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Published: June 18th 2013
Our Big Fire
It surely was appreciated on such a cold night at Mount Crawford
Waking up at the Rocky Paddock campsite on Mount Crawford Camp was fantastic but boy it was cold.
The camp fire we had was amazing, it was probably burning until about 4.00am this morning and was so big it could have been seen by an overflying Satellite, but it needed to be as last night was brass monkey weather.
Did I hear you say how cold? I'll tell you how cold, when we got in to bed, with hot water bottles deployed, we shut the roof down on Gypsy, so it made our sleeping quarters even smaller and thus warmer, with an extra Blanket x2 on top of the Doona (Quilt) and our Faux Bear Rug we hunkered down and snuggled in to each other to stay warm.
I only had a bottle of beer last night as that is all we had left in the fridge, so there was no need to get out and have a leak up the wheel of the landcruiser, in the night.
When morning came we were both so snug in our nest, it was hard to get going, as we did not
Darren, Jacinta and Zac
want to get out of bed and get cold.
Caroline was up first, I heard her pull the cooker out from its home and the clang of the kettle, so I knew tea would not be far away.
I soon got out of bed, dressed and started mooching around and packing up, I saw the ranger go down the road, I knew we were in for a visit.
Ten minutes later the ranger appeared, I got our permit out of the Windscreen and showed him we had one, he seemed surprised that we had bothered, but was obviously pleased, he told us that the campers he saw before us had not paid and they said they had not realised they needed to pay despite coming here for years.
We got chatting to the ranger his name was Bruno, he seemed a very likeable sort of guy and we started talking about one of the activities that was going on in the national park today (Sunday) which was the dog mushing and we said if we didn’t have to be somewhere else we would have loved to have seen
it and explained about the lady that we met yesterday.
Well we said to Bruno that we had to carry on with packing up and it was good to meet him, he was happy with the fact that we had paid our dues and bothered to complete and pay for our parks permit.
By 9am we were all packed up, pulling out and soon heading out of Mount Crawford on route to Mylor in the Adelaide Hills.
We had a lunch invitation from an associate of mine whom I worked closely with, Darren, had long since invited us to his place in Mylor if we were in the area and when we were working together I had heard so much about his place Allambie, which means “A quiet resting place” and is a nature reserve.
The company who Darren worked for at the time used to provide us with our radio communications and as it was such as big network, we were always on the phone and Darren would always tell me what was happening with his many animals at Allambie, fantastic names like Ralph the Wallaby, who
What a wow moment
had his sun spot on their veranda and Grumpy Bum who was a resident Koala.
Well you know by now how made keen we are on wild animals and we just could not wait to see Darren and his family and what was going on in their lives.
It was a beautiful drive from Mount Crawford, but as we had left without getting any breakfast we decided to get some on route so stopped in a town called Birdwood as we spied a group of motorcyclists outside a café called the Pomegranate, and if you see a group of motorcyclists on a Sunday outside a café, it generally means there is a good breakfast to be had, so went in and had coffee and a toasted bacon and egg sandwich which was just delish.
Back on the road again, we were only about 40 minutes away, so we gave Darren a call and said we would be there at 11.00 O’clock, he advised us to give him a call when we were just at his gate as he would need to switch the electric fence off and let us in.
It was about 3 minutes to eleven when we pulled up and as directed, we phoned Darren and told him we were outside.
Two minutes later, Darren was coming down the hill on his John Deere, front end loader Tractor, with his son Zac, sharing the seat, Darren said that when the electric gate was open, we had six seconds to get through, before the gates would start to close.
He told us to follow the blue road up the hill and park up by the house. The gates opened and we proceeded through and up the Blue road we went with Darren and Zac following us.
It was one of those wow moments when you see someone’s house for the first time and this was one of those moments, the views over the area were simply stunning, they were surrounded by trees and thus not overlooked in anyway.
It has probably been a year since we last had dealings with each other and it was great to see him again, he very graciously welcomed us to his home, and as the sun was out we
sat outside on the veranda in the sun overlooking the Adelaide Hills, we talked and drank tea as if not a heartbeat had even passed since we last work together.
Soon, Darren’s wife Jacinta and his older son Angus joined us and we started to talk about their nature reserve, Darren looked disappointed and said that over a period of 9 months foxes had got in and killed 99 of the hundred wallabies they had had and at this point he could not definitely say if they had been successful in ridding the reserve of the foxes, they would not restock with animals even though many people had offered.
He said that Jacamo was the only Wallaby left in the reserve and if we were lucky, when we leave we may possibly see him sunning himself down by the old cottage.
As for the Koala, (Grumpy Bum) he could be anywhere within the 19 acres they have, they do hear him and they think he may have a lady friend in the area as they do hear GB calling.
It was lunch time and the BBQ food that had been prepared was done and served, it looked awesome, we sat in the dining room, that has a huge picture window, looking out over the Adelaide Hills, what a stunning view.
Lunch was lovely with Darren and his family, their house is stunning, they had done a lot of the work themselves and he had just completed a deck on the top of the 30,000 litre water tank, which otherwise would have been a miserable grey concrete eyesore, so this was making the best use of the area and kept it aesthetically pleasing. There is no town water here (just like Woodstock), they have to rely on rain water harvesting and with the size of roof they have, every 1mm of rain on the roof will add 450 Litres of water to the tank.
By 3pm we needed to be off, we had already encroached on their family time and we needed to find somewhere to park Gypsy for the night, and there really is no free camping in this area (not for miles) so our only option was to look for a caravan park.
We took a slow drive back through the nature reserve trying to look for Jacamo, but he was not to be found. We got to the Automatic gate, where we had 6 seconds to exit once the door was fully open.
Our trip to Hahndorf was only about 10 minutes, it was not long before we had found a site, paid and set Gypsy up for the night, it was still lovely and sunny so we got some laundry on the go and then headed up to the small town centre of Hahndorf for a quick look.
As Darren had told us, the main road through is fairly narrow, with parking on both sides, there would not be much room to manoeuvre with the trailer, as it was dark by now, the lights were on and many places had lovely white fairy lights twinkling, the town looked so idyllic.
Back at camp, the washing was transferred from the washing machine to the tumble dryer, it looks like Caroline has taken to running up and down the slope for some exercise.
We did not really need dinner as we had had such a big lunch, so when we got hungry it was just a sandwich.
Once again making sure we were snug, warm and cosy in our little home
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