• Departed Wallendbeen on Sunday

  • Travelled to Cootamundra

  • Travelled to Gundagai

  • Travelled to Tumut

  • Went to the Oriental Hotel to celebrate Judy's birthday

  • Camped overnight Sunday at Tumut




Day 19


Sunday 6th December 2009

Click on the pictures for larger versions


Judy's Birthday !

The delicious aroma of bacon and eggs filled the air.
I ventured out to a beautiful day, expecting to see a fellow traveller cooking breakfast but found we were being surrounded by cars.
Visitors were finding parking spots so they could go across to a Flea Market.

Seeing it was Judy's birthday, we decided to have brekky at the Market and wander along looking at the various displays.
The people were really friendly and chatted with us about our trip.

I was looking forward to the next few days as we were getting closer to the Snowy Mountains. As a child at school, we were taught a lot about the area as the Snowy Mountains Scheme was being built.

Our next major town was Cootamundra.
The Cootamundra Wattle is grown around Kingaroy but only flowers when it's a very cold Winter.
I was expecting to see them everywhere, though I assumed not in flower, as it was late Spring.
I saw them growing along the roadside but as I expected, they weren't in flower.

The Daihatsu was showing the water temperature getting hotter than "normal". As we drove into Cootamundra I decided to pull into the gutter under one of the great shade trees.
I was looking at the radiator to see if the water was low, which it was, when a young woman came out from her home and asked if we were ok.
I explained what I was doing and thanked her for asking. She was a very attractive girl and looked very Latino. She had a pronounced accent.
After Judy asked her where she came from, she received a birthday surprise!

She told her she was from South America.
Her native language was Spanish. So was Judy's!

The young woman had moved to Australia and was living in Sydney. She met a man there and had then moved to Cootamundra with him and was working in a Chemist there.

Once they worked out they both spoke Spanish, away they went. Both hadn't been able to find people who spoke Spanish and relished the chance to converse in their native language.
Both were ecstatic. They were so amazed to find each other so far into the countryside of Australia.

Both had huge smiles as they chatted.
I stood back and enjoyed their excitement.

They exchanged email addresses and have since contacted each other again.

After I refilled the radiator we said goodbye and moved on.
I drove around the town a little, but seeing it was Sunday, it was very much like Kingaroy, very few little activity.
The area of greatest activity was at the Swimming Pool as the day was getting very hot and dry.

We refuelled, bought some cold drinks and headed towards Gundagai.


As I drove along, I tried to capture how dry it was in the area.
The above pictures were just outside of Cootamundra at around 9.30am.



The shots above and below were taken around 11.00am.
The poor sheep must have had trouble finding food on that horribly dry ground.

At 11.20am we joined the traffic on the Hume Highway.

As I drove, Judy took shots of the buildings as we passed through Gundagai.

I was taken by the railway bridges, so Judy took the pictures below.

As we were hungry and the dogs were panting from the very hot day, at 12.30pm we grabbed some food at a Hungry Jacks and sat outside in the shade with them.

The countryside didn't get any better as we headed for Tumut.
These shots were taken around 2pm

We arrived in Tumut around 4.30pm.

The huge trees at the Riverglade Caravan Park and the clean, cool grounds against the Tumut River, decided me on the place to stay overnight.
It was a good decision as our stay there was very relaxing.

Because we had dogs, we asked to be away from other campers. We were shown a site near the back of the park which turned out to be very suitable.

I did the usual and backed the caravan into the spot and went about stabilizing it. As I pushed the "pop top" up, I noticed how it was way heavier than normal.
 I thought it had been getting heavier day after day but assumed it was just me getting weaker.
This time it jammed half way up at the rear end. We had a small plastic ladder that was used to help Goofy into the back of the Daihatsu.
I set it up at the back of the caravan and with the torch, looked at the spring loaded mechanism that helped lift the top.
It took about 5 seconds to see the problem. The arms in a X fashion were no longer in a X fashion.
They were bent and were no longer held together at the centre.
With great difficulty I jacked both sides of the affected end up until I could see exactly what the problem was.
I found the centre pin had sheared. I found it bent and sheared, still in one arm. Apparently it had been bent for a few days which was making it harder to function, causing me to think I was getting weaker.

I spent the next hour removing the mechanism and repairing it as best I could.
Because I expected problems on our trip, I carried various containers of different sized bolts, nuts, screws etc. I also carried tools I thought may be handy, including electric drills, a small angle grinder, lump hammer, hacksaw etc - very similar to what I carried when I worked in my trade as an Electrician.
In this situation they came in VERY handy.
It didn't take long to fit a bolt, nut and locking nut to the centre. The harder part was to straighten the arms beforehand, but the lump hammer certainly did its job there.
Fitting it back together - without the springs causing it to close and cutting my fingers off - was a trick, but after losing bark off my knuckles and a LOT of frustration and swearing, it played the game and worked like a bought one.
When I tested it, I realised just how heavy it had become. When I lifted it, I found it jumped up as it was meant to.

(I had no further problems with it for the rest of the trip and had the mechanism replaced on our return to Kingaroy)

The view across to the laundry, toilets and showers

This tree was directly above the caravan

Looking across to our site from the Tumut River

After I had a shower and removed the grease etc from my hands, I took Judy out for her birthday.
We had a really enjoyable meal at the Oriental Hotel.

The girls who served us were very friendly and helpful. I asked them about the road through the Snowy Mountains and they warned us about Talbingo and Brown Mountain.

Although we had no real idea what they were alluding to, the warning they gave us was spot on!
The Oriental Hotel in Tumut



Last Updated : 24/01/2012 09:13 PM +1000