Tuesday, 26th April, 2011 – Tawonga to Forbes

Kilometres traveled: 482

Weather: Cold morning, warming to about 20 degrees C by midday.

This morning was our last morning at the Teardrop gathering in Tawonga. Once again it was very cold. This climate has brought back some happy childhood memories; making conkers from chestnuts, playing hide and seek in a weeping willow, and of course playing in all those red, yellow and brown autumn leaves. But I still don’t like being cold.

We had our brekky of tea and toast, then Chris packed all our gear into the Teardrop and started the trike, it stalled twice while reversing… it doesn’t like the cold either.

Before we knew it, the rumble of the trike had drawn a crowd of Teardroppers and other campers, so we said our goodbyes, then did a lap of honour around the park to farewell the Teardroppers on the other side of the green. I always feel like a one float parade when we leave a camp site.

The fields around Tawonga were misty and cold, we lasted about 20 minutes then we had to put our wet weather trousers on, not to repel rain, but to stop the cold wind biting us through our jeans. My body was fine, one shirt and three jackets including my black leather one makes me look like a goth Michelin man, but I don’t care.

We had only three stops on the way to Forbes, a wee break, at Uranquinty, where there was an unexpectedly beautiful mosaic on the toilet wall. A brunch break, at Gerogery rest stop, for a gourmet cheese and chippie sandwich. And a fuel stop, somewhere I can’t remember.

As we rode, the scenery gradually changed from green, lush and hilly to dry wide grasslands,  and the closer we got to Forbes the wider the landscape got: we could see for miles around. It was very different to the winding mountain roads around Mt Beauty. The sky seemed huge and the cloud formations were amazing.

The speedo on the trike has been dodgy for the past few days, first it was reading 20 over, then 30, 40, 50 and so on. I was going to take a photo of the speedo doing 180 (really 100) but today the needle fell off. It’ll have to be fixed when we get back to Brisbane.

We got to our Forbes camp site around 3.00pm. Instead of our dome, we decided to put the lean-to tent (our ex-garage) behind the kitchen. It took twice as long to put up as our dome, I think the dome is better.

Once we were set up, Chris went on a fact-finding mission for possible camp sites for next year’s Teardrop gathering, he was most impressed by the Apex Riverside Tourist Park. We are not camping at that park, but I’m happy with where we are, our site is right outside the amenities, and would be perfect but for the midges and brown grasshoppers: they are everywhere!

Later on I cooked some ravioli for our dinner and as I was about to drain it, I tripped over a cable and rushed headlong through the kitchen, out the other side and fell like a sack of spuds on the grass. Half the ravioli was scattered and some of the hot water splashed on my face but luckily the most damage was to my pride. Chris made some noodles to eke out what ravioli was left in the saucepan.

I felt a bit sorry for myself, but then we had the laptop TV on and the news showed two stories of  little kids attacked by wasps and dingoes. By comparison I got mildly annoyed by midges and slightly scared by grasshoppers, ambushed by a cable and attacked by ravioli. Some people have it worse than me.

After the ravioli incident, Chris decided I needed a port, so between us we finished Ken’s port that he’d been carrying around in his Teardrop for two years. It was a gift and he doesn’t drink it, so thank you Ken. Your port was much appreciated. For medicinal purposes of course.

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