MONDAY 15 MARCH TATHRA TO LAKES ENTRANCE 307kms
We got away from Tathra about 9am. At the bottom of the steep bit of road up from the beach level to the top, John put Truck in low range and second gear and we crawled up the hill – slow but easy.
It was then a straight forward run to Lakes Entrance, though a bit slow through the winding and more hilly section between Eden and Orbost. Negotiating our way through the centre of Merimbula with the van on was not the best, either – we might have been better off to go to Bega and take the highway that misses the town.
We had to stop several times for “bathroom” for John – it must be the effect of the increasing cold!
We stopped near Cann River to eat the packed lunch brought with us. This is a stretch of road that we have driven a number of times before, over the years, so it seems very routine, and does not hold a great deal of interest, just because of familiarity.
Reached Lakes Entrance about 2.30pm. Booked into the Big 4 Koonwarra Caravan Park for $14.40 for the night. This is just to the east of the centre of the town – within walking distance. It is an adequate park for an overnight stop, or a few days.
We had intended to go for a good cycle around the town, after our minimal set up. But discovered, to my horror, that the fridge was not working – and had not been for a while, as all the contents of the freezebox were well and truly defrosted. I was well and truly annoyed! John phoned C at Trakmaster, who put us onto J – the Vitrifrigo dealer who had supplied the fridge when the van was built. He is also the solar power man. J directed John in doing some tests and decided he knew what was wrong. John arranged to meet him tomorrow, at 3pm, at the Trakmaster factory.
I threw out some meats, but kept a pack of fish to cook extra for John’s tea tonight – he will be having a big feed! Also kept some bacon, which I thought was safe. There was not too much food wasted – it could have been worse. I had run down our usual stocks in anticipation of being able to buy cheaper in Melbourne. There was rather a nasty smell in the fridge, though! I wiped it out with a cloth dipped in vanilla essence. Stacked up the Chescold fridge with the jars, margarine, cheese and vegetable matter from the van fridge, and we ran that through the night to keep things cold. Hopefully, the contents will remain cold enough through the drive tomorrow. We do not run the Chescold on 12Volt in the Truck – had a nasty experience doing this in the previous Hilux, when the fridge shifted and pinched the wire and we went very close to having the vehicle on fire!
About 6pm, we managed to go out for a cycle around the streets, for nearly an hour.
Our intention of having a rather leisurely trip back home, through Gippsland, is now not going to happen, due to having to get the fridge to Melbourne.
Our late tea was John’s fish dinner – large size. I had steak. I am still very wary of eating fish that may have bones. Melon completed the meal.
Today, the van clocked up 10,000 kms of being towed. What a way to celebrate the milestone!