Final packing will be a rush in and out in the Melbourne wind and showers

Hi everyone! Coming up to Tuesday now, the day before we leave for the first leg of our Cairns trip on Wednesday. They forecast the possibility of snow in the suburbs, so that would be novel for us. On Wednesday’s leg we only drive from Glen Waverley north-east to Wangaratta, via the Hume Highway. it’s a leisurely drive of about 4 hours, including a lunch stop at a roadhouse.

We always stay in caravan sites, with power, for the laptop, for camera recharging, and especially for the electric blankets and fan heater on the floor, which soon warms up the van if it’s cold – and we will indeed get cold weather, especially overnight, until we’re well up into Queensland. The blanket heat is needed for our arthritic spines and sciatica, and the pain control is helped by lots of codeine (Panadeine Forte) and also Lyrica, a medication for neurogenic pain, which is exactly the nature of the sciatic pain in our legs. Plus a few other pills for hypertension and other boring stuff …

The purpose is to visit Ron and Mary Hammersley, Glenyce’s brother and sister-in-law in Wangaratta. They’ve been rather ill lately, and in their 80s, so we’ll have a good family natter and go out for dinner. Then on Thursday we’ll get an early start – about 9 am departure – that’s early for us. We’re driving from Wangaratta to Forbes – about 440 km, and that’s about my limit. After that I get severe back pain and also get dangerously sleepy, helped by No-Doz tablets (caffeine). They do help to get extra mileage, but they’re not really very strong so I take about 4 at once! I don’t do that all that often. I have driven  900 km per day on several occasions, and I don’t recommend it! Glenyce does drive with the caravan, but only small amounts of the time.

Our overnight stays (at least one night) will be in sequence Wangaratta, Forbes, Coonabarabran, Moree, then perhaps St George, and then we’ll vary it, but will include Emerald (Qld), Charter’s Towers, and after 14 days travel we’ll enter Cairns on July 31st to settle in for 15 days in the beach-side caravan park at Palm Cove, north of Cairns , either coming down on that  day from inland in the Atherton Tablelands, or via the coastal road.

So it’ll be about 14 days of enjoyable travel in the Australian inland, starting from the Newell Highway, then varying it, especially to traverse through the Carnarvon Gorge country. We want to get well north into Queensland as soon as we can, in a business-like but leisurely fashion! Keep reading ….

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Blogger Bill

Australian happily married man, age late 70s, interested in science, psychology, politics, botany - esp. fungi, also music - esp. jazz. Plays jazz piano, (late starter). Non-militant atheist, believer in voluntary euthanasia. Studied Chemistry at Melbourne University in the 50 and 60s, with BSc and MSc and Dip Ed. Retired lecturer in Organic Chemistry at RMIT, Melbourne after career of 25 years. Three adult children, 4 grandchildren. Enjoys photography, and writing own web site Has caravanned around parts of Australia for many years, but overseas has only visited Vanuatu, twice. Afflicted by long-standing endogenous depression, reasonably controlled, but potentially suicidal. Also dealing with strong pain from spinal arthritis, extending into neurogenic pain of sciatica in both legs. Various surgical methods have been applied to the spinal stenosis, but no longer operable. Partly, but barely controlled by codeine and Lyrica. Has a severely curtailing effect on physical capabilities and also mental state. Cursing a clouded intellect most of the time, with occasional periods of clarity. Good sense of humour but hates pranks. Can't stand most USA TV programs and films, but enjoys good British and European shows. Strong supporter of the ABC. Politics would be called Liberal by Americans, and socialist by Australian right-wing. Supports Labor party, but also Greens. Broadly a social democrat. Strongly concerned by total mismanagement of global warming and climate change, and convinced that over 2 degC rise is inevitable, with catastrophic effects on human civilization and the ecology of the planet.

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