A Travellerspoint blog

Home sweet home

We are home on our own little patch now and I have to say there is no bed like your own at home.

After leaving Victoria it was all systems go to get home. Other than an 2 nights at Ceduna and Boulder it was overnight motels to save unpacking, and to get an early start the next morning.

On Easter Friday one of my molars started playing up and today I had it pulled.

We were away 361 days and apart from the car dramas we enjoyed every minute of it. We have been to some wonderful places, met some nice people and some assholes, but thats life.

Catching up with family and friends in FNQ, Gladstone, Bundaburg, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, and Victoria were personal highlights.

We have been asked what is our favourite place. That is impossible to answer because we have so many places we loved, and they are like chalk and cheese.

Central Australia has a personality like no where else, the rain forests of NQ, the opal fields, The Snowy Mountains, most ofTassie, and more. Fortunately we have thousands of photos and vids (which I must sort) to relive these places when too old to do anything else.

It was a long trip which, 35,000KM all up, 20,000 with the van, and although the cost (including car repairs/replacement) was double the budget we have no regrets.

Our next trip will be The Kimberly and Darwin, after the next cyclone season.

I might add that the choice of Nissan Navara was a good choice. Had it not been for the incompetence of a 3rd party when installing a long range fuel tank we probably would still have the first one. However the new one is better. Being diesel and designed for hard work it is far more suitable for towing. The V6 petrol did the job but had to work much harder to do it. Because peak torque is reached at higher revs you have a choice of labouring the engine or revving it.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 03:24 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

The Eyre Highway

sunny 27 °C

After Ceduna it was all go. Apart from a side trip to "The Top of The Bight" it was just overnight in motels until Kalgoorlie.

The TOTB was great. From the observation platforms it was pure white sand hills to the east and rugged cliffs to the west. Definitely worth the time, and cost was a mere $5 each.

We drove thru to Border Village where the accommodation was less than average and overpriced, but we were not in civilisation by any means. The room had no chairs, no table, no toaster, but at least the water was hot.

Next night we stayed in the Belladonia Motel. What a stark contrast to Border Village. It would put some south west motels to shame.

The next day we drove through to Kalgoorlie. Getting fuel in Norseman was fun. After being ripped off by BP across the Eyre I decided to go to Caltex. Having put in 6 liters the pump stopped, the out of order tags came out, because EFTPOS went down and when that happens so do the pumps. Maybe it's 2013 out there.

So we lit out for the Shell Servo to discover is was closed for renovations. So, it was back to BP after all.

Norseman is still the sleepy little town it always has been with just a little modernisation.

One surprising observation, between Kimba and Kalgoorlie, almost 2000KM we did not see any live kangaroos, and only a handful of roadkill. This to me is amazing when remembering that all previous trips they were a real hazard. We did see one very healthy young dingo and many magnificent wedge-tail eagles.

We leave Kalgoorlie, my original home town, on Friday for an overnight in Merriden, then home on Saturday.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 03:02 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

After Blanchetown SA

rain 23 °C

We left Blanchetown on Wednesday and stayed that night at Port Germein.

As we were leaving Blanchetown the Murray Princess was on the return trip down river so was able to get some pics of the bow. A really impressive boat.

The drive to Port Germein was pleasant, driving through wine country and pastures. It wasn't until we got to Chrystal Brook that the country flattened and the roads widened, which made driving more enjoyable.

As we approached Port Germein it began raining and was still raining when we left. Port Germein is a small town and a popular holiday spot for fishers, other than that and the pub, not much to offer.

Thursday night we stayed at Kimba and being only foe one night, and having accumulated some "baggage" around the country, it was easier to stay in the motel. A very friendly town.

Friday we drove to Ceduna for a rest before hitting the Nullarbor on Sunday. Ceduna was covered early in the trip so nothing new to add except it started raining last night and still some occasional showers today. Fortunately it is not cold.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 18:39 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Wentworth NSW and Blanchetown SA

overcast 23 °C

At Wentworth we looked at the "Junction of of two rivers" and the Wentworth Gaol. Seeing a "Lock" was a first for us too.

The junction was interesting because of the two currents and different water colour.

The gaol was interesting in that some of the original restraints are still there.

Blanchetown is just a small town which from what I can gather is there to service/maintain/operate the lock.

Late this afternoon there was much excitement in the park because a magnificent old riverboat Princess Murray) was approaching the Blanchetown Lock from down river. This kept everyone entertained for about 40 minutes while it went through the process. It was very interesting.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 03:31 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Swan Hill Victoria

all seasons in one day 24 °C

After another few days in Gisborne, with some good friends, we hit the road again and headed to Swan Hill.
The drive up through Heathcote and Bendigo, (hate towing a van through Bendigo), and when we hit the open road the winds began. The winds combined with the draught from B-Doubles played havoc with my towing mirror and eventually ripped it clean off.
Last night we had some showers and today more winds and a doozy of a dust storm.
After having a fruitless search for craft shops (for her) we headed to Lake Broga to visit the Catalina Museum. Lake Broga was the site of the Catalina repair and maintenance depot during WW2, servicing RAAF, Qantas, and USAF flying boats. It's a great facility with not only a restored Catalina and related items, but a restored underground communications bunker.
When we left there, the dust storm was in full swing. It reminded me of the Kalgoorlie Goldfields.
We intended visiting the Pioneer Village and maybe a river cruise but the cost was exorbitant. Having visited other similar facilities we decided it silly to spend close to $100 in the off chance we see something not seen before.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 00:49 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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