Debbie & Geoff's

Australian Safari


Travel Blog     -     December 2017

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Saturday 1st – Friday 8th, December 2017

Our time in Sydney went quickly with me seeing a couple of musicals with a girlfriend and Geoff slaved away with his audit. We even managed a day sailing with Andrew and Rosalie who are long-time friends and just bought a 50 foot yacht. The weather was perfect with light winds and sunshine for us to put the boat through its paces. Then before we knew it we were back in Melbourne for what ended to be a longer period as we waited for a package to arrive by courier. We did spend one day at Yan Yen Reserve which was a lovely park on the edge of their catchment area. Finally the package arrived and we were happy to be back on the road heading slowly to Sydney.

 Rosalie on her yacht     Sailing       Andrew on the yacht
Rosalie on her yacht                 Sailing                 Andrew on the yacht

Saturday 9th – Tuesday 12th, December 2017

From Melbourne we drove to Mulawala right on the lake for the evening and we even managed a lovely walk. Though it was a bit blowy that at least kept the flies away as they had lots of friendly flies that loved to stick to you. Just down from the caravan park was a large free camp again right on the water’s edge and we shall keep it in the books for if we pass by this way again.
We did find a magic free camp for our next stop at Bogolong Creek where Geoff got to fly the drone and we had an amazing sunset. We were the only ones their so it was very quiet and the night stars were just breathtaking.

 Bogolong Creek     Bogolong Creek       Bogolong Creek

 Bogolong Creek     Bogolong Creek       Bogolong Creek
Bogolong Creek Free Camp

Now it gets interesting. We had just passed through Cowra heading to Sydney and suddenly the car started to blow smoke and the engine died. Geoff lifted the hood to notice that it was coated with oil. Oh noooooo! How can our trusty beast fail us now when we were only a day away from Sydney. With one bar of phone signal we called the NRMA and told them of our predicament. As we had the Premium Plus cover for road side assistance, it meant that we could have the van also towed into town. A big cheer out to the guys that dropped the car at the local Ford dealer and our van to the Cowra Van Park, they also were very caring and offered us one of their cars or to drop us anywhere we would like to go. This being a Sunday meant the car would not be looked at till sometime the next day but as the van park was in town at least we could walk up and get food supplies and have a beer at the local pub to settle us down after our unplanned day.

 Broken-down      Caravan on the truck       Ranger on the truck
Broken-down                 Caravan on the truck                 Ranger on the truck

Monday was a day of waiting to see what could be done and I was lucky enough to notice the Red Cross Blood Service was in town so I managed to roll up my sleeve for donation # 54.

 Giving blood in Cowra      Unloading at Cowra van park       Loaded for tow to Sydney
Giving blood in Cowra                 Unloading at Cowra van park                 Loaded for tow to Sydney

Now Cowra Ford had no idea about the car so NRMA decided to get us towed to Sydney and of course we requested Brad Garlick Ford to be our preferred dealer. So Tuesday morning we drove a hire car (courtesy of NRMA again), the van and car was towed to its destination at Ryde.

Wednesday 13th – Sunday 31st, December 2017

Well this was certainly not what we were expecting and after consultation with Brad Garlick Ford Service Dep. and Ford Motor Company we found the car had a major failure and they were going to replace the engine. Cylinder # 3 had low compression and for all those untechnically savvy people like myself it means the car ain’t going nowhere.
Our home on wheels (caravan) has been transported by one of our friends up to Toukley and parked outside her house for the duration. We were planning on being there for Christmas so at least one thing worked for us but we have had to cancel the trip to Tasmania with the car and van where we were to be heading for two months at the beginning of January. Even if the car was ready to make the departure on the ferry we still have to bed the engine in before we could tow the van. The bright side is we now have plenty of time to catch up with family and friends and we will certainly make the most of it. Geoff even managed a week’s work delivering new cars whilst I spent time in Sydney staying with friends. We are trying not to outstay our welcome so are spreading the love between my sister at Toukley and Sydney with our beautiful friends Shelly and Steve. We also had the offer of our friends apartment right in the city where we decided to stay prior to New Year’s Eve and for the few day after.

Between organising Christmas shopping and socialising we have managed to keep extremely busy. A trip to Singleton to visit Geoff’s great niece and her new boyfriend, was a lovely drive towards the Hunter Valley, a day at St Hubert’s Island to see our old friends Bill and Helen and Christmas day was spent with my girlfriends family eating lots, playing shuttlecock and the great Aussie tradition of cricket on the road.

 Visiting Trinity in Singlton      Street cricket       Peace Bell Cowra
Visiting Trinity in Singlton                 Street cricket                 Peace Bell Cowra

Our family Christmas day was held on the 27th December and we had a lovely afternoon and evening together, just enjoying family oh and lots of traditional Christmas food of course and plumb pudding to finish it off. Yum yum yum!

 Family Christmas 2017
Family Christmas 2017

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching and we headed into the city the day before to stay at my friend’s apartment. Whist Geoff hates the city I thrive on it. The hustle and bustle, the beautiful architecture, the people of all nationalities and you can’t beat the Christmas decorations that adorn every building, shop and street. Of course being located in town means you can walk everywhere and we certainly took advantage of that.
Our New Year’s Eve was spent on the harbour on Brads yacht and we had the best position to see the fire works with a pontoon on one side and the Sydney Harbour Bridge directly in front of us with no boats blocking our view. The 9pm fireworks lit the sky and as midnight approached we all watched the countdown on the bridge before the harbour exploded in colour and noise as we heralded in 2018. We were also lucky enough to be staying the night on the boat and even though going from Rushcutters Bay to the city is easy with the crowds on NYE it was certainly simpler to stay.

 Ready for New Years Eve      Fireworks       Fireworks
Ready for New Years Eve                 Fireworks

We wish all our family and friends a very happy and safe 2018 and looking forward to our next lot of travels when we finally get on the road again