Nice to be home!
14.12.14 - 17.12.14 22 °C
We’re back on the road after a great week with Joe’s sisters, Marion and Trixie and their families in Adelaide. The girls took us to an amazing Moroccan restaurant, Marakesh, in North Adelaide - absolutely delicious and very different food. We stayed in Marion’s comfy little room and made ourselves very much at home.
While we were there, Marion’s elderly neighbour, Dawn, came over to tell us that she’d been woken in the night by her dogs barking - she heard a snuffling in her bedroom and turned the light on to find a koala in her bedroom. He apparently came in through the doggie door and was about to hop up on her bed. Dawn called 000 and Wildlife Rescue came and got him and relocated him on Anstey Hill.
The week flew, and all too soon it was time to say goodbye. Sunday morning Marion took us to the airport at 5am for our flight to Melbourne. No delays for a change, so soon we were in Melbourne collecting our car and van from storage. All was well, dirty but no damage done.
We spent the day stocking from Uncle Dan and Woolies, washing the rig and driving around looking for a Rebel Sport shop. Eventually we found one at Northlands shopping centre , took ages to find a park, struggled through the Christmas crowds, only to be told they had just sold the last of what I wanted for Joe for Christmas…..see why people shop online! Joe’s shopping attention span is normally 18 minutes, so 2 hours was really testing him.
After a night at Coburg CP we were up early again and off to Craigieburn for the last couple of warranty jobs to be done on the van. In no time we were on the road, heading through the Alpine National Park to Victoria Falls Campground, near Omeo, about a 6 hour drive.
What an amazing trip…..making our way to the top of Mt Hotham and back down again. A couple of times we weren't sure if we would make it, towing a 3.5 tonne van, but our faithful black Cruiser didn’t let us down. The scenery was stunning, travelling through charming little towns, amazing countryside, a cliff on one side of the road and a sheer drop on the other. The trees at the top of the mountain are amazing, Eucalyptus Delegatensis or Mountain Ash - they are so hardy, although there is still evidence of the terrible bush fires in 2003.
Somewhere along the way we had a message from Oliver, in Sydney,telling us about the terrorist siege that was happening in Martin Place, just minutes from his office, and that he was ensconced in his office until it was safe to leave. We managed to get some radio reception to let us know what was going on, before we lost all contact. Arriving at Victoria Falls Campground, the first thing we did was to set up the satellite dish to get some news. Times like this we feel quite isolated - while it’s nice to not have to think about the outside world, it’s worrying to not be able to contact family. We walked to the top of a hill and did get a text message from Amelia to say that Ollie was home safely, but we were unable to reply. Such a relief to know that at least our son was OK. And it's good news that our Chris is doing very well in Brisbane, too.
We feel very fortunate to be in this safe place in the wilderness, while such dreadful things are happening in the world - and in our very own country, in beautiful Sydney.
This spot is lovely, just 500m off the road, down a gravel road to a secluded grassy spot right by the Cobungra River. It’s a historic site, an old gold mine. And it’s free. A few minutes after arriving we had an amazing storm, bright lightning and heavy rain, thunder echoing around the valley, so we settled down in the van to watch the last episode of Downton Abbey, Series 5. There will have to be a series 6!
It’s so dark here at night - no lights in the van, no moon or stars, just black sky - we slept non stop for 9 hours. We have no phone, internet or radio so will spend today reading, walking, fishing (???), catching up with odd jobs and enjoying the remoteness. We have our gas and water tanks full, solar panels charging the batteries, satellite dish working, and have just started the generator for a Nespresso coffee. There are huge mushrooms growing all around us which we will make good use of. The Parks Vic ranger has just arrived to clean the long drop toilets, whipper snip the edges, cut the grass and cut some firewood, so we’ll probably spend another night here before moving to another bush camp north of Omeo. Funny though, no kangaroos, possums, rabbits, wombats - and not even a koala. We haven't seen any wildlife at all, only birds.
A funny thing happened this morning…..I cooked breakfast, bacon and eggs, tomato and local mushrooms (high protein, low carb). Joe sat on the wooden bench to eat, and when I sat next to him the whole table and chairs fell backwards, breakfast flying through the air, us on our backs with legs in the air like a pair of dead canaries. It would have been a very funny sight! Using the 5 second rule we managed to salvage the breakfast before the flies carried it away.
So this morning we’re moving on, into Omeo to fill up with water, send emails, make some calls and stock up with vegies, then on to a new home for a couple of nights.