Backpacking Pensioners travel blog

A stormy first day at Grantville

A Grantville local

Bob's safety talk

A four legged motor homer

The potting class

Beryl, Betty and Fred

Sunday lunch with Roebuck and Jayco in the background

Sylvia's Comments.

Travelling around like a couple of nomads makes for difficulties when any post is required to be sent to us. As we needed to receive some mail and as we were nearing Melbourne we thought we would ask Ron and Val, members of the Nepean Nomads chapter of the CMCA if we could use their address. We had first met them way back in November at Lake Goldsmith and they had offered assistance to us if we required it. I e-mailed them asking if they would receive mail for us and also asked if the group were holding any rallies in the near future.

We received a reply saying one was to be held on the above dates and in an area we would be close to, so we really pleased to be able to meet with them again. Jeff has described our journey through wind and high water to get there, showing we are keen rally attendees. When we arrived on the appointed field we parked our van in a nice convenient spot close to the hall only to be told that this space had to be kept free in case emergency vehicles required entry. So the driver had to move it to another spot, and we found ourselves parked next to Roebuck, the motor home of Bob and June. We were later to learn of June's television personality status.

A few vans had already arrived but more were due over the week-end, altogether there were 18 motorhomes at the rally. Once again we were greeted warmly by the members and it was nice to catch up with old friends. Ron was looking really well, at the last rally he had been ill and had to cut short a walking trip to Halls Gap, after the rally, due to his ill health. So it was nice to see him in good health, he also produced our mail which had arrived that morning from Scotland. Shortly after our arrival Fred, the President of the chapter, and his wife Betty arrived and parked in the spot we had originally parked in. Jeff pointed this out to me and said I should inform them, but felt I could not tell the President to shift so left it to someone else.

Lunch was taken on the picnic tables outside the hall in the sunshine and out of the wind. When we first met the Nepean Nomads we were avid listeners with plenty of questions to ask. This time we were able to contribute with our tales of adventure, daring and most often downright stupidity.

After our evening meals we all met in the hall where Ron had prepared a quiz. I thought our team would do well as I had read every tourist board notice in every place we had visited, so was well up on Australian trivia. But Ron was more cunning than that and had picked some really hard questions that had our brains working overtime, and still we got them wrong.

Saturday morning dawned and the wind had dropped so it was a nice sunny day. We all gathered for Bob's safety talk,(from the motor home by us) in the hope we would learn something. It proved to be interesting, as Bob regaled us with the tail of driving off from his home yesterday still plugged into the electrics. Well, that puts him one up on us as we haven't done that—yet!

After lunch Fred and Betty, who are keen botanists, gave a workshop on taking cuttings from garden plants native to Australia. They had brought a number of cuttings with them and soon everyone was busy working away. Fred and Betty have a wealth of knowledge of native plants and know all the Latin names. It was interesting listening to them.

We also spent some time with a new member, Paul, who helped us try and sort out some of the difficulties we are experiencing with downloading our video recordings. But even he was stumped and he teaches computing.

Dinner tonight was fish and chips from the local shop followed by a traveller's tales session. Bob and June, (our neighbours) gave an account of the recent National Rally held at Barcauldine, where an attempt on the world record of the longest continuous line of motorhomes driving on the road was to be attempted. It failed by just 40 vans and many reasons as to why were put forward. Some said the police had turned people away, others that people thought there was a charge of $50, (£22) to be in the line. This was a case of Chinese whispers as it was suggested that each van contribute a gold coin donation to go to a local charity. The lowest denomination gold coin is $1, equivalent to 43p, so they were not asking much. We were within 200 miles of the rally but had made the decision that we wanted to visit Cooktown and could not do both. It was a shame, as listening to Bob and June recount tales about it seems we missed some good fun.

We had however seen pictures about it on the TV. Every Saturday evening a programme called 'Out and About', a travel programme, is screened. For three weeks after the rally they featured a spot about motor homing and one of the stars was June. She was shown doing her washing, in a similar tub to mine, so her tale was about the filming and the number of takes required for a couple of minutes viewing. The TV crew required to film her driving the motor home along the road at which suggestion Bob's face had fallen, it was a new motor home and she had never driven it.

Jeff and I gave a talk on the happenings at all the motorhome rallies we had been to around Australia, it seemed to go down well as most people laughed, perhaps they were just humouring the poms.

Sunday morning dawned and it was another lovely day and we spent the morning saying good-bye to a lot of very nice people who had made us very welcome. This was our last CMCA Rally in Australia and it is now beginning to hit home our days here are numbered. We still have twelve days to go before we take the van to the docks and had planned a trip inland to Walhalla, an old mining town we had been told was a must to visit. We had mentioned this over the rally and Val and Ron had indicated they would like to join us if their calendar allowed it. So we arranged that we would give them a call when we got to Melbourne and see how they were placed.

We had lunch and then said our final good-byes and set off to visit the Koala Sanctuary down the road and play a round of crazy golf.

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