How to snap a tow bar. Its ‘on the road again’ day as Willie Nelson so eloquently put it, the day when we say good-bye to our newest friends here in northern New South Wales and head off on another Travel Australia house-sitting assignment, 750 kilometres south to Bowral, 110 kilometres the other side of Sydney.
We were pretty well organized the day before our departure from Grafton and Julie went through her routine of purifying the house from floor to ceiling. Over previous weeks I’d made a few improvements to the van, installing a carpet off-cut to make the cabin as quiet as practicable and fitting a volt meter and the remote control for our (apparently ‘over-kill’) battery charger / inverter into the dashboard.
Years of experience with our ex-trawler led me to over estimate the power requirements of a camper-van, embarrassingly so. Our petrol powered generator produced more than a hundred times the power of the solar panels that most caravaners use and the inverter needed that kind of power to drive it’s 9,000 watt needs, which we used to power our domestic bar fridge etc. It was all wrong.
We stopped at Coffs Harbour, an hour from Grafton and about 4 hours from Brisbane. This city of 70,000 people was on the stop list so we could do a tyre upgrade, which was completed while we did some shopping for essentials.
In planning the trip to Bowral we’d made the ‘decision’ or what passes for a decision anyway, to stay in a National Park camp ground called Mungo Brush. We could cover the 400 kilometres in one day easily, hopefully stopping about 3pm to enjoy some peace in a quiet camp before moving on the next day.
As if I needed any reinforcement to the notion that planning was a waste of time, our arrival was impeded by missing the first turn off and having to travel an extra 40 kilometres, inducing a little frustration.
To exacerbate our irritation, we discovered that National Parks in New South Wales no longer belong to the nation and have been re-evaluated by the bureaucrats as a commercial enterprise that charges rent to the owners (the people) should they wish to access their property.