River and Rocks

This blog seems to require an inordinate amount of effort – if I only knew that my memory would serve be better I would not be going to the effort of writing it all down.  I have considered a diary and just jotting notes into it but that seems to be insufficient, so, to continue….

image image image image image image image image imageimageRiver and rocks is a good summary of our last week in NZ South Island, the rocky glaciers, deep sounds and breathtaking fjords have been way better described than I will ever be able to put in words and as always a photo says more than words but so much less than your own eyes.  We found a short gap in the weather when the road to Milford Sound from Te Anua reopened between snowfalls and headed upward .

Wonderful. Beautiful. Awe inspiring. The air so clean and cold. The comical Keas waddling around popping up out of nowhere when cars had to stop for one way traffic or at scenic viewpoints.  This is a place we should return to with more time, our perennial complaint, too little time!  Our neighbours one night shared with us they bought their fancy fifth wheeler 2 years ago and have still not left the SI.  Now that’s the way to do things properly.  We were supposed to meet up with Anne and Willy for dinner in Queenstown on the Saturday before we both flew out, but that didn’t work out so made do with local caravan park neighbours, they scored all the yummy stuff we had acquired enroute thinking it would land up in Anne’s happy home.  Damn border controls and customs.

Our conclusion – we will finish our motor home traveling in NZ, whenever that may be. Also, in the short term we needed to get bicycles into our transport options –  driving alongside and over inviting bike tracks and rail trails in almost every small town made us think about even more things to enjoy en route. So much to see…

And now to part two of R and R.  2 weeks after we got back from NZ, in our own motor home, a new part of the Murray River and north to Broken  Hill.  It was just a relief and pleasure to leave Melbourne behind, we seemed to have a fortnight of doctor and dental catch ups, boring maintenance at best.  Robert had a wonderful time getting must have gadgetry and accessories for car and Motorhome, sadly ran out of time to get CB radio and ANTENNAE- we havee a sad lack of bristly things sticking up off our bumpers .  No kudos.  Major pleasure was having James and Steph in town for a few nights.  James wrapped a surprise retirement present beautifully in the blanket at the bottom of our bed for us, a portable GPS to take in the car and on the bikes from all our beloved kiddies.  So now we cannot get lost anywhere.  Hooray and huge and grateful thanks for an amazingly useful gadget we didn’t know was out there.  Even tells you where nearest coffee shop is…

First night free camping on Campaspe River was almost a year to the day of our first venture in the Sunliner, glorious site with sparse neighbours dotted along riverside.  Usual freezing overnight temps but somehow colder than previously,  I began to think of an electric blanket. We passed through Echuca, meeting place of the Murray and Campaspe rivers, with a restored or left unchanged early settlers Main Street dating back 1880 ish, so pretty.  And I had pumpkin soup to die for, just by the way. Robert had a steak pie rated 7/10. Echuca Bakery should you be passing through.

We had been told Swan Hill was a dump but found it to have a wonderful riverside camp ground and heaps to walk and bike around.  Cold overnights still had me thinking electric blanket for sure .  3 shops later in Mildura we found an almost last in town queen size double control blanket and I haven’t got out of bed since.  Supposed to be warm up here!  While hunting down the warming blanket we stumbled across the local orchid prize bloom competition, some beautiful blooms but more beautiful – so many first prize winners! Reminded me of the kids awards system, first, second first , third first, second , first second, second second……all winners but who was the biggest winner?

i am still assimilating and processing Broken Hill so shall publish this blog in meantime.  Robert is the photographic contributor… Can I get his attention?

bugger- can’t get “media” into correct spot in text.  Si mal!


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