A few weeks ago we started to looks at beachside accommodation for a few days with vague plans to see our west coast, which is actually the southern coast of Australia. Alas with COVID making international travel impossible, and who would want to at the moment, Australia is the only option and even within Australia with state borders opening and closing at small COVID outbreaks, people aren't even game to go interstate, worried that state borders will quickly close even as they are in mid air in the case of Western Australia which is a flight of a few hours from here.
We really should visit my ageing step mother, who is 84 and her partner who is 93. They live in the north of the state near Rochester. Rather than impose on them, we booked a cabin in the excellent Echuca NRMA Caravan Park. NRMA is the New South Wales motoring organisation.
R mentioned our booking to our friend who has a caravan and he decided to join us and booked a site at the same park and we met up with him there.
The idea was to call in Step Mother on our way past. It is a fifteen minute drive to Echuca from there. However she said she had two appointments that day, so that made it too difficult. From home it is over a two and a half hour drive to Echuca.
We left at 9.40 and I was not concentrating and missed the exit to the Tullamarine Freeway. It didn't matter too much. I could use the Western Ring Road which would be about the same time and without tolls. Massive roadworks are underway near the Ring Road and I exited too early due to poor signage. That's two muck ups and it was less than 30 minutes into the trip. We found our way onto the M79 and stopped at a layby for a stretch. Further on R said he wanted food and coffee. There aren't any places on the freeway so I pulled off at Kyneton and we found a place selling coffee and sandwiches.
Sated we headed back towards the freeway but there wasn't an entrance. We had to go further into town and up a side street to the entrance. More poor signage. We reached the freeway and that was where we were to turn off the freeway. Mea culpa again, I turned back onto the freeway and we were now heading towards Bendigo. Damn. We used the Castlemaine exit and travelled on some minor roads across to Elmore where we stopped again at the Elmore Bakery.
We weren't in a rush and so we drove to where the house of the mother of a dyke friend once lived and we stayed there a couple of times. The mother would be dead now and we lost touch with her daughter. We arrived at the park at 1.40, four hours after leaving home for a 2.35 trip. I suppose we would have stopped for breaks for an hour, so I suppose it was only half an hour extra time caused by my navigational errors. R cannot navigate so I did both driving and navigating and my arthritis was playing up big time.
We were very happy with our cabin. We paid extra for a larger cabin than the standard. It had a queen sized bed in the living area and bunk beds for three in the bedroom. That's plenty of space for two people.
We tried the Star Hotel for dinner, closed, The Shamrock, booked out but had luck sitting in the back courtyard of the Echuca Hotel. The meal was nice and it was very pleasant, only marred by a couple of hundred squawking corellas circling around, so loud it was hard to hear at times.
Once back at the cabin I called Step Mother and she had made a mistake. Her appointments were the next day, not the day we arrived. We arranged to meet with her between appointments.