A sojourn in Berry

As a starting point, a little stay in beautiful Berry is just the ticket. Berry has always been one of my favourite towns on the South Coast of NSW. Cafes, arty crafty shops, bakeries, home wares, boutiques, antiques, wineries, lovely old houses, park lands. It just about has it all!

I used to make the drive just to attend the Berry Country Fair, which are held on the first Sunday of every month at the Berry Showground.  (Sadly it wasn't this weekend!)

I can't enthuse about the showground itself, I think I just prefer the wide open spaces that free camping gives us. However having said that, the grounds were clean, the grass thick and soft underfoot with no bindi nor prickles. The showers were clean, hot and hard pressured (no water saving going on here!). Price was $13 per head (February 2017), which the others tell me is a good price.  

 Happy hour with our small group of early retirees before the conference

Some of us rocked up early afternoon and chatted with this couple or that. Certainly we all gathered together for Happy Hour.

The purpose of our short 2 night stay was to fellowship with other early retirees and attend an informal mini conference organized by one of the ministers in our church. So on Friday morning we convened at the lovely old St Lukes' Anglican Church, just down the road from the Showground. I would have also loved to have seen inside the old church (circa 1884).

St Luke's Anglican Church, Berry
A lovely light lunch followed at the Berry Bowling Club, where the food was a great price for a variety of decent home style cooked meals. As the temperature was up int the mid 30's, the air conditioning at both venues was very welcome too!

I love old well maintained buildings ep churches and in addition to St Lukes', the old manse next to the church is just beautiful as are many of the older buildings in Berry. It is a pity the church elders back at the time weren't heritage minded and sold off the property a long time back.

Another lovely church I saw was the Presbyterian Church, the existing brick church was built back in 1934 replacing an earlier buiding. One doesn't see a copper spire very often any more. I feel sad that we don't build churches in the same manner anymore. I hope the people of tomorrow will be able to see the beauty of the buildings of today, which I can certainly find hard to appreciate.

Presbyterian Church Berry.
We went back to the showground after to lunch to spend some time with friends, Robyn & John, who  came up for the day's conference.

However if you were to have some free time to wander the streets, by all means go and see all that Berry has to offer. If you have already done that, then there are lots of beautiful places within a short drive including  Kiama to the north, as well as Seven Mile Beach and Gerringong. To the west a tad is Kangaroo Valley and to the east is Shoalhaven Heads and south is Nowra. All are worth visiting if you want some local drives.

Packing for a 6 week road trip

I am excited and frustrated at the same time. We are hoping to kick off a weekend camp with friends as the start to a 6 week trip to the Great Ocean Road starting Thursday. But I have been feeling quite run down and lethargic after a Shingles diagnosis just 2 weeks ago. Thus I am having a hard time packing the motorhome and getting the house tidy before we go.

A check list makes packing so much easier

I am a list person.  Lists keep me organized and on top of things. My Robbiebago Packing List works in much the same way.  I have included anything I could imagine we would take on our road trips.

The sterile kitchen BEFORE I made it real!
Thankfully most things are already in the motorhome and just need checking off. As we have travelled for many years now, we have deleted many items that we just don't need. Different people have different priorities. For me a couple of books and lots of craft supplies are a must. For Rob, he must have a variety of tools and lots of spare parts and bit 'n pieces (as you just never know when you might need it). This time round I have tweaked my checklist (which doesn't include Rob's tools & stuff) to make it even easier next time. Whereas before I had a list of everything needed in like groups eg Bathroom, bedding, kitchen food, appliances, clothing etc.

Kitchen ready for everyday use
I have now altered it to be arranged by storage location. My list can get quite messy as not only do I cross things off as I go along, but I write notes to myself as I go too! The biggest change is in my kitchen. I have 3 cupboards for pantry items and several drawers. So I decided to rearrange my list according to cupboard or drawer as well. This makes it so much easier for me to check what I have to replenish or bring back from the house (I take out food items to use in the house, that might date if we are staying home for a few months!)

If I ever work out how to post my packing list on this blog, I will do so. However, in the meantime, I am happy to email my list to anyone who requests it. This will make it easy for you to personalize and kick start your own list. I can remember wishing I had someone else's list to help me along the way when we first started caravaning seriously.

My actual checklist in action

Here’s how it works:

  1. Make your own list or find one that is closest to your ideal
  2. Print off your list.
  3. Cross off things as you find them and/or install them in their storage location
  4. This makes it easy to see what needs replenishing
  5. Make your shopping list accordingly and get those supplies
  6. Relax as you start off on your trip, knowing you have everything you need!
I would generally plan my meals for the first few days if not week, but there is just not enough energy or brain power in me this time round. I covered what I would normally do in this post.
This time I am just going to wing it as I go along. I have the basic pantry items, fruit and vegetables. There's a small range of meat in the fridge or freezer and a frozen meal (I was lucky it was from an earlier time - I wasn't organized enough to think of it this time!)

If you wonder how do we plan our trips, then take a gander at this earlier post of when we planned our Tasmania trip a couple of years back. It covers why we free camp and what we look for in a camp spot and what we do when we can't free camp. The trip it self is covered over many posts which you can start to find under our Tasmania trip banner!

The motorhome on a previous trip
As for getting away on time, we will persevere and leave no matter what!!! I am am improving but at least I can conk out AFTER the weekend if necessary. We have planned to spend 2 days camping with friends from our church at beautiful Berry on the South Coast of NSW as our start to visit the Great Ocean Road! If I have forgotten anything, then we'll just stop and buy it at the next town or when it is needed. Nothing is going to stop us getting away. We need this time out for our sanity as much as anything else!

So hopefully we'll see you on the road. Give us a holler if we are close to you or heading your way! We'd love to meet up with friends and followers.