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Blue Snoopy is a 2018 Adria Altea 402PH Sports Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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13 March 2008 – Bright to Lakes Entrance

We departed Bright just after 9.15am in perfect weather conditions. The temperature for the area of the trip today was said to be 21 degrees. After passing through a couple of small delightful towns, we commenced the ascent of the Great Alpine Drive into the Victorian high country heading towards Mt Hotham. The road to Mt Hotham was steep and winding and was certainly the biggest challenge presented to the motor-home since we have owned it. The acsent, and the later decent was driven manually (automatic transmission disabled). “She” stated that during the ascent, the view out of the left window showed a sheer drop at times straight to the valley floor (estimated drop 10,000 feet, or so it seemed). We also had to contend with several large semi trailers heading in the opposite direction. This is where the UHF radio proved to be very valuable as the truckies were in communication with each other regard their location and the traffic around them. We had ample warning of their arrival.

Mt Hotham was a hive of activity and we noted an advertisement for apartments selling for 1.5 million each. Mt Hotham looks like an excellent ski field if you like the drive. Mt Hotham also has the highest commercial airfield in Australia and QANTAS normally fly there during the ski season. We heard on the radio yesterday that due to a lack of pilots capable of landing at this airport, QANTAS will not fly to Mt Hotham during the 2008 ski season.

After Mt Hotham we stopped for lunch at a road side stop overlooking Omeo. It was here that we noticed smoke on the horizon.

After Omeo we headed towards the coast and past a significant amount of road work. Much to our surprise, the GPS called for a turn left and we soon discovered that we had been taken on a short cut towards Lakes Entrance. It was amusing to note an arrival time change from 2.34pm to 2.16pm on the GPS in a matter of seconds. We are still curious as to why the GPS advised the change mid route.

Lakes Entrance is a seaside holiday town situated on the edge of Victoria’s Gippsland. 90 mile beach is nearby. We checked into the Big 4 caravan park and for the first time since owning the van, parked on a site where the van was perfectly level. We went for a walk however much of Lakes Entrance was covered in the smoke that we had seen earlier. We spoke to another traveller who informed us that the smoke started 2 hours up the road towards Sydney. It would be surprising if there was a controlled burn as the fire danger here is extreme and the temperatures very high.

We had dinner at a local restaurant followed by a walk along the lake. Fortunately the smoke has started to disappear. Tomorrow we commence our return trip to Sydney on a day where the temperature in the area is forecast to be 37 degrees. We will have a pleasant night’s sleep as the van is a comfy 20 degree thanks to the air-conditioning.

Newsflash – tomorrow is a total fire ban for eastern Victoria.

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