Little adventures

Well, the story of our travels continues.  The additional work on the van was carried out successfully, and a few days later we took off onto the road again for a few days exploring.  I wanted to be back in Port Fairy for some activities on the long weekend of June as I didn’t want to travel too far, selected Colac as the starting point.  It’s a nice country town, situated on a lake, and lovely old architecture.  Fred and I took a walk around the town when we arrived mid-afternoon, and then headed out to our campsite for the night, about 15mins from town.  It was a free campsite, and had toilets and tap water and is fine for brief periods but didn’t hold a lot of interest for me.  So off we went exploring the next day, and despite initial plans to go elsewhere, we found ourselves heading into the Otway Ranges. Now years ago I’d put that area on my to-do list, especially when I found out about the Otway Fly.  

However, I knew a brief visit would never satisfy me, which is why I was surprised to find myself selecting it for this brief road trip.  However….. can’t argue with my muse…

Yes, it was truly wonderful,  No, my time there was too short.  Yes, I will be returning.  Yes, it is one of the wettest places anywhere, summer or winter, and yes it does get very cold……..  but doesn’t usually get snow in winter.  Ha!  Despite my non-enjoyment of cold weather, I’m planning to spend somewhere between 1-4 weeks there this winter!  The reason is that during the summer the place is full of tourists but during winter the numbers reduce dramatically.  I don’t like crowds.   I’ve got a good offer at a caravan park in the region, where I’ll have power and hot showers and a camp kitchen as well as a concrete pad for the van and so I”m willing to give it a go!

Later this week I’ll be housesitting for friends again, and so it will be  early next  when we plan to head back to the beautiful temperate rainforest region where time has almost stood still.  I’m not very satisfied with the photos I took on the first trip and am definitely not happy with my laptop for viewing images – I DO so miss my desktop screen however, it is what it is for now…….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Walking high in the tree tops was an amazing experience.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Climbing this 47metre tower as a challenge but well worth it for the view.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The walkways did sway if others were on it – once again a good reason to visit when not many people were walking on it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Naturally there were times of going up and times of going down……

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the really damp areas, the walkways were covered with wire to prevent boots from slipping too much but it paid to keep attention to placing the feet carefully.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was half expecting to see a dinosaur appear from the tree ferns…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What really interested me was finding a black snail……unique to the Otways.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All I was able to photograph was the empty shell of one so guess what my next challenge is?  Yes, a real live one!  A snail that isn’t vegetarian – now that’s something different!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Naturally in such a damp region there are many waterfalls.  This one is Triplet Falls, not far from the Otway Fly.  Gorgeous.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The image doesn’t do it justice.  Hopefully next time I”ll do better.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So there you have it.  For now. 🙂

At last!

Today the sun is shining – in various ways!

Finally I can sit at my own laptop, using WiFi at the council library – in this instance it is at Portland Vic library.  It has taken many deviations to get here, and I’m still not convinced it will be without glitches, but fingers crossed it all goes well.  🙂

For the past ten days I’ve been at Portland, housesitting for friends, who are now on their way back from a family gathering in N.Z.  Before that the Mob and I spent a week doing proper life-on-the-road stuff.  It was full of moments ranging from THIS IS WHY I’M DOING THIS, to OH DEAR NOW WHAT!  Overall though it felt good, despite some freezing cold mornings where waiting for the kettle to boil felt like forever!

The cats and I have developed a routine that is working reasonably well at present.  At first light I let them out of the van, and they can scamper about and explore and attend to toileting  while the rest of the world is still asleep.  Then they are content mostly to spent time in the van, either in their travelling boxes if we’re on the move, or sitting on the bed or their cushion by the window.  At end of day, it’s similar, although not quite as good as the mornings.  I always try to find the quietest campsite, whether that be in a free campspot or in a formal caravan park.  It evolves…..     This week I upgraded their litter tray….. Pixel is inclined to send litter over more than her tray…. and this new one has a lid and a cat flap.  Hmmm…… still getting them used to going thru the flap…. but we’ll get there 🙂  Of course, adjustments have to be made to fit into the small space of the camper, this added piece of equipment………  and constantly I’m doing reshuffling trying to find the most economical use of space.

Next week an overhead shelf will be installed, along with a central roof vent.  That will change things again and I’ll spent a few days making further adjustments.  I’ll be staying in the Port Fairy region while that takes place, and am making hazy plans for heading to a warmer clime now that winter is about to break.  We’ll see……

I’ve been spending far too much time in the past fortnight dealing with tedious issues that took most of my patience and brain power, and celebrated with the conclusion of all that (which I’ll discuss later) by taking off to Fred’s and mine favourite beach in this area on Friday.  Weather was perfect and we had a great time.  Haven’t downloaded images yet but will show them in due course.

Here’s the view from our first morning on the road.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was teeming with bird life especially ducks and swans.  Lots of fish too apparently.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The area we were exploring is volcanic and has many craters full of water and I found it utterly fascinating.  Definitely an area I’ll spend more time in along the way.  Today I won’t go into details, just some images……..

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So far I’ve hardly had time to look at the photos myself, so this is just a quick edit while I’m online.  However, as I say, hopefully all the tedious must-do’s have been done, and now we can all get on with enjoying our new way of life! 🙂

There’s No Romance in Rescue

Relaxed & Forward: AnnaBlakeBlog

It’s my bi-annual report on the animals fostered here at Infinity Farm. I try to balance on a tightrope when I write about rescue. I want to encourage people to adopt and at the same time, not get too romantic about it. I know with bloody certainty than I can’t save them all. I just think that the value of animals in our world is worth our inconvenience.

My little farm has always had an open-door policy when it comes to rescues. In the last ten years, 32 horses, mules and donkeys have temporarily fostered with us for evaluation or training. Most of them found their way to new homes and happy endings. Some found their way to peace.

We have two fosters now. Seamus, or Moose as he prefers, is a Welsh Corgi who’s been here six months. Sometimes when owners give up their dogs, they give a list of faults…

View original post 782 more words

Sun glorious sun

Today it is drizzling rain.  But that’s ok, we have a sheltered place to be.  Tomorrow, the van is booked in for getting Solar Panels to power the lights and fridge when I’m not connected to mains power.  Currently I can get about 2 days from the second battery, without charge.  But it means I have to keep moving, when at times I’d like to stay longer, so it will give me more options and independence.  I’ve elected to get portable ones, so that I can keep the van in the shade, and place the solar panels in the sun, and move them around as the day proceeds.  At this stage, I’ll not install an inverter, as the benefits gained from one I can afford are not worth it.  It can remain an option down the track if I change my mind and is easy to add to the new setup.

Finally, after waiting for months, my dear little Corolla was sold yesterday. It was sad to part with her, but it wasn’t practical to keep two vehicles – especially when I have no fixed residence.  She has gone to a lovely home though, and I’m happy about that.  So the changes continue…………………

Once more, I’ve dipped into the archives for today’s image.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Memories

Wild2My cat Frank continues to surprise me.  Before Easter I spent a couple of days with friends not far from where we lived about 18months ago.  When I turned the van off the main highway, on the route I used to take when I lived in the region, Frank started speaking, as he does when he recognises where he is.  Sadly for Frank, I stopped not at his old place, but somewhere completely different – and one which smelt of DOG!  But when the dog was safely inside his house, Frank could do a little exploring.  Pixel decided discretion was the best bet, and kept inside the van apart from short walks on her lead and harness.  Fred was fine, and if I disappeared into the house, he would return himself to the van and keep watch there.  He was also being very protective of “his cats” which was surprising but nice.

Then we travelled back to where we’ve all spent time in the past, but again, even though the cats hadn’t been there for over a year, they remembered it, and had a great time exploring old haunts.  There have been a few minor  arguments with the resident feline, but I told them the place was big enough for everyone, and it’s settled down for now.  In a couple of days we’re returning to where we first stayed, for housesitting duties, although the van will be parked in a slightly different position.  The following week perhaps we’ll go a little further afield….. 🙂

Got some photos to share… later…. 🙂 But selected this one from when we lived on the Limestone Coast farm property and could do lovely long morning walks…..

On the road…. almost

Just a quick update.  I’ve now officially ‘left home’ or more correctly I suppose, transferred into a van as home.
That happened last Thursday afternoon, and the four of us (dog and two cats) drove a shortish distance to friends’ place where we set up camp.  Then had housesitting duties over the weekend – very easy – and today we’re moving a short distance to another spot on the property where it will be more private for all.  That will be our home base for the near future, while I take time to just be….. and do almost nothing 🙂  Well, there’s gardening for me to do in return, but there’s no worries on that.

Main thing is, the cats are doing well in adjusting to the changes, and accepting the van as their go-to place.  Fred of course, is great with it all 🙂

I’m still getting my head around the changes I need to learn re technology, for my change in circumstances, so no photos at this point. But rest assured, they will come.  🙂

 

The Countdown.

Well folks, in one week’s time, I should be closing the door to my little cottage for the last time.  Needless to say, I’ve been busy preparing for the forthcoming changes – closing down my house, (which has entailed selling, donating, and finally putting some things into storage) and preparing the new home, the Toyota van.  It’s been an interesting process, this downsizing, and I’m sure it will continue for a bit yet.  But by putting some things into storage, I feel I’m not completely burning my bridges, if van life falls in a heap.  Just one step at a time 🙂

Mixed in with the preparations, have been some enjoyable distractions.  Music festivals, short travels, country fairs. All of them I’ve a photo record, and hope to eventually share them with you – when life is back to the slow pace I enjoy the most! 🙂

Just for now, are a few photos of my first campout, when I needed to evacuate from the property for a few days while spraying took place on the crops.  The van is quite comfy, albeit small, and really, I am looking forward to the changes.  And did I mention a slower pace of life???? 🙂