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July 30, 2014

After stopping at the chemist this morning we left Berry to continue on towards sunny QLD! Decided to take a coastal route to see a monument to Charles Kingsford Smith when he made his epic flight to New Zealand from the beach here at Gerroa just north of Kiama.

Got back out on to the highway once again just south of Kiama. The first photo has the highway almost through the middle with all the road works.

We sure wish that tourism/councils would stipulate when saying where these monuments are situated if there is suitable parking for caravans! Once again we were caught in a very hilly town as this monument is at the top of a steep climb with nowhere to park with the van so we had to just keep going down that street which became steeper! Finally got back to the main road but had to go back the way we had come to find somewhere to turn around, simply because to turn on to the main road the way we were originally heading was too dangerous with double lines and turning right up the steep hill. Consequently no photos or information.

All good. Continuing on to another Point of interest up at Kiama Downs which is just north of Kiama itself. Put the address into Navman but when we got there basically the same situation. It was a dead end with a turn around but there were 2 vehicles plus a council truck parked! Ok time for lunch and in the mean time the big council truck left as did one of the cars. I wandered down a path to see if I could find the owner but no luck.

We went for a walk back down the steep hill to see if we could reverse then turn at a larger spot down there. Looked good. Walking back met the last vehicle leaving.
Bruce took the stabaliser bars off & we were on our way. The turn around looks big but if the vehicles had not left I think that the reversing back to the bottom of the hill was going to be the best option.
Now, this is what we came in here to have a look at.

Comparing the original painting with to-day it is east to see how much the weather has worn down the rock formation.

Back out to the highway heading north towards and decided that the wind was just too strong to keep travelling and fortunately there was a rest stop just up the highway so pulled into there for the night.
Looking around there were cattle properties again with the occasional old sway back nag! Though the other was a sheep until it raised its head!

The wind up here was so strong & felt like it had razor blades imbedded! Naturally only ventured out to the new toilet block. The vehicles that pulled in here for quick pit stops were almost continual (all north travelling traffic) . Had the TV antenna up but not for long because of the wind- did not need it for reception anyway.

Thought earlier in the afternoon might get a good sunset but this is all it was.

As we had no power thought that the night would get cold but only got down to about 10. Waking up this morning to the sun shining on my bed was a blessing so never thought of getting out until well after 8am. There were about 4 cars that had come in sometime as well as as 2 wizbangs and a Britz.

After checking “Willy weather” decided to hit the road up to Moss Vale for the show grounds for the night. The road left the highway just before Shell Harbour & in through Albion Park towards the ranges-once again.

Now all that was

in front of us was the Great Dividing range which we had to get over.

This trip the range was going to be about 8km (read that somewhere).

This road was just wide enough for 2 vehicles & naturally my side was on the “down” side, meaning it got higher & higher to fall. There was a lot of traffic going both ways so every passing spot we had to pull over. One spot where Bruce was able to move over to allow about 10 cars to pass there was only one driver which honked his horn as thanks. It was not an official passing lane.
A fire truck & an SES vehicle had passed us in Albion Park & soon found out where there were going.

As we went past noticed a motor bike with pillion pulled off the road side & we found out when Bruce was talking to the caretaker here at the show grounds that this motor cyclist had been acting/driving like a fool & had been reported. The caretaker here was in a milk delivery truck & had also been pulled up & was told what was happening.

Some of these corners are hair bend turns& they have signs warning about trucks which have to reverse to be able to get around the corner. You can see 2 of these turns in the left photo. We had just come around one with another in front of us. Fortunately we did not meet any trucks.
Tried to get some travelling photos of how high we were but with nowhere to pull over that was not possible.

At last up on level ground again & into more cattle country as well as horse studs (or horses on agistment).

Finally got to Moss Vale & noticed the show grounds as we drove into town- did not look as though there were any vans in there! pulled up in town & while Bruce bought a paper I once again rang the phone # on the Moss Vale web site but still telling me that that # not connected. OK we decided just to drive back out there. Could not drive in as only half the gate open so next best thing to do was to go & ask. Bruce wandered in only to find that the milk truck in front of us was the care taker who then told him about the motor bike. Anyway, no more vans etc in show grounds until hopefully the council, in 6 weeks time, will make a decision. Yes, the van park owners again. Show grounds charging $140/week & van park $190. Guess where everyone was stopping as well as permanents. There are only 2 permanents who have to leave next week & the council is going to put a 6 week limit on length of stays.
The nice caretaker told Bruce that is we came in & parked down the back of the amenity block, out of road view, we could stay the night for $20. He said the councillors often check that there are no vans parked. Have got power thank goodness as temp in am supposed to be down to 2 degrees!
Only 2pm so think that I shall have SCAN. Senior Citizens Afternoon Nap. Bruce already in that mode.
We left the show grounds at Moss Vale & 4 degrees Sunday morning with the intention of reaching Jan & Berny’s that afternoon. It was going to be about 250 kms so a long day! They had suggested going up to Wiseman’s Ferry instead of up the motorways & that is what we took their advice. Basically we went up through Bowral, Camden,Penrith, Windsor to the ferry where we stopped for lunch. Once again we were descending & winding around hills down to the ferry.

Second photo looking back up the main road through Wiseman’s Ferry village. There was the usual Sunday folk having coffees (I guess) as well as Sunday Bikers out for their weekend ride.

Once over the ferry the road followed the Hawkesbury Rv for many kms, at times just room for 2 vehicles to meet. There are many homes, some old, some new as well as a lot of For Sale signs. I would have liked to stop for some photos but that was not possible for most of the way. Going across on the ferry one wonders about the sheer ranges in front and which way the road will go! Karen on the Navman did not want us to go on the ferry as kept telling us to do a u-turn!

We finally turned onto the Motorway north until we reached the exit for the Leslie’s. Was so glad to get out of the car as we had not done that many miles in one day, for a long time. It was so good to see them after almost 2 years (at my 70th was the last time).
Monday mid morning Bernie said “Ok lets go for a drive” and that is what we did. Took us to a beautiful NP first then gradually down to The Entrance where we had lunch.

This tiny picnic area is in Fraser NP – a small gully with the picnic area & beautiful palms. All through this NP there are various camp sites, all with “fees boxes”. Clean amenity blocks with pit loos.

ON to Snapper Point for a look. There was a fee box here but had been broken smashed!

Berny gradually got us down to The Entrance but found a spot for me to stop for this reflection photo on the way.
While we were waiting for our fish & chips for lunch this Pelican wandered over looking for a feed as soon as we started eating- they are fed every afternoon at 3pm so very quiet.

This weird shot of the pelican was while he was catching a piece of fish!

The next stop was at the Norah Head lighthouse & a read about all the ship wrecks along this part of the coast.

This is one of the nicest looking lighthouses we have visited in all our travels.
Finally back home with thanks to our friends for the days sight seeing.
The next day we packed, or rather Jan packed, a picnic lunch & we headed north to Newcastle. Jan had not been up here either so was all new for her as well.

While driving I was trying to take photos of some of the really old buildings – not easy to find a parking spot.

This is how it should be- oldies not knocked down but left where they were built.

We do not know what this tower is supposed to represent. Now it was time to find somewhere for lunch in the sun & that was not easy as we did not know where the parks were so just drove around. There was one at the waters edge but table was occupied so we had to take second best. Tiffy was happy to get out & have a run around.

Berny headed off the road again to this tiny spot at the beach which is a great surfing Beach (so the surfer driver told us) called Catherine Hill Bay. The street is lined on both sides with these old mining cottages. The jetty below is now disused.

Sunday 27th Berny had a sailing competition down at Gosford. We were going to leave their home earlier in the week but decided it would be good to check out the sailing, with Jan taking us sight seeing while he was sailing but that never happened. We had a cuppa on the deck of the Sailing Club then decided that the menu for lunch looked good so the sight seeing was cancelled. It was rather pleasant just sitting watching the water, folk wandering by talking then ordering lunch.

Jan & I devoured the sea food platter – she had all the lobsters & oysters- not to my taste. Bruce had a huge steak sandwich.

There was not a lot of wind that day either so sailing was rather slow. Jan gave us a running commentary on all aspects of sailing as she has been on many a boat sailing with Berny.

This evening we are going out for a Chinese meal.


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