With the uncertainty of Covid times in this world many of us are either in lockdown or tentatively ‘peeping through the curtains’ and wondering whether it really is safe to venture out. At present we are waiting for our state Premier to announce (hopefully this morning) whether we can venture
- more than 25kms and
- actually leave Melbourne
Having been free to roam New South Wales for four months, a few days ago we jumped in the car to go shopping in a favourite suburb and grab a bowl of pho only to suddenly realise that it was out of bounds. Oh shit! We quickly revised our plans grabbed a few necessities and went home.
Our genus The Southern Grey Nomad tends to stay close to home over the summer months because the weather is good, we don’t get cyclones. We also like to leave the parks for those who don’t normally get holidays all year like we do. To put it another way we avoid the crowds and the kids. And of course, we prefer to stay out of the way of bushfires. With that stay at home feeling in mind I’d like to take you on a trip back into the past across the Savannah Way to the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Setting the scene
An experienced caravan club mate had told us that we must do The Savannah Way and I was captivated. I doubt that Woody was so enthralled, but the seed was sown. We had upgraded to a caravan with an ensuite and the ability to free camp the previous Xmas and to my mind it was time that our Priscilla saw some desert. Our mates, you know the ones, Double or Nuthin (who doesn’t mind a bet) and Shirley (my body’s a) Temple were keen to join us but they have a habit of being a little late for most things and on this occasion 6 weeks late as Double or Nuthin’ had to have an operation. They caught up to us. They missed the Gulf, but they did get there this past winter, yeah I know, 6 years late.
In what would become a bit of a musical tradition I named this first big winter trip ‘It’s a long way to the top’.
Day 1 Friday June 6th 2014 Home to Healesville – A farewell weekend
It’s a misty morning and 9 degrees. We’ve got butterflies in our tummies after months of planning and preparation we’re setting off on the trip north. We take Eastlink to the Maroondah Highway and by Coldstream the temperature has dropped to 8 degrees and there is a heavy fog. The bare grape vines and trees look sculptural in the fog. Even though I’ve set the Gabbi Garmin to ‘sealed roads only’ she takes us on a short cut through the back of Healesville via a dirt road. She’s running true to form. We check into the Badger Creek Holiday Park Big 4 at 11:00am. The sites are very tight and it takes quite a bit of juggling to get the van in. Shane from RV Essentials who serviced our van is camped beside us with his family. Now that is service!
Once we are all set up we dash into town and meet the Debs and Corbs at the Healesville Hotel. The classic dining room is cosy and the roast lamb is warming. It is still only 7 degrees outside, so heaven knows how cold tonight will be.
The Badger Creek park is pretty and bounded on one side by a reedy lake and on the other by the rushing Badger Creek. The lake is perfectly still and the reflections mirror the hillsides behind. There are still some red autumn leaves clinging to the trees. Tents are camped by the creek, water hens strut about and campfire smoke curls into the chilly air.
The boys cook snags on the bbq and we feed chestnuts to a big fat and friendly bushy tailed possum. Our mates retreat to their warm cabin.