Tuesday 30th October 2012, Dubbo.

Another move and we are at Dubbo. A wet trip today with just a little rain most of the way after passing Coonabarabran, but just after Coonabarabran we hit a hail storm. You wouldn’t believe that we had just approached the steepest section of road on this trip, and it had just been resealed with no line markings, when the storm hit us. I should have pulled over because it was difficult to see anything but to stop half way up the steep hill in the best of conditions would be difficult so I decided to press on regardless, and we did make it. Only two more trips before we arrive in Melbourne and Linda can’t wait, not because she wants to get there, but she just doesn’t like the travel. It has just occurred to her that it has been twelve months since she has had to travel, as she flew up to Brisbane earlier this year, and she is just not used to it, but not that she ever was.


Sunday 28th October 2012, Moree.

Our second leg takes us to Moree, into NSW and daylight saving time. I have set up just in time to watch the Moto GP on telly as it is Stoner’s last race. We have stopped here for Linda to visit the hot pools here at the caravan park, and isn’t it typical that this park charges a bit more than others, because it has the hot pools, and we would have been given what could be the worst site in the caravan park. The site is one of the only uneven sites in the park, it is an extremely narrow site with no room for an annexe, not that we want to put one up, the only tree close by is behind our site offering no shade at all, in fact the site has no shade at all, and the tree is in direct line of the dodgy TV reception and is probably the reason for the trouble with one of the channels. Thank heavens for satellite TV.


Friday 26th October 2012, Millmerran.

On our way back to Melbourne with the first leg done. We are now at Millmerran, about half way between Goondiwindi and Toowoomba, and will be here for two days. We are definitely abiding by our two main travel rules on this trip: 1/ trips of only 300 kilometres or so, although the last couple of legs may be just a little more, 2/ no two consecutive days of travel, meaning two nights at each place. The caravan park here has been done up a fair bit since we were here last so maybe the prices are justified. There is another park in town that is a fair bit cheaper, but it is on the highway and we have been advised not to stop there because of the noise, it didn’t look much anyway. Enough for now, I am going to settle in and relax.

Beachmere, About to depart.

Monday 22nd October 2012, Beachmere.

Full on rush mode has started already with us having made the decision to depart for southern areas on Friday. Today is the last full free day I have until Thursday as I now have two days work at the museum, and then on Thursday we will be packing up for the move. We are thinking that we have left our move a little late as it is starting to warm up here substantially and we are thinking that we are just not used to it. One would think a little different after us spending last year in Darwin, but we said then that what we found hard to come to grips with was the consistency of the warmth, and that is also what it seems to be like here as well at this time of the year. We are planning on taking about eight days to get to Melbourne and arrive on the weekend of 3-4 November. I have also been a little busy the last few days with TV repairs, not with others but with our own system. It was well demonstrated to me how difficult it can be finding faults with digital reception, it just seems much more difficult to locate a problem than with the analogue system, especially when there is more than one fault, or at least when the new replacement part is also faulty. All is good now and the new STB I bought seems to have a super sensitive tuner, which could be a bonus.

Beachmere with Battery problems.

Friday 5th October 2012, Beachmere.

I finally have a story to put down. The events of the past few days have got to be worth printing.

Monday, went to start the car and the battery was down and wouldn’t turn the engine over, being diesel we need a very good battery, so I turned on the battery charger for ten minutes or so and that was then enough to start the car. I am now wondering if we left something turned on for the day, but could not come up with anything. The battery is three years old and heavy duty, and I would have expected it to last longer than three years. We drove around Caboolture, and here, all day stopping and starting several times without any problems, so I decided to leave the charger on it all night and take it to work on Tuesday to take it to Battery World to test it. The test showed it was down a little and we decided it may last a while longer, although the technician indicated that three years is about what he would expect.

Wednesday, AM, jumped in the car to go to Caboolture rail station to catch a train to work, as usual. PM came back by train to Caboolture and the battery is flat again. Called RACQ to come and jump start me and his test indicated a faulty cell so I decided I would replace it on Thursday.

Thursday, after having the charger on all night again the battery even then failed to start the car, so after a jump start from a neighbour I went into Caboolture to get a replacement. On the way I noticed an orange light lit on the dash-board being an engine warning light. While the new battery was being fitted I read the owner’s manual to find out about the warning light and it turns out to be a result of the electrical problem with the battery, and I would have to go to a dealer to get them to turn the light off. PM, I have made an appointment for Friday to take the car to the dealer to fix the problem.

Friday, I attend the dealers for repairs to be informed that there is a recall on the towbar and they would replace it while we were there. It seems funny that we have been towing the caravan around for five years, and done 100,000 kilometres doing so, and they are going to replace the towbar because of a possible fault. At least I will now be able to tell the story of how I went to the Ford dealer one day to have a dashboard light turned off, and returned home with a new towbar. It did also cost me $65.00 to have the light turned off though, but at least now I have had a decent diagnostic check done on the car, and they could tell me that I have had two instances of battery problems, and that I had run out of fuel at some stage as well, which is also true but that story has already been told.