This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2002 Travels December 17

TUESDAY 17 DECEMBER     FORBES TO SHEPPARTON     520kms

Yet another long day of driving.

It did not have to be this way. We had told the house sitter we would not be home until 20 December, so we could have slowed down a bit!

Again, we travelled through the broad acres of the sheep/wheat belt of NSW.

Refuelled at Jerilderie – 92cpl.

At the Victorian border, the road changed from the Newell to the Goulburn Valley Highway. Since we had three nights to “spare”, I persuaded John that we should stop at Shepparton so I could try to arrange a visit with daughter. He did not want to deviate from the straight line home, with the van, but agreed we could park up in Shepparton, and do a day drive over to Bendigo, if I was able to arrange it.

We booked into the Shepparton East Caravan Park – $18 a night. Could not get into the one by the lake, where we’d stayed before. This was a nuisance, because the park was out of town and we had to drive to get to everything. Again, there were thus no pleasant walking options for me, while John napped or played on the computer – just surrounding road edges, mixing it with the traffic.

I phoned daughter and arranged to meet her for a while tomorrow, in Bendigo. They live a little way out of the city, and since her husband was home, and he and John do not mix well, we arranged a rendezvous at the shops in town.

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2001 Travels April

2001 – BACK AT WORK

As we drove the width of the continent, late last year, coming home, we had resolved to try to at least take the van away for some 4 or 5 day breaks, through this year. This would sustain us until we could, somehow, arrange matters to allow us longer travel again.

But life has a way of altering plans.

At the start of the year, John was offered work with a company making high end vehicle tracking devices. It combined his knowledge of computing and GPS technology – just too tempting. The work was part time, and erratic. Some weeks, five days. Sometimes just once or twice a month.

This made planning ahead rather hard.

The job also involved a hefty commute across the suburbs. In Melbourne peak time traffic, it meant at least an hour in traffic, each way.

The Great White Truck was definitely not the ideal city commuter vehicle!

In the middle of the year I was asked to return to teaching, for a term, to fill in for someone on sick leave. Senior Politics teachers were a somewhat scarce commodity.

It had been about three decades since I filled a solely classroom role in a school. I found it quite pleasant, not having any other responsibilities in the place, apart from delivering senior Politics, History and Literature.

However, the experience underlined the fact that I had no desire at all to resume my career – that travel was what I  liked best!

 

APRIL 2001

After four months of sitting in one place, the van was dragged out, at the end of April, and packed for only a few days away.

The occasion was a family wedding in Shepparton in north-central Victoria.

While packing the van, I discovered a zillion ants nesting in the freezebox of the fridge. Their close relatives had taken up residence in one of the van tail lights.

I couldn’t think of any way to extract the colony from the fridge, except to spray much Mortein in there, shut it all up overnight, then wipe out all the corpses I could find. The fridge needed a good air out after that.

We had to dismantle the tail light to clean them out of there.

Ants are the bane of a caravanner’s life! Ours had arrived, this time, we thought, via a shrub branch that was touching the van – in a corner of the parking area that was hard to see. I resolved to be ruthless in pruning the garden around the van, in future.

We drove north, via the usual Yea route. It was so good to be mobile again.

Stayed three nights at the Victoria Lake Caravan Park, which was quite pleasant. There was water in the lake and so some bird life to watch.

04-27-2001 lake by caravan park in shepparton.jpg

Lake Victoria

Some walking tracks went round part of the lake and continued on to other areas.

The weather was very pleasant – lovely autumn days, nights just a bit cool.

04-27-2001 shepparton caravan park.jpg

Early autumn colours by the lake

The nuptials and associated events occupied us for two full days.

That was all the time we had free, so the next day it was back the way we came.

Just a little taste of travel. Just enough to sustain the talk of “maybe next year”…..and all sorts of plans that were tossed around, some more feasible than others.