Well, I’ve finally broken down and paid the small fortune for internet access again. I admit it…I’m a junkie! I’ve also developed an unfortunate addiction to Mrs Mac’s meat pies. I’m going to come home 20 lbs heavier if I keep eating them for lunch every single day!
Jindabyne was a bit of a let-down. It rained for two days solid and we holed up in the campervan. Two days in a campervan with a small child…recipe for divorce, let me tell you. That, or child abuse! But, we survived and went on our merry way. We had planned to head through the snowy mountains, but the park requires all vehicles to carry snow chains which we would have had to rent, and the weather forecast called for rain and snow for the following couple of days. The place we were headed had no showers or electricity…. so we decided to head back to the coast!
We stayed the night in a little place just south of Tathra on the coast. I think it was called Hobart (??) beach and it was in a truly lovely national park. We were one of three vehicles in the whole place and had an entire beach to ourselves on one of our hikes. We saw our first kangaroo!! (well, live one, anyway – loads of roadkill here) It turned out to be a wallaby, but we were really excited anyway!
The following day was my first day to drive. The rain had stopped and Grant chose another national park along the coast to stay in for the night. The previous night had been so lovely, we thought we’d do another night in a park. Well, we’re allowed to take the campervan on unpaved roads only if they are “access roads” to campgrounds. The previous day we had survived a 3 km dirt access road into the campground. No worries, we thought, we’ll survive another one. Well, my trusty co-pilot didn’t exactly READ the map, and 25 km of “access road” later, we came upon the actual access road to the campground – suitable for 4wd only…and had to turn around!
So, my very first day of driving a vehicle this big, this top-heavy, and on the wrong side of the road was down a rutted, muddy, narrow, slippery-as-hell dirt track through a forest upon which we saw only two other vehicles in almost an hour. The microwave almost fell off its shelf with all the bouncing! What a nightmare drive! I would be afraid to drive my 4wd Explorer down that road and here we are in a damn gutless motorhome and we probably wouldn’t have been covered had we broken down because we had no business being on the road in the first place! Ah well, we made it out of there and stayed in a rest stop down the road with some Aussies who had almost exactly the same experience with their trailer earlier that day. So, I didn’t feel quite so stupid. I can drive that thing really well now, too!
We’ve been in Lakes Entrance now for two nights and are leaving this afternoon. Got some laundry done and shopped in a thrift shop for some cheap t-shirts so I don’t have to do laundry twice a week. Jessica goes through clothes like crazy! We went for a lake cruise to see the dolphins yesterday. A bit of a waste of money as Jessica was more interested in the captain’s stuffed Nemo character collection than in the dolphins! $90 so she can play with Nemo. We pointed out the dolphins to her and she just looks bored and says: “those are sharks Mommy,” like I’m a complete idiot! Later that evening she went ga-ga over a bronzed statue along the waterfront and the night time lighting along the path. Go figure. At least she doesn’t require costly entertainment!
We also met a really cool young Irish couple (hi guys!) and went for dinner on our first night here. It was nice to have some company who didn’t mind hanging out with our evil child for an evening!
Jessica and Daddy are off feeding the ducks at the moment and checking out 90 mile beach…giving Mommy some much-needed kid-free time. We’re headed off towards Melbourne this evening and will probably just stay in a rest-stop along the way so we don’t have to drive the whole three/four hours in one day. We have to be there Friday so Britz can check the heater for us, and hopefully fix some of the few other small things wrong.
Grant wants to upgrade our camper so that we can all sit in the front seat. He had two days of riding in the back and it’s brutally uncomfortable back there. But, I’d rather put up with a bit of discomfort than pay way more for a bigger unit, and then have to pay twice as much for gas. Gas is really really expensive here. I think it’s about 1.65 a litre near here, and our vehicle just drinks the stuff!
We’ve also decided not to go to Tazmania and spend more time on the Great Ocean Road instead. The ferry to Tazzy takes 10 hours and it’s something like $230 a person each way…plus $$ for the vehicle! Yikes! Too expensive for an eight day trip. Oh well, that gives us more time to hang out with the penguins and koalas on Philip island.
Well – I should sign off and see if these pictures have actually uploaded. I’m trying to upload pics of Dallas at the moment.