October 22, 2013

Time for a bit of a catchup

A funny thing happened on the way to Tasmania ............... we didn’t quite get there!
 Here’s what happened and a recap.   I’d been suffering from a bad middle ear infection post flu for quite a while before we left on holidays.  This left me with an occasional episode of vertigo (not fun) and I have  already acknowledged the fact that I’m the world’s worst sea traveller. ... ...

Getting the picture? I was getting more and more anxious and worried about the sea travel, and knew that the whole holiday I’d be worried about the return trip as well.  Combine this with really bad weather conditions on Bass Strait at the time (high winds, big seas) and the decision was made about 3 hours out of Melbourne that maybe we should just cancel the Tasmanian leg of the holiday.
 Fortunately because we were travelling in off season we had only pre-booked the ferry nothing else. Yes, we lost a bit of money, but the peace of mind (for me) was worth it.  We will go another time for sure (I’ll be the one in the plane).

 So what did we do?  Well there’s still lots of Australia that we hadn’t been to and we decided just to freewheel a bit and travel through parts of NSW/Victoria.  It was fabulous!  No set plans, just winging it as we went.
  We had no problems finding accommodation (White Cliffs underground motel shown above)  the roads were relatively uncrowded and we did lots of fun things and met lots of people along the way.  It was a great way to travel.
 So to start off we basically went back to the Victorian border and followed the Murray along for a while before we headed into rural NSW.  So pleased we did it when we did, considering the dreadful conditions at the moment.  Sending out thoughts to all affected by these horrific bushfires.

Some personal highlights were (in no particular order) would be 
: Beechworth, paddle steamer ride at Euchucha - sleeping in underground Motel at White Cliffs - exploring Wombeyan Caves - finally seeing  the spectacular Blue Mountains - Mungo National Park - having a cuppa near Boundary Bend  at the junction of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers - beautiful Nundle and the wool mill - the town of Grenfell and  and bushranger history - Wentworth on the junction of the Darling and Murray rivers - Cranky Rock Reserve Warialda -  and visually lots of fields of gold (canola).
Quite often it would be the little towns that attracted us.  We definitely stayed away from the bright lights.  It was a wonderful trip and it was fabulous to have the freedom to travel this way.  Fortunately no incidents or accidents.   Unfortunately lots of dead wombat sightings, which was sad as we didn’t see any live ones. 
We have however discovered that we are latent twitchers ... bird watchers!  We found a great place - Reed Bed Bird Hide at Mathoura on the Murray was fabulous.  As was Wonga Wetland in Albury.

 Lots more of course.  Five weeks on the road!  We are not quite grey nomads, but may well be when the time comes.  Husband has been through a rough couple of years at his workplace, so it was an opportune time to take a well earned break.  We had a great time, and I would thoroughly recommend this type of trip to anyone.  It can be done on a budget, we lived fairly frugally and the main cost of course was accommodation.  We stayed a lot in standard cabins which seem to be cheaper away from the coast and bigger towns.  They vary a bit of course, but overall the standard was pretty good.  Quite often we would find a motel to be cheaper than available cabins. 
 Our car is not 4 wheel drive, it is a 4 door sedan.  We did carry some camping gear including a gas cooker and cooking gear.  This is a great way to save money!  We only ate 'out' occasionally. 
So back home again.  I had some temp work to start as soon as I returned, so have been working full time, which has been good to recoup some $$!  Some people may query how we could afford both an overseas holiday and a 5 week road trip in one year.  That's probably another post in itself!

(all photos taken on my iphone)

Cheers for now


librarygirl said...

welcome back! husband and I are looking forward to doing more of this sort of holiday.
You did the right thing re Tasmania, daughter did it once in calm seas and said it was horrifying!

duchess_declutter said...

Thanks LG - always good to be back, and yes I think we made the right choice. Look forward to visiting Tassie another holiday.

Joolz said...

How lovely for you to have a big 5 weeks to do this free-wheeling trip. We enjoyed our trip to Tassie last year but the boat trip over was quite rough (the locals said it was nothing!) and yes, I was apprehensive about coming home. The return trip was better but I slept worse, probably just worrying. We didn't feel sick either way.
You have just reminded me that there is so much to see in our great land and yes, the smaller towns are often the gems. Even when we travel overseas, it is the little places and the people where memories are made. A big city is... a big city and we don't like them that much. Having seen London and New York now, we don't need to go back but will venture out into the country more.... but that is another time entirely.

Cheers - Joolz

duchess_declutter said...

Hi Joolz - yes it was special and we were lucky that the planets aligned and we were able to get away for this amount of time! Everything I hear about the ferry trip convinces me that we made the right decision - and yes there is so much to see. I love OS travel too, but it's nice to see what's in our own corner of the world too. I enjoy your blog and should comment more. cheers Wendy

Coal Valley View said...

Oh Wendy, how funny, I was wondering what happened to Tassie. I hadn't heard back (or was it my turn to get back to you?) and kept wondering where you might be. You absolutely did the right thing with the Ferry. Having done it several times, it really is the pits if you get a rough sailing! Your trip looks brilliant though - how lovely are the sculptures in Broken Hill at sunset? Catch up with you on the Apple Isle next time :-) Mel x

duchess_declutter said...

Hi Mel, yes that was a dissapointing aspect - not being able to catch up! and I'm sorry if I didn't let you know change of plans. However, someday in the future hopefully.. I'm glad a lot of people agree with me re the ferry - I'm hearing it all the time now. Broken Hill was actually a highlight, we loved it there, such a contrast to anywhere else we'd been. The underground motel was cool too (literally). cheers Wendy

floodproofmum said...

Love the underground motel. Have always wanted to stay in one :)