We had a wonderful weekend away this weekend. It was our first go at using our new caravan to camp "off grid".
We left home relatively early on Saturday and headed north, travelling through the village of Wattle Flat, with its rustic store.
Our first stop was at Sofala, just to see how everything was travelling.
As it was a glorious sunny morning we took a stroll up and down the main street. Don't you love the rusty roof.
Everything looked lovely and fresh as we had experienced a rather severe storm the night before and over an inch of rain fell. Surprisingly, it was needed. It doesn't take long for things to start to dry out.
Sofala is a wonderful old mining village with loads of character and a rather iconic old pub.
The shops over the road have been in disrepair for many years. Last time I was in the two storey shop would be over 20 years ago and you wondered what was holding it up. In more recent times it looked like it would fall over with a puff of wind.
It certainly is great to see the row of shops being restored, as it would have been a shame to lose them. By the way, see the down pipe tops.....they are the same as the one Mick has planted with a petunia in his shed garden.
I thought the child minding service was novel.
As well as the old timber buildings there are some lovely brick ones
The streetscape has been made famous by the artist Russell Drysdale.
Finally we continued on our way.
We noticed that all the little creeks along the way were running really well. It turns out that they received about two inches of rain on Friday night.
As we travelled along we noticed a sign advertising the Rylstone Artisan and Produce Markets, so, as we had time, we made a detour to the popular small town. It was getting on towards morning tea time, so a good excuse.
Rylstone is always a bustling little place. This store had some lovely bits and bobs. I could have brought quite a few home if I had more time to browse.
The town is always a popular spot for motorcyclists to stop for a cuppa and Saturday morning was no exception. There were a few groups of bikes. We were rather taken with this little collection of Moto Guzzis, not that we are biased.
We made a couple of purchases at the markets. We bought some yummy Mint Jelly and Pina Colada Marmalade from Wild Produce Portland. We also bought some little cakes from a Swiss lady. They were so good and reasonably priced. I wish I had remembered to take a photo. I would have liked to try one of everything.
So where was our destination? Gulgong.
They were holding their annual Swap Meet at the Showground. We've not attended this one before, so it was a good excuse for a weekend away in the van and to try camping without power, which went really well. It was a great little gathering. We caught up with lots of people who come over to the Bathurst Swap. We continued with our decluttering and are happy to say that we came home with less than we took.
We did come home with just one thing. We bought a cutlery canteen on Queen Anne legs for a steal. We have half heartedly been looking for a canteen to house my grandparents' cutlery set, so hopefully it will fit......or we'll just sell it again.
All in all we had a great weekend away. We didn't have to travel too far, had good weather, met nice people and ate well. What more could you ask for. Now we think we will have to scheme on returning to Gulgong on another occasion just to have a proper look around the interesting old town, as it is one we usually just pass through on the way somewhere else.