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June 14th 2013
Published: June 17th 2013
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Mekong the Shar- PeiMekong the Shar- PeiMekong the Shar- Pei

The lady who owned this dog, told us that he had already had a face lift!!!
I am not sure that I am getting used to these cold mornings, another morning and I don't appear until about 8am despite having been awake since 7am.

I grab a shower and by the time I get back, Andy is also up and about making a cup of tea. Jan and Keith have appeared already having had their breakfast as Andy sets about making ours, I already have a load in the washing machine which will need drying but as it is a windy day I decide that it would be best hung outside to get the fresh air.

We put the awning up so that it sits between our trailer and Keith and Jans caravan, this way we can all sit underneath the awning and keep dry if it rains. This is one benefit of the set up with Gypsy, the awning can attach to either side of the trailer, giving us flexibility in its use.

What am I saying? "If it rains?" Of course it is going to rain, the sky was blue and the clouds are already rolling in across Jamestown. We sit underneath the awning drinking copious amounts of tea and chatting, my
Shar PeiShar PeiShar Pei

It seemed that its paws did not fit on its legs correctly
washing is drying on Keith and Jans portable rotary washing line and then of course it rains, so we pull the line underneath the awning.

A while later we decide to walk into town, roughly 50 metres away from the campsite, we need a few groceries and on Keith and Jan's recommendation we are going to the bakery to sit indoors in the warmth and have lunch. It is of course still raining.

In the bakery we find a long queue but it is rather a huge bakery and there is ample seating. We enjoy some lunch and stay in the warmth for as long as we can, eventually the sun comes out so we head off in different directions to do some shopping, we need some more fruit and veg (after having disposed of the little we had at the quarantine bin) and as Keith and Jan had cooked our dinner last night, tonight was our turn. We (the royal "we" Andy is actually cooking) are doing pork chops, mash potato, with a side of onions, capsicum and green beans.

The IGA only had 3 pork chops (I know Helen, we should have gone for the
Soft TouchSoft TouchSoft Touch

Feed a duck once and they become a pest.
lamb!) so I asked if they had any more, the lady said they didn't but she could get some in from the local butcher, across the road. I was impressed by this good service, but said we would wander over to the butcher anyway.

We have noticed again, how friendly everyone seems to be here in town. Pork chops in hand we head off back to camp, where Andy has his usual nana nap, Keith also has a nana nap so Jan and I sit under the awning enjoying the afternoon sunshine (sheltering from the cold wind!).

We were standing in front of Gypsy when a lady walked past with a very dark coloured dog, Andy said to me that it looked like a Shar Pei, which was a dog we were interested in getting when we were first married, and a favourite of Andy's.

Andy started chatting to the lady who originally was Kent many years ago he asked here what the dogs name was and she replied Mekong, the dog was growling its head off but the lady said he was just making a noise for the sake of it, and he was really a
T26 TrojanT26 TrojanT26 Trojan

Andy chats to the owner
big sook, she went on to say the dog had had a facelift and Andy said, sorry I missed what you just said.

Again she replied that the dog had undergone a face lift as obviously its wrinkles were obscuring its sight, Andy was horrified, by what the lady had said.

When the lady and the dog walked way, there just seemed to be something wrong the dog sort of tip toes and its legs seemed to have been fitted incorrectly, Andy said to me that it reminded him of a freak show.

Soon dinner was cooked in the camp kitchen, we set up a table with 4 chairs, where we sat and ate our lovely dinner, which went down very well. Jan brought their electric fan heater in so that we could stay warm whilst we indulged in a couple of games of Rummikub, which we had to teach to Keith and Jan as they had not played before.

Bedtime was upon us and we all retired to respective trailers, taking advantage of the power and having some heating on. Just to point out for safety reasons that we do not use the fan heater overnight, we only have it switched on in the trailer when we are in there and wide awake!

Saturday morning and it is time to part company and head our separate ways, Keith and Jan are making their way back to Canberra and we are heading toward Adelaide. After the usual flurry of packing up it is 3 minutes to ten and we are ready to go, we say our goodbyes and soon head down RM Williams Way toward Spalding and Clare.

It is lovely and sunny, a dry day has befallen us, the scenery is lush green and stretches out before us.

As usual Andy follows my direction, in the distance we see an interesting aeroplane, it looks like an old warbird. We slow up, but Andy decides that we should pull into the aerodrome to have a closer look, it is big, shiny and beautiful.

While we are looking an older gentleman steps out of one of the hangars, he waves us over. I say that we could not resist having a look.

This guy, we don't even know his name, is so friendly and is more than happy to tell us all about the aircraft. This is the boring bit, he explains that it is a North American T26 Trojan, a piston engine training aircraft used by the US in the Vietnamese war.

He is very proud of it and explains that he has just flown in for the weekend, his wife has gone shopping in Adelaide for the day and they go home on Monday. How lovely.

We discuss where we are all from, he laughs and tells Andy he looks like a politician and then winks at me. We discuss Canberra and then where we are from in England, it felt like we had known this guy for years. Secretly I think Andy was hankering for being offered a flight in it. Secretly I was hoping that I would not be offered a flight in it!

Just an interesting point here, on this journey so far, when asked I have been telling people we are from Canberra and we do get a very negative reaction from some, as soon as I say Canberra, they just launch into a tirade of insults which we both feel aimed directly at us for coming from Canberra. I am going to say at this point, we could not vote at the last election so whatever politics are going on right now, not our fault!! Wait for the next election though because we are now eligible to vote.

Others seem to bypass that and say "oh I mean where in England?" (obviously our English accents are still coming through!).

So, just to be clear to my fellow travellers out there, not everyone who comes from Canberra is a politician and we have not been responsible for writing and setting policy, so please don't be negative toward us just because we have lived there for the past 3 years.

We have discussed this with other travellers, Keith and Jan included, who come from Canberra and everyone says the same thing. Andy has resorted to saying we are from Nangus, where the farm is, and to be honest I might also be saying the same thing. I will be happy to divulge further truth if appropriate.

As soon as we are able we are going to re register the truck to get rid of the ACT registration plates, it is a bit of a give away!

Anyway, I have digressed and I did have that small point off my chest.

We say goodbye to the kind and lovely gentleman for allowing us to ogle his aeroplane, he shakes our hand but very cheekily he asks for a kiss on the cheek from me, of course I oblige.

We drive through Clare, and find yet another gorgeous town that should be worth a look, even though we stop at tourist information , we decide to move on as we do need to work off some mileage today as we have plans for tomorrow.

The lady in tourist information was exceptionally helpful, she also tells us that her husband is English and she lived over in the UK for 8 years before finally telling her husband it was time to head back to Australia!

I decide roughly where we are going to camp, and find a route that takes us through Kapunda, Greenock and Nuriootpa, with acres and acres of vines stretching beyond us.

Driving through Kapunda we realise that we had driven through here before, seeing the huge statue of the cornish miner which still stands proud. We also have stayed at Nuriootpa before too.
Jan & KeithJan & KeithJan & Keith

Our friends from Canberra Jan and Keith
On our last big journey, I spent the morning at Penfold's doing a "blend your own wine" session which was the best excuse I ever had for drinking of a morning, I also still have a record of the percentages of wine used in my blending so I could recreate that if I wanted to.

Unfortunately for me, Andy was driving and was not inclined to stop, that said because he drives where I tell him to, I could easily have told him to turn left into a car park then of course he would have no choice, maybe next time?

Eventually we turn up at Mount Crawford, we find the Forest Information Centre, the ranger has already left for the day, but as usual there is a fee structure, a form and an envelope for you to write the permit and post the money.

This one is really cheap, I oblige by popping $6 into the envelope ($3.00 per adult), while we are doing this a lady taps on the window, we find out that she is looking for the location of the dog sled racing, this sounds interesting, especially as she has 2 Siberian Husky's sat in the back of her car, they seem to take up the whole of the back of the car!

She tells us where to find the Rocky Paddock campground, we could not oblige and tell her where the dog sled racing is though, so off we set.

Eventually we find this beautiful area which is bustling with people, surprisingly busy considering how cold it is at night.

We find a suitable spot for our rig, there is a fire pit ready and waiting to be used (not allowed to have a fire outside of the designated fire pit. Andy unloaded our wood and got a rip roaring fire on the go. We still had a couple of hours daylight, but we chose to sit and watch the world go by. A man wanders over to discuss the camping, he tells us he has lived in Adelaide for 30 years and never knew "this place" existed and asked how we found it (I of course found it using the trusty Camps book). He tells us that he has an off road trailer but couldn't remember the name of it, his wife had never been camping so he is planning on camping up here one night. We did suggest that he should wait for warmer weather otherwise his wife may be put off by the cold on her first camping experience.

I went for a wander with my camera, I also felt like I needed the exercise, truthfully it was only 20 minutes before I was back next to the fire. I received a text from Jan and Keith giving us their location and by the sounds of it, they were a bit warmer than us!

Because it was so cold away from the fire neither of us really wanted to bother too much about a fussy dinner, so it became one of our "eat em ups" nights of chilli and rice.

Andy noticed we had a small problem, the main fridge/freezer in the truck appeared to have stopped working, thankfully it must have only just occurred as the frozen food in there was still frozen solid. So out came the manual and off came the side of the fridge to expose the motor, a little bit of testing later found out that the thermostat had packed up.

Finding a way to by pass this issue we were soon running again, but it does mean we have to replace the thermostat sooner rather than later. We are thankful that the weather is cold, if it was hot weather then we may have had to cook the entire contents of the freezer.

We had copious amounts of wood for the fire, it was roaring. We watched some other people turn up in cars, make a fire and start opening bottles of drink, it crossed our minds that we would perhaps be in for a night of yahoo's. Our only saving grace might be that it is way too cold for people to really bother staying out all night and most of the time we are in Gypsy we tend not to hear too much anyway.

Our hot water bottles were done and the bed was warming, I wanted to bail at 9.00 and get into bed, it was such a cold evening I wanted to be comfortable and snug. I don't mind admitting that not only did we have the fire, but I had my merino wool thermals on, a thick fleece and a baseball cap just so that I could stay warm.

Andy suggested that we pull the roof down on Gypsy so that the compartment was smaller and therefore would perhaps keep us warmer, whilst I did not mind that, I was concerned about feeling claustrophobic.

We had discussed this before to Lorraine and Louie, where we bought Gypsy, they said that another person had done just that, and went on to explain that he woke up in the night very delirious, the problem is that closing the roof creates a bit of a vacuum and thus takes away a good supply of air, with that in mind I opened the top vent very slightly and the window just above our heads so that a bit of air would circulate.

This may seem a bit of an odd thing to do as we are trying to keep warm by closing the roof, however it worked!

I tried to read for a while but I was tired, it felt like it was a long day, so I put my book down and I am sure well before 10.00 I was fast asleep.


18th June 2013

Thanks Pozzies
Thanks Pozzies for a most enjoyable meal and for introducing us to Rummikub. It was so good of you to share your awning, with ours broken - a chance to breathe (very) fresh air and to keep dry at the same time. Gosh it was icy cold, wasn't it? Thanks also for Keith's bacon & egg sandwich. Jolly good to see you again - missing you. Appreciate the effort you made to catch up with us. Cheers Keith & Jan
18th June 2013

It was gret to see you
Hi both, hey no worries, its was great to see you. Thanks for feeding us up to we had a blast. Glad you are reading the blog. Stay safe on your travels. A&C
18th June 2013

The first night Sylvia and I spent in our camper, it was 1 degree, in Mackesville, NSW, near Taree. We have never been so cold. We quickly bought a blow heater. Doesn't help when we are in bed but really warms the tent up before we get up in the morning! Not much help when you are off-road, though. This last time when we up around Murwillumbah it was 11 and that seemed bitter as we had forgotten to bring the heater! It is all comparative. In our home on the NSW Central Coast it is 8 - 13 when we get up and it seems freezing.
18th June 2013

Hi John and Sylvia, great to hear from you, wow, we have had some cold weather, we woke to a very cold start today but in warmed up nicely throughout the day. Walking through Hahndorf was just fantastic. Glad you are reading the blog. Our very best wishes to you. A & C

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