|Next morning we woke up to ice on the car but lovely clear skies. We started to do the pack up when Ken noticed a pool of green coolant underneath the car. He checked underneath and water was dripping out of the car at an alarming rate and the coolant reservoir was empty. Not happy Jan!! Before leaving the Sunshine Coast we had the car serviced and all the hoses checked so could not work out why this would be happening. Given that we would be pulling the van down then up Mount Victoria today we were quite concerned. We asked the van park managers where we could find a mechanic and quickly drove there for him to check it out for us. And wouldn’t you know it – he couldn’t find a thing wrong with it. He pressure tested the radiator and hoses but of course they did not leak at all!! He tightened up the hose clamps slightly in case that had been the cause but other than that it was a complete mystery. So back we went and quickly finished loading up so that we could check out on time. We made sure we had plenty of water with us but thank goodness she completely behaved herself the whole way and has done so ever since. The only thing we could think of was that Bessie too did not like the cold and this was her way of letting us know!! Very strange!
Today our travels took us from the Blue Mountains to Bathurst. We were a bit regretful that we had not had enough time to stay longer in the Blue Mountains but once again have marked it as a place definitely worth re-visiting. The drive into Bathurst was just lovely – I have to say I am really impressed with the NSW landscape. The rolling hills and pasturelands are dotted with the cutest buildings – some obviously very old and the road verges are lined with the glorious yellow of the springtime blooms.
As we approached the township Ken started to get very, very excited until – there it was – Mount Panorama. It has been one of Ken’s goals to come to Mount Panorama and drive the Pumpkin around the racetrack and now that we were here it was about to happen – and happen now!! We had a quick stop into the tourist bureau to get the drill then straight to the racetrack we went. We actually timed it really well as today is Thursday and the track will be closed down to public traffic on Saturday to get it ready for the 2010 Bathurst 1000 being run the weekend after. Well the Pumpkin did her lap (can’t say we broke any records though with our speed ranging from 30 to 60 kms. It did give a great feel for the track and I know that Ken’s excitement as he watches the next race on TV will be greatly enhanced having been round the circuit himself. We did feel such a momentous occasion was worth recording so I took a video of our lap and we were presented with a certificate to verify the Pumpkin’s achievement (well OK – we actually had to pay for it but it was well worth the $3.00!!). Oh and our time around the lap - 7 minutes and 53 seconds - I have no idea how they get around it in 2 minutes - NUTS!!
Having achieved this we then went looking for our caravan park. Parked up (no slopes this time thank goodness!) unhitched the car then went back into town. Did another lap of the track (me driving this time), quick photo of Ken with Peter Brock and a browse in the Raceway shop. We were going to have a look in the museum but decided not to fork out the entrance fee – the dream had been achieved so there was not really any need to go in there. We then had a little drive around town – some absolutely beautiful old buildings dating back to the settlement of this area. Apparently Bathurst was the first inland city to be settled and being a gold mining town the evidence of the wealth of the area is shown in the buildings. A beautiful little town.