The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere


Leave a comment

Tassie Solos Rally 2017

This rally is the main reason I have been so slack doing my blog since ….  forever! (October last year, actually). I was the Rally Manager and all my energies and efforts were channeled towards creating a fantastic experience for our CMCA Solos Network members when we met in Campbell Town, Tasmania from 28th February to 6th March this year.

For those of you who follow my blog I’d like to explain that our Solos group are motorhomers that travel by themselves – it is not a singles club in that most of us are quite happy travelling solo and not looking for a partner. It provides a safe group of travellers that we can link up with as we journey around our beautiful country.

IMG_7341CT Rally 2017 web

Thanks to George Gatenby, Show Society member, who took this photo with his drone

It was a wonderful experience for me and I loved every minute of the planning, preparation, putting together a week long program and then seeing it come to fruition with the help of my Rally Team, some of the local residents and businesses and of course my sister, Marion who lives nearby.

We had 205 motorhomes of all shapes and sizes in attendance and about 225 people (some couples joined us as they’d heard how much fun we have at our rallies!)

The Campbell Town Showground was a great venue with big buildings and plenty of room for us all to park. It was ‘rustic’ – our main building was a 75 metre long sheep pavilion – and the smell of the sheep never really left it even with all the doors open. Here’s how I first saw it when I arrived in Tasmania in June 2016 and the Campbell Town Show was on.

Not long before our rally started the Show Society held a working bee, so this is what the pavilion looked like without the sheep!

And then we filled it up with happy Solos ready to party!

IMG_7346CT Rally 2017 web

The theme of the rally was Life is Magic so we had witches and wizards, fairies and fortune tellers dressed up for our night of Magic and Mystery.

A spit roast dinner was provided and the night kicked off with our very own witches dance that our members had learned and practised with our member/instructor Karin Kirk.

This was just one of the many things on our program. Here’s an overview of what we got up to during the week…. Programxls – At a Glance

One afternoon we had an Op Shop Fashion Parade where members unwanted clothes plus those from the local Op Shop were ‘modelled’ by some of our group. What a funny day! So much laughter even the townspeople were talking about it!

Our Skit Night showcased our talented members – or those who thought they were talented – and it was another night of laughter and friendship. Here’s our Line Dancers and our First Timers performing.

Before the main crowd arrived on the Monday we had a special dinner to thank our Volunteers and welcome our First Timers. You can’t keep a Solo seated for long when there’s dance music playing.

The local Solos Chapter, The Tassie Shearwaters, organised a great Fun Day for us.  Some of the activities were quite challenging but I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

 

Info Elaine

 

There’s a huge age range among our members and 2 of them celebrated their 80th birthdays at Campbell Town – Nev, our chief bus driver and Miss Information (or was that misinformation?), Elaine. We even found a special booth for her.

 

The local towns people were delighted with the boost to their businesses while we were in Campbell Town. Our mini bus ferried us back and forth daily to the supermarket and coffee shops and we totalled up our shopper dockets at the end of the rally and we had spent over $65,000 in town during the rally. This is a huge amount for the economy of a small town of only 700 people.

 

You can see it was full on and wouldn’t have been at all possible without our hard working volunteers and everyone who came along to have a good time. You made it happen!

Acknowledgements: Thank you to the many members who posted some of these photos on our Facebook page and I have ‘borrowed’ them to illustrate this blog. Contributors include Rosanna Grifone, Jenny McLelland, Fay Byrnes and Shannon Lightfoot.

 

Forbes New South Wales


1 Comment

Fun at the Forbes Solos Rally

You’re probably thinking it’s taken me a long time to recover from our Forbes Solos Rally as it happened nearly 6 weeks ago, but truth is I have been enjoying my travels with some of the Solos since leaving there and blogging wasn’t on my mind. However, I’m now feeling guilty that I haven’t kept up to date so once again I’m playing catch up…..

Here’s where Forbes sits in the big Australian picture. And where it is in relation to more local landmarks.

My last blog told of how hot the weather was and it certainly didn’t cool off for the first week or so in Forbes. The temperatures were consistently up in the mid-30 degrees Celsius which made for very hot days and uncomfortably warm nights. I was lucky to get a shady parking spot at the Rally Site which I was most grateful for.

Rally site

This was the biggest Solos Rally I had ever been to, and I think it is the biggest ever held. There were around 320 motorhomes including 72 First Timers. When we left Forbes and our shopping dockets had been added up, we had spent nearly $100,000 in town – a massive boost to the economy of this country town.

This quick slide show is of a town tour we did that included an ‘art park’, some of the old buildings in town, our visit to the biscuit factory and then out to a local business, woolerina. ….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Most of the activties  though were back at the rally site, where Dave Applegate, the Rally Manager, and his intrepid team made sure we were on the go both day and night.

Our traditional Pet Parade saw pet owners vying for prizes in lots of different categories, although I thought Phil’s cat needed a special mention for Bravery.

 

Great performances at out concert with demonstrations from our dancing groups as well

The Poet’s Breakfast saw a program of talented Solos both writing and reciting their poetry. We also had a local gent perform a poem on horseback..

Market Day was well attended and our two crazy solos, Hilly and Ros, stirred up the crowd with their antics

And of course, our Dinner Dance ….. the theme at this rally was to dress as something starting with “F”……. look what we all came up with …..

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Forbes used to be known as a quiet country town famous as the final resting place of the notorious bushranger, Ben Hall.  I think the 330 odd Solos that were welcomed to Forbes in March 2017 have left an indelible mark on this friendly town and they will be talking about us for a while to come….. perhaps not as long as Ben Hall but in a much more positive way!

Big Merino Wagin WA


Leave a comment

We’ve Been Ragin’ in Wagin

Big Merino Wagin WA
This poem is a variation of the poem I wrote to promote our Solo Travellers Rally in Wagin this year. It was presented on the last night to close the rally and promote our next rally in Forbes, NSW in March 2016.

 

We’ve been ragin’ in Wagin
The Solos Rally in the west
Where Glenyce and her rally team
Have really done their best.

We’ve had the chance to learn some dancing
Or perhaps learned how to blog
Or you might have been quite happy
Walking Wagin with your dog

The morning teas have been superb,
Local ladies made the cakes,
And Glenyce and her rally team
Have coped with all the flakes!

I’m sure we’ve all enjoyed ourselves
There’s been lots to see and do
And we’ve caught up with our solo friends
Some known, and then some new.

Our journey to this rally
Has brought us from far and wide,
We’ve travelled here from everywhere
Across the countryside.

We arrived here to enjoy ourselves
And catch up with our friends
And the rally team made sure we could
So it’s sad when a rally ends.

Some of us are roving
Down to Albany for more,
And I’m looking forward to finding out
What the ‘grown ups’ have in store.

The next time when we all catch up
At Forbes, next March or so
A new rally team will have worked just as hard
To put on a fabulous show.

So write it in your calendar,
Enjoy your journey on the way,
Take good memories here from Wagin
Look out Forbes, we’re there to play!

Rosemary Robinson October 2015

Wagin. Western Australia


2 Comments

Solo Travellers Wagin Rally 2015

What a great rally! it was only about 150 vans and I think that made it so friendly – it was easy to catch up with old friends and make new ones.Wagin Solos RallyThere were all the usual activities:

Line Dancing with Laurie

Belly Dancing with Karin

Pet Parade

These little dogs were not quite so well behaved and cocked their leg on the judges jeans! Wagin Solos RallyWhile these two pets were no trouble at all!

Sports Day with Desley

The Ball – Country Theme

The weather was fantastic – warm and sunny  – and the people of Wagin made us feel very welcome in their town. At the end of the rally the shopper dockets were totalled and we had spent over $45,000 during the time we were there. This is a major boost for a little town like Wagin – home of Baart – the big merino.

Wagin. Western Australia

Baart


2 Comments

Ragin’ in Wagin

This poem was written to promote the CMCA Solos Rally in Wagin, Western Australia in October 2015 and was shared at our Penola Rally in South Australia in March 2015

We’ll be ragin’ in Wagin
The Solos Rally in the West
Where the wild flowers are spectacular
And the beaches are the best.
And whether you come over the top
Or across the Nullabor
You’ll find that Western Australia
Has amazing things in store.

From the pure white sandy beaches
That you’ll see at Cape Le Grande,
To the rugged cliffs of Kalbarri
And the red earth of the inland.
The National Parks provide great camps
And it’s not hard to find free sites,
Where fellow travellers meet for fun
To enjoy the starry nights.

The country towns are friendly
The station stays a must
But the wind blows strong on the west coast
And you’ll never get rid of red dust.
Yet the dust’s like a badge of honour,
It says you’ve travelled far,
And you’ve ventured on those long dirt roads
And not stuck to the tar.

So make the trip to Wagin
Enjoy your journey on the way
Gather lots of great experiences
And we’ll see you in WA!


1 Comment

Penola Solos Rally

What a great catch up with many Solo friends I hadn’t seen for 12 months. Lots of HUGS all round!

I have to say Penola wasn’t the most enjoyable rally I have ever been to, although that is no reflection on the rally organizers – more to do with the weather, which was cold and wet for most of the rally. This really stopped a lot of informal gatherings that normally happen and I found the cold weather a real shock to my system…. I’m definitely a sunshine and summertime girl!

The program was stacked with things to do – line dancing, rock ‘n roll and ballroom dancing lessons plus trips to wineries and the Naracoorte caves. There were workshops for musicians, computers and photography and of course the traditional Poet’s Breakfast, where I told a couple of my poems.

Our Big Night was themed red and white as Penola is in the famous Coonawarra wine growing area of South Australia.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The final day of the rally was our Sports Day organized by Rainey and her band of helpers. The sun shone and it was a lot of fun, with the old fashioned egg and spoon races, tunnel ball and a three-legged race. The highlight, though, was the grape stomping competition. Handmaidens washed the feet of our grape stompers, Tony and John, and then they trod the wine and filled the bottles with grape juice as it poured from the barrels. A lot of fun – and a lot of energy expended by the stompers!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sunday night, our last night, was skit night which was a lot of fun and then there was a promotion for the next Solos Rally in Wagin, Western Australia. Glenyce Mills, who I spent some time travelling with in Tasmania is going to be the Rally Manager and she has a huge job ahead of her. But she is an extremely organised person and I know it will be a most successful rally. I wrote a poem called Ragin’ in Wagin to help promote the rally, and this is what it says:

We’ll be ragin’ in Wagin
The Solos Rally in the West
Where the wild flowers are spectacular
And the beaches are the best.
And whether you come over the top
Or across the Nullabor
You’ll find that Western Australia
Has amazing things in store.

From the pure white sandy beaches
That you’ll see at Cape Le Grande,
To the rugged cliffs of Kalbarri
And the red earth of the inland.
The National Parks provide great camps
And it’s not hard to find free sites
Where fellow travellers meet for fun
To enjoy the starry nights.

The country towns are friendly
The station stays a must
But the wind blows strong on the west coast
And you’ll never get rid of red dust
But the dust’s like a badge of honour
It says you’ve travelled far
And you’ve ventured on those long dirt roads
And not stuck to the tar.

So make the trip to Wagin
Enjoy your journey on the way
Gather lots of great experiences
And we’ll see you in WA!


Leave a comment

Flashback Friday

2014 – After leaving Russell’s and revisiting my Aunt in Sale I headed north towards the Murray River for some R&R on the way to the Solos Rally.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I then made my way to Nyah and caught up with other Solos as we made our way to Balranald. It was time to catch up with old friends…and new!

The Solos Rally at Balranald was great fun and as I write this I am looking forward to the next rally in Penola, in South Australia, in March 2015.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.