Thursday 31st January 2008, Barmera.
Since we have been travelling with Jan/Les and Kay/Adrian, which is only after our fist trip together, we have learned that there are other things to consider whilst living in the manner that we do, and most importantly is health. Jan/Les and Kay/Adrian are a little more elderly than us and do have their health issues, and yesterday presented a problem with Adrian and his minor heart problems, if any heart problems are minor. A turn saw him placed in hospital for the day to have some tests, and at this stage we won’t know anything more until he has a follow up appointment on Friday. Kay has asked me at this point to mention something of the health system in this district, namely that they were quite surprised to find the service provided so far has been absolutely excellent and they couldn’t hope for better.
As I have mentioned in the past, we have learned that there have been reasons that we do not consider travel plans to be solid plans and can only be considered tentative plans. Adrian’s health issues have highlighted that health is a very influencing factor to consider during our travels because all of us are now of mind that we will now not even consider going to WA until Adrian has sorted out his problems and is fit to continue, even if this means we will now go on to Adelaide and sit there for a few weeks while he gets further treatment from a specialist. We have already decided to extend our visit here for another couple of days while he sorts things out and has some rest. We are still holding our booking for Maroochydore for this winter and have stipulated to the others that if necessary we will revert to our plans of going there and travelling to WA next summer.
Tuesday 29th January 2008, Barmera, SA.
We have now moved about 170k West into South Australia to Barmera, See Map, near Renmark and Berri. I have just remembered to adjust the different time zone, clocks and computer etc. This whole district is very rich in fruit, in fact they have their own Fruit fly zone even though it is in the same district as the large zone in Vic and NSW. We were told of the zone and there would be a check, but Kaye got caught with a big bag of potatoes she thought were ok, but they were confiscated, so one has to be careful.
We had an enlightening experience today with a truckie: Nearing Renmark we were approached by a semi and, as we often do, we had a conversation with the driver to let him know we would try not to hold him up. He then informed us he was not in any hurry and not worried about tailing us, and it turned out he was a local and then proceded to give us a running commentary of the area as we passed, and also gave us some info of what was in the area. This was much more than we would expect from a truckie, as most of them hate caravanners, so it was extremely welcome.
Saturday 26th January 2008, Wentworth.
We are now about to commence the trip we have been putting off for several years. We have had the idea that we would not enjoy all the travelling required on this trip, with not a great deal to see between much of it, but we have met up with two other couples, Les and Jan, and Kaye and Adrian, who are now doing the trip. We have the idea that having company would make the trip so much more enjoyable, especially seeing that they both live and travel in the same circumstances as us. We met Kaye and Adrian on our travels a few years ago and have kept in constant contact, and met Les and Jan at Windang last year. Les and Jan, and Kaye and Adrian have been travelling together most of the time since last year.
Wentworth, about 250k from Swan Hill, see Map, is in NSW just north west of Mildura, and is noted for being at the junction of the Murray and the Darling rivers. We are at present camped right on the banks of the Darling a few hundred meters above the junction and it is quite a nice park to camp at. The Darling river, at this point, seems to be full, but it is flowing in the wrong direction. It turns out that the Darling is actually not flowing yet, but is back filling from the Murray.
We will be spending the next couple of days sorting out travel arrangements with Les and Adrian before heading off on Tuesday.
Thursday 24th January 2008, Swan Hill.
Another 250k now sees us at Swan Hill, Map, again just overnight. We have been here before, and we only chose to stop here this time because a trip all the way to Wentworth was too far. It is raining at the moment so I hope it clears up by tomorrow.
Wednesday 23rd January 2008, Tatura.
We are finally on the road again. We travelled from Melbourne to Tatura, 20k west of Shepparton, today, Map. We chose to stay here, even though it is only 150k from Melbourne, to visit some friends we have met on the Sunshine coast over the past few years. We won’t get there this year so we decided to call in and see them on the way past.
Friday 18th January 2008, Melbourne.
We are now counting down the days till we are once again on the road, only 5 more sleeps. We intend leaving on Wednesday next week and head for Wentworth in New South Wales, near Mildura in Victoria, having a couple of stops on the way and arriving there on Friday or Saturday 25or 26th. After a few days at Wentworth we and the other two couples then intend heading for the Nullarbor Plains.
Monday 7th January 2008, Melbourne.
It is now only a little over two weeks before our plans to make the WA trip start, and Linda is showing signs of getting very itchy feet, it is normally me that can’t wait to get under way. I think she is starting to look very much forward to making the trip and I think traveling with friends has contributed to these feelings. We are now waiting for Matt and Louisa and kids to return from their Tassie visit so we can spend a little time with them before we start on this new venture.
We also have a new companion for our future travels called ‘Ted Tew’. This is a mascot, Teddy, chosen by Matt’s kids so he can feature in pictures of our travels. ‘Ted’ more than likely won’t feature much in my reports, but keep your eye out for him in some pictures, because Linda has undertaken to prepare her own travel reports mainly featuring ‘Ted’ and his travels for the grand children who might then get a little more appreciation of our travels.
This is Ted raring to go.