Pure chance

By pure chance I was driving down a side road in a small country town, and to my surprise came across these white kangaroos in a secure compound at the end of a large country garden.  Many decades ago I saw a white kangaroo out bush in a very remote area, but it isn’t a common occurrence.

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A word from Fred

Hi folks, I’m happy to have a guest post on my friend’s blog, although really I think the reason is a bit ummm……… er…… well…….. anyway………

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It was like this you see.  It was a couple of weeks ago and we were travelling out in the bush, heading north – way north of Port Augusta, back to where my friend had been quite familiar with the area many years ago.  We headed towards Leigh Creek and just before the township turned off the highway onto a bumpy dirt road.  Now things were getting interesting!  And even more so when these big birds came across the road right in front of us – but don’t worry, I scared them away from the van!

The road wound around some really old looking hills.

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And then we got to where there was LOTS of water!  Not that I got to see much of it because of this sign –

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It’s the last point that did it.  I got told to stay in the van while SHE got to wander around taking photos of the dam.

Now that was really unfair, and to tell the truth, I was a teeny bit angry at being left behind.  So I thought I’d get some revenge………….   Usually I’m really trustworthy with any food left in the van that’s not mine – unless it’s the cats’ food of course.  However….. sometimes a guy has to do what a guy has to do………. So I raided her snacks basket.  Yum!  I found a freshly opened big bar of chocolate!  Dark chocolate!  Boy did it taste great!  In fact, I was so engrossed in it I didn’t hear her return……… but she heard the rustle of the chocolate wrapping and caught me at it.  Damn.  And yes, she was REALLY ANGRY and upset and told me all sorts of things.  Then she used that funny thing she holds up to her ear and started talking to someone.  Getting some advice on me eating the chocolate I think.  She seemed really worried.  And instead of us heading further north, we turned around and went south for a long time – and much faster than we’d usually travel.  Not that I minded going fast, it was good fun!  I think I was a bit hyped up by then…..  and next thing we’d travelled 260 kms in no time at all!

Got to Port Augusta and found a nice animal doctor who patted me lots and weighed me (7kgs) and gave me some tablets.  Bah! Didn’t like them anywhere near as much as the chocolate!  And then I was really really thirsty.  By the time we got to the caravan park in town I could have drunk that dam dry!  So I did drink lots and lots of water…. with the result that I had to keep getting up during the night to pee.   But my friend didn’t seem to mind much – she just said she was glad I seemed ok.  I know she wasn’t happy being in THAT park though and was only there in case we had to visit that nice doctor in the middle of the night.  But she really didn’t need to worry – I’m really fit and strong and a bit of chocolate – well apparently about 100grams – wasn’t going to upset me!

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Have to admit, that place did seem a bit like a jail, especially after all the lovely bush we’d been staying in.

Now my friend won’t keep any chocolate at all.  Zilch.  Zero.  None.  Not any. At all.  Ever.

So that’s my story.  The end.  For now……

 

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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 🙂

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

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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.

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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! 🙂