Saturday 29th September 2007, Junee.
We are getting closer. We moved another 330K’s today south to Junee, Map. The trip today seemed to be a longer one that our usual 300k trip, but we weren’t travelling highways for the total trip. Most of the trip was hilly and our speed was greatly reduced as a result. We have wanted to stop at Junee for quite a while now, so we are finally here. It is a pity that we are only here for two days, so we must return one day for a lengthy stay. This caravan park is one of those that gives one the strong feeling of being home, and one therefore does enjoy the visit. The other reason for the visit here is the Liquorice and chocolate factory, and tomorrow we will visit there.
Friday 28th September 2007, Wellington.
Change of plans again: I really don’t like consecutive travel days, so we will be staying two days at each of our stops from here on, so this means we won’t be in Melbourne until Wednesday 3rd October. This will give us 4 days there before we go to Tassie, I would prefer this instead of being tired every day and then rest for the first couple of days in Melbourne anyway.
We are now in Wellington, about 50K SE of Dubbo, Map. We are camped on the side of the Macquarie River and is enjoyable just sitting outside looking out over the river watching the bird life, but we do have to keep an eye out for the swooping Magpies that are nesting with young in a nearby tree. They seem to have a thing about Linda and target her more than anyone else. We have been in this area before and have had a good look around, so it will be enjoyable just sitting and relaxing in the warm sunny weather.
Tuesday 26th September 2007, Gunnedah.
After being here for a day we like the place and will have to come and tour this area in depth one day. Since being here we have heard little things about other towns in the district and have decided that they could all be worth a visit one day.
I have once again had a lesson in making assumptions: We had decided to make our trip to Tassie on the 10th October so had a look on the net last night to look at flights, Linda always flies, and we saw some cheapies so booked it. Today I rang TT Line to book the boat, thinking that at this time of year there would be no problems, and you guessed it they are booked all that week due to school holidays. The best I could do was to book myself on Sunday the 7th and leave Linda in Melbourne for a few days. It doesn’t end there: I afterward realised that Sunday the 7th is Bathurst day and I haven’t missed a Bathurst race since I can remember, but the boat doesn’t sail until evening so hopefully I will be able to watch it somewhere, even if I have to park the van in the truck stop on the ring road and watch it.
I have now had to go against my ideas about consecutive days of travel. Now I am leaving Melbourne earlier than anticipated I am considering doing just that a couple of times so we can arrive in Melbourne a couple of days earlier. I guess I could put up with it this once.
Tuesday 25th September 2007, Gunnedah.
Another 300 plus Kilometres sees us at Gunnedah, Map, and I have now once again convinced myself that I really do not like travelling two days consecutively. We figure that we can stay for two days at each stop and be in Melbourne on the 3rd October, this will then give us a week at Melbourne before heading back to Tassie to do what we have to.
We called into Gunnedah on our way down this time because we have been eying off the place for a while, so a short visit this time, which is not far out of our way, has convinced us that a lengthy visit some time could be warranted.
One thing that amazes me during our travels is the variation in fuel costs, especially gas. Goondiwindi saw the price at 62 cents and Moree it was 70 cents. I filled up at Narrabri at 72 cents thinking that Coonabarabran is usually the most expensive in the area, and Gunnedah is more remote so should be more expensive, only to find out that at Gunnedah it is only 62 cents, work out the logic in all that.
Monday 24th September 2007, Goondiwindi.
We have now moved on about 320K west to Goondiwindi, Map. We travelled via Warwick instead of Toowoomba as the climb into Toowoomba is too steep. We went up it a few years ago and swore never to do it again. The Cunningham’s gap on the way to Warwick is also steep but not as bad as the other. Once at Warwick we turned right and went on to Goondiwindi. We only intend staying here overnight and we don’t even intend unhooking the car from the van so it will be rest only overnight, ready for another 300k tomorrow.
Saturday 22nd September 2007, Ipswich.
We are on the road again. We have two weeks to get to Melbourne and not really looking forward to it being so quick, we have never travelled so far in less than a couple of months or so. We have to travel this quickly so we can get back to Tassie on time for a few chores.
We are now at Ipswich, not far south of Brisbane. We have never been here before so we decided to make our first leg a short one to get used to travel again, and have a short look at the district. It does seem like a nice enough area and would be worth a lengthy visit here one day. There may be a little more incentive to do so if there were more options for caravan parks here. Not that there is anything wrong with the park we are in, but it is the only one our information indicated was in the district. We went on a short look around town today, just to have a rough look, and stumbled across a lookout with a difference. There is a very large water tower on top of the highest hill in town and one can climb up onto the top of it to get 360 degree views of the area. We don’t intend looking around much as we won’t see much in just a couple of days, as I said it could be worth spending an extended visit here one day.
Friday 14th September 2007, Sunshine Coast.
So much for the friendly nature of the panel-beaters: They are a company I would never recommend to anybody. Even though I mentioned earlier they were friendly, I now have the impression that was only because they wanted my business. After their assurance that the work would be done in two days I am convinced that without my pressure on them completing the job it would not have been completed until mid next week. They have never once shown any sort of sympathy, or similar, to my situation of being a visitor and have travel commitments to meet. Their work was a little shoddy, but I suppose acceptable considering the age and present state of the car, and they did overlook a couple of things like hinge seal covers, but they do say they will overcome the shortcomings. Anyway we do now have the car back, so we can now start to load it up again and make ready for our trip south.
Monday 10th September 2007, Sunshine Coast.
Things are now starting to come together and we are in a position to make a decision when to leave and start heading south. At this stage it is very much looking like Friday next week, the 21st. One thing that helped in making the decision was a visit to the Panel-beaters this morning; I was surprised the see them appear to be very helpful and decided that the job must be done soon. I told them that this is just as well because my visit was to inform them that the job would be cancelled if not done this week. We are booked in for Wednesday and they assure me the repairs will be done.
We will be heading towards Melbourne along the inland route as there are a couple of places we wish to visit. We won’t be travelling in the fashion of most of the Victorians who come here for Winter, and get back home in a couple of days. We will be taking at least three weeks and this will be considered as a big rush, as we will only be staying at places for about two or three days instead of our usual week, so I guess there will not be much sight-seeing being done on this journey.
We bumped into and ex work acquaintance Peter, and his wife Vicky, over the past week or so staying in the same caravan park. They have also obviously gotten the travel bug in their retirement, and it would be nice if we were to meet them again in our travels some time in the future. We will be staying in contact, I guess, as we have exchanged email address’s.
Tuesday 4th September 2007, Sunshine Coast still.
Linda has now returned from Melbourne and enjoyed her visit with the grandkids tremendously, especially being able to have some prime time with Narrelle and Matt and their kids as they have spent the last eighteen months in England. She has been back for a few sunny days, but as I speak it is raining again, and looks like continuing for a few days.
We will be here for another few weeks, depending on how long Linda wants to enjoy the warmth, during which time we will decide when we want to be back down south for our return to Tassie, and which route we will take to get there.
I am especially enjoying Linda’s return as I had a miserable week last week with a tummy bug, and even though I have recovered it is nice to have someone to look after, and spoil, me again.