Friday, October 30, 2009


The weekend had lots of steady rain and the tent leaked :( First one side above the door started with slow drops falling, then the other door, then another leak further back into the tent. The drips were from the seems over the top of the tent. I thought it was leaking when I was in Woolomin, but as I had the vents open, wasn't certain if the water was from that or not. Another possibility at the time was from my raincoat - I had been in and out a few times. Decided not to worry about it then, and wait until we had more rain to check.

Well the weekends rain made it clear that it was leaking.  I have an Exped, 2 person,  Auriga Mesh tent. Well had. Called Mountain Equipment in Sydney, and talked with Heather. the tent is 6 months old. Considering that I've only been using it the last 6 weeks - that's not much use yet. Heather said they have never had problems with these tents, so she thinks this may be faulty. I posted the rain fly back to Sydney yesterday.  Exped has a 5 year warrenty.

So, in the mean time, I have a 3 person tent from Barbeques Galore. It cost me the pricely sum of $49. I also bought a green poly tarp from Bunnings just in case. The 3 person is more roomy, not as ventilated, but so far, has kept the rain off.

The tarp is also for covering the tent when the sun is out - if I'm not moving. Tents don't like the sun - and all of them have warnings about prolonged UV exposure. So if I'm in a spot that is very sunny and am not moving for a while, then I'll cover the tent with the tarp.

For the moment I'll stay in Barraba a bit longer, but thinking its getting time to move on.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Manilla, Barraba

Decided that needed to move on from Manilla. Was a nice town, but itchy feet. The day was windy and dusty, so thought I might as well be walking northwards. It was very windy and dusty on the road. Almost headed back to Manilla. Had decided that I'd only stop in Barraba for water, but when I got here, thought I'd stay the night. One night led to two, to three... Been here more than a week so far.. Going to stay a few more too. There is the Barraba Festival on in the first weekend in November - so will probably stay for that. I'm staying at the Barraba Caravan Park. (Hi Bob.) Its quiet and peaceful.

Exciting things that have happened - I cut my hair! This is the first time in I don't remember how many years. So it was a good cut. I used scissors first - but the cut was uneven. Then in a second had shop I found some hand clippers for only $10. Bargin. I was so excited. Today, for the first time all week, my hair is even. Number 000 clippers - pretty close to a shave without using a razor. Not sure yet if I'll just stick to the clippers, or actually do the shaving. Time will tell. It certainly is a change from my long hair. Dries quick though, and is easier to wash. Also saves on shampoo and conditioner :)

Days are passing watching the insect life (there are lots of ants about here - all different sizes, shapes), playing with the Roly Poly's ( they are soo neat!!) , watching clouds, and reading. I also go for rides about the town and local roads when it is cool.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Nundle, Woolomin, Tamworth, Manila

After the quick update at Nundle, I headed up to Hanging Rock. The plan was to head to Barrington Tops. However, it was cold!! It was midday when I got up there, had lunch at a place called Shiba Dam (Had a picnic at Hanging Rock), and I was shivering. If it was that cold at midday, I thought the nights might be too cold for me, so I headed back to Woolomin. Took me 1.5 hours to walk up to Hanging Rock, and 5 minutes to coast down. I did camp one night at Nundle, and found ice on the tent in the morning when I woke. Woolomin was cold, but not as cold.

So for the last three weeks, there has been lots of shivering! Still getting rid of stuff - down to just a pair of sandals now - got rid of the shoes I had. I've never liked shoes that much, so not sure why I thought I would suddenly start wearing them now. Gone. 1.5kg lighter (they were heavy shoes!!)

The other thing about Woolomin was that Merv and George had all these books. The General Store had books also, so I did a lot of reading while I was there. George went ferreting on the last weekend, and brought me a rabbit skin. I wanted to try brain tanning it. Well, I learnt alot about hides - fleshing the hide wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. After several hours, cramps in my hands, holes in the pelt, I admitted defeat. I know for next time - start with a more comfortable handled knife, a hard surface to work on, have water handy, and probably start on not such an old rabbit. The pelt was from and old female and was very mangy. But still for a first try, I was happy. No I didn't get to the tanning stage. Next time. Though then I'll have to catch the rabbit myself.

For interested people, here is the link on how I was going to do the tanning:

I was in Tamworth yesterday, but had internet problems so didn't get an update.  I'm now at the Manila caravan park. And it is a nice park. My lesson from yesterday is 'drink water'. I set out from Woolomin about 8, got to Tamwoth at 9:30, did postal stuff, internet, some shopping, and then set out. About lunch time cramps started, and I struggled on to Manilia before thinking about why. Realised that I'd only drunk about a liter all day, and the day was very dry. Also had a head wind the whole way. (Why is it that when I stop the wind goes the way I want to head, but the moment I start riding I get a head wind?) Decided that I'll rest up here for a couple of days to recover before moving on.  There are also more books here to read :)

Sorry to all the people that I've got email addresses for that I've not emailed yet. I keep forgetting and packing the address book at the bottom of the bags. Sooner or later I'll rememeber and keep it on top.

Yesterday was the first day not shivering, and now the weather here has gone cold :( Hope the washing dries - my jumper is in it.