Monday, 28 May 2012

From Victoria to New South Wales

May 22 – Lakes Entrance
After a leisurely pack up this morning we drove back up the road into town a short ways and up the big hill to the look out. We took a few pictures before heading back down. We parked at the pier and had been told by our hosts last night that we should be able to buy seafood fresh off the boat. We walked down one dock to a boat but their seafood sign was covered up so we just asked the best spot to buy some prawns. He pointed us to a boat a couple of docks down. We bought ½kg of prawns and ½kg of bugs. Bugs are like a lobster/cray fish with a very flat head. We took our goods back to the van were able to squeeze our kilo of seafood into the fridge, barely. We headed down the strip a short ways to the main beach. You have to cross a footbridge over a lake to get to the ocean. We took a leisurely stroll down the beach. Beau and I get a little used to power walking sometimes and we have to consciously slow ourselves down. At our caravan park we had received $2.50 off vouchers for drinks at a near by bar so after our walk we went for a beer. We enjoyed a lager from the Blue Tongue Brewery for only $2.40! It was nice to have a beer at a lake side bar. Our beer sparked our hunger so we headed back to the van for some shrimp, crackers and cheese for lunch. Our journey took us to Croajingolong National Park with a stop at Cann River for gas. While Beau was filling the tank I was sitting in the front minding my own business when a tendril of smoke/steam drifted past my face. I was coming from the engine. I hopped out of the van lickity split and got Beau. We opened the compartment and it looks like it was just coolant from the overflow. We had been going hard up and down some hills to get here and I guess the cooling system was working over time. We figure since back in the 80's they weren't so worried about leaking anti-freeze all over which is why there was no overflow reservoir. So to our relief it was steam I saw from the anti-freeze dripping onto the hot engine. Pheww... I think I lost some minutes off my life though. We headed down to Thurra River Camp ground in the national park but it was starting to get dark and the road turned to dirt for about 25km till we got to the camp. That was a very bumpy ride and we were feeling very rattled. The park was unmanned when we arrived in the dark and didn't see the honesty box when we pulled in either. We figure we'll deal with it in the morning. We got park and set-up and had a little check of our new battery to see how it's doing. It was only sitting at about 8V! Crap we checked out some other things and it looks like our battery isolator wasn't clicking on. Beau and I were feeling very down trodden at the point. To top things off all the seafood we had bought which we assumed would do dinner for tomorrow as well had to be consumed tonight. So we ate our shrimp and bugs for dinner. The bugs were yummy though very much like lobster. Our lights were on the dim side since the battery was low but we managed to play some crib before bed.

Looking over Lake Entrance

The main beach

Mr Pelican
May 23 – Croajingolong National Park
Beau and I had a slow start to the day. But we eventually dragged ourselves out of bed and set up the table and chairs in the sunshine. While enjoying our breakfast we had some kookaburra observers and I got a bunch of photos and a couple of great shots. When we started up the van it was tremendously noisy! We drove a short ways down the road to the parking lot for Point Hicks Lightstation. Beau had a look under the van and it looks like the exhaust pipe had broken where it meets the muffler. Probably had been cracked before and rattled off on our bumpy dirt road drive. If it's not one thing it's another. We've decided that maybe it's Victoria that's been giving us bad luck and it'll be rainbows and pots of gold once we cross the boarder. We had a nice walk to the light house this is apparently where Cook first sighted Australia and named the point after the Lt who actually sighted land in 1770. There was a cool distance dial at the point; from here Antarctica is closer than Darwin as is New Zealand! We walked back to the van and then down to beach for a nice little walk. We've been taking loads of great beach walks in Australia. After our walks Beau had another look at the exhaust pipe and rigged it so it wouldn't bounce around too much on our drive out of here. We left the national park via it's twisty, turny, bumpy road but they are doing road works to smooth out some areas so it's good to know the camp fees are going to good use. We did take one very hard turn and the battery went sliding out of its spot. Beau had screwed a piece of wood in front of the old battery to keep it in place but the new battery is a little longer so is currently not wedged in place properly. We are going to fix this but the screws Beau used have a Robertson head on them and the screw driver set we bought doesn't. It's about as easy to find a Robby here as it would be in the States! Anyways, we pulled over and I put the battery back and while there I decided to have a quick peek at the voltage. Low and behold our bouncing around had shaken some sense into the isolator so it had started charging the battery again! We drove on wards to Mallacoota which was our stop for the night. Mallacoota has a series of lakes around it leading into the ocean. Along the foreshore there was a council run holiday park and we got a site for just $12! We also asked about a mechanic and were pointed to the shop just up the road. We took a quick stop in and made an appointment for the morning. There was a kitchen shack at the campground with a nice fire burning away. We did some laundry too while there, we were running low on socks. After some dinner we chilled in the lodge and played some crib by the fire. There was free wifi but sadly it wasn't working for us. 
Our Kookaburra

The Light House

Point Hicks

The Beach

Mr Pelican
May 24 – Biking in Mallacoota
We were up early for Dotti's 8am appointment. Beau took the van over while I took breakfast supplies to the kitchen. We figured if it was going to take a bit he would just bike or walk back down. While I waited I had coffee and worked on the computer a bit. Beau took about 45min and $60 later the mechanic had welded the exhaust pipe back together. Nice to have that taken care of fairly easily. We had breakfast and got talking the a group in the kitchen about our trip. They gave us all kinds of tips and we highlighted a bunch of places on our map to go to. They set off to go fishing, Mallacoota is a major fishing hub, and we had showers. Then we tried to get the bike off the bike rack. We got the one bike off okay but the second knob wouldn't budge. It was being locked in place by the force of the metal pushing against it. I had to reef down on the rack while Beau tried to turn the knob. We finally got it after quite some effort. We went for a nice little bike ride along the boardwalk/path that ran along the lake edge. The day was warm, I had shorts on, but a bit overcast. We had many pelican sightings and enjoyed a granola bar on a dock before heading back. We made ourselves cheese, avocado and grilled tuna with garlic and onion toasties for lunch on park bbq. We left Mallacoota and shortly after entered New South Wales. It's a new state and hopefully better luck for Dotti. We only did a little driving today and stopped at a rest area a little ways off the highway called Scrubby Creek. We were set back from the highway a bit and there were a bunch of trees all around. We hung out for a bit, I read while Beau serenaded me with the guitar. We made a vegetarian concoction for dinner and then it started to rain a bit. After dinner proceeded much like before dinner only both of us were reading.


May 25 – Eden
We completed our usual morning routine and hit the road for Eden. Once in Eden we went to the information center to find out about grocery stores, things to do in town, and about where to stay for the night. We got some tips on a few nice walks and where a good fish and chips place was. The mention of fish and chips made my mouth water. We headed down to the sea side for a historic walk along the beach. Into the concrete were stamped images depicting significant vessels in the towns whaling and seafaring history. There were little information plaques to go along with the pictures. After that walk we drove through “down town” Eden and on to a look out point. The look out was over Twofold Bay and the other side was Ben Boyd National Park. We enjoyed the view and then followed the Rotary Walk along the cliffs edge to some more stunning view points. After taking a ton of photos our tummies were rumbling so we treated ourselves to fish and chips for lunch! After stuffing ourselves we went to the Eden library and got ourselves updated. I hate to be inside on such a gorgeous day but duty calls. After updating our fans back home, jk, we got some groceries and gas and set off for our campsite for the night. We had planned on staying at Hobarts Beach in Bournda National Park but when we arrived down there it would cost $10/person/night plus a $7 a day fee. So it would cost us $27 to stay at a national park. We said f-that, made few calls and found a caravan park in the next town with a powered site for $21, Bingo. We headed into Tathra and found Tathra Beach Motor Village where we stayed for the night.
Eden Beach
Twofold Bay

Ben Boyd National Park

May 26 – Mimosa National Park
We had a deliciously different breakfast of bacon, avocado, tomato, and cheese toasties. Yummy! It was a delightful change from oatmeal. We had a check of the battery since we had our mini fridge running all night and it seems it chews through a lot more power than we thought since the battery was down to 1V. There goes our brilliant battery/fridge setup. We set off for the day to Mimosa National Park which was only a short drive up the road. This National Park was still going to cost us $20/night but at least there was no day fee. We took a stroll along the rocky beached and watched the surf come crashing in. We then took some stairs up to where there was a board walk and an Aboriginal Midden. The Midden contained artifacts and signs of Aboriginal use of the area like shells and fish bones. After our nice walk we decided to switch to the next camp area over since there was flatter ground and better facilities. We checked on the battery to see how much it had charged but since we only drove for about 20min it had only made it up to 8V. We'll have to run the van later to get it up higher. We had noticed the other night that our reverse lights didn't work and one of our brake lights was out. The brake light bulb needs to be replaced but it looks like there is an issue with the reverse light switch. We took apart the column to see if we could see a switch and had no luck. Since we had it apart anyways Beau had a look at our hazard lights switch since it wasn't working either. Turns out the contacts were filthy so he cleaned them up and now our hazards work like a charm. We headed over to the picnic tables and on our way we saw a lyre bird. They have these crazy peacock like tails and it was all fanned our over top of the birds body as camouflage. Beau ran back to grab the camera but of course in the mean time he had moved and ran away. They are master mimics and he sounded like R2D2 some times and other times like a kookaburra. We ate our lunch of leftover curry on crackers before heading back to the van. Back at the van we could hear the “song” of the lyre bird in the forest behind us. We armed ourselves with our cameras and set off on a photo hunt. We caught some good shots of the bird but none with his tail open. We did see him glide down off a big rock, I'm not sure if they really fly. We got a little fire going and hung out around it for the last bit of the afternoon, me reading, Beau playing guitar. We started to make some dinner and the lights in the van failed us. I started her up and got the engine going a bit. We tried to check the battery but it appears at some point while working on the van our multimeter stopped working too. Oi! There's always something. We finished making dinner by headlamp and candle light. After dinner Beau took apart the multimeter and was able to figure out what was wrong with it and sort of fix it. We hung out in the van with wine and candle light, not to mention headlamps for reading.
The Beach

Mimosa Rock

The Lyre Bird

The Lyre Bird

Thursday, 24 May 2012

East Gippsland

May 17 – Wilsons Promontory
As we pulled out from the camp ground a kangaroo hopped across the road. Definitely need to keep an eye out for animals out here. We were headed to Wilson's Promontory National Park and had another beautiful day for it. As we entered the park there were all kinds of wildlife warning signs up and one advising you to get off the road if you stopped for wildlife. At one point there was an emu crossing sign which seemed pretty ridiculous to us until shortly afterwards there was an Emu on the side of the road. We stopped for a bunch of photos and then as we started off again we saw another one going off into the trees. Pretty Crazy! We stopped at a few scenic lookouts and enjoyed some breath taking views before stopping at Tidal River Campground. We got the low down on the walks in the area, unfortunately a bunch were closed due to severe flood damage last year. We picked out our campsite and ate some lunch. Then we headed off for a walk to Pillar Point. Along the way we had some awesome wildlife encounters. We had a kookaburra flying just ahead of us for a little bit and then there was a kangaroo chilling on the path. We got some photos of him before he meandered off the path. Up at the point we had some spectacular views of the coastline and the different islands just off shore. The sun wasn't right for photos in the one direction so they wont do justice to the view. We took a different route back to the camp called “Tidal Overlook” and got some more great views of the coast. This is about as south as you can get in mainland Australia. We really enjoyed sitting and soaking up the fantastic views on top of the point. When we got back down we attempted to sit outside but it was a little brisk. Beau made us tea while I bundled myself inside (I'm currently crocheting myself a toque). We found the battery was oddly low and it was quickly depleted even though we were only using out little lights inside. We made some tomato/garlic/bean soup for dinner and then started up the van to charge the battery up a bit. We are going to go into the store we purchased the battery from because it looks like we might have a dud. We did see a bunch of wombats wandering the park as well as some nasty possums.

Look out view

Tidal River
Kangaroo in the path
No Justice
The view back towards the campground

May 18 – Reves Beach
It was pretty chilly last night but not unbearable once huddled under the blanket. It was warmer when we woke up this morning but it was also overcast too. It was very windy so we decided against hiking up a mountain. We made our way out of the park and saw some kangaroos hanging out on the side of the road. We stopped in the little town of Foster for groceries and gas. We also popped into the information center/library and used their free wifi. I hadn't really gone through my pictures or written up on the computer so I couldn't do much of a blog post. We continued on to our free campsite for the night called Reves Beach. It was a little bit bumpy to get down here and it's not the nicest of campsites but for the price it'll do. We took a nice little walk along the beach and then read in our chairs outside till it got too chilly for that. We have the ocean to lull us to sleep tonight.

May 19 – Paradise Beach
It was raining a bit when we first woke up but fortunately it subsided before we got up. The sun had come out and we enjoyed our breakfast outside in the sunshine. We headed out and onward to our next stop which was Paradise Beach. This beach is a part of 90 Mile Beach as was Reves Beach. It was a nice little campsite. Beau and I took a long leisurely walk on the beach but it was too cold to go barefoot. After we came back to the camp we set up the chairs and tried to enjoy the great outdoors. Beau played some guitar and I crocheted until our fingers got too cold. Sadly it was cloudy and there were surprisingly quite a few mosquitoes out, or mozzies as they call them here. I thought it would be too cold for the skitters but I was wrong. We ended up being driven inside.
May 20 – Sale
It was a clear sunny day when we awoke and we took full advantage it by setting up our chairs and table outside in the sunshine. We enjoyed our oatmeal and coffee and warmed ourselves in the sunshine. After breakfast we finished packing up and headed off again. As we got into the town of Sale we saw a market going on. It was mainly a flea market with people selling all kinds of stuff, tools, clothes, books, knick knacks, and also some vegetables. We bought a wack load of carrots and some red peppers for pretty cheap. We had a little walk around and then down along the river. This town was apparently very important back in the day as a main thorough fair for goods coming up from the ocean. After our little walk we bought a burger from a bbq stall at the market. The burgers were good with “salad” (coleslaw), egg, beets and onion but they were missing the cheese. We went to the information center and got loaded up with pamphlets for our future route. While in town we got some groceries as well as some odds and ends from the dollar store that we needed. Beau also picked up a guitar booklet so we can have a little more variety in his song playing. We filled up with petrol headed out of town. Our free camp spot for the night was a roadside rest stop. Not the nicest of places but there were bathrooms and I think any caravan park nearby would have been on the roadside too. I figure it's better to have free highway noise than pay for it.
May 21 – Dotti gets an Oil/Coolant Change
After a not too restful sleep we awoke to a little bit of frost on the windows! It was definitely brisk last night. Our stove just managed to last us for breakfast before the fuel conked out. We headed into the town of Bairnsdale where Dotti had an appointment with a mechanic. She needed her first oil change and a coolant flush. We went into the visitors center and got some info on the town and surrounding area. Across the road from the center was an Autobarn, the store where we had purchased the battery from. We went in to see what they could do for us and fortunately the guy knew what he was talking about and had a check of the battery and said it was a dud. They had to call our original store to find out what they could do for us since they didn't have the same battery in stock. We got lucky though and they straight up swapped it for a better battery they had in store. It probably costs about $50 more than the one we had originally purchased. Saweet! After our battery score we went into a camping store to check out stove options. Ingo and Monique had given us a small propane tank they had kicking around so we were trying to figure our whether we should stick with the small camping stove we have and buy canisters every two weeks for $12 a piece or get a new stove top and fill our propane tank. We found out some information from the camping store dude and decided to go with the propane tank set up although we weren't going to buy the stuff from the camp store since it was way more expensive, go Super Cheap Auto. We took the van to the mechanic then walked back to the library to use the internet. We stopped into K-Mart first and Beau bought a new cotton t-shirt. We are also on the look out for a new travel game since you can only play crib so much. At the library I got my blog a little up to date with some pictures and Beau did the same with his website. We then went to pick up the van and just under $200 later she's ready to keep going. We headed towards Lakes Entrance to a Caravan Park for the night and a hot shower. It's been much too long since we've been clean. While we made dinner we chatted with the Aussie couple who are the park managers as for four weeks ago. They were very nice a let us hook up to power without charging us for it! Beau and I both had stinking hot showers and loved every minute of it. Tonight is much warmer than last night which is a blessing.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Healesville Sanctuary and Phillip Island

May 14 – Healesville Sanctuary
We were up early this morning to say good bye to Monique and Ingo. We are sad to say so long but happy to get moving. We spent the morning get all packed up and organized. We popped out for gas, groceries and cash, we need to leave some rent money. Then we had to say goodbye to our four legged friends. I'm going to miss Snowy and Juneau but not their hair. Having them around did make me want a dog when we go back home so I'll have to work on Beau for that :P We set off for Healesville Sanctuary which is a native Australian animal zoo. We'd been meaning to go awhile back but didn't get around to it. It rained pretty heavily along the way but had mostly stopped by the time we arrived. We got to the sanctuary in time to catch the “Spirits of the Sky” show which showcases some of Australia's bird of prey which included Sulfur Crested Cockatoos, Black Cockatoos, buzzards, owls, Fantail Hawks as well as other raptor birds. Prior to the show though we had time to stop into the koala enclosure. We caught one of the koalas during his 4 hours window of active time, they sleep 20hrs a day. He was jumping between two trees in his pen. It was cool to see him so close but I'm glad I saw koalas in the wild too. We also had time to poke our heads into the reptile house where they had 10 deadly snakes on display including the most venomous snake in the world. After we saw the bird show we went into the Land of the Parrots and saw loads of colourful birds. We then had to find a little shelter from the rain before it eased up enough for us to go on a wetlands walk. We saw a couple types of Ibis as well as a bunch of other birds. Next we reached the dingoes and got really lucky as we arrived just in time for Meet the Keeper. We got to learn a bit about dingoes and asks some questions too. The one in the enclosure were quite tame and the keeper was in with them giving them treats while talking to us. After we went on to the kangaroos. You can pay for “extras” at the sanctuary which can including petting a kangaroo, this was going on when we arrived. I'm not sure whether it was the kangaroo breed or else they were fairly young as the roo's were smaller than the ones we'd seen walking the dogs. It started to rain pretty hard again so we ducked into the Vet Clinic. At different times of the day you can observe them performing procedures. We arrived in time for a bird autopsy which I wasn't too interested in watching. The rain let up again and we made our way to the platypus enclosure. Since platypuses are nocturnal it was very low lighting. One platypus was chilling underwater; they can hold their breath for about 11min! The other was swimming laps around his pool. They are very funny looking creatures! After leaving the platys we saw Emus as well as some more native birds. Then we saw Animals of the Night which was mainly nocturnal rodents including a bilby. (family-remember the tv show we saw in Christchurch!) Next came the Tasmanian Devils and Wombats. Both are sort of small bear-like creatures. The devils were fairly active but wombats are nocturnal so they were sleeping. It was about 5pm already and the sanctuary was closing down. Back at the van we plotted our route to a free campsite at Kurth Kiln Regional Park. We arrived at the site just as it got dark and were the only people there. We made soup for dinner and played crib. It was chilly and damp but we stayed warmer than the back of the truck at Big White!

Mr Koala Bear

Female Black Cockatoo



Tasmanian Devil (not happy with my pictures)

May 15 – Phillip Island
It was still drizzling a little this morning and the trees kept making good plonking noises on the roof. Beau and I stayed toasty in our bed last night even though it was a little chilly out. This made getting up quite difficult. Fortunately the weather was clearing a little so that prompted us to get moving. We had cereal for breakfast and a nice hot cup of tea. We set off on our way down towards Phillip Island. We stopped for a couple more groceries and some gas. It seems we have VERY poor gas mileage. It hurts me a little. Once we reached the island we went into the visitors center and asked about what we should see while there. I had been really interested in seeing the little penguins but it's about $25/person to see the “Penguin Parade” which is the little penguins coming back from the ocean to their burrows at dusk. So we opted to not which is a little disappointing since that was the main reason for coming down here but they have just been turned into a crazy tourist attraction. We did go down to the “Nobbies” and have a walk along the board walk. The Nobbies are some rocky formations off the coast. There was also Seal Island just beyond them where the Australian Fur Seals live. It was very wind but had some lovely ocean scenes. After our windswept walk we went into the visitors center and read about the local sea life in the Bass Sea. There were also some large tv screens on which you could view Seal Island using remote video cameras. Kind of cool but again you had to pay $5 for 4 min of video. We then popped the top and made lunch in the parking lot. We headed into the main town of Phillip Island called Cowes. We took a little walk along the waterfront and out onto the jetty. We also took advantage of the fact we have a cell phone and made a few calls for campsite prices. The best we could do is a non-powered site for $24. We figured non-powered would be fine since we have the second battery system now. Once at the campsite Beau decided to check on the second battery to see how it had charge throughout the day. Turns out it wasn't really charging properly. Obviously this worries us since we spent money on a electric cooler and proper battery for it. We aren't sure what the problem is but hopefully we can get it figured out. The van lights are a lot dimmer since the battery is low. I'm sure clever Beau will get it figured out though :S

The Nobbies with seal island in the background

May 16 – Phillip Island
After breakfast we headed down to a peninsula on Phillip Island to go for a hike. The lady at the information center had recommended this one to us yesterday. We parked the van and set off along the beach, before we went though we decided to switch to sandals since there was beach walking. It was a beautiful day out. The first part of our walk was a little windy and chilly and I was happy to have my jacket on. As soon as we left the beach though the wind died off and layers had to be shed. We reached some pink granite rock formations known as “the Pinnacles” and enjoy the view with a granola bar. We continued on the the highest point on Phillip Island at 112m. We were on the trail back to the car park when there was another trail that lead to an old quarry. We followed the path down to the beach on the other side of the peninsula to where there had once been a pink granite quarry. Stones had been mined here for use in Melbourne until the Depression. We walked back along the beach till we found the path back to the car park. We headed out from the car park to find ourselves a toilet and a lunch spot where we enjoyed some PB&J. This concluded our little visit to Phillip Island and we headed off towards our free campsite for the night. We drove to Cape Liptrap Coastal Park where there was a free campsite called Bear Gully Reserve. It was quite a picturesque spot right on the ocean and even had little fire pits available. Unfortunately there was no firewood around and even if there was it would have been too wet to use. We did get to see some Wombats though they definitely look like furry pigs. The battery seemed okay this evening, I guess it got charged up okay but we are still going to monitor it.
The Pinnacles behind us

Old Quarry and jetty

At Bear Gully reserve

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Work Work Work

April 23 – May 13 – work
Over the past three weeks we worked at a call center as inbound customer services representatives for a shopping rewards program. Our first week was absolute madness. The phones were ringing off the hook and we had no idea what we were doing. The first day consisted of us with our hands up for help. After the first week or so there was a noticeable difference in call volume. There were e-mails sent out asking who wants to go home early or wants unpaid breaks. We also had to adhere to an “average handling time” or AHT which was how long you were supposed to be on a call for and for after call work; the AHT was 155sec. So we had about 2.5 min to find out why they were calling and to answer their questions and get them off the phone. Since Beau and I are such helpful people we didn't have very good AHTs. Oh well. During the last week of work I had about 22hrs and Beau had about 30hrs. We decided this wasn't enough to keep us in town anymore. We told our boss we were leaving and thanked them for the opportunity. They were already starting to lay people off so I'm sure they weren't too upset about it. It's nice to be unemployed again.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Great Ocean Road Part 2

April 17 – 19 – Back to the real world
We picked up Monique and Ingo from the airport and our two weeks of alone time was over. They had a pretty good trip in Tahiti but had a few bumps along the way with stuff breaking. Their return was timed very well though because we started work training this week too. Training was painfully boring and also not all that informative. We are going to be working at an inbound customer service center for a program called Flybuys. Which is a shopping rewards program through a grocery store. Training just reminded me how much working sucked.

April 20 – To Apollo Bay
Today we were supposed to have a short day of training. As usual things did not go according to plan. The trains were running a little late in the morning so we didn't arrive as early as we'd hoped. The day was pretty useless though we spent some time waiting for our computers to get unlocked. Then we did some silly training and we sat around some more. We eventually got signed into a training version of the program we were doing but the rest of the systems were down so we couldn't really see too much. We had been promised a pizza lunch but as 1:15 rolled around we had to boot it out of there since we had to catch a train to Apollo Bay at 2pm. We went to the train station and bough our tickets and then asked them to best way to get to Southern Cross station to catch our V-Line Train, assuming these people would know best. The sent us up to one station, North Melbourne, to come back down to Southern Cross. We got off our train in Southern Cross and booked it to where we thought our train would be, the platform was not printed on the ticket. We arrived at our platform as the train was pulling away. It was so frustrating. We had to wait 40min for the next train and would miss our connecting bus to Apollo Bay. We weren't going to get to Apollo Bay till about 8pm now. When our train did arrive it's first stop was at North Melbourne! I don't understand why the stupid woman that sold us the ticket couldn't have told us that!! (We also could have walked faster that the train took). The stupid woman also sold us a ticket for the next day and the ticket guy gave us a hard time about it too. Not impressed with my day. We had about 2 hours to kill in Geelong before we were able to catch our bus. We arrived in Apollo Bay around 8pm and called the mechanic. He picked us up in Dotti and then we went back to the shop to get the payment sorted out. It was nice to have Dotti back! In Apollo Bay though there was a music festival going on and the holiday parks were all at peak rates! We were disgusted with a $50 campsite. We ended up parking in a grassing parking area with a few other camper vans. The down side of this was that we were parked next to other vehicles that drunk people were sleeping in. We were woken up around 1am by the crazy chick in the next vehicle banging on the windows of her partners car, yelling at him over the phone and letting air out of his tires. It was not a restful night.

April 21 – The Twelve Apostles and Gibbons Steps
After our not so restful sleep we woke up the an overcast grey day. It did not look like it was going to be a promising day. We had some oatmeal and tea for breakfast and then picked up a few groceries at the overpriced Apollo Bay IGA. Fortunately by the time we headed out the skies had cleared and the sun had come out. We started our drive and made it past Bimbi park this time. Our first stop was a look out along the side of the road. It gave a very nice view of the coast line. Our next stop was Gibbons Steps, obviously this was a stair case but it lead down to the beach. We got a pretty close look at one of the lime stone formations but I don't think it was technically part of the Apostles. We had a nice walk along the beach in the warm sand before heading back up the car. We continued along to the Twelve Apostles. There was a huge information center and parking lot. While parked we made ourselves some lunch in the van. This was much easier to do than it had been in the car. We then walked down to the Apostles viewing platform. The view was amazing but the sun wasn't in the greatest position for taking pictures. The place was also packed with Asian tourists. We felt like a minority. I think I enjoyed the Gibbons Steps more since there weren't many people on the beach and you could get all kinds of different views. After the Apostles we headed to the Loch Ard Gorge. This area was named after a ship named the Loch Ard which crashed on the cliffs near by back in the late 1800s. The gorge was very nice and there was a few different and gorgeous views to be had. By this time we were feeling a little foot sore and had had quite a bit of sun. We decided to call it a day for checking out the coast. We had talked about going down to London Bridge but since the bridge part collapsed in the 90's we figured it would be a similar sight to the ones we had just seen. We decided to head up to Colac to spend the night there. Once in the town we headed to the information center and a very sweet and helpful lady gave us all kinds of information about the area and things to see and do. We decided to drive up to the Red Rock Scenic Reserve since it was still pretty nice out. The scene at the top wasn't all that great and it was a actually a little bit hazy. This area claims to be the youngest volcano in Australia. We headed back down and checked into a motor camp. Unfortunately we forgot our golden rule and didn't really check it out too closely before paying for a night. Not quite sure what we were thinking since the camp was right next to the highway. They also only had an outdoor kitchen with no stove, fortunately the BBQ had a burner on the side. We made ourselves a soup concoction for dinner and then watched a movie called the Decendants. The movie wasn't really what we expected, it was a bit of a tear jerker and a drama. After the movie Beau had a bit of a headache so he went bed while I read for a little bit.

Gibbons Steps

The 12 Apostles

Loch Ard Gorge

April 22 – Back to Melbourne
We meandered back to Melbourne and stopped into a brewery and a winery. The Otway Brewery had some very nice beers and we picked up a couple of whit's for Ingo. They were pricey but were very nice. We tried to go to some wineries on the way back but only 1 out of 3 we tried to go to was open. They wine was okay but nothing specially. We pulled into an empty motel parking lot and popped the top to make ourselves lunch. We arrived back into Diamond Creek and Beau went off to badminton with Ingo while I was lazy at the house. Tomorrow is our first day of work.