This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2003 Travels September 30

TUESDAY 30 SEPTEMBER   TOCUMWAL TO HOME   280kms

We crossed over the Murray River and back into Victoria.

Today’s was a relatively short drive south. It was pleasant to travel through country that was progressively greener than we’d been used to.

Refuelled at Yea – 85cpl.

We were home by lunchtime.

Our house sitter was at uni, but had left us a welcome home note. The place was immaculate.

We commenced the arduous work of unloading the van and packing away the contents for however many months it would be before we headed off again. Trips would be so much better if they didn’t end in all the unpacking, sorting and cleaning!

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THE STATISTICS FOR 2003

Kms travelled:     9,534

Kms towed:         6,594

Cost of diesel:        $1,367.24

Average fuel consumption:   6.95kms per litre

Dearest diesel:     $1.33cpl – Hells Gate Roadhouse

Cheapest diesel:   $0.85cpl – Yea

Accommodation cost:   $675.90

Dearest accommodation per night:  $25 – Pungalina Station

Cheapest paid accommodation per night:   $16 – Blackall Caravan Park

Number of different places stayed:  14

Longest stay in one place:  20 weeks – Adels Grove

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2003 Travels September 29

MONDAY 29 SEPTEMBER   COBAR TO TOCUMWAL   560kms

Refuelled at Cobar – 99cpl and at Griffith – 96cpl.

Today saw changes of the type of country passed through. Since leaving Adels, we had travelled mostly through semi-arid grass and scrubland. But today we transitioned into the irrigated farmlands of the Murrumbidgee River lands and then reached the Murray River country.

Being inland, it was still hot, though by the time we stopped for the day, it was definitely somewhat cooler.

Went into the Boomerang Way Caravan park – $19.80 after discount. I was not impressed with this park, even though it was a Big 4 one. Seemed quite run down.

After minimal set up again, John napped. I went for a walk – it was cool enough – down to the main part of town, just to get some exercise after the long days of sitting. I did not really look around the town to any extent – just walked.

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2003 Travels September 28

SUNDAY 28 SEPTEMBER   CHARLEVILLE TO COBAR   615kms

Yet again, hot driving. The central drive shaft of the Defender seems to generate heat, and because there is not a great deal of leg room, it is a hot vehicle in which to travel. When it was really hot outside, the Truck battled to tow the van and run the air con, so we tended to rely on just having the windows down to generate a bit of passing breeze.

Refuelled at Cunnamulla -91cpl. Once in NSW, fuel would become more expensive, without the Qld State Government subsidy on diesel.

When we reached Bourke, John was wanting to continue on, so the stage became a really long one.

Went into the Cobar Caravan Park – $18.

We were pleasantly surprised at how attractive the caravan park was, and noted it for future travels.

After the long day, all we did was set up a minimal camp, leaving the rig hitched up. Tea, a bit of TV, and to bed.

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2003 Travels September 27

SATURDAY 27 SEPTEMBER     CHARLEVILLE

After breakfast, we drove to the main area of shops, to get the weekend papers, and to have a browse around shops again. It was already too hot to contemplate walking there from the caravan park.

John bought himself a good Akubra hat – leather – in the men’s outfitters.

Refuelled Truck – 89cpl.

Rested around the van for the rest of the day. It was so hot! I read the papers. John watched the football.

The rest did John good.

It was rather an unusual caravan park, this one. Very pleasant, though, with fairly modern and very clean amenities. But different because there were few formal, marked sites. A few down one side fence were standard, but over the main central area, an owner directs the parking of each van, very carefully, to optimize the number of vans fitted in. They could pack it quite tightly. This was not really an approach that I liked, but at this time of the year the place was not busy, so we had finished up with plenty of room around us.


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2003 Travels September 26

FRIDAY 26 SEPTEMBER   LONGREACH TO CHARLEVILLE   510kms

Yet another really hot day.

We reached Charleville, with only minimal stops along the way.

Topped up the fuel before we left Longreach – 93 cpl, and filled at Tambo -91cpl.

We went into the Bailey Bar Caravan Park – there were new owners, we found. $16.20 a night, after discount.

We decided another rest day was in order, so John could watch the AFL Grand Final on TV, so booked for two nights.

Encountered the couple with the Bushtracker van, who we’d met here before – they visit the town regularly – so we had a catch up talk with them.

John drove to the shops and bought us fish and chips for tea. It was so long since we’d had proper fish and chips!

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2003 Travels September 25

THURSDAY 25 SEPTEMBER     LONGREACH

It was a very hot day.

We stayed in the van, with the air-con on, for most of the day, only venturing out late in the afternoon, when it was a bit cooler, for a short walk. We headed up to the Stockmans Hall of Fame – that was far enough and we turned and went back to the van!

I could not even find the motivation to go for a swim in the pool.


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2003 Travels September 24

WEDNESDAY 24 SEPTEMBER   CLONCURRY TO LONGREACH   514kms

Today was John’s 63rd birthday and he spent it behind the wheel.

It was a very hot day of driving.

Refuelled at Winton – 96cpl. Don’t know why Cloncurry was so much cheaper.

Reached Longreach and called it quits.

Booked into the Gunnadoo Caravan Park and decided a rest day from driving was in order, so booked for two nights. $19.80 a night, after discount.

John had intended we should detour via Canberra on the way home, to see daughter, but they had headed off to Sri Lanka for a holiday, so we would head straight home. I admired their determination – an overseas jaunt with a six month old was a rather brave undertaking!

We had no special celebration of the birthday. John would, as usual, buy himself some new tool or machine when he was home, as his present.

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