Thursday 26th November 2009, Kilmore.
We are experiencing the hassles of getting a caravan site without a concrete slab, as is the case here due to not having much of a choice when we arrived. Typical Victorian weather has so far thrown everything at us and on two occasions so far we have had a downpour that heavy we have had pools of water outside the door of the van. We suffered the first time, but went out and bought some thick foam square matting that all clip together to make a large flooring, and this made us a little more prepared for what was thrown at us today. Today was a new experience with rain though: We were actually on the road coming home when the downpour occurred and when we got home we found the water had actually come in the partially opened windows and drowned the seats, we have never experienced this yet, the wind must have been that strong the rain must have been coming down horizontally.
Anyway for more cheery things: My 60th birthday, yesterday, celebrations are now over, just having a small one with some of the family, so now it is time to try to settle down to somewhat of a normal routine, if that is possible nearing Christmas and all, and having the family close by.
Friday 20th November 2009, Kilmore.
Once again I can’t believe it has been a week since the last report. I know we had the idea of relaxing at Cobram, seeing it was such a nice place to do just that, but again we didn’t do much at all while there and the time was gone before we knew it. We are now at Kilmore, near Melbourne (see map), and will be here for a while over the Christmas period. This may be an on and off stay as we may just pack up occasionally and go for a visit somewhere. We have over the years been saying we would like to do this and see some of Victoria while down this way, but we inevitably spend all our time here visiting the Kids, so we really should do it this year.
Thursday 12th November 2009, Cobram.
How we can easily change our minds, and how nice it is. We had intended to only go as far as a small town called Finley as Linda had heard a bit about the town and how the caravan park is next to a lake that has walking tracks around it etc. etc. but when we arrived there, and I think it was that ‘being close to Melbourne’ thing again, we decided to go on to Cobram (see map) and stay there for a week then on to Kilmore. It is not that we didn’t like Finley, I think it was a bit small and we would prefer something bigger, perhaps we have had enough of new small towns for this trip, who knows. Anyway we have now settled in Cobram at the RAC resort, we decided to treat ourselves, but to our surprise when they deducted member discounts and such it turned out to probably be cheaper than the other parks anyway, and so far there is certainly nothing wrong with the park.
Wednesday 11th November 2009, Leeton.
We have decided to keep our visit here short as being a nice place we can see that we will come back here in the future when on our way either north or south along the Newel Highway. The usual is happening with us now being close to Melbourne and home, grandkid, sickness is starting to set in, so we are now looking forward to getting to Melbourne. We had a look around at a State Forrest just south of Yanco that is on the banks of the Murrumbidgee river that the locals raved about, but we decided that the area would have more interest to the locals for being picnic and recreation areas than to tourists unless they are interested in fishing, it was worth the trip to have a look at it anyway. We also went to the rice factory tourist centre for a look and that was very informative, as one generally take the production of that sort of thing for granted, and we were surprised to find out how the drought is effecting the production, or lack of, rice in the district. Now we are semi-packed ready for another move tomorrow.
Monday 9th November 2009, Leeton.
We are now at Leeton (see map) further south along the Newel Highway, but with a slight detour off the highway half way between Narrandera and Griffith. We have been through this town before and is one of the many over the years that we have said we must come back for a stay sometime, so here we are. Will be here for three or four days , depending on some maintenance on the van. I am not completely happy with the new brake repairs done at St George, with one wheel running a little hotter than the other, and it so happens it is the same one that gave us trouble. I suspect the handbrake cable could be a little tight and when we have been going over the many bumps on the roads out this way I suspect the cable might be tightening and slightly applying the brakes, I had noticed that since the repairs the cable was a little tighter than before, so it will be loosened somewhat. While I have it jacked up and the wheel off, the brake adjustment should be checked also, and make sure both brakes are actually working, I had once noticed the wiring joint by one of the wheels was not excellent so this will be checked. We are once again sitting inside with the air running as the temperatures are once again in the mid 30’s, the air has had a fair bit of running lately, we are wondering what we ever did without it.
Friday 6th November 2009, Forbes.
Nangar National Park was the order for the day, and it was a day with a difference. Looking at the brochure it turned out that it as well didn’t have any bush walking, except for one too long and hard to consider, but instead 4 wheel drive track to a lookout at Mt Nangar, so it turned out to be a boy’s day out for me doing my first major 4 wheel driving since buying ‘Tilly’, and it was hang on and near panic by Linda. All in all it was a good day out, for both of us that is, and a good rinse for ‘Tilly’ when I got home to get rid of the dust.
Thursday 5th November 2009, Forbes.
This is a nice caravan park we are in at Forbes, Country Club Caravan Park, and gives the impression that when built it would be one of the very few parks built by someone that has lived in a caravan, with sites being quite large, covered in fine blue metal for low maintenance and large grass areas around the sites. One of the only problems I can see is that the sites are that far apart it restrict the ease of meeting others as we are not as close as normal. While here we had the intention of visiting some of the National Parks and such for some bush-walking so a visit to the information centre was in order yesterday, but unfortunately the women running the centre on the day didn’t seem to know much about what the visitor wanted and we basically had to find the brochures ourselves. One place we wanted to visit the Back Yamma State Forest so it was on the agenda for today, but when we got there we found it only had forestry roads and no walking tracks as such, so consequently, apart from filling in a couple of hours 4 wheel driving, the trip was a waste of time. We did consider that this would be the case as we approached the area as there was no signage to get there, and this is normally a good indication that no one visits anyway, which definitely seemed to be the case. Oh well never mind there are a couple of National parks we are going to visit and with brochures on these giving directions we are sure we won’t be let down as we were today.
Monday 2nd November 2009, Forbes.
As much as we liked Warren as a nice tidy little town, not much to do there so three days was enough, I am still a bit peeved with the fact that the park owners put us on the site they did and I spent so much time every day cleaning the bird droppings off the caravan. This was a big deterrent from enjoying our time there, they did have a bar-b-que on Saturday night which was a welcome change, we haven’t stayed at a park that does that for a while. We have now moved to Forbes about 230K south along the Newel Highway (see map), and plan on being here for a week. We have tried a different park than we stayed at last time here and it does seem ok, although the high 30’s temperatures takes a little away from anything, and it is in the midst of an industrial area so it may get a little noisy during the day, but I’m sure that won’t be too hard to take.