Wednesday 29th April 2015, Grafton.
We are now at Grafton, we have been going past here many times in the past so this time we decided to stop on the way. What mostly convinced us were reports on a caravan park that was excellent and very cheap, and what they were saying seems true. The management seems to think that by charging a reasonable price they will get more custom, and they were saying when we checked in that it was working. This only emphasises what I have been saying for a long time that most park owners are just plain money hungry, and their high prices are only driving people away, but unfortunately they are probably raising what they think is as much money with the less custom.
Our move here wasn’t without problems. On manoeuvring the car to park out of the way I backed into a tree and shattered the rear window in the canopy, and damaged the actual canopy. This is the reason this report is a day old, I have been busy organising the insurance claim and repairers so we can get the thing fixed before we move on. This now means we will probably be here for several weeks instead of just one, we can afford a maximum of 5 weeks before we must be in Brisbane.
Monday 27th April 2015, Macksville.
Now at Macksville, only for one night, and probably the last time.
It is only our intention to use this park for a stopover on our way up or down the coast, but they have now increased their price to our limit with the increase since last year being more than I would have expected. The park has been taken over by new owners since our last visit and they are obviously money hungry as well. I can’t handle how this park has to charge $35.00 per night when our next park in Grafton can manage with a charge of $22.00 per night, I think it is self explanatory.
Friday 24th April 2015, Swansea.
What a week! Tuesday wasn’t the end of it. Even though the strong wind had stopped early Wednesday morning it rained very heavily during Wednesday, to the extent that Lake Macquarie was at its capacity and the water had nowhere to run to from the caravan park so almost the entire park was up to six inches (150mm) under water. Everything did take a little time to clear but now all looks good and has basically dried up. The whole thing has put paid to any touristy sightseeing things we had intended, mainly because the locals are pleading with anyone to stay off roads in the area, unless it is necessary, to make it easier for emergency people to get around to do their thing as damage in the area is going to take some time to mend. As of now there are still thousands of people without power, and some are still completely isolated without any supplies. We will go for a little drive tomorrow and see if we can, but if it seems we may be getting in the way we will go back home. We are now just going to enjoy our last few days here and move on Monday to Macksville.
Tuesday 21st April 2015, Swansea. Entry 2.
Wrong again, we have found out that tonight’s forecast is possibly to be worse than last night, so the roof has come down and we have locked ourselves in the caravan with no need to go outside. It seems the weather has been bad all the way down the coast from here to Wollongong and has been the worst since 1974, as some people are quoting. We feel better now that the roof is down and will maybe sleep better tonight. It is supposed to ease about midnight so we are hoping that it does and we escape uninjured.
Tuesday 21st April 2015, Swansea.
We thought we were rained in at Camden! We have arrived in Newcastle area just in time for one of the worst reported storms for this district in many a year. Heavy rain and very strong winds are taking their toll overnight and still during today, and it is forecast for another 48 hours or so. When we arrived here yesterday we considered ourselves fortunate to be able to get our roof up to give us some shelter, but it turns out that it may well have been better if we hadn’t got it up at all. We have been fortunate so far not to have suffered any damage so it has been decided to leave the roof up as it is nice to have that bit of shelter. At the moment it seems that the worst of the storm is a little north of us but what we are getting is bad enough, and we are hoping that the bad bit doesn’t get this far south.
Monday 20th April 2015, Swansea (Newcastle).
What a day we had today. We have moved to Swansea, a suburb of Newcastle where we stay when in this area, and we did it in the rain again. The bad weather hit us over the past couple of days, and it is forecast for the next week or so. The problem was that we couldn’t go to Swansea early because it was booked out with school holidays, and Camden has a conference, or such, and is also booked out preventing us from staying longer. We decided we had no option but to move in the rain, much against our principles, and the second time we had to make that decision in the past few weeks. We were a bit fortunate though, as the forecast was for heavy rain yesterday and today, but we had some dry periods yesterday to pack up, and also today we had some reasonably dry periods to hook up and leave. It rained rather heavily most of the way down here, but it cleared for a short period permitting us to put up the roof as soon as we arrived. We are now settled in the van, with a roof up outside, the heater turned on in the van, and I am watching last night’s F1 race, so everything else, setting up wise, can just wait until I am ready to do it. We have warned them in the office that if it is raining when we are due to leave we will not be leaving, so don’t book our site for a while, and fortunately they complied.
Friday 17th April 2015, Camden.
So much, at this stage, for sightseeing. We are rained in, and look as though it is going to continue for the duration of the remainder of our stay, so it seems we are caravan bound. We did get out and about on Wednesday with some recon trips around the area checking out lakes and national parks. We went to a lookout of lake Burragorang, Sydney’s main water supply, and was pleasantly surprised by the size of the lake. It is in a deep valley with only a fraction of the valley full of water, and spreads for a much larger area than we could see. We had hoped to go to the end of the lake where the dam is, Warragamba dam, and have a look but the rain has so far put paid to that idea.
I am not at a loss of something to do though as I have just bought myself a new digital camera, and I now have plenty of time to play with it. The old one, about eleven years old, finally broke the folding clips for the battery compartment, so it was a bit hard to work it with the batteries falling out all the time. The new one has many more features than I would ever intend using, but it was well worth it. All I need to do now is find some decent weather to go out and take some pics with it.
Sister Sue, who lives in Sydney, has been advised of our visit to the area and is to call in for a visit tomorrow.
Monday 13th April 2015, Camden.
Here we are again with it being a full week, but I do have somewhat of an excuse this time. I have not been too well with my asthma playing up a bit lately, with the fun being going to a fresh doctor in Cootamundra for treatment and having to try to convince him of what the problem is and of my history with it. His treatment didn’t help any at all so I am trying a few of my own, and it is coming good to a degree so I will persist until we get to Beachmere and I will then go get further treatment from a doctor who knows my history and has some idea of treatment for it. The main problem is that my ailment generally only affects me in cold weather, normally July, but the past several weeks have been like winter hence it has flared up. I guess if all else fails we will have to make a rush for Beachmere instead of taking our time.
We are now at Camden again, south of Sydney, as this is now our stopover for this area when on our way this way. We were going to stay at Mittagong, but it is forecast to be a bit warmer here than there, hence the change of plans. This visit will be different than in the past because we are to be here for a week and will do some sightseeing, where in the past we just passed through.
Monday 6th April 2015, Cootamundra.
Both Linda and I are amazed that it has been over a week already since we left Melbourne area. We had a good relaxing time at Albury, except for the maintenance work, which is exactly what we intended. We may have no option to relax this week as the weather seems to have taken a bad turn, no surprise, well in fact it turned a few days ago, so off with the shorts and back on with the longs. We are now at Cootamundra, inland from Yass, as we didn’t want to stop at Yass so a small detour sees us here. We have been here before and it is a nice enough place so we will enjoy just relaxing. The weather here turns out to be no better either, so I guess the cold is hitting everywhere, the heater is on and will be on whenever needed.