Friday 29th October, (Mildura).

We went for a drive back into NSW today to a small place of Wentworth. Linda was reading about a sand dune there and wanted to see it. Sure enough there, out in the middle of nowhere, was this rather large sand dune. The sand was obviously full of Mica as the flakes were visible on the surface, glistening in the sun.

Our little drive was rather an experience, as on the Victorian side of the border all one could see was grape vines and fruit trees, as far as one could see. No wonder they worry about fruit fly in this district.

We found out too where the Darling River meets the Murray and visited the actual junction, I often wondered where they met; now I know.

Wentworth was again another neat small town that I would normally not hesitate in taking heaps of photos of, but I seem to be a little blasé about taking town photos lately as they are all starting to look alike.

Monday 1st November, (Mildura).

We are now spending a second week at Mildura, as we are in no rush to get to Melbourne and it is quite warm here. In fact it has been very warm, last night was quite a hot one with blankets being shed off the bed for the first time in a long while. There are still a couple of things we want to do here so the extra week will give us plenty of time to do them at a leisurely pace.

Matthew has tested me again, in more ways than one, with another request for a loan. The last one took a couple of years to be repaid, but this time we can’t afford to let him have that privilege. The other tests came when Matt called back asking if I knew about ‘Verify by Visa’, my answer was complete ignorance. Apparently a new system for security has been adopted when using Visa to make payments on the Internet with this name, one has to register for this system and when an attempt to make a payment on the net one is required to provide a password to complete the transaction. Considering I gave Matt permission to access my card he couldn’t complete his transactions until I then registered for this security system. This is where most of my problems started as the right path on the net to do it was rather vague and without more knowledge it was rather difficult, I resulted in even locking out my Visa card and all, requiring more phone calls to rectify. All worked out in the end though and the system could be a good one as it has already proved its worth with Matt getting stuck. I haven’t heard back from him with any more problems so I guess it must work.


Thursday 28th October, (Mildura).

A change back to our original plan of only staying in Mildura for 1 week, as we have decided that this is yet another place that we will definitely visit again one day. As we are basically in cruise-mode, as Linda puts it, on our way back to Tassie we don’t have a great deal of interest in doing a lot of touristy things, so we will see a few things while here and leave the rest for when we return.

We have adopted some strange ideas about Mildura that we have not really had in many other places, none that I have mentioned before anyway. This is a place we enjoy very much, and it is one that gives the feeling of wanting to just relax and treat it as we would if we were staying for an extended time instead of just do all touristy things while here. I will probably not take any pictures of the township as I normally do because I don’t think it would really do any justice to the town. It is laid our extremely well with wide dual carriageways for most main roads, that would not be captured well by photos, and even though there are many good old style buildings they are overcome by the newish look of the whole of the township, so I don’t think again that I could do it any justice.

What has made this stay a little more enjoyable is the fact that there are several other campers that are none too willing to mix and entice others, like us, to mix with them. We haven’t really experienced this since the sunshine coast and have missed the experience.

We have had a bit of a look around the immediate area and really liked what we saw. Today we went to check out what paddle steamers run on the river, and when, so we could consider having a ride. The one we are considering is an original steam driven one so it would be a novelty to do so. While there we discovered a lock weir just down river and were lucky enough to see it working with the paddle steamer about to go through it, and that in itself was an experience. This made us all the more determined to do a boat ride, or Linda at least, as she now just wants to ride through the lock. Unfortunately we will not, for several reasons, be able to take a ride until Monday so we will probably have to stay one additional day anyway. The steam driven boat doesn’t run on Fridays or Tuesdays, and is apparently booked out on Saturday with the town busy with a jazz festival in the area this weekend.

We do have a reasonable amount of time to get to Melbourne so it doesn’t matter if we change our plans from day to day so long as it is a short-term change.


Chapter 27.

Back to Victoria.

Tuesday 26th October 2004, (Mildura).

This would be, I guess, the last couple of legs of this years travel before heading back to Tassie for Xmas.

We travelled another long leg yesterday from Hay to Mildura being about 290k, but it now gives us ample time to get to Melbourne. We have almost decided to stay in Mildura for two weeks instead of the one we had originally planned, as it seems such a nice place. There is quite a bit to do, but it would be again silly to race off and look at and do everything because I am sure we will return here some day.

It is nice to get back to some countryside that has some undulations in it, as it was getting a little boring travelling the flat areas that we had been.


Saturday 23rd October, (Hay).

We had a visit to the gaol museum today and it is quite full of many artefacts saved and collected from days gone by. The gaol itself has quite a chequered history of its own. One facet of the history that Linda took real notice of is when it was used as a lockup for incorrigible young girls. This took place not that so long ago, until mid 70’s, and Linda was amazed at the treatment the girls had to endure for even this period of time.

This area is renowned for its somewhat spectacular sunsets, as the terrain about here is so flat for as far as one can see, without as much as a rise in the land as big as an ant hill even. There is a viewing area set up about 16k north of town so we went there tonight to check it out, but the skies were obviously not conducive for good sunsets having too many clouds. Unfortunately we did not get a very good sunset, but then we are only here for a little while so we must miss out.

Indy car racing on the Gold Coast is on tomorrow so there is no question as to what I will be doing.


Thursday 21st October, (Hay).

We have now moved to Hay, a reasonably important town being on the crossroads of several highways crossing this country and is on the edge of the Murrumbidgee River. The town is remote to the extent that there is no town, to speak of, within 100k or so in any direction, and this makes it a major stopover point for many travellers. The caravan park we are in is at the moment chock-a-block full, and I would bet a fortune that come about 8:00 am in the morning we will probably be the only ones here. We, as usual, will be staying several days.

Friday 22nd October, (Hay).

A very nice peaceful town is this, so we have decided to stay an additional two days and move on to Mildura on Monday.

TV is a little different here as there is no channel 10, the same as Tassie I suppose, and there is a chance I may miss the Indy car racing on the weekend unless one of the other channels show it. I guess it demonstrates that we will have to endure with what is on offer wherever we are and put up with it.

I have had my little walk around town taking photos today, and we have found a couple of other things to do so we will leave them for the next two days.

A little maintenance on the TV aerial pole had to be done today: After 4 years of travel it began to lose its locking ability, so a dismantling and clean out appears to have fixed the problem. One must expect a little wear and tear after a while.

West Wyalong

Tuesday 19th October, (West Wyalong).

Another 250k down the Newel highway see us now at West Wyalong. This is another smallish country town, as all will be until we reach Mildura, so a couple of days relaxing and taking a few pics of the town will be the order while here.

A little problem with centerlink today, as when I rang up to submit accommodation changes for rent assistance they mentioned that we were claiming $49.00 per day for the last week when we in fact only put in a claim for $19.00. It seems now that it is our responsibility to instigate changes to rectify the situation, isn’t that typical. I have typed a note giving details and will pin it to the claim form to be submitted tomorrow for our current claim.

Wednesday 20th October, (West Wyalong).

I did my thing today and walked around town taking photos of the town, and again this is a town of many old well-kept buildings. This makes me wonder whether in the future I will be able to identify and remember any one town from the photos because they are all similar recently. One thing I have noticed especially in this town, but as well as others recently, the number of pubs in town. This town has, what I counted, eight pubs in the length of the main street, about 1k, and I don’t know if there are any in the back streets.


Saturday 16th October, (Narromine).

Last night was in fact very cold, we probably won’t know the actual temp as there will be no local weather report tonight but it must have been very close to zero.

We have now moved to Narromine, about 38k west of Dubbo. We chose to stay here purely because we have stayed at and seen Dubbo so this is just somewhere different. It just goes to show how up-to-date some of my maps are as we had decided to travel to Dubbo, at least through it, via Wellington, but on the way signposts indicated another route to Dubbo so we tried it. It turned out that this route was about 50k shorter than the way we had chosen and it was a reasonably good road, as far as outback roads go. After rechecking that route in my maps we noticed that most showed that road as being gravel for a section in the middle so it was no wonder we did not select it.

Narromine is another small outback town with, what seems, not much to do, but it is only meant for a couple of days stopover.


Friday 15th October, (Mudgee).

We have had to stay another day at Mudgee, originally it was because of a small job I had to do on the car, replace the heater fan resistor, but ultimately Linda contracted an illness, bladder infection, so there was no choice. Linda is now feeling a lot better after a visit to the doctor, and the car job is done, so we are now packed and ready for a move tomorrow to Narromine.

It will be interesting to see what the temperatures were last night, as the past few days have been in the mid 30’s and the forecast was for minimums of 15 at night, but they were in fact down to 6 and 7. Last night was in fact quite warm, unlike what it already feels like it is going to be tonight.


Thursday 14th October, (Mudgee).

I did my usual thing and walked the streets of the town taking pictures and some of the buildings are quite spectacular. My walk was cut short though, as the temperature being in the mid 30’s made it too hot for walking around and I did arrive back home a little exhausted.

We could see a hill to the southwest where all the transmission towers are and considered it would make a spectacular lookout, but there is no public access to the hill, such a pity.

As mentioned, one thing that stood out about the buildings in Mudgee is the state in which they are maintained, it really does make a difference.

The same could be said of another town close by that we visited today called Gulgong. This is an old gold mining town, as most in the area are, and they have tried to keep the main part of town in the same state as it was way back when. The aspect that is most apparent with this town is the narrow and winding main street.


Tuesday 12th October, (Mudgee).

Had a good day Sunday sitting back watching a perfect picture for an all day of car racing at Bathurst, and enjoyed it as I do every year.

We had a stroll around town yesterday, Linda doing a little shopping and me taking photos. It is quite apparent we are back in central NSW as the buildings in these towns are once again old and well kept.

We have now moved to Mudgee, on the way to Dubbo with a detour to the south, we found that the short time we had at Singleton was enough as we could return one day. The caravan park was one to remember, as one doesn’t often get an en-suite site for $19.OO per day.

Now Mudgee is another story: we had the idea that this was just a small country town, as several in the area, and we only selected it as a central point to see what is on offer in the district. On arrival we found that the town, (small city), was nothing that we expected, it is quite large, and unbeknown to us this is a large wine producing region: It’s a pity I’m off the grog as I could have gone berserk around here. The township itself is also an eye opener, or the buildings in it, as it is quite apparent that there was plenty of money in this district in its heyday as the buildings are something to behold, very large and very well maintained and kept in their original state. I haven’t taken any photos here yet, but when I do I will include a couple in this report.

We get the feeling here, that we do on seldom occasions, that we could actually spend some time here, but we will only extend by a day or so if necessary so we can stick to our rough schedule. We should have a good look around though as we may not return here, for a fair while any way.

It is seemingly apparent that this district is far from having a water shortage by looking at the green scenery, and the way the caravan park does it’s watering.