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Welcome to my Blog

I have moved my blog from its old Google server to this server. Things have not always copied across accurately and some of the links might not work so please bear with me as I try to correct things. There seems to be a particular problem with some of the maps so I am trying to correct that – apparently it is a Google Maps bug.

If you want to be notified when there is a new post please enter your email address in the box at the bottom of the right hand sidebar. I only add posts when I travel so this blog can remain static for weeks then suddenly get a series of daily entries.

Anyway I hope you enjoy them. You can follow or catch up with a specific journey by clicking on the name of the journey in the “Category” list at the right, there is even a monthly list too.

My kitchen, simple but effective.

29th November 2020–Beat the Heat

Distance: 329km
Fuel: 32L

Finally decided to abort my trip with the heatwave in NSW continuing. The weather forecast was terrible for next week. I can cope with temperatures up to about 32/3’ but over that is starting to get too hot for comfort.

As I was only just over 300km from home decided to set off across the Blue Mountains and make for Wollongong, the traffic was not too bad on a Sunday. It was extremely hot and windy most of the way but fortunately I did not run into any fires.

In the end I was home about 1pm after a not too bad trip. A bit disappointed about shortening my get away but them’s the breaks it is nearly summer and very late in the season for the inland.

I have got a few ideas from this trip, I was very pleased with my awning, so much lighter than the gazebo and with the addition of a couple of simple ties it is so easy to put up. I the only problem I can see is getting the car facing the right way to use it on some sites.

The one thing that really needs solving is for the rare nights when it rains, I hate sleeping in the camper with both outer doors shut so that is something I need to work on. It is not urgent but I would like a solution.

Statistics for this short trip.

Total Distance: 1424Km
Total Fuel: 152L
Average Price/L: $1.17

I think the pandemic has raised the overnight price of caravan parks because there was nothing under $30 a night.

28th November 2020–Wandering Orange

Distance: 23Km
Fuel: 38L

The temperature was 35’C today but nothing like those temperatures at Lake Cargelligo, Broken Hill or even Sydney where it got into the mid 40s. As I write this in the evening there are three severe weather warnings for Orange. Thunderstorms and hail, high winds and extreme fire danger.

Anyway back to this morning…

Just after 9am I drove to the tourist information office to obtain some brochures, one was called Orange Heritage Walk so decided to try that as it started nearby. It was quite interesting, personally I thought it included far too many Federation style houses of the important citizens for my taste. Orange has a lot of federation style houses. Anyway here is some of what I saw.

OrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrangeOrange

Sat in the park for a while watching people walk by. Afterwards I drove a few km out of town to see the memorial to the birthplace of Banjo Patterson.

Banjo Paterson Birthplace MemorialBanjo Paterson Birthplace Memorial

It is not often that power poles get mentioned in a tourist guide but this one did:

Orange

That is not just any pole,  this is the first pole put up for the new fangled electricity when it came to Orange. This is not a reproduction nor a replica pole, this is it! How’s that for heritage?

Went back to the caravan park for lunch and a chance to sit in the shade as the day was getting very hot.

Mid/late afternoon drove to get fuel, the cheapest since leaving home at only $1.07 a litre! Looked for a coffee place but Saturday afternoon seems to fill up all the parking places. So returned to the caravan park again and made tea.

There was a Foodworks Supermarket just over half a km from the park so went for a walk to that. I bought mushrooms, tomato and soy sauce to add to my evening meal.

According to the ABC News many temperature records were broken and it is not even summer yet. Next week is looking hot too so it is a bit disappointing. I am good up to abut 32’ but once it gets over that I am not a happy bunny.

27th November 2020–A Bit of Colour

Distance: 299Km

Not much to report today. Up at 6am, showered and breakfasted by 7am, read my book for a while before packing every thing up and yet more reading before connecting up the camper. Didn’t leave until 9.30 am otherwise I would arrive at the next park too early too early.

Headed north to Condobolin where I stopped to admire the “Utes in a Paddock” exhibit. Boy was it hot!

Utes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock CondobolinUtes in the Paddock Condobolin

The rest of the journey was just driving east with no hold ups.

Between Condo and ParkesBetween Condo and Parkes

Even got into a traffic jam as I got nearer to Orange.

Between Parkes and Orrange

It was a bit of a shock when the gearbox changed down going up hill because the central west is so flat and I was approaching the Great Dividing Range. It was noticeably cooler in Orange though that is relative it was still 30’

I have been to this park before under very different conditions when I was returning from Queensland – it was cold and wet on that occasion.

Colour City Caravan Park Orange

26th November 2020–Taking the Waters

Distance: 154km
Fuel: 42L

It was going to be hot today, in the event it got to over 37’C and looking at the forecast it is not going to get any better next week – 42’ on the weekend.

The morning was fine, about 21’ while I was having breakfast, the trees in the park are alive with birds every morning and evening, Magpies, parrots, honey eaters and Pee Wees in abundance. A pair of these parrots watched me eat breakfast.

Lakeview Caravan Park Lake Cargelligo

First drive of the day was to the supermarket to buy milk but as the morning started to heat up decided to look for water so it was off to Lake Cargelligo Weir about 20km outside town.

Lake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo Weir

In typical Australian fashion the weir and the water control area was fenced and sign posted to warn of the perils. Unfortunately the ends of the fence were wrapped round a tree near the creek banks and you could just walk round it.

This weir is a regulator that controls the amount of water going to Lake Cargelligo or allows it to flow to the Lachlan River (as I understand it). There seems to be no water shortage here.

Lake Cargelligo WeirLake Cargelligo Weir

Next stop was Curlew Waters, I must admit the water was very inviting so I had a paddle.

Curlew WatersCurlew Waters

The entry road to Curlew Waters was lined with a cluster of letter boxes, common in rural areas where the postman only visits the end of the track.

Deliverance Country

I decided to follow the dirt road to where these properties were.

vlcsnap-2020-11-27-07h12m26s742Curlew Waters

Real Deliverance country. Smile

Back to the caravan park for lunch after which I decided to visit Deadmans Point on the outskirts of town.

Deadmans PointDeadmans Point

This was the site of an Aboriginal Midden and a Sheep Wash – basically the sheep were driven into the water, submerged and made to swim ashore to clean their fleece.

Lake Cargelligo Deadmans PointLake Cargelligo Deadmans Point

The next trip was a complete washout. I had been told that Booberoi Weir was worth a visit so I drove to Euabalong but I just couldn’t find the weir at all.

In the late afternoon re-erected my awning which was done much more efficiently this time.

Lakeview Caravan Park Lake Cargelligo

I think I might start leaving the gazebo at home when I am travelling by myself, this is much lighter and, with practice, easier to put up and take down.

In the evening a branch decided to fall off the tree next to my camp site – a good reason not to have gum trees in your garden they have a habit of shedding branches.

Fallen Branch

I had originally few plans for this trip other than to get out of the house for a bit. I don’t think I have ever travelled this late in the spring. I had intended to go west but the heat coming in from northern and central Australia is likely to continue so tomorrow I am going to Orange where it is a little cooler from there I can decide if I will continue – it will all depend on the weather forecast but that is not looking good.

25th November 2020–Lake Cargelligo

Distance: 286Km

I hadn’t intended to leave Young before 10am (chucking out time) but after breakfast started to pack things away and it literally took me 15 minutes so  set off ridiculously early at 8.30am.

Virtually no traffic on the roads, mostly minor roads cutting across country. First stop was West Wyalong where I had coffee. Was able to park in the main street taking up two spaces. I wonder what happened to make West Wyalong bigger than Wyalong? Wyalong you would blink and miss. (Answer – it was probably gold!)

West WyalongWest Wyalong

Continued on after filling up with a flat white and carrot cake.

An otherwise non descript small town of Ungarie provided the next surprise. The town sign said “Ungarie – Home of Australia’s Biggest Football” and sure enough on a street of mostly empty and/or derelict shops was an AFL footie on a pole. (That description of the town is probably unfair it is no worse than many small towns I pass through)

The Big Football Ungarie

Arrived at Lake Cargelligo just after midday and checked in. The spaces were large but not much shade – I squashed up into some shade but needn’t he bothered because by md afternoon it had all moved to the next site.

After setting up drove to the town centre to do some shopping and have a brief look round.

Lake CargelligoLake CargelligoLake Cargelligo

I suppose November is the end of the “season” for tourism as it is starting to get warm (42’ is forecast for the weekend) but it is quite a nice spot for those interested in boating, fishing and bird watching. I must admit that my only reason for visiting was that I have never been here before. The lady in charge of the park pointed out all the attractions the town has to offer and marked them on a map so I will look at them tomorrow.

Lake Cargelligo

Just for a change I set up the awning I had made for my car rather than the gazebo. Embarrassingly it took longer to set up than the gazebo but that was entirely due to my inexperience ie I kept having to retrieve forgotten pegs, hammer  etc which virtually set me back to the start. In the end it turned out very well. The only problem with it is that the car is stuck in one position while it is up.

By evening the campground was not even half full.

25th November 2020–Exploring Young

Distance: 12.5Km
Fuel: 39L

Surprisingly misty this morning but pleasantly warm, no rush to do anything so had a leisurely breakfast after my shower.

Was in two minds whether to walk into town but decided to drive to the furthest end of the Heritage Walk – a brochure provided by the Tourist Office in the rain yesterday. I parked appropriately near the Senior Citizens Centre before setting off.

Young FootbridgeCaptain Cook WeirLambing Flats Riot Act Old CourthouseRotundaChurchLambing Flats MuseumLambing Flats Museum

I have been to Young several times before but apart from visiting the Chinese Tribute Gardens haven’t really explored the town. Most of its heritage is centred about the gold rush and the Lambing Flats Riots which eventually led to the White Australia Policy.

Chinese Tribute GardenChinese Tribute GardenChinese Tribute GardenChinese Tribute GardenChinese Tribute GardenChinese Tribute Garden

After extensively walking about town drove to the Chinese Tribute Gardens a few kilometres outside town.

Drove back to the caravan park to have some lunch and look at the town centre.

YoungYoungYoungYoungYoungYoung

Cooked some rice, bacon and potato for dinner before finding that I lost the bottle of Tabasco Sauce that  I was sure I had – pepper had to be a poor substitute. It’s a cruel world.

After dinner dismantled and packed away the gazebo, then a trip to the petrol station for fuel because I am leaving tomorrow.

23rd November 2020–Back on the Road!

Distance: 346 Km

It has been a year since I last used the camper! All the trips planned for earlier in the year had to be cancelled because of the pandemic and travel restrictions.

Have absolutely no idea where I am going but it is just so good to be moving again. Limited to NSW as the Queensland border is still closed, not sure what the status of SA is but I think the Victorian border has just been opened however this is just a try out to see what the Covid restrictions are like.

This morning set off from home at about 9.20am in wet and miserable conditions with the possibility of thunderstorms along the way. I suppose I could have waited another day but I just wanted to get moving.

Not an exciting first day, up Mount Ousley then down the Hume Highway until the Boorowa turn off then headed for Young. The weather was too miserable to stop so I did only make one stop to stretch my legs.

Young

Have been to Young many times before but it is a nice place to stop and the weather tomorrow looks promising.

Arrived just after 1pm, even set up the gazebo to provide shelter. One of the things that is immediately obvious is the absence of working holiday backpackers, the park is full of grey nomads with the notable exception of one family with a three  kids that arrived later in the afternoon.

Young Tourist Park

After a cup of tea, and despite the threatening clouds, decided to go for a walk into Young more for the exercise than anything else.  The town centre isn’t far away.

Rocky FM

But I didn’t make it that far

Tourist Office - Old Railway Station201123 013 Young Sign and Tourist Office Railway

Only got as far as the tourist office situated in the old railway station. As I arrived the heavens opened with thunder accompaniment it so I had no choice but to sit on one of the railway benches until it passed which it did after about ten minutes.

Young - Cherry SignYoung - Cherry Sign

Decided  the wisest thing was to stroll back to the caravan park.

YoungYoung

When I returned to my camp I found that the gazebo had collected a lot of water in the roof (easily fixed) however from then on the weather started to clear up, later  the sun actually appeared and stayed until it disappeared behind the trees.

Not the best day to start a trip but I didn’t care, at least I wasn’t stuck at home and it should only get better.

24th October 2019–A Long Drive

Distance: 978 km
Fuel: 99 L

A lovely morning but time to go home. The original intention was to make two overnight stops on the way home at Benalla and Gundagai, then it was decided to make only one stop at Holbrook. The drive through Melbourne’s motorway network had proved uneventful, even the short stretch of normal roads to get onto the Hume Highway had been pretty easy (only took a couple of wrong turns).

We had stopped every couple of hours to stretch our legs so that when we got near Holbrook I felt quite alright to drive on to see how far we got and by the time we passed the Canberra turn offs it seemed silly not to continue on to Wollongong.

Arrived home at 8.30pm, in fact the worst bit of the journey was the night roadworks on the F6 near Northcliffe Drive. I haven’t driven that far in one day since I drove from Brisbane to Sydney in one day in the 1960s (no multilane roads then).

Bugs

Statistics

Distance Travelled: 3795 km
Fuel Used: 384 L
Average Fuel Price: $1.48/L
Accommodation Cost: $440

Not a bad holiday and we eventually saw everything that we set out to see. Some of the travelling was avoiding the cold weather which set in over SE Victoria hence the rather strange route.

23rd October 2019–San Remo & About

Distance: 37 km
Fuel: 31 L

Quite thick fog and very heavy dew this morning – great for getting bugs off the windscreen but cold and wet.

San Remo

Even after 10am the fog persisted as a sea mist.

San Remo

it cleared as the day got warmer.

Did some shopping and looking around San Remo before going to see the advertised Pelican Feeding at noon.

San RemoSan Remo

Not very excited about this as there are plenty of pelicans in Wollongong. Anyway there were a few hanging about waiting for a feed though in the event they didn’t seem that hungry.

San RemoSan Remo Pelican FeedingSan Remo Pelican FeedingSan Remo Pelican Feeding

Drove onto Phillip Island for one last time to see Pyramid Rock it has a good lookout at the end of a dirt road.

But first a quick stop to look at the Big Wave.

Phillip Island The Big WavePhillip Island The Big Wave

Then on to Pyramid Rock…

Phillip Island Pyramid RockPhillip Island Pyramid RockPhillip Island Pyramid RockPhillip Island Pyramid RockPhillip Island Pyramid Rock

Back at the caravan park spent the late afternoon enjoying the sunshine. Dismantled the gazebo at about 6pm before walking back to the shopping centre to look for dinner. Strolled across to a sculpture by the bridge before deciding on Thai food again.

San RemoSan Remo

The holiday is nearly over, the next couple of days are going to be taken up with driving home.

22nd October 2019–Penguins

Distance: 311 km

A cold Ballarat morning, no rushing to get away only 230(ish)Km to travel today. Staying at San Remo on the mainland rather than Phillip Island itself where the camping fees are ridiculous.

From Ballarat it was expressway right into Melbourne however that might have been a mistake because as we neared Melbourne the traffic got heavier and slowed to a crawl until past the West Gate Bridge. Might try to detour round Melbourne when we head north rather than use the expressways.

Despite these holdups arrived at San Remo just after midday and settled in on a very nice grassy site in an almost empty park.

San Remo Holiday Park

Because it was so early and a lovely sunny day investigated going to Penguin Parade today rather than waiting until tomorrow and booked a general viewing ticket on line. The penguins don’t return to land until after sunset so there was plenty of time for other things.

Washed a couple of T shirts and undies to give me enough clean clothes to get back home without further washing before setting off for Phillip Island. The bridge to the island is a few hundred metres from the caravan park but you forget how big the island actually is, after about a 20 minute drive found where Penguin Parade is located then drove on to The Nobbies. Spectacular scenery as usual even saw a whale in the distance which surprised me as I thought they would all be much further north by now.

The Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip IslandThe Nobbies Phillip Island

After spending quite some time there drove to Cowes for dinner. Decided on a Thai restaurant near the pier, it turned out to be an excellent Thai meal. By the time our meal was over it was just after 7pm and time to make our way back to see the penguins.

Cowes Phillip IslandCowes Phillip IslandCowes Phillip IslandCowes Phillip Island

Managed to get a girl at the ticket counter to print out the bar codes of the tickets from the receipt emails because I was not sure that I would be able to find them for scanning at the turnstiles. Smile

The Penguin Parade building was massive with food, souvenirs, information, rest areas, the lot – just before sunset made our way out to the viewing platforms. A fellow gave a talk about the penguins which was repeated in Chinese (I would guess that 90% of the visitors were Chinese tourists). I learned that of all the 18 species of penguins the Australian Fairy Penguins are the only ones that spend all day at sea and only come ashore en masse after sunset. It keeps them safe(r) from predators like raptors (Fairy Penguins are only about 33cm tall – ie snack sized), apparently the other 17 species come and go between the land and the sea as they please.

It was cold and got colder. At about 8.15pm the first penguins appeared at the waters edge and thereafter more and more came ashore. They all gathered at the waters edge before rushing across the sand to the undergrowth. To be honest at first I couldn’t see them at all but eventually made them out – should have taken my binoculars. Watched them arriving for half an hour or so before the cold decided that we would leave. Walking back along the boardwalks we saw dozens of them making their way back to their burrows.

Penguin Parade Phillip IslandPenguin Parade Phillip Island

Visitors are not allowed to take photographs but they let you download theirs, here are a couple.

PenguinsPenguins

Personally I thought the penguin tours in Tasmania were better, far less crowded – ten people instead of hundreds, you seemed much closer to the birds and you could take photos (without flash).  I am glad I went but it is added to my “Do Not Bother Going Again” list which includes – Scenic World, Great Ocean Road, The Stockman Hall of Fame, Waltzing Matilda Museum and now Penguin Parade.

Arrived back at the caravan park at nearly 10pm, overall another good day out.