Gra Nomad Wanderings

Monday, April 21, 2008


Beautiful Coffin Bay

a local sea eagle

Lipson Cove near Tumby Bay

Gorgeous Point Lowly near Whyalla

Somewhere west of Broken Hill I guess

Silverton is a handy 25 km out of Broken Hill.
Just enough for a bike ride... 54 km total.

21 April - Port Lincoln
Wow.... we're having a ball. Glad we left a few days earlier than planned.

Enjoyed our stop at Point Lowly and then last night at Lipson Cove. Great to watch the sun come up both mornings, over the water... at.... wait for it..... 6:50 am. Yes, Fay saw them both! Unreal. We have been camping in our Avan (Matilda) RIGHT ON THE WATER. Beautiful. Maybe stay in Coffin Bay area tonight before heading up towards Baird Bay, Streaky Bay and on to Ceduna. Then it's head west young man!!!

Fay took us on some rough corrugated dirt yesterday but apologised afterwards. Rig is going well.

Better go... my 15 mins is up!!!!
PS Now at Coffin Bay (see top photo.) Staying 2 days. Soon heading towards Steaky Bay. Still on Eyre Peninsula. Photos are in reverse order just to fool you.

Friday, April 18, 2008

TRIP TO WA - Cobar & B Hill

16 Apr
Don't know how but we got away! (Turbo diesel Pajero towing the Avan - Matilda.)
Trip to Cobar was uneventful. Saw an emu (Fay is the greatest spotter of emus) and heaps a dead roos. Got away at noon (goal was 11 am!) Arrived Cobar (town of 4WDs and young blokes who work at the mines) at 4 pm. Booked into the Cobar Caravan Park for $23 (cash price!) We'd travelled 298 km.

17 Apr
Headed off at 9:30 am for Broken Hill. Fay had giant sleep overnight and felt much better. (Yesterday she was aching all over - arthritis.) She had a short drive yesterday and again today. She's a different girl now with a good kip under her belt.
15 degrees when I got up this morning and 19 when we left town. Most of the day was about 22 - 24. Very pleasant.
Today heaps of goats. Heaps! Vegetation quite different - a lot of scrubby shrubs with some sections of small trees. Occasionally some bigger trees. Always the RED EARTH! Heaps of road trains and quite a few dead roos. Saw a wedge-tailed eagle and one bunch of 14 emus close to the road. Average speed today (towing the Avan) 85 - 89 kph. We'd travelled 448 km.

18 Apr
Rest day in Broken Hill. We cycled on the Banana Split (tandem) to Silverton and back - total 54 km. Pity it was against the wind on the way back. Also filled the Pajero with diesel 65 L @ $1.599 which is cheaper than in Dubbo. How's that? Saw a dozen or so wild horses on the ride. Enjoyed a cuppa and a muffin from The Broken Earth Cafe and Restaurant perched high above the town on the SE edge. Looking into the sun wasn't the best for photos... we'll see how they turn out.
Tomorrow off into South Australia. Port Augusta a is about 450 km from B Hill. We have enjoyed Broken Hill. The mines here have produced a staggering one-third of the world's silver! Unreal eh?
Hopefully I'll get some photos to add to the blog next week.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Bec and Stuart

A glamorous couple

No, he didn't get to drum at the wedding! (Logan Jack)

Jon and Peta (#2 daughter)

Jeremy in action (#1 son)

Yeah! The wedding was great! The wedding was indeed glamorous. It was good fun and the bride and groom certainly enjoyed themselves. Hey, that girl can dance! Unfortunately our #1 daughter (Deb) and family had to attend another wedding.

It was good to have my 2 brothers and my sister there too. Especially seeing brother Bill is due to head back to Canada next Sat (19 Apr.)

Now, we're packed up and ready to head to Cobar, Broken Hill, Port Augusta and onwards to Western Australia. Departure - Wednesday about noon. It's only 300 km from here to Cobar.

Today the guys finished our carport. It looks great.

Katie is living in our pad while we're away. How cool is that? Good to have someone house sit. Now... I'd better do my last bit of packing.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Liz and Mike Fairburn in Cooma

Alan Keys and Fay near Rutherglen, Vic

Fay and Pam Crocker view Sugar Pines out of Batlow

Phil gives me a workout at the table

Phil tries out the Tikit in Tumut

Liz, Mike and the wedding party in Cooma

Enjoyed a great time at Cowra with the Bike Friday Gathering. (You probably saw the photos and read the blurb.)
We’re continuing to have a tremendous time wandering about areas such as Springhurst, Rutherglen, Wangaratta, (all in Victoria) Tumut and Adelong (back in NSW). Then to Cooma.

Spent some time with Alan on his property at Springhurst. We caught up with some of his family and ate some beautiful beef. I gave Alan a hand with emailing so hope that was helpful and that he practises by sending me a bunch of emails over the next little while. We covered quite a bit in the short stay. Also had some time with Margaret and Graham Brown. He is ex WWTC and a keen cyclist (see photo on Bike Friday post.) From there we headed to Tumut where Pam and Phil hang out. Phil is the WORLD’S GREATEST DENTIST. Pam was voted Citizen of the Year last year here in Tumut. They’ve been an item ever since WE introduced them to each other in 1967. Pretty serious stuff eh? We went for a visit to Adelong Falls and Laurel Hill via Batlow. We viewed the Sugar pines there. Also had lunch at Beaufort House in Adelong. What a darling of a spot! Either stay at the hotel/motel or stay for a feed or better still, do both! Thanks Cynthia. We’ll be back. The Hungarian Goulash was to die for and the apple strudel (local apples) was just plain yummy.
Table tennis with Phil was some task!!! A story on its own. Also a Rotary visit.
Then to Cooma where we attended Liz England and Mike Fairburn's wedding. A great time had by all, especially the bride (see photos!) Had to put Liz and Mike at the top of the photos even though that is out of chronological order!
Now back in sunny Dubbo for a short stay before another wedding (Stuart & Bec in Wollongong) and then we'd better start heading for Busselton in WA.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Fay and I with Banana Split

Graham Brown with our Tikit

Lynette Chang repairs a puncture

Our Avan setup
118 cycling enthusiasts joined together for a great weekend in Cowra. Their common bond – Bike Fridays!
Bike Friday cycles are built by Green Gear Cycling in Eugene Oregon in the United States. Each year the Australian Club has a gathering to which about 100 – 130 attend. There are all sorts of models – Crusoes, New World Tourists, Two’sDays, Qs, Traveller XLs, Tikits, Gnus, Llamas, Air Fridays, Twin Airs and Pocket Rockets. We rode our tandem Two’sDay (which is named Banana Split Sundae!) but we also took Fay’s new Tikit. It was lucky we did because our mate Graham Brown (vintage cyclist from Rutherglen in Victoria) found his rear hub was stuffed and so was very appreciative of Fay’s loan of her blue Tikit.
Fay and I along with Bronwyn and Walter and Margaret had organised the weekend and planned the routes. We rode 54 on Thursday, 47 on Friday, 82 on Saturday and 27 on Sunday. I didn’t wan the weekend to end and was riding quite slowly on the Sunday. Fay had had enough and wanted to get to lunch destination NOW! (It is important for the captain – person on the front of a tandem – and the stoker – person on the back of a tandem – to communicate and even AGREE!)
The cyclists came from just about every state in Australia. Next year’s ride will be at the end of March at Halls Gap in Victoria. I think we’ll book early!
Peter “Kooka” Berra came out from Eugene to ride with us, to answer questions, to sort out people’s individual concerns and share his knowledge. He’s a good bloke, and if we could only do something about the way he speaks, he could well be considered one of us.
Margaret Day is our “leader” and keeps us on track. What a task!
We raised money this year for the Amy Gillett Foundation.
Next year – Halls Gap!

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