The Final (Long) Leg of the Current Journey

Those of you who have followed this blog periodically may have wondered at the abrupt cessation of posts after the Renmark/Mildura post published on 26th May 2013; curses and Dalmatians I have been foiled by the failure of technology and further compounded the problem by failing to have an adequate backup regime in place.

We left Mildura en-route to Broken Hill and arrived safely after an uneventful trip.  In Broken Hill we explored the city and the nearby historic village of Silverton.  We took lots of photos of our visits and it has been our practice to downloaded these to the hard drive of my new (purchased in January) laptop, then delete the pictures from the card on the camera.  I had also prepared the draft of a blog post covering our stay in Broken Hill and also saved this on the hard drive of the laptop.

Grand Hotel Cobar with the Biggest Beer Can on its awning

Grand Hotel Cobar with the Biggest Beer Can on its awning

The Great Western Hotel in Cobar - said to have the longest pub verandah

The Great Western Hotel in Cobar – said to have the longest pub verandah

Mining Memorabilia in Cobar

Mining Memorabilia in Cobar

The next phase of the journey was to travel via Wilcannia to Cobar, where we stayed overnight, then to drive on to Dubbo for a two day visit. It became apparent in Dubbo that there was a problem with the computer and I initially thought I had a virus as I had downloaded a new version of the virus protection software and it didn’t seem to finish properly but all indications were that this was not the case.

A delightful lunch stop along the way

A delightful lunch stop along the way

The Big Golden Guitar in Tamworth

The Big Golden Guitar in Tamworth

Brass Statue in the main street of Tamworth

Brass Statue in the main street of Tamworth

From Dubbo we moved on to Tamworth for a wet couple of days and then traveled north to Armidale and then east down the Dorrigo Range to Sawtell and Coffs Harbor where again we stayed for a couple of days.  While we were in Coffs Harbor we took the computer back to the local branch of the major retailer from whom we purchased the laptop and the resident technician ran diagnostics which indicated that the cause of the problem was hardware related and identified that the hard drive on the computer was about to fail.

Some residents of the Caravan Park at Sawtell

Some residents of the Caravan Park at Sawtell

I have been involved with computers for about forty years and always preach the ethic of having a backup of your data just in case something goes wrong.  My backup for the lap top is a 500 GB Western Digital pocket drive which backs up all the data on the “C” drive of the laptop every time I connect the pair together.  My problem was that I had become somewhat lax at connecting the two devices on a regular basis.

Having learned of the issue with the hard drive, on the advice of the technician I endeavored to back up the hard drive so as to preserve what data I could.  Of course after the hard drive had been removed from the laptop and reinstalled I was unable to even boot the computer so any attempt to save data would rest in the hands of technicians undertaking repair work once we returned home.

View from the lookout at Ballina

View from the lookout at Ballina

From Sawtell / Coffs Harbor we moved on to Ballina to spend a pleasant couple of days in a very nice caravan park then we drove up to the Gold Coast to spend the Queen’s Birthday weekend in a very noisy (from the traffic using the adjacent M1 motorway 24/7) caravan park.  The purpose of staying at the Gold Coast was to visit our two daughters and we spent quality time with each during the weekend.  Unfortunately the weather deteriorated and we were caravan bound during the Monday Public Holiday while the incessant rain continued.

Tuesday morning dawned a little brighter and we drove up to Kilcoy to stay with friends for a day or two while the caravan and truck were both serviced.  With our friends we visited on of the local watering holes for a celebratory dinner on the Wednesday night to mark our 42nd wedding anniversary.

Home to the Sunshine Coast by Wednesday we proceeded to unpack the caravan and clean things up.  The yard was a little overgrown with weeds growing in the gardens and the pavers and dust and grime covering the rear patio and patio furniture.

The failed computer was returned to the local base of the major retailer and was duly returned to the manufacturer for warranty repairs.  I stressed to the local technician the desire to recover data from the failed drive and was assured that this would be done.  After two weeks the notification was received that the laptop had been returned with a new hard drive installed and the unit was ready to collect.

When I collected the laptop I was dismayed to find very little of the original data on the hard drive had been recovered and none of the photos taken at Broken Hill now existed along with all the other photos taken on our four month trip.  We did have some back up and we had loaded many of the photos to this blog so we did have a fall back of sorts.

Our travels are over for the present time and the next journey is not yet in the planning.  We are contemplating a tour of Queensland in the future and would like to return to Western Australia to have another look at that part of the country (we’ll go via Broken Hill to take some more photos) – but all that is in the future.  One thing is for certain I will have a better back up routine next time we travel to ensure our precious memories are preserved as more than just memories.

See you on the next trip.

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