Victoria ~ January 2013 

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.

Tuesday 1st January 2013

It is Pete Mate’s birthday today and he received cards, phone calls, text messages and emails. He was quite blown away by all the kind wishes bestowed upon him. It is a long time since I saw him like this.

We didn’t do a lot as I am still involved in an up-close-and-personal relationship with the loo. Enough said. It's one way to kick-start the New Year diet.

Our neighbours have been very quiet indeed; I am wondering if someone complained. Later I cooked PM his birthday dinner and we had a bottle of red. Maybe I shouldn’t have but I did!

Wednesday 2nd January 2013

As I was feeling a lot better and Pete Mate was okay we decided to have a day out. It was more like an afternoon out by the time we were ready. I had packed a picnic lunch and thermos as we were heading into Ben Boyd National Park. Once we left the bitumen we drove down 20 kms of rough, unsealed road before we reached anything worth looking at which was Disaster Bay lookout. The views were just as the leaflet said, spectacular. We took some photos ...

Disaster Bay
Disaster Bay, aptly named as this coastline has seen the demise of many a good ship.
... and then we had lunch. But first Pete Mate released ten pounds of pressure from Billy's tyres; what is suitable for dragging a caravan on bitumen can be far too hard for a dirt road. It felt like Billy was shaking to bits! It felt like we were shaking to bits!

Continuing, we travelled a little further to the Green Cape Lighthouse.

Green Cape Lighthouse
An octagonal lighthouse, Green Cape Lighthouse was closed at the time we arrived.
Here we were nearly blown off our feet; to say it was breezy would be an understatement.

Breakers on the rocks
Not a place to run onto the rocks on a dark night. Many have.
The path leading up to the lighthouse from the car park was paved with a man-made substance and was really easy to walk on. It reminded me of the pathway up on Mount Kosciuszko. Though not made from the same material, it was a similar idea.

We took our photos and then once back at the car had a cuppa whilst we consulted the map. We decided the other two places we wanted to visit would wait for another day as time was marching on. The other two places are in a different direction and are mainly on sealed roads, thank goodness. It was an enjoyable outing which blew away a few cobwebs and put some fresh air into our lungs.

Thursday 3rd January 2013

I did the usual daily things then sat outside knitting. A few people packed up and left, including our noisy neighbours. A little chap that hurt his foot on New Year's Day also left with his family.

The little boy in question was between 5 and 8, Pete Mate and I cannot agree on his age. On New Year’s Day he was playing outside and somehow managed to spear his foot with a long tent pole. There was a lot of screaming and a mother trying to console her son who was obviously in severe pain. Pete Mate went over to see if he could help - I was in the shower. PM tried to cut off his shoe to see if that helped but it was very clear the little chap needed the professionals - the spike had gone right through. An ambulance was called and a shade erected over the patient then we all waited.

What was minutes seemed liked hours. There is only one ambulance crew in Eden and when the call was received one man was asleep after being on duty all night and the other was in the shower. When they arrived they administered an inhaler thingy so the boy couldn’t feel the pain. They then cut the pole to a short length and took him away in the ambulance. They had to take him to Bega Hospital which is a considerable way from here so it was a long time before Mum and patient arrived home. Luckily there was no bone damage and he didn’t even need a stitch.

What would a caravan park and school holidays be without at least one drama?

Friday 4th January 2013

We took a short drive out to Cocora Beach. What an absolutely perfect spot for families to enjoy the beach in safety. It is sheltered from the wind and has picnic tables and toilets in an adjacent park.

Cocora Beach
Cocora Beach with its mussel farm beyond the rocks.
From Cocora Beach we drove to the fishing wharf for an excellent lunch and then back into town to do some shopping and collect the mail. My Christmas present, ordered through Amazon, still hasn’t arrived.

Saturday 5th January 2013

Today was just a normal day at home. Pete Mate put out the awning and sun screen as the weather was perfect for sitting outside. The awning and screen also serves to stop children playing ball right outside our door.

Sunday 6th January 2013

Pete Mate went off for an early morning walk. He made it all the way down to the wharf and then had breakfast before walking home again.

Monday 7th January 2013

We enjoyed a lovely cruise around the bay on a catamaran called Cat Balou.

In 2004 I went on a catamaran at Sharks Bay and said never, ever again. This trip, however, was heaps more pleasant and we were allowed to keep our shoes on. The owners and staff were super attentive which was good, me being a little nervous on boats. Okay, a lot nervous. Even so I did enjoy the trip very much. We saw some historic landmarks and to our delight we also saw dolphins at play and a couple of seals. Gordon, the Captain, did not hurry us and spent enough time idling to make sure everyone saw the seals and dolphins.

We were served morning tea which was simple but nice then it was time to head back to the wharf. If ever you are in Eden we can highly recommend this trip; their web site is www.catbalou.com.au.

Once on shore we headed to our favourite Wharfside Café for lunch: www.wharfsidecafe.com.au. Again we were not disappointed - beautifully cooked freshly caught fish and crisp fresh salad.

Tuesday 8th January 2013

We both had to attend the doctors' surgery this morning. We didn’t have to wait long which is very unusual for a doctor; he was nice and seemed efficient. He checked Pete Mate over and, besides arranging blood tests, couldn’t really help him much. (Did I just say he seemed efficient?) He gave me my blood test form without a problem and never asked me if I drank, nor did he weigh me. Definitely my kind of doctor. We then came home and did our usual things. Later I decided to clean out some cupboards and found a cask of wine. We decided we should drink it - just to get rid of it - instead of carrying it around. A mistake or not? We will see in a few days when we have finished it.

Wednesday 9th January 2013

We had to go and get our blood tests done this morning before breakfast. Pete Mate had to fast so I also fasted out of sympathy. He gave up his blood easily but I wasn’t parting with any. Now I have to go back tomorrow after drinking at least a litre of water before hand.

We enjoyed a very pleasant breakfast down at the wharf, collecting our mail on the way home. My Christmas present has finally arrived from Amazon.com - Series One and Series Two of Downton Abbey's DVDs. We had assumed they were lost in the post and Amazon had refunded me the money, so now I have to repay it. It is so difficult to find an email address for Amazon. Full marks to them, however, they did not charge me postage because of the inconvenience, which wasn’t actually their fault.

This evening we drank wine again.

Thursday 10th January 2013

I gave up my blood quite easily this morning having drunk copious amounts of water, orange juice and coffee. Leaving the surgery we detoured back to the caravan for the cameras and before heading down to the wharf for lunch. It was a very nice lunch of freshly caught fish and beer-battered chips but I really need to remind myself I cannot eat all that ‘fat’ anymore. It was so big and filling we didn’t eat again for the rest of the day.

Whilst at the wharf we saw a very fine boat, obviously owned by someone who has lots of money. We were talking to a couple on the jetty and the lady said she was waiting for the celebrity to disembark. For some reason she was hoping it was Mel Gibson. I ask you, Mel Gibson! Has she not heard of Hugh Jackman!

We have driven past the Whale Museum many times so decided to call in and see what it was like. Outside, the building was very grand ...

Whale Museum
The Eden Killer Whale Museum.
Compared to the Albany Whale Museum in Western Australia, however, I felt Eden misses the mark. Albany shows you whaling, warts and all, so you left there feeling sick to the stomach, rejoicing that this awful industry had been stamped out.

Eden’s Whale Museum makes it more of a romantic story of bygone days. The slaughter of whales was about as romantic as the treatment of Australian livestock we saw recently in some Indonesian abattoirs.

The skeleton of the famous killer whale, Old Tom, is on display and we watched a video of whale watching which was very good. Pete Mate bought a book about the history of Eden which was poorly written and badly illustrated; a waste of money in fact. Once home we sat outside and read until the surrounding noise finally drove us indoors.

Friday 11th January 2013

A lay day at home. It was quite pleasant sitting outside reading. Our neighbours were all out.

Saturday 12th January 2013

Apart from a quick trip into town we did very little.

Sunday 13th January 2013

It was very wet and cold so it was a day indoors. I watched some Downton Abbey and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Monday 14th January 2013

The day was much brighter so we were able to sit outside and read for a while. I did another clear out; this time under the bed and, lo and behold, found another bottle of wine. I am like a little squirrel secreting goodies everywhere.

Tuesday 15th January 2013

What a perfect day, the weather couldn’t have been better. We went down to the wharf for breakfast and afterwards had a walk around. We are really going to miss Eden when we leave on Sunday. We bumped into Susan and Theo (friends from Emu Park). They were off on a boat and promised to call by and see us later.

Theo and Susan
Friends from Emu Park, Theo and Susan.
We did a few errands in town before returning home. Later Susan and Theo called and it was very pleasant to catch up once again.

Wednesday 16th January 2013

Another perfect day in this paradise called Eden. It has always puzzled me why man can walk on the moon, no mean feat, but cannot pee straight into a toilet bowl. Pete Mate has now unwittingly provided me with the answer. He is too busy looking out of the window in the hope of seeing women in black bikinis.

Refugee Camp?
This photo he took from our toilet window is proof. Men!
The sunset cruise we intended to go on was cancelled - it was too windy on the water. Instead we decided to have dinner down by the wharf. Our favourite place was closed so we tried another. It was more like a cafeteria but had restaurant prices so we decided to revisit the pub. It was a good choice; we enjoyed a really nice meal for half the price in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Plus we had a couple of glasses of vino. I find when we don’t have wine every night I enjoy it more when we do.

Thursday 17th January 2013

What a lovely week we are having; we spent time with more friends from Emu Park.

John and Helen
John and Helen Paul stayed over on their way west.
Helen and John were on their way to Melbourne and decided to have a night at Eden. We enjoyed a lovely Happy Hour with them, just sitting and catching up with their news.

Friday 18th January 2013

After saying good bye to Helen and John we went into town to do a few errands. The heat was overpowering and the wind was very hot and gusty. Once home we put away the awning and made sure everything was secure. We then retreated inside and put on the air conditioner to remain cool. By the time we went to bed the outside temperature had dropped considerably so we were able to sleep.

Saturday 19th January 2013

Today is 'get ready' day as tomorrow we are on the road once more. Our destination is Bairnsdale for two weeks.

Sunday 20th January 2013

We left Eden around 9.30am and had a fairly good run through to Bairnsdale. We had a few stops along the way, one because we heard a very unpleasant noise coming from Billy. Pete Mate checked around everywhere and couldn’t find the problem. We set off again and the noise was no longer with us, all was revealed when we arrived in Bairnsdale. We'd lost the plastic covering inside the wheel arch. I am sure the Web Master knows the correct terminology for this. We set up camp without too much trouble. Our water pressure was really low. On investigation, Pete Mate discovered our filters were blocked. Thankfully there is a Bunnings in town. We have very nice neighbours alongside us and the park is fairly quiet; anything would be quiet after Eden.

Monday 21st January 2013

We went for a short walk along the river before breakfast. It was very pleasant and the morning was cool. Later we went into town; we needed Bunnings, Jayco, the Mitsubishi agent, the tyres depot and of course the supermarket. We bought the new water filters, booked Billy in for new tyres, ordered a replacement part for the one we lost off the car, bought a couple of things from Jayco and collected some milk on the way home. We also bought a bottle of wine which we enjoyed while sitting outside the ‘van as the sun went down.

Tuesday 22nd January 2013

Billy had his new tyres fitted; they were extremely fast and efficient. We then went into town and had a wander around, revisited the coffee shop we used to go to and enjoyed a pleasant lunch. It was a little cold to sit outside when we got home so we retreated inside.

Wednesday 23rd January 2013

We walked along the river again this morning before breakfast and again it was very cool. It is so peaceful and relaxing. Then it was a lay day, doing whatever we enjoy.

Thursday 24th January 2013

Weather has changed again, wet and cold. Lay day.

Friday 25th January 2013

It is still too cold to sit outside for long. We had a trip into town to do a few errands. In the evening we walked up to the local Indian Restaurant. It was nice enough but not as nice as last time we were here. Reading the reviews on the internet later I discovered the chef had changed and the place has lost a lot of its regulars.

Saturday 26th January 2013

It is Australia Day and not a ray of sunshine poking through those clouds. You have to feel sorry for all the people who have organised outdoor events.

During the early hours of the morning we were treated to a doozy of a thunderstorm. One clap of thunder shook the caravan and the lightning beat any firework display. Pete Mate snuggled up in case I was frightened. Yeah, right, we know who the scaredy cat was, don’t we Pete Mate?

We went for a walk along the river hoping we would manage it before it started raining again. On our way back we were invited to join a group of people that had set up a barbecue and were sizzling sausages. They were from one of the local churches and were having a 'meet and greet' morning. We had a cuppa with them and PM enjoyed a sausage. They were a nice, friendly group and - lo and behold - one lady knew someone we knew. Once again, it is a small world.

Back home we spent more time inside as the weather is rubbish. I do miss sitting outside in the warmth.

Sunday 27th January 2013

Another lay day as the weather is still appalling. At least we are better off than in some parts of Australia; Queensland is experiencing some serious flooding and in Victoria and NSW fires are raging.

Monday 28th January 2013

Lay day. Another day inside with the heater on.

Tuesday 29th January 2013

A trip into town was all we did today.

Wednesday 30th January 2013

We had to visit 'Vic Roads' today to get a replacement sticker for the caravan. After waiting for about 40 minutes a very nice gentleman explained to us we already had a sticker on the back of the renewal notice! Mmm, that is in a file at the house in Perth. He was ever so obliging and gave us a duplicate; at least we will know for next time. We enjoyed afternoon tea as we were too late for lunch; at least it was a healthy savoury muffin and not a rich chocolate cake.

Thursday 31st January 2013

We booked Billy in again at the tyre depot to have the wheel arch cover fixed, hopefully with the part arriving at Mitsubishi tomorrow. A quick trip into town and then home again. Later we had to wind the awning in and pack things away as the wind was quite strong and a storm expected.

And so ends January.

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