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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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!

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

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

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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.

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

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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……..

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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! 🙂

Preparations

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Days then weeks go by, and still I haven’t posted any updates….. sorry.  So here’s a very brief one.  Things are progressing on all fronts.  Slower than I’d have liked, but still, progressing.  Going through all my personal things, deciding what to keep, what to dispose of, it all takes time to do it thoroughly and with care.  But I’m getting there…. where-ever “there” is!

Changes happening to the van also.  Some cannot take place until January, but at least they are in the pipeline now.  Other small jobs done today and more on Sunday planned.  Once some basic refits are done, I want to do short trips to trial it and then adjust as necessary.

I’m beginning to dream of getting back into taking my photos again – so I can once more share with you the magic of the natural world and all its bounty.  🙂

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Meeting the neighbours

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We’re getting out across the farm more now that I’ve found out the bulls have been removed from the property, and the new stock are very curious and slowly getting to know us.  Moooo 🙂

 

And now it is winter…..

In case you were wondering, I’m doing ok, just taking life a lot slower these days, after a hectic…. um… two years actually!  And I feel it’s just a respite, so I’ve been making the most of it.  The future looks unsettled…. but more on that another time.

It’s winter, and so far there have been gales, fog, frosts, rain, and this weekend snow could fall in the mountains.  As you can imagine, I’m very grateful for a small cottage that is quite cozy especially if there’s some sun about to stream in the sitting room windows.

For now, please enjoy shots of Fred and the cats Frank and Pixel, and the various calves on the property. It is so very very nice to be able to walk out again with my furry friends and not have to worry about traffic – and at this time of year, the snakes are less likely to be active. 🙂

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Autumn

Yes, it’s now just over two months since I moved onto the dairy property near to Port Fairy, and I can’t believe how the time has flown.  Many times I’ve had to change my plans to stay home and relax as one thing after another has landed on my lap, leading me away.  Finally though, I’m settling into some sort of a routine.

Each morning Fred and I walk up my driveway to the top of the hill, and beyond to the grid at the main road, and then back again.  It takes about 15 mins of brisk walking.  The cats usually come only part of the way, and rejoin Fred and I as we return.  I collect kindling for the cottage from the gum trees on the side of the drive to build up a supply for the coming winter.  So far, I’ve only had one fire, more to check that all was working properly as much as anything.  I get plenty of sunlight into the cottage during the day from the northern windows and that’s a real bonus of this place.

Earlier this month my piano finally had its tuning and now everything is working smoothly and it sounds lovely – when I get a chance to play that is!  The piano tuner placed its date around 1905, so she’s doing very well.  He remembered tuning her once before, several years ago, when in Portland.

There’s been welcome rains recently, and fungi are popping up about the place.  While on a recent road trip, I stopped to examine one that grew around the gum trees.  It was enormous!  And it had plenty of family members around the same size not far away.  On that same trip, I found an unrestored vehicle that I’d love to own – a Citroen 2CV has been on my wish list for years now and suddenly there it was!  Entirely impractical for my needs, but one can always dream 🙂