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Blue Snoopy is a 2012 Nova Vita Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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Aberdeen NSW – 3 July to 6 July 2009

Our trip this weekend was under a cloud as “He” developed a good dose of the flu earlier in the week and it was not until Thursday that we agreed we would make the trip.  We departed just after 7.30am on Friday and drove straight into Sydney’s peak hour nightmare.  Under normal circumstances, it takes us about 25 minutes to drive from home to the start of the Newcastle Freeway, today it was just over 60 minutes.  Other than having to slow for the on-going work on the freeway, the trip north was fairly quick and uneventful.  Our planned arrival time at Aberdeen was 12.00pm, we arrived at 12.05pm.  Other than  a quick 5 minute stop at Greta, we had driven straight through.

One of the benefits of being a member of the Winnebago RV Club is the opportunity to attend various club events and enjoy the companionship of other club members as well as attending the relevant local event.  The venue this weekend was the small town of Aberdeen which is located in the Upper Hunter Valley of NSW.  The occasion was the 10th annual Highland Games.  This is a popular club event and was unfortunately limited to 30 rigs.

The annual Highland Games are held on the first Saturday in July and are reported to have become Aberdeen’s most spectacular event, drawing hundreds of people to the township to enjoy the festivities.  This included the Winnebago RV Club with 30 rigs and their crews attending.

We all arrived on Friday afternoon and after forming a circle to establish a “club area”, the afternoon was spend renewing friendships and meeting new friends.  Happy hour was at 5pm and it was during this time we were presented with our name tags, a beanie and bag (courtesy of Australian Motor Homes) and a piece of Winnebago Tartan in the form of a scarf.  As it was bitterly cold, the scarf and beanie became treasured possessions.  After happy hour we had a BYO BBQ and most then retreated to the comfort of their motor homes and for the lucky one, “HEATERS”.  Blue Snoopy has a Webasto heater and this provided excellent heat and the foundation for a great night’s sleep. “He” was able to catch-up with a couple of club members known tnhrough RV forums and the exchange of several emails.  It really is a small world!

We shared bacon and eggs for breakfast on Saturday morning before heading into the adjacent grounds to watch the commencement of the festival.  The Games began with a parade of bands followed by an address that officially opened the day. This was followed by numerous events including strongman events (lifting of the stones, hay bale throwing and the caber toss).  The Australian tug-o-war championships were also conducted and the Winnebago RV Club entered a team. This event also included displays by the Department Of Defence Federation Guard.

After the conclusion of the games, we headed back for happy hour before departing by bus at 6.00pm to the local high school where we all attended a Ceilidh dinner which included a full Haggis Presentation.  For those who do not know, Haggis is described by Wikipedia as “a traditional Scottish dish. There are many recipes, most of which have in common the following ingredients: sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal’s stomach for approximately three hours.  Haggis somewhat resembles stuffed intestines (pig intestines otherwise known as chitterlings or the kokoretsi of traditional Balkan cuisine), sausages and savoury puddings of which it is among the largest types. As the 2001 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique puts it, “Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour”

Many of the RV club attendees (including “He”) tried the Haggis.  It was different!!!!

After another good night’s sleep, we shared a continental breakfast.  After saying farewell to friends who were not staying for the extra day, we headed out to Glenbawn Dam and the recreational area where we would spend the night.  After arriving at the dam site, we took up camp around a cricket ground.  Courtesy of Max and Winnebago, we had a “sausage sizzle” for lunch after which several of the group made a 6 kilometre trek across the dam wall and beyond.  “She” went on the trek which “He” relaxed in the warm afternoon sun.  Happy hour followed at 5pm after which we had a BYO BBQ.   We participated in trivial pursuit before heading back to our “warm” motor home for another great night of sleep.

We awoke on Monday to ground covered in ice and a temperature probably a couple of degrees below zero.  We shared another continental breakfast and then spent a couple of hours saying our goodbyes before departing at 10.30am.  Igt is proving to be very difficult returning to Sydney when we know that a lot of our new friends are out on the road and enjoying this great country of ours.  Hopefully our day will come!

We made several stops whilst returning to Sydney and arrived home just after 4.00pm.

Footnote:

Free camping – We now consider ourselves experienced (although really still at the novice stage) free campers now making full use of the facilities provided in Blue Snoopy.  Next step will be to join the “Leave No Traces Scheme” operated by the CMCA. 

Fuel consumption update – the trip north averaged just over 15 litres per 100k’s at speeds around the 90k per hour mark.  We spent a high majority of the trip travelling against strong westerly winds.  We decided to travel home doing the marked speed limit and 110 kph down the freeway.  Average consumption when arriving home was 14.71 litres per 100k’s.  It now appears that we can manage around the 15 mark if we travel in the 90 to 105 bracket and around the 13-14 mark if the speed is 80.  What we do know is that we are getting good results by driving the Iveco manually and by NOT engaging cruise control.

Front wheel camber – during the weekend it was pointed out to us that there is uneven tires wear on the front passenger side.  There appears to be a problem with the camber.  We stopped at Iveco Newcastle on the way home and confirmed that the Iveco does have a camber kit fitted.  We need to visit a truck specialist and have a front wheel alignment.

1 comment to Aberdeen NSW – 3 July to 6 July 2009

  • hallo “she” and “he” (E & J) how are you guys going i just had a look at max’s photo’s he took and they were great i wanted to that i miss talking to you guys in the morning when i get up i hope to see you guys soon on future events i hope you don’t get sick again and i wish you all the best

    P.S i hope to see you soon

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