A bad morning and lots of rain...

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Oceania » Australia » Victoria » Dandenong
December 11th 2008
Published: January 10th 2009
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11/12/08 = The worst morning ever

Didn't have a v.good night's sleep because legs were cramping all night - that was a bad start I suppose! But when I started to get my things together and get ready for the day....that's where it really went wrong...

Got out of sleeping bag and saw a couple of ants crawl out from underneath it. Not nice, but could deal with that. Brushed them away and carried on. Moved bag to get shower stuff out and that's when I saw them...hundreds of them all crawling underneath my bag, right next to where I was sleeping. Screamed. Only thing I could do. Tried to move my bag and noticed that they were also crawling all over it. So many that it looked like the material was moving. Scream number 2. Grabbed nearest thing to me = beach towel and started batting them. But they were too overwhelming, coming out of every nook and cranny of bag. Everytime I batted 20, another 50 seemed to come out from somewhere. Jumped out of van and batted bag viciously, like a women possessed. Was at this point that a stupid guy came over and started trying
Me and cute deerMe and cute deerMe and cute deer

Also unfriendly though...really shouldn't have bothered them. Not how I imagined my first meeting with Bambi. Disappointed.
to have a friendly chat with me about what we were up to for the day....just as I was beating my bag to death. Unbelievable! Didn't even really ask what I was doing.

Ants were winning battle, so had to drag bag outside, throw it on floor and up the beating. Then remembered we had ant spray, so started spraying everything in site. Realised I wasn't going to win alone, so ran for Deb in shower, told her state of emergency and she came as re-inforcement. I continued with bag battle and Deb started stripping van. Had to empty and spray all bag compartments and get all clothes out. Deb did all kitchen area because I was in state of shock and not really functioning well. After 40mins of deep cleaning, with a completely battered and empty bag as a result, was satisfied that we had won, so stalked off to shower, never wanting to get in van again. That was down turn number 2. No water for showers because man mending pipes. Had to go back to van with dirty insect feeling all over body. Tried to get some cereal because was 11 o'clock by this stage =
A collection of cool Australian signs coming your way!A collection of cool Australian signs coming your way!A collection of cool Australian signs coming your way!

Been saving these photos for a time when I knew days would come that I didn't take many photos on, and here they are. These are my favourite Australian road signs so far:
kick in the teeth number 3. No breakfast left, only enough for 1. That was final straw. Stuck in deathly ant van, with no food, no shower and sore arms from all flailing around. Had to lay down in silence for 10minutes until I could face world again.

Water did get turned on eventually. Shower = made me feel a little better. Got breakfast from shop = bit better still. By time left camp = my normal self - couldn't laugh about it all yet though! Headed for Dandenong, for a school visiting tomorrow. Did a supermarket trip, then went to find school to make sure knew where it was for morning. Found it easily using giant street map book lady had given us - what a nice lady! Then had to look for somewhere to live for night. Found a park with toilets and parked outside it, although had to park on street, outside barriers that got locked at 10pm. V.mindful of place chosen to sleep, since most of kids from school lived in area and didn't think that me rolling out of a rabbit punch van at 7:15 in my pyjamas and washing in a public toilet would be set the best example!

Was a nice sunny day, so went to Churchill National Park (a place had spotted earlier). Was a fair on in park when we got there, not the $88 kind of fair, just a small gathering. Found out later that they were celebrating Aboriginal day. Pretty cool. We didn't intrude, because felt like a community event, but put our chairs on the field and watched as they had boomerang throwing competitions. After had had enough of sun, went back to van and made some soup and a sandwich. Mastered condensed soup now, although haven't mastered portion control and still eat it all, even though it's meant for 2 I guess?

Our park sleeping spot wasn't available until 10:30, so decided to look for a pub or a cinema for rest of evening. Unbelievably, stumbled across a library in middle of shopping centre, so got our daily dose of free internet. Library lady then told us where to find cinema. Went to Coles to stock up on goodies first, which was a harder task than sounds. When don't allow yourself chocloate and sweets for such a long time, get way too excited when you are allowed it and choosing only one is just too hard! Took a good 10mins, but went for the greedy option. Bought 24 mini bars of snickers and mars (well, Coles version) to share = way too much to eat, but v.economical, so that made it o.k. Rushed to cinema then, but ended up having to wait until 9:15 anyway because had seen earlier films.

At 9:15, went to see Twilight. Wierd film, but really enjoyed it in a wierd way. Finished really late and all complex had closed, so lovely security man decided to walk us to our van to make sure that we got there safely = nice man! V.cold and dark, but drove to night time spot, quick bedtime wash, set 2 alarms to get up for school and then drifted to sleep.

12/12/08 = School Visit

Woke up ridiculously early and caught last part of sunrise as trekked for toilet. Was a much longer journey than looked last night and devastated when found it was closed. Trudged back to van, wriggled around for a while until alarm went off at 7:15, then got straight up for toilet again, praying they were open. Even worse than being closed. A.v.suprised/shocked council man was cleaning the toilets when I tipped up in my pyjamas with my wash bag. Laughed at me a little and I put my head down in embarassment. Decided to wash back at van instead. Got ready for school then (awwww....just like being little again) and then Deb droppped me off at 8:30. Like a typical embarassing Mum, she dropped me off right outside the school gates...in a rabbit punch van no less! Got out feeling nervous about my first day and Deb/Mum wished me luck. Crossed over with the lollipop lady and Deb/Mum couldn't resist waving and shouting goodbye - that's my street cred gone! Hope nobody saw!

School was really good, but won't go on about that here. Looked round and chatted, then Deb came and picked me up at 1. After she had asked me about my day (still in Mum mode), had quick sandwich lunch + mince pie (love christmas), then headed off for new place. Passed a really nice farm en route and had to stop to stroke animals - v.cute, although did think was going to get butted by goat at one point. In fact all animals looked distinctly displeased to see me, which runied my snow white and the animals image.

Was a miserable day of rain, so decided to do big drive. Took a few wrong turns, but eventually ended up in Yarram. Perfect place. Signposts for vans to park up and all right near a library. Result! Had a good hour on internet, then lovely lady even stayed open a little late for us and let us swap our books for some books she had. Perfect rainy day solution. A cold, rainy day = night time reading in van. Got some hot water from petrol station to make a cup of tea, had a bit of chocolate to wash it down (would be rude not to) and spent whole night reading in van, listening to sound of rain as it hit. Rained all night and we read most of night, until eventually fell asleep 😊

13/12/08 = The Lovely Eden

Not such a good nights sleep and woke up to sound of rain again...is getting a little too normal now; can't imagine sunshine anymore! Washed in the usual place (i.e. a toilet), then had an hour on internet before heading off to Eden. Big drive of nearly 500km, but decided to do more driving while weather poor. Only 10days until Sydney now! Passed through lots of nice towns on way, like Sale and Bairnsdale and Deb did last bit of driving to get us to Eden.

Was actually sunny when we got there and drove past a beautiful beach to get to a campsite - really excited now sunny, but were so hungry and tired that all could think about was food and TV. That ruled out a couple of campsites for us, as they didn't have a kitchen or TV room, but eventually found a great place. Straight to kitchen to cook pasta, but nearly ruined whole night when saw they didn't have a hob to cook on. Lucky that a v.nice lady had some kind of fancy pan (sorry Mum, don't know name) that cooked just about everything and she let us borrow it. Made yet another gigantic pasta and then rolled into TV room for night. Couldn't face beach. Had to sit through some really bad TV before some decent films came on and Australian adverts being every 10mins = v.annoying. Watched good film called
Merry Christmas xMerry Christmas xMerry Christmas x

Love to you all, hope you have a fab christmas and New Year x
The Siege, then best film ever came on at midnight. Campsite man let us stay in room and lock up, but Deb couldn't face next film, so I stayed up on my own. No way could go to bed and not watch Days of Thunder - only the best film of the 80's! Watched as much as I could, but then got bit scared that Tramp Man (a really scary, drunk and possibly homeless guy) might come and get me. Had been winding each other up about him all night, and really laughing at Deb for being scared, but as 2am came, started imagining him hiding in shadows and ended up running back to van! Ha!


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