It's been 19 months since DABUS's wheels have been travelling in the northbound direction. What a strange and bizarre year 2020 was, DABUS was unpacked and tucked away, whilst we spent lockdown and winter at Koonya Beach Cottage. This was the first time since June 2015 that we have not lived permanently in DABUS. It was a total of nine months living in a house again but since late December 2020 we have reunited and repacked DABUS. Home sweet home…..
Friday 23rd April 2021 we took off from Rye and spent the weekend at Lorelle's Mum and Johns place at Myrrhee. Monday morning after saying our farewells we called into Lorelle's sisiter at Millawa for a catch up before we hit the Hume Highway, staying in the slow lane and stopped the first night at Jugiong. This campsite is nestled alongside the Murrumbidgee River, which was flowing quite fast. Sitting back, watching the sunset, then the full moon rising and whilst cooking dinner over our first campfire, we finally felt like we had hit the road.
The following morning, after a good walk around the campground and town, we hit the road. DABUS was a tad slow up some of the hills along the Hume, at some stage down to only 60km's, so we are looking forward to getting the turbo fitted.
Tuesday afternoon we pulled into Turbo Glide at Russell Vale NSW, as Alan had booked DABUS in, to get a turbo fitted. This decision was made after our 2021 Tasmania travels, where with all the hills we decided that DABUS need a bit more grunt. Here we camped in the carpark for the following three nights and during the days DABUS was either in their workshop or down the road getting the new exhaust fitted. We chilled out with walks, crossword puzzles, computer stuff and walking down to the local RSL and Bowls Club for lunch.
After our pockets were alot lighter, we said our goodbyes and thanks to John, Lisa and the guys at Turbo Glide, who were extremely accommodating to us.
The next couple of days driving was like the 'sounds of silence' as Alan was concentrating and listening to the motor and the turbo. Heading north of Wollongong we drove over the Sea Cliff Bridge, which juts out over the Tasman Sea and the rock face on the Illawarra escarpment. It is one of only seven off-shore parallel-to-coast bridges in the world. We stopped at the lookout at Otford to enjoy and taking in the stunning scenery overlooking the Bridge.
Moving on we bypassed Sydney, driving through the North Connex tunnel, a 9km tunnel, headed north up the freeway, turning left to go the Kurri Kurri, a town of murals. Not particular liking the free camp in town, we moved onto Bulga and stopped the night at the free camp.
Saturday morning, after leaving camp we stopped at Jerrys Plain to fill the water tanks. Jerrys Plain is the gateway to horse country. The surrounding countryside is home to some substantial horse breeding properties, we drove many kilometers besides stunning post and rail fenced properties.
At Denman, we went in search of the Denman Farmers Market, but on arrival to town, no market was happening. The town has a tiny one-way main street and was a pretty and neat little town. Moving on we stopped for the night at Lake Liddell, paying only $7pp/pn (seniors rates). Lake Liddell is near Muswellbrook and Singleton in the Hunter Region. The lake supplies cooling water for the Liddell Power Station and has been closed for public use since March 2016 after Naegleria fowleri, a brain-eating amoeba, was discovered in the lake. Naegleria fowleri is responsible for the potentially fatal disease Amoebic Meningitis. There is currently no practicable water treatment to remove the amoeba.
Our campsite is overlooking the lake and the power station; here we caught up on some housekeeping, blogging and walking. We decided it was so nice, that we enjoyed the entire weekend here. The lake has go karting, rock climbing and laser tag, for the kids, as no one can access the water.
Since driving from Bulga was have passed some massive coal mines and whilst staying at the lake it was constant that coal trains would be passing, starting from 3am.
It's been shorts weather since we have left Myrrhee with coolish nights, but great nights to have a fire and cook up dinner.
Driving towards Scone, we noticed a heap of white dots on the roads, these white dots were squashed mice, as we have just entered a red zone for a massive mice plague. Hopefully we don't get anymore freeloaders, as we did back in 2019. We have left our sticky traps at home and traps and bait are hard to come by in this part of the country.
After stopping at Scone for a quick shop and gaining information for the information centre, we heading off to the Towarri National Park and walked the Washpools, which is a natural swimming hole. Our next stop for the day is Burning Mountain, also known as Mount Wingen, which takes its name from a smouldering coal seam running underground through the sandstone. It is estimated that the underground fire is about 30m deep and has been burning for approximately 6000 years and is the oldest known coal fire.
Up early and we set off for our 2 hours walk before breakfast to experience the Burning Mountain, we didn't see any smoke but we could see the heat haze coming from the ground. This fire moves an average of 1 metre a year. The kangaroo's lay near it during winter to keep warm and wedge tailed eagles hover over the heat.
We knew rain was coming, so only a short days drive today, 56km, onto Quirindi. At Murrurundi, we stopped to check out the historic suspension bridge, which was built before WW1 and used to transport the chief magistrate by buggy to the court house in times of flood. Then onto the "Eye of the Needle' but we started to do the walk and decided clouds were looking too dark to continue, so off to the Life of Pie Bakery and had lunch. The rain hit before we left town.
Once at Quirindi, we drove up to Who'da Thought It Lookout and on arrival we both looked at each other and we had a déjà vu experience. We pulled out our Camps book and we had been to this lookout back in 2016. Moving on we went to Bob's Shed and discovered the best private collection of Peter Brock, Toranas, motorbikes and heaps of yesteryear memorabilia. The rain has really set in so by 2pm pulled into the back of the Imperial Hotel, were a few wines and dinner will be had tonight.