TUESDAY 17 MARCH QUEANBEYAN
Pleasant, warm day.
We drove into Canberra to attend to various items.
Went to the airport, on the way in, where John checked out the cost of air fares to Melbourne – $200 each way! The bus it will be. So continued on to Central and booked his bus/train tickets for next week. We have some concern over how well his hip will go on such travel, but the air fares are just too dear. At least, on the train segment, he will be able to walk about a bit.
At the NRMA offices, checked out insurance costs and details for Truck, as this is due soon, and we were not sure who to insure with, that will cover all the extras on Truck. While there, I picked up some travel information – mostly booklets and maps for NSW. They have these rather strange little pocket sized regional guide books, with fold up maps in a back pocket.
Continued out to Belconnen, towards the outer north east of Canberra, to sort out the Truck insurance, only to be told we’d have to go to the dealer at Phillip, out on the southern side. Naturally, they were on opposite sides of Canberra! So we trundled back through the traffic and into yet another part of town that was new to us. Got it sorted.
These details occupied us until into the afternoon. Bought lunch rolls at Phillip.
Then drove to Mt Stromlo Observatory, since we were now on the same side of town. Out that way has a lot of pine plantations growing, which I do not find in keeping with Canberra – it should all be native vegetation.
We were too late for the afternoon tour of the Observatory, which was disappointing, so we just browsed in their shop for a little while.
Continued on to the SW, to Cotter Dam and Casuarina Sands picnic area, on the Murrumbidgee River. The Cotter Dam is a water supply for Canberra.
The Murrumbidgee River is really low – barely flowing. We sat on a rock in the stream for half an hour, just enjoying being out of the urban environment for a little while. The picnic area and camping ground looked excellent, but there was no one staying in the camp area. I wondered if that is because of the high fire danger at the moment, or if there is a hoon problem at night. Don’t think I would like to stay here, so close to the city.
We drove back to the van via the Paddys River Road, through more pine forest, past the Tidbinbilla Space Tracking Station – saw tracking dishes in the distance, to Tharwa. So we followed the Murrumbidgee valley. The scenery was beautiful in the late afternoon light, with dramatic hills and valleys and a mix of native and European trees. After all the urban stuff this morning, this was a lovely way to end the day.
From Tharwa, took the Monaro Highway, then Lanyon Drive which took us to Queanbeyan, without having to go back to Canberra.
Tea was meat patties and salad.