Monthly Archives: July 2020

Walcha Weekend with mum – Day

Sunday 26th July 2020
Time to head home, we headed back to Tamworth to see the big golden guitar.

“Located in the Country Music Capital, the Big Golden Guitar stands prominently on the New England Highway on the southern approach to Tamworth. It is an Australian and Tamworth icon and was officially opened by country music star Slim Dusty and Mr Paul Crombie, General Manager of Tourism NSW, on January 25th 1988. It is a tribute to Tamworth’s rich country music heritage and international reputation as the heart of Australian country music, and is a replica of the famous Golden Guitar Award presented to artists at the annual Country Music Awards of Australia, the Toyota Golden Guitar Awards.”

We then drove via Murrurundi, Muswellbrook, Singleton, Branxton and then down the motorway to home. Mum managed the rest of the weekend very well and is ready to embrace the next part of her journey. Home at 6.30, a quick setup of PD machine and home we go.

Walcha Weekend with mum – Day 4

Saturday 25th July 2020
Well we had success. Mum is pretty tired and her blood pressure is pretty low and she is a bit light headed but she is determined to at least see a little of the area today. So after a light breakfast and packing a picnic lunch we head on our way.

Our first stop is at the grave of Captain Thunderbolt at Uralla.

“Fred Ward aka Captain Thunderbolt the Bushranger has pride of place in the Pioneer Cemetery in Uralla. Fred began his career of crime in 1856 stealing horses and was captured and sentenced to 10 years prison. He escaped in 1863 and began his bushranging career in earnest. He was centred around the Tamworth and New England region robbing Inns, Stores & the Mail Coaches.Thunderbolt met his end in May 1870 when shot by Police near Uralla.”

Then on to Gostwyk Chapel which is a beautiful little church. Then on to Dangarsleigh lookout overlooking Dangar Gorge. We then drove through the historic town of Hillgrove.

“Hillgrove is a Northern Tablelands (New South Wales) village with population of about 95. The village is located approximately 30 km east of Armidale and is 5 kilometres south of the Waterfall Way. Hillgrove is part of the Armidale Regional Council local government area and is in Sandon County. This historic gold mining town is situated at elevation of 1,000 metres on a granite plateau above Bakers Creek and near the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park.”

There are many plaques along the streets where the old buildings were and a map of the old town to follow. Unfortunately the museum was closed today.

We then drove to Wollomombi Falls and went for a walk towards the falls but it was getting too steep for mum so we headed back up and drove to the Point Lookout which was yet again fogged in, one day we will see he view. Then we went to Ebor Falls Lookout in the Guy Faulkes National Park. As mum was tiring we decided to just drive back home to Walcha which was a 2:12hr drive. She had managed so well today.


Walcha Weekend with Mum – Day 3

Friday 24th July 2020
Unfortunately, mum spent the next 2 days in hospital. She was devastated and felt so foolish but it really was just an unfortunate mishap caused from being out of routine of her own home. So much for her big holiday.

We did a little scenic trip to the hospital via Woolbrook, Bendemeer, Moonbi, Kootingal and Tintinhull. It was a lovely drive mostly on dirt road through tiny one horse towns. We arrived at the hospital expecting mum to be released shortly but unfortunately as hospitals go, this is a pretty standard pattern and we finally left at 4.15pm.

Home at the farm again, we carefully setup the machine and enjoy a home cooked meal. Tonight was a success, we extend our stay by another night and put mum to bed hoping to explore with her tomorrow.

Walcha Weekend with mum – Day 2

Thursday 23rd July 2020
After a successful night on PD in mum’s new bedroom at Walcha disaster struck. Whilst disconnecting herself from the machine and being out of routine unfortunately mum’s catheter was compromised which meant a trip to Tamworth Hospital to have her line changed. OOOPPPPSSSYY!

We had a quick breakfast and headed on our way after a few phone calls to the girls at Long Jetty. When we arrived at Tamworth Hospital mum presented with a temperature, so making sure she was okay and to ensure there was no risk of Peritonitis, which is one of the problems encountered with APD if the line is compromised, they admitted her just to be safe. They changed her line and then set her up for the night’s dialysis.

The hospital and staff were really lovely but mum wasn’t happy to be back in hospital, she has yoyo-ed in and out of hospital for about 10 months. We left mum in the hospital and headed back to Walcha at about 7.30pm that night. It had been a very long day of waiting around and then just keeping mum company. We were lucky we were even allowed in the hospital with the current Covid19 restrictions.

Walcha Weekend with mum – Day 1

Wednesday 22nd July 2020
Well it is time for a little holiday for Mum, she has been working so hard on the Peritoneal Dialysis and we are heading to Walcha for the weekend. It will be chilly but I am sure we will have a great time. We are packed to the rafters with all the boxes of fluid, the PD machine and all the other stuff required to keep Mum alive. Only room for a few clothes and the food. Mum is so looking forward to getting away from the village for a few days. She is still not that well but she is the best she has been since late October last year when she started this life saving journey. She really is a legend!

We started out early as mum had her vein mapping appointment at Woy Woy first. This was to see if her veins were suitable for the fistula for Haemodialysis as it is time to make this change. PD is not working as well as had been expected, the drain pain is too much and mum is exhausted from the daily work required for the treatment.

So after mum’s appointment we head on our way at 9.10am towards Walcha again for the second time in a week as DB and I have just been to Uralla last weekend for our anniversary. We head via the Bucketts Way through Stroud, stopping at Mograni Lookout for a picnic lunch, then head along the Thunderbolts Way to Ventrefait Rural Retreat on the Oxley Highway just west of Walcha town.

We arrive at our farmstay, light the fire, unpack and then have to re-arrange the furniture in Mum’s bedroom so her dialysis machine reaches the bathroom and bed so she can have a comfortable night.


Uralla NSW Weekend – Day 3

Monday 20th July 2020
Time to head home again, as usual via a different route to the way we came. Surprise, surprise! NOT!!

After enjoying a slowish start to the day we headed on our way home, with a quick visit to Wollomombi Falls, then to a little piece of paradise and one of our favourites. Cathedral Rocks National Park for a quick loop trip to the summit (6.7km, 2:37hrs) a little lunch then homeward bound we go.

As always we fill the weekend to capacity, arriving home at 9.09pm. What a lovely weekend. Happy 2nd anniversary to us.

Uralla NSW Weekend – Day 2

Sunday 19th July 2020
Well it was a beautifully warm and cosy night in our little cottage. We woke to very cold temperatures this morning, only 3.4°C with ice on the car and frost on the grass. Very chilly.

After a lovely morning of sunshine and relaxation we headed on our day of exploration at about 9.30am. We drove to Dangarsleigh where we are going for a very long walk in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park along the Salisbury Waters Trail.

The track starts from and returns to Dangars Falls picnic area. Veering off the McDirtys walking track we went to Mihi Falls lookout, then Macleay Lookout, then went down a very steep descent (about 400m down over 2.2km), where you get to see the unique dry rainforest up close at Salisbury Waters where we enjoyed our picnic lunch. It was too cold for a swim in the crystal clear pool but we loved the breathtaking views of the gorges from the ground up. After our lunch it was time for the tough climb out, my first big uphill hike since my heart surgery, I counted the steps up allowing myself a break to catch my breath every 100-150 steps, it was a tough slog. Once at the top we enjoyed a beautiful walk along the ridge line of the gorge, had a snack with a beautiful view and then took the side track to Sarum Hill lookout. We only left one lookout uncharted as we were running low on daylight and decided this was the closest to the start should we ever return to complete the walk – this was McDirty’s Lookout. Maybe we will see you next time.

We also went to Rock Wallaby lookout, Dangar Falls Lookdown and Falls Lookout. All in all it was a very enjoyable day and I believe my heart is in pretty good shape, albeit lacking fitness. We hiked 18.42km over 5:50 hours gaining 893m in elevation it was a tough walk.

We then headed back to our little cottage again arriving just on sunset for a lovely home cooked meal by me!


Uralla NSW Weekend – Day 1

Saturday 18th July 2020
Well it is time for a little weekend away for our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. Woohoo US!!

So we headed off about 9.30 and travelled via the Bucketts Way through Stroud, then along Thunderbolts Way to Walcha then about 50km further north to Uralla. We are staying in one of Graces Cottages which are a studio cottage on a farm. They are equipped with a lovely fireplace, bath and full kitchen overlooking some beautiful farmland. We arrived at the cottage at about 3.30pm and headed out for a walk. It was quite cool but nothing like a brisk walk to invigorate you. We walked out to the main road, through the cemetery and down the main road to the creek and then returned the same way.

We arrived back to our cottage just in time for sunset and time to start the fire. It was a lovely day!