to March 29th 2008
15th – Graeme and I departed Singleton at 8.00am and travelled the
to meet the Newcastle
members who were leaving the Caltex at 10.00am. We had morning tea at
and then proceeded down to Pheasants Nest where we met up with Steven
and Robynne Lilly, Rob and Pauline Wilson, Graeme and Victoria
Gardiner, Peter Dwyer and Andrew and Nicole Haigh.
had our lunch and were about to drive off when Andrew discovered
his battery was flat which required a jump start from Peter. From here
we called in to Berrima for a walk around this gave Andrew a chance to
check the battery and test the regulator. The car started ok and we
departed at 3.30pm. We then set off for Goulburn for a petrol stop.
Back on the highway there was no catching Andrew until we arrived at
Gunning where we stayed the first night.
After settling in to our motel, Graeme Gardiner
informed us he had no speedo. The boys tried to fix the problem but to
no avail. In the evening we had dinner at the motel. at 6.30pm
Here we go again another National
Rally, another long trip and yes another breakdown for me on the first
day. In fact within only minutes of meeting up with the main group. It
wouldn't be my last but this year my title of most unreliable car was to
Sunday 16th – It was a sunny morning with slight
breeze, we departed at 8.40am for Gundagai. As we were
driving along Peter tried to tell us something on the two way but we
couldn’t understand him and Andrew said, “You are a bit distorted
Peter”. Peter replied, “It wasn’t important”, which we heard
very clearly. We had a chuckle. We arrived at Gundagai for morning tea.
Next stop was the town of Tumut. We got
petrol and supplies then headed for Blowering Dam arriving at
12.30. We drove over the dam wall, took in the view then went to the
park for lunch. We found a nice big shady tree as the weather was warm.
When going over the Snowy
Andrew developed overheating problems with his car and had to pull over. He was following a
slow ute towing a boat which probably
didn’t help. Rob and Pauline pulled up to wait, while we kept going
until the turnoff where we waited. Because it was so hot the
rest of the group kept going. We all reunited at
Pond where there was shade and we had a walk around. When
got out of Peter’s car she had red bullseye marks on her clothes as
Peter had treated his seats and didn’t wipe the passenger seat. Graeme
G said, “Peter must be a wild driver as she was red raw”. Next stop
was Corryong where we were staying the night.
Along the way Andrew’s brakes got hot so
we stopped for
a few minutes for them to cool. Then he got another boost of
power and we had to catch him again. We arrived at the motel at 5.15pm.
Graeme and Victoria met up with some bikie friends. After settling in we
went for dinner at the motel restaurant.
It was a bit of a test for
the 'Old Girl' today. High temperatures and long steep hills. They don't
have either in England. Anyway, it was that ute towing the boat that was
the problem if he wasn't going so slow The MK9 wouldn't have overheated.
That's my excuse anyway. At least the battery stayed charged.
Monday 17th –
A sunny and cool morning to start the
day. After filling up we headed off towards Omeo. We dropped in at Tallangatta
for another petrol stop and a quick
stretch of legs. We stopped at Mt Beauty for morning tea. We walked up the streets to a lovely little town. We stopped at Sullivan Lookout and the
view over Mt Beauty was spectacular. We then drove over Mt Tawong and
arrived at Bright in time for lunch. We then had another stroll
around the streets and Peter, Graeme and I had our lunch in a pub then
walked back to park to meet up with the others.
We left at 1.40pm and drove up to Mt Hotham. The road
was very steep and I had hold of the door handle and did not move in my
seat until we got on top of the mountain at the Chalets. The
girls had a photo shoot on the chair lift which wasn’t moving but I
still was a bit unnervy. Robyn and Steven had made a little jag with a
frog in it to give to Garry Morris when we visit him, so they put it on
the edge of the mountain and took photos. The
road down other side of the mountain was completely different with no
cliff hangers. We arrived at Omeo at 3.55pm. We settled in our motel,
and some walked down to the village while others drove to look around.
Graeme and I opted to drive as we visited the Cuckoo Clock Shop and
purchased a clock. We then walked to the pub nearby for dinner and then
retired for the night.
It was quite a drive over Mt
Hotham, my theory about the ute causing us to overheat gained some
credibility today, the faster we drove the lower the engine
temperatures! The result looked more like an attempt to recreate the
famous 1956 Monte Carlo Rally victory. Bending temperature gauges and
screeching rubber ensured that our acrophobic friends were left far
Tuesday 18th –
We departed the motel at 8.35am to a sunny morning with a slight breeze.
It was 19C in the car driving along. We drove
through Swift Creek which was a lovely little old town and followed a
creek some of the way arriving at Bruthen at 10.00am, where we stopped at a
little park. Then we followed the Great Alpine
Road to Bairnsdale for a petrol stop before continuing to Paynesville. We followed
the river along and called into Eagle Point and stopped at the lookout
overlooking the ocean to take in the view. Joining us for lunch in
Paynesville were the
seagulls and swans which were trying to get Pauline's lunch but she was
hanging on to it very tightly.
lunch we drove past the marinas
before driving out of the town much to the disappointment of the lady
navman who kept saying to do U turns until we caught up with the
Princes Highway. After getting on the highway Andrew said we had to do a u turn to go
back to the Antique Clock shop which is on the highway out of
Bairnsdale. It wasn’t bad seeing all the old clocks and other
stuff they had. Then we continued on the highway till a sign
said Beng Wordem which was a back way to Sale. We passed River Perry and Clydebank Aerodrome and
before arriving at
We settled in at the Motel, a great setting with our
doors leading out on to a courtyard where the pool was and Andrew and
Nicole opted for a swim in very cold conditions. Pauline, Graeme and
myself managed to dangle our legs in the water and thought that was enough. Steve
chickened out. It was good to be able to rest before dinner. At around
6.15 we then gathered for pre dinner drinks in the courtyard and the
owner was only too happy to oblige to our needs.
of the day I thought it may be the first day without any car issues, I
was gaining confidence in the battery charging system and had been using
the air conditioning more and more. Sadly though on arrival at the Sale
motel the battery was flat again. This was a little worrying as tomorrow
I was to leave the rest of the group and so wouldn't have a jump start
available when required.
Wednesday 19th – Departed
Sale at 8.30am where we
left Graeme, Victoria, Andrew and Nicole who were going their separate
ways only to meet again at Geelong
on Friday. Monty (Andrews car) had to be jumped started again but
hopefully he will behave till we meet again. Peter was taking a video and
he said ”Naughty Monty”.
Island. The weather was cloudy. We stopped at Traralgon for about 10 minutes
and Graeme and Victoria tooted as they went passed . Later when going over the freeway
we saw Andrew and
Nicole as they were travelling down to Melbourne.
We stopped at Leongatta McDonalds for morning tea at
road was very dry which was hard to believe as it is
coastal and you would think they would have had rain at some stage. We arrived at
at 12.00. We checked into the
Park, the cabins were good. Pauline and Rob took Peter while Graeme and I
took Steve and Robynne down to the waterfront where we parked and
walked back up the street for lunch.
After lunch we drove to the
and track for a look around, then we drove to San Remo
for coffee and then called into the Chocolate factory before going
back to the park. Pauline and Rob dinned at the RSL and the rest of us
stayed at the cabin and planned the next day. We were going to have a
ride on the Puffing Billy but decided it would be too long a trip.
Today we headed for Melbourne, my
parents had flown in from England two days earlier and we planned to
pick them up and take them down to see Great Ocean Road before the
rally. It was a fairly long drive from Sale all the way to Lavers Hill.
But for once Monty was well behaved. The temperatures had dropped from
high thirties to under twenty, so there was no need to use the air
Thursday 20th – Departed Caravan Park at 9.10am and
drove around to the Nobbies and Blow Hole. It was freezing cold but managed a photo with the ocean behind
us. We then headed to
for morning tea.
We arrived at Cranbourne at 12.15pm. This is a big town and we went to the shopping
centre where we got some supplies for lunch and Peter got a new tyre. We
then went back to the Motel and booked in and had lunch. Peter opted to
stay at the motel while Steve, Robynne, Pauline, Rob, Graeme and I drove to
the Railway Station and caught a train into Melbourne.
We caught the city tram and went around the streets
before going over to Southbank for a stroll and caught the train
back to Cranbourne. On our return we caught up with Peter and went for
dinner at the RSL club, which was within walking distance.
Meanwhile we spent a rather cool
day exploring the ocean road. Today for the first time the windscreen
wipers were called upon. Sadly the results were rather comical, so we had to sit and wait for the rain to stop.