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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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16 – 18 March 2012 – Macquarie Woods NSW

Sydney had experienced a massive amount of rain and we had doubts if our weekend away with a CMCA chapter would take place. Most rivers in the southern part of NSW had flooded including the Macquarie River at Bathurst.

Our destination for the weekend meeting was a place called Macquarie Woods which is located midway between Bathurst and Orange. We were aware of the place having been told several years ago that it was a wonderful place to free camp.

“He” had made arrangements to have a half day annual leave and we had planned a departure from Sydney at 12:30pm on the Friday afternoon. On the previous Wednesday, “He” noted that one of the rear tyres was down on pressure so arrangements were made to call at Bridgestone at Silverwater to have the tyre checked.

We arrived there at 1:00pm and discovered we had a couple of other trucks before us. About 20 minutes later our tyre was removed and the initial inspection could not locate the source of the loss in pressure. The tyre in question has been fitted with a device to allow inflation from the outside (the rear outside wheel in a dual wheel setup is placed onto the hub backwards with the valve on the inside) and the initial thoughts were that the device was leaking. An hour later we learnt that a previous repair on the tyre had not been done correctly and it had to be removed and repatched. Apparently the previous repair job was not allowed to cure correctly.

Almost two hours after our intended departure time, we were finally on the road. It took us another two hours to reach Lithgow where we intended to refuel.  Our trip was a little slower than expected due to some rain near Katoomba and also because of the reduced speed limits that are a result of the road works over the mountains.  Apparently part of the road work has stopped due to the failure of the builder to pay contractors (is this for real?)

At Lithgow, a stranded vehicle being towed into the service station we intended to refuel had blocked the entry point and stopped us from being able to enter so we decided to continue to Bathurst for fuel.  The Iveco has a fuel computer and the numbers indicated we had sufficient fuel for the trip there.

Just before Bathurst (and as expected) the low fuel warnings started but we had sufficient fuel to reach our intended refuelling point.  The price was the same as Sydney and we managed to use a fuel voucher to partly reduce the cost of the fuel that was well over the $100 mark.  Diesel prices are slowly increasing but we have noted that the prices in the country tend to be the same as the city or just a little cheaper.  I wonder why?

Due to the lateness of the day and the fact that the weather was threatening, we decided to purchase our evening meal.  We purchased a chicken from Red Rooster, took a photograph of a rainbow to the east and walked back to the motor home in the rain. The threatening weather was actually a passing shower and we had fingers crossed that would be the end of the rain.

We continued on to Macquarie Woods which is located about 24 kilometres from Bathurst on the Orange Road. After the trunoff, we had to negotiate a couple of kilometres of dirt road. After arriving at the camp site, we managed to find a piece of ground that only required to motor home to be raised on one side to achieve a reasonable level. It was at this time that “He” discovered that his brand new Motorola Atrix smart phone was frozen.  Several attempts to restart the phone by removing and replacing the battery failed and considering that the phone was only theree days old, well, what can one say?  The new phone was acquired to replace the previous “non blue ticked smart phone”.  Telstra is normally great in the bush when you have a phone with a “blue tick” and we have always had reasonable success getting a telephone signal.

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Much to our surprise, “She” turned her phone on (Optus) and found that she had a good signal. All would not be lost.

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We renewed acquaintance with some friend from the Winnebago RV Club who we had not seen for ages as well as greeting our other friends from the CMCA chapter.

After tea we went to the club’s marquee but found that most people had headed off early to their motor homes. We decided to do the same. It rained during the night and we started to wonder if we would be having a wet weekend.

We awoke to a cloudy Saturday sky but before we knew it, the cloud disappeared and we were left with a magnificent autumn day. We spend the day lazing about the campsite. “He” played disc bowls teaming with one of our friends and managed to win the event that was played during the afternoon.  It was beginners luck!

Our evening meal was a community event with everyone bringing something to eat. Several slow cookers worked overtime during the day and the evening meal was very diverse with roast chicken, several pasta dishes, salad and some other wonderful dishes enjoyed by all. We had the meal inside the club’s marquee and it was very difficult to believe we were in the bush. We were entertained by a couple who were camping nearby with a story about an 18000 kilometre bike ride around Australia. We spent a little time talking before heading off to bed.  The weather was still fine but it was cool.

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Sunday was dry and we enjoyed a cooked breakfast before leaving to head home just before lunch. We stopped at the Bathurst Visitor’s Centre to collect the key for the dump point (the Bathurst dump point is at Caravan Solutions in the industrial estate on the Orange road just before Bathurst).  The dump exercise took almost an hour but was certainly better than having to take the toilet cassette into our home to empty in the upstairs bathroom.

Lunch was at Lithgow.

All in all, we had a great weekend with the weather very kind to us.

Fuel consumptions continues to be reasonable and there are early signs of a very slow reduction in the level of consumption.  We have almost 36000 k’s on the clock so the engine must be starting to “run in”.

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