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! 🙂

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!

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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…….

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Rumi

Go away if you can’t behave!

The Limestone Coast region of South Australia attracts a lot of visitors, especially over summer.  After Christmas Day is when the stupity on the roads increases, along with the increase in traffic.  I’ve been taking a trip out for the past few days, to my local beach, and have really noticed the difference.

Yesterday, shortly after heading onto the Highway past my front gate, a vehicle travelling the opposite direction flashed headlights in warning at me.  Then I saw one of the young cattle from this property on the side of the road, quite agitated and trotting about.  It’s the first time I’ve known one to get out as the fencing is good.  I pulled over and immediately telephoned the stock manager for the property, who of course, responded by saying he’d be right over.  But I guessed it would take him at least 20 mins to get here, so I elected to stay near the beast and keep an eye on things.  I had the warning lights on my car flashing, and flashed my headlights at each approaching vehicle to warn them.

I wish I could say people responded appropriately.  Some did slow down once they saw the animal, who was still moving back and forth on the side of the road.  And some did wave thanks to me.  One woman early in the situation stopped and spoke to me. But far too many drivers, mostly those in large 4 Wheel Drives, King of the Road vehicles, kept on speeding down the road.  One vehicle did actually stop just down the road, and reversed back to speak to me to check if I needed help, and while we were talking, another driver stopped briefly, then left once he was assured I wasn’t in trouble.  My thanks to the blokes who took the time to check out the situation with me – yes, country blokes of course!

By this time, the animal had headed further north, towards a bend in the road, and I kept following at a slow pace, talking to it.  At one point it stopped at a gateway, obviously recognising it as the way into home, but then kept going.

Much to my relief, round the bend in the road, came a police vehicle!  Once they got the story from me, they went back to the bend, to warn approaching vehicles.  I then ran to the gate, unlocked it, and swung it wide open, hoping that the animal would see it open and go in.  The police waved their arms at the creature, who turned and came back my way, and thankfully, took the option into the paddock. Phew!

Then just as I was finalising everything, along came the stock manager…….   He was grateful the situation had been dealt with, that no-one had been hurt, and went back to check the fencing and the rest of that mob, while Fred and I continued on our way to the beach.

Of course, I reflected on the fact that most people didn’t bother to stop even though I was signalling a problem.  What if I had a medical emergency?  Hmmm……

Then today, on my latest trip to the beach, this is what I found on the roadside…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYes, that’s a dead wombat.  This area has warning signs about them being about, and as they are nocturnal caution is needed when driving at night.  But few of the drivers I saw on the dirt road took any care in driving slower on a back road, than when driving down a highway.

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Many wombats in this region are suffering from mange, a symptom of their environmental stress, but this poor creature showed no signs of it.  An otherwise healthy individual who didn’t get to live out it’s life span because of some stupid driver.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI know, some locals don’t drive with a great deal of care either.  But when the number of vehicles on the roads increase dramatically, the rate of road kill increases also.  Please spare a thought for the other creatures who inhabit this Earth.  Driving a vehicle ought to be a privilege NOT a right, as far too many people seem to think it is.

As for driving when under the influence of alcohol or drugs – WELL!  Don’t get me started on the high rate of drug use in this area – especially prevelant is the drug known as Ice – and one of the characteristics of that drug is the rise in aggressive behaviour.  As exhibited by so many drivers…….

And it’s only the start of summer…………