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PopPop & Grandma's Travels

RIP Beau the Wonder Dog

2012 Autumn Adventure

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Day 22 - Buronga to Nyah - 4/6/2012

Up bright and early again and learnt in a BIG way that Murphy had been to visit us overnight - went to empty the cassette and noticed that someone had stolen one of my diesel jerry cans from the back of the van. They went to the trouble of burning the cable ties I had holding the canvas covers closed and then undid the straps holding the jerry cans to the frames, and took the spare jerry can and left me the full one, which was the one in use and had the fuel line for the Webasto heater coming from it. Rotten mongrels.

The part that annoys me the most is that I have some chain and padlocks that I use to secure them but I took them off last time I re-fueled and thought I wouldn't need them as no-one would take them - how wrong I was.

Another lesson learnt.

Then after I hooked the car up, I noticed a large wet patch on the ground, my heart sank to the lowest of depths as I looked underneath the Cruiser and there was fluid all over the front diff housing. Crawled underneath and the stainless hose clamp which attaches the bottom radiator hose to the engine side had given up the ghost and was not sealing the hose sufficiently and allowing the coolant to escape. So about an hour later in 1°C temp I finally was able to get a new clamp onto the hose and sealed the hose up. Had to undo the clamp, wrap it around the hose and then try to get it back together again which took up most of the time. Finally got it all done and no more leaks so we got away an hour later than we intended but thank heavens we were able to get moving.

Had a good trip to Nyah, found a good camp spot away from any Khaki Burrs and bindii's (of which there are millions here), got set up and then headed to Swan Hill to do some grocery shopping etc then came back, and cooked dinner, and whilst we were cooking the 'Mayor' of Nyah, Geoff came by as he did last year, and does to everyone who camps here, and sold us some of his honey and gave us some pamphlets and information etc on the area.

After dinner the wind had died down so we decided to light the choofer fire and have a nice evening around a small campfire.

Whilst we were sitting beside the fire a large motorhome/bus pulled in towing a trailer with a Suzuki and boat on the back. I said to everyone that the distinct paint on the bus looked familiar and I thought it was a member from one of the Forums I am a member of. Before going over I went onto the forum and checked some old pics to make sure it was him and sure enough it was, so I went over and introduced myself and invited Barry and his wife Debbie over to our fire. They came over and chatted for a while but the rain started falling so we all had to venture inside our respective vans. No doubt we will catch up again tomorrow.

They have a Harness Racing meeting set down to run here tomorrow night so Grandma said she will get to go to her 1st ever horse race meeting. There is always a 1st for everything isn't there. LOL

We will no doubt be getting a pizza from the fabulous pizza place here in town tomorrow night as Pasquale is not open Monday nights. His pizzas are to die for , as we found out last year.

We have to go back to Swan Hill tomorrow to get some more groceries as Grandma forgot some things when we were in there today, and then hope to have a relaxing day around the camp tomorrow whilst Bill & Ros do some sightseeing etc.

Catch you out there,

PopPop & Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 23 - Nyah - 5/6/2012

Had a quite windy, cold and rainy night last night so we stayed rugged up inside the van.

This morning, the skies finally cleared and we have nice sunny day but the wind has picked up even more and is blowing quite hard with strong gusts at times and it really feels like it is blowing off snow from somewhere it is that cold.

There was a huge ruckus this morning not far from our van and when I looked out there were literally thousands of pink & grey galahs all over the ground picking on grass seeds etc and boy were they ever noisy.

We went into Swan Hill again to get the things Grandma forgot yesterday and then came back and have sat inside in the warmth of the van all day.

There is a Harness Racing Meeting on here tonight so Grandma is going to get to watch her 1st ever type of horse race meeting. We can see it right from our bedroom window the track is that close, as it is too cold to poke our heads outside to stand wand watch the races.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 24 - Nyah to Tocumwal - 6/6/2012

Up bright and early again, emptied our rubbish bins and loo cassette, filled the tanks with potable water and then headed off for Swan Hill where Ros wanted to get an underblanket for their bed.

Left Swan Hill and leisurely made our way to Echuca where we stopped, had morning tea and then said our final goodbyes and parted ways as Bill & Ros are heading south to Shepparton and we are heading north east to Tocumwal.

Stopped in a quaint town called Nathalia where Marie bought some fabulous steaks from the local butcher and also some treats form the local bakery/cafe.

We then headed off and arrived at Apex Beach, Tocumwal on the banks of the Murray River around 1.15pm.

Set ourselves up and lit the choofer fire and sat back and had a beautiful warm sunny afternoon. It was around 20°C out of the sun and a lot hotter in the sun. We both stripped down to the barest of clothing as it was that warm.

Had a great night and eventually came inside as it got a tad too cold out so I watched a show on Fox and then went to bed.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 25 - Tocumwal - 7/6/2012

 This morning is a beautiful sunny day again without a cloud in the sky - it was 1.5°C, but no frost, so I went out and lit the fire again and got it going and it's been keeping us warm till the sun gets to shine on our campsite.

Tomorrow we are heading to Barmedman where we will stay overnight and then head to Mendooran on Saturday where we will stay for 2 days before venturing home on Monday.

Had a wonderful day just sitting back and relaxing in the sunshine and enjoying the peace and serenity of the place till some fool came along with his young kids in a 200 series Toyota and started using his chainsaw only about 20 metres from us and making a helluva racket, then after cutting a heap of wood, he loaded the back up, the kids climbed via the windows, onto the roof rack and he drove away with them perched up on top.

Whilst cooking tea we had a young Kookaburra come over looking for a feed, so naturally Grandma threw some of my meat out to him and he flew down ever so quickly, grabbed the meat and then flew back up into the tree. He kept an eager eye on both of us the whole time. There were also a few very timid Magpies hanging about as well.

Catch you out there,

PopPop, Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 26 - Tocumwal to Barmedman

 Up early and it was O°C at 7.30am but we had the diesel heater going keeping us warm in the van. At least we had a nice sunny cloudless sky for travelling.

Did the last minute packing and headed off at 7.50am. On our way we passed our 'friend' with the chainsaw and he was starting his generator up – no doubt his neighbours who were very close by would've not been too impressed having a generator going at that hour of the morning.

Went to Finley and stopped at the bakery where Grandma bought some pies for our lunch later on and they also have the world's best vanilla slices, so she bought a few of them to have later as well.

Headed up the highway and about 20 kilometres before Narrandera we struck thick fog and this lasted for at least the next 1.5 hrs. Some of the names of the creek crossings were unusual – one was called Turn Back Jimmy Creek and the other was Poisoned Waterhole Creek. LOL

Made our way to Grong Grong and then turned off and went to Temora via Ganmain, where the sun was finally shining as the fog had lifted so we stopped there and had morning tea, then onto Coolamon and Marrar. We turned left at Marrar and went thru the backroads to Temora and what a lovely trip it was with no other vehicles on the road. We just had an easy trip. Stopped in Temora and went to the butchers and got some of their fantastic Badenwurst sausages, and some other meat, and didn’t have to wait for an hour and a half as we have had to when we've been here at other times. (It's a standing joke with us and Wellsy.)

We are now set up at our friends farm in Barmedman and will head off tomorrow morning for Mendooran where we will stay for 2 nights.

Catch you out there,

PopPop & Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 27 - Barmedman to Mendooran

 We had a very cold night in Barmedman but we were quite warm in the van with the Diesel heater keeping us warm.

Up early and everything was frozen, and we slowly packed up and left at 8am and headed for Mendooran. Thanks to Brendan & Mandy for letting us stay in "their backyard".

Had a leisurely trip and just enjoyed the scenery however Grandma needed to find a bakery as we needed to get some bread to tide us over for the next few days,

Got to Forbes and went through the shopping precinct looking for a bakery without luck so we continued on to Parkes where we finally found one in the main street and were able to park around the corner.

After this headed off and made our way to Mendooran arriving at 12.50pm.

There are a lot of vans and motorhomes here this evening, we have counted 14 so far.

Set up, then set the sat dish up so I can watch football tonight on Fox Pay tv and also set the “Choofer Fire” place up and lit the fire about 4pm so we could cook dinner etc.

Had a beautifully cooked dinner on the “Choofer Fire” and then sat around the fire place for a while till it got a bit too cold so we came inside and now have the diesel heater going keeping us warm and I will watch the footy and then off to bed for another nights blissful sleep.

Catch you out there,

PopPop & Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 28 - Mendooran

 Had a good night's sleep but it was a very cold night. Got down to -3°C here last night.

Tried to run the diesel heater at 5am and it wouldn’t go as was too cold for the diesel, must have frozen overnight, I thought we would've had winterised diesel in it from when I filled the tanks in Warren on our way thru but maybe not.

Got it to work about 8.30am and it heated the van up nicely. Lit the 'Choofer Fire' and then cooked breakfast on it and then loaded some more wood into it to get some nice hot coals, and then made a nice damper which we cooked in the camp oven and had it for lunch.

The sun is shining beautifully and our batteries are topped up so we have had our showers early, so the batteries will be full again for later on, as Grandma wants to watch her favourite show on TV tonight, Downton Abbey, and I also want to watch the football so we will have plenty of battery power. They are full again now and the green lights are blinking away merrily which means the batteries are full.

Will be packing up and heading off early tomorrow morning as we are finally heading for home. Hope to be home by around lunchtime all going well.

Catch you out there,

PopPop & Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 29 - Mendooran to Home

Had another very cold night so we left the Webasto running on about half setting all night and it kept the inside of the van nice and warm. In future we may do this a bit more often whenever we travel in the winter months.

Up early again to a big frost, packed up and headed off at 7.35am.

We wanted to be on the road early this morning as we had a lot of hills to negotiate today and they way the Cruiser still gets warm I wanted to attack these hills as much as I could in the cool morning air.

Stopped at Gungal rest area for morning tea and a loo break

We made it over the Great Dividing Range without incident, the temp gauge climbed a few times but nothing too drastic and had a pleasant, leisurely drive until we got between Denman and Muswellbrook when we had overcast skies and it started to drizzle with rain.

This continued on all the way until we made Maitland where the rain got heavier and heavier till we were getting quite heavy downpours.

Made it home in the rain at 12.35pm and just parked the car and van out the front and decided we will pack it all away tomorrow when the rain is forecast to clear a bit.

We have had another great trip, with the few exceptions of the hiccups we have had with the radiator hose on the Cruiser and also it getting warm again, plus having the diesel jerry can stolen, but overall it was a great trip and we both would definitely go back down that way in a flash we like the area so much.

We now can't wait for our next “Caravanning Adventure” and where it may take us, so no doubt we will start planning our next trip for next year in the not too distant future.

Catch you out there,

PopPop & Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog

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