Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Leaving Elmore, Vic

Today we leave this beautiful, peaceful little part of this world.  The weather is absolutely fantastic, blue skies and sun shining.  We will travel further south to Lancefield about 100klms away.  We will probably call in for lunch at the bakery in Heathcote.
Last night those that remained from the get together ventured out to the Victoria Hotel in Elmore, there were 20 of us seated for dinner.  As I write this everyone is busy saying goodbye and promising to catch up again further down the track.
Talk again soon

Monday, November 8, 2010


Saturday morning we again ventured off this time to a town called Echuca (pronounced ee-choo-ca) about 50klms from here courtesy of Russell & Hedy who were our elected guides for the day. LOL. Echuca is home port to a flotilla of paddle steamers whose origins revolved around the busy river trade of the late 19th and early 20th centuries

. It used to be a major port for paddle steamers bringing wool and other commodities from inland, to connect with rail transport to Melbourne.

The area near the port is a replica of bygone years and it is like stepping back into time.

 Lovely shops featuring timber, gift items, cafe’s, Bakeries etc stretch along the strip and it is quite enjoyable weaving your way through the maze of wares on offer. I particularly liked the Echuca Chocolate Shop and I definitely can recommend the white chocolate it just melted in my mouth. (Probably slipped on to the hips also) Bill and Russell enjoyed a taste of the Chocolate Port.

 A few doors up there was also a lovely lolly shop and again I lucked out as they had my favourites again being the peanut butter M & M’s, Hedy also discovered some of her childhood lollies reminiscent of her earlier days in Scotland. A little further along I discovered a lovely Patchwork and Quilting Shop and I was able to just soak up the ambience of being surrounded by beautiful fabric and patterns and and...I was in heaven as only a fellow patchworker would understand.

A former house of ill repute
 We enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Wisteria Cafe. It was my birthday and I enjoyed rather a pleasant day shared with good friends. Bill had his birthday on Wednesday. So thank you all for the lovely phone calls and emails etc. We especially thank the Brissie Kids Choir they seem to get better and better every year. It is lovely to be in touch with our wonderful family and friends at this special time. Thank you John, for remembering our anniversary. Enjoy your weekend in Bali, Bill and Brenda. We enjoyed a nice BBQ dinner with the HF Radio Group followed by entertainment on guitar, Murray and later Dawn playing well into the evening followed by an enjoyable breakfast on the Sunday Morning. Most people packed up and left today but a few of us stalwarts are staying on for at least another day, hoping to enjoy a last meal together at the local Hotel.

Talk again soon

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bendigo Vic

Friday we set off with Russell & Hedy to explore Bendigo.  One of the world’s most spectacular gold rushes took place here in the mid-1800’s, giving rise to this magnificent city with its elaborate architecture and lasting monuments.
  It was quite quaint to see that they still feature historical trams in their streets a token of its golden past.
  One of their greatest testimonials from the past is the Sacred Heart Cathedral which reigns proudly overlooking the township from its perch up on the hill. 
 We spent timeless moments basking in the awe of the grand architected  masterpiece that completed this beautifully constructed cathedral. From the intricate leadlighted windows to the magnificent carvings complete with angels overhead to the marble columns and grand paintings you could not help but to admire this magnificent construction.
  We visited the Historical Post Office building which now hosts the Information Centre to get directions to the oldest Australian working pottery of Bendigo Pottery. 
 Here we explored old kilns and buildings and pottery in various stages of completion as well as the lovely finished products displayed beautifully on their shelves. 
 We had a lovely light lunch in the Pottery Cafe before venturing back to Elmore to meet up with everyone for happy hour.  As it was our wedding anniversary we dined that evening at the Railway Hotel in Elmore and enjoyed a delicious meal in this historical hotel.  There are 3 hotels in Elmore, an IGA, Chemist, Bakery, Newsagency and some old wares stores not a lot but lovely to visit and fossick through the different shops, visit the Campaspe Run where you can operate a smithy’s forge, learn about growing wheat and experience interactive displays and murals reflecting the history of the area.  You can also have a ride on the miniature railway, stroll through the museum at the Railway Station or walk along the Campaspe River.  
Talk again soon

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Griffith, Vic

Parked at Willow Park in Griffith
After a couple of lovely days at Griffith catching up with old friends we were again on our way. We didn’t plan on travelling too far so we stopped overnight at the John Oxley Rest Area. No internet service here and limited phone but we still spent a pleasant night although the weather was particularly cold. We finally crossed over the border so we are now in Victoria so that means we have now travelled in every state except Tasmania. We decided earlier we would do Tasmania separately and not with this trip. I have noticed a bit of difference between NSW and Vic they call the rest areas here Power Nap Areas I thought that was quite cute. We intended to stop in Shepparton and go to the SPC factory to their factory Sales and stock up on some goodies but we forgot to factor in that it was Melbourne Cup Day therefore a public holiday in this state so everything was closed. We continued on to Elmore to the Ayson Reserve a day earlier than originally planned for the HF Radio Get together and we travelled over to Shepparton by car yesterday to visit the factory. My girlfriend used to work for SPC and the penny has finally dropped SPC stands for Shepparton Preserving Company. DUH!!! Hi Kris! I know she doesn’t read my blog so she won’t think that I am too dumb. We will be staying here until Monday and we will be busy reacquainting with other HF Radio Club members and joining in the odd morning tea, happy hour and BBQ’s. We also reconnected up with Russell & Hedy with whom we travelled up the centre to Darwin with.  It was wonderful to catch up with them again.

Willow Park, Griffith

Talk again soon

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Be careful of what you wish for

The crops look good over here
Be careful of what you wish for! I announce that with my tongue in my cheek. LOL. Yesterday when we were camped up in “John Oxley Rest Area” west of West Wyalong, my darling husband (DH) sat patiently outside in his chair watching the passing traffic willing for someone to stop and talk to him. (How I wish I took a photo) He must have looked pretty forlorn because about 4pm a truck arrived for the night. Boy could that driver talk, he didn’t leave our motor home until 10pm (he used the excuse to get some water) and we still hadn’t had our tea by then. I think I can safely say that DH had finally met his match. LOL Never mind I guess he must have been very lonely and we did enjoy his company for awhile.

Our camp by the river in Forbes
 We stayed an extra day at Forbes as the fees were at the right price (free) in the Lions Park and caught up with the washing and explored the town before leaving on Friday.

The Forbes Post Office

Forbes Court House

St John's Church

The main street of Forbes
 We met Tony & Ros from Tasmania and they proudly showed off their Motor home, of which he built by himself and he had also implemented a lot of innovative ideas.

A goanna up the tree
 On Friday, we decided to break the journey to Griffith by staying in the rest area (163klms from Forbes) and we also stopped for lunch at Weethalle.

The Royal Hotel Weethalle
 Our pleasant weather changed last night and we were deluged with more wind and rain and we travelled in these conditions until we arrived at Willow Park in Griffith (63klm). This is a designated Rest area for recreation vehicles and Griffith is a certified RV friendly town. After a bit of shopping to stock up on the vitals needed we ventured out to Lake Wyangan where free camping is also allowed for short stays. We were originally going to stay there for a couple of days but due to the rain it looks a bit slippery so we probably won’t risk it. We hope to catch up with a friend of ours tomorrow. I quote from the brochure “The thriving town of Griffith is the regional centre of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area of Western Riverina, an abundant, picturesque oasis in an area which the explorer John Oxley described in 1817 as being ‘uninhabitable and useless to civilised man’.” Today the Riverina is a food bowl and together with the wine grape industry it proves that good wine and food go well together. Citrus Orchards are everywhere and there are at least 40 different grape varieties grown in the area and rice is also irrigated here. In fact they have just had their annual citrus sculpture display. Thousands of oranges are stacked and shaped to form aeroplanes Teapots and anything the mind can conjure up. As usual we missed it again. It would have been worth seeing.

Talk again soon

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Forbes, NSW

We left Gungal Tuesday morning and we really didn’t travel far.  We stopped off at Merriwa for morning tea and a short stroll through the town and a chat with a local lasso who, along with her husband run a Cattle Station just north of Cassilis.  We had lunch at Dunedoo, because everyone said they have the best pies. 
 I won’t comment on that. LOL 
The Main Street of Dunedoo
 We spent a couple of hours here, they had a local pub a few stores, a pie shop and newsagency. 

We visited the antique shop, which had a treasure trove of interesting items and the store seemed to continue back for ages.  We spent the night at Brocklehurst just outside of Dubbo in an overnight stopover.  We were still travelling with Maryke and Ted from Victoria.  After a fairly restless sleep (refrigerated trucks shared our camping spot) we continued on to the Dubbo Showgrounds to dispose of some waste.  Halfway there we received a call from Maryke that we still had our TV Aerial up.  It wasn’t until we arrived at the showgrounds that we realised we also still had our towels hanging on the front bumper. And what is unusual they were still there!!!!  Definitely losing the plot, Bill blamed me of course, just because I asked him to unpack the printer so that I could photocopy a patchwork pattern that Maryke had.  He said it put his routine out of wack.  At the showgrounds we caught up again with Gary and Susie (who we parked next to at the Whyalla Rally) and exchanged news and gossip from the intervening 18 months since we saw them last.  We decided to stop for lunch at Tomingley, before continuing on to Parkes. 
Silos outside of Parkes
 There were some beautiful coloured paddocks espied on the way thanks to the weed “Patterson’s Curse”.
  I did manage to photo some but I wasn’t quick enough for the best spots.  As we had all decided to spend the night in a designated Lions camp spot in Forbes by the river, Bill diligently put the spot into the GPS.
Camped at Forbes by the river
  When we arrived in Forbes it took us into the main street and led us to a bridge which was closed (according to the locals it was closed over 12 months ago) a quick decision was made to turn up the next street, nearly cleaning up a lamppost with the trailer at the same time.  We went right and Ted went left, he thought he would beat us to the spot for once because he knew the new bridge was off to the right.  We still beat him as he went to the wrong spot and we managed to find a culvert to cross over the river.  Maryke and I managed to find a lovely Aladdin’s cove of a patchwork shop namely “Nellies” and spent a wonderful hour reconnecting with our creative side.  A meal at the Sport & Recreation Club was next on the Agenda and then this morning we said goodbye to our new friends as we decided to stay another night and explore the town.  We will head off tomorrow towards Griffith and possibly we will stay at Rankin's Springs
Talk again soon

Monday, October 25, 2010

Larry's Revenge

Remember when we towed Larry at the Rally, well as they say what comes around goes around.  This is Larry’s revenge!  Pay back time with a vengeance!  Things were going fine everything was packed up and in its place and we were finally leaving.  OMG all hell broke loose!!  Turning around in the yard after the rain turned out to be a big problem!  We had nearly reached the road out when down she went.
She's well and truly bogged

Add some wood and chocks
  Jimny tried to shift her. 
I think I can, I think I can
 No such luck she wasn’t going anywhere.  So we next tried the neighbour’s tractor,
I thought I could, I thought I could!!
 nah! negative! she just dug herself in deeper.
Now the other side is bogged.

The front is now also bogged

  Nothing else left for it but to call in the big guns.
   The excavator from next door, arrived big, tough and mighty strong sauntered across the paddocks
Hook her up to the scoop

The mess left behind

The clean up
A quick lunch and we set on our way.  We hadn't driven too far when we caught up with a Motor Home in front.  Ted and Marissa whom we met a Bulahdelah.  We were able to ask them if someone had picked up an extension cord.  Now here's another story.  When we left Bulahadelah Bill forgot to disconnect his power cord.  Result 3 days later when he wanted to plug in-he discovered all he had left was a three point pin.  Ted and Marissa in their motor home "I feel better now" had picked it up and we were finally reunited with the rest of our cord.  Bill felt better then, because if we hadn't have gotten bogged we would have left earlier and we wouldn't have met up with them, so we wouldn't have retrieved our cord. 

See he's smiling now
We enjoyed Happy Hour with them and we are both parked in a rest area just outside Gungal on the way to Dubbo.
PS I must confess - when I was trying to take photos of the incident I couldn't see out of the viewfinder and I asked Bill what button do I press on the camera.  I won't tell you his reply.  After I had taken a few shots with the other camera he said "Did you remove the LENS COVER?"  You guessed it!!   I think there is too much grey matter between us. LOL
 Talk again soon