Our trip from St George to Toowoomba (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toowoomba) was straightforward on good wide roads; we were delayed at Eulo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eulo,_Queensland) by some road works and had to wait ten minutes or so to get through the job. At Moonie we stopped for morning tea and we had our lunch at Jondaryan before driving into Toowoomba.
We left St George heading for Toowoomba with the express view of seeking repairs to have our fridge work on gas. Before we left for this trip we had problems with the fridge which resulted in replacement of the main electronics board and the solenoid and a two week departure delay to have the parts delivered and fitted. It was quite frustrating when we found at Thargomindah that the fridge would not switch to gas.
When we discovered the fault I sent an email to Dometic seeking parts to be delivered to the Toowoomba service agent listed on the company website so that the repairs could be effected if the same problem was discovered. It was four days before I received a response from the company and they advised that the service agent on the company website was, in fact, not the current service agent for the company. Of course, given the time-frame involved I had already made arrangements with the incorrect service agent to have a look at the fridge. I expressed my disappointment about this and about the fact that their website is out of date, in an email to Dometic (to which I have not yet received a reply).
Anyway we decided to drive to Toowoomba and front to the correct service agent to see if they would look at the fridge and at least let us know what might be wrong. Driving up to the service agent the first problem was finding somewhere to park a car and caravan in a busy industrial street. We entered the shop prepared to be disappointed but were delighted when we were told to drive the unit into the yard so they could have a look at the fridge.
Before doing anything else the gent checked the gas regulator and immediately adjusted it – hey presto the fridge now worked on gas. The same regulator had been checked and confirmed as being OK only a few weeks earlier. So that we had some insurance for the rest of the trip we purchased a replacement regulator which we will have fitted when we arrive home (or earlier if needed). Purchased a few more bits and pieces from this well stocked business and headed for a caravan park in Toowoomba where we will stay for a few days.
We chose a caravan park in Harristown (a suburb of Toowoomba) and checked in. The park is long established and has a good number of cabins and permanent onsite caravans. They don’t seem to have planned sufficiently for newer caravans as the site they allocated to us was hard to access because of a long clothes line at the rear and an onsite van very close to the road at the front. Eventually we maneuvered the van into place and set up. Then we went shopping for supplies.
On Friday it was cool, windy and wet in Toowoomba and there had been thunderstorms in the area; and a severe weather warning covering the district remained in place for much of the day. Consequently we chose to be confined to the van rather than head for a shopping centre or such like. By afternoon the rain had cleared enough for us to go for a walk and explore the local neighbourhood. Overnight the weather turned very cold and we had extra blankets on the bed to keep warm.
Saturday morning dawned cold and clear but quite windy. About 5:00 am we were woken by the flapping of the caravan awning and we donned some warmer clothes and put the awning up to avoid any damage. A return to bed to stay warm until a more civilised hour was in order.
After breakfast we decided to brave the cold and visit the Japanese Garden at the University (http://www.southernqueenslandcountry.com.au/destinations/toowoomba/attractions/japanese-gardens/). Many years ago (another lifetime really) when the University of Southern Queensland (https://www.usq.edu.au/) was in its infancy and known as the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education I attended as a Business Studies student driving from Laidley twice a week to attend lectures. Later our eldest daughter graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the same institution.
Our visit to the Japanese Garden was, despite the cold blustery conditions, very enjoyable; we have been associated with Toowoomba for 50+ years but have never before visited the garden which was developed during the 1980’s. The site encompasses 4.5 hectares and is planted in huge variety. It was very relaxing just wandering about the gardens taking photographs of the flora and fauna on the site.
After our visit to the gardens we went to a local shopping centre for a few supplies then to the CBD area where we had arranged to meet Margaret’s sister for lunch; Margaret’s nephew and his wife also joined us for a long lunch catching up on family and other matters since we last met. After lunch we adjourned to Margaret’s sister’s home for coffee and further chat.
On the way back to the Caravan Park we drove past the site of Margaret’s childhood home only to find that the old home had been removed from the site and concrete slabs for three new smaller homes have been poured on the site. The property consists of a quarter acre (1100 square metres) so it was probably ideal for development as multi dwellings. While it was sad to see the old home gone it will be interesting to see what the new buildings are like.
To a service station to fill the vehicle with fuel and then to the caravan park to prepare for our journey tomorrow heading towards Bundaberg.