Bendigo Thursday

With Karen’s foot showing a heap of bruising this morning it was obvious we wouldn’t and couldn’t do a lot today.  So we spent time researching our up and coming to do list and making plans for the busy time ahead once we return to Geelong.

As morning became afternoon I called ARB and was told the car would be ready for collection after 4pm.  I then called after 4 to find out when I would be picked up to collect the car and a short time later the same person who dropped me off took me to the workshop where I was shown round the car, everything was demonstrated to me and I paid the Bill and received a free ARB cap as a souvenir.  I have to say the guys here did a fantastic job on the car and as such we will be returning for some more stuff to be fitted when the parts arrive.

Next morning Friday we did our pack up and headed home do Geelong an easy drive as we have done it so many times now.

having just arrived back we got a phone call from The Roof Rack store in Geelong to say our new rack had arrived and we can have it fitted straight away. We took this offer up and in no time the Wedge Tail rack and backbone system were fitted by these guys, not cheap but a great job. The car is starting to look more of a bush basher.

Our next trip will be over the Easter weekend where we will head to Torquay Victoria for the holiday weekend.

Bendigo Wednesday

Early rise today as I have to drop the car off at ARB in Kangaroo Flat on the other side of Bendigo from Epsom.

I grabbed Max for a walk before emptying the car and headed off in to the traffic. I managed to arrive at ARB unscathed and only 9:15am.  Darren from ARB then dropped me back at the caravan park and promised he would pick me up the next day if the work has been completed.

Now car less we took Max and headed out for a walk to the nearest small shopping area to grab some supplies and whilst there gave Max a run and a play with his favourite frisbee.

Arriving back at camp Kaz decided she would be brave and head for a swim in the pool where the temperature is akin to the North Sea.  Having got changed and grabbing a towel, Kaz stepped out the van and managed to lose her balance twisting her ankle and badly straining her foot. 

So yep the North Sea swim get’s abandoned and I step up to the plate as a runner for the remainder of the trip.  

The Neighbours behind spotted the patient and offered an ice pack which we could keep for future falls which I guaranteed them there would be.

We had a couple of spaces either side of us and soon enough two vans arrived one which was the same as our old model and the other being a huge van much bigger than ours. We thought this will be interesting as they started their reversing, we were half impressed and half annoyed not to say embarrassed as they reversed in one fluid movement.  We did find out later that they were ex truck drivers which gave us back some credit. Shortly after another van arrived on the our other side, the woman got out the car and came straight over to us and informed us that we were in the site she had just been allocated (flashback to yesterday when we moved site). The guys who moved us had not informed the office about our move so they had allocated the site again.  Most people wouldn’t be too bothered but this lady was not one of them, huffing, puffing them walking off in the direction of the office.  She returned shortly after and once again reversed without issue in to the space we had so much grief trying to get in to.

The old lady across from us in one of the little cabin houses then appeared and shouted Max over to come and see her, Max though was less than happy with this and gave the poor woman a good barking at.  To her credit she didn’t appear to give a stuff at his tactics and requested that I bring him over to her.  Can’t say I was that enamoured but walked him over where he quickly got the tail wagging and was all over her like a cheap suit.

Turned out she was Irish by decent but she was born a dinky Di Australian.  Her name was Bernie not Bernadette as there was another person along the road who was named Bernadette whom she did not want to be confused with. Bernie then noticed Kaz with her bandaged up ankle and ended up providing a few books and a piece of cake.  What a lovely gesture.

Bendigo Tuesday

Arrived at the Gold Nugget Park about 1:30 as we had made good time with Kaz expertly at the helm today.  The traffic was kind to us and we managed a stop for Max to add to the local tree mail and have a drink in Daylesford.

On arrival we managed to miss the entry road to the park then compounded that by entering via the exit, luckily no one was exiting and we managed to sneak through without any dramas.

Check in was simple although we were placed way down at the opposite end of the park but happy as we would be well away from the screaming pillow, pool and games area.

And that’s when it happened.

We drove down the narrow road to our site which had permanent residents along it.  

Not the usual type accomodation which normally consist of an ancient caravan which has a myriad of additions made to it.

These are little weatherboard cabins complete with porches, little gardens, carports and  garages.

Finding our spot we stepped out and gave it a good looking over whilst planning our reversing strategy.  Satisfied with our plan Kaz started reversing with me directing and it just went shit house, we pulled forward a heap of times but couldn’t seem to get the correct angle.  Now there were a few obstacles in our way like a pole and a tree but these are just excuses.  Stupid me the decided I would do the reversing and ffs we could not get in to the space.  I think it was making so much noise in front of a little old ladies cabin that we suspect she must’ve called the park as a couple of guys turned up and instructed us to try reversing in to the next space which we managed to do.  (This would come back to haunt us later). This stuff up probably took at least 30 mins but we were relieved to have got it done and could do the simple part of setting the van up.  We hugged out again… but Karen’s was a bit more of a crush this time.  This of course is gold for everyone who witnessed it and would have been for us.

As the car will be dropped at ARB in the morning for the scheduled work to be do done, I headed off and added some fuel to save me time in the morning.  I also grabbed the chance to get some supplies whilst close to Woolworths b4 returning to camp and emptying the car.

We have watched lots of people at camps sitting outside watching TV and our time has arrived as we had added this as an option when ordering the van.  With the evening temperature making it a really great thing to enjoy with a nice glass of wine whilst watching the sunset.

Back To Bendigo

heading back to Bendigo to get some 4×4 accessories fitted to the Landcruiser at ARB. These will be a bull bar, oil catch can and an additional fuel filter. We were also supposed to get a snorkel fitted but ARB couldn’t get one in time and we don’t have much time to wait before we are out of our house and hit the road. We will get one fitted as we travel.

This time in Bendigo we are heading to a new park, The Gold Nugget at Epsom which is not far from the place we usually stay.

Hopefully it is nice and peaceful although it does have a screaming pillow for kids and a pool which apparently is freezing. We will take Max with us again to get him used to being on the road. This time it will only be Tuesday till Friday and we are glad to have an ARB courtesy car for that period.
we are slowly ticking off our to do list as we really need to get a lot of stuff done still. We have great tenants moving in to our house on the first of May and we will be permanent gypsies thereafter.

Echuca – A few days

Up at 5:45am for the drive back to camp with Max from Geelong and have to walk Max, feed Max, load toys for Max, beds for Max a nd get Max in to the car phew.  The drive was uneventful with no rescuing of animals needed and passed through all the roadworks without much delay.  Arriving back at camp for the reuniting of Max and Kaz then a walk in to town to let Max add to the local Peemail.Visited Cheap As Chips for some cheap things we needed.  The last time we were in this store they searched our bags as if we were shoplifters, in a dollar store! Come on!!

Walked back to camp and there have been a lot of arrivals due it being the weekend and the forecasted weather will be great.  Managed to get in to the pool for a nice cooling dip.

New neighbours arrived Con & Noelene and we had the first of many chats.  They even understood some of what we were saying.

A few tents arrived so we named that area tent city (party)A few of the oldies were chatting and then early to bed.

Echuca Day6/7/8/9

I got up reasonably early and took Max for a walk down to the port area and ran him with his ball.  

Kaz enjoyed a wee lie in. We then repeated  the 8k walk from the other day but this time with Max.  He loved being off lead and roaming at will.  

He managed to find a spot to jump in the river for a swim.Today is departure and arrivals so plenty of entertainment in that as people arrive for the weekend.  Then chilled for the rest of the day with Steak for tea on the bbq. Then bed and listened to the local hoons drag racing at night. This pattern continued for a few stress free days with swimming chatting, eating, cooking and of course keeping hydrated.

Echuca Day10 Tuesday

Scouted around for free camps for our next trip up here using the WikiCamps app and found a couple of spots that are huge clean quiet and have small beaches with direct access to the river for swimming and watching the large number of paddle steamers, jet ski’s and speedboats.  Done a bit of four wheel driving in and out of the rutted and corrugated roads. We tried to find our great neighbours who are in this area but didn’t manage to locate them. Turns out we were so close to their camp but must have just turned back within metres of them.

Echuca Day11Wednesday last Day

Grabbed a nice lie in today then walked in to town to Murray & Shona’s cafe for breakfast, coffee and tea.  This was another trial to see how Max would behave but we had no issues with him although we were bribing him with toast, bits of bacon and sausage.  This place does a great breakfast and the hosts are Scottish of course, Murray has a bit of patter about him as well.Once fed it’s off to give Max a good run chasing his frisbee at the local park.  He would chase that thing till he literally collapses so we have to not push it that far.Today being our last day before home we will pack most things away b4 the end of the day to make leaving tomorrow very easy.  

Tonight the Echuca Caravan Club which we have been surrounded by are taking over the camp kitchen and deck tonight as they are having a meeting/fancy dress party.  This lot have been fun to watch and are always having a laugh.

The coming weekend is the Labour day long weekend and this place and all other places will be packed out and the roads will be chaotic, so a nice time to head home.