The first leg completed relatively smoothly.

‘Fraid no picture today. (Did one in Facebook.) A very late start (after midday) to get away, and then a smooth run through the Eastlink, Bulleen Rd., Rosanna Rd., etc., then onto the Hume. Usually when Glenyce is doing last packing I get toey and then we sometimes have snippy “words”, but not this time, because I made it a personal project not to do that – but she said she felt it anyway. Projection? Maybe.

The run to Wangaratta is OK – smooth and green – better than the lousy summer dirty creamish colour. A desultory lunch at some roadhouse, then off again. We homed in on Wang guided by our Tom Tom 6″ navigator, whose voice name is apparently “Karen” – she’s agreeable enough, and is well-programmed.

We’ve had an excellent tea with Ron & Mary – with champagne. We talked over lots of topics, including the illnesses and vicissitudes of old age. They are both dealing with issues which are increasingly serious, and it’s a worry. We had good chats about the ways to Queensland and what to see, and family, and so on.

Now we’ve struggled with a very muddy site in Wangaratta, but the heater is on and I’m getting used to typing on these little pads. Anything to keep my brain alive!! Today’s been a rush, and now for a mandarin and then the written diary which we always do individually then swap to read each other’s.

It’s been a struggle to find everything because we’re overloaded for a longer trip, but we’re coping OK so far. Glenyce is getting painful thigh cramps. I hope she gets a really good sleep – me too. Because I was up to 3:40 am last night doing ‘puter wrangling, she let me sleep in to 8:35 am before gently shaking me awake. She’s a darling.

Longer drive to Forbes tomorrow, then Coonabarabran, then Moree. Love these aboriginal places names – don’t you?


Our packing is a bit of a farce, but we’ll get there.

Well, it’s 10:30 pm on Tuesday night. We leave tomorrow before lunch time. Glenyce is standing staring at our double bed covered with clothing and she can’t decide what to pack, because we have to cope with the cold and the heat – well – warmth, at least.

I keep telling her “We’ll just buy anything you need in Cairns!”, but the uncertainty continues. I’ve got all my stuff in the caravan, or selected already and sitting in any of 3 drawers in the family room. Being a male makes it easier, for some reason I dare not even broach. Don’t go there, guys!! About 10 shirts, 4 or 5 sets of trousers, one set of shorts, 8 pairs of socks and 8 underpants. Plus 3 jumpers – one good, one OK, and one a bit tattered and good for driving, and setting up the van on arrival at wherever we are. And one pair of bathers, togs, swimmers or cozzies (whatever), which Glenyce informs me the elastic has perished. “I’ll buy them up there”, I said.

But I also need them for the four beaut pools at the caravan park in Moree, which pipes in heated Artesian water to the pools and mixes colder water in to give several pools at temperatures up to 39 degrees Celsius. The latter is very tiring, I remember from about 6 years ago when we went through. It’s quite fun there. Glenyce tells me the bathers will last through Moree. Of course, I could pack either of the ridiculous budgie smugglers I have from some years back when I passed through some phase or other – if I want to trigger a divorce! But my gut would now make me look like a muffin. It’s bad enough with the perished bathers I already possess.

And – Oh God! – the medications – making sure we’ve both have enough of the requisite pills we take for various “medical conditions”. We’ve both got written statements about our disorders, and the prescribed medications, plus enough repeat prescriptions to last up to 10 weeks on the road.

I hope to wean myself off the Temazepam I need to sleep well. I only take two at most, usually only one. But these benzodiazepines are somewhat addictive, and it’s better to not be addicted. We both find that caravanning makes us healthier. We’ll return  fitter, with fewer pains, and less weight!!! But as soon as I walk into the house, the post-nasal drip will return.  I have no idea what causes it, but I’m allergic to something in the house. I’m not selling the house just yet.

Now it’s 11 pm the night before we leave for the big trip. I have all of my data (over 800 GB) on the main desktop here at home transferred onto two 2 Terabyte hard drives, but not all, so right now I need to arrange the final backup of all of the Outlook emails (back to 2007!) and Contacts, plus all of the Internet Explorer ‘Favorites’  and ‘Cookies’, so that I can load them en route into the laptop and be ready for the road.

Wish us luck as we wave goodbye soon to downtown Glen Waverley, chock-a-block with Asian restaurants and Asian groceries. A most fascinating place now, too – it was rather boring before they started coming in!

Zài Jiàn, I recall it is in Mandarin. Or if you like: 再见.

“Goodbye”, I think it means. Someone will correct me!