Location: Manning Valley
Date: May 2012
May 26, 2012. Last evening after the rain had stopped, the clouds
decided to hang around. I drove over the Martin Bridge to the south
bank of the Manning River in anticipation of a sunset. Nothing much
had happened after the sun had disappeared, and I was about to leave, when
I noticed some of the cloud turning red. So I waited, and I'm glad I did.
The lower the sun sank below the horizon, the redder the clouds became,
and I was treated to a pretty special show by Nature.
here for the photo album.
May 20, 2012. Yesterday afternoon I took a drive to Talawahl
Nature Reserve, about 10 kms south of Taree, and followed Breakneck
road to the Lookout. I'd been there a couple of years ago but in the morning
when the sun was directly in front of the camera. So this time I chose
late afternoon hoping for some better shots and maybe even a sunset. But
it didn't quite happen that way. Nonetheless, some of the pics are okay
and there are a couple of shots of Taree nestled in the valley. It looks
pretty small from up there - hardly a city of 20,000. You'll notice a pink
haze on the horizon caused by smoke from fires lit by the Rural Fire Service
during their regular hazard reduction program. I was alone at the lookout
until some guys in their 4WDs turned up and gave me a few more photographic
here for the photo album.
May 10, 2012. My friend Art from North Carolina sent a bunch
of interesting and unusual photos today, which I thought deserved a page
of their own. Click here for
Worth Your Time.
May 9, 2012. And here it is, dear Breth! Chateau de Mobile.
As you know, I've spent years trying to get my transport for the Odyssey
right. First the idea of towing a caravan with Tough Titties (the old HQ
Holden), then Bluey the Nissan Nomad, then the Toyota Hi Ace campervan
(which was a wreck) and now, ye olde Freeway slide-on, circa 1980.
I've been checking out old slide-ons for a while now, and particularly
after buying the Ford Falcon XG ute in November 2011. I spotted CdeM about
a week ago on eBay, when the auction had reached less than $2000. Woohoo!
So I followed it and on the final day, as expected, the bids came thick
and fast as the final hours and then minutes ticked by. I was the highest
bidder at $4700 until the last few seconds when I was outbid. Damn!
But the following day, eBay emailed me and said the highest bidder had
reneged on the deal and that I now had a second chance at buying the van.
Yeah? Who me? Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause. I agreed, and then
got in touch with the owner. I scraped up every last penny - cash, borrowed,
whatever - and told the owner I could pay in two stages... Monday and the
following Thursday. He accepted, and then delivered the van the next day,
Dan was fantastic. He reversed the thing into the yard and maneuvered
it into a spot in front of the spare garage. It wasn't easy, but he got
it there with no mishaps. Then he spent about an hour setting it up on
jacks. And he did all that gratis... (but only because I convinced him
I was broke, geriatric and stupid hehe). Then when the big moment came
to check out the interior, he gave me a sheepish look and admitted he'd
forgotten to being the keys to the door. No worries. I wasn't going anywhere.
So the keys arrived in the mail today (Wednesday).
I'm thrilled. $4700 is cheap, but an absolute bargain when you consider
all the extras that come with it: air conditioning, solar power, 240v inverter,
second battery, two pull-out awnings (side and rear), CD stacker, 4 mechanical
jacks, tons of storage, stainless steel water tank and 12v pump and...
get this... a refurbished interior that's as good as new. Has this kid
done well or has this kid done well? The exterior is a bit shabby here
and there, with a few minor battle scars but overall I'm tickled pink.
The van is standing pretty high off unlevel ground at the mo, and I
was a bit nervous about getting inside to take pics. So I tippy toed around
hoping the thing didn't topple. As a consequence, there's nothing too adventurous
or creative in terms of the photos, but they'll do for now. In fact, some
of the pics are lopsided because I took them one-handed while I was hanging
on to something else to keep my balance. I didn't take pics of the sleeping
area. I'll do that another time when I can climb in there and let the light
Next step? Find me a trayback 4WD ute and sell the Ford. The Ford is
unsuitable because it's a tub ute. But that's okay... no hurry. I've got
this cancer thing to finalize yet, and it's coming into winter. Speaking
of cancer, as I was gingerly backing out of the doorway, and feeling my
way down the ladder while taking a few more pics, my stomach feeding-tube
caught on something and the lid popped open, spurting puke all over the
place. Luckily, I was out of the van by then and the smelly goo went over
my track pants leg, shoe, and a bit over my shirt. The rest went on the
ground. The laundry is next door so I made good use of running water and
a cloth. Okay... time
to check out the photo album. And no, I didn't take any pics of the
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