Sunday 10th November, (Tocumwal).

We were very disappointed on Friday when we checked out the so-called free camping in the district. Of the ten or so camp areas indicated in the camp book we have, we only found two as listed, at Darlington Point, and we would not stay there as the tracks are too rough, the area was very dry and dusty (could be due to the drought), the toilets were old and not very clean drop toilets and there were no other campers.

This has almost changed our ideas of camping, not knowing what to expect wherever we go. We have lost a lot of faith in the camp book we only purchased this year, as most of the info we have referred to so far has been incorrect as if it were derived from a time period of ten or so years ago.

Saturday; what was going to be a day of rest turned out not to be quite so for Linda, as she found several things to do to keep her busy. I did manage to have a rather restful day though, as it was enjoyable watching the locals with their toys water-skiing and such around the lake next door.

We were a little worried on Friday as a bunch of bikies set up camp at the caravan park with apparently a lot more due on Saturday. It turned out that they were the religious type bikie group and kept to themselves pretty well for the duration. Saturday evening they had a sing along with band, but seeing we weren’t moving early this morning they were no bother to us. In fact Linda enjoyed sort of joining in, she found out it was a youth meeting but she did find one person to strike up a conversation with.

We are now at Tocumwal. Our intention was to check into a caravan park for a couple of days and fully investigate the free camping spots around here with the idea of utilising them for a while. We did stay at these freebies early this year but decided that there must be a better area than we used, although we did enjoy the couple of days we did stay, hence checking them out first. We also had in mind that with the drought almost nationwide, this area may be dry and dusty now like the sites we found at Darlington Point.

We obviously didn’t look deep enough in our caravan park books before we moved here as the park we picked, being an FPA supposedly with river edge sites, turned out to be a dismal flop. After travelling about 5-6k of very corrugated gravel road we found:

· No mobile coverage, and nobody had been informed as to where we were.

· There was a levee built up all round the park so there was no immediate view of the river anyway.

· The area was very dry and dusty; this could have been due to the drought though.

· The remoteness of the park, we decided, was only good if one intended to go horse riding or had a boat.

· Upon entering the shop/office we were confronted with a woman behind the counter wiping, with a hanky, a blood nose, being in itself a bit of a turn off.

We then looked in our books again and found that there were a couple of other parks in the town, one being a Top Tourist, so we turned around, crawled over the corrugations again and immediately went to another choice. The Boomerang Way, TT, was the choice and the price they charged us made us consider that we may be just as well off here rather than the freebies. Access to amenities and having power may just as well worth the minimal cost they charge. We will have a look tomorrow and make a decision then.