This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2015 Travels May 10

SUNDAY MAY 10     CANBERRA TO COWRA     208kms

It had been a really cold night in Canberra. The weather forecast for today was not great – strong and gusty winds, with a severe weather warning. Not what the Driver ordered. If our site was still available, we would probably have stayed another night to avoid travelling in the forecast bad weather – but it wasn’t.

Left the park at 10am and immediately went to fuel up at the servo by the caravan park. John got confused about the colour of the diesel pump. I had to argue with him! We did not want any more petrol in diesel episodes. $1.228cpl.

It was a really hard drive for John, because of the gusting wind. Side-on, Bus was about as aerodynamic as a house brick. He made an absolute hash of the turn from the Hume onto the Boorowa road – had the exhaust brake on, mashed the gears. We got an immediate very strong smell of burning rubber, which was not a great omen. However, this dissipated as we went along. John only gained his MR licence in 2006, and trained on modern vehicles, so he does not tend to use the double de-clutch technique, which would be of benefit when changing down gears in the Coaster. When I’m driving Bus, I do it, but then I got my “endorsed” licence over thirty years ago, when “crash” gearboxes were common in larger vehicles. So it comes more naturally to me.

Stopped in Boorowa for a leg stretch that turned into an early lunch, after we spotted a convenient bakery cafe. The town had a pleasant central rest area, with parking in the adjacent streets, toilets and an Information Centre (which was more of a craft sales outlet).

The nearby Superb Bakery was pretty good. Whilst John and dog waited outside, I went in and bought an egg and lettuce sandwich and a coffee that turned out to be excellent. Was tempted into also buying a chocolate eclair and a vanilla slice – tonight’s dessert. Then it was John’s turn to go in and buy a pepper pie and a sausage roll. Unfortunately, I was juggling information booklets, coffee container, sandwich, cakes and a dog that was trying to run off and find the Master, so the dessert got somewhat mashed.

Boorowa

Boorowa looked a very pleasant little town, perhaps worthy of a future stay and explore.

The Shamrock Hotel had beautiful wrought iron lacework. The town dates from the pre-gold rush squatting era, so lots of history there.

North of Boorowa was rolling hills and sheep country – they were all sheltering in the gullies. Who says sheep are dumb critters? There were some showers of rain. I noted lots of dead or dying gum trees – a disease, or a sign of land salting?

We drove straight through the town of Cowra and out to the Cowra Holiday Park, about 4kms  to the north.

I paid $36 a night for an en-suite site, requesting one without steps, remembering that John had found those a bit of a challenge last time here. Out allocated site had no steps to the loo, but was not very level where we had been told to park the rig. John had driven Bus in frontwards, but we then decided to unhitch the car, and put Bus in the other way, on the other side of the slab. I drove while he directed. Over the years, we had gotten to be very good at parking our caravan by this method, but we sure as hell needed a lot more practice with Bus!

Corowa site

I solved the usual problem of Couey going crazy and barking whenever Bus starts up without her in it – by tethering her in the Terios and shutting the door. It muffled the barking! Must remember that…

So, we had an annexe slab and a great shower in the en-suite. The park featured a lot of railway memorabilia, like old seats from stations, station signs, signals on poles. It gave the place a lot of character, in a good way. The rustic camp kitchen had a campfire pit where there was happy hour every afternoon. We were told we could take Couey up to the end of the park, where there was a large grassed area, and give her ball chases. Excellent!

We set up, then relaxed in Bus for the rest of the day. The windy weather was not conducive to much else, though that eased off a bit later in the day.

I thought about going to happy hour, which looked to be well patronized, but then heard the sound of guitar music wafting down from the camp kitchen. I go to happy hours to talk to other travellers, not be a captive audience for some amateur performer. So we gave it a miss.

Tea was pork chops marinated in lemon juice and rind, with garlic and oregano. Very nice, with potato and green beans. The cakes were nice too, after I scraped them off their paper bags.

The park was by the road to Bathurst, A bit beyond it, this highway comes down a hill towards Cowra, around a bend. Outside, the engine brakes from trucks were audible at this point, but inside Bus we didn’t hear any road noise.

Park management had advised us not to drink the tap water, which came from a bore and had a high calcium level. I didn’t want to put that into our hot water service, so we didn’t hook up to park water, existing on our own tank supply. However, I did fetch hot water from the en-suite to do the dishes.

Today was Mothers Day. I received a text message from my daughter. Son and family were incommunicado on a holiday in Fiji. Also had a text from friend M, back in Broome after a superb two-week cruise around the Kimberley coast. Her Troopy had a new engine installed, to replace the one she killed on the Tanami Track. But it had just been found that a new drive shaft was needed – due to damage caused by a forklift when it had been trucked from Halls Creek to Broome. It was proving to be a very expensive trip up the Tanami! I was so looking forward to seeing her coast photos when we were all home again.


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2015 Travels May 9

SATURDAY MAY 9     CANBERRA

John did not rush to leave for the boys’ soccer matches, but the first one was not until 11.30, so he was not late. The match was at the boys’ school, so John got to see some of their buildings and facilities and was most impressed.

He did get lost trying to follow the family to the afternoon match, which was at the Australian Institute of Sport. After the game, he drove daughter and the elder grandson back to their home. The kid got to ride in the very “doggy” back seat of the Terios – which he will probably remember for quite some time…

I spent the usual sort of time back at Bus. Read. Some computer time. Played games with dog.

Rows and rows of bunkhouse accommodation…

In amongst the wind squalls and icy showers, took some photos of the caravan park, with its long rows of bunkhouses for tour groups, and its very small caravan section. I wondered why they even bothered with the caravan part? Was there some legal reason to do with zoning or classification?

The small area of caravan sites

As agreed last Thursday, we were to have dinner with the family. Left the park at 5.30 to go over there. When we arrived, discovered that SIL had decided they would be going down to the coast, to their beach house, for the remainder of the weekend. Daughter did not want to go, so the atmosphere was decidedly tense. SIL and the two boys were quite contemptuous of us and their mother, the boys taking the lead from their father. Dinner – spag bol – was a very hurried affair, we were rushed out as soon as the last mouthful had been eaten. No offer of dessert or a drink, and we were back at Bus before we knew it. Not quite the convivial evening we had anticipated…


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2015 Travels May 8

FRIDAY MAY 8     CANBERRA

It was really, really cold last night. I slept as late as Couey would allow – until nearly 9am. John slumbered on till later.

There was a really chill wind blowing all day. I concluded that the only reason one would choose to live in Canberra would be a work imperative!

The en-suite sites…why do we feel like second class citizens?

Today was a day of doing oddments, and looking towards departure on Sunday.

Changed the dressings on my leg – that accounted for nearly an hour.

John went online and checked our Telstra bill. The charges seemed high, since we got the new phone a couple of weeks ago.

Went to the airport area shopping complex and filled scripts, got some food supplies. I bought a very nice pull-apart loaf that we had for lunch, back at Bus.

Re-rolled the awning, pulling it out and trying to put it back in the line that would enable locking for travel, after my solo effort of the other day. Got it done properly, after a couple of tries. We had found that, with this awning, if wind had moved the material along the roller, at all, the arms will not slot away properly. Marked the right places on the roller with texta.

Phoned daughter, who gave us details of some bills that we needed to pay online.

For tea, I cooked hoki fish – bought pre-battered and frozen, and made fries. I quite liked the hoki, but John hated it. Guess I won’t be doing that again.

Another very cold night and a solid work out for the little fan heater.


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2015 Travels May 7

THURSDAY MAY 7     CANBERRA

John could not sleep in late, as he was to attend the boys swimming sports – an inter-school regional type of meeting. I was certain that the chlorinated atmosphere would be bad for my cough! This cold had turned out to be far more convenient than such things usually are…

John was back earlier than I’d expected. Both boys qualified for their next level of competition.

While he was gone, I emailed  my daughter – to whom we’d had mail redirected – asking her to open and check for anything that needed attention – like the electricity bill.

John’s opal mining friend phoned. He’d had to go up to Lightning Ridge earlier than he’d expected. He’d arrived there at 2am this morning – and had hit two kangaroos on the way, driving his Coaster, an older model than ours. I considered him crazy to drive in those parts after dark, but some people are risk takers. He said he would have to be back in Melbourne before we get up there. So John would not be getting to explore his mine, this trip. Couldn’t be helped – the man did have a business to run at home.

I phoned and booked a Cowra caravan park for three nights.

John put the wardrobe door back in place, now glue was dry. It was all fixed well, and no longer was hard to open.

Grassed area in front of our site

We were to be at the family’s place for dinner, by 6pm. En route, we only missed one of the GPS lady’s directions, which, given the nature of Canberra roads, was pretty good.

Couey got tethered in the back yard, about which she was not happy. But she settled, after a fashion – never taking her eyes off us, visible through the large glass wall of the room we were in.

We enjoyed a very nice roast lamb meal, with a chocolate self saucing pudding for dessert.

John showed the boys a presentation, on his laptop. This had been prepared by John’s brother, on the boys’ great grandfather’s service in World War 1, on the Western Front. They were quite engrossed with this, in the context of all the current attention on that war.

We left before 9pm, being conscious that tomorrow was a school and work day for the family.


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2015 Travels May 6

WEDNESDAY MAY 6     CANBERRA

This morning, the antenna man finally turned up. He came into Bus, fiddled about a bit, and got a great picture. I suspected the usually tech-savvy other half may not have had the controls set for digital TV. But no-one said anything, and – on further inspection – the man did find something wrongly wired outside, on the antenna. He rectified this. When the new antenna was installed, in 2013, the work was done by John and a mate and that is when the wrong wiring must have happened. Mind you, it all worked perfectly well through our 2013 trip….Anyway, all fixed, we were told, at a cost of $110, which seemed quite reasonable.

Now we were free to play tourists,  after an early lunch.

I had looked online for information about dog parks in the ACT and found that the place seemed quite well endowed with places dogs could play off leash, and also places where they could swim. Too cold for that, now, though.

We drove to one of the special dog parks, at Forde. This was not a very large area, but was securely fenced, with water bowls, agility equipment, and even some tennis balls lying around. Not very hygienic, that! We tried to get Couey working over the agility equipment, with varying success. She definitely liked going through pipes – and running along the top of same; ditto walls. But she could not be persuaded to jump the set jumps, even though they were all lower than she jumps at home in order to short cut through the garden. Anyway, we all had fun. She encountered a couple of other dogs there, too, with no dramas – always good to see.

After that we were in the mood for something panoramic. The obvious candidate, the Telstra Tower, is contained in the Black Mountain Nature Reserve, where dogs are not permitted at all. So we did not try to revisit that- had been up there in 1998.

Instead, drove to the top of Mt Ainslie to look at the view from there, across Lake Burley Griffin, to Parliament House.

In line: Australian War Memorial, Anzac Parade, Lake Burley Griffin, Parliament House

Across to the eastern end of the Lake, we could see the reclaimed area and the lakefront apartments where the family was living in 2013.

From Mt Ainslie: central Canberra, looking towards Scrivener Dam

We walked around the pathways that were up there and read the information boards.

Telstra Tower on Black Mountain

We set out, then, to drive around the Lake, towards the western end first. Back in 1998, we cycled around the Lake, which took us most of a very hot day. Formal bike paths did not go all the way round and we did some riding on roads. Today, the driving was easy, on multi-laned roads, though the Driver didn’t get to look around too much, in the traffic.

Visited the Scrivener Dam at the western end of the Lake. This dam wall across the Molonglo River created Lake Burley Griffin, and controls its levels. It was named for an early surveyor of the Canberra area. I was surprised to find that the dam wall was not completed until the 1960’s. Had assumed it was created at the same time as Canberra was commenced.

The Molonglo is not a big river – seems more like a creek to me. Like a number of the water courses in the area, it is lined with weeping willows, planted by well-intentioned early settlers. It makes for picturesque scenery but is not great, environmentally.

Molonglo River valley

Not far from the dam wall was the Government House Lookout, with its views uphill to Yarralumla, the official residence of the Governor General of Australia.

Yarralumla House

Again, I found new information: that Yarralumla was not purpose built, but was originally a private residence of major pastoral families of the district. The original pastoral property was a large one. Walter Burley Griffin, the designer of Canberra, had included in his plans a grand vice-regal residence, but – as with quite a bit of his original plans – a cheaper option prevailed.

From the Lookout, we could look towards the valley of the Molonglo and see the large former woolshed of the original farm.

Looking across to the grand old woolshed

By this time, the afternoon was getting on and we decided not to continue round the Lake, but to head back to Bus to avoid the late afternoon traffic build up. The GPS took us round the back of Black Mountain, on Caswell Drive, a way we hadn’t been before. Saw yet another traffic rear-ender accident.

John re-glued the wardrobe door back together. I had to help him get the strap clamp round the outside edges of the door.

Tea was steak, with green peppercorn sauce, and vegies.

A decision was made that our next destination would be Cowra – a place we hadn’t previously stayed at long enough to see its attractions.


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2015 Travels May 5

TUESDAY MAY 5     CANBERRA

John went off, after an early start, for him, to watch the boys compete in the inter-schools cross country competition. It was out at the Stromlo Forest Reserve – across the other side of the city from us, naturally. John and the GPS managed to get themselves rather lost, and did a lot of extra kms.

I did the washing. One feeds a token into the machine. But first, one must do the long walk up to Reception to purchase said taken – for $4. I wasn’t sure of the point of the token. Did it deter people breaking into the machines, for coins? I couldn’t conceive this would be a significant problem…Did it mean the price of a machine load could be changed without having to adjust the machine> Or was I missing something here?

During the morning, the wind – which initially had signalled a good day for drying washing – became much stronger. It then signalled good idea to wind awning in, before it got damaged. But there was only me and it took a while to remember the various steps. It was not something I usually did and not since 2013. There was some trial and error. But I managed it in the end, despite some periods where I was just hanging on to the awning in the wind. It probably looked quite comical, had there been anyone watching. I was quite proud of myself. It was good to know this was something I could do by myself, however inelegantly.

I exercised dog, spent some time on laptop, and went to rescue the washing before our underwear ended up in Yass or parts beyond.

There was a small group of red-rumped parrots that foraged around, near Bus. I tried to get a decent photo of them, but the zoom on my new camera was not all that effective, and they were a bit camera shy.

Red rumped parrots

I had, earlier in the year, bought a new “retro look” Pentax digital camera and this was its first outing.

John returned mid afternoon. The boys had both qualified for the next level of competition and he was pleased with the photos and videos he took on the tablet. He’d been to Masters on the way back to get stuff needed for the wardrobe door repair.

I made a healthy version of hamburgers – on a slice of toast, instead of in a bun – for tea. John liked it.

The nights were getting much colder – heater needed – and the chill was tending to persist into the day.


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2015 Travels May 4

MONDAY JULY 4     CANBERRA

Today was a rather boring, even wasted, day. But, I had accepted that the main purpose of being here was for John to visit his family and have time with grandsons, not for playing tourists. We had, in any case, spent some weeks here in 1998, early in our retirement travels, and enjoyed extensive sightseeing back then.

John phoned the antenna man – again! He said he would come about 4pm and would phone first. We weren’t convinced…

We needed to shop – for door repair materials, and some food. Not wanting to repeat the Belconnen experience, I suggested there might be a Bunnings in the new, spread-out retail complex we’d passed, by the airport, yesterday. Off back down the Majura Parkway. This was being made when we were here in 2013 and there was still work in progress, with a detour at one section.

We saw a Masters hardware store, but John decided to drive around the spread-out complex, to see what was there. Spotted a Big W and supermarket. John was cruising slowly, looking for a parking spot. As he was turning left to pull into one – with the indicator going – we were nearly hit by a woman driving a big 4WD, who went past – on our left –  at some speed. She just fitted between us and the parked cars. I said that ACT drivers are aggressive! Had never had that happen in a supermarket car park before. John certainly let her know he was not impressed with her driving.

Checked out Big W to see if John’s preferred type of track pants was in this store. No – but it gave me the chance to buy a couple of windcheaters, having decided I had not brought enough of these with me, given the cold weather.

John spotted a retailer of computers and similar goods, and decided then and there that he really must buy a tablet, so he could film the boys running in their races tomorrow. Apparently, a standard camera was no longer preferable. He was interested in a Samsung one, but had trouble finding anyone in the store who was able to show him the features of same. Very poor service. Then, they didn’t have one in stock, despite it being on display, so we would have to go to Gunghalin to collect one.

Did a very quick whiz around the supermarket, collecting the items on my list. There was no time to go to Masters, because we needed to be back for the antenna man. Maybe? That tablet purchase had taken ages.

The GPS directed us to Gunghalin, which at least was in the same direction as the caravan park. Tablet duly collected – another toy.

Sat around at Bus, waiting for the antenna man, who, predictably, did not come. But he did phone, very late in the day, and arranged to come Wednesday. I could see another boring day coming up! My suggestion that we not bother about TV until back home, was not well received.

Our site, with large grassed area in front

At least John was distracted by trying to work out the operation of his new toy. I spent some time checking emails and catching up on the news on my laptop – my toy…

Tea was poached chicken thighs with potato and bok choy.

After visiting with his daughter today, John had decided we would stay on here until next weekend, as the boys had a variety of activities happening that he wanted to see

Today was the birthday of my son and his girlfriend. Since they were overseas, there was no contact.


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2015 Travels May 3

SUNDAY MAY 3     CANBERRA

We had an early-ish start again, as daughter had asked we get to her place about 10am, as they had other things to do from 12.30. Was going to be an early lunch!

This time, we took the Majura Parkway and skirted the eastern end of Lake Burley Griffin, to Griffith, an inner southern suburb. I hadn’t been to this house before and really liked the way an older house had been extended and made over. Very light and spacious. There would be very little outside upkeep, as the back yard was mostly swimming pool.

Couey managed to distinguish herself by falling in the pool, within five minutes of our arrival. The elder grandson adores dogs and spent much more time outside, playing with Couey, than he did inside with his grandfather. The boy would dearly love a dog, but the family’s regular overseas postings mitigate against that, so he was a willing player of ball games and general dog loving.

The younger grandson spent most of our visit jumping on the trampoline.

Daughter made a most interesting salad for lunch, involving farro – a grain I had not previously come across, but which I would like to use back at home. It was rather chewy when cooked. The salad – Middle Eastern flavours – was delicious.

Once lunch was done, we were hurried out.

Our drive back around the parliamentary precinct gave an interesting an new perspective for us. This part of the inner city was really dominated by the new Parliament House.

Driving in  Canberra – up ahead is Parliament House

On the way back to Bus, called in at the Visitor Information Centre to see what I could find of interest. I was intrigued to see they had special parking places for electric cars, with plug in charging points. First time I had seen this, but suspected it would become more common.

John had an afternoon nap. I changed the dressings on my leg. Definitely yukky. Decided I should start myself on the emergency anti-biotic tomorrow.

Couey was actually tired after her grandson games, and quiet for the rest of the day.

When I was putting my dressing stuff away, the wardrobe door fell apart. We had noticed previously that some of the joints were becoming unglued. I opened it, and it came to pieces, which nearly fell on my feet. John put the bits in the ensuite, to await fixing. He would need to buy glue, some clamps and a new catch. In the meantime, dog could sit and look yearningly at the box of her special treats, up on the now exposed top shelf.

Lunch had been light enough for us to be able to enjoy tea of lamb backstrap with potatoes, zucchini and tomato.


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2015 Travels May 1

FRIDAY MAY 1     CANBERRA

Bus was level enough for us to sleep alright, despite the slight heads-down angle.

When we got up, all six of the tour groups coaches – and contents – had gone. We hadn’t heard a thing.

John couldn’t hold out any longer…after some laptop research, he phoned Jims Antennas. Was told their Canberra person would contact him.

We needed some food supplies. My turn to Google – for Woolworths. No  way was I just going to launch forth in Canberra and assume the required shops would magically appear. There was one in Belconnen, which did not seem too far away from Sutton. I fed that address into the GPS and forth we sallied.

GPS led us unerringly – to a major shopping complex, with the shop I wanted tucked securely away inside, along with hundreds of other retail outlets. Plus multitudes of people, and their vehicles, going every which way. Not what I’d had in mind. It always seems so hard in Canberra.

Undeterred (mostly), we parked, left dog in Terios, and walked, got the requisites. Although John still assumed we would be dining with daughter tonight and tomorrow, as we passed a butcher, I took the chance to buy meat for a couple of meals “in case”. Also got some rolls to take back for lunch.

Somewhat surprisingly, we even managed to locate car and dog again, first attempt. The place felt like one of those where you could wander forever, lost…

Back to Bus, where we lunched and just hung about, waiting for contact from the family. Mid-afternoon, John’s daughter phoned. Each of the grandsons has a soccer match tomorrow: one morning, one afternoon, on opposite sides of town, which we were welcome to go find, in order to watch. They have some arrangement for Saturday night, but we could go to Sunday lunch, which would have to be brief because they had things to do in the afternoon.

Well, that sorted out the meals…as well as our place in the overall scheme of things!

Our scruffy site

The TV antenna man also phoned. John wanted him to come today, but man was not sure he could make it. None-the-less, we waited at Bus for rest of afternoon, in case. No show.

I walked up to Reception – quite a hike. Wanted to get some tourist information from the display, since it looked like we would have more time on our hands than originally envisaged. The ladies at the desk were occupying themselves folding a mountain of pillowcases – washing from the tour groups that had departed this morning.

I dressed my leg. One wound seemed a bit smelly – not all that happy with it. These were not ideal conditions to be dealing with it as I did it outside again. John was playing games on his laptop and didn’t like me interrupting to spread all the dressing stuff around inside.

We nearly had a real disaster. Dog was pestering John for a ball throw session, so he went out and tossed the ball some distance for her. But – brain fade – she was still tethered! The resultant charge to the end of the rope and sudden stop just about broke her neck. Could have been absolutely horrible, but she seemed to sustain no lasting ill effects.

Having had a late lunch after the shopping, we only felt like a light tea: tin of soup, cheese and biscuits.

There were a lot of kangaroos grazing in the caravan park, from dusk on. I was not sure if the Canberra roos carried paralysis ticks, but gave Couey one of the new anti-tick pills today, in case. It should last a month.

In the morning and late afternoon, it was really pleasant sitting outside in the sunshine.

I got my little portable radio tuned to a local station broadcasting the AFL match of the night, so John was able to listen to his beloved Carlton take an absolute hiding. He then decided it was probably good that the TV wasn’t working, because he wouldn’t have enjoyed viewing same.

I think John was pretty disappointed at the underwhelming family reaction to our visit.


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2015 Travels April 30

THURSDAY APRIL 30     GUNDAGAI TO CANBERRA     175kms

Woke to a lovely sunny, blue sky morning, after the cold night. Had been able to hear some truck noise from the highway, through the night.

I was awake at 7.45 and started the day with a lovely hot shower. That process was complicated by having to seal the bandaged leg into a waterproof shower bag…

I had to wake John up at 9.15, so he had no problems sleeping soundly.

We got away at 10am. Couey was anxious not to be left behind, and got straight onto Bus and didn’t even do her usual barking before we started moving. So hope this improvement lasts….

The road was a long, steep-ish pull up out of the town, before we got back onto the Hume.

Seen on the Hume…

By 11am it was getting grey and cloudy and the day stayed that way.

We had to slow for several lots of roadworks, mostly indicated well in advance by several moving warning vehicles with lit up signs. At a couple of them, there were so many advance warning vehicles that we wondered when we were ever going to encounter the actual roadworks.

It seemed no time at all before we turned off the Hume and onto the Barton Highway at Yass. This is a really pretty road to drive. Makes up for the fact that it is single lane, each way, for much of it, and fairly heavily trafficked.  A rather unassuming approach to the nation’s capital city. There were the blue, distant, mountains of the Alps, autumn leaves on the poplars that were common in this region. There were the occasional more stunted eucalypts – the multi-trunked snow gum types.

Barton Highway on the way to Canberra

At one point, the Telstra Tower on Black Mountain, in Canberra, appears directly ahead and really stands out.

Arrived at the Eaglehawk Holiday Park just after midday. Had been there a couple of years ago, knew the way there, and – hooray – knew that it did not involve negotiating Canberra’s confusing circular roads and huge roundabouts.

Our en-suite site cost $43 per night. No discounts, but a surcharge for paying by credit card. However, the office staff were very pleasant and helpful.

Our allocated site was not level, so we had to mess about with putting chocks under Bus front wheels and even then, there was still a bit of a front-down lean. Took our time setting up, with the awning out and ground matting down.

It was rather a strange set up here, really. There had been no attempt to landscape or beautify these en-suite sites. It seemed the little buildings had just been plonked down an some concrete, a bit of gravel thrown around where rigs would park, and that was it. Right up the back of an otherwise highly developed park – literally and figuratively. On our last visit here, we had thought that caravanners were regarded as second class citizens in this place.

I made our lunch and appreciated having a plate of salad again.

John napped for a couple of hours. I did a leg dressing, sitting outside. Wasn’t all that happy with the way it looked.

There was a phone message from grandson – did John want to come and see him act in a play tonight? John hadn’t been clear about what we would be doing with the family members over the next few days. He phoned son-in-law, who seemed surprised we were in Canberra! He didn’t know what was happening, or when. Daughter was in Sydney for work. He thought we might be having dinner with them tomorrow night. And with that, John had to be content.

A big black cloud that formed about 4pm seemed to guarantee rain coming, but it went somewhere else. A weather check on my laptop showed another east coast low forming – more bad weather for southern Qld – and a little cyclone off Exmouth. Glad this rather late-in-the-season one was not further north, where M was cruising around the Kimberley coast.

By late afternoon, three of the four en-suite sites in this area were filled. A final van arrived about 9pm – unusual for vanners to arrive at that hour. By tea time there were six large coaches parked in the bus area near us. Presumed they were school tour groups, but didn’t see or hear any kids, thankfully.

The grey water drain that had appeared to be blocked ever since we left home was now dribbling, under the influence of the purple-bottled enzyme cleaner that I put in yesterday. John was pleased.

Tea was fresh linguine pasta (well, “fresh” from the chiller section of a supermarket, back home), with bottled stir through chargrilled vegetable sauce. The chorizo salami that John had for tea last night gave him huge indigestion through the night, so I threw out the remainder.

Message from my daughter that the young grandson was having abdominal lymph gland biopsies done next week, to rule out any cancers as being the cause of his ongoing leg issues. A worry.

Still no TV signal. I thought it was nice without it, and just the radio on – good clear sound there. But not sure I could  convince John.

When John took Couey out, after dark, she saw a roo grazing in the distance and nearly pulled John’s arm off.