Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Canberra - 30th Jan to 4th Feb 2009

Canberra Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
From Canberra

Reluctantly we left out little air conditioned apartment for the extreme heat of the day. 38C! We drove for 5 hours to Canberra via the outskirts of Sydney then along the Hume Hwy. The scenery was a bland dry landscape of mostly yellow and brown. The heat killed the aircon which failed 1 hour outside Canberra – not good. Never mind I checked the Sat Nav and saw that we were coming up on the very large Lake George not far from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). I thought there could be a nice cooling breeze coming off the water for a while as the road goes right around it. I glanced back at the Sat Nav after a while thinking that I should see the lake by now?? I looked out and there was a sign for the lake but what I could see was a field with cows and a barbed wire fence! We checked the maps and the sure enough should be here. We laughed and agreed that this had not been a lake for some time!

We had not booked anything for the 4 night stay in Canberra and once in town went to where we had seen a nice site in our campsites book. We got there and we just didn’t feel it (If you know what I mean?) So we went off to MacDonald’s for FREE WiFi internet. Yes they do! Not sure if they are doing it back home (Probably we are behind over here) anyway we were checking for campsites in the area whilst drinking watered down Diet Coke. We found a couple and have bedded down in our second choice place – a bit of a dive compared to the first choice. Never mind we finally found a flat spot on our pitch and set about pitching the tent in the 38C heat. PLEASANT!!
With night setting in I finally hammered in the final peg and got a cold beer!

Canberra Sunset
Canberra ACT Australia
From Canberra

Temps that night got down to 17C degrees! That's a 21C change!! - Had to get the sleeping bag out for the first time. In the morning the sun was behind a tree and it was cool in the shade – Wouldn’t be that way for long! That day we went into Canberra and might I just say what a really nice city it is. The roads are quiet, wide and leafy. The people are all very friendly, there are parks everywhere and most of the attractions are free. We have been to a few museums (the air con is luuush!). Picnicked around the lake and taken loadsa pics. We watched a lightning storm over the city last night – always fun and looks like tonight we have another to watch, but seems it might be coming our way. Parliament house and the Australian mint were our stops the next day. Had a really interesting tour around Parliament house, didn’t get to see Mr Rudd (Prime Minister) as there was no sitting of parliament on Monday, should have gone today and we would have seen all the action.

Canberra Australia
From Canberra

We got a little rain last night and some rumbles – nothing to worry about. Storms aren’t as fun when you are at the bottom of a hill in a tent!! We miss the Bureau of Meterology website (BoM), no idea where a storm is heading.
In the morning we had to take OJ in for a service (for those of you who don’t know that is the 4x4. OJ for Oska and Jess – Our 2 kitties back in the UK), she has been making a bit of a knocking noise lately and was due for a service so we took her in slightly earlier than scheduled – we were trying to get to Melbourne. The guy at the garage was really helpful and friendly – as everyone has been in Canberra. We left OJ for the day and caught the bus into the city. We were off to spend the day at ‘Questacon’ Canberra’s “Hands on” and “Fun for all ages” science and technology museum. Those of you that know me reasonably well can probably tell from my written tone that all was not as advertised. I mean don’t get me wrong it kept us interested and killed 5 hours while we waited for the car, but it wasn’t really that awe inspiring. It was billed as this great experience – Yeah if you are ten!!

Parliment House
Parliment House Canberra Australia
From Canberra

We left a little empty – in more ways than one! We hadn’t eaten since we had had a lovely CafĂ© breakfast at around 10am (Carl = Toasted egg and bacon roll, Heidi = Scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, mushrooms == YUUUM). Back on the bus to pick up OJ. The bill came to a lot more than we expected – as usual with cars! But we were happy that the work had been done and was necessary – Knocking noise still there but the mechanic assured us it is not terminal as nothing is loose. He did find a bend in the chassis (could have been a rock) that maybe causing 2 pieces to come together that normally don’t. He said you could pay a panel beater to fix it or put up with it. We had parted with enough cash for now so put up we will!!
Dinner was a lovely posh bangers and mash (Not as posh as Mel’s, but posh for camping!) 4x4 is almost packed – one sleep and we are off to the Snowy Mountains for some time away from the Canberra heat!!

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