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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

The River Avon bursts it's banks at Gloucester.

So, we are very near the end of our adventures. Only 200km from Sydney at a place called Oberon in the Blue Mountains. From Friday we made it to our niece Elizabeth and new husband Rich's 30-acre small holding near Bulahdelah. The weather had been diabolical, rain, rain and more rain so much so that we were advised by Lizzie not to travel to her place from Bulahdelah because numerous creeks had to be crossed and they couldn't guarantee that the bridges would still be dry.

Yes, there is a small bridge under that lot somewhere. The photo was taken by Liz Sunday morning.

Not sure where the road goes.


Watching the rain from Liz and Rich's place.

Charlie the pony wanted to visit during our late afternoon drinks on the patio

Slight problem in turning this beast around. Wouldn't fit under their barn roof so Ian had to try reversing to the gate and with a bit of forward and backward manoevering managed to turn it around.

 So we travelled over 450km to come in via Gloucester. But the weekend was brilliant and we were made so very welcome. On a Saturday morning, we were all due to see Elizabeth's mum near to Port Stephens but those bridges were a concern so Rich drove to the first one just to see if the water had gone down. Thankfully the creek had dropped a tad so it was decided to risk it. We did make it through and had a lovely visit with Glenys, my brother's ex-wife, and mum to Liz and Jen. She has Motor Neuron Disease and not expected to live much longer. So pleased we got to see her and very thankful that she will be able to make Jens wedding on the 26th.

Top photo, Ian Liz Jen and me with Glenys and the bottom photo is Liz, Glenys and Jen.
The rain never eased at all during our stay. In fact, monsoon conditions came to mind when their two dams filled and overflowed within hours. The Sunday morning we were due to travel to the Blue Mountains and we were again advised not to go via Bulahdelah. Another long, long journey via Gloucester towards Sydney before we were able to turn off for the mountains.


Massive flooding at Gloucester caused by the River Avon bursting its bank. Guess what the next town was called????

This the main road to the Blue Mountains.
 Leaving at 10 am we didn't arrive at Oberon until after 5 pm. The distances here are vast and unless you are an Aussie one can't comprehend the time it takes to drive all those kilometres. With me still not 100% after my flu bug Ian has had to do all the driving. He was exhausted by the time we found a campsite and first thing to revive him...an ice cold beer. Tomorrow we will be heading for the Jenolan Caves which has been said to be one of the most spectacular cave systems in the world. A massive cave system with many caverns and the one that I most wanted to do was the two-hour deep river cavern. Unfortunately, my lungs are shot to pieces at the moment and I don't think I would be able to walk the 1,250 steps down and back up again. Instead, the more sedate 350 steps down to what is called the Diamond Cavern is probably more what I can manage at the moment.

The valley at the Blue mountains
And wildlife (more of a moth theme) at Liz and Rich's place,












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