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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2015 Travels August 22


This morning, I took Couey for her morning walk, to the back area of the park where John had walked her yesterday. She suddenly made a great lunge away from me, pulled the lead from my hand  and scarfed down something that sounded crunchy. A bone of some sort? She must have noted it, somehow, yesterday, because there was no preliminary investigation this morning. Could only wait and see if whatever it was upset her system. For a cattle dog, with dingo ancestry somewhere back in the breed, her system is remarkably intolerant of a range of things. Very much at odds with the instinct to scavenge.

Left the Forbes park at 8.55am. Wearing long trousers and polo tops now.

I noted for future reference the good looking dog walking areas by Lake Forbes.

Yesterday and today we saw lots of truck loads of hay going north – fodder for drought affected areas, we thought.

Today we were into more irrigated crop land and plenty of sheep and cattle grazing areas. The more arid mulga country was left well behind us yesterday.


We encountered one of those vanners who speeds as soon as a section of road with overtaking lanes is approached. Grrr. We’d come up behind him fairly quickly – a dead give away that we were going faster than him. We then tootled along behind him, at 70-80kms, for more than 15 minutes, until coming up to the overtaking section, when he suddenly speeded up. We did get past him, but had to use the whole length of a long overtaking section to do so, and just managed it. The, of course, we left him totally behind. Why do drivers feel the need to do that?

The GPS took us around the West Wyalong Truck Route. Very nice of it.

The damned fridge door sprang open again. A chunk of frozen meat fell out when it opened, scaring Couey, who apparently does not like meat airborne. Another quick stop for me to close it. Definitely going to have to install a strap fastener or something, at home.

Took a break at Narrandera, near the Information Centre. Couey had a good run in the park area there. Ate the sandwiches I’d made this morning.


I tried to persuade John that we could stop the night in Narrandera, but he was in get-home-fast mode, it seemed. I phoned the caravan park in Tocumwal, where he decided we’d aim for, and booked us in.

Refuelled in the town. $1.319. Getting steadily cheaper as we come south. My calculations showed we got 7kms to the litre on that tank of fuel. We’d had a tail wind for much of the last two days.

Crossed the Murrumbidgee, which was fairly low.

Stopped for a coffee break at the pleasant Bundure Rest Area. Quite an extensive area, in amongst trees.

Bundure Rest Area

John was tired, now, of course. We should have stopped at Narrandera. I drove the rest of the way to Tocumwal. Arrived at 2.50pm. Not quite such a long day as yesterday.

At the Tocumwal Caravan park paid $36 for an en-suite site, after discount. The site was drive through – a bonus, and we could keep the car on the back. The en-suite was adequate, but a fairly flimsy transportable unit, so starting to show wear and tear. It was almost impossible to get the door to close, for example.

This park had a dog run area, fenced, where dogs could run off lead. It was not a huge area, but long and narrow, along the side fence, an area that would otherwise just be lawn and garden. The run was clean too – a bin was provided inside. We could throw the ball for Couey and she could gallop around. This was an excellent facility and I wished more caravan parks would adopt it.

Dog run at Tocumwal caravan park

John napped for the rest of the afternoon. The dog too, after her first, long gallop about.

I walked to the shops in the main street and found an IGA supermarket that had the Saturday Age and Weekend Australian. Wonderful! My reading matter for the rest of the day and night.

I cooked John fish and fries for tea. I was not very hungry – the effect of long travel days, so just had a few fries and an egg.

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2003 Travels September 29


Refuelled at Cobar – 99cpl and at Griffith – 96cpl.

Today saw changes of the type of country passed through. Since leaving Adels, we had travelled mostly through semi-arid grass and scrubland. But today we transitioned into the irrigated farmlands of the Murrumbidgee River lands and then reached the Murray River country.

Being inland, it was still hot, though by the time we stopped for the day, it was definitely somewhat cooler.

Went into the Boomerang Way Caravan park – $19.80 after discount. I was not impressed with this park, even though it was a Big 4 one. Seemed quite run down.

After minimal set up again, John napped. I went for a walk – it was cool enough – down to the main part of town, just to get some exercise after the long days of sitting. I did not really look around the town to any extent – just walked.

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