Monday, 30 September 2019

Glad bag!

We haven't done any camping this year but I haven't given up hope of going in the near future!

I have a lovely pair of purple paisley cases that I use for more civilised travel but they aren't really the thing for camper trailer adventures. (I tried them for our Nambucca trip).

Drifta has released a premium range of leather-trimmed canvas weekender bags.  They are nearly $400 each (where similar from the standard range is $149.00).  A lot more than I intend to spend!

Nick and I were poking about in an antique shop today when I spotted this Gladstone bag. It was priced at $48 and seemed in great condition.  Nick wasn't keen but I was - and after some quick online price checking, I took the bag to the counter.

I'd thought that if I was prepared to haggle, I'd offer $40 but as it happened the seller gave the discount without my asking.  How good is that?!

Once home I set about cleaning my "new" purchase.  I vacuumed some small leaves from inside (praps herbs, not sure).

I then sprayed the outside lightly with Koh, before reading that mild soapy water was best for cleaning old leather.  Whoops - call me too gung-ho!  There was wool detergent downstairs and I used that in a bucket of just warm water to gently wash the leather.  The inside of the bag had a musty smell, so I cleaned that also and propped the bag open to dry in the fresh air.

I couldn't find my magic sponge, so used a tiny sprinkle of Ajax and a damp cloth to remove a couple of small scuff marks.  Next step was a generous application of Leather Dressing (purchased at the Ipswich Show a couple of years ago and regularly used for cleaning my Blundstone boots).  The leather drank that in!

The musty smell had lessened after cleaning but was still evident.  I've put a liberal dose of carb soda in the bag and shut it up.  I'll leave for a day or so before vacuuming out.  Fingers crossed that does the trick!

There is some light tarnish to the clasps and metal trim.  I might use some extra-fine steel wool on those but don't have any on-hand at the moment.

Friday, 13 September 2019

More silos!

We had an awesome time playing tourist with friends in Melbourne. We got to see and do so much - it was a brilliant week!

After dropping them to the airport early in the morning, we returned to the apartment and packed up our gear for a more leisurely departure just before the usual check-out time.

We were heading for the NSW South Coast and Nick had planned a full day's driving to get there.  Benalla seemed a good lunch stop and in checking for a cafe, I discovered a nearby silo.

I'd seen photos of these silos but hadn't given much thought to whether we'd be able to visit.  Even when we got our lunch, I was only expecting to see the first one.

Nick spotted a mud map at Goorambat that showed the location of several other silo sites. We deviated from our original plan to visit Devenish, St James and Tungamah.

The silos we had previously visited in Western Victoria were no longer in use so access to them was open. These sites were on active rail-lines, so were fenced off to provide safe areas for viewing.

Since visiting in mid-September, Sobrane has undertaken more work beside the kookaburra.

Each site had a donation tin and I used my gold coin collection to give evenly to all the communities.

Winton Wetlands was the last stop on our detour.  It took a bit to find what we were looking for but we enjoyed the drive.  If we had longer, we would definitely explore more of the area.

Guido van Helten was the artist who painted the Brim silos (the first we visited in 2016).  The water tank at the Wetlands is another of his wonderful works.

Info about the Silo Art Trail in Western Victoria is here.  A map of the North Eastern silos is here.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Boort, Boort, Boort!

We stayed in a motel on the outskirts of Bendigo, preparing ourselves for an early-ish departure to Boort (about an hour and a half away). I knew about the "spanner man" but hadn't expected we'd visit this road-trip.  It was a most marvelous detour!

As much as I enjoyed viewing all the wonderful works, I really liked John and hearing his stories.  His spanner collection was amazing!

If you are anywhere sort-of close to Boort, we highly recommend you visit! (We paid $10 each and it was definitely money well spent).

We lingered for a couple of hours before driving back to Bendigo.  After lunch we made our way to Redesdale to see another painted water tank. 

There was some GPS silliness along the way, with our lady delivering us to a dirt road adjacent a sheep paddock and announcing that we'd arrived at our destination!  Er, no - try again.

We had a quick look and then continued to Melbourne so as to check into our flash apartment, clear the car and collect our friends from the airport!

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Central Deborah Gold Mine

During our Victorian Era we saw various sites associated with the gold rush.  We did a walk-in mine tour at Maldon (which prompted a daytrip to Quartz Moutain) and even found a geocache in an abandoned mine!  Although we visited Bendigo several times, we hadn't toured the much larger Central Deborah Gold Mine at Bendigo.

Nick and I arrived in Bendigo just before the afternoon mine experience tour. We spent some time on the surface looking at the buildings and then met our guide to descend 61 metres underground - deeper than we'd ever been!

There are other longer (and more expensive) tours that descend even further below the surface but we were quite happy with what we did.

Highs and silos!

When Nick first suggested driving down to Melbourne (where we were holidaying for a week with friends), I wasn't keen. As I thought more about the drive though, I saw the potential for an inland road trip.

It was just the two of us, so we drove in the red car - with the back seats down to hold more gear.

Our adventure started early on the day of departure - cos Nick was booked for an eye injection after night-shift.  In the circumstances I was the driver from home to Moree, our first night's stop.

Soaking in the thermal pools had been high on my wishlist.  We had an extended wallow not long after arrival and I managed a quickish dip the next morning also.

We hadn't booked accommodation beyond the first night and our half-plan for the next night was altered around morning tea time on Day 2.  Plan B saw us heading to Rochester (after our excellent Finley bakery lunch break) to view two more silos.

While ordering our award-winning pies at the bakery, the lady serving us complimented me on my camera and suggested we view the mural in one of the town's sidestreets.  We're glad we did!

The Brim silos were painted during our "Victorian Era" and we visited them in April 2016, only a few months after completion.  More silos were painted after those and we viewed them in December of the same year - as a 750km day-trip!  I was aware of other silos being completed after our relocation to Queensland but hadn't considered we'd get to see them on this trip.

Nick suggested the detour to Rochester and we were super impressed with the beautiful artwork there.  The sugar glider had been painted on the concrete silo while the kingfisher was on a metal tank.  Those textures increased the impact of the two subjects.  The glider almost seemed to have softer fur, whereas the kingfisher's feathers were more crisply defined.  Both were gorgeous!

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Terrific testing ...

We tested Nick's wonderful work just before Christmas, during a week-long stay at Nambucca Heads.  Our site was adjacent the camp kitchen, so we cooked there rather than at our trailer but we definitely appreciated our sliding fridges!

It rained heavily on a number of occasions and inside the camper trailer remained dry.  (Our larger tent had some water on the floor but that may have come in via the open door).  We managed a lot of fun in spite of the rain - and Bandit was a very happy hound romping at the nearby dog beach each day!

Setting up camp was quite straight-forward and we were all super-impressed with how quickly we managed the pack-down!  Nissa joined us through the week and while she had experienced our earlier setups, this was her first experience of our current configuration - and she really liked how much more streamlined it was!

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Tap gun!

Nick further modified the trailer throughout November. 

He'd removed the gas bottle holders earlier in the year and we'd used a small box in their place for our Roma trip.  (Pics are here).

Installing the fridge slides into the trailer meant some storage was lost.  The small wooden box and jerrycan holders made way for a larger wooden box (which houses our camping chairs and one table). 

After much thought and quite a few trips to Bunnings, a flip-over bench prototype was hinged to the side of the box.  I didn't take photos of it during construction but you can see a bit of it in this collage (at right).

The previous owner had mounted a tap on one jerrycan holder, all of which had been removed to make way for the large box.  To compensate, Nick installed a replacement water hose with tap gun.  As you can see, it shoots very well!