This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2015 Travels August 23


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?

Tocumwal camp

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.

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2005 Travels March 10


After a few days of relatively calm and methodical packing – albeit with some last minute packing by John – we left home at 9.30am.

Our new housesitters, L and R, had visited us yesterday, to be briefed. They seemed very keen to meet our expectations and I felt good about them. They assured us that one of them would always be home at night with Spook cat – which was above and beyond what we were asking – and they would take care of his special food needs. He had just been diagnosed as diabetic, to complicate matters. They seemed anxious to get into garden upkeep!

Spook seemed sulky and withdrawn – I think he knew we were off again. It was sad saying goodbye to him, not being sure we would see him again.

Resize of 2-26-2005 Spook really gaurding strawberries.JPG

It was a routine trip north over ground much covered before. Yarra Glen, Yea, Seymour. There was the usual stop at Nagambie to buy sinful food at the bakery for John, which he ate sitting by the lake – great place for a stop.

At Tocumwal, we took a break and walked along the Murray River bank.

We did not eat the lunch rolls I had made at home, at lunchtime, due to the effects of the earlier bakery stop!

Refuelled at Jerilderie – $1.14cpl.

Reached Griffith about 5pm.

We took an en suite site at the Griffith Tourist Park for $24 per night.  Just felt like a bit more luxury than usual. Got chatting to the park owner, as one does, and he was interested to find out where we were going. He was keen to hear about Pungalina, as he went fishing in the Gulf region, regularly. I fished out a few of our brochures for him.

After basic set up, we walked to an area of shops, and Woolworths. I wanted to buy some grapefruit for breakfasts – we could not bring any with us, due to quarantine rules. Also had to buy toothbrush and toothpaste for John, who had realized he’d forgotten to pack any.

John was wearing thongs and did not manage the quite long walk very well.

Tea was the neglected lunch rolls, and defrosted chicken pieces I’d previously cooked.

Resize of 03-10-2005 to g


2002 Travels December 19


As we were not due home until tomorrow, today’s was a more leisurely start, and a short stage to Yea. NOW we have slowed down!

It was a hot day, again.

Refuelled at Shepparton – 87cpl.

There was a stop for an indulgent pie and pasty  lunch for John, at a favourite bakery at Nagambie. I had sandwiches. It was pleasant by the lake there.

We reached Yea early in the afternoon. Booked into the Yea Family Park – $18.


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The last overnight for the van, this trip

After the basic set up, we went for a wander around town. It is a very pretty place, so this was quite enjoyable walking.

I commented to John that this was much nicer than the only previous time I’d stayed in Yea – some twenty years previous. Then, I’d spent several hours in the local hospital, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, due to a faulty hatchback fastening on my car, that allowed exhaust fumes to be sucked in as I drove.

Today was a much more pleasant one than those we’d spent coming through NSW.

Resize of 12-19-2002 to yea

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2000 Travels December 14


We got away from the park at 9am.

We were not hurrying, because John wanted to go to the red gum saw mill, where he bought a platter making slab and some small pieces that he would make chisel handles from. That lot cost $50.

The man at the mill persuaded John that, when he makes the red gum chairs to match the table that is already done, it would be better to cut out the chair frames, rather than try to steam bend them. I was pleased about that!

It was not too hot today, so was a comfortable drive.

We travelled towards Shepparton, as far as Undera, than south through Murchison.

We had lunch by the lake at Nagambie – a very pleasant place.

Then it was the usual route from Seymour, through Yea to Yarra Glen and then Healesville.

We reached the familiar Badger Creek Caravan Park by mid-afternoon. We had a drive through site, for $20.90, so were able to stay hitched up.

12-14-2000 healesville.jpg

Our last night……

We had to phone K to get him to contact Telstra to authorize handing over of the home number to us. He’d told us a week ago that this had been arranged, but did as we asked and then John was able to arrange what he needed to with Telstra.

We went for a walk around the grounds and up into the bush. There were lots of birds – parrots, doves, wrens, cockatoos, and there were currawongs calling. It was so long since we’d heard these that I’d forgotten how melodious they sound.

Tea was sausages, potato, salad.

There was a cool tinge to the night air. The tropics are so far behind us now.

So – this was the last night of our life on the road. Very sad.

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