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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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27 March to 3 April 2013 – Wagga Wagga and “Stone The Crows” Festival

After returning home from Trunkey Creek last week, it was time to head off again to Wagga Wagga in south western NSW (retirement is very tiring!) where were going to attend the inaugural “Stone The Crows” festival.

Whilst the festival commenced on the Thursday before Easter, we were attending as part of a group and plans were made for the group to assemble at an overnight stop in the tiny town of Jugiong and that would allow us to enter the festival grounds as a group and then to be sited together.

As our arrival time at Jugiong was set to be between 12:00pm and 3:00pm, we had intended to delay our departure to 9:00am, however, we pulled the caravan out from our driveway at 8:40am. What a mistake!

When heading south we normally join the M4 at Strathfield and head to the M7 interchange at Eastern Creek and then travel south on the M7. Sure, there is a fee involved but by travelling in this manner we eliminate a heap of traffic lights and speed restrictions should we use either the M5 (we have our toll rebated) or the Hume Highway to travel to Casula where the M7 meets the Hume. So, we took our normal route to Concord and turned from Crane Street into Broughton Street for the short leg to Parramatta Road. Immediately we turned we stopped and almost 30 minutes later, we had crawled to Parramatta Road where much to our surprise, there was very little traffic heading west. Next time we will find somewhere else to join Parramatta Road and avoid the traffic associated with the St Mary’s school.

As this was our first trip after having the AL-KO ESC fitted, we were keen to see how it worked. More later.

We stopped at Sutton Forest for morning tea, refuelled at Yass and then headed to Jugiong where we were the second to arrive. We found a shady spot, opened every window (it was very hot) and then had lunch. During the course of the afternoon the remaining members of our group arrived and we had an extended happy hour until it started to get dark. The camp at Jugiong is outstanding. There are well kept toilets and an abundance of shaded sites either on or away from the river. The area is managed by the locals and they ask for a small donation to keep the site going. We will stay there again.

The night was warm but cooled when it rained at 4:00am.

Thursday was a grey overcast day with threatening dark clouds.

We left in a semi convoy at 8:00am for the 90 minute run into Wagga Wagga and we arrived there about 9:50am. It was wet but we had no problems in getting to our allocated camp site. We ended up about 100m from our group as we were not prepared to camp under overhanging branches from a large tree.  The festival was actually held at a venue called Camp Kurrajong which is located about 8k’s north east of Wagga Wagga on Mills Road.  The rain continued unabated and we decided to pay a visit into Wagga Wagga during the afternoon to purchase some groceries and “He” actually activated the 4wd switch on the Navara when we negotiated the mud back to our camp site.

We were initially worried that the rain would continue over the weekend making it a challenge to leave after the festival with the roadway being battered by the 250 (heavy) gathered vehicles.  History now tells us that the rain ceased on Thursday and other than a relatively short shower on Sunday morning the weekend was dry.  In fact, by Monday morning there was no evidence of the rain that fell on the Thursday.

As for the festival, I have taken the liberty to reproduce parts of the program (edited) below. I’m sure that the organisers will not mind.

Thursday March 28

Happy Hour in the Marquee with Wagga Accordion Band
Welcome BBQ
The Squawker’s Dance

Friday March 29

Bush Poets morning show –featuring Jim Haynes and “The Limping Poet” Plus Kookaburra Komedy Kup – Yarnspinning heats
Seminar – iPad for the Grey Nomad with Bob
Seminar – VASTly different Satellite TV – Bob
Community Happy Hour
Jim’s Trivia Night (Jim Haynes)

Saturday March 30

Bush Poets Morning show featuring Jim Haynes – gReyVee Awards – Humourous & Serious Poets Heats
Finding a campsite using technology with Bob
Happy Hour wherever you choose
Stone the Crows Festival Concert with –

  • Wayne Horsburgh
  • Jim Haynes
  • Grant Luhrs
  • Katelyn O’Donohue
  • Peter Mace

Sunday March 31

Bush Poets Morning show featuring Peter Mace and Jim Haynes – gReyVee Awards – Humourous & Serious Poets Heats
gReyVee Awards – Disc Bowls Mixed Triples
Ecumenical service for Easter
Happy Hour wherever you choose
gReyVee Awards
Talent Quest – Music and Vocal categories
Gum Leaf Playing

Monday April 1

Bush poets morning show
gReyVee Awards – Humourous & Serious Poets finals
Kookaburra Komedy Kup Yarnspinning final
Open day and markets
Dog Lotto organised by Men’s Shed Charity Fundraiser
Wagga Wagga Country Music Group performance
gReyVee Awards – Petanque Finals
gReyVee Awards – Ladder Golf Finals
gReyVee Awards – Disc Bowls Finals
Nördlingen Band from Wagga Wagga’s sister city in Germany
gReyVee Awards – Stoning of the Crows
Community Happy Hour
Concert finale –  Presentation of prizes – gReyVees Awards

Full details of the program can be found on the Stone The Crows web site at www.stonethecrows.com.au

As for us, we attended all of the Bush Poet’s breakfasts (which were all a scream), “He” participated in disc bowls (did no good), we attended the concerts as well as many of the seminars. And of some minor importance, “He” equally won the photography competition and also was equally commended for his second photography entry.

On Sunday afternoon we also went into Wagga Wagga to the botanical gardens where the local model engineers were running their model railway. This was “one off” and intended to raise money for a local “Men’s Shed”. We understand that they raised a couple of thousand dollars and were very happy with the overall result.

We had a great time enjoying every minute of the festival. The company we went there with was also great.

Would we recommend the festival next year – “NO, NO, NO”. Why?, we want to kept it to ourselves.

We stayed an extra night and that allowed us to visit some friends at The Rock which is just south of Wagga. Some of our friends also stayed the extra day and we believe we set a PB for happy hour on Tuesday afternoon of 4 hours. We cooked just after 8:00pm.

Whilst at the festival we also moved one of our mobile telephones to a new carrier, Ozlinked.  This carrier operates on the Telstra NextG network and claims that they offer good deals.  We had previously looked at other options for our second mobile telephone but could not find one with the coverage we were after.  Ozlinked together with a new phone and external antenna we have acquired from them look like they might be the answer.  Must add that they matched our current plan with better pricing and the same options.  This company does not target the cities, only the rural areas.  Time will tell but what we have seen so far looks good.  Their web site is at www.ozlinked.com.au

As a result of going to the festival, we have decided to join the Australian Caravan Club www.australiancaravanclub.com.au.  As we have a caravan it seemed to be the right thing to do.  We must also record that this club recently changed its constitution to allow motorhomers to be members with full rights.  Pity the CMCA cannot do the same thing as a combined body of ALL R’vers surely would have some clout when it comes to lobbying.

We left Wagga on Wednesday morning intending to drive directly back to Sydney. This was the longest day trip undertaken towing the caravan and would provide some indication for future trips as to how far we could safely travel.

Other than almost running out of fuel and high winds for the last 180klm’s, the trip was actually uneventful.

“He” wanted to know the endurance of the Navara and to get an idea as to how accurate the trip computer was in estimating the distance to a refill. We could have refuelled at Gundagai but decided to travel to Yass instead. As a failsafe, there were two towns on the way (Bookham and Gunning) but the indication was that Yass was well within range. “He” carefully monitored fuel consumption but became concerned when the distance to “refill” started to be less that the distance to the refuelling site at Yass. We passed Bookham (no fuel) but thankfully were able to leave the Hume at Gunning and head for the local service station. They did not sell diesel! We headed back to the Hume Highway and about five minutes later, stopped adjacent to a diesel pump at Yass. Yes we made it with about 4 litres of fuel remaining in the tank. In future we will carry ten or so litres of diesel fuel “just in case”.

The wind did cause us some problems but was managed with variation in speed when applicable.

As for the AL-KO ESC, we don’t know. The caravan performed perfectly with only very little movement detected through the steering wheel. We will have to assume that the ESC will be there if it is needed to do its job in the future.

 

 

[singlepic id=222 w=420 float=center size-full]
A participant launches a disc during the disk bowls tournament.

[singlepic id=223 w=420 float=center size-full]
The crow for the Stoning of the Crows event.

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Some of the many RV’s at the festivals.  Caravans are mixed with motorhomes.  What a change!!!

[singlepic id=228 w=420 float=center size-full]
A magnificant sunset.

[singlepic id=230 w=420 float=center size-full]
Bush Poets breakfast.

[singlepic id=237 w=420 float=center size-full]
A participant demonstrating what the dog needs to do during Dog Lotto.

[singlepic id=240 w=420 float=center size-full]
A participant “Stoning the Crow”!

Last update – 14 April 2013

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