The great Grey Nomad toilet run.

The great Grey Nomad race

What a hilarious moment in time!

Busting to go to the heads I rushed outside with just a dressing gown and slippers on.
First mistake.
After the cosiness of our little home the blast of chilling wind was unexpected, whipping the front of my dressing gown open and revealing my nakedness to a poor unsuspecting world.
After recovering from the biting cold now encompassing the body I continued my journey to the dunny.
Just then I spotted this bizzare situation.
From all over the park there was a mass charge of Grey Nomads all heading at breakneck speed, (like tortoises to normal folk), for the dunnies.
I was leading the charge.
Some of the Grey Nomads had obviously experienced the same problem as me and were struggling with dressing gowns against the biting wind.

The ones closet to me were obviously gummy, leaving teeth back in the warmer climes of their vans.
A quick peek over the shoulder alerted me that the pack was gaining on me after my unfortunate trip and loss of a slipper over a speed bump carelessly built in the direct path of the heads.

I did however make it first and I admit to a bit of a self satisfied smirk as another race entrant came to grief on the speed bump with the utterance of a loud profanity.

Gaining the safety of the dunny and locking the door I could hear the fight for free cubicles outside from the other losers and I couldn’t help but laugh.

The savoury mince last night caused a larger than normal deposit and knowing the cubicle was fitted with a water saving flush device I decided on a
pre flush” in case one wasn’t enough to clear up.

My mirth at the other poor unfortunates was short lived as the “pre flush” showered every body part lower than the waist with -100 degree iced water.

I fair dinkum didn’t realise that gonads hung so far down the bowl.

A shout of shock involuntarily left my lips and another loser next deer called our “Yer right mate”?

“No worries”, says I unwilling to share my stupidity with the rest of the world.

Boy does each day give us a new lesson to learn.

We’re in Tassie

Well we made it. We are in Tasmania.

Goodbye Melbourne – We love you!

We left at 5.15am this morning to drive to the port. Didn’t want to be late, flat tyre or traffic, anything to delay it.

We have waited for this day for a while. Had breakfast at the port watching the Spirit of Tasmania 2 unload it’s night run. Then it was our go.

We had a customs check of under the bonnet, in the ute and the van. No fruit & veg, extra gas bottles or weapons (they give the gas bottles and weapons back after you arrive).

Open the Getting Underway Video

Drove on to the ship and then went and explored our surroundings.
Got underway on time and travelled across the bay taking in all the sights of the Mornington Peninsular, Portsea and Sorrento on the left and Queenscliffe and Swan Island on the right.

Passing Mud Islands I couldn’t help but think about Barry and the happy hours spent with him on “Ruff e Nuff”, (his boat), around our own Queensland Mud Island.

Passing Point Lonsdale and into Bass Strait

Passing Point Lonsdale caused the dashing of many expectations of the passengers, including Kerrie, who thought the couple of hours just past crossing Port Phillip bay was what the whole trip would be like.

Within minutes, as Point Lonsdale passed to the Starboard Quarter the ship hit the open ocean of Bass Strait!

With the wind at a brisk 30 knots this meant the motion, although not bad at all since the swell was only about 3 metres, was enough to bring half the ships passengers to their knees.

What a calamity!

Spew bags were frantically being called for and the crew must have distributed a pallet load of them.

They were lining up to get seasick tablets and the nurses were run off their feet.

My darling started to feel it as well.

Although supremely confident in the seasick bands that her mother gave her she made her way down from the top deck with it’s panoramic views, down to the lower deck where, according to her, there was less movement.

Although feeling “on the edge” for most of the trip across Bass Strait she never was actually sick even though all around her most people had their green coloured faces stuck inside spew bags.

I thought it was a great trip across and made the most of the now almost empty space on the 10th deck.

First Glimps of Tassie – Three Hummock Island

By the time we caught our first glimpse of Tasmania, (probably Stanley and Three Hummock Island), Kerrie was back to normal and we enjoyed the trip in, marveling at the rugged and beautiful coastline.

Docking in Davenport allowed us a birds eye view of the city and apart from the biting cold it was beautiful.

View Larger Map

Off the ship, through Quarantine, and then straight to the van park to set up for the next 2 days in Davenport to collect our thoughts and plan the next unspecified period we’ll spend travelling Tassie.

After just 15 minutes to set up the van we had a lovely dinner of savoury mince on toast, a glass of red wine, watched the Good Wife on telly. Although very cold outside our little home that we’ve grown to love was warm cosy and comfortable.

Bed was blissfully comfortable and a deep sleep coincided with our heads hitting the pillow.

Finley – The end of the 3rd day out.

Well we’ve sure covered some miles already!

We’ve already seen some magnificent scenery courtesy of this vast country.

View Larger Map

Huge farms as far as you can see. This is the images we’ll keep of this day.

The images that will stick most in our minds from today, and probably yesterday as well, are the huge farms.

Mostly dead flat paddocks 2 or 3 kilometres wide stretching literally for miles between houses. There’s got to be enough grain on these properties to feed the world.

I’ve seen these vast farms from the air flying to Melbourne but the sheer size of them from ground level is staggering.

Wheat, sorghum etc and mostly golden in colour. Beautifully contrasting colours appear as the sky changes from bright blue to stormy black. Apart from a few trees thats all there is – unending golden fields and sky, for hundreds of kilometres.

There’s been heaps of rain and flooding in the whole Riverina / Murray area and you can see more evidence of it than in many parts of Brisbane, certainly more than the Lockyer Valley.

The small towns we passed through, and occasionally detoured to see a fascinating.

The Beckom Bowls club speaks of past glories when many people gathered here.

Some are very old, some are neat and tidy some look as if the inhabitants have just given up on life.

Almost every town shows signs of a past prosperity that does not appear to be there now – not on the suface anyway.

Grain Silos are now empty and decaying. The town feels the same.

Of course it’s not good to judge from outward appearences but you can’t help getting that impression.

The Pub, although it’s seen more prosperous times still stands proud

We stopped at a quaint little town called “Grong Grong”.

So small and old yet boasts some impressive old buildings.

 

The little town of Finley where we’re staying tonight is pleasant and old.

The Van park is right beside a picturesque lake and is quiet and friendly.

From Moree to Parkes

Wide Open Spaces

On the road to Parkes from Moree and wide-open spaces are the feature for many miles.

Drove out for a quick visit to the huge radio telescope just outside Parkes.

 

Met our first travelling companions, Brian and Sylvia from Woodgate, who are also travelling to Tasmania. We’re now securely tucked up in Parkes and it’s cool and comfortable, what a difference a few hundred kilometres make to the weather conditions. Had to get up in the middle of the night to pull in the annex as the wind had picked up. Hope we get faster at this eventually.

Farewell Brisbane

Mums Yellow Rose explodes in a colourful farewell we won’t forget

After a hectic round of last-minute jobs and a quick trip to New Farm to pick up our HDMI monitor, we finally hit the road at 10:30 am.

As if to say farewell and to leave the perfect image of this wonderful home, the Yellow Rosebush out front exploded into full bloom and displayed the richest deep yellow colour.

We got to Moree at 7.15 pm NSW time and took about 10 mins to set up the van.

Kerrie got what she was so looking forward to – a swim in a hot thermal pool. It was wonderfully invigorating after driving all day.

No chance to see the sites of bustling Moree as we’ll have dinner watch a bit of TV, (hoping the monitor works as we haven’t tested it yet), then into bed for an early night and early start in the morning for Parkes.

Missing you all heaps.

By Kerrie: Well  I can not believe the number of semi-trailers on the road. Large double ones, road trains. There would have to be 5 trucks to every car. I suppose the inland Hwys are less crowded.

We have decided we need airconditioning NOW!. It’s hot and you have to lock everything up here. Airconditioning will make it easier.