Oh how I hate Vista! Especially on a laptop that does not have the speed to run this incredibly power hungry version of Windows.
But back to real life. Sort of. I had a dozen emails from you, thanks, I didn't realise you cared so much. I'll reply later, to every email. Just now I'm busy on other things. Like doing all the minor repairs around the van, making doors shut and getting the water pump greased so that it works, repairs to the fabric in the pop top that I still have to show you. Like how to catch up on my trip reports before I forget what happened. And that's a real possibility! Comes with advancing age........
Where were we? Oh yes, I remember. The museum with all the number tags and no info. And I had taken no photos of kangaroos. NOT the way to go.
I pottered down south, found a nice camp site, and set about some minor repairs. Heck, nothing against the 2 girls I bought the van from, but they obviously didn't know that whacking in a few nails can stop drawers from falling apart. Nor have I anything against a more practical previous owner who sought to stop the fridge sliding out of place by banging in some wedges. That had the result of 'stretching' the frame around the fridge. Well, with the loan of some hefty screwdrivers from my neighbour at the camp site, that is fixed too.
Someone wrote and said 'if I had broadband' at my camp site. Huh? As I write, my campsite here has a parking area and 3 picnic tables. That's it. No toilets, no running water, certainly no broadband. But it's free, and that's fine with me.
In the morning after my running repairs I continued on south, heading towards another set of caves, the Wombeyran Caves. I arrived just in time to book the 12.30 tour, the clerk would not let me book the 2.30 tour of the other cave, since he could not do it for one person, and no one else had booked.
It was a similar tour to the Jenolan tour. The guide even said, the guides had got together and decided the informal question and answer tour was better. Well, for them, yes. I had plenty of time to take photos waiting for the guide to finish his almost private question and answer sessions, and managed to take a photo that worked.
Leaving the tour there were a stack of people waiting to start the 2.30 tour. But the booking office was 15 minutes walk away, then 15 minutes back, and really, I'd had enough of waiting for the guide to finish his quiet chats.
So I continued on. There were 2 roads into these caves. One included 13 km of dirt road, the other 40 km of dirt road. I'd come in on the 13 km of dirt road, so departed by the 40 km dirt road. I'd been told it as pretty, and it was. The road was in a reasonable state apart from the last 3 or 4 kilometers which had some of the worst corrugations I have ever encountered. You can't do them at speed in an old camper, the whole thing will shake to bits even while you are getting up to speed, so a slow crawl it was.
There was a lake.
Certainly there were some nice views.
There was even a tunnel. Here's a photo of the tunnel, with my van in front. The big bumpers (fenders) are for getting rid of kangaroos.
It - the van - is a pop top. Picture of the pop top to follow, in case you don't know what it is. When I have taken a photo.
I reached my planned camp site somewhat later than planned, but before dark. There was a sign that said 'no camping' and another 'camp site closed'. Oh wow! disaster, panic, what was I to do?
I parked on the town car park, below the shops. In Australia, they don't really care, you can park for the night just about anywhere.
Since I was in the town I went out for a pint. I went to the oldest continually licensed public house in Australia, from 1835. I sort of fell into conversation with a local but couldn't understand a word he said. I returned to the main bar, empty except for myself and the landlord. He sat poker faced staring into his rum and coke and ignored me. I could hardly contain my excitement after such a night out and walked back to my van.
It was actually quite a nice little town 'Berrima - and had a nice museum. I looked around the shops and left, heading further south. Of course, everyone knows that in the southern hemisphere going south is going away from the sun, and getting colder? What took me a bit of time getting used to, is that the shadows go the wrong way. When you are facing the sun, west is on your left. We are used to it being on our right, of course.
Someone had mentioned, and my book said, that the campground at Kangaroo Valley was good, so that is where I was headed. On the way I stopped to see the Fitzroy Falls. Lowell wrote me and said, why did I show a picture of a waterfall, and say it was for Tom? He - Lowell - likes waterfalls too. So here, because he likes waterfalls too, is a picture for Lowell.
Oops. I don't remember where I took this photo. Oh, maybe, yes. It's looking round, a bit to the right of the Fitzroy Falls. Nice view though.
The Kangaroo Valley camp site was great. Wombats everywhere.
They are big. About 2 ft (50cms) long they are the biggest burrowing animals in the world. During the night they came under the van, presumably to scratch their backs.
I finished up banging the side of the van and shouting go away! I want to sleep!
Continue to Australia 4