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Monday 23rd January
Today the CO-PILOT had another day off. We packed a picnic lunch and headed into the unknown just to see what we could see. We drove east through the town of Holbrook to pick up the Hume Highway then turned south towards Albury. A few klms later we turned off the highway to a small town called Woomargama then onto a smaller rural road, The Tunnel Road which joined a smaller gravel road, River Road. The Woomargama National park also uses the road and or river as a boundary.
According to the map this road followed the mighty Murray River towards the headwaters.
This is hilly country, being on the edge of the Kosciuszko National Park and Wilderness area.
We stopped beside the road, somewhere between Talmalmo and Jingelic for lunch.
On the other side of the river was Victoria. In places we could see a road on the Victorian side of the Murray. That road is bitumen sealed and is known as the Murray River Road. The headwaters are declared to be at Cowombat Flats in the wilds of the wilderness area. As we were still some 80 klms from Tumburumba we decided to leave exploration in the Snowy Mountains area and the Kosciuszko National Park until another time and perhaps use Tumburumba as a base. The Murray River views we saw today are spectacular and any photos we took do not really do it justice.
On our way home we stopped at Round Hill where we saw the grave of John McLean
on one side of the road and a fancy walled Trig Point on the other side.
Tuesday 24th January
The CO-PILOT has another day off today so we drove the 72 klms to Wagga Wagga in the mistaken belief the laptop would be ready.
Have I mentioned that Wagga Wagga is a large town. Of course it is part of the Riverina, well known for growing fruits and vegetables as well as table and wine grapes. The area is also a big wheat producing area and there are lots of sheep stations. Another industry which keeps the area alive and well is the Defence Forces with an Army Base as well as an Air Force Base. We were surprised how vibrant, alive and busy the town is. The main shopping street and the two shopping malls we visited were choc a block busy. Perhaps it was families getting last minute shopping before school returns next week. The people we spoke to claim the stores are always busy.
I noticed many young men with short haircuts, so short they were almost shaven. While sitting outside a clothing store I spoke to one of them. I had guessed they were Army recruits but did not realise they had completed their marching out parade the day before and this was their final day in town before setting off to their corps training for 12 weeks before final posting to a unit, perhaps even overseas service. The meeting reminded me of my basic training in Singleton then driving to Puckapunyal in Victoria for my corps training.
In the afternoon we drove to a lookout above town and also visited the small museum. We have promised ourselves before we leave we will visit the Botanical Gardens and Zoo. We simply did not have time today. From the lookout it seems that Wagga and the surrounding towns are all sitting in a flattened saucer shaped valley as far as the eye can see.
Wednesday 25th January
The CO-PILOT was back at work today after enjoying four days off in a row. I worked around camp and spent time talking with other campers.
The laptop is still not ready. So far, Computer DenCity of Wagga Wagga, part of the Leading Edge Computer Group and an Apple and Toshiba agent, have not returned any of my calls. I have to keep calling or visiting them for an update. So far, their service, or rather, lack of it, has been poor. Today they claimed my computer problem was the result of a build up of too many .TMP files and all that was required was a cleanout of those files.
Huh! I had only done a computer clean-up, including .TMP files last week.
Thursday 26th January
Another work day for the CO-PILOT and another day of reading and washing and tidying and whatever I do to fill in my days. Whatever it is I do, I enjoy it. Watched the unbelievable events of the Australia Day riots in Canberra. I could hardly believe this was happening here. The rule of violence is something which happens elsewhere, not in OZ. Any belief in the rights of our indigenous brothers and sisters just got trampled underfoot by that display of violence.
Friday 27th January
The laptop saga continues. Today I was told I needed a new hard drive, replaced under warranty and that the drive was ordered on Wednesday and would be installed today. Huh! What about the .TMP files I was told about on Wednesday? Ummm. Was the reply. That was another person with, by co-incidence, the same surname, same laptop and brought in for service on the same day. What the!!! Do they really expect me to believe that story? My surname is not that common and according to the White Pages Directory only 6 people share the same surname in NSW one is my brother the other is his son. None of then live anywhere near Wagga.
I made arrangements to collect the laptop in the morning as, according to the person I spoke with, the installation of the HD and operating system and restoring files takes 8 hours so will be done overnight.
Saturday 28th January
Dropped CO-PILOT at Henty Hospital for the her workday and drove the 72 klms to Wagga to collect the laptop. It was only when I collected the laptop I was told none of my programs had been installed as they are not allowed to do that.
All my programs I have spent almost two years gathering and installing have to be re-installed?
Well it was more than a sigh really but for the time being I will describe my mild explosion as a sigh.
Drove the 72klms back to WWWGO and started installing programs until it was time to collect the CO-PILOT from Henty.
That night about 11pm I shut down the laptop with the plan to finish installations on Sunday. As I shut down I received a message saying there were 112 updates to be installed. That should have been a warning.
A storm came through just on dusk. We watched the storm building all afteornoon. First the wind came through and it started raining…leaves. It was strange to see those leaves falling like wind driven rain. Then the real rain came several hours later. It rained, quietly, off and on during the night.
Sunday 29th January
The day dawned, bright and sunny.
Spent the entire day installing programs and uploading photos and WORD and EXCEL data.
The microphone does not work.
Windows, EXCEL and WORD are slow to operate.
Internet access is abysmally slow.
Sorry folks, exploring and photographs has taken a back seat this week while I solve the laptop problems. A problem which has been going on for three weeks. A problem which the experts at Computer DenCity seem incapable of understanding or solving.