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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!

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- Day 33 Hot Hot Hot!!

When I last left you we were installed in a Motel room in the middle of the desert in a place called “Eucla” which is about 12 kilometres from the border of WA and Sth Australia.

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View from my window.. desert! LOVE it!!

We were running on “eastern standard time” why they do that is beyond me because the previous day we had gone from WA time 1.00pm to EST (Eastern Standard time) back to 11.15am go figure.. but its only a short space of kilometres because then we cross the border to Sth Australian time and they have Day Light Savings which WA do NOT.. silly I think but hey, I don’t make the rules I try to follow them.

So today I was awake super early 5,00am broad daylight and there were people talking and then a huge motorcycle started up and that my friends was the end of my sleep!!
Once I’m awake I might as well be up and so we were “on the road again” by 8.00am!

Twelve Kilometres ( 7.4 miles for my Overseas friends)  later we crossed the border from Western Australia into South Australia and surprise the time changed too….  10 am EST turned into 11.45am South Australian time.. it’ll change again when we get to the Victoria border.. but this way at least I am a bit closer in time frame to my Grand babies in case I want to “Face time” them. It was already hot 29.5C ( 85.1 F) and the wind was stupid, I was so glad we were not in tents right then. The Bloke said the car was blowing all over the road. The other bad thing about the wind is the fuel consumption gets all mixed up, previously we have been getting as low as 7 litres per one hundred kilometres. This day however we were up to 10 litres per 100 kilometres.. it was a bad fuel day and we were crossing the Nullabor Plain, remember Null= Nothing/No and  Arbor = Trees, so it’s  called the “Treeless Plains” and part of it were just that, although it was so hot it was also cloudy and grey so it made for nice traveling, well, the Bloke doesn’t agree. Plus there is a section of road which is 90 miles long (144 kilometres) of dead straight, nothing to look at road, just goes on and on and on… I was glad to do that section in the grey cloudy day despite the howling winds.

Eucla, Streaky bay and Coffin Bay 007

love the road signs!

I can honestly tell you that this day is the worst of all the travelling days.. I love the desert but I’m glad to be off it!

Eucla, Streaky bay and Coffin Bay 008

Null= Nothing/No and Arbor= Trees so.. Treeless Plains.. yes indeed!

Eucla, Streaky bay and Coffin Bay 009

90 miles Straight road!

By 2.15pm we had arrived at Ceduna, interesting side fact, the border crossing from WA to Sth Australia was way back at 10 am so we expected to be pulled over and have the car thoroughly searched as had happened on the way over, so I had ditched most of the fruit and veg but I had I think three apples left, I was trying to eat them before I had to surrender them, BUT on the way back we didn’t have to surrender “our illegal produce” until we were entering Ceduna, I handed over three apples and half a cucumber.. the man was so hot and tired and lazy he didn’t even ask to look into the fridge or the car he just waved us on… silly man! It was 38 C at that time and we had driven 494 kilometres in the howling wind, so we were all glad to arrive in Streaky Bay and know that they had a site available for us. I’d hate to know what would have happened if they didn’t have anything.

Eucla, Streaky bay and Coffin Bay 066There were LOTS of pelicans!

It’s a pretty little caravan park on the edge of a very shallow bay and we had to walk out a long way to find some water to paddle in once we were set up and ready to swim, no swimming to be had it was as shallow as my ankle and as warm as a baby bath.

We again caught up with Tim and his family, it’s fun to meet up with people we know and Tim and Will have swapped numbers so we can keep in contact when we get back home. I’m scared that camping will lose it’s gloss when Tim and his family move on and we eventually don’t meet up anymore.

Amazing to be back into Daylight savings territory it’s still light later and we enjoyed a lovely sunset full of pinks and mauve and pretty colours, just getting dark at 10 pm!

Beach, mountain, forest, or somewhere else entirely?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Places.”

For me this is a no brainer… it’s the Desert!

I don’t know where my infatuation with the desert comes from but when we decided on our trip to do “The Big Lap” (what most Aussies fondly call their driving trip around Australia) the first thing to go on the “Must See” list for me was “the Desert and Uluru” I didn’t realize the desert started much closer to home than I knew, I mean I’d never been to Uluru or the Desert before so how would I know. No amount of looking on Google images can actually prepare you for the desert… you’ll either love it or hate it.. for me in was instant love.

True there’s nothing as far as the eye can see.. and sometimes even traffic was far and few between. But to be able to stand there and look in a perfect 360 degree turn and not see anything but red sand and stunted dead looking shrubs, and hear nothing its silent. The wind howled at one stop, a lonely wailing moan..but even that made my heart leap. I wanted to just stop right there and camp in the middle of no where.

When we did eventually camp in the Desert town of Coober Pedy, a huge wind storm blew up and we were coated head to foot in red dirt, the tent still has stains of red dirt, even that did not dispel my love of the desert, we took photos of us with sticking up red crusted hair and laughed a lot!

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Coober Pedy opal in the raw!

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Red Dirt as we entered the Northern Territory!

One day we did nothing but count dead cows, we got sick of counting them after about 36, so went back to looking for Emu.

I love the beach, it soothes my soul in a whole different way, I love the pattering of the waves lapping the beach.

I love the mountains and forests too, I mean whats not to love, blue skies and all that glorious green, I still think that God was an Artist because if We mere mortals tried to put those colours together they’d make mud.. but when HE did it.. he made perfection, I love the breeze in the trees and the way the old tired pine tree limbs creak and the occasional snap as a pine cone dislodges itself.. so really I love all these “natural” places but if I could choose only one.. it would definitely be the Desert.. maybe it’s to do with my introvert nature.