Jan 14, 2016

Melbourne - Adelaide - Home

Bloody GPS maps!

I had our escape from the ferry terminal all worked out, our vehicles GPS had different idea's. Unbeknown to me at the time the settings on the GPS excluded motorways, so instead of getting onto the West Gate Bridge and heading towards Ballarat, the bitch who lives in our maps directed us a different route. Eventually we got to Baccass Marsh and onto the Western freeway, we probably wasted an hour of our time but we did get to see an area we wouldn't have.

We stopped for the night at a free camp just before Arrarat, the same place we stayed at on the way over. Next day we did a shop in town before heading further west. Instead of getting into Erin's home late in the evening we chose to stay along the Murray at Mannum. We have stayed here a few times in the past but now they are charging a fee to stay, we did not have $10 in coins to insert in the fee machine but we stopped anyway, prepared to explain to the ranger if one turned up but no one did.

Ferry at Mannum SA

The next morning we drove the scenic route through the Adelaide hills instead of the motorway, arriving at our daughters around midday. We were excited to see Oakley & Tate, Oakley is 23 months old and a real live wire, Tate was just a week old when we last saw him and he had changed a lot in the four months we had been away. Our daughter has her hands full with two boys, we would love it if they lived closer to us. Our time there wasn't all fun, my body was racked in pain, all my joints were hurting, I was getting stabbing pain in my back with any movement and I was feeling down having to deal with the pain and lack of mobility, then my stomach started to twist itself inside out, both Vickie and I had come down with a gastro bug, it was my turn 1st but by morning I was feeling a bit better, enough to take the car to CMI Toyota for its 20,000 klm service. It was Vickies turn to be ill that night, it affected her worse, we had also heard that Vickies elderly father was not well with failing kidneys so Vick changed her mind about flying home, instead she would drive home with me.

Oakley trying his hardest to wet Pop Pop

Tate, little chubby cheeks. He spends his time smiling or playing with his rattles. 

I had planned on calling in on friends at Ardrossan and Streaky Bay but we decided to not stop and just get home as quickly as reasonably possible. Sorry Jar & Pam, Lloyd & Heather.  

We are home now, the outlook for Vickies dad is not good, but he has lived a ripe age of 91, it's time for us to stay home and be there for him when his time comes.

Jan 12, 2016

Tasmania Part 12 - Beauty Point - Beaconsfield

Not long to go now before our Tasmania trip is over, we were booked to sail back to Melbourne on the 10th of January but we have bought it forward to the 1st to give us time to visit Erin and the grandsons in Adelaide on the way home. We had seen most of what we wanted to and now it's the silly season most of the camp sites are filled with locals enjoying their holiday. 

We had left our bikes at our friends home in Swansea so that was 1st on the list to pick them up and stay a night. To get there we left Oatsland and took Tunnack Road then Woodsdale Road finally coming out on the Tasman Highway, the roads were a mixture of bitumen and dirt and the views were again typical Tassie, Stunning! I don't get tired of the hills and windy roads and the Cruiser just pulled the van like it wasn't there, I'm very happy we chose to move from the 79' when we did.

We stayed another night at Triabunna, we were surprised to see John & Marilyn's Winnebago parked up behind the hotel, this was the 4th time we had bumped into each other. After a chat Vickie and I went for a walk around the wharf and onto the local cafe for a coffee and cake. That evening we were going to have the yummy F&C's from the van behind the pub but decided to try the cafe instead, it was nice but the larger crunchy chips from the van were better. 

I helped a fellow camper jump start both his cars in the morning, even his jumper pack was flat. He was a nice friendly guy and he offered for us to stay on his block at Port Sorrell, he was an interesting fellow and had some Cortina Gt's and a RS Escort he raced, these cars are close to my heart and we were keen to take up his offer. Unfortunately it didn't happen as we chose to go to Beaconsfield and we stayed longer there than we anticipated.

We called in at Elizabeth & Anne's home at Swansea and stayed the night, I was suffering a bit with the back and neck flaring up and I feel I wasn't my usual jovial self, we went with them to have some drinks and nibbles with some of their neighbours and had a lovely time. Next morning we said our goodbyes and headed North, this time we took another untraveled road and wound our way up over the range. 

Beauty Point is a few kilometres North of Beaconsfield and we had been told the Platypus House and Seahorse World were worth a visit. We're glad we did, I now know so much more about Seahorses than I ever did before, where that information will get me in life I don't know but it was a pleasurable few hours getting to know these strange creatures. The platypus we had seen in the wild, along with Echidna's but again it was interesting and the cost reasonable. 

We had gone to Beaconsfield with the intention of visiting the mine which is famous for the cave in 2006 and the trapped miners Todd Russell & Brant Web who were nearly a kilometre underground for 14 days. It's impossible to imagine the terror they would have felt, cramped up in a small protective cage. Sadly another miner Larry Knight was killed in the collapse.

We wandered around the mine site which was full of very interesting memorabilia and stories of the gold years, for such a small admission cost it's well worth a visit.

We were sailing out the next day so we headed to Forth to be closer to Devonport, we had stayed here once previously and it was very quiet, this time it was New Years Eve and just about every caravan and motorhome had rocked in, surprisingly it was a very quiet night with no yahooing as the old year passed.

Next morning we were 1st to leave and head for the Ferry, We had a wonderful time in Tasmania, I'm not sure it was as good as the 1st time we visited 10 years ago, back then everything was new to us and we explored a lot more, I think if we were to come again we would like to have the company of good friends to share the experience. 

Coming in through the Heads to Port Phillip Bay.