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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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25 – 26 November 2011 – Binalong NSW

Earlier this year we joined a CMCA chapter when we attended a gathering at Robertson in the NSW Southern Highlands.  Most of the chapter members reside in south western NSW and with the majority of their gatherings in that general direction, it has been difficult for us to join them when we only have the limited time of a weekend available for travel.

Nevertheless, we did plan to make an effort to go to their Christmas Party which we knew was to be held in a little town called Binalong, some four (4) hours south of Sydney and about 30 kilometres south west of Yass and 30 kilometres south of Boorowa on the road that goes to Harden and Young.

Due to the distance we had to travel (a little over 300k’s) and the fact we wanted to maximise the time we spent at the chapter gathering, we planned an early departure from Sydney.

A short time after 6:00am on Saturday, we started the motorhome and headed to Concord to refuel.  We were surprised to note that the last time we refuelled was at the same place and it was just over two months ago.  Where has the time gone and why have we not been travelling?

We had a short wait to access the diesel pump but we were soon on our way with the windscreen wipers on and set to intermittent.

It is amazing how quick you forget things and “He” spent a minute or two trying to remember how to set cruise control.  That is also a disadvantage of driving different vehicles where you have the turn indicator on different sides of the steering wheel.

We had an uneventful run to the start of the M5 and were soon heading south with the intensity of the rain slowly increasing.  Traffic was light and even the conversation on the UHF was quiet.

We continued in relatively light rain until we crossed Pheasants Nest Bridge when we literally ran into a wall of water.  We needed to decrease speed and at the same time watched our fuel consumption increased by 1.5 litres per 100k’s due to the ferocity of the driving rain.  We also noted an increase in the presence of the NSW Highway Patrol and assumed they were taking cover from the rain as they were all parked in the bushes adjacent to the highway.

We continued in the heavy rain to the other side of Mittagong when we started to observe that the sky was becoming lighter and the clouds higher.  Just short of Goulburn we could see blue sky in the distance and mid way between Goulburn and Yass we were travelling in dry conditions.  The transition from wet to dry was amazing.

We arrived at our destination just before 10:45am and spent a short time setting up our camp.  We camped on a slight slope but ensured that any rain would run away from our extended slide-out.
The rest of the day was spent socialising and “He” actually managed to close his eyes for an hour during the afternoon.

Binalong sits at 475 metres above sea levels on the edge of the Southern Tablelands.  It is also located on the southern railway line and actually has a railway station that has not been used for decades.  Depending where you read, the town has a population of either 250 or 600 people.  It is the sort of place you go to for a pleasant country life style.

One thing that Binalong has is the traditional country pub and that was the venue for our Christmas party.

We had an extremely pleasant evening that started with drinks in their beer garden followed by the evening meal that consisted of pre-ordered pork or chicken.  We both chose the pork (to die for) and washed it down with some excellent wine from Brown Brothers.  We had a bit of luck during the evening winning fist prize in a raffle for a hamper and we also had the third ticket drawn for the lucky door prize.  We left with a massive basket of food and a large ham.

We chose not to have a late night and were comfortably settled in bed by 11:00pm.  The temperature was mild and made for a very good sleep.

The alarm sounded at 7:00am on Sunday and we awoke to an overcast but dry day.  We were in no hurry so we took the time required to have a leisurely breakfast and then we attended the AGM of the Chapter. During this meeting the group decided on the venues for the coming twelve months and it looks like there are several gatherings that we will be able to attend including Grabben Gullen in January 2012.

After the meeting concluded we were fortunate to have a guided tour of the town by one of the Chapter members.  After having a look around the main township and the antique buildings, several of which are in the process of restoration, we visited a bridge that leads to the abandoned railway station.  We missed a photo opportunity of an XPT passing through the station as it arrived literally seconds after we went back to the car.  Binalong also has several lovely churches.

After returning to the camp site, we had lunch and then after the usual farewells, commenced our journey north in the middle of the afternoon.

The traffic was light, the weather was good and we had the benefit of a tail wind for most of the journey home which resulted in reasonably low fuel consumption based on the fact that we travelled at near to the speed limit.  It took us just a little over four hours to arrive home.

Our practice in the past has been to limit weekend trips to probably a maximum of 150k’s from Sydney (Canberra would be the exception) but this weekend has shown us that provided we depart early on Saturday morning, any location within 350k’s is now a possibility.  We will initially limit that approach to north and south of Sydney as the road works currently taking place in the Blue Mountains adds significant time to both the outward and return journeys in that direction.

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