Canberra to Port Lincoln      February 9 to  March 20 

9 February. The surroundings of Canberra are rolling hills with poplar trees everywhere and grasses. With the dark clouds overhead and still a bit of sunshine through it makes for an impressive view. First stop Cooma for a walk and laundry. Half way Cooma and Jindabyne the heavens came down. Spend the night beside Lake Jindabyne. We had to drive through Mount Kosciuszko national park. If you want to so much as stop in the park you have to pay park fees. All we wanted to drive to Wodonga. You get a free out of jail card for this. They give you a time you have to be out off the park which is impossible at the speed we driving. No one to check at the end. The Murray river starts in the Snowy Mountains and we have camped near it many times over the years. The last couple of days the new heater get's used every morning. This morning it was 14 degrees in the bus.
   The man from snowy river.                Near Mount Kosciuszko                Camp spot besides the Murray River
11 Feb. drove only 30 KM to a camp spot besides the Murray where there is a very popular camp spot, the Jingellic Reserve. This time we are not camping by our selves. The weather is slowly clearing. Morning blue skies, afternoon rain. We leave Jingellic after lunch and drive to the Hume dam. We camped here before. Beautiful views and quiet spot. 13 Feb. Drive via Albury Wodonga and Beechworth to Wangaratta. We Met Bill and Phill van Ruth a few times over the years. Stayed in their yard overnight. Last time we were there it was so cold we bought a heater. This time just perfect. From Wangaratta we are heading for Bendigo. First stop Glenrowan the place where Ned Kelly was captured.  We are very close to Echuca were here a few years ago and the water level in the Murray River was very low. After all the rain the last few years I expected a big improvement but it was worse. We only walked along the wharf area for a short time. On a weekday the place is very quiet. Further south we found a beaut camp. Ayson Reserve. A large area with trees lining the Campese River. Plenty of water here. Fishing disappointing. After lunch direction Bendigo.
                   Susan, Phill and Bill                             Ned Kelly                  Ayson Reserve. View from bus.
15 Feb. We stayed with Ineke de Rijcke for one night. Bendigo has some fantastic old buildings which reflects  the wealth generated from the gold in the 1800th. Next stop Anakie and the Goedegebuur family. A Dutch family we met in Townsville. We have been here a few times before and there was always something to do as far as building work is concerned. This time only R&R. We even had visitors here from Geelong. Arie and Ria Bakker. All this worked out well as we were looking for a house sitter for October as we will be away for one month and they will fly over and spend their holiday here. While in Anakie a lot of card games Susan did well I did not.
Monday 20 Feb. direction Apollo Bay after visiting Aldi and Dan Murphey. We got here late afternoon. Ria lives on the side of a steep hill. Last time we were there the bus did not make it up the driveway but this time we made it.
   All the young ladies in Anakie.   Rie Oudemeilink Apollo Bay.  Lake Colac first beaut sunset of many to come.
21 Feb. First stop an op shop. Here I bought a whole set of golf clubs for $5. Now I am ready to do the longest golf stretch in the world. Over 1000KM. From Apollo Bay we drove north through the Ottway ranges to Colac. Just north of Colac is a large lake with a beaut camping spot. In the area a lot of plantation Pine and they have some large sawmills here. We spend two nights beside lake Colac. 23 Feb. Shopping and washing took all morning. A short stretch to Camperdown and from there to Derrinallum where we parked on the race course. The whole area is littered with volcano's. The landscape is nearly flat but every now and than you see a mountain. This region has been shaped like this only 20 000 years ago which makes it one of the youngest volcanic spots in Australia. In the distance you could see Mount Elephant. 24 Feb. A very cold morning. 12 degrees outside. On the way to the Grampians it warmed up to 37 degrees. We need a new thermometer the one we just bought  could not handle the heat. We drove via Mortlake, Lake Bolak and Dunkelt north. Camped in the Grampians National Park at Jimmy Creek.
                    Mount Elephant in Derrinallum                       Boroka lookout Grampians                                    The Balconies Grampians   
25 Feb.  The night was not too cold. The day turned out to be a scorcher. Total fire ban in this area. I walked to the Pinnacle which has a beaut view over Halls Gap. It was a bit of a climb but worth it. After that the The Balconies. This are a few rocks which stick out of the mountain side. Boroka lookout has another view of Hall Gap but only a short walk to the platform. Last but not least Mc Kenzie falls. Another spectacular view from above of the waterfalls. The waterfall was the last of the things to do here. When you have a four wheel drive there are lot's more places to explore. Drove to 10 KM before Horsham and parked beside the Blue Lake under a tree. A lot of activity on the water. To have a rest from all the walking in the Grampians we decided to stay here another day. On the radio were constant warnings not to go to an area just east of the Grampians because a bushfire got out of hand and we were advised that the road we wanted to take was closed because of another fire. When we passed there they had just wrapped up the fire and all was clear.  The rain we had during the night and the next day would have helped. 
                Too hot to cook inside.                                      Blue Lake Horsham                                     The big lobster Kingston                 
27 Feb. Two days beside Blue Lake near Horsham. Very relaxing watching the water-skiers and generally doing nothing after all the walking we did in the Grampians. All we did in Horsham was shopping and empty the Black water. We also filled the water tank. Normally when the tap water is not suitable for drinking it has a warning on it. This one did not and the water came straight out of the river which is very muddy at the moment because of all the rain. In other words our tea tasted like mud. All fixed now. From Horsham to Kingston was not much too see. By now we are in South Australia.  In Kingston we had a beaut spot beside the jetty. The mornings are getting very cold but everything warms up around 10 AM. Another two nights here. Dinner in the pub which was OK. When we left Kingston first a photo from the big lobster. A lot of towns in Australia have large fibreglass items as a symbol of the town. Drove to Tailem Bend. This is a village adjacent to the Murray River. Only an overnight stay and on to Murray Bridge for some shopping. We have been here with this bus under different circumstances. The last time was on the back of a flat bed truck with a busted clutch. We spend the night in Mannum. We have stayed here many times before.  Two metres away from the Murray River with ducks and other birds swimming right in front of the bus.
3 March. A weekend away with a chapter from the motorhome club in Port Elliot. We did not expect to see people we knew but there were several we had met around the place. There are some very old (for Australia) villages around this area. Early 1800. Beautiful sandstone buildings. Sunday 5 March direction Adelaide. We visited a market in Goolwa first. I managed to swipe a mirror of a parked car. The owner was very easy to get along with and repaired it for only $55. 
     Mannum photo taken from bus.                                    Goolwa.                                                                   Port Adelaide 
Semaphore is an outer suburb of Adelaide. We parked here for the afternoon overlooking the ocean. Because we have been here a few times before we know a few good overnight spots. West Lake is one of them. We were joined by another couple looking for a place to stay and we had happy hour together. We decided not to go in to Adelaide. The V8 races just finished and a lot of roads are still closed which makes it difficult to get around. We had to get a few technical things sorted out and were on our way in the afternoon. Parked the bus on the oval in Hamlet Bridge. They just declared themselves RV friendly which means that they provide overnight safe parking. 
7 March. The nights are getting a bit nippy but the days are perfect as long as you can keep out of the wind. We spend all afternoon in Ardrossan. All the towns on Yorke Peninsula are very laid back.

Ardrossan Jetty Yorke Peninsula

From Androssen we head to Port Vincent stopping at every little town on the way. The whole coast is limestone and each little village is called Port something and has a jetty. Main export in the 1800s was wheat, salt and lime. It only had to be shipped to Adelaide which is across the bay. Wherever there is flat land here they are growing wheat. The distances here are not great. In Minlaton we got information on the camp spots. We normally freecamp but this is not encouraged here. We bought a permit to give us access to the bush camps. Do not confuse these with a caravan park. There are no facilities just a spot to park the bus. First stop Barkers rock. A beaut spot overlooking the ocean and dunes with a rocky outcrop just in front of us. Here I did my first successful fishing. 5 Whiting and just over the legal size. A very good fish to eat with few bones. During the day the dolphins were having a great time and put on a show.  Two nights here. On to Corny Point via Warooka. A few years ago I had a slight accident with a signpost here when the bar from the spare tyre got hooked to it and bend the bar 45 degrees. At Corny Point we camped near the lighthouse. No luck with the fishing here. When we went to Corny Point a few years ago we did not continue on this road because it got too rough. After Warooka all the roads are gravel but this time they were in a fairly good condition. Still it gave Susan the hee ha's. 

Corny Point    A typical coast scene.

We stayed one night in Gleesons Landing. This is a fairly large area where you are allowed to camp. It has a few drop toilets and rubbish bins. It is very popular with surfers. Just a pity that they only come for the surfing and partying and leave the place in a mess. It was particularly busy because it was a long weekend. Monday off because of Adelaide cup day. By this time Susan had enough of the gravel road and we made a bit of a detour through Warooka. But the only way to see the southern beaches is to follow the gravel road. There is a famous national park at the tip of the Peninsula but we had been there before and we heard later that all was booked out so we did not go in. 11 March we went straight south from Warooka and followed the coast to Edithburg after spending the night at a beach camp.  
12 March Parked all day beside the jetty in Edithburg and drove out of town for the night. Here we had a view of the grain loading going on all night. Next Yorketown, Minlaton, Port Victoria. All small towns but interesting. A lot of old buildings still standing or you see the ruins of a dwelling in the middle of a grain field. Spend the night at The Gap. Another beach camp. Sometimes we are by ourselves and sometimes we can have happy hour with other campers. At the Gap the wind started to pick up late afternoon and the heavens came down. The area recorded 15000 lightning strikes. The car got a good wash down. 
15 March Wallaroo jetty. Here we parked beside another camper. We told them about the chapter meeting we wanted to visit and they decided to join us for this. The weekend was taken up with the Peninsula Yorkeys in Port Broughton.  We had visited them before and we had a very pleasant couple of days with them.

     The Gap just before the storm.                               Port Victoria Jetty.                                                 Port Broughton toilet block
We had to stay here another day because the mail had not arrived yet. On Monday first the laundry and then back to Kadina. This time the mail was there.  By the time everything was organised we decided to go to the beach just north of Kadina a small place called Trickera. On the way there Susan got a stinging pain in her ear. Luckily there was a hospital near by. An ant had crawled in her ear and decided to go for lunch. Half an hour later it was all fixed. At the camping spot was another motorhome, someone to share happy hour with. The sunset here was the best we had seen so far. Magic colours. Next day as soon as I turned the radio on the first bit of news was that Townsville was hit by a mini tornado. It was over the national news all day but our house was not in the line of fire.  180 KM to Port Augusta, on the way only one stop in Port Germein. Here is the longest wooden pier in the southern hemisphere, 1600 M. It took a while to walk to the end and even longer to walk back with a strong wind ahead. The wind can be really ferocious at times and settle down quickly. 20 March 34 degrees, hot and no breeze.
21 March 19 degrees and a gale with rain.

     Trickera before and after sunset



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