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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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9 – 12 December 2011 – Kiama NSW

For the past two years we have escaped Sydney and spent the weekend prior to Christmas at Kiama at the East’s Caravan Park.

With a decision made not to attend either of the Winnebago Christmas parties (we went to the last two at Nagambie in Victoria due to commitments on the weekends that the NSW parties were held near Coffs Harbour), we mentioned Kiama to several of our friends and a decision was made to hold a “gathering” at Kiama but on the weekend two weeks prior to Christmas.  We also decided to extend the stay to three nights arriving on the Friday and departing on the Monday.  As it would happen, our weekend would be an identical length to a Winnebago Christmas Party but at a fraction of the cost as we were all to be spared a lengthy drive to either Coffs Harbour or Nagambie.

We had five other couples decide to join us but unfortunately one couple had to pull out on the departure day due to ill health.

Blue Snoopy was loaded on the weekend prior to our departure date and it was only a matter of some last minute clothing and food before we departed Sydney just after 9:00am on a Friday morning with a weather forecast of rain during our trip south.

After a planned fuel stop at Burwood, we were soon heading south with the majority of the Sydney peak behind us.  The weather was fine.  Due to the relatively short distance we had to travel and also to remove any stress (both on the motor home and the driver) going down Mt Ousley, we chose to drive our car.  It was also a good opportunity to give the car a decent run as most of its time is being spent driving around Sydney in continual stop / start situations.

For this trip we mounted a small video camera (recently obtained from eBay for a cost of $32 which included postage) on the windscreen of the motor home.  The recording has the capacity for about 4 hours of recording before it commences to overwrite files.  Later during the weekend, some of the recorded images provided for some light entertainment.  There are really some drivers who should not be allowed the privilege of driving a car.

The trip south was uneventful and we maintained a conversation between the vehicles over the UHF.  “She” passed a warning about a Police car with radar halfway down the Mt Ousley decent but the motor home was travelling slowly enough that the radar would probably have detected a snail travelling quicker.

We arrived at Kiama at 11:00am and headed to the local Woolworths supermarket to purchase our perishable items.  We had arranged access to our camping site from midday so we arrived at 11:56am.  Two other couple had already arrived and had established their camp.  One of the couples intending to attend the weekend had cancelled earlier in the day due to a health issue and we were able to have their deposit transferred to our account.  There was one other couple who arrived after us.

(A special “thank you” to the Office Manager that day at East’s Beach who approved the transaction, it WAS greatly appreciated).

One of the advantages of a motor home over a caravan is the time required to setup.  As we had driven the car there and did not have to unhitch, it was a simple matter of reversing onto our site and then moving forward onto ramps to set our level.  That process, extending the slide out and connecting water took us less than 5 minutes.  “He” still has fond memories of the many hours spent during his “tenting” days of the setup process.  Now we sit and have a cold drink watching others do as “He” once did.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent talking to our friends plus a walk to the beach.  We retreated from the beach to return for happy hour that started near five and concluded close to 8:00pm (or was it 9:00pm – cannot remember).  The weather had been kind to us with absolutely no hint of rain.

On Saturday morning we spent time positioning our neighbour’s motor home so we could extend both of the annexes towards each other to provide a large covered area.  We also fashioned a drain between the annexes that would ensure that any runoff fell safely away from the covered area.  Yes, we were reacting to the weather forecast that was predicting rain.

During the morning the final couple joining us for the weekend arrived and after lunch, all of the ladies headed into Kiama on a mission to purchase prawns for our evening meals.

We cut our happy hour short and the enjoyed prawns and salad for our evening meal followed by Christmas Puddings.  We spent the evening looking at a movie called “Red Dog”.

After our friends retired for the evening, we walked down to the beach with the intention of photographing the ocean under a very bright moon.  There was also an eclipse of the moon on the Saturday night and unfortunately all of our plans were ruined due to the quick arrival of cloud cover.  There was no photography of the ocean and only several glimpses of the moon through some broken cloud.

We awoke to an overcast Sunday but still no rain.  After breakfast we all chatted for a while before the ladies headed into Kiama with the intention of a visit to the local markets.  (We later discovered we were one weekend early).  We consumed the remained of the prawns for lunch.

The sound of thunder later in the afternoon prompted us to put matting and awnings away and by 3:30pm the rain had finally arrived.  We all moved into the camp kitchen area where we had happy hour followed by our meal.  It was still raining when we went to bed.

We awoke to rain on Monday morning and before leaving, we all agreed that we would return in 12 months times for a repeat of the weekend.  It was sad saying our goodbyes.

Our return trip to Sydney was in rain for the majority of the trip.  We ran the video camera on the way home and now have wonderful pictures of the front passenger seat in the motor home.  “He” had put the camera in back to front.

2 comments to 9 – 12 December 2011 – Kiama NSW

  • Geoff bagley

    Interested to see you also found Winnebago Xmas weekends have got overpriced – they now seem to see the weekends as a moneymaking venture rather than a PR exercise.

  • Hi Geoff
    These days it is not only the price of the weekend, but the cost to get there and back. Both Nagambie and Coffs Harbour are 1500k’s round trips for us and that equates to about $350 in fuel costs. I still work so it also costs me 4 days of annual leave. I would be happy to see the NSW Christmas Party return closer to Sydney (back to Del Rio at Wiseman’s Ferry). Whilst the actual weekend cost is a factor in any decision, we have a lot of friends in the WRVC and the Christmas gatherings are always a great opportunity to see everyone.

    Cheers
    John

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