South We Go

Week 12 National Park Camping

This post in Francais

A great week spent sleeping in many different national parks, seeing multi coloured birds, being and astonished by the pink lake and the blue lake. We celebrated my getting older on the road, in Mount Gambia. We became cave explorers, and are still trying to find wombats and Reindeer ears for our baby Hippo. We are now in our third state, Victoria after leaving South Australia. Australian people continue to surprise us with their niceness and generosity and the nature takes our breath away each day.

Day 77 (17/11/10) Catching up day

We have been so busy doing other things that we have fallen behind with our blog. So today we spent the day at the campsite with our computers on our knee catching up on what we have not done over the last few days. Of course we stopped from time to time to play with the pigeons and make lunch. I don’t like falling behind with work, it is really a pain to have to catch up with everything, but soon the world will be once again updated on our adventures, just before we head off out of town and have no internet connection.

Day 78 (18/11/10) Student’s Night Out

Having spent the morning relaxing and watching our new series ‘The secret life of an American Teenage’ we spent the first part of the afternoon working a little more on our blog. It feels good to be catching up again, kind of like when you are at school and you miss a few classes and you have piles and piles of work to catch up with.

In the evening we went out to the same pub we were at 2 days, this time to celebrate the end of Shannon’s exams. We met some of his friends, which like him are crazy Australian students and spent the night talking about travelling around Australia and drinking beer. We managed to catch the bus home tonight, after running after it for half a kilometre. I really must get fit soon, after my birthday I am going to start eating healthy again, I promise.

Day 79(19/11/10) Victor Harbour, Newland Head Conservation Park

And they are on the road again, after 9 days in a row at the same campsite we hit the road this morning to leave the city of Adelaide. The first thing we had to do was fill up the van again, with food, petrol and my favourite chocolate biscuits, Tim Tam’s (I have a real addiction to them). We stopped at the Tea Tree plaza to do the shopping, and then afterwards went to fill up the tank. The annoying thing in Adelaide, is that they put up the prices for petrol on the weekends and since it is Friday, we have to pay 15 cents more per little then if we had filled it up yesterday, very annoying.   We drove over the Adelaide Hills, through very nice and relaxing countryside to reach the town of Victor Harbour, which is very pretty and sits on the waters edge. It is the end of the school year here now which means that many students are going on their end of year trip this weekend. Many schools from the city have chosen to come out to Victor Harbour, and a lot of precautions are being put in place to make sure that the students have a safe weekend. We got stopped to have a breath test on the road, which we passed in case you are wondering. In the town they have set up a number of ambulances to take care of any one that may have drunk too much, we will not be partying tonight. We are now sitting at our camp stop for the night; it is just short walk way from the beach in nice green nature. It feels good to be out of the city again. Time to go and cook our BBQ dinner, maybe we will get to see some animals that would be interested in eating with us tonight.

Day 80 (20/11/10) Pink Lakes

Have you ever seen a pink lake? Well I have for the first time today. The lake turns pink due to a chemical reaction that happens with the algae in the lake. It is a pretty amazing sight to see, one moment you are driving down the road counting down the KMs left then you see a pink lake up ahead, no you are not imagining things it is really there and really pink. That was the highlight of the day, other than that, we escaped Victor Harbour in the morning to avoid getting mixed up with the schoolies then spent the day driving and stopping from time to time to take pictures and enjoy the nature. I would like to say more about today, but we did not do or see anything except the pink lake that stands out in my mind, but I guess that is enough… oh I almost forgot to mention that we were attacked by bees in our van because I left a packet of Tim Tam’s open in the back, another camping lesson hide all sweet things.

Day 81 (21/11/10) My Birthday, Mount Gambia

Today we woke up early, after sleeping early, when it gets dark and you are camping there is not much you can do in the evenings. Normally we use our laptops, but they had run out of battery, so we ended up going to bed. As it was my birthday, I got treated to breakfast in bed, quite nice not to have to move for a change. After breakfast we explored the wildlife of the spot where we had stayed the night before and then headed off in the direction of Mount Gambia, it is about a 250km drive of which I did about 200kms driving. I am starting to enjoy driving the van a lot more these days; at first I was a bit afraid. We arrived in Mount Gambia in the early afternoon and our first stop was as usual the tourist information office, where we planned out what we were going to see in Mount Gambia tomorrow. We spent the afternoon relaxing in the campsite before going out for my birthday dinner at a pub/hotel close to where we were staying. It was a nice dinner, but sadly, as it was a Sunday, that is where the night ended as we could not go out anywhere after that. I miss having my friends around on my birthday, even though I got messages from all of them I would have liked to do something to celebrate the day.

Day 82 (22/11/10) Crossing into Victoria

Today we woke up early again, I guess when you don’t have a series to watch you do sleep earlier, it is not such a bad thing as the next day you can get on the road sooner. Today for me was marked by nice people we met a lot of them today. The first nice person we met was a guy in Auto Barn that gave us good and cheap advice on how to fix the small hole we have in the side of our van, when he could have just sold us very expensive stuff to do the job. The next nice person we met was at Target, where we were looking for Reindeer ears for our Baby Hippo, the lady started chatting with us about her son that was in France and told us where to go and find the ears we are looking for (sadly we have not found them yet).   We visited the Blue Lake; there are many colourful lakes in this region, this one is bright blue and so clear, they use the water from this lake as drinking water for the city. Afterwards, we visited the caves, that if you are qualified enough you can dive in them. The tour was very interesting and not at all expensive, we learned all about the history of the cave and its original uses off a nice lady from New Zealand, which manages the caves with her husband. Then it was time for me to go and have my eyes checked, as I need to get new contact lenses. Normally you need to have Medicare to be able to have an eye exam, but as I don’t have Medicare here I thought I would be paying for the exam, but no in fact it turned out that they gave me a free exam, which saved me about $50. We then headed out of Mount Gambia, out of the state of South Australia and into Victoria, the time changes here, it goes forward by half and hour. We drove to a town called Portland, where we did the shopping and then headed into the forest to where we camped for the night. As we were gathering wood to start a BBQ a couple staying at the site next to us told us we could use there BBQ, so we went over and did that. As we were cooking dinner we got to talking and they were telling us about there travels and us about ours and the lady explained that she was making dolls for children in hospital, at first I thought that she wanted us to buy one, but then she said oh no, I would like to give you one. So, now we have a new addition to our family a Rainbow baby called Victoria. Life here is really great, I do not know how are we are going to adjust to ‘real’ life again.

Day 83 (23/11/10) The Great Ocean Road

It is nice to waste time in the morning, so that is what we did today, as last night we stayed in a forest this morning we walked around the forest. For lunch we had very good sandwiches made from the left over steak from last nights BBQ. After which we hit the road again, direction Apollo Bay via The Great Ocean Road. There are a lot more tourists on this road, so the part of being alone in the wildness is over for us for a while, the closer we get to the east coast the busier it will get. The Great Ocean Road is very scenic and there is a look out about each half a mile. There are very nice rock formations in the water here, and despite today being a very hot day we still enjoyed the sites. We had Spanish omelette, which is a cold omelette for dinner with some beers to cool us down. Tomorrow morning we will be waking up at 5 am to go and watch the sunrise over the 12 Apostles, Goodnight everyone, see you bright and early tomorrow.

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