Day 1, Sunday 14/7/2019 Home to Tocumwal 5 degrees at home, 9 at Tocumwal, now that’s an improvement already.
It feels like we’re escaping from a house filled with germs.
Since we blew the engine on the Jeep and the car and caravan were towed back from Murray Bridge,SA thus aborting our long planned trip to Darwin, the car has been repaired but we both came down with a virus called Para Influenza. Not the flu that we had been vaccinated against but another strain, one that leaves you with only two abilities, sleeping and drinking soup. Not to mention sweating, coughing and feeling bloody awful. Woody had bought a bottle of French champagne for my 70th birthday and we anticipated going out for dinner. That quickly faded to Thai take away and then…just soup. By the time his birthday rolled around a week later we decided that, as we could now drive, we’d pack the champers and hit the road. At least by heading to warmer climes we should feel twice as good each day than if we were still home in the cold. And thus I shall continue as promised with our Winter travel journal…
The wind blowing across the bay is biting and there’s a little mist in the air but thankfully it is not raining. We’re both barking like lonesome Basset Hounds. The final housework is difficult but at least the van is pretty much still packed from the previous failed trip. The drive north up the Eastlink tollway is dreary in light rain but being Sunday the traffic is light. We watch the engine temperature gauge with trepidation and this will dominate our plans for days as we’ve been instructed to have the Jeep checked over again 1500kms just in case there is a problem with hoses and the like. This means that we’ll call into the Gold Coast as we know a good mechanic there.
Away from the city, we pull off the highway to stretch our legs at Nagambie, gosh this town is really coming on. There’s a handsome statue of champion racecourse Black Caviar by the lake and some new businesses, a welcoming cafe and a brewery with a deck on the lake. Geez, it’s cold though. It barely makes it to 10 degrees as we bypass Shepparton and Cobram too is cold. We fuel up, grab a BBQ chook and head to Tocumwal.
The Town Beach Reserve is down a narrow lane behind the shops with space for dozens of vans each one backed up to the Murray River. A wide sandy beach on a bend in the river it would be a delightful spot in better weather. In the late afternoon a mob of kangaroos graze on the grassy bank behind us. The toilets here are basic but spotless. Every camp site has a water tap. The local pubs and clubs provide courtesy buses for just a phone call but on a nice summery night the walk of about a kilometre would be easy. There is a little traffic noise from the highway but not enough to complain about. The cost for the night is $10.
We’re still anxious about the car, the fridge when it is slow to start on gas, the diesel heater which had to be fixed recently and the gas hot water service that has several tries before it actually starts. Gosh that’s a long list considering that we had everything serviced in June or perhaps we’re just becoming paranoid.
It’s cold and drizzly outside so we spend the afternoon in the warm watching the footy on TV and the ‘Roos grazing outside the window. Still suffering and even though it is Woody’s birthday we leave the chook in the fridge and drink more hot soup along with an Italian Chocolate Truffle Cake that I picked up in the supermarket. Alcohol? Not for us, I think we’ve become wowsers.
There are 17 vans here for the night. We fall into bed around 8:00 totally exhausted.
Summary Day 1, 317kms, water, toilets, Accom $10 and we crossed into NSW.