Wagga Wagga

Friday 30th March 2007, Wagga.

It seems to me lately that because I am posting these memoirs on the web site that I may not be putting down as much as I was prior to doing so. This was never my intention, as I originally intended the memoirs to also be a record of things, like improvements to the van, that we undertake as a reminder for later.

The thing that bought me to this idea is the job I did on Wednesday: I have for a while now been considering a different battery charger for the caravan. I do have a few things, like the TV, running on 12 volts all the time so it is my idea that while we have 240 v connected that the charger should provide that power instead of wearing out the battery by constant discharge and recharge by solar panels only. I have never been really happy with the small charger I have been running as it didn’t provide enough power to successfully do the task and I didn’t like the idea of leaving it running all night, as it possibly resulted in overcharging the battery (I won’t go into all the technical details).

Anyway I have for a while now been keeping my eye out for a new charger that would adequately perform the required tasks and have noted one that Super Cheap Auto have had. It is one of ‘Switch Mode Technology’ so it is more efficient, and doesn’t have that heavy transformer as that of the older ‘Linear Technology’ models. So for a little over $100.00 I got a 10 amp charger that is light, in fact about the same weight as the one it replaces, and will provide all the power necessary and is automatic. This means I can leave it connected to the battery all the time, and when it needs to it provides just the amount of power one is using, then when there is no load it will just maintain the battery at full charge. So far it seems to be performing immaculately.

All this is also in readiness for us replacing our fridge in the van. The one we have now is a three way, 240/12 v and gas, and is very inefficient on 12v when travelling. The intention is to replace it with a 12v compressor type, much more efficient, and no messing around changing power supplies for whatever mode we want to use. This will be a great advantage when, or if, we get to the west next year and do a lot of camping out. It will mean a lot less use of gas as well.

Now you can see why I have tended to leave these type stories out, I tend to waffle a bit.

Anyway we got one of our biggest walks out of the way today, a 10 k walk along the Murrumbidgee river and around part of Wagga. This was a good test for the practise walking we have done lately in preparation for The Rock and it all went extremely well.

We were surprised to see so much water in the river as I do recall seeing a story recently that indicated that the Murrumbidgee, or maybe it was the Darling, was almost dry. The level is down a bit, but there is still a fair flow which could explain why the caravan park manager told me they are only on level 1 water restrictions here. Then the level may have increased lately with the rain the whole area has been getting.

Wagga Wagga

Wednesday 28th March 2007, Wagga Wagga.

Today was spent deciding what we intend to do while here, and after visiting the information centre we have found that there is heaps to do in this area. We were here in Wagga back in October 2001 for a week and I do not have any memories of doing much at all, until I went back and read my memoirs of that visit to find out that we were rained in on that visit and decided to return one day to see the area. Well here we are, and it now looks like we will be here for at least two weeks instead of the one planned.

It seems that most of the small towns we intend visiting are within short distances from here so it would probably be sensible, and financially beneficial, to stay at Wagga and make day trips to the other townships. Below is a map showing places such as: The Rock, this is a small town but near it is a hill called The Rock that is a walk that we have been looking forward to. Lockhart, where we intended staying this week but no phone coverage, and just north of there is another walk we intend doing. To the north are Junee and Temora, and north west is Leeton. We probably won’t day trip to Temora as we are hoping to actually say there on our way north.

Also on the map, in blue, is the route we travelled yesterday.

Wagga Wagga

Tuesday 27th March 2007, Wagga Wagga.

How easy it is to change plans: We headed off this morning with the intention of going to a small town called Lockhart, 100 km northish of Albury, and 50 km South west of Wagga. We knew it was a small town and the main reason for picking it was so we could visit a place called the rock, a good bushwalk to a mountain called “The Rock”. When we arrived at Lockhart we found there was no mobile reception, well I had a little CDMA but there was nothing else, no Internet. We also discovered, well at least Linda did, that the Rock was a lot further from Lockhart as was originally thought and it was actually closer to Wagga, so the decision was made to go to Wagga Wagga instead. It is probably a pity because the town was quite a nice looking town, and very green, and the caravan park looked quite nice as well. We would probably have been the only tourists at the park, but it was situated on the edge of the local water, being a river or creek, and was rather lush with grass cover. It would more than likely have been a very nice little place to sit for a week or so, but we can’t do without phones, or Internet, so that is that.

We intend going back to Lockhart from Wagga on a day trip and have a good look at the town and whatever is in the area. We could also do and see a few other areas from Wagga while here, possibly instead of making very short trips with the van.

Bright

Friday 23rd March 2007 Bright.

Linda is back home so things are now getting back to normal.

We found a few tricks with catching the train from this area to Melbourne: The one Linda caught going down was actually a NSW train from Sydney and cost $22.00, reasonable we thought, but coming back she caught a V-Line, Victorian, train and it only cost $10.00. So it is cheaper catching the Victorian train. Bear in mind we are eligible for a concession holding a Victorian health care card. We also learned that it is a big saving if one catches it from Wodonga instead of Albury to Melbourne, which is what Linda could be doing next year if Nelle and Matt are back in Aus and in the Albury area.

We are now looking forward to a few days relaxation before we up camp again and move on Tuesday.

Bright

Tuesday 20th March 2007, Bright.

Miserable days with it constantly raining. Nothing to do so I went for a drive to the north east, and ended up at Tallangatta, near Albury. Lake Hume, when in contains water, also encompasses some of this area and it is that low that the water is back to the original river level. It was interesting to note that the lake has been dry for that long that the grass has re-grown where the water has subsided. I did end up at Albury and had a practice run along the new free-way bypass, as we will have to travel this route around Albury when we leave here on to our next trip.