Rainy days 20-27/04/11

Posted: April 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Neighbors, Home & Away and Crocodile Dundee collectively lied to me. They paint a lovely picture of an Australia that’s always warm and sunny, where jumpers are items needed for other countries and where no one has heard of an umbrella. The reality is nighttime temperatures of 3 degrees and constant rain for three days. I’m thinking of writing a rather stiff letter to the makers of these programs to complain! 3 degrees!?! It was a bit chilly that night. So much so that I had to climb down out of the tent at 3 am to fill up the hot water bottle again, as we had both lost the feeling in our toes, fingers, noses and…well, other body parts. Don’t get me wrong, we knew this part of Oz would be cold, but 3 degrees?? Come on! Yes, I am whinging again, I know. The truth is the weather hasn’t dampened our spirits, only our hair, and we are still enjoying ourselves immensely. Most campsites have a camp kitchen, so we can cook and eat in the warmth, Megan (often pronounced Meegan over here, which I find hilarious) can wash up, (I’m not allowed after an incident where cheese was left on the grater), and we can then retire at around 9pm to bed and watch a movie on the laptop. One night last week it was so cold that we treated ourselves to a meal out! Outrageous I know, perhaps verging on decadent and yes, the daily budget took a massive hit but it was worth it to eat in the warm and dry.

We continued along the coast heading for Melbourne, stopping at a campsite near the rock formations known as the 12 Apostles. The lookouts along the coastline and the Great Ocean Road are awesome and even in the grey mist the rock structures that have been weathered by the rain and battered by the sea are very imposing and impressive. This campsite was also the first that allowed us to have an open fire. With years of scouting experience behind me and only three sheets of rolled up kitchen towel, man points were earned as I produced a fire that could be used as beacon for landing aircraft. We were toasty that night.

 

Ever onward our last stop before Melbourne was in Torquay. It’s a haven for surfers from around Australia and there was even an international surfing competition on at the time we were there. Unfortunately registration had closed by the time we wandered down to the beach so we were unable to take part and bust some moves.

And so on to Melbourne. Our timing was bad, as we arrived over the Easter holiday and camping prices shot up from around $30 to $50 a night. After a few hours on the interweb we found a trailer park that we could camp at. It was an interesting place, the kind of place that if Megan had done washing and left it out to dry there was about a 78% chance her underwear might not have been there when she went to pick it up. Despite this it was only an hour on the train to downtown Melbourne and cheap, so we liked it.

 

We spent three full days exploring the city and really quite liked it. There was a lot to see and some interesting buildings to gaze at.

 

The Botanical Park was a great place to relax and people watch and Megan even mentioned that it made her top five botanical gardens list, no mean feat I can tell you.

We were there the day before Anzac day so watched all the preparations leading up to this day of remembrance. It is a much bigger deal here than we have on Remembrance Sunday and you are left feeling that they do it a lot better.

 

We spent some time in the markets, museums and parks before our time was up and we had to pack up and push on. Megan had got in contact with a friend who lives in Canberra who had kindly offered us a place to stay for a couple of nights. We allowed ourselves two days to get to Canberra and stopped at some very nice little campsites along the way situated in the Victoria High Country.

Most campsites ask you to leave before 10am on the day of your departure but this is something we have yet to achieve. Not because we get up late or because packing up takes too long- we’ve got it down to 45 minutes now, but because the Australians are just so damn friendly. People are coming up to us all the time on the campsites and asking about the trip, admiring the car and offering advice on where to go and what to see. This usually goes on past the 10am check out time but no one seems to care and we have met so many interesting people any extra charge will probably be worth it.

On the Land Rover front things are ok, I mean a lot is still broken and leaking but nothing seems to be getting any worse, which is something we are thankful for everyday!

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Comments
  1. robin welch says:

    Ahh, such a sad face.

    Great Blog update as usual, Isn’t it funny that they will nick the ladies underwear and not the mens!

    Best Wishes, robin

  2. Oliver Coakes says:

    Melbourne – 4 seasons in one day!

    Drop me a line when in canberra, would love to have a look at your vehicle.

    Cheers

    oliver

  3. Paul and Cathy says:

    I have see similar displays of Scouting for Boys … only 100 or so years ago ..

    http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/yarns00-28.pdf Page 91 .. spooky or what, must be all those years of Scouting! I seem to remember the Scout Standard required a fire to be lit within 3 matches!

    Still sounds like your havig a blast! Keep it up!

    Paul and Cathy

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