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PopPop & Grandma's Travels

RIP Beau the Wonder Dog

Our 'Southern Sojourn' 2011

This is our proposed route

Day 1 - Home to Mendooran

Left home at 11.52am heading into a blustery West to South Westerly wind which buffeted us around a fair bit.

We arrived at Denman at 12.50pm and stopped in the nice little rest area just before the town for lunch.

Hit the road again at 1.20pm and into the wind again and we just plodded along taking our time and arrived at the beautiful freecamp spot on the banks of the Castlereagh River in Mendooran at 3.50pm.

Found a nice spot to setup for the night, 3 other vans here and what a beautiful and lovely place.

It's quite cool here at the moment (5.8°C at 6.55pm) and the weather forecast is for a cold night into the minuses but we have the diesel heater going and are toasty warm inside.

No internet service here and I haven't bothered to put the 3G aerial up so will maybe update the blog tomorrow when we stop ? we are hoping to freecamp on the western side of Cobar.

Our Campsite alongside the Castlereagh River

Other vans and amenities nearby

Day 2 Mendooran to Bulla Park Rest Area

Had a lovely nights sleep but boy did it get cold. Was well down in the minus °C in the early hours of this morning.

Tried to put the diesel heater on and it kept cutting out ? the fuel had gelled (frozen) overnight and although I added an additive it mustn't have been enough.

Anyway we persevered stayed rugged up nice n warm in bed ? finally got up, had breakfast and headed off at 9.10am in the nice warm confines of the car.

Made our way to Nyngan where we stopped and had lunch at the old railway siding rest area.

Refueled at Nyngan and put the diesel from the heater tanks into the Cruiser and then topped up with some BP which they reckon is winterized already ? lets keep our fingers crossed that it is

Headed off and made our way to Bulla Park Rest Area 115k's West of Cobar CAW 6 #1058 and have the place all to ourselves other than 1 other motorhome. Meadow Glen Rest Area CAW6 #1057 was absolutely packed as we drove past.

We are settled in and have the diesel heater purring away keeping us warm ? other than the little drama with the heater this morning everything else is fine and we are having a great time.

Tomorrow we head to Broken Hill where we will stay for a couple of days as we want to chill out for a few days and Marie wants to see Menindee etc and places we haven't seen when here before

Catch you out there

PopPop, Grandma & Beau the Wonder Dog

 Our camp spot at Bulla Park

Bulla Park

Bulla Park to Broken Hill

Had a great night, wasn't anywhere near as cold as at Mendooran although we had the Webasto going for a couple of hours to take the chill out of the air.

Was woken at 4am to the sound of tap tap tap on the roof and it was light rain falling. The rain continued on and off all morning and light rain has fallen all day for the whole trip to Broken Hill.

We departed at 7.40am and plodded along at a leisurely pace enjoying the lushness of the countryside now after all the rain they have experienced over the past many months. The rain was falling steadily all the way.

Stopped at Dolo Rest Area CAW 6 #1070 for morning tea around 11am and then continued on to Broken Hill arriving at 12.30pm EST. We now have to change our clocks over to CST whilst here.

Have settled in nicely and have the heater going to keep us warm as it is only 10°C here today and still light rain is falling.

Need to do some grocery shopping etc whilst here so have to find out what we can and can't take into the Fruit Fly exclusion zone down Mildura way when we head there in a few days time.

We hope to do some sightseeing down in Menindee etc tomorrow and maybe a few other spots.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Day 4 Broken Hill Area.

Had an early night and slept well, we were up early again this morning to a temp of 5°C with the forecast for clearing skies which is exactly how it ended up.

Nice clear day but cold wind still blowing and the temp didn't get over 12°C all day. We are just sightseeing today and going for a run down to Menindee.

Went and bought a new gas regulator to keep as a spare in case this one ever plays up again. I will at least have a spare one this time if it does happen again. I don't think it was gunked up as such as it is working fine again now but something definitely caused the problem.

Had a drive around town and the drove down to Menindee and had a look around down there. How much this place has changed amazed me ? admittedly it's been 30 years since I was there last so I expected a few changes.

I done a lot of sailing on there many years ago.

Had a good look around the town and got breath tested by a Broken Hill HWP officer who was running around the town, had no probs though as I hadn't had anything to drink at all.

Had many a drink and great feed here over the years though and I think he thought we may have been back in here after I took the pics.

Came back home and went for a drive through the town cemetery and saw Pro Hart's grave ? it is huge to say the least and then came back to the van and we have just relaxed all afternoon. Set up the sat tv so I can watch a few shows on fox tonight that I usually watch when at home.

Are packing up in the morning and heading down to Buronga on the Murray River for a few days before we head east along the river. Having worked out in this area 30 years ago it is interesting to now see what the places are like and how they have changed etc.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Menindee Lake

Maidens Hotel Menindee

Another view

Another View

Day 5 - Broken Hill to Buronga

Had a great nights sleep and awoke reasonably early so we could pack and head to Buronga.

Got everything packed away and headed off at 8.46am to a beautiful crispy cold winter's day with a wonderful cloudy morning sky.

Had a great trip ? stopped at CAW 6 #1147 - Popiltah Lake Rest Area for morning tea ? this is the one we had planned to stay in had we not stayed in Broken Hill and travelled straight through.

Headed off again and just had a leisurely drive to Wentworth and came across Bunnerungee Bridge Rest Area ? CAW 6 #1149 which is on the Anabranch of the Darling River ? what a delightful spot this is ? had we had known in advance, we would've stayed there for a few days but we had already booked in advance at Buronga so as to enable us to have a riverside camp spot which we have and is wonderful.

We arrived at Buronga 1.20pm and settled in, went for a quick drive over to Mildura and back and just took it easy for the afternoon watching the boats go along the river etc

Will see what tomorrow brings

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

This morning's sky.

This morning's sky.

The view from our awning and the Paddlesteamer opposite

Day 7 - Still at Buronga

After a lot of fiddling and tuning yesterday afternoon, I finally was able to get the Sat dish working properly, our location and the trees here at the park made getting a good signal quite difficult. Anyway I was able to watch the close result games of football last night, which was great.

Again we had another great nights sleep, and awoke to a lovely and overcast morning.

After doing the usual morning chores again, I thought I would try to give Bryan (Geeman) in the USA a call on the Google phone app on the laptop, and got through without any problems, so chatted for a while ? it was great to catch up with him again as he has been unwell of late and we have been concerned as to his health as we hadn't heard much from him of late. Anyway after making contact, I was surprised how clear the call clarity was etc. considering we were on the USB Wireless Broadband . Everything is going well and he is on the mend which is great to hear.

Later in the morning, we then went for a drive to Orange World at Dareton and bought some citrus fruit as well as a fancy little orange peeler which works a treat. We then drove around through Dareton proper and had a look around, as I had worked here doing relieving and at times Breathanalysis duties some 30 years ago when I was stationed in Broken Hill. It also has changed some ? but not to a really great extent. We drove back over the Murray River through Merbein, back to Mildura and as the sky looked quite threatening we decided to get back to the van again where we had a nice lunch and waited for the rain to come as had been forecast.

Sure enough later this afternoon the rain come in, so we have no fire, no sitting outside or feeding the possums tonight. We are bunkered up inside in the warmth keeping dry.

Had a chat with Daina, Hollie and Nug tonight on Skype which was really great as I was unsure how well the Wireless USB Modem would work on the Skype system ? but turns out it worked a treat, reception and call quality was great.

We are here for another 2 nights (tonight and tomorrow night) and then will make our way to Nyah near Swan Hill via Robinvale - we initially had planned to head down south through to Ouyen in Victoria and then across to Nyah, but have decided on going east to Euston in NSW then south to Robinvale and follow the Murray Valley Hwy, which follows the Murray River, down to Nyah where we hope to stay for a few days before heading over to Moulamein and visiting very good friends of Marie's family there again.

Tomorrow we hope to go looking at all the freecamps around this area for future reference. We would've done it this morning but left the books in the van so had no idea where to go to look for them.

No pics tonight as we left the camera back in the van this morning.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Day 6 - Buronga

After another great nights sleep, we awoke to a cool and overcast morning.

After the usual morning chores we then went into Mildura and did some grocery shopping and I bought a few odds n sods for myself (computer and car stuff) and I took Grandma to the shopping mall to show her how to get there.

We then came back to the van and dropped me off and she went back to do some ?real shopping therapy? as she calls it.

This afternoon we just sat back and relaxed, I fiddled with the satellite dish and after a lot of fiddling and tuning ,was finally able to get it up and working so I could watch the football on Fox tonight.

The park owners dropped some wood off for our fire but because of the rain and Grandma having the flu, we have held off now till tomorrow night

Grandma cooked a lovely baked dinner for tea and as the rain started to fall we sat inside in the warmth and comfort of the van and watched to football tonight.

I went out a short time ago, between showers, and tried again top take some panorama pics of the river with the tripod, a bit better this time, but I am still not too happy, will do some more experimenting tomorrow night maybe.

Had a young possum come up to me and virtually sat on my feet. It was so timid, Marie ended up feeding it, naturally, and she was able to pat it etc as well. Didn?t get a pic of it but no doubt will get one tomorrow night if it comes around again.

Going to Orange World tomorrow and a few other places we would like to see whilst here.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Day 8 - We are still at Buronga

Last night was a cold and wet night so we huddled up in the warmth inside the van all night.

I played on the laptop and Grandma watched her favourite show, Downton Abbey and then we both had a reasonably early night.

Grandma had a terrible nights sleep as she has the flu and her bad coughing kept her, and me awake most of the night.

She was no better at all this morning so we rang the hospital and they put us on to a medical centre to go to. We rang one of the numbers they gave us and the only appointment they had was at 3.45pm so we rang their other number and we able to make an appointment for 12.30pm.

Got ourselves organised and then headed out at 11am and went and had a look at some of the freecamp sites down on the river out of Mildura.

There are some great spots there, Kings Billabong Reserve CAW 6 #395, also known as Bruce's Bend, and Psyche Bends CAW 6 #396.

We are so lucky that we didn't go down there over the weekend with the van, instead of here, as due to all the rain we have had over the past few days it was very muddy, sloppy and boggy at most of the spots.

Took some pics, as it is a very nice area and would like to maybe freecamp there one day when the weather is warmer and finer too.

We then went to the Dr's and he diagnosed her with a severe chest infection and has prescribed her with some very strong antibiotics. Went to the chemists, got the prescription filled did a few last minute shopping things, fueled up and then came back to the van. The weather had really closed in by now and a really cold and lazy southerly had blown in and it was very cold, actually the coldest it has been since leaving Mendooran on Day 2.

So we were brave and stayed inside in the warmth all afternoon and just slowly readied things in preparation for our trip to Nyah tomorrow. Filled the water tanks, rolled the awning up etc. and are virtually ready to head out tomorrow morning.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

One of the drier campsites at Bruce's Bend

There are heaps of Houseboats moored along the river bank here as well

Our van site at the riverbank - pic taken from Mildura side

Day 9 - Buronga to Nyah (Vict)

Had another early night as Grandma is still not that well and coughing a lot.

Up 7.15am ? the sun doesn't come up here until after 7am of a morning ? and had breakfast and got everything ready to head off.

All packed and we left at 9.20am and just had a leisurely drive out to Euston, then to Robinvale and then along the Murray Valley Highway to Nyah and found the Nyah Recreation Reserve - Camps 6 #333 and have set up here for a few days.

It is a lovely spot ? behind the Harness Racing Club ? there is one other motorhome here ? nice open area ? apparently the place is run/controlled by the Nyah Lions Club. The town is an RV Friendly Town and you can stay for a period of 7 days - only one downside is that there are millions of burrs/bindii in the grass and they get all over the soles of your shoes etc. so we had to put the CGear mat out to try to stop some of the burrs. Another van has now pulled in here alongside us, for a few days

When we 1st got here, Beau stood in one patch and wouldn't move and we couldn't work out what the problem was till we saw all the bindii etc. Poor bugger was walking very very gingerly.

Grandma is in bed again still coughing a lot and it's not easing so I will have to try and find another doctor or hospital that can see to her to see if she can get rid of the damned cough.

The antibiotics she has at present are only supposed to be taken one per day so we are hoping they will kick in really soon as it is becoming quite concerning.

Rang a Dr's surgery in Swan Hill and I got her an appointment at 3.40pm so we headed straight in and he has prescribed some more medication and something specifically to stop the cough so lets hope all this new stuff works this time.

Let's hope we both get a good nights sleep tonight.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Nyah Recreation Reserve

Panoramic pic of the area

Day 10 still at Nyah

Had a bit better sleep last night but Grandma is still coughing a lot.

She is getting better now albeit very slowly.

Had a quiet day- John & Jane (OzJohn) from the different caravanning forums called in today on their way to Mildura, and they have spent the day and night, here with us as well.

Was good to catch up with them and put a name to the face.

Also met a lovely couple, Ed & Ros from Toowoomba who are staying here for a few days as well. They are truly lovely people.

We just sat around chatting all day and kept warm in the beautiful sun that shone and kept out of the icy cold biting wind.

Was going to have a fire tonight in the choofer but it is a bit windy and very cold so decided against it tonight ? going to try and have one tomorrow night all going well.

There is a Pizza Shop in town here run by Italians and with Grandma not feeling the best, we decided to splurge tonight and have pizza. Boy was it ever good ? would be one of the best pizza's we have ever had. Absolutely fantastic!!!!!!

Apparently tomorrow night the local footy club put on a feed etc. at the Harness Club ? supposedly very good and cheap too but we can't go as we can't leave Beau on his own, so will have to give it a miss.

The diesel heater is working a treat and keeping us nice and warm in the van and the batteries are getting fully charged during the day.

We hope to go and do a bit of sightseeing tomorrow ? one of the local Lions Club people calls around every day and sells his honey etc. and gives out flyers etc. on tourist information for the area. We bought a jar of honey from him and will do a couple of the short trips around the Murray River that he has suggested.

Hoping Grandma gets better soon .

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Ed & Ros from Toowoomba

Our trip so far

Day 11 at Nyah

Up reasonably early this morning had breakfast and we decided to go for a scenic drive around Nyah, and then take a back route into Swan Hill where we did a bit of grocery shopping and returned back to the van and just sat back and rested for the rest of the afternoon in the beautiful sunshine.

We decided to have the fire this evening and had a lovely night sitting around the choofer campfire with the other people camped here Ed & Ros and then went to bed rather late after a nice enjoyable evening with a few wines etc.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Our 'Choofer' fire

Day 12 Still at Nyah

Grandma is feeling heaps better this morning and it looks like she is finally over this rotten flu and coughing thing once and for all. Thank Heavens for that.

After a terrific night we were up nice and early the next morning had breakfast and Marie decided to do all our washing, as did Ed & Ros.

They set their generator up and we ran a super long hose out to the nearest tap some 40 odd metres away, so we had water for our washing machine, did all of our washing and had it all hung out to dry. Looked like a real Chinese laundry.

We then just sat around and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine in the afternoon.

Had another lovely night around the choofer fire and went to bed rather early as we had to be up early the next day to head off to Moulamein.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Washing Day at Nyah

Day 13 Nyah to Moulamein

Grandma is now virtually 100% back to full health again and all is going well for her.

After another terrific night we were up nice and early the next morning had breakfast, slowly packed up and then headed of for Moulamein around 10am.

At 1st we couldn't get out of the park as the local football derby was on and they had locked the main gates and only had one entrance open so after using the dump point etc we then had to drive right around the other side to get out.

We then had a very pleasant drive as we took the back road through Speerwa to the Moulamein Road and then onto Moulamein arriving around 11.30am.

We 1st called into John & Dinny's and surprised them and then they told us we had to park the van in their backyard and stay here with them. Which we did and then settled back and had a great afternoon with John taking us for a sightseeing tour around the place out to a grand old homestead about 17 kilometres out of town. It was really great to see how the gentry of the land lived back in 1875 when this was built.

We then came back home and their son John Jr. and Tracey, who own the caravan park came over and we had dinner together and a great night.

Off to bed reasonably late and had another great night's sleep as the rain started to fall.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Day 14 Moulamein

Had a lovely night with John, Dinny, Johnny, Tracey and their daughter Katey and went to bed rather late.

Up this morning listening to the rain falling on the roof went and had some breakfast, sat around chatting for a while and then we went on a sightseeing tour to Barham which is about 70 kilometres away, where we had a coffee at a local cafe and enjoyed the sights.

Came back home and just relaxed again and having an early night as we are heading off towards Echuca tomorrow. As we have stayed at Echuca twice previously we thought we would look for a freecamp the other side of Echuca. There is a couple in Camps 6 so will check them out when we get there tomorrow.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Dinny cooking dinner

John & Beau the Wonder Dog

Day 15 Moulamein to Tocumwal

It's cool, overcast and drizzly rain this morning.

We are using the small fan heater at the moment as the Webasto Diesel Heater stopped last night as I'm pretty sure it is out of fuel - was going to swap the tanks over this morning but with the rain we are having here, I will have to swap them over later when the rain eases or after we get to where we are staying tonight.

It's been very good and economical to run considering we have had 13 days of continual use, out of one 10 litre tank, mainly using it of a night time but a lot of day use as well when Grandma was sick,

After breakfast we said our goodbyes to John & Dinny and Johnny & Tracey called in on their way to Swan Hill to say goodbye as well.

Packed up, went up to the caravan park and topped our tanks up with water, then went to the new dump point in the town and emptied our cassette there and then headed off at 10.45am towards Deniliquin.

Our initial plans were to go to Barham and then across the river and follow the highway towards Echuca, however as we had been this way before and had only been to Barham yesterday, we changed plans this morning and headed to Deniliquin, where we stopped and had lunch then went onto Finley and then to Tocumwal and are now camped on the banks of the Murray River in the State Forest just outside Tocumwal for the night.

Due to the rain they have had here it is a bit muddy and soft in some spots on the road coming in, but we are OK and have good solid track to get out on tomorrow as it has dried up considerably since the sun came out this afternoon, however the rain has started to fall again but we should be allright.

It is a beautiful spot here ? no-one else around and the river is flowing beautifully at the present time.

I had to prime the diesel heater as I changed over tanks when we got here this afternoon from when we ran out last night, and what a bugger of a job - I have learnt my lesson that's for sure - not to let it run out again as it is a real pain to re-prime, but it is up and running again now and keeping us warm.

Will see what tomorrow brings.

Catch ya later,

PopPop & Grandma

Our spot at Tocumwal

Day 16 at Tocumwal

Had a great night's sleep last night - it's so calm, peaceful and quiet here.

Wasn't as cold as we expected, was actually quite pleasant.

Awoke to a beautiful sunrise with not a cloud in the sky and eventually the sun broke through shining brilliantly.

I was up nice rather early this morning so took the opportunity to take some nice snaps etc.

Grandma slept till 9.20am till she finally came out of hibernation.

The birds are tweeting with heaps of magpies warbling their merry tunes and the batteries are being charged as I type.

We had breakfast and just sat around relaxing while waiting to head off towards Berrigan.

What more could one ask for. LOL

We will stay here till after lunch when we will head off to Berrigan to visit with Ray & Joan (Mandy Wells mum and dad)

Joan and Ray have a few things to do today and won?t be home till at least 2pm so we have plenty of time to kill and it's only about 50 odd kilometres from here to their place.

We had some lunch, then packed up and left around 12.30pm and slowly made our way to Finley where we stopped at the bakery got some bread and some really tasty pies and then headed on to Berrigan and arrived at Ray & Joan's around 2pm.

Parked in their yard and waited for them to arrive home so we sat and had a cuppa and caught up on some reading etc.

They finally arrived and Marie was able to meet them both for the 1st time.

Joan is recovering well from her operation but still has a way to go, so we didn't want to impose too much, so we had a reasonably early night and will head off tomorrow towards Grong Grong where we hope to stay for the night. Will check the spot out tomorrow if not may push on to Ariah Park etc.

See what happens.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

A magic sunrise at Tocumwal

Glorious sunshine

Parked in Ray & Joan's backyard

Ray building a spray boom for his ride on lawnmower in his shed

Day 17 Berrigan to Berembed Weir

 Woke to a very cold and foggy morning with ice all around.

Slowly readied and packed things away and bade farewell to our hosts and headed off at 10.20am in a pea soup fog to Oaklands where we fuelled up at what must be the slowest bowser in Australia. It took forever to fill the Cruiser and with an icy breeze blowing was not pleasant standing out in the cold.

Headed off from there towards Urana and what a pleasant drive it was travelling on these back roads where no other vehicles were until we came back out onto the Newell Hwy at Morundah and then headed into Narrandera where we stopped for lunch at he roadside rest area near the Tiger Moth Memorial.

After lunch we continued on to Grong Grong and checked out the Rest Area at Grong Grong Park CAW 6 #972 - but it is only a small park on the side of the road so we decided not to stay there and Marie in her wisdom decided we should head out to Berembed Weir CAW 6 #974 on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.

We eventually found the road out to the weir ? 19K's from Grong Grong and 12K's of good gravel road and then we had to enter someone's property by crossing a few grids and traverse along a dirt track through the property, dodging lazing cattle, cattle dung, and heaps of ruts and corrugations, to the weir area itself.

Upon arrival we found that there is no camping in the picnic area which is a lovely grassy area on northern side of the weir. There were signs stating camping allowed on the bottom side of the weir, so we took what appeared to be a goat track over the weir proper and are now camped just below the weir as we don?t want to venture any further due to the condition of the road.

It's a lovely spot, naturally we are the only ones here ? there appears to be an inhabited caretaker's residence but no-one around. Where we are parked the is close to the weir itself and all we can hear is the sound of rushing water which is soothing to the soul.

Had no service on the Telstra Blue Tick Phone so put the AE-915 aerial up and now have full signal strength.

Have connected the Blue Toaster Modem up and is working well.

Checked the TV and am only able to get all the ABC & SBS channels on Digital out of Narrandera and only the analogue commercial channels. Tried to get Wagga but no chance of that. Only have the Wyngard aerial so am not worried.

We will camp here for the night and head off tomorrow for Barmedman..

It's 4.30pm now and getting quite cold so we have put the diesel heater on to keep warm.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Tiger Moth Memorial Narrandera

Grandma having lunch in the park at Narrandera

Berembed Weir

Our spot at Berembed Weir

Day 18 Berembed Weir to Barmedman

 Woke to another very cold and misty morning with lots of ice all around and mist on the water. The diesel heater fired up without any worries this time and had us lovely and warm inside the van.

We again packed things away and secured everything and headed off around 9.20am and made our way slowly across the farm paddocks again back out onto the main road.

We then hit the Newell Hwy and what an experience driving with all the traffic and B Double trucks after having been on so many back roads over the past few days. Some of the B Doubles are very intimidating in they way the come right up onto you and try to get you to go faster.

We just ignored them, called them up on the UHF and got told them when to overtake and that I would back off and they took off like thieves in the night.

Made it to Ariah Park safe n sound and stopped in the main street to visit with Terry & Avis our friends there who own the local hardware store.

As we pulled up there was a large sign posted on the centre median strip. This joke goes back sometime and will take too long to explain here, but it is an ongoing thing with Terry, us and some other friends of ours. He's got one up on me this time ? but I will retaliate and get him back another day. Ha Ha. Be wary Terry !!!!!!!!

We sat and had a nice chat and cuppa with them and then headed off to Barmedman where we are now set up at Brendan & Mandy's for a few days just chilling out.

Some other friends of theirs, Ivan and Lois from Shepparton called in this afternoon on their way back from the Roper River up in the Territory. He said the barra fishing up there this year has been unbelievable.

Had dinner and then sat around chatting most of the night around Brendan's diesel burning heater he calls a 'Woofah' which was lovely and warm, and went to bed around 9.30pm as it was getting quite cold by then as we were in for another cold night.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Mist over Berembed Weir

Frost on the ground

Terry's Sign (Ha Ha Ha)

A bit of history on Ariah Park

What the sign he's holding says


Had a relaxing 4 days catching up with our friends from Barmedman and just sitting around enjoying the sunshine etc.

Terry & Avis called in Saturday night and we had an enjoyable time with them as well, cooked dinner on the 'Choofer Fire' as well.

Catch ya out there,

PopPop & Grandma

Our campsite at Wellsy's with the sat dish out so we can watch Foxtel 

An enjoyable evening around our 'Choofer' fire

  Grandma, Beau, Avis & Terry trying to keep warm around the fire

Day 22 Barmedman to Forbes

 After having spent a delightful 4 days just resting and relaxing and catching up with our friends in Barmedman, it was time to pack up and leave today.

We awoke to a beautiful sunny and clear skied morning this morning and quite warm to boot.

So we slowly stowed everything away, said our goodbyes and finally headed off for Forbes at 10.45am.

Had a leisurely drive all of about 127 Klms today and arrived at the Forbes Rest Area CAW 6 #953 at 1.20pm where we are set up to stay for the night.

Both my Sunsaver Duo meters are blinking away blissfully as I type.

There are 2 other vans here as well this evening.

It is a 24 hour stopover and a beautiful spot too, right on the banks of the beautiful Lachlan River.

We will head off in the morning for Mendooran again where we hope to stay for 2 nights before finally heading for home and our sojourn will be over for another year.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Panoramic view of our spot at Forbes

Another panoramic view of our spot at Forbes

Day 23 Forbes to Mendooran

Had a terrific night camped on the banks of the Lachlan River, nice and peaceful and also it was quite a warm night for this time of year, like a real springtime night, yet got quite cold early hours of the morning, however the 'Wonderful Webasto' came through again.

Awoke to a beautiful sunrise and another lovely day. Had breakfast, packed up and headed off for Dubbo.

Got pulled over in Peak Hill for RBT again, no dramas again as usual. It's amazing all these years I have been driving and never get pulled over, go on holidays for 4 weeks and get tested twice.

Arrived Dubbo 10.20am where we found a suitable parking spot down on the river behind the shopping centre and Grandma went and did some last minute grocery shopping at Coles. We had morning tea and then set off at 11am for Mendooran.

I originally planned to go from Dubbo to Gilgandra and then to Mendooran, however we took the Dubbo, Mendooran Rd through Goono State Forest. It's a good tar sealed road all the way and very little traffic and we had a pleasant drive. Saves 60 kilometres off the trip had we have gone through Gilgandra.

Arrived Mendooran 12.20pm and set up camp out in the open to avail ourselves of all the sunshine we can. There are 3 other vans and one motorhome here at present. It is truly a wonderful freecamp here.

It is like a warm summers day here today, got to 28°C. Really comfortable and relaxing.

There is a small amenities block here, 1 toilet per side and a shower as well, albeit a cold one, they are nothing flash, but they are clean and useable.

We will stay here till Thursday when we will again head off and make our way for home.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma

Sunrise at Forbes

Mendooran Freecamp area

Amenities block in Mendooran

Our setup in the sunshine in Mendooran

Day 24 Mendooran

Had another terrific night camped on the banks of the Castlereagh River here in Mendooran. Another nice and peaceful and still night.

The motorhome that decided to pull in alongside of us last night, took off early hours in the morning as he is heading back to Mackay 'where it is warmer' he said. Made a bit of noise as they packed up but we soon dozed off again.

We have had an enjoyable day just relaxing in the beautiful sunshine, went for a walk around the camping area, Beau kept getting the cathead prickles in his paws and had to hobble all the time, so we had to pick him up and carry him.

The solar has re-charged the batteries and both meters are blinking away merrily saying both batteries are full.

Hopefully we will have another nice night – will light the 'choofer fire' tonight and cook dinner on it as well and then we will pack up in the morning and head for home.

A few more vans and campervans (whizzbang style) have pulled in today with some of the other vans heading out. One guy in the large Jayco is on his own “living the dream” full time – has been doing so for the past 3 months and reckons there is nothing better. Split up with his wife after he caught her having an affair, so he sold everything, bought the van and took off on the road. He reckons his new life has only just begun.

To say we have had a terrific holiday would be an understatement – we have really enjoyed it, met some terrific people, seen some fantastic places and had some wonderful nights, and now we don't really want to go back home, but we must and we are already looking forward to our next holiday which at this time will be next year and we hope to do the Eyre & Yorke Peninsula's again as well as Adelaide.

The car has performed well over most of the trip with it only getting a tad warm the last few days as the ambient temp has been a bit warmer. It has also been losing a bit of coolant over this period when it gets warm, so maybe time to look a pulling the head off and having it checked out. Hopefully if it is that then our problems will be fixed – if not we don't know what we will do. Just have to wait and see what eventuates.

Cheers for now.

PopPop & Grandma