Pam's Journal for March 2007

Thursday 1st March 2007.
We awoke to some sunshine but not much blue sky. It seemed the fine weather was holding so we set off to finish yesterday’s itinerary. We first went to Leura Cascades where we found the path very wet and muddy. We saw the cascades which were magnificent and then decided to walk further but the path became its own cascade. We weren’t wearing Wellingtons so we decided to turn back. We then made our way to Everglades Historic House and Gardens. The leaflet describes it as thirteen acres of European style gardens and native bushland. There were stunning views, terraced lawns, winding paths, stone walls, pools, glades and a 1930’s house. We also saw some excellent wooden sculptures of birds, wombats and flowers. We had an enjoyable time wandering around the gardens and then we had afternoon tea in the old house. It is all owned by the National Trust so is well looked after. When we left there we went in search of Gordon Falls. Alice is still suffering from altitude sickness and takes us all over the place before we actually arrive at our destination. Anyway, arrive we did and walked down to the falls lookout platform.

A kind man offered to take our photo at the Gordon Falls Lookout

From the actual platform we couldn’t see the falls clearly as a tree had grown obscuring the view, however the panoramic outlook was spectacular. We did have a clearer view of the falls from the path leading down to the lookout. Last on the list of things to do was the Blue Mountain Chocolate Factory. This isn’t really a factory but a converted house with a viewing window so the public can watch the chocolates being made. We arrived too late to see this as the workers had gone home. We did, however, enjoy some free samples and purchased some yummy chocolates. One last call at the shops for some milk and then we headed home for Happy Hour. Another excellent but tiring day in the Blue Mountains and it hadn’t rained. I spoke too soon; once home and tucked up in our van the heavens opened and again we had another heavy downpour.

Friday 2nd March 2007.
The sun was shining and the sky was blue. We went back to the Three Sisters to do a short walk out to the Sisters. Pete Mate went further down the Great Staircase, I saw how steep it was and my ankle was misbehaving today so I waited at the top. After Peter Mate recovered and we had coffee and lunch we ventured forth to Blaxland. Blaxland hasn't got a lot going for it apart from Nana's Teddies. This shop houses over 14,000 teddy bears plus other soft toys and some dolls. It was like an Aladdin's cave to me. I found two lovely little bears and just couldn't make up my mind which to buy. I kept going from one to the other and finally decided. Walking back to the one I'd chosen I found that 'my' bear - out of 14,000 - had just been bought by the only other customer in the store! Can you believe that? So I bought my second choice and her name is Annie. Here is her photo.

Meet Annie. Any teddy fans out there can check
out Nana's web site by clicking on Annie

After we left Nana's and Blaxland we decided to check out a pub in Katoomba. We haven't been to a pub since leaving Tamworth. We went to one that was recommended in the brochures, but the brochures didn't mention the pub was in the middle of renovations. It was like having a drink in the middle of a building site. We drank up and left for home.

Saturday 3rd March 2007.
Get ready day, washing cleaning and packing everything away.

Sunday 4th March 2007.
We left Katoomba around 9.00am and headed for Kiama which is on the coast. Before we moved on from Katoomba, I want to tell you about a notice board I saw outside a church. It said:


Makes you think, does it not? Talking of runs, we had an uneventful one through to Kiama without any hitches. We arrived at the caravan park around lunchtime and received a warm welcome from the receptionist. Someone was to show us to our site but never arrived. However, we are proficient travellers now and found our own site and set up camp. After lunch we went to look at the famous Blow Hole of Kiama and it was quite impressive. Then it was on to Woolworths for some supplies. Pete Mate always chats to the checkout chicks, big mistake this time. We heard all about how awful this Woolworth's store was to work for and had charged her a day's pay for being sick. Enough to drive us to drink, I don't know about her!

Monday 5th March 2007.
We had a thunderstorm for most of the night and awoke to a cold, wet, dreary day. We decided to have a lay day.

Tuesday 6th March 2007.

During the night it rained and the wind was blowing so I was surprised when I woke up to see blue skies and sunshine. We packed a picnic lunch and armed with our tourist brochure we set off for the day. We had a look at the Little Blowhole first.

Pete Mate, camera poised, waits for the hole to blow and . . . there she blows!

It was blowing quite well and the rugged coastline is quite striking. The rugged male in the foreground is also quite striking. The noise of the blow-hole makes me think they are nature's own fireworks. The whoosh of the water and the noise are like rockets taking off.
Our next stop was "The Blowhole", a bigger version in town. We were disappointed as it was not blowing as well as it did on Sunday, so we went for a coffee instead.
We then set off for the Wetlands which turned out to be a puddle, so didn't stop.
Next on the list was the Cathedral Rock. This is where the fun begins. Alice took us all over the place and the rock we did not see. She did, however, find a beach for us to stop and have lunch.
After lunch we went to the Illawarra Light Rail Museum. (Cannot understand the 'light' bit, they all looked pretty heavy to me). Tony, a very nice chap, gave us a personal conducted tour which thrilled Pete Mate but left me in great need of a glass of wine. I thought I acted well, doing the oohs and aahs in the right place until Pete Mate told Tony I wasn't really interested, so I gave up. How men can get all enthusiastic about dirty smelly things I do not know! From there we went to the Aviation Museum. This is turning out to be a 'blue day'. Alas, the museum was closed but the bar was open! We sat outside in the sunshine sipping our drinks and watching the aircraft take off. I have to admit I enjoyed myself. Don't tell Pete Mate as he is under the impression he owes me a 'pink' day.
We never let Alice beat us so when we left there we made her take us to the Cathedral Rock. She behaved and took us there but we had to ask - why?

It was less than impressive but it did look like a cathedral - a bit - if you
used some imagination. Well, okay, a lot!

We had enjoyed a good day out but now it was time to head home for Happy Hour.

Wednesday 7th March 2007.
The weather didn't look too good this morning but at least it wasn't raining . . . yet. So we decided to get a move on and do some sightseeing before it did. We went first to the Mount Pleasant lookout which showed us the beautiful rolling hillsides and the coast line. We then went in search of Kingsford Smith's lookout. This lookout was immediately above the stretch of Seven Mile Beach, famous because Mr Kingsford Smith took off from there for his epic journey to New Zealand in 1933. Also in 1933, Charmian Clift at the age of 8 years, wrote the following poem:

Kiama's Blowhole
Forever in storm or sunshine,
Changing from rage to play,
Kiama's wonderful Blowhole,
Sends up a fountain of spray.

Whenever a storm is raging,
And the sea is dull and grey,
The water spouts up in a torrent
And moans as it sinks away.

But when the sun is shining,
And the waves rush through and play,
Rainbows sprinkled with diamonds
Gleam in the falling spray.

Not the greatest poem in the world but it appealed to me as she had captured the essence of the blowhole very well.
Next was Saddleback Mountain lookout. We had a steep hill to climb but Billy managed very well and the views at the top were worth it, even though it was blowing a gale and freezing cold. By now the sky had cleared to a beautiful shade of blue so we decided to extend our sightseeing and drive up the mountain road to Mittagong, as recommended to us by our friend, Ross. The scenery along the way was beautiful, green rolling hills. The green was so vivid it reminded us of the U.K. We don't think we have seen such green countryside anywhere else we have been in Australia.
We stopped at a little town called Jamboroo and had lunch in a very old pub. It was built in the late 1800's and looked interesting from the outside but inside the décor spoilt it. However, the food was good.
Once we arrived in Mittagong we parked the car and had a walk around, found a coffee shop and a very pleasant, chatty lady served us. We then decided to head home as the weather looked like it was changing again. We arrived home just before the heavens opened. Another very enjoyable day out.

Thursday 8th March 2007.
We caught the train into Wollongong. It is a nightmare buying a ticket these days as the machine was totally alien to us. We didn't know where to put the money let alone which button to press. Thankfully a lady came to our rescue. Once on the train she told us we had to change trains at some station whose name escapes me now and I probably wouldn't be able to pronounce it anyway. More stress, but she assured us it was quite easy and to just follow her. We changed trains no problem as we stepped off one and on to the other. I had envisaged chasing over bridges and running up and down stairs, which is a laugh really as I don't run anywhere! Once in Wollongong we walked into the town, finding . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                 . . . first and then the Information Centre.
The young lady in the Information Centre was extremely helpful and suggested, as we had limited time, we do the tourist walk which covered all the points of interest and the museum. We set off to do the walk not realising we were doing it back to front so the narrative didn't make much sense until we realised. We had walked as far as the lighthouse before the rain arrived. Where were our raincoats? In the car back at Kiama station. Duh! We sheltered for a few minutes and then it stopped, so we continued the walk and arrived at the museum. A very nice lady showed us around and played a video for us. She must have been deaf because it was very loud. Once we left there the sky didn't look too good so we decided to make our way back to the station. We didn't make it before a heavy downpour gave us a soaking. We were a little early for the train but as least now were under some shelter. It poured down and we heard and saw thunder and lightning. The train was very late as it had been struck by lightning. Once on board we were a little like sardines as the train was very full. At last we arrived back at Kiama station and found Billy waiting for us without a parking ticket, thank goodness.

Friday 9th March 2007.
Washing day today, simple enough you would think. Wrong. First load went okay but when I took the second load out it was still partly dry and still dirty. So I went and found 'a little man'. That machine was declared out of order, so I went to use another. But wait, that machine will have to be cleaned out as someone had put the soap powder in the wrong place. So I went to use a third one but the 'little man' was removing the inside of the soap container so people could not make the same mistake again.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I had a corned beef bubbling away on the stove with Pete Mate in charge. That it itself is a worry. I stuck my head in the door to see if everything was okay and he declared it 'smelt good' so therefore it must be okay. Once all the washing was done we had lunch and then went into town. We parked the car and walked up to the blowhole which wasn't performing too well so we walked down to the harbour to take a photo of the Pelican Statue.

The Pelican Statue at Kiama Harbour

A pelican had died in Kiama because it had eaten plastic bags. The Kiama Tidy Towns Committee and Kiama Council decided to erect the statue to remind people to dispose their rubbish thoughtfully.
We walked around town and found a pleasant looking coffee shop as sadly Kiama doesn't have a Gloria Jean's. As we still had supermarket shopping to do we shot off to Woolies before going home for Happy Hour.

Saturday 10th March 2007.

We were ready and out and fairly early this morning as Pete Mate wanted to be at the airport for around 10.00am. Some old aircraft were taking off to do a flypast over the War Memorial at Canberra. Before they were allowed to go they had to be thoroughly inspected by Pete Mate! I sat in the warm sunshine drinking tea and reading the newspaper. The café backs on to the runway so you can sit in comfort and watch the activity. I watched a little Pitt Special do some aerobatics and then the three aircraft took off. Everyone watching was enthralled. Pete Mate eventually arrived at the café in time to say he at least owed me lunch for keeping me waiting for three hours. We had lunch and lo and behold, the three aircraft returned and landed. A delaying tactic! He knew! Of course Pete Mate was overjoyed; at one stage he didn't know whether to look up or down as one was touching down as another flew overhead. This was one BIG BLUE DAY!!!!! Pete Mate now owes me one BIG PINK DAY - and how! After all the excitement we headed home to pack up as tomorrow we move on.

Sunday 11th March 2007.
We set off around 10.00am and arrived at Batemans Bay just after lunch. It wasn't a long trip so we managed it without any toilet stops. We passed through some very pretty towns which we have noted for our next time around. Batemans Bay seems very pretty; once we had set up I went to have a look at the beach and the park. The caravan park is very nice; we were greeted by a lady who hails from Rochdale in England. The toilet block, laundry and camp kitchen all look brand new; we even have free gas barbecues and free wireless internet. I think we will have a very nice time here.

Monday 12th March 2007.
We went into town to the Information Centre then found Gloria Jean's. We had a look around town and then decided to do the coastal drive south as recommended by the nice young lady at the Information Centre. It was very pretty with the rugged coastline on one side and rolling green hills on the other. In parts the view of the coast was blocked by houses, some very large and posh. We had a look at Mogo and Moryua, nice little towns but nothing out of the ordinary. So then it was time to return home for Happy Hour.

Tuesday 13th March 2007.
We had a lazy morning and then in the afternoon went into town. We found a nice bar with an outside deck which over looks the water. We enjoyed a drink and then got chatting to a very nice Irish couple. They were on a working holiday for a year and were enjoying Australia as much as us. So as we chatted, one drink led to another and then to a meal so it was very late when we left the pub and said goodnight to Anne-marie and Mark. We enjoyed their company and I hope we didn't bore them too much with our travel stories.

Wednesday 14th March 2007.
We had a lovely day out travelling the countryside. We travelled south to Narooma where we stopped and ate our lunch. We also went into the Information Centre as I am trying to track down information about the Snowy's. The Narooma Information Centre was very different as it had a lighthouse structure incorporated into the main building. This structure housed the old lighthouse light. We paid our dollar and learnt how the people of Narooma had requisitioned the lighthouse light from officialdom and now have it on display and it has moving parts too.
After leaving there we headed for Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba. It is unclear from the tourist brochure why there were the two towns but they enjoyed affluent times throughout the gold rush era. Now Tilba Tilba is the gateway to climbing Mount Dromedary and has a fine garden centre plus a general store. By the way, Mount Dromedary was named by Captain Cook in 1770 after he observed the camel shaped mountain from his ship, the Endeavour. Central Tilba, the main town, is so quaint that it has been declared a National Trust Village.
We enjoyed some time wandering around the place and then found the cheese shop. We expected a factory but all cheese-making operations have moved to Victoria. They still had cheese tasting and we bought some as the Tilba cheese is really yummy. Most supermarkets stock it and if you haven't tried it, buy some as it is scrumptious.
We walked up to a lookout which wasn't far - just a short track at the back of the village - to see a wonderful panorama of green, rolling countryside and craggy rocks. That brought us to afternoon tea time and we found a lovely little café with a very pleasant lady serving. We decided to walk back to the car and head back to the pub at Batemans Bay.
On the way to the car I popped into a shop that sold garments made from alpaca wool. Another nice lady was spinning the wool so we had a chat and I purchased a copy of a poem about the Australian flag which was posted up outside the shop. Originally the alpaca lady had obtained a copy of the poem when she worked in Sydney. She like it so much that she displayed it outside her Alpaca shop on Australia Day. Customers requested copies so she had a few made. Before long she was ordering fifty copies at a time. If you'd like to read it, click the green box. At the end of the poem is another box to bring you right back here.

Ed: This anonymous poem was read in Parliament by a Mr Cobb, Member for Parkes, on Thurs 12 Dec 1996 during a debate on the flag. It appears in Hansard for that day.

Keep The Flag

We then drove the long drive back to Batemans Bay, had a couple of drinks at the pub and then went home, tired but happy.

Thursday 15th March 2007.
Another glorious day so we decided to do the river cruise. This is the last item on our 'to do' list for Batemans Bay and as the weather forecast for tomorrow is rain we decided today is the day. It was lovely, the Clyde River is very picturesque and the Captain was very entertaining with his tales of the area. We arrived at Nelligen, a little town further down the river, Pete Mate and I went to the local café for a sandwich and then in no time at all we were back on board sailing towards Batemans Bay. One of the attractions of this cruise is that the bridge opens to allow the boat through. It was a little worrying as when this happened everyone rushed to the pointy end of the boat to take photos, but I was okay as I knew where MY life jacket was. Once back on dry land we headed home.

Friday 16th March 2007.
Matthew Flinders was born on this day in 1774.
For once the weather man got it right, we awoke to pouring rain. I did the washing, the drying and the ironing whilst Pete Mate worked on the web page. In the afternoon we went shopping and of course to Gloria Jean's. Then before we knew it, it was time for Happy Hour again.

Saturday 17th March 2007.

It was get ready day today. At one time the rain was so heavy we thought we might have to stay another couple of days. By the afternoon the rain had cleared and everything started to dry out so we packed everything up very quickly before any more rain arrived.

Sunday 18th March 2007.
We set off for the Snowy Mountains around 9.00am, the journey was uneventful but long and we arrived around 2.30pm. We were given our allotted site and soon realised we could not just reverse in as per usual. So I had to reverse the caravan back along the road, turn it around and reverse all the way back. Then we reversed into our site, backwards and forwards backwards and forwards until it was just about right. Not quite straight so we went forwards and backwards again only this time I went down a bit of a slope and on the way back dug the tow bar in. So I then had to drive up the road again and we had to start over again. I had had enough so Peter took over. T
his time it wasn't too bad at all but he still had to go in so far then unhook the car, move the car, hook up again and then finish moving the caravan. All good fun, that glass of red was soooooo good.

Monday 19th March 2007.

We awoke to rain yet again; it seems just lately we take the rain with us wherever we go. By lunchtime it had cleared a little so we went into town. We found the Information Centre and Gloria Jeans without too much trouble. We had a good walk around Jindabyne and really liked it.

The centre of Jindabyne with the barrels, and an old horse-drawn dray in the background.

We walked into the park near the lake and found out where Kosciuszko got its name from. The mountain was named by Count Paul Edmond Strzelecki after a Polish hero. Strzelecki led an expedition to climb Mt Kosciuszko and therefore got to name it. It was now starting to rain again so we made a dash for the car and returned home for Happy Hour.

Tuesday 20th March 2007.
As the weather wasn't looking too good we decided to go to Cooma to the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electic Scheme Information Centre. It was extremely interesting and well done. We watched a short video, looked at and read everything. There were interactive things to try and we both had a go on the bikes that we had to pedal like mad to see how much power we could generate. I think I made a piece of toast and Pete Mate boiled a kettle! We came away from there having learnt not only the technical side of the scheme but the human aspect too. 121 people lost their lives whilst working on the Scheme. Australia, as it is today, was shaped at that time as the government of the time allowed over 100,000 refugees to enter the country to work on the Scheme. This was just after the Second World War. The majority of these people worked together, previous enemies working along side each other. This was the beginning of our multi-cultured Nation.

Once we had finished and asked as many questioned as we could think of we went into town. Here we saw an avenue of over thirty flags, each one representing the nationality of the workers on the scheme. Below the flags was the history of Cooma and surrounds portrayed by murals done in mosaics. And so well done!

Just a small selection of the mosaic murals with the flag poles behind.

One caught my eye as being the "Snowy River Walk", so back I went to the information centre to ask for details. They were excellent, nothing was too much trouble, and eventually they printed off the history of the walk from their trusty computer. On 6th January 1916, twelve men had set out from Delegate (a small town in the Snowy Mountains) to march 220 miles to the nearest A.I.F. Training Depot in Goulburn to enlist for the First World War. Along the way they collected volunteers and by the time they arrived at Goulburn they numbered 144. Of those, 39 were killed, 75 became casualties and one, Ernest Albert Cory, was the only soldier in the Commonwealth to be awarded the Military Medal four times. The Snowy River Recruitment March was re-enacted during the Second World War, but this time they marched on to Canberra. A fascinating story from interesting times which illustrates what resilient men lived in those days.

The banner carried by the Men From Snowy River on their march.

Once we had finished in Cooma we took a drive to Dalgety as it was an alternative route home. We stopped at Dalgety and took photos and had a drink in the pub. The people were quite friendly and chatted, and then the women started to discuss one of the party's sex life which I found a little embarrassing as I really don't want to know about my close friends sex lives, never mind complete strangers. So we drank up and headed for home.

Wednesday 21st March 2007.
The weather was dry so we decided it would be a good time to visit Thredbo. We arrived just before noon and then decided to walk to the top of Mt Kosciuszko. We bought our tickets for the chairlift ride to the start of the walk but were told it was a four hour walk and we needed to be back at the chairlift for the ride down by 4.30pm. I am a slow walker, especially since I broke my ankle over a year ago, but we decided to give it a try. The chairlift was not my most favourite ride; in fact I was terrified and thought, "I am walking back down this damn mountain". We set off at a good pace and reckoned we could just make the top and back in four hours. however, once we reached the second lookout over the lake we calculated that to walk the last five kilometre round trip to the summit and then do the return walk to the chairlift would be cutting it too fine, so we turned back, vowing to return. Once back at the chairlift depot we stumbled up the steps to the café for a very late lunch and a couple of diet cokes. Then it was back down again in that chairlift!! Ignore my previous outlandish idea that I was actually going to walk back down the mountain. The only place I was going to walk was back to the car! Pete Mate was in full agreement as his legs were aching, we both realised how unfit we were. We reckoned we had done enough for one day so returned home without delay. It may surprise you that we didn't even have a glass of red as we were having an AFD (Alcohol Free Day).

Thursday 22nd March 2007.
We decided to have a fairly easy day today, so after I had finished the washing we walked into town for a Gloria Jean's. We thought it was about a half hour walk to town; wrong………… one hour later we arrived. Along the way we met and chatted to a very nice NSW policeman who was on holiday. We decided to have some lunch and did some shopping and then we walked the hour back home under a hot sun. Cancel the rest of the day, we had had it, it was rest time with a capital R. And no alcohol again. Perhaps we're trying to prove something to ourselves.

Friday 23rd March 2007.

Had a lay day today. We didn't do much other than some shopping, call at Gloria Jean's and plan the next destination.

Saturday 24th March 2007.

Lay day. It rained for most of the day so we read, did the website and knitted. By nightfall the rain had stopped and the temperature had fallen. It was freezing. Someone we met during the week said it would snow at the weekend and believe me, it feels cold enough to do so.

Sunday 25th March 2007.
We enjoyed a lovely day out exploring Kosciuszko National Park. This time we went via Adaminaby and checked out all points of interest that had connections with the Snowy Hydro Scheme. We were very concerned by the level of water in the dams, water has become a precious commodity. We saw very beautiful countryside but so cold, in fact in was b????y freezing. We sat on the top of a lookout at Cabramurra, eating our picnic lunch in the car with the heater on. We wondered, as we travelled through the park why we saw so much land cleared but nothing happening with it. Whilst eating our lunch we read some information boards, from the warmth of the car, and discovered the land was cleared in the late 1800's for grazing but very quickly it was discovered that it was ruining the land in the National Park so it was restricted and finally in the 1970's it was stopped altogether. We finished the day by visiting the Power Station at Murray No 1. We weren't allowed in the power station but could wander through the information centre they had there. On the way home we encountered an old fool taking a corner too fast and too wide, hence we had to swerve and say our prayers very quickly. Pete Mate's reactions were very quick, thank goodness. If you could picture a narrow winding road through the mountains you would wonder why a man who looked well into his sixties wouldn't have more sense - and they criticize young drivers! Our excitement didn't finish there, we witnessed two other idiot drivers before reaching home safely.

Monday 26th March 2007.
Lay day, washing, cleaning, cooking and knitting. Pete Mate worked on the website all day.

Tuesday 27th March 2007.
Well we did it, we walked to the top of Mount Kosciuszko and back. In a way it is a bit like walking up Ayers Rock but easier. What I mean is, every man and his dog does it. There were 150 school children up there. The scenery was really delightful and sitting on the top having our morning tea was special.

On The Roof of Australia - The View From The Summit

We both felt fine, much better than the other day, but on the way back I found the last kilometre tough. On our way down a runner passed us heading for the top and I thought to myself, what a mad man! We reached the café and I, for one, collapsed in my seat and wished I could stay there forever! Whilst we were in the café the runner came in, not even out of breath. He told someone the other day he had run from the very bottom of the mountain to the top and returned in two hours. Here was me thinking how good we were completing our walk within the official suggested time of four hours.

A View Ftom Just Below The Summit On The Way Down

He was also carrying a bag of rubbish that he had collected from the top left by the school children. Once we had a couple of coffees and some lunch we went down the rest of the mountain by the chairlift. Then Peter wanted to walk to the memorial site of the disaster that happened in Thredbo in 1997, so we walked all over Thredbo before we found it. The town is built on the side of a mountain - it was all up and down hills. Morrison Drive (a hill we used to climb at home for exercise) would seem a dream after this! At one point Peter asked me why I was walking so slowly and I told him this was as much energy I could muster right now. Anyway we found it - the site not my energy - but after that, more importantly we found the car. Once home I collapsed on the bed and Peter worked until the early hours on the webpage. I think I will have to stop giving him those pills, he has way too much energy these days. Whilst up there I used the highest toilet in Australia. Yes, they really are building a toilet up there. For the time being there are those transportable ones. People were killing off the natural vegetation by using the park as a toilet so they have decided to build some up there.

Wednesday 28th March 2007.
We did the supermarket shopping today and visited Gloria Jean's. I felt like a wet lettuce all day after yesterday but Pete Mate was fine.

Thursday 29th March 2007.
We had a lovely drive out to Perisher and Charlotte Pass. We set off in sunshine but by the time we reached Charlotte's Pass it was raining and cold. We received a warm welcome from one of the lodges that was open for coffees and lunch. The fire was warm also! Once we had enjoyed excellent coffee and muffins we decided to wend our way down the mountains stopping off along the way to look at any points of interest. This we did but it was still very cold even though we had driven away from the rain. Once we had seen what we wanted to see we went home to a nice warm caravan and that is where I stayed for the rest of the night.

Friday 30th March 2007.
Lay day. We have done all we wanted to do and thank goodness Pete Mate wasn't tempted to go and look at the snow at Perisher. We went into town in the morning and, of course, visited Gloria Jeans.

Saturday 31st March 2007.

Get ready day. We did all our chores and got everything packed away in good time. As we had time to spare, where else would we go but to Gloria Jean's for one last coffee and to say goodbye to the girls. Whilst we were there a little boy and his mum came in whom we had met earlier in the caravan park. They are fellow Western Australians. The little boy asked Pete Mate if he knew Ned Kelly. I haven't stopped laughing since; I mean he doesn't really look that old! Pete Mate told the little chap that he didn't know where he was living at the moment as he hadn't seen him for a while. In the evening we went for dinner to celebrate 25 years of living in Australia. We enjoyed a nice bottle of red, our first wine for a week; yep, we have been on the wagon. We had a very nice evening which was a good way to end our stay here as we have enjoyed the Snowy Mountains very much and hope to return one day.

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