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2011 Trip

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October 1

This is the first day of our tag-a-long Tour and I left Yatala in sunshine after saying goodbye to Russell and Karen who have been great hosts for Yemmy and me. It became overcast during the trip and as I was setting up down came the rain. It's cold as well with intermittent heavy showers. I've anchored Yemmy's awning down as it's a bit blustery.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to post this to the website as the reception is pretty poor. It may improve tonight although with this weather I probably won't be able to put the modem on the roof.

While the ladies continued chatting and catching up under their umbrellas, some of the men were glued to the television for the AFL Grand Final between Collingwood and Geelong.

Despite the wintry weather we had a great happy hour in the camp kitchen and it was good to catch up with people I'd met before at musters.

The forecast is for better weather on Monday when we move to Casino - either via Kyogle or the longer route via Nimbin which is well known for its hippie inhabitants.

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October 2

Today started quite sunny after a windy, gusty night. Graeme and Lyn took me for a lovely sightseeing tour intheir Prado but unfortunately my camera battery was flat so there are no pics althought the scenery was great and I'd have liked a few shots. Never mind it's fully charged today so I may be able to post a fewv pic.

There was very little mobile cover here and I stood outside in very chill conditions to call Sue. Brrrrr!

At happy hour tonight I was able to tell them about Anne and Don's new situation - they were very interested as A&D had been on a lagalong to Mildura atwo years ago.

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October 3

Scenery on the way to Nimbin                                        Colour was everywhere in Nimbin                            Yemmy's site at Casino Village

A lovely drive from Mt Warning to Casino via the 'hippy' town of Nimbin. It was a bit warmer at Casino and I took advantage of the weather to ride my bike into town to shop at Woolworths. There are a few steepish hills but the bike was up to it and I only had to assist a little bit.

At night we went by courtesy bus to the RSM Club for dinner but unfortunately my 'very rare' steak turned out to be tough and well cooked. However good company and a few reds made up for uneatable steak!

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October 4

The wind was savage when we arrived at Iluka and I wasn't quick enough getting the awning roped down when a violent gust got it, sent it over the roof and it looked completely wrecked. However a willing team of worker salvaged it and made it OK to transport home where I'll get it fixed. I rang my insurance company but when she told me I was on a $550 excess I said I'd leave it for now. I'm sure I'll get it fixed for less than that. In the meantime I have no awning to use but I'm on the last lap now and will be home in about three weeks. The man on my bike is one of the team who worked on the awning.

Yemmy has a great view of the Clarence River and one of our number was hoping to catch a feed of prawns!

I managed to buy custard tarts today - one from each Iluka bakery and they were yummy.

It was a good place to ride the bike and I gave the town the once over - and tumbled off once doing a very tight turn on gravel!

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October 5

I rode my bike up to the Coast Guard Station where I took this pic. Fishing was the main pastime but not many fish were caught. The cruise boat was not busy

It was better weather here at Iluka today and we all sat looking over the river as we ate our fish and chips. Unfortunately they short changed us on the fish and Max had to go back for more - in the end there was more than enough and it was very nice.

Ron has given me a lot of photos he's taken on this trip and I'll put them on a separate page when I get a round tuit.

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October 6

Wooli is a lovely place and the park is good with lovely green, grassy sites, plenty of trees and the river running by on one side. I rode my bike down to the river mouth but on the way back ran the batteries flat! I had to pedal a few km and the saddle made me sore. Ah well - I had done a lot of riding at Iluka and hadn't charged the batteries.

We went to the Bowling Club for dinner - taken by coutesy bus and the food and company made it a great night.

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October 7

Our leader Max in pensive mood         Happy hour in full swing                                 King of the fishermen - Jake with his catch!
Lozza in sleepy mood                       Graeme climbs ashore after checking the temperature            It's a lovely leafy park

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October 8

A short hop  today to Jackadgery - it's said Jack-ad-gery -with the 'ger' like in 'her'.

It was a lovely spot on the Mann River and I went down the steep and rocky track and took a few pics. Just after I got back we had a king daddy of a thunderstorm but it fined up for happy hour, a bbq and then a great campfire that we sat around till late.

Merv got a shot of Yemmy traversing the huge bridge over the river - a very impressive bit of engineering.

Just playing with my camera!

Barb wanted to get a shot of me riding my bike

The walk down to the river was steep but the views it afforded were good as you can see by these shots of the river and the bridge.

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October 9

No pics today folks. Although the scenery was magic climbing the Gibralta Range, I didn't stop to take and picttures as it was a bit misty. With that wonderful thing called hindsight I should have taken some just the same.

I spent the afternoon watching a thrilling Bathurst motor race with the last few minutes a nailbiting duel between Tander and Lownes with Tander winning by .2 of a second.

The Formula 1 Japan Grand Prix was only on Ch One and I couldn't get it so contented myself with putting on Live Timing while I went to happy hour.

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October 10

It was quite hilly in Inverell so it was a very good test for my bike. We were a bit out of town and it was downhill to the town centre where I went to the visitors centre. From there it was up hill to the turn off for the National Transport Museum but will just a little pedelling help on the steep bits it went very well and I must have covered about 14km. Unfortunately I only had the long lens for the camera with me and so couldn't get far enough away from the crowded exhibits for good shots. Here are a few.

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We will be at the ACC National Muster at Bingara NSW until Monday 17th so I'll post a report and pics then

October 19

As you can imagine the past few days have been full on, on the 11th I travelled to the Muster and almost immediately took part in the opening ceremony.
I'll copy the report I did for the magazines so you can read what happened.

Then we went to the new chairman's 6,000acre property for a Board Meeting during which I resigned as Chairman and Tom officially took over the reins.
After the meeting we stayed over , had a lovely dinner and yesterday morningI woke up with no voice! Despite that I did about 450km, camped in a grassy area alongside a gravel road and today arrived in Narooma. My friend Roy took me to the Golf Club for dinner but I didn't eat mush as the cough persisted. However we played the pokies and showed a decent profit for once.

Here's the Media Release:


Dramatic Changes to ACC Constitution

In a history making move the Australian Caravan Club has opened its ranks to all RVers. (An RV is a Recreational Vehicle)
At the fifth Annual General Meeting of the club held recently at Bingara in NSW, a resolution was carried that now makes membership available to anyone who owns a Recreational Vehicle whether it be a camper-trailer, caravan, fifth-wheeler, campervan or motorhome.

Another sweeping change saw full voting rights given to both members of a couple – effectively doubling the number of members to around 2,500.
In two new initiatives, a group for people travelling on their own was formed called ACC Lone Trekkers and a team called the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is being set up to investigate all aspects of RV safety.

Truly National
With branches in every Mainland State and more in the pipeline, the ACC is a truly National body with a role of not only promoting social activities for members but of carrying out lobbying to protect the rights of all RVers. This includes approaches to Councils and other bodies when attacks are made on free or budget camping.

Changes to the Board of Directors
After five years at the helm, Caravan World’s ‘On the Wallaby’ columnist, Lionel Mussell, has stepped down and his successor is NSW Grazier Tom Smith. New Directors Debbie Cohen from Sydney and Brian Ward from Queensland join Tom while Craig Humphries has taken over the role of Secretary. Former Secretary Alan Lazarus while not a director will still be vitally involved as Assistant Secretary.

New Chairman, Tom Smith, says, “ With a new team and constitutional changes, I feel the Australian Caravan Club is poised to become one of the leading players in the RV scene.”

He went on to commend the work of the previous Chairman, Lionel Mussell, and Secretary, Alan Lazarus. “The efforts of these two people has given us a great foundation to build on and I thank them for it.”

Action Packed Muster

About 250 ACC Members gathered for the action packed Muster at Bingara from the 11th to the 16th of October.
Besides a variety of talented speakers on subjects ranging from Tips,  Tricks and Security on the Road, Fishing Tips, Computers on the Road, Legal Issues and Sharing the Road with Trucks, there were a number of social activities including a Boules Competition, tours to a farm and to Copeton Dam.
In addition there were Line Dancing sessions, Craft Groups, a Hamburger Night, Trivia and Charades.

There was great support for a Blue Ribbon Afternoon Tea that raised more than $600 for the Anti Cancer Council and a speaker from the local hospital outlined the risks of different kinds of cancer.

A Lighter Note

 After the serious business of the Annual General Meeting, the Inverell Male Choir gave a lovely recital of old favorites before a session called ‘Conversations with the Board’.

The Saturday evening concluded with a dinner provided by the great ACC Catering Team and country music from a great band led by ACC member Vince Pagett.

Huge Raffle
After a communal breakfast on the Sunday morning, came the raffle drawing. Generous local businesses and RV Industry traders donated a wonderful selection of prizes and the drawing kept everyone’s attention on their ticket numbers.

A closing ceremony concluded what had been a great muster and the organising team led by Tom Smith did a fantastic job putting it all together.
Next year’s National Muster will be at Mallacoota in Victoria and work has already begun by the organisers to make it another great event.

For more information about the Australian Caravan Club contact Publicity Officer Lionel Mussell : 03 59758630

Some Bingara pics:

What's cookin' good lookin'?                                          Winners of the Boules Competition                         Looking at beautiful Copeton Dam

        Around the drilling machine at the farm                            The tractor wheels were huge                                Some of the crowd at a session

Some of the vans at the Bingara Showgrounds                        ... and from the lookout                             Lionel wishes Tom well for the future

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October 20

Two days after the Muster I lost my voice. It started coming back the next day but I felt lousy and then it developed into a very sore throat and cough.
Here at Narooma I've met up with my friend Roy and today we went for a drive to Bermagui. Unfortunately although I took my camera I'd left its battery on charge so sorry folks - no pics.

I'm in a Big4 caravan park and I an cross that despite paying $96 for three nights, my site is so sloping I've had to put ramps under both wheels on the passenger side to get anywhere near level. I've never had to do that before even in the bush..

Copeton Dam Wall                                                        Scenery along Thunderbolts Way                            Yemmy at Narooma

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October 21

The sun was bright in Narooma today and although I still felt crook I went for a long ride on my bike along the lovely cycle track and up to the lookout. Whales can be seen from here  - but not today.

Roy came fotr a while - it's been great catching up with him but a shame I wasn't fit and well.

In the evening I went out to dinner with the publisher of Boiling Billy Publications and we had a very interesting discussion which will probobly result in a new book with me as the author. It was quite late when we said goodnight so I hope I'm up bright and early as I'd like an early start to what will be the second last day of the wonderful trip.

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October 22

Away by 8.30 - about an hour later than intended but the roads were quiet and Yemmy ate the kilometres up with no trouble. The route was through winding hilly roads that made it more interesting. It would have been excellent if I'd been feeling well but this darn cold has now turned to a productive cough and sore throat. I swallow lots of 'remedies' but none do much good.

Despite this and an eye that started getting bleery I covered a bit over 500km and just left a mere 180km for the morning. It doesn't seem possible that my trip is almost at an end.

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October 23

Well this is it folks - journey's end!

I arrived back here at the Mornington Caravan Park at about 10,30 this morning and had a warm welcome from Roger and Jeanette the park owners - Christine from next door heard Yemmy's engine and popped round to say welcome back plus friends Graham, Marlene and John. It was almost like I hadn't been away.

Feeling a bit put out with all the attention I was getting, Murphy swung into action and made the gas HWS impossible to light! It's always hard after a trip but although I could light the pilot light it went out as soon as I released the button. A gas-fitter will be here tomorrow so you'll have a 24-hour victory Mr Murphy!

It was a lovely trip home using my favorite road from Drouin across the hills to Lang Lang and the sun was shining making it even better. Much better than yesterday in fact as that was pretty ordinary.

I've still got my sore throat and hacking cough but I'll be seeing Doctor John tomorrow and I'll see what he has to say.

Thanks for travelling with me these past four and a bit months. We covered 20,090km! Your comments encourage me to keep going with these diaries.

Yemmy back home

  PS - there could be a new book in time for Christmas pressies next year so stay tuned.

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