Tuesday 5th May 2015, Grafton.
What a relief: We managed to do some touristy things today. The weather has cleared up and car repairs have been organised, so it was nice to get out and about again. We decided to go for a drive to Minnie Water and Wooli, on the coast about 50K from here, initially so we could just get out of the house and go see something different, but when we got to the coast and got out to walk around and look-see we both realised just what we have been missing for a fair while now. It started when, or after, we went to Darwin, and then being committed to travelling between Melbourne and Brisbane for the past few years. We were going nowhere new, as was shown by the lack of use of the camera, so without realising we were falling into a bit of a rut. Again it was nice to feel we are climbing out of that rut.
The car:- Repairs have been fully organised with all being approved by the insurance company. All we are waiting for now is the delivery of the new canopy to be fitted, and the repair man said that would be two weeks after ordering, being Wednesday next week. It will be interesting to see if it does turn up on that day as he said it would. We are now just sitting waiting to get the repairs done, and do some more touristy things while here, but the problem being most touristy things are long distances away, but we do have plenty of time.
We have been marvelling at the bridge over the river here at Grafton, it is a double story bridge with a rail bridge underneath the traffic bridge. It was once a lifting bridge at one stage, but no longer, and it seems the construction of this bridge was one mean feet. There will be more of a story on that later when I make it my touristy thing of the day.
Friday 1st April 2015, Grafton.
Rained in again. It was forecast for basically another storm cell much like the one we had at Swansea, but fortunately it seems to have broken up somewhat before it reached us having come down from the Queensland coast. It is still raining and preventing us from doing anything, but it is so far just not as much as we were led to believe.
The repairs on the car have all been organised, I am now waiting to hear from the repairers as to when they might be able to actually do the repairs, if I don’t hear from them at midday or so I will ring them up. We do have a maximum of another 4 weeks we can afford to stay here if necessary, but I am certainly hoping it will not take that long.
Wednesday 29th April 2015, Grafton.
We are now at Grafton, we have been going past here many times in the past so this time we decided to stop on the way. What mostly convinced us were reports on a caravan park that was excellent and very cheap, and what they were saying seems true. The management seems to think that by charging a reasonable price they will get more custom, and they were saying when we checked in that it was working. This only emphasises what I have been saying for a long time that most park owners are just plain money hungry, and their high prices are only driving people away, but unfortunately they are probably raising what they think is as much money with the less custom.
Our move here wasn’t without problems. On manoeuvring the car to park out of the way I backed into a tree and shattered the rear window in the canopy, and damaged the actual canopy. This is the reason this report is a day old, I have been busy organising the insurance claim and repairers so we can get the thing fixed before we move on. This now means we will probably be here for several weeks instead of just one, we can afford a maximum of 5 weeks before we must be in Brisbane.
Monday 27th April 2015, Macksville.
Now at Macksville, only for one night, and probably the last time.
It is only our intention to use this park for a stopover on our way up or down the coast, but they have now increased their price to our limit with the increase since last year being more than I would have expected. The park has been taken over by new owners since our last visit and they are obviously money hungry as well. I can’t handle how this park has to charge $35.00 per night when our next park in Grafton can manage with a charge of $22.00 per night, I think it is self explanatory.
Friday 24th April 2015, Swansea.
What a week! Tuesday wasn’t the end of it. Even though the strong wind had stopped early Wednesday morning it rained very heavily during Wednesday, to the extent that Lake Macquarie was at its capacity and the water had nowhere to run to from the caravan park so almost the entire park was up to six inches (150mm) under water. Everything did take a little time to clear but now all looks good and has basically dried up. The whole thing has put paid to any touristy sightseeing things we had intended, mainly because the locals are pleading with anyone to stay off roads in the area, unless it is necessary, to make it easier for emergency people to get around to do their thing as damage in the area is going to take some time to mend. As of now there are still thousands of people without power, and some are still completely isolated without any supplies. We will go for a little drive tomorrow and see if we can, but if it seems we may be getting in the way we will go back home. We are now just going to enjoy our last few days here and move on Monday to Macksville.