Tea growing near Pu Mat National Park at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Con Cuong (Pu Mat National Park), Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Mexico RV Caravan group is chosen!

Yesterday morning, we spoke to the final couple applying to come with us to Mexico this coming 2019-2020 season.

And yesterday evening, we made the tortuous decisions involved with choosing which of the six parties would occupy the three vacant spots. It was so tough to do because any of them would have been fine for this trip!

Ultimately, it came down to chance... and while we are thrilled to welcome the lucky three applicants, we are sad that the other three are not coming with us this year. But who knows... we may do another trip in 2020-2021! For us, it's one year at a time.

We had specifically asked for applicants that are active... and we may have overdone it. We've got one couple who do long distance tandem cycling... and another couple who just finished a three week cycling trip in Italy... and another couple, one of whom is a long distance runner and is entered in the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim competition. Going by memory, I think all of them are between 55-65 years old.

Maybe it is us who will have a hard time keeping up with them!

And if that's the case, we'll do our best!

We're really excited about this year's trip... a very different route, and a return to both the Copper Canyon, and the Hogar Infantil Orphanage.

And the trip starts just over four months from now.

But, for now, I bring you back to today.

A little noisy overnight, not one of our better spots parked at the old car museum in Maffra. It was fine, but a little too close to a fairly busy road. We set off early and made our way to the next town of Stratford. Yes, it is on the River Avon here in Australia. Not a whole lot to see in Stratford, but we did stop at a nature reserve and did a short walk to a lookout...

A view looking north towards the mountains.

This Australian Shelduck was sitting way up in a tree!

A few laughing kookaburras around.

Next stop was a popular fishing hole. It had good online recommendations as a camp site, but it turned out to be fairly popular and we figured it would be on a Sunday. Still, we got ourselves set up to enjoy the afternoon, and originally we planned on spending the night.

Enjoying the afternoon.

This is a snakebird.

They dive into rivers like the one we were sitting at, and spend 30 to 45 seconds under water searching for food. When they surface, only the head comes up and it looks like a water snake!

The female.

And the male.

Mid afternoon, a vehicle drove up next to us with a trailer and a couple of dirt bikes. A young couple got out, and about six young kids followed. I'd guess between the ages of 2 and 5. Yes, it was a Sunday, but we're also mid way through school holidays and we didn't want to risk that they might be staying overnight.

It didn't take us long to decide to move on. We don't mind them having their fun, but we are glad that all it takes is five minutes for us to get packed up and ready to find somewhere a little more peaceful.

Another 40 minutes or so down the road, we found this nice spot...

This is better!

Might be a little soft in the morning with the rain that is forecast overnight, but we have four wheel drive and I'm confident the ground is solid enough for that even when wet.

Tomorrow, it's into the town of Bairnsdale (pop 15,000) to refill our propane tanks and then off to the coast again.

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  1. Your bird photos are rather good. I think you were wise to bolt from the site with children, now matter how lovely they may be. You will miss Buchan Caves then? Lakes Entrance? Eden? Southern NSW is very nice, especially Merimbula, although maybe too touristy for you.

    1. Thank you, Kevin is pretty good with the camera.

      No, we won't be missing out on those places, we have plans on hitting most of them as we make our way slowly back to the coast. :-)

  2. Andrew - maybe Pambula? Beta and area is on our list as well? I've recommended Kangaroo Valley. Oh and Dargo. So much to see. Road between Dargo and Bairnsdale has done great hiking and Camping Spots.

    1. I've marked down Pambula and Betka beaches, so we will try to see them. We already had Kangaroo Valley on our list but Dargo isn't going to be happening on this trip. Thanks for all the suggestions. :-)

  3. Replies
    1. Looked at the Bega Valley and yes, it looks like we will be going right through that area. :-)

  4. Love your travels so far. I'm sorry we never applied for the Mexican Caravan this year, as I am such an active person!!! I did walk from the Motorhome to the Snack Shack TWICE yesterday!! Sounds like you better get practicing your biking skills to keep up with the gang you chose! Travel Safe.

    1. Thank Lorne, we are glad that you are enjoying them. :-)

      You better get walking further than that if you want to come with us, if we do this again the following winter. ;-) We know how much you want to come down to Mexico! Maybe you will make the trip at least down the Pacific Coast this winter.

  5. Glad you have an active crowd to go with you in Mexico, it will be easier for you to all make plans and maximize your time there.

    1. We are planning to do a lot of outdoor activities this winter in a lot more of the natural areas rather than big cities. We think we are going to have another great winter ahead of us. :-)

  6. Nice pick....you weren't going to put up with any fuddy duddies LOL

    1. Thank you, we think we are going to have another great bunch of people this winter. :-)

  7. I think the "snake birds" might be Anhingas? They are kinda creepy since they do look like snakes when their heads are out of water as they swim along. I have only ever seen the black ones. Wish we could have joined your Mexican caravan group, as we are very active too, but alas, we no longer have an RV and are very happy here in the Yucatan. I am sure it will be a blast, though!

    1. Those birds can be called several names, over here they are Australasian or Australian Darters but also known as Snakebirds and can also be referred to as anhingas but they are all the same bird. :-)

      Yep, if you don't have an RV anymore, it would be a problem to travel with us, lol! Glad that you are happy in the Yucatan, for us it is just too hot there, so much so that we don't find ourselves being very active.


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