And a challenge met!
Just a couple of days ago we completed our first year in the caravan, apart from a couple of short house-sitting assignments. The first few months were taken up with establishing ourselves and a short trip to Port Lincoln, but the last 6 months has been spent on the road.
Now is the time to look back through the photos to remember all of the places we have been, where we have stayed and what we have taken from these experiences. If we just get some time sit back, and not out exploring new places, I might be able to prepare a little summary for this site.
Well that’s the milestone!
When we travelled to the South Coast of NSW for a few days we passed through the Illawarra region and down to the Shoalhaven. The journey there took us down the escarpment from the Southern Highlands into the Illawarra. From the drive down the Mount Ousley Road I knew that it was going to be a challenge going the other way towing our big rig.
And so it proved to be a challenge. I tried to look at alternatives for getting back to Richmond from Nowra, but each seemed likely to just as challenging, if not more so.
Thankfully today was a cooler day which made it a little easier to scale the road up the escarpment, although it was slow journey. We followed a heavily loaded truck up the steepest parts, being passed by the cars who were finding the drive up quite easy. When we reached the top, the truck in front of us pulled into the rest stop, where there were several other trucks parked, but unfortunately they prevented us from being able to see the strategically placed mobile coffee van who had set up in the rest stop. After the trip up that road a coffee would have been great to help calm the nerves.
Earlier in the day there was another small challenge. The exit from the Shoalhaven Ski Park, where we had been staying for the past 2 weeks. Originally the plan was to set up camp in the camping area of Shoalhaven Zoo, but on the steep road to there I took the wrong turn at the fork and drove into the Ski Park. Since their camping fees were similar, and I did not like the idea of driving out of the Ski Park, up the hill, turning around and coming back down into the Zoo camping area, we stayed in the Ski Park. And enjoyed the stay immensely.
From the bottom, looking up.
Today was the day to tackle the drive out of the Ski Park. We thought it would be quieter on a Monday morning, but it seemed that some of the early campers were starting to arrive. That could have been a problem on the narrow road if someone was coming down while we trying to go up. And the misty rain had perhaps made the road a little slippery.
So it was bite the bullet time, engage a lower gear and slowly head up the road. Thankfully there was no one driving down at the time, and the fears of a slippery surface were unfounded. At the top of the drive, time to start breathing again, and begin the drive before tackling the escarpment as described earlier.
Apart from those two white knuckle experiences, the drive from Nowra to Richmond was very pleasant, especially as we took the Grand Pacific Drive from Nowra to Gerringong, along the coastal (and less hilly) route past the Seven Mile Beach National Park.
We arrived safely at Richmond to prepare for the next house sitting assignment at Oakville. Tomorrow we start to discover what it takes to look after several llamas and alpaca, many aviary birds, a couple of dogs and cats, two ponies and a few donkeys. Interesting times ahead.