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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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22 – 23 July 2014 – Sofala NSW

22 July 2014 – Sofala NSW

It was cool to say the least when we ventured out of bed with the internal temperature of the caravan sitting at 4:0deg and the refrigerator sitting at 0.1deg.

Today was to be our “get rich” day with plans to locate kilos of buried gold in the banks and area adjacent to the Turon River.

Whilst the gold prospecting took place, “She” was travelling with our friends to the Sofala Cemetery where many relatives from the early days at Sofala were buried.

Without wanting to be verbose, the gold prospecting was a non-event with “He” and a friend finding every can and aluminium foil that was buried in the riverbank. The gold, its still there, somewhere?

For “She” the trip back to the cemetery was worthwhile with many photographs taken of headstones.

We had another ripper of a fire late in the afternoon where we shared happy hour before all retiring for our evening meal and the comfort of our relative RV’s. With no radio, no television and no heat, our bed was a very attractive proposition. It was indeed cold!

23 July 2014 – Sofala NSW

It was cold overnight but we managed to stay warm and actually had a comfortable night. At 7:45am when “He” arose for a comfort stop, the thermometer read minus 2.00deg celsius. There was a heavy frost outside and our campsite looked like an alpine scene. The frost disappeared as soon as the sun crept across the adjacent hills. After “He” returned to the caravan, we actually got back into bed and stayed there until 9:00am.

The sun finally hit the caravan around 9:30am and “He” immediately noticed that our batteries we not charging from our solar panel. A quick inspection of the solar regulator indicated that there was no charge passing through to the batteries and the solar regulator appeared to be “frozen” in a failed condition. Reference to the user guide gave little comfort as to the cause of the failure nor did it give any instructions how to reset the controller. The user guide did mention the existence of a 30amp fuse but there were no guidelines as to how to access the fuse.

A decision was made to contact the supplier but that involved a long climb up a hill to a spot where we believed we would get phone reception. After a couple of calls “He” was able to speak to a Jaycar store and a helpful staff member who provided the instructions required to access the fuse.

After returning to the caravan, “He” disconnected the solar regulator and successful gained access to the fuse. There was nothing wrong with the fuse! The regulator was reinstalled and as soon as it was reconnected to the battery, the regulator reinitialised itself and appeared to start working again. Problem solved but only time will tell if the problem has really been solved or if there is something more sinister going on. Fortunately we had packed our small 1KVA generator and “He” ran the generator to charge our house batteries making up for the time lost using the free power of the sun.

“She” went with friends back to Sofala during the day with the intention of visiting another cemetery at Turondale. Unfortunately due to the daytime closure of the Hill End road (road upgrade taking place until the end of July 2014), access to Turondale was not possible. The only other way was via Bathurst, which would have involved a round trip of 180 kilometres. Turondale will be the focus of a future trip.

“He” and a friend had another look for gold in an area away from the river but without success.

During the afternoon several other campers arrived and we invited them all to join us for happy hour, which went late into the evening. Fortunately the temperature was higher than the previous day and several hours were spent talking with our new friends. It was actually very pleasant when the sun departed for the day.

Eventually due to the falling temperature, we were all forced to head in different directions for the evening meal and the comfort of the RV’s. Once again, we had an early night.

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