July News

A little light at the end of the tunnel

A little light at the end of the tunnel. This is possibly the most generous space given to a toilet along the Adelaide to Brisbane trip. Located at Weethalle in New South Wales, across the road from the Royal Hotel and the Road Kill Grillz. The street closeby the Royal Hotel is Wee Street! During otherwise overcast conditions, a bit of sunlight created this unusual photo opportunity.

One of those strategically placed toilets along the 2200 km route. This one is at least very clean and well maintained. We would like to think that the womens' toilets are much cleaner, as they have to be seated and possibly have better aim than male predecessors in many of our visits to these tourist destinations.

Travel and Renovation

Much like the last two months; no software was written in July, just another trip to Brisbane with a load of furniture and plenty of renovation.

Kitchen with 90cm oven

The LED lighting above a pine countertop is rather bright for the phone camers, so excuse the contrast. The kitchen is pretty much done, and will be shown next month. The 90cm oven shown here would also find a new home — in September when vacant for rental, opportunistic folk removed it as has become common around McLaren Vale, Christies Beach, Morphett Vale and Hackham.

Oversize is what it says

On the return trip, towards Coonabaranbran travelling behind a truck, I noticed it pull off to the side of the road. Earlier a pilot vehicle and escort gave a hint that an oversize load was ahead. They normally do not take up more than their own lane, and along the Moree road over weekends, there are notices about large vehicles making the journey. Anyway, the trucker must have been on radio, so I pulled in behind. Although this road looks flat, there are not many places where trucks can pull off to clear their lane. There were three of these in a row. Not sure what they are, but each was an identical load doing a good speed. This is also why it it so difficult to keep these roads silky smooth — around Coonabarabran and Goondiwindi, the surfaced roads are heavily corrugated. When new, the van side door catch was not greased, and rattled badly for several hundred kilometers. Almost as bad as pulling out your own tooth because of the pain — not easy to repack a full van or locate a rattle! Anyway, greasing the sliding door catch and a few cable ties for the rear-camera harness solved that problem.

Large load by road

Oversize — they got that right!

The pilot and escort arrangement are excellent. It is surprising how many motorists do not give them a wider berth, particularly when they are going at the speed limit and will not be able to stop over a narrow bridge or section in the road. Hats off to these “Over Size truck” drivers.

 

Our Favourites

In last month's news, we gave a few of our favourite places for coffee and breakfast, well this is what a breakfast looks like at the Pinnaroo Bakery Cafe. The full breakfast is even bigger. We galliantly finished a full one on a previous trip.

Breakfast at Pinnaroo Bakery Cafe

So much better than McDonalds or Hungry Jacks, the bakeries along the highways provide real value. We stopped at Pinnaroo a few times for the night, both to and from Adelaide. The Motel is also good value and the large trucks possibly take a bypass, so you get a good night's sleep. The bakery opens early and is worth remembering for any trips along the B12. Further on, the large petrol stations before Hays and past Balranald are awful — both food, petrol prices and at least a dollar more for Magnum ice creams than the Corner Cafe in Hay.

Bendemeer

North of Tamworth, Bendemeer is a neat small town. The hotel is pretty large so it must certainly attract travellers and surrounding folk. I had been eating all along the route, so did not have supper at the hotel. The caravan park was $10 a night. During previous trips the poplar trees and fields were still green — reminders of typical German— and Celtic villages along the way.

Van at Bendemeer caravan park

Above Van parked at the Bendemeer caravan park overlooking the MacDonald River. Nice clean amenities, hot shower early in the morning, plus very quiet.

They are powered sites, although at this stage we have no 220 Volt appliances in the van. The park soon filled up, but we decided to stop well before dark prior to tackling the two Moonbi Hill decents, or having to stopover in Tamworth. There seems to be something in the water there, as Tamworth drivers try to emulate trolls.

Tales from the Woods

Tree meets fence

We stopped in Bendemeer on the way back. The van was empty, so the packing material and foam mattress was ideal to test out the camper van theory. After discovering the caravan park for only $10 a night, a short walk past the hotel found this tree that had grown into a fence.

The tree surgery must have been delicate, as the fence is still standing with the important reminder section still in place. My attempts with a pepper tree were less successful, and three sheets of colorbond had to be replaced along the property fence.

Tree and fence in Bendemeer