Week 7 – Campervan – Part 2 – Kangaroo Valley to Melbourne
We continued our journey south/west and by lunchtime our drive was taking us along the bottom of the county, through an area called Lakes Entrance. For much of the morning we had been surrounded by beautiful National Park – much of the highway was windy and forest lined…and as usual on the weekend in Oz we seemed to be one of the few vehicles on the road.
At lunchtime we arrived at Lakes Entrance, and to be honest it was tad disappointing – my own fault for being gullible and believing Lonely Planet as they really bigged it up. Maybe it was because it was a grey day but it just wasnt anything special – plus we were spoilt in NZ with all them amazing bright blue lakes, so in comparison these just looked a little dull. Regardless, we parked up on a grassy spot and made our lunch – for those regular readers interested in our eating habits, I think I had myself a tuna and salad wrap and I believe Scott had a strange combo of brraaaaap and some of my leftover sweetcorn – he seemed happy enough with it, but I was concerned about the lack of colour variety on his plate.
Anyhoooo post lunch, we chilled and read our Kindles by the lake before heading towards the public toilets, with the plan of having a quicky sink wash (we’d been without shower for a couple of nights by this point). Whilst I was still in the car Scott was approached by an utterly random dog walker, asking if he wanted a hot shower. A little taken back as to why he would approach Scott and ask him if we wanted a shower my head swarm with thoughts regarding his motives…did he infact want to shower with Scott? However I was overwhelmed and excited about the prospect of a hot shower and would have gladly offered Scott ‘shower services” if it meant I could get clean. So he pointed us in the right direction and off we trotted.
Showered and ready to rock in our clean garms we got back on the road and headed to our camp for the evening – think i nodded off on the way only to wake as Scott was slamming on the brakes and doing a sharp right turn – everything clattering behind us, I woke in a daze but am since getting used to Scott’s last minute braking and turning – I now just bite my tongue.
Well our camp for the night was a patch of grass outside a yacht club at a place called Marly Point(and yes I did have to Google how to spell Yacht) – it was a beautiful spot right by the lake and we had the added bonus of not having a single neighbour. So we cracked the goon out and sat on our camp chairs admiring our surroundings. One of our best camps yet!!
Sundowner – Melbourne (kinda)
After a lovely evening chilling by a lake we made our way to Melbourne a day earlier than expected. The next day we were due to go and meet a mate from home, Olly who has been travelling for a while also (having been to many of the same places that we did in Asia) and is currently living and working in Melbourne…so it was handy being on the outskirts of Melbourne to save a big drive the next morning.
We chose a cheap caravan park in the South of Melbourne and soon found out why it was a bit cheaper than a conventional tourist park.
There were a few other campers near us including a very similar one to ours which we found out had been purchased by a couple named Margaret and Bernard who appeared to be in their early fifties and had travelled America in a tent, and NZ at around the same time as us. We chatted to them for a bit and later I gave them some tips regarding travelling in Asia as they were planning on heading their after Oz.
Through the course of the afternoon and evening I spoke to a few of the long termers who were staying in the park. One was a guy who was in his late 20’s early 30’s who told me his tale of marrying a Thai bride which he said was brilliant fun at first but soon went a bit wrong and that was why he was currently living in the caravan park. He seemed a bit drunk (or something else) and proceeded to tell me that whilst the caravan park was nice it was full of “dicks” so he put it. Whilst Shell hid out in the van he also asked me if I was a hippy (no doubt due to my beard) and said that he knew the hippy click which he showed me. In all fairness it just seemed like a normal click of the fingers but who am I to say whether he had it spot on or not.
Later that evening I did our clothes washing and another local chatted to me and seemed quite nice. Unfortunately she also had experienced a loss in the last week as a result of her niece getting stabbed just around the corner. I didn’t tell Shell that evening though as I didn’t want to frighten her. The lady wished me well on my travels and I headed back to the van just as it started to hammer down.
As a result of the persistent rain that occurred throughout the night our chairs that we had left outside got very wet, however that was the least of our concerns as Jimmy was not quite as waterproof as Timmy and had leaked Shells side right near her head.
To treat ourselves we made a cooked breakfast under our gas grill (including hashbrowns which I bought as I knew they were Shells favourite) and stayed inside whilst the rain calmed down.
As Shell has been without a phone we discussed about me buying a new phone and her having the one I had purchased in Kuala Lumpur due to the actions of the Satan in Thailand (see Koh Phangyan – I’m still not over it) so we headed to the nearest Westfield and parked up in McDonalds whilst we went to procure a new phone. After we bought the phone we sat in McDonalds carpark and made cereal for lunch and Shell went in and bought a coffee so that we weren’t taking the pee. Although it did kind of feel ironic that we were eating Special K in a Maccy D’s.
We then drove to the nearest Travellers Autobarn in Melbourne where they fixed our wobbly table and leaky side before heading to Ollys. It was really good to see a fellow Norfolker and was quality to hear his travelling stories from Asia. We met his house mates Ria and Luke and another Aussie friend of theirs called Jacob who made us all feel welcome even though we were effectively squatting in their garden.
Shell and I had a quiet night in the garden as Olly was working and ate tuna pasta and watched some telly before we went to sleep.