Thursday 27th February, (Adelaide).

Well Linda has been put on the plane for her journey to England. She is at present at Melbourne staying overnight at Annette’s and boarding her overseas flight tonight. I have now been on my own for a full day, everything is ok as expected, and so far I have had no trouble occupying myself but a week or two will tell.

I had a journey to the caravan show in town today and came away a little flustered. After looking at some vans and prices, I found one almost identical to ours and after seeing the price, $36,000!! left with the thought of what would happen if the worst was to happen to our van only being insured for $23,000. I know things have gone up in price over the last few years but this difference is just unbelievable. This only leaves me with the thought that we must reinsure our van for an agreed value which would come close to this new figure, but where does one find this coverage apart from the last insurance company we enquired at and were unsure as to whether we should swap to them.

Before I went out today I offered some assistance to another traveller with light troubles, and hope I haven’t gotten in over my neck. It seems as though he has dry joint problems that he could have caused himself and these are the problems I would rather not get involved in. It is probably too late now to worry about it so we will see what happens tomorrow when we have a look at it.


Sunday 23rd February, (Adelaide).

The bus ride has been put off until tomorrow as yesterday was overcast and threatening to rain and we were not going to get wet.

Our trip to St Kilda today was almost a waste of time; it did fill most of the day in. The tram we were seeking was not there so we figure it was taken to Canberra. This will give us something to do when we visit there again. We decided against going through the museum as it was rather small and only had a small collection of Adelaide only trams, and we are going to go for a ride on the Glenelg tram tomorrow anyway.


Wednesday 19th February, (Adelaide).

We have now moved to another park, Levi Park Caravan Park, just a little northeast of the city centre. We heard a few derogatory stories about this park before we left the last one and have decided once again that those incidents must have been personal dislikes on their behalves. We have only been here for the half a day and I personally feel a lot more peaceful and content here that I was at Brownhill Creek. I guess the main reason is that the vans are parked with a lot more in close proximity than the other and this gives one a better opportunity to mix with other campers. Like Brownhill, the sites at this park are also made of a gravel surface, but the type gravel here is of a completely different grade, and small rounded stones, and is much more suitable and conducive to safely placing our carpet on. There are, as I said, more bike tracks here and I am going to make sure I put them to full use. We also seem more central to everything we want to go to or see. The surprise is that, being a big4, this park is slightly cheaper than Brownhill so I think that I will settle in here quite well.

Friday 21st February, (Linda’s Birthday) , (Adelaide).

Just as well we decided to travel here on Wednesday as since we arrived it has been raining, no pouring, and yesterday they recorded the highest rainfall for a February day for 30 years. It seems we are experiencing quite a few maximum and minimums of weather types during our travels; perhaps they were right saying we upset weather patterns when we travel. Hopefully this now might mean the end to the drought, in South Australia anyway cause I don’t know how much rain the other states got. I am not quite sure how bad the drought situation has been in SA because since we have been here there has been no indication of any water restrictions, and I did even ask at Brownhill.

We had planned to trip around on busses today, stopping now and then to have a walk around, but the rain put an end to that. We will now do that tomorrow as the forecast is clearing up, and for today we decided to go to St Kilda, 20K or so north, to have a look at the tram museum. We think that the old Launceston No1 was bought be them from Linda’s father and moved here so it would be interesting to see what state it is in now, but when we arrived there we discovered that they are only open on Sundays and public holidays. That is now something to do on Sunday.

Linda has been sitting down in front of the computer this afternoon making up some cards to send out, and surprise/surprise she manages it quite well now on her own with not much assistance from me at all.

We are going out to tea tonight for Linda’s birthday and we are going to try a hotel recommended by the park managers, supposed to be the best meals around by a mile so we will see. With the prices he quoted to me for these meals it would want to be the best and all.


Monday 17th February, (Adelaide).

Nothing much has happened since we arrived in Adelaide as when we arrived the temperature was too hot to bother, and now it is too cold. No, really we have a reasonable amount of time so there is no rush. We have done the mandatory, check out the shopping centres, and we have looked at some other caravan parks that would more suit me in filling in time while Linda is away and we have picked a couple that I may spend time at. Both are big4 and both provided us with a surprise; They would be the only big4 parks that offer a discount of 7th night free in a weekly booking. There was one other at Sale, in Victoria, but there have been none since. This made a big difference in picking these parks as without the discount the price would be too high and I would have likely stayed where we are. Not that there is anything wrong with the park we are at, but the others offer plenty of cycling tracks where this one doesn’t.


Wednesday 13th February, (Adelaide).

We had a trip to the Grampians and decided one thing: There is a lot more to see here than one can do in one day so we must return and spend time camped in the area. There are quite a few high points that offer spectacular scenery, waterfalls, and plenty of bush walking, generally a very spectacular area.

We have now moved on to Adelaide. A decision was made to make this trip in one stint so we could get to Adelaide earlier, and we did not over like the look of the caravan parks we had chosen to stay at if we were to stay. The towns we were to stay at were not over impressive either, but then we were looking forward to Adelaide. The trip we made was about 450K and would be the longest single stint we have made since travelling.

We have found a caravan park at Mitcham, southwest of the city. The park is beautifully nestled in a valley, with recreation parks, on the edge of the Adelaide hills. Speaking of which, the Adelaide hills do not look like anything of any size as you approach them, but believe me there are some steep hills to traverse during the crossing. One of which, being the final descent into the suburbs, will be one that I am glad we went down because if I have my way I would prefer not to tow up it. I think that the reason the ‘hills’ look just like that is that there is basically no growth on them, one would normally expect them to be covered with trees come forests, but there weren’t any.


Monday 10th February, (Horsham).

Since being in Horsham, I must admit, we have not even thought of sightseeing of any kind, until today when sitting back doing nothing I thought we have a day and a half with little to do so we had better see something while here. I had heard of a mountain just west of here and of coarse there is the Grampians. We up and went to the tourist information centre and obtained some information on the same. A trip to Mount Arapiles, to the west, today and the Grampians tomorrow is the order for tours.

Mount Arapiles, like any mountain in this area, is just like a gigantic rock jutting out of the ground in a very flat landscape, so the views from on top are typically of nothing but surrounding flat land. The scenes are of coarse ones that we would not appreciate from the flat land, so it was worth it. The mountain consists of sheer rock faces that people use for climbing practice, but none were apparent during our visit although there were plenty of obvious climbers camped at the camp ground beneath the mountain. The Grampians are of a much bigger scale so it should be much more interesting.


Sunday 9th February, (Horsham).

We enjoyed very much the relaxation of a few days with nothing to do at Shepparton and have now moved on to Horsham. We were originally going to stay at a small town called St Arnaud, 100K west of Bendigo, but when we arrived there we decided to travel on the additional 100K to Horsham. This would eventually get us to Adelaide a little earlier. It seems as though I have so far picked the correct roads to travel, as some further south are very hilly, apparently, traversing mountain ranges and such, and the roads we have travelled so far have been reasonably flat. The head winds we have had most of the way don’t help though as they result in a remarkable increase in fuel use.

Finally we had a cool evening last night at Horsham; in fact it was that cool we are going to add another blanket this evening. We find it surprising how the weather patterns vary between different areas, as at Shepparton it was high 30’s during the day and getting down to 20 odd at night, but at Horsham it reaches Mid 30’s during the day and down to 10 or so at night, sooo coooold.

We had a stroll around town today, too hot but we did anyway, and the first thing one notices is the cheap price of fuel in this city. Gas is selling at 47 cents and it is high 50’s in Melbourne, unleaded is 89 and paper reports say it went over the dollar mark in Melbourne yesterday. I am just amazed at how the prices could vary to that negative degree when one would naturally assume that Melbourne would be cheaper. The other thing very noticeable was the number of large hotels there are in town, this is not really unusual for a mainland city, but there were 4 or 5 pubs in one block.

Our travels across Victoria so far has really revealed how bad the drought is, as Linda took particular notice that all dams on the farms were completely empty and looked as though they had been like that for a long time. When we arrived at Horsham we were hoping the scenery from the caravan park looking over the river might be nice, but it is also almost dried up and an empty river that normally is full is not a pretty sight. I guess this is one thing we are going have to get used to, especially if we are going up the middle as it is going to be dry for sure up there.


Wednesday 5th February, (Shepparton).

We had forgotten what hot weather was like, unless it is extraordinarily hot at the moment. It was quite warm in Melbourne, although windy, and it is even warmer now we are in Shepparton with temperatures in the high 30’s since we have been here and 18-20 min. overnight. It is no wonder there are bushfires everywhere.

It seems as though the trip to Shepparton may have been a waste of time as now we have gotten more details about the caravan insurance we are almost decided that we will, for now, stick with what we have. Linda seams to have bad feelings with the fact that the insurer was in fact a broker rather that a genuine insurance company, and the fact that he didn’t seem to have the paperwork finalised for the policies we wanted. We will now ring him tomorrow and tell him to sit on our files until he can convince us otherwise; they are to attend a caravan show in Adelaide at the end of this month so I will put it to him that we will see him again there.

My foot problem has reared its ugly head again, or at least heaps of them, and I visited a local GP today. I was going to get the other repeats for a script that my home GP wrote for me as it cleared it up while at home, but it seems that this medication is not readily available at the moment, hence the doctor visit. His suggestion was to see a specialist and seeing we are travelling to Adelaide his advice was to not treat it, if I can put up with it, until we get there and then see a specialist.

So a couple of days relaxing while here and then a rush trip to Adelaide, taking about 8-10 days.


Saturday 1st February, (Melbourne).

Two days here and we have been very busy. Linda’s first priority was to organise some things she has to take to England with her, eg chocolates from the shop Narrelle used to work at.

Sue turned up at Annette’s last night on her way to Geelong then Tassie, so we dropped in to visit them, we had to see Annette anyway to organise Linda staying there on her way overseas.

We had a trip to Geelong today and visited Dorothy and family, and Marnie and David, we hadn’t seen them for 12 months or so and will not see them again for about 15 or so. We still have some more visiting tomorrow, some friends we met on out travels, and a movie to see either tomorrow night or Monday, and that will fill in our stay at Melbourne nicely before we move to Shepparton on Tuesday.

Monday 3rd February, (Melbourne).

We had our visit to the Gold Class cinema today, and that was a different way of seeing a movie at the cinema. It compares with 1st class on an air flight, and the costs are comparable. The cinema only has 30 odd seats, in pairs, large and layback with a table for placing food etc. Orders for food and drink, including alcohol, can be placed before the movie starts and they will deliver at a time during the film that we nominate, as many orders as one wants can be placed. We enjoyed the experience immensely, but it’s too expensive to indulge too often.

We are now partly packed up ready to move on to Shepparton tomorrow where we will further inquire about insurance. If possible I also intend to get some maintenance done on the caravan brakes as well.