minus de pyjamas.  I did get dressed this time! :-)  I left at 8am and drove till well past Tenterfield.  I found a spot along the road where I could park and had my breakfast and shower in a much warmer vehicle. (S29° 2.166', E152° 6.924')

The vegetation has changed again and now I see a lot of tufted grass instead of the short brown.  I could only take a picture through the window and it only shows a small patch, but further down it was the same all around.

The rest of the trip was quite taxing as it was all up and down hills and many kilometres of winding road.  I guess I now have licence to drive in the Swiss Alps!  Luckily the vehicle works well with the exhaust brakes.  On long, steep downward slopes I take it out of overdrive and put the retarder (exhaust brakes) on and if I plan it well I hardly have to use the brakes.  This will certainly save them from overheating and I also have less wear and tear...  The concentration for hours, however, takes its toll in the end and I was glad when I got to Kyogle where I had lunch and did some grocery shopping.  It was 1pm when I stopped.  Only a bit to go...  Before I stopped at Kyogle I take some pictures at a lookout in the hills.  I was at some considrable height and had even come down halfway already.  Unfortunately the photos don't do credit to reality, as usual.

Finally I saw the sign ‘Tyalgum’ and after a bit of a search I found the campground.  A load of campervans is always a good give-away. ;-)  By then it was 3:30pm and I had made good time after all. (S28° 21.199', E153° 12.356')

It was good to see old friends again and even Carol had joined and was in good health again.  After afternoon tea we walked to the river in the hope to see platypus, but as (bad) luck had it, we saw none.

Mount Warning in the distance.  I'd always wanted to climb this mountain,
but the one time we were there the track was closed and by now I've left it too late...

I cooked dinner and had the rest of the endive with a pork sausage (from the freezer) and baby potatoes.  Neither (the endive, nor the potatoes) I can get at home normally, so I did enjoy my meal.

After dinner I was still terribly tired, but as Christine asked me to join the card game I did so and did not regret it.  We played a few good games of Hand and Foot.

Saturday September 2, 2017

I slept in a bit and woke up when the sun shone through the fog over the grassland.  I wasn’t cold at all and it was even 12 degrees at 7am! As the weather is beautiful I was walking around in shorts and T-shirt again in no time. Only late afternoon and night times are still a bit chilly.

I had morning tea with the group, but did not feel like a walk into town, nor to the river later.  I am still rather tired and prefer to stay ‘home’ and work on my blog.  I paid for the two nights and bought some raffle tickets in the hope to win something.  Anything.  One can only live in hope... :-)

Members playing disc bowls

Dale came to have a look at the new charger and monitor for the solar system and discovered my wall hanging with the pockets.  He thought it quite nifty and asked if he could take pictures for the newsletter. 

After happy hour and dinner we will have a gathering tonight with the theme ‘old wares’.  

Tomorrow I will make my way home and prepare for the next trip overseas.  I have only 10 days to do so and I am getting a bit stressed about the number of things I still have to do, so I will not update this blog further until I am at my next destination, which, hopefully, will be Sweden.

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