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An invite to a friend's 70th birthday party in Bowral NSW was a great excuse to ‘get going’ again after our first few shakedown trips to Percy's Place – as if we need any excuse!

But this time it wasn’t as close as our trial setups have been – yes it was a whole 1.5 hours away according to Google Maps.

The offer made was to park in the driveway of the home of the birthday girl as all rooms had been taken up with close family and about 7 young kids (several of whom thought they’d like to join us in the van when we did the guided tour!!)

Anyway Ezee peezy… we decided Fri/Sat/Sun would be great – the party was on Saturday at a local dinery then allowed some chat time on the Sunday and return Monday.

Checked Google maps and planned the route – Decided NOT to go just on the Motorway – This wasn’t about cost so much as we wanted an interesting trip that went through a few well known local towns. Well it was pretty interesting :-)

GOOGLE MAPS: The Best Way
The Best Way To Go!
Of course as any good navigator knows it’s important to;

(a) make yourself reasonably familiar with the journey before leaving

and

(b) put the correct name of the town into the system.

Bowral – Berrima… they sound the same don’t they?... well that’s exactly what happened – Bowral became Berrima… the two towns are pretty close… but the trip there was err… interesting – to say the least.

Basically what should have been roughly a 1hr:45min trip towing our van ended up being about 3hours! Yep..THREE HOURS of "take the next exit" to...

The biggest mistake was avoiding tolls & highways! 

So for anyone who knows the area, from our home in Carlingford we did the back streets finally emerging around Wetherill Park/Bossley Park and on to the M7 via Narellan and the Old Hume Highway - Perfect (Brian thought!) No busy highway.

GOOGLE MAPS: The WORST Way To Go!
The worst way to go!

WRONG ... Oh so wrong.... For some reason Google maps thought we might like a quick tour of Tahmoor, then Bargo followed by Yanderra  emerging on to the Hume Highway then the M31 for a few Km's then off again on a guided tour of Breamar, Balaclava and Mittagong finally emerging in Berrima!...

YAAYYY we made it... let's call the birthday girl....

Bowral?... did you say Bowral? We thought it was Berrima - DOH!!!
Anyway the two towns are only 15mins apart so we finally made it.

Looking on the positive side of this trip - at least we got to see some small towns we've never been to before and that we're never likely to see again, plus it was a great shakedown trip towing over some hills and very dodgy roads.

THE RETURN TRIP...
The party was a great success and everyone loved touring our van – we think they might have been a bit envious too of the freedom it offers!....

We decided to spend Sunday night at the Mittagong Caravan Park – 2017 Winners of Award of Excellence Caravan Park .

Clean, friendly although a little tight on some of the powered sites for larger vans but certainly a place we would go back to if exploring the Southern Highlands again – which we’ll no doubt do!

Meantime the trip back was fast and uneventful via the M31 motorway but constantly amazed how there aren’t more accidents with trucks travelling so fast and so close behind cars doing the speed limit.

We just drop back and stay away from all that nonsense.