Monday 30th April 2007, Millmerran.
We are now in Queensland, having crossed the border at Goondiwindi. We have now moved another 250 kilometres, via Goondiwindi to Millmerran, see map. We heard about Millmerran from Ida, her and Barry used to stop here on their way home from their Queensland winters. It seems quite a nice small town, good for stopovers, but I’m not sure I would spend a lengthy time here. I will remember it for future trips up, or down, this way.
We are now only one more stop from the Sunshine Coast, and are starting to feel that we are almost home. We were discussing on this trip today the difference between Tasmania and the Mainland by comparing how Tassie has all that the mainland has to offer but it doesn’t have all the boring bits between them. The boring bits are the long flat, same scenery, roads travelled getting from one place to another. I often used a description similar to this when recommending Tassie to fellow travellers, now I will adopt this version.
Sunday 29th April 2007, Moree.
We did have a good soaking of rain over the last couple of days, and so did most of NSW and Vic, and hopefully this is just the first of more to come. It is now looking like fining up, and after booking in here for an extra two days we should be ready to pack up tonight for another move tomorrow.
We had an interesting dip in the Artesian Pool Friday night while it was raining. Being 39 degrees it was nice and warm in the pool, but the roofing made of a type of shade cloth didn’t keep all the rain away as most of it soaked through the roof material and dripped down from everywhere above. It was also very cool on the walk back to the van, but it was all worth it. I dare say we will avail ourselves of the pool again today for the last time this visit.
Friday 27th April 2007, Moree.
Still at Moree, and could be for a while. Not long after arriving in Moree I told Linda that if there were anywhere that we should sit for a few extra days, I feel that it could be here. Every now and then we come by a place that just gives one a feel of being somewhere one could call home, and that is the feeling I had yesterday. It turns out we have no choice to sit for a few extra days as we are at present rained in, or more to the point we won’t move in the rain if we have a choice.
The long awaited rain in this area has finally arrived. It hasn’t been very heavy, and apparently most of it passed just south of Moree, but it is all very welcome none-the-less.
Thursday 26th April 2007, Moree.
First: Yesterdays post was not meant to be too negative about Gilgandra, as Linda pointed out it could have been. We had only intended being there for two days of rest only. There are quite a few things to do and see there, but we didn’t bother enquiring. Never-the-less I don’t have any major ambitions to return there.
We have now moved on from Gilgandra to Moree, see map. This trip was the longest we have made recently, being just over 300k, and the warmer weather is already telling us that we are near where we want to be. We have been here on several occasions as it is a regular stop along this route. The attraction is the Artesian Pools at the caravan park, being four of them. One pool is at 34 degrees, one at 35, another at 37 and the other at 39 degrees. The warning about limiting time in the pools for the first time is well warranted, and we will be looking forward to more bathing while here, Linda is planning another dip before bed tonight. There must be something with the pools as this is about the only time anyone will see me in water.
The pity with this town is the growing reputation of vandals and crime. One of the first storys we heard after arriving was how somebody’s caravan was broken into the other evening. Security is common sense when in caravan parks, but it is bad when one thinks of locking everything up of an evening.
Wednesday 25th April 2007, Anzac Day, Gilgandra.
Gilgandra is a nice enough small town, but I’m afraid it doesn’t do a great deal for me. I even had to force myself to walk around town today to do my usual thing of taking a few pictures, but if I hadn’t I wouldn’t have any memory shots. One is not going to find out these things if one doesn’t visit though.
Tuesday 24th April 2007, Gilgandra.
That was a relaxing 3 days at Parkes, but we were reasonably glad to leave as the caravan park didn’t over impress us much, or was it just the manager. He was very pedantic about rules, being a Justice of the Peace, and his biggest stir was the rent assist form we wanted him to sign, he seemed to think it was the wrong form, and filled out wrong, a bother we could well do without. We won’t be going back to that park again.
We are now at Gilgandra, see Map, a further 200k north, but not without more dramas. There was a major accident on the highway about 7k north of Peak Hill, which is 50k odd north of Parkes, a double fatality, and I believe it was on a narrow bridge that was badly damaged. Hence the road was still closed today and the accident happened at about 7:00 PM last night. We had to detour west from Peak Hill to Tomingley along about 30k of single bitumen road. The problem with this type road is that one has to get off the bitumen to pass oncoming traffic, and when most of the traffic is semi-trailers this makes for a very dusty trip.
Another reason has cropped up making us want to get to the Sunshine Coast early. Everywhere we have been lately we have encountered this thorny type grass, sometimes called Bindy, Three cornered Jack, Cat’s Heads etc. The thorns are long and sharp and stick into ones shoes, thongs, when walking and will even penetrate all the way through the thongs, horrible stuff.
Saturday 21st April 2007, Parkes.
Today saw us move to Parkes, see map, about 200k further north. We only intend being here for about three days, with not much in mind to do. Maybe I can send Linda to the information centre to see if there is something she wants to do on Monday, but otherwise it is just watching the V8’s from New Zealand.
Thursday 19th April 2007, Temora.
A visit to a small town 35k west called Ariah Park was the order of the day. Ariah Park is a town that the locals have tried to keep looking as it did back in the 20’s, and there are plenty of old buildings. They also have scattered around town some very old fuel bowsers, but they do look as they have been randomly placed, but who knows. The cobble stones in the streetscape didn’t look to me as though they belonged back in those days. I am not trying to ridicule the place, it was quite nice, but I do wonder how much their idea is just to get tourists in.
Back to Temora: I haven’t yet done my photo thing around here yet, but do intend to tomorrow. This town also has some fantastic old buildings, and plenty of them as this town is quite a bit larger than we originally expected.
It has been an unexpected shock while here having to watch analogue TV after managing to have all digital for the last year or two. The reception here is a bit scratchy and I have had to adapt all my viewing resources. Win and Ten are watchable on analogue, ABC and Prime are not receivable with my aerials, being channels 0 and 2 in band 1, so ABC (and SBS but we don’t watch it) is picked up on digital, then the only way to get Prime, or 7, is to use the satellite. I have done well in organising all this gear and it is very easy to change from one system to another, but at least we do have access to all channels.
Wednesday 18th April 2007, Temora.
We had another visit to the Aviation museum today. As already mentioned we came here for a day trip from Wagga on Easter Saturday to see the flying day at the museum and swore to return. Well now we have, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was nice to get a close-up, in the hangar, look at the planes we saw flying the other week and I think this was basically a first for Linda and she was rapt.
I have just had more practice setting up the satellite dish, as there is not much digital here, and Prime and ABC are not very receptive terrestrially being on band 1 for which my aerial system is no good. We are going to be in areas similar to this over the next week or two so it will be a regular thing setting it up on most stops for a while. At least the satellite pictures are digital and very clear, it has been a shock having to watch analogue pictures again as we did last night.
Tuesday 17th April 2007, Temora.
We have now moved from Darlington Point to Temora, See map, about 150k to the east of Griffith. We have visited here on Easter Saturday for the flying day at the Aviation Museum, and declared then that we must return for a few days, we had already planned a visit anyway.
The caravan park here operates a little differently than others we have stayed at, whereas there is no office on site. The park is owned by the council and a sign out front informs stayers to set up on site and the caretaker will come around later in the day and take ones money. It is certainly cheap enough, especially with second day free. The sign out the front actually stated $13.00 per day, but the actual charge was $15.00, but who’s arguing.
More minor tyre dramas today: I made a trip to Griffith yesterday to have that flat tyre repaired, and they did find a hole in it which they repaired. They did live up to the warranty I had and did it for free. Anyway this morning I noticed the same tyre looked a little flat again, and upon checking I found it had lost 5 pound overnight. I pumped it up and dropped in to Beaurepair on the way to Temora this morning, and would you believe nothing could be found. I guess I will just have to keep an eye on it over the next week or so.