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March 9th 2019
Published: March 9th 2019
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Day 1 (2/3/2019)

Departed home at 7:30AM. Found traffic quite busy for that early on a Saturday. Not happy to be leaving a day later than expected, but when you only get the caravan back at 4:05PM the previous day, there is not much you can do about it. At least all the main things were taken care of (we hope!) & we have a hassle free trip.

After being badly buffeted by fierce side winds from the North, we stopped at Ballarat at 10:20AM for a cuppa & a brief rest. I had forgotten how the bum cheeks nod off driving & a leg stretch always stops any cramping up.

Back on the road at 10:50AM, the drive was largely uneventful with little traffic except for one moron who decided he wanted to overtake me on the inside up the emergency lane. How do these idiots get their licences?

Arrived at Greenhill Lake at Ararat around 1:00PM after dropping in to the Ararat IGA to get some supplies, knowing that the new fridge was working as well as expected after checking the battery drain before we left. The battery used 16-17%!o(MISSING)vernight before the solar panels started the recharging. All of my homework on the power usage was on the mark; mission accomplished!

Set up in a nice spot overlooking the lake which was quite lower than expected. A quick look at the BOM Water Storage App showed that the entire Western District of Victoria lakes were suffering. So badly in fact that 2 lakes I had fished a few years before were bone dry at 0%! (MISSING)

The marinated chicken wings for dinner were a great way to top off the days drive & along with a few drinks would ensure that we would sleep quite well before having to continue on our way early the following morning.

Day 2 (3/3/2019)

Departed Ararat at 5:55AM to very little traffic on the road. The sun was just coming up behind us, blinding the view from the mirror behind as we pulled into Horsham for breakfast at 7:10AM; perfect timing for a stop!

Back on the road at 7:40AM, we puttered along, motoring at between 80-90KMH. The nasty side winds we had yesterday nowhere to be seen. Bordertown was the stop for Diesel at a reasonable price & adjust the watches to S.A. time. Our economy rate was 15.03 L/100KM, thanks to those winds. This proved to be a good stop, as in the next town of Keith, most of the servos were all closed up. Can say that in all my lifetime I had never seen them shut up like this.

The tree lined roads made travelling a breeze. We were constantly in the 90-100KMH region & stopped at Tintinara at 10:40AM for a cuppa break. 20 minutes later we headed for Tailem Bend, arriving at 11:55AM to stop for lunch. Content to sit back & stretch out for a while, we got back on the road at 12:35PM, making the short trek down the road to Murray Bridge & the Murray Bridge Tourist Park, our next stop for 2 nights, arriving at 1:00PM.

Set up the van & had marinated steak for dinner. A little bit laster we found the toilet flooded in the early evening. A leaking water hose behind the toilet the culprit. Good to see when they re-plumbed the water hoses they checked they were on properly. It was fun with a torch & screwdriver outside in the dark while Deb mopped up the mess. Not impressed!

Into bed as we had to be up early the next morning & for the 2nd night in a row, slept quite soundly.

Day 3 (4/3/2019)

Up early, we had breakfast before heading a few km's down the road to drop the car off to have a Torque Converter Lockup Kit fitted.

While the work was being done, we explored Murray Bridge on foot. Taking in the views of the Murray River & some retail looking (very little buying for once!).

Returned to pick up the car at 2:00PM & immediately noticed the difference which would be more noticeable the following day.

Had pasta for dinner, followed by a shower & bed.

Day 4 (5/3/2019)

Left Murray Bridge at 9:45AM. The drive on the freeway has always been a struggle with the hills & with a larger van on this time, I was concerned about how much we would struggle. The Torque Converter did it's job, making short work of all except 2 of the huge hills. On a couple of hills, we had some funny looks as some people were shocked to be overtaken by a large caravan!

Arrived at the A1 Caravan Park at Bolivar at 11:35AM. Set up our van next to Chris & Mark, who had orchestrated to be next to us. Mark cooked us a BBQ lunch with a salad which was most welcome; even after travelling just a short distance. Our site is right opposite the toilets means we did not have to use ours in the van.

Went to use the caravan antenna to find it broken. Not only would it not rotate, but it also would not find any channels. Went for a drive around the area to find the shops & stock up since we would be here for 5 nights.

Into bed early with the hot days & travelling catching up.

Day 5 (6/3/2019)

Today we awaken to a nightmare; caravan flooded inside next to the bed from the hot water unit leaking like a sieve. The fact that this was meant to have been fixed before we left was a reason to be majorly pissed off.

After mopping up & breakfast & some heated phone calls, it has been arranged for a repairer to come out tomorrow morning at 9:00AM.

Keen to not let this get us down, we went for a drive to check out how much the Northern suburbs of Adelaide had changed. There had been quite a lot of development while some spots were as we remembered them.

After spending the afternoon talking with Chris & Mark, we all headed out for dinner at the White Horse Inn close by & $11.90 Steak Night. Where else can you pay this price, get a 250gram steak plus salad bar plus dessert? Great value & a great night out.

Rest of the night has been spent typing out this blog, and time to get to bed at 10:30PM as the repairer will be here at 9:00AM in the morning to fix the hot water unit.

Day 6 (7/3/2019)

Up early to be ready for the guy to inspect the hot water service leak. Was here 10 minutes, told us the unit is stuffed & gave us a bill for $95. No units available in Adelaide, so hoping to get one fitted a bit later on when we get to Perth. Not ideal, but you cant stress over something that is out of your control.

Since the antenna is also broken & they want an exhorbitant amount to fix it, we went to the Home of 12 Volt & purchased a portable satellite dish. Not much dearer, but able to use it virtually anywhere in the country.

Spent the afternoon figuring out how to put it all together & registering the Traveller's Vast Card. Early evening saw an email arrive to say it was active & just like that, access to 124 channels!

Day 7 (8/3/2019)

Picked up a few supplies in readiness for Sunday when we start our venture across the Nullarbor. Sorting out things like small simple meals until we reach the other side. Stocked up on drinking water, so just about all sorted.

Rested up prior to going to Chris & Mark's daughter Amy's house for dinner. Had a lovely BBQ meal & also met her husband Craig & the kids. Left there about 10:30PM & crawled into bed.


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