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Sunday, 21 April 2013

210 - A Day To Remember Or Maybe Forget

Over the Great Dividing Range
Okay, the time was right to move on from Glenreagh. Can’t hang around sunning the bods for ever. As usual packing up was a nightmare, a two day jobbies. We are notoriously slow when it comes to packing up.
Where to from here……………north, south, east or west? Go west young man was the cry, so it was decided to go over the range, and that meant going through Grafton, up the Gwydir Highway to Glen Innes, and beyond.

Still going over the Great Divide
So off we go, with the Val bulging at the seams, the RetroLiner weighed down with so much crapp and 40 ton of water, geeeeeezus how I am going to get this combo over the range. For those of you who are familiar with the old movie about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez on a caravan holiday, well this was the 2013 remake…….Holy Moly!!!!!

We were going to free camp at the bottom of the range, but we were only an hour into the trip so it was decided to keep going. We did contact a few National Park camp sites, but they want big dollars, and that’s without power or water………………get a life.

So we decided on a FREE camp at Natures Bend or something like that. Now the bride being the 10 star camper she is, once I decided that we should try this site, I got the usual “whatever” and a the mandatory stare out of the passenger door window……….I knew all was good (he he!!!)

Got over the range okay, strangely enough, and only a half a tank of juice……..I was now starting to doubt my wisdom of going west. A’h the sign to the free camp was upon us, and turning off the highway…………….free camp here we come, with more “”whatever’s” from the bride.

Well the Camps book doesn’t tell ya, that it is about 20kms off the highway, nor do they tell ya that the road is steeper than the mountain we just climbed, and with a combination of gravel and tar, and close to being single lane to boot. Holy Crapp Batman!!!!! So off we go………….down, down, down, round corners, down, down, down, our ears are popping, our undies are soiling, did I pay the funeral insurance this month!!!!!
Going dooooooown!!!
What’s that smell was the cry from the bride, receiving a back hand?????? O’h nothing dear, just the brakes, nearly on fire?” Holy Crapp Batman again.” So the “whatever’s” went into more colourful description of the decision to free camp…………..my ears were burning not from the backhands but the colourful description of our journey. I was bleeding from the eyes, my arms were screaming, I need “Huey”  

Of course there was nowhere to stop, to turn around,………..look out Desi and Lucy, as we are about to crash off the mountain…………………feeeeeeeeeeeeeeerk!!!! Will we be ever found, I hate snakes and creepy crawlies, didn’t want to share my last hours on this earth sharing the Val with them. Golly Gosh we are in low, low gear, standing on the brakes, is this the end!!!!

Yaaaaaaaa, and luckily we spotted a turn off area, on our out of control decent…….phew!!!!!!!! So we managed to pull out of this nightmare wild ride, and try to bring the rig to a halt, Not much room, lots of gravel mounds and the cliff, the feeeeeerk’n cliff ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh, sheeeeeet.……………..but with skilful driving, and a bruised head from the back hands, we came to a halt.
Yaaaaaaaa! I'm still here!
After a few “Hail Mary’s” and a few more feeeeeeerks, we adjusted our state of dress, checked the rigs, and had a stiff “water.” It was decided not to proceed any further, and return to the highway. That means back up the mountain. So off we went, and yes, all I got was “I told ya so, and to add to this Pauly Poos, I am now a 20 star camper, and you can stick this free camping in ya “didgeridoo!”

So we climbed back up the mountain in first gear all the way, and nicely blew the remaining half tank of fuel I had left.  So we limped into Glen Innes and found a really neat caravan park. More on that and Glen Innes next blog.

To conclude this eventful day, the brides star rating for camping went from 10 stars to 20, and not to take a lot of notice of the free camp book. O’h well see what comes from the next adventure in Glen Innes…………………..so stay tooooooned


  1. Hi Paul & Wendy,
    Wow I can sympathize i too was not happy about free camping but I'm getting used to it :) But hey you should send an email to " The Camps" Book about that one!
    I have seen that movie where Lucy is on her honeymoon & likes to collect rocks (Boulders) & put in the Van very funny. very long van too.
    Maybe a stiff drink is in order :)
    Cheers Shell xx

    1. Hi Shell, yep all good fun. I will send you an email.


      Pauland Wendy xx

  2. Paul, you just gotta get Wendy to stop collecting those rocks, they're a killer to the fuel consumption. Don't give up on the fre camping it won't be around too much longer. Nice chatting the other day.
    Cheers Brad

    1. Gidday Brad. Thanks for your comments. I am sure you enjoyed our experience, and I can still hear Eva laighing.

      Also good to catch up.

      CYA and cheers


  3. Aaaah, Paul the joys of unknown territory. Free camping can be lots of fun especially further west and south and contrary to comments there ARE more opening. Loved the story and the humour. Keep up the good work. Cheers...

    1. Hi Frank

      Thanks for coming by. Got to have a bit of fun with the blog. We are back on the north coast now, but will post some more as soon as the reception is better.


      P & W