Wagga Wagga was not what we expected

I can’t believe this is the last day of our holiday. It’s gone so fast, yet slow at the same time. Since I discovered just yesterday that the aviation museum we’d planned to go to is closed on Fridays (how strange) Kevin had been keen for us to get our vaccine boosters (as numbers are currently going crazy with the new omicron variant just when most restrictions have been removed). We’d managed to get appointments here in Wagga Wagga for this morning at 10.15am.

I must say it was nice to have a truely relaxed morning, esp. since I’d been awake during the night and didn’t wake until 7am. I enjoyed some tea, wrote some blog posts and worked on a vlog. I also facetimed with Christy and the pups and watched some galahs trying to sit of the power lines – it was pretty funny as they kept on rolling over).A continental breakfast is provided in room so I made us some banana on toast for breakfast. 

Around 10am we drove into town to the hospital)and managed to find a parking spot. The line was out the door and looking long until Kevin happened to notice a seperate line for people with appointments. That certainly sped things up.

For some odd reason I was asked to swap out my disposable mask for a blue surgical mask. Of course, I discovered when I took it off that I’d had it on backwards !!! We checked in and got to play musical chairs. Instead of calling a number, or a name, everyone move along one chair every time someone went in for their needle. It was rather bizarre and seemed to go against covid safety to my way of thinking.

The whole thing including the waiting times took under 45mins do not too bad. We then headed to the Visitors Centre. So glad we did as we were able to pick some Christmas gifts and were given a token for a free ice cream from the van out front.

After enjoying our ice creams we drove (though could have easily walked) to the National Glass Art Museum. Not the normal thing we go to (Kevin’s not much of an art lover unless it has historical significance) but it was rated highly. When we walked in I wasn’t really sure why but the lower level has changing displays – this one was jewellery – and definitely not what I’d been expecting. However the upper level contains their permanent display and when definitely more enjoyable. Even Kevin liked a number of pieces.

After here we had a little walk around outside. This whole arts precinct is just lovely and they have to have the lowest library / location I’ve ever seen (in Australia at least). Wagga Wagga is definitely a stunning town and so much bigger than I’d expected. It reminds me a lot of Canberra. 

Next up was Wagga Beach. Not at all what we were expecting but the recent rains/floods had obviously destroyed the beach and now all that remained was mud (which quite a number of children seemed to be enjoying !!!). 

We were getting a little hungry by now by couldn’t get parking for my first lunch spot choice, however that turned out to be a good thing. We ended up at Trail St Coffee Shop and got a table outside. It was getting warmer but wasn’t too bad sitting in the shade. I ordered the cauliflower tacos made vegan and oh my word – they were one of the best things I have ever eaten – though they were rather messy to eat. Not the healthiest since the cauliflower was crumbed and fried but it was definitely well worth the indulgence. Probably good I can’t access this cafe on the regular. Kevin had corn fritters with hollumi and really enjoyed that too.

We then headed to probably our last IGA of the trip. I was wanting to get some vegan brie – but Kevin chose an IGA out of town and in the suburbs so they didn’t have many vegan options at all. I’d said to go the closest one, but he chose the biggest one. Oh well, we did find some Gardein Mandarin chicken – which we bought to take home and have for dinner back in Wollongong.

Kevin was keen to head back to the cabin now since it was getting hotter and my feet were feeling pretty swollen so I wasn’t too opposed. I had wanted to stop down by a river area we had seen on our drive in this morning but we didn’t pass the same area on our way back out of town.

The rest of the afternoon was spent blogging and finally finishing a vlog. Kevin had/tried to have a nap. Around 5pm we put some YouTube on. Later we ordered dinner to be delivered. We got dumplings – which were so delicious. We had potato dumplings (which I haven’t had before) and mushroom dumplings. So yummy.

We were treated to a lovely last holiday sunset tonight and some some cute goats way off in the distance.

We had a bath around 8pm before heading the bed. So far the only effects of the booster have been sore arms.

The next day we were up, packed and on the way about 7am.

We stopped for breakfast at Olivers (since their breakfast burgers are so good) and to charge.

There was another brief stop at the Goulburn bakery to buy some of their amazing Turkish bread, before we drove the rest of the way home

where we were very warmly greeted by the pups (& Christy). We got the car unpacked and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Not what we’d planned in Mildura

It was up and away again this morning. While we had a bit of a drive ahead (as we start the long drive back home), we tried just take things easy and leave when we were ready. This turned out to be about 8.30am.

Our first charge spot today was in the town of Berri. However there was already a car charging in the one spot when we arrived. I needed the toilet, so while Kevin waited with the car, I went in search of one and found it not too far away. On the way back I stopped in at a bakery and got us some breakfast. A roll with turkey, cranberry sauce & avo for Kevin and I had a Cornish pastie (which was okay).

Sometime later the other car was finished and it was our turn to charge. Luckily we didn’t need a full charge – just enough to see us comfortably to Mildura – as there was already another car waiting.

About 1pm I had phone call from the paddle steamer to say that our cruise for this afternoon was indeed cancelled as we were the only ones booked on it. Pretty sad when this was the only reason we were stopping in Mildura. But I can’t complain when so much of the holiday has gone to plan.

Luckily we didn’t have a lot of fruit left as we had to dump it before coming back into Victoria. Kevin ate the remaining grapes and we both had a banana before putting the rest in the bin.

We got to Mildura at 2pm and went straight to the charging spot as we wouldn’t be able to charge tonight. We then walked to a nearby organics shops. They didn’t have much left in the way of vegan food and I wasn’t really hungry so just Kevin had something to eat – some kind of berry cake/donut.

We then walked to a nearby IGA and picked up a few snacks before walking back to the car and then driving to our nights accommodation.

We were only supposed to be in and out tonight so I had booked a more basic place, the Seven Pines Motor Inn. It was clean and just fine for the night. 

Since we were able to park right outside the door we only took in the absolute essentials and could just duck out to get anything we had missed.

After a little bit of downtime we headed back out to drive down to the Murray River so we could see lock 11. We were super lucky here and a little cruiser had just entered the lock when we got there. So we were able to watch the gates close, the water emptied out, the gates opened and the boat pass through. Even though we’ve seen the locks in the Panama Canal at work (and plenty of smaller ones on YouTube) it was a different experience to see it operating in person.

We then drove around and could see quite a few houseboats docked by the shore.

With no kitchen in our room we ordered Zombrero to be delivered. I had the vegan cauliflower bowl and really enjoyed it. Of course, we watched more YouTube before having an early night ready for another big driving day tomorrow.

Another day on an Australian safari

Not sure how or why but I was up early at 5.30am so I able to see some of the sunrise. I got go back to bed and read. Of course, I did fall back asleep again and didn’t wake until 8am. Which meant a quick shower and get dressed ready to meet and head off in the truck at 8.30am.

Yet another stunning day out around the property. We saw plenty of kangaroos, parrots, 3 wedge tail eagles, other smaller birds and, of course, more of the stunning scenery. I wasn’t feeling the best on the drive this morning, not sure if was because I hadn’t even had a cup of tea or just fibro related IBS.

Finally we stopped for morning tea (not quite sure why breakfast wasn’t first) and another pretty location. But there were quite a few flies around today (as you can see by Greg & Alice modelling their fly nets.

There wasn’t enough English Breakfast tea bags so I had a green jasmine tea – probably not the best choice since there was no vegan food (the others had a cookie) and I had NOTHING in my bag.

Patty picked up a blue tongue lizard that he spotted which was cool to see up close. We used to have them in our garden in Figtree but it’s quite some time since I saw one.

One part of the drive was a bit sketchy as we tried to get up a rather rocky path with a pretty steep cliff on one side. It took a few goes and engaging the hub locks before we made it up.

Finally at 11.30 breakfast was served – I had thankfully started to feel better. I had bircher muesli and some berries. The others also had a quiche.

We arrived back not long after 12pm and had a free afternoon ahead. I worked on a blog post and Kevin did some more work until lunch at 1.30.

Today with it being quite a bit warmer and more flies about, we had lunch indoors. There are so many lovely places to eat in this place – both inside and out.

Lunch today was a soba noodle salad for me and green curry & rice for the others. With some fresh fruit for dessert. There was some good conversation and we didn’t leave lunch until 3.30pm.

Kevin had a little more work to do, which he did while I worked on some blog posts, then we went up to have a swim in the pool.

The pool temp was lovely (though Kevin complained it was too cold until he got in) but there were a lot of wasps hovering over the water – which meant we didn’t use much of the pool. Luckily they didn’t try to land on us or anything. Kevin did manage to rescue 5 bees.

We only stayed in the pool for about 10mins because of the wasps, then sat on the sun lounges (which were nicely in the shade) and enjoyed the view for a bit before heading back to our room.

I finally caught up on writing blog posts before we went up to dinner at 6.30pm. Tonight we were back in the cool (& away from the flies) in the main house. Patty joined us again this evening.

Dinner was wonderful. Tonight I just had veggies, the roast potatoes being especially good. The rest also had salmon & kangaroo. There was lemon cake for my desert and white chocolate mud cake for the others.

After dinner we headed back out in the truck. We spotted lots of kangaroos our this evening.

Up on the hill we had post dinner drinks – just water for Kevin & myself and watched the day come to a close. Kevin flew the drone and got some very cool photos and video. We watched the stars come out again before heading back to the homestead.

I got a cup of tea, then it was off to bed to read for a bit before going to sleep.

Exploring Arkaba : 11th December, 2021

I had a bit of slow start to the day. Kevin headed off to do some more work. I read for a bit before getting ready and heading up for breakfast. Kevin joined us and we enjoyed our meal with a different view today. I had bircher muesli and some berries, followed by mushrooms on toast. ALL of it was amazing.

We then head out in the truck again (well except for Kevin who had more work to do). We explored a different area today.  I really enjoyed the dry river bed with the gum trees.

And of course, the stunning view of the ridge (edge of Wilpena Pound) showing the clear levels of soil.

We saw lots of kangaroos hanging out in the shade – though they all took off when they saw or heard us coming. Also quite a variety of birds and plants

We stopped for morning tea down by a water hole (which used to be the aboriginal womens watering hole). There were lots of dragon flies.

Again, it was a very elegant affair. I wasn’t really in the mood for a chocolate muffin but felt I needed to have it since it was made especially for me. Luckily it was light and fluffy and rather delicious.

We arrived back about 1.15pm.

Lunch was supposed to be at 2.30pm but it was after 3pm before we ate. Kevin was late so the chef might have been waiting for him (or she might have just been swamped since she’s just on her own when there is supposed to 3 of them).

Then it was back out in the truck for more exploring. Luckily Kevin had finished most of his work and was able to come with us. 

This time we drove out to the old wool shed (Arkaba used to be a sheep station). The shed was built around 1840 so was a pretty fascinating place and pretty cool to explore and photograph it.

We also got to try a wild berry – which was pretty delicious.

Kevin spotted an emu up on the Ridgeline which was pretty cool. 

At 6.30pm we stopped for appetifs (??) with yet another awesome view – I mean I don’t think there is anywhere on this property that doesn’t have a nice view. As expected the food was amazing. I think I had 3 !!

From here Greg & Alice walked back to the lodge while we rode with the guide in training. She stopped a number of times to give us some info. We also saw more emus and found a bee hive (just like the one Winnie the Pooh likes to steal honey from). Kevin also chatted books with her recommending a few of his favourites on evolution.

We were back abut 8pm, not long before the walkers. Since dinner wasn’t until 8.30pm Kevin went to fly the drone while I sat outside for a bit with a cup tea and enjoying the sunset.

Dinner ended up being quite late (speaking the chef later she did not know we were there and waiting – no-one had told her). I had a tofu for an entree (the others had blue fin tuna) and I had celeriac root with other veg for dinner (the others had duck). Everyone seems to love what they had. I didn’t have dessert since it was so late (almost 10pm) the others had stewed pear.

Another fabulous day. I can’t believe we’ve only been here for 1.5 days. Back in our room I read for a bit before going to sleep.