tortoise logo

Mt Gambier, SA

S 37°50'21" E 140°47'59"

Mon 20 - Thu 23 Mar 2006

[Previous] [Next] [Bottom of Page] [Index] [HOME]
[Earlier Visits]
Monday 20th

We had been told that we had to vacate our site before nine o'clock. I had to go the office so I enquired of the Rally Co-ordinator what the arrangements were. He told me that the announcement was wrong and that we could stay until the afternoon. I spent some time walking all around the oval telling as many people as I could that they didn't have to rush off.Later we were told that we could stay on the oval as long as we didn't need water.

We decided to stay where we were but another volunteer then told us that the fence around the oval was due to be closed early tomorrow so we decided to move.

A couple of fellow campers told us that they had talked to the Rally Co-ordinator and he had told them we could stay till Friday morning. They had decided to leave the rally site altogether because they were not confident that the rules wouldn't change without notice.

We finally decided to move to reduce the risk of being evicted. We set up in some level unpowered sites in the showground camping area with some friends and settled in for a few days peace and quiet.

As I was walking round to find the water points, I got into conversation with a motorhomer who had bought a digital set top box for his TV because he hadn't been able to get any TV reception during the rally, The set top box hadn't solved his problem. I offered to check out his equipment and managed to get just one channel of ordinary (analogue) TV to work by resetting everything and starting again. He had called for help from the guy who had sold him the set top box and he found that they had not plugged the antenna into the set top box. When that was fixed, they had ten channels working.

I met another couple who were enchanted by the concept of the Homeless Network. As the evening drew near, we were driven back into our motorhomes by a chill wind.

Tuesday 21st

We went into town to do the laundry and a bit of shopping. Jean found some warm clothes which she had been searching for ever since the weather turned cool.

I checked with the guy with the set top box and found that the analogue TV still didn't work. He didn't have an antenna connection from the set top box to the TV. He had a cable but it needed an adapter to make it work. I went to Dick Smiths in town and found what he needed. While I was there I bought a set top box for the Motley.

I fixed the other guys set up and he was very happy to have all the services working properly.

I installed my new box and discovered that the picture quality in a good deal better than analogue and we can get extra channels including ABC2, The only problem is that the digital system is wide screen so we lose a bit of picture on the 4x3 TV set. This isn't a big problem but I guess we will upgrade the TV sometime.

Wednesday 22nd

I had to print some stuff so I set up the new inverter with an ammeter to see what the current drain is in printing mode and in standby mode. The results reveal that I could run the inverter all the time without significant battery drain but with the printer connected the drain is too high to be sustainable 24 hours a day so I can't set it up the way I intended. The printer has been working just fine without being on all the time so that isn't a problem. When I get the new inverter installed, it will reduce the battery drain when I'm just running electronic gear so we have taken a step in the right direction.

We went to the Princess Margaret Caves. This is a very impressive place. It is said to be 800,000 years old and is formed in a solution tube which starts at the information centre and ends at the river bank There us a blockage which stops the bats and snakes from getting into the display part. There are all kinds of stalactites and stalagmites including some very rare helictites which grow sideways instead of downwards. There is also evidence of a flood which undermined some of the stalagmites in fairly recent times. The bush setting of the information centre is quite beautiful with many species of birds including some lovely Red-browed Finches visible from the cafe.

We checked at the Post Office but the mail hadn't arrived yet. I was hopeful because the lady found a note about a package for Chalmers but it turned out that it was nearly a month old so it must have been for another Chalmers.

I had a long session with the Chairman of the NRAEC and we clarified many issues including my ongoing membership of the National Rest Area and Environment Committee, I came away with several major tasks to do in the next couple of months.

We decided to celebrate with a dinner in town. We chose the Indian Restaurant which turned out to be a poor choice again. Perhaps we would have enjoyed the food in the Thai Restaurant more but we'll never know now.

Thursday 23rd

I had to go to town to get some more gas. I also picked up the mail. The solicitor had sent the transfer forms for the sale of Twin Creeks which we signed in the Court House where we found a JP to witness the signatures. We were asked if we knew what we were signing but we weren't asked to identify ourselves. I continue to wonder who puts such badly broken systems in place.

While we in town I found an LCD TV which will solve our aspect ratio problem with the old analogue set which was showing signs of ageing and was due for replacement anyway.

[Previous] [Next] [Top of Page] [Index] [HOME]
Created: 23/3/06 and last revised 24/3/06
Author: Robin Chalmers Copyright in all the material on this site is asserted by the author
Contact the webmaster