Click here to read the first part of this trip.
Day 11 - Friday 22 July 2022 - Wallanthery to Booligal
Weather: minimum of 6.6ÂșC and sunny
A warmish night with the same minimum temperature as last night. I wake at 6:55 am and do my usual of listening to the ABC news, but today I cannot read the SMH as there is very little Telstra phone coverage here. Instead I read my Kindle. I get up at 8:00 am and it is 7.1ÂșC and sunny. I have breakfast and read some more and then walk to the rubbish bins on the other side of the cricket ground. We then pack up. I am ready at 9:40 am and we leave at 10:04 am. It has warmed to 12ÂșC.
Instead of going by the more direct and tar Kidman Way, we continue along the Lachlan Valley Way which is dirt but then tar. It is a good road and a more scenic route and besides, I have done the Kidman Way last year. We arrive in Hillston at 10:45 am. We go straight to the free camping area at Johnsons Bridge. However, the Lachlan River is right at the top of the bank and has flowed over into some parts of the camping area. Damn, it looks like a nice spot (both sides of river).
|The 1929 Club Hotel Hotel in Hillston||Two emus near the park|
We drive the short distance into town and park near the IGA store. It is 42 kilometres to here. It is now a nice 16ÂșC. I purchase a few things, including a roast chicken ($51 all up). We then go to the small park we passed on the northern end of the main street. Here we have morning tea, use the toilets and then refill our water tanks.
|The bridge over to the walk||The walk is totally flooded|
There is also a pedestrian suspension at the start of a walk, but the walk is totally flooded. There are some artworks here too, emus. At noon we drive to the bakery and buy some bread rolls. We leave town at 12:10 pm. Again we continue down the Lachlan Valley Way. It is tar for 19 km, then dirt. We mostly sit on 70 km/h as it is a very good road. We stop for lunch at the intersection with Crows Nest Road, 34 kilometres out of town. It is 12:35 pm and 18ÂșC.
We leave at 1:08 pm and at 1:50 pm we arrive at Booligal. This is 121 kilometres from Wallanthery and 79 from Hillston. The last 20 km is tar. Booligal is a very small town, with a public school and a hotel (which also sells fuel and has accommodation).
We have a quick look around and then park in the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel's car park. The manager of the hotel (he is relieving the real manager or perhaps the owner) is on the verandah and he tells us to camp anywhere around the back. It is free and a shower is $5 (although we end up not paying anything as we have dinner and drinks both nights we are here).
|The Booligal sign as you come into town||The Duke of Edinburgh Hotel, Booligal|
At 2:00 pm we drive around to the back of the hotel and set up camp. This is a great spot, really good grass. Veto especially loves the grass. After I set up camp, I have a cuppa and read the rest of yesterday's paper and then start on today's. I have my solar panel out and am getting a very good input. John has some problems with his battery charging as his whole DCDC charger has melted down. The manager says he can connect into power. This takes us a while to work out as the fuse trips when we test which power outlet is active. We end up getting it reset and it all works.
I later go for a walk to the Booligal sign (see photo above), the church, school and back via the park. There is another memorial to John Oxley's 1817 exploration of western NSW. He was here on 5 July 1817. I read the rest of the SMH and at 5:45 pm I feed Veto. At 6:00 pm I go and have a shower. After this, I go to the hotel.
|The camping area behind the hotel||The Anglican Church, Booligal|
|The memorial to John Oxley's 1817 Exploration Trip||John and I inside the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel, Booligal|
John comes and joins me not long after. We watch the two NRL matches on TV and then have dinner. I have a chicken parmie ($27). It was very nice and quite large. There are about 20 people here, all but us appear to be locals from the town or nearby properties.
We leave after the last game finishes and I am in bed at 9:40 pm. It is a warmish 10ÂșC.
Weather: Fine, max of 18ÂșC Arrived: Booligal Time: 1:50 pm Distance: 121 kilometres
Day 12 - Saturday 23 July 2022 - Booligal
Weather: minimum of 8.6ÂșC and overcast
It is a warm night as cloud came over while we were in the pub. I wake at 6:55 am and listen to the radio news and then read today's SMH from 7:30 am. I get up at 8:00 am. Last night we decided that we would stay here again as Souths are playing tonight and I would like to watch them on TV (the pub has Foxtel). I have a sausage sandwich for breakfast, using the leftover sausage from a few nights ago.
At 9:30 am the wind comes up and it feels a lot cooler now. At 11:00 am we John and I walk to the river at the bridge and then back to the river west of the pub. Here we realise you could also camp at this spot where there is a weir. There are not many spots here and with the height of the river now, there are even less. We are back at the hotel at 12:10 pm, the walk was 3.8 kilometres. It is now sunny and much warmer at 18.5ÂșC.
|The town and Booligal sign||The Lachlan Way and Cobb Highway intersection, Booligal|
I listen to Bludging on the Blind Side with Roy and HG on ABC radio. Still the funniest people on the radio, over 35 years after they started on 2JJJ. I have had my batteries connected into the solar blanket this morning as the sun was on the wrong side of the camper trailer for the main solar panel. I now change to the main one and the voltage goes up. I have lunch and read more of the paper.
|Looking west towards the Lachlan River||The Lachlan River campsite|
|The former Booligal Post Office||The former Booligal Court House|
When the wind drops it becomes very warm, probably the warmest we have had on this trip. At 3:30 pm I go for another walk, this time to the southern end of the town and back via the old post office and courthouse. Another 1.5 km. I am back at 4:15 pm. It is now cloudy and calm. I read my Kindle and feed Veto. I have a shower and at 6:10 pm I go to the pub (Veto goes into the camper trailer and sleeps).
I have a hamburger and chips ($20), another very nice meal. We watch the NRL again, Souths beat Melbourne 24 to 12. While we are there, the Ivanhoe rugby league team stops here on the way back from their grand final in Narrandera (251 kilometres to the south-west). They unfortunately lost. They have a drink and use the loos, then continue on the 132 kilometre trip home.
I go to bed at 9:45 pm.
Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 18.5ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres
Day 13 - Sunday 24 July 2022 - Booligal to Soapworks Bend, Hay
Weather: minimum of 8.9ÂșC and sunny
Today is Veto's 14th birthday, so we have some celebrations later. I actually sleep past the 7:00 am news and get up at 8:00 am. It was a warm night, mostly around 11ÂșC. I have breakfast and read the paper and then pack up. We leave at 9:56 am and head south on the Cobb Highway.
|Veto on her 14th birthday, eyes closed!||The former One Tree Hotel, very nicely restored|
At 10:26 am we stop at One Tree Hotel, 40 kilometres south off Booligal. This was another of the Cobb and Co stops on the way north to Wilcannia (as was Booligal). The only thing here is the old hotel which is privately owned and not open. This building dates from 1899 replacing the original one that was here. We leave 11 minutes later.
|The Hay Boer War Memorial||The 1887 water tank|
At 11:05 am we arrive in Hay. We stop at a park and have morning tea. It has the war memorial, an oval and an old water tank. We walk around, the water tank was built in 1884 and extended in 1891.
When taking Veto for a walk around, she continually insists on rolling on her back and making me drag her around on the grass. She wiggles so that she is on her back, then her left side and then her right side. She will sometimes do this for minutes at a time, scratching her back. I am sure that some people who see me dragging her around think I am so cruel, when in reality I am doing her a favour.
|Hay Railway Station||Hay Railway Station|
At 11:30 am we drive the short distance to the old Hay Railway Station. This old building is no longer used as the railway line has been closed for a long time. In a couple of old railway freight carriages is a very interesting museum, the Dunera Museum. This is dedicated to the many men transported to Australia in World War II by the HMT Dunera. They were mostly Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria who fled to the UK. At the start of the war they were interned as "enemy aliens" and then sent to Australia on the Dunera. Most we sent to Hay Prisoner of War camp.
|A stone tank made at the Hay POW camp||Inside one of the carriages of the Hay Dunera Museum|
In the camp were also local Australian interns of Italian and German origin as well as some Japanese prisoners of war. The museum entry fee is $5. There are large numbers of photographs from the camp as well as maps and some relics from the camp. These include their own money, stamps, tools and other things they made there. At the end of the war, most of the men stayed in Australia and became known as the Dunera Boys. A really good museum.
|A panoramic photograph of our campsite at Soapworks Bend.|
We leave at 12:18 pm and head out to Soapworks Bend. This is a free campsite to the west of town. We arrive there a few minutes later and after driving around, we stop at our campsite at 12:28 pm. There are quite a few wet sections and the track to another larger area is totally underwater. The spot we pick out is quite nice and right on the Murrumbidgee River. We set up camp.
After this I change into shorts and T-shirt as it is 19ÂșC and there is little wind. We have lunch and then I read the paper and listen to the NRL on the ABC. Later I have a cuppa and then walk with Veto around the sections still accessible and also collect some firewood. At 4:30 pm I start the fire and at 4:50 pm we have drinks and nibblies. A caravan comes in and sets up away from us. Lots of cars come in and out, I assume they are locals looking to see how far the water is up.
|Veto and me on her birthday||Veto having her birthday dinner of chicken schnitzel and fried rice|
I have brought with me a chicken schnitzel I purchased from Aldi. They are pretty good. I cook this and have Mexican rice that I made a few days ago. Veto gets a bit of the schnitzel and rice for her birthday dinner. Afterwards we have apple pie and ice cream. Of course Veto also gets some too! A very good birthday dinner I reckon. It is quite mild tonight and I go to bed at about 9:30 pm.
Weather: Fine, max of 19ÂșC Arrived: Soapworks Bend, Hay Time: 12:28 pm Distance: 82 kilometres
Day 14 - Monday 25 July 2022 - Soapworks Bend to Kyalite
Weather: minimum of 8.4ÂșC and fine
Another warmish night but when I get up later it is cool as the wind is blowing from the south. Before I get up, I take the bed sheets off the bed and put clean ones on as we plan to do some washing in a few days. I get up at 8:05 am and have breakfast. We leave at 9:36 am and head into town to do some shopping.
We go to the IGA and I spend $25 but I could not get yogurt, so I then go to the Foodworks and get it there. We leave town at 10:07 am and head down to the Sturt Highway and head west towards Balranald. There is some drizzle from 10:50 am but it stops as we arrive at the Willow Vale Rest Area. We have morning tea here.
The road here is very wet, so it must have poured here before we arrived. There are toilets here, the only ones at a rest area since Hay (94 kilometres). All the other rest areas do not have any at all. We leave at 11:40 am. At 12:06 pm we arrive on the outskirts of Balranald. It has rained most of the way to here. We go to the BP service station to refuel (note that it is not where the NSW Fuel App says it is). I take 86.9 litres at $2.289 a litre, $190.23. I have averaged 14.4 l/100 km.
We leave at 12:25 pm (the fuel pump was the slowest I have ever encountered!) and head south towards Tooleybuc. I have been on this road twice in the past year, the last time coming back from South Australia just after Easter. At 12:52 pm we arrive at the Kyalite Wakool River Camping Area. This is just over the river heading south, on the left. There is a large area along the river with a few spots to camp. There is some water around but we find a nice spot near the middle.
|The Wakool River at Kyalite||Our campsite at Kyalite|
We have lunch and then setup camp. It is overcast and 15ÂșC. After this I fly my drone to get some photographs. I then have a cuppa and read the SMH some more. After I finish the paper, I take Veto for a walk around the whole reserve. Near the bridge is a wrecked car which has come off the road, through the Armco railing and then through a fence and ended up down here. The airbags have gone off, at least four of them. It does not look like anyone would have been severely hurt in the accident.
While walking I find a lot of timber, so I go back to the car and get my chainsaw. I cut it into long pieces, it is not real thick, so easy to drag them back to the campsite. Back there, I cut it into suitably sized pieces. Later a lady comes in and camps relatively close to us. I go for a another walk with Veto and we have a chat. I invite her over to our fire once we start it. When I get back, I discover Veto has rolled in shit. She stinks! To make it worse, I reckon it is human shit. Pigs, crapping right near a campsite.
|Major Mitchells Cockatoos||Our fire by the river|
I end up giving Veto a sort of wash using water on a Chux, with John giving me some dog shampoo. This at least gives her a bit of a nicer smell. It is way too cold to give her a proper wash. I start the fire at 4:45 pm and Lee joins us.
Later I cook rissoles and potato on my frying pan. We sit around the fire till 9:30 pm and then go to bed. I read a little. While we were at the fire, there were a few spots of rain, but nothing to make us move.
Weather: Overcast, max of 15ÂșC Arrived: Kyalite Time: 12:52 pm Distance: 164 kilometres
Day 15 - Tuesday 26 July 2022 - Kyalite to Murrumbidgee/Murray Junction
Weather: minimum of 5.9ÂșC and sunny
It was warm most of the night, only cooling down early. I wake at 6:40 am and at 7:00 am I try to listen to the news but I have to keep changing the station as there is poor reception and I end up not hearing it all. It is still only 6.1ÂșC when I get up at 8:05 am. I have breakfast and read the paper and then pack up.
I am ready at 9:45 am. While I am waiting for John to finish, 20 or so pink (Major Mitchell) cockatoos come in and land in the trees near us. Yesterday afternoon we saw a few but they were not as close. Such a beautiful bird. We leave at 10:00 am and at 10:15 am we arrive in Tooleybuc. We go to the park near the bridge and use the toilets. We also have morning tea.
|The Tooleybuc Bridge over the Murray River||Our campsite at the Murray Murrumbidgee junction|
The historic lift bridge across the Murray River is being repaired. It is closed each night from 4:00 pm till midnight. There is also a brand new huge floating pontoon wharf. Wow, it is so good, even has power, water and sewage pumpout. Too bad they have not put one like this to replace one I use in Sydney which is rubbish. I don't understand though why they did not put it next to the boat ramp. At the ramp people have to get into their boats by climbing over the side while it is at the river bank.
We leave town at 10:33 am and travel on the Murray Valley Highway towards Robinvale. At 11:11 am we arrive at the junction of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers. This is in the Murrumbidgee Junction Reserve and there is a dirt track that runs about four kilometres from the highway to the junction. It is a bit rough in spots as there is a lot of water in some lower sections.
|Our campsite at the junction of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers|
We decide to camp straight at the junction. It is not the flattest spot, but we find some level bits. While moving, John backs into a tree and damages his spare wheel carrier and his canopy. It takes a little work to open the carrier so the rear door can be opened. Bugger!
It is windy now and cool. We set up camp and have lunch. After this I have a cuppa and read. Another car comes in to have a look at the junction and a national parks car comes too. This is not national park, they are just having a break it seems. Veto keeps going over to the first car as they are cooking hamburgers for lunch. She ends up getting a little bit!
|Looking out at the junction of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers|
I set up the shower for later too. At 2:15 pm I take Veto for a walk. I follow the Murray downstream and then cut back across to the river upstream of our campsite. There are three or so good campsites on the downstream section but I cannot follow the track all the way as it is closed for some reason. I get back to camp about an hour later. I walked 4.0 kilometres.
I have another cuppa, it is still windy and cool. At 4:15 pm the wind drops a little so I fly my drone. The water coming out of the Murrumbidgee is much cleaner than the Murray, this surprises me. At 4:40 pm I have a shower and John has one after. We are staying here two nights, so I leave the shower set up.
At 4:44 pm I start the fire using some timber I have collected as well as timber we have with us. We have drinks and nibblies. John makes jerk chicken and rice and I cook the chicken on the fire using my cast iron frypan. It was very nice. We stay around the fire till 9:45 pm. Before going to bed, I put the heater on as it is now quite cold. I go to sleep at 10:10 pm.
Weather: Fine, max of 14ÂșC Arrived: Murrumbidgee River Junction Time: 11:11 am Distance: 58 kilometres
Day 16 - Wednesday 27 July 2022 - Murrumbidgee River Junction
Weather: minimum of 5.7ÂșC and sunny
It ended up warmish during the night but the temperature dropped after 3:00 am. It is very quiet here. I wake at 6:50 am and download the SMH. It is very slow, but ends up working. I end up listening to the 8:00 am
ABC radio news via the app as I could not get a station on my radio at 7:00 am. I later listen to AM. I get up at 8:30 am, it is now 8ÂșC, but there is still a cold wind.
I have breakfast and then fly the drone again. I read the paper some more and at 10:40 am, Veto and I go for a walk 2.6 kilometres towards the highway. I am back at 11:50 am, having walked a total of 5.4 kilometres. I also collect some firewood on the way back and mark some more to collect later. There is timber everywhere here, no need to bring any with you that is for sure.
|Looking up the Murray at the Murrumbidgee junction||The Murray Murrumbidgee junction, the Murrumbidgee River straight ahead|
I relax in the sun, it is nice if you can get out of the wind. At 12:30 pm I have lunch. At 1:30 pm I go for another walk (without Veto as she is exhausted and won't come). I go downstream again and past the blocked road sign. Here I find the road is totally flooded, at least a few metres of water over it in one spot. So that is why it is closed. All up I walk 8.9 kilometres today.
|Our campsite at the junction of the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers||Looking down the Murray River|
I get the fire ready and have a cuppa. I put the fire on at 4:00 pm and then have a shower. At 5:00 pm we have nibblies and drinks. I am cooking rosemary and mint lamb steaks for us for dinner and vegies in the camp oven. Everything is cooked by 6:15 pm. Beautiful! We sit around the fire till 9:30 pm. It is much milder than last night.
Weather: Fine max of 14ÂșC Arrived: N/A Time: N/A Distance: 0 kilometres
Day 17 - Thursday 28 July 2022 - Murray/Murrumbidgee Junction to Tooleybuc
Weather: minimum of 5.7ÂșC and overcast
It was a warmer night until early when it got colder. There is no wind. We have breakfast and then pack up. I am ready at 9:30am but about this time a very light drizzle starts. It is more a heavy fog than anything else. John is ready by 10:10 am and we then head off. It is 9ÂșC.
We travel back down the Murray Valley Highway and then towards Major Mitchell Lagoon which is near the Murray River. However, we see no more signs to it or any obvious turn off. A waste of a detour really. We arrive at Tooleybuc at 11:04 am (53 kilometres). We go to the rest area to use the toilets and get some water. I also have a cuppa.
|Tooleybuc and the bridge as well as the new boat wharf||Our campsite at the bottom at Tooleybuc on the Murray River|
We leave at 11:43 am and just over 15 minutes later we have a campsite. It took us a while to check out the area, but we end up in the same spot that I camped at last year. It is a bit wetter, so some spots are not suitable. We set up camp and I then make a chicken and cheese jaffle for lunch. I also pull apart the roast chicken I have for a curry and for dinners for Veto.
I then fly the drone and after that read the paper. At 2:30 pm we walk to town, it is 4.3 kilometres return. We walk also to the boat ramp and the southern end of town. While we are walking it rains for about 10 minutes, we are quite wet. We also go to the shop and I buy us ice creams for a treat. We are back at 3:40 pm. In fact, from 4:00 pm the bridge is closed totally till about midnight for the repair work.
Unfortunately my chair is very wet from the rain. I use the diesel heater to dry the chair, it takes less than 10 minutes. I have a cuppa, there is some more rain threatening but none comes. At 4:30 pm I start the fire. We have nibblies and I then make chicken curry and rice for us both.
After dinner I listen to the NRL on the ABC and then watch it on my tablet via Kayo. There is then more rain so at 9:00 pm I go to bed and watch the rest there. The Rorters beat Manly. The rain later stops.
Weather: Overcast and some rain, max of 14ÂșC Arrived: Tooleybuc Time: 12:00 pm Distance: 56 kilometres
Day 18 - Friday 29 July 2022 - Tooleybuc to Balranald
Weather: minimum of 3.2ÂșC and sunny
There was no rain after about 11:00 pm and the bridge reopened at 11:55 pm, although the trucks were heard arriving to queue up from before 11. I wake at 6:00 am and read the paper from 6:30 am. However, it is very cold and my hands are freezing holding the tablet outside the bed clothes. I put the diesel heater on about 7:15 am and it is much nicer. I get up at 8:10 am and the temperature is still only 3.2ÂșC.
We have breakfast and then pack up. I am ready at 10:00 am so while I wait for John to finish, I walk along the track to the north and then back, the various minor tracks all link up with the main one. I then refuel the diesel heater from my container, about four litres added. We leave at 10:23 am and it is now 8ÂșC. We stop over at the rest area to use the toilets and dispose of rubbish etc. We leave town at 10:35 am.
We arrive in Balranald at 11:15 am, 53 kilometres at 13.1 l/100 km. We go to the laundromat and put on a load of washing between us ($5). It is now 12ÂșC but still cold. We walk to the main street and have morning tea at a bakery, very nice carrot cake. While walking there I notice a sign that the NSW Department of Health is doing Covid booster shots at the club. After morning tea, I go to the club and get my shot, together with a free drink and a $20 voucher for shopping.
By this time we put our washing into the dryer ($4 x 2). We go back to the bakery and have lunch, meat pies. Very nice. Some shopping at the IGA, including chicken necks for Veto. I also go to Vinnies and buy some crystal glasses to replace the plastic ones I use which I broke this morning. Huge cost, $1 each!
We leave at 1:38 pm and head to the east of town to the camping area on the river. It is very wet and I do not even see the turn to the spot. Soon the road is covered in a few inches of water and there is water on both sides of the track. It gets worst and I still cannot find a spot to turn around. Finally we decide to reverse about 200 metres to a spot and John turns around. I reverse into the spot and successfully turn around.
However, here things go to shit. I reverse a little and then head off down the track. It seems that while the track was solid enough for the first time we both went over it, John's trip has made it into slush. He has some problems but finally gets through. I make a big mistake and do not reverse back another 30 or so metres to get a good run up. I take off and am soon bogged. This is bad. The car is bogged but the trailer is on harder ground.
John comes back and using two snatch straps and the winch I try to pull myself to a tree. I go a few metres. Traction control has me moving, but only centimetres a minute. John comes closer and we try using his car and him reversing. No good as my winch cable came right off the drum. He then got bogged and had to winch himself out. I send him for help as by now it is getting late, 4:10 pm.
|It does not look too bad, but I am bogged bad||All I have to do is get to the spot above my bullbar|
He goes to town and comes back with someone from the NRMA. He only has a HiLux and says their truck would get bogged. At 5:05 pm John tries a farm back along the track to see if they have a tractor, but no-one is there. He goes to the Police station but no-one is there (turns out they were with NPWS catching an illegal shooter in a national park). John contacts the Police call centre. They message the local Police and about 6:30 pm they arrive. There are two Pajeros, with the local Sergeant Luke very experienced and Teagan from Euston, about 80 kilometres to the west.
We end up having to use Luke's Pajero (which had a very long winch) connected to our straps and then John connected to the back of him. I only needed to be winched about five metres to a spot which had a much harder track surface. Once I go there, we disconnected everything and they all moved back to dry track. I then easily drove to that spot. Finally we head out but Teagan, who has never even done a 4WD course, slips off the track and gets bogged.
We walk to her Pajero and then Luke gets in and by rocking it back and forward, he gets it back on the road. We are now all muddy, even the Police. I then drive through the section where Teagan got bogged without problems. We thank them profusely, I would have bought them a carton of beer if it was permitted! It is now 7:47 pm, we have spent something like six hours bogged and getting out.
John and I drive to the caravan park and pick a spot. It is 8:00 pm. My feet are so sore, I took my shoes off and have been walking in freezing water for hours. We setup, have a shower to get rid of the mud and warm up. I then have a few beers and dinner, no idea what, must have been something I had already cooked. I then watch the NRL, the Eels beat Penrith. I go to bed at 9:00 pm but cannot get to sleep till 10:45 pm. It is cold, about 6ÂșC.
Weather: Fine, max of 18ÂșC Arrived: Balranald Time: 11:15 am Distance: 57 kilometres
Day 19 - Saturday 30 July 2022 - Balranald to Maude
Weather: minimum of 2.0ÂșC and sunny
Even though the caravan park is right next to the highway, there was little noise till about 3:00 am when there was a small amount. I wake at 6:30 am and then read the newspaper and listen to the ABC News. I put the heater on from 7:10 am. I get up at 8:05 am.
I have breakfast. My feet really are tender, I think the rough sand etc in the mud yesterday wore my skin heaps. After breakfast I clean the car a little, there is mud inside all over everything. I then take John's MaxTrax (which by the way were useless) down to the boat ramp near us and using a scrapper, get most of the mud off them. It takes forever, the mud is so thick and sticky.
|A panoramic photograph of our campsite at Maude|
Finally I have them cleanish, so we pack up and I do some more cleaning of the mats in the car. We are ready at 10:50 am. I go and pay for last night. I pay $25 for myself. When John goes to pay, the manager says I have already paid since we are a couple! So funny! Well, John decided not to contradict her, saving us $12.50 each. We leave at 11:18 am.
|A drone shot of our campsite at Maude||A drone shot of Maude and the bridge|
At 12:25 pm we arrive in Maude, 93 kilometres away. This is on the Murrumbidgee River. It is now 14ÂșC. We have lunch and then setup camp on the south side of the river and west of the bridge. This is a nice spot. There are many other spots on the other side of the main road but a bit further out of town. I fly the drone and read more of the SMH.
|The Maude Weir and the other camping area||The Maude Store|
At 3:00 pm we walk into town to go to the pub for a beer, but it is closed. Looks like it is closed from yesterday till Wednesday, the owners must have gone away. We walk back via the weir (you could camp here in a caravan) and the other camping area on the south-eastern side of the bridge. There is a lot of water here and even if it was dry, it is not as good a spot as where we are camped.
The walk is 3.0 kilometres and we are back at 4:00 pm. I have a cuppa and listen to the NRL on ABC Radio. It is now 15ÂșC with high overcast. At 5:00 pm I start the fire and then have beers and nibblies. At 5:30 pm I watch Souths play Cronulla on my tablet. Souths lose 21-20 in golden point. Souths played poorly and Tom Burgess was sent off. He will get at least 3-4 weeks for a high tackle. The game on the tablet was a bit iffy, stopping and starting a lot.
|The Maude sign, similar to the Booligal one||The sign on the toilet block|
At half time of the match, I cook dinner of lamb steaks and potato from a can. After the match I warm up some of the plum pudding from Lake Cargelligo and we have with ice cream. I then watch the Tigers beat Broncos, funnily, the game was very smooth with none of the stop and start of the Souths match. Was everyone in town using Telstra to watch Souths?
During the match, I get photos sent to me of our street Christmas in July Party. They are using my driveway for the fire! My neighbour Gerard also phones. After the game I read the paper some more before going to bed and reading some more. I go to sleep at 10:00 pm. It is a cool 8ÂșC.
Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 14ÂșC Arrived: Maude Time: 12:25 pm Distance: 93 kilometres
Day 20 - Sunday 31 July 2022 - Maude to Hay
Weather: minimum of 7.2ÂșC and high overcast
I wake at 6:40 am and after listening to the ABC news at 7:00 am I read yesterday's SMH as I have not yet finished it. I get up at 8:10 am and have breakfast. It is only marginally warmer now. After breakfast I pack up and am ready at 9:30 am.
I look at the weather for the coming days. Rain is forecast at Hay tonight, but not a high probability, perhaps at 8:00 pm. It should stop before the morning. Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be fine. We decide to go to Wagga Wagga after Hay and then to Jugiong. We plan to be home Wednesday as rain again from Wednesday lunchtime.
|The Murrumbidgee River in flood||The same tables even more in flood in September 2021|
We leave at 9:58 am and go to Hay via the Maude Road as this is the most direct route. It is a good road. We arrive at Sandy Point Camping Area at 10:50 am (55 kilometres, 13.1 l/100 km). This camping is quite large and is on the Murrumbidgee River just on the southern side of the town. We have a look around and settle on a grassy spot (there are some wet areas).
I have a cuppa and then I set up camp and put out my awning. This is only the second time I have used it. I do it much quicker utilising John's esky as a ladder. It is windy and there is some sun now, but it is still only 14ÂșC. After this I read the paper and start on today's. Veto is loving this place, she is wandering around all over the place. So many smells it seems.
|Set up at Sandy Point||Another shot of the Dominator|
I have lunch and then do some more planning. It is about three hours to Wagga. We decide to go to Oura Beach where John and I camped in 2019 when on the way back from Birdsville. At 1:30 pm we take the dogs for a walk. We go to the water tank art and then cross the highway to the other part of the park. There is a walk along the river here with some sculptures. We are back at camp at 3:20 pm, 4.0 kilometres.
|The Hay Water Tanks Art||One of the sculptures along the river|
I decide to add some more poles to the awning, this time along the top and edge ridges. I set up the shower and curtain and have another cuppa. At 4:30 pm we have showers and at 5:00 pm I start the fire. We have drinks and nibblies and at 6:30 pm I cook two porterhouse steaks on the grill with garlic butter. We have with potatoes. They were very nice.
At 7:25 pm there is a sprinkle of rain which remains around till 8:15 pm when it stops. We go under my awning during the sprinkling and then go back to the fire. At 9:20 pm four dickheads in utes come in and go around and around. Luckily they only stay 10 minutes.
I go to bed at 9:30 pm and at 10:05 pm I get to sleep after reading some more. There is very heavy rain from 10:40 pm with strong wind.
Weather: Fine/overcast, max of 15ÂșC Arrived: Hay Time: 10:50 am Distance: 55 kilometres
Day 21 - Monday 1 August 2022 - Hay to Wagga Wagga
Weather: minimum of 4.1ÂșC and sunny
I am not sure how long it rained for during the night, but I do not think it was too long. I wake at 6:00 am but go back to sleep till 7:00 am. I listen to the news and from 7:30 am read the paper. I get up at 8:00 am and have breakfast. After this I read a bit and then pull down the awning. This is easy, unlike the previous time when I put it up using more cross poles at front and middle.
I am ready at 9:35 am and we leave at 9:50 am. I should have mentioned that there are good toilets here too. We head east on the Sturt Highway. While I am driving I get a call from George, the bloke who purchased the 38 foot catamaran my ex-wife and I owned from 2014 to late 2019. He is the second owner after us and the people who bought it off us are not been very friendly to him or helping him with questions. In fact, they appear to have taken lots of manuals we left on the boat and have also lied about things they reckon they replaced.
I have to hang up on George as reception is bad. I later ring him back when we stop for morning tea at 11:40 am (157 kilometres 11.9 l/100 km). We also cut some timber here. We leave at 12:22 pm. At 12:48 pm we stop at Sandigo Rest Area for lunch, another 34 kilometres on. It is still only 13ÂșC but at least it is sunny. We head off at 1:20 pm and at 2:08 pm we stop for fuel on the western side of Wagga Wagga which is 20 cents a litre cheaper than in town.
I take 87.62 litres @$2.009 for $176.03. For the 618 kilometres since last refuelling, I have averaged 14.2 litres per 100 kilometres. We are back on our way 10 minutes later. At 2:45 pm we arrive at Oura Beach. This is a free camping area on the Murrumbidgee River and where John and I stayed in 2019. We camp in exactly the same spot as last time, mainly because there is a lot of water around and also at least four "permanent" camps.
|The Murrumbidgee River at Oura Beach is in flood||A drone shot at Oura Beach looking towards Wagga|
After setting up camp I have a cuppa and read and then take Veto for a short walk around the place. Another cuppa and then at 4:30 pm I put the fire on as it is quite cool. Drinks and nibblies and then I cook/reheat in the camp oven some chicken pops south-west style that I got from Aldi. I have these with fired rice. First time I have had these, they are quite nice. We sit around the fire and have a good view of the stars tonight. I go to bed at 9:35 pm, it is only 3.4ÂșC!
Weather: Fine, max of 13ÂșC Arrived: Oura Beach, Wagga Wagga Time: 2:45 pm Distance: 285 kilometres
Day 22 - Tuesday 2 August 2022 - Wagga Wagga to Home
Weather: minimum of -0.5ÂșC and foggy
I wake at 6:40 am and at 7:00 am listen to the ABC news and then read the paper. At 7:15 am I put the heater on as it is COLD! I get up at 8:30 am and turn the heater off a little later (trying to dry off the heavy dew). It is still only 0.3ÂșC and it is very foggy. I cook a bacon sandwich and the start a slow packup. Our plan is to only go to Jugiong today, under 110 kilometres away.
|It's very foggy||Looking along the edge of the river|
At 10:00 am it has warmed to 8ÂșC. We leave at 10:38 am and the fog is gone and it is sunny. We travel the back road to Sandy Beach Camping Area and at 11:05 am we stop there for morning tea. I stopped here the last night of my 2021 trip and Kelly and I stayed here at least once many years ago. Last year there was a new huge covered area which was not fully finished and now it has two BBQs under it. There is also a new toilet block under construction.
|The new toilets under construction and the new shed||This superb blue wren was very persistent|
We leave at 11:32 am and take a different road to the one I have used before. There is some roadworks on it and John misses the green light so I have to wait for him at the other end. We arrive in Jugiong at 12:48 pm and go to the camping area at the showground. We pick a spot to camp near the river.
While we have lunch, we check the weather forecast again. Wow, it has changed. Now it is showing rain tonight and all tomorrow. We change our plans again and decide to go straight home. While here, a male superb blue wren becomes fascinated with my car, either preening in the mirrors and chrome parts of the car or attacking what he thinks is another male. We leave at 1:50 pm.
I stop at Gordon VC RA at 3:54 pm (314 kilometres, where I nearly always stop on the way home) for a break. I leave 10 minutes later and arrive home at 5:43 pm.
Weather: Fine, max of 15ÂșC Arrived: Home Time: 5:43 pm Distance: 435 kilometres
Distance: 2,242 kilometres
Litres/100 km: 14.1
Maximum cost: $2.34