Up the Guts – Day 7 – Gutted

Day 7 (though I should no longer count the days) Friday 21/6/19 Home in Melbourne Woody returns the hire car. We get word to say that the car and van have left Murray Bridge. We receive an email, a picture of a camel in the wild. Yes, they found one. Saturday 22/6/19 Still at home It’s a cold wintry morning and I decide to have some marmalade on toast. Oh bugger! The half jar of marmalade is in the van, on a truck, somewhere. We get a call to say that the truck has arrived in Melbourne but will be … Continue reading Up the Guts – Day 7 – Gutted

Up the Guts – Day 6

Day 6 Thursday 20/6/19 Bordertown to Melbourne (-1˚Bordertown, 6˚at noon Ballarat, 9.5˚Melbourne) We wake early, to a white frosty car and the realisation that it doesn’t have heated seats. We have a substantial breakfast and a long invigorating walk in Horsham after having lost half an hour to the time zone change. El Prado rings to say that on the way to Peterborough he put petrol in his diesel tank. They had to unhook the caravan and move it out of the way while the car’s fuel tank was pumped out. In the meantime the service station owner baked muffins … Continue reading Up the Guts – Day 6

Up the Guts – Day 5

Day 5 Wednesday 19/6/19 Murray Bridge to Bordertown We didn’t sleep all that well. Both our heads were spinning trying to come to terms with the premature end of a long-awaited trip and what we need to pack to get home comfortably. After a slap up cooked breakfast The Prado’s, Toothless and his Missus head north for Peterborough and it’s a tearful farewell. We concentrate on the job at hand, packing sturdy bags (I’m surprised that I have a wad of them jammed at the back of the bathroom cupboard) with everything we’ll need for the trip home and when … Continue reading Up the Guts – Day 5

Up the Guts – Day 4

Day 4 Tuesday 18/6/19, Murray Bridge, intermittent showers 14˚ We slept well last night, perhaps it was exhaustion after a long day that was peppered with a lot of stress. Being quite a distance from town we catch a cab to Bridge Motors to see what the verdict is on the car. The mechanic shows us a burst coolant hose which he believes would have been hard for anyone to spot when servicing the vehicle. The car? Well that should be ready this afternoon. We breathe a sigh of relief. Toothless and his Missus are back in town and head … Continue reading Up the Guts – Day 4

Up the Guts – Day 3

Day 3, Monday 17/6/19 Mitre to Murray Bridge, morning fog then sunny 1 – 18˚ We wake to foggy bush at Duffholme Cottage Bush Camp and it’s icy cold. Rob delivers our egg order, you can’t get better service than that. Woody stubs an already injured toe and El Prado over excitedly has us on the road at 8:40. Some of us haven’t visited the ablutions block yet and must hold on. We stop for newspapers at tiny Goroke and continue on through more green pastures dotted with fat ewes and yet more energetic white lambs to cross into South … Continue reading Up the Guts – Day 3

Up the Guts – Day 1, On the road again

Day 1 Saturday 15/6/19, Home to Geelong, weather cold. It feels odd leaving home in the afternoon but being a Saturday there are few trucks on the road. The traffic though is reasonable heavy. As we all live in different parts of Melbourne we meet at The Prado’s son’s (For ease I’ll call our hosts ‘The Truckers’ as they have a trucking business) farm at 3:00pm and find that there is plenty of room to park our vans out the back with power, such a luxury. The Truckers are wonderful hosts and have a large shed with a cosy woodfire. … Continue reading Up the Guts – Day 1, On the road again

Up the Guts – Counting Down

The car has been serviced for our trip north up the Stuart Highway to Darwin and so has the van. Our diesel heater problem has been resolved and it was only a split hose. How can such a tiny thing cause such discomfort? We have four new tyres on the car and another four on the van. Whoa, that was expensive. On a more personal side we’ve had our winter flu shots and had the boobs and bowels and barnacles scanned. We’ve now got almost everything loaded and frankly it would be a damned sight easier just to move onto … Continue reading Up the Guts – Counting Down

Up the Guts – The Final Plan

After much discussion and a long lunch (any excuse) the plan is agreed upon and finalised for our trip up the Stuart Highway to Darwin. We will make short 300km days (we’re not getting any younger) and steadily head through South Australia and north up the Stuart checking out a few of the interesting sights that one normally rushes past. The Prado’s will peel off at Tennant Creek for the East Coast, Toothless and his missus Madam Secretary will peel off at Katherine and head for Broome and Eighty Mile Beach, we’ll continue ever upwards to Darwin and Kakadu. The plan is … Continue reading Up the Guts – The Final Plan

Up the Guts – Getting down to the nitty gritty

Planning a caravanning trip is exciting, where to go, what to see, how far to drive each day without doing yourself in and then there’s the really important stuff: “Where can we empty the toilet?” Or “How many days can we go without emptying the toilet? Oh shit!” Then there’s, “Where can we fill the water tanks?” And “Where is the next supermarket?” Or even “Do they have supermarkets out there?” At least Wikicamps makes finding dump points easy. All of the above depends on whether there are towns where you are going. Then there are the grog shops to … Continue reading Up the Guts – Getting down to the nitty gritty