This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2007 Travels May 1

TUESDAY 1 MAY     BENDIGO TO MILDURA     415kms   

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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2004 Travels March 27

SATURDAY 27 MARCH   MARONG TO MILDURA   386kms

Today’s was a comfortable stage.

Refuelled at Wedderburn. Diesel was 97cpl – making it 7c a litre dearer than at home.

Along the way, John realized that he’d left the plastic diesel jerrycan at home – hence the “empty” space in back of Truck, where he couldn’t remember what normally travelled there.

We took a break at Ouyen, at the very pleasant travellers’ rest stop there. I took a photo of the Big Mallee Stump that had been made into a display. This was a very large root system of the Mallee eucalypt that is endemic to the region. These trees are not all that tall, have multiple trunks, but have these massive root systems beneath the ground. It was evident why it had been so hard to clear this land for farming – and why the stump-jump plough was invented to deal with the problem.

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Big Mallee stump at Ouyen

It did not seem all that long until we were approaching Red Cliffs and then the outskirts of Mildura, moving from the arid mallee scrub country to irrigated farm land.

We booked into the Desert City Caravan Park. It was quite pleasant and adequate, and central. After discount, $18.90 a night.

Although the Park was by the main highway, traffic noise was not an issue.

We unhitched, but did not do a major set up, as we did not intend to stay here more than a couple of nights.

Went off to have a quick look around the shops in the complex across the highway. John bought some sneakers – Colorado ones. Costly, but comfortable on his hard-to-suit feet.

We bought fish and chips, from the supposedly good Sweet Lips shop. Very greasy and definitely not to be recommended by us!

We’d changed mobile phones shortly before coming away, and were still learning its tricks – much more convoluted than our very basic old one. I sent son a message – just to surprise him that I could do so. Received a reply about teaching an old dog new tricks! Also messaged daughter and she replied about how surprised she was!

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