Time Rolls On

Just another day sitting in the sun. Still watching the never ending parade of Mildurians driving out here for … nothing. We’ve extended our stay until Saturday when we will head south to Echuca. Our highlight of the day was the visit of two Pacific Black Ducks.

As Daffy said “Not this little Black Duck”

On the Tear

We escaped the caravan park yesterday and went and did our grocery shopping in Mildura. The streets were pretty much deserted but Aldi had plenty of customers. We hung around the streets for a while but after three there were no Coffee Shops open ☹️ so we headed back to camp.

A solitary paddle steamer on the Murray River, Mildura

This morning is all lovely sunshine, quite warm and relaxing. Our morning leisure was interrupted by the toot of a paddle-steamer’s whistle, the first we have seen on this trip. The river is very quiet, no water skiers and only the very occasional boat. That’s made up for by the constant stream of joggers, cyclists and drivers out for a change of scenery.

We will stay here for another week before heading south to Echuca to catch up with Shaz. Guess more reading is in store😄

Still Sitting in the Sun

Light rain overnight but sunny this morning with a gentle breeze. Another excuse just to sit in the sun and catch up on some reading (Ernest Favenc’s “The History of Australian Exploration from1788 to 1888”). I find it fascinating reading about all those outback places that we have visited being ‘discovered and named’ by Europeans. Certainly a different breed and different times.

A very ancient River Redgum on the banks of the once mighty Murray River

Our neighbourhood is thinning out with more and more caravans moving off – back home I expect. Suits us, facilities barely being used – all nice and clean. If it stays like this we will stay at least another week before starting our journey south.

Hello, is there anybody there?

Ho Hum

A bit boring over the last couple of days. It rained all day yesterday (26 mm in total) so it was a day inside all day reading. Today was cold and overcast so another day of reading. At least I’m catching up on my reading. Jenny finds my choice of reading matter a little esoteric – Ross Gittin’s Economics Primer, Laura Tingle on the state of politics in Australia and abroad and Dominic Kelly’s Political Troglodytes and Economic Lunatics. Ive moved on to the diaries of early European exploration of Australia after completing Yoro Yoro, a text on aboriginal mythology and rock art in the Kimberley.

A majestic River Red Gum on the banks of the Murray River

The highlight of the day will not doubt be the fish and chips we have ordered for dinner in order to spread a little COVID cash into the local economy

Just Another Sunny Day

Oh dear this is getting a bit tedious. Another glorious day after a cool morning. We went for a 4km stroll this afternoon and came back to have a nice fire before settling in to watch the footy tonight. No doubt you will be all pleased to know that our neighbour from the caravan park introduced herself assuring us she is COVID free and from Timboon so all is well in the world. Personally I would have preferred someone from Drouin but you can’t be fussy in a Viral World.

Fire in the hold!

In the Thick Of It

Our Campsite

We’ve moved into Mildura now, staying at the Apex Riverbeach Caravan Park. We have a great site overlooking the river. It’s a strange phenomenon – no boats. As the Murray River is considered to be NSW, no Victorian boats can be on the river so its all very quiet. We had to leave early this morning to drop the halter monitor off so we decided it would be nice to have breakfast out. Not used to these kind of treats.

The Big Breakfast at Langtree Bar and Restaurant

Still Chillin’

Not much going on at the moment, just sitting around enjoying the sun. No frost just a bit of sun and a quite strong breeze. The fruit pickers are just starting to go out now (lunchtime) so they must have to wait for the fruit to dry. We have decided that we may as well sit it out in the Mildura sunshine so we’re moving to another caravan park on Thursday, this one is right on the edge of Mildura CBD. In the meantime I shall catch up on my reading (currently reading ‘The Art of Logical Thinking’ by William Walker Atkinson – free on iBooks) something I forget to do at home!

We’re Back

Well sorry for the absence, an unexpected medical event sidelined us for a few days but we are back into the thick of it. Sharon and Paul joined us for a couple of nights which was really great. We’ve extended our stay at Nangiloc until next Wednesday when we will then move on to Mildura to a caravan park beside the river and we will stay there for a while to enjoy these balmy winter days.

Drinks to celebrate Nae’s graduation for her Master of Education Degree

We woke to rain this morning not really heavy but enough to get everything wet and get the McCrackens wet as they packed up. It has now cleared with some weak winter sunshine breaking through. A restful afternoon watching the footy is in store.

There’s a Time to Fight and a Time to Run

Okay I admit it we decided it was time to run. I’m afraid the cold weather in South Gippsland was getting to us so we decided to head up to northern Victoria to chase at least some sun.

It was strange travelling along the freeways through the city, mainly commercial traffic but definitely much reduced. We were stopped outside the city to check where we hade come from and where we were going to. We decided to settle on Nangiloc near Mildura. I think the locals were stunned that anyone would choose to come here for leisure purposes – just a few fruit pickers here with us being the only tourists.

Our campfire at Nangiloc Caravan Park

We will sit here for the next week and wait to see what happens. If all continues as is we will just move along the Murray River and eventually head to Sharon and Paul’s for a week before heading back home. Otherwise we are at the mercy of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Actually it’s great to see that even in a little place like this they are enforcing social distancing in the caravan park – we cannot use the barbecues (and they have removed the gas bottles) and must obey all the regulations displayed in the shower block. Generally everyone seems to be good humoured and following the restrictions

Back on Solid Ground

Well that’s Tassie done and dusted. We were up bright and early to get into the queue for the ferry at Devonport. We had to wait for the disembarking passengers and vehicles before we could board. There were a surprising number of vehicles arriving with what appeared to be holiday stuff on board – they must have been returning Tasmanian’s or travellers prepared to self isolate for 14 days. The vehicles going back to the mainland just kept on coming (there must have been no tourists left on the island by the time we boarded😀) and we didn’t manage to get on board until two hours after the opening of loading. It was another relatively smooth sailing despite the weather forecast of strong winds. We disembarked at around 7 p.m. and were back home around 9.

It was a really great trip, beautiful scenery and the feeling of stepping back in time with the many old homes and other buildings. It would have been very tempting to move there had we seen it thirty years ago (well I would have been tempted I don’t know if we could have broken Jenny’s familial links). The only thing we noticed was the narrowness of the roads. The closeness between towns was interesting, as was the preparedness of the locals to have a dip by creating and selling products from their homes or along the wayside. I would rate it as one of our best trips. The boring stats were 3273 kilometres and $629 in fuel. Heaps of free camps and interesting scenery.

Thanks again to the Willies for their company and good humour and the people of Tasmania for putting up with us. Special call out to Jack and Jenny Smith for the great visit we had with them.

Now if this virus thingy nicks off we may even get away for another trip this year.