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Victoria

South Australia to Victoria  The trip took us through Portland, where we stopped off at McDonalds for some take-away Cappuccinos and Chicken Bites for smoko.

Greetings Warrnambool, Victoria.

Warrnambool is a fairly large city with 33,000 population, which makes it roughly a third the size of Rocky. Our home for 2 nights, was the Surfside Holiday Park, smack bang on the coast. There were many walkways to the beach from the Park, but yet again, the cold, wet, windy weather made such a visit unbearable. Instead we opted for a big drive around town, finished off with a visit to a popular suburban Pub/TAB, where we spent a comfortable Saturday afternoon punting.

Saying goodbye to Warrnambool, our next journey took us along The Great Ocean Road to our current location, Apollo Bay. We did the tourist thing along the away and stopped off at a few of the many spots, including (of course) the 12 Apostles. Unfortunately, nature has taken its toll on the famous dozen and I could only count about 7. One story has it that there were only ever 9, but hell, who cares? It was a spectacular sight to see anyway!

We are at the Pisces Big4 Park at Apollo Bay, set up on a hill, just 800m from the town. Sadly, the bad weather has continued, which has virtually confined us to barracks. If you listen closely, you'll probably hear the rain in the Van roof! This place would be really beautiful in summer, but right now, I'd score it 5 out of 10.

Very few photos due to the weather.

Tomorrow morning it's off to Melbourne where we will be based for 15 nights at Melbourne Big4 at Coburg, a near city suburb.

Until then...

Life in Melbourne

Roses seem to grow wild in Melbourne

23rd October   Our trip from Apollo Bay to Melbourne was 'interesting' to say the least. The balance of the Great Ocean Road was mile after mile of "Mt Morgan Range" except it was overcast, freezing cold weather, with rain and landslides. Not pleasant, especially pulling a van!

Once that was over, we got onto the highway to Melbourne and were cruising along the Geelong Bypass, when I spot the cops behind me, with flashing lights. Check the speed... only doing 92... can't be that.  It's a 6 lane divided highway, with hardly enough room to pull over. 3 cops came up to Bev's window (not enough room my side!). "Good morning folks, Geelong Highway Patrol, just a RBT and routine check... do you have your registration and driver's licence sir?" 

All was good, so we got the niceties over with and were back on our way to Melbourne. As expected, Petal (Navman) got us safely to our Melbourne Big 4 Holiday Park at Coburg. Coburg isn't the nicest suburb in Melbourne, but it's only 9 ks from the city and the Park is nice. It's home for us for the next couple of weeks.

Sunday 3rd November   I've been a bit slack with the Blog Posts lately. I guess it's because we've been on the go ever since we arrived in Melbourne.

Once we worked out the Bus/Tram/Train thing for the area, getting around became much easier. We do take the car sometimes, but mostly use Public Transport.

Friday 1st November  

We caught up with my son Andrew for lunch today at "TGI Fridays". He picked us up at the Caravan Park and took us to Chapel Street, a popular retail and dining area in South Yarra. While it's only 16ks from the Park, the traffic was so bad, it took just over an hour to get there. The locals think that's 'normal'!!

Tomorrow morning (Monday), we are heading into the city to catch the Melbourne Cup Parade. To quote the Herald Sun Newspaper, "The race that stops a nation will stop traffic with the Melbourne Cup parade to take over the city's streets.

The iconic Melbourne Cup will be paraded through Melbourne's packed CBD on Monday alongside jockeys, trainers and racing royalty from noon until 2pm.

Thousands will line Swanston Street for the 30th annual Cup parade from Bourke Street to Federation Square ahead of Tuesday's race - which is expected to attract more than 100,000 people to Flemington. The parade culminates in entertainment and interviews with trainers and jockeys on stage at Federation Square."


We have only had 2 really nice days here since we arrived, but the forecast is for a fine day, with a top of 24 for Tuesday. Here's hoping!

More after the Cup.


 

The Melbourne Cup

The Roses are Beautiful

Bev and I and 100,000 other humans, squeezed into Flemington Racecourse today, to witness the Melbourne Cup.

No, I didn't say watch the Melbourne Cup... because we didn't see it, didn't hear it and certainly didn't win on it!

 

Makybe Diva Statue

It was a very uncomfortable day, mainly because, at the last minute before we left, I decided we didn't need to take the 2 small camp stools, the picnic blanket, umbrella and water.

We had to stand out in the sun most of the day shoulder to shoulder and as a result Bev nearly fainted and I got sunburnt. Our feet are so sore, we can hardly stand, BUT... we did go to the Melbourne Cup!

The Racecourse is huge and spectacular and you wouldn't believe the Roses... beautiful!    IF we ever go again, we will pay the $300 a head so we can sit down at a table, under cover and enjoy the day.

We are here for another day yet, leaving for Lakes Entrance on Thursday morning. All going well, we'll be in Forster (NSW) in a couple of weeks and catch up with Luke and Joanne who will be down for Luke's Triathlon.
 

Melbourne to Sale to Lakes Entrance

Fighting the morning traffic getting out of Melbourne, pulling a caravan through suburbia, wasn't as daunting as I first anticipated. Travelling east, the traffic gradually thinned until I couldn't see anyone in the rear view mirror.It was a short 233ks to Sale, where we had booked for 2 nights at the Showgrounds Motorhome & Caravan Park. In hindsight, it wasn't the best place to stay, but for $21 a night, for a powered site with town water, we couldn't complain.

We were originally going to travel directly to Lakes Entrance, but Google told us there was a Race Meeting at Sale on Friday, so we decided to go.

Sale is a very 'nothing' sort of town, but the race course was a credit to them. Sadly, Bev's losing streak continued but I was fortunate enough to back a $36 winner! We left Sale this morning (Saturday) and took the short trip to beautiful Lakes Entrance, passing through Bairnsdale on the way. 

We are now in the Eastern Beach Caravan Park, home for the next couple of days. 

Unfortunately, the weather is turning nasty again with strong (freezing!) winds and rain moving in.

From here, we cross the border into NSW and will stay at Merimbula for a few days. We sure hope NSW turns on better weather for us! 

UPDATE: Just Googled Merimbula weather... guess what? More rain!
 

 
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New South Wales >>

   

Our solution to this dilemma was to install a Satellite TV System. My research had narrowed the choices down to 2 companies:

Both companies offer a full Satellite Caravan Kit at great prices. I was ready to order a full kit from Access Antennas, when an email changed everything.

I'm a subscriber to the popular Caravan & Motorhome on Tour Magazine, which I enjoy very much. In November 2014 they sent out an email to entice new subscribers and get current subscribers to extend. To sweeten the deal, they were offering a Satellite Dish Kit with a 15 month subscription, for $149!

I used to buy the Magazine each month from the Newsagent and 15 issues @ $9.95 comes to $149.25. Just so happens, the Kit they were offering is the Access Antennas kit, selling on their website for $339. This is the full kit, without the Decoder Box.

I had to buy the VAST Decoder Box separately, which cost $235 postpaid. So I got the full kit, worth $584 including the Bag, plus 15 issues of the magazine ($149.25 across the counter) for only $384!
Now that's a deal !   

 

Caravan Improvement Projects
I love working on new projects that will improve our quality of life on the road. Here's one project I just completed recently. See if it will suit your setup... you may want to do it for your van. 
                 Water Purification Project

 


Simply enter your current location in the box and hit enter. It's preset for the Optus C1/D3 Satellite.

The only drawback is, you need Internet to use it. They also have an iPhone app as well. (No Android yet)
 

 


But it doesn't have to be this way! Stop the frustration! My New Guide will lead you step-by-step towards a successful set-up every time.

Read More Here

 

Usually, we don't stay in a Free Camp location longer than 2 days. We like to share our Free Camping experiences with Caravan Park stays. Therefore, we don't need a lot of Solar. Even so, our setup includes 2x 130w Panels fixed  on the roof (above), powering a 110AH Battery. We also have a second battery in the tug.

As a supplement, we also have a 120w Folding Panel.  We have never come close to running out of power, thanks to our van's highly efficient LED lighting and low power draw appliances.

We lumped a generator around Australia, but in two years, have never used it !

Anyone want to buy a genny?

Read the full Article Here
 

  

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