Malaysian Holiday 2018 –The Last Day

22nd September 2018

Every trip must come to an end, I am catching the 3pm domestic flight from Alor Setar to KL then the 11pm flight back to Australia on the 23rd Sept.

A lot of washing to be done today which was normally no problem except that it rained and thundered so by the end of the day the washing was still damp. It is apparent that he low humidity of Australia dries washing much quicker despite the current higher temperatures here. The local laundromat beckoned…

Jitra LaundromatJitra LaundromatJitra Laundromat

RM4 ($1.20) for 25 minutes drying seemed reasonable to me.

Finally a small dinner at a local Thai Restaurant Rung Reang.  Prawns, Snakehead fish and Calamari.

Rung Reang RestaurantRung Reang RestaurantRung Reang RestaurantRung Reang Restaurant

I will miss the food. Actually I will miss food for a while; I have to lose some weight after this trip but what lovely food I have enjoyed over the last four weeks.

18/19th May 2018–Canberra & Home

18th May

Distance: 225 Km

Only a couple of hundred k’s to travel today to my daughter and son in law’s house in Canberra. My last chance to see them before they go to Europe for a six week holiday.

The scenery changed from the flat plains to rolling hills as I went south toward the Hume Highway. Didn’t stop in Boorowa because it was too early for coffee in the end I didn’t stop until I reached my destination.

19th May

Distance: 277 Km
Fuel: 51 L

Canberra is cold at night. There are a lot of nice things to be said about Canberra but its climate is not one of them.

Spent the morning with the kids then set off after lunch so they could continue their packing and travel preparations in peace.

Arrived home at about 5pm.

Statistics for Trip

Total Distance: 7905 Km
Total Fuel: 824 L
Length of Trip: 26 Days
Total Fuel Cost: $1205
Average Fuel Price: $1.46/L
Total Accommodation Cost: $723
Average Park Cost: $28.96

Summing up

Good trip – saw just about everything I expected or wanted to see and I enjoyed every minute of the trip. Love travelling inland Australia; there is nowhere in the world like it. Apart from the miserable weather near Ravenshoe on the way up the weather for the whole trip was near perfect; warm sunny days and, even in NSW, dry (cool) nights.

On occasions found towing a bit of a nuisance because it meant that in some towns or places of interest it was not possible to park or turn round. Would still use the camper for longer trips but for shorter trips am definitely thinking of going back to my tent with the option of the odd motel stay.

I don’t think I need a powered site because the solar panel on the car roof, together with the aux battery, seems to run the fridge easily with some power to spare. During the whole trip the fridge was never plugged into the mains power at all yet the battery remained fully charged or nearly so. We shall see, when spring comes I might give it a go again, I always liked camping.

17th May 2018–Cowra

Distance: 306 Km
Fuel: 32 L

Left this morning  just after 8.30am, easy pack up because there was no TV aerial to take down – according to my app the nearest transmitter was over 60 km away so I didn’t bother putting it up.

The sat nav took me to Dubbo on the main road but then decided that a country road was quicker than the main road to Cowra. Fine by me, usually less traffic but on the downside few rest areas. Looking at the map the difference must have been marginal. When you take into account that these back roads tend to wind more than main roads thus keeping to the speed limit is impossible so any time saving is probably an illusion but it was a nice drive.

180517 101 Road to Cowra180517 104 Road to Cowra

I stopped at a small town called Yeovil (one pub, one store) and bought a coffee – which was very good.

180517 001 Yeovil

Didn’t stop in Canowindra because I was there not that long ago (>>>Click Here<<<) but continued on to Cowra again a place I am familiar with.

180517 002 Road to Cowra180517 004 Road to Cowra

Chose a caravan park about 3km out of the centre of town and after setting up went for a drive for fuel and a look at some of the attractions.

First visit was to the WWII POW camp where the infamous Cowra Breakout occurred when Japanese prisoners attacked the guards and tried to escape or die in the process.

180517 007 POW Camp Site Guard Tower Cowra180517 008 POW Camp Site Cowra180517 009 POW Camp Site Cowra180517 011 POW Camp Site Cowra

Next stop the Peace Bell.

180517 026 Peace Bell Cowra180517 019 Peace Bell Cowra180517 023 Peace Bell Cowra180517 028 Peace Bell Cowra

Finally a trip to the Bellevue Hill lookout in the centre of town.

180517 031  Cowra180517 029  Cowra180517 032  Cowra180517 035  Cowra180517 036  Cowra180517 038  Cowra

16th May 2018–Gilgandra

Distance: 308 Km
Fuel: 35 L

Every night/morning is a little warmer than the previous (since the big chill).last night I had to throw off the summer doona and ditch the hot water bottle.

This morning was a very relaxed leaving, not that far to travel today so packing up was done in small bites, ie picked up and packed away mat, had some toast, put away TY aerial, had cup of tea etc – didn’t leave until 9am. Looked like being another perfect day.

180516 102 Toward Gilgandra180516 104 Toward Gilgandra

Coonamble was the only hold up – there must have been a very important person being buried because the town was at a standstill as the funeral procession went through, even the police were involved. I say a hold up but it was probably less than 15 minutes delay I have been held up longer for road works.

Gilgandra was reached just before 1pm after only one 20 minute stop to stretch my legs. The caravan park I had decided on was on the entry to town and only $25, small place but seems OK.

After setting up drove into town  for a look around and buy fuel. About the only thing that Gilgandra is well known for is the Coo-ee March of 1915 (that is probably a disservice to the town but that is all I know about the town).

At the beginning of the First World War about 20 local lads decided to walk to Sydney to enlist in the army. On the way they picked up recruits from the towns  they passed on the way. By the time they reached Sydney they were 300 strong – this is also known as the Gilgandra Snowball. Gilgandra has a statue in the main street commemorating this event.

180516 016 Co-ee March Memorial Gilgandra180516 011 Co-ee March Memorial Gilgandra180516 007 Gilgandra180516 004 Gilgandra180516 006 Gilgandra180516 009 Gilgandra180516 010 Gilgandra180516 014 Gilgandra180516 017 Gilgandra180516 029 Barneys Caravan Park Gilgandra180516 019 Castlereagh River Gilgandra180516 021 Castlereagh River Gilgandra

This trip is winding down, tomorrow is likely to be the last stop when I will be staying at Cowra.

15th May 2018–Lightning Ridge

Distance: 448 Km
Fuel: 49 L

Even as I left Roma I had not decided where I would stop for the night. I have previously stopped at Hebel (one pub, one store and about twenty houses) as well as Lightning Ridge (opal mining centre of NSW) so decide to just drive and see how felt when I arrived.

It was very dry country that I drove through, the grass was almost yellow but the weather was perfect, no need for air conditioning today. Didn’t stop at St George or Dirranbandi just kept going until I reached Hebel.

180515 102 On the Road to Lightning Ridge180515 103 On the Road to Lightning Ridge

When I was last in Hebel (click here) the General Store was up for sale with the threat of closure at Christmas if not sold but it was open when I arrived. I stopped in for a coffee and one of their home made pies (they are really good) and walked to their History Circle just to stretch my legs.

180515 001 Hebel180515 003 Hebel180515 005 Hebel180515 007 Hebel

It was only just after midday and the journey had been very easy so far; I decided to push on to Lightning Ridge which was only about 70km further on.

Goodbye Queensland:

180515 010 NSW Border

Arrived in Lightning Ridge at about 1pm and checked into the first caravan park I came to.

180515 012 Lightning Ridge180515 034 Lightning Ridge Outback Resort and Caravan Park180515 037 Lightning Ridge Outback Resort and Caravan Park180515 105 On the Road to Lightning Ridge180515 015 Lightning Ridge180515 017 Lightning Ridge180515 018 Lightning Ridge180515 019 Lightning Ridge180515 021 Lightning Ridge180515 027 Lightning Ridge180515 030 Lightning Ridge Artesian Bore Pool

Visited the Tourist Information Centre and paid $1 for a Car Door Tour guide. I don’t know if it is just an Aussie thing but a number of towns have these guides. An old car door is painted an appropriate colour and numbered indicating a point of interest, personally I quite enjoy them and so easy to find rather than the usual council signs which often peter out in the middle of nowhere.

180515 025 Lightning Ridge

The evening meal? Went to the pub, they had a bistro but all the meals were $28 then I noticed the bar sign for food served all day. Pizza – $15 – that’ll do me. It was quite good too, went down well with a couple of beers.

2018-05-15 18.20.53

 

14th May 2018–Roamin’ Roma

Distance: 11 Km
Fuel: 30 L

At about 8am wandered into town to find Woollies. I had left my toothbrush at the last stop, was completely out of plastic and paper plates, needed milk and some fruit. It is a big supermarket in Roma – Though I suppose Woolies wouldn’t bother if there wasn’t that sort of demand.

The Big Rig

That done I once again walked to The Big Rig to see their static display called Oil Patch. It is about the discovery of oil and gas in the area. Originally discovered by accident when drilling for water over 100 years ago the oil was never discovered in commercial quantities and the industry died but there was plenty of gas. Initially LPG now CSG which is largely exported through the port of Gladstone though any new licences are only granted to supply the domestic market.

180514 005 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 013 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 015 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 018 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 019 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 022 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 025 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 027 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 029 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 032 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 034 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 039 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma180514 042 The Big Rig Oil Patch Roma

Without the night show I can’t say it was an exciting exhibition but it was interesting enough, the films shown in the theatrette were all made by Santos (the gas giant) and really were just publicity films showing them as a good corporate citizen.

After the Rig Rig I returned to the caravan park for lunch then went to explore Roma. I had the Historic Walk guide but sadly, like so many of these small towns, most of the building described have long gone but there were a few interesting ones left.

180514 002 Roma180514 048 St Pauls Church Roma180514 049 Oldest Building Roma180514 050 Roma180514 052 Roma180514 056 Roma180514 054 Roma180514 066 Court House Roma180514 067 Largest Working Windmill Roma

Avenue of Heroes

The town has The Avenue of Heroes where a Bottle Tree represents a local person killed in action during WWI each with its own plaque.

180514 046 Avenue of Heros Roma180514 047 Avenue of Heros Roma

The 3D Mural

The one thing I had great difficulty finding was the 3D Mural which even has its own brochure. It turns out to be in the Council Offices though described as a Community Centre in all the literature but unless you actually looked inside you would never find it I didn’t see any signs. There was an audio visual presentation to go with it which explained the features on the mural. It was actually quite good and worth seeing.

180514 059 3 D Mural Roma

By now it was mid/late afternoon and I decided I had exhausted the delights of Roma so I bought a Subway to have for dinner (too early for a restaurant) and walked back to the caravan park.

This might be the last day in Queensland it all depends on which side of the border I decide to stop tomorrow.

13th May 2018–Roma

Distance: 283 Km

Not far to go today on an easy road with few towns. Still left at about 8.30am but didn’t stop at Morven or Mitchell largely because all the available parking seemed to be taken up with caravans however I did stop at  Muckadilla (well you would, wouldn’t you?). Smashing little rest area with toilets, chairs and tables by the community hall, it even had free camping on offer.

180513 003 Muckadilla180513 002 Muckadilla

I made some coffee and a sandwich before continuing on to Roma.

Booked in to a caravan park right next to the Big Rig, it was early; probably only midday so I had a cup of tea and washed yesterday’s clothes before walking over to the Big Rig to see what’s on.

Blow me I am on the right day for the night show (Sunday, Tuesday, Friday) but due to electrical problems neither it nor the little train are happening today.

180513 004 The Big Rig Roma180513 005 The Big Rig Roma180513 008 The Big Rig Roma180513 010 The Big Rig Roma180513 052 The Big Rig RomaSlab Hut180513 013 The Big Rig Roma180513 017 The Big Rig Roma180513 048 The Big Rig Roma180513 049 The Big Rig Roma

Got myself a map and a brochure, had a look at the slab hut, read about Roma’s disastrous floods – three floods between 2010 and 2012 – then decided to walk along the Adungadoo Pathway to the largest bottle tree in Roma (girth = 9.3 metres) and the Shady’s Lagoon before returning to the caravan park.

180513 031 The Biggest Bottle Tree Roma180513 033 The Biggest Bottle Tree Roma180513 038 Adungadoo Pathway Roma180513 040 Adungadoo Pathway Roma180513 044 Adungadoo Pathway Roma180513 055 Roma

Watched some of the new arrivals set up their rigs, including a young couple with a toddler who have a roof top tent, before I recovered my washing from the line, by then it was time for dinner. I heated up the second half of my “special fried rice with prawns” from the Happy Elephant Thai Restaurant in Charleville before the sun finally set and the temperature plummeted.