Caravanning and RVing in Australia
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2009 Trip with Lionel
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Day 115 - September 1
Did I tell you I went to the barber and had her do a clipper cut right over the top? It means I can have the window open while driving without wisps of hair blowing all over the place. It's easier after a shower as well - don't have to comb it! I took the picture in the mirror with the camera held low.
Today I downloaded a trial version of Softpress Freeway - a web authoring application that has a good reputation among Mac users. Once or if I learn how to use it I may be able to produce web pages that look ok in Internet Explorer as well as other browsers like Firefox.
The park here at Walkamin is emptying as people start their return south - only a handful now gather for the nightly happy hour.
Day 116 - September 2Did the usual chores for getting ready for the road - emptied the cassette, filled all the water tanks, etc.
Went into Atherton after lunch and bought a stainless steel slotted spoon and a turner. The plastic ones were getting very grotty.
Called at the Tolga butcher and bought a whole eye fillet of beef and other meat ready for the trip so I should be alright down those deserted roads I intend travelling. I had a couple of pieces of the steak tonight and it was lovely.
Peter and Joan arrived here today - they are campers I'd met at Archer Point.
I spent a lot of time with the computer today but I don't seem to be making much headway with the new web pages - they still don't display properly in IE.
I left Walkamin before 10 am. I'd spent a lovely week on the Tableland but now it was time to move on.
These giant towers were at the windfarm near Ravenshoe (that's said Ravens Hoe not Raven Shoe!). The ones below were nearly lost in low cloud.
I was getting tired by Greenvale so decided to call it a day - I'd done well over 300km and the narrow road needed concentration. When I booked into the caravan park I got a nice surprise - it was only $12 for one person! Many parks charge for a double regardless.
Greenvale was a mining town and when the ore ran out it was going to be bulldozed and revert to bush. An entrepeneur bought is and sold the houses cheap. It's out of the way but a lovely little spot and the cheap homes have all gone up in value.
This wheel at the caravan park entrance, is part of the mining machinery from when the zinc mine was in operation.
Day 118 - September 3
A very pleasant day's travel from Greenvale to a rest area about 100km south of Charters Towers.
I was going to stop at the lovely Fletcher Creek rest area about 40km north of Charters Towers but I couldn't get internet access even with the antenna taped to a broom handle on to the top of the TV antenna.
Apart from which it was too early in the day to stop.
The sign says it's an offence to discharge waste water anywhere on the ground within the area! I noticed plenty of vans with their hoses out!
There was only one other van in the rest area where I spent the night - a couple on their second night of caravanning and with a brand new van and tow vehicle. We had a lovely chat over a few glasses of red.
Day 119 - September 4Not too much to report today except my mobile phone completely gave up and wouldn't even turn on. I looked for a shop that was a Telstra Dealer in Clermont but no luck. The only servo with an lpg pump had an out of order sign on it so I topped up with very expensive petrol. I was watching the dial and didn't noticed the cut out hadn't worked and there was a flood of precious petrol on the driveway!
In Capella I had the toughest, most dried up chicken and chips I've ever tasted.
On a whim I parked and went into the Coles Centro complex in Emerald and to my surprise there was a brand new Telstra shop and in a very short time I was the proud possessor of a new Mobile and a new plan so no money changed hands and I'm 'connected' once more.
I parked for the night at the Emerald Botanic Gardens Rest Area - a strange free stop but OK. I wanted to be sure of phone reception for Fathers Day. There was a fish van nearby so I treated myself to a couple of bugs and some prawns, Lovely! Then I watched 'The Bill' as there was good TV reception.
Day 120 - September 5I started the day with a walk! Nicky (my Doctor) would be pleased. It was a lovely sunny day and I was in no hurry as I wanted to ring Chris, Sue and Jackie. Jackie is in Kalgoorlie WA and two hours behind eastern States so I couldn't ring her too early. The calls were great and even when separated by huge distances you can feel close to loved ones.
I spent waiting time entering phone contacts into the mobile. Not being able to turn the old one on meant I couldn't transfer them and I hadn't saved them on the sim card. Lesson learnt!
When I stopped for lunch near Springsure I was delighted to meet up with a couple we had met at Fletcher Creek a few years ago. They remembered I'd damaged the van step and 'Bob' had helped me fix it.
They told me about a nice campsite at Noga Noga Lake but I missed the turnoff and settled for a quite crowded Rest Area on the banks of the Dawson River near Moura.
An email from friends Tony and Denyse tonight was enough to make me change my itinerary to include Cania Gorge as they will be there on Wednesday. It's not far out of the way to Esk where I've decided to spend a few days before heading for Yatala.
Day 121 - September 6Very easy day today again - managed to get lpg in Biloila which was a relief as I'd been on petrol for some time again today with Moura showing an out of order sign on the only gas pump.
I was at the Lawgi rest area by lunchtime and it is a nice spot with plenty of room. There were only a few rigs in by night and as the weather had turned murky I didn't bother with telly. There were a few hard showers overnight and I think I'll stay here another day at least. There's water from tanks that seems OK so I carried some and put in the van tanks.
I was impressed by the artwork on the front of the hall - bottle trees are common in this area. They are a bit like the boab but not the same tree.
Day 122 & 123 - September 7 & 8I didn't go anywhere today - just fiddled with the new phone and found out quite a lot of things about how it all works. Had good internet connestion as well.
I was running short of supplies so instead of going straight to Cania Gorge I went back to Biloela to shop. Another mistake as it would have been shorter to go on to Monto and come back to the Gorge. Nice trip anyway.
Here's a real bottle tree - there were quite a few on the way here. There's only Internet from the office and no mobile reception so I'll post this to the net after I leave on Friday as there should be reception in Monto.
I've just found out you can plug your laptop into the office broadband system so I might do that tomorrow morning.
It's a lovely spacious park - Tony is going to write it up for Caravan World and make a video here.
I went for a walk and finished up climbing up to a lookout - I should get extra steps for that as it was very strenuous! I was pleased to see the down arrow.
There are hens running loose around the park and colourful birds who get fed as a visitor attraction.
The little wallaby was quite tame and munched away happily between the vans.
Day 124 - September 10Spent much of the day fixing water leaks! When I went to the toilet in the van first thing I noticed the carpet was wet under my bare feet. It was a hose connection to the 12volt water pump but instead of being a job of just tightening the hose clip it stripped and then it went on from there. I finished up renewing a couple of pieces of hose and stripping more hose clips. Darn you Murphy.
It was made up for at night when I shared happy hour and dinner with my friends.
Day 125 - September 11Left Cania about 10am after saying goodbye to Tony and Denyse - it was lovely to be with them for a day. I had a few aches and pains after crawling under the van to work on the plumbing yesterday! Tony got me on video so I guess it will be on the Caravan World website some time soon.
This railway station was relocated to this rest area as a remender of former days in the district. It was opened during a live ABC radio broadcast and if it had been later in the day I would have stopped here for the night. I'll look up the name later.
As it was I pressed on with Esk in mind and arrived to find many things had changed since I last visited. Many more park homes and cabins, a sealed walk down near the creek which has been cleaned up and flows now plus two en-suite style toilets.
Owner, Mick Newman recognised the van and gave me a warm welcome. I'm staying hooked up as I don't intend going anywhere in the car tomorrow.
There's good phone reception here nowadays so I was able to ring both girls and have a lovely chat.
Day 126 - September 12
Another beaut day although it started pretty cold. I walked Mick's new creek-side walk and then after brekkie walked up to the market. A very quiet market with not too many stalls or people.
The park is pretty full and this area is usually empty but not any more. Glen Rock is always a great sight and today was no exception.
I bought an extension for my telly antenna so I can check signal strength while moving the antenna. Makes it much easier when you are on your own.
The National Servicemen's Association, Queensland Branch, is here at the moment and Bernie, my neighbor from the next site is a CMCA Member from Port Macquarrie and a NSW member of the NTC.
Day 127 - September 13Before leaving this morning the Nashos wanted a group photo taken and I finished up with four cameras on their cords on one arm, one in my hand, one in a pocket and my own on its strap. They broke up before I could take a pic with each camera and didn't even get a shot myself.
A pleasant run to Anne and Don's place at Yatala and I arrived just as the family were heading off to the coast for lunch. It was good to see them all again and I spent the afternoon getting set up and settled.
They are moving from here and the removalists are coming on Saturday so it's all hands on deck for packing up!
I will be here for the next two weeks so the diary is suspended until about the 30th or maybe even Oct 1.
Trixie will be going on unsealed roads again after the Mildura Muster so I treated her to a set of 'RockTamers'. These clamp on to the shank of the towing hitch and of course Murphy was there to ensure there wasn't enough room to fit them! The helpful boss at Jimboomba Camper Trailers himself drilled a new hole in the solid shank to allow it to sit out a bit further and all was well.
The middle picture shows the modification I had done to the tail-pipe to direct the hot gases away from the back of the rubber flap.
Click for October