4WD Driving School

DescendingAGullyCarmel and I did 4WD training today. We drove around Kowen Forest with two other students and a great instructor. With did some theory on a bitterly cold Canberra morning standing around a PC running power-point on the back of a ute. So cold in fact at the end, no one had any questions. An then on to the tracks.

The course focused on understanding the capabilities of the vehicle while driving up and down rough tracks and differing types. The theory did help in understanding which gear and 4 high vs 4 Low.

After lunch we did some rescuing. Carmel pretended to be bogged while another student dragged her out with a Nylon Snap Tow Strap. Note the two orange “air brakes” – these are to slow the strap down if it snaps and whips off.


The last part of the course was meant to be water driving. However, after the first student went over, the instructor called if off with because the water was too high. (We will just have to go and find another creek somewhere.) We replaced this lesson with a lovely drive through the gullies.


Wildlife in Canberra

PossumOn the dog walks, I am seeing quite a bit of wildlife. This evening I saw a fox – I thought it was a cat a first, but by the time I had the camera ready, it had disappeared.

Possums are easier to catch – they just pop up a tree and then watch.

ParrotsThe bird life lets you get a little closer, but I need to take the big camera to catch them properly.


The one bit of wildlife that did not run away is very familiar. I remember this from a French book translated into English that I read when I was ten. It was responsible for the death of the old king. Anyone else recognise it?


Farewell to Goulburn

GoulburnWarMemorial3We have left Goulburn, but have many good memories. On the last day we visited the War Memorial on the hill. It was a foggy morning. Foggy mornings in Goulburn start around 6am and continue to midday. This shot of the war memorial was taken at 11:00 am and the sun was only just visible.

The War Memorial is on a high hill with a great view of Goulburn and the valley around (except on foggy mornings). The hill is an interesting geological formation – a white metamorphic rock that broke into cubic chunks.


We did have an interesting learning experience as we left. In levelling the caravan, I must have wound the jockey wheel up past the end of the thread. Even though I perfectly backed the tow ball under the trailed coupling, there was no safe way to drop it down the last 5 cm. Nothing I had could reach.


Fortunately a fellow caravanee had a hydraulic jack that we could place on a couple of bricks under the frame and jack it up. Experience is invaluable in this game.


Doing Maths on Holiday

Thanks to my mother for this delightful picture of me doing homework while on holidays.

So if I carry 7....
So if I carry 7….

I also note in the background the very practical fly net on the straw hat. I wonder if I’ll be needing those on this trip.

An Afternoon at Goulburn Roundhouse

One thing Goulburn is well known for is trains. It is on the Southern Line and used to have a major repair and maintenance shop. You can visit the roundhouse in the Rail Heritage Centre.


It was in use until a few years ago when they had a nasty accident.

A bad day at the roundhouse
A bad day at the roundhouse

It destroyed the bridge and smashed the concrete (the hole to the right of the bridge). According to the guide, the insurance covered the repairs, but the company has stalled on spending it. He did not like governments much.

Behind the round house there was a workshop with cool equipment. I particularly liked the wheel lathe that was for grinding the wheels in the right location.


And of course, the cool engines were worth the visit.