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Mark_Murphy Meanderings

Bullett's Birthday Trip - Day One

PAPUA NEW GUINEA | Sunday, 2 January 2011 | Views [582]

Bullett’s Birthday Trip – The Road Trip to Rocky.

Day 1 – Ballarat to the Poacher’s Pantry

Christmas Day was a lovely day in Ballarat and we had a great time with Mum and Dad, Gerard’s sister Sheila and her husband Brian, and Jordan. A quiet group, really, but after having Christmas the week before, it was quite relaxing. The usual sleep was had after lunch, and much to Jordan’s disappointment we discovered our Blu-Ray player would not play the new Blu Ray movies that he had bought for us all to enjoy. A quick trip with Sheila up to Noelene’s confirmed the diagnosis that it was the machine not the disks and so Jordan had to play with the Wii Game he gave me for Christmas.

Everyone had left by 5.00pm, so it was time to clean out the car and start packing for the Road Trip. By 7.30pm we had the car all clean and packed ready to go, with just the last minute things to be put in the boot in the morning. Keeping Inky out of the suit case was a challenge and the dogs didn’t really want to know us.

We went to bed early and decided that we would just get up and leave when we were ready, it’s a holiday and who wants to be getting up really early and getting on the road at some ridiculous time, when we have all day to get there. So we headed off about 9.15am down the road to Melbourne.

The Boxing Day Sales were being well covered on the radio, so after delivering a car part to Sunbury (of course, you would do that along the way!) we headed for the Essendon DFO. Not a great idea, really, the car park was full, even that early, and the sales just weren’t that good, so after an hour we were back on the road, with only a new pair of shoes for me, what a shame.

Heading North on the Hume Highway on Boxing Day, is not a good idea. The number of people on the road who are obviously not used to long distance driving was amazing and I lost count of the number of caravans and trailers with flat tyres, locked up brakes and other issues, stopped at various locations along the highway gave evidence of a lack of preparation and maintenance.

We managed to navigate our way through all the crazy people on the road, safely, and enjoyed the rest of our journey through NSW, sharing the driving and stopping at Gundagai for refreshments and a catch up with the old dog! We arrived at the B & B at Redwood Gardens, just outside Murrumbateman, about 6.00pm and were met by a most unusual woman. She was obviously dutch, with no personality and no sense of humour at all. It seemed like all these paying guests were just a total nuisance in her day as she reluctantly showed us our room, the breakfast room and told us the rules and regs of the place. It was basically a small Motel complex and not really a B & B in the true sense of the word. The only way to get dinner was to go into the pub at Murrumbateman.

So into Murrumbateman we went and had a lovely meal in this old Hotel with all sorts of horse gear and barn implements hanging from the rustic wood rafters. A family sat on the table next to us and they had just returned from overseas and found their house flooded, they had come out for dinner to postpone dealing with the flooded house and lost possessions. They were still positive, but obviously shattered by what they had found on their return.


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