SUNDAY 23 AUGUST TOCUMWAL TO HOME 280kms
About 5am, Couey indicated, by nudging John and grunting, that she had an urgent need to be outside! Yesterday’s illicit snack had worked its way through her system and the results were not pretty. Nor easy to clean up after. But I did my best. John passed on that chore.
After that drama, John slept in a bit. Sleep had been vanquished, for me. I gave dog, who was now perfectly happy, a couple of runs in the enclosure, read and pottered about getting my breakfast, while we waited for him to arise. His sleep in was ok, as we had a much shorter distance to go today. He had done well to manage such long drives, until now, even if they were not actually required. Why do it the easy way?
Left the park at 9.40. There had been showers through the night, and it was a cool morning. There were more showers just after we crossed the border into Victoria – naturally.
We should have taken the truck route around Shepparton, but John had not set the GPS truck setting today and then didn’t believe me when I told him to turn onto the OD route. So we trundled through the traffic and got stopped at every possible set of lights.
I had been planning a coffee stop at Lake Nagambie. But since we last came this way, Nagambie had been bypassed and we sailed on by before even realizing.
Around Seymour, could see big cumulus clouds over the distant mountains. Quite pretty.
Cloud over the Great Dividing Range
Stopped in Yea for the usual bakery lunch. That was not a good move today. Note to self: avoid Yea lunch stop on Sundays. Especially Sundays in winter. The town was crowded – a local football match, tourists, a mass group of bikers, people on their way back from the snowfields. Lots and lots of vanners too.
There were no multi grain rolls left at the bakery, so I settled for a cheese and salad sandwich, which was not as easy to eat, as the filling went in all directions. John got the last pepper pie. We ended up eating standing up on the grassed central area, as all the tables and seats there were taken. It was 1pm when we left Yea, so we really had landed in there at peak lunch time.
Refuelled at the really easy to access servo at Glenburn. $1.229cpl. That meant the tank was still going to be quite full whenever we began our next trip.
Had a bit of an alarm at the servo. John noticed that the Terios parker lights were on, even though he said he’d turned the Bus lights off. He asked me to sort it while he went and paid for the fuel. I couldn’t turn the damned things off. Nothing worked, not even turning off the ignition key. I disconnected the bus-car power lead and put it back in again – and the parkers came back on. I was starting to wonder if we’d have to try disconnecting the car battery.
Then John came back and, as he walked around the front of Bus, he realized its parkers were on, after all – and the car was controlled from the Bus. He hadn’t turned them off at all, and I couldn’t tell from behind the Bus because the sun was shining directly on it. I was not impressed.
When we approached the corner of the Melba and Maroondah Highways, between Yarra Glen and Lilydale, the traffic lights facing us were red. There were a couple of motorbikes at the front, waiting to go, then a couple of cars, then us. We waited … and waited. An inordinate time. One bike took off through the red light. Then the car behind him moved up into that space – and the lights changed. For some reason, the two bikes would not trigger the lights.
Reached home at 2pm.
I thought I would put dog in the house and back yard whilst we unhitched the car in the street, then drove both into their parking places. Thought dog would be happy to explore her yard again. Not so. I had to work hard to drag her up the drive and into the house. Then ,while we were unhitching she was trying to jump the gates. No way was that Bus moving an inch without her on board! So out she came, and onto Bus. Once it was parked, we let her roam with us whilst we were unpacking, and she was happy.
It did not take long to get the remaining perishables, electronic gear, cameras, our medications and so on, into the house. That was it – another trip over, bar the washing. Almost six weeks away this time.
Hopefully, the worst of Melbourne’s winter was now over.
Nights away: 39
Kms travelled (Bus): 3314kms
Fuel Cost: $802.05
Accommodation cost: $1534.00
Savings through discounts: $151.50
Dearest accommodation: Broken Hill Tourist Park $42.30 pn
Cheapest accommodation: Travellers Rest Charlton $28 pn
Just for interest I calculated an average for Bus fuel and accommodation per night of this trip. Came to $58.90. Then we spent extra money on fuel for the Terios, and – obviously – food and the like. As a contrast, when we set out on our full-time travel in 1998, we budgeted $400 a week to cover fuel, accommodation and living expenses, and managed comfortably. I think that, now, we’d need just about double that.