After a very relaxing holiday catching up with friends and family with the odd glass or four on the balcony we’re back in sunny Ivanhoe. By the way, while the sign says that the population is 350, we reckon that must include all the outlying stations …. and then some.

Nigel and I had a smashing time– I dropped and broke the laptop (no internet!) and Nigel dropped and broke the Mini Hifi, complete with USB flash disk – none of which could dampen our spirits ………… even the next day when we were sober.

It was great to catch up with our friends, who always make us feel as if we already live there. When we built the house there was no way that Nigel could secure a posting so we came up with the idea of going bush to ‘jump the transfer ladder’ and holiday letting it so that we could take advantage of the ‘off periods’. So the house will eventually become our home when the outback tenure is up.

After such an enjoyable holiday, it was to be expected that our trip home would not be without its dramas. We stayed overnight with Dee and Grant in Sydney  and left at 9.30am hoping to arrive home around 9pm.  However, after making good time over the mountains, an accident saw us turned back at Hartley and we were forced to take a detour through Oberon, which added about an hour and a half to our trip. This might have been bearable except that we also suffered a shredded tyre on the new trailer 123 kms out of Ivanhoe (“What’s that noise?”).

Now those of you, who have never owned a trailer might relate to the fact that neither of us had ever noticed that the wheel nuts on the 4×4 are a different size from those on the trailer. (Others might smile and snigger). But when you’re staring at a wheel rim with only slight shreds of black rubber to suggest that there was ever a tyre on it, it suddenly becomes painfully obvious that the only wheel brace in the car is not going to do the job!

Considering the ground is flat for hundreds of kilometres in any direction, it’s always seemed rather odd to us that there’s a designated sunset viewing area. It’s just out of Hay and people apparently sit and watch the sun go down over the Hay plains. So after ringing our local NRMA support person we finally got to do just that.

David (friendly service station / handyman / NRMA rep) arrived 2 hours later, fixed the tyre and then followed us back into Ivanhoe on our merry, if not wide-awake, way. We arrived home at 11.10 pm……. the best laid plans ……….

PS        Bear would just like to say to Joe, the vet, “Thanks very much for the Valiums but they did absolutely nothing until the next day, and the day after and the day after that……………..”



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