Saturday, 29 June 2013

Armidale, Sunday 30 June 2013

We left Tenterfield Saturday morning and the rain started as we left and didn't stop all day and into the night. We checked out a couple of free camps on the way down the highway to see what they had to offer. One of them, at Glencoe, looked okay but the other one we wouldn't bother about.

As we were driving a hawk flew right across in front of us with its wings spread out. Quite spectacular. The pattern of the feathers on the wings was beautiful. It happened too quickly for me to get a photo.

We are staying at Shady Acres a few k's out of town. It could do with a bit of TLC as it is a bit run down. However, it is nice and quiet even though it is on the highway.

Last night was very cold. Our heater stopped working. One minute it was working, the next it had stopped. We had numerous layers on and again this morning, as you can see below. We took it back to Big W here in Armidale and swapped it over for another one. They only had 1 left so we were lucky. The temperatures are on the way down so it will be good to have it.

The markets were on in Armidale this morning. We had a wander through them before having some morning tea and then heading to Uralla, 20 kms down the highway. It has a lovely main street with some lovely old buildings and is where Thunderbolt was killed and is buried.

We had lunch at the Top Pub before heading out to have a look at Gostwyck Chapel, built in 1921 set amongst an avenue of 200 elms. The Chapel is covered in Botson Ivy and around Anzac Day, the leaves are a spectacular red colour. We then continued on to Dangar Falls, which is in the Wild Rivers NP. We expected the Falls to be gushing over the cliff seeing as there had been quite a bit of rain, but that was not the case. Still, it was a lovely drive out to the Falls and it was nice to do a bit of walking.

Mileage for Saturday - 211 kms
Mileage for Sunday - 103 kms

Friday, 28 June 2013

Tenterfield - Friday 28 June

I read in a magazine last night about a couple who set off for a life on the road. They had lived on a farm, and the day they left in their van 8 years ago, they headed down the road from their farm, parked and opened the champagne before spinning a coin to see if they turned left or right! That thought sounds very appealing but with only 4 weeks for our holiday, unfortunately not something we can do this time.

We spent yesterday packing crates to go in the back of the ute and sorting things out in the van to make access of everything easier. We will see how it all goes and make any changes we need to. Taking the last things out to the car this morning, I decided to come back and set the alarm and lock the house as my hands were full. Needless to say, I got sidetracked. We headed off and I didn't even look at the house, which I normally do, as our neighbours Don and Audrey were out the front with their son, Greg. We waved as we went by and headed off.

Halfway down the Logan Motorway Bruce asked me if I had locked the house. Oops! Back home we went. The screen door and front door were wide open, just as I had left it. I also conveniently left the keys in the front door for anyone passing by who might have wanted to have a look through. Luckily everything was okay, but I won't do that again.

We stopped for morning tea at Bruce's brother's place. Mike and Mandy live at Eltham, near Lismore. We arrived in time for morning tea and caught up with the news of the week and how he was going. It was a busy morning for them. While we were there the gas man came and a friend of Josh's, Simo (Luke), called in to see Mike.

It started raining after we left Casino and we went through showers between there and our destination of Tenterfield. One advantage of the rain is that the temperatures are a bit warmer. Earlier in the week it was -5 deg. Tonight it is going to be +5 deg. We had booked into Tenterfield Lodge, a grassy, quiet caravan park about 1 km from town.

This is our third trip away in the van and each time it has rained. Hopefully it won't rain for the whole 4 weeks.

Distance travelled 380 kms.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Weekend at Killarney

On Thursday we paid a visit to the Caravan and Camping Show. We wanted to buy some CGear matting for outside the van. We had been assured it would be on special there and we would get it for a good price. We did well so it was worth going. We had a good look around at all the gadgets and what a variety - all sorts of things. We also looked at the different chairs as we need some new ones. We had a good talk to a fellow from Sprenger's about solar and we will pay them a visit when we are ready for solar panels.

While at the show we went to have a look at the Aussie Swag Camper that Lynne and Rob, friends of ours in Canberra, have ordered. They take delivery in October. It looks really well made and they should get a lot of use out of it. We will be able to meet up with them on the road somewhere which will be great.

We set off for Killarney on Friday morning, stopping for morning tea along the way. We had booked in at Killarney View Caravan Park for 2 nights over the long weekend. It was a lovely caravan park with a great lawn area where the vans were parked and cement slabs next to the vans. The gardens were well looked after. The amenities block was clean and the showers were great. We had a nice view out to the mountains as we were parked in the first van spot, but the trouble with that was, that when the winds came up on the Saturday, there was nothing protecting us. You can't have it every which way. Luckily we had a beautiful day on the Friday and as you can see, we took advantage of it.

It was raining when we got up Saturday morning, so we headed up to Queen Mary Falls Café and had morning tea. There is a caravan and camping park at the back of the café so we had a stroll through there to see what it was like. It is in a lovely setting but we preferred where we were

We called in to the supermarket in town to buy some supplies. The supermarkets in some of these little towns are great. What a variety of goods they have. Not only do you have food items, but there are gardening supplies, electrical, plumbing and many other varieties of goods. We then visited the newsagent across the road and what should we spy - a saxophone player. David, my brother in law, collects saxophone players and we usually keep an eye out for them on our travels. He now has another to add to his collection

David says this is the last one but I think we will wait and see

Sunday was drizzly so we were quite happy to be heading home. We had quite a bit to do to prepare for our month long trip at the end of the month. This time away had made us realise that the way we had packed the van was not the best we could do. It would need to be repacked. We spent Monday cleaning out the van and started on the big job of repacking. As we will be away for longer, we will take a wider assortment of items.

It was a chilly weekend overall so it was a good test of our bedding. We wanted to make sure it would keep us warm enough as next trip we will be in Armidale and Tamworth, among other places, but those 2 places can get very cold. We were very snug and our heater worked a treat as well. We had bought a little Sunbeam ceramic heater and it heated up our small area really well. Bruce would get up first in the morning and turn it on again and take the chill off the air before I got up! Got him well trained.