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            Great Ocean Road Trip - March 2009

Hi!!!

 This blog is on our travels from our home in Barnsley near Newcastle NSW to Adelaide, South Australia via the Princes Highway and Great Ocean Road and then back home thru central Victoria to Echuca on the Murray River then via the Riverina and Barmedman and back home again.


 We travellers are myself Poppop, Marie, (Grandma), my sister Sue and her husband Bob and our friends from Camden, Bill & Ros and their young grandson Daen.

 

On this trip, ourselves and Bill & Ros are towing late model Jayco wind up campers, ours being a Jayco Flamingo and Bill's being a Jayco Eagle and both are the Outback versions, whereas Bob & Sue have a 21' Colt full van.  


We are all set up to free camp and have our own power etc and hope to free camp along the way whenever possible

 

Regards

Pete (Poppop), Marie (Grandma)

Map showing our complete journey

The Dark Blue Line is our outbound journey to Adelaide and the Pink line is the return journey from Adelaide. We travelled a total of just on 5000 Km's

 

Catch ya later,

PopPop & Grandma

 

Day 1 - Barnsley to Batemans Bay

Left home about 4.15am with Bob & Sue and headed for the big lights in Sydney.

 

Met up with Bill, Ros & Daen just other side of Cambelltown and then headed off towards Wollongong and Mt. Ousley.

 

Got down Mt. Ousley OK and then we stopped at Maccas at Albion Park as by this time we were hanging out for a cuppa and some brekky.

 

After brekky we travelled on towards Batemans Bay and not far before Nowra a car coming the other way nearly took the back off Bob & Sue's van.  The passenger was cleaning the windscreen and the female driver was too busy watching her clean it and as a result was swerving towards the back of their van.  I still don't know how she didn't hit him.  I was heading for the bush so as to avoid her in case she did. Luckily we both came thru unscathed.

 

Whilst travelling along I had a terrible thought and remembered that I had taken the extension lead, that I had made up for my solar panels when the roof is up, out of the the front boot and left them in the garage.  It was then I thought I hope I have something I can use to plug them in.  Turns out I had left another long extension that I had made up in the van proper so I have been able to use that  THANK HEAVENS.!!!!! So all is not lost on that front.

 

We finally arrived at Batemans Bay around 12.15pm and were wanting to stay at the OzParks Park there but it was way overcrowded and very small and cramped sites so we decided to look elsewhere.  Ended up booking into the Big4 Park at Batehaven which is along the beachfront from Batemans Bay. Cost was quite expensive @ $34/night.  One good thing was though that they had really great amenities block and great showers. Give them a A9+ rating

 

Settled in for the afternoon in our sites that were really tight and hard to get our vans into and we also had some very rowdy neighbours behind us. About 6pm we were hit by a HUGE storm with very strong wind, rain and thunder etc.  Like a virtual mini cyclone, and at one stage we thought the van was going to tip over the wind was so fierce -  however we all survived and when everything had settled down we went over and had a beautiful dinner in the fantastic camp kitchen they have there then settled back for the night had a few drinks sitting around chatting and finally went to bed as we were all tired from the early start.


Catch ya later,

PopPop & Grandma

Day 2 - Batemans Bay to Eden

Up early and packed up a damp van and then we left Bateman's Bay about 9.15am and headed south to go to Tilba Tilba as we wanted to visit the historic township as well as the cheese factory etc but the place was packed when we got there with Sunday tourists and also there was an clearing auction on as well. 


We couldn't get a parking spot anywhere and a guy called us up on the UHF and said not to go down the main street as we wouldn't be able to turn around as the place was so packed and he had a van and was having trouble himself, so we headed back out towards the highway and found a nice little spot on the side of the road where we stopped and enjoyed a nice morning tea with great views over the little valley.


Naturally I couldn't help myself so took a stack of pics there as well.

  

After our lovely morning tea we headed off south again and travelled via Tuross Head where we did some sightseeing ' and boy was there some lovely views to be had from this place. Then onto Tathra but we couldn't get down to the historic wharf to have a look etc as the road was unsuitable for vans so we continued on thru to Bermagui.  


Halfway there Bob was complaining that he had no van brakes and was having trouble stopping going down the hills etc.  We eventually found a nice spot to pull over on and started checking to see where the problem lay.  We found that the wires to the brakes on the van plug consisted of 2 wires, one rather thick blue one and a smaller black one and as a result of the size of the wires they couldn't fit into the small plug properly and the whole cable either vibrating or getting a bit of tension on it going around tight bends had pulled the cable out of the plug.  Bob had some good heavy cable that would fit into the small plug on it's own so we cut a small piece put it in there and joined it to the other 2 temporarily to get him out of trouble till we could get to Eden where we would solder it together properly.


We finally got to Bermagui where we stopped and had some lovely fish n chips from a little store right on the harbour and was so popular people were lined up way back and took a fair while to get your order.


After lunch we headed off south again to Merimbula and on to Eden where we stayed at the Fountain Caravan Park. 

 

Booked in for 2 nights @ $26/night and no open fired were allowed however we asked if we could use our 'Choofer' and after explaining what it was we were allowed so we sat around a lovely campfire that night and cooked dinner on the hotplate I have for the fire, had a rather late night sitting and chatting but enjoying ourselves immensely. 


Amenities block although nice n clean was a bit dowdy and a few of us me especially, as well as Ros experienced hot water, then freezing cold and then finally so hot you need cold with it.


Other than this they weren't too bad would rate them about B6.

 

Catch Ya Later

PopPop & Grandma

Morning tea at Tilba Tilba
Another view at Tilba Tilba
Setup at Eden Caravan Park
Cooking on the 'Choofer' at Eden
Relaxing at Eden
Day 3 - Eden

Up rather early and got ourselves organised and then I soldered the brake cables together and sealed the joint with heat shrink tube and then taped it all up and it is now a good solid connection. We then went sightseeing around the town of Eden.  Went down to the wharf and saw some really huge long line Tuna boats and various other fishing boats and I bought a kg of Eden Clams straight from the trawler for $8/Kg. The guy was feeling generous and threw a few more in for good measure and we thought we got about 2Kg for the price of one.

We then went to the Killer Whale Museum which although was interesting we thought that the Whaling Station Museum in Albany was a far better experience.

 After a lengthy tour around the museum we headed back for lunch at the park and then after lunch headed south to have a look at the Boyd Tower lighthouse and after a fairly long drive we found out that we had to pay $7 per vehicle just to get into the park to go and look at this tower so we opted out and ended up going down to an historic whaling site called Davidson Whaling site.  It was also like a National Park set up but we didn't have to pay for it just walk a fair way down a rather steep hill but at the bottom it was worth the walk as we were at a beautiful peaceful bay near Kiah inlet.

 After this we headed back for home and had a look at the historic Boydtown site and then headed back home arriving about 4pm so we settled in for dinner around the choofer fire again and had another wonderful night.  The shower this time was not as bad as last night but I still ended up with lukewarm water for a while.  Dunno what was going on with these showers.

Catch ya later,

PopPop & Grandma

Long Line fishing hooks
Day 4 - Eden to Lakes Entrance

We were up bright and early and packed up and headed off for Lakes entrance at 9am.  Along the way we made a 34km detour to the coast to see Mallacoota.  This is a very pretty place but it was cold, overcast and windy so it made life just that bit more unbearable.  There is a HUUUGE caravan park there which seemed to go for miles.  We had morning tea there took some pics and headed off back along the same narrow winding road we came in on to get back to the highway.

 We then travelled via Orbost to Lakes Entrance and this also is a pretty place.  We continued on through Lakes entrance and travelled about 14k's on the Bairnsdale Road when we got to Kalimna West and turned off to the right to go to the Log Crossing Picnic area.  The signs had been removed by someone so naturally Marie and I took the wrong turn and ended up on this goat track and worked our way back to where Sue, Bob, Bill & Ros were and then went the other way and found our way to a great little overnight free camp. We went ahead and checked it out 1st and then called the others down to follow when we found it was a great little spot.  Whilst we were checking the place out Sue noticed that Bob had a cable dragging from the drawbar of their van ( turned out his power from the car to the van via an Anderson Plug had come out somehow and had been skull dragged down the highway for god knows how many miles and the plug was half worn away ) so Bob taped it up and continued on without the plug in down to the campsite.

We set up camp and then Bill, Ros & Daen headed back into town to do some sightseeing whilst Marie, Bob, Sue and I went hunting for some 'little woods ' and 'big woods'to use on the Choofer again that night. We found plenty of 'little woods' and I found a rather "largish" branch that Bob and I skull dragged down to our campsite.  That was a drama in itself as the branch had to smaller branches coming off it which Sue reckoned looked like "Reindeer Antlers "so here was Bob and I holding onto an 'Antler 'each and dragging this 'largish' log down the road, Bob in front and me very close behind when he decided to "let one rip " and nearly made me sick.  Boy was it a beauty.

We settled in for the night, had a nice 'little' fire going and then Bob & Sue had no power, lighting or water pumps operating.  Turns out the fridge was on 12V  whilst we were travelling along and it gets its power via the Anderson Plug and if not that then direct from his van batteries.  So we assumed that the fridge had "drained" all the battery power whilst he had been travelling and when they wanted to use the van power it just shut itself off.  Luckily I had brought my genny along so we fired the old girl up and gave them power for the rest of the night which allowed the batteries to be recharged as well.

 We cooked a nice meal on the Choofer fire and after everyone had cooked their dinner I then got the wok out and we cooked up the clams that I had bought in Eden the day before.  They were absolutely scrumptious and only Sue and I ate them so there was plenty to go around.

 We turned in around 10'ish and had a wonderful peaceful quiet and warm sleep as the sky was overcast when we went to bed and kept the air rather warm for once. 

Catch ya Later,

PopPop & Grandma

Worn Anderson Plug
Setup at Log Crossing free camp near Lakes Entrance
Day 5 - Lakes Entrance to Phillip Island

We were all up bright and early had our breakfasts, packed our vans and headed off again around 9am towards Phillip Island.

 We got to Bairnsdale which was only about another 25 odd k's down the road and Bob needed some fuel and we also found an auto electrician who sold almost everything so Bob was able to get another Anderson Plug to replace the worn out one and we will no doubt fix that tomorrow sometime.

 We then headed thru towards Sale and stopped for morning tea outside a school in Leongatha in their car and bus pick up zone for the school kids.  There was another van in there so Bill decided would be a good place for us to stop. 

 You could've sworn we were taking invading them as the old couple in the pop-top van gave us the most disgusting look as the exited out the door of the van to see who else had come in. Boy some people are "different".

 We headed off and stopped at another rest area for lunch and then finally made it to Phillip Island around 3.30'ish. Went to the van park we were trying to get into and it was booked out so we found another one that could take us all and went there.  $32/night and we are in a spot so small that I can just about touch the van next door to us.  They have parked halfway onto out site and we don't have any room to even put our awning out.  I was going to complain to the management but had 2nd thoughts as I have to put up with them they might end up making out stay even more miserable.

 Finally have been able to get onto the net here today and checked my emails  had a bloody heap from people I have asked not to send me emails whilst we are away.

 Had a problem with Telstra Bill before we left and I rang them up and it was supposed to be all sorted and I was assured by the guy whom I spoke to that it was definitely done.  Checked my emails today and my Telstra Bill is now due for payment and lo and behold they haven't fixed it up at all so I sent them off a nasty email asking it to be fixed straight away as I'm not paying till it's sorted.

 We had dinner tonight and then headed out to see the fairy penguins.  They are a sight to behold but we couldn't take cameras in and they were also charging the earth for admission however Marie got the both of us in as pensioners on her Concession Card with a pensioner discount.  No doubt about the old girl ey.

 It was blowing straight off the ocean into our faces and was absobloodylutely freezing there.  We saw quite a few come into the beach and then watched them around the boardwalk area and then headed for home for a hot shower and warm up as it was really cold there.  Back home it has not been too bad.  Presently 10.30pm and 17.9 deg C outside but over where the penguins are I reckon it would be about 10 deg C if that.  No doubt about you Rach you were right again when you told mum to take plenty of warm clothes and blankets etc.

Hopefully I can get a few pics loaded tonight as well see how we go.

Catch ya Later,

PopPop & Grandma

Morning tea at Leongatha
Day 6 - Phillip Island

Had a sleep in this morning then tried to fix up my blog for a while got some of it done but left the rest to later.
to see if we could see the fur seals out there but there was nothing there today so we headed out to the Grand Prix Circuit

 they wanted $13.50 entry and you couldn't see all the track so we just looked around the
visitors centre took some pics and bought some gifts and then headed back out and down to the Chocolate Factory 
where there is a 20Kg Chocolate Easter Egg and heaps of other hand made yummies.  Naturally we had to buy a few and then left and went to the National Vietnam Vets Museum

and saw FatCat?s mates.  Bought him a hat and a stubby holder

and posted off so he will get it in a few days.  (Think yourself a lucky I thought of you mate Ha Ha)


and it took about 5 women nearly an hour to make us a beef and salad sandwich and a cappuccino.  Bob, Sue, Bill & Daen went thru the museum whilst Ros, Marie and myself sat and waited for our lunch to be processed.

After our lengthy lunch Marie and I went shopping for some more groceries, filled the car and then posted off FatCat's stuff and we are now home relaxing for the afternoon as we are off tomorrow to Sorrento before we catch the ferry across to Queenscliff 1st thing Sat morning. Marie is sitting down busily doing her nails

 
and I'm listening to the old fart in his van right on top of us next door who has crammed us in whilst doing this blog.


Here is a pic of the van park where we are at -  Cowes Caravan park - Bob & Sue are the 2nd van down on the right and Bill & Ros are diagonally opposite them behind the motorhome.




The other day when Bob & I were putting the big log aside at our campsite we dropped it and it came back up and hit me in my right middle finger and split my nail so am having rather difficult time typing as I have a bandaid on that finger as my nail keeps catching on everything.

Catch up with some more tales tomorrow maybe.

See Ya
PopPop & Grandma

The 'Nobbies' & Seal Rocks
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Bill on the 'Winners Podium'
Grandma on the "Winners Podium'
The Chocolate Factory full of yummy stuff
The name says it all
Merchandise for sale
We had lunch here as well
How close we are to next door
Marie doing her nails

Here is a pic of the van park where we are at -  Cowes Caravan park - Bob & Sue are the 2nd van down on the right and Bill & Ros are diagonally opposite them behind the motorhome.
Day 7 - Phillip Island to Rye (on the Mornington Peninsula)

Had a rather early night last night.  Went for my shower at 9.15pm and Marie asked me to take the porta potty and empty it as well so here I was walking over to the amenities, towel and dilly bag in one hand and a crapper in the other.  Not a pretty sight I can assure you and after emptying it, I had to take it into the shower cubicle and all with me lucky they were big enough for the both of us. Ha Ha.

Anyway was in bed by 9.50pm and as a result was up bright and early this morning to an overcast and nasty looking sky.

Thank heavens it didn't rain as we packed up and finally when everyone was ready we headed off at 9.30am towards Sorrento.  Went thru Tooradin and saw what we think was the tractor pulling site where Wellsy likes to play in the dirt.  If it was it, I still reckon Barmedman has a better presented site but then again I maybe wrong as it may not have been the place.

We finally made our way down to Rosebud and then followed the shoreline of Port Phillip down to Rye where we have booked in for the night at Rye Foreshore Camping Grounds for an early rise tomorrow to head to Sorrento. It is a beautiful camping ground that follows the shoreline of Port Phillip Bay on the Mornington Peninsula and is right on the beachfront.  The road is pretty close to us but still a very nice and lovely spot.

Sorrento is only about 5 mins down the road from here for us to catch the 7am ferry across the heads of Port Phillip to Queenscliff on the other side negating us having to travel right around thru Melbourne proper - so we have to be up, packed up and gone by around 6am in the morning.  Not looking forward to that.  I was told by the ferry operators that if we catch the 1st 2 ferries of a morning  being the 7am and 8am ones we get a rather good discount and only costs $91 with vans if we miss either of these then we are up for a helluva lot more $$$$?s ? apparently the ferry trip takes about an hour and it's quite a largish vessel - not like the Fraser Island ones - this one is fully enclosed.  I will try to get some pics of it all tomorrow all going well.

Bob mentioned that about 6.30pm tonight we should be able to see the Spirit Of Tassie ferry going out thru the heads on its way to Tassie - so will try to get some pics of it if I can as we are not that far away from the heads.

So now were a sitting back relaxing and enjoying the afternoon and the beautiful scenery and readying for an early night to bed.  It has gone from a rather nasty and rotten looking morning to a beautiful day.  Presently 27.1 deg C and 48% humidity with a nice cool breeze blowing and it is even better down on the beach - couldn't ask for anything better.  Have a nice cold beer, great people and terrific surroundings what more could you want.

Went over the beach about 6.30pm to see if we could see the Spirit Of Tassie going thru and it had already passed us as was just about to go out of sight past the headland.  Got a quick pic but it's not very clear.  I also got a pic of the Bass Trader which is the ferry that takes all the semi trailers and goods etc over.

Catch ya tomorrow sometime hopefully.

PopPop & Grandma

Here we are tucked in for the night
Another view at Rye


and one more
The view from our campsite
The beachfront
Another view of the beachfront
View from beach back to camp
Track from campsite to beach
Marie having lunch
Camping permit (front)
Camping permit (back)
The Bass Trader heading for Tassie
Day 8 - Rye via Sorrento to Apollo Bay

We were all up bright and early this morning at 5am after going to bed around 9.00pm and all of us had a rather restless sleep.  We had a few boy racers really roaring up and down the road last night ? one was absolutely low flying by the sound of the engine and the speed in which they ?flew? past us ? we also had some young guys and girls walking past our vans yelling and carrying on all through the night so no-one really had a nice peaceful sleep.  

Anyway we all finally packed up and arrived at the Sorrento Pier at 5.57am to catch the 7am ferry across.  At least we were there early enough to catch the 1st ferry.
We had to line up and wait till 6.40am when the ferry finally arrived and we were able to board.
Waiting to Board the Sorrento Ferry

Sorrento Pier awaiting Ferry


On Board at Last
Once on board we went upstairs and were able to order some breakfast and a nice cup of coffee. 
Ordering Breakfast


Having Breakfast


Whilst we were crossing there was a pod of dolphins frolicking in our wake so I grabbed a few pics of them and this is one of them.
Dolphins frolicking in our wake


Marie also decided to have a play so I got a pic of her as well
Marie playing with the Dolphins


We had a beautiful sunrise over Melbourne too this morning so grabbed a few snaps.
Sunrise over Melbourne


The ferry arrived at Queenscliff at 7.40am and we disembarked and headed off for the Great Ocean Road. 
Preparing to Disembark

As we drove thru the historic township of Queenscliff the buildings here are in magnificent condition and really well presented a real sight to behold and it appears the township takes pride in its buildings.

We continued on to Torquay where we had to stop as Sue and Bob had a problem with their car.  The transmission warning light had come on and they had to have it seen to.
We were too early for the service centre so they went and had some coffee etc whilst I waited in our car as I had hurt the back of my right calf and my right ankle, the night before and am presently having trouble walking ? feels like I have pulled the muscle just below where it attaches at the back of the knee and am buggered if I know what is wrong with my ankle.
Anyway 9am came around and Sue was able to get onto the service people and they had to take their car to the dealer at Geelong which is about 20k?s away. So they unhitched their van at a side access road and headed back to Geelong to get their car seen to whilst we headed on towards The Great Ocean Road and Apollo Bay.

We finally came to the Great Ocean Road and the scenery along here is truly a sight to behold ? absolutely unbelievable ? the road is very winding and tight bends but it was an easy drive.
A great "Aerial" View of The Great Ocean Road.

Some of the houses etc are remarkable how they have built them high up on the sides of the steep hills.
One of the High Houses


Some of the great views we encountered.



Another Great View



We heard from Bob & Sue who informed us that they are unable to get their car fixed as the dealer didn?t have the relevant part.  Apparently some type of switch has broken and needs replacing in the not too distant future.  Going to cost $415 just for the switch without labour !!!!!!!! OUCH!!!!  Anyway they have given them the go ahead to keep driving so they drove back to Torquay, hitched up and were on their way again.

We finally arrived in Apollo Bay around 11.50am and settled in to our sites ? pretty tight squeeze but will be OK for one night.  Sue & Bob finally arrived about 1 ½ hours later and have also settled in to their spot and now we have had a rest I had a PopPop Nap for just over an hour to catch up on some of our lost sleep last night.
Set up at Apollo Bay


View of Apollo Bay from our Van Park



The Great Ocean Walk (Yeah for Sure Ha Ha)
Actually quite a hot day here today and they forecast that it would get to 33 deg C ? presently it is 7pm and the temp is still 30.4 deg C but we have a BIG storm brewing and the rain drops have started with some really black clouds around.

We are heading to Peterborough Vict tomorrow (about 10k?s past Port Campbell) and is only about 100 K?s from here . Will be having a leisurely drive there tomorrow.
Hoping to stay there for a couple of days whilst we look around at the 7 Apostles. London Bridge etc. which are all close to there. They reckon there is only about 7 Apostles  left now hence calling them the 7 Apostles. Ha Ha

Catch up sometime tomorrow

PopPop & Grandma

Day 9 - Apollo Bay to Peterborough (Vict)


Had a good nights sleep reasonably early to bed and we had slight rain overnight but not very heavy and awoke to a pleasant sunny with a few clouds in the sky morning.  Still quite a pleasant night and not too cold.  Actually slept for the 1st time without a shirt on.

We were up reasonable early, took our time packing up had brekky, packed everything away and we were on the road at 9.30am heading for Peterborough which is about 10k?s west of Port Campbell.

The road again was quite winding in spots and we had heaps of motorbikes etc following at times but we just pulled over on the pull over sections on the side of the road and let them past.

We finally made it to The Twelve Apostles and although the day was overcast and the wind was blowing pretty hard it wasn't that cold.  I had locked my jumper in the van so couldn?t get to it and had to go over in shorts and T shirt but it wasn't too bad.
Twelve Apostles Sign


The Twelve (now 7) Apostles


More of The Twelve (now 7) Apostles

Marie at The Twelve (now 7) Apostles


Cape Otway Description



Cape Otway

Took a heap of pics and back at the carpark we found a Britz Motorhome with it's own windsock so had to take a pic of it.

We then headed West again and decided seeming though we had the vans on it would be easier to head straight to the van park at Peterborough set up and then drive back and look at all the sights as they are not that far from Peterborough itself.

We finally found the park arriving at 12.05pm after going to the wrong park and then set ourselves up and went across the road to the Schomberg Hotel/Motel for lunch.  We all had a fantastic meal and they were very reasonably priced. After lunch we headed off to view The Grotto


and when we were about half way down I was again caught short and had to rush back to the caravan park to go to the loo before I had a BIG problem on my hands.  We left the others there to enjoy the views and headed back about 5k?s to the van park where I had trouble finding the gents and got to ?The Throne? just in the nick of time.

We finally headed back to where the rest of the group were and continued on looking at The London Bridge

London Bridge Description



London Bridge


Marie at The London Bridge


and then onto The Arch

The Arch

and then went back thru Port Campbell and to the Loch Ard Gorge where the only 2 survivors from the  Loch Ard made it to shore in 1878 when they were washed into the gorge. An 18 year old girl passenger Eva Charmicheal and an Apprentice Tom Pearce were these 2 survivors.
Loch Ard Description

 Loch Ard Shipwreck Description


Loch Ard Gorge


More of Loch Ard Gorge


And some more of Loch Ard Gorge

And finally the last ones of Loch Ard Gorge

All these sights are magnificent to see and as usual we took plenty of pics. Some are just a quick stroll to the lookouts and some are quite a walk and my right calf is still playing up so making walking any great distances quite arduous.  All this walking has worn us out though.

We headed back to Port Campbell and had some refreshments at one of the local shops and as we were all buggered from all the walking we finally decided to head back to the van park to rest and relax arriving at 5.15pm.

It is now still overcast and 20.3 deg C with 55% humdidity yet quite comfortable and gauging from the reaction of everyone looks like we will be having another early night tonight heading for Mt. Gambier tomorrow.

See Ya then.

PopPop & Grandma

Day 10  PETERBOROUGH (Vict) to KINGSTON S.E. (Sth Aust)

After a quite a cold night last night we awoke to a nice day, forecast for around 22 deg C and clear skies.

We were up at 7.40am and had brekky, packed up and ready to go by 8.40am.

We finally hit the road at 9am and headed for Warrnambool which is only about 40 odd k?s down the road.

Got to Warrnambool and we were surprised how big this place is ? kept travelling though and made our way to Port Fairy, which is a small historic town and had morning tea at a roadside rest stop.
Morning Tea at Port Fairy Roadside Stop


Bob rang about getting their car booked in to fix the transmission and has been able to get it in to a GMH Dealer who is a Rodeo specialist and it is booked in for 8am Wednesday morning.

We headed off and pushed on towards Mt. Gambier when we saw all these huge wind farms along the coastline ? stopped and took some pics of the turbines but there are so many that I couldn't get them all into one frame ? will have to stitch the pics together when we get home to make one large pic.
Windmill Specs



We stopped about 5k?s outside Mt. Gambier for lunch and had a discussion on whether to stay there the night or push on to Kingston S.E. as if we stayed at Mt Gambier we would have another 450Km trip to go tomorrow.

The decision was reached that Bob & Sue would push on towards Kingston whilst Marie & I stopped to look at the Blue Lake in Mt. Gambier and Bill & Ros would also do the Blue Lake as well as the Lady Nelson Maritime Museum.

We were able to get to the Blue Lake rather easily and took some pics.  This is also really a sight to behold the water is so blue and then the edges have a real aqua colour.
After getting some pics we then headed off trying to catch up to Sue & Bob.
Blue Lake info 


Blue Lake


More info on Blue Lake


Again more info


Another pic of the lake showing how blue it is

A bit more info and stats on the Lake


The road to Kingston is very similar to that on the Hay plains ? or the Nullarbor ? long straight and flat !!!!!!

We finally caught up to them about 43K?s out of Kingston and drive into town together where we booked into the local Oz Parks Caravan Park.  Very nice spot right on the water.  The fisherman here are presently catching King George Whiting up to 65cm long!!!!!
The guy staying behind us is from Adamstown in Newcastle ? small world isn?t it ? he also has been out catching some big whiting as well.

It is a very lovely township here and would love to stay here for a bit longer but will definitely do that another time.

We went down to the local butcher and bought some fantastic rib eye steaks ? absolutely huge and also 2 T Bones ? each one weighs 415 grams so  no doubt we will be having a feast one night that?s for sure.

We are all pretty well worn out again today so no doubt will have an early?ish night again as we have another BIG day tomorrow to Glenelg in Adelaide where were are looking to stay for about 3 days and do a lot of sightseeing etc.

We are now a half hour behind NSW but still ahead of them thar Canetoads.

Catch ya then.

PopPop & Grandma

Day 11  KINGSTON S.E. (Sth Aust)  to  ADELAIDE (Sth Aust)

As we all had a Big day yesterday and with quite a chilly wind blowing last night we all settled inside our respective vans for the night quite early.

Up bright and early at 6.30am as we are now ½ an hour behind with our time as we are now in the Sth Aust time zone, to a very chilly and breezy morning yet a beautiful sunrise.

Packing Up at Kingston



Lighthouse outside the Van Park



The View out the front of the park at Kingston SE


Took a few pics of the park and surrounds, packed up and headed off at 8.15am after running my hands under the hot water tap in the amenities for about 5 mins to get rid of the chill in them.

Big Cray at Kingston

We travelled towards Tailem Bend and I didn't realise that this area is the Coorong area and we followed the water way for miles and miles.

We stopped at one of the lookouts for morning tea and took a couple of happy snaps and then continued on our way towards Adelaide and our destination at Adelaide Shores Caravan Park near Glenelg.

A small section of The Coorong

Another view of  part of The Coorong

  I have taken a snap of the map showing our way so you can see how large this area is.




We finally got to Tailem Bend and then followed the dual highway all the way thru the Adelaide Hills and Mt. Lofty down to the city proper and having to stop at heaps of traffic lights with heaps of other traffic as well.  Even though we have been on the road for only 11 days now the city seems very alien as such.

Finally got to the Caravan Park and it is classed as a Caravan Resort and is costing us $39/night !!!!! and is right next to the Adelaide International Airport so we do get a bit of plane noise as well.  Can't wait for some more free camping sites ha ha.


Got our sited settled in and it started raining and we have had light rain falling all afternoon.

Have been able to book the Cruiser in tomorrow to have the brake pads replaced and Bob has his Rodeo booked in as well so we went for a drive to find the places and also give our cars a wash at a car wash if we could find one.  We also took Marie and Sue with us as they wanted to go to Coles to do some grocery shopping as well and it was also on our way.

Found both our service places and they are only about 600m apart form each other and only about 5 mins from here so we will head off together in the morning and Bill will join us and bring us back here.

Went looking for a carwash and that was a task and a half in itself as we were getting totally lost and with peak hour traffic looming was finding it harder and harder to get around ? I asked a worker on the side of the road but he sent us down to a BP Servo which had the brush type auto carwash which we didn't really want to use as we have to take all our aerials etc off for these so we decided to come back and pick the girls up on our way and returned to the park.

When we got back to the park we asked the people in the office and they gave us the directions to the Laser style carwash which is on the corner of Port and South Rds - about 10 mins in the opposite direction from us here.

Bob and I headed over before dinner and got the cars done came back have had a nice meal and will now settle in for a pleasant night hopefully.

Rain has eased and although it is overcast it is presently 23.3 ° C with 64% humdidity.

Sat around tonight chatting and arguing trying to work out  the difference between SA time and Qld time as with daylight saving NSW is 1 hour ahead of Qld and SA is ½ hour behind NSW so Qld should be ½ behind SA (which it is) but we were all to-ing and
fro-ing  trying to work out whether it is 1 ½ hours , ½ hour or what.  Was a VERY INTERESTING EXERCISE that?s for sure.  Ha Ha ? a lot of fun was had by all as well trying to work it out.

Very pleasant night and quite warm considering the cool nights we have experienced of late.

Looks like I can now finally post pics into the Photo Gallery (was having problems before doing this) so hopefully over the next few days maybe able to post some of the funnier ones in there - see how we go.

(You never know, maybe Rory, Makayla, Ebony, Charley, and of course not forgetting our youngest darling Shelby might be able to recognise some of the people in the pics - see if they can)

We are off catching a bus from here to Glenelg and then the Glenelg Tram to the City to do some sightseeing (and shopping therapy for the ladies) tomorrow whilst our cars are being attended to.

Catch ya tomorrow sometime.

PopPop & Grandma

Day 12 - STILL IN ADELAIDE (Sth Aust)

Up rather early this morning and woke to a beautiful sunny day.

Bob and I took our cars to their respective repair places and Bill brought us back to the van park.

We all then walked out to the front of the van park and caught a 'bendy bus' to Glenelg proper and then a tram from Glenelg into the city.

We had no idea what we were doing in relation to the fares etc but we found out that you can get a 2 hour ticket which entitles you to travel by bus, tram and train as many times as you want within the 2 hour period.  This ticket cost us $2.60 each which was rather cheap.

Anyway went to the city and got to Rundle Mall ? the shopping hub of the city ? and we all decided to go our own way shopping and meet up in an hour or so.

After shopping we decided to catch the tram back to Glenelg and then had lunch in a nice Italian eatery there and then Marie and I caught the next tram back down 2 stops and walked to where our car was being fixed and came back home.  Cost me $190 to have the brakes done and new brake fluid put in as well.

Bob got some good news as it turned out that the root of his problem was the reversing light fuse had blown and this powers the switch in the transmission.  $1 for the fuse and the rest was labour ? total cost about $95 which was a lot better than $415 as was originally quoted.

We then sat around enjoying the sunshine and Dr Doolittle the 2nd (Marie) feeding all the local birdlife
"Dr Doolittle" feeding the local birdlife




The menagerie of  "Dr. Doolittle"

 had a nice quiet afternoon and evening before having another reasonably early night

Another BIG day coming up tomorrow

Catch ya then

PopPop & Grandma

Day 13  - STILL IN ADELAIDE Sth. Aust.

Another lovely and quiet night watched a bit of TV and then headed off to bed.

Up reasonably early, had brekky and then headed out to Hahndorf which is a little historic village settled by German settlers way back in the early 1800?s
Main Street of Hahndorf


Main Street of Hahndorf other way

We had an enjoyable day doing the tourist thing and checking out all the lovely stores and nick knacks etc.
The Lolly Shop


Another car for Charley or Rory???


Or maybe one for all of the grandchildren, Makayla, Ebony, Shelby, Charley & Rory???


Another View.


Got some pics of some good signs as well.

This sign is especially for Oma


Now who would this one be for I wonder ???????


This one is definitely for Marie


Leather Shop Sign

Got a pic of Marie on an old throne that one of the early guys had carved out of one piece of wood using a chain saw ? it used to have a music box under the base but someone had decided they needed it more than the chair.
Marie on the Throne


PopPop's Friend

We had a terrific lunch at the Old Mill restaurant and I had some traditional German Bratwurst and Sauerkraut and was very enjoyable.
Lunch


On our way home we stopped off at Mt. Lofty lookout and got some fantastic pics of the view.  This is just one of them which you can see the airport and we are just to the back right hand corner of the airport.  Can't see it very well in the pic though.
Mt.Lofty overlooking Adelaide

We then decided to head for home and the girls were going to go shopping at HarbourTown Factory Outlet place which is only about 1 min from here.

On or way to the cars I ran into 2 of my old work mates from Bathurst in Graeme Rodwell and Brian Stephens.  Used to knock around with these guys a lot and hadn't seen them for years.  Was good to see them and catch up with some old past memories etc  they too are retired and out caravanning around but we staying in a van park near Hahndorf so we weren't able to catch up anymore with them.

Got back to the park and it is really windy and blowing hard but the sun is still out and it?s still quite warm. 27.6°C and 45% humidity.

Have to do my footy tips this arvo and then tomorrow up bright and early as we head off to Bordertown near the Vict border which is about 3 ½ hours drive form here and stay thee night there and then head to Ballarat the next day.

Catch up then.

PopPop & Grandma

Day 14 - ADELAIDE (Sth Aust) to HORSHAM (Vict)

After a rather cold night we went to bed early as it was too cold to be sitting outside.

Up bright and early this morning to a beautiful clear sky and crisp day saw a plane flying overhead with vapour trails coming from it and couldn't resist a pic.
Plane flying above us at Adelaide early morning


We packed up and headed on our way at 8.45am Sth Aust time (1/2 hour behind NSW) for Bordertown Sth Aust.

Made our way to Tailem Bend arriving around 11am so we decided to have morning tea there and then headed further on towards Bordertown.
Morning Tea at Tailem Bend 

  Nothing interesting along the way just plenty of flat farming land and a fair bit of traffic in both directions.

We arrived at Keith about 47 klm?s from Bordertown around 1.15pm so decided to have lunch there before pushing on.

We stopped in a beautiful roadside rest area which had fantastic clean toilets and piped radio music throughout as well ? a 1st  for public toilets I have seen.
Lunch at Keith Sth Aust


Lunch at Keith 2

They also had a lot of play equipment for kids as well as a type of small rail trolley thing that they could ride back and forth.  Bob had a go with Daen and I didn?t have my camera with me at the time but got some pics of Daen and some other kids on it a bit later on.
Kids on the Trolley Track

We decided that as Bordertown was only 47 klms away we would push on to Horsham in Vict which was a further 139 klms and would make it a lot easier day for us to get to Ballarat.  So we pushed on arriving in Horsham around 4pm set up at a caravan park and settled in for the night.

Heard on the news that they forecast the temp to get to 4°C tonight so we are preparing to rug up.  It?s presently 21°C and getting colder by the minute.

No Friday night football for us tonight as we are in Vict so another early night and head to Ballarat tomorrow.

Catch you then

PopPop & Grandma

Day 15 - HORSHAM (Vict) to BALLARAT (Vict)

Had a very cold night ? reckon they were pretty close to the mark with their forecast as it felt like it was 4° C early hours of the morning.
Our setup at Horsham Caravan Park - 7.30am on a very cold morning


Another angle of our setup at Horsham Caravan Park - 7.30am on a very cold morning (notice the lovely green grassy sites ha ha)

Up rather early to a crisp day and lovely clear blue sky-  had brekky, packed up the vans and headed off at 8.50am for Ballarat.

Made our way through Beaufort where we decided to have morning tea in the local Caltex Truck Stop servo and then headed off again arriving in Ballarat at the Ballarat Windmill Caravan Park at 11.45am.

Booked in and went to our sites and set up.  We have 3 lovely shady sites all together.

After setting up had some lunch and then went to the local shopping centre and did a bit of shopping etc for some more groceries etc that we are running short of then cam back to the park to sit back and relax for the afternoon.

Going to have a nice quiet night and then have  a BIG day tomorrow going to Sovereign Hill Gold Town etc.

Catch ya then,
PopPop & Grandma

Day 16 -  BALLARAT (Vict)

Had a good night not too cold got up at a reasonable hour had brekky then Bob, Bill & I went down to $upercheap to buy a new jockey wheel for Bob?s van and I also got a new 2Kg small gas bottle to use on the Weber Baby Q.  Couldn?t get it filled there and went looking for somewhere to fill it and found a BCF store so we went there got the bottle filled and I bought Marie a small footstool as well.
Our Sites at Windmill Caravan Park Ballarat


Our Sites at Windmill Caravan Park Ballarat (from opposite end)

Got back to the park and after Bob fitted the jockey wheel, we then headed off for Sovereign Hill around 10.15am (it opens at 10am.)
Bob fitting his new Jockey Wheel.

We spend the next 4 and a bit hours looking around there and it is really well worth seeing and well worth the entry fee ? we had a wonderful day as the pics here will show.  You need a minimum of 4 hours to see everything.

Sovereign Hill entry sign


Sovereign Hill Gold Diggings


Marie Gold panning at the Diggings


Bob Gold panning at the Diggings


Bob Gold panning at the Diggings (but did he find Gold????)


A Policeman at the Diggings


Gold Pour at the Smelter


The Gold Bar from the pour


Marie has finally found her Copper Boiler


Horse Drawn Coach at Sovereign Hill


Marie in the Main Street


Marie getting weighed (don't look at the dial!!!!)


Redcoats in the Main Street


Redcoats firing their rifles as a celebration of victory of HM Forces in Sevastopol

Marie and I headed for home around 2pm as we were totally buggered and both our backs were aching so we had a nice afternoon nap for a while and then got up and we all decided on having Chinese for dinner.

Bill got a menu for a local restaurant from the lady in the office and that she recommended, and after deliberating for about an hour on what each of us would have Ros rang to order and she got an answering machine saying ?Solly customer but we are closed till next Thursday.? So Marie went back up to the office to see if there were any other suitable ones around and the lady said that it is funny how some of the businesses in town do that.  She gave her a number for another one and Ros tried ringing to order and they didn?t have some of the things we wanted to originally order from the other shop so we had to compromise but when we enquired about the prices they were rather (or should I say VERY) expensive so we decided against it and just made up a slap bang meal for each of us ourselves.

After dinner we went back to Sovereign Hill for the evening Light and Sound Show called Blood on the Southern Cross.  This also is very well worthwhile seeing and well worth the cost.  We had a terrific night ? it went from 8.30pm to 10pm however NO cameras or Video Cameras are allowed so no pics for this.

Got home about 10.15pm had a bit of a break and all went to bed as it is quite cool now 16.8°C and a nasty wind blowing ? one that goes thru you and not around you.

I decided to do the blog and as there is free WiFi here upload the pics etc & then off to bed myself.

We have all decided to head off again tomorrow for Bendigo to see the sights there and spend a night there, so an early morning start and hopefully will be there mid morning as it is only about 127 km?s from here.

Catch ya then
PopPop & Grandma

Day 17 - BALLARAT (Vict) to BENDIGO (Vict)

Up rather early again this morning to a beautiful day.

Had a bit of brekky, packed up and headed off just after 8.30am to Bendigo and boy did we have some problems getting out of Ballarat.
There are no signs etc showing the way to Bendigo and Bill?s Navman wasn?t helping much ? my Hema was also saying that the area wasn?t fully coded so we may receive incorrect instructions.

Anyway after a couple of wrong turns and some help from a stranger on Ch 18 on the UHF radio we were on the right track to Bendigo.

We travelled thru some terrific countryside and finally arrived here in Bendigo at the Golden Nugget Caravan Park on the road to Echuca around 11am.

Got our sites, set up had some lunch and then we all went our separate ways to do some sightseeing etc.
Our Setup at Golden Nugget Caravan Park, Bendigo


Another view of our Setup at Golden Nugget Caravan Park, Bendigo


We headed for the nearest BCF store as the footstool I bought Marie yesterday was faulty as the little locking lugs on the legs wouldn't lock in properly, as soon as she put any weight on it they would unlock and pop up which could be dangerous if someone sat on it unaware of the problem.
We took it back, and to cut a long story short, checked all the other 7 stools they had in stock and much to the Manager?s surprise, they also all did the same so we just got our money back instead.

We then did a bit of looking about and also went to the local Ray's Outdoor Store to see if they had some sort of stools but we were out of luck there as well.  Found some Chinese restaurants and got some menus as we all want Chinese for dinner tonight.

We also booked our tickets on the talking tram tour and we will be going on that tomorrow $28 for 2 adults for a 2 day pass (minimum time you can purchase a ticket for but gives you unlimited rides throughout the 2 days)

Went to Bendigo Pottery and had a look around there and it was very interesting and we spoke to one of the potter?s there who was making some round bowls at the time.

We had quite a good chat with him and he was very learned and had been potting for about 35 years - teaching and making stuff himself.

We got back home around 4.30pm sat back and had a nice relaxing evening before going to bed around 9.45pm.

Not many pics today but tomorrow is another big day touring around riding on the talking tram and seeing the Chinese Dragon Museum and also going to Pancake Paradise for lunch, etc.

Catch ya then.
PopPop & Grandma

Day 18 - BENDIGO (Vict) - HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!

Had a good nights sleep although it was a very warm night last night. 24°C when I went to bed.

Up rather early and had a phone call from the girls and all the grandkids wishing me a Happy Birthday ? it was good to hear from them all and to get the birthday wishes as well.

Had brekky and got ourselves ready and headed for town Bill, Ros & Daen went on the tour of the Central Deborah Gold Mine whilst Bob, Sue, Marie and myself went to the Tram Museum, had a tour of the museum and then went on a ride on the Bendigo Talking Tram around the city.  This is a fantastic trip and I really enjoyed going back in time riding on a very old tram.
One of the old trams



Bob admiring one of the old trams


Marie on one of the old trams


The 1st tram we caught today


Another pic of the old tram


Marie the driver


Tram Ticket

We finally got off at Charing Cross station and walked to the local Cathedral and had a look around this very impressive building ? this place is a sight to behold ? truly marvellous.  They started building the cathedral in 1896 and stopped in 1903 as they ran out of funds ? the recommenced in 1953 and finished in 1976.  The cathedral was closed in 1972 as they tore up the whole floor and relaid it with pure marble imported from Italy ? you maybe able to see it in the pics it is truly magnificent.  The spire towers 87 metres into the air.
The Cathedral



The Cathedral'sAltar



The Cathedral's leadlighting


We then made our way to Pancake Paradise about a block away where we met up with the others for a Pancake lunch.


Lunch Spot



Lunch


After lunch we had to walk about 2 rather large blocks to the Chinese Dragon Museum, again this place was truly amazing and has some really old and wonderful artifacts on display worth many of millions of $?s place Australia?s largest Chinese Dragon.

One of the many impressive buildings in the main street


We then walked back to Charing Cross and caught the tram back to the Tram Depot and then made our way back to the van park arriving around 4pm - where we just sat back, relaxed and enjoyed ourselves for the rest of the afternoon. After tea Sue brought oout a birthday cake and we all enjoyed some beautiful Chocolate Mudcake.

Birthday Cake


It has been quite a warm day today - forecast was for 28 Degrees C however it did feel hotter.  There was not a cloud in the sky nor any rain in sight whatsoever.
Spoke to my nephew Daryl tonight and he mentioned that it is pouring down that hard at Coffs Harbour that the roads are flooding and have been cut all throughout the area and people are unable to get home.  Shanon also mentioned that it is raining at home in Newcastle as well yet they are experiencing ravaging bushfires and drought in this part of the country.

All in all we had a terrific day and I really enjoyed this outing and would definitely recommend this town to anyone.

Tomorrow we are off to Echuca and hopefully will be free camping so am not too sure if we will have service with the net or not ? will have to wait n see.

Thanks to all those who sent me birthday wishes - it's really appreciated.



Till then, take care and love to all,
PopPop & Grandma

Day 19 - BENDIGO (Vict) to ECHUCA (Vict)

Up bright and early this morning, packed up and headed off at 8.20am to Echuca arriving around 9.45am.

We went looking for the free camp site but because I had put the lat & long co-ordinates in the Hema Navigator for the Christies Beach Camping area site - it took us to the wrong place on the NSW side of the river however from what we saw in the book we were supposed to be on the Vict side.  
We ended up way up some dead end dirt road with no river in sight so we turned around headed back and booked into the Echuca Caravan Park ? which is the same park we stayed in 10 years ago in the Coromal on our way home from WA.

Got our sites and settled in and booked in for the 1pm lunch cruise on the Emmy Lou Paddlesteamer.
Tucked in nice & cosy in the van park


Tucked in nice & cosy in the van park another view

As we had some time to spare Marie and I decide to go and look for the free camp site just to satisfy my curiosity.  I ended up putting one of the street names that's near it in the Hema and it took us right to the correct place this time  and what a beautiful spot ? right on the river and there were 2 other vans there.  Came back and told the others and then we headed off walking down to the paddle steamer.
Private houseboat moored along the riverbank


Emmy Lou & Canberra Paddlesteamers

Had a terrific 1 ½ hour trip with lunch on the Emmy Lou ? cost was $26.50/head for the cruise then lunch on top ? Marie and I had a Char Grilled Lamb Burger which cost $18 each and although it wasn?t too bad it was waaaay overpriced and not much in the way of a meal.
I have posted a pic of the menu but I don't know if you will be able to read it all or not.
Emmy Lou at her wharf


Emmy Lou's Steam Engine


Another view of Emmy Lou's Steam Engine


Emmy Lou's Steam Engine Spec's


Emmy Lou's Lunch Menu

After the cruise we then walked into the old port area of town had a look around did some wine tasting and then came back to the van park where we sat and relaxed in the shade for the afternoon as it has been quite a hot day here.  Presently it?s 6.38pm and 32° C however it is cooling as the sun goes down.
Old Port's Main Street


Large Log on a buggy


Spec's of the large log


Side view of the large log



We have booked in for 2 days here so will do a bit more sightseeing tomorrow and let you know what we have seen etc then.

Catch ya then,

PopPop & Grandma.

Day 20 - ECHUCA (Vict)

Had a good night Marie enjoyed herself feeding the possums that were coming around again as they did 10 years ago.

Had a bit of a sleep in this morning? had some brekky then we all just went our separate ways and had a lazy day sightseeing etc around the Echuca area and recharging our batteries.

Turned out to be a bright, sunny and very hot day again today.

We got back around lunchtime had some lunch and then had a lazy afternoon sitting around chatting etc and then we cooked a baked dinner on the Weber baby Q?s and we all had a fantastic meal.

After dinner we discussed tomorrow?s itinerary and decided we would head to Griffith which is about a 300Km trip from here.  I rang Mandy?s mum and dad, Ray & Joan Cottam at Berrigan (Mandy?s from Barmedman) as we were planning on calling in and saying hi to them on our way through to Griffith, but Joan informed me that they had a funeral to go to tomorrow so we will have to give them a miss this time.  Would have loved to catch up and have a cuppa with them.

We are planning on free camping in Griffith then heading for Barmedman on Saturday, Cowra on Sunday, Lithgow Monday and home on Tuesday.  That is our plan so far.

After dinner we sat around and again the possums came so Marie put a bowl full of over ripe nectarines out for them and they really had a feast whilst we all sat and watched and took pics ? naturally.
Marie feeding the Possum


Daen feeding the Possum


Possum coming down the tree


On the ground


With the bowl of nectarines


Eating the nectarines

Trying to have an early night to bed tonight as we have planned to be up at 6.30am and head off around 7.30am all going well but all good plans can be foiled at times ? presently still 28.4° inside the van so it is quite warm and it?s 10.26pm!!!!!

Don?t know how we will be with phone/internet access for the next few days so see how we go.

Till then take care and catch ya then.

PopPop & Grandma

Day 21 - ECHUCA (Vict) to GRIFFITH (NSW)

After a very hot night and everyone having trouble trying to keep cool and sleep we were up bright and early ? 6am start so we could get an early getaway to head to Griffith as we had over 300 klm?s to travel today.

We left by 7.30am and headed towards Cobram and then when near Cobram crossed the Vict/NSW border and headed for Tocumwal.

We travelled to Jerilderie and then had morning tea at a roadside rest stop in Jerilderie and then made tracks again to Griffith and headed out to the freecamp at Lake Wyangan which is about 8 km?s NW of Griffith.

Found the spot and what a lovely spot it is too and set up for the night right on the edge of the lake near the bbq shelter etc.  We had running water (non potable though) and electric bbq, electric lighting in the shelter and power outlets for the vans as well.  You are allowed to camp here for free for a maximum of 72 hours.  There was a rather large motorhome already set up and the couple in it, although they said hello, that was about as far as the conversations/interactions went with them.  We felt as though we were inferior to them.
Campsite at Lake Wyangan


Another view of the campsite at Lake Wyangan


View of the lake

After we were all set up Marie and I & Bill & Ros headed for town to fuel up and also get some last minute grocery items etc we needed.

We then headed back to camp and a HUGE storm broke with rain bucketing down so hard you could hardly see where you were driving, however back at camp there was hardly any rain at all.

When we got back Bob & Sue then headed in to do their bit and do some sightseeing as well.

When they returned we all settled in for the night. We cooked dinner on our own Weber Baby Q bbq?s as the one supplied there didn't look too clean ? had dinner and then I set up the shower on the car and Bill put their newly acquired shower tent up and we all showered there except for Sue & Bob who used their van shower for the very 1st time and said it was fantastic.  The shower was good excepting the cold southerly wind made it a tad cool but we were able to wash anyway using their water supplied from the tap close by.

Just on dusk we had a real fine mist/fog type thing roll in and envelope the lake and our camp area and no sooner had it arrived then it went again.  Very weird that?s for sure.

We had a nice night and then settled in for bed and had a beautiful peaceful night?s sleep.

Tomorrow we are heading off to Barmedman via Ariah Park where we can stir Tryall up.

Catch ya then,
PopPop & Grandma

Day 22 - GRIFFITH (NSW) to BARMEDMAN (NSW)

Up again bright and early to a cool and crisp morning with a beautiful sunrise over the lake had our brekky packed up the vans and headed off for Barmedman.

Sunrise over Lake Wyangan

Travelled to Yenda then Ardlethan and not far out of Ardlethan on the Newell Highway we stopped at a roadside rest area and had morning tea.  The spot where we stopped was very nice but we still had that lazy southerly wind blowing. (lazy in that it goes thru you and too lazy to go around you).

We then headed towards Ariah Park and on our way thru town we gave Terry a yell and told him to pull his finger out and make himself busy, but he reckoned he was too busy and didn?t hear us.

We got to Wellsy?s at Barmedman around 11am and set up camp in their ?caravan park? and then settled back and had lunch.  Mandy & Brendan were out with the kids at football as it was Harry Jack?s 1st day at footy.  They came home around lunch time and after we had our lunch we went with Wellsy out to his sister & brother in law?s John & Steph?s place to take some chairs out for John?s 40th birthday party that night.

Setup at Barmedman



Another view of our setup at Barmedman

We finally made it back to the house where Tom West and Ralph Clarke where belting around the paddock on Wellsy?s home made cart track in Westy?s newly acquired toy ? a Go Kart with a 100cc engine and kicking up a heap of dust etc.  The engine finally gave up the ghost as it looks like it sucked too much dust in and then they all came over to our camp and we sat and chatted for a few hours.  Dave Slinger, Mark Stewart and Terry Ryall also came for a visit so we had quite a good gathering for a while and it was great to catch up with them all again.

They eventually all left as most of them were going to the party and Mandy & Brendan also had to go so we settled in for the night lit up the choofer and sat around the fire keeping warm.  Marie and I cooked our dinner on the bbq plate on the choofer whilst the others cooked in their own respective vans. We had these HUUUUGE staeks called Viking Chops.
Cooking dinner on the choofer




Viking Chops on the choofer


After dinner we sat around the fire for a while and as it was getting quite cool we all ended up in bed rather early ready for the BIG trip tomorrow to Cowra ? about 170 klm?s away.

Fire in the choofer


Catch ya then,
PopPop & Grandma

Day 23 - BARMEDMAN (NSW) to COWRA (NSW)

Up again very early this morning as daylight saving ended at 3am.

Had brekky packed up.  Brendan & Mandy had to go to Shepparton early this morning for BJ & Fay?s 50th wedding anniversary as they are renewing their wedding vows. Terry & Avis called in to say goodbye and then we headed off for Cowra via Grenfell about 8.20am.

Made our way to Grenfell which is the birthplace of Henry Lawson and then had morning tea there and afterwards headed to Cowra arriving around 10.40am.  We booked into the Cowra Adventure Caravan Park about 4 Km?s East out of town on the Mid Western Hwy heading towards Blayney & Bathurst.

Set up in the park, Marie decided to do some washing and then we had a bite to eat and went and done a bit of sightseeing around town.
Setup at Cowra Van park

We went and saw the Japanese Gardens which was really worth seeing and very beautiful and peaceful. In the cultural centre they have a stone that has been donated to the gardens called the Chrysanthemum Stone because of the unusual shape of the crystals that are embedded in it,  and it is estimated to be at least 70 million years old. I have added a pic of the description of the stone but don't know if you can read it or not.
Entrance to the Japanese Gardens


Chrysanthemum Stone


Description of the Chrysanthemum Stone


View of the Japanese Gardens

After the gardens we then drove around town and had a look at a few other attractions and then came back to the park and I had a sleep as I wasn?t feeling the best and had aches and pains all thru my muscles and joints etc.

I got up a few hours later and we sat around chatting for a while had tea and then the cool air was really coming in so we decided to go into our respective vans for the night as it is getting too cold.  Presently it is 6.50pm and 21.2° C at present and getting colder.

Tomorrow we head for Lithgow and then on Tuesday we head for home and our holiday will finally be over.

Catch ya then.
PopPop & Grandma

Day 24 - COWRA (NSW) to LITHGOW


Went to bed rather early as to was too cold outside to sit around and not much else to do inside so we both decided it would be better in a warm bed so we snuggled up in our respective beds at either end of the van.

Up bright and early this morning to a very cold and crisp yet clear sky morning.  The temp when we got up was 10°C and it would be just about one of the coldest nights we have had other than the one we experienced at Horsham.

We packed up had our brekky and headed off for Blayney around 8am and made pour way to Bathurst where we stopped and had a cuppa and morning tea outside the showgrounds.

We then pressed on towards Lithgow and Bob again was experiencing some problems with his car going up to Yetholme.  We stopped and he checked it out but couldn?t find any faults ? he said it was if the car didn?t have full power or the brakes were on the van or something as he couldn?t get over 80 KPH and it was like he was in 3rd gear.  Anyway the problem seems to have cleared itself and we took off again arriving in Lithgow around 11am.

We made our way out to the Lake Lyall Recreation Area where we got a campsite for $10/night ? Bill & Ros and Bob & Sue paid for a powered site so their cost was an extra $10 on top.  However we were able to camp up with them at the powered sites.
View to Lake Lyall coming from Lithgow

View of the Campsite

 
Another view of Lake Lyall coming from Lithgow

They have hot showers here as well @ 40 cents for 6 minutes and also have toilets etc and you can also have campfires in their fire drums ? it is quite a well set up park and we will definitely be coming back for a longer stay.
Our Campsite

A couple camped below us have 2 very small baby twins with them as well and the guy was telling us that the Brown and Rainbow Trout are abundant in the lake ? reckons doesn?t take him long to catch a feed for dinner.  Will definitely have to look into that next time.

As the evening approached it was getting colder and colder so we went hunting for some more timber and found some at the other old campsites and brought it back and got the choofer out and started to light it up when the park manager was doing her rounds and she stopped and was a bit annoyed as we had a fire in the powered site area and they really don?t like to have them there.  She said she would have liked to have been asked 1st but there are no signs etc telling you that you can?t and then only signs about fires is about doing the right thing with them etc.  But it seems as though she was OK with it as we had our own fireplace with us as well and it was off the ground not burning the surrounding grass etc.

We had one log which was too long so we had to chop it up with the axe ? well we all had a go and some great laughter was had by all at the various antics.  Sue also chopped the last part of the log in half and we all had a laugh at some of her antics as well.  It was quite a good afternoon actually.  Once the fire was burning nicely we got the hotplate out and cooked our dinners on it but another lazy breeze came up and it was way too cold to be sitting outside so we have all ventured in for the night. It is presently 8.13pm and 16.8°C ? nearly a lovely Dutch summers day ey Leo.
A bit of frivolity around the campfire


Marie sitting around the campfire


A "better"pic of Marie sitting around the campfire


PopPop & Granma trying to keep warm around the fire

Tomorrow we head for home on our final leg of our holiday and it has been a ball.

We have had heaps of fun and really enjoyed the whole trip.

Catch ya then

PopPop & Grandma

Day 25 - LITHGOW (NSW) to HOME

 We went to bed rather early as it was getting quite cool outside and we had very limited internet access so couldn?t update the blog etc so we went to bed.

 

Up bright and early this morning (as we were in bed early) and there was a very slight drizzle but nothing to worry us.  Last night got down to about 12°C but as we had cloud cover it wasn?t as cold as some of our other nights have been.

 

We packed up ? had a cuppa and a bit of brekky and were on the road by 7.35am.

 

We travelled back to Lithgow and then went via the Bell?s Line of Road up Scenic Hill which is a very steep and sharp climb up to the top of the plateau and then headed for the big lights of Sydney.  We struck a bit of fog and mist along the way but all in all it was a good journey.

 

We finally descended the mountain range at Kurrajong and stopped at Windsor for a cuppa and some morning tea and then we said our goodbye?s to Bill, Ros & Daen as they had to head off in a different direction to us.

 

We then headed towards the F3 freeway and finally were home just before midday.

 

Sue & Bob followed us home and then we said our goodbyes to them as well and we then had the onerous task of unpacking the van and car and cleaning everything up.

 

We have all had a very enjoyable holiday ? it was really great and now comes the big task of planning for our next trip maybe about this time again next year as we would like to go and visit the Eyre Peninsula in Sth Aust ? but anyway that is another 12 months away so we will have to see how things pan out.

 

Thanks again to Bob & Sue, Bill Ros & Daen for a really wonderful and enjoyable holiday.

 

When I have a bit of time on my hands, I will edit and download a lot of the other pics we have taken and not posted onto the Photo Gallery Section.  I have taken well over 1100 pics throughout the whole holiday,  so it will take some doing to get the 'good' ones posted.

 

Catch ya on our next trip.

 

PopPop & Grandma