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Home again Home again…

Jiggety jig.. Isn’t that how the childrens nursery rhyme goes? Well I’m not “jiggerty jigging” to be back home, I wish we were able to stay away or go further away for longer. Especially now we have Ursula Ultimate and the pack up is so easy, it makes my feet itch to travel more. The trouble is Australia is so big and lets face it we will probably never get to see it all… So each day at home is a day I wish I was travelling.

So lets have a look at the negatives..

The weather- its gotta be said it was miserable. God, or Jehovah or Yewah or Wankan Tankan whatever you chose to call our Creator, HE is the only one who can control the weather, so its no use whining about it, yes! I am a whiner, I try not to, but I really don’t do cold very well. Spring in Australia is typically our rainiest season, so we should probably have expected it, but my rose coloured glasses were firmly in place and denial had set in. 

The first 48 hours of Ursula’s exsistence were drenched, but like a professional she is, she kept us dry and while in NSW warm… Coming into Victoria on the final stretch home however was a different thing. It rained all the way to Lakes Entrance, and it continued to rain while we set up, miserable, I was almost tempted to tell The Bloke to keep driving 400 kilometers to home. Except, my Bestie was setting up with her family and they were already there and already wet, so we had to do it.

It was cold that first night, we all retired early just to keep warm. The next day was still fairly rainy, so we took a day trip to Buchan and went on the cave tours.

This is my bestie! Deanne and I have been friends for almost 28 years. We always have the best fun when we are camping!


Luckily for Deanne and I, our Blokes, Steve and Rob, get on well too, makes life so much easier! Photography credit to Star Son for this ripper pic! 

Saturday we had some nicer kind of weather so we spent the day exploring the streets of Lakes Entrance and then back at camp we did our usual things Deanne and I crocheted and the boys all went fishing! Jordan caught a salmon which was bbq’ed later! Oh and Deanne and I ventured to the beach briefly but in time to see a seal surfing the waves near the shore.

Then Sunday it was pack up time, we just made the pack up before the rain started and then it rained on and off most of the way home.

So the weather was a negative but for sure hands down, the positive of this trip was spending quality time with my bestie and her family. 

Now it’s only approximately 81 days until our Christmas break and we’re off for a month into outback New South Wales up to Queensland and then across to Cameron’s corner which is where NSW and QLD meet SA. Being that it will be early summer hopefully we will travel minus the rain! 

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Introducing our newest girl… 

Today we became proud parents of Ursula Ultimate. The whole reason for our trip was to pick up our girl and we had a great day. 

This  morning  we had to book out of our cabin by 10am so while we were waiting for someone from Ultimate to collect us (Priscilla was over the road at 9.00am at the auto electrician getting wired) we decided to go for a walk into town. 


Looking over the bridge at the fish below we found some stingray!

Once in town we wandered around went to the “poke stops” and had a look at the jetty. 

Finally it was time to be collected and taken to the Ultimate factory. 

We were handed over to John who showed us how to set up and dismantle the Ultimate, ours was out the back getting her finishing touches. Once we had learnt the fine art of setting up and dismantling, and Star Son had been given a task to set up the stabiliser legs and make sure we’re     all level. 

John then had us don safety vests and safety glasses and we were given a guided tour of the factory where Ursula was built. So John walked us through all the different steps and we discovered that it takes 300 man hours to build each camper and it’s all done by hand, no robotics used here! 

The Bloke is into metal and quality and so he was very interested in the bit where all the welding and metal stuff happened. And also he was very impressed with what he saw. 

So back in the show room we were given lunch. A lovely selection of mixed sandwiches and the yummiest ever wedges! John joined us for lunch. Then it was time to go and collect Priscilla and finally get our hands on Ursula.

Some of the staff had been quietly over in the corner setting Ursula up and giving her the final once over, so John walked us through everything again and then we all got to help with the dismantle. Then she was pushed out to the front entrance and we were able attach her to Priscilla. 

John and all of us drove around the block so that he could calibrate the break controller. Then it was time to sayFarewell, not before we brought ourselves Ultimate sweaters and got a bunch of paper work to read through. Star Sin got a drink bottle and some cups and l got a lovely bottle of sparkling pink blush wine with an Ultimate lable. 

John took some group pics of us with the girls! And it was time to leave. We felt like we made a bunch of new friends and loved the time we spent at Ultimate. 

Back at the caravan park Riverbreeze, we had to try and remember how to set her all up again! Surprisingly it was as easy as we remembered and 20 minutes or so later we had our camper all set. Of course as we do it a few more times it’ll get faster. 

We went out to dinner at the bowling club to celebrate! 

 

We have arrived!

Last night we drove to Albury New South Wales, about 4 hours from home, its just over the Victorian border. We stayed in a motel for the night, by the time we had unpacked and had dinner, showers and unwound it was bedtime, I’d totally forgotten to write my blog. Yesterday was a long day I was awake at 4:00am, trying to mentally pack everything. Needless to say there are things I’ve forgotten but things that I can buy locally so no dramas.

This morning was another early morning… Up at 7:15am, car packed, dressed and down for breakfast at 7:35am and then back on the road by 8:00am.. On a Sunday morning too!!

Today’s first stop was at the Iconic “Dog on the tuckerbox” its been made famous through a song, we didn’t see the Dog today because it was really crowded with tourists at 9:15am.. Crazy!  We stopped to stretch the legs, use the bathroom and catch a snack, boys are ALWAYS hungry. 


So here is the dog, this is NOT MY PHOTO this I borrowed from Google. 

“Tucker box” is an Aussie thing, “Tucker” meaning food and the box was usually a metal type box, which kept the drovers food safe from weather and insects. There have even been songs written about the dog, Dog sits on the tuckerbox.

After leaving the dog wet and soggy, we drove on, watching as the rain swept across the landscape, there were moments when the sun tried really hard to come through and there were long stretches where it stopped raining, but, like we always say “You can’t control the weather and you can’t wait for the weather to be perfect or you’d never get anything done”  Next stop for us was Braidwood.


**AGAIN NOT MY PHOTO** taken from Google.

Braidwood had a sign which tempted us “World Famous pies” now we’ve been to lots of places in Australia and everytime we see that claim we stop and put it to the test. There was one pie shop in South Australia that claimed it and in my humble opinion they owned it.. Their lamb and rosemary pie was sooo good! Today we decided to put NSW to the test. StarSon had chunky chicken, he didnt really want a pie, but he went along with us. The Bloke had a curried pie and I had Chicken Satay, it was delish! The flaky pastry and the chunks of real chicken, yum! 

Onwards- about 2 hours to go, we were running ahead of schedule. On the way to Bateman’s Bay we went over Clyde Mountain, it was beautiful scenery and a very steep descent, at one point on a hair pin bend, we and all the long line of cars following a truck were down to 10 kilometers an hour, l thought about taking photos but I was crocheting so… Its all about priorities!

All that lovely forest!

Steep descent 


Hair pin bends!

Bateman’s Bay, where we turned from inland to costal, and for me it was love at first sight, I have ear marked that to come back and explore at a later date! 


We were supposed to turn back inland at a specific point, but decided to stay on the coastal route and enjoy the scenery.


Like this tributary that runs from the sea along the road, it was so pretty! No waves,just peaceful and calm. 

At last- 2.00pm we arrived in Moruya and found the caravan park where we are spending the next two nights in a spa cabin, its really beautiful and the best bit is its river front! So I can sit on the verandah and watch the river flow by. Of course fairly soon after we arrived so too did the rain, but at least its not cold.

Look at my view! And the a little while later, these two cruised into sight…


Some of the locals dropped by to say hello.I love pelicans! We had gone for a drive to see the factory that is building our camper trailer, just so we knew where to go on Tuesday, and Star son has seen a stork or Heron, I’ll need to see it to confirm that. 


Somewhere within this building is our new “baby” Ursula, and we are scheduled to meet her 10:30am on Tuesday. We are all excited and can’t wait! 

On Tuesday after we pick up Ursula, we are coming back here to Riverbreeze Caravan Park and we will stay in Ursula for another two nights. We are doing that to make sure we have the “hang” on setting up and dismatling before we leave the area! This is only a short trip for us, but a very important one and we are squeezing in as much as we can!

We went for a quick drive around the afternoon and did some basic grocery shopping, but on a Sunday afternoon most of the shops were closed, so tomorrow, weather allowing, we will walk across the bridge into town to do some shopping and get the important things, like stamps and postcards and presents for the Grand babies!  

Now its evening, and we have cooked a couple of frozen pizzas in the oven and cleaned up and will have a nice relaxing night, I’ve got Amber’s crochet blanket to finish! 

I’ll be back tomorrow with more photos and news!

Tomorrow we leave!

For our trip to Moruya New South Wales, to collect our camper.

I promised to come back yesterday and tell you a bit more about Moruya, I’m sorry I missed out on coming back, I’ve been working flat out on a crochet project, I made a rainbow blanket for my daughter to give as a gift at her friends baby shower tomorrow. So I needed to finish that, so I could wash it and have it dried and wrapped ready for my daughter to collect. I must confess at the start I didn’t like the colour scheme I kept having this internal dialogue about the colours, but then I reminded myself this was “not for me it was a gift, I didn’t have to love it” needless to say by the time I’d come to the end of the blanket (which was 7:30am! This morning!!) l do love it and I will probably end up doing another one similar for my Grand Daughter Sweetpea, she was convinced “It’s mine Grandma” I kept telling her ” No its for a baby” she insisted it was for  “My bed now Grandma” so I guess I’ll be making her a rainbow blanket too! She’s such a funny little thing, she picked up my crochet hook before I could race back and rescue my crochet from her, and she tells me very seriously  “I do sticking” she meant of course my crochet hook, and she tried her best to poke the “stick” into the stitches. Maybe when she’s three I’ll start teaching her to crochet! My Aunt taught me when I was about ten, I started crocheting my own “granny squares” with the left over yarn that she was using to knit sweaters.

So thats why I missed yesterday’s post about “Moruya” 

Let me share some info about what I’ve found out about this little town, I’m so excited we are heading off tomorrow and will arrive mid afternoon Sunday!

Moruya

Town in New South Wales, Australia

Moruya is a town in New South Wales, Australia, situated on the Moruya River, on the far south coast situated on the Princes Highway 305 kilometres south of Sydney and 175 kilometres from Canberra. At the 2011 census, Moruya had a population of 2,531 people. The town relies predominantly on agriculture, aquaculture, and tourism. Moruya is administered by the Eurobodalla Shire council and the shire chambers are located in the town. Wikipedia.


I know right! I’d never heard of it either. But I am excited to get there and explore. There’s a museum there showcasing the dairy industry in the area, but mostly its poular for its nature based places, Moruya Head and National Park  walks like the Bingi Walking Track.. 

Follow in the footsteps of the Brinja-Yuin people as you walk the Bingi Dreaming track. Traditionally, Dreaming tracks or Song Lines link the places visited by Aboriginal people, the Bingi Dreaming track links campsites, ceremonial and trade sites, fresh water and plentiful coastal food sources. Along the way, you might see stone artefacts or patches of shell middens. The … Visit website for more info

For more information: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au

I have a feeling that we won’t see all there is to do there, but thats Ok it just means we will have to go back again! 

So be sure to check back in the next few days where I’ll start posting my photos. 

Hump Day..

Yes its Wednesday, which means we are in the downward slope of the week tomorrow!

One step closer to the weekend.. We have Football presentation on Saturday for Star Son, and then after that we are leaving! Yes another “Road trip”! 

This time we are off to New South Wales to a small coastal town called Moruya. I had never heard if it until recently when we ordered our camper trailer from a company called “Ultimate Campers” we have been stalking this company for almost three years, wishing and hoping, buying lottery tickets to try and fund our camper, anyways finally the time has come, we ordered it and its being made as I write this, pick up date is Tuesday 20th September.

As you might know from reading any of my past posts, my Bloke names our things! Our tent is Tamara, our trailer which carried our camping gear is Matilda “We go waltzing around Australia with Matilda” things that we spend a lot of money on we name, the camp fridge is “Goldie” and the camp kitchen is “Donna Drifta” people think we’re wacky! Our Volkswagen Passat Highline was called “Heidi Highline” and she has now been replaced with a Toyota Prado 4 Wheel drive, we want to start going off road, she’s called “Priscilla” as in the movie “Priscilla Queen of the desert” trouble is so far she hasn’t been to the desert ( Thats our Christmas holiday this year!) so for now she’s just “Princess Priscilla” so naming our camper trailer was super easy, immediately her name came to me as I stepped out of the X-Plore GT display model I told the sales man “We’ll be back to buy this one her name is Ursula” he laughed and I said “Don’t laugh, you know the rule don’t you? If you name something you have to keep it” all the way along she’s been “Ursula Ultimate” and soon we will go to collect her.

So on Saturday afternoon, we will leave, drive about 4 hours to the border of Victoria and New South Wales, stay over night in a Motel and then on Sunday drive the other five or so hours to the little town Moruya. Sunday night and Monday night we are staying in a cabin. We are spending a few extra days there because Priscilla also has to visit the Auto Electrician to have some final wiring done, which will allow us to have a duel battery kit installed, that will allow us to use the solar panels to supply power when we are “off the grid” to charge, phones, lap tops, camera batteries etc. 

On Tuesday the 20th September, we have an appointment with the Ultimate company at 10 am, where we will spend a great deal of the day learning every little intimate detail about our new “baby” We will learn to set up, pack up and stock up our camper and then we will spend two more nights in Moruya in a caravan park where we will set up and dismantle our camp site on our own to make sure we have no dramas, while we are in reach of the company in case we need help, I’m sure we won’t need help, but better safe than sorry! 

Thursday we will be on the road again, this time headed South and towards home, we will spend that night in Lakes entrance back on the Victorian side of the border where we are meeting up with my Bestie Deanne and her husband and one son. I get to spend a few days catching up on our girly chats and crochet andjust spending some quality time with my bestie.

Tuesday we have an appountment to register Ursula for use on Victorian roads, we will have a special permit to bring her home, but its only good for five days.

I love me a good road trip, espcially when its to places that we havent been. I think the Bloke has planned the route to go on new roads, so I’ll have plenty of time to take photos and blog about our trip! For me thats all part of the joy of Road trips! In the scheme of things this is a “short” trip but I will manage to pack as much in as I can!

Tomorrow I’ll share with you some interesting history I learnt about Moruya, because whenever I am going somewhere new I like to research! 

Big Lap WA 2015— Done, dusted and wrapped up..

So we have been home for 4 nights and 5 days, and it feels like forever.

I’ve finally gotten everything put back away, I’ve scrubbed the house, all that is left to do is my Art Studio (Starting that tomorrow) I want to de-clutter and reorganise. The thing about living in a tent with one bag of clothes for 50 plus days is you appreciate not needing “Stuff” so I come home and this all seems like clutter! A LOT of it is being phased out and moved on.

The Bloke suggested we start work on the “Back deck” which has been on our “to do list” for a few years and we keep putting it off, well, we got home Wednesday and Thursday he went down and brought the new timber the fernery is part one of phase one, we removed all the broken timbers and replaced them all bright and new and all new shade cloth. During the week I’ll begin the weeding and the clearing up of the fernery in tome for some new plants for summer.. definitely some mints because the mozzie and spiders hate it. There are 4 phases of the back deck, it’s a huge task and huger still because we have put it off too long.

Phase one was this weekend, replacing the fernery roof and shade cloth.

Phase two will be the replacement of the fernery walls and the soil and tan bark and general tidying. De spider webbing.

Phase three is the top and bottom garden beds, huge job, all need to dug over, pruned, replanted and refreshed, Phase four is the lower deck, there’s an old cubby house which needs dismantling and an old worn out BBQ that is ear marked to be replaced along with the mis-matched outdoor furnishings.

Phase four is the back deck itself, it all needs to be washed with the pressure cleaner and then re-oiled.

These things take time and the Bloke works long hours so I will endeavour to do as much as I can by myself… but ultimately he’s a control freak and so nothing I do will be good enough, he’ll re-do it all! Ideally the time frame would be between now and Christmas so we could enjoy Christmas day out there but don’t anyone hold me to that!!

Being back home, I’ve re-established my morning routine of daily bible study and reading at least one chapter or my current book, yesterday I finished “Holy Cow” by Sarah MacDonald

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Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure from Good Reads

Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure
After backpacking her way around India, 21-year-old Sarah Macdonald decided that she hated this land of chaos and contradiction with a passion, and when an airport beggar read her palm and insisted she would come back one day – and for love – she vowed never to return.
But twelve years later the prophecy comes true when her partner, ABC’s South Asia correspondent, is posted
After backpacking her way around India, 21-year-old Sarah Macdonald decided that she hated this land of chaos and contradiction with a passion, and when an airport beggar read her palm and insisted she would come back one day – and for love – she vowed never to return.
But twelve years later the prophecy comes true when her partner, ABC’s South Asia correspondent, is posted to New Delhi, the most polluted city on earth. Having given up a blossoming radio career in Sydney to follow her new boyfriend to India, it seems like the ultimate sacrifice and it almost kills Sarah – literally. After being cursed by a sadhu smeared in human ashes, she nearly dies from double pheumonia. It’s enough to send a rapidly balding atheist on a wild rollercoaster ride through India’s many religions in search of the meaning of life and death.
From the ‘brain enema’ of a meditation retreat in Dharamsala to the biggest Hindu festival on earth on the steps of the Ganges in Varanasi, and with the help of the Dalai Lama, a goddess of healing hugs and a couple of Bollywood stars – among many, many others – Sarah discovers a hell of a lot more

 


 

Sarah is An Aussie and so she writes like an Aussie so I laughed with her I cried with her and I wished I was travelling with her. I enjoyed this book and will give it 4* out of 5*

Now I have started reading Ruth Park’s “Harp in the South”

Being at home feels like we never left other than I had Star Son under my feet constantly.. so in a way I am looking forward to tomorrow when he returns to school and the Bloke returns to work, and I have that little bot of “me time” that’s when I will spent my time doing to art studio and starting to get back into my art which I am missing A LOT. Having said that, it’s going to be busy the rest of this month, we have stuff to do The Bloke had our soon to be son-in-law’s Bucks Night this coming weekend and then the following weekend is my Daughter’s “Hens Night” which I have to attend, that’s on Sweetpea’s 2nd Birthday so we will celebrate that on the Sunday, maybe just cake and coffee for the close family. Then the following weekend is the Wedding it’s all come along really quickly, and between now and then I am detoxing to lose a little bit of weight, and I need to get my hair restyle and nails and my eye brows done, it’s going to be full on! So the “holiday that was” seems like so far away!

Looking back at our trip and people asking (not that many people have! ok actually my sister-in-law only!!) “What was your favourite bit?” without a doubt I answer “the desert” because we spent a lot of time driving through it. I kind of wish we had stayed there in the desert a little longer. I liked Esperance, that was probably my favourite little town to camp in.

My favourite wild place was “Coffin Bay” The Bloke says “Whistlers Camp” which was at Cape Leewuin Naturaliste Park.

My least favourite place was “Lake Lascelles” it was pretty enough and maybe another time when I was less fed up with the whole trip I might have enjoyed it but right then I did not. Followed closely by the Grampians (only for the size of the camp sites)

Places NOT to miss: Ok so you might not know this about me ( I say with tongue in cheek!) But I love Rocks! So for me the places NOT to miss were… “Bunda Cliffs”, “Pildappa Rock”, and “Wave Rock”. Bunda Rock and Pildappa rock are free entry and free to camp there..(suggested donation for Pildappa, we gave $20 for the night for the three of us, because we used their bbq and their drop pit toilet) The Bloke said “Head of the Bight” which was where we saw our only whales. Hahndorf– I loved the German village.

Places I could NEVER go to again and not miss: The Star Son and the Bloke said “Fowlers Bay” they said unless they were Certain that there were whales there. I think I wouldn’t go to “Kingston on Murray” again although at the time I needed that break because I was really sick, so it helped. “Margaret River” was a disappointment and I wouldn’t bother with that again!

All time favourite thing: Star son replied straight away: food! which is funny since he ate chicken nuggets and chips most of the time.  The Bloke said: The Whales.. I agree they were special, when we did the last Big Lap, I wanted to see turtle and we did and I got really emotional about them.. less so with the whales but they are not something we are likely to see in the wild too often! I really enjoyed all our contact with the wild life, we saw wild camels and a fox, and snakes and lizards and kangaroos and possums and a bilby, things like that I think are special.

Anything to do differently: Me: stop pandering to spoilt children and giving up the things I wanted to do and see to keep the peace. I missed out going to see Rottnest Island, I missed the Anzac Memorial in Albany and the Whaling station, I missed out on seeing the Jarrah trees in the while, and I missed out on a lot of shopping, I kept thinking I’ll get it later” and then came home with no goodies for anyone. In the end I kept convincing myself that I’ll come back one day when I don’t have the kid” but in reality I doubt I would repeat this trip. I also felt that we were rushing even when at the end we had spare time before we had to meet our friends, but we got lost, we went off our plan and tried to fit into the weather pattern instead and then it all started going pear-shaped for me. We will be going to Western Australia again, but then it won’t be the southern portion again, I think I can say “we’ve been there and done that and got the sticker to prove it

I MUCH preferred the first Big Lap in the desert and Up to Darwin and across to QLD, to me Western Australia was a major let down.

 

 

 

 

Big Lap WA 2015- Days 45- 49 Bel Far Niente (Italian for Home)

We stopped at Warracknabeal for some breakfast, I needed coffee and then we just kept on going.

The other places we had thought of to go were also getting bad weather and basically the whole of Victoria was stuffed… so we set our sails for St. Leonards because we have been there for about 10 years and we know from experience that whenever the rest of Victoria is having damaging winds and storms they usually miss it.. so I was feeling like we were off to our safe place!

Sure enough as we came into Geelong the sun was shining and the temperature was slowly creeping up and I was feeling much better!

Bel Far Niente (Beautiful doing nothing) … I’ve written about her before like here and here too So you’ll know how special it is to me.. it’s my escape from the real world when it gets too hard I run to my “safe place” there are no hard and fast chores and things everything is laid back and easy.. he hardest thing to think about in St.Leonards is what to eat and when!

So walking in the door I could have cried in happiness.. and the shower.. I reckon it was the best shower ever!!

We said we’d “stay one or two nights” because we were meeting my bestie and her family on the Friday which would be day 49

After a good nights sleep and a lazy day we decided we’ve just staying here till we need to be in the Grampians to meet Deanne. We got caught up on our laundry, and our reading, we sorted and DE cluttered the trailer and on the Thursday my daughter Amber came for the day with my son Jarrah, a friend Reece and my Sweetpea.. oh boy have I ever missed those Grand babies!! We had a few hours of one on one and then waved them all Goodbye until we came home for good.

A real bed made such a difference after all the setting up and breaking down of camps all over Australia, I found myself feeling a bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz… “there’s no place like home” even if it was only my second home.

By the time it came to Friday morning, I was excited to go camping again to see my Bestie, I haven’t seen her for ages… even though the weather reports were NOT sounding good, The Bloke even went as far as to call Steve –Mr Bestie and warn him about the weather forecast and they said “Well we are still going”so we said “We will see you there.”… we left St. Leonards at 10.30am and it was a grey overcast day but it was warm.. we’ve been having some high humidity so it’s not so bad!

We got to Halls Gap in the Grampians at 2.30pm and by 4.00pm we were all set up.. just sitting around waiting for the rest of the gang to arrive.

We’ve been to A LOT of caravan parks this trip, and so we’ve had A LOT of different camping sites but this one was the absolute worst!!