Posted by: glenswatman | April 11, 2007

200301 Australia-NSW Vic SA

WEDNESDAY 1 JANUARY 2003  I awake early and after cleaning the toilet block I
hop into the pool and do a good half hours exercise.  No prizes for guessing
what my new years resolution is!  Next I help Glennis washing the pots from last
night by which time Laurie is frying eggs and making sandwiches for everyone. 
Suddenly the heavens open up. After lunch we say our Good-byes and set off
around 2.00pm.  Straight away Billy starts cutting out at junctions.  It’s
pelting down with rain and we are not keen to stop and investigate. At
Coonabarabran we call into the visitor centre and find out the nearest "Ultra
tune" garage is in Dubbo.  Continue with our original plan and drive out to the
Warrumbungle National Park.  It’s stopped raining and we enjoy the scenic drive
down country lanes.  Spot dozens of wallabies who have come down to the road
side to drink.  It’s $6 (£2.30) per car per day plus $5 (£1.80) per person for
camping in the park but today is a bank holiday and the visitor centre and pay
station are closed. Park up on Pinchin car park for the night.
WARRUMBUNGLE NATIONAL PARK
THURSDAY 2 JANUARY  Wake at 6.15am and set out walking by 7.15am.  It’s a lovely
morning with clear blue skies but still cool enough for us to tackle the 14.5km
Grand Tops circular walk.  The first part is flat and easy but it starts to get
steeper and ends up with us climbing up rock faces.  Reach Grand Tops after two
hours to be rewarded with fine views over the ancient volcanic area with unusual
rock formations including the Bread Knife.  After an hours rest and a picnic we
continue and opt for the longer walk which seems like a bad move when instead of
taking us down hill we begin to climb again.  Stop at a few viewing spots before
beginning our descent.  Steve’s past problem with his knees becomes apparent. 
With me puffing up the hills wheezing with asthma and Steve limping down we
begin wonder if we are getting old!  Spot lots of the big eastern grey kangaroos
and also some painted dragon lizards.  I hear a sudden noise then notice black
things flapping at the far side of a tree.  Steve peers round cautiously and
finds an enormous 4 foot lace monitor climbing the tree to get away from us. 
Steve jumps back quickly and we make a wide detour before going back to take a
photo using the zoom lens.  Because it’s colouring blends in so well with the
tree bark we begin to wonder just how many more are around and proceed
cautiously but just see one more on the ground.  Make it back just after 1.00pm
then head off to Dubbo.  Soon find Ultra Tune who spend an hour tracing the
problem to a blown fuse which was making the engine cut out.  A different
problem to what we had before so we are pleasantly surprised to find that it
still comes under the guarantee and there is no charge.  Leave Dubbo on the
Newell highway but find all the rest areas very shallow.  In the tiny village of
Alectown we see a sign to the swimming pool  but the track only leads to the
rubbish tip.  Turning back we suddenly spot the pool down a side street.  The 3
lads in it tell us to go to a nearby house to pay.  We learn that 20 years ago a
local school won a colouring in competition and the prize was to have a pool
built.  Land was donated and since then the (100) locals have a key to get in
free and visitors pay $2 (75p) each.  After a cooling swim and shower we set up
camp behind the pool.  The man we paid comes to see us and brings a key so we
can use the toilets and showers overnight. He’s a local farmer "cockie" of wheat
and sheep but because of the drought there has been no wheat to feed the sheep
and they are having to be sold at auction for as little as 25c (10p) each. 
Consequently there is also no work for him as a sheep sheerer. 
ALECTOWN
FRIDAY 3 JANUARY  Just outside Parkes is the biggest radio telescope dish in
Australia made famous in the film "The Dish".  It’s free to go to the visitor
centre where you can look at lots of informative displays. In Parkes itself we
learn that next weekend is an Elvis revival festival.  Pick up a programme of
events and drive to the Graceland hotel where we book for Friday nights meal and
entertainment.  Next weekend is also the Jazz festival in the next town of
Forbes just 33km south so we head there to check that out.  There are Jazz
events on Thursday and Friday which we can see before heading back to Parkes. 
Forbes is on the Lachlan River which is very twisted at this point providing
lots of riverside free camping places.  Find a lovely spot on the western edge
of town where they have created Lake Forbes for water ski-ing. Enjoy watching
the people behind the jet boats on ski’s, boards and often bare foot.  Drive
around town at night in search of houses with Christmas decorations but to no
avail.  Having spotted lots of campervans in the Lions Park near town we join
them.  Just putting the bed together when I drop the table top on my foot.  It
immediately swells up and I wonder if I’ve punctured a vein. Steve on the other
hand thinks I may have broken something.  Having past the hospital on our
previous drive we know just where to go.  I’m seen straight away and sat down
with an ice pack. My pulse, blood pressure and temperature are all taken by
machine and OK.  A teenager comes in clutching his arm.  He’s been bitten on his
shoulder by what may be a red back spider so all attention is directed to him. 
Although his arm is going numb he doesn’t break out into a sweat and the site of
the bite is not tender so the doctor doubts it was a deadly red back but the
system in Australia is to keep bite victims in overnight for observation.  The
South African doctor then examines me and although he doubts anything is broken
he fills in an X-ray form and gives me anti inflammatory and pain killer
tablets. No charge as we have reciprocal arrangements with Australia.  By now my
foot is very swollen and bruised and Steve has to bring the van to the hospital
door for us to leave.  Just after 11.00pm we are settled down at the Lions Park
when a gang of people arrive and proceed to make lots of noise for the time that
they spend in the park.
FORBES – LIONS PARK
SATURDAY 4 JANUARY  We’re both amazed to find that we don’t wake up until
11.00am.  Guess the tablets must have knocked me out.  Although still swollen
and bruised I can now put weight on my foot which is a good sign.  Forbes is a
small town and doesn’t have their own X-ray unit.  They will telephone me the
next time they had to call one in as mine was not an urgent case.  Pop into
Woolworth’s then drive out to Red Bend a recommended camping spot.  It’s a
pleasant spot but lacks the shade that we need.  Return to Lake Forbes but a
little further out of town and on the south bank where we find one of the very
few spots with grass.  There’s a narrow sandy patch in front of us making access
to the lake easy.  Between the jet boats speeding past we manage a number of
cooling dips.  Once the boats have gone the pelicans return to the lake which
makes a beautiful scene with the setting sun turning the sky pink.
FORBES – LAKE FORBES, S BANK
SUNDAY 5 JANUARY  A lovely peaceful night.  By the time we have sat out and had
breakfast the lake is busy with boats.  One breaks down near us and Steve offers
our tool kit for them to make repairs.  They return a bit later and ask if we
would like to ski.  I’m amazed to find that on the 3rd attempt I get up and do a
circuit of the lake.  Attempting the same on 1 ski proves just too difficult but
I’m pleased with what I’ve done especially considering my foot is still not
right.  Steve is content with sitting on the boat as look out.  We get chatting
and find out they are a group of  3 couples with their children and 2 boats.
Apart from Geoffs wife who is Canadian they all come from Forbes but only one
couple still live here, the others are farmers who live over 100km from town. 
Graham and Tracy ask if we would like to join them on their farm tomorrow to
watch the sheep shearing but having seen it before we decline their kind offer.
Two of the women have been to England and both reckon Scotland was the best
part.  Everyone has heard of Shropshire because in Australia they have a coffee
advert on television with a hunky black guy.  When the girl asks which Caribbean
island he comes from he say he doesn’t he’s from Shropshire – work that one out!
FORBES – LAKE FORBES S BANK 2
MONDAY 6 JANUARY  Very windy morning and no sign of any boats on the lake. 
Drive into town late afternoon making use of the showers and toilets at the rest
area en route.  The RSL do a steak night on Mondays and the queues testify to
it’s popularity.  For just $4.40 (£1.60) you get rump or T-bone steak cooked to
your liking with a choice of sauces and chips accompanied by either vegetables
or a dish which you fill from the salad bar.  Excellent value and very tasty
too.  It’s so busy that another couple join us at our table.  John & May Wilson
are ex poms who are just moving from Adelaide up to The Town of 1770 to open
"The Edge", a new holiday resort.  Drive back out to the lake for a peaceful
night.
FORBES – LAKE FORBES S BANK 3
TUESDAY 7 JANUARY  We’ve seen a man walking his dogs out here most days and he
comes over to introduce himself as Robert with dogs Junior & Rat.  The dogs are
more than happy to have found 2 more people to throw sticks for them whilst
Robert chats about his work here at the abattoirs! 
FORBES – LAKE FORBES S BANK 4
WEDNESDAY 8 JANUARY  Sit out until lunch time when the blue sky is suddenly
replaced by a fawn one.  Soon the sun is obliterated and the wind swirls a dust
storm towards us.  Quickly put things away and shut ourselves up in Billy until
it passes through a couple of hours later.  Even with everything closed up lots
of dust gets in and we’re very pleased to get back into the open to breathe
fresh air and cool off in the lake. 
FORBES – LAKE FORBES S BANK 5
THURSDAY 9 JANUARY  The jazz festival starts in Forbes today so we spend a
couple of hours at lunch time meandering between pubs listening to "trial
blows".  At the Vandenberg we hear "Bailey’s Strays" who arrived as a duo this
morning but were soon joined by a pianist.  Before we leave another chap arrives
and offers his services as a drummer making them into a quartet.  In the Albion
"Roust Abouts" are playing and the local photographer takes our picture as well
as the band for the local paper.  Last stop the Post Office pub to hear Tweety
Bird and the Hep Cats.  With a few hours to kill we head out to Gum Swamp where
the bird hide provides viewing of many unusual Australian birds.  Return to the
Lions Park to snooze.  6.00pm evening concert in Victoria Park so we set up with
our chairs and enjoy our own drinks and food whilst listening to a number of
bands until after dark. 
FORBES – RED BEND
FRIDAY 10 JANUARY  9.30am start at the local winery where bands are playing in
the cellar.  Steve breakfasts on wine, cheese and biscuits that makes me the
driver for our journey back to Parkes for the Elvis Revival weekend.  Visit
Harvey World Travel to change our return flight to one arriving in Manchester on
1 June giving us much longer to explore Asia.  We plan to stay in the British
Isles until we return to Australia in October so don’t want to arrive back
before it warms up!  In the evening we go to the dinner dance at Gracelands $25
(£9).  We’re seated at a table for 8 and joined by Bill & Debbie from Bellingen,
Jim & Jan from Woronora then Keith and Robbie from Sydney.  There’s a Speedway
theme to the night and our seating cards are racing cars with our names on.  The
menu is Love me Tender Steak or Moody Blues Chicken followed by Tuiti Fruiti
Salad or Don’t be Cruel Torte!  The group are good and play Elvis followed by
rock n roll music so we have plenty of opportunity to get up and dance.  The
evening is broken up with an Elvis look and move alike then a rock n roll dance
competition.  The band finishes at midnight by which time most people have left
but a few of us stay on to listen to the Elvis music and chat.  Return to the
van on Gracelands car park at 1.30 having had a brilliant time.
(Paid for new Rego by phone $587 (£210) year including 3rd party insurance). 
PARKES – GRACELAND
SATURDAY 11 JANUARY   Down to the park for the morning markets with Steve going
straight back to sleep.  It’s been a long while since he’s had such a heavy
drinking session and is very much out of practice!  Walk back to town for the
11.00am street parade that is mainly fancy dress and old cars.  For the rest of
the afternoon we hang around the park listening to the band and watching various
competitions.  Before 6.00pm we drive round to the showground where you can
camp.  The gates are closed from 6.00pm until 11.00pm because they are holding
trotting races this evening.  After making use of the showers and toilets we
head to the races and find that we are already in the race area and avoid paying
the $7 (£2.50) admission, good job as we do very badly in the betting and just
get one 2nd place.  Could have had a first as well except that when I chose
horse number 5 Steve placed the money on Major which he thought was it’s name. 
It wasn’t so when number 5 won but we didn’t!
PARKES – SHOWGROUND $5 (£1.80) un powered $10 (£3.60) with power
SUNDAY 12 JANUARY   At the Uniting Church they hold a special Elvis tribute
gospel service.  It’s brilliant, mainly religious Elvis songs with the
congregation being encouraged to join in and sing and clap. Steve is especially
keen when they play "You’ll never walk alone".   Tea, coffee and biscuits
follow.  11.00am at the park the famous Aussie 60’s pop star "Normie Rowe"
unveils a commemorative plaque on the wall beside the "Graceland" gates.  Then
it’s up to Graceland Hotel for an afternoon of talent competition.  By the time
we leave at 3.00pm  we are quite exhausted after our full on weekend.  100km
west we reach Condoblin and 3km out of town the lovely Gum Bend Lake.  It’s very
busy with lots of people on the lake in boats and the picnic areas crowded.  Get
invited to share one of the BBQ areas with a local family who are soon joined by
3 other couples.  Chris is headmaster at the local school and most of their
friends are teachers, one couple having just returned from a 1 year teaching
exchange in Canada. By dusk everyone has gone and we have the place to
ourselves.
CONDOBLIN – GUM BEND LAKE
MONDAY 13 JANUARY  Make the most of the facilities provided and boil the kettle
on the BBQ.  Steve uses the toilets and hot showers whilst I sit plugged into
the picnic area electricity and type this.  Don’t think it will be long before
we both go in for a swim.  A chap comes over and introduces himself as Peter. 
He ends up taking Steve for a ride out to a friends farm for us to fill our
containers up with rain water for drinking.  For the last few months we have
only been able to get nasty tasting bore water that needs masking with squash. 
Late afternoon Chris returns with the kids.  An aboriginal family arrive and
look like setting up camp with tents.  They are very noisy and swear a lot (even
though they have children) so we move to a quieter spot.
CONDOBLIN – GUM BEND LAKE 2
TUESDAY 14 JANUARY  About 100km west we reach Lake Cargelligo which is a much
bigger lake with the town on the shores.  Just on the south edge of town we find
lovely free camping at Frog Hollow.
LAKE CARGELLIGO – FROG HOLLOW
WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY  Attempting to leave town we find a problem with Billy’s
clutch which doesn’t want to disengage.  The garage in Cargelligo has no parts
and suggests we make our way to the city of Griffith.  With little traffic on
the back roads and only 3 junctions to negotiate this isn’t too much problem. 
Pass into the fruit fly exclusion zone stopping to eat our banana and tomatoes
that are banned.  Approaching Griffith we see the benefits of the Murrumbidgee
Irrigation Scheme as we are surrounded by fruit orchards fed by the man made
canals.  It’s an attractive and well laid out city and we soon find the
recommended Kemps Garage on Canal Street.  They can do the job and estimate $80
(£29) but we will have to return at 2.30pm when they have got the parts.  The
library has free Internet for browsing or $3.30 (£1.20) for 1/2 hour Hotmail
that we use.  Return to the garage where they find that the slave cylinder is
the problem and replace it for us.  Moving the van to check that the clutch is
OK it suddenly cuts out and won’t start again.  Half an hour later that problem
has been tracked down to a cracked fuel filter that is also replaced.  Lucky we
were still at the garage when it happened.  Surprisingly after well over an
hours work by two men plus parts the bill is only $60 (£22) for cash.  Head up
to the scenic lookout over town with a clamber down to explore the Hermits Cave. 
Heading out of town we call in at the McWilliams winery for Steve to have his
pre dinner drink.  Darlington Point is a small town on the Murrumbidgee River
and either side of it along the banks of the river is Willbriggie State Forest
with lots of free camping.  We head off west along the north shore on a track
through the eucalyptus forest and soon find a camping spot with a lovely sandy
beach.  We’re the only visitors and soon strip off.  The river is very low after
the drought but plenty deep enough for a cooling bathe and flowing surprisingly
quickly.  As a bonus we have TV and telephone reception here so may stay awhile.
DARLINGTON POINT-WILLBRIGGIE STATE FOREST, HORIES BEACH
THURSDAY 16 JANUARY  The only other visitors are a couple and their dog at lunch
time.  They don’t stay long but do bring to our notice a deep pool in the middle
of the river at the far end of the beach. 
DARLINGTON POINT – WILLBRIGGIE STATE FOREST, HORIES BEACH 2
FRIDAY 17 JANUARY  Very hot day, so hot that the fridge won’t keep anything
cold.  Just before lunch a battered old car pulls up towing an ancient caravan. 
Three blokes hop out all swigging beer.  They set up camp and look to be going
to fish – after they have drunk all the beer and thrown the bottles in the bush! 
We pack up and move 2 beaches further along to Dolans Bend.  The water is even
nicer here and deeper although the current is so strong that I can’t keep pace
swimming upstream.  It’s the hottest day yet and we’re dry even before we get
out of the water!  Spend most of the night tossing and turning and going for
cooling dips.
DARLINGTON POINT – WILLBRIGGIE STATE FOREST, DOLANS BEND
SATURDAY 18 JANUARY  Excessive temperatures are being reported on TV and don’t
we know it.  A dust storm starts gathering and as we are uncomfortably hot
already and don’t want to be trapped in the van again we head off towards Hay. 
It’s a hot wind so we get no respite even driving with the windows down.  Half
way to Hay we make a 3km detour to the town of Carrathool pop 99.  They
advertise the coldest beers in the west and Steve agrees although after drinking
our warm beer anything would seem cold.  The owner is chatty and we learn that
today isn’t hot compared to the 58C they once recorded outside.  The dust storm
we experienced pales compared to the photo on the wall showing a really thick
storm approaching which was followed by rain falling as mud.  The population is
now only 60+ but they don’t let on as they would lose their policeman.  The town
used to be 3km further south on the banks of the river with a population of 2000
to serve all the steam boats.  After the railway was built the river traffic
dried up and the town moved to be by the train station but they lost most of
their business.  They hold a car racing meeting in February which over 4000
people attend.  Quite interesting for a hick little town and one of the things
we love about outback Australia.   Debate whether to stay the night but there is
nothing else here so we press on hoping to make Hay whilst the sun shines.  We
do and one of the first things we see is the local 50m Olympic sized outdoor
swimming pool advertising free admission.  We manage a half hour swim before
they close at 7.00pm.  Drive around and find lots of places to free camp near
the river but no other campers – conclude that everyone else has more sense than
to be here in the summer.  Settle for a spot at Busy Bend Reserve where Steve
can still take his midnight swim, although it is much cooler now with a bit of
breeze.
HAY – BUSHY BEND RESERVE
SUNDAY 19 JANUARY  Drop the washing in at the launderette $4 (£1.45) machines
then shop for groceries and have breakfast (with cold milk) whilst waiting the
20 minutes for it to finish.  Find a shady spot in Hay Park and use the BBQ’s to
cook lunch.  The swimming pool opens at 12.00 and we are there shortly after and
stay until it closes at 7.00pm by which time I’ve swum well over 1,000 metres
HAY – BUSHY BEND RESERVE 2.    
MONDAY 20 JANUARY  Head west to Balranald and find a nice camping and swimming
spot at The Bend.  When the library opens at 2.00pm we’re there to make very
full use of the free Internet.  We are there so long that we get tea, coffee and
garibaldi biscuits as well.  Slow walk through the town where we buy 2 litres of
ice cream to have for tea washed down with a bottle of pop!  Watch the Aussie
Rules football team train down at The Bend before going for our own cooling dip
as it is very hot.  A dust storm passes through and later with all our doors and
windows open we are still boiling hot.  Steve manages to sleep except for the
number of times when I’m in and out of the fridge or wanting him to come down
with me for a swim!  It finally cools down a little at 6am
BALRANALD – THE BEND
TUESDAY 21 JANUARY  In hope of getting cooler temperatures we head west.  Lake
Benanee is just lovely.  It’s quite large so the water is cool and the wind
blows it in waves onto the sandy beaches.  The problem is that there is no shade
for the van so after a quick dip we drive off.  Lunch stop in a forest picnic
reserve where there is plenty of shade but the water is horrible – can’t win. 
Cross the Murray River to arrive in Mildura VICTORIA.  It’s a lovely town with
an impressive visitor centre with lots of displays and a film.  Park in the main
street to stroll the pedestrian area.  It’s a bit cooler here but we still buy a
desk top fan for $11.95 (£4.40). There are numerous restaurants here and Taco
Bill’s advertise half price main meals on Tuesdays so that’s where we go and
have a really good Mexican meal.  Just hope the enchillada’s are not so strong
as the last lot Steve had – he sweated garlic for days!  Drive just out of town
to King Billabong Wildlife Reserve where we camp up beside the river and watch
the houseboats cruising past.  A much cooler evening making it better for
sleeping.
MILDURA – KING BILLABONG WILDLIFE RESERVE
WEDNESDAY 22 JANUARY  Breakfast whilst watching the houseboats return to
Mildura.  Perhaps they have to pay mooring fees in town and came out here to
free camp last night like we did?  Some of the houseboats are obviously people
homes as they have solar panels and cars on board. Woodsies Gem shop is
interesting especially the 11.00am cutting and grinding display.  We learn about
the casting process of jewellery manufacture then the cutting, grinding and
polishing of gemstones.  Head back into town and down to the Murray River to
Lock 11 and weir where we see the PS Melbourne paddle steamer go through the
lock.  Further out is the Apex park with a lovely sandy beach.  The water is
clearer than the Murrumbidgee River but has a strange smell, luckily showers are
provided.  Whilst sitting out a couple of paddle steamers cruise past.  Evening
meal at the Gateway Tavern where it’s steak and seafood nights at $10 (£3.50)
head.  Unfortunately my scotch fillet is poor and also the replacement one is
fatty. 
MILDURA – KINGS BILLABONG 2
THURSDAY 23 JANUARY  About 500m from where we are parked is the marina and a few
nights ago 7 houseboats got burnt out.  A couple are still in the water and
other burnt remains are on the shore.  On the outskirts of Mildura is Snakes &
Ladders $7 (£2.50) mainly aimed at kids but who cares.  It’s like a big
playground plus mini golf and a dunny street containing the outdoor toilets of
famous people such as Donald Bradman.  After an hour and half we head off into
SOUTH AUSTRALIA putting our watches back 1/2 hour (GMT + 10 1/2 hours now). 
Stop at another fruit fly exclusion zone to eat as much as we can and to peel
our potatoes to comply with regulations.  The first town we reach is Renmark, an
area we visited in 1999.  Free E-mail at the library but little else to detain
us.  Outside Berri we remember the factory shop and stock up on cheap fruit and
fruit juice.  Overnight stop at Martin Bend where we camp right beside the river
and take cooling dips.
BERRI – MARTIN BEND
FRIDAY 24 JANUARY   Berri also offer free Internet at the library and we make
use of it to try and sort out ongoing problems with our Keighley property and
also to extend our holiday insurance.  We enjoyed a brief visit to Pelican Point
nudist beach before and this time arrive prepared for a longer stay.  Three vans
are already there, Ray, Kelly and Gerry & Anne’s friend Bernie.  It’s very hot
so we spend a lot of time trying to cool off in the water although you do have
to swim a long way out to find a cool patch.  Getting in and out can be tricky
as there are lots of pebbly areas but sitting on the air bed it’s easy.  We keep
hearing strange noises like a child’s lazer gun – turns out it is a new system
for scarring the birds off the crops in the nearby fields.  Fortunately it’s
solar powered so it doesn’t operate at night!  Bernie lends us a shade cloth
awning for outside the van but it’s still hot and we spend the evening inside
his van.  Bernie is gay and his long term partner died a couple of years ago so
he’s a bit lonely and enjoys our company whilst we get an education in
homosexuality.
PELICAN POINT
SATURDAY 25 JANUARY  The high temperatures which were forecast have arrived
along with a stifling hot wind.  It gets up into the high 40C with Melbourne
recording the second highest temperature ever.  Without the water it would be
unbearable but by taking dips we survive.  Bernie pops out in the evening and
leaves us sat in his van (where it is just below 40C) watching TV.  He returns
with a huge bag of ice which gives us lots of drinks of iced water and an ice
cold strip wash.  By bedtime it’s still in the high 30C’s making sleeping
difficult.
PELICAN POINT 2
SUNDAY 26 JANUARY  Wake up at 9.30am having not got to sleep properly until the
early hours.  It’s a much pleasanter day with cooler temperatures and breeze. 
Today is Australia Day but in order to join the celebrations in town we would
have to get dressed so pass on that one!  Bernie has bought a bottle of
champagne which we enjoy with cheese, pate and biscuits whilst watching the sun
set.  After this we join him for a game of Triominoes.  Nice cool night.
PELICAN POINT 3
MONDAY 27 JANUARY  Another very pleasant day.  It’s David’s 24th birthday today
and we try to catch him before he sets out to work at 7.15am.  Unluckily for him
he has taken the day off and gets his lie in disturbed.  After our evening game
of Triominoes Bernie invites us to stay and watch his favourite TV serial "Queer
as Folk"!
PELICAN POINT 4
TUESDAY 28 JANUARY  Ray leaves.  Nice day again.
PELICAN POINT 5
WEDNESDAY 29 JANUARY  Back to hot weather with a brief dust storm in the
evening.  Hot night enticing us out for a midnight swim.
PELICAN POINT 6
THURSDAY 30 JANUARY  What a difference a day makes.  The temperature dropped in
the night and we wake to a cool drizzly morning.  Mid afternoon the rain has
stopped and it’s warmed up again.  Just like English weather only even more
extreme!  Bernie joins us for a meal in the evening.  His sister phones from
Canberra to say her house is surrounded by the bush fires and she is expecting
to be evacuated, very sad.
PELICAN POINT 7
FRIDAY 31 JANUARY  Head off towards Adelaide via the Barossa Valley.  It’s a
real shock when we reach the city and the accompanying traffic jams.  Easily
find George and Nicole’s new home at Seaford.  It’s a lovely spot just two
streets back from the ocean.  Steve’s eyes light up when he sees the games room
with 8′ pool table.  The spare bedroom is being reserved for Mum and John who
arrive next Friday so we camp on a mattress in the games room.  We may not have
seen George and Nicole for over 2 years but just pick up where we left off.  Out
for an evening meal at the Seaford Hotel before returning to chat.
SEAFORD 
 
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