Nov 21, 2015

Victoria - catching up & a wedding

We cruised around not really knowing where we were going, when we felt like stopping we referred to the Wikicamps App and Camps Australia book. We spent a night at Elingamite on a lovely green grassy area,

And the next day we decided to head West back to Port Fairy to have fish & chips along the wharf, we had been here a few years back and enjoyed the town and the meal, so what it's a few hundred kilometres there and back, we have time to spare. Like the 1st time it was delicious, was it worth the drive? Probably not. 

We stopped a night at a free camp in Panmure, we were the only ones there. Vickie went for a walk and spotted a koala in a tree, this wouldn't be the only koala she was to find. Panmure is a small quiet town but they need to be congratulated on providing an overnight stop complete with shelter, BBQ and toilets. The local kids had a great swimming hole to keep them entertained.

We drove along the Great Ocean Road, a well known tourist drive, lots of twists and turns and towing the van that's always fun, I was well aware of vehicles coming up behind us and when I could I would pull over and let them pass, the majority were appreciative with a toot or a wave. We stopped and took a few photos, but we have been along here a few times so didn't stop for any closer looks.

We refuelled at Lorne, not an easy thing to do as the bowser is tucked away and with no help from the person in the shop it took a gentleman from across the road to come over and tell us what we needed to do, remove a chain blocking our path. Putting $140 of diesel in the tank I let the worker know I wasn't impressed with their lack of assistance. Leaving Lorne we only travelled a short distance into the State Forest and set up camp for the night. Here Vickie spotted another Koala and we were visited by King Parrots, we also had a young koala walk past our van and climb a small tree which gave me the opportunity to take a few photos. 

Part of my reason for travelling where we did was to be able to visit a friend who lives close to Geelong and has a 4WD business near by. We had organised to stay in a caravan park [shock horror] in Belmont, it enabled Vickie to also catch up with the washing. We opted for an ensuite site and set our washing machine up inside it, this worked well as we had power, water and a drain all accessible.

The next day we had a drive around town and was looking for a place for lunch when we were spotted by Darren, our mate whom we were visiting, he suggested the floating Fish & Chip restaurant and we were not disappointed, we enjoyed it so much we went back again the next day as well. Thursday night I went and visited Darren at his business AutoCraft, Thursday nights are shed nights and there could be anything from 2-3 to a dozen mates call in after work for drinks and pizzas. The pizzas were awesome, I restrained myself and made sure I took some back for Vickie. It was a fun night, lots of laughs, mostly at my expense, I took a drive in one of the 80 series landcruiser that was in for some modifications, Holy Hell that thing flew, if you have a cruiser and need it worked on Darren is your man.

It was time to leave Geelong and catch the ferry from Queenscliff, we choose to do this rather than deal with the traffic and toll roads through Melbourne plus the departure off the ferry is not far from where Vickies sister Sue lives and that was where we were heading, but not before a few nights along the bay at Dromana. This area was well known to me as the Bay was where I grew up, we had both been here previously but Vickie hadn't visited Portsea back beach and Flinders so we drove out and cruised the areas. It's a beautiful area, I particularly liked the trees and foliage, I didn't realise how much I miss seeing so many trees and birds, also the gardens were in flower so everywhere we went it was lovely. 

We had a reason to be visiting Sue and that was to attend her youngest daughter [our niece] Lee's wedding to Sam, but we were a week early, Sue pressured us to come and we crumbled, so here we are parked on their front lawn in Mt Eliza. It gave us time to also visit friends Rob & Marg, Ian & Lesley, and Debra & Graham, plus some very special people who I hold very dear to my heart, my 2nd mum Pat Mossenton and my God Father George Ball. 

Marg, Robert & us, we have known these lovely people for 40+ years, we are hoping one day they visit us.

Debra & Graham, we met these friends on Lombok Island many years ago and have stayed in touch ever since, we even surprised Deb on her 40th birthday in Bali one year. Plans are on to do a cruise with them somewhere.

This lady is very special, Pat is the mother of my childhood mate John and more like a brother than a friend, I met her when I was four years of age and growing up I just about spent as much time at Pats home as I did at my own. Pat knows just how to make a person feel worthy and she dished out hugs as well as admonishments to me growing up. At times John and I must have pushed her patience levels to the limits, I Love her like a Mum.

This gentleman is George, he is 97 years young and he and his lovely wife Doreen [dec] were great friends of my mother, I feel I have known George and his family all my life and I just about have. Officially he is my god father, I'm not at all religious and to me he is like the favourite Uncle I never had. My Mother would be chuffed to be able to see this photo.  Regrettably I didn't get a photo of Ian & Lesley, the visit was rushed due to a last minute visit as they were going away. 

The wedding of Lee & Sam was a beautiful occasion, it was held in Warrandyte at Potters reception centre, Sue had arranged accomodation for us close by, a nice B&B that we shared with Danny & Noleen [Sue's BIL and his wife] The wedding went off well, a lovely location and beautiful service, it was a real family affair with Lee's sisters Dannielle and Vickie as Bridesmaids and Sams brothers Nick & Tim as groomsmen, Sams mother Julie is a marriage celebrant and she conducted the service. 

It was great having our nephews Chris & Trevor and their partners Abbie & Ashley along with our niece Maddison all the way from WA come over for the wedding, sadly our own children could not attend due to family and work reasons. 

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