‘Gee’ the climate has been cruel to us over the past week or so. We headed back into the Booderee National Park on Sunday with the intention of staying there at least two days but the weather was terrible. It ‘bucketed’ down during our first 24 hours ‘in the bush’ so the ground surface was not flash. Rather than stamping around in the mud we decided to make an early exit on Monday and try to get into some better weather.
As I had mentioned in our last blog update, we were told of a great little spot in the township of Ulladulla so we decided to make that our next stopover. We are not big on RV parks (caravan parks) but the Big4 Bungalow Park in Ulladulla is owned by the Royal Australian Navy and by using our RNZN Senior Rates Mess Association Card we were able to get 25% discount on our stay i.e. $22.00 per night. The Park is right on the water and is immaculate – as you would expect from a Defence site. If you are in the area and looking for cost effective accommodation, they have excellent cabin and camping facilities. I should imagine that in the peak periods it would be packed with sailors on holiday.
On Monday night we had a visit from Chook (Wayne) Fowler who works out of Sydney. Our last catch up with Chook was at our farewell in Auckland in June of this year so it was great to see him again. I have always been impressed at what ex communicators are able to turn their hand too on leaving their ‘naval experience’. Chook is another who has taken on a new trade and has made a brilliant success of it.
On Tuesday night, along with our Australian travelling companions (Bruce and Lyn), we decided to give cooking a miss and catch the Ulladulla Servo Club courtesy bus to the Club for dinner. We were picked up at about 5.30pm, had a very pleasant evening and were dropped back at the van at about 9pm. The best part of the night is that Dearne spent a couple of minutes on the ‘bandits’ while we were there and won enough to pay for our dinner. Brilliant!!
Over the past three or so weeks the water pump on the van had developed a very ‘dry bearing’ sound. We carry a spare pump on board and I was going to wait until the existing pump died before I put the new one in. However this morning before we left Ulladulla, Bruce had to take his van to an RV repair centre to get his awning repaired. While there I enquired how much it would cost for them to install the new pump. The workshop quoted $60 for the job. One hour later the new pump was installed and I didn’t have to get under the van or get my hands dirty. For $60 why would I bother. Over the next few weeks I plan to pull the damaged bearings from the old pump, replace them and I will then still carry a spare pump.
Once the maintenance was completed we continued our journey south along the New South Wales coast road visiting Lake Conjola, Bawley Point, Kioloa, Pretty Beach, Merry Beach and Pebble Beach. Part of the afternoon travel plan was to select a place we could stay the night. After ‘another’ management meeting we decided on Merry Beach primarily because we could stay on the water edge and our Australian Motorhome Association membership gave us a significant discount i.e. we could stay for $15 per night.
We are now tucked up at Merry Beach in beautiful weather (25C) for the next two days.