We were both up early to another very cold morning which changed into a clear, sunny day.
The couple next to us in the caravan park woke us up several times during the night going in and out of their motorhome. In the morning we got talking to them and it turned out that they had just picked up their new motorhome and really did not know how to operate it. They had spent a lot of time overnight trying to work out how to get the gas heater working.
We headed off to Jerilderie for morning tea and parked just through town and walked back to the bakery. We enjoyed coffee near another group of grey nomads having coffee in the sun. This is a very RV friendly town and has good RV facilities.
Leaving Finley Caravan Park
Coffee Stop at Jerilderi
After coffee we continued down the highway and stopped at Apex Park in Coleambally for lunch. This is a good place to stop and even has a dump point. The park features a huge crane/dredge machine and some children’s play equipment.
Just outside Coleambally a majestic Brolga flew out of the mulga and straight into the corner of the Ute’s Roo Bar. We didn’t feel anything and thought/hoped that it may have just been stunned. I later had a good look and realised that we had Brolga splattered over the front right corner of the Ute. No damage to us but poor Brolga.
Bull Bar 1: Brolga 0
We headed on through Griffith and on up the Kidman Way but lots of road works slowed down traffic considerably.
We stopped for a cuppa in Goolgowi before arriving at Hillston Caravan Park for the night. There is a nice friendly Caravan Park – basic although somewhat better than Finley. The park was full of road workers in vans and cabins which we guess is good for the Caravan Park. Ann roasted up all of our remaining vegetables with a chicken fillet and some herbs in an oven bag. She figured it was much better to cook it all up rather than throw it out at the fruit fly border. There’s plenty left for a meal tomorrow.
Set Up for the Night at Hillston
A freezing morning turned into a cold but sunny day.
Set to Go at Wangaratta
We left Painters Island earlyish and thoroughly enjoyed being back on the road and on the move after too many days in cold and wet Wangaratta.
A navigation error meant that we effectively by-passed Yarrawonga but we’ve agreed that we must go back at some stage to have a proper look.
We parked in a back street at Cobram near the sports oval for a decent lunch break and a bit of a walk around before heading off through Tocumwal to our destination at the Finley Caravan Park.
This is a reasonably basic Caravan Park but it does have drive through sites beside the lake. There is interesting artwork all over the Amenities Block and while it is a bit dated, it is very clean and inviting – there is even an undercover fire pit for cold weather happy hours.
After a short walk into town where Ann discovered two quilting shops we enjoyed a fabulous Sunset over the lake and happy hour with the ducks and swans.
Sunset at Finley Caravan Park
It was freezing again early this morning but it turned into a nice and sunny but cold day later. We decided to stay an extra day at Wangaratta so that I could finalise my photos for the website and also so that we could get some further reassurance that the issues over Mum’s retirement unit have been resolved.
So I was up early to finalise the photos then it was off to Beechworth late morning for lunch at the well known Beechworth Bakery. We then had a bit of a walk around town before heading back to the van. The online tracking of the second set of documents indicates that they have been received by Lend Lease but when I rang my contact there she hadn’t yet got them and assumed that they were somewhere in the internal mail system. So far so good – hopefully.
My focus then changed from photos and legal documents to packing up the van in preparation for our departure tomorrow.
The weather changed again and it was freezing this morning – somewhere around minus 2 degrees. It warmed up and became a nice sunny day after 10 am. Ann was able to hang towels outside on clothes horse to dry for a change and it was great to see everything drying out a bit.
I spent most of the morning working on my photos from the Winton Historics as I had to sort through the 1,500 or so photos I had taken and prepare them to upload a selection to my Classic Car Photography website and Facebook page.
Sample Photos from Historic Winton 2012
We had poached eggs for lunch and then went in to town for a walk and a little bit of shopping. The nicer weather means that it is very pretty in the caravan park today.
After lunch I printed off replacement copies of the legal documents for Mum’s unit; had them certified by a local JP and sent them to Lend Lease using Premium Express Post – a high quality service which offers on-line tracking that we didn’t know existed. We have high hopes that this situation will be resolved very shortly.
Then it was back to working on the photos for the rest of the afternoon and much of the evening as I really need to get the photos finished and uploaded before we leave Wangaratta. As much as anything else we can’t be sure of good internet coverage once we leave here.
This is all very boring for Ann – just as well she has a good book to read.
The weather was better today and I was up early and packed my cameras and lunch before heading off to the Winton Historics about 30 kilometres away. I love the Winton track and the Winton Historics is one of the highlights on my annual motorsport photography calendar. I had a long but very enjoyable day watching the classic cars and bikes in action, taking photos, and catching up with friends and other classic car enthusiasts.
Sample Photo from Historic Winton 2012
Ann had a slow day in Wangaratta. She walked into town for paper and bread, read the paper and enjoyed the sunshine – at last!!
We were both up early and went for a nice long walk around town and back to Café Vu for fruit toast and coffee. Very nice.
I rang Scoresby Post Office to find out more about the lost certified mail documents and then had to ring the bank to put an alert on Mum’s bank accounts as the missing documents contain a signed agreement to sell Mum’s unit to Lend Lease and details of bank accounts, etc. Definitely not the sort of documents you want to go missing in the post. It may be necessary to drive back to Melbourne on Tuesday to organise hand delivery of replacement documents so that the sale can go ahead.
We had a nice hot curry lunch in the van then another long walk around town. It was still quite cold and damp so we settled in early. I cooked gourmet burgers outside on the BBQ under the awning for tea.
We had 12 hours sleep overnight. It was still raining and very dreary. After a late breakfast we drove into town and went for a long walk around town. Lunch at Appin Street Bakery – nice hot Lamb and Rosemary pies, neenish tarts and coffee – YUM! As we hadn’t come fully prepared for this extreme weather I bought 2 warm tops at Rivers. We then did a quick grocery shop before returning to the van. Still very cold and wet weather.
Sites of Wangaratta
I have been trying to finalise the sale of my Mum’s retirement unit and rang Lend Lease to check on progress. It became apparent that the vital certified mail documents had been lost by Australia Post. I reported the loss to Australia Post. This is a stress that we really don’t need.
Tea was gourmet sausages, cooked outside on the BBQ in the rain – they were very nice and lean.
Trailblazer at Painters Island at Wangaratta
It was another very cold wet night but we’re still warm and cosy in the van.
We left home at about 10 am and travelled via the M1 and Hume Highway and arrived at the Kalkalo Service Station rest area at about 11 am, which was pretty good going. We had coffee and slice in the van then headed on to Grass Tree Rest Area (Vic 249) for lunch and that is when it started raining.
The drought broke in the Wangaratta area today!
Then a quick stop at the rest area just south of Benalla. Just as we were leaving a mini bus full of very drunk men pulled up and they were in a huge hurry to make use of the facilities – we assume that they were rugby fans who had travelled down for the interstate game in Melbourne the night before and were on their way back home with a bus full of beer.
We then headed straight for the Painters Island Caravan Park in Wangaratta. We’ve been here before and it’s a pretty good Park. It was very heavy rain but we had our choice of sites and we’re very warm and cosy in the van.
Trailblazer Set-up at Painters Island at Wangaratta
Although Ann and I have owned our Trailblazer fifth-wheeler caravan for several years, our 2013 Big Adventure around Australia was not only our biggest adventure so far, but it was the first time that we had attempted to record our adventures in a daily blog format.
Like most travellers, we do, however, take photos on all our adventures and keep rough diary notes of places we’ve been to, and so on. Ann recently found a missing diary of our 2012 adventure to Winton in northern Queensland and we have sorted out photos we took on that trip.
As a result we have decided to retrospectively add a summary of that 2012 Winton Adventure to our Shorty’s RV Adventure blog so that we can refer to it as we revisit some of the same territory in future adventures.
We hope you enjoy reading about our 2012 Winton Adventure.
Shorty (May 2014)