This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2015 Travels July 17


It was another cool and cloudy day.

I was up at 8am and walked Couey along the river path again. On the way back, up a different track to the park, I noticed a sign pinned to a tree warning that rabbit bait had been laid in the area. I had never heard of the substance mentioned and there was no indication if it would be harmful to dogs. Couey had been free ranging along the path but I hadn’t seen her snaffling anything. Mind you, she could be very quick and furtive, because she knows I get cross with her for eating anything  apart from meals and treats provided by us. I think the dingo ancestry in cattle dogs makes opportunistic eating a hard trait to train out of them.

Left the park at 10.15. The manager had said, yesterday, to let him know when we were going, and he’d lift the “in” gate up for us to use, as the angle was much better for a rig our length. Such a helpful man. I didn’t really need to call in at the office to tell him – I had Couey on the lead and once she heard Bus start up, I think half of Mildura knew it was on the move – without her!

This was definitely our park of choice in Mildura, now.

The GPS tried to direct us to avoid going into town, by going west via Merbein. This was quite logical from where we were. But John wanted to stock up on citrus at the Orange World farm complex, so we drove back into Mildura, across the Murray and out through Buronga.

Stopped at Orange World, a few kms out of Buronga. As the plan was – I thought – to buy a bag of mandarins, I was OK with John going in alone and I would stay in Bus to alleviate dog dramas. He returned with a whole box of mandarins that he thought were a bargain for $15. But he’d also bought three jars of marmalade – orange, ruby grapefruit, and lime and ginger – that were $6 each, two jars of orange blossom honey (with an attached citrus peeler) that were $10 each, a $6 bag of lemons. He was given a free bag of oranges. Some of the produce would be gifted to his daughter in Broken Hill, but that was still a hell of a lot of citrus. Buying the lemons hurt – our tree at home was laden, but of course we couldn’t bring fruit into the quarantine area around Mildura.

Orange trees

I don’t bring jams away with us as John is a Type 2 diabetic. It appeared that I had been outflanked this time and marmalade was going to replace vegemite on his breakfast toast.

Passed the nearby Stanley Winery. It is absolutely huge – and expanding.

Part way to Wentworth, turned right at a T intersection. At this point, the Silver City Highway begins and this was where the GPS had wanted to bring us via the other side of the river.

Crossed the Darling River at Wentworth. The river was full. This rather surprised me, in view of the extended drought in the upper catchment regions.

We were soon into saltbush and sheep country.

Scrub country beyond the irrigated areas

Stopped at the Seven Trees Rest Area to switch to me driving. I hadn’t driven Bus for almost two years. It felt a bit strange at first. Of course, I received much ongoing instruction from the passenger! He preferred me to drive much more in the centre of the road, when there was no oncoming traffic, than I was comfortable with. He was just not used to seeing the fog line disappearing under the little side window in the footwell of the passenger’s side.

He soon fell asleep for a short time. Was much better when he was asleep….

I pulled into the Popiltah Rest Area, as we usually did on this route, for lunch and to give dog a run.

There were signs up warning to beware of the bees, and even a sign in the toilet to check under the seat for same!I won’t elaborate on the mental images that conjured up. As it was cold and windy, I think all the bees were tucked away cosily elsewhere – we didn’t see a one.

Because of the weather, we ate in Bus.

Saw the first of a number of triple trailer trucks going past, heading south, carrying dirt or ore of some kind. Found out later that there was a mineral salts extraction operation nearby.

Triple trailer road train

After we started off again, for several kms the picture on the GPS showed us driving through water. Supposedly, the road is in Coombah Lake. Along here, there was a series of lakes along the lower ground, Popiltah being one, filled occasionally when there are floods.

Came to a sign saying unfenced road – and the roadside fences disappeared for a while. At the same time, regular little heaps of white bones kept appearing beside the road.

We saw lots of goats beside the road, in small herds. Saw a set of small stockyards and thought they might be holding yards for goats. Increasingly, pastoralists in these parts are seeing goats – both feral and farmed – as an extra source of income. Saw some black faced sheep grazing near the road. A ewe was feeding twin lambs – one on either side of her, with their little tails waggling furiously.

Goats beside the road

Saw signs directing off to a gold exploration operation. I did not know that there was gold in the area to the south of Broken Hill.

Changed drivers again, as John was tiring. I was supposed to stop just south of Broken Hill, to change back and allow him to drive us through town. However, by then, there was a big truck following me very closely and I didn’t get a chance to pull off the road. I was quite happy driving us through town and out to the caravan park, anyway.

We went, as usual, to the Broken Hill Tourist Park ,arriving about 2.30pm. I had booked our stay here before we left home, asking for en-suite site 9, if it was possible. And that’s where they put us – great! It is a nice big site, with a fence on one side, so is a good area for Couey to be tethered. The park was very busy, as I had expected. Our site cost $42.50 a night, after discount.

After set up, John phoned his daughter. He was surprised to find she had finished work early and spent the afternoon at home. He thought this was because of our arrival and felt guilty for not making more of an effort to arrive earlier. Much apologizing. Next day, she let slip that it was because she had not been feeling well!

We had been looking forward all day to buying fish and chips for tea and maybe sharing same with daughter. But she told John she was on a diet and no longer eating take away foods. Hmmm….

Drove to her place, with Couey in the back of Terios. Upon arrival we were greeted with a statement that we couldn’t have the dog in the house or yard because it would upset her cats. She had given away the dog she had last time we were here, in 2013. So Couey spent a few hours in the car, apart from when I went out and took her for a walk around a couple of blocks. The blocks in that part of Broken Hill are huge and we walked a long way.

When we got back to the car, parked in the driveway, I was about to put Couey back in the car, when one of said cats came thought the side fence. It puffed itself up, hissed really loudly at Couey, and advanced on her. Couey jumped into the car in a big hurry. Who was going to upset who, I wondered?

We were going to return to Bus, buying fish and chips on the way for our tea, but daughter decided she would cook up some pasta. She warmed up a tin of tomatoes to go with it. I think the pasta was rather stale; the parmesan she put out was months past its use-by date. A token gesture, in all. She kept feeling her neck glands, so we left as soon as possible. Arranged she would come to Bus tomorrow, and I would cook steak. It pays to be specific, in advance.

Daughter mentioned several maintenance type things that needed doing round her house and it was arranged that John would go round there tomorrow at 1pm to tackle the work.

We were back at Bus at 7pm, local time. Watched football on TV.

It was a very cold night.

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2015 Travels July 16


We slept late – till 9am! It was so quiet.

Last night had not been as cold as I’d feared. A slight breeze got up and prevented ice from forming on the vehicles. But it was still bloody cold…

Before we left, I thanked Phil and praised the town’s work.

Fuelled at the local Caltex servo – $1.389cpl – then left town, heading for Mildura.

Around midday, we stopped at Lake Tyrrell Lookout, a bit north of Sea Lake. This was accessed down a short side road from the highway, and there was adequate room to turn the rig at the road’s end. There was a picnic area near the end of the road, but no facilities.

Plenty of turning room

The lake is Victoria’s largest salt lake, most often dry. Salt is harvested here. The lake looked as though there may have been some shallow water on the surface, but as is often the case with salt lakes, it was hard to tell from the distance.

Lake Tyrrell

Couey had fun running up and down the wooden ramps to the lookout platform, and around the base of the structure – doggy maze.

On the way again, we were passing through the wheat growing Mallee country of NW Victoria. There were vast paddocks and wheat at various stages of growth, from just a green tinge, to maybe a foot high.

Wheat paddocks

The ubiquitous silos that mark small towns in our rural areas, or even just denote railway sidings, were so typical of the region. Because of the flatness of the area, they can be seen from far away, and mark the next point of possible interest along the flat, straight roads.

Grain silos in the distance

On some roadside areas there were stands of mallee gums, decked out in creamy flowers.

We passed a surprising number of vans and rigs heading south on the Calder. At this time of year, I’d have thought the preferred destinations were north. Late returnees from school holidays?

Stopped at the rest area at Ouyen to eat the sandwiches I’d made this morning.

There seemed to now be some campground type power posts there – maybe it is now a free or cheap camp area? More and more little towns are recognizing the value of attracting travellers – even on an overnight stay, money is spent in the town. A vanner pulled in after us and asked if it was a free camp area – we didn’t know. I did notice a motorhome parked across the other side of the adjacent oval though. There was a small caravan park next door to the rest area, so maybe it is not very politic to have a free camp area next door?

After Ouyen, travelled through some of the Hattah Kulkyne National Park – mallee scrub country. Some years ago, when staying at Mildura, we would drive down into this park on day trips. One memorable picnic lunch was by a small, drying lake ringed with dead fish, where we had to battle with white winged choughs for our sandwiches.

Fuelled up at the Uniting servo on the approach to Mildura – good access here for our rig. $1.347cpl.

I had pre-booked us into an en-suite site at the Golden River Caravan Park. Was almost 3pm when we arrived. The wonderful, helpful man who checked us in said that we could angle the rig across two en-suite sites so we could stay hitched up – and he wouldn’t book out the second site. Cost us $36 after discount. The bathroom was clean and quite adequate.

Did a minimal set up, then took Couey for a walk. One reason for choosing this park was its location right beside the Murray River. The river levee was at the rear of the park, so there was only a short track from the park edge to the riverside walking track.

Murray River

Dog could free range as we walked along the track. It was obvious that, as usual, what she really wanted was to try getting into the river, but we managed to keep calling her back.

Riverside walking path

The walk was really pleasant. We did not go too far, then retraced our steps.

Late afternoon by the Murray

The river seemed to be at a fairly high level. Of course, in this irrigation area, levels are artificially maintained by weirs.

After all that exercise, sat out in the sun and had a beer. Sun! Any warmth from it was more illusion than reality, but it felt good. Palm trees growing around the pool area helped the warmth impression along.

Golden River park

We would definitely return to this park. Loved that it was by the river and away from the traffic noise of the parks in the town.

For tea, John had a chicken maryland and some coleslaw – all left over from last night. I had a cup of soup from a packet, and a salad.

Watched Master Chef on TV. I had been finding the current series of interest again, after “going off” the program for a while.

It was another cold night, but at least we’d had a fine day.


2013 Travels June 28


We seemed to be settling into a sleep till 8.30 routine! I remained surprised that Couey was so good and didn’t stir from her seat nest until I was up and dressed.

After breakfast, John took out the stopcock part and drove off to get a new one. It seemed he had, tacitly, agreed that there was a problem, after all!

I packed up as much as I could and took Couey for a couple of short walks around the grounds, while we waited……and waited…..

It was nearly midday when John got back. The park manager had stopped by to see if we were leaving. I offered to pay for an extra day because we were still here, but he said no to that.

John fitted the new part, but still nothing drained out of the tank. So I then wondered if the outlet was blocked by grease or the like? Would just have to worry about it later. It was high time we got going.

Refuelled just up the road at Buronga. $1.509 cpl. This time my calculation had us achieving 5.8kms per litre. Better fuel economy on flatter ground, than going over the Dividing Range.

Stopped at Orange World, a citrus farm sales outlet on the road to Wentworth. Bought oranges and mandarins. As had become normal, to get out to buy the fruit, I had to deal with dog jumping at me and the door, frantic to get out too. It was so weird, how desperate she was to get out then, but once we were camped up, was happy to wander in and out with no drama.

There were fairly frequent “comfort” stops for John.

Stopped beside the Silver City Highway

The skies ahead of us were vast and quite dramatic, with big cloud banks. I wasn’t sure whether rain was forecast, or not. Somehow, the large windscreen area of Bus accentuated the sense of space outside. Perhaps the small Defender windscreen had limited our outlook more than we realized at the time.

I experimented with taking photos from the moving Bus. Stopping to take photos was not going to happen, with dog prone to making such a fuss. John had never been encouraging of photo stops for me, anyway. I was fairly pleased with my photo results through the large front window.

Through the Bus window…..

We had a proper stop at Popiltah Lake, for a late lunch, and to give dog a ball chasing session.

Rest area at Lake Popiltah
Lake Popiltah

Reached the Broken Hill Tourist Park just after 4pm. local (S.A.) time. So 4.30 to us. Again, I’d phoned yesterday to make a booking.

I was so pleased with the en-suite site we’d been allocated. It was huge. There was a wood chip base – acceptable in this arid region. We were on the end of a row, against a fence, so the site was quiet and private, and the bathroom roomy and clean. The dog had plenty of roaming room on a long rope.

Broken Hill site

Putting the awning up was easier, but I thought we were still not doing things in the right sequence.

The site cost $41.40 a night, after discount.

After we were set up, texted John’s daughter to say we had arrived and invited her to come share a fish and chip dinner with us. After a while, she phoned – just as John was about to set off to buy our tea. That was lucky!

Having visitors in Bus was so much easier than in the van, because the beds could be used as lounge seating, even though the dinette table only works for two.

The fish and chips , that John went out and bought, were not great. It was a long way from the sea!

Daughter didn’t stay long, but said she had arranged to take some days off from work while we were in town. That was positive, if easy, as she was now running her own business.

My arm  was not as sore today, but looked really dire – black to the elbow and bruise streak 4-5cms wide.

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2013 Travels June 27


We slept until 8.30 again. I was first up, took Couey for a walk, then fed her. After that, she just wanted to stay inside, close to John, while I had my breakfast sitting outside.

John and I spent much of the morning using our laptops. The new Telstra modem gadget worked well and allowed us both to be online at once – a big improvement over the previous dongle. I looked up directions for setting up the awning!

A few days ago, John’s daughter had talked about us bringing her an exercise bike she was probably going to buy, from Mildura. John phoned her to see about that, but then thought she may have changed her mind. She told him she would investigate it, but then we didn’t hear any more from her through the day.

I walked down to the river bank and took some photos. The Murray River level was down a little from when we were here last year, but still at a healthy height.

Murray River at Gol Gol

After lunch, drove into Mildura. Compared to last year, it was so good to be able to get in the car and go somewhere. On the way in, drove into and had a look around the river side caravan park at Buronga. It looked much better than where we are. Whilst not en-suite, the sites were spacious and the outlook over the river much nicer – not blocked by cabins like at Gol Gol. Thought we’d go there next time.

Did a supermarket shop, mostly for fruit and vegies, having not previously stocked up because of the quarantine zone.

At Auto Barn, bought window shades for my side windows in Bus, to keep the direct sun off as we are going along. Yesterday, it had become quite hot through the big window.

At a pet supply shop, bought a couple of dog chew bones, but not the sort I’d hoped to get. I’d managed to leave Couey’s good one at home. It occupies her for ages, without getting noticeably smaller.

Back at camp, took dog for a walk along the nearby street. John came too, but he couldn’t go very far, so we turned back.

John had suggested spag bol for tea, but I’d bought some fresh fettucine instead. He loved that.

Couey came inside at teatime and just crashed. Somehow, she’d had a tiring day.

I didn’t think the sullage hose was draining the grey water tank. If that was the case, it must be getting pretty full! Only a dribble seemed to be coming out of the hose John had attached to the outlet. I went out in the dark after doing the tea dishes, to have a look at it. Thought that the stop cock tap wasn’t turning anything. It seemed to be both bent and loose. I wondered if it had been like that since we bought Bus, last year? John didn’t seem convinced there was a problem, but said he’d investigate tomorrow, as he was watching football on TV.

The bruise on my arm looked worse today – darker and almost up to the elbow.

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2010 Travels May 20


I got up at 8.30am.

M had already gone from her site. She was off to Swan Hill, further along the Murray, today. Friends were doing a house sit there and she would spend a few days with them. I felt a bit lonely!

Gol Gol site

Today was to be a lay day for us, to give John a rest from two long days of driving. Even though I took a turn at the wheel when he needed a nap, he still did the bulk of the driving – his choice.

The impatient man from yesterday was equally impatient this morning, hitching up to move on. He would not be a delight to travel with, for sure.

After John got going, we drove back across the river, into Mildura.

At the Information Centre, I collected a number of up-to-date booklets about Victorian regions. It looked, now, that our travels would be confined closer to home, for at least the short term, so I needed such material.

Needed a quick supermarket visit to get food for tonight.

It was then John’s choice to visit Woodsies Gem Shop, where we spent some time browsing. The very comprehensive displays were interesting. I managed to buy a pair of turquoise earrings – my birth stone. I will be able to remember this trip by the assorted earring purchases!

We had a Subway lunch. I was used to the bacon in my usual order being microwaved before being put in the sub. Here, it went in raw – and was still raw after the roll had been toasted. Not nice at all.

Back across the river but turned left, towards Wentworth and thus to Orange World. This is quite a slick citrus marketing outlet, much more so than the more common roadside stalls in these parts. I bought a bag of oranges  for each of my offspring plus one for ourselves, a bag of mandarins ditto, and some  grapefruit for us. John’s impulse buy was a citrus peeler – rather a clever gadget.

For most of the rest of the afternoon relaxed back at camp, though we did summon up enough energy to go walking along the road that parallels the river, again, for a little exercise.

Gol Gol area. Caravan park beside Punt Road. Prime river side real estate….(Zoom)

Chicken schnitzels for tea, with some salad.

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2010 Travels May 19


We gave our remaining fruit and vegie stocks to the caravan park lady, knowing that we would be reaching the fruit fly exclusion zone of the irrigated regions along the Murray River today.

It was a pleasant day, sunny, just warm enough.

We were travelling a familiar route, interesting enough though. I still could not make up my mind what I really thought of the long march of wind farm towers that dominated the ridge lines as we travelled along the western side of the low ranges. There seemed to be more of these every time we came this way. They do have an eerie kind of beauty.

Had a coffee break at the punt area at Morgan, just as we had a few weeks ago.

The Morgan punt

Refuelled and ate lunch at Renmark. Again, John wanted to continue on. So I phoned the caravan park at Gol Gol and booked us into an ensuite site – a touch of extra comfort for our last camp of the trip.

We traversed the rather monotonous stretch between Renmark and Mildura. Crossed the Murray into NSW and went on to Gol Gol, some nine or ten kms from Mildura.

Our site at Rivergardens Caravan Park at Gol Gol cost $27 a night. M had an ordinary site, some distance from us. Our site was on the small side, the access road in front of it was narrow, and it took some backing and forwarding to get us into it. We could not stay hitched up. It was not a particularly attractive site, just gravel.

The site to our left was a corner one. We had just about finished out setting up when a larger caravan than ours arrived by that site. The man stopped to look at it, then drove around the loop road past us, in order to approach his site from the back and drive through onto it. He was clearly in a foul mood which we could tell from his comments and expression, was not improved upon viewing his site. He drove far too fast around the loop road, charged onto his site – and clipped the security light post, taking off a van mudguard and scraping the van side down the post. It made a really loud noise. His lady, who was standing watching, didn’t say a thing. We tried to look as if we really were not paying any attention!

The man got out of his 4WD, began to unhitch, then – when he went around the other side – looked at the van damage and said “When did that happen?”. Maybe he was deaf as well as bad tempered. It really was quite a mess – but what a clown! We avoided any interaction with him, though I felt rather sorry for the lady.

With M, went for a walk along the road near the park, past a lot of very substantial homes that had frontage to the Murray River. As did our caravan park – but its river frontage, and views, were occupied by cabins, not van sites.

We did note in our walk, that there were some much nicer, grassed sites on the other side of the park – but they were not en-suite.

We had our happy hour by our van, with M, talking over highlights of our trip. It certainly had gone by really quickly.

Tea was chicken noodle soup, with added creamed corn, ham and egg.

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2010 Travels April 21


Had the usual early visitor to the van – it makes his day! This time, we took him back inside to his breakfast, to wish daughter a happy birthday for today.

We left Bendigo about 9am. I’d texted M, who had left Melbourne at 7am. The plan was that she would catch up with us today, probably somewhere before Mildura.

The country through to Sea Lake was very green, which was great to see. The long drought that had finally broken earlier this year, had  brought  lots of good rains.

We fuelled up at Sea Lake, then pulled into the park there to eat the lunch I’d packed this morning.

After Sea Lake, we encountered the prevailing locust plague, that we’d been hearing about. It was really bad, the thickest hordes I’d ever experienced. Guess that was the down side of the lush, green countryside. The nasty yellow splats of expired locusts built up and made the windscreen almost impossible to see out of.

Through the windscreen…..

In places, there were thick swarms on the road. We slowed to about 65kmh – they didn’t seem to splat quite so badly then! Truck was “wearing” John’s home made shade cloth bug screen across the radiator grille, because we’d known in advance the pests were up this way. The hope was that this would prevent the build up of dead insects in the radiator body – which if bad enough can wreck the radiator. This one was new – like much of Truck now.

Bug screen

I hoped M had remembered to fit her shade cloth, too.

We stopped at Mittyack to clean the windscreen, then went on to Ouyen. By now, there was a strong smell of cooked locust – yuk! At Ouyen, pulled into the excellent rest stop area. Cleaned the windscreen again.

Windscreen at Ouyen

The bowls club was next to the rest area, and there were locusts all over the green there. Trying to bowl on that would have been a rather unpleasant experience.

Bowling green Ouyen – with wild life…

We hadn’t been there long, when M pulled in beside us. The Troopy was wearing its screen, and like us, lots of locusts.

The bugs did not seem quite so bad after Ouyen.

We decided to overnight at Mildura. It was enough for the day for John, and for M too, who had come further than us.

We pulled into one of the conveniently located caravan parks on the stretch just before the Sturt Highway intersection. The person on the reception desk was engaged in a personal phone call, and kept on having it for the best part of ten minutes, while I stood there waiting. I was about to walk out, when she decided to deal with me. I really wanted a drive through site, so we did not have to unhitch, but she said they were all occupied. So they were – mostly by unhitched rigs! Some people just do not want to back onto a site.

Since we really wanted to stay hooked up – John was tired enough without having to go through the unhitch routine – the helpful woman suggested we just back onto part of the site behind us – the occupied site behind us! She seemed to have no comprehension that this might not suit the occupants of that site. For this level of customer service, we paid $24.30, after chain discount. This was already mentally tagged as one caravan park we would not be returning to.

WE asked the people on the site behind us if they would mind if we intruded onto their patch, explaining what we’d been told. They were very nice and said it was alright. We actually did not have to go very far onto their site. It was a mixed blessing as they were smokers, so we had to keep the back window closed.

Occupying a site and a bit at Mildura

Set up was thus minimal. The clean up of locust carcasses took a lot more time.

We walked across to the nearby shopping complex, as I needed to buy some vegetable matter for tea. As we’d come into the fruit fly quarantine zone, I hadn’t brought any with me. We also need a new dishwashing brush, as the old one had been commandeered for locust removal.

The walk was good for all of us, after the day of driving.

It had been a hot day, in the low 30’s. There was some cloud build up as we drove through the day, and it became quite humid.

We sat outside our van, the three of us, having happy hour. It was great to be travelling together again – the last time had been 2007.

Tea was scotch fillet steak, mushrooms, salad.

John was happy with the new, small, flat screen TV he’d bought before we left, for the van. It replaced the one we’d travelled with since 1997. That had lasted well, considering that it was shifted every time we moved on, from bench to bed and then back to bench, plus the sometimes extreme conditions we’d been in. But it was old technology and John wanted a flat screen.

We were tired though and did not stay up late, TV or not.

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2007 Travels May 1


Grandson got to do his routine of waking up grandma – early! We had the expected cuddle in bed, before he had to go in for breakfast, and we got organized. It always surprises me, the simple things that give little kids so much joy.

We pulled out of the Bendigo driveway about 8.30am. Although coming across town yesterday, in what was after-school traffic, had been somewhat tense, the bonus for today was that we were on the “right” side of town, only a few blocks from the highway to the north west.

It was very foggy for the first hour or so, as we drove up the Calder Highway.

Stopped at Wedderburn to refuel – $1.30cpl.

Stopped at Ouyen, eating the sandwiches that I’d made this morning, and making coffee with hot water from the thermos carried in a basket in Truck. This always contained items that could be needed for a roadside break – plates, mugs, a knife, wipes and so on. It saved having to open up the van for such stops.

Ouyen has a very pleasant rest stop, centred around a feature made from a huge Mallee root. Looking at this, one could see why clearing this Mallee scrub country was such a challenge for the early settlers – and why the stump jump plough was invented. This machine, invented in the late 1800’s, as the more arid Mallee lands were being opened up, simply lifted up the plough blades when they hit a stump, and dropped them down again when the plough was over the obstacle.

Our overnight destination in Mildura was the Desert City Caravan Park. After discount, the powered site cost $20.70. This park was conveniently located within easy walking distance of a major shopping centre. Having been very good and not carried vegetables or fruit into the exclusion zone, we needed to stock up a little, here, on fruit and greens, so we made a brief foray over to the supermarket.

Sat outside in pleasant late afternoon sun, just chatting.

On Sunday, I’d cooked three chicken maryland pieces. These were rather a traditional first meal on the road for us. Marinated in lemon juice, sherry, soy sauce and garlic, then baked, they were really tasty – and kept well in the fridge. With some coleslaw – also made on Sunday, they were an excellent meal. I would not be catering, most of the time, for M, but some times when we were just overnighting in a place, it saved her having to unpack her cooking stuff from the Troopy.

Our fridge was definitely not cycling properly.

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2006 Travels December 10


We slept in a bit later this morning.

Today was a much shorter day of driving. It was also much cooler, compared to what we’d been used to. We lost another 30 minutes of time when we crossed into Victoria today.

Refuelled at Morgan – $1.31cpl. It was wonderful to see the wide Murray River there – hadn’t seen a decent river for a while.

Now that we were – comparatively – close to home, John thought we could ease off the travel rate a bit, so we stopped for the night at Mildura. Took a powered site at the Desert City Caravan Park – $20.70, after discount. Had to unhitch the van. Having green grass around the van was a novelty!

Walked across to the big shopping centre across the road and spent some time wandering and browsing. Bought lunch – a bakery pull apart loaf. It was pleasant to have some of the day for just walking about and relaxing.

I had a long and lovely swim in the park’s pool. Bliss.

Resize of 12-11-2006 to m

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2004 Travels September 14


We refuelled on the way out of town, at the servos by the long causeway that the trucks use. $1.11 cpl. Then got fuel again at Parina, later in the day – $1.07 cpl.

It was yet another long, uncomfortable driving day. All covering routes we had done before and which were quite familiar.

Turned a little south of Port Augusta, and headed up through Horrocks Pass to Wilmington, then Orroroo, Peterborough, Burra, Morgan, Renmark, Mildura.

We stopped at Morgan to eat lunch. This little town beside the Murray River had a very good park area by the punt crossing of the river. We had to turn right to go into town to this park, but it was worth the little back track we had to do to get back on the way to Renmark. We had previously stayed at the caravan park that was across the road from the park.

In Mildura, went into the Desert City Caravan Park – Top Tourist. $18.90 for the night, after discount.

We unhitched Truck and went and bought pizzas for tea.

John decided that he still wants to go to Canberra to see his daughter and grandson. More long days in Truck! I was contemplating a slow few days travelling beside the Murray, as far as Echuca or Corowa, then home. Damn!

In occasional phone calls, he had mentioned that we might end the trip by visiting them. Now he phoned and confirmed our intentions.

Resize of 09-14-2004 to m