Banned on the Run, Day 123 – Swapping freedom for lockdown

Day 123 Sunday 11/10/20 Finley to Home

After a warm night we wake to a brisk sunny morning. We’re weighed with sadness. This will be the last brekkie in the van for a long time. Sun streaming in the window. Woody takes a last walk around town, he loves early morning walks around country towns.

Tearily we farewell the Prado’s and hit the road for our last day. We see only one other car between Finley and Tocumwal.

The border blockade is on the northern side of the Murray River bridge near the roundabout. Police and soldiers stand about waiting for northbound motorists. We wave to them as we pass through into what feels like ‘No Man’s Land’. It’s an odd feeling knowing that our only option is to go straight home and stay there.

Army and Police block the border at Tocumwal

I can’t help comparing this to the end of our Open Esky Tour back in March when we were heading into the 1st lockdown with two weeks of groceries on board and feeling very scared. This time we know there is no need to stock up, we know we can handle lockdown but how long will it last?

By the time we reach the Tooboorac Service Station on the Hume Freeway we’ve only seen two caravans. The restrooms are closed. Thank goodness our caravan door deems to let us in to use the bathroom. Take away food here is limited. They’re selling potato cakes but no chips! Figure that out. The rest area near Wallan (regular travellers on this road would know it as the ‘smelly one’ to be avoided at all costs) is closed off completely. Drivers can’t even stretch their legs which makes things difficult for regional Victorians who are allowed to travel. Melburnians must only be in regional Victoria for a lawful purpose and must not visit hotels or cafes.

We crest the Craigieburn rise and get our first close view of the city of Melbourne since we left for Vaughan Springs last February.

The Soundshell, Tullamarine Freeway, Melbourne – where is everyone?

The northern freeways are almost deserted so we take Beach Road to enjoy the view of the bay and to our surprise it’s as busy as a Summer Sunday. We haven’t seen this many people in months and they’re all wearing masks!

Thankfully, our own suburb is less busy. We quietly put the van away and go inside.

Accom: Home

Travelling Kms: 335kms

Note: Who would have thought I’d be writing about border blockades, population lockdowns and deadly viruses when I started this simple caravanning blog 5 years ago?

13 thoughts on “Banned on the Run, Day 123 – Swapping freedom for lockdown

    1. It’s not too bad, the main thing is that our state has had zero Covid cases for 7 days. We’re expecting the 25km travel limit to be lifted next week and of course businesses are trading again. Stay safe during this second wave.

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  1. Well, now it is into November, looks like you will soon be able to travel out of Melbourne, so the van might get used sooner rather than later. But I have to admit that, out here in the regions, there is some trepidation about the end of Melbourne’s lockdown.

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    1. 😱 You sound like my cousin in Wang! But seriously it does sound like they’ve beaten it again. Until the next time, because as we know it only takes one mistake. I think I may have a different view after having watched close hand how NSW has dealt with it and kept the state running. Ironically when we were leaving last June we were worried about the street marches and one of us said “it only takes someone to kiss their grandma”. Well we were close because it seems that a few folk kissed quaratinees and then kissed grandma! 😉

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  2. The change in lifestyle is something we never would have imagined. Victoria is showing the rest of the country what people need to do to get the virus at least contained.

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