Blog entries from November, 2011

Road trip interrupted

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 at 10:05pm

A few days ago I posted the map that was the plan for the Canberra to Cooma section of our road trip. Apart from skipping Corin Dam, it pretty much went to plan. The following day was Cooma to Merimbula via Bega and Tathra, we also kept to this plan:

View SE NSW 2011 Tuesday – Cooma to Merimbula in a larger map

We had a plan for today, head inland from Merimbula to lookouts, waterfalls and rainforest walks before looping back to Eden. We got to Wolumna Peak and started to head west to Myrtle Mountain via fire roads, but this happened:

Floating clutch

You see the dissipating smoke surrounding the car? That is the remains of the clutch…

The more dramatic action shot is:

Magic smoke

After this our priority was to get back to the main road, which we almost did until being stopped by a creek about 200 metres short. A 2km walk later we had enough phone reception to call RACV/NRMA. It took two hours for them to arrive, but they pulled us out and got the car to a mechanic in Bega. As it would take more than three days to fix (you do have to remove the whole engine and gearbox from the car) it will be towed back to Melbourne instead of being repaired.

But what about us? A taxi got us back to Merimbula to a motel (everything was booked in Bega) and we shall pick up a rental car tomorrow morning. All thanks to RACV Total Care.

Unfortunately we will only have the rental car for two days, and they are only paying for 200km per day. As the direct route from Merimbula to Melbourne is 560km, we will have to pay that difference plus that of any detours we make. It also means we will return to Melbourne a day earlier than planned. We are updating our itinerary now…

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The (long indirect) journey home

Monday, November 21st, 2011 at 08:33am

This foggy morning in Canberra marks the start of stage three of my trip, the spending of six days to return to Melbourne via the south east cost of New South Wales and Victoria.

Our immediate destination today is Cooma a town 115 kilometres south of Canberra. But we are not heading down the Monaro Highway to get there in 115 kilometres, instead we are heading into the hills on a path that will take us past construction of the new Cotter Dam, past the sites of old NASA tracking stations (one of which is Honeysuckle Creek) before reaching Lake Eucumbene which is part of the Snow Mountains Scheme.

View SE NSW 2011 Monday – Canberra to Cooma in a larger map

After Cooma the plan includes stopping at places such as Bega, Tathra, Merimbula, Eden, Mallacoota, Orbost and Lakes Entrance. Of course there are many planned side trips along the way.

In my initial post I said that OSDC was the first stage and the Warbirds Downunder airshow at the Temora Aviation Museum was the second. There is another stage, stage zero, which includes the afternoon I spend walking around Canberra before OSDC as well as yesterday spent driving around Canberra.

One thing is common to all of these stages: photos. Not many at OSDC, a huge amount at Temora and a moderate amount from Canberra. I will endeavour to get some of the up during the remainder of the trip.

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A multi-stage trip

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 10:51am

Right now I am sitting at the airport, halfway through a hot chocolate and looking out over the planes taxiing up and down the apron.

This is just the first leg, the goal of which is to get to Canberra for the three day Open Source Developers Conference. While there were two days of miniconfs, I am not going to any of them. My plan for this afternoon once I arrive in Canberra is to be a tourist as this is only the second time in my memory (but not according to photo evidence…) that I have been there.

So far this is typical for me as I have been to every OSDC since they started in Melbourne many years ago. What makes this a multi-stage trip is what happens after.

On Saturday, the day after the conference, is an airshow. Not the Avalon one, but one held at the Temora Aviation Museum on Saturday. While I am at the last day of the conference, Damien (of the previous roadtrip) will be driving up from Melbourne to Canberra and then we will both head out to Temora that night ready for 8:30am entry to the airshow.

So an airshow is the second stage. The third is the largest as, after returning to Canberra for a day, we will be spending the next six days returning to Melbourne via the south east coast of New South Wales and Victoria. Before we get to the coast we will go through the hills behind Canberra, stopping off at the sites of the old tracking stations, you know, the one that actually received the moon walk broadcast…

As we return through the Lakes Entrance and Orbost area, it turns out that the Alpine Rally of East Gippsland is being run that weekend. It may be good if we can find a spectator location and get some good photos, but it might be bad if the forest roads we were planning of using through the state forest are closed. I was hoping we would know by now, but they haven’t released the spectator information.

Oh well, next stop Canberra.

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