Monthly Archives: October 2018

Day 9 Sunday, 21 October 2018

To have a look at best photos, click on the link The Best photos taken so far

After breakfast I discovered that I had not taken the rolls out of the freezer so I needed to take all the fixings with us while the rolls defrosted on the dashboard of the car.

It was a fine crisp 8 degrees when we woke up, and Bright is expected to reach 22 by the end of the day. However, it will be about that cold still when we get up the top to Mt Hotham.

The trip to Harrietville was a repeat of the one the other day when we bough the apples from Nightingales. After that it was all new territory. I was able to snap photos to my heart’s content along the way. Russ had cleaned the front windscreen, and we filled up with diesel before we left Bright.

I think it is a personal best record for me – 845 photos for the day. Russ took 92 and a gorgeous one of a tiny little bird. Many of mine are the same or close to it, as I put the camera on Sports function, so I could use it while we travelled.

We stopped at all the Lookouts along the way, and Russ pulled over to let other traffic pass us when it was safe to do so as we were taking our time.

We had lunch at Mt Kosciusko lookout and were joined at the picnic table be a currajong. He is obviously very used to humans as once we had fed him a few scarps of ham and turkey and then made out rolls, we closed the lid on the container.

Russ looked back towards the table as we moved away to take more photos only to see him push the container to the ground in the hope that the lid would fly off and he could help himself. Cheeky little blighter!

We then headed to Omeo where I used the facilities, and Russ put his foot outside the car onto the road, so he could say he had stopped in Omeo. We will come back another day from the other direction and spend a bit more time exploring the area. There are some lovely walking tracks just outside of town, and the scenery is stunning in places.

We arrived back in Bright around three o’clock and had a cuppa. While Russ had a snooze I did the washing of our clothes and looked through all the photos to pick out the best. Then I took the time to bring the blog up to date.

Russ is now doing his stretching exercises and once he has finished we will head to the Telstra Air hotspot in town to upload to the blog.

Tonight is scrambled eggs for tea so I had better remember to get some bread.

Day 8 Saturday, 20 October 2018

We were greeted with thunder, lightning and rain from early in the morning so immediately agreed to have a very slow day. I decided it was a good time to change the sheets, which I did with Russell’s assistance. I then washed them and the towels and spent a couple of dollars drying them in the Laundry. A little ripper of a washing machine I have here in the van.

Russ spent most of the day reading and I caught up on my game and di some reading also.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a lovely sunny day, so Russ and I discussed where we would like to drive. Russ wanted to do an almighty long trip all over the shop and I told him it was too tiring in one day. Also, a large section of the road from Fall’s Creek to Omeo is closed to all traffic so we compromised and agreed to go to Omeo via Harrietville, Dinner Plains and Mt Hotham and come back the same way.

We removed the under-blanket from the bed when we changed the sheets, so typically it got really cold overnight and we had to turn on the electric blankets to stay warm.

We both had a nice sleep and woke up in plenty of time to prepare our trip to Omeo.

Day 7 Friday, 19 October 2018

We had a lazy evening and then set the alarm for 8am so we would be in time to pick mum up and check out at the Motel.

Mum said she still felt somewhat queasy but was much improved on previous days. She has an appointment with her doctor when she gets back to Benalla and will discuss her medication and problems with him then.

It was a lovely day for a drive. As we were getting into the car Russ was approached by another camper to ask about the caravan. He has a camper trailer at the moment and his wife is objecting to these types of trips now. They had spent time looking at Brilliant caravans at the Sandown Caravan and Camping Show last weekend and were both very impressed with the van. Russ answered his questions and he was more determined than ever to make that their purchase.

We had a lovely drive to Benalla, and Mum regaled us with lots of stories from when she was growing up in the region. We love listening to these reminiscences, and all the stories of mum and dad on their caravan trips around parts of Australia.

We arrived at Benalla just before noon and were greeted by an ecstatic Tobias who spent much time winding himself around legs to say hello and how much he had missed company.

Mum treated Russ and I to Chinese Takeaway from Kim Wah’s, and we both could only manage half of the serving so would have the rest for tea tonight. Mum finished hers which was a very good sign.

Russ and I departed Benalla a little after one o’clock and took the long and winding road back to Bright. We went south, then south east, then north, then north east before we were once again back on the Great Alpine Road to Bright. I did not take many pictures along the way as the trees always managed to get in the way, and there was no high ground to get good shots from. A very slow day for photos.

Russ and I had a cup of tea before he went off to meditate and I spent some quality time reading in the sun. It was just as well that I managed to enjoy it because the rain is coming.

I also went across to Reception to extend our stay by one day. We have an appointment in Melbourne with our financial advisor on Thursday to discuss my application for the pension come December and will need to stay another night once we get back to Bright before we begin the journey back to Mildura.

Day 6 Thursday, 18 October 2018

Apparently, I snored a lot last night. It seems only fair as I was awake all day while the others napped.

Mum rang just after the alarm went off and is feeling a lot better. She has asked that we not go for a long drive but would love to go about the area today.

After breakfast I was about to make the rolls when I discovered that I had not taken them out of the freezer, so we are buying something to eat at lunch time.

We picked mum up from the motel and headed up to Harrietville for a look see around. Russ pulled over on several occasions so that we could take some photos. Then we detoured to Wondilagong where many years ago mum and dad stopped at Nightingales to buy freshly picked apples.

The place was still there but has been modernised completely. There is now a shop by the roadside where all sorts of apple products are sold, and a big cool room to the side for fresh apples.

We were $!00 poorer by the time we left. We have purchased apple cider, honeycomb, dark chocolate hazelnuts, Portello cordial, raspberry and apple pies, apples pies, local honey, apple and quince jellies, and roasted almonds.

Mum had a box all for her own stuff. She bought two lots of apples, ginger cordial, honey and a few other items. While they finished up paying I went outside and took some more photos of the area.

There was a man taking down the wire fence who explained that they had to erect them during winter or else the deers came down and ate from the trees. He was interested in hearing about the almond farms up Robinvale way as one of the workers had been up to the blossom festival.

Russ took a different way back and lots more photos were taken. We then headed back to Bright and mum said she was fine and could we go to Myrtleford and see her mum and dad’s grave once more.

We ended up grabbing a bite to eat at the Myrtlefrd Bakery, which was doing a roaring lunch time trade with lots of locals. Russ had a potato pie and an apple turnover with fresh cream, mum ate a beef and mushroom pie and said it was doing okay in her tummy. As both the chicken pie and quiche were sold out I settled on a cheese and bacon roll, which was delicious.

We then went to the Pioneer’s Cemetery and visited at her parents’ grave. Pop Elmer died twenty years before Grandma Elmer, who was struck and killed by a drunk driver shortly before Christmas. They shared a grave.

By then it was time to head back to Bright with a short stop at the Op Shop for mum and me. I bought two pairs of ear rings ($4.00 altogether), but mum didn’t need to open her purse. They did have some lovely things displayed.

We then dropped mum off at the motel and arranged to pick her up tomorrow morning and convey her back to Benalla. Mum has suggested we grab some Chinese take away from Kim Wah’s when we get to Benalla and neither Russ nor I was complaining about the plan.

Russ downloaded all the photos while he had a cup of tea and is now in the land of Nod.

We will not be going out again today, and will be having steak with fried rice for tea.

Day 5 Wednesday, 17 October 2018

This morning Russ has a headache, and mum is not feeling very flash again. She has decided to have a quiet day lying down and recommended we do our thing without her.

As the weather is very overcast, and more rain is expected, we have decided to take a slow day ourselves. We will need to go down the street later, but in the meantime, Russ is sleeping away his headache, and I am catching up on jobs and writing.

For the very first time I have used my washing machine. It is a little ripper. I have done two loads and then had to pay to use the driers in the van park, but at least I don’t have to worry about it again for a few days. The expected rain has now set in for the day.

The washing machines in the park are big Maytags and it cost $4.00 a load for washing and $1.00 per 15 minutes for the dryers which are also industrial size.

After lunch Russ rang mum and she indicated she was still very down and would stay at the motel for the rest of the day. Russ made sure she didn’t need anything from us down the street and is drinking plenty of fluid.

Checked with our son, Brett, who is cat sitting, and he has finished weeding the garden before the rain arrived, has killed the aphids on my roses but insists that they knew I was on holidays as they have flocked to the bushes.

The van is very comfy and cosy, so I think I have earned the right to do some reading.

I ended up picking out the nicest of the photos from the trip so far and placing them into a folder for later upload to the website. A few I have placed on Facebook.

After Russ woke up we went for a walk around the garden area of Bright. The rain had stopped and the sun came out for the last part of the evening – glorious photos.

Checked again with mum just before tea time. She has been sleeping and thinks she may have had a bug. She indicated she wasn’t sure whether the tummy was still upset or just hungry but was sticking with toast and tea for the moment.

Russ and I finished off the chicken pasta for tea and had a quiet evening.

Day 2 Sunday, 14 October 2018

We repacked our few things and checked over the van before leaving the park at ten o’clock on the road to Benalla for our next overnight stop.

Once again we put our rolls out on the dash of the car to defrost and they were lovely and fresh by the time we stopped for lunch at a wayside area a bit outside of Shepparton. We took the opportunity of filling up with diesel at Mooroopna, where the BP service station (BP has the best diesel around) was on the left hand side of the road and not difficult to approach with the van in tow.

As we were in no hurry we let other vehicles pass when it was safe to do so, or signalled them it was safe to overtake us.

We finally pulled up at Russell’s mums place at Benalla. They have a very tricky drive way which doglegs have way up, and our van is fairly high so we have to make sure we stay away from the eaves of her house.

We chocked the van and went in to enjoy some chit chat before Russ took off for his meditation. Mum and I had a lovely time catching up with each other.

We had tea with mum and then spent some time showing her photos of the roses from our garden. Benalla roses are much later bloomers as it takes longer to warm up in that neck of the woods.

Mum has a few empty pot plant holders for me when we are on the way home.

As mum is going to spend a few days with us at Bright we left her to finish her packing and retired for the night. We let her know there was no hurry in the morning as Bright is not far from Benalla and we intended to take out time getting there.

Day 4 Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Mum is feeling a lot better today so we have decided to take a drive to Bogong High Plains.

We collected her from the motel and left Bright around ten o’clock. We took our time on the way and stopped at all the lookouts for photo opportunities. The wattle trees are still in full bloom here, and the scenery is well worth the trip.

The weather is slightly cooler, and it is expected to rain later this afternoon, and set in for a day or so.

We had lunch at one of the picnic spots on Lake Guy and met a very friendly currawong. The double flower cherry trees are in full bloom and a magnificent sight. The park gardener offered a large spray to Russ and it is sitting in water on the kitchen bench in the van – so pretty (photo on web).

It started to rain on the way back from Bogong and is expected to be heavy, but not with any damaging winds.

We dropped mum off at the motel and went to pick up toothbrushes. Our Braun electric ones (brand new) are not charging as they should and will soon run out of puff. (I also have a gremlin in the computer as some of the words took off of their own accord across the page and I was no where near the keyboard – very strange).

While Russ and mum napped I downloaded the photos we had taken today. Some of them are lovely, and I will upload them later.

We had decided to have tea out tonight and we went to the Chinese Restaurant. The meal was great and the service first class with a smile. We took mum back to the motel for the night and returned to the van to ready it for more rain.

Unfortunately, I was too later and one of the chairs is very wet. However, for the night they are packed away under the van, and Russ and I have changed the angle of the awning, so the water runs off instead of pooling in the middle.

We must have been successful because we went to sleep with rain on the roof, and everything was okay.

Day 3 Monday, 15 October 2018

We left Benalla about tennish. Mum had been up, dressed, breakfasted and ready since about eight o’clock, and Tobias (her cat), was well aware that things were afoot which didn’t include him. He was not a real happy camper.

Mum had packed her own lunch so it was decided to enjoy the scenery along the way and get to Bright before we stopped for lunch, which is what we did.

The NRMA Bright Caravan Park is really big. It is also, apparently, very full over the summer period. There are over three hundred sites, and whole sections which are termed annual sites. These are the ones where the families come back to right for the holidays every year. They have additions added onto their vans, and these areas are away from the occasional traveller.

The shower and toilet facilities are in several sections of the park, and very clean, and the same can be said for the laundry facilities. The shower areas do not come up to scratch when compared to Koondrook, but are very good by most other standards. Mum was very impressed and she and Dad have travelled over most of Australia in their younger days so she would have a very good idea for comparison.

We set up the van, had our lunch and another long chat session before we took mum to her motel. We had arranged for her to stay at Ovens Valley Motor Inn for her few days with us, as per her request to have her own area.

We were warmly welcomed by the managers and mum was very impressed with her accommodation. We arranged to pick her up later in the afternoon so she could have tea with us.

On the way back to the van we picked up groceries and fruit for a few days.

As it turned out Mum had almost as big a nap as Russ did. I enjoyed catching up with the news – especially the AFL pre-draft trade news, and was delighted to see that Tom Landon had re-signed with the Pies.

We collected mum from the motel and bought her back to the van, but she indicated that she was not feeling very well at all. Mum has had some side effects from medications she is currently taking and is not impressed with feeling poorly.

We provided her with a bucket and took her back to the motel so she could lie down. Mum called later in the evening to say she had slept all that time and was feeling much better. We arranged to speak about 8:30 the next morning to see how she was and to discuss our travel options for the day.

There have been severe thunderstorm and wind warnings for Mildura, with rain also expected overnight. It is apparently due to hit Bright by mid afternoon tomorrow. At the moment the weather is beautiful, and the flowers and flowering tress are spectacular.

We talked briefly with our next door neighbour who have been journeying to Bright at different seasons for over 27 years. From Rachael I learned the name of the large trees around the place. The blossoms are incredible.

We have a Powton Sapphire Dragon tree which produces masses of purple flowers. The tree is a specially bred and select form of Paulownia kawakami (Paulownia) a native of China (see photos in that section of our website).

A majestic, fast growing, deciduous tree with large, mid-green leaves with hairy undersides and prominent veins, and the gently fragrant flowers are what makes this tree so attractive in cultivation.

A profusion of tubular, foxglove-like flowers that are creamy pink (some with spotted throats) are borne in long panicles in spring before the leaves appear, creating quite a spectacular sight.

Tolerant of poor air quality, they are very hardy trees that grow extremely quickly and are an excellent choice as an ornamental or shade tree for medium to larger gardens. These are very long lasting trees, likely to have a lifespan of around 100 years.

The other is a magnificent specimen which has both pink and white varieties and is the Dogwood tree – native to America and the state emblem for Virginia. This is the most startling tree to see and is used in ornamental gardens. Unfortunately, it likes a cool to cold climate, so I can’t expect to see it in Mildura.

I was leaving my chair for mum to sit on, and I was going to sit on my little stool. After a time using this I decided that the buying of a cheap seat is required.

Day 1 Saturday, 13 October 2018

We had spent the last two days packing the caravan and preparing it for our adventure to Bright. We loaded the last minute items on board, hooked Shadow (caravan) up to Hornet (Nissan Navarra) and headed out of Mildura and over the NSW border.

The day was bright sunshine with a noticeable wind and we were in no hurry. We stopped just outside Gol Gol and inspected everything, closed the electric socket outlet on the side, and then continued on our way.

We rang Tahlia (grand daughter) and wished her a very happy birthday, and also spoke with our son, Robert, who has recently began medication for high blood pressure.

We stopped at Wood Wood and enjoyed fresh rolls with turkey and ham, and a hot cup of coffee from the travel thermos.

We arrived at Koondrook for our first night’s stopover, and became reacquainted with John, the manager. We were able to put on the caravan brake but leave it hooked up to the car overnight. I have to mention here that it will take a lot to find better facilities than the Koondrook Caravan Park. It is a small park (about 40 vans top) and the facilities block is brand new.

They opted to go for unisex toilets and showers. There are a few single toilet rooms by themselves, and the showers have a toilet, basin and table for your clothes so you can do everything in the one spot and not have to go elsewhere for teeth cleaning etc. Just love it.

We had chicken pasta with sundried tomato pesto and mushrooms for tea and relaxed for the evening.