Many times we’ve camped at Skipworth Reserve south of Jamieson in Victoria’s Upper Goulburn Valley but there has been no mobile phone service and the nearest communications was at a phone box outside the Kevington Pub, 4 kilometres away. Thinking back, the last time I used a phone box was probably at that very one back in 2014. And on several occasions I’ve driven 7 kilometres back to Jamieson township to publish a blog post via the ipad or phone. Now thankfully mobile service is available part way up the valley, to the joy of Facebook tragics like Woody and … Continue reading Good News for FOMO’s
In a country with a myriad of climate zones planning to avoid the worst of the weather can be difficult. When we travel we try to avoid the coldest weather but sometimes that can be difficult when on our way home south through New South Wales and Victoria to Melbourne in late winter or early spring. The thought of bushfires sends shivers down my spine. Last September while we were complaining of the icy temperatures that we were experiencing in Gippsland, friends were racing home to avoid bushfires on the NSW south coast, not all that far away from us. … Continue reading Being fire aware
If you want to see the best of what Australia has to offer get off the beaten track and for the non off-roaders I don’t necessarily mean hitting the dirt, just take the lesser roads. The B and C category roads that will take you through farmlands and tiny towns that need the support of visitors. You’ll have a much easier drive as the scenery is more interesting and you won’t have to contend with traffic and large trucks. Explore the valleys too. Take a wander into the Ovens Valley, the Kiewa, the Upper Goulburn, the Murray, the Mitta Mitta … Continue reading Get orf the road
I stumbled upon an old journal yesterday from Trip 2, Broken Hill, Nov 2012: Lessons learned Face Cleanser Wipes are invaluable both in the car and in the van. We’ve finally learnt how to use the awning properly. We need a new Anderson plug and the lead needs lengthening. Look out for not only kangaroos but suicidal emus, wild goats and lazy lizards. Continue reading Lessons Learned
When we first started caravanning mates of ours were a wealth of information about towing and caravans and really helped us to get on the road. Now that they have both retired it’s time to return the favour as they now have the time to try free camping. The excitement is building as we plan, where to take them for a perfect experience, what they need. They have one battery and that is enough, we have portable solar panels which they can use to top up their batteries on a day to day basis. We’ll camp by a wild river … Continue reading An intro to free camping
Apr, 2015, New Norcia, WA After a summery breakfast in the paddock campground at New Norcia Monastery in Western Australia, Dee does a fair job of ironing his fingers in the awning arm but quick thinking on Woody’s behalf sees him grab a wine bottle cooler sleeve from the freezer and shove Dee’s hand into it, the swelling soon goes down. Once again there’s that old adage of everything on the van must have two uses including the freezer. Continue reading Everything must have two uses
Woody checked his tow hitch this week and decided that it was looking a little chipped and the tow ball somewhat rusty. He wandered down to our local Autobarn, picked up an aerosol can of black paint and the lad on the checkout asked to see his proof of age. Woody came home fuming “I’m 72!” he said “Does he think I’m going to be tagging trains!” If it was me, I would have thanked him for the compliment. Continue reading #Rusty
Weight is one of the most contentious issues of all. Husbands blame wives for carrying too many clothes and cooking utensils, wives blame husbands for carrying chainsaws, fridges and beer. We know one bloke who lights campfires with a lawn blower. On one trip we carried a seven kilo fold up fireplace half way around Australia and never used it once. The first leg of the trip was during fire ban season which lasts until March 31st in WA. The rest of the trip as we were heading north it was far too hot to even consider a fire. Would … Continue reading Who’s overweight?
There are some gadgets that make life so much easier when caravanning. Many years ago we bought a Trail a Mate jack to replace our dolly wheel. The Trail a Mate uses a hydraulic method so a gentle pumping action easily raises the whole van and the turn of a knob lowers it again with a satisfying whoosh, no more winding and groaning. It can also be used to jack the van up when in a predicament (more about that on another day). Our mate El Prado has looked longingly at his mates Trail a Mate jacks and recently declared … Continue reading It’s a Trail a Mate!
This may seem a little obvious but there are subtle differences when making toast on a caravan and if these rules aren’t adhered to, well one may as well eat rice cakes. When breakfasting on a powered site the first thing the cook must do is remove the smoke alarm and bury it under the doona. No matter how large your caravan is it is still a small box and if a smoke alarm can’t differentiate between a piece of toast and a raging house fire it certainly can’t tell on a caravan. Woody fails this test every morning and … Continue reading How to make toast