SATURDAY 25 APRIL ECHUCA
When I went outside, first thing in the morning, found that rain through the night had pooled heavily on the awning roof. We had overlooked the need to have the corner poles at different heights, so rain would run off. I got rather wet draining the large pool of water off – most of it onto my feet and legs.
I sat outside, under said roof, with my morning coffee. Watched the neighbouring Phoenix van owner hitch up. His weight distribution bars seemed to bend greatly once their chains were hooked up and lifted. It was such a heavy van. The bars looked the same as ours, but ours stay straight. I wasn’t sure how much bending was acceptable though.
After coffee I walked up to the shops to get the weekend papers and post grandson’s card. Most shops were closed, either for the whole day, or until 1pm. Groups of people were obviously heading for the Anzac Service at the town Memorial, which I passed on my walk back.
There were not all that many tourists around, though. The caravan park had been nowhere near full last night, despite what was intimated to us when we booked in, in order to get us to commit to the whole four days at once. I thought the rain and dismal forecast may have caused cancellations.
John had surfaced when I got back. Read the papers for a while, then it was time to head off to bowls. When we got there, found the start time had been put back half an hour, due to the Anzac occasion, so waited around, trying to be social.
There was not a large turn out – again, probably due to the weather. We played in rain showers and gusty wind. We were drawn in different teams. John’s team won the prize of $20 of vouchers, redeemable at local shops. A useful prize. We finished in profit for the day – the princely amount of $5, given entry fees of $5 each and $5 spent on the obligatory post-game beers for our opponents. High finance!
A woman I encountered in one game really annoyed me. Originally from England, she was complaining that their investments had lost so much that they could not afford to go overseas for their usual annual four month trip to the UK. She would not countenance that travel within Australia might be a good alternative – it was “too boring”, the “villages are all the same”, though she thought Perth passed muster – barely. She wouldn’t consider going outback, although her husband would really love to drive up through the Centre, because there were snakes and spiders there. What a blinkered outlook. It took a lot of self discipline on my part not to start talking about spiders and snakes around Moama.
Just after we got back to the van, heavy rain set in, accompanied by thunder, lightning and big wind gusts. Most unpleasant.
I cooked tea of cheese omelets and green vegies. The poptop side flaps were zipped up against the rain, so there was lots of condensation from my cooking on the vinyl and metal frame. I don’t like having to cook enclosed in the van, for just this reason, but sometimes there is no other option.
To annoy me further, the omelets stuck to the pan, so turned into scrambled cheese.
There was a different van next to us, tonight. It did not seem to have a maker’s label, but the label read something like “our van by XXXX and YYYY.” It looked to be about 18 foot long, but only had a single axle and seemed too long for it, at the back. It had no weight distribution type gear either. They had a domestic reverse cycle air conditioner built into the rear of the van; the noise from this kept going on and off all through the night. I felt this was really inconsiderate. It was not quite as noisy as the roof mounted ones, but must have been very intrusive for the family in the camper trailer on the other side.
In the wee small hours, I pondered the question: are fellow travellers becoming less considerate, or am I becoming less tolerant, as I age?