Day 4 - Rest Day in Tumut

Boy were we looking forward to a sleep in. Although it didn't end up being as much of one as we'd have really liked. You make these decisions, you see, then you have to carry them through.

Derek offered us the use of his car (a dual cab ute) so we'd have wheels to get around. Seemed like a good idea.. very very generous of him too. Suggestions of what to do included driving up to Yarrangobilly Caves, though I had thought we could play that one by ear, depending on whether we felt like driving the 80km to get there! One major attraction there that Derek suggested was the thermal pool (that stayed a constant 27 degrees all year round. So it felt cool in summer. (but would feel warm in winter, even with snow around.) I thought there'd be other things to do around Tumut if we didn't, but whatever. I was pretty keen on a bike-free day, and as it was pretty hot, knew I wouldn't feel much like walking up town.

So we said yes, thank you!.. then as we climbed into our sleeping bags, Marc informs me he has to get up to pick up the car at about 7.00 (and then drive Derek on to work). Errgh.. not the sleep in I was hoping for.

So he did that while I guiltily continued to doze while it was _daylight_. Looxury! He was pretty keen to get us up and going, though. Dead set on going to the caves, and he was almost apoplectic when I suggested (while I was still in my sleeping bag) that maybe we didn't need to go to Yarrangobilly. (I knew I shouldn't have had that wine at the Chinese the night before... I wasn't feeling that flash, but I couldn't play on it, as he'd even warned me of the potential consequences - me being prone to headaches - with house wine particularly.) I didn't really understand what the big deal was.. To me it wasn't as if the condition of borrowing the car was to go at least as far as Yarrangobilly Caves. But I capitulated. OK, OK, we'll go to the bloody caves then.

It was late morning by the time we'd had breakfast, I'd washed out the bike clothes, we'd put a bag of laundry in to be done, and we got to the supermarket to pick up some stuff for a picnic lunch. Derek had put his esky in the ute, so, with ice, a couple of bbq chooks, tomatoes, lettuce, fresh rolls and even mayo, we set off. It felt almost weird being in a car again, actually.

About an hour later we get there. Think it was already something like 12.00 or later. We pulled up at a picnic table and had a yummy lunch. It was nice being away from people.. just us. Peaceful, and surrounded by bush.

As we started to pack up the lunch gear he informs me that we actually had to have the car back a bit earlier than we'd thought. ie. 3.00. WHAT?! So we had to leave in an hour! I couldn't believe it. He didn't tell me before we left because I wouldn't have wanted to go otherwise. Damn right.

So we hiked it down to the thermal pool. No time to see any caves. A 700m walk down a steep track (and if you check out the blurb at the bottom of the Yarrangobilly link I included a few paragraphs above) you'll see location of the pool. The blurb is spot on.. and the only difference was that the hillside around it was denuded of vegetation when we were there. (So the walk down and up was even hotter!) Not sure why.. though when we paid our park entry up at the kiosk, I read something about some storm wiping out trees.

The girls would have been happier to have been at Tumut pool. They couldn't touch the bottom (neither could I) - so it left them with not much to do bar hang on to Marc. The walls were covered in algae (so even to climb out they had to touch it, so needless to say they weren't inclined to get in and out much, or even to swim from one side to the other.) Perhaps it would have held some excitement in winter if there was snow on the ground and the water felt warm.

So it was a rush job to get changed, 'experience' the pool, get changed again, then walk 700m back uphill, then drive 80km back. The only good thing about being in the car for a total of 160km was that it had air conditioning. And of course we ran a bit late (didn't factor in Zoe needing a sit on the loo - or the 6 km of winding dirt road back out to the main road!) so that feeling of _guilt_ of being late to return the car we'd borrowed churned in me the whole way back. How rude, when someone has lent you their car, to be _late_ getting it back to them!

And, yes, I was bloody cranky with Marc for withholding information! I couldn't believe he'd do that to me!! I even refused to make the phone call on the mobile to Derek saying we were 5 minutes away because I didn't want to have to feel bad apologising for something over which I didn't feel I had control over. (Besides which there was no coverage 5 mins out of town!)

We had to fill up with petrol as we got into Tumut, just up from our campsite. Just as we pulled up the phone rang (it was Derek.. where's my car?)... I got out, grabbed what I could carry, plus Alison and Zoe, and stalked back to the camp.

By the time Marc and Cait got back, I'd calmed down a bit. Just felt like lying down for a bit. There was a bit of shade reaching near our tents.. (too hot to be in the tent). And only one rug. I risked using my mattress out on the grass. Tried to have a snooze, but the kids' restlessness didn't help. "Can we go to the pool?"

Marc suggested a bike ride down to the river,but I wasn't that keen. So he set off riding the tandem by himself. Perhaps we both needed time out!

He came back and convinced us to throw our swimmers on under our clothes and ride down to the river. It was cold, and fast flowing, but he knew it quite well (from nearly 10 years ago when he had come down to Tumut to learn and then instruct on these Swift Water Boat Handling (and self rescue) courses. (Translation: a bloody great hoot of a time.)

So, off we went. Alison was desperate for a go on Marc's tandem, so she and Cait swapped (and I had to put up with the whingeing from Caitlin because the 'ergonomics' didn't suit her - needless to say it was back to normal on the way back - all 1 km of it). At the river, Marc took us to the spot he had sussed out earlier. A rocky 'beach' to launch from. He gave Cait and Ali instructions, and then they launched out into the flow, and sped off downstream, while I stayed with Zoe, and chatted to this 'elderly' lady who was floating around there in a wetsuit and lifejacket.. a regular thing she did apparently.

Never one to miss out, I had a go too, while Cait minded Zoe. Wow. Rrrrrrfresssshing. (The water comes out of the bottome of Blowering Dam) And a hoot. And more exciting than the Tumut pool. And it was our 'bath' for the day! An awkward change back into clothes, and we rode back to get changed to go to Derek and Anita's place for a bbq dinner. (No, noone was sad about missing the camp food!)

We did have a very enjoyable night there. Yummmo bbq and salad. Just divine. Just what the doctor ordered, food wise. And really great to catch up with Derek, and for me to get to know Anita a bit more. The kids had a great time.. would have thought they'd all known each other for ages. Alison and Marguerite seemed to establish a firm friendship (probably indicative of them both being nice kids) and Alison came away with her email address, and a bangle that she gave her. (She wore that bangle from that day onwards.. and the preciousness of it to her was to cause much emotion.. but more about that on Day 8's recap!) Caitlin played mother to their 14 month old, and Zoe seemed to hit it off with one of the boys closest to her age!

We actually had a hard time getting away.. they kept plying us and the kids with more food, icecream.. lollies!! Enough, enough! We have to get up at 5 am and ride a long way in the morning!!!

>> Day 5