Monday 24th September
Today was one of those days which just slip by, almost unnoticed because there were no highlights. I should be thankful there were no lowlights. My parcel containing repair tools and a set of gear wheels and prop shaft for the damaged AR Drone arrived. The task of removing the damaged part was not as easy as shown in the tutorial video. The metal shaft pin was bent and was difficult to remove. Once removed it was easy replacing the bent shaft with a new one and using the original gear wheel, propeller and circlip I was back in business. After a quick test flight around the bedroom to check all was working, I packed it all away ready to put on WWWGO.
Tuesday 25th September
Today was beginning to shape up like yesterday but the owners arrived home just after lunch. Hmmm! Looks like I will be moving on in a day or so. Perhaps 5 days earlier than expected. I spent the afternoon re-packing WWWGO with my bits n pieces.
I spoke with Ian who has a mechanical workshop across the road and I have been storing WWWGO there. Ian once upon a time imported used RV’s from the USofA. The RV’s were built on a Chevy Workvan body with a 350 cubic inch motor. Ian would do the conversion from left hand drive to right hand drive add a few touches and on sell. Ian told me that there is still lots of snow at Falls Creek and after 1st October the requirement to carry chains will be lifted. The $25 per person entry into the village will also be lifted. Many visitors will come to Falls Creek after the 1st October to cross country ski. Mostly though it will be family groups come to enjoy the last of the snow and not have to pay the huge prices for entry, car parking, ski lifts and chain hire.
Wednesday 26th September
I left the comfort and security of MB today. The owners arrived home yesterday and although I was welcome to stay I felt it was time to move on. I was on my way by 1.30 pm the sun was shining and it was warm as I drove along enjoying being on the road again. As I drove along the Olympic Highway towards Wagga Wagga, three large Eastern Grey Kangaroos bounded across the road in front of me. As they reached the railway line all three leapt the two sets of railway lines in one bound. That is the first time I have seen Kangaroo jump so high and so far. I arrived in the small town of Yerong Creek where I expected to Freedom camp for the night. Instead the local council has made power, water, toilets and showers available at the showgrounds for $10. There is no internet signal on the modem and even the phone has no signal bars. Oh well I can live with that. I can see fields of Canola stretching into the distance in all directions. Wow. It looks like fields of gold, especially when the late afternoon sun highlights the yellow flowers.
Thursday 27th September
Dawn arrived… normally these words would be followed by “fine and sunny”… but on this occasion it was overcast skies, the rumble of thunder and big splashy raindrops. The weather, like our minds, can change. As I drove north and west, through Wagga Wagga the cloud cover was more of a haze, by midday the temp was up around 27° and a hot dusty wind was blowing from the west. In short it was one of those hot windy days which seems to leave a lot of grit in the air and a lot in grit in peoples moods. I arrived in Coolamon around midday and decided to stay for two nights.
The name of Coolamon comes from the Aboriginal word for a basin-shaped wooden dish made and used by Australian Aborigines.In the area around the town are thousands of naturally occurring indentations in the ground called Coolamon Holes which fill with water. This town is in the heart of the Wheat and Canola crops and on one hand appears busy and prosperous while a walk around town reveals lots of old shops closed and empty.
Friday 28th September
I decided to pay for another two nights. I am on level ground, toilets and showers are twenty paces away, I have power, TV reception and excellent mobile phone and internet reception. The main street of town is 250 metres away and a new and large Foodworks store is only 100 metres away behind the van park. The weather is windy and wet and I see no reason to be on the road looking for a freedom campsite without facilities when I am quite snug right here. The town of Coolamon is having their inaugural “Scarecrow Festival” this Sunday. That will give me a chance to look around at more of the old houses.
I spent an hour looking around the town museum. Basically it was a collection of pre mechanised old farm equipment, which had been collected by a local farmer. Almost all the exhibits had personal notes from the farmer about how he acquired the equipment, how it was used and when he first or last used it. One display of a horse drawn cart caught my attention. The cart was drawn by a team of 8 horses. In order to get 10 hours work out in the paddock, the farmer actually worked 16 hours. That extra 6 hours included getting the horses together, getting each in place and moving out to the worksite. Then at “smoko” all the horses were let off to drink and eat from a nose bag. This was repeated at lunch time and afternoon smoko before going back to the farmhouse and disconnecting all horses and putting equipment away before he got to go inside for his dinner.
It has turned cold again which makes for a nice snugly warm sleep under the doona.
Saturday 29th October
Up early and off for a walk in the cool morning. The railway station appears deserted but it seems a once a week train service goes to Griffith in the west or to Sydney on the return journey. The day was windy and got colder as it progressed. A number of old artillery pieces are scattered around the town but there are no accompanying signs to say what they are or what theatre of war they were used.
In the afternoon (after speaking with Donnis in Canada via Skype) I watched the grand final AFL match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Sydney Swans. I do not usually watch AFL but I thought it would be nice to see the Swans win. I struggled to understand the rules but enjoyed the spectacle and the to and fro of the score line. The Swans won by 10 points in the final quarter and I must admit it was a tense and cliff hanger game for 4 quarters, well worthy of a grand final clash. Tomorrow is the NRL grand final between the Canterbury Bulldogs and the Melbourne Storm.
It was a cold night and I had a heater going up until I climbed into a chilly bed and shivered until my body heat eventually built a cocoon of warmth.
Sunday 30th September
Woke to cold legs and feet. The window beside the bed was open and a cold breeze was blowing onto the doona which was slowly becoming colder and colder and it was that creeping cold which eventually woke me. Sigh! I am back in long johns and layers of clothing.
The Coolamon Scarecrow Festival
happened today and from my point of view the highlight of the day was the Australian Army Band Kapooka.
They are very talented and appear at festivals all over Australia including outback Aboriginal communities where they mentor budding musicians. Despite the cold wind and the progressive overcast there was a good rollup at the festival and I am glad I stayed the extra two days for the experience.
The main street of Coolamon is a divided set of double lanes with a large park in the centre. By closing off the entry and exit points the main shopping precinct park becomes an ideal location for festivals with a large mall.
In the afternoon I watched Melbourne Storm defeat Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL Grand Final.