Rawnsley Park

After I left Hawker last time, I eventually ended up at Rawnsley Park campgrounds.  I had been heading to Blinman but as the day had crept forward I decided not to risk travel on kangaroo roads in fading daylight.  It was a good choice, as even though it was still school holidays the staff found me a relatively quiet powered site and we were undisturbed.

That afternoon, with a little time before sunset, Fred and I took a walk up a steep hill where we could view the landscape better.  We weren’t the only ones up there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fred began making a great deal of noise about this…… and got told to shut it.  I’ve figured out since that he thinks he’s protecting me from them, so have tackled his behaviour differently with reasonable success.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was a steep climb and I was glad to stop and admire the view along the way.  It also kept pulling me upwards…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking down on the campground below, in a north westerly direction. Beyond the buildings is a long stretch where bush campers can setup for lovely private views.  There are also a couple of toilets along the way but aside from that campers need to be self sufficient.  In season, campfires can be lit if you have your own wood supply. I’m certainly hoping to return there at some stage.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This shows Rawnsley Bluff and the little Eco Village – high class accommodation for the wealthy.  There is a walk to the top of the bluff but I passed on that 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Don’t think this land is only grey/greens.  This Cassia lights up the landscape especially in the light of the setting sun.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The type of view I love – no houses! 🙂

It was time to return to camp while it was still daylight as I didn’t fancy finding my way down the steep rocky path in the dark.  It was a nice conclusion to a lovely day of exploring.  It was also forecast to be frosty overnight and we needed to prepare for that.

Next morning despite the freezing conditions, Fred and I were out exploring at sunrise.  More on that next time.

Today we’re back in Hawker, about to head north to Parachilna.  It has changed a lot since I was there last and I”m curious to see the changes.  There’s also an art exhibition I’m wanting to see.  There’s unusually some rain around and I figure I may as well be nice and warm in the van travelling as sitting somewhere chilly 🙂

 

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! 🙂

What did Frank see?

What Frank saw

What Frank saw

Frank has seen many things in his life, but I don’t think he’d seen a furry creature like this before – and just a couple of metres from his back door!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I was told when I first moved here that koala’s would visit the tree by my back door, and while I’ve found their droppings from time to time, this is the first real sighting I’ve had.  It was especially thrilling to find the creature was quite relaxed about my presence too.

More adventuring

Sorry for the long time between posts – it’s been a busy time and getting busier!  Fred and the cats and I are visiting Port Fairy once again – the annual Port Fairy Folk Festival is about to commence!

Each day brings new challenges/opportunities and I’ve lots to share with you once I’ve got a few more moments to spare.  Tomorrow morning I’m taking two lovely young Italian travellers up to Tower Hill, which is just up the road a bit, so they will have a chance to see lots of wildlife in one area.  Recently took an English traveller there, and he was thrilled with the place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd here’s a teaser of a wonderful Icelandic pony I met at the stud’s open day.  These ponies completely stole my heart ♥  🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACatchya all later!

A quiet walk

Although it’s summer, fog rolled in overnight, and it lured me out with the camera just on daybreak.  As usual, the cats came a short distance, then waited in the trees for my return.

Sadly, Mr. Merriwether wasn’t with Fred and I either.  He has disappeared.  The property’s stockman saw him (he thought) last week when I was away, out in the paddock with the young cattle, but mustering has failed to produce him.  The place is quite empty without him, and I feel sad about not knowing his fate.  Sigh…. but that is country life with animals ……..

Compared to other local properties, this place still has plenty of grass, as the owners don’t overstock – so we saw plenty of kangaroos out enjoying the coolness of the morning. The snails enjoyed it also 🙂

Just click on an image and then scroll through to view.

Hopping in

There are many many hoppers in the garden at present, and I took a little time to get to know one…….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Since in order to speak, one must first listen, learn to speak by listening.”
Rumi