So we're finally out on the road, and have enjoyed our first week travelling. But it hasn't all been smooth sailing! I've had my toolbox out pretty much every single day so far, making for a bit of a frustrating start. I think the issue really was about my expectation that we would hit the road, and everything would just work. Hahahah - sooo naïve!
I spent two days running around in Bathurst collecting bits and pieces to make a clothesline, hang some hooks, tie down our awning guy ropes, replace the awning rafters and buy a Weber (we got the Weber Q2200 - stoked with it so far!).
Quite amazingly, I managed to avoid a trip to Bunnings in Orange - but we had the Landcruiser booked in to have a cargo barrier fitted (thanks Dad!).
The following drive to Dubbo from Orange had me a little concerned about how the car was handling while we towed. Initially I thought it was an issue with how we'd distributed the weight within the caravan, so we found a water point in a tiny regional town enroute to change the water levels in the tanks, but it didn't improve the handling. Ultimately, I have decided that we need to bite the bullet and fit a weight distribution hitch.
We were lucky enough to find that Jayco in Dubbo had the Hayman Reese 800lb standard weight distribution hitch that we needed, but being a weekend there was noone there to fit it for us. I decided to fit it myself, however discovered during the fitting that one of the parts wasn't an adequate length for our setup - so we have to wait here until Monday now anyway! Eyeroll.
In the meantime, I had to replace the clothesline that I'd made (definitely my fault, that one!), buy another power lead (the one that came in our starter kit is teeny-tiny), and investigate why our water tanks aren't draining evenly, and why our stereo decides that it will only work sometimes. Like a bloke who always seems to be on smoko, with no indication when he might actually come and do some work.
This isn't intended to be a whining, moaning blog update though (well, not entirely!). I did expect it would take a while to find our groove - I had just hoped I would have more time to spend with the kids rather than in Bunnings and trying to fix stuff and make stuff work. Thankfully Kristie is here to help with everything and keep us all alive!
We managed to deal with all of this while still finding time for activities with the kids.
In Bathurst we:
Went up to Sofala and Hill End for some gold panning
Watched a club race at Mount Panorama, which the boys LOVED
Visited the Fossil and Mineral Museum - Benji was in heaven looking at all of the minerals - I think we may have a budding Geologist on our hands.
Drank some bubbles to celebrate the first night of our journey.
In Orange we:
Had a tasting at Heifer Station, where the wines were delicious, and the kids had a ball catching chickens, and Harry got butted by a goat.
Drove to a random waterfall to cool off on the way home. The boys had so much fun climbing over the rocks and sticking their feet in the water that they didn't want to leave.
Had lunch by Lake Canobolas, and took the boys on their first mountain bike trail experience. Lots of 'warries' being recounted after this, and a few new injuries. Such a great day!
Probably left a day too soon, as we forgot to visit friends in town and at a winery!
Both Bathurst and Orange left me with the impression that I would be happy living there - wonderful towns with plenty to do, easy to get around, and lots of decent looking cafes.
Dubbo, on the other hand - not so much! I love the zoo... Bring on Monday!