About Blue Snoopy

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

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21 to 28 November 2012 – Binalong NSW

Eighteen months ago we joined a CMCA Chapter.  The Chapter is based in the South Western part of NSW and has members in the area surrounding Young and Boorowa.  Friends asked us to go to a meeting at Robertson and we have gone to meetings since that time when we were able to manage the chapter meeting within the timeframe of a weekend.

We have made a lot of new friends in this chapter and were concerned that we would have to give the chapter away when we purchased the caravan.  Fortunately that is not the case and we were able to continue with our membership.  Our membership with the CMCA is now deemed to be an “Associate” membership and we cannot attend an AGM and vote nor can we get involved with the CMCA in any official capacity.

It is really crazy that one moment we are a full member and by changing our ”RV”, we forfeit some of our rights.  We are still “Rver’s” after all!

Something else that has changed in our life is retirement.  The days of a weekend away are gone as we can actually take our time to get to a chapter meeting and return home at our leisure.  We are also not limited by distance.

Last year we headed south on Saturday morning and returned on Sunday, this time we would take a week.

As was the case last year, the chapter Christmas Party 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.

At the reasonable hour of 8:30am (it was 6:00am 12 months ago!) on Wednesday, we managed to get our caravan out of the driveway and commenced our journey south.  We intended to meet friends at Maccas at Sutton Forrest at 10:30am and continue the trip in convoy.

To make life a little easier with the caravan, all trips to date in a southerly direction have been by the M4 and then the M7 to Liverpool where we formally join the Hume Highway.  Whilst there are tolls involved, they outweigh the stress levels of negotiating the Sydney traffic to the M5 at either Roselands or Bankstown.

Since our last trip, “Hë” had done some work to the position of the height adjustable hitch (shortened the length of the chains) and this resulted in an improvement of the stability of the caravan.  In fact the only time we experienced any movement with the caravan during the entire trip was just short of our destination when high winds came up.

We arrived at Maccas at exactly 10:30am and met our friends.  After coffee and a brief chat (a quick 1.5 hours of chatter) we were on our way.

We decided to stop for lunch at the first suitable place after 1:00pm and this turned out to be the free camp site (Barbour Park, adjacent to Meadow Creek (GPS S 34 46.840 E 149 16.134)) in the township of Gunning.  Must remember this site as it is a small area with facilities and is free.

We arrived at Binalong just after 2:30pm and spent a little time trying to find an ideal (level) spot to park the caravan.  We eventually decided on a nice sunny spot (that would turn out to be a mistake) and not long after, we had established our camp site.

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.

Over the next two days, the Chapter members arrived and all were looking forward to the Christmas Party.  Oh, and something else that was important, it was bloody hot.

We had no power for the caravan and the next couple of days proved to be a challenge in both keeping our refrigerator cool as well as the caravan.

We finally connected to power on Sunday afternoon and had relief from the heat being able to run our air conditioning unit for the first time during the trip.

On Saturday a bus trip was organised and a dozen of us headed off to Burrinjuck Dam.  With the dam level being around the 90% mark, there was a lot of activity on the water.  We managed to drive as close as we could to the dam wall where a photo opportunity presented itself.

We headed back to the hotel at Bowning for lunch (we chose only to have a cold drink) before arriving back at our camp site in the latter part of the afternoon.

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.  As we had done 12 months earlier, we both chose the pork (it was even better than last year if that was possible).

We had no luck on the raffle but had a most enjoyable evening.

We were able to use our vehicle to transport some of the members between our camp site and the hotel.

We chose not to have a late night and were comfortably settled in bed by 11:00pm.  The temperature was still warm but the caravan was comfortable.

We were up early on Sunday morning and “He” helped with the cooking of a hot breakfast for the Chapter members.

We attended the AGM of the Chapter. During this meeting the group decided on the venues for the next couple of months and decided that the full calendar would be set at the meeting in February at Boorowa. We both ended up with positions on the Chapter committee.

Some of the member departed after the meeting but we remained.

We had a group BBQ on Sunday night in the comfort of the local fishing club’s shed.  We sat for a while after dinner.  It was so hot that the wine we were drinking went down like water with no effects of the alcohol being experienced.

We left Binalong on Monday morning and headed west, initially to Harden and then Young where we stopped for some groceries.  The morning had been the first real opportunity to tow the caravan on rural roads and the experience was not all that bad.  We left Young and headed to Cowra and the first caravan park we would find.  Other than the time taken for a walk into Cowra, we spent the majority of the afternoon in the caravan with the air conditioning running and cold drinks at hand.  It was still very hot.

Tuesday saw us heading to Bathurst (we took our time) where we spent some time looking for a small photo printer.  We also had a lap around Mt Panorama without the caravan.  We experienced a storm in the late afternoon which resulted in a significant drop in the temperature. We were very lucky that Bathurst only received the edge of the storm as other areas received damage from the storm.

In passing showers, we headed home on Wednesday, arriving at our home just after midday.  It only took a couple of minutes to reverse the caravan into the driveway.  The highlight of the trip home was the fuel consumption which was around the 13.5 litre per 100k’s.  We also had the experience of a long hill decent near Hartley plus the climb up Victoria Pass.

Some more power in the Nissan would be great!

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