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Hill End, NSW - almost the last camp for 2023

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking of one last camp for 2023 and decided in haste to book two nights at the Village Ground at Hill End for last weekend. Things changed and it looked like there'd be no more camps for this year but at the last minute I decided that I would do one quick night there, just to be able to say there was one last camp for 2023.

Being a one-nighter and being on my own for this one, it was always going to be a super light camp. Swag, gazebo, the little 8 litre fridge, table, chair and a pillow and blanket, along with one change of clothes was all that came with me on this one. I do not normally camp that light but this one had to be quick.

After leaving work for the day on Friday, I headed home, packed the car and headed west, via the Bridge, Western Distributor, M4 (including the new Rozelle Interchange) and then from there I headed along the Great Western Highway. There was a quick stop at Blackheath for a hamburger and chips - the takeaway there is always good and those familiar with Blackheath will know the shop I am talking about.

That was tea out of the road and from there I drove to Bathurst and stopped in at Bunnings to buy some firewood and kerosene. Normally on a longer camp I will take the chainsaw and just collect firewood but again, this was a quick, light camp and buying wood was just better on this occasion.

I got to Hill End by about 21:00 but not before confronting more kangaroos than I have ever seen on a trip out that way. Big, medium and small - they were all there. There was also a wild pig and this is the first time I've had one dart across the road on me in more than 40 years of camping. A photo of the little turd is below.

The wildlife appears to be taking full advantage of the thick growth out that way. El Nino is yet to hit hard and the vegetation is almost out of control. The Government needs to do something about it before it dries out and becomes another bushfire hazard. There was a serious bushfire out that way only about a year ago and all the vegetation has regrown already.

Upon arrival, camp was set up. Gazebo first, then the swag. I normally only use the swag in the hotter weather and couple it with the gazebo just to keep the rain off, allowing me to sleep all night with one of the storm flaps left open.

I then lit a fire and sat by that whilst starting my preparations for this article and watching the wrestling for an hour or so. I am a big fan of wrestling's golden age - the mid-1980s.

Following this, it was bed time and a good, cool and peaceful night was had.

Saturday morning broke and it was time to get up and break down the camp and head to the pie shop in Mudgee for breakfast.

I must say that at no time should anyone start their day without a complete breakfast, consisting of protein, iron, fresh fruit, cereals and dairy for energy and vitality. A good example of this is in the photo below.

After brekky, it was time to hit the road back to Sydney. The car is going well and a recent change of ignition leads is giving me fuel economy I haven't had for a long time. The old girl is 21 years old in March and now has 478,000km on the clock.

Sadly, unless a miracle happens, this is the last camp for 2023. Merry Christmas to everyone and I will be back in 2024 with plenty of camps happening across the state and also interstate.

Written at 20:42 on 17 December 2023 by Lord Watchdog.


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