FRIDAY 31 MARCH BENDIGO TO HALLS GAP 345kms
Said goodbye to the grandson, as they left for creche and work at 8.15am.
We finished our breakfast and departed, quite calmly.
Reached Birchip at noon, as previously arranged with W.
His service work revealed that Truck needed a new fuel pump. It would be Monday, at the earliest, before the part would arrive in Birchip.
We had lunch with A and W. There was lots of talk about Pungalina, where we’d all worked last year. W told us that the manager had been in Darwin with his lady friend, when the heavy rains occurred, a couple of weeks previous. A monsoon trough that stalled over the Gulf. We were surprised that he was away, at all, during the Wet season, and surprised that he was not able to pick up the likelihood of that event from the weather forecasts, in time to fly his plane back.
According to W, there had been much damage, caused when the Calvert River flooded to a high level. Water had inundated the house to a depth of about a metre. A lot of the mud brick walls had dissolved. The Troopy, and much of the machinery on the place, had been partly submerged. A lot of loose items had simply floated away.
A and W were planning to go up to Pungalina in mid-May. It would have to be via the Calvert Road in the NT, as the Gulf track would not be open by then. There would certainly be plenty of mechanical repair work to be done!
Now, with a couple of days to fill in, we decided to go to Halls Gap and see what that area was like, after the big bushfires that had occurred in the Grampians in late January. It was only a couple of hours away. Daughter and partner were going to be there too, for an anniversary, but grandson was being looked after by friends at home.
We headed south. Refuelled at Donald – $1.39cpl. Had done 456kms.
We reached Halls Gap just on darkness, in a deluge of rain and with it freezing cold. What suddenly happened to summer? It had still been around this morning. Somebody turned the off switch!
We had phoned ahead and obtained an en suite site at the Halls Gap Parkgate Caravan Park. It cost us $33.30 a night, after discount.