We had fantastic couple of days with Judy and Bain (my aunt and uncle) where we were spoiled rotten! A trip to Mogo Zoo with Judy was a highlight as was the company. We had many great meals, chats by the fire and more than a few bottles of wine between us. Hearing about the old days and the Clark family history was very special and something we will cherish.
Judy sent us off in typical fashion, insisting on a cooked breakfast to set us up for our journey. Lucky us! Before departing Lilli Pilli we made the most of the facilities and had a nice hot shower… unsure of when the next one would be! We also took the time to repack Dave’s bags, in usual Dav style, he’d just stuffed everything in when we left and was having trouble finding things without having to pull everything out! We bid farewell to our generous hosts and were sent on our way with some baked goodies (fruitcake and biscuits) for some home cooked comfort. Thanks Judy!
We took the coast road down to Moruya and made a stop off at the old Granite Quarry which was worth a look. All the granite for the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylons was hewn here and shipped up to Sydney in ferries that could take 400 tons! The blocks were produced by hand to 4mm tolerance – talk about skilled stonemasons! We did a food shop in Moruya and then headed in the Deua National Park for our rendezvous with Bernie.
The first bit of dirt road was exciting and a taste of things to come no doubt! The road down in to Bendethera was well maintained, but still very steep! Dave was totally comfortable driving it, if a little disappointed it wasn’t more rutted out like he remembered from previous trips. We saw a ranger on our last decent and quizzed him about the water levels in the creek crossings. With all the rains the rivers were a little swollen but nothing to worry about. Apparently the 3rd creek crossing had a slightly hairy exit but we were keen to try it out! Dave got the first butterflies of the trip and was super pumped after the crossings! We found a nice place to camp and despite our thoughts that it might be busy we only saw 2 other cars in the whole place!
Bernie was driving down from Sydney for the night and was going to be a couple of hours behind us, but we started to get worried when it was nearing daylight end and he hadn’t arrived! We drove back through 2 river crossings to see if he was stuck but finally got a crackly voice on the UHF – Bernie was on the hill on the way down! Apparently he had taken two wrong turns, and also couldn’t see all the track detail on his GPS and got lost on the dirt roads so ended up going back to Moruya to buy a paper map! Of course we gave him plenty of stick for this and showed him the superior screen size of our ipad mapping! I think he was almost tempted…
Beers, wine, cheese and crackers, spatchcock, roast potatoes and salad. Hardly sounds like we were roughing it in the bush! We sat around by the fire and watched the million stars in the night sky, it really is amazing how many there are once you are away from the city lights. The clear night meant that it was very cold, we didn’t have a great night in the tent and woke up to a heavy morning fog in the valley. Bacon and eggs on the fire for breakfast warmed us up as the sun burnt away the fog.
We packed up camp and headed out as Bernie needed to work the next day, so we opted to do some wheeling on the way out. We drove up to the Dampier Trig, following a steep and windy road which required plenty of low range! Our ipad holder couldn’t cope and proceeded to break close to the top of the ascent. Apparently cheap china crap doesn’t like rough, dirty 4WD tracks so I became the navigator/ipad holder! But I soon got a turn to do some wheeling and managed to negotiate my first creek crossing (second butterflies of the trip!)
After which we bid fond farewell to Bernie and headed to Cooma to begin our Snowy Mountains adventure…
Photos have been added to the Southern NSW section – happy viewing!