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Published: January 6th 2010
Day 252 - Rye (Mornington Peninsula) to Halls Gap (Grampians) via Box Hill North (Melbourne)!
After a lovely couple of days at the beach house we’re hitting the road once more relishing every chance we have of living in the caravan and waking up to a new view most days. All of a sudden we’re getting the ‘time is running out’ feeling coming over us, so there’s no time to lose as there’s a lot of this vast country still left to see.
We packed up our things being careful not to leave anything behind as it’s a fair way to turn back if we realise something critical has been forgotten. Grant’s still in bed, snoring (oh yes you were!) but fair do’s a policeman’s lot is a busy one so we’ll let him off the odd lie in here and there plus he’s on a night shift tonight so needs to get as many zzz’s as possible.
The girls rush around to retrieve the Beanie Kids who are joining us for the last leg of the journey, they’ve seen a lot in their young lives and what a story they will have when they get back! That’s
one thing I promise to do, write up a ‘short’ story book of the adventure for the girls to sit and look through. Years ago we had a photo book put together (by Sharkman) when I was driving Destiny’s Angel (the silver altered owned by Bernie Nicholas) and Dar was driving Chemical Reaction (our front engine slingshot) and whilst we were at Grant & Anna’s they showed us the photo book given to them for Christmas by Poorvi & Puneet - it was a great way to share the memories for years to come so I suspect we’ll do something similar for our trip. Don’t ask me how we go about condensing our ‘blog’ into something anywhere near a sensible reading size because I haven’t a clue! It will be something to occupy our minds with when we get home though.
We’re ready to go but before we head out of the door we stood with Bill & Helen as they ask in prayer for us to be kept safe during our adventures. We always feel a very special connection with this family and very much appreciate their kindness and generosity towards us both.
And with that we
hit the road with just one last little job to do in Rye before we head back to collect the caravan. It was the simplest of tasks, return the rented DVDs and collect the $50 deposit. It should take less than 1 minute … unless of course the shop isn’t open as it should be when we arrive at 10am. We waited, not particularly patiently, until twenty past when I chatted to the shop owner next door who said that the shop staff were less than reliable and sometimes didn’t open until 11am. How rude! We turned tail and headed back for the beach house where luckily Anna was able to take over the returns and allow us to get on the toll road and take the speedy journey to Box Hill.
Sweetie (the caravan) is sitting patiently for us on the driveway and after 40 minutes of re-organisation we were pulling off and on our way to the Grampians. We had no intention of going to the Grampians on this trip but the Reeves are camped there which is a good enough excuse for us. Our mission over the next couple of weeks is to see as much
of South Australia as time / budget allows and to get as much use out of our National Parks pass as possible!
For the next two nights however we shall be nestled in the Grampians within good old Victoria. Our journey is so pleasant this morning, the toll road may be seen as boring by some travellers but it’s far nicer than driving through the city avoiding the ‘hook’ turns where we have to turn left to go right. Now they really are a hoot!
It takes us about 4 hours to reach Halls Gap which is familiar as we visited it with Uncle David and Aunty Daph a couple of years ago. There are plenty of caravan parks here, none of them are cheap but to the credit of the Reeves they have chosen the one which is the least ‘caravan park’ like and even allows camp fires to be lit.
It never ceases to amaze me how flat some of the welcomes are when we arrive at caravan parks reception and this afternoon is no exception but I’m ready for it these days and am extra nice to make up for it! Its $30 a
night for an UNPOWERED site, good job there was a desk for me to hold myself up against! Good grief, how ridiculous. Obviously the challenge is now on to get the most for our money!
Still, who cares, the Reeves are here! Hurrah! This beautiful family have gone out of their way to meet up with us before they go home and we’re very, very pleased to see them all. They had the most fabulous Christmas down at Cape Arid (166 kms south east of Esperance in Western Australia) where they swam with dolphins on Boxing Day. How wonderful, we’re so pleased they had a lovely time and of course they spent New Years Eve entertaining the campsite at Streaky Bay where they arrived to grab the very last pitch and then partied til dawn!
There are more stories about what Zoe, Ken and Beth had for Christmas. Santa very thoughtfully delivered them a Wii, which of course they are unable to play until they get home because they are travelling without a TV! Good old Santa! Zoe got an iPod, Ken a ripstick and Beth got her charm bracelet which she’s been longing for. Ken’s also been
getting better at showering and recently managed to use a whole bottle of fairly posh shower gel during one wash expedition but in his defence he did manage to shave his legs at the same time!! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. This family is like a glass of the good stuff.
We are thoroughly spoiled tonight as the Reeves have already organised dinner, collected wood for the fire and been to the bottle shop! Good on you! Our little spot at the campground (it really isn’t a caravan park), is worth it’s weight in gold as there’s a BBQ hut just below where we’re parked and it has a couple of electric sockets on the outside. Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more and we’ve soon got power in the caravan!
The evening skipped along beautifully with a delicious dinner that was not cooked by Mr Howells! Shocking I know but of late we have been very well catered for which is giving our budget a huge lift so thank you to everyone who has looked after us recently, in years to come we’ll make it up to you all.
With a lovely fire we chatted and downed a
My Dad in hospital continuing his excellent recovery after the op.
few bevies for good measure making sure we caught up on everything that’s been happening since the party night in Scarborough (December 13th) which was the last time we were together.
At some point in the evening there was a suggestion that whilst the Reeves are in Mansfield returning to life at home (can’t say ‘normal’ or ‘boring’ because they have neither!) we should use their camper trailer instead of the caravan and see how we like it. Gosh, that could be very interesting and would certainly allow us to give the Alpine National parks a good going over! We’ll let them sleep on it and see if they’re still keen in the morning!
It’s easy just sitting around the fire and chatting, so we make the most of it and don’t head to bed until gone 1am. Happy to be back in the surrounds of a national park we slip off for a good nights kip and look forward to tomorrow....and the Rummikub challenges it is bound to bring! Now that will really be 'bringing people together'!
Dar and Sar
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