24 May 2012
Day one in Merimbula as mentioned in the previous blog was a quiet day in the park, I unloaded the bikes off of the back of the van for the two older kids Tayla asked me to put the training wheels on her bike so she could ride, I had them packed away somewhere I just needed to find them however she got tired of waiting and just took off, suppose that’s one way to get her to ride on two wheels.
In the arvo the girls wanted to go for a swim in the pool, now we were not even 100 kms over the Vic border so it was not quite the Queensland tropics, I think it was about 15 deg outside the pool and lucky to be that in the “heated pool”, so the kids had a great time despite the fact they had blue lips and were shivering, so after about 20 minutes I told them they were closing the pool as it needed to be cleaned so it was out of the pool and straight into a hot shower to thaw out.
Whilst I was getting dressed after my shower Maddy
Eden Killer Whale Museum
Kids steering the ship...
came screaming into the van saying there they could see dolphins, I assumed it was her over enthusiastic child imagination, however she kept saying there are dolphins, so half naked I followed her out and sure enough there they were two or three dolphins splashing about in the surf below, more than likely catching some dinner.
Speaking of which we cooked up some snags and veg in the camp kitchen, might as well use their gas and facilities rather than ours.
25 May 2012
Today we went to Bega to the check out the Bega Cheese Factory they no longer let you go inside the factory but they had a visitors centre with some displays and a video.
Whilst there we also squeezed in the Bega Centrelink where Mandy had to sort some stuff out for Family Assistance, the good news is that we got everything sorted, the lady working there was actually quite helpful and competent, turns out we were entitled to more than we thought (thanks Julia). It was also interesting to see some of the local unemployed in their natural environment, I wanted to take some photos but Mandy would not
26 May 2012
Today we headed into Eden to see the Killer Whale museum, it was blowing a gale and very cold, when we got there the power had gone in the museum so the lady let us in for free (winning!). The museum was interesting it had the skeleton of an killer whale (Old Tom) that used to help the whalers round up and catch the other whales that the whalers hunted for their oil etc, the museum also had a lot of information about the history of the area, the fishing, shipping and marine life. During the visit Chloe jumped awkwardly off of a step and hurt her leg, she was a bit wobbly and could not put any weight on it, Mandy dramatically assumed that she had broken her leg and that the holiday was over, it turns out she was fine.
After the museum we went down to the fishing wharf for some lunch were it was even colder and windier, so we just sat in our car and watched the boats get battered by the winds and waves and the seagulls sit on our bonnet waiting for a
crust to be chuck out the window.
In the arvo we watched the Saints v Swans game, as we were in NSW we got the game live, Mandy was glad that the Saints had a win.
27 May 2012.
Today we had a quite day in, Chloe has not been going to sleep at night and kept getting out of bed we have had to sit next her bed and keep putting her back down when she tried to get up, so we decided to stay in the park and make sure she had a big afternoon nap, while she was sleeping I listened to the Carlton vs Melbourne game. After we headed down to the local beach where had a look around at the rock pools and the kids had a play in the sand. We started to pack up and this was our last night in Merimbula.
28 May 2012
After packing up and hitching the van up, it was time to hit the road, we were off to Canberra, but as it was over 350 km drive we decided to drive to a free camp just near Batemans
Short Point Beach Merimbula
This Beach was a very short walk from where we camped.
Bay, and stay there the night and then drive the rest of the way the next day. On the way we stopped to stretch our legs and met some grey-nomads who were travelling up the coast also, we chatted for a while and they gave us some ideas where to go, as they have done it a few times already.
We found the stop easy enough it was pretty basic, it had a “toilet” I use the term loosely as it was a hole in the ground (aka long-drop toilet), and a few BBQ fire places. We found a nice flat spot to park the van, there was another van camped up for the night, a couple with a young kid, they were from Tasmania so I assume the couple were brother and sister or at least cousins.
Whilst Mandy and Maddy drove into Batemans Bay to get some supplies I set up camp, it was our first night “roughing it” without power and running water, I had filled the tanks up prior to leaving Merimbula so it was a bit of a trial run to see how we’d go living ‘off the grid’. After dinner I lit
a fire in one of the BBQ areas with some wood I had collected earlier and we toasted some marshmallows for dessert.
I didn’t sleep that well, every time a car drove in to use the toilet I woke up, and kept and ear our whether there was anyone creeping around the van, as couldn't get phone/internet reception so could not look up to check whether Ivan Milat was still in jail or not.
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