This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2003 Travels April 24

THURSDAY 24 APRIL   NORTH BOURKE TO BLACKALL   750kms

Another early start. These sorts of days were not our ideal of travel!

We left Kidmans Camp at 7.30am, and turned north again. About an hour and a half later, crossed the border into Qld. No fanfare or fuss there – just a cattle grid over a small ditch and a low fence stretching away on both sides of the road. A sign lets the traveller know they are entering Queensland – just in case they didn’t yet know. And the flat road stretched on into the distance.

Refuelled at the servo on the southern side of Cunnamulla, where the highway we were following turned away from that town. 94cpl.

Stopped beside the road on the outskirts of Charleville to eat the sandwiches I’d packed this morning.

On these long driving days, I took some turns driving the rig, while John napped in the passenger seat.

Refuelled and had a coffee break at Tambo. I’d thought we might overnight here – had stayed before – but John felt able to keep going. Fuel was 94cpl.

We got into Blackall just on dusk – 5.45pm.

At the Blackall Caravan Park we were able to stay hitched up – $16 for the night.

Quick and basic set up again, then tea. It was too late to go for a walk at all.

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2003 Travels April 23

WEDNESDAY 23 APRIL   BATHURST TO NORTH BOURKE   590kms

We were up at 6am, and away at 7.45. Made no effort at all to be quiet. That would teach the moron next door to park so close!

It was foggy to begin with, then changed to there just being fog in the valleys, with the hilltops clear. This made it a really pretty and attractive drive to Dubbo, after which we were out onto the western plains. The trade off had been that the pretty section was also slower than the plains, with the flat, straight roads of the latter.

Refuelled at Nyngan – $1.06cpl. Took a break there to eat the lunch sandwiches I had packed this morning.

Reached Kidmans Camp at North Bourke about 5.30pm. Our site cost $18. We were able to stay hitched up. Did a quick and basic camp set up.

We’d stayed at this very pleasant, developing, caravan park before. It was interesting to go for a walk and look at what had altered since our last stay. Last year, there were new cabins being built – they had turned out to be very nice looking indeed. Continued our walk, past the cabins, to the Darling River and back.

The lady owner of the park was busy planting lambs ears that she’d bought. And here was I, not long back, throwing out heaps of such plants that had spread themselves too far in my garden.

The night sky was beautiful and clear, with a myriad of stars. We rejoiced at being back in the outback.

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2003 Travels April 22

TUESDAY 22 APRIL     BATHURST

With the shops open again after Easter, we did some shopping for supplies.

Came across a gallery that featured photographs as art. Spent some time talking with the owner – a former teacher. Actually, I reckon some of my photos were as good as some he had on display.

We had a series of phone calls about Truck. Some of the parts needed, that had been damaged when the brake came apart,  were not available on such short notice. They knew we were on a deadline, so they made temporary repairs that they promised should see us through until we get home again.

Truck was ready at 3pm. We had to pay $460 for the temporary repair, but hope to get that refunded later, from the clowns in Melbourne. The mechanic also found “recycled” split pins in a front brake that would also have broken shortly. He replaced those with new ones and gave those to us, as evidence. What sort of operation reuses such things – I mean, how expensive are they? They also gave us a very frank letter, detailing what they had found, and their opinion of such work! They had no qualms about putting it in writing, which said a lot!

We returned the hire car, with me driving Truck while John delivered it. Was quite a relief to be back in our normal transport.

Refuelled Truck at a Woolworths fuel centre – 97cpl.

Back at the caravan park, found that some twit had parked his caravan in our car parking space. He had, of course, gone off somewhere. So that made our packing up somewhat less convenient. His van was very close to ours. When he got back, he must have realized, but there was no apology.

John had another upsetting phone call with the wayward daughter.

We now had five days to get to Adels Grove – 2600kms away…….Would therefore have to average over 500kms a day. We were definitely going to have to find a better service centre for Truck, once home again – after they had remedied the problems they caused! If only we could find a dealership that was as good as the one in Bathurst!


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2003 Travels April 21

MONDAY 21 APRIL     BATHURST

Daughter’s birthday today. I phoned her mobile and caught up with her at Bonnie Doon, where they were spending Easter. She said she’d been horse riding this morning, for the first time in ages, and really enjoyed it. I suspected that tomorrow’s after effects may not be quite so enjoyable!

We walked in the park in the morning.

John played bowls again, after lunch.

I worked on the cot blanket, and read.

After tea, John had a distressing phone call with daughter two, who seems determined to mess up her life. He did not sleep well as a result of her revelations, and felt quite ill through the night.


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2003 Travels April 20

SUNDAY 20 APRIL     BATHURST

John decided we should go for a drive and see some of the Blue Mountains, to the east of us.  I think we are both feeling rather frustrated, at having to hang about here.

When we set out, it was a reasonably pleasant day, but half way between Bathurst and Lithgow, rain and fog set in. It was then no day for being able to see the scenery!

Abandoned thoughts of going on further, to the Katoomba area, and maybe walking.

John was not really at ease, driving the Commodore, either.

Went to the Tourist Information Centre in Lithgow, collected some material, then headed back towards Bathurst. When we got back there, it was still fine and sunny!

Went for a walk in the river park again.

I spent the rest of the day working on the afghan style cot blanket that I am making for grandson, at daughter’s request. John spent time on the computer.


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2003 Travels April 19

SATURDAY 19 APRIL     BATHURST

I bought the Weekend Australian, but decided to save it up and then have something to read when we got to Adels Grove. Read some of my novel instead.

John played bowls again after lunch.

S phoned to say that the cot and change table had arrived and that she loved them. It was good for John to get positive feedback.

The nights were really chilly.


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2003 Travels April 18

FRIDAY 18 APRIL     BATHURST

Good Friday today.

After breakfast, drove into town and went walking in the gardens alongside the Macquarie River – really pleasant.

John played bowls in the afternoon.

I walked a couple of kms from the caravan park, towards town, for something to do. Enjoyed the exercise.