Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bendemeer Bridge

Walking about first thing in the morning and discovered what an interesting place Bendemeer is. Not exactly sure why. But they do have a very nice pub and an interesting bridge. Lots of grass, interesting buildings and the MacDonald River coursing down the middle. The town was bypassed off the New England back in 1985 and where highway commerce was, is still apparent.

Interesting Pub nice gardens looking over the river.

The Bendemeer Bridge.

Saturday, February 25, 2017


300 a day for each of three consecutive days, could be a new world record. Just one day to go. Enjoying driving the range and the New England listening to my compilation of best hits on USB. Only up to 'I' and might get there without a repeat.

Stanthorpe, for a bit of early morning shopping. Glen Innes, to stretch the legs and a cool drink. Armidale, for lunch and the rest of my 10,000 steps for today. And tonight camped at Bendemeer. Nice spot, far enough from the highway with lots of grass, shade and overlooking a bubbling creek.

Life on the open road: what's not to like!

She who must be obeyed showing  ~1000m above sea level. 

Friday, February 24, 2017


If "getting there is half the fun" is planning the trip a significant part of the other half?

Anticipation builds steadily as the plan starts to firm up. Cunningham Hwy then the New England is the way to go as it will be far cooler atop the range than out west on the plain. The down side is we need to climb The Great Dividing Range to about 800m at Cunninghams Gap. A long slow grind. But there is no rush and it's picturesque. So let the workers do their thing in the morning peak before starting out and had a reasonable transition of Brisbane.

Destination Dunedoo, well actually Cassilis, to do some BlazeAid and help after the recent fires. But tonight its a free camp at Dalveen not far from Stanthorpe. Looking forward to a cool night sleeping and a crisp morning tomorrow: can't remember the last time.

Dalveen currently has a free camp, nicely off the highway. But talking to a local he tells me the Council is considering a $10/night fee. The local residents are against it and want it to remain free. He says, after all, it's the residents who do the mowing and cleaning of the site. "Council does SFA!" Local politics and free camping, different attitudes everywhere, hard to predict.

Not busy tonight, but different at the height of the picking season.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Cotton Tree

So there I was, happily touring about in NSW visiting people and places, when the wheels started falling off, so to speak. It's like -bad things happen in threes. Didn't think much of it when the dashboard fault lamp indicated the hydraulic switch that controls the park brake was malfunctioning: had replaced 3 over the years (this vehicle does not have a hand or foot brake, as such, but a button on the dashboard). Always travel with spares so pulled over and replaced the switch. Not hard, just a bit of groveling under the MH, spanner in hand.

But, about 2000km later, when the indicator came on again and the park brake would not release, I knew things were far more serious. Luckily I was stationary, at the time of failure, or I very soon would have been in a cloud of tyre smoke! Wasn't hard to see, from all the fluid sprayed everywhere under the MH, that the park brake hydraulic actuator had blown a seal. Won't go into details but I needed to be off road whilst I made the repairs.

Disconnect the park brake. Express trip back to Cotton Tree, chocking the wheels whenever I needed to stop. On-line research and ordering of parts. Sitting around waiting for deliveries. Installing the new bits. Cleaning other bits. Testing. Devising a monitoring circuit so I get a bit of a heads up should it start to happen again. Testing. Shakedown trip.

That's where I'm at, at the moment, the shakedown trip to make sure all is good. Touring around Kandanga and Amamoor for a couple of nights. It's also the best way I know of to work out what things need to go back in the MH, (what have I forgotten) before setting off on a new extended adventure.

She, my motorhome, is like her owner: not all the bits are working as good as they did when first coming out of the factory.